Historical Romance

Historical Romance with an Inspirational Touch

Monday, October 26, 2009


Here is your chance to win a copy of Murder in the Wind, a mystery anthology by Second Wind Publishing. My contribution, She Talked, is included in this book of short stories. Click on the link and have fun.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Starting Over

I can't believe it has been over a week since I was reading blogs or even attempted to write one. The flu hit the household and nothing brings life to a grinding halt like coughs, fever, achiness and general yuckiness. It stared with my son and one by one took us all down. But, thankfully, we are all back to our normal selves. So, today I am going to get back to reading the blogs I have come to love. I am sure I missed a lot of good ones too and I feel like I am starting all over with blogging.
I've also given some thought to how often I blog. Awhile back I decided I was going to be a weekend blogger. That didn't work because I still blogged during the week. I don't know if I am ever going to have a schedule or not, so I've decided not to try and post whenever something comes to mind.
I hope each of you remain flu free and healthy.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

A Spotlight – Samantha Grace

You may have read my post about being judged. Now I am going to spotlight one of my critique partners, Samantha Grace. She has put herself out there in a various contests and is currently in the middle of one. She entered the Dorchester TextNovel, with her story Maid for Seduction. Samantha has been my critique partner for over a year and this is a story I have read and love. Her characters are fantastic and I laughed many times. It is a wonderful historical romance that I hope gets picked up by a publisher soon.

Amy: Samantha, what has been your contest experience to date?

Samantha: Amy, first of all, I’d like to thank you for inviting me to be a guest on your site. It is an honor for me since I’m a huge fan of your stories. Congratulations on your publishing success.

Amy: Awwww, thanks Samantha.

Samantha: I’ve entered several contests over the last year with varying results. Overall, the feedback has been helpful and positive on both works I’ve entered. I’m always grateful to the judges who take the extra time to provide examples and point out what’s working in the story as well as what isn’t.

I’ve also been a contest judge and tried to provide the entries with the same attention and respect I would wish to receive. A story about my six-year-old daughter sums up how I see the judge’s role. We were pretending to be dance teachers to her dolls, but it had been a long day for me and I wasn’t fully engaged in playing. After a few minutes of me half-heartedly dancing with a doll, my daughter turned to me and said, “May I speak to you in private?” She led me away from the dolls and spoke in a quiet voice, “We’re here to inspire the girls.” LOL. What a great lesson from a little one. May we all be an inspiration to others and support their dreams.

Amy: Tell us about the Dorchester TextNovel?

Samantha: The Dorchester Best Cellar contest has been the most fun. I love the direct feedback from other writers and fans. It’s a natural high when someone enjoys your work and wants to read it all. I hope someday to be able to fulfill their requests.

The object is to be in the top 20 by the time the contest ends on November 1st. The top 20 then go before the Dorchester Publishing editors to narrow down to ten finalists. A grand winner will to receive a guaranteed publishing contract and $2,000 advance. Obviously, I’d be thrilled if I won, but I’m really in the contest for the exposure. I’d be content with having my work go before the editors.

Right now, Maid for Seduction is nineteenth in the contest, and I reached that point through votes and readers signing up to follow my story.

Amy: Tell us about Maid for Seduction

Samantha: Maid for Seduction is a lighthearted, fun read with heart. Lady Caroline Mathis always escaped the pain of loss by immersing herself in her uncle’s travel journals and dreaming of sailing to the same exotic lands. Yet, her unexpected betrothal to a stranger crushes her hopes. Her travel-shy fiancĂ© sends an escort to collect her. Unwilling to surrender her dreams completely, spirited Caroline temporarily trades places with her maid and searches for adventure on the journey, convinced her escort is none the wiser. Little does she know, her handsome escort is also engaging in a charade – he’s really her intended, the Marquess of Westin, and he has his own motivation for deception.

Amy: How can we read the excerpts you have posted and vote for you?

Samantha: You may visit www.textnovel.com and search on Maid for Seduction or Samantha Grace. To vote, select the thumbs up symbol. You’ll be asked to register and choose a pen name. A confirmation email will be sent to you, and then you click on the link in the email, pull up my story again and click the thumbs up again. It’s all processed quickly and doesn’t take long to vote. Becoming a fan gives me an added advantage and you’ll receive notifications when I post another section. To become a fan, select the cell phone icon.

Again, thank you very much for allowing me to visit and share my contest experience.

Amy: You can read more about Samantha’s Textnovel experience on her blog at http://samanthagraceromance.wordpress.com

Samantha will be stopping in throughout the day if anyone has any questions you would like to ask her.

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Fall Cleaning

I am not a Spring Cleaner. As soon as the weather gets warm, I get out of the house and go spend time in my yard. However, as soon as the weather turns crisp, as it did this week, I clean. I do what most people do during spring cleaning. Every room is done but one – my office. I guess you couldn’t really call it an office, more of a space which I have tried to close in for privacy and quiet. With three kids, I think the quiet is almost impossible to obtain. It is small and full of papers, books, notes, cards, etc. I do have space around the computer that is clean so I have a spot to take notes and such, but most other surfaces are covered. I suppose some would call it cluttered. Though I wish there was more room I make do, as long as the stacks can stay neat. Once things get out of control it is hard to concentrate or write.

I’ve heard writers talking about needing music or needing quiet. What about cleanliness and clutter? Does your work area have to be clean or can you work in the middle of mess? Or, it doesn’t matter and you can write anywhere.

Trick or Treat

We are approaching the spookiest time of the year. In preparation, Second Wind Publishing is having a contest. One clue can be found the following excerpt from Loving Lydia:

Her first instinct was to throw her head back, to try and dislodge her attacker. But he gripped her tighter and forced a rag into her mouth. Lydia gagged. A scarf was wrapped around the lower portion of her face and tied behind her head as the attacker held onto her wrists with one hand, tying the knot at her hair with another. He must have used his teeth as well because she could feel his hot breath on her neck.

More information to follow as we get closer to Halloween.

Thursday, October 01, 2009

It Happened Again

I tend to take notes while listening to the sermon. Sometimes it is because I want to go back and look it up later and meditate on it more. Other times, it is because I want to use it in a novel. I know my mind should not wander to my stories while sitting in church. I really am working on that problem. I had gotten better, I really had and then it happened again. One simple verse sent my imagination going.

Matthew 5:48
Be prefect, therefore as your heavenly Father is perfect.

Before I left the sanctuary I knew who my hero was, where he came from, where he was in his life.

I apologize, Pastor Miller. I will really work on this problem in the future, and pay close attention to what is said after a verse inspires me. Clearly I have not reached perfection, but I will keep working on it.

Does anyone else have this problem? Something is said and your mind goes to your story, or a potential story, when you really should remain focused on where you are and what is being said?