Monday, October 29, 2012

Please Welcome Author Tracy Brogan

Today I am pleased to feature a fellow member of the Mid-Michigan RWA chapter. Tracy Brogan is a two-time finalist in the prestigious Golden Heart contest, and is enjoying the excitement of her first published novel from Montlake Romance. Crazy Little Thing was released just last week, but has already garnered great reviews, including high praise from Romantic Times magazine. She's here to tell us a big about it:
TB: Patty, thanks so much for hosting me at your blog today! I’m really pleased to be here!
PK: It's my pleasure! What inspired the book?
TB: My Great-Aunt Margaret was a flapper in the 1920’s and inspired the character of Aunt Dody. In fact, the original title was TOTALLY DODY and the first draft of the book had a lot more of her in it. Alas, I had to edit out lots of funny (and true) anecdotes for the sake the story’s pacing. She was a riot, though. She had three St. Bernards, one right after the other, but she named them all Chum because she couldn’t remember a new name. Once she found a cat and decided to keep it, so she had it neutered. Then realized it was the cat that lived next door. When we had ice cream at her house, she’d unwrap the entire half-gallon rectangle of Breyer’s and then slice it with a huge cleaver. I’ve never seen anyone but her cut ice cream with a knife. What I remember best about visiting her place was her cellar. It had this damp, musty, but wonderful smell. To this day I love the smell of old, wet basements! Hers was full to the brim with all of her old clothes, and trinkets and fascinating stuff. She even had a mink stole, which I wore pretty much every time I went there. It looked lovely with my brownie uniform.
When I started writing Crazy Little Thing, my youngest daughter had just started first grade. For years I’d said, “I’m going to write a book someday.” I’d drafted a lot of awful outlines of historical stories, but when she started school I decided to try a contemporary, foolishly thinking it would be “easier” than writing a historical. Those early drafts are pretty painful to read now, but I kept at it, tweaking things, studying the craft, attending conferences, and the work is finally paying off!
Here's the blurb for Crazy Little Thing:
If Sadie Turner is good at anything, it’s putting stuff in order. So when she finds her “perfect” life in disarray, she hopes a summer vacation at her aunt’s lake house will help her piece it back together. She wants to relax, reboot, and heal the wounds left b her cheating ex-husband. And that requires time away from men. All men.
Or so she thinks.
With two slobbering dogs and two cousins living there—one a flamboyant decorator intent on making over Sadie—it’s hard to get a moment’s peace at eccentric Aunt Dody’s house, especially with everyone so determined to set her up with Desmond, the sexy new neighbor.
Desmond is Sadie’s worst nightmare. Tall, tanned, muscular…and to top it off, he’s great with her kids. But he must have a flaw—he’s a man—so Sadie vows to keep her distance.
As summer blazes on, the life Sadie is trying so hard to simplify only becomes more complicated—a new career presents itself, her evil ex haunts her, and Aunt Dody reveals a tragic secret—but maybe a little chaos is just what Sadie needs to get her life back in order.

Doesn't this sound like a great read? Here's an excerpt (warning: language and adult content):
My husband had a talent for putting the dick in unpredictable, so I wasn’t entirely surprised to catch him at an office party with his hand up the skirt of a giggly, jiggly redhead. Or that he had mistletoe dangling from his belt buckle. Even though it wasn’t Christmas. Suddenly eight years of wondering if I was paranoid or intuitive were finally answered. Richard was cheating on me, and I couldn’t ignore it any longer.
I probably should have left him sooner, but I was dumb in love, plus my mother thought divorce was tacky even though she’d been through one herself. Maybe she worried I couldn’t do any better. Turns out, I couldn’t have done much worse.
Exactly one year, six days, and fourteen hours later, Richard and I signed on the dotted line and our marriage dissolved, like margarita salt on the tongue, leaving behind the bitter aftertaste of something that started out sweet but ended sour.
The details of our sordid divorce prompted a feeding frenzy for the local Glenville press. Richard was the city’s favorite son, after all, and everyone wanted the juiciest morsel for their evening headline. His job as anchorman of Channel Seven news earned him a quasi-celebrity status and a sycophantic following. I, on the other hand, was painted in a single stroke as a gold-digging Real Housewife just after his cash. No one but me seemed to remember the incident with the redhead, and somehow I became the pariah, a one-dimensional villain trapped inside the reality show of my own life. So when my aunt Dody called to invite the kids and me to spend the summer with her in tiny Bell Harbor, Michigan, it was an offer too good to refuse.
“You need a good psychic cleansing, Sadie,” Dody told me over the phone. “It’s time to purge all of Richard’s nasty karma right out of your system.”
I had zero faith in her tarot-reading, angel-guided, crystal-waving nonsense, but I was desperate for a vacation. And a chance to hide. Her pink clapboard house, perched high on a hill overlooking Lake Michigan, was the perfect spot to rest, reboot, and figure out what the hell to do with the next fifty years of my life. Sure, I’d probably be dead long before that, but I hate leaving things to chance.
Crazy Little Thing is available at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and several other sources. You can find Tracy on facebook, at her website, or on twitter (@tracybrogan).

Friday, October 26, 2012

Sweet Saturday

Welcome back! As much as I love autumn colors and temperatures, the writing world has already been working feverishly to prepare for the holiday season. The Partridge and the Peartree is part of the Christmas Regency series coming out soon at Astraea Press. Here, Lady Amelia Partridge is attending a recital given by the daughters of a friend:
The dance concluded, and the audience applauded politely. Desiree announced a short intermission, and the guests rose to chat and partake of the sumptuous refreshments spread on the banquet tables. Amelia wasn't particularly hungry or thirsty, but she rose, needing to stand and use her legs. As much as she loved writing, it caused her to sit for long periods of time. She didn't enjoy the small talk – it bored her. But she put on her public face, for her friend’s sake. If nothing else, perhaps she could get some fodder for her next book.
"Excuse me, miss."
She spun around, and her eyes locked with the same mesmerizing gaze from the bookstore. He seemed even taller than he had that afternoon, and in his formal dress he looked quite dashing. "Yes?"
"I believe you dropped this." He held out a satin scarf. She'd forgotten she'd removed it during the recital.
"Thank you, sir. Once again, you've come to my aid, saving me from my clumsiness."
"I was in the way. I should know better than to stand in one spot in the bookstore."
Amelia put a finger to her lips. "Shh. My brother doesn't approve of me frequenting that shop. It's not in a fashionable area of town."
He nodded. "I understand. Incident forgotten."
Desiree, ever the hostess, appeared suddenly. "Phillip, I see you've met my dear friend, Lady Amelia Partridge. Amelia, this is my brother, the Duke of Bartlett."
Phillip bowed deeply. "How do you, do, Lady Amelia?"
Amelia curtseyed. "I'm honored to meet you, Your Grace."
"I am surprised we haven't met before. Have you and my sister been friends for a long time?"
Desiree chuckled and touched his arm, causing him to turn his attention back to her. "How diplomatic, Phillip. You can see Amelia is closer to Laurel's age than mine. Amelia is a fellow member of the Ladies' Literary Society, and she's been a boon to us. She has a way with words, and has written our newsletter and other promotional tracts for our organization."
Phillip turned back to Amelia. "Very impressive, Lady Amelia. The Literary Society is one of my sister's passions, and anyone who forwards their cause is a treasure."
Amelia felt her face warm, and she scolded herself. She was normally immune to flattery, but the duke's praise made her feel almost giddy. Why was she acting like a silly lovesick schoolgirl? She held herself regally and just managed to keep her voice from rising to a giggly pitch. "Thank you. I am honored to be associated with such a worthy cause."
Thanks for stopping by! Several other great authors are sharing excerpts from their books as well. Just go to Sweet Saturday Samples for their links.
But before you go, let me know what you think of this sample! If you like it, please look for The Partridge and the Peartree starting next Friday, November 2, at Astraea Press, as well as several other ebook distributors! I'll have the links here next week. In the meantime, please enjoy the cover above, designed by the fabulous Elaina Lee.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Please Welcome Author Lisa Greer

Today I have a guest with a slightly different type of promotion. Lisa Greer is a fellow author at Astraea Press, and she wants to tell everyone about her new project!
Thanks for having me today, Patty!
Just by way of introduction, I'm Lisa Greer, and I write gothic romance and romance. On occasion, I also write sweet romance as Lorraine James.
This coming year, I’m doing something different—a Kickstarter project. I really enjoy writing serials, and I like rolling them out as serials were meant to be done: in quick succession. These are mini-stories with cliffhangers at the end. They compose a larger tale—in this case, a spooky one set in the mid-1800s.
The goal I’ve set for funding for the project is where it needs to be to cover the rewards, cover art, editing, formatting and other expenses. And it is pretty reasonable for a Kickstarter project goal from what I can tell. I want to have enough money to complete the project in a way I’m happy with and in a timely manner, and most importantly, to give value to readers.
That isn’t always possible unless as an author, I have control over the publishing process. That’s where my project, Sorrowmoor, comes in. I’m planning at least twenty historical gothic romance serials over the course of 2013. My motto is under-promise and over-deliver in terms of what I’ve outlined for the serials. So, it’s likely I’ll have more than twenty serials or that they’ll be lengthier than the minimum of 2000 words each. These will land in backers’ inboxes (unless backers don’t want them in that format), and I’ll also put the serials in a combined e-book edition with a fabulous cover and a print edition that looks equally great. I’m planning lots of other cool stuff, too!
So, how can you get some good reads and back the project? If you have a dollar, that’s a start. There are all sorts of levels to back Sorrowmoor, so please take a look. If you don’t like gothic romance (which is romantic suspense, just with paranormal elements), you can support the project and gift your rewards to a friend who will enjoy these serials. It’s like a year-round Christmas gift.  
I appreciate the backing I have so far, and I’m really excited about this project! Check it out if you have a minute, and tell a friend who might enjoy reading these stories. You can see the video about Sorrowmoor and learn more here:
Thank you all for reading and supporting my endeavors as a working writer!  

Lisa can be found at her website, at her blog, on facebook, and on twitter (@gothicked)


Friday, October 19, 2012

Sweet Saturday

Welcome back! I am anxiously awaiting the release of my new Christmas Regency, The Partridge and the Peartree. Phillip Peartree, Duke of Bartlett, prefers to avoid social events, but has come to a recital given by his nieces.
What the devil am I doing here?
Philip adored his nieces, but he preferred to support them in ways that didn't require his presence at a social function. Laurel was a beautiful girl and a fair dancer, though she'd never perform on a true stage. He wasn't as sure about Merilee's piano playing, although people other than her own mother had said she was quite good. No matter, he was here now, so his sister wouldn't be able to badger him too much for the next month or so. Desiree was a good sister, but she could be a mother bear sometimes, especially when it came to her children. As if conjured by his thoughts, Desiree Linden, Countess of Milburn, appeared at his side.
"Phillip, how good of you to come." She took his arm and steered him toward the chairs set up for the audience.
"I wouldn't dream of doing otherwise."
"Of course you would." She chuckled at his sarcasm. "But I'm glad you chose to come, instead of closeting yourself in your study. I'm giving you the choicest seat, right here in the front."
"Marvelous. Everyone will be able to see me."
"Don't be silly. They're here to see the girls, not you. Besides, you'll be off to the left, so your good side will be all they see. You might be lucky and not have to interact with anyone."
"How kind of you," he said through his teeth.
He settled himself in his seat, turning sharply when someone behind him tapped his shoulder. The Duchess of Camden bent her head to speak to him, and the feathers on her oversized hat tickled his forehead. "Your Grace, it is so good to see you again. I've heard you were at your estate, and we assumed you were still in mourning—"
Desiree rang a crystal bell at that moment, interrupting the duchess, and all heads turned toward the stage, where Merilee had seated herself at the pianoforte.
"Friends, thank you so much for attending. Please make yourselves comfortable. Merilee and Laurel have a lovely program for you this evening. Merilee will open the program by performing Sonata in G minor by Muzio Clementi."
Phillip prepared himself for an hour or two of boredom, schooling his features into a polite show of interest. Just as Merilee raised her hands to place them on the keyboard, he felt the air stir to his right, and the aroma of roses assaulted him. He glanced in that direction and beheld a vision of loveliness seated beside him. She wore a fetching gown of midnight blue satin, and her honey blonde curls framed her heart-shaped face. She nodded a silent greeting to him then directed her attention toward the stage. Phillip dutifully turned his head as well, but his thoughts remained on the woman beside him. It was the woman from the bookstore. Where was her husband?
Thanks for stopping by! The Partridge and the Peartree will be available at Astraea Press and other ebook distributors beginning November 2! Please leave a comment and visit the blogs of other great authors who are sharing their works. Go to Sweet Saturday Samples for their links!

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

He Who Has the Gold - Please Welcome Author S.G. Rogers

Today I am honored to introduce fellow Astraea Press author S.G. Rogers. A prolific author with a wicked sense of humor, S.G. has been kind enough to host me twice on her blog, Child of Yden. Her YA fantasy, The Last Great Wizard of Yden, was the very first book offered as the Astraea Press Book Club feature. Even though I don't read much fantasy, I love reading S.G.'s books because the characters, though magical, are totally believable and thoroughly entertaining. She's here today to talk about her newest release, Tournament of Chance, published by Musa Publishing.

Thanks, Patty, for letting me guest on your blog today to talk about my latest release! 
Have you ever heard the Golden Rule?

He who has the gold, makes the rules

King Chance has the gold and the game is his: any maiden in the kingdom of Destiny, whether she’s high or lowborn, may earn a seat at court if she wins the Tournament of Chance. 

Only the fix is in.

Dragon rebels have long suspected the tournament was a fake, and this year Heather of the Jagged Peaks will prove it.  She has the skill to win…but the king will do anything to stop her.

It’s the perfect setting for a revolution.

The king doesn’t realize, however, Heather will set in motion a prophecy long in the making…and Heather doesn’t know the revolution she sparks will hurl her eight hundred years back in time.  Her wits and endurance help her survive, only to confront a horrible dilemma — if she changes the future in order to liberate Destiny, will she lose her heart forever?

~ S.G. Rogers


Saltimar raised his tankard for a toast. “To my extraordinary daughter, the next winner of the Tournament of Chance!”

“We’re counting on you, Heather,” Vicar Jenns added. “You’ve become an inspiration for common folk everywhere.”

Heather grinned. “I’ll do my best.”

“Let us also drink to King Chance. It’s because of his tournament that our Heather has the opportunity to become a Lady,” Saltimar said.

At that, Ustin stood. “You’re daft, every one of you. Don’t you realize the tournament is for show? The king will never let a commoner win.”

The tavern roof nearly lifted off its rafters with the echo of boos, but Saltimar raised his hands for quiet. “The lass with the truest aim will be the winner, Ustin. Arrows don’t lie.”

Ustin folded his arms across his chest. “No commoner has ever won the tournament. How do you explain that?”

“Cream rises, Ustin. This year, it’s Heather’s turn,” the vicar said.

“Heather will never be made a member of the nobility under this monarch. Mark my words,” Ustin said.

“Better be careful, lad. With talk like that, you might be mistaken for a rebel,” Saltimar chortled.

Everyone laughed except for Ustin, and the celebration continued unabated. Casting a dark glance around the room, Ustin left the tavern without another word.

Available in all e-formats from Musa Publishing HERE. Also available at Amazon. Coming soon to and wherever fine e-books are sold.  (MSRP $4.99) Until October 21, Tournament of Chance is on sale at Smashwords for $0.99. You must use coupon code AC57D at checkout. Tell a friend! And if you enjoy the book, please don’t forget to leave a review to let others know why.  Go HERE to purchase.

To learn more about author S.G. Rogers, visit her blog at

Friday, October 12, 2012

Sweet Saturday

Welcome! Last week I introduced you to the Phillip, the hero of my new regency romance, The Partridge and the Peartree, scheduled for release on November 2. (If you missed it, you can read it here.) Today I'd like you to meet the heroine:
Lady Amelia Partridge paused outside the bookstore to put her new purchases into a leather satchel she'd borrowed from her brother. Edward hadn't known about the loan, of course. But he was off on one of his hunting trips with his friends. She supposed she looked silly, carrying it about; however, the books wouldn't fit in her reticule, and she didn't want all of London to know about her reading selections. The books were for some special children in her life, but she didn’t want to explain to her friends if they should happen to see her.
She handed the satchel to Giles, her young footman, and led the way back to the high street, where she had arranged to meet her coach near the park. From there, she rode in comfort back to her brother's home.
It had been her home, too, for the past twenty-three years. But now she was going to have to find another place to live. Despite the forty-odd rooms in Sudbury House, there was not enough space for two women. At least, not when one of the women was her brother's fiancée, Colette.
Her brother Edward, Earl of Sudbury, had suggested she marry. But she absolutely couldn't bind herself to some fop who thought of no one but himself, or worse, one who dictated her every move. She led her own life and didn't want someone else telling her what to do, the way her father had run her mother's life. The poor woman hadn't had a moment to herself until the day she died. It was a lesson well learned.

Edward would give her an allowance, of course, and he'd offered to let her have the cottage in Oxfordshire. But she would need more than what he’d be able to give her, especially if Collette had anything to say about it. Besides, the cottage was far away from her friends. Recently, she’d had some success writing books, keeping her identity hidden by using a pen name for the books she wrote. If she lived frugally, perhaps she’d be able to support herself, especially if Edward would help her purchase a small home in London.
Her impending move had been in her thoughts when she had run into the man in the bookshop. He'd looked familiar, but since she avoided most social events, she had no idea who he was. The gentleman's face had been kind, full of character and compassion. The scars on his left cheek did nothing to detract from his looks, and his deep blue eyes had shone with intelligence. He'd been standing in the philosophy section, perusing the titles on a high shelf when she'd bumped into him. She'd apologized, but he hadn't responded. Instead, he'd simply picked up her books and handed them back to her. Perhaps he hadn't wanted anyone to know he was there, either.
Arriving at the townhouse, she instructed Giles to take the satchel to her sitting room. She would have two or three hours to herself before dinner, and then she would have to get dressed to go out again. Tonight was the Linden daughters' recital, and though she preferred to stay at home, she felt obligated to attend. Desiree, the girls' mother, had become a good friend through the Ladies' Literary Society, and both Laurel and Merilee had become dear to her.
Perhaps, if she could shut out enough of the music, she could plot out her next novel in her head. She had a good memory and could write down the details when she got home.

Thanks for stopping by! Check out other sweet excerpts by going to Sweet Saturday Samples

Friday, October 5, 2012

Sweet Saturday

Welcome! This week I am excited to introduce a new story, totally different from anything I've ever written. Last spring, Astraea Press put out a call for Christmas Regency romances, and I decided to try it out. After a lot of research and frustration, I finally came up with a basic story line, and thanks to my wonderful critique partner, managed to finish and submit it before the deadline. The Partridge and the Peartree will be released on November 2, so I'm busy refining it. But here's a sample so you can meet my distinguished hero:
Phillip Peartree, Tenth Duke of Bartlett, squinted as he scanned the titles on the dusty shelves of his favorite bookstore. He needed something new to read, something to help him relax and forget the depression weighing him down ever since he’d inherited his burdensome title. Phillip had been aware of his father’s extravagant tastes, but he'd had no idea about the extent of debt they'd caused. Debt that had become his worry and responsibility. In the two years since his father’s passing, the young duke had managed to satisfy most of his creditors by selling off part of his estate and working hard to improve what was left. Needing a respite, he'd decided to spend the holiday season in London, near his sister and nieces.
London offered plenty of activities for an eligible bachelor, but the social whirlwind was something Phillip preferred to avoid. Not that he wanted to be alone. He'd always dreamed of having a contented, if not happy, life with a suitable mate. Ideally, someone with charm, looks, and intelligence. His hand went to his face, tracing the scars left from the hunting accident that had changed his life several years before. He sighed. How could he hope to win the hand of such a woman once she compared him to the good-looking members of the ton? There was no shortage of handsome single men who knew exactly how to converse with a woman, how to charm them, and woo them.
So he lived vicariously through the characters in his books. They were his friends. Although he’d already read nearly every title on the shelves, he'd come to this quiet little shop, on the edge of town, hoping find something new. There had to be something...
The missile hitting his abdomen doubled him over, knocking the breath from his lungs. When he'd recovered enough to straighten, his vision beheld the most beautiful woman he'd ever seen. Had the punch to his stomach addled his brain, or did a halo surround this woman's face? The lively young thing waved her arms as she talked, and judging from the way her mouth moved, she spoke as quickly as she moved. Shiny golden curls tumbled from her bonnet, and her deep brown eyes radiated with intelligence and purpose. Fascinated by the way her luscious lips formed her words, he forgot to pay attention to what she was saying.
Thanks for stopping by! Please leave a comment, and be sure to check out excerpts from other authors by going to Sweet Saturday Samples.