Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Author Interview: Lindsay Townsend

Current Read: Night Pleasures by Sherrilyn Kenyon

Today is Wednesday and you know what that means! It's time to welcome this week's "Word Wizard"...

Today is an historic day for Armchair Heroines! I'm thrilled to welcome our first author from England, Lindsay Townsend!

*confetti flying, horns honking*

Lindsay graciously took time out of her busy schedule during this crazy week to spend some time with us. Why is this a crazy week for Lindsay? Because her new book, Flavia's Secret, was released yesterday from Bookstrand. I bought it and can't wait to get started! We'll be talking about Lindsay's latest release as well as her print book, A Knight's Vow, available from Kensington. I've had a wonderful time getting to know Lindsay over the past couple weeks. I hope you enjoy her interview as much as I enjoyed conducting it! So, let's get started.

Thank you, Lindsay for being here! When did you know you wanted to be an author?

I started writing stories when I was about six years old, and I've just carried on doing it. My memories of childhood involve my brothers charging about the house and me sitting in a quiet corner with a pile of books - when I wasn't out with friends, climbing trees.

Mmm, I love curling up in a quiet corner hidden away behind a pile of books! Can you tell us a little about your road to becoming a published author?

I took a degree in medieval history and worked for a while in libraries. After I married, we did the sums and decided I could concentrate on writing full time. It took a while, but my first unpublished historical got me an agent and the second got a publisher interested. They wanted me try a modern setting, which I did and enjoyed it, but historicals are really my first love.

Congratulations! And a degree in medieval history - what a great background. What differences and similarities do you see in publishing in England versus in the United States?

It's a question of opportunities, really. The kind of book I like to write is more valued in America and there are more publishers willing to take it. I'm certainly grateful to Kensington, who have been very encouraging and supportive from the start, and to Bookstrand, too.

A Knight's Vow takes place in the 12th century which isn't a time era we see very often. Why did you choose this particular time period?

My specialism in university was the Crusades, so the period chose itself. This is also the period of Stephen and Matilda, two rival claimants to the English throne, which creates an interestingly turbulent background - Ellis Peters' Cadfael mysteries are set at the same time (possibly for the same reasons!). The UK is also full of medieval churches, castles and buildings of all kinds, so there's no shortage of inspiration.

I have to get over there for a visit! In A Knight's Vow you are so adept at evoking the era - even your narrative words reinforce the time period! How do you do that?

I've read a lot of historical fiction, but a lot of straight history and documents from the time, too. My study is crammed with books for research and I have an ex-librarian for a husband (which comes in handy!). It's just a question of soaking up the flavour of the period and then writing as directly as I can. I can't explain it any other way.

What inspired you to create Guillelm? Alyson?

I wanted my hero to be a blond man with a brave but difficult past, rather than an assured, dark, brooding type. Guillelm's scarred background and his battle with his own uncertainties allow him to develop as his relationship with Alyson deepens. Alyson herself is plucky, caring and idealistic, but strongly committed to Guillelm from quite early on. The masculine world she inhabits gives her an inner strength shared by many medieval women.

Your newest novel, Flavia's Secret, was released by Bookstrand yesterday! Can you tell us about it?

Yes, it was released on July 29th., earlier than originally scheduled, so it's out now! 'Flavia's Secret' takes place in Roman Britain in 206 AD, when the Romans had occupied Britain for two centuries. Flavia is a slave, a scribe in the house of a rich Roman woman who has died in suspicious circumstances, and Marcus is the brusque military officer who inherits the house. The romance between them is entangled with the mystery of the older woman's death.

What inspired this story and its setting, especially the time period?

My other favourite historical topic is ancient Rome. My husband and I had our honeymoon at Corbridge in Northumberland, near Hadrian's Wall, and when I visited Bath, years later, I thought the Roman Baths would be a wonderfully atmospheric and sensual setting for a historical romance! The reality, too, of a Roman freeing a slave and marrying her - which certainly happened - allowed me to explore a developing relationship from a new historical perspective.

I imagine both of your novels involved a great deal of research. Can you share with us how you go about researching your books?

A lot of reading, both of scholarly books and articles and more general ones, even children's history books (which are strong on pictures of everyday life). I'm also quite a keen Internet surfer, and find a lot of useful material quickly that way. If possible I like to visit the locations where I set my books, which in practice means a lot of holidays linked with research for novels. This may partly explain why I set my English modern romantic thrillers in Italy and the Greek islands...

What do you like to do when you aren't writing?

Walking, reading, cooking and going out with friends. Oh, and long languid baths with scented candles (and perhaps chocolate).

And here is a random question for you: If you could meet anyone in the world, who would it be and why?

There are a few to choose from, but if you'll allow me two I'll pick Henry II of England and his queen, Eleanor of Aquitaine. Eleanor was such a strong, independent woman and had to be if she was married to a fiery and temperamental Plantagenet like Henry. I'd also like to see for myself if Henry actually rolled on the floor and chewed his blankets when he was angry, as the historians claim he did, but perhaps I'd have to watch from behind a large piece of solid furniture for protection!

Ha-ha! Thank you so much for being here, Lindsay. We wish you the best of luck with your writing!

Thanks and best wishes!

Can't get enough of Lindsay? Visit her website at and her blog at

We have a signed copy of A Knight's Vow for one lucky commenter! Let us know what you think of the interview, ask Lindsay a question of your own or just let us know what's on your mind. We will have a random drawing for the contest winner on FRIDAY! Good luck and thanks again to Lindsay for being here today.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Contest Winner & Friday Fiction

Current Read: He of the Fiery Sword by Skhye Moncrief

Congratulations to this week's contest winner...


Email me at with your snail mail address and I will send Lizzie's book your way on Monday!

Thanks to everyone who participated in this week's contest and a special thank you to Lizzie T. Leaf for being our "Word Wizard"!

Here are some links to excerpts of upcoming releases:

Courting Trouble by Renee Knowles

Lord Anthony Darby is determined to marry a wife with an exemplary reputation. Then he sees his childhood companion, gorgeous, scandalous, Lily Kennyon again. And all he wants is her in his bed. He decides to avoid her. Until her father makes him an irresistible offer: he'll sponsor Anthony's entry into an exclusive club, if Anthony will accompany his outcast daughter to society events. Can Anthony resist Lily's sensual lure? Or will his hunger make him lose control?

Lily has always rued her impulsive nature. Never more than when her defiance led to an accident, which paralyzed her sister. Afterward, she decided if her sister would never marry, neither would she. Yet she wants to experience lovemaking. So, when Anthony courts her, she devises a plan to seduce him. But she fears she's falling in love. Then she discovers Anthony's attentions were all part of a pact with her father…

The Secret Soldier by Jennifer Morey

The powerful stranger broke down the door and saved Sabine O'Clery from the terrorists holding her hostage. But her secretive hero was forbidden from revealing his identity. Until enemy fire forced them to crash-land.…Of all the covert military missions, being stranded on a Greek island with a beautiful woman is one that Cullen McQueen never imagined. But their stay in paradise was all too fleeting. He had to take Sabine back to America, or risk blowing his cover and losing everything he'd fought for. Yet memories of one passion-filled night haunted him… and when danger followed Sabine home, the stealth soldier knew he would break all the rules to keep her safe forever.

Check these out and let me know what you think!

See you next week with trailers, author Lindsay Townsend, and more Fiction Friday. Have a wonderful weekend!

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Author Interview & Contest: Lizzie T. Leaf

Current Read: He of the Fiery Sword by Skhye Moncrief

Please welcome Lizzie T. Leaf, today's "Word Wizard"!

Thanks for being here, Lizzie. Tell us a little about your decision to become a writer.

Stories have always played through my head, even as a child. I spent a lot of years having adventures with make-believe friends since there were no children around for me to play with most of the time. In school I discovered putting those stories down on paper earned 'As' and it was also a great way to escape what had become a not fun home situation. Marriage ended the dream of being published when my then husband discovered something I'd written and made fun of it. Low in self-esteme anyway, that was a big blow. Life and lots of years happened through which I kept an off & on secret journal. Guess I never fully gave up the dream. When the death of my second husband found me faced with discovering who I really was, the writing became a very important part of the discovery. My current husand read something I'd written for fun and said "stop playing and start writing." So here I am. He may not be a big romance fan, but he encourages me to write what I enjoy. If I got a "do over" for my life, definitely it would be "screw the nasty comments from the first husband and write." You didn't ask me to give advice here, but hey, you know me Tiffany...I always have some. So, my advice to others with the burning desire to write...ignore the "nay sayers" and continue with what makes you happy. Even a few mintes with a pen and paper while the laundry is going, is better than completely giving up like I did for so long.

So true! Thanks for the reminder. What is your favorite thing about being a writer?

To be able to loose myself in another world and make friends with the characters. When I receive an e-mail from someone who has read one of my books I'm elated. At least that person enjoyed what I created.

Least favorite?

Some days I'd rather read a book for my own pleasure or go goof off instead of sitting in front of a computer screen.

For your book Struck by Lightning you spent some time with local meteorologists for research. Can you tell us a little about that?

I was very fortunate when I contacted a couple of local television stations, the meteorologists were open to my coming in and shadowing them. I learned a lot about the behind the camera prep to do a broadcast. Both Mike Nelson at Channel 7 and Kathy Sabine at Channel 9 (in Colorado), were very generous with their time and in answering my questions. They both gave me tours of their stations and let me watch a live broadcast.

Can you tell us a little about Aspen Mountain Press and your work with them?

The publisher at Aspen Mountain Press is a former critique partner (she has become way to busy to do much critiquing on a regular basis) and when she first mentioned the idea of her own publishing company, I supported her 100%. She has definite ideas on how authors should be treated given her experiences as an author (she writes under Lucynda Storey) and non-positive experiences she had with some other publishers, along with good ones with other publishers. Taking the positive and enhancing it, then pulling the opposite of the negative, she created her goals for AMP to make a house where authors were treated fairly and had a voice. As the publisher, she has the final word, but she's willing to listen to an author's ideas, suggestions and complaints.

How do you balance being a writer, which can be very demanding, with the rest of your life?

I try not to schedule a lot of things for nights and weekends, but sometimes it can't be helped and my husband understands. He's a big boy and entertain himself when he needs to. If I ignored him constantly, then I'm sure he'd resent it, but he also encourages me to do what I need to do to get my career established.

Random Question: What is your favorite color and why? :0) (That's a pretty easy one! I wasn't nearly that nice to Melissa)

Why so nice to me?..grin. Anyway, favorite color is probably green. I like it because it signals the return of spring when the plants start putting out shoots. A renewal of the life cycle.

Thank you, Lizzie for being here and sharing your insights!

We have a signed copy of Lizzie's book, Struck by Lightning, up for grabs! All you have to do is leave a comment for Lizzie or me.

Here's a blurb about Struck by Lightning: A night of too many martinis had Isabella's friends attempting to convince her that an Immortal was the way to go in finding the man of her dreams. She's convinced that there are better odds of being struck by lightning than meeting an Immortal. Unknown to her, Galvin Haldor, the new weather team member at Channel 12 is the son of Thor, the Nordic Thunder God. Sparks fly, not only over weather predictions, but in a mutual attraction between the two.

You can read an excerpt here!

Please note a change to our contest only have until Friday to enter. I will draw a random winner on Friday, July 25th (not Tuesday).

Good luck and thank you to all of our wonderful Armchair Heroine readers!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

A New Twist to Book Trailers & A New Contest Winner!

Current Read: A Knight's Vow by Lindsay Townsend
** Lindsay is going to be an Armchair Heroine Word Wizard on July 31st. You can read an extract (that's what they call it in, huh?) here.

My 8 year-old has drawn from the blue box of contest commenters and the lucky winner is...


*Confetti flying*

*Horns blowing*

Congratulations, Peggy! You only need one more to have a complete set of Melissa's books (until January, that is)! I have your snail mail address so I will get this book headed your way.

A huge thank you to Melissa for being our Word Wizard! And thank you to everyone who commented.

Tomorrow's Word Wizard is Lizzie T. Leaf. She's going to talk about her experiences with writing and publishing, and we have one of her books to give away!

I wanted to share this clip with you from debut author Elaine Levine. Elaine's first book, Rachel and the Hired Gun, is being published by Kensington Books and will be available in January. Elaine has taken the book trailer concept to a new level with her video/audio clips. She has taken scenes that didn't make it into her book and sharing them with us. She hopes to give some background character information - to "wet our appetites"! :0) It's certainly working for me - I can't wait to learn more about Eyes of the Wolf (aka Sager).

Let me know what you think about Elaine's clip. She has assured me that there will be more available so stay tuned!

Happy Tuesday!

Friday, July 18, 2008

Fiction Friday!

Current Read: A Knight's Vow by Lindsay Townsend

Looking for something to read on this fine Friday? Check out these excerpts:

Liz Carlyle's Never Romance a Rake comes out on Tuesday (July 22nd)! You can read an excerpt here.

Sherry Thomas has a new book out on July 29th called Delicious. Check it out here.

Turbulent Sea by Christine Feehan is scheduled for a July 29th release as well. Read chapter one here.

Let me know what you think of these! Have you been anxiously awaiting these releases? Never heard of these authors? Tell me all about it.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Melissa Mayhue Interview

Current Read: A Knight's Vow by Lindsay Townsend

Alas, we must say "good-bye" to Melissa Mayhue...but not before the final installment of her interview where we learn more about Soul of a Highlander and what's next for the Daughters of the Glen series!

Book Three

Nine years ago, Faerie Magic saved Mairi MacKiernan at the cost of her dreams of happiness, snatching her from her life in 1272, and depositing her in the twenty-first century. Now, she must save the last Daughter of the MacKiernan family...who was murdered in 1295. Transported back in time at her request, Mairi finds herself captured by the same evil men as before! Is this the price the Faerie magic requires of her this time?

Ramos Servans has dedicated his dreams to service as a Guardian, but when he discovers the evil unleashed on the Mortal Plain by his father and their people, he swears he will atone by ridding the world of Nuadian deceit. Part of his mission involves rescuing a lovely Highland lassie, and in the passion that grows between them, Ramos and mairi find a new dream.

But falling in love can be dangerous when Faerie Magic is involved. Dreams may not be the only cost...

You can read an excerpt here.

Welcome back, Melissa! Tell us about Ramos and Mairi from Soul of a Highlander.

Mairi MacKiernan was one of my favorite characters in my first book, Thirty Nights. She’s Connor’s sister, a lively, irreverent young woman who fit perfectly into the 21st century. Perfectly except for the fact that she’s tortured by the memory of betrayal at the hands of a family member she trusted and the knowledge that she’ll never have the one thing every daughter of the Fae needs for happiness: True Love.

Ramos Servans Navarro is a dark, sexy, tortured hero if there ever was one! Convinced his destiny is to make amends for the evil his father brought to the world, he sees no future for himself at all.

Interestingly, Ramos was originally created to be a villain…but he just wouldn’t cooperate! So…now he’s a hero!

You're kidding?! Ramos must have quite a stubborn Soul of a Highlander to find out for sure. What's next for the Daughters of the Glen series?

The next book – A Highlander of Her Own – is due out January 27, 2009. It’s the story of Caden MacAlister and Ellie Denton.

Those who have read Soul of a Highlander will recognize Caden as one of Mairi’s cousins living in 13th Century Scotland. While the prologue of his story begins within months of Soul, the story itself takes place nine years later.

Ellie Denton is a young woman of Faerie descent living in modern day Texas who suddenly has a bizarre new birthmark in the shape of a rose and some scary new abilities – she can understand animals. When a heartfelt wish lands her back in time, her adventure really begins!

I'm so excited to learn more about Caden. I loved his character in Soul of a Highlander!

Your final question is a random one: If you could trade lives with anyone for a specified amount of time, who would you trade with and why? How long would you like to stay?

I don’t know that there’s anyone else I’d want to be. Everyone has their own joys and strengths and struggles. What you see on the outside isn’t always really the true picture. I’m happy with who I am and what I do and, most important, I’m happy with the people around me.

Tiffany, I do appreciate so much your doing this interview session with me. It’s been fun – and a challenge! – to answer all your questions. I’d like to extend an invitation to all your readers to drop by my website at
WWW.MELISSAMAYHUE.COM and leave a message on my Shout Box, and to Friend my at MySpace. I absolutely love to hear from readers. It truly makes the difference on those days when the words just don’t want to come!!!

Thank you, Melissa, for taking time to hang out with us here at Armchair Heroines! Be sure to comment and let Melissa know how much you enjoyed her interview and her books. One lucky commenter will take home a signed copy of Soul of a Highlander.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Contest Winner

This week's contest winner is...


Congratulations, Rhonda! Email me at with your snail mail address and I will get Highland Guardian headed your way!

Tune in tomorrow for our third and final interview installment with Melissa Mayhue!

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Part Two: Melissa Mayhue Interview...And Another Contest!

Welcome back to Armchair Heroines! Today we continue our progressive interview with amazing author, Melissa Mayhue. If you missed the first part, you can read it here.

Highland Guardian
Daughters of the Glen, Book Two

Sarah Douglas is a successful thirty-eight year old romance novelist with big problems. She's come to Scotland on a three month working vacation hoping to recapture her muse - who's deserted her - and resolve the issue of her strange 'feelings' - the ones which allow her to sense the emotions of everyone she touches.

From the moment she arrives, however, her problems only intensify. She's being stalked, but by whom? Is he real or only a figment of her imagination? What about the darkly handsome owner of the cottage she's leasing? How is she ever going to deal with her growing attraction to a man ten years her junior? She knows from bitter experience men - particularly men who look like Ian - aren't interested in women like her.

Ian McCullough is neck-deep in troubles of his own. As a half-mortal descendent of Faeries, he's a Guardian, sworn to protect both the mortals of this world and the Portals leading to the Faerie Realm. After six hundred years, he's confident he knows what to expect in just about every situation and exactly how to handle it. But he never counted on a woman like Sarah showing up in his life; a woman who intrigues and charms him. A woman who turns out to be of Faerie descent herself, although she has no idea of her heritage and no belief in any Otherworld beings.

When he's assigned to protect her, Ian finds the job is tougher than he could possibly have imagined. Oh, he can handle the stalker and the ex-husband and even the renegade Faeries trying to kidnap her for their own purpose. It's falling in love and forsaking his status as Guardian, a position he swore to honor at his father's deathbed, he's having trouble with.

Both Sarah and Ian struggle to battle the demons of self-doubt and their individual pasts. In the process they learn that healing will take the strongest magic of all, the true love that occurs only between two souls fated to be together.

I loved this book, but...don't take my word for it:

“With her sophomore effort, Mayhue jumps into her the magical world with a story of the power of love and bloodlines. She not only develops compelling protagonists, but her secondary characters are also rich and intriguing. An author with major potential!”-- 4 Stars – Romantic Times

“Melissa Mayhue has an awesome story in Highland Guardian… This was a lovely getaway to fantasy land and I can be ready to go again in a moment. If you like Scotland and Highland Heroes and Faerie magic this is a must read for you.” -- 5 Angels - Dana P., Fallen Angel Reviews

“In Highland Guardian, the second book in the Daughters of the Glen series, Melissa Mayhue has created a delightful world of the faerie, those who walk among us in the mortal world. The story flows with snappy dialogue and passionate temptations. It’s sure to put a smile on your face.” -- Sabrina Marino, Fresh Fiction

“I thoroughly enjoyed this book. I love Mayhue’s writing style… This is a very fun book and highly recommended to paranormal/fantasy fans.” -- Gwen, The Good, The Bad and The Unread []

And now, here is today's interview with Melissa:

Melissa, thanks for joining us again today! Tell us a little about Ian and Sarah, the hero and heroine in Highland Guardian.

Sarah Douglas is a writer whose muse has stopped musing; a woman with mysterious abilities and a ton of insecurities – chief among which are her own damaged self-image and her hangup about not dating a younger man.

Ian McCullough is the extremely handsome ‘younger man’ from whom Sarah rents a summer cottage in Scotland. He also happens to be a half Fae and a Guardian protecting Mortals and the Fountain of Souls from the evil Nuadian Fae. Oh, and did I mention he’s actually over 600 years old????

What advice would you give aspiring authors?

First off - Write the book of your heart. Write it your way. Don’t let the advice or the rules or the market or anything else dictate to you what that story should be or freeze you in your tracks. Once you sell it, there will be plenty of time to worry about what you HAVE to write! Finish that book! And keep writing.

Second – never miss an opportunity to tell someone about your book. Network, network, network. You might be surprised at how that can turn into a sold book.

Great advice - and just what I needed to hear right now! How did you know? :0)

Who is your favorite hero and why? Heroine? (I think I all ready know your answer, but I had to ask anyway!)

I can’t answer this one. My heroes and heroines are just like my children…I can’t pick a favorite. Each and every one of them is special in their own way. [As any mother can tell you!]

Yeah, I was pretty sure that's what you would say!

Random question for the day: Whom do you admire most and why?

Another totally loaded question.

(I'm all about loaded questions today!) :0)

There are so many people I admire, for so many reasons. I suppose to put it in the simplest terms, I admire anyone who lives their lives trying to do the right thing…whether it’s for family or country or friends or strangers. All those people who give of themselves every day to make life easier, safer, better for everyone else.

Beautifully put, Melissa!

Well, there you have it - another peak into Melissa's thoughts. Thanks to all of you for joining us.

You can leave a comment for Melissa or me here at AH. Let us know what you think about this interview, Melissa's books and/or what you love about being a romance reader.

Craving more? Click through to Melissa's website:

Don't forget your comments get you entered into the drawing for a signed copy of Highland Guardian, Book Two of the Daughters of the Glen series.

Good luck and have a wonderful Wednesday!

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Contest Winner



You are the winner of this week's drawing. Email me at with your snail mail address and I will get Melissa's first Daughters of the Glen book, Thirty Nights with a Highland Husband, headed your direction.

Don't forget to tune in tomorrow for the second installment of Melissa's interview. It's aptly named because we will be talking about her second Daughters of the Glen book, Highland Guardian. And I have to say that, although I love all of Melissa's heroes and heroines, Highland Guardian's hero is my fave (by a very slim margin)! :0)

Hope to see you all there - and keep those comments coming. A new contest starts tomorrow!

Monday, July 7, 2008

Check out these trailers...

Current Read: Struck by Lightning by Lizzie T. Leaf

Don't forget to comment on Melissa Mayhue's interview from last Wednesday! We will be drawing tomorrow for the winner of her first book in the Daughter of the Glen series, Thirty Nights with a Highland Husband.

Check out these book trailers!

You can visit Barbara at her website
Also watch for Barbara here at Armchair Heroines on August 27th when she makes her appearance as our "Wednesday Word Wizard"!

Online Videos by

I really wish they would let me know when they use my abs in these book trailers...Hee-hee...don't I wish!

Happy Monday, everyone!

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Author Interview & Contest: Melissa Mayhue

Current Read: Struck by Lightning by Lizzie T. Leaf

Today is the day! Welcome Melissa Mayhue, this week's Word Wizard. Melissa has three books out in her Daughters of the Glen series. For the next three weeks we will learn more about each one. A huge thanks to Melissa for taking so much time out of her hectic schedule to be here with us for an extended time!

Thirty Nights with a Highland Husband
Book One

In the misty recesses of time a Faerie Prince loses his true love, prompting a blessing on all his mortal female descendants, bestowing his powers on them that they should be protected and allowed to find their own true loves.

Connor MacKiernan is a 13th century Scottish warrior, a descendent of that Faerie prince, a man who lives only for honor and duty, but he has a huge problem. His experience of betrayal at the hands of women has left him suspicious and distrustful of any woman's motives. He's sworn never to marry, but finds he must do exactly that to save his sister. With the help of his well-meaning aunt, and a little Faerie magic, the search for a bride is on.

Caitlyn Coryell is a 21st century woman who longs to be strong enough to find love without sacrificing who she is. Her experience with an unfaithful fiance who wanted to marry her only for her family's money and influence has left her doubting her desirability and any man's reason for wanting her. Imagine her surprise when she puts on an antique pendant and Connor appears in her bedroom, begging her help to save his sister. He offers a simple adventure: travel to his time, marry him and return home. But nothing's simple when the adventure backfires, trapping Cate in the 13th Century.

An ancient Faerie's blessing reaches across the barriers of time to unite two emotionally wounded people. But it will take more than the magic of the Fae to heal their hearts. It will require the most powerful magic of all - the magic of true love.

Here's the first installment of Melissa's interview. Enjoy!

Tell us a little about Connor and Cate, your hero and heroine from Thirty Nights with a Highland Husband.

Connor MacKiernan is a 13th century Highland Warrior who just happens to be the descendent of the Fae. He’s dedicated his life to honor and duty and he doesn’t trust women as far as he can throw them.

Cate Coryell is a 21st century woman, with a load of personal insecurities and a rotten fiancé.

Both characters wandered around in my head for a couple of years before I finally found the perfect setting for them and wrote their story.

What is your favorite thing about being an author?

Legitimately creating places and characters I can share with other people. [Otherwise, just living in my imagination all the time would make me crazy, wouldn’t it???? ] :0)

Can you tell us a little about your researching process? How do you do it? When do you know you have enough?

Research! I love it and hate it – but it’s always an important piece of each book. From making sure I don’t have characters eating foods that aren’t available yet to deciding which sports car my hero would drive, it’s important to make sure the facts and details are clear in my mind even if I don’t end up putting them in the book. For example – In Highland Guardian, I researched expensive sports cars to find the exact one Ian would drive…but it ended up when I wrote about the car, I was in Sarah’s POV. And to her it was just a fast little black car!

How do I do it? Lots of it gets done online. I visit tons of sites ranging from official histories to government sites, tourism and travel sites, even hundreds of sites on mythologies of various countries and cultures. And everything in between!

I also have stacks of books I use for research, again covering a wide variety of subjects. But I do have two research items I use with every single book I write–

1 – The Synonym Finder by J.I. Rodale
2 - English Through the Ages by William Brohaugh

How do I know when I have enough? HA! The million dollar question! Research is something I can get absolutely lost in if I allow it. I always have to work at reining myself in. I guess the bottom line is, when I don’t have any more questions, the research is done.

Your random question for this week: Describe your perfect/ideal day.

Perfect day? I’m ahead of all my deadlines, no one is waiting for an interview or a blog I haven’t finished, all the contest entries I’ve been asked to judge are done and sent back, the writing on my current work just flowed like water and I’m pages ahead of my goal, all emails and MySpace messages are answered, I’ve just learned that there’s a wonderful new review out for my latest work… and it’s only lunch time so I can play for the rest of the day without any guilt.

We won’t go into how rare those Perfect Days are….

Isn't that the truth! Thanks, Melissa...can't wait to hear more next week.

Be sure to visit Melissa's website for more information and fun. You can click through to her here at

Remember to comment here at Armchair Heroines to be entered into the drawing for a signed copy of Melissa's first Daughters of the Glen book, Thirty Nights with a Highland Husband.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Contest Winner

Current Read: Struck by Lightning by Lizzie T. Leaf

The winner of Heart Thief by Robin D. Owens is:


Congratulations! E-mail me at with your mailing address and I will get Heart Thief headed your direction. Thanks to everyone for commenting. A very special thank you to Robin D. Owens for taking time during her deadline week to hang out with us!

Be sure to join us tomorrow as we begin our three week progressive interview with Daughters of the Glen creator, Melissaa Mayhue. We will have one of Melissa's signed books up for grabs!