Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Welcome, Donna Hatch

The Stranger She Married

Welcome to From the Pages, Donna. I'm so glad you could stop by and visit today. I'm looking forward to getting to know another Wild Rose Press author. I've got lots of questions, so why don't we get started?

Did you always know you wanted to be an author?

Pretty much. I wrote my first story when I was in the third grade and have been writing on and off ever since. It's sort of a weird compulsion that I can't seem to ignore.

Hmm...I can totally understand that compulsion! *G*

Does your family support your writing career? How?

My husband is very encouraging – more so now that I'm published, because he no longer views it as a hobby that I'm passionate about. My children have gotten better at knowing Mom might mumble to herself for unexplained reasons or suddenly stop in the middle of something, make an exclamation, and run to the computer and begin madly typing.

When you're not writing, what do you like to do?

Read. A lot. I also sing, play the harp and I love to dance. Mostly, I'm playing Mommy when I'm not writing.

Can you tell us anything about what you're working on now?

I have a 15 page novella coming out soon called Troubled Hearts, also a Regency Romance. It's finished, and it's in the hands of the publisher. And I'm also putting the final touches on Book Two of the Rogue Hearts Series which is about the brother of the hero of Book 1, The Stranger She Married. Book Two is called The Guise of a Gentleman, which is about Jared, who is a pirate, and the lady who captures his heart and whom he sets free from her social restrictions. I hope to have that released in the summer or fall of next year. Book Three is rough-drafted, and Book Four is still in the planning stages.

Tell us a little bit about your book, please.

Desperate to save her family from debtor's prison, Alicia vows to marry the first wealthy man to propose. Her choices in potential husbands narrow to either a scarred cripple with the heart of a poet, or a handsome rake with a deadly secret. When yet another bizarre mishap threatens her life, Alicia suspects the seemingly unrelated accidents that have plagued her loved ones are actually a killer's attempt to exterminate every member of her family. Despite the threat looming over her, learning to love the stranger she married may pose the greatest danger of all … to her heart.

Where did you get the idea for this story?
often wonder about the other side of a story, and about the back stories of secondary characters in movies and books. I also like to ask what if? What if the Phantom was a gentle loving soul trapped in a scarred body? What if Christine fell in love with the Phantom instead of the handsome young aristocrat? Anyway, my story started out like that and then took on a life of its own. I love romances, love triangles, and a twist of intrigue, so that's all in there.

How did you meet your significant other?

I actually met him at church after his brother (who I babysat for) introduced us. I'd just graduated from high school. Nothing really happened. Then, two years later, I dated his younger brother (not the one I babysat for) and we got to know each other pretty well then. A year or so after things fizzled out with the brother, we saw each other at a singles activity and hit it off. We got married three months later and we've just celebrated our 21st wedding anniversary.

In the house—shoes or bare feet?

Bare feet. Unless it's winter, and then it's either socks or slippers.

Guilty pleasures. Got any? Remember, this is a G-rated interview!

Any rich and decadent dessert – doesn't have to be chocolate, I'm an equal opportunity dessert lover. Long bubble baths. My husband.

Is there anything else you would like to share with us today?

My book, "The Stranger She married" is available now at The Wild Rose Press in e-book and in print.

Thanks for visiting today, Donna! I've enjoyed this little chat. Best of luck with your book, as well as your upcoming projects.

Readers, learn more about Donna and her writing at the links below.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Welcome, Debra St. John

This Time for Always

Welcome, Debra, to From the Pages. I'm so glad you stopped by to chat today!

Where do you write?

I write in a lot of places. "Home base" is in my den, which has my PC and all of my bulletin boards. Last summer I finally invested in a lap top, so now I tend to "wander" while I write. Sometimes it’s on the living room couch or the front porch on a nice summer day. The back porch is also a favorite spot.

How did you celebrate your first contract?

First I hugged and kissed my wonderful hubby, then I called my parents and all of my friends and relatives. My local writers’ group (Chicago-North RWA) has a great chocolate tradition. When you sell a book you don’t simply say "I sold a book", but you bring a box of chocolates to a meeting. When the President asks for good news, you pull out the candy with a flourish and announce, "I brought chocolate!" My first chocolate moment was fabulous. It couldn’t have been more perfect if I’d written it out myself!

How wonderful!

Can you tell us anything about what you’re working on now?

Right now I’m working on the sequel, or maybe spinoff if a better word, to "This Time for Always". For those of you familiar with this book, this is Zach’s story. I figured he deserved a girl of his own. "Wild Wedding Weekend" is currently with my editor at Wild Rose. Once I get it back from her I’ll move on to final edits and galley approval for that book.

Love your titles!

The question most readers want to know but never get the chance to ask, do you ever write in your pajamas?

Every chance I get! In the summer my routine is to sleep in, wander downstairs in my jammies, fire up my lap top, and sit on my back porch and write for a couple hours. It is usually an extremely productive time.

How did you meet your significant other?

We met at a country bar. The bar later became the setting for "This Time for Always".

When did you know you’d "made it" as an author?

When I held a copy of my book in my hand for the first time.

What are you reading now?

I’m really hooked on the "Twilight" saga by Stephenie Meyer. I’ve read all four books three times already and have plans for a fourth go-around in the near future.

Do you listen to music while you write?

I listen to music while I write, but not while I edit.

Have you ever laughed so hard something has flown out of your face?

When something strikes me as really funny I have a tendency to laugh until I cry.

Do you collect anything?

Mickey Mouse items. I have hundreds of them. Unfortunately they are all hidden in boxes in my unfinished basement. Someday when I get that million dollar royalty check, I hope to given them a room of their own.

Is there anything else you would like to share with us today?

I’d simply like to thank everyone who has supported, encouraged, and cried with me on my incredible journey to becoming a published author. It’s been a life-long dream, and I continue to be amazed at the new things I’m learning and discovering everyday. I look forward to continuing the journey for many, many years.

Thanks so much for visiting today, Debra! I've enjoyed getting to know you. Best of luck with your writing career. I hope your Mickey Mouses get their own room very, very soon!

The purchase link for "Always" is here.

Blurb for "Always":

As the manager of a local bar, The Corral, Sharlie Montgomery has put the past behind her. That is until Logan Reed walks back into her life, turning her world upside down. His presence brings back painful reminders of the past: the love they had once shared, the money he took from her father, and the baby she’d given up for adoption. Logan wants to buy The Corral, and he’s come back to town to prove he was able to make it on his own without the Montgomery money. Sparks fly whenever Sharlie and Logan are together. Anger, fear, and jealousy aren’t enough to erase the love they once felt for each other. But is love enough? Logan wants a family - the one thing Sharlie can’t give him. -------

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Welcome, Susan Vaughan

Primal Obsession

Welcome to From the Pages, Susan. I'm so glad you could stop by and visit today. I've got lots of questions to ask, so I'm just going to begin. I know readers want to get to know you better as much as I do.

First, where do you write?

If you mean where geographically, I live in the state of Maine. On the coast, so there's plenty to distract me from my WIP. If you mean where in my house, I write in what could be a bedroom but has been converted into an office. My handy dh built me a computer desk with bookshelves above and plenty of desktop space. The window looks out on the lawn and woods, though not coastline, enough to distract me if my mind wanders.

Maine is such a beautiful spot. It sounds like you've got the perfect writing space!

How long does it typically take you to finish a writing project?

Writing a short book for Silhouette typically took me 9 months when I was working full time and 6 months when I quit teaching. Writing a full-length novel like PRIMAL OBSESSION or the other I've completed took about a year. What can I say? I'm slow. I know some people write four books a year. My process is deliberate, stop and go, revise and start again even though I plot ahead.

Can you tell us anything about what you’re working on now?

Right now I'm working on what for me is a very emotional story. "Once Burned" (working title) is about a man convicted of the arson murder of his girlfriend. When he's freed due to a technicality, the only person who can help him find the real murderer is the girlfriend's twin sister, who was burned trying to save her twin. Both divide their lives by before the fire and after the fire, and both have good reason not to trust the other.

Sounds interesting!

Tell us a little bit about your book, please.

My sixth book and latest release, PRIMAL OBSESSION, is about two people trying to defeat a killer who has followed them on a wilderness canoe trip in northern Maine. Injured former Major Leaguer Sam Kincaid needs to prove to himself he can be a success at something besides baseball. And investigative reporter Annie Wylde wants the killer who murdered her friend caught and punished. When they realize the killer is after Annie, Sam faces the challenge of his life.

Where did you get the idea for this story?

A few years ago, my husband and I took a six-day canoe and camping trip in northern Maine. Once we'd signed up, I started thinking of what story could be set there, so the trip was research for the book. Many of my experiences on the canoe trip were fodder for the book. We canoed ten or more miles a day, paddled white water, made our own camps and slept in tents, and bushwhacked with compasses, but we had no killer along. Thank goodness.

The question most readers want to know but never get the chance to ask, do you ever write in your pajamas?

Hardly ever. I usually have to go out at some point during the day, so I dress before breakfast. But I do occasionally suffer from insomnia. When my brain just won't shut down and I can't sleep, it's usually the story that's keeping me awake. And even it it's not, I pad down to the computer for a while in my pjs and write.

What are you reading now?

I'm reading Marley and Me, the book the movie is based upon. I've had three dogs, none of them Labs, but I sure see a lot of the same behaviors no matter the breed. The author is so great at describing the puppy's antics and expressions. I was reading just today at the gym and I know people were wondering about the crazy lady giggling on the elliptical machine. I know there's a sad part in the book, but I'm enjoying the humor for now. And I can't wait to see the movie.

You’re in an Italian restaurant. What do you order?

That's easy. Eggplant parmesan. I love the dish but can't fix it at home since the dh loathes eggplant in any form.

Great choice! We had that for dinner last night.

Do you speak a foreign language?

I speak French, having studied it as a French literature major both in college and grad school. I lived in France for a summer, which greatly increased my fluency, but that was many years ago. I know a little German, Italian, and Spanish, just enough to be dangerous.

Do you have a pet?

I have a wonderful border-collie-chow mix named Sasha. She's the third of our dogs, and I hope the other doggie angels aren't listening, but the best dog. We brought her home from the local Humane Society shelter at ten months. She'd been brought up from New Orleans with some other dogs and cats. New Orleans doesn’t have enough homes for strays, and that's what she was, a stray puppy at three months. She's beautiful, loving, quiet, calm, and, best of all, comes when we call. She lies on the futon beside my desk while I'm writing. I can feel her staring at me, willing me to decide it's time for a walk.

She sounds like a sweetie!

Is there anything else you would like to share with us today?

Now that you mention it, yes. With the economic difficulties these days, many people are finding it difficulty to keep their pets and are surrendering them to animal shelters. Worse, some people are simply abandoning their loving animal companions. Those who care for abandoned and stray animals need as much help as we can give. Anyone who can help, please give to the Humane Society at, the ASPCA at, or to my local shelter here in Maine at

Sarita, thank you for giving me this opportunity to climb up on my soapbox.

I'm so glad you came to visit today, Susan! I've loved getting to know you. I do hope you'll come back to chat with me again in the future, maybe when your next book is released.

Readers, Susan has generously offered a copy of her latest book, Primal Obsession, to one lucky commenter. Check back soon to see if you are the randomly chosen winner!

Blurb for Primal Obsession:

Guiding a canoe party through the Maine wilderness is more than just a job for former Major-Leaguer Sam Kincaid. After hitting rock-bottom, he needs to prove he can pull himself out of the bottle and succeed at something. He can't let himself be distracted by an ambitious, obsessed female, even if she's sexy, witty and smart. Investigative journalist and confirmed urbanite Annie Wylde embarks on the canoe trip to keep a promise to her murdered friend and intends to use the outing to study her notes on the notorious killer called the Hunter. She banters with Sam but rebuffs his advances, considering him just another egotistical jock. But when Annie realizes the killer has followed her into the woods, she learns there's more to Sam than testosterone and dimples. And Sam faces the challenge of his life to keep Annie safe and defeat the Hunter.

Buy link for the ebook: PRIMAL OBSESSION, is
The print release, ISBN 1-60154-390-5, at

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Welcome, Shereen Vedam

To Capture Love

Welcome, Shereen. I'm so glad you could stop by and chat with me today! I've got lots of questions to ask, so I'll just jump right into the interview.

First, how long does it typically take you to finish a writing project?

A short story (~10 words) – 1 month for a rough first draft
A novel (~90,000 words) – 8-9 months for a rough first draft
Editing takes as long as it needs to take.

Did you always know you wanted to be an author?

No. I wanted to be a wildlife field guide, a zoologist, a veterinarian, but became an animal health technician, a secretary and a data coordinator.

Becoming an author came as a complete and shocking surprise. I’m still in recovery.

Can you tell us anything about what you’re working on now?

A fantasy regency novel set in 1815. It deals with an alternative history about witches and warlocks and what those witch trials from the 1400-1700s may really have been about.

The story takes place in Britain, moving from London to Callington, Cornwall, to Fishguard Wales and delves into the folklore of those people and places.

Oh, and the hero is a church guard and the heroine is a witch.

What can I say? I like challenges.

Tell us a little bit about your latest release, please.

Last year was a busy year for releases. I had three short stories come out - all fantasies.

Baron of Dragon’s Reach…
is about a young woman who made a grave mistake, and while desperately trying to correct it, she lands herself in even worse trouble.
The lesson here is that sometimes facing your problems is better than running from it. And love always has its own agenda.

Daughter of the Sorcerer King…
is about a sorceress princess searching for her identity when the role she trained all of her life to play is ripped away from her.
The lesson here is to understand there is a world bigger than then one we enclose ourselves in. And sometimes a girl needs a grieving dragon, a precocious child and a handsome knight to help her realize that.

Dragon Dreams…
is part of the Cat Tales anthology. In this urban fantasy short story, a burnt out veterinarian starts to hallucinate (or so she thinks) about being transported into an alternate world.
The lesson here is that loneliness is often a state of mind and to receive friendship and love, we must first be willing to freely share it.

Any advice for an author just starting out on the writer’s journey?
What you think you need to learn is like sighting the tip of an iceberg. Be prepared for a lifetime of learning.

What are your hobbies?

Kayaking, horseback riding, foreign travel, gardening and reading. Almost got killed riding a crazy Andalucian (look, I’m a race horse) mare in Spain once.

What’s your most comfortable outfit? Are you a jeans-and-sweatshirt kind of person or a dressier sort?

I’m a shorts-and-t-shirt-and sandals gal. I’ve been known to go out into a back yard buried in two feet of snow in sandals and shorts to re-fill the birdseed feeder.

In the house, shoes or bare feet?

Bare feet.

What are you reading now?

The other short stories in the Cat Tales Anthology, edited by George H. Scithers. There are some awesome stories in there.

Do you speak a foreign language?

I took French in high school, but only remember a few words. I grew up in a household that spoke Tamil (a south Indian language). I can understand it well enough but can’t speak it. It’s developed into a kind of one-way translation.

Is there anything else you would like to share with us today?

My stories have magic and witches and spells, with the occasional dragon tossed in, all spiced by that unruly, terrifying and heady experience of falling in love.

Shereen, thank you so much for visiting today. I enjoyed getting to know you, and hearing about your writing.

Readers, find out more about Shereen by visiting the website:

A Blessing In Disguise

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

A Winner!

Randomly chosen from all of yesterday's comments,
the winner of Linda Hope Lee's
Finding Sara is...
*drum roll, please!*
Congratulations, Sharon.

Thanks, everyone, for stopping by
and visiting here at From the Pages.
Sharon, please email me
so I can send off your prize.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Welcome, Linda Hope Lee

Finding Sara

Welcome to From the Pages! I'm so glad you could stop by and chat. I've been looking forward to getting to know you. I've got lots of questions for you.

First, where do you write?

I use a laptop, so I write in several places. Never at a desk, though. If I wake up early enough in the morning, I grab my laptop, prop myself up in bed, and start writing. This is the best time to compose a story's first draft. Later on, I move to some other place in the house. I make myself comfortable in an easy chair in the living room or in my office. I love my laptop!

How long does it typically take you to finish a writing project?

Finishing a project used to take three to six months, but now that I divide my time between writing and my art work, writing a novel takes longer.

Did you always know you wanted to be an author?

No, I didn't. I remember enjoying writing stories as a child, but that got lost when I grew up and had to turn my attention to earning a living. Working as a librarian and loving to read kept books in my life, though, and one day it occurred to me, why don't I try writing something? I did. I wrote short stories, and articles, and scripts for educational media, and, eventually, novels.

How many books have you written?

I have written twenty-five novels and published eighteen. I also wrote and published a nonfiction book, How to Write & Sell Romance Novels.

Wow! That's an impressive list. Your nonfiction book sounds very interesting, too.

Can you tell us anything about what you're working on now?

I am putting the finishing touches on books 2 and 3 of the Red Rock, Colorado series, of which Finding Sara is Book 1. This my first attempt at a series, and it's been great fun.

When you're not writing, what do you like to do?

I do art. Watercolor, pen and ink, colored pencil. As with the writing, I enjoyed art as a child, but it also got lost when I grew up. Then, about ten years ago, I took it up again. Yes, it competes with the writing, but I manage to combine it sometimes, such as writing a poem and then illustrating it.

Art sounds like a wonderful way to spend some quiet hours. Definitely a nice, relaxing pastime.

Do you have a pet?

I have a wire-haired fox terrier named Graham. He is a rescued dog we got three years ago and he is a wonderful pet. Very mellow and sweet. He's our fifth wire. I'm crazy about the breed and would have no other.

Do you collect anything?

I collect anything that has to do with wire-haired fox terriers. Since the breed was popular during the 30s and 40s, much of my collection is from those years. I have prints, figurines, plates, cups, playing cards, charms, pins, coasters, and even one that holds a tape measure.

What are your hobbies?

I enjoy photography. I especially look for photo subjects I can use as inspiration for my art work.

If you had to choose another profession, what would it be?

A detective or a private investigator. Probably why I enjoy reading and writing mysteries.

I completely understand you on that point. I share your alternate vocational dreams. *G*

Is there anything else you would like to share with us today?

No matter how many stories I write, I find there is always room for improvement and always something new to learn about the craft.

Thank you so much for visiting today. I've enjoyed our chat, and I hope you have, too.

Readers, my charming guest author has graciously offered to give away a paperback copy of her delightful book, Finding Sara. One lucky commenter will be chosen at random to receive the prize, so comment away and check back tomorrow to see if your name has been chosen. Good luck! And thank you, Linda!

Finding Sara, by Linda Hope Lee
The Wild Rose Press


On the run to avoid marrying a man she does not love, Long Island, New York heiress Sara Carleton boards a train heading to the West Coast. Fate intervenes when she is mugged during a stop at Red Rock, Colorado. Rancher Jackson Phillips doesn't mind helping the attractive victim he rescued, but having her come to his ranch to recuperate turns out to be much more than he bargained for.


Setup:Stranded at the Red Rock train station, Sara phones her father to let him know she's okay. While she's waiting for him to come to the phone, she gazes idly around the station:

Her gaze roved over the busy ticket counter, a cafe's arched doorway, and landed on a newsstand, where a man stood reading a newspaper. A brown cowboy hat hid most of his face, but his broad shoulders, lean waist and long legs in hip-hugging jeans were in full view.

The man looked up, and, as though he'd known someone observed him, his gaze shot straight to her. Deep-set, dark eyes widened, and then narrowed in a sexy way.

A shiver of excitement sped down Sara's spine.

They continued to stare across the room, not even breaking contact when people passed between them. Although certain she'd never seen the man before, she had the craziest feeling she somehow knew him.