This blog is for those 18 and older.

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Guest Author Interview: Ella Quinn

Our guest today is historical romance author Ella Quinn and she is giving away a copy of her debut release The Seduction of Lady Phoebe. Check out this lovely interview with her and leave a comment along with contact information for your chance to win!

Alexis: When did you know you wanted to be a writer?

Ella: Two years ago. I started getting a scene playing in my head of a woman in Regency dress. So I sat down and wrote the book.

Alexis: Wow, that is great! What made you chose your title?

Ella: The original title was “Phoebe.” That didn’t go over well when I pitched the book at my first writers conference. When I returned, I got with my critique group and they helped me find a good title.

Alexis: Ah yes, writing friends are the best, aren’t they? So which authors inspired you?

Ella: Definitely Georgette Heyer, and Dorothy Dunnett.

Alexis: Ah, the classics. A lot has changed since then, especially because we have computers now :-) Everyone has their own writing process…how they come up with ideas, how they name their characters, how they choose the setting. Can you describe your writing process?

Ella: My ideas usually come to me in full-color mind video. Almost as if I was watching it on TV. I’ve never actually picked a setting, it just seems to come. For example, the book I’m working on now was supposed to have taken place in Jamaica, instead it ended up on St. Thomas. Some of my characters come fully named, others need a little help. I have books on historic names. Most of the time as I’m looking at the lists, a name will pop out at me. In The Seduction of Lady Phoebe, I had a name I thought Edith was the right first name for Lady St. Eth, but the character wanted Ester. I looked it up and sure enough, the name was used during the Regency and with that spelling. My hero’s father didn’t tell me his first name until the third revision.

Alexis: Ugh, don’t you hate waiting for a character to talk to you so you can clear up a detail? So what are you working on now?

Ella: The fifth book of The Marriage Game. It is based in St. Thomas, which was a Danish protectorate at the time, Martinique and Tortola.

Alexis: Now that sounds exciting.  As an almost neighbor, over here in St. Croix, I can immediately picture those settings. 

Ella, it has been a pleasure having you on Happily Ever After Thoughts. Wait until our readers check out your book blurb. I know they will want to buy this book. I know I do.

THE SEDUCTION OF LADY PHOEBE ~ September, 19, 2013
LADY PHOEBE STANHOPE, famous for her quick wits, fast horses, and punishing right hook, is afraid of nothing but falling in love. Fleeing a matchmaking attempt with the only man she despises, Phoebe meets a handsome blue-eyed stranger who sends her senses skittering. By the time Phoebe discovers the seductive stranger is the same arrogant troll she sent packing eight years ago, she is halfway to falling in love with him.

LORD MARCUS FINLEY last saw Phoebe striding regally away, as he lay on the floor with a bruised jaw and a rapidly swelling eye. Recently returned from the West Indies, Marcus is determined to earn Phoebe’s love, preferably before she discovers who he is. Determined to have Phoebe for his own, Marcus begins his campaign to gain her forgiveness and seduce her into marriage.
Can Phoebe learn to trust her own heart and Marcus? Or is she destined to remain alone?

~Lady Phoebe is a heroine Georgette Heyer would adore--plucky, pretty, and well worth the devotion of the dashing Lord Marcus. A marvelous find for Regency romance readers.~
~NYT Bestseller Grace Burrowes ~

Ella Quinn’s The Seduction of Lady Phoebe is a passionate tale full of humor, romance, and poignancy. Quinn writes classic Regency romance at its best!”
~Shana Galen~

Amazon Germany:

Ella’s Bio:
Ella’s studies and other jobs have always been on the serious side. Reading historical romances, especially Regencies, were her escape. Eventually her love of historical novels led her to start writing them.

She is married to her wonderful husband of twenty-nine years. They have a son and granddaughter, Great Dane and a Chartreux. After living in the South Pacific, Central America, North Africa, England and Europe, she and her husband decided to make St. Thomas, VI home.

Ella is a member of the Romance Writers of American, The Beau Monde and Hearts Across History. She is represented by Elizabeth Pomada of Larsen-Pomada Literary Agency, and published by Kensington. Her debut novel The Seduction of Lady Phoebe, will release in September 2013

To learn more about Ella and her books check out these sites:

Website: (Up soon)

Alexis: Don’t forget to leave a comment and contact information for a chance to win The Seduction of Lady Phoebe.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Dawn Kunda Reviews THE SHOEMAKER'S WIFE by Adriana Trigiani

This story takes you through a life-long love starting in the Italian Alps and endures immigration to America, job trials, and meetings by chance.

Ciro and Enza meet as teenagers.  Ciro and his brother had been left at a convent after their father died and mother couldn’t take care of them.  Enza, the oldest child of her family, became an adult before her age.  When the two met, the instant attraction lasted a lifetime.

Trigiani relates the hardship of immigrants as Enza and Ciro travel to America separately and unknown to the other.  They each land in New York and make a life for themselves with the intentions of returning to the Alps someday.  Ciro becomes a shoemaker while Enza is a seamstress for the Metropolitan Opera.  They have brief, accidental meetings and are thrilled to find each other, yet something always stood in the way of forming a relationship.

That is until Enza is nearly walking down the aisle with another man.

The imagery and setting between country and city change the course of work for each, although the need and attraction between Enza and Ciro circle the issues of survival and opposing lifestyles they’ve created.  Can they change their current direction to come together and live happily ever after?  Who makes the biggest change and will it be a scar on their love?  Are there any regrets?

The Shoemaker’s Wife is a splendid account of true love and how it can hold up until death do us part.   


Sunday, April 21, 2013

Dawn Kunda: Latest Update and a Giveaway

Today we have our own Dawn Kunda, here to update everyone on her latest project and giving away a $20 gift card to Barnes & Noble! Be sure to leave a comment with contact information for a chance to win! Check out what's new with Dawn.

The life of a writer is never stagnant, no matter how long it takes to finish writing a novel, hear a response from an editor, or think up the next scene or story.

I’m in the middle of all-of-the-above right now.  My romantic suspense, In Plain Sight, the first in a proposed series, From the CIA, is wandering the inboxes of selected agents and editors while you read this.  The sequel to Court of Lies, Window of Lies, is awaiting its last two chapters, which I continually swear I’ll finish today-okay tomorrow, but soon.

I have no set schedule for writing or thinking up my next step in a story.  Rather, it all happens when the time is right.  Matter of fact, I’ve always been a panster-little preplanning of plot- for the most part, but when I start the next two (I’ve turned into the author who has two novels going at once) I decided to make a lengthy plan for each.

Why would I do something silly such as change my system?  I think it’s because the next novels will have more complicated plots and sub-plots.   Or maybe I like to drive myself crazy and pull more hair out as the screen and I have “staring” contests!

Either way, I love every part of writing novels.  Writing the novel is great, editing the drafts are a nice change of pace-to read scenes I’ve forgotten about supply my own surprises, and the thrill of working with an editor at the publishing house is inspiring and always full of lessons. 

And even more fun, is chatting with the readers!  I always want to know what you’re thinking, your questions, your expectations of a great story, and I’m excited to be here with you today :-)

Ask Dawn a question or leave a comment for a chance to win! 

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Romance Junkie

I…am a romance junkie. There. I’ve said it. And for those of you who read my blog regularly, this should come as no surprise. However, my definition might not be the same as yours.
I believe in romance. I love romance, but I’m probably the least romantic person you’ll ever meet (and yet, I write romances….go figure). You will never see me running through a field of flowers toward the man of my dreams, a gauzy dress billowing around me as music plays in the background. Just ain’t gonna happen. I am too practical and pragmatic for that (unless, of course, it was Hugh Jackman waiting for me).  

I have learned that romance comes in many forms (not just what you read in novels and see in movies) and I have realized, over the years of married life (yes, I’ve been married a long time….32 years!), that I have made some trades on what I thought romance was and what it really is (to me, at least).

Would I love my husband to bring me flowers for no reason?
Of course, however, if he changes the oil in my car and thumps my tires to make sure I’m not low, that’s just as romantic in my book. And if he comes to rescue me on the freeway when I’ve broken down….oh, now that’s my idea of romance.

Candlelight dinners are lovely and who wouldn’t want to gaze into their partner’s eyes, but being as unromantic as I am, I’ll trade that for a man who’ll fix my leaky faucet and take out the trash. Would I love to be swept off my feet? When I was younger, I thought so, but now? I’d rather have a man who can make me laugh, even when I don’t want to, even when there’s nothing to laugh about.
Now, don’t get me wrong. I’m still a romance junkie and I’m thankful there are plenty of romance novels out there to give me my fix. What about you? Are you a romance junkie? What’s the most romantic thing your partner has done for you?

As always, happy reading!