Join me in welcoming Beppie Harrison to Writer Wednesday. Beppie is another fellow LaLaLa, and while I was (f)unemployed last fall, I had the pleasure of copyediting her holiday novella, The Grandest Christmas. It was delightful, as she is.
Without further ado, here’s Beppie!
Beppie Harrison lives in southeastern Michigan with her husband and two slightly addled cats, their four children having grown up and flown the coop. They live a somewhat cross-Atlantic lifestyle. Her husband is an English architect and they began their marriage living in London, only moving to the States 10 years later. In many ways, England is still home. For Beppie, the pull from across the Atlantic comes not only from old friends and familiar places in England, but from Ireland. Did it start with its literature, its history, or its wonderfully garrulous people? However it happened, she is addicted now and her greatest satisfaction is weaving the Ireland she knows into tales of the hearts and ambitions of characters who would have lived 200 years ago.
A little about her new release, The Abiding Heart:
Diarmaid MacGuinness, the red-headed, enigmatic Irish rebel from The Divided Heart, returns with a story of his own, still working for Irish freedom. The story starts in the remote hills and bogs of Donegal, where he encounters a stubborn and independent girl with hair as red as his own. How the two of them exasperate and fascinate each other as they walk across Ireland makes an enthralling story of determination and the growing commitment to find a place for themselves in the Irish world as it existed around them.
Two gingers in one novel? I bet the sparks fly!
Anyway … let’s move on to my favorite part of the post, a round of “This or That.”
Snack of choice. Sweet or Salty? Oh dear. Probably overall favorite would be sweetish. Am currently onto madeleine cookies (Proust’s memory stirrer?) which also taste splendid dipped in coffee. But don’t sit next to me with a freshly opened bag of chips—or crisps, as my beloved Englishman calls them, or you will see a hand reaching into the bag, chip after chip after chip.
England or Ireland? Oh dear again! Two different loyalties come swiftly into combat. England is the home of the Englishman, and was my home for ten years. England is where my first baby was born. England is where my dearest friends—of 45+ years’ standing now—live, also my favorite of my in-law relatives. I step off the plane at Heathrow and I’m home.
But Ireland? That’s the place I fell in love with all by myself. So beautiful (well, England’s pretty good, too) and with an open welcome with a brogue unlike the more formal English. Then, too, Ireland has a terrible history, largely because of the English, but the ruins are made more heart-catching because of the wonderful green surrounding them. It rains a lot in Ireland.
Luckily in June we are taking our 12-year-old granddaughter to Ireland, the Isle of Man, and then to England. So this year I don’t have to choose!
Afternoon nap or early to bed? Easy peasy this one. Midnight is an old friend of mine. I am a dedicated night owl and midnight is usually greeted with the rattle of fingers on the keyboard. Of course if I stay up too far past midnight (1 a.m.? 2 a.m.? Shall we try for 3?) there may be a spontaneous afternoon nap, otherwise known as falling asleep sitting up with laptop on lap.
(Note from Arlene: I’ve done that a time or two myself.)
Ebook or print? Ebook for convenience, cheapness, and travel. Print for illustrations or a text I’m likely to go back and read again and again. It’s a lot easier to flip pages than to tap away on Kindle or whatever and sometimes it goes backward and sometimes forward. Very annoying. Ebook illustrations are getting better, but glossy paper beats them every time.
Dogs or cats? Pause there to cover eyes of two beloved cats so they won’t see what I’m writing. Would love a dog, but presently live in penthouse condo in Michigan with two busy streets close at hand. Indoor cats do fine. Dog would require walking in foul Michigan winter weather, as could not let it out on its own. Not me. The Englishman says not him either. Cats have litter box.
Where do you write: home office or favorite coffee shop? I write planted in the middle of the living room on the couch, with pillows to move around as comfort demands. Feet flat on floor, laptop on lap desk. Started this during recuperation from major back surgery, and here I still am. Have now written four books right here, while life of cats, occasionally grandchildren, and now and then one of the four children, now all adults, surges around me. I block out distraction well.
Hard to believe this is week 91 for My Sexy Saturday. Can’t say I’ve participated every week, but I do what I can.
I’m not sure I have anything that fits this week’s theme, so instead I’ll serve up a sexy moment from a work in progress. Bethany and Cody — the couple who got more wedding night action than the bride and groom — are back TROUBLE IN PARADISE, the second of my “Reality (TV) Bites” books.
In this scene, Beth and Cody are getting ready to film a video essay application for Romance TV’s new show, “Invitation to Sin.” Beth wants to test their relationship because she’s worried Cody’s getting bored; Cody reluctantly agrees to apply because he figures there’s no way in hell they’ll be picked. Romance TV lightning won’t strike their circle twice, right?
Cody sauntered into the room a few minutes later, wearing his new green and orange swim trunks and a big grin. He pointed at his pale white chest, then at Bethany’s equally pasty midriff. “Think we ought to do some self-tanning first?”
Bethany giggled. “Are you kidding? Pasty white skin will be the Romance TV execs’ first clue that we need this trip more than anyone.”
“Where do you want me, then?”
She waved at the chair. “You sit there, and I’ll sit in your lap.” When he didn’t move, she shot him an impatient look. “What are you waiting for?”
“You think it’s such a good idea for you to be wiggling around on my lap when we’re both wearing next to nothing? This video is for Romance TV, not the Porn Network.”
Bethany stifled another giggle so she could answer him with a straight face. “Don’t worry. I won’t blow your cover.”
When she saw the mischief dancing in his golden-brown eyes, she knew she’d just opened herself up for a doozy of a comeback. She held her breath until he delivered it. “Sweetheart, you can blow whatever you want.”
TROUBLE IN PARADISE, an indie release, is coming soon … hopefully this fall.
Help me welcome my friend Madeline Martin to Writer Wednesday. Madeline is a fellow LaLaLa, and she was a guest for my Breaking All the Rules release party back in March. Her question about the appeal of nerdy guys generated a great discussion — and resulted in my brother earning the crown as king nerd.
Madeline writes Scottish historical romance, so this introduction wouldn’t be complete without a mention of my love for Highlander, the TV show. Adrian Paul was yummy, wasn’t he?
Her debut novel, Deception of a Highlander, came out in April. With a kilted hero, a sharp-witted spy, intrigue and enough hot, hot scenes to steam up the windows, it sounds like a fantastic read. And if you like highlanders, her follow-up, Possession of a Highlander, is set for release in August.
Here’s her official bio:
Madeline Martin lives in Jacksonville, Florida with her two daughters (AKA OldestMinion and YoungestMinion) along with their two cats: SketchyCat who stares at walls and eats fuzz and LapCat who has a shoe fetish and enjoys Kung Pow peanuts. All shenanigans are detailed regularly on Twitter.
Madeline graduated from Flagler College with a degree in Business Administration and works for corporate America. Her hobbies include rock climbing, running, doing crazy races (like Mud Runs and Color Runs) and just about anything exciting she can do without getting nauseous.
About Deception of a Highlander:
Scottish Romance doesn’t get much steamier—or more dangerous—than a spy hunting her quarry, and losing her heart to him instead.
To pay a seemingly impossible debt, Mariel Brandon has become a spy for Aaron, one of England’s deadliest minds. Aaron’s latest mission for the sharp-witted and daring Mariel is to find two people in a heavily fortified castle on the Isle of Skye, a castle headed by the clan MacDonald and the powerful Kieran. Mariel is to seduce Kieran and get him to take her to Skye. If she succeeds, Aaron promises to let Mariel’s young brother go, and to free both of them from their debt. If she fails, her brother will die.
What she doesn’t count on is craving Kieran MacDonald almost immediately upon meeting him. Now Mariel must keep a secret from Kieran—one that could get them both killed—as she tries to form a plan that will save her brother, get her out from under Aaron’s thumb once and for all, and keep her in Kieran’s strong arms forever.
Now, for a round of “This or That”:
Cake or pie? Cake (really just the frosting, but that sounds a little too shameless, doesn’t it?)
Snack of choice: sweet or salty? Sweet, then salty, then sweet, then salty — continue until I’m overfull of junk and self-deprecating loathing.
Kilts or jeans? I prefer both totally off, please 🙂 But if given the choice, a kilt — especially if it comes with a six-pack (and I dinna mean beer, aye?) 😉
Urban dweller or country gal? Urban dweller all the way. I’m too Type A for the country.
Chest hair or bare? Bare or a light speckling. I’m not a bear fan. Just sayin.
Favorite writing spot: Home office or coffee shop? Home office. I make these faces when I write highly emotional scenes….yeah….
Madeline has graciously agreed to give away an e-book copy of Deception of a Highlander to one lucky commenter. To enter, pick one of the “This or That” questions and share your answer … or just tell us what you think of Adrian Paul.
He’s on Facebook, by the way. I had no idea. Naturally, I liked the page after taking this screenshot.
Good morning! I’m pulling myself out of my sick bed to bring you this week’s installment of Writer Wednesday. Monday’s trip to UrgentCare convinced me to take it easy for a couple of days—or maybe it was the fact that I had no energy to do anything BUT take it easy.
I think the antibiotics are starting to kick in, though—and just in time. Allow me to introduce Claudia Shelton. Claudia and I are both members of the greatest, most supportive writer’s group in the world, the LaLaLas. Those ladies are there to celebrate one another’s successes, offer much-needed advice and commiserate when the “Big R” hits the inbox.
You can read more about the divine secrets of the LaLaLa sisterhood. (We were featured on Barbara Vey’s blog.)
Here’s Claudia, in her own words:
Award winning romance author Claudia Shelton focuses on happily-ever-after stories featuring alpha males and the women strong enough to love them, plus there’s always a splash of suspense or intrigue. She is a two-time finalist in the Daphne Du Maurier (Unpublished) awards for excellence in mystery and suspense. One of her Daphne finals was for what became her debut romantic suspense RISK OF A LIFETIME, which reached Amazon’s Best Sellers Romance Series Top 100. And was voted one of Ebooks Galore top reads for 2014.
Claudia has been described as “A crisp new voice in romantic suspense” and someone who writes “One part suspense, one part determined female and one part sexy alpha hero…One fast-paced read!”
And, on a personal note, she considers herself a water person and always enjoys a cool drink by warm waters. Of course hot cocoa in the falling snow is always nice, too. But most of all she likes being a writer and giving her readers an exciting read. So she hopes you have time to hop on board and spend some time in one of her hero and heroine’s worlds. Enjoy the read!
About the book:
Three years ago Marcy Bradley realized she couldn’t face JB ‘s dangerous career in law enforcement, so she kicked him out of the house. She sent divorce papers. He signed. She…let him go in her mind. Now, JB’s back in town, and all that stands between her and a grave.
Branded with his badge during the last assignment, JB questions his career choice with the FBI. Returning to wrap up his dad’s estate, JB hopes to be in and out of town before his ex-wife knows he’s around. But, from the moment he arrives unexplained accidents target Marcy. Did vengeance follow JB to her doorstep?
Forced to run for their lives, they escape to a lakeside cabin where their struggle escalates to explosions, gunshots and water. Somewhere along the way they rekindle their love, but will they be able to survive his past and live their future?
Bonus! Claudia included a short excerpt:
JB unbuttoned the sleeves on his white oxford and rolled the cuffs a couple of turns. Tugged them straight. Marcy knew his battle mode. His routine.
Once he took on an assignment, he was tenacious.
Nothing and no one got in his way. He’d get himself shot over her if they weren’t careful. Much as she didn’t want him back in her life, she couldn’t bear to think of him gone forever, either.
He scooped the bullhorn from the pavement and held his arms out to the side at shoulder level as he walked forward. When he stopped a few feet in front of her, his gaze barely scanned her face before he returned his attention to the bank building.
“How bad is it?” he asked.
“Bad. He’s all junked up on something.”
She reached for the horn. “Be careful. Please be careful.”
His fingers brushed against hers as he released the horn. “Almost sounds like you care.”
“You wish!” She forced herself not to blink. If she did, she might grab him and hold on for dear life.
His eyes zeroed in on hers. What passed between them was private and personal and unspoken.
Now, let’s get to “This or That?”
Shopping bags: paper, plastic or reusable? I use plastic bags, but always recycle them in the bin at my grocery store. Plus I’m a big believer in curbside recycling in my community. Once they offered the service, I couldn’t believe how little I have in the regular trash.
Mac or PC? PC or laptop, but never a Mac. That would mean I have to learn something new and working with my new tablet on trips is hard enough.
It’s vacation time. Do you go to the beach or the mountains? Beach! I am a water person, so I love an ocean beach, lake beach and, if there’s not a beach, there needs to be a pool. Now I must say I like to see the mountains because they are so majestic. But anything above 8,000 feet can really throw me for a loop. I also enjoy a nice city vacation with theatres and music, sightseeing and museums, good restaurants and…a fantastic pool! ;D
Do you exercise alone or in group classes? Lately I’ve been using my new treadmill, which is located in my hearth room. I have it facing out the windows which makes it so easy to watch the birds or snow or just the wind through the trees. Sometimes I even open the door to get the sounds inside. The scenery and my music make it easier to exercise.
Where do you write: Home office or favorite coffee shop? The majority of my writing is done at home. However I do like a good writer’s retreat if it concentrates on brainstorming and writing.
Get in touch with Claudia:
E-mail: [email protected]
Claudia’s Chatter (newsletter): http://www.claudiawriting.com/newsletter.html