Monday, September 30, 2013

News, Updates, and Changes

Hi all! Can you believe that tomorrow it will be October?
I can't believe how fast this year is going. It's certainly been an exciting one!

And speaking of exciting, let's get to the news, updates, and changes!!


If you haven't had a chance to pick up 
Quest of the Hart  or Charmed Memories, 
they are on sale until October 6th!

Buy Links For Quest:                Buy Links for Charmed:
MuseItUpPublishing                  MuseItUp
Amazon                                       Amazon
Barnes and Noble                       Barnes and Noble 
Kobo                                           Kobo 
iBooks                                        iBooks

To all of you who helped get out the word this weekend (and this week!) THANKS!! And to those who made purchases, a HUGE THANKS!! If you enjoy them, please, tell a friend or post an honest review. I'd really love to hear what you thought!


My first round of edits for Different Kind of Knight have been 
sent back to my awesome editor, Judy Roth.  Now, I'm just waiting
for the next round and then line edits, galley, and release day!

If you'd like to keep up with current news on my WIP's, upcoming release
dates, special offers from me (and hopefully some of my writerly friends)
be sure to sign up for my newsletter (over there on the right, or on my 

And that leads me to my changes. In an effort to keep more in touch with
all of you, I am changing up things here at the blog. I'll still blog Mondays and
Thursdays (and occasionally others days as needed) but these will be dedicated
to HOW AUTHORS WRITE posts, and hosting fellow authors as they talk about
new releases, their WIPS and things like that.

I am going to start using Facebook to give you more daily updates about what I'm
working on and how things are going. (If you saw over the weekend, last week 
was not a very productive week for me writing wise.) I've noticed noticed many of 
the authors I read (and follow) are doing this, and I really appreciate hearing
their news this way. So, if you want to know, be sure to follow me on Facebook.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Penny Estelle and BUMPED BACK IN TIME

Penny Estelle's newest book, Bumped Back In Time, Book 4 of the Wickware Sagas will be released September 27. There is a special going on – if you preorder before release day, you will get 20% off! Just follow this link:

MuseItUp Publishing

Want to know more? Here's the book blurb and an excerpt!!!

* * * *

Sammy Brown, winner of the first junior sailing regatta for kids, ages twelve to fourteen, is walking on air Tuesday, after being absent the previous day, due to the race. Miss Wickware, her history teacher, asks Sammy to stay after class because she needs to draw a subject out of a box and give an oral report on the drawn subject.

UHG” History and Sammy are not friends, but her good mood won’t be dampened until a fall and a bump on the head sends her back to 1814. It’s her expertise in sailing that allows her to help an American hero rescue an imprisoned friend from a British ship that leads to a historic battle and a famous poem!

“Please, child,” Dr. Beanes said, trying to comfort her, “the bump on your head must have temporarily jumbled your memory.”

Sammy backed away, her body starting to tremble. “Don’t be afraid, child. I am Dr. Beanes and these are my friends, Dr. William Hill and Phillip Weems. We were on our way to my home. My wife, Sarah, can help you.”

“Forget, it!” Sammy shouted, hysteria bubbling up in her voice. “I’m not some moron that would just blindly goes off with three weird men, especially two that dress like my mom in shorty pants and foo foo blouses and the third one is dressed like some fancy, shmancy bell hop from the Hilton!”

“What’s a bell hop?” Beanes asked under his breath to nobody in particular.

Meeks was plainly taken back by her comment, while Dr. Hill blustered, “Foo foo, indeed!”

When Dr. Beanes recovered, he reminded his friends of her possible concussion. “Let’s all calm down. Now look…what is your name?”

She leveled her gaze at the three men before answering. “Sammy Brown.”

“Sammy?” the three men echoed in unison.

Even in her fear and confusion, that response got her back up. She stood as tall as she could, raising her chin in the air. “Yea…Sammy.”

“Where is your home, Sammy?”

She searched her unfamiliar surroundings and swallowed hard. “Nineteen West Glenrosa.”

“That’s odd,” Beanes said, looking at his friends. “You must be on the other side of the Patuxent River.”

A tear slipped down Sammy’s cheek. “There’s no river or lake by that name in Phoenix.” Her lower lip trembled, dreading his next statement.

The kindly doctor took her hand in his. “My dear girl, I’m sorry to say I have never heard of Phoenix. We are in Upper Marlboro, Maryland.”

“That’s impossible,” Sammy gasped. “I was just at my school. It was morning. I can’t be here!” Sammy looked at the doctor, begging him with her eyes to fix things.

Dr. Beans hung his head for just a second. “Sammy, I can either take you to the constable and they can help you get home, or you can come with me to my home. My wife is there and you will be perfectly safe until we figure out what has happened. Either way, you cannot be on the streets at night by yourself.”

* * * *

Thanks, Mary, for letting me stop by. Anytime Penny. Love this series!!

 I also appreciate all who stopped by today. You can find out more about myself and my books @:              

Monday, September 23, 2013

How Authors Write- Melissa Petreshock

Today I welcome Melissa Petreshock to the blog. I met Melissa on Twitter through Erin Albert (thanks Erin!) and convinced her to share her writing process with us. So, here's Melissa!

About Melissa:
Debut New Adult paranormal/fantasy romance author, Melissa A. Petreshock lives on a small farm in rural Kentucky with her genius husband, three exceptional children, and their feline overlords.

When not inhaling or exhaling words, she subsists on unnatural doses of coffee, sarcasm, and music. Melissa can often be found singing and dancing around her house or randomly doing Zumba routines, if not playing Wii Just Dance with her kids. She also fangirls The Walking Dead, Game of Thrones, Falling Skies, and True Blood like a total freak. 

Spending most of her time weaving myths, reality, and imagination into a fantasy of dragons, deities, vampires, and elves in a world she created, Melissa often forgets she lives where there are no dragons or faeries in the woods surrounding her house. (But she never stops hoping...)

Now for her writing process!

What do you write?
I write NA fantasy/paranormal romance. Although I prefer not to think of it as paranormal, its seems in this era of publishing, anything that has a vampire in it automatically qualifies as some level of paranormal, regardless of what other elements of fantasy you have in it.

Do you use 1st person, 3rd person, multiple POVs? 
For me, 1st person seems to be the only way I can write. The characters become so real to me that I feel it’s necessary to tell the story through their eyes. I connect closely to them and want to the readers to as well. In the Stars & Souls Trilogy, I write from multi-POV because I found that’s the only way to relay the full heart of the story. In Fire of Stars and Dragons, the entire book is conveyed from Cait, Theo, and Corrin’s POVs. I’m currently working on the second book, Blood of Stars and Gods, and have added in a fourth POV for an additional perspective. The final book, Eternity of Stars and Crowns will also be different. [Very cool! I've read 1st person books with 2 POV's, but never more than that. I can't wait to see how you handle that!]

How do you get started with a book- is it an idea, a character, vary from story to story? 
With the Stars & Souls Trilogy, the concept arose from the idea of the Dracopraesi dragons first. I had ideas for their characters, the species and mythology behind the dragons, and things built out from there. The actual story of the books went through massive changes before it became what it is now.

I would say that most ideas I have come from characters that take root in my head, but there are ideas I have based on plot concepts I want to explore later down the road when I’m past this trilogy. However, I have a great deal of plans for additional standalone novels within this same world and possibly a YA trilogy offshoot from this world.

Do you draft quickly or are you more detailed in your draft?
Haha… No. I’m terribly OCD about my writing and painstakingly detailed in the work I put out, even in a “rough draft”. I take as much time as it needs, though I finished Fire of Stars and Dragons, from rough draft to full MS I queried to my publisher in 7 months, and that was including a MAJOR overhaul revision/rewrite I did. It just poured out of me. I loved it so much.

Blood of Stars and Gods is a much slower process because there is a great deal happening. As the second book in the trilogy, it is the arcing book between where everything began and where everything ends, so there is a lot that goes on to develop the plot and characters in preparation for the third book. It’s more complicated and also more emotional.

Do you do research before your first draft, during?
Most of what I want to know for basing my mythology, I research and have notes on prior to the first draft, though if I decide I need to add anything else, I generally know going into a chapter and prepare before writing the chapter to prevent interrupting the flow of that chapter as I work on it.

Do you outline? How?
I don’t technically outline, but I write up a summary of what the story in the book is about then let the characters fill in the details. My writing style leans toward allowing the process to be very organic and developing characters that take on such a life of their own, they tell the story themselves. I know where I want it to start, the highlights I want to hit along the way, and the ending destination, but my characters may take me on a different path than I originally thought we’d go, and I love it. They are amazing characters. [This sounds quite similar to my process.]

Do you name everything up front when you are drafting or do you leave comments for yourself to go back and fill in later so you don't lose the flow of what you are working on? 
I can’t stand to leave anything left undone. Before entering into a chapter, I know the elements of fantasy that will come into play and map out things I need, names of characters, creatures, languages, mythology, and keep my notes on hand while writing. If I’m referencing anything that’s happened in the past, I also go back to double check those scenes to make sure I’m correctly quoting or citing the event to keep story continuity. I’m an absolute stickler about continuity.

Do you work with CP's (Critique Partners) or Beta's (Beta Readers)? How soon into your draft do you let them see your work? 
The beta team for the Stars & Souls Trilogy is AMAZING. They are dedicated to ensuring I write to the best of my ability even if that means harping on me about the smallest details that bug them. To carefully keep things in order, be sure that I maintain pacing, good character/plot development, and don’t fail in any areas of continuity, I release chapter by chapter during the first drafting process. They help me from day one to see where I need to make improvements. What makes sense to me as a writer doesn’t always make sense to a reader. They pick up on that, and by sending it to them early like I do, it allows me to begin fixing errors before they become significant and require too large of revisions and rewrites.

After the first draft is finished, I have them do a full read through, send me feedback and notes on what they think could be improved then I go into my first run of edits/revisions/rewrites with those notes and my own ideas of what I want to improve. When that’s finished, they go through another full read through. This goes on until we’re all satisfied it couldn’t possibly be any better without the help of a professional editor through a publisher. That’s when it goes on.

This is the process that worked to land my publishing deal, and I don’t plan to sway from it anytime soon, or ever. [Sounds like a great plan- it clearly works for you!]

What books/websites have you found most helpful to helping you write your best?
Reading books on how to write has never been my thing. Writing and writing and writing to the point of crafting better and better stories is more my style. When I couldn’t think of original characters and completely original stories, I dabbled in fan fiction, played with other people’s characters, just to practice the art of storytelling and writing. I never stopped writing, practicing, and seeing how I could do it better.

Reading books just for the sake of reading has also always been important. I read and see the stories with great characters I love and stories that use them in amazing ways. I read stories with characters I adore and feel distressed at how a wonderful series drove into the ground, destroying incredible characters. I read excellent stories with dreadful characters. I also read dreadful stories with horrendous characters. There are things to learn from all of these, strengths I hope to show in my work, weaknesses I want to avoid.[That's an interesting approach. I agree in reading widely, and that learning both what to do and what not to do is important.]

As for websites/blogs, I’ve been a longtime subscriber to Nathan Bransford’s blog and simply adore him. After I got closer to knowing this was IT and I knew this was THE ONE that would get published, I became a bit braver and started following Chuck Wendig’s blog. His is not for the squeamish, thin-skinned, faint-of-heart writer. He’s a whole lot of shock and awe and OMG and WTF, did he seriously just say that, but he’s awesome, and I learn so much from his blog.

What do you know now that you wish you knew when you started writing?
-Embrace criticism. There is a lot to be learned by the things people see wrong with your writing, even more so than from what they see right in it. [Great point! While it's nice to hear what good, I know I always want to know what's wrong so I can fix it!]

-One or two beta readers are not enough. You need a team. You need people in and out of your target audience, those who typically do and do not read your genre, and those of varied socioeconomic backgrounds if possible. Spread your beta team to a wide group of readers just as you expect to have a wide audience buying your book. They will all see different things in your writing that you don’t, different things that need work. [This is something I've never thought of, but I can see the value it would bring. Great idea!]

-Building connections, author branding, and creating a social media presence are not things that can or should wait until that “OMG I think I’m going to make it with this book” moment. Cultivate relationships early. You’ll stress out trying to do too much later on if you wait, and in this day and age, you cannot survive as a new author without a social media presence. [THIS IS SO IMPORTANT!!!! I still struggle with the social media stuff. But, I like to think I'm getting better at it with time and practice.]

-Writing is not quite the lonely career it once was. There are great writers to connect with on Twitter. Spend some time connecting so you don’t go crazy. For too long, I felt holed up and isolated by spending every day, all day, writing. The world doesn’t work that way anymore. [I LOVE hanging out on Twitter (and I see Melissa there a lot, too!) so if you're looking for people to follow, look us up! @mewtweety14 and @macpetreshock]

What do you have out now, or coming out? Any upcoming events? A website we can find you and your books at? An author photo? A booktrailer? Anything else you want to share?
Stars & Souls Trilogy is a New Adult fantasy/paranormal romance set in a world filled with shapeshifting dragons, a powerful demigod, an ancient vampire monarch, and a sassy human chick keeping them all on their alpha male toes.

Fire of Stars and Dragons… Undying love. Timeless bonds. Eternal consequences.
Coming March 2014 from Swoon Romance

In 22nd-century sovereign America, archaic laws declare 21-year-old Caitriona Hayden a neglected dependent following the death of her uncle, landing the sassy and self-reliant high society young woman in the midst of a trio of quintessential alpha male suitors in a world where human females should be seen and not heard.

Theo Pendragon claims her as his ward, ordained to guard her through to a long-awaited destiny unbeknownst to Cait, but finds more than he expected when passion ignites within the dragon for the first time.

Always drawn to the pursuit of knowledge rather than the heat of desire, powerful demigod Dante cannot deny everything his future holds in Caitriona.

America's monarch, ancient vampire Corrin, has no interest in the frivolity of love, yet marrying Cait could be the answer to his continued survival.

Thrown from studying for college exams to facing matters of life and death, eternity and destiny, loyalty and love, revenge and deception, Cait must choose a husband knowing the consequences are eternal, the love undying, the bond timeless.

Blood of Stars and Gods… Blood saves. Blood lies. Blood runs between sacrifice and gain.
In progress. Release to be determined.

Finding Melissa A. Petreshock Online:

Twitter, Tumblr, Pinterest, & Instagram: @macpetreshock

Thanks so much Melissa! I can't wait to try out some of your process for myself!!

Monday, September 16, 2013

Katie Carroll

Today is a real treat! Katie Carroll is here as part of her Elixir Bound tour and she's sharing an interview with a character that's near and dear to her heart. Be sure to read all the way through for a chance to win a signed copy of Elixir Bound and swag. 

Welcome Katie!

Thanks, Mary, for hosting me and Elixir Bound on your blog today. I hope you enjoy this chance interview of Kylene Kase, who is about to accompany her older sister Katora on a quest to retrieve the key ingredient to their family’s secret healing Elixir.

With the early morning sunlight as my only companion, I innocently pack up the wagon with provisions for our journey into Faway Forest. I’m half buried under blankets and bags when a deep chuckle startles me into smacking my head on the bottom side of the front seat.

“Sorry ‘bout that, miss,” says a man’s voice. “I was just enjoying your singing.”

I untangle myself from the supplies to find a primeyear man standing next to the wagon. I must have been singing without realizing it again.

He adjusts his well-worn coat, brushes his hands on his brown traveling trousers, and offers his hand. “I was hoping to ask you a few questions about your farm.”

Noticing the dirt on his palms, but not wanting to be rude, I take the hand in a firm shake, the way Pop, my father, taught me to do. “You’re probably better off talking to Pop or my sister Katora. They know more about the farm than I do.”

He grips my hand firmly in his and makes a sweeping gesture with his free arm, indicating he’d like to help me off the wagon. I oblige and hop over the side with his help. Standing next to him, I notice he’s not much taller than me.

“Name’s Win,” he says and smiles, exposing cracked, yellowed teeth. “I think you’re just the gal who can answer my questions. What did you say your name was?”

“Kylene Kase.” I pull my hand from his hold, figuring he isn’t going to let go willingly.

“So you don’t mind then if we chat?” Win doesn’t wait for me to reply before posing his first question, “What sort of crops do you grow here?”

I breathe out in relief; that’s an easy enough one. “Some fruits and vegetables, mostly for us to eat. Commercially we grow essenberries.”

“Essenberries, eh. What do you do with those?”

He doesn’t know? Surely everyone knows Kase farm is the only grower of essenberries in the Great Peninsula and that we use it to make essence, one of the most popular beverages in the region. I tell him about it and his mouth twitches ever so slightly.

“That’s all?” he asks. “Nothing, say, a bit more potent than essence?”

That’s when I suspect he’s fishing for information about the Elixir, which I only found out about a couple of days ago. A secret Pop has kept from us because it is dangerous to let others know about it. Heat warms my cheeks, and I hope my blush isn’t giving away too much.

“Noth…nothing,” I say, failing to keep my voice from wavering.

A thump of boots and a familiar voice asking, “What’s going on here?” calms me. I turn to see my brother, Bhar, glaring at Win. Bhar steps up face-to-face with him.

“Just asking your pretty friend a few questions about the farm.” Win tips his hat at me. “Isn’t that right, Kylene?”

“Yes.” I try to convey with a look to Bhar that I didn’t say anything about the Elixir, but all I get is his back.

Bhar cracks his knuckles and pulls himself up to his full height, looming over Win. “We’re busy. You need to leave the property.”

Win’s smile falters, but he quickly plasters it back on his face and says to me, “Thanks for the chat. Hope we can do it again some time.” He backs up a couple of steps before turning and strolling down the path to the road.

Bhar turns on me, his eyes narrowed. I whisper, “I didn’t say anything important.”

“Good.” He glances back at Win, and we watch him disappear around a corner.

A tightness forms in my chest, and all I can think is that keeping the secret of the Elixir is harder than I ever imagined.

Elixir Bound blurb:

Katora Kase is next in line to take over as guardian to a secret and powerful healing Elixir. Now she must journey into the wilds of Faway Forest to find the ingredient that gives the Elixir its potency. Even though she has her sister and brother, an old family friend, and the handsome son of a mapmaker as companions, she feels alone.

It is her decision alone whether or not to bind herself to the Elixir to serve and protect it until it chooses a new guardian. The forest hosts many dangers, including wicked beings that will stop at nothing to gain power, but the biggest danger Katora may face is whether or not to open up her heart to love.

Buy Links:

Barnes & Noble

Author Bio:

Katie L. Carroll began writing at a very sad time in her life after her 16-year-old sister, Kylene, unexpectedly passed away. Since then writing has taken her to many wonderful places, real and imagined. She wrote Elixir Bound and the forthcoming Elixir Saved so Kylene could live on in the pages of a book. Katie is also the author of the picture app The Bedtime Knight and an editor for MuseItUp Publishing. She lives not too far from the beach in a small Connecticut city with her husband and son. For more about Katie, visit her website at, friend her on Facebook, or follow her on Twitter (@KatieLCarroll).

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Interview with Stuart West

Today I welcome back Stuart West, author of Tex, the Witch Boy (read my review here) for a Q&A about Tex, bullying, and what's in store in the future. Welcome, Stuart!

Bullying is a big theme in Tex, the Witch Boy. Why did you choose this theme?
Because it’s an important issue that just won’t go away. The bullying incidents in the book, as outlandish as they may seem, are all true. They either happened to me or a friend of mine. My daughter recently graduated from high school where bullying is still very much alive, perhaps even worse. Some of the methods have changed over the years. Schools may claim a “bully-free” policy, but it’s still prevalent, particularly in cyber-bullying. [My son's school uses a program for this, and he's commented that it doesn't work well from what he sees.]

I’d like to reach bullied teens, give them hope, maybe deliver the message in an entertaining manner without being preachy. It’s the kind of book I wish I’d read while in high school. [I totally LOVED Tex's conclusion of what he needed to do. IMHO, it's the only way to stop the problem.]

What advice do you have for dealing with bullies?
There’s an unspoken rule amongst teens that “ratting” ain’t cool. Bullied kids choose to live with their torment, because they don’t want to be known as the kid who told. What poppycock! Times have changed. I would tell bullied kids to be a hero, take a stand. Find a sympathetic adult’s ear and let them know what’s ]going on. Not only would you be helping yourself, but undoubtedly countless others as well. [Good advice!]

I love the witchcraft in your book. How did you come up with it?
Research! And a lot of made-up stuff. Sometimes I just got lucky (as in the “pentagram” being dropped onto the United States map with Kansas being the center. It’s total hokum, of course, but it’s moments like that that make writing fun!). [LOL!]

I also cyber-chatted up a couple of witches. One applauded my portrayal of witchcraft. The other? Not so much! He took me to task over a few things. Since then, I’ve taken his suggestions into consideration and hit upon a few of these elements in later books. But I did have to reinforce to him it’s a work of fiction, not a study of witchcraft! [Wow! That's pretty cool!]

You have a lot of characters I'd call stereotypical in your book (the jock, the anarchist, the lazy gym teacher, etc.) Is there a reason you chose to use these tropes rather than redefining them as something different?
All stereotypes are based in reality to a certain extent. High school’s a breeding ground for stereotypes more so than adulthood. Teenagers are a constant work in progress, not having figured out who they are yet (identity is a theme I tackle in the second Tex book, Tex And The Gangs Of Suburbia). With the social structure of high school being what it is, cliques unfortunately force teens into categories. It’s sometimes an “unchosen” platform kids build upon.

Sure, there’s an “anarchist” in the book, but anarchy’s not his entire character, nor what defines him. Jocks? Well, yeah, I have jocks in the book. They’re in every high school.

Here’s the deal, Mary. All of these characters are real. I was Tex (um, not a witch, nor as brave). Olivia’s a combination of a girl I knew in high school and my daughter. The gym teacher? Based on a truly sadistic coach from my junior high days. The anarchist? A friend of my daughter’s as was Josh. Like Tex, my father was in a wheel chair. Bob Bellman, the most frightening bully? He terrified me so much in high school, I feared for my life on a daily basis. He also ran down a friend of mine in the parking lot with his car. Every character in the book is “real (except possibly for the detective).” Even Mickey, the mentor witch, is loosely based on my wife’s grandmother. [This must be why they feel so life-like in your book. You really understood the characters so we could connect with them as if they were people we interacted with on a daily basis.]

If I ever see the bully again, I’m going to call him a stereotype. Then run! LOL. [LOL! Sounds like a plan. Just make sure you're wearing your sneakers!]

I know you have a second book in the series out, and a third in the works. Do you have any further plans for Tex or will you be playing with something new?
The second book, Tex And The Gangs Of Suburbia, was released last month. The third and final Tex book, Tex And The God Squad, unleashes in December. After that, I have an adult paranormal thriller set for early next year. Then it’s back to high school with Elspeth, The Living Dead Girl (a spin-off character from Tex And The Gangs Of Suburbia). Then I’m thinking of putting the kids to bed for a while and trying my hand at more adult fiction. But I never say never. I’ve been kicking around a Tex in college idea. [Wow! That's a lot to look forward to!! Best of luck with all of them!]

Is there anything else you'd like us to know?
Bigfoot’s real.

Thanks for hosting me, Mary! It’s been fun!

You're welcome, Stuart. And the blog is open for you to come back anytime!

Haven't read Tex, the Witch Boy yet? Or are you looking for Tex and the Gangs of Suburbia? You can find Stuarts books here:

MuseItUp Publishing                                                               MuseItUp Publishing
Amazon                                                                                      Amazon
Barnes and Noble                                                                    Barnes and Noble

Want to know more about Stuart and keep up with his future releases? You can find him at:

Thursday, September 5, 2013

How Authors Write-Helena Fairfax

Today I'm thrilled to host Helena Fairfax as she talks writing and her newest release.

Hi Mary, it’s lovely to be here, and thanks so much for having me on your blog!

You're so welcome, Helena! So, what do you write?
I write contemporary romance, with strong heroes and believable heroines

Do you use 1st person, 3rd person, multiple POVs?
I use the third person. My novels are written from the heroine’s POV, with the occasional switch to the hero.

How do you get started with a book- is it an idea, a character, vary from story to story?
I got the idea for my latest book, The Antique Love, whilst suffering from flu. I was lying on the settee with a temperature, flicking through TV channels, and I came across a programme about antique shops. Through the haze of my heated brain, I began to think how wonderful it would be to work with all those antiques, and so I gradually devised my heroine, Penny, who owns an antique shop in London.  [Wow! What a way to come up with a story!]

Do you draft quickly?
I’m a very slow writer. My two published books took a year each. I’ve almost finished the third novel, and again, it’s taken me nearly a year. [Nothing wrong with that! My first took 8+ years, the second 6, the third about 2, so it gets better with time!]

Do you do research before your first draft, during?
I research as I’m going along. Research also slows me down, as I’m very thorough, and quite a perfectionist. I have to get the information in my novels exactly right! [Getting it right is important!]

Do you outline? How?
In a contemporary romance, it’s important that there is strong internal conflict between the hero and heroine. First of all I decide on the nature of this conflict. Then I decide on the situations which are going to bring the hero and heroine together, and make them realize they are falling in love, despite the emotional conflict which is keeping them apart. [Oh, what a great tip!]

Do you name everything up front when you are drafting or do you leave comments for yourself to go back and fill in later so you don't lose the flow of what you are working on?
I keep writing forward in my first draft. After a few chapters, I go back and revise things I don’t like. Then I carry on writing, going back to revise occasionally, then writing more and revising until I’m happy. I told you I was slow!

Do you work with CP's or Beta's? How soon into your draft do you let them see your work?
My first draft is always horrendous. I prefer not to let anyone see ANYTHING until I’m reasonably happy. And that takes a while!

What books/websites have you found most helpful to helping you write your best?
I really like a book called Self-Editing for Fiction Writers, by Renni Browne and Dave King. As for websites, I follow They have a weekly “lecture schedule” and some useful info and tips for romance writers. [I'll have to check that one out!]

What do you know now that you wish you knew when you started writing?
I wish I had more confidence in myself, that people will actually like reading my stories. Lack of confidence held me back for a while.

What do you have out now, or coming out?

My latest release is called The Antique Love.

One rainy day in London, Wyoming man Kurt Bold walks into an antique shop off the King’s Road and straight into the dreams of its owner, Penny Rosas. 

Lively, spirited and imaginative, Penny takes this handsome stranger for a romantic cowboy straight from the pages of a book. Kurt certainly looks every inch the hero…but he soon brings Penny’s dreams to earth with a thump. 

His job is in the City, in the logical world of finance—and as far as Kurt is concerned, romance is just for dreamers. Events in his childhood have shown him just how destructive love can be. Now he’s looking for a wife, right enough, but what he wants is a marriage based on logic and rational decisions. 

Kurt treats Penny like he would his kid sister, but when he hires her to help refurbish his beautiful Victorian house near Richmond Park, it’s not long before he starts to realize it’s not just his home she’s breathing life into. The logical heart he has guarded so carefully all these years is opening up to new emotions, in a most disturbing way…

[Love that cover, and the blurb sounds swoon-worthy!]

The Antique Love is available as an ebook from MuseItUpAmazon, Barnes & Noble, the Apple store and all major e-tailers.

Where can we find you on the web?
You can find more about me at . I also have a Facebook page (Helena Fairfax) and am on Twitter @helenafairfax. I’d love it if you got in touch – I love to meet new people!

Thank you so much for having me, Mary. You’re a lovely hostess, and I’ve enjoyed answering your searching questions very much!

Thanks so much for being here. I've really enjoyed it. If you enjoy The Antique Love, be sure to leave an honest review for Helena, and then check out The Silk Romance, if you enjoy romance, you'll enjoy this!

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Call for Submissions

What happens when three friends in the writing community put their heads together and talk publishing? Yup, you guessed it- a publishing house is formed.

Simon, our mascot, was created by Michael DiGesu

Announcing BookFishBooks, a labor of love founded by TC McKee, Erin Albert, and myself. Avid readers, we long to help YA authors publish their projects with the support they deserve. I'm so excited to be a part of this group with the super talented ladies.

We're currently accepting YA submissions in all categories for Spring 2014 release. Have a story you want to submit? Stop by for our submission guidelines. We look forward to hearing from you!

 Follow us on Twitter and Facebook for upcoming special submission calls!!!