Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Feature Author: Diane Wylie

Please welcome today's featured author, Diane Wylie!

Welcome, Diane. Thank you for joining us today. Why don't you start by telling us a little about Secrets and Sacrifices.

Secrets and Sacrifices is the result of my love of the Civil War time period, my background in biology, and a ghost tour. You might wonder how this all ties together, but believe me, it does. I wanted to write a story about a doctor of that time period and all the challenges he faced dealing with the casualties of war. (This is where the biology comes in.) So, Captain Daniel Reid, regimental surgeon, was born in my imagination. Of course, with a hero comes a heroine, and I believe in strong heroines, too. Who could be stronger than a woman who is brave enough to enlist in the Confederate army, like Charlotte Garrett? They were the perfect match. Throw in the turmoil of a terrible time in our history, along with the amazingly evil-looking Fort Delaware (where I went on a ghost tour), and you have a story that will keep you turning the pages until the very end.

I imagine this book involved an incredible amount of research. Can you tell us a little about that process?

My research comes from the normal sources—books and the internet—along with some trips to real battlefields and historical landmarks. I’ve been to Antietam National Battlefield in Maryland to see the places that I describe in Secrets and Sacrifices firsthand. I also watched the reenactment of the battle of Gettysburg, which was amazing. And, as I mentioned, I also took a ghost tour around Fort Delaware on Pea Patch Island. There is nothing like actually being there to be able to bring it to life.

This is a time era we don't see all that frequently. Why did you choose the Civil War era?

Precisely because we don’t see enough romances set during that time period. Who doesn’t love Gone with the Wind? I sure did. But as I looked for more fiction set during that time period, I didn’t find much, especially in the romance genre. Lots of stories are told of the generals and leaders of the day. What about the everyday soldier? Their stories need telling as well.

To what aspect of Charlie's character could you, as the author, most relate?

Charlie, or Charlotte as she was christened, gives her love with all her heart, and would do anything for her beloved. That is what I can really relate to.

How about Daniel?

With Daniel, I can relate to his conflict between doing the right thing and doing what is expected of him. As a doctor, he wants to help any injured soldier, but as a Confederate officer, he is expected to only treat the soldiers from his side. I think we all have to face tough choices no matter our life situations.

If your book was the monthly selection for a book club, what do you think would be the focus of the discussion?

Hmm… That is a hard question. Perhaps the focus would be on Charlie’s role in the Underground Railroad? Or maybe the focus would be on the fact that the Reid family, like the whole state of Maryland and the entire country, was divided on the political and social issues of the day.

What's on your nightstand right now? (What are you reading?)

Right now I am reading two books: Ancient Ties, a historical romance by a Jane Leopold Quinn, and Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, by J.K. Rowling. I am loving them both!

As a reader, who are the most memorable characters you've met?

Well, Harry Potter is one, but also on the list would be Scarlett and Rhett from GWTW, and Jamie and Clare from Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander series.

In the spirit of the Thanksgiving holiday: For what are you most thankful?

I am most thankful that my husband, son, daughter, and new son-in-law are all happy and healthy. In addition, I am thankful that I have two more books coming out in what I call my American Hero series. Secrets and Sacrifices is the first book. Jenny’s Passion, a forbidden love story between a Northern cavalryman and a Southern woman, is the second book, out now. And the third book, Lila’s Vow, is coming out in March 2009. For more on my books I invite your readers to visit my website, Be sure and sign up for my newsletter while you’re there. I am giving away a free contemporary novel to all subscribers.

Thanks so much, Diane, and best of luck with your writing!

I have one copy of Secrets and Sacrifices for one lucky commenter. Let us know what you think! I'll announce the winner on Monday instead of Friday because of the holiday.

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

Friday, November 21, 2008

Contest Winner

I'm pleased to announce the winner of a copy of Her One Desire by Kimberly Killion...

Cari Quinn

Congratulations, Cari! Send your snail mail address to Kimberly at

Need a copy of Her One Desire? Click here to purchase your very own copy!

See you all next week when I hang out with Diane Wylie, author of Secrets and Sacrifices.

Have a great weekend.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Historical Romance Author Feature: Kimberly Killion

I am thrilled to welcome Zebra author Kimberly Killion to Armchair Heroines today! I recently read her debut novel, Her One Desire, and loved it.

And now, please welcome Kimberly!

Thank you so much for joining us today, Kimberly. I absolutely loved your book! Tell us about Her One Desire.

HER ONE DESIRE is a Zebra debut that released in July 08. The story is set in 1483 England, a time when the nobles would do anything to gain King Edward’s crown. My blurb says it best:

Astride a stolen horse, encircled by the shackled arms of Broderick Maxwell, a Scottish spy escaping certain death in the Tower of London, Lizbeth Ives rides to the north, hidden by the merciful darkness. By stealth and by cunning, the daughter of the Lord High Executioner has undone her father’s cruel work, compelled to save the innocent man with her. There is no turning back—they are bound as one in his iron chains. Consumed by mortal fear, driven by passion, they disappear into the night…

A single raven follows them. Is it an omen? Or only the first of those who would capture them? They must ride on. If captured, they will face death together. But if they reach Scotland, he will claim her for his own…forever.

How did inspiration for this story and these characters strike?

I suppose I was contemplating my next story when I was watching a documentary of the lives of the executioners and how they lived. I was fascinated by their stories. I had been researching the life of Richard the Third, as he plays a role in HER ONE DESIRE, and discovered he, too, had been party to several executions. My little mind went to work and it hit me…what if I wrote a book about the executioner’s daughter? It took root from there.

Did you do a lot of research? How did you go about it?

My bible for this book was a Richard the Third by Paul Murray Kendall. The book is 600+ pages and I read it more than once. I discovered fascinating concepts that made me rethink my original ideas of creating a villain out of the executioner. Instead, I wanted to make the executioner a bit of a hero himself. As history buffs, we all know the mysteries that surround the princes in the Tower. I, too, have always wondered about their disappearance and decided to use that mystery as a twist in the storyline.

Were there any aspects of the book with which you struggled?

The timeframe in which I wrote it. I only had five chapters written on HER ONE DESIRE when I went to the national conference in Dallas in 2007 and pitched the story to Hilary Sares of Kensington. She was very interested in the premise of this particular story and asked to see everything I had written on it to date, in addition to HIGHLAND DRAGON, which will be out in the fall of ‘09. Ten days after National I got ‘THE CALL’. Hilary wanted to buy both books from me. The catch…she wanted HER ONE DESIRE to hit the shelves first. Of course, I was exhilarated, excited, but I only had five chapters written. Long story short…I had to write 80,000 words in three months. I set myself on a schedule of 1,000 words a day and 5,000 on the weekends in order to meet my deadline. I got up at 4:00 a.m. to write before work and then wrote at night until 10:00, 11:00, sometimes midnight. I locked myself in the closet with my laptop for privacy and when that didn’t work, I went to the ‘shed’. But, I DID IT! Whew!

How did you find yourself with writing as a career path?

Do you remember the teacher who made a difference in your life? I do. His name was Dr. Krantz. He was my mythology teacher. While attending college near Kansas City, I was working toward a Bachelor in Fine Arts when I discovered I had to take an elective. I pulled "Mythology" out of a hat, and it was there I found Dr. Krantz. The book wasn't Romeo and Juliet, as you might suspect, but Dante's Inferno-a Divine Comedy indeed. Talk about an intriguing read. Sure, I bought Cliffs Notes—I was eighteen. With a three-hour block of nude figure drawing and rocks to sculpt, who has time to read? Well, I read it. Cover to cover, after which, I read Oedipus, The Iliad, The Odyssey, and a few other Greek tragedies.I walked away with, not only an "A" in the class, but a love for all things tragic, passionate, and historic. I did receive a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree, with which I have enjoyed a rewarding career as a graphic designer for more than fifteen years. I moved on from the ancient authors of yesteryear and became engrossed in the writings of Julie Garwood, Teresa Medeiros, and Gaelen Foley — just to name a few.

What are you reading now or what's in your "to-be-read" pile?

Mostly research books:

The Big Book of Filth: 6500 Sex Slang Words and Phrases

Haud Yer Wheesht: Your Scottish Granny's Favorite Sayings

Awa' An' Bile Yer Heid! Scottish slang and insults

For pleasure, I'm currently reading a few HOT novellas: The Pleasure of His Bed by Melissa MacNeal, Donna Grant, and Annalise Russell

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

Well…um…I’ve been sitting her for a really long time trying to answer this question and I’ve decided I have no answer. I really enjoy writing. I spend hours a day talking to my characters and thinking of ways to torture them. I enjoy spending time with my family, but in truth, I even brainstorm with my teenage daughter, so that’s writing related as well.

Since it's November: What are the three things for which you are most thankful?

The obvious ones; God, my family, my writing group, but I am really thankful for my vivid imagination. I would be terribly bored without it. J

Thank you, Kimberly!

Kimberly is offering a copy of Her One Desire to one lucky AH reader. Post your comments and questions for a chance to win.

Happy Wednesday!

Friday, November 14, 2008

Contest Winner!

TGIF! Is it just me or has this week simply flown by? Yikes!

Thank you, Skhye, for visiting us again here at Armchair Heroines. Thanks also to all of you who joined in the conversation!

And now, the winner of Naked on the Staircase is...


Congratulations! Email me at and I'll get Naked on the Staircase to you.

Didn't win, but still want a copy? Click here to purchase your very own copy of Naked on the Staircase.

No Friday Fiction today, but be sure and stop by next week when I'm joined by Kimberly Killion. She'll talk about her debut novel, Her One Desire. I loved, loved , loved this book, by the way! Hope to see you then.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Skhye Moncrief - Today's Word Wizard!

Please welcome back author Skhye Moncrief! I was lucky enough to host Skhye a few months ago where we discussed her novel, He of the Fiery Sword. Skhye is back...actually, she is just chaperoning. She brought the hero and heroine of her new Rosebud novella, Naked on the Staircase, for a little chat!

Welcome, Cowboy and Aron!

Tell us a little about your story, Naked on the Staircase.

A Time Guardian Halloween Tale... A demon stalks Druidess Aron MacKintosh, trying to use her to gain control of the timeline in present-day Scotland. Time plows toward Samhain when the doorways open between the Now and the Happy Otherworld. She finds herself in a strange alliance with an unusual time guardian, Cowboy. The duo struggles to defeat the demon. If Cowboy can’t earn her trust, the integrity of the timeline could be endangered. Only Cowboy’s charm and southern idea of chivalry has what it takes to leave an ancient evil bound NAKED ON THE STAIRCASE.

I've had the pleasure of reading it all's great! A couple questions for you, Cowboy: What is a Time Guardian? How did you find yourself a member of this order?

Time Guardians are members of The Gaelic Order of Knights from the future, i.e. Freemasons. Some hold up along the timeline at a castle here in the present--Ronat Castle better known as Blair Atholl. The owner of the castle is the only Brit who can maintain a standing army aside from the Crown. So, not a bad setup and excellent cover for a lot of guys with swords. We're all here to maintain the integrity of the timeline as soldiers of Truth, students of the past, and guardians of Time. I found myself drawn into the action on my way out as a mercenary. There was this sheik's gator pond. And, well, I was hurled into it for not giving up info. But I'm an unorthodox cadet. The Brotherhood needed me to help with logistics here in the present since they're from other times. I'm supposed to get a time-travel sword though. That's part of the deal. Well, the only deal left since I'm supposed to be dead.

I personally love guys with swords! :0) And you, Aron: What is a Druid and how did you "become" one?

Druids from the future are often confused with the historical idea of druids. I am a priestess of Time. Our Order was created along with the Brotherhood. Let's just say, the two Orders intermarry in sacred unions as soul mates to safeguard history. You really don't need to know more until you realize you're probably someone's soul mate. My apprenticeship began when I was four. Members of both Orders spend twenty years progressing until proven ready to hold the line, timeline. Then we get to investigate our history. We get to explore! Well, that's what was promised. It's more like torture being dumped here and there because of the renegade gods and their attempt to corrupt history.

Not sure I'd like that...Cowboy, is there something you really like or enjoy about being a Time Guardian?

I get this gnarly fairy armor that makes me invisible. ;)

It's very cool. :0) Aron, what do you find most intriguing about being a Druid?

There's a trend in earth's future--a rejuvenation of cultural histories. When cultures begin leaving the earth in search of a place to call their own among the stars, Gaelic peoples did too. But we found a stone circle that catapulted us through time. And in this moment when we grasped the breadth of what we could do in reconstructing our pre-English domination cultures, we also realized how the ugly side of human nature might try to use time travel to change the way history unfolded. I gave my life for humanity. I took my vows and progressed from bard to ovate to Druid in order to ensure your history remains unchanged. But, I can't hide the fact that I dreamed of seeing a beautiful sunrise before the Industrial Revolution. And to read the original documents we Druids memorize for recitations. Oh, what blessed opportunity! Can anyone say there is no allure to joining the ranks among the holiest of Sisters?

I would love to do those things, but not sure I'd be willing to be catapulted through time willy-nilly?!

Thanks for having us here, Tiffany. Although, we're looking back... JUST HITCHED! ~Cowboy + Aron

You are very welcome. Thank you for joining us!

Questions? Comments? Post and you're entered to win a PDF copy of Naked on the Staircase. Check out Skhye's website for more information on the Time Guardians:

Happy Wednesday!

Friday, November 7, 2008

Contest Winner and Friday Fiction

Thank you to the lovely and talented Helen Hardt for joining us this week, and to all of you who joined us for our chat!

The winner of Helen's scorching hot story is...


Congratulations, Donnell! I'll have Helen get in touch with you and she'll get you your copy of Seduced in Seoul!

I'm wildly excited about Elaine Levine's debut novel, Rachel and the Hired Gun, coming in January 2009 from Kensington Books! Click here to read the first chapter...but beware, waiting can be difficult, and I'm quite sure that once you read the first chapter you'll be dying for more! So, be sure and spend some time at Elaine's website: She has posted "prequel" clips that will satisfy just a bit more of your curiosity!

Have a great weekend! See you next week when I welcome back author Skhye Moncrief. We'll hear about her just released Halloween Time Guardians story.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Author Feature: Helen Hardt

Happy Wednesday, everyone! Please welcome today's feature author, Helen Hardt.

Thanks for joining us this week on Armchair Heroines, Helen. Tell us about your debut novel, Seduced in Seoul.

Thank you for having me, Tiffany! SIS is actually a short story, not a novel, and it's HOT. It's an erotic romance, published in the Scarlet Rose line at The Wild Rose Press. And, I'm thrilled to say, it's been on the bestseller list since its debut on August 22. It's part of the Destination Pleasure series in Scarlet Rose. Each story must be rosette length (3000-12,500 words) and feature an American heroine in an exotic location. Very fun to write!

Here's the blurb: The last thing Allison Sanchez expects when she arrives in Seoul is the Asian god waiting for her at the airport. Right away it's obvious he can't understand a word she says. But body language is universal, and Allison soon casts aside her inhibitions in favor of engaging in one of her secret fantasies with the hot chauffeur. Talking dirty during sex takes Allison to an all new high until she discovers her exotic lover is only half Korean--and her brother's American roommate.

This is the first story I've seen set in Seoul. Why did you choose that particular city?

My husband, sons, and I are all blackbelts in the Korean martial art of Taekwondo. In 2006, we visited Seoul with our Taekwondo master and participated in a tournament and a demonstation. Seoul was a very interesting city, and I thought it would make a unique backdrop for a story. When I discovered the Destination Pleasure series, I came up with the premise and wrote the story.

What are you working on now?

I'm doing NaNoWriMo! My NaNo project from last year, a contemporary western, just finaled in a contest, and was requested by Silhouette at the RWA National conference in San Francisco. This year's project will be a sequel to that story. Actually, a second sequel, because I already wrote the first one early this year, and it also finaled in the same contest. So I'm very excited about the possibilities for this year's NaNo story, and its scrumptious cowboy hero!

You have a law degree and worked as a lawyer prior to writing. How does that background contribute to your writing?

I'm not sure it does, to tell you the truth. Of all my manuscripts, I only have one character who is a lawyer. The heroine in my short novel, Blood Wolf, a werewolf paranormal which just won the Got Wolf? contest sponsored by The Wild Rose Press, is an attorney. I think she's the only one out of all my writing. Blood Wolf will be available in an anthology this coming summer.

When you aren't writing, how do you fill your time?

I work as a free lance editor, and I have two teenage boys. Enough said, LOL!

What are some of the books sitting on your "keeper" shelf?

Oh wow, so many! First of all, anything by the wonderful Lisa Kleypas, the amazing Eloisa James, and the phenomenal Joan Johnston. Those ladies are my three favorite romance authors of all time. A few others: Outlander by Diana Gabaldon, The Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan, Voyeur by Lacey Alexander, The Forever Kiss by Angela Knight, The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold. I could go on and on.

In the spirit of November and the Thanksgiving holiday, what are you most thankful for?

My husband and my two sons, and our good health.

Thank you again, Helen. Be sure and comment or ask Helen your burning questions. She's offering an e-copy of Seduced in Seoul for one lucky commenter!

Can't get enough of Helen? Check out her website:, her blog:, and the blog she shares with her critique partners: Can't wait until Friday to read Seduced in Seoul? You can own your very own copy by clicking here!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Movie Magic Monday...on Tuesday!

Hello, ladies! I'm baaaack. Thank you for your patience and your lovely well-wishes!

Here is a book trailer and a contest to get your week started off right!

Sin a little…And Win! www.cynthiaeden.comEnter Today!Share Image

Cynthia also has a wonderful creature quiz on her website. You can check it out here and find out what kind of creature you are!

Have you read any of Cynthia's books? She's a new author for me, but with one of my favorite publishers and lines: Kensington Brava. Let me know what you think!

The "Wednesday Word Wizard" feature returns tomorrow with the lovely and talented, Helen Hardt. Helen's going to tell us all about her debut release, Seduced in Seoul. Hope to see you there!