Author Spotlight · Interview with an Author · New Release

Interview with an Author featuring Laura M. Baird

The Literary Vixen presents…

Joining us today is Laura M. Baird! Her newest release, Only You for the Holidays: A Christmas Romance released on December 13th 2021.

How long have you been writing?

I’ve been writing my current genre, romance, since 1995. I wrote off and on for many years while raising my family then returning to college for dental hygiene. It wasn’t until around 2014/2015 that I began to write more seriously and worked toward publishing.

Describe a typical writing day.

My schedule varies depending on other commitments (as I help with my mom and share my office with our son who’s working remotely). Typically I’ll try to get in a morning walk/workout, shower, eat, address emails, scan social media, address any promo/tasks, determine what’s for dinner, spend time with hubby, then write in the late afternoon and into the evening. I like to have my office to myself when I’m writing.

Where do you get your inspiration for your books?

Inspiration truly comes from everywhere! Life experiences of mine, family, or friends; a news article or current event; a what-if situation; a writing challenge; even an experience I imagine myself having.

One of the faster stories I wrote was book one of my Shifter Clans series, writing it in two weeks. An anthology call came from my publisher, Evernight, looking for stories about Alpha male shifters and strong females who weren’t going to just roll over for them. An idea instantly came to mind about a Native American hawk shifter and a former analyst with the government. My heroine suffered an injury, losing part of a limb, but it didn’t stop her from living life to the fullest. My hero wasn’t intimidated by her, and she found she could let down her guard with him. While my story wasn’t chosen for the anthology, Evernight wanted to publish it separately. So I added to the story which took another week. With secondary characters continuing to talk to me, three more books resulted.

Do you have a favorite character that you have written? If so, who? And what makes them so special.

My immediate thought is to say no, because I enjoy every story I write. However, I really loved writing my character, Michelle, from Kiss Me at Sunset. She’s 50, widowed; a counselor who is caught off-guard by her attraction to Xander (52), a bouncer/musician. Michelle doesn’t let age define her. The story was fun and spicy with two mature characters who knew exactly what they wanted and weren’t afraid to grab onto it.

When you’re writing an emotionally draining (or sexy, or sad, etc) scene, how do you get in the mood?

I truly immerse myself into the scene, imagining myself as that character; wondering how I’d feel, what I’d say and do. Scenes play out like movie in my head as I describe what’s happening, trying to make it flow seamlessly. Sometimes challenging scenes can take several days and rewrites, to get it right! If I’m stuck, I’ll walk away and let it stew for a while before I return to it.

If you had to describe yourself in three words, what would they be?

Optimist, pleaser, tenacious

When writing a series how do you keep things fresh, for both your readers and also yourself?

I try to keep stories fresh with little twists, the unexpected, even role-reversals. I give characters their own challenges and let them determine how they’re going to work their way through choices.

Are you working on anything at the present you would like to share with me?

My current work-in-progress is a vampire novella, the Mardi Gras Masked Ball series. It’s a shared world, where five authors are writing about characters revolving around Mardi Gras in New Orleans. Only recently have I been writing more paranormal stories, and I’m very much enjoying. My vampire character, Trevor, was orphaned in France in the 1600s. He aligned with others who disguised their true evil nature and he was turned without consent. Afterwards, he withdrew from life, from self-pleasures, as if he had to repent for the rest of his life. He spent his time trying to right the wrongs in the world, becoming a philanthropist. His love interest (his mate) awakens his dormant senses and shows him there is no denying their connection, their desires.

What advice would you give to other authors?

While I still feel like an emerging author, making a name for myself, there are times when imposter syndrome is real. I have to continue to tell myself to keep doing what I love. Write what I love, what I feel passion for. I’ve said, my writing may not be for everyone, but it’s for someone. And that’s the beauty with the romance genre; there are endless varieties and choices, that someone out there is going to connect with my stories.

What is the one thing you want people to know about you and your books?

I’d like readers to know the true joy I have in creating something others will enjoy. It’s scary and thrilling at the same time. The thought that I can take the reader away for an hour or two by making them smile, laugh, sigh, even tear up is humbling and rewarding.

 

Thank you Laura M. Baird for chatting with me! I will include her information down below. Check out her newest release, Only You for the Holidays today!

~Synopsis~

She made excuses to stay away.

He’ll give her a reason to remain.

Piper Deacon had a spotless flying record while serving in the Army until a careless mishap from her flight partner had her questioning her own skills and responsibility. Foolish pride kept her away from home for too long; the one place she should’ve known she could always return to no matter what. When circumstances force her back to Idaho, she’ll have to face life-altering decisions which include whether or not to succumb to the match-making devices of her mother and co-conspirator friend. With the appealing lawman, Logan Shaw, in her path, will she realize the easy choice right in front of her is all she’ll ever need?

Logan Shaw didn’t always walk the straight line, but service in the Marines gave him a better direction. After twenty-one years away, he’s settling back home, working with the Sheriff’s Department, and wondering if he has a future that’ll include a woman to love. Thanks to the machinations of his mom and her friend, he’s already halfway there with a woman he has yet to meet. And when he does, can he convince Piper you really can come home again?

I’m living life in the Pacific Northwest, enjoying family and the chance to make my author career soar. A veteran and semi-retired dental hygienist; a wife, mother, and grandmother; I’ve traversed the country from the East Coast to the West, sprinkling tidbits of my journey into my writing. I also write about adventures I may not otherwise experience myself. My goal is to provide laughter and swoon-worthy moments, as well as captivating stories in which the reader can either find their own adventure or escape.

I enjoy engaging with readers and authors, and love the encouragement and support not only among the romance community, but the entire writing community. With many ways to follow me, I invite you along on the journey. See my website for choices.

https://www.laurambairdauthor.com/contact.html

And if you decide to sign up for my newsletter (at the link below), receive a free read to get you started.

https://BookHip.com/WFSRQA

New Release · Review

When the Wind Chimes by Mary Ting – My Review

Title: When the Wind Chimes

Author: Mary Ting

Release Date: November 16th 2020

Genre: Holiday Fiction

SOMETIMES ANGELS COME IN HUMAN FORM.

Kaitlyn Summers is heartbroken.

When she receives an invitation to spend Christmas with her family on the Hawaiian island of Kauai, she feels it may be the perfect medicine.

She throws herself into helping her sister’s struggling art gallery, even taking a temporary job for extra money by looking after a little girl from her nephew’s school. She also begins to paint again, something she’s been unable to do since her breakup. It’s tempting to stay on Kauai, but she has obligations back in Los Angeles.

Life gets more complicated when circumstances keep putting her close to Leonardo Medici. Not only is he drop-dead gorgeous, he’s a local celebrity. But Kaitlyn can’t shake the feeling he’s hiding something.

Should she believe the rumors that he’s romancing half the island’s single women?

Or is the random sound of wind chimes when he’s close-by a sign that an angel is near and the secret to her happily ever after?

A delightful story of family and the love that binds them. 

This story is lovely. It has all the feel good moments and will have you smiling all the way through. The story has great pacing and ever greater characters! I love the wittiness and playfulness the characters have with each other. I also love where the story is set in. I imagine beautiful landscapes! *sighs dreamily* Most importantly, the close bond between the families. 

This is my first Mary Ting book and it won’t be my last! If you love romances that make you happy and feel good, this book is for YOU! Get cozy with it today! I give this 5 stars.

*I received a copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion*

 

Author Spotlight · Interview with an Author · New Release

Interview with an Author Featuring Mel Walker

The Literary Vixen presents…

Joining us today is Mel Walker! His latest release, A Small Town Christmas released today!

When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?

It was in elementary school, about third grade. My teacher gave us a writing assignment – she had cut out miscellaneous pictures from magazines. Each student picked a random picture and had to write a story based on the photo. My picture was a guy walking up the cables of a bridge high above traffic and the water. Immediately a story sprang to my mind about a detective chasing bad guys. I nearly missed my bus working on the story and was the last kid out of class that day. I continued writing on the bus ride home and kept at it until I finished the story.

Describe your writing space.

Currently, I’m fortunate that I have a home office. At the start of the pandemic I purchased a standing desk, best move of the year so far. Comfortable chair, a balance board for when I work standing, adjustable light with five different settings and lucky enough to have large windows. I love my writing space.

How many books have you written? Which is your fave?

Written vs. published, LOL. I now have 11 published either standalone or submission as part of collections/anthologies. You can’t ask a writer which is their favorite. They are all special. If I had to choose one which I’m most proud of it would be Ryan’s Kiss just because of the challenges it presented. It really pushed me and I’ve spent a lot of time working with flashbacks. I know a lot of people are not fans, but it is such an essential part of the story that I had to find a way to weave them in seamlessly. I’ve gotten great feedback about the flow of the story and that makes me proud.

Where do you get your inspiration for your books?

I get inspiration from everywhere. Walking down the street, catching a snippet of a conversation at a restaurant, day dreaming, and music plays a large part of my inspiration.

How do you deal with emotional impact of a book (on yourself) as you are writing the story?

It’s always an emotional rollercoaster while I’m writing. I probably go through all twelve stages of writing – everything from this is crap to where do I pick up my trophy and everything in between. The hardest part is always when the characters don’t behave and you feel like you’ve lost control.

When writing a series how do you keep things fresh, for both your readers and also yourself?

With a series in order to keep things fresh I remind myself to stay flexible. I’ve realized over time that no matter what I plan I need to allow room for my characters to determine the next step, the next book in a series, etc. For example, in my latest release “Jason’s Hope” a novella based on my Lake Hope series and is part of the Small Town Christmas collection. The story features Amy, a movie director. When I started the Lake Hope series, Amy had been planned to have a small role appearing in “Aaron’s Heart”. Amy’s journey however had a natural intersection with Dana in Book Three, “Jackson’s Love” to the point that fans of the series wanted to see more of her. Hence her new feature status in “Jason’s Hope”.

Are you on social media and can your readers interact with you?

Absolutely – you can find me in all the usual places. *Links down below*

If you had to describe yourself in three words, what would they be?

New York Romantic

What advice would you give to other authors?

Follow your heart and inspirations which bring you joy. It comes across in your writing. Never be afraid to ask and challenge yourself to continue to learn and grow. I would also tell them, they rock. Anyone who can get the end of a story is a winner.

What is the one thing you want people to know about you and your books?

If you like romantic stories filled with smart and focused women that don’t wait for their HEA but chases it down grab one of my books.

 

Thank you Mel Walker for chatting with me! I will include his information down below. Check out his newest release, A Small Town Christmas today!

~Synopsis~

Enchanted Quill Press are delighted to present the small-town Christmas romance boxset.

This heart-warming collection is filled with bold heroes, spirited heroines and swoon-worthy kisses. All set in a beautiful small-town packed with memorable friends and family.

Christmas cookie-making, ice-skating over a frozen lake, peppermint hot chocolate and all your favorite holiday tropes make this anthology perfect for every Hallmark fan.

Enjoy reading from best-selling authors and discover new ones carefully selected by Enchanted Quill Press to provide the ultimate feel-good holiday boxset this year.

These wholesome stories are included:

Mistletoe Kisses, by Macie St. James
Elf Costumes and other Christmas Disasters by Laynie Bynum
Knight Events, by Sheri Richey
The Christmas Dance, by River Ford
and loads more

There is something for everyone to enjoy. Scroll up and one-click now to start reading.

Mel Walker has been writing fiction most of his adult life. Specializing in Short Stories and Contemporary fiction and Romance Novels. A native New Yorker and life-long frustrated NY Mets fan. He loves to write about ordinary people placed in difficult situations, especially as it relates to their closest relationships.

Follow me on BookBub: https://bit.ly/2lJP0YU
Sign up for my newsletter: https://bit.ly/2yYswwP
Follow me on IG: https://bit.ly/2Kx7LwJ