Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Interview with Lesley Field

Today we are thrilled to be interviewing 
Historical Romance Author
Lesley Field.

Lesley Field grew up on Teesside. She enjoyed riding and reading and later spent most of her working life pursuing legal cases. When retirement came she kicked off the restraints of the law and discovered her real self.

Lesley writes contemporary fiction which is set in Canada, and historical fiction set in the Regency period in London. Her first historical novel, “Dangerous Entrapment,” was shortlisted for the Romantic Novelists Association’s Historical Novel of the Year 2016. She came into the Romantic Novelists Association under the New Writers Scheme and has now progressed to full membership and is also a member of ROMNA.

Who are some of your favorite authors?

In my teens, Barbara Cartland and Georgette Heyer and also any Mills and Boon authors.
Now, books by, Sarah MacLean, Karen Swan, Stephanie Laurens, Nicola Cornick, Debbie Macomber, Danielle Steele, Sarah Morgan, Susan Lewis, Susan Mallery, Louise Allen, Val Wood, Freda Lightfoot…I could go on.

What motivated you to become a writer and at what age?

A dull winter's day and remembering that I’d read a short story in a magazine and thought, I could do that.  So I sat at the laptop and started to type. The short story was completed but I felt it had more to offer, so I kept on typing and that story became the original draft of the first book in my Saunders series, due to be released next year. As for my age, well I’d been retired for 5 years and was wondering what to do with the rest of my life.  I was 65 years of age and suddenly I found my new vocation in life and I love every moment of it. I have so many plot lines in my head I hope I have time to get them all out.

What 3 words describe you as a person?

Organized but at times disorganized.
I have a wicked sense of humour.

What 3 words describe you as a writer?

Romantic, focused and emotional

When not writing, how do you spend your time? Hobbies?

Reading, walking, eating out, gardening (when I can find the time) and relaxing in front of the TV with a good program. Not forgetting my favourite cup of latte.

Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?

Sadly I can’t remember the first story. But I read all of the classics, as well as The Famous Five, The Secret Seven and I think my favourite book from my childhood is “Children of the New Forest,” by Frederick Marryat.

Describe your desk.

My desk is easy to describe, it’s our dining table. I have a lovely view out to the garden and can watch the birds if I need a moment to think.

Who is the main character in Dangerous Deception?

The main character in my book is Lady Caroline (Callie) Sutton

What is her story?

Her story is one of love, duty and revenge.

Where/when does the story take place?

The story first begins in Hampshire, England in 1801 when Callie is only 14 years old. It then moves on over the next 3/4 years.

How did the story come to you?

I read a book where a “Lady” of society had a child out of wedlock. It started me thinking and from that came “Dangerous Deception.”

Who is your target audience?

Anyone who loves historical novels and a good romance, with some sex thrown in.

What makes your book different from other similar ones?

I try, and hope I succeed, in keeping the language as it was at the time. I have read so many historical novels that have used words not in the English language at that time, it’s quite off-putting. I don’t abbreviate, it was not done in that era within society. I try not to over describe which allows the reader to picture the scene or the person as they wish.  I prefer to keep the love story the main core of the novel but I do add heat which I find most readers expect.

What do your fans mean to you?

People who read my books are very important to me.  I want their reviews, good or bad, so I know what it is they need from the next book.

Where do you get the inspirations for your book(s)?

From the very vivid imagination my Mum told me I had. Also from reading, a comment or a scene in a novel can trigger a spark in your brain that will lead to your next book.

Any advice for new writers just beginning this trek down the wonderful world of publishing?

Never give up and never stop reading.

You can find Lesley's books at all reputable online retailers.

Thursday, January 5, 2017

Interview with multi-published author Kevin Hopson

Who are some of your favorite authors?

Margaret Weis, Tracy Hickman, David Baldacci, Blake Crouch, and Michael Crichton.

What motivated you to become a writer and at what age?

I’ve had an interest in writing ever since I was a child. Taking English classes in college and reading Michael Crichton during those years really motivated me to write. It wasn’t until a few years ago, though, that I committed to making a career out of it.

What 3 words describe you as a person?

Giving, impatient, nature-loving

What 3 words describe you as a writer?

Impatient, passionate, simple

When not writing, how do you spend your time? Hobbies?

Reading, meditation, music, movies, and playing with my son. Photography has become one of my main hobbies.

Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?

Yes. I can’t remember the title, but it was an Isaac Asimov book that I read in my youth. Ever since then, I’ve wanted to write a science fiction novel. I guess you can say my sci-fi novella, Shifting Alliances, is a direct result of my experience.

Describe your desk.

It’s the definition of simple. It’s literally just a laptop on top of a TV tray/table.

Who is the main character of your recent release, CHILDREN OF THE SNOW?

Jacob Schmidt

What is his story?

He’s an Atlanta police detective who’s been through a lot both personally and professionally.

Where/when does the story take place?

Present day Atlanta.

How did the story come to you? 

I originally wrote this story for an anthology called “Snowpocalypse.” I later decided to submit it to my publisher, MuseItUp Publishing.

Who is your target audience?

Anyone who likes a good story. I feel like my greatest strength rests in my storytelling ability.

What makes your book different from other similar ones?

I always try to base my stories on something original and unique, and I believe this story qualifies.

What do your fans mean to you?

They make it all worthwhile. Though I write for myself first and foremost, it’s the encouragement I get from my readers that really keeps me going.

Where do you get the inspirations for your book(s)?

From my environment. There are so many things in life that stimulate me; it’s hard to pinpoint one thing. Sometimes inspiration comes from the strangest and most unexpected places.

Any advice for new writers just beginning this trek down the wonderful world of publishing?

DON’T GIVE UP! It’s very cliché but true. There was a time when I was close to giving up. However, an opportunity presented itself when I least expected, and now I’ve published over a dozen books/stories in a variety of markets. Also, try to write as often as you can. You hone your skills through practice. Staying active keeps you engaged and sharp.

Thank you, Kevin, for allowing us to see your inspirations behind the scenes.

For more information on Kevin's books, please visit here.

Thursday, December 22, 2016

S'ayapo, I Love You

For the past several years I've made it a tradition to post this particular short story of mine because it brings out so many emotions in me. I hope you enjoy. Here's wishing everyone Happy Holidays. 

S'agapo...I love you
by Lea Schizas

The lights of the nursing room were unusually bright this Christmas Eve night. An outsider had visited Mrs. Sophia Adamopoulos earlier in the day. She brought a Greek dish, pastitsio, filling the halls with its aroma of cinnamon and pasta…a welcome change from the lingering odors of Lysol and urine.

The nurses greeted her, comforted her and explained the state her mother was in.

Armed with the latest update, Maria Adamopoulos stepped into her mother’s surroundings. Childhood memories hit her hard. The vision of her mother combing her beautiful long tresses and hugging her as she said, "Maria, s'agapo, I love you", enveloped her heart. Her mother cheering her at every track meet, making sure she was never late. Her mother’s laughter filling the house with joy as Maria practiced her words for Saturday's Greek school. All these images flashed before her as she faced the cold aberration she stepped into. No embroideries hung on the walls like in their family home. Mom's cassette player playing the cherished Greek songs she sang to, was missing, as well.

But the single picture that broke her heart was to see her mother sitting by the window, emptily staring, not outside at the panoramic garden view but at the empty walls within.
"Hello, momma." As Maria approached to hug her, Mrs. Adamopoulos flailed her arms in front of her, terrified.
"Who are you? Help me!"

The nurse ran in and immediately soothed her.

"Sophia, Sophia, calm down, you have a visitor. This is your daughter, Maria. She's come a long way to see you." Maria felt like running and shaking her mom to the present, to try and get her out of this Alzheimer stupor that gripped her.
Guilt rose in Maria. She thought, I should never have listened to my brother. I should have stuck to my guns and brought mom back to Greece. Her brother had stopped visiting. He told Maria mom doesn’t recognize me, so why bother. Maria was here to bring her mother back home.
Sophia stared at Maria as if trying to bring about a memory forever lost in this mind disease. The nurse left them alone once more.

Slowly, Maria again approached her mother. "Look, ma, I made your favorite dish." She gently lifted the tinfoil and let her mother take a look.


"Yes, momma. It's Maria."

Tears flowed down Sophia's cheeks. "Where is my memory when I really need it," she cried.

That night the dim lights magically lit brightly as if Sophia's memory and those lights were one.

Maria had entered her mom's hospital room as a stranger, but for one magical moment her mother embraced her like she used to, a long time ago, whispering the words Maria needed to hear once again.

"S'agapo, Maria. I love you."

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Victoria's Visions by Jean Hart Stewart

How can Vicky reconcile the two conflicting visions that haunt her every thought? In one, she and Cabot are walking on a beautiful shore, hand in hand and happy. In the other, he is weeping beside her bedside. They can’t both be true, can they?

Happy Release Day to Jean Hart Stewart
Song of the Mages series
is now available at MuseItUp and all online retailers.

Sunday, December 18, 2016

Humble Heroes Just Do Their Job

by John B. Rosenman

John Glenn died recently. I think most of us would agree that he was a national hero. To mention just a few of his accomplishments and contributions: he was a multi-decorated fighter pilot of 150 combat missions; the first American to orbit Earth; a national political figure for 24 years in the Senate; and at 77 years of age, the oldest, by far, to return to space via the space shuttle Discovery.

But I want to focus on something else. John Glenn was not only reluctant to talk about himself as a hero, he apparently didn’t think of himself as one. He said, “I figure I’m the same person who grew up in New Concord, Ohio, and went off through the years to participate in a lot of events of importance.” When referring to his Earth-orbiting mission, he was flatly dismissive. “What got a lot of attention, I think, was the tenuous times we thought we were living in back in the Cold War. I don’t think it was about me. All this would have happened to anyone who happened to be selected for that flight.”

I don’t think it was about me. I’ve noticed that many of the greatest heroes have this self-effacing quality. We see them often. A cop or fireman risks their life to save the lives of others, and what do they say? “I was just doing my job.” When asked, they say they don’t think of themselves as heroes. They habitually defer to others and avoid the spotlight. They don’t think of themselves as superior to anyone, and praise and attention often embarrass them. If I may be permitted a personal reference, this is a major quality of Turtan, my fictional hero. For God’s sake, don’t praise him or make speeches in his honor. He was just doing his job.

This description describes to a T the values of Irena Sendler, a Polish woman. She risked her life to save the lives of 2500 Jewish children during World War II. She was caught, tortured, and severely beaten by the Gestapo who tried to make her reveal the names of the children and of her comrades. Despite her agony, Irena Sandler refused to do so. She was then sentenced to death and narrowly escaped. You would think after demonstrating such courage and conviction, that this woman would pat herself on the back a little and accept a compliment or two. Not at all! When interviewed, Irena Sandler said, “Every child saved with my help is the justification of my existence on this earth and not a title to my glory.”

In other words, I was just doing my job.

I’m not saying that people who display bravery and courage are not heroes if they thump their chest and brag a little. It’s okay to strut a bit and bask in well-earned praise. And I’d be lying to you if I said I didn’t like movie superheroes and men and women of action who risk their hides and do glorious and splashy deeds. It’s just that during my life, I’ve noticed that it’s often the unsung and unnoticed heroes who are the most noble and praiseworthy. They may not be as glamorous or romantic, but they shine with a truer light, the kind you may have to watch closely to see.

I’ll give you one more example. I taught for nearly forty years at HBCU’s (Historically Black Colleges and Universities). Often the families were poor and struggled to send their children to college. As an English professor, I came in contact with single mothers who labored at two or more jobs to afford a higher education for their children. To me, they were heroes. There was no stirring, uplifting music when they got down on their knees to wash a floor, and they weren’t featured on TV shows or the covers of any fashionable magazines. Nevertheless, in my book they were heroes, and I sometimes reflected on the strength and courage they must have possessed, especially when they themselves pursued a higher education thirty years or more after they had dropped out of high school.

In a way, these women were just doing their job too and didn’t think of themselves as heroes. Yet they were, and I believe such individuals deserve our recognition and appreciation far more than the glamorous stars we so often worship.

CONQUEROR OF THE STARS, Book 4 of John’s Inspector of the Cross series releases January 2017 . . . Pre-order now $3.00.
AMAZON                                       MUSEITUP
The first three novels of John’s Scifi-Adventure Inspector of the Cross series are available at