AuThursday – Laura Brown

Laura Brown author photoPlease welcome author Laura Brown to the Clog Blog, I’m so happy she could join us.   Laura, your tagline is “Romances full of heart, heat and hearing loss”, can you tell us more about you and your stories? 

As a Hard of Hearing person I grew up without many role models, and felt I was less deserving of love because of my disability. In my stories, I put characters with hearing loss front and center and give them their happy endings! I love stories with complex characters, where the reader roots for them to find love and other ambitions, and I do my best to create characters worthy of this.

Do you have a special time to write or how is your day structured?

As a mom with a day job, I feel like I steal time to write wherever I can! On my days off while my son’s at school I write, slow moments at the day job I write, weekends at home. I used to write at night but that time is now reserved for unwinding from the day and watching something with my husband.

What is the most difficult part of your artistic process?

Titles. Hands down the titles. I always struggle with them and so many of my titles get changed before publication.

How long on average does it take you to write a book?

From start to finish, it takes me about three months to write a book. I tend to “word vomit” my first drafts, so they roll out quickly, revising often takes much longer.

Do you believe in writer’s block? 

Definitely. I hit many walls along the way as I write and revise. Sometimes it’s because I haven’t figured out the right direction the scene needs to go. Other times it works out to be that I know where it needs to go, but I’m fighting with myself because it doesn’t feel like the right direction just yet. I’m working on trusting those ideas more.

How did you deal with Rejection Letters if you received any? 

Rejection is part of being a writer. You get rejections from agents, editors, readers, etc. I don’t always have the thickest skin, but I expect to get those rejections. When I was a querying author, I took those agent rejections and turned around and sent out another query. I also find that you can learn things in rejections. My first main character with a hearing loss came from a comment in a rejection letter. For those rejections that sting more than the others, I reach out to my close group of writer friends and they hold my hand through it.

Can you tell us your story of getting “the call” (or e-mail)? 

I’m on my second agent, and it really is just as exciting the second time around! Different, because the experience was not brand new, but a good different. We get conditioned to the rejections, so when I saw the email I thought it was going to be a pass, but it turned out to be a request to chat. I’m super nervous on the phone, and with my hearing loss I have a caption phone to help me understand, so I scheduled some time when I was home to use my caption phone. Connected with my agent right away and then was on cloud nine when it turned into an offer!

Where do you see publishing going in the future?

Good question. Things are shifting more digital in many ways, but die hard book lovers still love the feel of a paper book. I think we’re going to continue seeing digital and paper mixing together.

What advice would you give to aspiring writers?

Connect with other writers. I wrote in my own bubble for years and it wasn’t until I ventured out and met fellow writers that I truly expanded on my craft. That’s where I learned all those little rules and tips and tricks. And where I gained critique partners to help show me where my writing needed to be stronger, and point out where it already worked! I would be nowhere without my fellow writers.

Where can readers find you on the World Wide Web?

https://www.laurabrownauthor.com/

https://www.facebook.com/LauraBrownAuthor/

https://twitter.com/AuthorLBrown

https://www.instagram.com/a_laurabrown/

https://www.pinterest.com/LauraBrownAuthor/

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7829692.Laura_Brown

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

Not an excerpt, but I can share my latest blurb:

MatzahBallSurprise_1600Gaby Fineberg just wants to get through Passover Seder without her “well meaning” family playing matchmaker. She needs a date, just for one simple meal—that includes singing, the history of her forefathers, and not one bit of yeast. The hot guy at her gym would be perfect. He probably hates bread, anyway, with a body like that. But when she finally works up the nerve to ask him, he doesn’t hear a word she said…

Levi Miller is Deaf and happily single. He doesn’t know why this beautiful woman is talking to him, but it’s clear she needs help—and suddenly so does he. When his bad-news ex shows up trying to rekindle their romance, pretending Gaby is his new girlfriend is an easy decision. But to return the favor? He has to convince her family they’re the perfect couple, when they can barely communicate without writing every word.

This Passover is starting to feel like the ten plagues might be coming back to haunt them before the weekend is over…one hilarious misstep after the next.

 

Double Trouble Tuesday – Devil’s Daughter

As an author, I’ve come to embrace the fact that I may not have an original story idea, let alone original cover art or even a title. Those of us in the Romance industry know this to be true. So it’s bound we’ll double-up from time to time. I happened to catch this title double this week so am sharing with you.

Devil’s Daughter by Catherine Coulter

Dear Reader: Devil’s Daughter is the story of Adam and Arabella Welles, the son and daughter of Cassie and Anthony Welles. I have updated the book, since, like Devil’s Embrace, it came out a while ago and needed some tidying up. It has a charming new cover, blend of the old and the new.

Adam has enjoyed women but hasn’t yet found the woman created just for him. As for Arabella, she is as independent and strong-willed as her brother and her parents. When both brother and sister go adventuring in Naples to solve a mystery of their father’s missing ships and cargoes, they discover that the person behind this thievery is an enemy from their father’s past. This enemy manages to drug Arabella and pack her off to a harem in North Africa, Adam in pursuit.

But Adam isn’t alone, there’s a stowaway with him he certainly doesn’t expect. Her name is Rayna Lyndhurst, daughter of a man who is dead set against the Welles family. But do children ever pay attention to their parents?

Arabella finds the harem a frightening yet fascinating place, a golden prison from which there is little chance of escape. Her master is Kamal, the Bey of Oran, a man who must be her enemy but who is unlike any man she has ever known. As for Kamal, he suddenly finds himself faced with a woman willing to fight him to the death — a woman who both bewitches and infuriates him.

I hope you enjoy the adventures of Adam and Rayna, Arabella and Kamal. These are people I’ll never forget. ~Catherine Coulter (The Author)

Devil’s Daughter by Lisa Kleypas

New York Times bestselling author Lisa Kleypas delivers a scintillating tale of a beautiful, young widow who finds passion with the one man she shouldn’t…

Although beautiful young widow Phoebe, Lady Clare, has never met West Ravenel, she knows one thing for certain: he’s a mean, rotten bully. Back in boarding school, he made her late husband’s life a misery, and she’ll never forgive him for it. But when Phoebe attends a family wedding, she encounters a dashing and impossibly charming stranger who sends a fire-and-ice jolt of attraction through her. And then he introduces himself…as none other than West Ravenel.

West is a man with a tarnished past. No apologies, no excuses. However, from the moment he meets Phoebe, West is consumed by irresistible desire…not to mention the bitter awareness that a woman like her is far out of his reach. What West doesn’t bargain on is that Phoebe is no straitlaced aristocratic lady. She’s the daughter of a strong-willed wallflower who long ago eloped with Sebastian, Lord St. Vincent—the most devilishly wicked rake in England.

Before long, Phoebe sets out to seduce the man who has awakened her fiery nature and shown her unimaginable pleasure. Will their overwhelming passion be enough to overcome the obstacles of the past?

Only the devil’s daughter knows…

If you are seeing double in the world of romance, don’t be at all surprised. It’s a fairly common event. ~Tina

Source for blurbs – Goodreads

AuThursday – CJ Matthew

CJ at Dell

Please welcome CJ Matthew to the Clog Blog.  CJ, we simply must know, when you are writing, who is in control? You or your characters?

My characters and I share a team effort to get their story on the page (computer). Before I began researching the Dolphin Shore Shifter series, I was “approached” by two (potential) fictional couples and multiple supporting characters. We all worked together on the initial world building, with a stronger emphasis on my input. I decided on the rules, on what physical and mental strengths they would retain after shifting from dolphin to human form. For example, choosing Santa Barbara as the home of the pod and their non-profit corporation, Save Blue Water, was only logical.

Each book in the series features its own hero and heroine. Those two characters have a much bigger influence when it comes to setting their goals, motivations, and inner conflicts. I usually meet the antagonist or villain last. He or she makes huge contributions to the external conflicts in the book.

Q: Do you ever suffer from writer’s block? If so, what do you do about it?

Not writer’s block in the traditional sense. Twice now I’ve written a book “out of order”. Once for this series and once for the Paladin Group. That mistake (on my part) makes the writing process much slower, more challenging, and frustrating for the characters and me. Not true writer’s block, but it’s a pain in the backside. Then there was the time I was requested to write a Shore Shifter novella. That took forever to write and was quickly turned into a full length novel.

Q:  How did you come up with the idea for your Shoreshifter series?CJMatthew_Postcard_Front

I love reading about shifters, and there certainly are a lot to choose from. I wanted something different, so I combined my love for dolphins with the idea of the Chumash origin legend: Mother Earth, Hutash, built a rainbow bridge to give her people more room on the main land. But when some of the Chumash people fell from the bridge, rather than let them die, she turned them into dolphins.

Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000039_00006]Q: What inspired you to write your book, Deadly Reboot?

I grew up an Air Force brat and love reading about military warriors. My personal heroes are USAF Pararescuemen and F-15E Strike Eagle pilots and WSOs. I decided to create a small fictional company, The Paladin Group, owned by a rescued female AF pilot and staffed with wounded former PJs, now lawyers and investigators determined to continue their rescue work.

Think Scandal meets the A-Team-but nobody is sleeping with the President!

Q: What was the most difficult aspect of writing Deadly Reboot?

 This was my first “official” romantic suspense novel. Characters without paranormal issues. Which for me, meant I had to work hard at maintaining tension, slipping in clues, not giving too much away too soon. I bombarded my local police sources and deputy sheriffs with lots of questions about police procedure! And in the process, I learned different police departments do thing differently.

Q:  How did you come up with the title?

My hero/character Hale! My fictional former USAF Pararescueman was depressed about his leg injury, hated taking a medical discharge, and didn’t like law school. So when he was approached by Paladin at law school graduation, he looked at the opportunity as a “reboot” to his life. I thanked him for the idea and decided to use the word for all the titles in the series.

Q:  Tell us your latest news?

I’m deep in writing Lethal Tide, Dolphin Shore Shifters book 4. The story is set in one of my “home towns”- Long Beach, California. The hero, Conley is on his second three year mission with SBW and responds to danger with his gun and by the “seat-of-his-pants”. His partner, Betty believes in doing her research, thinking first before she leaps, or shoots. This book is scheduled to release the end of March.

After that I’ll go back to Peachwood, GA and next The Paladin Group story.

Q: How important is it for you to match your character’s written appearance with the models on the book cover?

Thanks for asking. I try to match but it’s an almost impossible feat. I believe that’s why you see photos of cover models with their heads cut off. I want my readers to use their imagination. I’ll give hints but they need to picture the characters in their brain. Make them a personal fantasy! I hope my readers get the “feel” of the cover, then mostly ignore the faces.

Q:  Where can readers find you on the World Wide Web?

My website http://www.cjmatthew.com

(There is an entire section devoted to the Shore Shifters. The Paladin Group page is coming.)

Join me on Saturday, when we read a sexy excerpt from CJ’s first book, BLOOD TIDE. ~Tina