Wednesday 31 July 2013

Welcome Gemma Juliana

Please welcome Gemma Juliana to my blog today.
Thanks for inviting me as your guest, Anna. 
It's a pleasure to have you here. Tell us about yourself.
I've lived in many places, but am now settled in north Texas in a little cottage with my handsome hero, our teenage son and a very magical dog. My older son, his wife and baby live in a neighboring town. Yes, I became a grandma on Halloween… very appropriate, considering my interest in the Otherworld. I wear many hats, from homeschooling mom, to bookkeeper, to jewelry buyer, to astrologer, to home chef, and the list goes on. I love Italian food, loaded potatoes, chocolate and coffee. Did I mention red wine? Am eating healthier now, lots of raw veggies and smoothies. My hubby and I have a breakfast ‘date’ every week at a local diner. I love to travel to ancient sites where magic once shimmered.
My basic criterion for wine is that it has to be red! What genre do you write in and why?
So far I've indie-published the sizzling Sheikhs of the Golden Triangle series. They say, ‘write what you enjoy reading’ so I didn't know where to start because I enjoy so many types of romance. They also say, ‘write series,’ so what I initially intended to be one or two stories currently has three novellas and the fourth coming soon. On a different note, I wrote a non-steamy novella called To Kiss A Leprechaun which is a magical fantasy adventure good for all ages. It even appeals to older kids and YA.
What is your greatest regret concerning your writing career?
I first tried to write a romance when I was pregnant with my first son thirty-one years ago. Back then I submitted it to Silhouette and received a lovely rejection letter telling me to make certain changes and send it back. I was discouraged and decided to do it ‘later’… but before I knew it I had a baby to take care of, we moved to Europe, and I didn’t get back to writing for twenty years. Time flies! Hindsight is 20/20, but knowing what I do now, I believe it would have been easy to get published back then if I had persisted because the letter was so encouraging. The rejection was delightful, nothing like the form rejections you get these days!
Very interesting! If you could live anywhere in the world where would it be?
I have come to love Texas but I miss the sea. The Gulf of Mexico isn’t enough for me, and I live far from it. I’d like to have a stone home in Ireland (although a castle would do) near the coast, or a vineyard on the Atlantic coast of France, or closer to home, perhaps a farmhouse in Maine… Vancouver also draws me, with both mountains and ocean so close together.
Vancouver is a lovely city. Tell us about your current WIP.
The Sheikh’s Crowning is the story of Rick and Yasmine. Rick is a tough undercover agent who spent several years tracking sex slave smugglers, and Yasmine is a widow whose husband was assassinated soon after their marriage. She’s a princess and Rick’s a restless man who has resisted love and settling down. Can Yasmine risk loving a man who lives a dangerous lifestyle again? Can Rick accept that he’s good enough to satisfy the needs of a princess?
What inspired your latest book?

While writing The Sheikh’s Spy, which is the story of Adnan and Olympia, I knew Olympia’s brother and Adnan’s sister would fall in love. Their voices wanted to be heard and theirs is an unusual love story with a twist.
This series of novellas takes place in a fictitious part of the world – The Golden Triangle. The Amulet is the series Prequel. It introduces the fabled magical sapphire amulet, and exposes the enmity and war that constantly tear the region asunder.
Sounds intriguing! What is your next project and when will it be released?
The Sheikh’s Crowning is my next release and is due in early September 2013. Another story I wrote years ago, The Bridal Gift, is in the editing process and may be ready for October 2013.
Why have you become a published author?
Writing is an inner compulsion. All my life I’ve written down story ideas, and usually at least the first three chapters. One day I made a promise to my muse that I would finish as many of them as deserve an ending, and most of them do. I write because I love writing, love a good story, and enjoy entertaining others. Being an author is also part of my retirement plan. The income stream will help as I get older, and something for me to give my sons when the time comes.
What advice can you offer to anyone deciding to self-publish?
Self-publishing is a joy! Perhaps it’s not for everyone, but for those who enjoy controlling their time and creative work it’s the way to go. I encourage anyone to go indie if they are tired of waiting months or years to hear from editors, only to receive yet another rejection. Time is our most valuable commodity and the only delays you suffer as an indie are due to your own lack of discipline or an occasional glitch with the e-publishing platforms. As an indie author, your career remains firmly in your own hands.
Couldn't agree more. Thanks for sharing your thoughts with us. If readers want to connect with Gemma:

Buy Gemma’s Books on…

Wednesday 24 July 2013

Berengaria Brown Talks about Self Publishing

Please welcome Berengaria Brown to my blog today.
Why have you become a published author, Berengaria?

I have always read voraciously. I began writing when I had no books to read. On the way I discovered it was something that I could do, and something I enjoyed doing, so I haven’t stopped writing.

How has your experience with self-publishing been?
So far I have only independently published books for which the contracts have expired, or to which I've requested the contracts back. It’s definitely been a steep learning curve, and there’s no way I’m going to get rich any time soon, but it is a good feeling to see books that have done nothing with a publisher finally start to sell. Being in total control is also a good feeling after having had some less than awesome experiences with some publishers.

I like the control, too.What advice do you have for other authors wanting to self-publish?
Join a group of authors experienced in independently publishing their books and learn as much as you can before jumping into the lake.

I agree. What was the deciding factor in self-publishing your books? Did you decide on ebook or print only or both?
When I started writing I chose to publish with several different publishing houses as I’d had a couple friends who got caught in the mess when a publisher ceased operating. This was A Good Thing as one of the publishers I was with closed and another one got very rocky and I was able to remove my books from them while still getting sales from other books elsewhere. I decided I would give self-publishing a try with the books I’d gotten back.
So far I've only done digital myself.

What went into the process? Can you share your ups and downs and how you went about it?
I had the books re-edited by a professional editor and a talented friend did the covers. I did the formatting myself. The first two were hard work, but by the third and fourth ones I thought I was getting better at it. For authors self-publishing a brand new book I really think editing is very important. We simply don’t see our own mistakes. It takes a professional who is at arm’s length to pick them up.

What was the most difficult thing in the process of self-publishing? 
Actually stepping out from the security of having a publisher with everything at their fingertips is hard. But having tried it once, I think many authors will be ready to continue self publishing. 

How about the easiest?
The easiest thing was knowing I had nothing much to lose. If it didn't work out I could simply go back to writing for one of my existing publishers.

Can you list some Pros/Cons of self-publishing?
Choosing release dates and art work was wonderful. Although most publishers do a good job with covers, some don’t. And with a publisher an author has to fit into their time frame. By independently publishing the author picks release dates that suit them, so they can promote etc as much as they want to.

How long have your books been out? How long between books if you have multiple sales—and if you have multiples did you see a bump in sales with subsequent publication?
The first two went out together eighteen months ago, then two more in January this year. Because I work full-time at a demanding job I have to schedule releases around that. Every time a new book releases, the backlist kicks up a little.

All self-pubbed books are rumored to be shoddily edited. What do you say to that?
Some books are very badly edited. That’s a fact. Authors tend not to see their own mistakes. Also, some authors get their best friend, or an eager fan to “edit” the book. A good edit demands a professional editor who lives and breathes grammar and consistency and timelines, and that costs money. But the author’s good name is at stake here, so the fee is essential.

What advice can you offer readers of self-pubbed books in making a decision on what to read?
Read the best books around, then read the most popular. By then you’ll know what you like.

Give us an elevator pitch for your book.
“Jaid’s Two Sexy Santas”

Jaid hates the annual family Christmas party, a huge event with people she doesn't recognize or like. She's hot and horny and looking for action on the holidays. But this year things look brighter. Her second cousin, Greg, and his partner, Steve, invite her to spend time with them. Two sexy Santas for Jaid? Oh yes!

Thanks for joining me today, Berengaria. Do you have any final words of inspiration for aspiring authors?
Never give up. Keep reading. Keep writing. Keep perfecting your craft.

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Buy my books:

Wednesday 17 July 2013

Please Welcome Melissa Keir

A hearty hello to Melissa Keir, my guest today.
Thank you Anna for having me on your blog . I’m so excited to share my stories with your readers. I hope they will sit back and get to know me and the books I write.

Tell us a little about yourself.
I’m a mother and wife in a blended family. Sometimes our house is a lot like the Brady Bunch with his kids and mine. It was more chaotic when the kids were younger. Now that they are almost all adults, we are enjoying the playful barks of our furry kids, Grissom and Calleigh.

Sounds like a happy household. Have you had other careers before becoming a writer?
I don’t know that I would call them all careers.  When I first moved to Michigan, I worked in retail. I've sold very expensive stuffed animals, high-end women’s career clothes and even furniture. The hours and pay were certainly limiting. Of course, I've been a stay at home mom, raising my children. That job, while the pay and hours were a lot like retail, had so many wonderful blessings. I loved being with my children each day. For the last twenty years, I've taught elementary students in every grade from preschool to sixth grade. Each grade has a lot to love about it, from the innocence of childhood to the satisfaction of seeing a child succeed.

As a former educator myself, I can relate. If you could live anywhere in the world where would it be?
I would love to live on a very private lake surrounded by tall pines and a stream filling the lake. The weather would be moderately warm with some change to the weather through the year. Our home would be a three-bedroom ranch home with acreage for room to roam for walks during the evenings. This place only exists in my mind for now but maybe someday I’ll have the perfect place to live.

Lovely! Hope it becomes a reality. How did you get started writing?
I am a voracious reader. My husband was frustrated with the constant book turn-around in our home. Our bill to Amazon was outrageous. He wished I’d find a job in the book industry! Luckily, I got my start with a small book review company. I read over 250 books during six months with them. But after reading so many books, I decided to give writing a try. I’d already written for an online blog and musings about life and relationships…so the next step wasn't too scary. My first short novella was picked up for an anthology and the writing bug was born in me!

What genre do you write in?
Currently, I write in contemporary romance and contemporary erotic romance. I love to write stories with characters who you’d meet at work or on the street. I love my hometown and share it with readers as the setting for one of my recent series. Eventually I may branch out and write more science fiction/fantasy or paranormal stories but I haven’t stepped into that pond yet.

How many books have you written? Do you have a favorite? 

I've written six novellas and one flash fiction piece for an anthology. Having a favorite is like asking a parent if they have a favorite child. Each story is wonderful in its own way. I love my latest release Three’s A Crowd because the characters of Lissa and Alex speak to my heart as they try to find a balance in a blended family. However, the story that stays with me each time I read it is A Christmas Accident. This is a tearjerker story of faith and love. Those are important themes for Christmas.

How likely are people you meet to end up in your next book?
I love to include names of people that I know in my stories. Some of my children’s names are in books, as well as friends’ names or my students’ names. Beyond the names of my characters, it is rare to find yourself in my book. I usually take incidents that happen but not the characters or people into my stories. Once I had a great laugh with that. In Second Time’s the Charm, I had my hero’s ex-wife looking like Angelina Jolie and the heroine’s best friend. Honestly, I would rather kiss a rattler than have anything to do with my husband’s ex-wife. We disagree on so many things. So as you can see, I don’t take people but situations.

Do you have a view in your writing space?
Prior to this month, I didn't have my own writing space. I hung out in my bed with the dogs or on the couch to write. I was always surrounded by the hum of my family. It was jarring and distracting at times. But my step-son moved out and I finally got my own space! Squee! I got to put a desk in the room and decorate it. While it doesn't have a view of anything but the wall, I've put up a plaque I received for my first sale and copies of my covers. I’m in heaven with this small piece of my own where I can go to write, mediate or do my work!

Do you write under a pen name? 
I actually write under my own married name. I decided that I wanted to have a name that was easy to remember and I was proud of my husband’s name. His family has been super supportive. I also figure that if I get really famous, I will decide about a different name but I’m happy with it.

Having achieved your goal to be a published author, what is the most rewarding thing?
The most rewarding thing about being a published author is receiving notes from readers or reviewers that tell you that your book touched their heart or stayed with them. I appreciate all the people who've read my book and hope that they have enjoyed them. It is my motivation for why I write. I want to share my stories with others and make them happy for a small part of time.

Where can readers find you?
Readers can find me on my webpage and blog at and I’m also on Facebook at and
I’m on twitter- @melissa_keir, Amazon, Goodreads and LinkedIn. I love connecting with readers and other authors. So reach out to chat!

Where can readers find your books?
My books are available on B&N and Amazon as well as All Romance Books and a few other sites. Since my books are all novellas, they are ideal for e-readers where the book can be read in a short period of time. Currently, all my books are only available in E-book format.

It's been great getting to know you, Melissa. You have been one of the stalwart followers of this blog, and I appreciate it.
Thank you again Anna for sharing your blog with me. I hope that your readers will stop by my site and chat with me. I love hearing from other book fans like myself.
Here is a blurb and excerpt for Three's A Crowd.
For Lissa, the second time at love was a charm but in marriage, three’s a crowd.
Single mother Lissa Vincent found her soul mate in her best friend’s ex-husband. Alex Hunter couldn’t believe his fortune when his ex-wife told him her best friend was available. After divorce, finding love again could be a challenge but it appeared Alex and Lissa had gotten lucky. Yet as they start their lives as newlyweds, Alex and Lissa don’t realize just how difficult it might be to blend a family.
When Alex’s ex new marriage begins to unravel, she sets her sights again on Alex. Does Alex still have feelings for the mother of his child? Will Lissa keep her best friend or lose her husband?
Fairytales promise a happily-ever-after. But what really happens after the after.

Sipping a glass of ice water while I waited, I looked forward to seeing Chloe. We’d been co-workers and friends for years.
When Chloe walks in, I watch as all the men’s heads turn to stare as she approached our table. Her beauty always drew gazes and left me feeling like a weed planted next to a stunning flower.
After Chloe and I make a bit of small talk and order, I ask the question I’ve been dying to ask since I ended our phone call. “What is going on, Chloe? What can I do to help?”
“Mike’s quit his job at the college and decided to open his own catering business and the stress of having no money coming in is taking its toll on us. All we do is fight. I can’t stand that I have no say in how our money is spent. Would you believe he bought a delivery truck for his business but hasn’t even gotten the brakes fixed on my car?”
“I’m sorry, Chloe. What does Mike say when you talk to him about this?”

“He really doesn’t understand. He has stars in his eyes about what the future holds and can’t see what’s happening right in front of his face. My salary is the only thing paying the bills. With the way Mike’s spending money, it’s going out as fast as it’s coming in. You know, Lissa. You’re so lucky to have Alex. He’s a wonderful provider. What I wouldn’t give to have him back in my life.”
Ouch. Chloe’s words hurt. I knew Alex was a wonderful husband, but he was mine now. Was she really indicating she wanted him back?
“Alex is a fabulous husband, father, and friend. I’m lucky to be his wife.” Needing to establish my territory, I made sure to point out Alex was mine.
“Yes, he is. I’d give anything to have him back. Just to make it clear, if you ever hurt him or let him go, I’m going to be right there to pick up the pieces. After all, we have a child together. We’ll always be in each other’s lives.”
“Well, Alex is very happy and I’ll do anything to keep him that way.”
The rest of lunch passed in a blur. I couldn’t keep my mind off her ultimatum. Maybe Chloe was just reacting to all the problems in her own marriage by lashing out at me. I was willing to give her the benefit of doubt. However, all I wanted to do was to escape the original lunch from hell and get home to Alex to reassure myself of his love. For me.

Wednesday 10 July 2013

Florence Witkop Shares the Wealth of Her Experience

A warm hello today to Florence Witkop. Tell us about yourself, Florence.

Wife, mother, grandmother, writer, slow workaholic (can't sit still but I'm never in a hurry), reader, political junkie.

I'll have to remember that one-slow workaholic. Have you had other careers before becoming a writer? I've been a teacher, census taker, fishing resort owner, information technology person.

How did you get started writing? I live in the north woods and had to drive many miles over roads that weren't the best to a teaching job. One day I decided I'd rather work right in my own home as a writer. And I've been doing it ever since.

Sounds good! What genre do you write in?
Romance because I want there to be a romance in everything I read and I write what I like to read. I live in the wilderness and that seems to creep into my works until my stories have been described as eco-fiction, a genre I didn't even know existed until it was used in conjunction with my books. And I love supernatural elements so, even though I write small town, rural and/or wilderness romances, they often have a supernatural theme or element. I don't do erotic romance because I can't write and laugh at the same time and that's what happens every time I try to write one of those really steamy scenes. I do have sex in my books if it's appropriate, just not the steamy kind.

I can empathize! How many books have you written? Do you have a favorite? I've written short fiction for over thirty years. I just started writing novels and now have three done and am working on a fourth. I've discovered that writing novels isn't just writing longer short stories. Instead, it's a whole different way of telling a story.
Tell us about your current series.
The 'Legend' series is about legends that turn out to be true. The first, Spirit Legend, is about a legend of a spirit living in a remote, wilderness lake that will die if the lake it lives in is allowed to drain dry. The second, Wolf Legend, that I'm almost done with, is about a legend of huge, dire wolves that people insist have been sighted on a remote island, one of which shares thoughts with the heroine. The third book of the Legend series, which isn't on paper yet but is pretty well worked out in my mind, will be about the legend of Ceres, the goddess of the harvest, and one of her descendants who stows away on a space ship carrying people planning to colonize a far distant planet. She knows their crops will fail if she isn't there to oversee things. I can't promise that there will be more Legend books but there will be if my subconscious is working normally.

What inspired your latest book? I live in an area where wolves are found so there's a lot of talk in my neighborhood about wolves, both favorable and unfavorable. My characters know both sides. I personally love some things about wolves (their family life is admirable and they are beautiful animals) but I do not romanticize them and I do respect the fact that God or nature has decreed that they be intelligent predators.

Where do you get the ideas for your stories? Everywhere.

Do you have a blog? I have a blog. I try to post at least one a week and most of my posts are tips for writers in which I pass on things I've learned over the years, mostly from other writers, about the craft of writing fiction.

What is your favorite part of writing? Rewriting. Definitely. Because I can take something and make it better, smoother, easier to read and understand.

What is your least favorite part of writing? The first draft. Hate it.

What is your typical day like? All over the place. I try to find enough time to actually write but sometimes that's hard.

How does your family feel about your writing career? They are okay with it. Great conversational gambit.

How has your experience with self-publishing been? It's a whole new world, one that's both fascinating and daunting.

What was the deciding factor in self-publishing? Did you decide on ebook or print only or both? I'd been writing short fiction for magazines (confession) for years. The publishers worried about marketing, not me. But print publications are going out of business daily so I decided to become my own publisher. What a shock! It's a whole different thing!

What did you do to promote your work? At first, nothing because I didn't know what to do. I'm learning and I think Goodreads is the most wonderful online site there is because it caters to both readers and writers and brings them together.

How long have your books been out? I dipped my toe in the waters of self-publishing less than a year ago with one short story. I then went on to novellas and then to novels. Each publication has been an interesting journey and I look forward to more such journeys as I continue to write and to learn the process of self-publishing.

What advice can you offer readers of self-pubbed books in making a decision on what to read? Go with your gut. You can't judge how good a book is by price, cover, or blurb. Just by gut.

How likely are people you meet to end up in your next book? It happens occasionally. My family likes the fact that I'm a writer but they don't like appearing in my stories, which they sometimes do.

What is most difficult for you to write? Characters, conflict or emotions? Why? I'm the peacemaker of the family so intentionally creating conflict is almost impossible. I can only do conflict well if it's in the situation, not between the characters because I think any characters who can't settle their own conflicts aren't worth writing about.
Was your road to publication difficult or a walk in the park? Easy. I set a goal and met it originally, writing for magazines, and set another goal of self-publishing last year and met that too. Getting rich from my writing? That's another story!
Give us an elevator pitch for your book. Two people save the life of an immortal spirit.
Do you have a view in your writing space? I look out the window into the north woods, which can make writing difficult and daydreaming easy.
Are you a plotter or a pantser? Parts of both. I need a general guide, a chapter-by-chapter synopsis, but after that I need to give my characters the freedom to get where they are going in whatever way works best for them.
Tell us about your hero. Give us one of his strengths and one of his weaknesses. My heroes are all kind of alike in that they are normal, decent human beings. Because my stories are about normal, decent human beings who somehow got caught up in abnormal, scary situations. It's like a famous writer once said: 'Jack has his fanny in a bear trap and the story is getting out.' I like to see nice, normal people fall into extreme situations in which they must overcome overwhelming odds and not only survive, but thrive and fall in love in the process.
Tell us about your heroine. Give us one of her strengths and one of her weaknesses. Same thing. I like normal people in abnormal situations. Okay, I do prefer a bit of difference between the heroine and hero, usually their backgrounds, but that's so they'll have something to talk about more than to cause conflict or raise the tension. I figure the situation itself should be tense enough that they don't need any artificial conflicts to add to the problem. 

What genres are you drawn to as a reader? I love hard science-fiction, the kind that relies on proven laws of physics and then adds the human element and a romance. And I love thrillers if they depend on known technology used in innovative ways instead of just being an endless series of chase scenes.
Do you prefer to read in the same genres you write in or do you avoid reading that genre? I can't do thrillers because I find building tension to be difficult. I can do psychological fear but not the physical kind. So I stick to what I can do, not what I like to read.
How far do you plan ahead? I have a computer file that I fill with ideas. When I have time, I expand on those ideas until I have a chapter-by-chapter synopsis. Then I know I'm ready to begin writing.
Do you have any words of inspiration for aspiring authors? Becoming a successful writer has as much to do with how you work at your craft as how much ability you were born with. I've met dozens and dozens of gifted writers whose careers went nowhere because they wanted to do their own thing in their own way instead of approaching writing as a profession and a business that provides readers with stories they want to read so much that they are willing to give some of their time and money to do so. 
Did you always know you wanted to be a writer? I always knew that eventually I'd be a writer. I wasn't in any hurry, I figured it would happen when I got around to it. Like I said, I'm a slow workaholic, never in any hurry but eventually I get there. Usually.
Do you or have you belonged to a writing organization? I was one of the founding members of a local writers' organization, the Jackpine Writers Bloc. We publish a literary book every year that's now quite well known. In fact, one of our members who joined in high school and was published in our literary journal, came back during a college break to say that one of her English teachers was envious because she'd been published in the Talking Stick, something he'd been trying for years to do.
Why have you become a published author? Because everyone has to do something with their life that's just for them and no one else and that's what I chose to do with mine.
Do you have any rejection stories to share? Not exactly a rejection but a story: When I first started out, my daughters were my most honest and most brutal critics. Later someone asked me to read a story she'd written and tell her what I thought. It was pretty bad, a fact that I mentioned to one of my daughters. Her response was, "So what? You've written a lot of really bad stuff and it got published." That popped any ego I might have had and I'll never forget her words.
Where can readers find you? My blog is
Where can readers find your books? Amazon and Smashwords and my blog has links to buy my books. But if you don't want to go there, links are:
The Eye of the Universe:
When Dreams Come True:
Wanted Sharpshooter:
Spirit Legend:

It's been great getting to know you, Florence. thanks for being my guest today.

Wednesday 3 July 2013

Welcome Bonnie Edwards

It is fitting, having just celebrated Canada Day 2 days ago, to have as my guest a fellow member of the Vancouver Island Chapter of RWA. Bonnie Edwards is a multi-published author who gives freely of her time and expertise, and I have learned a lot from her insightful workshops. 
Anna, thank you so much for asking me here. I’m still learning my way around Goodreads and I've already learned a lot just from seeing your blog. It’s no wonder you've been nominated for the Very Inspiring Blogger Award. 

Thanks, Bonnie. It's a pleasure to have you here. Tell us about yourself.
I am like most women: a wife, mother, sister, daughter, auntie who has worn a lot of hats in her lifetime. The only difference is that I’m also a writer of romance, a lover of books, a regular blood donor and a pet lover. (okay…I guess on a writer’s blog on Goodreads, I’m pretty much exactly the same as everyone else here!)

How did you get started writing?
See that title of Mom? I had a child who refused to be potty trained…and another who thought I had Velcro on my legs. As much as I loved being a wife and mom, I felt my brain turning to mush. I hit a place where I knew there had to be more and it was up to me to find that place myself. No one else could make me happy…I had to find my bliss.
I’d always enjoyed writing and it came naturally. My sister-in-law was an avid romance reader who shared her books and I was hooked! I am an optimist by nature so the idea of a guaranteed happy ending fit with my need to write. 

I'm still wrestling with the Velcro image! What genre do you write in and why?
I write romance! I have written erotic romance for Kensington Books’ Aphrodisia imprint, category romance for Harlequin Blaze, novellas for Aphrodisia and Carina Press and now I write and publish my work independently, like so many others.
I think that first flush of sexual awareness and learning between a couple is the most exciting time in a relationship. Who wouldn't want to relive that time between the pages of a book? I was writing hot, sexy love scenes way before erotic romance hit the stage. In some ways, those scenes held back my career. That is, until the market finally caught up and I was in the launch anthology for Kensington’s Aphrodisia. Those were heady days!
I write contemporary romance but also veer into light paranormal, like curses and ghost stories and/or curses that end up being time-travel because I love the twists I can add to the story and characters.
In my short story, The Stone Heart, I took inspiration from the old tv show The Twilight Zone and put a twist in it.

How many books have you written? Do you have a favorite?

Including my short stories and novellas about 20 were published traditionally. I have two fully self-published books out now. My latest is Love in a Pawn Shop with my own dog on the cover.
My favorite story is the one I’m currently working on…but I must say that Love in a Pawn Shop was a particular joy to write because I could finally tell the story I wanted to tell, my way. I did garner interest in the book, but the marketing department of a big publisher decided heroines shouldn't own pawn shops (and probably shouldn't own pit-bulls either). I set the story aside until I could self-publish it and WOW! I couldn't have predicted the response. I have discovered a whole world of dog lovers and specifically pit-bull lovers outside my usual readership.
I never would have been able to have my own dog on the cover of a traditionally published romance. My Beau passed away 5 years ago and I sobbed every day that I wrote a scene with him in it. I relived my time with my dog and showed many of his behaviors in the book.
I found the whole experience wonderful and made certain that even the dog had a happy ending.
I always fall in love with my characters; my heroines because they’re strong and independent and often come from hard-luck circumstances and my heroes who most times see the woman they want and do whatever it takes to claim her.

I felt exactly the same writing cat scenes in Haunted Knights. I named the character after my cat Topaz who died unexpectedly while I was writing the ms. (Now I am tearing up!) Tell us about your current series.
The Silhouette Saga is a paranormal series based on a gypsy curse. Four brothers need to learn some lessons about love, women and relationships. My heroines for these stories are just the right women to teach those lessons. I’m having so much fun writing these men: they’re arrogant, charming, sexy and stubborn.
Book 1 of The Silhouette Saga is titled Kim, Unveiled…but that could change as the revisions progress. I’m also making the books longer because the stories demand more depth and length. There’s a lot going on and the conflict has grown by leaps and bounds.

What inspired your latest book?
The Silhouette Saga came to me because I have a gypsy curse in my short story, The Stone Heart and I wanted to go back to the gypsy who cursed that heroine and create more stories from his family. His sister is the one who’s cursed my current heroes…and a nasty curse it is, too.

Do you send out a newsletter? 
My newsletter…sigh…is often short and very sporadic. People can sign up on my website: Usually, I send out news when I have a new release or when I've added formats for e-readers such as KOBO, or iTunes or Nook. I send short, to-the-point newsletters that offer links to purchase whatever is new.
I keep my newsletters short because I don’t want to waste readers’ time with unnecessary bits of personal gossip or something they’re not interested in. Maybe that goes against the norm, but me sharing recipes? Not going to happen. I’m not that good a cook…and my husband does the gardening. I write! I write and write and tell stories and that’s what I want my readers to read. My stories. I hope to make people cry, laugh and sigh at the end. So, I let them know when a story is available and that’s all. (I’m cringing because we hear all the time that readers want to know more, but that’s what my FB page and Twitter is for.)

How has your experience with self-publishing been?
I’m having a blast! I love the chance to work on covers with an interested cover artist. I use 2. One for my contemporary romances (you’ll see sexy boots, shoes, and one dog on those covers) My other cover artist works on my paranormal books: The Stone Heart and now: Kim, Unveiled.
So: Here is the cover reveal for Kim, Unveiled. What do you think? Does it say paranormal romance to you?
(Coming Soon to an e-reader near you!)

What advice do you have for other authors wanting to self-publish?
Study craft at every opportunity. Use a good editor. Write. Write. Write. Improve and revise. Study the craft even more. Learn your weaknesses and work on them. That is something I learned throughout my career: we all have weaknesses and still today, I study craft.  I also teach some occasional craft classes online through 

I took your Scene and Sequel workshop through SavvyAuthors recently and can heartily recommend it. What was the deciding factor in self-publishing? Did you decide on ebook or print only or both?
At this point, I’m offering ebooks only, but am considering offering print. If demand for print goes up, I’ll definitely add that option. Audio as well, if need be.

What’s next for you?
I’m hoping to have another contemporary erotic romance novella titled Bodywork (my first Aphrodisia novella) uploaded before year’s end. And through the rest of the summer I’ll be working on The Silhouette Saga series with a target date of all four up and available by Valentine’s Day. For information on when exactly the books become available it’s best to sign up for my newsletter. I share there before anywhere else.

Where can readers find you?
I was trying to squeeze in links for my various titles listed here (there are more) but there’s so much happening at the moment the blog would have been very clunky. So, the best way to see all the books I have to offer is to take a quick look at my website. New links for more formats should be up there by the time this blog goes live.
Also, my short story Long Time Coming is free on iTunes and KOBO as I write this…so again, by the time this blog is live it’s possible it will be free on Amazon as well.(cross fingers on that one) Nook will not allow free books at this time, so it is priced at .99 there.

My website has all my books listed. You can also like my author page
Or follow me on Twitter:
Where can readers find your books?
My newest releases are on Amazon, KOBO, NOOK, and iTunes. Again by the time this post goes live, Love in a Pawn Shop will be available on more than Kindle.

Thank you so much for being my guest today, Bonnie. Sorry I will miss the chapter picnic.
Again, Anna, thanks so much for inviting me. And now I must wander through Goodreads a little more just to see what I've been missing.