Sunday, April 28, 2013

Summary Sunday

I finished what I'm calling the first 3rd of my story arc this week. This has no reference to the actual number of pages per "3rd" in the final version, so trying to guess how close I am to the end will do you no good. Alas, even I'm not sure exactly how many pages it will take me to tell this story, and the three sections likely will not be divided evenly page-wise. But in my mind, it all basically breaks down like this: (1) Falling in love; (2) Separation; and (3) Reunion and Finis. Monday - Friday below are part of (1) Falling in love. Saturday's sentence is the beginning of (2) Separation. (And yes, it's from a new character's POV, although if you've read Loyalty's Web, the character will be familiar when you meet him again. :-) )


Monday: “’Twas a jolly Christmas—I do think the lasses of this village have the lightest feet I have met for dancing—but I have stayed overlong and the road calls to me again.”

Tuesday: He wished he could have afforded a better bridal gift for her than the spring green ribbon embroidered down the center with a garland of red roses that he had wheedled from the candlemaker’s daughter for a penny and a song.

Wednesday: She sped down the rutted lane so fast he feared she might take a tumble over the uneven ground.

Thursday: Robert glimpsed the youth over Strode’s shoulder, his sullen face smug with revenge.

Friday: He heard the whiz of Strode’s blade one heartbeat before he ducked beneath its slicing edge so narrowly a lock of Robert’s raven hair landed in the dirt beside his right boot.

Saturday: They had shared more joys than sorrows, but the heartaches they had passed through had been the sort that never fully healed, and though over four years had passed, this last one still struck deep.

Friday, April 26, 2013

DANGEROUS FAVOR is up for a RONE Award!

My sweet medieval romance, DANGEROUS FAVOR, is up for a RONE Award, awarded to small or indie published books that
earned a 4 star or higher review by InD'Tale Magazine! The first round of judging is done by readers, so if you have read DANGEROUS FAVOR and enjoyed it, I would appreciate your vote! Click on the link below, then scroll down to "Best Historical: Up Through Medieval". Thank you! (voting for my category ends May 3rd.)

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Summary Sunday

This week was full of revelations to my heroine about my hero, along with a proposal she’s long been hoping for. Alas, this is not the end of the story, so next week will bring “complications.” :-)

Monday: “Then you have not told me everything—have you?”

Tuesday: “I said there were easier places to hide bells from her than underneath that heavy old chest and after we all stood guessing for awhile what else it might be, I remembered the silver and I said it.”

Wednesday: “I knew it was true when his face went so red, but he slapped me and called me a hysterical boy and said if I ever spoke such slander again I would regret it, despite my youth.”

Thursday: “Lord Simon said a knight can be turned for silver or ambition, but he knew my father coveted freedom for his family above everything else and promised him enough silver to achieve it for my mother and brother and sister and himself if my father returned him safe to England.”

Friday: Oh, she should not have said that, for Robert promptly disappeared again, soundless as a cat this time.

Saturday: His midnight eyes bore into hers with an implacable honesty. “Marguerite, if you marry me—I do not easily give up what I have claimed as mine. If you marry me, there will be no going back.”

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Interview & Giveaway with Tina Scott

Welcome to the second week of the blog tour for Tina Scott's soon-to-be-released debut historical novel, Farewell, My Denmark! I am delighted to host an interview with Tina here at JDP NEWS this week.  Tina is also giving away a copy of her novel (June publication date), along with a $10 Target gift card. For a chance to win, leave a comment on this interview. For additional chances to win, Tweet or Facebook this giveaway and leave a comment here, letting Tina know you've Facebooked or Tweeted. Tina will be checking out the comments and will select a winner at 5 PM PST on Friday (April 19). BE SURE TO INCLUDE YOUR EMAIL ADDRESS SO TINA CAN CONTACT YOU IF YOU WIN! (An international winner will receive an e-book only. Sorry.)

JDP: Welcome, Tina! Please tell us a little about your historical novel.

Tina: I’d love to.

A failed engagement sets seventeen-year-old Catherine Erichsen on a faith-building journey of self discovery as she follows her parents and other Mormon Saints on the 1863 immigration to America. When precious heirlooms start disappearing aboard the John J. Boyd, Catherine nearly loses her life at the hand of thieving sailors and fears she won’t live long enough to fulfill the desires of her heart.

JDP: Farewell, My Denmark is set in 1863. Is there a particular reason you chose that year?

Tina: This is the year that one set of my ancestors emigrated from Denmark aboard the John J. Boyd.

JDP: So there’s a link to your own family history. That’s exciting! What did you find most fascinating about this time period? 

Tina: It was a time of transition for modern technology. Bicycles had been invented, but chances that a farm girl would have seen one were slim. They traveled by train part of the way, but many of the immigrants, I’m sure, had never seen a train before they stepped aboard, and so many of their experiences were different and exciting.

JDP: I’m always interested in how authors research their historical novels. Could you tell us a little about how you researched the historical background for Farewell, My Denmark?

Tina: I got my information from a variety of sources. My family history gave me the idea for the story. I found other immigrants’ histories in the Mormon Immigration Index to broaden my perspective on their experience, I resourced a few books, and the Church History Museum in Salt Lake City, Utah, and I went to Denmark where I visited the Den Fynske Landsby, or Funen Village. It is here that they’ve brought antique homes and buildings from various regions of Denmark and turned it into an open air museum, and give snippets of their peasant history.

JDP: Oh, wow, can you see me turning green? That’s envy, because I would LOVE to visit this “village,” and I’m not even Danish. Can you share with us your top three favorite research books or other resources?

Tina: Going there in person trumps anything else. *grin*

JDP: Indeed it would! Are there any historical figures from the era who particularly intrigue you?

Tina: I would have to say Hans Christian Andersen. I grew up hearing his stories and loving them. And, when I was young, Danny Kaye starred in a movie about HCA, which I watched with delight.

JDP: Oh, that was a favorite movie of my dad’s and mine, too! Absolutely loved it! In fact, one of the songs from it has a link to my current WIP. (How’s that for a coincidence?) What inspired you to write Farewell, My Denmark?

Tina: There are so many well written stories about the American pioneers, but I hadn’t encountered any on the Danish pioneers. I feel that their stories are unique and interesting, and deserve to be told.

JDP: I agree. (In full disclosure, I read an early version of Farewell, My Denmark and am currently reading a second book of Tina’s, also set in Denmark, and I confess, I have thoroughly enjoyed exploring this “less told” aspect of LDS history.)  Are you working on any new projects? (Well, I kinda gave that away now, didn’t I. LOL!)

Tina: *Laughs* I forgive you. Yes, I’m in the middle of writing a story about Catherine’s sister who ends up staying in Denmark.

JDP: Where can readers obtain copies of Farewell, My Denmark?

Tina: Farewell, My Denmark will be available in June on Amazon, Kindle, and Smashwords.

JDP: Thank you for joining us today, Tina.

Now remember, for a chance to win a copy of Farewell, My Denmark along with a $10 Target gift certificate, leave a comment on this interview. Tweet and/or Facebook for additional entries before 5 PM EST, Friday April 19. REMEMBER TO INCLUDE YOUR EMAIL ADDRESS.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Summary Sunday

I confronted the darkest day in my hero's life this week. I've played it out in my mind for years, but this was the first time I attempted to write it down. It's interesting how malleable a scene remains until it finally takes solid form on paper or computer screen. Details I hadn't known even with my years of imagining suddenly appeared. It is part of the wonder of "writing."

I share a little glimpse of this scene with you below for Friday. Just one of many new sentences, dark and otherwise, from The Lady and the Minstrel this week.

Monday: He had many things to tell her, but some things felt too harsh for today.

Tuesday: He saw all too glaringly now how their hopes in one another had been at cross-purposes all this while.

Wednesday: Robert hated to admit he shared a common trait with the Earl of Strode, but he recognized stubbornness when he saw it, for the fault had plagued him all his life.

Thursday: Robert was appalled. “Is that what you think I am thinking?”

Friday: “I pelted home just in time to see my father throw a handful of coins in Lord Simon’s face and Lord Simon’s knights spring upon my father and my mother drop her lute.”

Saturday: So bitterly had Lord Simon’s hated face soared up before Robert’s vision that he did not see Marguerite until her hands slapped against his chest.

Monday, April 8, 2013

Book blog tour for "Farewell, My Denmark", by Tina Scott

I am happy to help my good friend, Tina Scott, celebrate the release of her first historical novel, Farewell, My Denmark! She is running a book blog tour, as you will see below, giving away copies of her new books along with Target gift cards. Visit each of the blogs below on the dates listed to be entered in the contest. And don't forget to visit Tina's own blog for an extra entry there!

I will be holding an interview with Tina on April 16, so I hope you'll come back and visit us then!


FAREWELL, MY DENMARK book giveaway and celebration APRIL 8 – 26th

 My Wonderful Helpers:

April 8____Tristi Pinkston  April 12___Valerie Ipson April 15___Cami Checketts April 16___Joyce DiPastena April 22___Joyce Smith
April 23___Jennifer Griffith and Julie Martin Wallace
  Each Friday, April 12th, 19th, 26th, one winner will be picked from that weeks comments to receive a copy of my novel [You may choose from print or ebook.

and a $10 Target gift card.
INTERNATIONAL: ebook only, no gift card. Sorry.

Winner will be drawn Fridays @ 5pm Pacific Standard time.
Participants who didn’t win may re-enter each week w/ new comments and announcements.


Leave a comment on hosts blog = 1 entry

Leave a comment on my blog w/ your email address in case you win = 1 entry
(Those w/o an email address posted will forfeit if they win.)

Tweet about giveaway w/ link to my blog = 1 entry

Facebook announcement about giveaway w/ link to my blog = 1 entry

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Summary Sunday

I did a lot of editing this week, but I did manage a bit of new writing that moved the story forward. Here is a sampling of new sentences from The Lady and the Minstrel.

Monday: The earl did not need his temper further strained by intercepting Robert returning the longing looks Marguerite was too young to resist casting at him from the dais.

Tuesday: Somehow he kept his voice gentle when a swelling rage within him wanted to pull his dagger free and hunt the earl down.

Wednesday: But the plea in her eyes undid all his noble resolves and his mouth drifted towards her lips like a bee drawn to a seductively blushing rose.

Thursday: He pushed her away a little too hard, for he heard her startled huff as her back knocked up against the log and slightly winded her.

Friday: “If I was so clumsy that you could not feel my love in those kisses, then I am as contemptible a scoundrel as the Earl of Strode.”

Saturday: He had felt the promise of it before, whispering along his soul in those moments when his restlessness calmed as they’d blended their music and laughter.

Friday, April 5, 2013

Musical musings

I know many writers who write to music. I even know writers who choose specific songs to go with each character or even each chapter or scene of their books. In general, I am not such a writer myself. I can’t write to music or TV or any other background distractions. (Well, maybe my cats, but that’s about it.) Aside from medieval poetry, to which any musical accompaniments has failed to survive to the present day, there are no actual musical connections to my medieval novels . . . with one exception, and it’s not a medieval one.

There is a song that is bound in my heart to my current work-in-progress, The Lady and the Minstrel. It has been some time since I sang it, but I came across it recently as I was unpacking some music books in my new house. The song is Anywhere I Wander, by Frank Loesser, and was sung by Danny Kaye in the movie musical, Hans Christian Anderson in 1952. I grew up watching this movie as a little girl with my dad—it was one of our favorites—and in my house, whenever we found a musical we liked, we went to a music store and bought the sheet music (or book of sheet music) to the movie, then came home and sang and played it endlessly on the piano.

I learned this song long before I wrote my first draft of The Lady and the Minstrel (many, many years ago), but while writing that first draft, this song took on a new meaning to me—or rather, I should say, to my characters, my hero in particular. I think it is the theme in the song of wandering, since my hero was a wandering minstrel, coupled with the sad nature of the lyrics. The third verse became particularly poignant to me as it came to encapsulate a dark moment towards the end of the book where my hero sends my heroine away with another man. I promise my story has a happy ending, but for awhile towards the end, things do look very bleak.

These are the words to the song. They could easily be sung by my hero, Robert the Minstrel, about his lady love, Marguerite.

Anywhere I Wander
by Frank Loesser

Her arms were warm as they welcomed me,
Her eyes were fire bright,
And then I knew that my path must be
Through the ever haunted night,

For anywhere I wander,
Anywhere I roam,
Till I’m in the arms of my darling again
My heart will find no home.
Anywhere I wander,
Anywhere I roam.

Her voice was oh such a soft caress,
Of love it gently told,
And in her smile was a tenderness
I may never more behold.

But anywhere I wander,
Anywhere I roam,
 Till I’m in the arms of my darling again
 My heart will find no home.
Anywhere I wander,
Anywhere I roam.

Her tears were silver as morning dew
As she bade me goodbye,
And every tear was a promise true
That her love would never die.

So anywhere I wander,
Anywhere I roam,
Till I’m in the arms of my darling again
My heart will find no home.
Anywhere I wander.
Anywhere I roam.

I’ve been unable to find a performance of this song that includes all three verses, but here is one by Danny Kaye with verses 1 & 2 and one by Ed Ames that includes verses 1 & 3.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

My books on sale for Kindle!

My publisher has made all three of my sweet medieval romances available at sales prices for Kindle through April 13! Each is now only $4.99, a $5 savings off the regular price. Just go to Amazon and type in any of the following titles:

Loyalty's Web

Illuminations of the Heart

Dangerous Favor

And check out my publisher's website for more great e-books on sale! Walnut Springs Press