Fan2Author Interview with Vicky Dreiling!


What was your favorite book as a child?

Little House on the Prairie.

lhotp lwIs there a book you’re never tired of reading over and over?

Yes. It’s Flowers From The Storm by Laura Kinsale. The book is brilliant.

Do you like reading classics and is there one that you’re embarrassed to say you’ve never read?

Well, there were a lot of required books in my college English classes.  I never finished Don Quixote. Total misery. I faked it pretty well  :)

Is there a book that you recently read that you wish you had written?


What’s a movie adaptation of a book that you loved or that you wish it is made?

There’s one I wish hadn’t been made into a film as they botched it. I loved A.S. Byatt’s Possession. It’s a fantastic book. The ending is surprisingly endearing.

Which book we might be surprised to learn that you loved?

Tracey Chevalier’s Girl with a Pearl Earring. I loved her spare prose and the imagery.

If you were given only one genre to read for the rest of your life, what would it ffts lkbe?

Historical Romance.

What was the last book that made you laugh out loud, and what was the last one that made you cry?

Laugh out Loud – Jill Shalvis’s It Had To Be You.  I haven’t read one that made me cry since – the ending of Flowers From The Storm.

During a thunderstorm – stay inside or sit on porch watching the show?

Are you kidding? Inside!  I live in Texas & the humidity will make every cell in your body limp.

Flannels or Silk?

Cotton Tinkerbell nightgown.

ihtby jsSports car or SUV?

I’d prefer a chauffeur  ;-)

Cats or Dogs?

Neither. I have allergies.

Champagne or Beer?


Movies or TV?


What’s your favorite TV show or movie?

I’m addicted to The Big Bang!

What a Devilish Duke Desires 

Dreiling_What a Devilish Duke Desires_MMWill A Few Flirtatious Steps

Harry Norcliffe never wanted to inherit his beloved uncle’s title. The rigidity of the ton, the incessant reminders from his marriage-minded mama that he must settle down with a highborn lady and produce an heir and a spare: it’s all such a dreadful bore. So when his mother asks him to take part in a dancing competition, he patently refuses. The last thing he needs is another chore . . . until a beautiful, brilliant, delightfully tempting maid makes him rethink his position.

Lead To A Scandalous Seduction?

Most women would be over the moon to be pursued by a wickedly handsome-not to mention wealthy-duke like Norcliffe. But Lucy will not be any man’s trophy. She could use a friend, though, and what begins innocently soon ignites into desire. As Lucy tries to resist Harry’s scorching kisses, he makes an utterly irresistible offer. Enter the dance contest with him, and win a prize that could change her life forever . . . if falling in love doesn’t change it first.

BUY LINKS: Amazon / B&N / iBooks / GooglePlay / Kobo / BAM


He took off his coat and went to tend the fire. His wide shoulders needed no padding. When he rose and dusted his hands, she noted his superior height once again. In his waistcoat and shirtsleeves, she could discern the way his waist tapered.

He joined her on the sofa and laid his arm across the top of it. “Tired?” he asked.

“No.” She was too aware of him. In the shadowy room, she could not see his bright blue eyes, but the soft sound of his breathing mingled with hers. The tension between them crackled all around her. A long moment suspended. Her senses were heightened, and her breasts felt heavier for some odd reason. She discerned the scent of wintergreen soap and something else—something masculine and irresistible. Something unique to him.

He leaned closer, and she could feel the whisper of his breath on her lips. “From the first moment we met, I could not get you out of my head.”

His words made her feel giddy, but she held back, because she was still a little wary. “I am undoubtedly the first woman to threaten you with a knife.”

He grinned. “Indeed you are. Now that you are unarmed, perhaps we could be friends.”

“We will shake on it,” she said, offering her hand.

He took her hand and turned her wrist, palm up. He looked up at her beneath his dark lashes, and then he kissed the tender underside of her wrist. When he touched his tongue to the pulse point, her breath shuddered out of her. She thought she might melt from the heat in his seductive gaze.

“I’d better go,” he said. There was a knowing look in his eyes, as if he was aware of exactly how he’d affected her.

When she inhaled on a shaky breath, he helped her to rise. She walked with him to the door as if she were enveloped in a fog.

He halted and gazed into her eyes. Then he drew her in his arms and kissed her gently on the lips. His mouth moved over hers and his hand slipped down the curve of her spine. Heat and longing surged inside her. He wrapped his arms around her, and she could feel the hard, unyielding muscles of his arms, chest, and thighs as he pressed her against him.

“Forgive me in advance,” he said.

“For what?” she whispered.

He kissed her gently once more, and then he drew his tongue along the seam of her mouth. Her lips parted and then his tongue was in her mouth, tasting her while his hands slid down her spine and to her bottom. He pulled her flush against him, and she could feel his hard body. She was breathing faster and everything inside of her was on fire for him. God help her, she wanted his hands all over her.

He broke the kiss, and she was aware that his breathing had quickened as well.

When he released her, he said, “Good night, sweet Lucy.”

Her limbs trembled a little as he strode out into the night, leaving her to wonder if he knew it was her first kiss.

vicky-dreilingAUTHOR BIO: Vicky Dreiling is a confirmed historical romance junkie and Anglophile. Frequent business trips to the United Kingdom allowed her to indulge her passion for all things Regency England. Bath, Stonehenge, and Spencer House are among her favorite places.

She is, however, truly sorry for accidentally setting off a security alarm in Windsor Castle. That unfortunate incident led her British colleagues to nickname her Trouble. When she’s not writing, Vicky enjoys reading, films, concerts, and, most of all, long lunches with friends. A native Texan, she holds degrees in English literature and marketing.

MEDIA LINKS: Website / Facebook / Twitter / Goodreads

Fan2Author Interview with Ruth Kaufman!

I’m so happy to introduce you to a “new author to me” ;) 

There are so many ways to meet authors these days, and I met Ruth through another author I admire greatly, Delilah Marvelle. I also discovered that both Ruth and I live in the Chicago area, so I hope to see her in person one of these days!

I read her début book and I loved it. You can read my review in a separate post of the day. Alright, here we go, Ruth, welcome to b2b and since I’m not so familiar with you and your work, how about you introduce yourself first, okay?

Thank you for having me today!

ahc rkWhen I started reading romance novels in high school, I thought I could write as well as some authors, but not as well as others. I first put pen to paper (literally) in the late 80s. I joined RWA in 1996, after I’d completed my first manuscript, which eventually became AT HIS COMMAND. I realized that the story would also work well as an inspirational, what I’d heard was a growing market, while medieval historicals wasn’t. So I created an inspirational version, which won RWA’s Golden Heart award. When getting ready to self-publish, I thought, “Why not release both?” Doing so cost more and took more time and effort, but author after author told me what a great idea she thought it was. And no one on my advisory team had heard of anyone else who’d done it.
I left corporate America at the end of 2005 to pursue acting and writing full time, whenahc2 rk my 3rd manuscript (FOLLOW YOUR HEART, releasing 4/14) was a finalist in RT Bookreviews’ national American Title II contest. After 5 rounds of online voting, it was runner-up. Only the winner got a contract.
In addition to wearing the myriad hats of self-publishing, I do voiceovers (commercials, e-learning, web explainer videos and soon my first video game), on-camera work (I have a national commercial running, and act in indie films, etc.), and give workshops on a variety of subjects. I’m looking forward to giving Taming the octopus: how to tackle self-publishing without getting squeezed for a s-p Meetup and my local RWA chapter. 

awit mleWhat was your favorite book as a child?

A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle. I identified with Meg.

Is there a book you’re never tired of reading over and over?

The Wolf and the Dove by Kathleen Woodiwiss. It’s a classic Alpha male medieval. I’ve given it to several friends who don’t readkw romance as an introduction to the genre. I came across this list.

Do you like reading classics and is there one that you’ve never read?

Actually, I missed some of the classics because I chose other courses in high school (Shakespeare and literature of the absurd) and college (Greek and Roman great books. Thucydides, anyone?). I’ve never read Catcher in the Rye, but I’d like to. I’m going to add it to my Goodreads bnw ahlist!  I came across this list while answering this question, to get a better idea of what books are considered classics: chosen by “the board” and readers. Of the top 25, my favorite is Brave New World by Aldous Huxley.

Is there a book that you recently read that you wish you had written?

I have a huge TBR shelf and a Kindle full of books, but I haven’t been reading as much recently….

What’s a movie adaptation of a book/series that you loved or that you wish it is osmade?

I’d be watching Outlander if I had Starz…. While most adaptations I’ve seen haven’t lived up to the way I envisioned the characters and/or change key elements of the book, seeing books come to life with costumes and settings is great.

Which book we might be surprised to learn that you loved?

I’m a huge Philip Glass (one of the great living American composers, if you haven’t heard of him), and Leonard Bernstein fan (need I say more?), so I loved Music by Philip Glass and The Joy of Music by Leonard Bernstein.

If you were given only one genre to read for the rest of your life, what would it be?

Historical romance.

What was the last book that made you laugh out loud, and what was the last one that made you cry?

See above, I’m not reading as much right now so I don’t remember.

During a thunderstorm – stay inside or sit on porch watching the show?

I’d stay inside. Preferably with a good book and/or a good man.

Flannels or Silk?

Flannels. Silk is lovely, but too cold and slippery. (It’s also less forgiving, should the wearer not have the flattest stomach.)

Sports car or SUV?

Neither! I’m too short to see over the steering wheel. When I worked at a radio station, I had to drive a red Corvette, pick up a client and take the client to lunch. I was petrified because the seat was so low. When shopping for my current car, a Toyota Corolla, salesmen would try to boast about this or that, I was more interested in whether I could see or not.

Cats or Dogs?

Dogs. We had a wonderful West Highland Terrier (Frosty) growing up, and I’ve also had a smart Norwegian Elkhound (Voltaire. His name revealed who was culturally literate BTW…people who stopped to pet him either smiled and said something like, “Great name,” or frowned and asked “Voltar?” as if he were a sci-fi character).

Champagne or Beer?

Definitely Champagne. My favorite sparkling wine isn’t Champagne but is more affordable: Trader Joe’s Prosecco in a green bottle.

Movies or TV?

This is tough. As an actor and viewer, I’d have to say both. If you binge watch a series, such as House of Cards, isn’t that a bit like watching a very long movie? Especially these days, when most movies are around 90 minutes.

What’s your favorite TV show or a movie?

I’m on a reality show kick. I wish I was brave enough to be on The Amazing Race. And I love Shark Tank and America’s Got Talent because they really do make dreams come true. (I auditioned for AGT and made it to the live judges round with an audience of around 3,000.) I wish there was a show like that for authors! My favorite movies are Gone with the Wind and Excalibur. I watched that so many times when it was on HBO years ago I memorized most of it. “He has given, now you must,” says Merlin to Arthur….

Marry, kiss and kill: Heroes from any books you’ve read.

Well, if he’s a hero, would I want to kill him? I’d marry Royce from Judith McNaught’s Kingdom of Dreams (Is it a coincidence that he’s known as “The Wolf?”). All of the heroes in my keeper shelf books are kiss-worthy.

Ruth, thanks so much for stopping by to play!

‘At His Command’ 

ahc rkBOOK BLURB: Could she defy her king for love?

England 1453: King Henry VI sends Sir Nicholas Gray to protect the recently widowed Lady Amice Winfield from undesirable suitors. Though Nicholas intrigues her, she yearns to run Castle Rising without a man’s control.

Nicholas has no interest in marriage, but can’t deny he’s attracted to Amice. He’s surprised to finally find in Castle Rising a place he feels at home. A kiss sparks desire neither can ignore, yet serving opposing factions seeking to govern England threatens to pull them apart.

At court, the king and queen reject Amice’s pleas and choose a new husband for her, a highly-ranked lord who’ll provide connections and coin for the king’s depleted coffers that Nicholas cannot. How can she follow the king’s command when she’s a scribe for his rival? How can she marry another man when she’s falling in love with Nicholas?

BUY LINKS: Amazon – Historical Romance Version: here.

Inspirational Version: here.

‘Follow Your Heart’ [releasing 4/14]

fyh rkBOOK BLURB: Unforeseen passion draws them together…will his secrets tear them apart?

England 1460: Joanna Peyntor has two uses for a man: to pose for a stained glass window design or to commission her skills. But when her brother conspires to ruin her reputation, she concedes to a third: a husband to help save her glass-painting workshop.

On a quest to redeem his family name and lands, Sir Adrian Bedford must marry without delay. But what woman he’d accept would wed an impoverished former nobleman who insists on an unusual stricture in their marriage contract? Joanna, a woman striving to succeed in a man’s world. She agrees that discussions of a personal nature are prohibited.

When irresistible attraction makes their marriage of convenience inconvenient, will his dangerous secrets keep them from following their hearts?

Pre Order here.

rkAUTHOR BIO: Ruth Kaufman is a Chicago author, on-camera and voiceover talent and freelance editor and speaker with a J.D. and a Master’s in Radio/TV.

The second book in her Wars of the Roses Brides series, FOLLOW YOUR HEART,  releases April 14. Writing accolades include Romance Writers of America® 2011 Golden Heart® winner and runner up in RT Book Reviews’ national American Title II contest. Her true, short story, “The Scrinch” is in the St. Martin’s Press anthology The Spirit of Christmas, foreword by Debbie Macomber.

SOCIAL MEDIA: Website / Blog Gainfully Unemployed / Facebook  or Ruth Kaufman Author & Actress / Twitter / Goodreads / Amazon Author Page

Fan2Author Interview with Erica Monroe!



Melanie: Welcome to the blog, Erica! Today we’re doing something a little different: we are answering questions that Erica’s readers sent in through her Facebook page. But first, tell me a little about your new book, Secrets in Scarlet.


Erica Monroe: Secrets in Scarlet is the second book in my Rookery Rogues series, which is about thieves, scoundrels, and fallen women in the rookeries (poorer neighborhoods) in 1830’s London. Each book serves as a standalone romance, but the secondary characters and the locations connect them.

It’s the story of Poppy “Corrigan” O’Reilly and Thaddeus Knight, who meet when Thaddeus is investigating the murder of another girl at the factory where Poppy works. Being a very cerebral man himself, Thaddeus is attracted to Poppy’s quiet passion, her logical mind, and of course her love of books! But Poppy has a secret she’ll do anything to protect: she’s pretending to be a war widow in order to pass off her young daughter as legitimate. Back then in England, it was considered a huge, huge deal for a woman to have sex outside of marriage, and so Poppy is basically driven from her hometown to London—and she’s determined her daughter won’t pay the price for her mistake. Thaddeus is the one man who could put together her lies, yet she can’t stay away from him.

MF: One thing I’ve noticed about your books is that there’s a lot of detail that goes into the historical settings. How do you research your books?

EM: A lot of different ways. Mostly, I google A LOT of things, LOL! My Internet search Tom-all-alonehistory is probably going to make me end up on a watch list somewhere. Because I write romantic suspense, I’m always like “how can I fracture this bone in this way to cause this effect…” (I actually have a book called Body Trauma that answers a lot of these questions, and I want to give a shout-out to two of my friends, Jennelle Holland and Kristine Wyllys, who help me with my fight scenes). I’m very, very, very fortunate to know lovely people, who are veritable encyclopedias of historical knowledge,  so when I come up against something I’m banging my head against the wall for, I turn to them. But a lot of my research is done through various books. My favorite for rookery research is Henry Mayhew’s London Labor and the London Poor (which is 1850’s, but a lot of it applies to the 1830’s as well). My husband purchased an amazing book for me called England’s First Detectives about the Bow Street Runners, and I used the section on founding the Metropolitan Police for SIS.

But a lot of the resources I use are free too. Google Books is amazing for searching old texts—I got a book written in 1850 or so which actually details most of the rookeries, and I used Google books when figuring out what the factory might look like. I also highly recommend the Old Bailey website, because it has transcripts of various criminal trials, etc. It is invaluable and my favorite thing in the whole wide research world.

MF: Are there any places in your series that are true to history?

Victorian_slumsEM: I draw a lot of my story from the various rookery settings. I’ll find a certain location, and then I’ll want to build a story around it. I set the first book in the Rookery Rogues, in Ratcliffe because it was close to the London Docks and there was also an infamous bar that the resurrection men (graverobbers who sold corpses to surgeons for anatomization) used to frequent nearby, called the Fortune of War. I love incorporating those details.

For Secrets in Scarlet, I wanted to use Spitalfields because it’s a very old community of Huguenot weavers that came over during the eighteenth century. I found a map from the late end of the nineteenth century that marked out the Ripper murders, but it was interesting to me because it had clearly labelled all the various streets in Spitalfields and Whitechapel. On this map was an indication that a factory was on “White Lion Street,” so I chose to set the Larker factory in my book on this street as well. Poppy and Thaddeus are married in Christ Church, also indicated on this map. I used this map for a lot of the layout in my version of Spitalfields, crosschecking the street names with various online historical records to make sure they would be here in 1832. While I can never guarantee 100% accuracy—as the story must take precedence—I try and really use these details to add atmosphere to the story.

MF: And now we’ve got an excerpt from Secrets in Scarlet!

EM: Since we discussed the factory, I thought I’d share a bit of an excerpt from when Thaddeus visits the Larker factory and sees Poppy.

Workers labored at looms that spanned the full length of the room, stationed not more than a few paces apart. The looms formed three rows, with approximately ten in each row from front to back. The building had unusually high ceilings to accommodate for the sheer height of the looms, which reached far above his head. Children picked through the scraps of silk to sell in the market on Crispin Street.

He scanned the room for Mrs. Corrigan, eventually locating her toward the front. Mrs. Corrigan’s loom was positioned two to the left of the blond girl he remembered her exiting with the other day.

If he’d thought Mrs. Corrigan beautiful the day before in the light of the sun streaming through the library windows, here she was in her element. Perched on a tall stool, she leaned over the loom, her hands in constant motion. She’d bound her red hair in a tight top knot, and she wore no apron.

His mouth went dry as his eyes roamed down her frame. Her green dress was fitted so that she ran no risk of getting caught in the machinery, but it had the added appeal of displaying her luscious hips to full advantage. She moved with finesse and speed, each slide of the shuttle and weft an intricate dance. This was her world, the constant advancement of the punch cards, the click and clack of many looms employed in tandem.

As he walked past her station, their eyes locked. His breath caught in his throat. First, there was a flash of curiosity in her eyes, then fear. She missed a beat in the weaving.

Thaddeus couldn’t tarry to watch her. The guards had already progressed three looms past him. He hurried to catch up, following the guards into the office holed in the center of the right back wall.


sis emSTORY: When a girl is murdered at a factory in one of London’s rookeries, Sergeant Thaddeus Knight of the Metropolitan Police comes in to investigate. But it’s not just the factory owners that Thaddeus wants information on–the devilishly intriguing Poppy O’Reilly is a puzzle he’d like nothing more than to solve.

Protecting her young daughter is the most important thing to Poppy, and Thaddeus threatens the false identity she’s carefully constructed. The last thing she should do is allow Thaddeus close to her family, yet she can’t stay away from him. With danger around the corner, will the secrets of a scarlet woman lead to their undoing?

Buy Links: Amazon | B&N | Kobo | Google Play | ARE

Connie’s review here.

Erica MonroeAuthor Bio: Erica Monroe is a USA Today Bestselling Author of emotional, suspenseful romance. Her debut novel, A Dangerous Invitation, was nominated in the published historical category for the prestigious 2014 Daphne du Maurier Award for Excellence in Romantic Suspense. When not writing, she is a chronic TV watcher, sci-fi junkie, lover of pit bulls, and shoe fashionista. She lives in the suburbs of North Carolina with her husband, two dogs, and a cat.

Social Media: Facebook / Twitter / Website /

Fan2Author Interview with Julie Johnstone!

b2bConnie: Julie, before I start with the questions, how about you tell us a bit about your writing career?


Julie Johnstone: Picture a college graduate who is fresh off a breakup with her boyfriend of five years and headed out-of-town via the New Orléans Airport after spending the weekend mingling with her ex-boyfriend and his new girlfriend because the ex boyfriend’s sister was getting married and had asked me to be in the wedding.

There I was standing in the airport thinking love was possibly overrated when I decided I needed something to read on the airplane for my short trip to Houston, Texas. I had never read a romance up to this point and I was twenty-five. Oh, wait, I did read Sweet Valley High Growing up so I do need to count that! But I had never read a grown up romance! I skimmed through the books bypassing what I would usually read and the cover of Ransom by Julie Garwood caught my eye. I flipped that baby over and was instantly captivated. It was exactly what I needed in that  moment in my life to remind me true love, the kind that wraps around you and lifts you up, does exist. I spend the rest of the weekend reading at the lake instead of skiing! I knew after that weekend that someday I wanted to write books that made people happy and gave them hope when they needed it the most. 

b2bC: How have your characters and their stories come to you and which one/s whispered the loudest for their story to be told?

JJ: I’ll tell you a secret, they come to me in the shower most the time! I think it’s because it is the only time I am ever alone and it’s quiet. I have two rambunctious boys! Sometimes, though, stories will hit me right in the middle of conversations with people or when they are telling me something about their life. Now as to who whispered to me the most, I’d have to say it was Madelaine from What A Rogue Wants. That book had so many rewrites I lost count, but she never kept pestering me to get her story right!

b2bC: What was your favorite book as a child?

JJ: Are You There God It’s Me Margaret.

b2bC: Is there a book you’re never tired of reading over and over?

JJ: This is an easy one – Ransom by Julie Garwood!

b2bC: Do you like reading classics and is there one that you’re embarrassed to say you’ve never read?

JJ: Oh, I love classics!!! I’ve never read Mansfield Park by Jane Austen and considering what I do for a living and what I write I am totally embarrassed that I haven’t’ read that one yet!

b2bC: Is there a book that you recently read that you wish you had written?

JJ: The Last Letter From Your Lover by Jojo Moyes. I stayed up until two in the morning to finish this book and it left me breathless with anticipation and burning with the desire to go write!!

b2bC: What’s a movie adaptation of a book that you loved or that you wish it is made?

JJ: I loved The Notebook!

b2bC: Which book we might be surprised to learn that you loved?

JJ: I love fantasy! I devoured all of The Lord of the Rings books.

b2bC: If you were given only one genre to read for the rest of your life, what would it be?

JJ: That’s so hard! I read outside of what I write all the time and love it, but I’m going to have to say romance. In the end, romance is my true love and can always lift me when I need it.

b2bC: What was the last book that made you laugh out loud, and what was the last one that made you cry?

JJ: A Duke of Her Own by Eloisa James has so many hilarious lines that I found myself laughing out loud quiet a bit. The Last Letter from Your Lover made me cry!

b2bC: Do you read your books post-publication?

JJ: Parts of them sometimes, but really I don’t like to because I’m so critical of what I have written.

b2bC: During a thunderstorm – stay inside or sit on porch watching the show?

JJ: Definitely, sit on the porch watching the show!

b2bC: Flannels or Silk?

JJ: Silk in the summer and flannel in the winter!

b2bC: Sports car or SUV?

JJ: SUV! Two kids, remember.

b2bC: Cats or Dogs?

JJ: Both! I have a cat named Cupcake and a dog named Iris.

b2bC: Champagne or Beer?

JJ: Champagne. I detest beer.

b2bC: Movies or TV?

JJ: Movies.

b2bC: What’s your favorite TV show or movie?

JJ: My favorite TV show right now is Outlander. My favorite move is the Last of the Mohicans.

b2bC: Julie, thanks so much for stopping by b2b and we wish you great success with your novels.


AUTHOR BIO: Julie first fell in love with romance fifteen years ago when she picked up her first romance novel in an airport gift shop on the way to Conroe, Texas for a family reunion and spent her whole weekend reading rather than water skiing, which up until then was one of her favorite things to do.

Julie is staying up way too late and typing furiously on her keyboard to finish her next book or blog with her fellow authors at Ladyscribes. Julie is married to an amazing lawyer and when she is not running her two precocious children to one activity or another she is trying to eek out some time to stay in shape and see her dearest friends.

SOCIAL MEDIA: Facebook / Twitter


jj mfdBOOK BLURB: After years of playing the rake to hide a dark family secret, the Duke of Aversley feels tainted beyond redemption and cynical beyond repair. Never does he imagine hope will come in the form of a quirky, quick-witted lady determined to win the heart of another gentleman.

Thanks to a painfully awkward past, Lady Amelia De Vere long ago relinquished the notion she was a flower that had yet to blossom. But when her family faces financial ruin and the man she has always loved is on the verge of marrying another, she’ll try anything to transform herself to capture her childhood love and save her family―including agreeing to participate in a bet between her brother and the notorious, dangerously handsome Duke Of Aversley.

Bound by the bet, Amelia and Aversley discover unexpected understanding and passion beyond their wildest dreams, if only they can let go of their pride, put trust in each other and chance losing their hearts.


Fan2Author Interview with Becky Monson!

Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000031_00006]b2bConnie: Becky, before I start with the questions, how about you tell us a bit about your writing career so far?

Becky Monson: My writing career started when I was working in an office and I was basically the only person there. It was incredibly boring. So I decided I was going to write a book. That was long before Thirty-Two Going on Spinster came out and what the story started as, is not what it became. I wrote the story over many years, stopping to have a baby and then picking it up again. It wasn’t until I heard about a friend who was self-publishing and doing fabulously that I decided to really finish it. It’s been a crazy and fun rollercoaster ride over this past year and a half. I’ve loved it!

b2b: What was your favorite book as a child?

BM: I would have to say Charlotte’s Web. I really adored that book. Still do.

b2b: Is there a book you’re never tired of reading over and over?

BM: I can read Can You Keep a Secret by Sophie Kinsella over and over again and never get sick of it. Also the Harry Potter series.

b2b: Do you like reading classics and is there one that you’re embarrassed to say you’ve never read?

BM: I used to love reading the classics, but it’s been a while. I’ve never read Gone With the Wind. I know, I’m ashamed. It’s on my to-read list, though! So hopefully soon!

b2b: Is there a book that you recently read that you wish you had written?

BM: Oh my gosh – have you read any of Penny Reid’s books? If you haven’t, go get them now. She is so fantastic. Smart, witty, romantic. Anytime I read her books I think, dang it! Why can’t I write like her? I tell her that I want to be like her when I grow up, only I’m five years older. She’s an author to watch, for sure.

b2b: What’s a movie adaptation of a book that you loved or that you wish it is made?

BM: Well, I would love to see Thirty-Two Going on Spinster made into a movie! I think it would be so fun! A book that was made into a movie that I loved was Austenland by Shannon Hale. It was almost better than the book… almost.

b2b: If you were given only one genre to read for the rest of your life, what would it be?

BM: Chick lit, of course! It’s by far my favorite genre. I love that it’s an escape and usually a happy one.

b2b: What was the last book that made you laugh out loud, and what was the last one that made you cry?

BM: The last book that made me laugh out loud was Jayne Denker’s Picture This, which is a super cute book. The last book I read that made me cry was I’m Still Here by Kathryn Biel. Such a fantastic read.

b2b: During a thunderstorm – stay inside or sit on porch watching the show?

BM: I stay inside. Mostly because my kiddos are scared of thunder and lightning. And although he won’t admit it, my husband is too.

b2b: Flannels or Silk?

BM: Flannels.  I like the comfort feeling of it.

b2b: Sports car or SUV?

BM: Well since I’m a mom of three, I can only choose the SUV. I don’t know if I would drive a sports car even after my children grow up. My husband, on the other hand…

b2b: Cats or Dogs?

BM: Cats. But my husband is allergic so we can’t have any animals, which is okay with three young kids – I don’t need to add to the chaos. But when they are older and more responsible, I think it will be sad for them.

b2b: Champagne or Beer?

BM: Neither – I’m a Diet Coke addict. I swear I’m quitting this week, though (I say that 32 Going on Spinsterevery week).

b2b: Movies or TV?

BM: I used to love TV, but the more I write, the less I watch. I do love going to the movies with my husband, that’s kind of our thing. Unless it’s a chick flick, then he’s out and I so I go with my girlfriends.

b2b: What’s your favorite TV show or movie?

BM: The only show I make time to watch is Downton Abbey. I avoided it for a while, but then my husband got me the first three seasons last Christmas and I watched them all in just over a week. I ignored everything! Such a great show, though. As far as movies go, my all-time favorite when I was younger was The Goonies. It actually still might be my favorite.

b2b: Becky, thanks so much for stopping by b2b and we wish you great success with your novels.

BM: Thanks for having me! xoxo

BUY LINKS: Amazon / Nook / iTunes / Kobo

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AUTHOR BIO: By day, Becky Monson is a mother to three young children, and a wife. By night, she escapes with reading books and writing. In her début novel, Becky uses humor and true-life experiences to bring her characters to life. She loves all things chick-lit (movies, books, etc.), and wishes she had a British accent. She has recently given up Diet Coke for the fiftieth time and is hopeful this time will last… but it probably won’t.
Author Links: 32GoingOnThirty / Website / Facebook / Twitter / Goodreads

Fan2Author Interview with Jane Lark!

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b2bMelanie: I’m so happy to welcome this author! Just love her books! Without further adieu, here she is! Jane Lark! Jane, before I start with the questions, how about you tell us a bit about yourself and your writing career?

Jane Lark: Well so far my writing ‘career’ has been very brief… my first book was published in May 2013, and then republished by Harper Collins in October 2015 as The Illicit Love of a Courtesan, but I have been writing since 2006 so since October 2015 Harper Collins have been pouring out my backlog, and I now have seven books released and three more are due out in the autumn. But I have always loved writing and wanted to write novels for as long as I can remember.

b2b: Can you tell us more about ‘The Lost Love of a Soldier’ and why you chose to write this prequel to ‘The Illicit Love of a Courtesan’?

The Illicit Love of a CourtesanJL: To be honest the only reason I wrote this was because readers asked for it. When I published the first edition of The Illicit Love of a Courtesan I immediately afterwards self-published a short story ‘Capturing the Earl’s Love’ (which was then taken off the market as Harper Collins contracted that too but it was not re-released until May this year). The short story shares the stories of two of the sub characters from the first book but at the time people kept thinking this would be the prequel and were looking for a prequel. 

b2b: How have your characters and their stories come to you and which one/s whispered the loudest for their story to be told?

JL: My characters generally come to me from elements of real people who lived out true stories at some point in history. From these true stories my imagination picks out elements and builds a patchwork of fictional Regency life. Initially I was not sure about writing the prequel, because obviously The Illicit Love of a Courtesan is about Ellen and Edward, and Edward would have no part in the prequel, and yet at the time people began talking about a prequel I was working on The Scandalous Love of a Duke, the story of Ellen’s son, John. The more I worked on that I felt Paul, who appears as a past character in two books, developing a personality of his own, and then because John was having such a difficult time accepting the fact he had never known his father, I felt as though I needed to write him, because then John could have access to him. I know crazy writers…

b2b: Which book you wrote might we be surprised to learn that you had the hardest TPLOAR JLtime writing?

JL: The Lost Love of a Soldier is definitely the hardest, initially it was only intended to be 15,000 to 30,000 words and just a fleeting visit to Ellen eloping, then following Paul into battle, like Capturing the Earl’s Love, which has gathered interest like a snowball on Amazon, but is really a very fleeting storyline, just to give people a bit of light historical entertainment. BUT then––I had to make The Lost Love of a Soldier far more true to fact than the other books because a) it had to follow what really happened in the build up to battle of Waterloo b) I had chosen an actual regiment for Paul to serve under in The Illicit Love of a Courtesan, and so I had to find out where they were when, to ensure the story was realistic. AND then––while I was working on those things, and discovering what the real soldiers and those that travelled with them experienced I knew the story had to be more than a shallow visit with a young Ellen.

2015 is the 200th anniversary of the battle of Waterloo, in the summer of 2014 the real 52nd Oxfordshire Regiment of Foot were in England, taking a break from war, before they were due to sail to America. I have worked with the military for about ten years of my life. I know what soldiers endure. I could not then write this book without respect for the real people who made the journey back to the battlefields of Europe which they had only left the summer before and where they had endured many incidents that would have left them with nightmares, and I could not make it a hurried tale, because by hurrying it, it would have become unrealistic and a bit bizarre to just dive into them in Brussels, the battle… and then..

jl ctelPlus it was also hard, because Paul is not the love of Ellen’s life. So the book could not center on the intense Romantic relationships I prefer to write. I have been married twice myself, and my second marriage is very different to my first. Ellen loves Paul, she is a seventeen year old girl in the 18th century who has never left her father’s estate, and never even been to a ball. She is entirely innocent, as many young women were in her day… And I wanted to honor all of that…

b2b: Is there a book you’re never tired of reading over and over?

JL: Katherine by Anya Seton. I just love that story. It also really moves me whenever I go anywhere the real John and Katherine lived…  Even though I know that Katherine is 95% fiction.

b2b: Do you like reading classics and is there one that you’re embarrassed to say you’ve never read?

JL: I like having classics on my bookshelf ;) I read them very rarely and general in short doses, the language in them is generally not all that flowing, let’s remember they were written for a very different generation of people. So while the stories are still great, the writing styles––not necessarily. But I did reread Vanity Fair while writing The Lost Love of a Soldier. There isn’t anything I would be embarrassed to say I have not read but youjl tsload may think it is a sin to say I prefer Vanity Fair, Tess of the d’Urbervilles and Mill on the Floss to Pride and Prejudice.

b2b: Is there a book that you recently read that you wish you had written?

JL: Probably the wrong answer, but no. I enjoy the things I write, I always want to write for pleasure. Especially as I still have to work and writing is an escape for me. Even The Lost Love of a Soldier was awesome being able to connect with people who took part in Waterloo through imagination.

b2b: What’s a movie adaptation of a book that you loved or that you wish it is made?

JL: There are two movie adaptations of books that I’ve read that I think are good ‘Troy’ is one. I bet that is not what you were expecting. LOL. But I love the film Troy! The other one was the recent adaptation of Jane Eyre, it is the only time I have seen Rochester portrayed in a way that makes you actually believe he could have caught Jane’s interest.

b2b: If you were given only one genre to read for the rest of your life, what would it be?

Just YouJL: Historical… Sigh… I love writing love stories, but I love being in historical settings and discovering things about the people who lived in the past.

b2b: What was the last book that made you laugh out loud, and what was the last one that made you cry?

JL: I don’t tend to buy books that make me laugh, I can’t remember one that ever has, and cry… I think One Day was the last book that made me cry.

b2b: What was your favorite book as a child?

JL: LOL Enid Blyton’s Faraway Tree series…. But by eleven I was reading Mill on the Floss and the Iliad. I was a strange child. I think I first read Katherine at the age of twelve.

b2b: What’s your favorite TV show or movie?

JL: My favorite TV show… ever… Time Team – covered so much. My favorite TV series, would be a toss of a coin between the 1995 version of Pride and Prejudice and the 1998 version of Vanity Fair, neither stories make good films because too much has to be left out. My favorite film currently Tangled, by Disney ;) Random!

b2b: During a thunderstorm – stay inside or sit on porch watching the show?

JL: Sit on a porch 100% I swam in an outside swimming pool in a thunderstorm once,jl ify my mum didn’t know at the time, and I was only 8. I loved it! (P.S. don’t do it, bad idea for health and safety you’d fry if it hit).

b2b: Flannels or Silk?

JL: Oh my goodness SILK!

b2b: Sports car or SUV?

JL: Sports car all the way.

b2b: Cats or Dogs?


b2b: Champagne or Beer?

JL: Beer, I am not a champagne girl. A good hearty locally brewed beer for me. Or even better a pale ale…

b2b: Movies or TV?

JL: Movies!!!!!!!!! <3 But like I say to my daughter reading a book is even better it’s like watching a movie for hours…. :D and while writing I get to be in the movie for weeks!

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‘The Desperate Love of a Lord’


Jane! I am so happy you had the time to visit with us! It was a blast to get to know you a bit better!

Bookworms, have any questions for our guest author? One of you will end up with a signed print copy of the gorgeous soldier on this cover!


AUTHOR BIO: Jane is a writer of authentic, passionate and emotional Historical and New Adult Romance, and a Kindle top 25 bestselling author.

She began her first historical novel at sixteen, but a life full of adversity derailed her as she lives with the restrictions of Ankylosing Spondylitis. When she finally completed a novel it was because she was determined not to reach forty still saying, I want to write.

Now Jane is writing a Regency series and contemporary, new adult, stories and she is thrilled to be giving her characters life in others’ imaginations at last.

Jane is also a Chartered Member of the Institute of Personnel and Development in the United Kingdom, and uses this specialist understanding of people to bring her characters to life.

Social Media:  Blog | Facebook | Twitter | Website | Goodreads

Fan2Author Interview with…Danelle Harmon!

I am a brand new fan of this author and I am on the hunt! For the past week I’ve been tracking Danelle Harmon’s back llist because I fell in love with her story telling.

Recently I read five of her brand new back list releases as my review assignment for RCJR eZine and my blog. To Christine Morehouse I say, THANK YOU for introducing me to such a great author and her awesome series. Please help me welcome an author that I hope will become, if she already isn’t, your favorite as well.

b2bMelanie: Hello Danelle! Are you enjoying your summer so far?

Danelle Harmon:  I’m having a great summer, Melanie!  I hope you and your loved ones are, as well!

b2b: Actually, it has been a mixed bag, but the weather is getting to a point of tolerance now that we’re out of the 100 degree’s!

How exited are you with ‘Wicked at Heart’ coming out?

DH: I’m thrilled, especially as it has a beautiful new cover and one that I actually love!  I really fell in love with the hero of this story, and I hope readers will enjoy his journey as much as I did.

b2b: I definitely did! Loved the story!

It’s no news to my readers how much I enjoy reading the ‘behind the story’ notes of any book, so tell me more about your research and ‘behind the story’ of ‘WaH’.

DH:  I wrote Wicked At Heart while I was still living in England, so I took a lot of inspiration from my setting.  Oxford was only six miles away, and of course, the English countryside, which figured in a good part of Wicked At Heart (I set part of the book in the Cotswolds, one of my favorite areas of England).  It was wonderful to be surrounded by so many resources, and such beauty and history!

b2b: Cotswolds is now officially added to my Bucket List.

Just if someone out there hasn’t read any of your books, would you tell us a bit about them and what’s coming up for you in the future? Will you be releasing more of your backlist or will you concentrate on the future books?

DH: My career as an “Avon Lady” included ten books published by them; to date, five of them have been released as e-books, and I’m currently working on the sixth, Captain Of My Heart, which will, I hope, be available sometime in late August or early September.  I plan to revise and update all of my backlist, and when they are all available, with their beautiful new covers, I’ll finish the story that so many people have asked me for: that of Perry, Lord Brookhampton and the youngest de Montforte sibling, Lady Nerissa.

b2b: Let me tell you! I am really looking forward to all of them, especially Nerissa’s story. I truly thought that she needed her own book.

Which one of your books was the hardest and which the easiest to write and which couple did you like the best?

DH:  Without question, the hardest was The Beloved One.  Actors have to “inhabit” a role when they play it, and I believe that is true for authors, too. I get very wrapped up in my characters when I’m writing about them, and Lord Charles’s (the hero of The Beloved One) heartbreaking plight took a lot out of me, emotionally. Because of that, it got to the point that I was having trouble making myself sit down and spend time with him, so one winter weekend, I packed up my laptop and checked in to a local beach hotel and there, wrote a good part of the book.  I’ve never had to do that with any of my other books, and maybe that’s one reason that Lord Charles is my favorite of all the dashing, aristocratic de Montforte men… we really wrestled that story, the two of us, and I felt his pain right along with him.  As for couples, I don’t think I could pick any one set of characters … there are things I like and admire about all of them, I think.

b2b: You know, after five books that I’ve read, I think that ‘The Beloved One’ is my favorite!

Do you have a hard time writing the intimate scenes?

DH:  Yes; but to be honest, I can’t think of a romance writer who doesn’t!

b2b: LOL! Do you let someone read your work during your writing process? Who and why? Or do you wait ‘till it’s finished, then you let someone read it…and who?

DH: Nobody reads my work during the writing process, and I don’t belong to a critique group… in fact, I’ve never belonged to one.  Occasionally I’ll bounce ideas off my husband or a friend, but for the most part, I fly solo.

b2b: Now that’s interesting! Tell me about the cover art of your books. I can see that you have new Kindle covers for your backlist and I just love them. Who came up with it? What about the older ones?

DH:  Awww, thank you!  I just love my new covers!  Unlike with the older (paperback) versions, where I had zero control over the covers (and cried many a tear when I’d get my first look at them … the old covers for Wicked At Heart and The Beloved One were ghastly and looked NOTHING like my characters!) I had very specific ideas about what I wanted on the cover of each e-book.  Much to my delight and excitement, designer Kim Killion of Hot Damn Designs was able to bring those ideas to fruition… I love her work, and can’t thank her enough for these beautiful new covers!

b2b: She did an outstanding job in creating these covers. They are amazing!

Let’s talk titles…How hard is it to ‘name’ your ‘baby’?

DH:  My very first book was originally called “Forever A Free Prince” (my working title), but Avon, with an eye toward marketing, changed it to Pirate In My Arms.  The titles of the nine books that followed were all mine; I don’t seem to have any trouble naming books.

b2b: You are lucky, then. Some authors agonize over it.

We all have favorite books, authors… How about you? Are you willing to fess-up?

DH:  I read very, very little when it comes to romance, so I really don’t have any favorites within the genre.  I do like historical fiction, though, and occasionally will pick up something by Dean Koontz or Tess Gerritsen.  I loved the Joshua books by Joseph Girzone.

b2b: You know, I hear that a lot and it makes a lot of sense.

Some authors write at certain times of day or week. What’s your typical writing schedule and what gets your creative juices flowing? If you have any tips to help other aspiring new authors out there, feel free to share!

DH:  I wish I had a “schedule,” but, I’m also a mom, and as anyone with children knows, when it comes to kids, the old adage “the best laid plans…” certainly holds true.  Our daughter is home from summer camp now, so my writing time is very late at night.  I cannot work with interruptions, and in a house with my family and four dogs up and about, my best … perhaps my only … work gets done after they all go to bed.

b2b: LOL! So I see that it doesn’t differ from most mom’s out there. They all do the bulk of their chores after the household ‘settles down’.

I honestly enjoyed every aspect of this book. What inspired it and who did you envision as Damon?

DH:  Damon is a very wounded hero, and in adulthood, he’s paying the price for having an abusive mother who never showed him any love.  As a result, he’s prone to panic attacks, anxiety, and has an impossible time seeing the beauty in the world about him.  He’s angry, without knowing why, but he yearns for so much more.  I know people like Damon, loved ones who suffer panic attacks and anxiety disorders, and I must confess that my empathy toward them inspired me to write Damon’s character.  I wrote the paperback version of Wicked At Heart in the mid-1990s, and the young, intense, gorgeous and still relatively unknown Ralph Fiennes was the person I envisioned as Damon.

b2b: I am not surprised. He would definitely do justice to the role of Damon with his intensity and voice.

What do you like to read and what’s on your TBR right now?

DH:  I’m currently reading With Fire And Sword:  The Battle of Bunker Hill and the Beginning of the American Revolution by James Nelson, who’s actually quite well-known for his great fiction.  It’s a great read, and I’m enjoying his portrayal of Dr. Joseph Warren, the young, handsome, and sadly forgotten patriot without whom, I think, we probably wouldn’t have had a revolution.  Dr. Warren is one of my very favorite historical personages, right up there with British Admiral Lord Nelson.

b2b: Cool. I’ll make sure to look it up.

Now, that ends up our ‘professional’ portion of this interview.

…Let’s get Personal:

So, tell us a bit about yourself, something personal that you’d like us to know…anything that makes you comfortable…or not…like how many times did you fall in love? Flannel or Silk? Cats or Dogs? Champagne or Beer?  Rock or Classical? Movies or TV?

DH:  I can’t remember how many times I’ve fallen in love, but I’ve been happily married to my husband Chris since we tied the knot back in Abingdon, England, in 1995!  As for your other questions:  Flannel (it gets cold here during a Massachusetts winter!) … Dogs (I have four German Shorthaired Pointers ranging in age from one to fifteen years), though I do love kitties, too (my allergies don’t!), and Sam Adams Cherry Wheat beer, please!  My iTunes library is pretty eclectic, but I’m a big fan of the British band Oasis (which was HUGE when we were living in England); I also love Madonna, Lady Gaga, the Bee Gees’ older stuff (before the disco era), and anything with great energy to it.  I don’t watch TV (every time I get hooked on a show it gets canceled, so I don’t bother anymore!).  I’m a huge and devoted fan of Jesus Christ Superstar — the movie, the soundtrack, the live production — and have seen it on stage more times than I can count.  I even have a photo of myself with Ted Neeley, who’s holding a copy of The Wild One!

b2b: Danelle, you’re one fun lady! You’ve been very gracious to stop by and play, and I thank you so much. I am sure that our readers will be thrilled to learn that you’ve offered FIVE lucky winners   (one book per winner/title of their choice) ALL FIVE of your books as a giveaway, and all they have to tell us is this: how much of sensuality do you like to read about? No sexual contact whatsoever, sexual contact all over, or are you somewhere in between?

You can reach Danelle on Facebook, Tweeter and her website. To buy her novels right now, just click on the cover.