A Jumble of Genres for a Gemini

Way back in 2008, I decided to write my first novel. I was working as an editor and technical writer for a software company but yearned to be a famous fiction writer. Two events occurred that pushed me into the publishing world.

The first one was a discussion I had with one of my daughters. I worked from home, so my girls often saw me at my desk typing away. I can’t remember which daughter it was (probably the youngest because she’s still full of questions), but she asked me if I liked my job. I said, “I’m very good at my job, but no, I’d rather be writing novels.” She said, “Why don’t you?” I didn’t bother to explain about paying bills and the need for mommy to have a full-time job. Instead, I thought, maybe I can do it in my spare time? I think it is important to be a role model for your kids, so I wanted to show them that you can pursue your dreams no matter how old you are. Cera's Place - Ebook Small

The second event was a reading I had with a psychic. My husband and I were at his company’s Christmas party, and his boss had hired two psychics as part of the entertainment. I couldn’t hear most of the reading because of the party going on behind me, but toward the end, she gave me the opportunity to ask a question. I said, “Will I ever write a book?” After a moment, she said, “Yes.” I got up to leave, and she grabbed my wrist, leaned in, and said, “You will write a book.” OK, shivers.

Soon after that, I started writing Cera’s Place, a historical romance set in post-Civil War San Francisco. It took several years to complete, and I had no idea what I was doing, as I knew nothing about story structure. But I had a lot of fun writing it, and to this day, Cera and Jake are my favorite characters out of all my books.

Venice-in-the-Moonlight-EbookCOVERThe reviews were mixed, but there were enough positive ones that I went on to write Venice in the Moonlight, which is set in eighteenth-century Italy. This time, I did follow traditional story structure, and I picked Venice as the setting because I had fallen in love with the city during a visit with my husband. I also thought incorporating Casanova as a minor character would be fun. During my research, however, I learned that he wasn’t such a great guy—so the movies got that wrong. He wouldn’t have survived the #MeToo movement.

I decided to try a contemporary romance next. Like most people, my life has had its share of ups and downs. The worst down was the three-year period when my father died, my friend was killed in an accident, I got divorced, and my brother died from AIDS. I had a lot of demons to exorcise, and I chose writing as a way to dispel them. First Crush, Last Love is loosely based on my teens and twenties, though there is plenty of fiction in it.647e1-first-crush-customdesign-jayaheer2017-ebook-complete

After reliving my past through First Crush, Last Love, I was burnt out and pretty sure I wouldn’t write another book. Then one day, I was watching the 2015 version of And Then There Were None. I love mysteries, I love Agatha Christie, and I love Aidan Turner (Poldark) shirtless and in a towel. (If you’ve seen this version, then you understand that last line. If you haven’t seen this version, find it and watch it.) Suddenly, I had the inspiration for my next book. I was going to reimagine And Then There Were None but set the story in a remote lodge in northern Wisconsin on New Year’s Eve.

I started Killer Resolutions that day, and it’s been really fun to write. It’s dark, full of murder, and hopefully will keep readers guessing who the real killer is. I was about three quarters done with a first draft, when in June of 2018, I read that Hallmark Publishing was accepting submissions. It was too good of an opportunity to pass up.

Great-Jewel-Robbery-FRONTCOVERI put aside Killer Resolutions and, following Hallmark Publishing mystery guidelines, I started on The Great Jewel Robbery. It took me less than a year to write it, which is a new record for me, as I am an extremely slow writer. Unfortunately, Hallmark passed on my manuscript, but I don’t mind being an independent author. After all of this time, it would be hard to give up creative control of my books.

I plan on finishing Killer Resolutions in time to ring in 2020, so if you love dark mysteries, keep an eye out for my next release.

As you can see, my writing journey has been all over the place—historical romances, contemporary romances, dark mysteries, cozy mysteries—I blame it on being a Gemini. We’re known for our split personalities!

If you enjoy The Great Jewel Robbery, please take a moment to leave a review on Goodreads or wherever you purchased the book. I love to read feedback from readers.

Take care,

Elizabeth McKenna

Belinda Blake and the Snake in the Grass by Heather Day Gilbert – Book Tour and Giveaway

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Belinda Blake and the Snake in the Grass
(An Exotic Pet-Sitter Mystery)
by Heather Day Gilbert

 

About the Book

Belinda Blake and the Snake in the Grass (An Exotic Pet-Sitter Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
Lyrical Underground (June 25, 2019)
Paperback: 192 pages
ISBN-10: 1516108841
ISBN-13: 978-1516108848
Digital ASIN: B07HVYQ9XZ

When exotic pet-sitter Belinda Blake moves into a carriage house in tony Greenwich, Connecticut, she’s hoping to find some new clients. Instead she discovers a corpse in the garden—and a knack for solving murders . . .

Pet-sitter Belinda Blake doesn’t rattle easily, but move-in day has been eventful, to say the least. The python in her care tried to slither to freedom—just as she met Stone Carrington V, her landlords’ disarmingly handsome son. With the constrictor back in its cage, she heads out to the garden, only to discover a designer shoe poking out of the boxwood hedge—attached to a woman’s dead body.

The victim, Margo Fenton, was a Carrington family friend, and no one in their circle seems above suspicion. Between client trips to Manhattan and visits to her family in upstate New York, Belinda begins to put the pieces together. But though she’s falling for Stone’s numerous charms, Belinda wonders if she’s cozying up to a killer. And soon, daily contact with a deadly reptile might be the least dangerous part of her life . . .

About the Author

Heather Day Gilbert, an ECPA Christy award finalist and Grace award winner, writes contemporary mysteries and Viking historicals. Her novels feature small towns, family relationships, and women who aren’t afraid to protect those they love. Like Belinda Blake, Heather plays video games, although so far she hasn’t done any exotic pet-sitting or hunted any murderers. Find out more on HeatherDayGilbert.com.

Author Links

Website: http://heatherdaygilbert.com

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Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7232683.Heather_Day_Gilbert

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More Than a Rogue by Sophie Barnes – Book Tour and Giveaway

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More Than a Rogue

The Crawfords Series
by Sophie Barnes
Publication Date: June 25, 2019
Genres: Adult, Historical, Romance

Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | Apple Books

All she wanted was a kiss…

What she got, was fiery passion…

Emily Howard knows she is destined to be a spinster. She has accepted this fate, but that doesn’t stop her from wanting to experience kissing. What she doesn’t expect, is for Griffin Crawford, the handsomest man in the world, to do the honors. Or for all her female relations to discover her in his embrace. Naturally, marriage is instantly mentioned, but since Emily knows this is not what Griffin wants, she tries to escape him, her family and the ensuing scandal.

When Emily flees the Camberly ball in the wake of their kiss, Griffin goes in pursuit. He will not allow his sister-in-law’s determined friend to risk her safety for any reason. And risk it she will if she means to return to her countryside home by herself. But the longer he remains in her company, the more he is tempted to kiss her again. If only he could risk falling in love and remain in England forever.

About Sophie Barnes

Born in Denmark, Sophie has spent her youth traveling with her parents to wonderful places all around the world.

She has studied design in Paris and New York and has a bachelor’s degree from Parson’s School of design, but most impressive of all – she’s been married to the same man three times, in three different countries and in three different dresses.

While living in Africa, Sophie turned to her lifelong passion – writing.

When she’s not busy, dreaming up her next romance novel, Sophie enjoys spending time with her family. She currently lives on the East Coast.

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