Thursday, 30 June 2011

Free E-Copy of 'Madly' by M.Leighton for Readers of my Blog!

YA Fantasy/Fairy Tale/ Paranormal Romance 

Madly is your average nearly-eighteen year old girl—for a mermaid princess, that is.

Madly James is thoroughly enjoying her internship in Slumber when the unthinkable happens—there’s a prison break in Atlas, Madly’s home beneath the sea.   A traitor has set free eight Lore, the spirits of what humans know as fairy tales, and they are making their way to Slumber to awaken their descendants. 

In order to save her home, the lives of her family, and all of humanity, Madly must learn to wield her exceptional powers and recapture the Lore before it’s too late and all is lost.  But Madly’s only help are her two best friends and the Sentinel that threatens both her heart and her destiny.  Can she resist love to become the queen she was fated to be?  Or can she find a way to have both?

This novelette introduces you to Madly and prepares you for the quest of a lifetime.

MADLY and WOLFHARDT, Coming Soon, Summer 2011

Author Michelle Leighton recently visited my blog for an author interview and has very kindly returned again to offer you all a free e-copy of her new novelette 'Madly'! You can download a free copy of 'Madly' from Smashwords, or if you do not want to be bothered signing up with Smashwords, you can also download a free PDF copy of 'Madly' by just clicking HERE!

Thanks Michelle for offering your fantastic free book to the readers of my blog!

Wednesday, 29 June 2011

Coming Soon!: 'Last Dance with Valentino' by Daisy Waugh

Release date: 4th August 2011
Published by Harper
ISBN No: 978 0 00 739120 2

One night. One dance. One love to last a lifetime.

1916. Leaving war-ravaged London, Jenny Doyle sets sail for New York where she is to work for the de Saulles family. Their home, Gatsby-like in elegance, is rife with intrigue and madness. Only Jenny’s friendship with dancer Rodolfo offers escape… until, one tragic day, the household is changed forever. 1926. America booms, prohibition rules and Rodolfo has taken his place on the silver screen as Rudolph Valentino. Will the world’s most desired film star and his lost love have their Hollywood happy ending, or will the tragic echoes from their time with the de Saulles thwart them one last time?

Coming Soon! 'The King's Diamond' by Will Whitaker

Release date: 21st July 2011
Publisher by: Harper Press
ISBN No; 978 0 00 741029 3

A vivid, evocative, page-turning read that leaps off the page, with a dazzling recreation of the Renaissance diamond and gem trade.

As the chaos of war spreads out across Europe, Charles V extends his empire in a series of ruthless and aggressive moves. The Medici Pope has formed an alliance to drive Charles out of Italy for good. Only England holds aloof from the great struggle that is to come. The 36-year-old Henry VIII presides over an opulent and glamorous court, thinking only of the woman with whom he has fallen in love. In the midst of this politically sensitive and dangerous world, steps Richard Dansey, a young and ambitious jewel merchant, determined to break his mother’s stranglehold on the family firm after his father’s early death. Richard’s reckless pursuit of jewels worthy of Henry’s wooing of Anne Boleyn, lead him across Europe to Venice and Rome. Obsessed with one diamond, but dangerously distracted by love, Richard finds himself thrust into the heart of the murderous politics of the Tudor court. ‘The King’s Diamond’ is a story of obsession and love, in a world of political conniving and treachery, that grips from the first page.

Monday, 27 June 2011

An Interview with Author Kim Richardson

I grew up in a small town in Northern Quebec. Since childhood, I surrounded myself with art, books, animation and fell in love with fantasy novels like The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings. I worshipped movies like, 'The Labyrinth' and 'The Dark Crystal'. These movies with the animated puppets truly inspired my love of animation. I told myself, I was going to do that!

Years later, I left my small town and moved to the city of Montreal, where I studied 3D Animation. I became an Animation Supervisor for a VFX company, and stayed in the field of animation for 14 years.

Now, I use my imagination to write books. I’ve retired from the world of VFX and settled in the country with my husband and two Bernese Mountain dogs, Simba and Maggie, my children, where I write full-time.

I write stories geared towards children because, let's not tell lies, I'm still a 13 year-old at heart!

TSR: Kim, A very warm welcome to you, and can I thank-you for taking time out of your busy schedule to talk to us today.

Thanks Calum. I’m very happy to do this interview.

TSR: For our International readers, can I begin by asking what are your best memories from you childhood of growing up in Northern Quebec, and what do you like best about living in Montreal now?

My best memories were at my grandparents’ cottage. Their cottage sat on a huge boulder right on the lake. I remember the sound of the waves crashing on the beach and the wind in my ears. We spent our summers there, and it was awesome.

Montreal is a very diverse city. It’s multicultural and very artistic. I fit in perfectly.

TSR: Do you think books that you read during your childhood may have influenced your current writing in any way?

Definitely! I can’t remember how many times I read 'The Hobbit', or 'Lord of the Rings', and the 'Sword of Shannara' series, while growing up. I fell in love with fantasy adventure books. And they’re still my favourite. And those are the kind of stories I love to write.

TSR: Did you always want to become a writer?

Not at first. I got a feel for it in high school in my English class, but I never thought I’d ever be good enough, so I forgot about it for a while. Then the need to write materialized years later and I knew that’s what I wanted to do. It took over. I just had to write the stories I had in my head.

TSR: Do you have a set writing routine when you are working on a novel?

I have to play it in my head first before I put it on paper. When that’s done, then I create an outline of the entire book. I flesh out the chapters and main plot points. Once it makes sense, I start writing up the first draft. When I'm happy with that, I send it off to my editor. Usually, he’ll ask for some changes, and once that is done, then we’ll do a copy edit.

TSR: Where do you write best?

In my sun-room, with the birds chirping and the squirrels chasing each other up trees! It’s relaxing.

TSR: Have you written any other books before you started writing your 'Soul Guardians' Trilogy?

I wrote another fantasy book called, Underground. It’s about a young girl who gets wisped away in a secret underground world where she discovers the truth about herself. I tried to get it published, but it never happened. Thank God, because I think it’s awful now!

TSR: Can you tell us a bit about your first 'Soul Guardians' book entitled ‘Marked’?

'Marked' is the story about a young girl who dies and wakes up in a strange new world. She becomes a rookie for the Guardian Angel Legion, and goes on missions with her Petty Officer and friend David to keep the mortals safe from the demons. But when she discovers a Mark on her leg, the entire Legion accuses her of being a Demon spy. She doesn't know she’s a tainted heroine. Angels are dying, and David begins to pull away from her. The Legion is in peril, and Kara sets off on a dangerous mission alone—to save an elemental child, born of angel and human parents, held captive by the army of demons. A child rumoured to have extraordinary powers that could destroy the entire Legion. Only Kara can save the Legion and sets out on her quest, deep in the demon infested mortal world in search of the kidnapped child.

TSR: What was your inspiration for the theme that you have followed within this particular story?

I can’t say that I had an inspiration. It just came to me. And I kept on writing!

TSR: What genre would you say that The 'Soul Guardians' Trilogy fits into?

Urban Fantasy (and even reality-based fantasy).

TSR: ‘Elemental’, the second book in the Soul Guardians Trilogy is about to be released shortly. Can you let us into any secrets about this new book?

In the second instalment, readers will find out why Kara is part elemental. They’ll find out what her mother’s role is, and who her father really is. I don’t want to give out too much...!

TSR:  Are you working on another series besides this one?

Yes. I'm working on another fantasy series for young adults. It’s about a young orphan street kid named Scarlett Steel who has the gift of the Sight. I should have the first book finished early next year.

TSR: Do you have any hobbies or other interests that you enjoy in order to give you a break from the demands of writing?

I love talking long walks with my dogs. I get to play with my stories in my head while I walk. I also enjoy painting. I love painting wildlife and country cottages with beautiful country gardens.

TSR: Can you give any advice to new writers, as they struggle to try to achieve a work life balance when trying to live their life, write and also possibly trying to promote and sell their books as well?

Dedication and never give up. Find time to write at least once a day. Read everything you can get your hands on. And before your book is finished, start promoting as much as you can, everywhere! Blogs, free press releases, Facebook, Twitter. Create your own website or Blog. Get a following before your book is out. That was my mistake. I released my book, and no one knew about it. How can readers find it if they've never heard about it? You need to get people excited about your book. Start promoting at least six months before your book is out. I know it’s hard, but writing is hard. And promoting is harder.

TSR: What is your favourite book and why?

The Golden Compass’, by Philip Pullman. But really, his entire ‘Dark Materials’ series! The armoured bears, the cliff ghasts, the daemons, there are so many great elements in his story. It’s so imaginative and well written. The idea of having animal daemons connected to humans - as part of a manifestation of human souls – is brilliant! I read these books over and over again. They’re genius.

TSR: Are you currently reading any books at the moment, and if so what are they?

I just finished ‘Portal’, by Imogen Rose, which was interesting. I’m now reading, ‘Hollowland’ by Amanda Hocking. I’m half way through, and this is by far my favourite book by her. It’s fantastic.

TSR: Can I ask you what simple things in life make you smile?

Ice-cream. Red wine. My back yard. And the beautiful sandy beach I walk to every morning. My feet in the water always make me smile!

TSR: Kim, it has been a great honour for me to work with you on this interview for my literary site. I would like to thank-you once again for taking the time to speak to us today.

It was my pleasure J

If you would like to find out more about Kim and her writing just follow the link given below:

Sunday, 26 June 2011

'Hereafter' by Tara Hudson: A New Release Coming Soon!

Release date: 7 July 2011
Published by: Harper Collins Childrens Books
ISBN No: 978 0 00 743050 5

A stranded spirit, a sudden love… Beautiful elegiac love story that crosses the divide between the living and the dead, in a powerful vision of longing and loss. “A tender and poignant love story with a ghostly twist.” Becca Fitzpatrick, bestselling author of Hush, Hush This debut paranormal romance will leave you breathless.Can there truly be love after death?

Drifting in the dark waters of a mysterious river, the only thing Amelia knows for sure is that she's dead. With no recollection of her past life – or her actual death – she's trapped alone in a nightmarish existence. All of this changes when she tries to rescue a boy, Joshua, from drowning in her river. As a ghost, she can do nothing but will him to live. Yet in an unforgettable moment of connection, she helps him survive. Amelia and Joshua grow ever closer as they begin to uncover the strange circumstances of her death and the secrets of the dark river that held her captive for so long. But even while they struggle to keep their bond hidden from the living world, a frightening spirit is doing everything in his power to destroy their new-found happiness and drag Amelia back into the ghost world… forever. Thrilling and evocative, with moments of pure pleasure, ‘Hereafter’ is a sensation you won't want to miss.

'The Life & Death of St Kilda' by Tom Steel. New Reissued Edition Coming Soon.

Release date: 18 August 2011
Publisher: Harper Press
ISBN No: 978 0 00 743800 6

The extraordinary story of the UK’s most gruelling and spectacularly beautiful islands. Tom Steel’s acclaimed portrait of the St Kildan’s lives is now updated in this reissued edition.

Situated at the westernmost point of the United Kingdom, the spectacularly beautiful but utterly bleak island of St Kilda is familiar to virtually nobody. A lonely archipelago off the coast of Scotland, it is hard to believe that for over two thousand years, men and women lived here, cut off from the rest of the world. With a population never exceeding two hundred in its history, the St Kildans were fiercely self-sufficient. An intensely religious people, they climbed cliffs from childhood and caught birds for food. Their sense of community was unparalleled and isolation enveloped their day-to-day existence. With the onset of the First World War, things changed. For the very first time in St Kilda’s history, daily communication was established between the islanders and the mainland. Slowly but surely, this marked the beginning of the end of St Kilda and in August 1930, the island’s remaining 36 inhabitants were evacuated. Newly updated to include the historic appointment of St Kilda as the United Kingdom’s only UNESCO Dual Heritage site, the ongoing search for information about the island and the threats that it continues to face, this is the moving story of a vanished community and how twentieth century civilization ultimately brought an entire way of life to its knees.

Saturday, 25 June 2011

Winners of the Midsummer's Eve Giveaway Draw!

I would like to say a great big thank-you to everyone who joined my blog as a new follower or were already a follower and entered the draw and posted some wonderful comments, during this fantastic event!

Again I wish that I could send everyone who entered this draw a book, but within the rules, there were to be only four lucky winners! For those of you who have not won this time, there are plenty more giveaway draws to come. Please keep visiting this blog and entering my giveaway draws. You never know your luck, you could be one of our next winners!

I visited earlier today and the winners of this draw are, drum roll!!!

Blackplume - 'The Debutante' by Kathleen Tessaro

June M - 'The Bone Collector' by Jeffery Deaver

 Hickablack - 'Poison Study' by Maria V Snyder

Bea - 'The Pindar Diamond' by Katie Hickman


I will contact the winners for their mailing details. If I have not been able to make contact with a winner within 48 hours of this post, another winner will then be drawn. Thanks again to everyone who entered this draw and who follow my blog. Happy reading!

Friday, 24 June 2011

'Midnight' by Josephine Cox: Paperback Release Coming Later This Year.

Release date: 27 October 2011
Published by: Harper
ISBN No: 978 0 00 73048 5

No. 1 bestselling author Josephine Cox returns with a powerful story of love and shocking secrets. All Jack's life, the nightmares had haunted him, dragging him back to a place where it was always midnight… Molly and Jack are deeply in love but their relationship is being torn apart by Jack's nightmares. Trapped in a place where he is taunted by eyes in the gloom, it is becoming harder for Molly to pull him free, and when daylight comes the haunting visions remain. He can make no sense of them, though, when he is deep in the dreams, he knows exactly what's demanded of him. Realising that Jack is being driven close to the edge, Molly urges him to seek help, and with their relationship faltering, Jack decides to hunt for answers. His search takes him back to the place where he grew up, and it soon becomes clear that he must trace people from his past, particularly the one person he could turn to through his troubled childhood. But Jack could never have imagined the true horrors of what he is about to uncover…

Monday, 20 June 2011

Midsummer's Eve Giveaway Hop!

Welcome to the 'Midsummer's Eve Giveaway Hop'!

This is a four day blog hop taking place from Tuesday 21st June, until Friday 24th June 2011.Thanks to 'I am a Reader'  for hosting this awesome hop! There are 200+ blogs signed up to offer a book related giveaway, so you have a great chance of winning something!

I am based in the UK, so as usual have posted this up earlier than the majority of blogs that are taking part in this hop, which are mainly based in the United States of America/Canada. They are about six hours behind me time wise, so their link blog hop posts will not go up until 00.01 am on 21st June in their specific time zones.

To enter just join as a GFC Follower of my blog in order to leave a comment to this post, ( also include your e-mail address with your comment so I can contact you if you are a winner!), you will then be entered into the draw for one of the following great books:

'The Debutante' by Kathleen Tessaro
'The Bone Collector' by Jeffery Deaver
'Poison Study' by Maria V Snyder
'The Pindar Diamond' by Katie Hickman

Only one book can be won by each draw winner. There will be four winners from this draw. Each entrant will be allocated a sequential number. After the closing date for this draw (Friday 21st June 2011 at 23.59GMT), the winning numbers entered for this draw will be chosen by This is an International Giveaway!

As I have already said earlier, there are over two hundred blogs taking part in this giveaway! When you have entered this draw, click on the 'linky' links at the very bottom of this web page, to move onto the other participating blogs to see what prizes they have on offer once their links are up, according to their specific time zones!

Good Luck Everyone! 

Sunday, 19 June 2011

'The Cross' by Scott G Mariani: An Exciting New Release Coming Later This Year!

Release date: 13th October 2011
Published by: Avon Harper Collins
ISBN No: 978 1 84756 213 5

The cross of Ardaich, feared by vampires, was believed to have been destroyed during the bloody war between the Vampire Federation and the Trads. But its accidental rediscovery could be catastrophic. Detective Joel Solomon can’t forgive VF agent Alex Bishop for making him a vampire. Yet when Federation arch-enemy Gabriel Stone enlists a vicious killer to retrieve the cross, the couple and their human allies become the only defence against pure evil. If the cross is used to gain power by the Ăœbervampyr, the sadistic and primeval race of elite vampires, it isn’t just ordinary vampires like Alex and Joel who will be in danger. Things could be about to turn very nasty for the human race...

Scott G.Mariani is the author of the acclaimed bestselling thriller series featuring ex- SAS hero Ben Hope. The Cross is his second Vampire Federation novel, writing under the name Scott G. Mariani. He lives in rural West Wales.

Saturday, 18 June 2011

'Labyrinth of Passions' by Angelica Rose

Release date: 5th April 2011
Published by: AuthorHouse
ISBN No: 13: 9781452079912

The most handsome and rakish Viscount Lucas Merewether won’t even bother to choose his own bride to beget an heir.  After all, at all costs he wishes no emotional involvement with any woman.  So he sanctions his father to choose his bride to be. His plan for a marriage seems boring enough considering his betroth has been cloistered in a convent for most of her life.  However, he’s about to find out that there is nothing boring about the half Spaniard Isabel De Carballo.  The young lady has devised her own agenda after accepting the offer of marriage. The multifarious plan calls for some desperate measures.  To set herself to the task, she must go beyond seduction, a tall order for a maid untouched by man.  But she must succeed, for she’s after much more than his title and fortune, much more than the pleasures his body pledges to generate, she’s after the very thing he fears the most, the conquest of his soul. Add suspense, murder and adventure and this story becomes more than a simple romance.

Angelica Rose, who lives in sunny Miami, Florida, states that writing is a matter of the soul.  She describes her story as a wicked and seductive romance with more than a dash of danger and twists and turns galore. Her goals are high. She hopes to guide her readers through a path of emotions with strong, vibrant characters that reach deep within their hearts. Her wish is to engage her readers in the plot so deeply that they will view each scene in their minds as if they were watching a film.  Angelica is well aware that her self-expectations are quite high, but firmly believes that her readers deserve nothing less!

Independent Book Sellers Week!

Friday, 17 June 2011

'It's a Man's World: But it takes a woman to run it' :Coming Soon from Polly Courtney

Release date: 15th September 2011
Publisher: Avon Harper Collins
ISBN No: 978 1 84756 148 0

Alexa Harris loves a challenge. So when she’s asked to head up Senate Media’s lads’ mag, Banter, she doesn't need much persuasion. But life on the all-male editorial team proves harder than Alexa had imagined – and not just because of her ambitious targets. As Alexa battles with a testosterone-fuelled office, she decides to play the boys at their own game. As success hits, she’s forced to look at who she has become. Has she forfeited her principles in return for praise from the lads? And what price will there be to pay?

Polly Courtney's debut novel, Golden Handcuffs, a fictional exposĂ© of her career in the Square Mile, earned her acclaim in the national newspapers including the Observer, Sunday Times, Independent, Daily Mail and many other publications. In her spare time, Polly enjoys playing football for Old Actonian Ladies, and plays in a semi-professional string quartet, No Strings Attached, an all-girl ensemble that plays all over the UK. She lives in London.

Wednesday, 15 June 2011

A New Edition of a Childrens Classic, 'Number the Stars' by Lois Lowry, Coming Soon.

Release date: 1st September 2011
Published by: Harper Collins Childrens Books
ISBN No: 978 0 00 739520 0

A powerful story set in Nazi occupied Denmark in 1943. Ten-year-old Annemarie Johansen is called upon for a selfless act of bravery to help save her best friend, Ellen – a Jew. Winner of the Newbery Medal. Newly reissued in the Essential Modern Classics range.

“How brave are you, little Annemarie?” It is 1943 and for ten-year-old Annemarie Johansen life in Copenhagen is still relatively normal – school, family, sharing fairy stories with her little sister. But there are dangers and worries too – food shortages and curfews, and the constant presence of Nazi soldiers. When the German authorities begin their campaign to eradicate the Jews from Denmark, her Jewish best friend Ellen is in danger. Annemarie must summon all her courage and bravery to help Ellen make a daring escape. Inspired by true events of the Second World War, this gripping novel brings the past vividly to life for today’s readers.

'Trust No One' by Alex Walters: A New Release Coming Soon!

Release date: 1st September 2011
Published by: Avon Harper Collins
ISBN No: 978 1 84756 285 2 

As a covert officer specialising in ‘deep cover’ operations, Marie Donovan works amongst the most dangerous criminals in Manchester. It’s a precarious life that puts Marie on the edge of the law. When she begins an affair with Jake Morton, an informer due to give evidence against crime lord Jeff Kerridge, Marie knows she’s breaking a cardinal rule. Yet just as she comes to her senses and puts an end to their relationship,Morton is murdered. Suddenly Marie’s undercover role is exposed and only one thing is certain – she can TRUST NO ONE.

Alex Walters was educated in Nottingham and at Cambridge University. After leaving university, he worked in management roles in the oil industry, broadcasting and banking, before moving into management consultancy. In recent years he has specialised in various aspects of the criminal justice sector, including police, prisons and probation. He lives in Manchester with his three sons.

Monday, 13 June 2011

'Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow?' A New Release Coming Soon from Claudia Carroll

Release date: 18th August 2011
Published by: Avon Harper Collins
ISBN No: 978 1 84756 210 4 

Annie and Dan were the perfect couple. But now the not-so-newly weds are feeling more like flat mates than soul mates and wonder where all the fun and fireworks went…When Annie lands her big break in a smash hit show that’s heading for Broadway she’s over the moon. Goodbye remote Irish village of Stickens and hello Big Apple! But with their relationship already on the rocks, how will Annie and Dan survive the distance? They are having one year off from each other – no strings attached, except a date to meet at the Rockefeller Centre to decide their fate. Will they both turn up? Or is it too late for love?

Claudia Carroll was born in Dublin, where she still lives and where she worked extensively both as a theatre and television actress. Her last book, Personally, I Blame My Fairy Godmother…was published by Avon in August 2010. or Twitter @ClaudiaCarroll.

Sunday, 12 June 2011

'The Darling Strumpet' : A New Release by Gillian Bagwell Coming Soon!

Release date: 4th August 2011
Published by: Avon Harper Collins
ISBN No: 978 1 84756 250 0

Growing up in the bawdy atmosphere of 17th Century Covent Garden, Nell Gwynn is little more than a girl when she enters the world of the courtesan. But Nell learns the hard way that to be at the mercy of unscrupulous men is no life at all. With London’s theatres flourishing, Nell seizes an opportunity to change her luck and takes a job selling oranges at The King’s Playhouse in Drury Lane. It isn't long before Nell takes centre stage and her saucy wit and ambitious temperament soon catch the eye of the young King Charles II. But can she keep him enthralled when the country’s finest ladies are vying for his attentions at court?

Gillian Bagwell began her professional life as an actress before moving into directing and producing. Gillian started researching Nell Gwynn as the subject of a one-woman play until she realised this format could not do justice to the richness of Nell’s life. She started writing 'The Darling Strumpet' when she was living in London in 2006.

Saturday, 11 June 2011

New Release Coming Soon: 'Warlord' by James Steel

Release date:  4th August 2011
Published by:  Avon Harper Collins
ISBN No:  978 1 84756 161 9

Hard-bitten mercenary, Alex Devereux, faces a new challenge when a shadowy Chinese businessman presents him with an audacious plan. China intends to take over the Kivu region in The Democratic Republic of Congo, where rival militias are fighting over mineral resources. Alex’s mission is to defeat the dominant militia, the FDLR. But details of how Kivu will be governed under the new order are sketchy and Alex must run the gamut of the United Nations, the Congolese Army and the clash of superpower claims on the region. Alex knows that the plan is risky, but he can’t resist trying to bring stability when everyone else has failed. James Steel is a writer, journalist and historian based in the UK. His two previous books, Legacy and December, are both published by Avon.

Tuesday, 7 June 2011

'The Writing of my Native American Historicals': Guest Post by Author Vella Munn

No matter that I embraced the Internet at least ten years ago, it continues to amaze me. It boggles my mind that I can sit in my house in Oregon U.S. only a couple of hours from the Pacific Ocean and communicate with people around the world. Last month I sold foreign rights to one of my old Harlequin category romances to a publisher in Brazil and a wonderfully talented woman in Germany has created amazing covers for three books I wrote about my country’s Native Americans.

What, to me, is even more amazing is that I can make those three historicals available for English-reading people around the world. Me. No publisher involved this time around. I hope to dive into the whole e-publishing adventure in another post here, but today’s blog is about these books of my heart and how they came to be.

To hopefully start at the beginning, I’ve been writing since dirt was new. As a young girl living in an isolated mining/logging community in the forests of Northern California, I divided my time between reading and exploring the wilderness all around. I can’t remember when I didn’t want to put words on paper, even if I didn’t know what those words were going to be. My first organized writing consisted of comic books showcasing a white stallion as the ‘hero’. As I recall, only my younger sister saw my drawings and primitive plots. Because I was bigger, stronger, and faster than her, she wisely praised my efforts.

Fast forward umpteen years to a brief period of unemployment shortly after I got married. I filled my days writing an adventure tale about five mountain men. What I learned from that abortive effort is that a story must have conflict and a plot. Having my mountain men fight for survival, be attacked by bears, and fight Indians wasn’t enough. They needed personalities. They needed to live and have goals. Halfway in, I put that sad effort aside and went about the business of earning a living, but the need to write stayed with me.

When my first child was born and I became a stay-at-home mom, I realized it was either get addicted to soap operas or get serious about this writing business. I wrote. And wrote some more. I read ‘how to write’ books and subscribed to writing magazines. I sweated in the vacuum that existed for all writers before the Internet opened our worlds and brought us together.

I remember the day I sold my first short story, that delirious dance around the living room with my small son in my arms while tears streamed. Short stories evolved into romances for Harlequin, earning me enough money to justify staying home. But I needed more than happy ever after, I needed ‘something’. When I shared my frustration, with her, my then agent said the faithful words, “You live in a national historic landmark, write historicals.”

“No, not me. I’m not into history,” I protested. I’m into nature, the land, connecting with the physical world. Still, her words were enough of a kick in the seat that I started researching my local area. What resonated with me wasn’t settlers or gold miners (I was living where gold was first discovered in Oregon) but the Indians (politically correct term is Native Americans) whose worlds were irrevocably changed by the newcomers. I’m 1/16th Comanche, but I knew nothing about that part of me until I suddenly felt driven to learn all I could about the first humans to call what is now the United States home.

Traditional Native Americans saw the land, sky, sun, moon, trees, rivers, plains, and deserts as not just their surroundings but their soul. They revered the dirt they walked on, the sky above, and all creatures that shared that environment with them. Maybe because I’d grown up in an isolated community surrounded by national forestland, I understood on a deep level what resonated with the various tribes. I believed I shared the same soul.

With my agent’s encouragement, I wrote my first Native American historical about the tribe that once roamed where I now lived. My agent sold The River’s Daughter to Tor Publishing and Tor offered me a multi-book contract. I turned my back on category romance and immersed myself in tribes from the deserts of Arizona to Florida’s swamps. I researched the lifestyles of Blackfeet, Hopi, Seminole, Cheyenne, Chumash, and Navajo and took their beliefs into my heart. The more I learned about how the tribes were treated by my country’s government, the more my heart ached so I went back in time to when it was Blackfeet against a harsh winter and Cheyenne against an arid summer. Before my ride with Tor Publishing ended, I’d written nine books for them. A lot of bills were paid with my advances and royalties.

The rights to those nine historicals now belong to me. I can do what I want with them—or rather what I can afford to do. It costs money to have my books scanned into a form everyone can read. Covers are expensive. Most time consuming, finding readers is a work in progress.

E-readers such as Amazon’s Kindle and Barnes & Noble’s Nook are popular in the United States but just starting to draw the interest of readers elsewhere. There’s also the question of whether people outside the U.S. care about the Native American experience, but darn it, I’ve made three of my books available online. I’m going to do everything I can to give a shout-out about them because I deeply believe in them.

Blackfeet Season revolves around Man Against Nature. Will my braves and the women who love them survive a harsh winter?

Cheyenne Summer pits men, women, and children against a drought and deadly wildfire.

Hopi Hearts, which won several awards, examines the peaceful Hopi, nomadic Navajo, determined Spanish explorers, and a conflicted Catholic priest.

And because there’s more to electronic reading than Amazon and Kindle even though that’s the bulk of the online market, I also made the three books available at That way they can be read at the computer or printed out and read in a recliner.

Being able to resurrect stories I loved researching and writing excites the heck out of me. So does connecting with Calum and being invited to write a blog for 'The Secret Writer'. The global writing/reading community is amazing!

I would like to thank Vella for agreeing to visit 'The Secret Writer' and for producing this facinating post! As I have GFC Followers from many different parts of the world here, can I ask people who have read this post to leave a 'comment' here in relation to a particular question that I would like to ask you all:

Are you interested in reading historical stories about Native Americans and if so why?

I'm really looking forward to reading your comments in relation to this question! Thank-you.

Monday, 6 June 2011

New Release Coming Soon: 'The Promise of Happiness' by Erin Kaye

Release Date: 21st July 2011
Published by: Avon Harper Collins
ISBN No: 978 1 84756 201 2 

Louise McNeill returns home to the idyllic Irish town of Ballyfergus, hoping that it will provide the sanctuary she desperately craves. Starting again with her three-year-old son Oli, Louise’s heart is full of apprehension. Will she and her son be able to build the life they dream of? To make matters worse, Louise’s sister Joanne seems far from happy as she watches Louise’s little family blossom. Meanwhile, her youngest sister Sian has decided she doesn’t want children and wants to dedicate her life to ecological living with Andy. But is this just a mask disguising a bigger issue? And is Andy ready to sacrifice parenthood? Join the McNeill family as they attempt to come together to provide the love and support that they all need.

Erin Kaye was born in Co. Antrim to a Polish-American father and an Anglo-Irish mother. She pursued a successful career in finance before concentrating on writing. Erin is a bestselling author in Ireland, and now lives on the east coast of Scotland with her husband Mervyn, two young sons and Murphy the dog.