Meet Lady in Red: Laura Simcox

See my smiling face? That’s because I’m thrilled to be here introducing myself as a Crimson Romance author. My debut novel is ‘Summer Promises’. It’s the story of a young woman (Carly Foster) who has promised herself that her upcoming summer theater job will be a working vacation. No romance allowed. That is…until Asher Day walks into her world with a wink that melts her heart. It releases on September 17.

My name is Laura Simcox (my real name and I’m sticking to it…well…actually, I couldn’t decide on a pen name. Maybe someday? Who knows what the future holds.)

I write contemporary romance with a lot of humor thrown into the mix. I can’t resist making my heroes and heroines flirt outrageously. While I’d rather talk about them, I’m supposed to be telling you about me. (Focus, Laura.) So here we go! I picked 13 questions because I’m feeling lucky. 😉

 

1. Single, married, divorced, widowed?

I am married…twelve years ago last week, in fact. It was 99 degrees Fahrenheit on my wedding day and I ditched my stockings with glee and marched up the aisle bare-legged. Haven’t looked back and am incredibly lucky to be married to a patient, sweet man. He’s smarter than me and that’s irritating…but I get over it.

2. Parent?

Yes! Our son turned three a couple of months ago. He’s frolicking in preschool right now which is why I’m even in front of my computer.

Living where?

We live in North Carolina.

3. Doing what, other than writing?

Sigh. Potty training. But you don’t want to hear about that. At the moment, writing and walking up the steep curve of learning about social media is taking most of my time. In a former life, I was a professional costume designer for theater. I also taught college theater.

4. One—just one—physical characteristic

Tiny size 6 feet. I’d trade that size for my dress size but….well. I’d look awfully funny. 🙂

5. What’s your secret passion?

Oooh. Pirates!

6. Tell us one thing about yourself you’d never change.

My education. I was fortunate to go to an excellent public high school in Kansas and a great small college in Missouri. Grad school was the icing on the cake. I know I’m lucky.

7. If you didn’t live where you do, where would you live? Why?

I’d live in St. Louis. It’s my favorite city…not too big, not too small. Great people, food and baseball.

8. Do you write about where you live or where you’d like to live?

I write about places I’ve been. Places I’ve stayed long enough to soak up the local culture.

9. What’s the first creative writing you remember doing outside a class?

When I was a little kid, I wrote and illustrated stories while sitting in the backseat of the family car. We took epic vacations to national parks once a year and I had a lot of car time. I remember that one was about a pack of bluejays that stole all of our hot dogs.

10. What one thing from your book did you take from personal experience?

My heroine, Carly, is fed UP with her lifestyle driving from theater to theater and not having a home or a man to call home. She’s unlucky in love…but that will change! It did for me, too. 🙂

11. Do you identify closely with one particular character? How?

Yes, I identify with Ross, Carly’s best friend. He lives in the moment but is also pragmatic.

12. The best part about my writing life is:

I’m a good boss. I let myself drink iced tea all day long and avoid laundry.

13. Give us a hint about what the next book’s like.

OK! I’m working on another contemporary, but with a twist. Here’s a little blurb:

In 1780, a thief snatched one of the world’s rarest documents…a previously undiscovered Shakespeare manuscript. The thief jumped on a ship and sailed for America with privateers and pirates hot on the trail. Just before reaching the Outer Banks of North Carolina, a hurricane swept them all into oblivion. Or did it? Treasure hunter Horatio Alexander doesn’t think so, because he’s discovered a portal to a mysterious island and all signs point toward this place as the location of the fabled manuscript. But he can’t go there alone. Two people are needed to operate the portal. So what’s a daredevil to do? Put a help wanted ad on the internet, of course. Budding archeologist Miranda Perry is looking for adventure and her long lost parents. What better place to search than the place where her parents went missing? The job she runs across online for a ‘research assistant’ is the perfect fit. Packing her bags takes no time! But what she discovers when she arrives at the dig site is beyond her wildest fantasies…

I’m excited about this one because it combines adventure and the opportunity to create some wacky characters. I love me some wacky.

Thanks, readers for stopping by to read my post. For more info, check out ‘Summer Promises’ on Amazon. Here’s a pic of the cover, too!

I love visitors. Here are some links:

Laura’s website

Laura on Facebook

Laura on Twitter

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Meet the Ladies in Red: Lola Karns

1. Introduce yourself, please. Hi and thank you for having me. I write as Lola Karns. My given name is tricky to pronounce and I wanted to make it easy for my readers to recommend me to their friends.  I adapted this name to honor my grandmothers, two strong women whose combined happily ever afters lasted over 120 years.

2. Let’s get the details out of the way:

Single, married, divorced, widowed?  Married for seventeen years and counting. We have two lovely children, a daughter and a son.

Living where? I currently live in Chesapeake which is in a part of Virginia that can’t decide whether to call itself Tidewater, Hampton Roads or Coastal Virginia or the Colonial Coast.

Doing what, other than writing? I chase the kids, volunteer at their schools, pull weeds, feed the cats and occasionally take naps.

One—just one—physical characteristic.  My unpolished fingernails look like I had a French Manicure.

3. What’s your secret passion? Photography.  Most of the food and nature photos on my website are ones I’ve taken myself.

4. Tell us one thing about yourself you’d never change. My curly hair – although I do change it with the help of Miss Clarol.

5. If you didn’t live where you do, where would you live? Why?  I love Chicago but my husband doesn’t so probably the North Georgia Mountains or Scotland or Iceland or….At any rate, I like the idea of living somewhere with hills to hike.

6. Do you write about where you live or where you’d like to live?  I mostly write about the Midwest.  I grew up there. I have a few ideas cooking that take place in the South.

7. What’s the first creative writing you remember doing outside a class? I won a poetry contest when I was nine, but I may have written the poem for school.

8. Why do you write romance novels?  Love is such a big part of the human experience. I’ve long been drawn to the love relationship subplots even in non-romance novels because I believe love is one of the ways we better understand our own sense of self.

9. What else do you write? My WIP is a New Adult featuring cars, a much younger sister, celebrity and farmers.  I’m polishing a romance set in the world of corporate league recreational sports.  In my past working life, I’ve written technical manuals and academic book reviews.

10. What one thing from your book did you take from personal experience?  I performed with an experimental dance group in college. I was never a professional ballerina like Penelope, the heroine of The Winter Fairy,but I drew on my dance background.

11. What did you cut from your book that felt like severing a body part? I had one short scene from five year old Eloise’s point of view.  I loved being in her world view for a little bit.

12. Do you identify closely with one particular character? How? I identify with both the hero Carson and the heroine Penelope in their struggle with the idea of sacrifice in pursuit of a life dream. Most women are well aware of the “career vs. family” debate, but I think it’s a lot more complicated than an either/or for women as well as men.

13. The best part about my writing life is: Do I have to pick just one thing? I love being part of the community of authors.  The Ladies in Red are a terrific group of writers and friends.  Likewise, I look forward to meeting of the Chesapeake Romance Writer for the chance to talk about writing face to face. We tend to think writing as a solitary pursuit but it isn’t really.  We get to interact with each other, with editors, with agents and our readers and fans.  I can’t wait to meet you at a book signing. Oh, yes, portability is important too.

14. The worst part about my writing life is: No doubt it is finding sufficient quiet interruption free time to think.  It’s near impossible for me get enough thinking time during the summer when my children are out of school, so I do most of my writing in the fall and winter. Maybe that’s why I love winter themed books so much.  I hope you’ll enjoy Winter Fairy too.

Thanks for having me here today!

Roses and Thorns

I need to write this blog post and I can’t. I just sit here staring at my computer screen trying desperately to think of something to write. It’s not because I don’t have anything to say or because I’m not thrilled to be here. I am. And I’ve got plenty to say. I just can’t think of anything worthwhile at this particular moment.

I think it’s because I’m borderline exhausted. And my mind is being pulled in a million directions at once. It’s starting to feel a little mushy up there, like my brain is melting from overuse.

That can’t be good, can it?

It seems like for the last few weeks I’ve done nothing but run around with my kids, take care of my house, write a new book, and promote the two books I just had released. Yes, two. Two times the blogs, two times the promo, two times the amount of stress in wondering whether or not anyone is actually going to buy my book, and if they do buy it, will they like it.

So I came to the Ladies in Red blog to see what other people had been chatting about lately. I wouldn’t want to bore you by blabbing about the same old thing. And for many writers, we all face the same struggles so the same topics often come to mind. Names, characters, plot, writing style, voice, POV etc. It’s all been said and done.

So I am still staring at my computer screen.

I turn to watch my little one’s DS screen while she plays a game beside me, her little body snuggled up close and radiating the kind of warmth that only a little person can. My dog is on the other side of her, snuggled up to her hip, snoring in only the way he can. And my other daughter is sitting on the opposite couch, also playing her DS, her yellow painted toenails (yes, yellow. Ick.) wiggling as she reacts involuntarily to her game.

My little one stopping to smell the flowers along our travels.

I turn back to my computer screen feeling slightly more content though not entirely inspired yet and notice the roses filling the screen, the beautiful background of our site. All of the times my little one has made us stop on our daily dog walk so she can smell a rose growing in the neighbor’s garden, or to watch a caterpillar as it makes its way across the street instantly rush to my mind.

Maybe I haven’t taken enough time to smell the roses lately.

Instead I’ve been focused on all the tiny thorns in my daily life that keep poking me. Little thorns are seriously hard to ignore sometimes! Seems I may have missed the roses through the sea of thorns.

I’ve been so busy writing a new book and promoting two others that I think I may have lost a sight of the things that are really important in my life. Like the two little roses sitting on my couch.

It’s not book sales that matter or blog posts getting written or new pages added to my work-in-progress. It’s health, happiness, family, and friends that matter the most. My roses.

Well, and sleep.

And coffee.

Those things are important too.

So for now, I’m going to sign off and go tend to my roses for a while. I’m not going to focus on my thorns. I’m not going to stress about whether or not this blog post is good enough or if people will like it. I’m not going to count the number of other blog posts and interviews I still have yet to write. (15. I couldn’t stop myself from looking.) I’m not going to focus on the fact that I didn’t get as many new pages written today as I hoped I would. Thorns, thorns, thorns. Poke, poke, poke.

Instead, I’m just going to be happy that I had something heartfelt to write about today.

Then I’m going to make dinner for my kids, eat, snuggle and read some stories with them before it’s bedtime. I’m going to kiss my hubs when he gets home and be thankful that I have such a wonderful man to share my life with. And I’m going to go to bed early. I’m going to read something just for fun and not because I’m editing it.

Soon enough a new day will start and I’ll be struggling with this balance of roses and thorns all over again.

But for right this second I’m just going to enjoy the roses.

Heather Thurmeier

WEBSITE

TWITTER

FACEBOOK

FALLING FOR YOU (aka. one of the books I’m promoting like crazy) is available now!

AMAZON

NOOK

iTUNES

“Heather Thurmeier’s hunky heroes and feisty heroines will have you laughing out loud, falling in love … and coming back for more!” ~ Carly Phillips, NY Times Bestselling Author

“Heather Thurmeier writes sweet, funny romances that capture your heart!” –NYT and USA Today bestselling author Jennifer Probst

Meet Lady in Red- K.M. Jackson

I’m so excited to be here on the Ladies in Red blog amongst these fantastic authors introducing myself today and shouting out that this week my debut novel Through The Lens is finally here! What an amazing and slightly overwhelming feeling to say that your book is set loose, out, into world for anyone to read.

Now since this is a Meet Lady in Red post let me share  a few K.M. Jackson facts and stats with you:

Single, married, divorced?

I’m marred for the past 23 years to a wonderful man who once made the mistake of saying to me when I was about to give up when my first novel was rejected,  “Well then, you give in too easily.” So here I am over 10 years later still writing and now finally being published. LOL.

Children?

I have teen boy/girl twins who are currently in college.  I’ve given them the heads up that though they are adults they are still my babies and Through The Lens is so NOT the book for them.

What’s your secret passion?

If you follow me on twitter you’ll know it’s no secret. Those darn “Not so Real Housewives”. I keep getting sucked in season after season.

If you didn’t live where you do, where would you live? Why?

I adore New York. I’m born and raised here and really can’t imagine living anywhere else.  Though in my dreams I do imagine spending some time in Paris or maybe at villa in Tuscany like in the movie. That would be so much fun.

Do you write about where you live or where you’d like to live?

They say write what you know so New York comes into play in most of my stories.

Why do you write romance novels?

Always a dreamer, I’ve loved romance since I was a kid. It was my escape.  I remember sneaking my mom’s and my grandmother’s romance books. I loved the drama and the happy endings. Though I may try my hand at other genres I don’t think I could write a book without a bit of romance. It’s where my heart is.

What one thing from your book did you take from personal experience?

There were a few bits I took loosely from personal experience. In my past last life I was a woman’s sportswear designer so I know a little of what it feels like to be like my heroine Mika, a regular woman in the world of New York fashion. That said the rest is all fiction. I’ve never been on any shoot on a tropical island. If only I were so lucky.

With that said, how about I give you a bit more about Through The Lens:

Mika Walters is a normal woman working in the not so normal world of New York Fashion. As long time assistant to sexy photographer Alejandro Vargas she’s tired of being the girl in the background.

Stranded.

After a travel mishap where the rest of the crew can’t make the remote location shoot for another three days Mika is taking her moment to catch Alejandro’s eye and put herself in front of Alejandro’s camera and if all goes to plan, his bed…

Alejandro doesn’t know what’s gotten into Mika, maybe it’s the sand, maybe it’s the sun, but he doesn’t really care. All he knows is that he’s finally opened his eyes and is seeing her clearly for the first time as the smart, gorgeous and incredibly irresistible woman she is.

But why can’t she realize that what he’s feeling for her is not one of his usual one, well, three night stands? What’s it going to take for him to prove to Mika that she’s the woman he wants?

Now and forever.  

Thanks so much hanging with me here today.

All the best,

K.M. Jackson

For more info I can be found at my blog www.kwana.com

And Through The Lens can be found at

http://www.crimsonromance.com/new-release-romance-ebook/through-the-lens/

Setting from Memory

Last weekend, the amazing JC Hays (http://jchay.com/) spoke at our MoRWA chapter meeting about world building.  JC writes sci fi romance and knows how to build a world from scratch.  But his talk focused on what to do when you are world building outside the paranormal and fantasy genres.  He got me thinking about my own setting process.  How do I choose where I set my stories?  Or do the characters choose for me? What about the fictional small town world of Shawnee, Idaho, where my Bull Rider’s series is set?  Today, we’re going deep into setting –

The Bull Rider’s Brother is set in a small town carved out of a river valley on the one north to south highway in Idaho.  A town like Shawnee exists, but the places I chose to highlight were a mix of different towns I’d visited as well as fictional spots.  Places that probably exist more in my mind, than on a specific spot on Google maps.

As a young girl, my family used to go camping on a tiny lake.  The pine trees surrounded the little lake, fed each year by the run off from the snow melting off the mountains.  The fish and game department stocked the lake annually, and, my mom and step-dad loved the fishing.  The lake was just long enough that you could swim the entire length without stopping. So once I’d swim the lake, I’d climb up on a large rock to suntan, and day dream.

This day dream process is how I describe my settings.  In The Bull Rider’s Brother, what does James see when he walks into Lizzie’s cabin for the first time in six years?  A robot movie plays on the television in the corner of the living room, toy cars line what used to be a bar for their cabin guests. What doesn’t he see? The glass refrigerator where Lizzie’s dad held the cold beers and sodas is empty and dark.  The liquor bottles that used to line the mirrored back of the bar, missing.   Hudson’s Hot Springs wasn’t open for business, during the peak of tourist season.  Now, James knows something’s wrong.

JC mentioned the use of monuments in his world building.  Like the clock tower in Back to the Future.  That clock tower in the middle of town ties the three movies together, past, present, and future.  In The Bull Rider’s Brother, the rodeo parade stands are that monument, even though they aren’t up all year long. The book opens and closes with the major characters on the stands.  The big reveal happens there as well as the inciting incident in the past – these hard, metal risers contain a lot of memories for my characters. 

When I wrote The Bull Rider’s Manager, the setting monument is the waiting area at an airport gate.  Different airports, different views, but as anyone who travels can tell you, these areas all feel the same.  Big changes happen to Barb and Hunter in these settings.  And with big changes, memories start to flow.

So Ladies in Red readers, what’s your favorite setting in either a book you read or one you wrote?  And why?

Lynn Cahoon

http://www.lynncahoon.wordpress.com

Falling for You is Here!!

The day has finally come. FALLING FOR YOU, the 1st in my Reality TV Romance series of books with Crimson Romance, is here! I’m so excited.

To celebrate, I want to chat Reality TV with you!! What is your favorite Reality TV show? Are you a game show kind of viewer? Or maybe you’re a lover of cooking shows. What about all those crazy dating shows where people try to find love?

I’m a fan of dating, fashion, cooking, and adventure shows. My all time faves are The Amazing Race, Bachelor/Bachelorette, and Big Brother. And Top Chef. And… I could go on and on…

Okay, okay, I can’t leave you without at least the blurb for Falling for You! I *heart* this book since it encompasses two of my favorite things in life—romance and reality TV!!

Newly single Cassidy Quinn is thrilled to be a contestant on the new reality dating show The One. But her excitement turns to horror when the gorgeous bachelor turns out to be her ex-boyfriend. Seeing Brad again makes Cassidy realize she might not be as “over him” as she thought—and then she meets hunky cameraman Evan Burke.

After watching his brother lose his wife in a tragic accident, Evan vows never to fall in love. But following Cassidy around as her personal cameraman makes him question his decision, and resisting her gets harder with every sunbathing, bikini-wearing day.

Cassidy and Evan begin a forbidden affair while her ex-boyfriend tries to win her heart back one groping, awkward moment at a time. If Cassidy can manage to stop falling off horses (literally), stop falling onto her ex-boyfriend, the bachelor (yes, literally), and stop falling in love with backstage playboy Evan, she might still make it through the show without becoming a tabloid sensation.

But soon Cassidy must choose between the ex who broke her heart and the cameraman who might never love her back. For Cassidy, this reality show just got real.

 

Have I gotten your reality TV lovin’ attention now? Yay!! Click the links to check out Falling for You!

AMAZON          NOOK          iTUNES

Meet the Lady in Red – Interview with Galen Rose

 

Aloha! Monday is one of those days few people appreciate but yesterday, a Monday, my new book, A Place to Rest My Heart went live! I now appreciate Mondays a lot more than I used to!

Introduce yourself, please. Is this a pen or personal name? Why did you make the choice to write under that name?

I write under the pen name Galen Rose. Even in this day of dwindling privacy, I felt it best to keep certain aspect of my life and my family’s life somewhat private. To be honest under my real name, I can be political, quite sarcastic and on occasion, jump up on my soap box. I thought that side of me might be a bit much for folks to take.

Let’s get the details out of the way:

Married?: I have been married for 17 years as of this June. I credit my husband with a huge amount of patience and he has been very supportive of my writing.

Children?: We have a 15 (going on 20) year old son, who is the light of my life. (even if he gives me grey hair! Ask about the two broken arms at the same time!)

Living where?: I was born in West Virginia, lived in Virginia for a few years, then off to California. I have lived in the Santa Cruz Mountains for the past ten years and I love it here among the towering redwoods.

Doing what other than writing?: I have had many jobs over the years, McDonalds, telephone solicitor, bike repairperson in the early years, an engraver for ten years, then on to run my own business selling Celtic Jewelry and gifts on the Internet and at Renaissance & Celtic Faires. I really enjoyed this business but the down turn in the economy was showing itself so I closed the business and then said, “Now what?” That’s when I started writing.

If you didn’t live where you do, where would you live? Why? I’d live in Maui. The moment I step off the plane I relax. I love the ocean and the smell of tropical flowers on the breeze, and snorkeling with sea turtles.

Why do you write romance novels?  Because unrequited love pisses me off. It really is as simple as that. I think there has to be a happily ever after.

What did you cut from your book that felt like severing a body part? Actually, the prologue. It was very dark and intense and all the feedback I got said it didn’t work.

The best part about my writing life is: Giving all the voices in my head a place to come out and really be heard. My imagination can be very vivid and I need an outlet for it.

The worst part about my writing life is:  Devoting enough time to the next writing project, and the one after that etc… Life has a way of really intruding and managing which ball to stop juggling is hard.

What else do you write? Right now contemporary romance, but I have outlines for a couple of paranormals.

Give us a hint about what the next book’s like. It is set in Maui. The poor heroine gets left at the alter and decides to stay in Maui to continue the ‘honeymoon’ she paid for. Insert some adventure and a hunky hero in there too.

If you want to know more about me or just want to say “Aloha”, stop by:

Website

Facebook

Amazon Author Page