Holidays work for settings and book promotions

This post is the sixty-fourth post in a series about writing a novel. You can check out the list of past topics at the end of this post.

The holidays can make a great setting for a novel. And the holidays can be a good time to sell your holiday-themed story.

Writing a holiday-themed book

You can write a spooky or horror filled novel for Halloween or a sweet romance for the Christmas season. I even know an author that set her story at Thanksgiving. Of course, you are not limited to these holidays. You could set your romance or satire on Valentine’s Day. However, the appeal of a Fourth of July tale will just not have the same pull as a Christmas Holiday tale.

Christmas, by far, is the most popular holiday to write about. A quick search of books on Amazon brings up over 25,000 titles, and this doesn’t include Children’s books.

Tips to writing a Christmas Novel

  • Keep it short – Consider writing a novella or even a short story.
  • Invoke the senses – Think of snowy scenes, the aroma of hot chocolate or a baking pie
  • Think happy ending – While I know there are serious stories out there that take place during Christmas, your best bet is to leave the reader at least satisfied and for a romance that would mean ending with a Happily Ever After.
  • Publish it in time – Aim to publish your holiday novel in November or at the very latest the first week of December.
  • Promote it – Promote it not just the year it comes out but every holiday season and reap the benefits of those holiday readers.

If you write a series, perhaps you can take some of your characters and write them their own holiday story. And even if they don’t celebrate “Christmas” you can still write a story that takes place at a winter holiday. (Think Gift of the Night Fury from the How to Train Your Dragon TV series.)

It may be too late this year to get out a Holiday book, but if you invest the time now, you can have a book that will sell well each holiday season.

Promoting your book (any book) during the holidays

Cold winter nights where readers want to snuggle up with a good book or perhaps the abundance of new iPads and e-readers, there are many good reasons to consider running a holiday promotion.

Pre-Holiday Sales

If you have a book in print, you can host a holiday book signing. You can promote your book as a great gift or stocking stuffer. While folks can actually gift e-books, if you offer your book only in electronic form, you probably shouldn’t expect a lot of people buying your novel for others.

If you have an e-book, you might consider offering your book at a discount during Cyber Monday.

If you have published a Christmas or other holiday novel/novella/short story, you definitely need to run a promotion starting at the end of November/beginning of December and get it in the hands of those holiday readers.

Post-Holiday Sales

Instead of trying to find readers before the holidays, sometimes it is easier to approach the new owners of Kindles, Nooks and other e-readers or tablets. And there are quite a few others out there with gift cards waiting to fill up their e-readers.

Of course, the trick is to reach those new readers and let them know about your book sale. As with any promotion, you need to know how to reach the readers of your genre.

Another idea is to create a bundle or box set of books and offer them at a reduced price. Or perhaps get a few indie authors together and offer some of your books as a bundle.

No matter how you plan to do some holiday promoting, just make sure you take advantage of this book-buying season.

Previous topics

#1 – Deciding to write a novel – Writing Myths

#2 – Three areas to develop before starting to write a novel

#3 – Finding a Story Idea and How to Know if it “good enough”

#4 – Developing Characters for your Novel

#5 – Major characters? Minor Characters? Where does everyone fit in?

#6 – Developing the Setting for your Novel

#7 – The importance of developing conflict in your novel plot

#8 – To Outline or not to outline 

#9 – The importance of a story arc

#10 – The importance of tension and pace

#11 – Prologue and opening scenes

#12 – Beginning and ending scenes in a novel

#13 – The importance of dialogue…and a few tips on how to write it

#14 – Using Internal Dialogue in your novel

#15 – More dialogue tips and help with dialogue tags

#16 – Knowing and incorporating back story into your novel

#17 – Hinting at what is to come with foreshadowing

#18 – Tips for writing different scenes in your novel

#19 – Dealing with Writer’s Block

#20 – Killing a Character in your Novel

#21 – Keeping things realistic in your novel

#22 – Establishing Writing Goals and Developing Good Writing Habits

#23 – Using the five senses and passive voice in your novel

#24 – The benefit of research in fiction writing

#25 – Novella or Novel, Trilogy or Series – decisions for writers

#26 – Avoiding Plot and Character Clichés

#27 – Novel Writing – Endings and Epilogues

#28 – Fantasy Novel Writing – World Building, Dragons, Magic and More

#29 – Finishing your First Draft

#30 – Your Second Draft and Beyond

#31 – Picking Stronger Words and Watching out for Homonyms

#32 – Omitting unnecessary words in your novel

#33 – Beta Reader, Proofreaders and Copy Editors

#34 – Knowing your grammar or at least using a grammar checking program

#35 – Using a Revision Outline during your Novel Editing

#36 – Editing Techniques: Taking a Break and Reading Aloud

#37 – Publishing Options for your book

#38 – Self-publishing an ebook decisions

#39 – Picking Your Book Title and Your Pen Name

#40 – Investing in an eye-catching book cover

#41 – Writing an awesome book blurb

#42 – Deciding on Front Matter for your novel

#43 – Deciding on Back Matter for your novel

#44 – Formatting your eBook for publication

#45 – Pricing your e-book

#46 – Selecting Categories and Keywords to improve your Novel’s visibility

#47 – Book Promotions: Cover Reveal and Pre-Orders

#48 – Publishing your novel with Amazon and KDP Select

#49 – Publishing your e-book with Smashwords or Draft2Digital

#50 – Marketing your E-book

#51 – Finding your Book’s Target Market

#52 – The importance of Book Reviews and how to get them

#53 – Is it worth it to offer your book for free?

#54 – My results from offering my novels for free

#55 – Amzon’s Kindle Countdown Deals explained and my results

#56 – Selling your book through book ads

#57 – Using a Book Trailer to promote your novel

#58 – Offering your novels or short stories as a box set

#59 – Deciding whether to offer your book as an audio book

#60 – Taking your book on a virtual book tour

#61 – Writing your Author Bio and selecting an Author Photo

#62 – Setting up your Amazon Author Page and International Amazon pages

#63 – Choosing between an Author Website or Blog

4 Author Book Blast – Lisa Watson, Nicole Hampton, J.L. Campbell and Perry Busby

Today I welcome authors Lisa Watson, Nicole Hampton, J.L. Campbell and Perry Busby to my blog. These authors are participating in a Book Blast to promote their latest works.

Lisa Watson

Book Blurb

Danger doesn’t make an appointment…it just shows up.

When Sasha Lambert’s debut novel, The Passport Diaries, hits the bookstores it quickly becomes a bestseller. Her ex-boyfriend, and Greek tycoon, Milo Georgopoulos, believes one of the characters in the book sheds a not-so-positive light on his own extracurricular activities. He gives Sasha an ultimatum: Ditch the book or else.

Retired football player, Pierce Deveraux thinks he too has been placed between the pages of The Passport Diaries. Determined to make Sasha pay for putting a ding in his knight-in-shining-armor image, Pierce contemplates how best to even the score.

Suddenly strange things start happening wherever Sasha goes. Even her twin sister, Dr. Sienna Lambert-Deveraux worries for her safety. With an adoring assistant, an ambitious publicist, and jealous ex-lover vying for her attention, Sasha soon finds herself at the center of dangerous tug-of-war.

You can purchase Interview with Danger on Amazon.

About the Author

National bestselling author, Lisa Watson, is a native of Washington D.C., and writes in the Multicultural & Interracial, Contemporary, Romantic Suspense, and Sweet Romance genres. Having her debut novel nominated for Best Contemporary Fiction, sparked Lisa’s desire to continue creating engaging storylines, strong characters with universal appeal, and a keen sense of humor. They are drawn together by love, respect, and a strong family ties.

Lisa loves traveling, so weaving beautiful destinations into the pages of her novels as lush backdrops, or the heritage of her characters is not uncommon.

You can find out more about Lisa on her website.

J.L. Campbell

Book Blurb

Aside from a brief stint of madness during their teen years, Vance James and Ayisha Glenn are not each other’s idea of relationship material. Vance, a financial analyst and avid golfer, is preoccupied with getting his fill of women, and finding that special someone doesn’t factor into his plans. Yet all it takes to turn his world upside down is one remark from Ayisha about his lifestyle. Suddenly, his focus shifts and he’s spending his days trying to prove he can be the man she needs.

Ayisha is a go-getter who knows what she’s about—a successful business, a lifetime with the man of her dreams, and children to complete the picture. Vance is an expert at romance, but with Ayisha it’s all or nothing. She’s waited years for Vance to stop chasing the wind in pursuit of what’s already in front of him. Now that he’s set his heart on having her, will she accept his love?

You can buy The Long Game on Amazon.

About the Author

J.L. Campbell is fascinated with Jamaican flora and has hundreds of photos to prove it. She writes contemporary and sweet romance, romantic suspense, women’s fiction, as well as new and young adult novels.

Campbell, who features Jamaican culture in her stories, has written twenty-seven books and two short story collections. She is also a certified editor.

You can find out more about J.L. on her website.

Nicole Hampton

Book Blurb

For Shannon Johnson, full-time wife, mom and freelance writer, life as she knew it changed one spring afternoon with the ringing of her doorbell. On the other side stood Vaneetra James, former mistress of Shannon’s husband, Daniel. With two sons, Shannon resisted the urge to leave Daniel in order to keep her family intact. However, she refused to deal with the issues resulting from Daniel’s extramarital affair.

When Shannon thought her life couldn’t get any worse, a tragic turn of events in Vaneetra’s life turned Shannon’s already fractured world upside down, sending her marriage into an even deeper peril.

Feeling desperate and trapped, Shannon made a series of rash decisions that landed her in the arms of another man, bringing her already fragile world crashing downward. Having to come to grips with the reality that the man she once thought was extraordinary was just ordinary, she had to trudge the road of forgiveness, while learning to love again and accept what she never imagined could ever exist.

You can purchase Glimmer in the Darkness on Amazon.

About the Author

Nicole Hampton is a compassionate woman, who loves to create stories readers can relate to in a way that validates situations that occur daily the lives of many. Her love for reading developed at an early age. She often spent hours becoming lost in the worlds of characters of her favorite books. Born in the South Suburbs of Chicago, IL, reading offered an opportunity for Nicole to dream about life outside of her community and fed her desire to want to explore the world beyond her modest surroundings.

Nicole earned a Master’s Degree in Social Work, and utilizes the skills and knowledge learned to address the issues presented in her debut novel Glimmer in the Darkness in a manner that allows people to connect and understand the struggles of her characters. Nicole lives in North Carolina, is a dedicated wife and mother of six, who spends any time she can snatch, developing characters and story lines to share with her readers. Her second novel, Tears of the Storm, will release in summer of 2018.

You can find out more about Nicole on her website.

Perry Busby

Book Blurb

Phil Jacobson, a young African-American computer enthusiast and hacker, lands a prized position as a programmer with Intellect Technology Incorporated, a leading technology company. While coping with being one of a select few minority programmers the company has recently hired, Phil discovers a fellow hacker has uncovered evidence that points to his hiring as being part of a more egregious cover up.

On the brink of closing their doors for good, and faced with competition from a growing personal computer industry, Jack Sherman, the CEO of ITI, hedges his bets on his young chief financial officer, Vincent Martello, and a new technology called the Internet. ITI is set to acquire the first Internet browser from WorldNet Labs, a small startup company founded by Phil’s longtime friend, Malcolm Graves. The deal between ITI and WorldNet Labs could potentially be the smartest and most lucrative corporate deal of the century. But, ITI’s questionable employment practices, a reported EEOC complaint, and Jack Sherman’s sordid family alliances, could kill the deal in its tracks. Relying on the skills he learned while assisting his father and information he’s gathered from the Underground (a virtual network of computers on a Bulletin Board System), Phil rushes to uncover ITI’s secret past and put an end to what may be the worst deal ever for his friend.

With Charlotte, North Carolina, as the backdrop Perry Busby weaves a suspense tale about a family confronting life’s changes as society prepares for its next disruptive invention, the Internet.

You can buy the mystery The Hacks of Life on Amazon.

About the Author

Perry Busby is an author and founder of Buzz Word Publishing. In addition to writing, he is a freelance programmer and data analyst. His client list includes both government and private organizations; from NASA, to the Federal Reserve Bank, and political campaigns; from Fortune 100 companies to non-profit organizations and local business. After 30 years of designing and analyzing software and data, Perry now turns his creative energies and keyboard to write about a journey that has been just as adventuresome as it has been nerdy. When he isn’t writing, Perry dedicates time to engage and counsel minority youth and college students on the obstacles and opportunities of working within the IT sector.

You can find more out about Perry on his website.

 

 

Today’s Featured Author – Parker J. Cole

Please welcome author Parker J. Cole to my blog. Today she is stopping by as part of her virtual book tour to promote her book Time to Say Goodbye.

Excerpt

CHAPTER ONE

The strike of the gavel against the wood block began the nightmare. Every time Gargi entered the prison, the memory of that falling mallet resurfaced with the flare-up of a chronic disease. Three years had passed since then. Four more to go.

Thursday afternoon sunlight warmed her as she walked the short path to the prison entrance. Once indoors, the coolness enveloped her and sent goosebumps along her arms. The officer greeted her as she placed her belongings in the green basket. She passed through the beige-and-brown metal detector and then stood still while a female officer used a flat black wand to swipe over her person.

Gargi subjected herself to the search and gazed over the dingy white cement walls with the iron gray stripe in the center. Paint chips littered the crevices on the floor. A mix of antiseptic cleanser and dankness filled the air. Her nose wrinkled at the combination.

She’d experienced it all before and yet, each time she came she underwent the same procedure all over again.

It won’t always be like this. One day, this will all be over.

The Michigan Court of Appeals received their appeal months ago. Each passing month forced her brother to stay in this forsaken place longer. She only hoped the appeal would work its magic and allow their attorney to argue their case against the state.

Eventually, they’ll prove her brother’s innocence. She knew it.

Book Blurb

Gargi Kapoor is the only one convinced her brother, Dev, is innocent of the crime he was convicted of. When he is sent to the hospital with an unexplained paralyzing disease she finds herself having to lean on the last person she’d ever want to depend on — a man who wants her brother to pay for stealing his mother’s life savings.

Leon Reckley is extremely satisfied to find the man who ripped his mother off suffering from an unknown disease that leaves him paralyzed and in need of rehabilitation therapeutic services. He’s even happier when he is given the opportunity to be the therapist that makes him fit enough to return to prison to finish his sentence. No one will work harder to make sure Dev Kapoor serves every minute of his prison sentence.

Gargi never dreamed the man who has utter contempt for her brother would be the man she slowly begins to trust. Leon never thought he’d be convinced Dev might be innocent, let alone be drawn to his enemy’s little sister. Together, will they find the truth? Or when Leon’s job is over, will it simply be time to say goodbye?

About the Author 

I am an author, speaker, and radio show host with a fanatical obsession with the Lord, Star Trek, K-dramas, anime, romance books, old movies, speculative fiction, and knitting. An off and on addict to Mountain Dew and marshmallows who writes to fill the void the sugar left behind.

You can find out more about Parker on her website or connect with her on Twitter or Facebook.

You can purchase Time to Say Goodbye on Amazon.

 

Today’s Featured Author – Jo Carey

Today, author Jo Carey visits my blog. Her book, Winter, the first in her Seasons de Santa Fe series, came out in July.

Interview

Where you were born and where do you call home?

I was born and raised in Ohio, but have lived in 7 states. I was lucky enough to have the opportunity to live and work in Ireland for 3 years. That was a great experience. My husband and I now call Texas home.

Who or what inspired you to start writing?

My husband started writing to relieve stress. I read and edited his books so that we could discuss them. It was something we could share. We found that my editing took a lot less time than his writing, so he suggested I try writing. With one story under my belt, I was hooked.

How much of yourself, your personality or your experiences, is in your books?

I write in a number of different genres and many of my books are set in the League of Planetary Systems—a universe Frank created, and we now share, but when I write non-scifi I often set my stories in locations I’m familiar with. The first book in my Cassie Carter Cryptid Hunter Series—The Thunderbird Op, is set in Las Cruces, New Mexico, where I lived for a few years. Book two in that series, The Black Fly Op, is set in the Connecticut Lakes of northern New Hampshire, a place I visited often when living in New England.

What do you do other than write and how do you find time to write?

I have a full-time job in government compliance.  After self-publishing our first few books, Frank and I decided to dedicate all our free time to writing and self-publishing. We still make time for family and friends, but we’ve given up all our other hobbies to ensure that we have time to write. I usually get an hour or two of time to work on writing or publishing each night and then several hours on the weekend.

Do you outline your books or just start writing?

Since starting our author journeys Frank and I have tried various methods for planning our books. I don’t outline. When I get close to finishing the rough draft of a book, I decide what I’m going to write next. I usually make a few notes about the main story line and list the major characters, then start writing.

Please tell us about your current release.

I recently published the final book in a traditional romance series called Seasons de Santa Fe. There are four books in the series—Winter, Spring, Summer, and Fall, each based around the staff and guests who stay at the Seasons de Santa Fe Hotel in New Mexico.  Now I’m working on a new YA scifi mystery series called ORBS. It follows four young people as they find their own paths in life while solving mysteries in the League of Planetary Systems.

How do you select the names of your characters?

We have a lot of whiteboards in our living space. One of them we use to write character names. We hear names or words and think it would make a good character name. Sports on television provides a lot of ideas. We sometimes change a letter or two or use a last name as a first name or vice versa.

Which of your characters is your favorite?   Do you dislike any of them?

That’s an interesting question.  Each of the books in my Snapdragon Ladies series focus on one particular woman. The main characters of the first two books Ciara and Nebulon are both characters my husband, Frank, created in his books. I liked them so much that I used them, but the third book in that series is Melicity—featuring a character I created for a scifi holiday book. Melicity is my favorite, though it’s hard to choose.

 If you could be one of the characters from any of your books, who would it be and why?

I think it would be Cassie Carter from the Cassie Carter Cryptid Hunter series. She’s smart, strong, and unique.

If you could jump in to any book, and live in that world, which would it be?

Definitely my Galactic Cruise Lines Series. It’s a traditional cozy mystery series set in the League of Planetary Systems.  There’s an elf who is the Chief Sleuthhound (detective), a sexy Venlanten ship’s security officer, and they both are vying to win the heart of Kat, the cruise director. There are exotic ports, interesting characters, and lots of fun on board.

Do you have a specific snack that you have with you when you right?

There’s always a small bowl of Coffee Nut M&Ms on my desk beside my glass of water. At least with a small bowl, I have to get up often to refill it.

 Book Blurb

Ellie’s life hasn’t gone the way she expected. Forty something, divorced, she’s moving to Santa Fe to help her dad run the family’s art gallery on Canyon Road. It’s another big change in a series of changes that has Ellie doubting herself at every turn. Right now the only two men she wants to focus on are her son, Tristan, and her dad, Gene. Romance is the furthest things from her mind.

Rod has enjoyed the time he’s spent in Santa Fe overseeing the building of his family’s newest boutique hotel, the Seasons de Santa Fe. He’s finally found a place in the family business that suits him. If he could just get his mom to stop fixing him up with women, his life would be darn near perfect.

When fate throws Ellie and Rod together, neither of them is ready for what happens next.

About the Author

Jo Carey grew up in the Midwest but her curiosity and gypsy-spirit has kept her on the move. She’s lived in eight US states and spent three years living in Ireland. She has always loved creature movies, so creatures and bugs often show up in her books.

Jo, a former information security compliance guru, writes fast-paced, character-driven stories in a variety of genres from medical thrillers to space operas and cozy mysteries. Her novels are filled with humor, romance, and sometimes creatures or aliens, or maybe even all of the above. She often builds her stories around a strong female lead character surrounded by plenty of hunky male heroes.

Jo’s been under fire on a golf course and climbed out the roof of an elevator in the Netherlands. Life hasn’t been boring. Now residing in Texas, setting often plays a huge role in her stories. Jo was intrigued by the League of Planetary Systems, a world her husband, Frank, created for his science fiction books, and she now writes mysteries and other types of tales sets in that world. Jo was bitten by a cat, a fire ant, and a snake, before succumbing to the bite of the writing bug.

Jo is currently working on a romance series set in Santa Fe, New Mexico. The four-book series has a story set in each of the four seasons. Jo hasn’t had personal contact with a cryptid or an alien, but it’s never too late. Jo and her husband, Frank, produce a podcast—Xtreme Self-Publishing—which details their self-publishing efforts.

You can purchase Winter on Amazon.

Today’s Featured Author – Terrell Williams

Today, I welcome author Terrell Williams to my blog. He is on a virtual book tour promoting his book But My Soul is Black.

8 Things

Tell us 8 things about the characters in your book.

1) Bobby is an Anglo who finds out more about himself than he ever imagined when he gets an opportunity to become familiar with another culture and has to come face to face with physical confrontations if he stands up for what he believes.

2) Jimbo for the first time feels the pain of not ultimately being on the winning side in a quest for the woman he truly loves.  He learns the hard way that being vain is not a virtue.

3) Karen, the object of pursuit of both Jimbo and Bobby learns the difficulty associated with discerning what constitutes love vs. infatuation, and whether physical attraction is as important as someone who shows true care and concern.

4) Uncle Fred is the big boss who has high expectations of those he employs and who he cares about, almost to a fault.

5) Grandma knows her grandson Jimbo better than anyone, and he really needs her sometimes tough love yet compassionate guidance when he encounters problems of the heart that he does not know how to handle himself.

6) Jimbo is a proud young man with flaws, but he takes care of his business for Uncle Fred, which is why he was made foreman over the job.

7) Everyone needs a “Helen”.  A true friend who will tell you the truth, regardless of whether you like it or not.  Helen, Karen’s best friend, was just that type of person.

8) Karen is an amazing lady, with beauty, education, emotional strength yet compassion.

Book Blurb

Bobby has high hopes for his new life in Detroit, and he will not, under any circumstances, blow his chances by messing up a prime job opportunity at his uncle’s construction company. But his first meeting with his mentor, African American foreman Jimbo, turns out even worse than expected when it becomes apparent that Bobby is learning the ropes to become Jimbo’s boss.

As Bobby tries to navigate Jimbo’s understandable resentment, he must also wrestle with the misperceptions of Black culture that his Caucasian family has passed on to him. Eventually, the two men become friends as Jimbo recognizes that Bobby doesn’t hold the prejudices of his uncle.

But just as things start to smooth out, Jimbo introduces Bobby to the kind, clever, and stunning Karen—Jimbo’s favorite woman to string along. Confused by his strong feelings for this intriguing woman and frustrated with Jimbo’s flippant treatment of her, Bobby struggles with whether to pursue Karen…at the cost of ending his newfound friendship with Jimbo and sabotaging his future.

Taking a candid look at interracial romance and the human experience, …But My Soul is Black reveals the cultural misperceptions that harm us—and the love that heals us.

About the Author

Terrell Williams began life as the 2nd eldest son of 9 children (4 girls and 5 boys) and was reared in less than affluent circumstances. The second in his immediate family to graduate from college, he went on to marry a wonderful woman, and who eventually became the proud parents of 4 children (3 girls and 1 son who is also his namesake).

Mr. Williams enjoys reading and writing poetry, and he has written several plays that have been performed and were well received in Texas. The idea for his debut novel, But my Soul Is Black, lay dormant for many years until Mr. Williams finally finished the novel upon his retirement, fulfilling his dream of becoming a published author. His romantic tale tackles controversial topics such as interracial relationships, generational differences of conceptual thinking about life and love. This novel seeks to remind the readers of the interconnectedness we share as humans, as well as showing that truly, love transcends all!

You can find out more about Terrell’s book tour on Facebook.

You can purchase But My Soul is Black on Amazon.

Today’s Featured Author – Diana Rubino

Today, I welcome author Diana Rubino to my blog. Her time-traveling novel, Dark Brew, was released in July 2016.

Interview

Tell us a bit about yourself. 

My passion for history and travel has taken me to every locale of my books, and short stories, set in Medieval and Renaisance England, Egypt, the Mediterranean, colonial Virginia, New England, and New York. My urban fantasy romance, FAKIN’ IT, won a Top Pick award from Romantic Times. I’m a member of Romance Writers of America, the Richard III Society and the Aaron Burr Association. I live on Cape Cod with my husband Chris. In my spare time, I bicycle, golf, play my piano and devour books of any genre.

Where were you born and where do you call home?

Born in Jersey City, NJ, in the shadow of the Statue of Liberty, and now call Cape Cod home with my husband.

Have you started your next project? If so, can you share a little bit about your next book?

I am now writing bio novels with no fictional characters, and have written 4 so far. I just began my next, which will be about Susan B. Anthony. I enjoy writing about strong women who shook things up, and call my books The Sassy Ladies Series.

Do you outline your books or just start writing?

I outline very thoroughly. I still use Donald Maass’s Writing The Breakout Novel Workbook, because it makes me explore every aspect of the storyline and characters, getting right down to minute details.

Please tell us about your current release.

My last book to be released is Dark Brew, a time travel romance.

What inspired you to write this book?

The story took 12 years from start to finish. I’m a longtime member of the Richard III Society, and in the spring of 2004, I read an article in The Ricardian Register by Pamela Butler, about Alice Kyteler, who lived in Kilkenny, Ireland in 1324, and faced witchcraft charges. After her trial and acquittal, she vanished from the annals of history. I couldn’t resist writing a book about her.

How did you come up with the title?

I originally called it Strange Brew, but thought Dark Brew was more dramatic and compelling. It refers to the herbal brews Kylah, the modern heroine, mixes and drinks to transport her to 14th century Ireland, to solve the mystery that consumes her life today, and her past life then.

What kind of research did you do for this book?

I thoroughly researched Druids, because Kylah is a practicing Druid. I also researched Alice Kyteler…I found a book about her trial that explained all the details about how the church influenced the court in 14th century Ireland.

Did you base any of your characters on real people?

Alice actually lived, along with the judge, her lawyer, her husband and stepsons who lived in 14th century Ireland, but all my characters in modern times are fictional, not based on anyone.

Which of your characters is your favorite? Do you dislike any of them?

I’d say Kylah is my favorite, as she’s determined to travel to her past life to right an injustice, and she’s very brave to attempt living in those times, which were very dangerous.

Can you tell us a little about the black moment in your book?

The black moment occurs when Kylah is accused of murdering her husband Ted and arrested. I don’t want to give anything else away.

What was the most difficult thing/scene to write in this story?

Time travels (I’ve written 3) are difficult in general, and since Kylah is the reincarnation of Alice, I found it difficult to describe what she experienced emotionally and physically as she traveled back in time. I also found it difficult to write the scenes in which she’s accused of murdering her husband, because she was innocent. It made me realize how much injustice is in the world.

If you could be one of the characters from any of your books, who would it be and why?

I would like to be Eliza Jumel Burr, who became the richest woman in New York City, a very astute businesswoman, and solved two murders. She led a fascinating life.

If you could jump in to any book, and live in that world, which would it be?

I’ve always wanted to spend a few days in the court of Richard III, and see what life was like in 1483-5.

Do you have a specific snack that you have with you when you write?

I always have a jar of nuts at my side to munch when I get peckish. And always a glass of water in reach.

Do you have an all time favorite book?

Oh, so many….but one of my faves is THE AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF HENRY VIII by Margaret George. She puts you right there in Henry’s world. A CROWN FOR ELIZABETH, which I read in high school, is also another favorite.
I read a trilogy of novels when I lived in London, which are set in London, the first is THE L-SHAPED ROOM by Lynne Reid Banks. I read these over and over, never grow tired of them.

What book are you reading right now?

I usually read two or three at the same time, so I’m reading THE ROGUE LAWYER by John Grisham and
George Washington A Life in Books by Kevin Hayes, about the books Washington had, combined with a timeline of what was going on in his life as he acquired each book.

If you could meet two authors, who would you pick and why?

Neither are alive–Edgar Allan Poe and Charles Dickens.

Tell us a random fact about you that we never would have guessed.

I’m a big believer in the paranormal and have gone on many paranormal investigations, though I have no psychic ability.

Book Blurb

DARK BREW

A time travel romance
Learn from the past or forever be doomed to repeat it.


Accused of her husband’s murder, Kylah McKinley, a practicing Druid, travels back through time to her past life in 1324 Ireland and brings the true killer to justice.

Two months of hell change Kylah’s life forever. On her many past life regressions, she returns to 14th century Ireland as Alice Kyteler, a druid moneylender falsely accused of murdering her husband. Kylah’s life mirrors Alice’s in one tragic event after another­ she finds her husband sprawled on the floor, cold, blue, with no pulse. Evidence points to her, and police arrest her for his murder. Kylah and Alice shared another twist of fate­ they fell in love with the man who believed in them. As Kylah prepares for her trial and fights to maintain her innocence, she must learn from her past or forever be doomed to repeat it.

About the Author

My passion for history has taken me to every setting of my historicals. The “Yorkist Saga” and two time travels are set in England. My contemporary fantasy “Fakin’ It”, set in Manhattan, won a Romantic Times Top Pick award. My Italian vampire romance “A Bloody Good Cruise” is set on a cruise ship in the Mediterranean.

When I’m not writing, I’m running my engineering business, CostPro Inc., with my husband Chris. I’m a golfer, racquetballer, work out with weights, enjoy bicycling and playing my piano.

I spend as much time as possible just livin’ the dream on my beloved Cape Cod.

You can find out more about Diana on her website or her blog. You can also follow her on Twitter or Facebook.

You can purchase Dark Brew for the Kindle or in paperback on Amazon.

Today’s Featured Author – Pat Simmons

Today, please welcome author Pat Simmons. Her latest book, Love by Delivery, was released in February. She is currently finishing up her novella, Late Summer Love, which should be out by the end of summer.

Interview

Tell us a bit about yourself.

My Name is Pat Simmons. I’ve been a wife for 34 years and a mother of a son and daughter. I graduated from a great college in Boston, and eventually worked in my field of broadcast journalism for over twenty years. I started in radio and was truly blessed with an opportunity to transition into television news for ten years. Because of my media experience, I head the publicity team for the RT Booklovers Conventions. In my free time, when I’m not writing, which seems like all the time, I enjoy sewing, tracing my family roots, reading, and watching romance movies.

What or who inspired you to start writing?

It was my play mother, the late Lorna Robnett. She had faith in me that I could do anything, especially after she heard me weave a story to a houseful of guests.

When did you first consider yourself a writer?

When I received an email from a reader about my first book. That’s when it kicked in that I really was an author. That was 10 years ago.

How much of yourself, your personality or your experiences, is in your books?

I think each story has a little bit of Pat Simmons’ personality in them, or my alter ego, like Grandma BB or Sandra Nicholson in the Jamieson Legacy series. Grandma BB is the seventy something smart talking childless widow who says what she wants, when she wants. On the other end is sweet and sanctified Sandra Nicholson, who finally found love in her early sixties and married him. She was the epitome of an uncompromised Christian woman. The Confession won the Emma Rodgers Award for Best Inspirational Romance in 2016, so I was happy readers fell in love with Sandra and Raimond’s story. My news background has sparked many a plots in my stories. It’s my curiosity about a subject that has created great storylines, like Guilty by Association. Kidd Jamieson wasn’t fond of carrying his absentee father’s last night, but thanks to my genealogy search, I was able to write his story when I uncovered documents that showed pages of enslaved African Americans who were buried without last names.

Have you started your next project? If so, can you share a little bit about your next book?

Actually, I’m sitting on the second edits of a completed novel, Mystery of Love, because I’m trying to finish Late Summer Love before summer is over. I’ll close out the year with my annual Christmas novellas, Prayers Answered by Christmas, which is a sequel to Couple by Christmas. I’m looking forward to writing it.

Do you write full-time? If so, what is your work day like? If not, what do you do other than write and how do you find time to write?

Yes, I’ve been writing full-time for about nine years. When I run short on cash, I’ll work a temp assignment, but my steady income is from my monthly royalties, mainly from eBooks. Since I’m a Christian author, I begin my day with prayer time, I study my Bible, hoping God will give me a message to incorporate in a scene, or a personal word of encouragement for me. After that, I try to start writing my ten a.m., and many times will write until midnight. I do take breaks for chores, eating, and a movie with my husband, but I spend a lot of my time doing administrative tasks: reading and sending emails, looking for blog content, newsletter content, monitoring my social media accounts, looking for stock photos for book covers, and most importantly, staying on my writing schedule to meet my releases. I think every author is always in search of promotional opportunities, me included.

What is the best thing about being a writer?

I want to say I’m in control of my income, but it’s God who supplies my needs, especially when I’m on the road and can’t write, or my funds get low. The worst? People don’t think I work—that writing isn’t a job, and therefore, I have to tell me people I’ll call them back or let it go to voicemail, then I forget to check voicemail. The other thing is some people think I can write a book in a month or less—I wish.

Do you outline your books or just start writing?

Since I release three to four books a year, I appreciate outlining them. I didn’t at first. When I did, I would go off the outline anyway, usually by chapter 7. But even now, God gives me fresh scenes every morning and I say, “Thank you, Lord that is a good one.”

Please tell us about your current release.

My recent book, Love by Delivery, was released in February. Since then, I’ve completed a full length novel entitled Mystery of Love that is waiting for me to do the second round of edits until I finished Late Summer Love.

What inspired you to write Late Summer Love?

It’s a sequel. Readers wanted Paige Blake to find happiness.

How did you come up with the title?

I got the idea last year while I attended my husband’s family reunion. The plot was perfect for Paige’s story, so I had planned to name it Summer Reunion, but a fellow friend had a release called Winter Reunion, so I changed it to Summer Love, but when my first round of re-writes for Mystery of Love worked me over, I knew my novella wasn’t going to hit a May or June release. I told my husband the story had to come out before the end of summer because it was called Summer Love. He joked, “It’s going to be a late summer love.” I thought about it, and tweaked the title and gave him the credit.

Did you base any of your characters on real people?

Of course. They are a mixture of physical characteristics, personalities and mannerisms. My best friend says she can hear our voices in my characters’ conversations.

Which of your characters is your favorite?

My hero: Blake Cross. It’s easy on the eyes and has a good heart.

If this book is part of a series, what is the next book? Any details you can share?

This is book 2 of the Perfect Chance at Love series. I have to come up with another scenario for my main character’s cousin. I don’t have anything yet. I’m sure it will come to me.

If you could be one of the characters from any of your books, who would it be and why?

All my characters have too many issues for me to jump into their shoes. LOL. They all have happy endings, but their journeys aren’t easy. I’ll pass.

Is there a specific place in the house (or out of the house) that you like to write?

I have a home office that faces the front. I can write and be nosy—a great combination for an author.

Do you have an all time favorite book?

That I read—The Warmth of the Other Sun; That I’ve written—Crowning Glory.What book are you reading right now? I won’t read until I finish a project, then I’ll read three and four books to detach from my characters. I have a TBR pile.

If you could meet two authors, who would you pick and why?

I’m around a lot of authors—indie and New York Times bestselling authors like Sylvia Day, Charlene Harris, Brenda Jackson, and Francine Rivers. So I count it a privilege to mingle with these ladies and others at the yearly RT Booklovers Convention

Tell us a random fact about you that we never would have guessed.

I do have bouts of shyness, but nobody believes it—seriously!

Book Blurb

Could a chance meeting during two family reunions be God playing matchmaker? Paige Blake recently witnessed her best friend marry. Now, Paige is struggling to tame the pity party stirring within her heart, questioning whether God had forgotten about a husband for her. After twelve years of serving his country, Blake Cross is ready for civilian life. He soon learns there is another battle he must fight. When he meets Paige on an elevator, he’s drawn to her. There’s one slight complication to win her heart. Blake has to surrender to the Lord’s will in his life first.

About the Author

Pat is the multi-published author of more than thirty titles, and is a three-time recipient of Emma Rodgers Award for Best Inspirational Romance. She has been a featured speaker and workshop presenter at various venues across the country.

As a self-proclaimed genealogy sleuth, Pat is passionate about researching her ancestors, then casting them in starring roles in her novels. She describes the evidence of the gift of the Holy Ghost as an amazing, unforgettable, life-altering experience. God is the Author who advances the stories she writes.

Currently, overseeing the media publicity for the annual RT Booklovers Conventions, Pat has a B.S. in mass communications from Emerson College in Boston, Massachusetts.

Pat has converted her sofa-strapped, sports fanatic husband into an amateur travel agent, untrained bodyguard, GPS-guided chauffeur, and her administrative assistant who is constantly on probation. They have a son and a daughter.

You can find out more about Pat and her books on her website.

You can sign up on a wait list for Late Summer Love here or check out the rest of Pat’s books on Amazon.