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Tuesday, October 30, 2012

20 Questions Tuesday: Getting Up Close and Personal with Tracy Brogan

I’m excited to introduce a sparkly new voice in contemporary (and soon to be historical) romance! I’ve just started her debut novel Crazy Little Thing and am totally charmed. Humor is a hard thing to do well without going over the top, becoming forced, or just getting more and more annoying chapter after chapter, but Sadie’s adventures of the newly divorced hit a witty, sometime wry, but always amusing chord whether in dialogue or description. I find myself laughing out loud or muttering, “You go, girl!” as I flip through the pages on my Kindle. It would be a shame for you to miss out on this slice of delight. But enough from me. Let Tracy reveal that unique voice as we get to know her. First the facts, then the fun!


Past or present, Tracy Brogan loves romance! She writes funny contemporary stories about ordinary people finding extraordinary love, and stirring historical romance full of political intrigue, damsels causing distress, and the occasional man in a kilt.

She is a two-time RWA Golden Heart® finalist, and her debut novel, CRAZY LITTLE THING, was released on October 23d, 2012. Her next book, HIGHLAND SURRENDER, will be released December 4th, 2012.

Tracy is a member of RWA, the RWA Mid-Michigan chapter, and a contributing member of the Dashing Duchesses (Dashingduchesses.com) where they make history sound way hotter than it really was. She lives in Michigan with her bemused husband, her two perpetually exasperated daughters, one smart dog, and one very dumb dog.


Getting to know Tracy . . .

1. Party dress or blue jeans?

Party dress for sure. But then I rush home and put on big, fuzzy pajama pants. When I’m at home, I’m in yoga pants. All day. Every day. And I don’t do yoga.

2. Spa day or gym workout?

** see above. I’m all about the spa. But while I’m at the spa, I’m thinking, “You know, I should probably go to the gym.”


3. Night owl or early bird?

Night owl, absolutely! I do my best and most prolific writing from 9pm until about 1am. But now that my oldest daughter is in middle school, I have to get up at 6am so I’m trying to switch gears and do more writing in the morning. It’s ugly.


4. TV at home or movie theater?

Both. We have a home theater at our house. My husband would watch a movie every night, and I love them, too, but I’m too antsy most of the time. Whenever I watch one I’m usually thinking, “I should be writing. There is laundry to fold. Did anybody feed the dogs today?”


5. Five words your friends use to describe you.

Funny. Sarcastic. Helpful. Undisciplined. Driven.


6. Five words you use to describe yourself.

Idealistic. Funny. Sarcastic. Lazy. Focused. (Yes, it is possible to be lazy and still be focused. It just means I think about things really, really hard without actually doing anything about it.)


7. Things that make you want to go “EEEEEEK!” 

Good reviews!!! But if you meant a scared kind of EEK instead of a happy kind of EEK, then I would say tarantulas. And jellyfish.


8. What music are you listening to? (While you write?) 

I can’t listen to music while I write because I get too distracted and then I just sit there singing instead of writing. But music definitely inspires my story lines. I like mellow stuff, Sarah McLachlan, Mat Kearney, Paulo Nutini. And I’ve never in my life listened to country music, but my critique partner sent me a Kip Moore video for “Somethin’ ‘bout a Truck” and I confess, it does a little somethin’ for me. I even make a sly reference to the song in my current work-in-progress.


9. Your first kiss . . . 

Is actually described in my first book. It happened at school in the sixth grade. And I loved him. I mention on my website bio how this boy eventually dumped me for a girl who could dribble a basketball and I couldn’t. We lost touch for decades after that because he went to a different high school but he actually sent me an email about two weeks ago saying that my website version was wrong. He said I broke up with him. Isn’t that just like a man to remember it incorrectly? He totally dumped me.


10. Something quirky about you that no one knows (we won’t tell anyone!)

I’m pretty much an open book and most of my quirks are well documented. But I will confess that when I was in my twenties, my best friend Meredith and I would go to bars and pretend to be British so men would buy us drinks. Worked every bloody time.


About the Written word:

11. Favorite type of hero (Type A bad boy or Type B good guy) Which would you rather live with?

I live with a good guy who believes himself to be a bad boy. Perfect combo. In fiction I admit I love the broody, abrasive Heathcliff-esque bad boys. Brutish men who obsesses over loving the heroine to the point of madness and yet are somehow remarkably sensitive and skilled in the bedroom. Yeah, that’s fiction for you.


12. What type of fiction heroine would you be? Jane Eyre or Lara Croft?

I’m Jane Eyre longing to be Lara Croft. I’m a clumsy bystander but so wish I was a risk-taking, physically-powerful She-ra warrior. But that seems like it would take a lot of practice and I could potentially get hurt. I have a very low tolerance for pain or discomfort of any sort. Just ask my family. So instead, I just watch and dream.

13. Favorite genre to read?

Historical romance, historical fiction, historical biography, are we seeing a pattern here? I love any type of Celtic or American history. I also love a snappy, endearing romantic comedy, like a Kristan Higgins, Jennie Crusie, or Jill Shalvis. When it comes to contemporary novels, if there’s no humor, than I’m out. I feel the same way about Facebook posts. If your post doesn’t make me laugh, then you are boring me. ; )


14. What would you love to write that you haven’t?

A bestseller!


15. Favorite books you can read over and over?

Hummingbird by LaVyrle Spencer. Best love triangle ever. In fact, I want a hummingbird tattoo but my husband is not a fan of ink. He thinks a charm bracelet would be more appropriate. Although he did say a row of tattooed birdies sitting along a telephone wire might be a clever way to disguise my C-section scar…

A Writer’s Life:

16. OCD plotter or free range pantser?

OCD plotter to the extreme. I have sketches and outlines, color coded index cards and character tarot readings. It’s my way of pretending to be working on writing without actually writing anything.

17. Live to write or write to live? Day job?

Live to write – which is extremely unfortunate for the people I’m supposed to be feeding.


18. First publishing rejection (and getting back on that horse)?

My first agent rejection after a full request was the hardest ever. I was new and clueless. I’d only sent a handful of queries and had only finished my first book a few weeks before that. I had no idea what was typical in this industry. She requested the full, was super enthusiastic and asked for a two-week exclusive. I thought “This is it. I’m on my way.” And then she rejected it. I was devastated. Stupidly I emailed every friend I had, exposing my fresh, raw wound, and was mortified the next day that I’d been such a baby. So my rule became to not send any emails after a rejection until 24-hours had passed. And I got back on the horse by sending another query or two, or entering a contest. It’s like I was defying the universe. And eventually the odds turned in my favor!!!


19. Biggest hurdle to getting words on the page and how you overcome it?

Funny you should ask, Nancy, since I just sent you an email saying, “Help! How do I get this book finished?” My biggest obstacle is social media. For me, it’s like Turkish Delight from The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe. One taste and suddenly I want more and more. And suddenly an hour of my writing time has gone by and I haven’t actually written anything. Kieran Kramer turned me on to a “self-discipline” app that prevents you from logging on to Facebook during certain hours. I haven’t set it up yet, but I’m going to! Interestingly enough, Writer’s Digest just did an article on the same apps. My other hurdle is fighting my need to micro-edit as I draft. I’ll get hung up on one scene and play with it for far too long before moving on. Just get the draft done, already!!! I’m learning that slowly.


20. When can we get your next book and what’s it all about?

Oh, THAT is my favorite question! My first book, a romantic comedy called CRAZY LITTLE THING just debuted (October 23rd) and my next book, a Scottish historical titled HIGHLAND SURRENDER will be released on December 4th. I’m so excited to get these books out into the world and see what happens with them. My next release will be in June, 2013 and is called HOLD ON MY HEART. It’s another romantic comedy, but it’s not quite as breezy as my first book. I went a little deeper with that one.


Tracy loves comments from readers so please visit her at Website, Facebook, Twitter or Goodreads.

Happy Reading!!

Monday, October 29, 2012

Haunted Open House Winners


Here's a list of the lucky winners of my Haunted Open House Giveaway!

Monday: Party Chatter (copy of Nancy Gideon’s Midnight Enchantment): gamistress66

Tuesday: Party Chatter giveaways:

1. Michele Hauf’s Forever Werewolf and Cindy Spencer Pape’s Carina Press Editor’s Choice anthology: Barb P.

2. Katharine Ashe’s Captive Bride: Liese2

3. Michele Hauf’s Forever Werewolf and Karen Marie Moning’s Iced c/o Sue Grimshaw: infinitieh

Wednesday: Party chatter (Nancy Gideon’s In the Woods and rental download of Deadly Renovations: Goes to Jennifer Mathis


Thursday: Party Chatter giveaways from Eileen Dreyer:


1. A Man to Die For: bn100

2. If Looks Could Kill: infinitieh

Friday: Party Chatter giveaways:


1. Melissa Mayhue’s Warrior’s Last Gift: R.T. Wolfe

2. Thea Devine’s The Darkest Heart: May Pau

3. Diane Burton’s Switched: Goes to Miki

Nancy Gideon’s preorder giveaway of Betrayed by Shadows:


1. Diane Cote Sadler

2. Su Calkins

3. Barbara Elness

Costume Contest: Mannheim Steamroller CD giveaway: Patrish Lazarus


Kindle/$75 Amazon gift certificate grand prize: Martha Lawson

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Salute to B-Movies!


I LOVE a good B-Movie! The over-the-top situations, the campy dialogue (sometimes not well synced), the excessive gore, the tongue-in-cheek drama, special effects that don’t always work, the thrill and quirky factor of an Indie film. Don’t hate them because they have big ambitions and tiny budgets! (some of those on my list had BIG budgets but still were B-list). Love them for the passion that went into making them. Enjoy them for the sheer cheese factor and guilty pleasure. And remember, some things that started out small, turned out HUGE (think “Halloween,” and Peter Jackson didn’t do too badly for himself!). Here’s my list of favorites:

1. The Evil Dead series. Gotta love Bruce Campbell. “Gimme some sugar, baby!”

2. Day of the Trifids. Scared me witless with its B&W hysteria when I was a kid.

3. Them! See above.

4. Godzilla . . . and all his godawful pals.

5. Early Peter Jackson that was perfected with The Frighteners

6. Tremors. “Stampede!” Kevin Bacon and Fred Ward buddy movie

7. Dead Rising. (noise in elevator) “What was that?” “Girl from Ipanema?”

8. Lake Placid. Best. Betty. White. Ever!

9. Anything with Vincent Price! Or Christopher Lee. Or Peter Cushing.

10. Anything with pals DJ Perry and Lynn Drzick (who’ll be taking that next rung soon!)

Fess up. You know you love them! What are your favorite B-movie guilty pleasures?

Join me in a visit with Lynn Drzick and DJ Perry for Party Chatter as we talk horror movies, budget constraints not tied to this election year, scares, jeers and cheers with these writers/directors/actors/producers at my Haunted Open House. Giveaways included!!

Monday, October 22, 2012

You’re invited to my 2nd annual Haunted Open House!



Doors are open Monday, October 22 through Friday, October 26th for spooktacular fun, games, giveaways (including a Kindle!) and special guest ghouls and guys!

Name your poison at my full service bar (I’ll be your designated driver), pick up a little something to whet your appetite for chills and thrills (but don’t let them follow you home!), then feel free to explore . . . at your own risk.

I’ll be featuring new guests VIPs (or is that RIPs?) each day along with a daily chance to win frightfully good prizes in drawings Monday through Friday, so make sure you come back for seconds, thirds, fourths and fifths (it’s okay to be greedy!).

I’ve also got some tantalizing treats to offer, including some unique sneak peeks at BETRAYED BY SHADOWS to tempt and tease you.

Have fun! Be adventurous! Talk to strangers (because in my House, everyone’s a little strange!) and come back with a friend. Remember, the ones who stick together . . . survive! Muwahahahaha!

Friday, October 19, 2012

Wicked Romances Giveaway Hop!


The Wicked Romance Giveaways Hop was organized by 
Nat @ Reading Romances!

From October 20th through October 27th, I'm participating in the Wicked Romances Giveaway Hop hosted by Nat @ Reading Romances! And to one lucky Follower, I'll be giving away a $10 Amazon Gift Card!

Details:
One (1) $10 Amazon Gift Card to the winner of the Hop!
Open to International Entries.
Drawing for the Giveaway will be held on
October 28, 2012, and the winner will be announced on
October 28, 2012.
To be eligible to enter the Giveaway, use the Rafflecopter Form below!

Hop and enter the other giveaways!

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Twenty Questions Tuesday with Author Jennifer Lowery

Even after 25-odd years in the biz, I still go all fan girl when it comes to talking to people who’ve written books I love. One of the best things about being an author is getting to MEET authors and getting to share them with other readers. I figure you can find their bios anyplace. You can read their book blurbs on Amazon and Barnes & Noble. But what about those juicy, fun, personal factoids? I’ve got the latest dish!

It’s the MOST fun to share NEW authors! Jennifer Lowery is a member of my Mid-Michigan chapter of Romance Writers of America and it’s always a thrill when one of our home girls gets that first sale. Jennifer recently had not only “The Call” for her first book sale, but a special birthday gift with the sale of book number two! So I’m putting her on the spot today with Twenty Questions and giving you a look at her first book, HARD CORE (Is that cover hard to take or what?!) which I’m currently in the middle of reading. Type A heroes don’t get much better!

Getting to Know Your Favorite (or soon to be Favorite!) Writer

Getting to know you:

1. Spa day or gym workout?

Gym workout! Although I haven’t been there in a while. Need to get back to it!

2. Night owl or early bird?

Early bird all the way! I’m in bed by 9:30 every night, lol. Staying up late has always been difficult for me.

3. Five words you use to describe yourself:

Shy. Introvert. Creative. Compassionate. Homebody.

4. Things that make you want to go “EEEEEEK!”

Bats!

5. If I had a free afternoon, I’d . . .

Go to a bookstore and spend the day lounging with a cup of coffee.

6. What music are you listening to?

Mostly rock. I love listening to Octane.

7. What’s on your Bucket List?

Ireland and Scotland! I would love to stay in a castle!

8. Something quirky about you that no one knows (we won’t tell anyone!)

Oh boy! I can’t write if my house isn’t clean! Yeah, I know. I’m a little OCD. Thank goodness I have a wonderful family who helps keep the house clean so it doesn’t take much of my morning to pick up!

The Written Word:


9. Favorite type of hero (Type A bad boy or Type B good guy) Which would you rather live with?

I love Type A heroes in my books, but I much prefer to live with a Type B.


10. What type of fiction heroine would you be? Jane Eyre or Lara Croft?

I would love to be Lara Croft! But I am so Jane Eyre.

11. Favorite genre to read? (Is it what you write?)

Romantic Suspense is my favorite genre to read and yep, that’s what I write! It took me many years to find my voice and genre!

12. What would you love to write that you haven’t?

I would love to write a historical someday! I grew up reading them and if I could do the research I would so write one! Love those Scottish highlanders J

13. What are you reading right now?

Hot Zone by Catherine Mann. It’s great!

14. Favorite books you can read over and over?

Debra Dixon’s, Goal, Motivation and Conflict! Love that book!

A Writer’s Life:

15. OCD plotter or free range pantser?

Surprisingly, given my OCD nature, I’m a free range pantser! I’ve learned to trust my process, but it’s hard!

16. Which was easier to get, agent or editor?

An editor. I tried for 10 years to get an agent.

17. Do you have a set writing schedule?

Nope. I write when I can. I have found that sprinting works very well for me.

18. Solo muse or critique partner(s)?

I have a fabulous critique partner! I found her last year but I wish I’d found her sooner!

19. How do you get in the mood to write ‘those’ scenes?

I have to wait until I’m in the mood, lol! Usually I write “Insert love scene here”and go back to it when the time is right! I’m laughing with you J

20. When can we get your next book and what’s it all about?

Ah, Murphy’s Law! My 2006 Golden Heart finalist! The story of my heart. I can’t wait for you to meet Murphy, my lost soul, wounded warrior. It’s due to be released in March of 2013 from Lyrical Press!  


Hard Core
Romantic Suspense

Amazon
Barnes & Noble
Lyrical Press
Bookworld
iTunes
Publisher: Lyrical Press
ISBN-10: 1616503823
ISBN-13: 978-1616503826

He takes lives. She saves them.

A supposedly hassle-free job for mercenary Cristian Slade becomes a mission of mercy when he saves a life instead of taking one. Slade's new mission might be his most dangerous yet, because the danger is to his heart.

Tragedy has sent esteemed surgeon Alana O'Grady to a remote a remote Nicaraguan island where she immerses herself in the lives of a native American tribe, using her talents for goodwill instead of wealth and prestige. But life turns upside down when her work requires she protect a rugged mercenary who commands her attention when she's awake and dominates her dreams while she sleeps.

Doctoring Cristian puts her entire tribe in danger from the man who's hunting him. Is it her professional oath or her unprofessional attraction to him keeping her from sending him away to heal on his own? Alana's fire warms Cristian's heart, but he's a hardened assassin and has no business falling for someone like her. Can they fight hard enough to keep what they might have together?

Content Warning: Sexual content.

Excerpt:

Prepared to start an IV, she picked up a needle. She had it in position when his other arm shot out and he clamped her wrist in a bone-crushing grip. Startled, she met his panicked gaze.

“I said no needles.”

Her heart banged against her ribcage as she let the needle slip out of her hand. It hit the floor with a small ting. Alana opened her hands in surrender, her patient’s fingers digging into her flesh. For a man half-dead, he had amazing strength.

“Okay,” she said to placate him. “Relax, I don’t have it anymore. It’s your choice, but I recommend you let me start an IV for meds.”

“No. Just fix me.”

Alana pinned him with a no nonsense stare. “I’m not impressed with Superman heroics.”

Face pale and drawn, he said gruffly, “I’m not Superman. Learned not to trust people with needles.”

Her fingers were going numb. “If I remove the bullet without pain medication or anesthetic, you’re going to be sorry.”

He studied her. “You’re really a doctor?”

Alana bristled. “Technically, yes.”

“Technically?”

She didn’t have time to explain herself with the amount of blood seeping from his gunshot wound. “I went to med school. You can let go of my arm now. I won’t use any needles.”

He looked down and immediately released his grip. She rubbed her wrist to soothe away the ache. “Can I get to work now, or do you want to question me more about my credentials while you bleed to death? I don’t have a blood bank, so you’re screwed if you lose too much.”

Her blunt statement received a curt nod. She normally didn’t talk to her patients like that. Her patients didn’t normally countermand her either.

“Do it,” he said.

“Without anesthetics?”

“I don’t need them. Just get it over with.”

Stubborn, stupid, or both? Insane, yes, but there wasn’t time to argue with him.

“Okay. The offer stands if you change your mind.”

“I won’t.”

She doubted that, but didn’t comment. Instead, wiped her forehead with her forearm, and picked up gauze pads to clean the wound.

“Here goes,” she warned and dabbed his skin.

Her patient didn’t move or even wince as she cleaned the angry wound. Either he had a will of steel or he’d passed out again. Hopefully, the latter. Sweat rolled down her back as she finished cleansing the area around the bullet entry. Red flesh puckered with the first signs of infection. In this environment infection was guaranteed.

With a steady hand that would have made her father proud, she picked up her instruments and took a deep breath.

“You still with me?”

He murmured a response, turning his head slightly so he could see her. The stark beauty of his profile, despite the bruises, struck her again. The lines of his face were chiseled, unforgiving. The kind of man she’d glance at twice if she passed him on the street.

A man associated with a criminal.

“Still here, Doc. What are you waiting for?” Husky with pain, his deep voice brought her out of her thoughts.

She gave herself a mental shake. “Want something to bite down on?”

A small, wry smile touched his lips and his lids closed. “You won’t hear a peep out of me. Just fix me, Doc.”

“I can hit you so you’ll sleep through it,” she muttered.

That drew a low chuckle from him. She didn’t expect him to have a sense of humor. He seemed too…hard. His chuckle turned into a grunt of pain. “You probably hit like a girl.”

Alana grinned. “Yes, I do. Rest assured it won’t feel like it.”

“Appreciate the offer, but, no.” His words slurred together, his muscles tense as he fought his body’s demands.

“You got a name, Superman?”

His head rolled to the side, his chest rose and fell slowly. She thought he was out but he murmured, “Cristian.”

“Nice to meet you, Cristian.”

Then she dug into the wound for the bullet.

Author Bio: Jennifer Lowery grew up reading romance novels in the back of her math book and on the bus to school, and never wanted to be anything but a writer. Her summers were spent sitting at the kitchen table with her sisters spinning tales of romance and intrigue and always with a tall glass of ice tea at their side.

Today, Jennifer is living that dream and she couldn’t be happier to share her passion with her readers. She loves everything there is about romance. Her stories feature alpha heroes who meet their match with strong, independent heroines. She believes that happily ever after is only the beginning of her stories. And the road to that happy ending is paved with action, adventure, and romance. As her characters find out when they face danger, overcome fears, and are forced to look deep within themselves to discover love.

Jennifer lives in Michigan with her husband and three children. When she isn’t writing she enjoys reading and spending time with her family.

Find Jennifer:


Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Winner of the Naughty or Nice Giveaway!

Congratulations to Cassandra G - Cassandra won a $10 Amazon Gift Card in the Naughty or Nice Giveaway Hop!