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Archive for April, 2013

I’m still over at Regency author Shannon Donnelly’s blog today, talking about tea. I know, I know, tea? What on earth could be interesting about tea? Well come on by and you might be surprised. Just to tempt you more, I’ve also posted a new excerpt of my debut novel, The Seduction of Lady Phoebe.

See you at Shannon’s http://shannondonnelly.com/

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Historical Author Merry Farmer

Historical Author Merry Farmer

Please welcome multi-published, award-winning, historical, author Merry Farmer who is promoting her book A Fool for Love. To wet your appetite Merry is giving away a copy of her book Our Little Secrets. To be eligible, please post your email address in your comment.

Ella: Merry, your bio said you’ve been writing all your life. What made you finally made you decided to decide to be published?

Merry: I’d actually toyed around with the idea of publishing years ago.  I attended a few conferences, joined RWA, sent out about a dozen query letters, but it was all half-hearted.  Something about the publishing world turned me off.  Instead I focused my energies on writing itself.  Then, about two years ago, I was at the Philadelphia Writer’s Conference, and the buzz of self-publishing was in the air.  I listened to what people were saying, the predictions about how self-publishing was the wave of the future.  I knew then that that was the path I was meant to take.  So I dusted off the novels in my Noble Hearts medieval romance series, hired a professional editor, and went to work.

I’ve learned so much in the last two years!  My wonderful editor, Alison Dasho, taught me so much about the craft of writing.  The connections I made with fellow authors taught me volumes about the business and marketing side of writing.  I love the world of self-publishing and the accountability that goes along with it, although at this point I am keeping all of my publishing options open.

Ella: You started your career writing medieval romances, how did you make the jump to Victorian era westerns?

Merry: It wasn’t so much of a jump as a slide.  I actually wrote the embryonic story that has grown into all four of the novels in the Montana Romance series years before I started writing The Loyal Heart (the first book in the Noble Hearts series and the first novel I published).  It also helped that I’ve earned not one, but two degrees in History.  The Medieval and the Late Victorian periods have always been my favorites.  Both were times of immense social and technological change.  Both drew heavily on romanticism.  And it’s no surprise at all that Medievalism was enjoying a revival in the late Victorian era, thanks to the Pre-Raphaelites.  I also see a lot of parallels in both time periods to the changes and challenges of the world we live in right now.  Ultimately though, as someone who is passionate about all eras of History, it would be too hard for me to only ever write about just one.

Ella: What advice would you give people just starting out in the writing profession?

Merry: Write.  I know that might sound obvious or trite, but the single most important thing that any writer can do, whether they’re just starting out or have been at it for fifty years, is to write.  Write to entertain yourself.  I grew up writing the stories I wanted to read because no one else was writing them and because they meant something special to me.  I’ve written volumes of fan fiction for myself (from Indiana Jones to soap operas I used to watch to Harry Potter and beyond), I’ve rewritten the ends of movies and TV series when I didn’t like the way they concluded or when I wanted more, and I rewrote bits of my own life to turn out better than they did in reality.  None of it will ever be published, but I learned more about character, setting, theme, stakes, and credibility from writing to entertain myself than I could have if I’d just taken classes or read books.

Beyond that, don’t be afraid to step out of your comfort zone.  Get people to read your stories.  Submit to agents.  Hire an editor to give you a detailed professional opinion.  Enter contests.  Self-publish if you feel moved (but not before the book is ready).  I feel like I waited about ten years too long to break out of my fears and seek to be published.  I got lucky when self-publishing took off just as I was ready to be bold, but I also regret not trying harder sooner.

Ella: That’s great advice. Now, what you’ve all been waiting for the excerpt from A Fool for Love.

Fool For Love

Fool For Love

Fool for Love – Blurb

Eric Quinlan was born a cowboy and a rancher and intends to die a cowboy and a rancher.  But when his ranch is in danger of failing, he travels to the wilds of London looking for a business deal to save it.  What he finds there are stuffed shirts, odd manners, and a damsel in distress.

Amelia Elphick’s life is over.  She may have been born a lady, but when she finds herself jilted by a lover who leaves her pregnant, she seems destined for a life on the streets.  When her employer’s rough but handsome houseguest, Eric, offers to rescue her from ruin, she has no choice but to say yes, even if it means moving halfway around the world.

But Amelia finds herself saying yes to more than a ticket west.  What starts with a harmless lie tangles Amelia and Eric in a web of desire and deceit that exposes passions and turns their worlds upside-down.  Eric believes Amelia holds the key to saving his beloved ranch and giving him the family he always wanted, but can he save her from the demons of her past without losing himself in the process?

People do foolish things when they’re in love…. 

Excerpt from Fool for Love

“Miss Elphick,” Mr. Quinlan began.  He stopped twirling his hat with a long, drawled, “Yeeeaaah.”

Amelia could do nothing but stand there, her brain foggy from shock and tears and betrayal.

Mr. Quinlan cleared his throat, pulling her attention back to him.  He shifted his weight to his other leg, let his arm drop, hat in one hand, and looked her in the eyes.  She had never seen a man so anxious, as if he was the one in utter disgrace.

“Look, I’m really sorry about everything that happened last night.”

Amelia lowered her head.  “I … I am so sorry you had to witness that, Mr. Quinlan.”

“Yeah, well so am I,” he mumbled.  “That Mr. what’s-his-name was a total ass, treating a lady like that.”

She looked up, her stomach twisting.  “Oh no, sir,” she corrected him.  “I’m afraid I was the one in the wrong.”  It was all she could do not to choke on the words.  “Mr. Hayworth was perfectly within his rights to react as he did.  I … I am not a lady, I-”

“If he had tried that where I come from,” Mr. Quinlan interrupted, striding across the room to her, “he woulda had about a dozen men all over him.  It’s pitiful to dismiss a lady such as yourself like that.”

An ironic smile twitched at the corners of Amelia’s mouth.  “I’m afraid you misunderstand, Mr. Quinlan.  I … I am a fallen woman now.  My disgrace is complete.  It was not my place to cause a scene.”

He puffed an annoyed sigh and threw his hands out, narrowly missing a vase of hothouse flowers with his hat.  “You know, I never understood you English people and your ‘places’.  A lady’s a lady as far as I’m concerned.”

“But my family,” she fumbled, no desire to explain the past.

“Your father did something bad, I dunno,” he finished for her, his tone not caring.  He paced a few steps to a small table and fingered the edge of it, picking at an invisible spot.  He flicked his hair out of his face and darted a glance out the window at a passing carriage.  Amelia bit her lip as she watched his antics.

Finally, he shook his head and turned away from the pouring rain outside the window.  “Well, this isn’t how I wanted to start things.”

Amelia fidgeted with her skirt.  “Start what, Mr. Quinlan?”

He ran a hand through his hair and paced back to where Amelia stood.  When he reached her, swaying too close for a moment then backing off a step, he screwed up his mouth as if something were trying to escape from it and he wasn’t sure if he should let it out or keep it in.  His back and shoulders were stiff as he glanced to Amelia, then at the floor, out the window, and back to Amelia again.  It struck her that his awkward ways were uncommonly charming.

As soon as the dangerous thought entered her mind, she pushed it away.

Finally Mr. Quinlan sighed and let his tension drop.  “It’s like this.”

Amelia raised her wary eyes to meet his.

“I suppose a fine lady like you is mighty attached to a fancy place like this, but I understand that you’re in a heap of trouble after last night and got no place to go.  Now, I know it’s short notice, but I’m leaving London to head back to Montana tomorrow and I was wondering if, well, if you might want to come with me.”

Amelia’s sore eyes widened.  Her breath caught in her throat.  “Go with you?”

“Yeah.”

“To Montana?”

He shifted.  “I’ll pay for your passage and all.  I don’t mind doing it at all after what I saw last night.  It seems to me that you’re pretty much sunk here.  But Montana is just lousy with opportunity these days, even for women.  Cold Springs could use a smart, pretty girl like you, and … and, well, that’s it.”  He ended his speech by blushing and lowering his head, looking up at her through his lashes.

Amelia’s heart fluttered, but it had nothing to do with Mr. Quinlan’s charm.

Montana.  It was a world away, a world where no one knew about her father drinking away his fortune and leaving his wife and daughters to make their own way.  It was a world where no one knew how her mother had positioned herself and two of her daughters in rich men’s beds so that they could continue to afford the luxuries they were dependent on.  Most importantly, it was a world where no one knew how she, Amelia Elphick, had foolishly thought going to a man’s bed would solve all of her problems.

Our Little Secrets – Blurb

Michael West swore he would never fall in love again.  So when the beautiful and wily Charlotte steps off the train looking for a new life he jumps at the business opportunity her search for a husband presents.  Engaged forty-five minutes after meeting, married the next day, Michael thinks he’s found everything a respectable man should have.  Except that Michael is as far from respectable as they come.  They agreed not to ask questions about each other’s pasts, but when the past seeps into their present Michael suspects his passionate new wife is not who she says she is.  But can he keep her at arm’s length when he’s already fallen in love with her?

Charlotte Baldwin has a secret.  She fled Philadelphia to escape the sins of her past, but someone is following her.  What better way to hide than by marrying Michael West, Cold Springs, Montana’s enigmatic shopkeeper?  A new name, a new life, and am amorous husband is exactly what she needs to leave her sins behind.  But when it comes to keeping secrets Charlotte may have met her match in Michael.  And when a connection neither of them expects catches up with them, the shocking revelation means Charlotte may have run right into the arms of her enemy.

No sin stays a secret forever….

Book links:

Our Little Secrets

Our Little Secrets

Our Little Secrets

Amazon – http://www.amazon.com/dp/B0087KI4T4

Amazon UK – https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B0087KI4T4

Smashwords – https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/167282

B&N – http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/our-little-secrets-merry-farmer/1111649170?ean=2940033267514

Fool for Love

Coming Soon

The Loyal Heart

Amazon – http://www.amazon.com/dp/B005R4K75W

Amazon UK – https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B005R4K75W

B&N – http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-loyal-heart-merry-farmer/1106051739?ean=2940011541537

Smashwords – https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/92993

The Faithful Heart

Amazon – http://www.amazon.com/dp/B006PUDD44

Amazon UK – https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B006PUDD44

B&N – http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-faithful-heart-merry-farmer/1108068341?ean=2940032960553

Smashwords – https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/117240

The Courageous Heart

Amazon – http://www.amazon.com/dp/B009Z1AATQ

Amazon UK – https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B009Z1AATQ

B&N – http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-courageous-heart-merry-farmer/1113712615?ean=2940015912661

Smashwords – https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/250038

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I’m hunkered down today, taking a break from my blog tour and getting the websit ready. Here is a wonderful post from one of my favorite blog sites, WITS. Enjoy. I know I did.

Writers In The Storm Blog

Writers in the Storm welcomes back Anne Cleeland to share tips on writing Secondary Characters. Anne last helped us sort through the accuracy for details of our historicals.

by Anne Cleeland

A story with compelling secondary characters engages the reader by adding another layer of interest to the story.  Whether they are sidekicks, lovers, or shadowy villains, good secondary characters help make the story three dimensional instead of flat, and also make it a lot easier to beef up that all-important word count. As an added bonus, the secondary character often provides the hero with opportunities for bantering or bickering dialogue–always a reader favorite and an easy way to establish likeability.

In most stories, however, there are certain protocols that are expected and probably should be followed when it comes to secondary characters. The writer has to be careful not to violate these unspoken rules at the risk of…

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That’s right! I’m taking a break today , well I may pop in now and then, while Liza interviews the book. As an author I was deeply aware that my characters all had their individual personalities, who knew the book did?

Please stop by and see how The Seduction of Lady Phoebe does in her debut interview. http://www.lizaoconnor.com/

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The Seduction of Lady Phoebe

The Seduction of Lady Phoebe

I’m back on the road, fugitively speaking, with my debut novel TheSeduction of Lady Phoebe.

We are on Merry Farmer’s blog today. Please come by and visit for a while.  http://wp.me/p1GrJf-Fy

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The Seduction of Lady Phoebe

The Seduction of Lady Phoebe

With blog visits, my debut novel going on pre-order, and getting my cover, last week was exhausting. Happy though. To celebrate, I’m asking you to post your blurbs, or a short excerpt of your book, or WIP.

If you have them, please post your buy links as well, AND because I can’t resist posting mine, you are invited to post a thumbnail of your cover.

Here is mine from my debut novel, the first book in The Marriage Game, The Seduction of Lady Phoebe releasing on September 19, 2013.

LADY PHOEBE STANHOPE, famous for her quick wits, fast horses, and punishing right hook, is afraid of nothing but falling in love. Fleeing a matchmaking attempt with the only man she despises, Phoebe meets a handsome blue-eyed stranger who sends her senses skittering. By the time Phoebe discovers the seductive stranger is the same arrogant troll she sent packing eight years ago, she is halfway to falling in love with him.

LORD MARCUS FINLEY last saw Phoebe striding regally away, as he lay on the floor with a bruised jaw and a rapidly swelling eye. Recently returned from the West Indies, Marcus is determined to earn Phoebe’s love, preferably before she discovers who he is. Determined to have Phoebe for his own, Marcus begins his campaign to gain her forgiveness and seduce her into marriage.

Can Phoebe learn to trust her own heart and Marcus? Or is she destined to remain alone?

Buy links:

Amazon US: http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=the%20seduction%20of%20lady%20phoebe

Amazon UK: http://http://www.amazon.co.uk/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=The+seduction+of+lady+phoebe

Amazon Germany: http://www.amazon.de/s/ref=nb_sb_noss/275-6160333-6197739?__mk_de_DE=%C3%85M%C3%85Z%C3%95%C3%91&url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=The%20seduction%20of%20lady%20phoebe

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/s/978-1-6018-3164-4?keyword=978-1-6018-3164-4&store=allproducts

http://www.kensingtonbooks.com/book.aspx/22854

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wewriwa_button

Good morning and welcome to Eight Sentence Sunday. Today I continue with The Secret Life of Miss Anna Marsh, the second book in The Marriage Game. If you came by last Sunday, you’ll know the snippet ended on Anna taking a piece of paper from her desk drawer. We continue from there. I hope you enjoy it.

Also don’t forget to stop by the other wonderful and talented authors participating in Weekend Warriors Eight Sentence Sunday. http://www.wewriwa.com/

 

“I’ll write Kev and tell him to lay low until I can get there.”

K

No information exchanged or meetings scheduled until I arrive.

A

She sealed the message and handed it to Lizzy. “Make sure this goes out to-day, even if you have to take it yourself.”

“Yes, miss.”

Anna pinched her upper nose. “I do hope this is not going to make our lives even more complicated.”

 

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Congratulations

We have winners!!!

The following people have received a copy of my debut novel, The Seduction of Lady Phoebe.

The Seduction of Lady Phoebe

The Seduction of Lady Phoebe

As a reminder, the contest to win a book by finding the buy links is on-going. I know of two links that have not been posted yet.

Cassandra Janey who posted the link to Kensington

Laura Mitchell who posted the Amazon US link.

Sarah Meral who posted the Amazon Germany link

Patricia Green from Jenna Jaxon’s Journal

Diane P. Diamond from Rakes, Rogues, and Romance

Jeanne M from the Heart of Romance blog

By the way, I want to apologize for not replying to all your lovely comments on Heart of Romance, the reply button ceased to work. Thank you so much for coming by.
Guest Author Giveaways

This first one I’m very late on, and I owe an abject apology to the winner of Suzi Love’s book, Liza O’Connor. Embracing_Scandal_by_Suzi_Love

Grace Burrowes has graciously offered to add to her giveaway two copies of Darius in addition to her original offer of Once Upon a Tartan

Once Upon a Tartan

Once Upon a Tartan

The winner of Once Upon a Tartan is Nicole Laverdure.

The winners of Darius are Annah Scoonover and Marilyn Watson

Even if you have given me your email address, please use the contact form https://ellaquinnauthor.wordpress.com/contact-id-love-to-hear-from-you/ and I’ll arrange to have your book sent to you.

Thank you so much for your wonderful comments!

Have fun reading!

Ella

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Regency Author Grace Burrowes

Regency Author Grace Burrowes

Please help me in welcoming my guest star, er, author today, New York Times Bestseller, Grace Burrowes. She’s also the only author who made me actually like <Ella shudders> Victorians.

She is also giving away a copy of her book Once Upon a Tartan. Please leave you email to win.

Ella: Grace, thank you so much for being here today. I am a huge fan of your books.

Grace: Ella, it’s a sincere pleasure to be here AND to say, “LIKEWISE!!!”

Ella: Thank you. I can’t tell you how much that means to me. For anyone who didn’t know, Grace was kind enough to give me some wonderful cover quote for The Seduction of Lady Phoebe. Now back to Grace. Tell us a little about yourself and what prompted you to start writing.

Grace: I’m second to youngest in a family of seven children. What does that have to do with writing? For one thing, it means you have a lot of opportunity to observe human relationships early on, and it means if you don’t hone your verbal skills, you’ll get lost in the noise and bustle of a large family. Then too, if you are being ignored in that large, busy, family, writing is an artifact that says you’re real, your experiences happened, and they’re worth memorializing.

Ella: What have you found most challenging about the historicals and what do you love best about the genre?

Grace: Historicals have a wonderfully loyal following, and there are many terrific authors who belong on the historical reader’s keeper shelves. That said, historical accuracy is a tough call. The detail that I toss in for authenticity might work for some readers and not for others. The compromises I make regarding language (sleeve buttons were cufflinks in the Regency, and fizzle meant to, um, pass gas), will work for some readers, and not for others. I want to make the choices that keep the greatest number of readers happy with the story, and it’s sometimes hard to know which choices those will be.

Ella: You’ve got Darius out, which is the first book in your Lonely Lords Series. If anyone hasn’t read it, they should. Grace has dealt with a sticky issue very deftly. Can you give us a hint of which book comes next and a little about it?

Grace: Sure! Darius’s sister, Leah Lindsey, is a damsel in need of a swain, posthaste, and Nicholas Haddonfield (hence the title, “Nicholas”) has a soft heart where damsels in distress are concerned—and yet, Nick seeks only a marriage of convenience. Leah eventually figures out why, and it leaves her even more in love with her husband than ever—and him with her.

Ella: Oooh, that sounds like a wonderful story. What’s happening with your Scottish Victorians?

Grace: The second book in the series, currently titled, “Once Upon a Tartan,” comes out in August, and this couple—Tiberius Flynn, Earl of Spathfoy, and Hester Daniels—are among my favorites. Tye is an English earl who likes naughty talk—in Latin. He’s come to snatch his niece from Hester’s care, but forgets to disclose that until AFTER he’s fallen in love with Hester. Oops.

Ella: That is a rather large oops. I’m guessing she doesn’t take it at all well. Thank you, Grace for coming on. I’m thrilled to have you here.

Grace: Ella, thanks for the invite, and best of luck with Lady Phoebe. Does she have a pre-order link up yet???

Ella: Yes I do!!! She is on Amazon in the US, UK and Germany, and on the Kensington and iBookstore. The links are on this blog under My Books or click here https://ellaquinnauthor.wordpress.com/wp-admin/post.php?post=20&action=edit.

Here is an excerpt from Grace’s new book, Darius.Darius

Chapter One

“If one knows precisely where to inquire, one hears you provide favors to a select few ladies in exchange for the next thing to coin.”

William Longstreet—the Fourth Viscount Longstreet, no less—delivered this observation without so much as a quaver to his voice. His veined hands were rock steady, and his tone cordial as he held his glass out to his host. “Just a touch more, perhaps? The wind is bitter, even for November.”

And Darius Lindsey, veteran of more unnerving moments, stiff beatings, and bad luck than any earl’s younger son ought to have endured, took his guest’s glass to the sideboard and filled it with another finger of cognac—a scant finger.

Lord Longstreet was known as a shrewd politician, capable of quietly negotiating compromises between embattled factions in the Lords. He’d sent around a note asking to make a call privately, after dark, and Darius had accepted out of curiosity.

A curiosity he was apparently going to regret at length.

Darius crossed his arms and leaned back against the sideboard. “You’re repeating rumor, my lord, and slanderous rumor at that. Just what did you come here to say?”

“Blunt.” Lord Longstreet’s faded brown eyes gleamed with humor. “Suppose you’ve learned to be, and that’s all to the good. Excellent libation, by the way, and I notice you aren’t keeping up, young man.” Longstreet raised his glass with gentlemanly bonhomie, while Darius wanted to smash his drink against the hearthstones—not that he had the coin for even such a small extravagance of temper.

“You needn’t confirm or deny these rumors,” Lord Longstreet went on, shifting a bit in a chair more sturdy and comfortable than elegant. “I have no intention of recalling the information or where I came by it once I leave you tonight.”

“Gracious of you, when you’re repeating the kind of insinuations that can get a man called out.”

“Involving as they do, the honor of several ladies,” Longstreet rejoined. “If one can call them that.”

Darius didn’t rise to the bait. Tonight was not a night when he was expected elsewhere in the wee hours—thank a merciful God—and in deference to his guest’s age, Darius had for once built up the fire to the point where his quarters were cozy. This also resulted in more illumination cast on threadbare carpet, scarred furniture, and a water stain high up on the outside wall.

“Ah, good.” Longstreet’s amusement was in evidence again. “You don’t rile, and you neither gossip nor disparage the women. This comports with your reputation as well.”

Here is Nicolas as well. Nicholas simpler background

To read more, or buy any of Grace’s books. Please go to www.graceburrowes.com

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I’ve been rushing all over the place this week. Today I’m on Sarah Hoss’s Blog www.heart-of-romance.blogspot.com with another give away of my debut book, The Seduction of Lady Phoebe.

The Seduction of Lady Phoebe

The Seduction of Lady Phoebe

In case you hear about yesterday, though I’m not sure how that’s possible as I was shouting loudly. I received the cover and the book is now in Amazon sites in the US, UK and Germany. All the links I have so far on the Novel page.

Yey!!

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