Wednesday, September 17, 2014

A Day in the Life of… Lynne Hugo

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Welcome to Stitch Read Cook's weekly feature!!


A Day in the Life of.....

This is where us bloggers & fans get a glimpse inside the days of our favorite authors!

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Lynne Hugo is a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship recipient who has also received grants from the Ohio Arts Council and the Kentucky Foundation for Women.  She has published five previous novels, one of which became a Lifetime Original Movie of the Month, two books of poetry, and a children’s book.  Her memoir, Where The Trail Grows Faint, won the Riverteeth Literary Nonfiction Book Prize. Born and educated in New England, she and her husband currently live in Ohio with a yellow Lab feared by squirrels in a three state area.

Ms. Hugo has taught creative writing to hundreds of schoolchildren through the Ohio Arts Council’s renowned Arts in Education program. She holds a Bachelor’s degree from Connecticut College, and a Master’s from Miami University.

A Day In The Life Of Author Lynne Hugo…

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…begins with an exuberant yellow Lab leaping onto the bed between my husband and me to encourage whichever one of us appears least comatose. Most days, after I stagger to the kitchen and revive myself with coffee, Scout gets his first romp of the day before I head to the writing room. My computer desk is in front of a large window. I can see the four raised beds of our vegetable garden out in the sunny part of the yard near the roses. To my right through a door onto the deck are pots filled with shade-loving red and pink impatiens and yellow begonias, even some blue flowers I planted but can’t identify. Hummingbird feeders hang in the lowest branches of the Chinese elm that towers over the house; we brought that tree home, bare root, in the trunk of our car, close to thirty years ago. Now, like the children we raised here, it’s fully grown.

So I spend the day writing. I try not to be distracted by phone or email—or Scout, especially when I’m working on something new. When a book is coming out there’s a lot of work expected on publicity and marketing and sometimes it’s difficult to balance that with focus on the new project—what I most love to do—and often the new work ends up on the back burner for a while.

There are tasks that only an author can do that are important to give a book its best chance to find its readership. Today I went through pictures to send to the publisher because they are making a video trailer for A MATTER OF MERCY, which has just been released. The novel is set in a place I love, Cape Cod, Massachusetts, in a town named Wellfleet out near the tip. Shellfishing (oysters and clams) has flourished there for generations and is hugely important to the local economy. In 1996, the owner of one of the large, expensive vacation homes on the bluffs above the harbor filed a lawsuit to shut down the aquaculturists (oyster and clam farmers) because he objected to how their apparatus affected his view, although the cages are only visible for an hour before and after dead low tide. The basis for the lawsuit—and how it was finally resolved—were so bizarre, so fascinating, so unbelievable, yet so true, that when I heard about it by simply walking on the beach and by happenstance making friends with one of the women aquaculturists, I knew I wanted to use it as the basis for a novel. I needed to invent the characters, a gripping story for their lives, and extract a meaning for the characters that fit with the unfolding story of the lawsuit. The lawsuit was real even though my characters weren’t, and I wanted the novel to be authentic. I’d fallen in love, and I wanted to take readers so into that world that they would, too.

When you have such a beautiful setting, and have pictures of the real thing—a trailer is a natural. So I’ve spent one day winnowing down the text, and now, today, sorting out the best pictures from the last time I visited my oyster farming friend on the shining shallows of Cape Cod Bay, in July. Here are a few:

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What I didn’t do today—again--was work on my next novel. But I think that’s the life of the writer now, back and forth between working on something new and what we do to help bring our books into the world and find their readership.

At about 3:30, Scout starts to get impatient. I can hold him off until 4:00; if I’m being productive. By then he’ll be impatiently nosing my left arm, making it impossible to type. If I put him off much longer, he puts his front paw into my lap and jams his head between me and the keyboard. I’ll give up and load him into the back seat of the car, drive the two minutes it takes me to get to the nature preserve near my house where off-leash dogs are allowed to run if they’re under voice command. I’ll have arranged to meet my friend Barb and her chocolate Lab Maggie, and we’ll hike along the little singing river and then through the fragrant high pine forest we call The Cathedral, where our ritual is to name a gratitude for the day. Sometime during the hour I’ll doubtless shout, “Scout, leave it! Don’t eat it, and no! Don’t roll in it!” (He particularly loves anything that will make him stink enough that I have to hose him down immediately upon returning home.) clip_image013

Afterward, a glass of wine, talk, and some music out on the deck with my husband when he gets home from work; then one of us makes dinner while we catch the evening news. The other cleans up. Ideally, I mean, on that “clean up” part. My standards might be somewhat higher than his. Then sometimes it’s back to the computer if there’s a deadline to meet, or an episode of a something we’ve taped on TV: The Good Wife is a favorite, and so is Parenthood. Always, always, then an hour or more of reading—almost always a literary novel.

I count it an excellent day when it includes contact with one of the kids. And I’m glad to say that’s more days than not. The day circles its tails and settles to sleep for the night with Scout having done exactly that, first up on the bed with us for some final treats, and then down on his own, everything—at least for a few hours—in place.

Thanks so much, Aislynn, for having me on your blog—and thank you to all of Aislynn’s readers! I hope you love A MATTER OF MERCY. I’d love to hear from you.

Lynne

Caroline Marcum thought she’d escaped the great mistake of her life by leaving Wellfleet harbor, but is forced to face it when she returns, reluctantly, to care for her dying mother. Ridley Neal put his past-and his prison term-behind him to return home to take over his father’s oyster and clam beds. Casual acquaintances long ago, when a nor’easter hits the coast, Rid and Caroline’s lives intersect once again. When Rid and two other sea farmers are sued by the wealthy owners of vacation homes who want to shut them down, and Caroline accidentally meets the person she most wronged, they each must learn to trust-and love. Inspired by a 1996 lawsuit, A Matter of Mercy is a riveting novel about treasuring the traditional way of life in the shallows of beautiful Cape Cod bay by discovering where forgiveness ends. And where it begins.

“A richly detailed, intimate look at the struggles of love and hard work and hard choices. With wisdom and compassion, Lynne Hugo explores how we sometimes find our homes in the places and people we’ve left behind. This book draws you in and won’t let you go. A Matter of Mercy is the kind of novel one longs to read – beautifully written, full of crooked fates, terrible loss and hard-won second chances.” ~ Laura Harrington, author of Alice Bliss, winner of Massachusetts Book Award for Fiction

“Lynne Hugo’s novel A MATTER OF MERCY is full of intrigue and heart, as gritty as the inside of a clamshell and tender as a beach sunset. You won’t soon forget this story of two Cape Cod residents struggling against the tides for mercy and reaching out for each other despite the dark currents of their own pasts.” ~ Jenna Blum, New York Times and internationally bestselling author of THOSE WHO SAVE US, THE STORMCHASERS, and “The Lucky One” in GRAND CENTRAL.

“Through her exquisite use of language and deft storytelling, Lynne Hugo has rendered a universe so precise it sings of truth and so human it plucks at all the right strings.  She is that rare fiction writer who truly understands the music of good writing, conflating the worlds of prose and poetry into something exalted, a symphony for both the heart and the ear.”    — Kim Triedman, author of The Other Room

Thursday, September 11, 2014

One More, My Darling Rogue by Lorraine Heath {Book Tour}

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LORRAINE HEATH credit Kayla Marie Photography

LORRAINE HEATH always dreamed of being a writer. After graduating from the University of Texas, she wrote training manuals and computer code, but something was always missing.

After reading a romance novel, she not only became hooked on the genre, but quickly realized what her writing lacked: rebels, scoundrels, and rogues. She’s been writing about them ever since. Her work has been recognized with numerous industry awards, including RWA’s RITA® and a Romantic Times Career Achievement Award.

Her novels have appeared on the USA Today and New York Times best-seller lists.

Find Lorraine online at www.lorraineheath.com and also on Facebook and Twitter.

From New York Times bestselling author Lorraine Heath, comes the second book in a brand new series, The Scandalous Gentlemen of St. James, featuring three eligible bachelors...and the scoundrels that reside within each.

Born to the street but raised within the aristocracy, Drake Darling can't escape his sordid beginnings. Not when Lady Ophelia Lyttleton snubs him at every turn, a constant reminder he's not truly one of them. But after rescuing her from a mysterious drowning, he realizes she doesn't remember who she is. With plans to bring her to heel, he insists she's his housekeeper—never expecting to fall for the charming beauty.

While Ophelia might not recall her life before Drake, she has little doubt she belongs with him. The desire she feels for her dark, brooding employer can't be denied, regardless of consequences. So when Ophelia's memory returns, she is devastated by the depth of his betrayal. Now Drake must risk everything to prove she can trust this rogue with her heart once more.

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Excerpt:

She darted her gaze to the left, the right. Without her noticing, he had managed to maneuver her into the shadows of an alcove and was now barring her way. Those she had been visiting with earlier were nowhere about. She should have known that Avendale and Langdon would side with this blackguard and escort her friends onto the dance floor, into the gardens, or off for refreshments. Blast them! Still, she’d not be intimidated by the likes of Drake Darling. “You, sir, are despicable.”

“And you’re a haughty miss who needs to be taught a lesson.”

“I suppose you think you’re the man to do it.”

His eyes darkened, his gaze dropped to her lips, and she found herself taking three quick steps back. “Don’t you dare,” she whispered, hating that her voice sounded more like a plea than a demand.

“You’ve been poking the tiger for some years now. You can’t always expect him to remain docile.”

He had the right of it there. She didn’t know why she had continually singled him out. Perhaps because she sensed a darkness in him, one that called to her, one that was dangerous to welcome.

“You’re making a spectacle of us,” she pointed out. “We’re in the shadows. No one is paying us any heed at all.”

Like some great hulking predator, he advanced on her. While she knew it to be unwise, she retreated farther into the alcove until her back hit the wall. Her heart beat out an unsteady tattoo. Within her gloves, her palms grew damp. “If you do anything untoward, I’ll scream.”

He laughed darkly. “And risk being caught with a guttersnipe? I think not.”

“You’re a black-hearted scoundrel.”

Giveaway:

$25.00 eGift Card Winners Choice Book Seller a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, September 8, 2014

Fairy Nuff by Jane Killick {Book Tour}

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British author Jane Killick lives the single life in Buckinghamshire, England, drawing on her experience to write fun stories about trying to find the right man. Often with a magical twist, as in her novels Fairy Nuff and If Wishes Were Husbands.

She trained as a radio journalist and has worked from many radio stations, from the BBC to commercial companies. Her expertise also lies in science fiction and led to many years writing for science fiction magazines and books about television shows, such as her behind-the-scenes book about Red Dwarf, Stasis Leaked Complete.

Website ~ Facebook ~ Twitter

Wishing for everything…

…except what she really wants

Stuck in a fairy costume with magical powers, Julie “Nuff” Nuffield wishes for anything she wants. But when magic turns mischievous, a dishy doctor literally sweeps her off her feet — with a broom! — and a million pound coins trap her in her house, she must find a way out of the chaos. All while contemplating sleeping with her ex again. Sound unfair for a single woman battling through life? Or is it Fairy Nuff?

A fun story of one woman’s quest for love and search for the right wish to bring her happiness. A light-hearted romantic comedy from the author of If Wishes Were Husbands.


ebook:
Amazon UK | Amazon US | Apple | Kobo | B&N
paperback: Amazon UK | Amazon US | Waterstones | B&N | Book Depository

Excerpt:

Julie “Nuff” Nuffield is talking to her struggling actress friend, Eileen, when the pantomime cast arrive, including the man who is playing Prince Charming…

I was only half listening to Eileen because most of my attention was focused on his bum. Something inside of me wanted to go up and take hold of both his buttocks and give them a good squeeze.

‘I think he’s sexy,’ I said.

‘Then you’ve clearly never met him,’ said Eileen. ‘He’s an arse.’

‘That’s the bit I like about him the best,’ I said, imagining what his beautiful bottom must look like without being covered by trousers.

Eileen gave me a stern look. ‘Forget it, Nuffy. He’s ten years younger than you and he treats women like he treats the daily paper — reads the bits he likes, then throws it away before having a new one delivered.’

‘Still…’ I said. And, as I watched him, talking animatedly with his fellow cast, dominating the conversation with exaggerated gestures and his tall stature, an idea was forming. ‘I wish…’ I said.

‘No!’ said Eileen, holding her hands up like a thief caught red-handed. ‘Don’t say it.’

But I knew what I was doing. This time, it wasn’t a slip of the tongue. This time I really meant it. ‘I wish I could go out with Prince Charming,’ I said.

Eileen stared at me in horror. ‘Nuff! What have you done?’

‘I suddenly thought, I’ve been given a gift. Why not have some fun with it?’

Giveaway:

Jane will be awarding a paperback copy of her previous novel, If Wishes Were Husbands as well as a complimentary ebook of the same title in pdf, mobi for Kindle, or epub (international) to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

When Rachel invents a husband to impress her friends, they delight in stories of his meticulous housework, gourmet cooking and amazing sex. Just a bit of harmless fun — until Darren materialises on her sofa, in the flesh! Confronted with the real life version of her fantasy man, Rachel must learn to live with perfection, or discover how to dis-invent him.

A light-hearted story of a single woman’s desire to join the ranks of the married, without living with a man who drives her mad!

This romantic comedy novel by Jane Killick (writing as Elizabeth Kyne) is destined to appeal to fans of Sophie Kinsella, Meg Cabot and Bridget Jones.


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Fairy Nuff by Jane Killick {Book Review}

Title:  Fairy Nuff
Author:  Jane Killick
Genre:  Chick Lit, Paranormal
Pages:  240
Published:  June 2014
Publisher:  Windtree Press
Source:  Goddess Fish Promotions for Tour

Synopsis:

Stuck in a fairy costume with magical powers, Julie “Nuff” Nuffield wishes for anything she wants. But when magic turns mischievous: a dishy doctor literally sweeps her off her feet — with a broom! — and a million pound coins trap her in her house, she must find a way out of the chaos. All while she contemplates sleeping with her ex again. Sound unfair for a single woman battling through life? Or is it Fairy Nuff?

A fun story of one woman’s quest for love and search for the right wish to bring her happiness.

A light-hearted romantic comedy from the author of If Wishes Were Husbands.

Julie also known as Nuffy or Nuff to her close friends – picks up a costume at a local thrift shop for her friend Eileen’s party to celebrate her first acting job.  A magical fairy costume, complete with wings, tiara and sparkles refuses to be taken off – even scissors can’t seem to help.

As Julie/Nuffy attempts to remove the outfit she makes a few unintentional wishes that come true – leaving her wondering what was going on and how it could be happening.  As she continues to wish, she starts to research where the costume came from and who the previous owner was.

This story was a nice quick read – it mixed together a bit of paranormal, a bit of romance and some mystery along the way.  Julie is a fun character, with quick wit and some pretty good sleuthing skills.  This is one of those books that I love to pick up between heavier reads, because it makes me smile and laugh..

Would I read more by this author?  Most definitely.  Jane has a fun way with words and characters that had me hooked through the whole story.  She crammed a lot of great moments into 240 pages!  Would I recommend this?  It’s a cute light hearted read that I think any reader would enjoy.

Friday, September 5, 2014

What a Lady Most Desires by Lecia Corwall {Book Tour}

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Lecia

Lecia Cornwall is a PRO member of the Romance Writers of America’s Seattle and Calgary Chapters.

Her background includes all facets of writing, including running a successful freelance writing business specializing in direct marketing and advertising. Both history and writing have been lifelong passions.

Lecia currently lives and writes in Calgary, Alberta, the heart of the Canadian West.

Website ~ Blog ~ Facebook ~ Twitter ~ Goodreads



 

On the night before the final battle against Napoleon, Lady Delphine St. James finds herself dancing with the one man she has always wanted, Major Lord Stephen Ives. He makes it clear he has no time for a lady he sees as flirtatious and silly, but as the call to arms sounds, she bids him farewell with a kiss that stirs them both. When he returns gravely injured, she is intent on caring for him, even if his surly behavior tests her patience.

After the battle, Stephen is not only wounded and blind, but falsely accused of cowardice and theft. The only light in his dark world is Delphine, the one woman he never imagined he could desire. But she deserves more than he can give her.

As their feelings deepen and hidden enemies conspire to force them to part forever, can their love survive the cruelest test of all?
 


 

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Excerpt:

Stephen felt the wind in his hair, smelled gunpowder and blood, felt the hot June sun on his face. “Julia,” he whispered, and wondered if she’d hear. He saw the soldier he’d spoken to—a sergeant—fall almost at once as a bullet grazed his horse. Stephen saw the bloody streak in the animal’s side, watched as it bucked, maddened by pain. The rider kicked his feet free of the stirrups and jumped as the horse reared. Miraculously, he landed on his feet, but his mount raced away in panic, hardly knowing or caring its rider was gone. The man stood in the path of the oncoming charge, and Stephen saw that there was blood pouring from the side of his face. The soldier swiped at his face, tried to clear his vision. It wouldn’t be enough. In seconds, he’d be dead, run down by the charge. He turned to face his peril, and Stephen saw his shock, the realization that he was about to die.

Stephen leaned out of the saddle and grasped the man’s arm, met his eyes briefly, saw the relief there. The sergeant put his foot on Stephen’s and clung to the saddle as he rode hard for a close and relatively safe place to leave him, which turned out to be behind the body of a dead horse. Stephen let him slide to the ground, felt the last bloody clasp of his comrade’s hand as he turned back to battle, and spurred the stallion toward the guns. Stephen felt the first bullet punch through his shoulder moments later, and knock the wind from his lungs. The second shot tore a button from his tunic, sent it spinning in the air before his eyes. The pain was instant, a white-hot light that blurred his vision, even as his grip tensed on the reins. He held on, kept the stallion moving, let the beast carry him forward.

Giveaway:

Print Copy of THE SECRET LIFE OF LADY JULIA

a Rafflecopter giveaway