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

‘Moonlight Raider’ by Amanda Scott

MR ASSTORY: A man of his word…

Border Lord Walter Scott of Rankilburn, grief-stricken after burying his father, goes to the forest seeking solace. Instead he finds a half-naked young lady fleeing pursuit. Wat offers his protection, but honor demands that he return the golden-eyed beauty to her rightful husband – even though the last thing he wants is to see her in another man’s arms.

A runaway bride…

Molly Cockburn has fled her home, family, and the brutal scoundrel she was forced to wed. Her pursuers are closing in when the powerful new Lord of Rankilburn bravely intervenes, then promises to help prove her marriage unlawful. Though fiercely loyal to her family, Molly fears they might harm the man she is coming to love, and now she must decide whether to remain faithful to her blood… or to her heart.

REVIEW: This story starts Amanda Scott’s new Raider series and I loved every minute spent reading this book!

It’s no news to Ms. Scott’s fans when I say that she weaves her tales with wit, action and passion. She has yet to disappoint her faithful readers and we all are always ready to be immersed into the Scottish Highlands she’s creating for us.

I was fascinated by Molly Cockburn and Walter, the new Lord or Rankilburn, as they slowly but surely followed their hearts into love and passion.

Molly was one strong and determined woman as she navigates the peril she unwittingly puts herself and Wat’s family through. Wat was such a perfect hero. I was much impressed with his character and his demeanor as well as his determination to do the right thing and follow his gut instincts when it came to Molly’s situation.

This story is as much complex as are our main protagonists. There are many hurdles to overcome before these two can come together, and the least of those is her marital state.

If you are a fan of the ‘marriage of convenience with a twist’ in which the author weaves her story with a wonderful historical background, then this story will be just perfect to curl up to.

Melanie for b2b

Complimentary copy provided by the publisher

Paula Quinn and Sue-Ellen Welfonder together on …

The Great Scotts Blog Tour!

pq tsomab‘THE SEDUCTION OF MISS  AMELIA BELL’

Edmund MacGregor will do anything to save Scotland from English rule-even kidnap Lady Amelia Bell for ransom. As the daughter of a duke and the chancellor’s betrothed, she’s the perfect pawn in this game. But from the moment he first lays eyes on his spirited captive, he can’t resist stealing a kiss.


Lady Amelia’s duty is to marry well, but that hasn’t stopped her from fantasizing about true love. So when a sexy Scot appears in her home, she’s beguiled. When he kidnaps her, she’s furious. Yet as Edmund introduces her to a world of passion beyond her wildest dreams, can she leave her family behind for this handsome Highlander? And will Edmund risk the only true home he’s ever known to capture the heart of this lovely lass?

Buy Links: Amazon / B&N / iTunes

EXCERPT: here.

About Paula Quinn: New York Times bestselling author Paula Quinn lives in New York with her three Paula Quinnbeautiful children, three over-protective chihuahuas, and a loud umbrella cockatoo.

She loves to read romance and science fiction and has been writing since she was eleven.  She loves all things medieval, but it is her love for Scotland that pulls at her heartstrings.

Social Media: Website / Twitter / Facebook

~~~~~~~~~~   ***   ~~~~~~~~~~

sew tlah‘TO LOVE A HIGHLANDER’

As one of the bastards born to the Stirling court, Sorley the Hawk has never known his mother or father. It’s a burning quest he has devoted himself to uncovering at any cost. But as a roguish warrior who serves at the pleasure of the King, his prowess-both on the battlefield and in his bedchamber-is legendary. So when a flame-haired Highland lass sneaks into his quarters with a tantalizing proposition, he can’t resist taking her up on her offer .

Lady Mirabelle MacLaren will do anything to keep from marrying her odious suitor, even sully her own good name. And who better to despoil her than his sworn enemy, the one they call “Hawk?” As they set about the enjoyable task of ruining her reputation, Hawk and Mirabelle soon learn that rebellion never tasted so sweet.

Buy Links: Amazon / B&N / iTunes

About Sue-Ellen Welfonder: Sue-Ellen Welfonder is a Scotophile whose burning wish to make frequent

Sue Ellen Welfounder trips to the land of her dreams led her to a twenty-year career with the airlines.

Now a full-time writer, she’s quick to admit that she much prefers wielding a pen to pushing tea and coffee. She makes annual visits to Scotland, insisting they are a necessity, as each trip gives her inspiration for new books.

Proud of her own Hebridean ancestry, she belongs to two clan societies: the MacFie Clan Society and the Clan MacAlpine Society. In addition to Scotland, her greatest passions are medieval history, the paranormal, and dogs. She never watches television, loves haggis, and writes at a 450-year-old desk that once stood in a Bavarian castle.

Sue-Ellen is married and currently resides with her husband and Jack Russell terrier in Florida. 

Social Media: Website / Twitter / Facebook

Giveaway >>>> RAFFLECOPTER <<<<<

The-Great-Scots-Blog-Tour

‘To Love a Highlander’ by Sue-Ellen Welfonder

sew tlhaSTORY: A Tempting Proposition


As one of the bastards born to the Stirling court, Sorley the Hawk has never known his mother or father. It’s a burning quest he has devoted himself to uncovering at any cost. But as a roguish warrior who serves at the pleasure of the King, his prowess-both on the battlefield and in his bedchamber-is legendary. So when a flame-haired Highland lass sneaks into his quarters with a tantalizing proposition, he can’t resist taking her up on her offer . . .

An Unquenchable Desire

Lady Mirabelle MacLaren will do anything to keep from marrying her odious suitor, even sully her own good name. And who better to despoil her than his sworn enemy, the one they call “Hawk?” As they set about the enjoyable task of ruining her reputation, Hawk and Mirabelle soon learn that rebellion never tasted so sweet.

REVIEW: Duncreag Castle

Long ago, Archibald MacNab was driven from court never to return. He sired four base born sons with four of the King’s mistresses. He knows they are somewhere in Scotland but was never allowed to see them or know them. Someone is determined to bring them into his life.

Sterling Castle – Summer – 1386

Sorley, the Hawk, is 14. He’s in the Great Hall and has just been turned down for a dance with a knight’s daughter because she deemed him unworthy being base-born as he is. Mirabelle MacLaren sees this and walks up to him asking him for a dance. He is thinking she is the most beautiful girl he’s ever seen and soon finds Mirabelle shunning him when a woman and one of her father’s guards approach telling her to end the dance and leave. She fears the guard will hurt Sorley if she doesn’t shun him so she leaves. He swears that day never to trust Mirabelle’s schemes again. She knows this day that she will never forget him. So starts their story.

He feels the Highlands calling him. He’s always felt his father was a Highland Chieftain that didn’t want a bastard son. His mother died when he was young and no one ever spoke who his father was. He knows in his heart that he will one day head for the hills and find his place in this world.

Sterling Castle – Summer 1399

Sorley is now 27. He awakes to find Mirabelle in his chamber. She’s there to proposition him. She wants him to ruin her so she doesn’t have to marry an older man who is determined to take her to wife. He refuses and even feels offended when she offers to pay him. He learns the man that wants Mirabelle is John Sinclair, one of Sorley’s greatest enemies, and he finally agrees to compromise her in front of everyone in the hall one night knowing that once John thinks she’s been ruined that he will leave off with wanting her.

I really enjoyed reading as I watched these two accept the fact that they have loved each other for years. There were obstacles along the way, some dangerous, that they both grabbed by the horns and overcame. Sorley had my heart melting when it came to a kitten named Little Heart. Only a real man would do what he did and I was falling in love with him myself along the way, always with this huge grin on my face.

There is Rosalind, the Pink Lady, who is a ghost and her story itself broke my heart. Alexander Stewart, the Wolf of Badenoch and his mistress, Lady Mariota de Athyn, walked their way right into my reader heart as well. What a couple, these two, not to be messed with and God forbid you made an enemy of them for you will surely wish you never had. The Fenris Guards and the story behind them… Roag, Caelen, and Andrew, men that Sorley grew up with who have stories of their own I’d love to hear. William the inn owner. Maili, one of Sorley’s closest friends. All these people warmed my heart along the way and gave greatly to the story.

Grim MacIntosh…. my heart just bursts with love for this man. He comes down from Duncreag Castle on a mission and as soon as he walks into the inn looking for Sorley, he has the women falling all over themselves. There also comes a time where he is needed with his battle ax and just the sight of him in my mind as I read the instance had me sitting here in awe of the man. My favorite two lines in the book were about Grim. The first is when Sorley is talking to one of his best friends, Maili, and she’s telling him that Grim had asked about him. She was describing him as this fierce looking warrior and this is Sorley’s thought to that…..

“He also bit his tongue rather than tell Maili he didn’t care if the man had the Norse God’s lightning bolts shooting out his arse”.

Sue-Ellen never fails to have me howling in laughter with some of the responses and lines her characters have or say. They are unique and hilarious! The next line helps describe how Maili was going on and on about Grim….

“Have done, lass!” Sorley scowled at her. “There’s more to a man than his burr.”
Maili sighed dreamily. “Say you.”
“I do. I’ll also say I’m surprised you aren’t in a hurry to race back to the Red Lion. If this Grim is such a paragon” —- Sorley didn’t hide his annoyance —- “I’d think you’d be eager to return to his bed. Sakes, you look close to needing to fan your face each time you speak of him.”

Now if you’ve read anything about Grim, we all know how deeply he loves his lady wife, Breena, and that he would never be anything but true to her. I’m here to tell you that I, myself, have to fan myself when Grim comes on the scene. Needless to say, he stands with Sorley to right wrongs. Sorley finds himself with several wrongs righted in this story and each and every one lead him to realize all these years he has been a worthy man. Mirabelle has spunk and knows how to use it. I say that smiling. I love her strength and the way that her and Sorley compliment the other with their strengths.

Again, I was taken in with Scotland and it’s beauty, for I can see it in my mind as I read Sue-Ellen’s words. The people, the land, castles, and inn….the food, the clothing, the battles, all of it imprinted clearly within. One of my greatest loves about her writing is the way she describes things so clearly and it comes from her love of the place, the times, and the people. This is one book that you won’t want to put down until you’ve finished. I am so excited to continue this series following these Scandalous Scots!

Leah for b2b.

Complimentary copy provided by the author.

‘The Warrior’s Bride’ by Amanda Scott

as twbSTORY: Man On A Mission
Robert MacAulay, heir to the influential Baron of Ardincaple, will risk everything to help his father and his clan. But when Rob becomes involved in a legal tempest stirred by an irresistibly maddening lady, his mission is threatened before it begins . . .

Reckless Lady

Lady Muriella MacFarlan is impulsive, mercurial, and sometimes illogical. She is a spinner, not just of yarns and threads but also of stories. She can gild the lily or tell a half-truth. When her active imagination lands her in the suds, she’s forced to turn to the ever truthful and blunt-spoken Rob for help. Their destinies now entwined, Rob and Muriella may discover that love is one truth that cannot be denied . . .

REVIEW: ‘The Warrior’s Bride’ is the third book in Ms. Scott’s Lairds of the Loch series and it’s Lady Muriella ‘Murie’ MacFarlan’s story. She is youngest daughter of Andrew MacFarlan, and a woman like her sisters, blessed with a ‘gift’ of her own.

Once more I find myself taken back in time of King James I, and an intricate story expertly weaving facts of history with fiction so close to it, that I’m buried deep within its threads.

Once more Ms. Scotts Scottish Highlands and Highlanders come to life with such vivid detail that I find myself hard pressed to leave them and face my 21st Century…

I adored this young woman who had big dreams for herself in a time in which not many dared to dream. 

As for the hero, Robert MacAulay, our heroine couldn’t find a more perfect match if she tried! Rob was a perfect Yin to her Yang [or is it the other way around? I never know with these yangs!] and the saying that ‘opposites attract’ was never truer than with these two.

As I find myself reluctantly saying goodbye to The Lairds of the Loch trilogy, I’m also making sure to load up my Kindle with the first book, which I missed and am glad that I’ll be staying in the world of these strong men and women for just a bit longer.

*Melanie for b2b

*Book provided by the publisher through NetGalley

‘The Knight’s Temptress’ by Amanda Scott

as tktSTORY: When Lady Lachina “Lina” MacFarlan of Tùr Meiloach and her new sister-in-law, Elizabeth, are captured by seditious villains who have seized the royal burgh, harbor, and castle of Dumbarton, the two young women unknowingly throw a hitch into the plans of Sir Ian Colquhoun, the daredevil knight of the realm who is on his own secret mission to recapture Dumbarton for the King of Scots.

Instead of securing Dumbaton, Ian must first rescue the women and return them to Tur Meiloach. Their journey will be perilous—especially because Ian has long admired the lovely Lady Lachina, and for the first time she seems to show signs of returning his attentions. But for Ian duty must come before desire. The fate of the King of Scots and Lina’s own father rests in his hands. He cannot afford to be tempted by anything—even the promise of Lina’s love.

REVIEW: Amanda Scott is welcome to pull me out of my regency world anytime she damn well pleases and this Scottish historical did just that. It pulled me in and didn’t let go until I read the last page.

This is the second story in “The Lairds of the Loch” series, and although it can be read as a standalone, I really wished to have read the first book, ‘The Laird’s Choice’ which was Lady Andrena MacFarlan’s and Magnus “Mag” Galbraith’s story.

I loved this story, especially Lina and Ian. Watching these two create love from a forced marriage was pure joy. The steady pace of their relationship gave time for their love to grow and the chemistry between the two set of sparks that you could feel it through the pages.

I have to say that once I finish reading one of Amanda Scott’s books, I feel somehow smarter [STOP laughing! I’m serious!]. She seamlessly weaves history with fiction and has me eating up the story that is fast paced and filled with action and adventure. She has me craving more history, more knowledge of the world I can only imagine ever living in.

If you’re looking for all that, then this is a story for you. Try it and you’ll see what I mean.

*Melanie for b2b

*Book provided by the publisher through NetGalley

‘Bride for a Knight’ by Sue-Ellen Welfonder

BFAK SEWSTORY: On the eve of his return to BaldreaganCastle, Highlander Jamie Macpherson cannot believe his eyes: a golden-haired beauty haloed in the moonlight of St. Bride’s glade, so delicate and fair she can only be a faerie. With his desire rising like a wave, the knight longs to see her again. The next time is even more surprising: Aveline Matheson is the flesh-and-blood bride of his arranged marriage, a woman eager to discover the pleasures of wedded bliss. And woe to those who would stop their lovemaking!

Yet danger threatens the newlyweds. Jamie’s darkest foe has already murdered his brothers and now threatens to destroy every Macpherson. But the enemy hasn’t counted on one thing: Jamie will do whatever he must to keep his bride alive and in his arms forever…

REVIEW: This was a re-read for me and one of my favorite stories by Sue-Ellen Welfonder. Jamie Macpherson and Aveline Matheson have been calling to me for some time now and I answered their call.

The Western Highlands, 1325-

Jaimie is the 10th son of Monro, one of the lessor Highland Chieftains. His mother died birthing him which sent Munro into a deep depression. He named his son Jamie of the Heather saying it was where he was spawned and where he would return when he was old enough.

1347-

Aveline’s father, Alan Mor Matheson wants her to marry Jamie to make sure the future and fortune of Clan Matheson. Her older sister, Sorcha, was to have married Jamie’s older brother, Niall, who was killed along with the other 8 brothers when a bridge collapsed. Alan wants to keep the alliance with this new marriage agreement.

Sir Kenneth MacKenzie is Jamie’s liege lord. It’s here that he learns of the deaths of his brothers. He is shaken to the core. Jamie heads home with his aged dog Cuillin, a gift from his brother Niall years before, to see to his father and to stop and visit Alan Matheson about the alliance and marriage. Everyone is saying Munro had gone mad over the loss of his sons. Jamie thinks his father hates him and his feelings are all over the place about what he will find when he arrives home.

This starts the adventure that Jamie and Aveline must take to find their happiness and love. It not only is about a love sweeter than ever and full of passion but their journey is smack full of treachery and pain. Someone is out to hurt Munro and Jamie means to see it put to an end. There are ghosts and mysteries to uncover along the way. Through all the heartache and anger that have accumulated over the years comes an understanding that all things aren’t as they seem….that love and acceptance are there for all who open their hearts along with their eyes.

*Leah for b2b