Monday, May 2, 2016

DAY TWO in Second Annual Summer of Love Romance Book Giveaway!


Happy Monday Everyone!

Day two in the Summer of Love Romance Book Giveaway. Today’s Summer of Love Daily Giveaway is a gift bag crammed full of swag from author KristinaKnight, including books, a notepad, and the lovely charm bracelet pictured here: owl-themed with a leather band.


Enter today for your chance to win this lovely prize AND the chance to win the grand prize: a full summer of love (16 print romance novels – a book a week for the entire summer!). 



Until tomorrow,
Hugs to all,
Nancy C. Weeks

Sunday, May 1, 2016

Second Annual Summer of Love Romance Book Giveaway!

Hi Everyone!!

Today is beginning of the Second Annual Summer of Love romance book giveaway! By entering today, May 1, 2016, you’ll have a chance to win one of two grand prizes (16 print books – a book a week for the entire summer!). There are also random drawings for wonderful gifts sponsored by Summer of Love authors everyday. This contest only last from May 1st- May 7th- only 7 days. One wonderful romance book EVERY week all summer long, but you have to enter to win.  




Best of luck,
Hugs to all,
Nancy C. Weeks

Monday, April 18, 2016

WELCOME PEGGY BIRD, AUTHOR OF THE PROFESSOR'S SECRET

Happy Monday, Everyone!!

I have my sweet friend and fellow Crimson Romance author Peggy Bird back on my blog today. 



She is here to tell us a little about herself as well as her new release, THE PROFESSOR'S SECRET. Lets get to it. 

Peggy, I’m so thrilled to have you here today. It has been ages since you dropped by for a visit. To start off this interview, tell us a little about yourself so my readers to get to know the person behind the writer.

Let’s see, I’m a writer, a glass artist, a mother and grandmother. I live in Vancouver, Washington and am a passionate Netflix binge watcher. Strictly for research, of course.

I just discovered the joys of Netflix--- binge research of course. Tell us a little bit about how you came to write THE PROFESSOR'S SECRET?


I wanted to write about romance writers. The community of authors I’ve come to know over the past four years has been so amazing, I wanted share some of what I’ve learned about them. Here is a short blurb for THE PROFESSOR'S SECRET:

English professor Claudia Manchester secretly writes spicy romances as April Mayes, the Queen of Steam. She wants to keep her side job under wraps till she's secured tenure, but when she's pressured by her agent to appear at some out-of-state conferences, she agrees . . . if she can go in disguise. Dressed as her sexier alter ego, she meets historical romance writer and high school history teacher Bradley Davis and passion ignites. But can true love be built on lies? And will he still want her when she reveals her real self?



I can't wait to see how Claudia and Bradley work their way through that mess. Great premise. Completing a book is an enormous challenge. What was your biggest obstacle and how did you overcome it? In other words, what do you think drove you to complete this enormous project?

Honestly, I can’t think of anything overwhelming. I had a well-developed synopsis and a clear idea of what the character were like so the writing went pretty smoothly. I did have a slight panic when I realized I had forgotten to find out if the private, all girls, Catholic school where I had the hero teaching actually had male teachers but one quick text put my mind at ease. He was safe.

I wish you could share some that confidence. Amazing attitude! When did you realize you wanted to be a writer?

I don’t know a time when I haven’t been a writer. I wrote stories and bad poetry when I was a kid and writing has been part of my life ever since.

Do you believe writers are born or made?

Probably a bit of both. Inborn talent and imagination are necessary but an even larger dose of patience, perseverance and willingness to learn craft is needed if the talent is ever to result in a finished product.

How do you think your life experiences have prepared you for a writing career?

I was a public affairs consultant for almost ten years and lobbied for an interest group for five. I learned how to take rejection without being devastated by it. It may have been the single best preparation for writing that I could have had.

What is your ideal writing space?

How about this? But my office at home is second best!




I just love your ideal writing space. Fresh air clears my brain. What moment in this journey are you most proud of?

The moment a new book baby is released. It never gets old.

No it doesn't. It's an exciting ride. Now for a few giggles. There is someone you will never meet but whom you desperately need for them to know who you are. The only way to communicate with them is to send them a box with three items. What would those three ideas be? 

Well, one of my books, of course. Probably the one whose heroine is closest to me in personality (you have to read them to figure it out.) Then, maybe a piece of my glass art. And last, a photo of my daughters and grandkids. That about sums me up.

You’re going into battle. What are you writing, who are you fighting and what is your weapon?

Easy-peasey. I’m fighting the urge to go binge watch “House of Cards” because I should be using my computer to write my next book.

Ha! That's my problem with Netfix too. I love the characters I'm watching, but the ones that live in my head won't give me any peace. This next question is one of my favorites.  Write a love story in eight words.

She smiled. He winked. They fell right then.

Very clever and at the exact word count. What is up next for you?

I’ve been invited to submit a novella to the Kindle Worlds program. I’ve written “Out of the Game” for the Bella Andre “Game of Love” world. It’ll be released in May. And I’m working on a Christmas novella. Oh, and I am kicking around what may turn out to be a mystery. Not sure yet.

Where can readers find out more about your book and yourself?

On Amazon
On Crimson Romance site
On Facebook
On Twitter
Peggy Bird's Website
On Pinterest
~ ~ ~

It was wonderful to have you here today, Peggy. I wish you the very best of sales for all of your books. Your are an incredible prolific writer. One day, you have to come back and show us some of your glass work. If anyone has a question for Peggy, please don't be shy. She loves interacting with readers.

That is it for today. Have a great week everyone and please find a quiet moment to pick up a great book. Be kind to one another.

Hugs to all,

Nancy C. Weeks

Saturday, April 16, 2016

MY THOUGHTS FOR TODAY


Happy Saturday, Everyone!


Cherry Blossoms  in D. C.

I hope everyone has survived the week. My sweet sister sent me this quote and I thought it was something we all should try. 



“At the end of the day, tell yourself gently: "I love you, you did the best you could today, and even if you didn't accomplished all you had planned, I love you anyway.”


― Author unknown

Short and sweet, but holds a great message. I'm going to try to say it daily and see how it feels.

That's all for today. I have a wonderful author interview for you on Monday with the delightful and funny author, Peggy Bird. Until then, have a great weekend.

Hugs to all,
Nancy C. Weeks

Thursday, April 7, 2016

FREE CHAPTER READ FROM KILLER THRILLERS: 5 EDGE-OF-YOUR-SEAT-ROMANCES

Hi Everyone!

I hope you are having a great week. Today, I would like to toot my own horn a little about my new bundle, KILLER THRILLERS: 5 EDGE-OF-YOUR-SEAT-ROMANCES. Here is a brief blurb and buy links. 
Love saves the day in this quintet of thrilling romantic suspense novels you won’t be able to put down. Indulge in the sheltering embraces of a few good men (and women!) with these taut and compelling tales of intrigue.







IN THE SHADOW OF PRIDE, the third book in this bundle is an exciting ride from the beginning to the end. I posted be the first two chapters below just to give you a little taste of what you can expect. 


Chapter One
October 2012, Austin, Texas
Just when she thought the day couldn’t get any worse, fate stepped in and placed the jerk in her line of sight.
Special Agent-in-Charge Mac McNeil.
He stood several yards from her, his piercing, hazel eyes locked onto hers. Lexie Trevena stared at the ground, cutting off their connection.
A warm gust of air blew across the cemetery, surrounding her with a hint of freshly mowed grass and the roses from Rico’s coffin. The two scents had always brought a smile to her face, but from this day forward, they would yank her back to this place, this moment.
Taking a shaky breath, Lexie peered into the freshly dug grave inches from her. The crowd behind her began to shift, making their way back up the hill toward the line of cars. Her best friends, Cole Guzman and Marcus Aziz, stood behind her. Cole cleared his throat and eased next to her, taking her hand in his.
“You don’t have to stay. I—”
“The café can survive a little longer without us,” he interrupted.
“You can’t be closed during your busiest time of day. Go. Seriously, I’ll be fine.” Finally glancing over Cole’s shoulder at the sea of mourners, she planted a fake smile on her face. “I’m just waiting until some of the people leave.”

Thursday, March 31, 2016

HAVE YOU HEARD A GOOD BOOK LATELY

GIVEAWAY ALERT! Enter to win a $25 Amazon Gift Card!

Hello Everyone,
Help me welcome my sweet friend Elizabeth Meyette, author of The Cavanaugh House to my blog.  Elizabeth is here to tell us a little about the process of creating and publishing The Cavanaugh House into an audiobook version. 


Elizabeth, I love having you back here. It's been so long. Why don't we start off this interview with a fun question to help my readers get to know you a little better. What are two things you would like people to know about you?
Wow, that’s an interesting question, Nancy. I’m going to by-pass the obvious about how wonderful my husband and kids and grandkids are—but they truly are! The first thing is that I am a life-long learner, and recently I learned how to self-publish the audiobook version of The Cavanaugh House. I hope your readers will celebrate with me by entering my giveaway!

Another thing I would like people to know about me is that I believe in the concept of a muse. In her TEDD talk, Elizabeth Gilbert discusses the concept of the muse or divine attendant spirit. I agree with her. Some days when I write, it’s like the words are coming from the ether, and when I read them aloud the next day, it’s like I’m reading them for the first time. I can’t take credit for all that happens when I write. I can only thank God for it.

What did it feel like to hear your words being read aloud?
I have to admit it was amazing to hear my words read by a professional actress. And the actress whom I hired, Amy McFadden, totally got the tone of my story and the personality of my heroine. She warned me that my characters’ voices would not sound like they do in my head, and she was correct. But they sounded right. She nailed it. But to hear my words converted from text to audio was amazing. In a strange way, it was affirming. I already had been affirmed by ratings, reviews and even emails from readers, but this took it to a different level. Somehow my book felt more professional. I love to listen to audiobooks, so to listen to my own was surreal—in a wonderful way.

What a wonderful experience. I would love for you take us through the process of self-publishing The Cavanaugh House.



I had already self-published The Cavanaugh House, so I knew this process would also take time and effort, not to mention a steep learning curve. I had used Amazon’s CreateSpace for self-publishing my book, so I turned to their ACX.com site to publish my audiobook. The site is full of information and guidelines that helped me through the process step by step. They also provide a contract that you and your narrator (who is called a “Producer”) agree to and list specific dates for completion of steps in the process. I like how professional and definitive the agreement was.

Fortunately, the steps for production are spelled out clearly on the ACX.com site.
1.      Confirm you own the rights
2.      Set up a profile including how you want to pay your producer
3.      Upload an audition scene
4.      Listen to auditions (such fun!)
5.      Select a narrator, sign contract
6.      Listen to the First Fifteen Minutes selection from narrator
7.      Listen to the full recording carefully
8.      Send changes to narrator (you’re allowed two revision sessions)
9.      Approve book and pay narrator (unless you choose the royalty share payment option)
10.  Wait for quality control approval from ACX and Audible
11.  Wait for ACX to upload your book to Amazon, Audible, iTunes
12.  Go viral! (I hope)

How do you decide who will narrate your audiobook? What it was like to listen to the audition tapes?
One step in the process is choosing a narrator. ACX.com has a database of over 32,000 narrators! I narrowed it down by selecting parameters such as gender, regional accent, age, etc. I posted an audition scene of about two pages. I was intentional in selecting a scene that included several characters both male and female so I could hear what each narrator did with my characters (read: babies). I was amazed at the different interpretations many of the narrators had! I was able to sort them on the site so I could go back and listen to the ones who seemed like possibilities. One narrator stood out above the rest—Amy McFadden. Amy has read over 175 books including books by Nora Roberts and Debbie Macomber. She agreed to do mine and I was thrilled. When I listened to the First Fifteen Minute segment, I started to cry. I was so elated to hear my words brought to life. I think I cried through at least the first five minutes.

The process of creating and publishing my audiobook version of The Cavanaugh House has been enjoyable. Much easier than writing and publishing the book. I love listening to audiobooks, and I hope your readers will become listeners, too.

Thanks so much for hosting me today, Nancy.

It was my pleasure, Elizabeth. The Cavanaugh House is a wonderful book everyone. If you haven't tried listening to a story, now is your chance. 

The Cavanaugh House audiobook is available on:

Visit Elizabeth at:






The Cavanaugh House blurb:

When Jesse Graham unlocks the door to the deserted house she inherited from her Aunt Helen, she doesn’t realize she’s unlocking secrets that had lain dormant for years. Reeling from a broken engagement to acclaimed musician Robert Cronmiller, Jesse wants to leave the city where her name is linked to his in all the society pages. Her best friend Maggie, aka Sister Angelina, convinces her to take a job at a private girls’ school in the pastoral Finger Lakes region of upstate New York. Anticipating a quiet, revitalizing life in her aunt’s deserted house, Jesse is instead thrown into a maze of danger. Questions about her aunt’s death lead Jesse to investigate events surrounding it and the people involved, but she uncovers a web of deceit that reaches far beyond the occurrences of over two decades earlier. Still dejected from her broken engagement, Jesse finds it difficult to trust anyone, even her self-absorbed mother. Joe Riley is irresistible, but secrets obstruct involvement with him until Jesse can solve the secrets of the Cavanaugh House. Someone doesn’t want those secrets unearthed and will stop at nothing, even murder, to keep them hidden. 

The Cavanaugh House excerpt:

This house held secrets.  Secrets that wafted through rotting window sashes on the winter wind.  Secrets that spiders wove into webs anchored between the ceiling and walls. Secrets that scuttled on the feet of cockroaches across stained kitchen linoleum and scurried into its cracks. Secrets that peered from holes in the baseboard from glinting mouse eyes. This house held the secrets close to its bosom where they had slept for decades. No one had disturbed these secrets in all the years the house sat decaying from neglect. There was no reason to, and there was no desire.
~~~

Don't forget to enter Elizabeth's GIVEAWAY for a $25 Amazon gift card! 
   

Click to enter the GIVEAWAY

Monday, March 28, 2016

WRITING THE HISTORICAL FICTION BY BECKY LOWER, AUTHOR OF THE FORGOTTEN DEBUTANTE


 Happy Monday, Everyone!

Today, I'm turning my blog over to fellow Crimson Romance friend, Becky Lower, author of the Cotillion Ball Series.  She is revealing all that she's learned over the course of writing a huge series, mistakes and all. 

Becky, my blog is yours. Thanks so much for stopping by.



Becky Lower...


Writing The Historical Series

If I’d known when I started the Cotillion Ball Series in 2011 what I know now, I would have done things quite differently. All I knew at the time was I wanted to write about the Cotillion tradition, and I wanted a to write about a large family where each child got his or her season to find a mate. I loved Julia Quinn’s Bridgerton series, and have read and reread them multiple times. But where most novels about the Cotillion are set in England, I wanted to place mine in America. 

Those ideas led me to researching the history of the Cotillion in America. When I found out the idea of introducing young affluent ladies into society migrated to this country in 1854, I looked no further. That was my first mistake, since I hadn’t looked into the other events happening in this country in the mid 1850s. The Reluctant Debutante was born, and the book was set in New York in 1855. I named the collection of books The Cotillion Ball Series. My second mistake, since not every book focuses on a ball.

So now, with the last book in the series about to be released, I thought it would be a good time to articulate what I’ve learned, in the hopes of saving others from making the same mistakes. Here we go:

1) If your series is going to take place over a span of years as the children grow into adulthood as mine is, do some investigation of historical events first, to see if there’s a discovery, a war, a movement that you can use. I got lucky on this one, since America in the 1850s and 1860s was rife with significant events as the country was expanding to the west and also sinking into the Civil War.

2) Before you give your series a name, figure out which events you want to highlight in each book. Write a couple sentences about each book. You don’t need to be JK Rowling, with a shoebox full of notes, outlines, and research for each book. A couple of sentences–who will be the protagonist in the book, what significant event will you focus on, how will it affect the hero and heroine. I should have named my series the Fitzpatrick Family Saga instead of the Cotillion Ball Series since Book 3, Banking on Temperance, took place in St. Louis, where the second son, Basil, moved to open a branch of the family banking business. Book 7, Expressly Yours, Samantha takes place in Missouri and Kansas and centers around the Pony Express. You can’t get much further from the splendid hotel ballrooms of New York if you tried. Books 8 and 9 take place during the Civil War years, when the balls were put on hold. No Cotillions there, either.

3) Keep a Bible of names, dates, hair and eye coloring, for each character in your books. Since I’ve limited my books to basically either New York, St. Louis, and now Washington, DC, there’s some repetition in buildings, restaurants, and places, too. And, as each child marries off and starts their own families, keeping track of the children is something I could only accomplish by creating a Fitzpatrick family tree.

4) Develop strong secondary characters. I know it’s been extremely hard for me to finish this series, since I feel like I’m a part of the Fitzpatrick family. My readers have suggested I continue the stories of a couple of my characters who had cameo appearances in my early books. Julia Quinn did this with her Bridgerton series, and now the Smythe-Smith children are each getting their own story. So I may not be completely done with the series yet. 

Here’s the blurb for The Forgotten Debutante, which releases April 4.

Don’t miss the touching conclusion to the Cotillion Ball Saga!





Buy Link:AMAZON 

In 1863, America is war-weary. Fifteen-year-old Saffron Fitzpatrick, whose teenage years have been spent mourning the dead rather than dancing at her debutante ball, just wants to visit her beloved horse after being housebound due to the draft riots. A chance meeting with soldier Ezekiel Boone changes everything. 

Three years ago, Ezekiel ran away with his older brothers to join the war effort, welcoming the chance for adventure. But when all four of his brothers die at Chancellorsville, he retreats home, despondent and depending on the kindness of strangers, like Saffron, who help him on the journey. They share a wild ride and a breathless kiss, parting with fond memories. 

Fate reunites the couple three years later, and their former attraction rekindles as they discover unexpected common ground and begin to build a relationship. But though the war is over, a future together may still elude them … especially if Saffron’s older, protective brother and the U.S. Army have anything to say about it. 

Where you can find Becky Lower:

Becky Lower
Award Winning Author
Amazon Best Selling Author
Timeless Romance With Sass
www.beckylowerauthor.com
http://historyimagined.wordpress.com/

~ ~ ~

Wonderful post, Becky. Thanks again for sharing. I found similar problems with my first series. I had to come up with not only a family tree, but a 60 year timeline to keep everything straight.  I wish you the very best of sales. If anyone has a question for Becky Lower, please don't be shy. She would be honored to answer your question.

I hope everyone has a great week. Take time for yourself and read a good book. Until we meet again, be safe, and as always, be kind to one another.

Hugs to all!

Nancy C. Weeks