Friday, November 15, 2013


~My apologies for the late posting. Blogger did not follow scheduling directions.~ 

My guest is historical/mystery author, Anne Cleeland. Anne writes a good story with some intriguing twists. The story may be Regency in setting but the story is anything but predictable! 
She discusses a few things about her and offers some good advice about unleashing creativity—dive right and let it flow. 
  • Why this genre instead of another? What excites you about this genre? 

            I've always loved historicals, and the Regency era in particular.  I think it stems from the Jane Austen/Georgette Heyer/Stephanie Laurens stories that are so enjoyable—partly because the setting provides an immediate tension; young women in society had to operate under strict rules, while love and longing simmered just beneath the surface.  Remember how in Pride and Prejudice, Lizzie changes her mind about Darcy but she’s fretting because she’s not allowed to tell him?  Or how shocked everybody was in Sense and Sensibility because Marianne was writing letters to a man she wasn't engaged to?   There’s something almost chivalric about the love affairs, and I think that’s very appealing in a fairy-tale sort of way.

            Meanwhile, while tea was decorously sipped in formal drawing rooms, the world was in absolute turmoil.  I use this contrast in Daughter of the God-King; the heroine has lived a protected and uneventful life until the world intrudes and she is suddenly swept up in dire events.   Much of the story takes place in Egypt, because it was during the Regency era that the treasures of Egypt—locked away for centuries—were finally unearthed for everyone to see.  Egypt is romantic and mysterious at the same time, and the setting is perfect for an adventure story.  
  • How important is belonging to a writing group, such as RWA, to an aspiring or published author?

            To those of you who are thinking about writing your own book, I strongly encourage you to find a writing group of similarly-minded souls. I joined RWA after I wandered in one day to hear an author speak, and kept going back month after month—the combined knowledge and experience in the room was priceless, and everyone was amazingly supportive and helpful.   It’s no easy thing to write a book, and you’ll find all kinds of encouragement and practical advice on the how-tos.  And I think this industry more than most is built on networking and contacts—so go out and find your fellow pre-published authors; you’ll make lifetime friendships and have a lot of fun while you are embarking on your new hobby and/or career. 
  • How do you refresh and recharge yourself so you can continue writing? 

            It’s the strangest thing—the day I decided to sit at the laptop and bang out the stake-out scene in Murder in Thrall I started a new obsession.  Now, I’d rather be writing than doing just about anything else, and I think most other writers know exactly what I’m talking about—it even takes up my reading time, which is something I never thought would happen, since I love to read. 
            Sometime my best ideas come when I’m tired after a long day and I think that I’ll just do a few edits on the last chapter.  The idea for the big twist in Daughter of the God-King came to me in such a way—late at night when I was trying to get to bed.  (As a reader, I love being surprised and so all my stories have at least one big, shocking twist.)

            Sometimes the ideas come when I’m not thinking about anything in particular—walking the dog is the perfect example.  So I suppose my answer to this question is vice-versa:  it’s the writing that refreshes and recharges me for everything else I have to handle in day-to-day living.  Again, to those of you who are considering it, my advice is to dive right in—don’t worry about the logistics until later. You’ll be surprised and amazed by your own creativity.


The Cursed Tombs of Egypt Hold Many Secrets...

Miss Hattie Blackhouse has never been close to her parents...and no wonder, since the Blackhouses are renowned scholars who spend most of their time excavating ancient tombs in Egypt. But news of their disappearance forces Hattie to leave England and embark on a voyage that will reveal the long-buried secrets of her past.

An encrypted senet board and a gold medallion lead Hattie on a perilous quest to track down her missing parents—and discover why people associated with the Blackhouses continue to turn up dead. What she uncovers is a secret that could alter the course of history... 

Excerpt (chapter one)

Filled with intrigue, romance, and ancient secrets, Anne Cleeland's thrilling novel takes you on an unforgettable Egyptian adventure.

Anne Cleeland holds a degree in English from UCLA as well as a degree in law from Pepperdine University, and is a member of the California State Bar.
She writes a historical fiction series set in the Regency period as well as a contemporary mystery series set in New Scotland Yard. A member of the Historical Novel Society and Mystery Writers of America, she lives in California and has four children. 

Wednesday, November 13, 2013


It's my pleasure to have romance author, Amanda Forester, again visiting with us Over Coffee. I like her list. :-)

Thank you for inviting me today!  November is a great month for thanksgiving so I thought I'd share (in no particular order of importance) my Writer's Thanksgiving List!

1.      Writers groups.  I am grateful for Romance Writers of America and my local writers groups.  When I started writing, I knew nothing about writing a novel and the business of publishing so I had a steep learning curve.  Through the monthly magazine, online groups, and conferences I have learned a lot!
2.      A good chair.  Never underestimate the importance of a good ergonomic chair if your tushy is going to spend hours sitting in it - your back will thank you!  A close second is my split ergonomic keyboard. 
3.      Scrivener. I have enjoyed the Scrivener writing program which allows me to easily
Miles, author stress reliever
rearrange scenes as I go and has sections for character descriptions and even a section for research, which is so important for historical authors.
4.      Editorial.  It is still amazing to me that I can send in a manuscript that I think is near perfect and then go several rounds of edits followed by a sea of red ink copy edits.  My editor, Deb Werksman, and the editorial team at Sourcebooks make me look good!
5.      Barbara!  My agent, Barbara Poelle, takes care of details before I even understand them, has an inflated sense of my worth, and is a huge cheerleader!
6.      Chocolate.  What writer doesn't run on chocolate? Around this time of year I'm a sucker for chocolate peppermint bark and the classic chocolate orange.
7.      Miles the Cat.  When I get stuck or frustrated with a story, my extra large Persian says, "don't worry, pet me!"
Crazy Daisy, author editorial assistant (those plot points
weren't really necessary to the story).
  8.  Whiteboard.  When I get stuck I break out the colored whiteboard pens.  My storyboard may end up looking like a preschool project, but it works for me.

  9.  Crazy Daisy and the kidlets.  I would get stuck writing all day until my head hit the keyboard if my crazy puppy and equally rambunctious children didn't drag me out to play.

  10. My loving husband. My hubby is not only the inspiration for romance, but also tells me those four magic words, "I'll do the dishes."  Thanks honey!

So what are you thankful for?  Comment for a chance to win a copy of Midsummer Bride!

Thanks so much for inviting me.  I hope a little Midsummer Bride will warm your hearts this holiday season!


I'm thrilled to share my latest release, Midsummer Bride, Regency Marriage Mart series

One Unconventional American Heiress Can Be Even Wilder Than the Highlands...

Miss Harriet Burton, a horrendously rich American heiress, laughs too loud, states her opinion directly, and even conducts science experiments. Her aristocratic grandfather is desperate to get her respectably wed and is offering a king's ransom to anyone able to arrange a suitable marriage that comes with a title. In contrast, Harriet is interested in science and avoiding matrimony – until she meets Duncan Maclachlan, Earl of Thornton. 

Thornton has sworn to never marry for money, but is drawn to the irrepressible Harriet. What begins as friendship, and a desire to prevent his castle from being destroyed by some chemistry experiments gone wrong, sparks into a reaction that threatens to consume them both.


I love to hear from readers so come visit me at my website, facebook, or twitter.

Amanda Forester holds a PhD in psychology and worked for many years in academia before discovering that writing historical romance was decidedly more fun. Whether in the rugged Highlands of medieval Scotland or the decadent ballrooms of Regency England, her novels offer fast-paced adventures filled with wit, intrigue, and romance.

Monday, November 11, 2013


The last few days have been beautiful and warm. Lots of golden sunshine this weekend.  NaNo or no, the idea of sitting in my office at the computer has been an anathema to me. I spend over thirty hours a week sitting at that blasted computer and that’s just for work. I probably spend another twenty dealing with blogging—probably more. So, while I have been writing I've chosen to savor the sunshine  this weekend and spent quite a bit of time outside (especially with our first snow in a matter of days, sighand took the time to relax and rest. It’s been grand.

I have been having fun with my NaNo story. It’s been in my head for sometime. I've researched and gotten the feel of the world. It wasn't my intention to write it as a NaNo entry and given my current schedule, I wasn't even planning on taking part this year. However, many in my writing group (I've mentioned them before and we've been together for over six years), do the NaNo every year. Let me say, moaning about my schedule cuts no ice with them, lol! So, with a strong boot in the ass encouragement from them; I’m in.

Realistically, I doubt I will get 50k done in November but I will get a substantial amount done which is what I need to do. It will also get me back into taking the time to write fiction daily and buying out the time I have—usually early morning—to add to the story. It does help me stay on track knowing others are doing the same. It gives incentive to keep going even when I get stuck, like I am right now. I put that section aside and am working on another scene while my mind mulls over the other section. Of course at the rate I’m going I might hit 50k by Christmas. J

Are you doing NaNo this year? How’s it going?

Guests this week:

Wednesday:  Historical romance author, Amanda Forester. Midsummer Bride Love is one experiment this scientist hasn't tested
Friday: Anne Cleeland, Daughter of the God-King In the dark, mysterious tombs of Cairo, a thrilling puzzle awaits to be discovered