AuThursday – Becca Turner

Tell us a little about yourself and your background?
I’m an author from southwestern Missouri, but I spent the first couple of years of my life in a small town an hour north of Oklahoma City. Somehow I got stuck with an Okie accent and I really love Green Country. I noticed that a lot of contemporary western romances are set in Texas. I was like, okay, but Oklahoma has its fair share of cowboys, so I decided to set a book series in a fictional town near Tulsa. Now I can’t stop writing about cowboys.
How do you make time to write?
I write in Google Docs on my phone. I basically have a word processor anywhere I go. I’ve been known to write while standing in long shopping lines, in restaurants, in cars, and pretty much everywhere.
Do you believe in writer’s block?
Yes. Sometimes I just don’t feel like writing, but I find it’s mostly due to real-life stress or a lack of connection with the characters.
Tell us a bit about the genre you write and why you love it.
Specifically contemporary western romance. I used to write historical westerns and even paranormal western romance, but in the last couple of years, I’ve focused on contemporary. When I was 16, I co-wrote a contemporary western romance with a friend. It never made it to publication, but the story stuck with me. In 2017 (almost twenty years later) another friend invited me to write for a boxed set. So I rewrote the first one, changed a bunch of stuff, and now there are six novellas and five novels in my Only an Okie Will Do series. The next novel should be coming out in late July.
How are you publishing your recent book and why?
I publish everything indie. I signed on with a couple of houses a few years ago, but three went under and I couldn’t see eye to eye with an editor at another. I like being my own boss. It’s also opened up pathways for me to learn book formatting. I also have several works published on a visual novel app called Chapters. It’s been a huge learning curve to create visual characters and get the text on there, but it’s really cool to see the stories come to life. And the readers here are so supportive and wonderful.
Are you an Introvert or an Extrovert?  How does this affect your work?
Definitely an introvert. It gives me a lot of time to write.
What is your favorite motivational phrase?
Hope is the feeling you have that the feeling you have isn’t permanent. – Jean Kerr
What advice would you give to aspiring writers?
Writing isn’t always easy, and it isn’t always fun. It’s full of hardships and disappointment and days of staring at your blank earnings dashboard. But when you touch someone with your words, you know you’re in the right place. Use that to keep going, because if you’re truly meant to be a writer, even after long breaks and slumps and swearing you’re done for good, you’re not done. A reader once told me she was bawling at 12:30 at night over the ending of my book. It moved me to tears because I was amazed that she felt so strongly over my characters. If I’d never gone back to my computer after the last time I said I was done, I’d never have gotten that message, and so many more like it, from readers.
Where can readers find you on the World Wide Web?
Do you have an excerpt you’d like to share with us?
This is from my first novel in the Only an Okie Will Do series, Cowboy Kind of Trouble.
trouble“Life’s not fair.” He slapped the side of the wheelchair. “So I guess I’ll sit my pathetic ass in the house all day from now on so you can keep an eye on me.”
“Wait. Listen to me, please?” She skirted Cielo and moved swiftly to Will’s side. “I didn’t panic because I didn’t think you couldn’t or shouldn’t go somewhere. I worried because…because I care what happens to you.”
His expression didn’t soften. “Why?”
“For the same reason you care that I’m upset after Ronni texts me. I guess we’re friends and we want each other to be all right.” She didn’t want to admit she was attracted to him. That maybe her concern went beyond caretaker and client. Because if she was honest with herself, before Will, her life had felt a lot emptier.
“Because I’m a paycheck.” He stared past her. “If you let me get hurt or killed, you’re out of a job. Maybe permanently.”
“Don’t say things like that. That’s not it.”
He stared sullenly at the pasture. “Right. Whatever. Go back to what you were doing before I messed everything up. Again.”
“Will Baxter, be quiet.”
“Why should I? I know you’d have told me where to stuff my attitude if you could’ve after the first day you were here.” He avoided her gaze. “I’m the last person you—or anyone—wants to deal with. Just admit it.”
She kneeled beside him and put her hand on his bicep. With a few words, she’d wrecked his confidence. “You don’t know everything.”
His back was straight, shoulders square, jaw tight. “I know the truth when I see it. Maybe we’d both be better off if you left for the day.” His comment stung, as he meant it to.
“You’re throwing up that wall to prove to yourself that you’re not worth me caring about you. Well, you’re wrong, just like you were when I first started coming here. I’m not going anywhere.” She leaned forward, her stomach pressed against the arm of his chair. Her face was inches from his. “I do care about you. More than I should.”
“Why?” His voice was a dry whisper.
“I can’t help myself.” She pressed her hands to either side of his face and pulled him closer. Damn it anyway. She kissed him, throwing the rules out the door once again. He pushed his fingers into her hair, holding her close. As though he was hungry for her kiss. As though he’d given it considerable thought. The same way she had. When she wasn’t dreading more bad news from Ronni, she thought about Will. About how they’d talked. How he laughed.

AuThursday – Tabetha Waite

img_6440Tell us a little about yourself and your background?

I am a small town Missouri girl born and bred! I’ve wanted to write since the fourth grade after my teacher encouraged me. She said she liked reading my stories, so for a girl who was shy and bullied it was wonderful to have someone believe that I had a talent. Years passed and I have a family, my husband Doug and two great daughters, but I always kept writing in the back of my mind. It took me 30 years to accomplish, but my first book was published in July of 2016.

How do you make time to write?

I honestly feel lost, like I’m doing something wrong if I don’t have my computer open. Even if I’m just staring at the cursor waiting for inspiration to strike, I try to write a little each day. I usually get a lot done in the summer and on Christmas and spring breaks when I don’t have to work at my ‘day job’ as a lunch lady at the local community college. I look forward to the day when I can write full time!

I see you write Historical Romance, what draws you to this genre?

Easy! I love a good HEA! When I was younger, I used to read lots of different genres, but I didn’t like investing so much time in a book when I was in tears at the end. Granted, these books weren’t awful, just not what I wanted to read. So when I found the romance genre, I was instantly hooked! As far as historicals, I’ve always loved learning about history, so when the thought of a hero and heroine meeting at a ball, arriving in their carriages and dressed in their finery, I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to immerse myself in this world.

How much research do you do?

As much as I try to be as accurate as possible, I’m not an author that wants to feel as if I’m giving my reader a history lesson. I know some people prefer exact facts, but when it comes to fiction, I prefer to add my own spin on things. The purpose of a romance is to feel the emotion between the characters, to lose yourself in their romantic turmoil, so that is what I try to achieve more than anything. I want my readers to close my book with a happy sigh at the end.

How did you come up with the idea for your “Ways of Love” series?

That happened by accident really. I was trying to come up with a catchy title for my first book. When I thought of “Why the Earl is After the Girl,” I thought it was cute because it rhymed. As I was writing the story, I added a character that I absolutely adored, Orion’s best friend, Roarke. I knew that he would have to have his own book, so I started to wonder how I could tie them together. Thus, Who, What, When, Where & Why was born!

Have you written any other novels in collaboration with other writers?

Yes! So far there have been five, with three more currently on the way! It’s been FABULOUS working on these projects. We’ve had a great time!

Why did you do decide to collaborate and did that affect your sales?

The first anthology I was a part of was called, ‘Yuletide Happily Ever Afters – A Merry Little Set of Regency Romances.’ Initially, Annabelle Anders approached me on social media. We had already been chatting and seemed to have a connection, so we came up with an idea to write a Christmas set together. After asking a few other ladies to join, we released the set on October 1, 2018. It went over VERY well, much better than we all expected! It was also great for my other book sales, for it opened up the door to more readers.  

What are your current projects?

Other than the three collaborations that will be coming out this year, two in April, and one in September, I am also preparing to release the fourth book in my Ways of Love Series entitled, “Who the Marquess Dares to Desire.” I am SO excited to finally be able to share Drayven and Clara’s story with my readers. After a rather lengthy delay, it’s almost here! I hope to have book 5 out later this year as well, which will tie up the series with five books and a prequel novella. It’s been a labor of love, but I’m ready to move on and try my hand at a bit of fantasy romance! But never fear! I will always W back to my historicals.

Where can readers find you on the World Wide Web?

My website is authortabethawaite.wix.com/romance and there you can join my mailing list for a free monthly newsletter, plus find ALL my social media links!

img_0236Do you have an excerpt you’d like to share with us?

Standing, she began to gather her things.

“Where are you going?”

She kept her face carefully averted. “I told you what you wanted to know, Lord Sussex. There’s nothing more to say.”

Clara gasped when she felt a gentle hand under her chin. She hadn’t even heard him cross the room. He lifted her face to him and his focus fell to her mouth. “Maybe I don’t want you to go just yet.” His breath fanned her forehead and she shivered.

“I don’t think that’s a good idea, my lord. It won’t accomplish anything if I stay.”

“Then don’t think.” His eyes smoldered like dark coals. “Take a risk, Miss Upton. With me.”  

Clara’s pulse fluttered rapidly. This man’s kisses breathed fire into her very soul, but they also threatened to scorch her heart. She knew she should go, yet how could she leave? “You frighten me,” she admitted, although she could feel herself giving in to the temptation.

“Then we are evenly matched, for you scare the hell out of me.”