Category Archives: Writing

A Jersey Dreamboat by Georgina Troy ~ BOOK PROMO

Georgina Troy

A Jersey Dreamboat


Georgina Troy


Georgina Troy

The third instalment of the captivating Jersey Scene series. Izzy and her best friend Jess are badly let down when a Jersey socialite, who has agreed to hire their entire vintage party stock for her upcoming wedding, decides to elope instead – leaving the girls with no bookings and no money. Feeling despondent, the girls try a night out to cheer themselves up, and meet the captivating and aristocratic Ed, who invites the girls on a cruise to Nice on his yacht, together with his two brothers. Romance builds on the luxury trip, but when a last-minute wedding booking is offered, the girls must return to Jersey, and real life has to begin again …or has it?


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Georgina Troy

Georgina Troy lives on the island of Jersey and when it’s dark she can see the lights in France from her bedroom window. This isn’t surprising as Jersey is only fifteen miles off the French coast. She’s an impossible romantic and likes nothing more than creating gorgeous heroes. Her books are published by Accent Press.


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Georgina Troy

Author Interview with Mystery Maven, Maggie Wheeler

Welcome Mystery Maven, Maggie Wheeler

I’m pleased to welcome local author, Maggie Wheeler to Celtic Connexions! Sit down, make yourself comfortable and we’ll get started.  I’ve got water here on the side table so if you feel the need, say the word. I know I tend to get dry when I do a lot of talking so I assume you do, too.

For the benefit of those who don’t know you, could you share a bit about yourself (50 or so words) before we get started?

It’s always hard for writers to write about themselves! I’m a native of Central Ontario but Eastern Ontario has been my home for most of my life. I have three wonderful daughters and a beagle named Bagel. I currently call Brockville, the River City, my home on the St. Lawrence River.

How long have you been writing?

Personally, my whole life. Professionally, about 20 years including 15 with mystery fiction.

What got you interested in writing, and what inspired you to write your first book?

An early love of reading translated into a childhood dream of being a writer. I loved Composition in public school, and was always dreaming up stories of my own. The first book materialized when I was running a corporate communications business in the 1990s. I had everything I needed in my home office to work on the book and had been thinking of doing it for years. I was and am a great fan of mystery fiction, so I started work on a mystery novel of my own.

Which comes first for you – characters or plot?

Plot. Absolutely. With mystery fiction, I’m a traditionalist—weaned on the likes of Christie, Sayers and Conan Doyle. The mystery is the point, so I begin with what I call my plot formula: X + Y = Z. This person kills this person for this reason. Once I have that, everything else must work to support it and help the reader figure it out—or take them on a wild goose chase, legitimately, of course!

Names are important. How did you decide on your characters’ names?

Many of the names in my first novel A Violent End come from my family. For example, Farran’s father’s name (Hal Leonard) is a composite of my father’s and paternal grandfather’s first names (Harold and Leonard). Others I have taken from books on hand in my personal library.

How long did it take you to write your first novel?

About 2½ years. I did research around the needs of my young family and my business for two years. When I finally sat down to write out the story, it took three months for the first draft.

Did it require lots of research and did you have difficulty finding the information you needed?

Yes, I did a lot of research. The story was going to showcase a painful time in my community’s history so I had to get it right. I started with interviews with people from the Lost Villages, followed by book research and lots of time on the Cornwall Public Library microfilm with the back issues of the Cornwall Standard Freeholder. The Lost Villages Historical Society was also very helpful. It wasn’t difficult more than time-consuming. It had been 40 years at that point since the completion of the Seaway construction, and people seemed ready to talk about it.

There are currently four books in the Farran MacKenzie Lost Villages Mysteries series. Will there be more?

Yes. This fall, I am beginning Book Five in the series that will bring back all the regular characters and also work in the amazing history of the British Home Children through Farran’s family tree.

Any humorous moments/incidents during your research you can share? (I’m thinking of the one you mentioned at Writer’s Ink when you went to the police detachment talking murder)

There were many memorable moments for me over the years, especially doing the research for the first book. You learn as you go! Two that come to mind involve the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) and Upper Canada Village.

One afternoon, my ex-husband was going to be home so I left the children with him and scooted off to Long Sault, to the OPP detachment that Jerry Strauss works out of in the books. I had a police procedural scene in the second chapter concerning where the body is found. I felt more comfortable than average with the Long Sault detachment as that was where my father had worked years before. With no advance call, I walked into the OPP station and asked to see an officer for information about homicide procedure. Still don’t know why they didn’t arrest me…A young constable took me to the interrogation room and tried to interrogate me/answer my questions. After a few unproductive minutes, a sergeant came to the door and escorted me down the main hall to another room where I asked all the same questions to the sergeant and another officer. Finally, it dawned on me that perhaps I looked suspicious. I took out a newspaper clipping with the announcement of my project and told them I was harmless, just an author. The sergeant smiled and said he was running my licence plates through the system as we spoke and would shortly find out just how harmless I really was! At that point, I was grateful for having a police officer for a father, because he’s made me toe the line growing up and my record was clean! I got to go home!

Another time at Upper Canada Village, I was “casing” the saw mill where the first murder in the present day takes place. Eventually, all the other tourists were gone and the village interpreter came up to see if I needed help or if he could answer any questions. Standing beside the great gears churning in the water, I asked him this: If you were standing here with someone and threw them into the gears to kill them, would it stop the gears? I can still see the look on his face…but he answered (after moving away a bit) and said what is in the book. “The river runs it. You’d have to stop the river.” I’m sure they still talk about that in the staff room, under most amazing questions asked!

Thanks so much for agreeing to this interview. It’s been wonderful hosting you here today. I do have one final question for you though.

What book are you reading now?

A Shadow in the Past…have you heard of it??

Maggie’s Books

A Violent End

mystery mavenFollowing the death of her mother, university history professor Farran Mackenzie begins searching for her parents’ past in the Lost Villages of the St. Lawrence Seaway. Her arrival surprises the old-timers, and stirs up memories amongst the former villagers, many of whom were already rattled by the recent reappearance of Farran’s father ─ from beneath the waters of the St. Lawrence where his body had unknowingly lain since the flooding, forty years before. Then, when a friend of her parents dies in a suspicious accident soon after her arrival, Farran is forced to put her research skills to new use, before her father’s murderer finds her.

The Brother of Sleep

mystery mavenFarran Mackenzie couldn’t have been more surprised when Alison Perry walked into her University of Waterloo office. It had been thirty years since she had last seen her best friend in high school, and thirty years since her best friend’s father, a police officer, had been killed in the line of duty. And now Alison was asking for help in discovering who had really killed her father.

Farran has doubts about helping her long-lost friend. A lifetime has passed since Alison walked out of her life with no explanation but doubt fades when a car bomb results in the death of Sergeant Perry’s old partner, nearly killing Alison and Farran, as well. Someone obviously doesn’t want them to dig up old skeletons, so Farran takes them to the only place she feels save ─ the St. Lawrence Seaway. But the past keeps catching up with them there, too. A fated meeting in the local cemetery with Paul Vaughn, a police officer from Newfoundland, has Farran revisiting the origins of the St. Lawrence Seaway, a journey that turned her own life upside down only a year ago, and threatens to do so again. She feels a strange attraction to Paul, whose life seems to mirror her own, but what about Jerry Strauss, the OPP inspector to whom she owes so much? Too many police officers in her life, both past and present, and too many coincidences. Farran’s heart if playing havoc with her instincts, which could prove dangerous, if not deadly. Whom can she trust? And is the truth worth the price of knowing?

All Mortall Things

mystery mavenInspector Jerry Strauss does not believe in ghosts.

As commander of the Stormont-Dundas-Glengarry detachment for the Ontario Provincial Police, he deals with facts, not fancies. But he and Sterling House, now a B&B in Ingleside, have a long history, going back to his childhood when the house was a private home in the Lost Villages of Wales. As a boy, things weren’t quite so black and white, and both the home and the village had an unearthly air that last summer before the flooding of the St. Lawrence Seaway caused the house to be moved and the village to disappear forever. Death came to the house then, and now death has returned, nearly fifty years later. Jerry Strauss soon discovers he’s connected to both. If she were there, Farran Mackenzie would tell him to listed to the house. Inspector Strauss isn’t sure he wants to hear what it has to say.

On a Darkling Plain

mystery mavenSo much for a summer of light emotional entertainment. In the month marking fifty years since the inundation of the St. Lawrence Seaway, the remains of a young man gone missing during the Project days surface near Old Iroquois and stir up a hornet’s nest on both sides of the river. While dodging a cold-blooded killer, her approaching fiftieth birthday, and emotional commitment to Inspector Jerry Strauss, Farran Mackenzie faces reconnecting with the daughter she gave up twenty-six years before ─ and the dark secret that drove them apart in the first place.

Paperback versions of these books can be bought directly from the author at

E-books will be available soon.

About Maggie Wheeler

mystery maven

As author and historian, Maggie Wheeler has spent over a decade showcasing the social, cultural and psychological impact of the St. Lawrence Seaway and Power Project on Canadians affected. She is the author of the regionally best-selling “Lost Villages” historical murder mysteries, which have garnered a nomination for the Ontario Premier’s Awards for the Arts, an Ontario Provincial Hansard, and the “people’s choice” Seeker’s Award for Literary Artist of the Year 2013. The series has been used to teach English and history from intermediate to post-secondary levels in Eastern Ontario and Upper State New York. Since 2001, her work with the Seaway history has kept Maggie on the public speaking circuit and in the media at local, regional, national and academic levels. Her most recent contribution is the “Lost Villages” article for Historica Canada’s The Canadian Encyclopedia—the official national online resource for all things Canadiana.

Find out more at

TEXT to SPEECH Software – which one is right for you?

As writers, it’s been drilled into us to read our work out loud so that we catch our errors – something that doesn’t happen when we read silently.

If your masterpiece of prose is an magnum opus, then you know by the time you get through it, you’ll have no voice left, not to mention having a sore throat.

So, what’s the next best thing? How about Text to Speech software? Let it read your work back to you. Don’t want to disturb others in the house while your computer does the reading? Plug in a set of headphones or ear buds.

There are a number of packages out there that do this.

Dragon Naturally Speaking by Nuance is available for the PC and the Mac. The price varies depending on the features you want. The Home version regularly retails through the website for $99.99 but is currently on sale for $74.99. The Premium version, normally $199.99, is reduced to $149.99.

Text Aloud is available as a free download or you can purchase it and receive it by email. If you want additional voices for this software, you have to buy them. The voices that come with it, can become monotonous after while (this comes from their site). Also, there’s no mention if this is PC only or if there is a version for the Mac.

Another free text to speech program is Word Talk. It only works with Microsoft Word but it covers versions of the software from Word 97 through to Word 2013. This one is on my radar because it was developed in Scotland.

I use Natural Reader Free (not sure of the version). On their site, you can copy and paste a sample of your text into a box and hear it read back to you. Version 12 of Natural Reader Free has a number of options that make it even more seamless. Rather than have to copy and paste text from your document, it integrates add-in tool bars to Microsoft Office. Version 13 (Windows or Mac) is now available for download.

text to speechIf you hit the play icon, the software will read the welcome message to you. New will let you open a new blank screen that you can copy and paste your ‘magnum opus’ or at least a chapter in. There is a floppy disk icon on the right hand side of the screen which will allow you to save your file so it will be in the software until you decide it’s time to delete it. Unfortunately, the ability to convert to MP3 format isn’t available in the Free version of the program. To be able to do that, you have to upgrade. Prices range from $69.50 to $199.50. You can see what you get in the paid versions on their Price & Order page.

Beware when downloading free software of any kind, whether it be text to speech or anything else.

What text to speech software do you use?


BOOK TITLES ~ Finding the right one

Do you struggle with finding the “right” title for your writing – whether it’s a short story, novel, poetry or even a blog post?

Do you have to have your title before you begin to write?

How many times do you change your title before you’re finally happy with it?

The title for my debut novel, A Shadow in the Past, came from a sentence in the book.

book titlesThe cover was designed around that. It works, don’t you think?

I thought I would use the same concept to come up with a title for the second book in the series and in keeping with the time-travel element, came up with Shadows From Her Past.

Don’t get all excited. Book two isn’t out yet. Book two isn’t anywhere near being ready. Book two doesn’t have a synopsis or back cover blurb yet (and that’s a whole other story – and yes, it will also require a title).

So finding a title can be an arduous task but I’ve looked around online and found these three sites that might be of help to you. There are more, but these were in the top of the google search results.

I’d love to hear how you deal with this conundrum. Drop me a line in the comments sharing how you find the “right” title for your work.


SUMMER MOVED ON by Joanna Lambert plus Guest Post






After a long-buried secret tears her family apart, Jess Hayden moves to the South Devon village of Lynbrook to live with her uncle.   Rufus owns the village pub, The Black Bull, and having visited before, Jess knows the villagers well…especially one of them.

Talún Hansen has a reputation, making him the kind of man no decent girl should get involved with. Jess, however, has been under his spell from the moment they first met. Although they always seem to bring out the worst in each other, there is no denying the attraction that simmers between them – an attraction Jess knows she needs to keep under control after repeated warnings from her uncle.

As she settles into village life she begins to learn more about this wild, dark-haired gypsy with the compelling eyes, and realises their lives hold many similarities. Despite her uncle’s warnings, she begins to spend time with him. For Jess, the coming summer holds passion; for Talún the hope that he has at last found someone who truly cares for him.

But as autumn approaches, a dark shadow from Jess’s past returns, bringing far-reaching and unwanted changes for both of them.





Once you’ve worked out how you’re going to kick start your latest WIP the next important thing is to look at your cast in more detail: to put flesh on bones, give them personalities and a background. I usually create a bio for each character central to my story, giving them a real identity –physical features, education, and a personal history – so I’m able to write as if I actually know them.

As significant as all these details are, however, it’s what the individual will come to represent in the book that is as important. One of the central characters in many romance novels is the antagonist – the villain. This is the person who, for whatever reason, causes trouble and puts obstacles in the way of our two would-be lovers. If he/she weren’t around then life would be plain sailing and the story would be over before it had a chance to begin.

I’m a prolific reader as well as a writer with romance definitely one of my favourite categories. It’s a fairly broad genre which can cover many different aspects of relationships. It can be light-hearted or serious and the settings for the stories can be historical, futuristic or contemporary. For me, however, romance is only one side of the coin. I also enjoy exploring relationships and how peoples’ actions can impact on others and change things, either for good or bad. My books are therefore a blend of romance and drama and because of this I find the villain a very powerful character. They drive the conflict, keeping the reader constantly turning the page to find out what happens next.

In my trilogy – When Tomorrow Comes, Love Lies and Promises and The Ghost of You and Metrouble came in the form of central character Ella’s mother Melissa (Mel). She was glamorous, vain and totally self-absorbed. She made Ella’s life an absolute misery, constantly interfering in her love life in her search for the ‘right kind’ of husband for her daughter. None of this was for Ella’s benefit, of course, it was all about promoting Mel’s social ambitions.

Book four – Between Today and Yesterday – caught up with the same characters in the late 1980s. This time, Marcie Maguire, a famous American diva and someone from Ella’s husband Matt’s past returned. She was looking for revenge after losing him to Ella many years before. By the fifth and last book of the series – The Other Side of Morning – Matt and Ella had settled down to a peaceful life together and it was the turn of the next generation. This story focussed on their niece Charlotte. In love with handsome Italian restaurateur Marco D’Alessandro, she fell foul of his stepmother Thérèse who had plans to marry her stepson off to a young Chianti heiress in order to expand the family’s business empire.

In my latest book – Summer Moved On we meet Lily, the newest female to take on the role of the woman everyone loves to hate. She is twenty years old; much younger than her three contemporaries in my other books, but just as destructive. Her character was influenced by a novel I read back in 1998 called ‘Concerning Lily’ by Sally Brampton. In it, we are introduced to Lily Clifton, a young woman who manages to cause irreparable damage to the lives of three couples who befriend her. The Lily in Summer Moved On has a lot of similarities to her namesake. She lacks a conscience and is totally focussed on taking what she wants and causing trouble, especially for the main character, Jess.

Of course, we haven’t seen the last of Lily because I’ve a sequel to write. Watercolours in the Rain will see her back again as we take up the story six years after the first book ends. What sort of problems will she be causing? Well, that’s still very much under wraps at the moment. All I can say is her behaviour will be as controversial as it has been in Summer Moved On! Watch this space…

About Joanna Lambert



Jo Lambert was born and brought up in rural Wiltshire in a small village on the edge of Salisbury Plain. She has spent most of her working life in Senior PA or Admin Management roles both in the private and public sectors. Her love of reading soon spilled over into writing and her first novel When Tomorrow Comes was published in 2009. Four other books – Love, Lies and Promises, The Ghost of You and Me, Between Today and Yesterday and The Other Side of Morning followed. They formed a series following the lives and loves of four Somerset families.

Jo lives on the eastern side of the Georgian city of Bath with her husband, one small grey feline called Mollie and a forty eight year old white MG Midget called Bridget. She loves travel, red wine, rock music and cooking for friends.

Summer Moved On, her sixth novel, is the first part of a two book love story set in South Devon.



twitter: @jolambertwriter








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RECKONING TIDE a new novel from Anneli Purchase



If you have not read The Wind Weeps, grab your free digital copy now on amazon or on smashwords. Follow it up with the conclusion to Andrea’s story in Reckoning Tide. Here is a sample of the beginning of Reckoning Tide.

You’re mine!
To have,
To hold,
No matter how hard.

You’re mine!
Give me honour,
And do as you’re told.

You’re mine!
In sickness,
My sickness,
Comes hell.

You’re mine!
This day forward,
Til death,
Do us part.


Chapter 1

“Nurse!” I screamed. “Nurse, come back!” Robert’s smile vanished. He advanced and tossed the three orchids onto the foot of my bed.

I twisted around grasping for the cord with the call button. “Get away from me!” I hit the button frantically.

Robert lunged at me. “No, Andrea. Don’t!” He ripped the cord away from me. I pulled my fist back to punch him, but he was quick and caught my wrist in an iron grip. His eyes narrowed into slits.

“Nurse!” I yelled again. He clamped a hand over my mouth. Flashbacks of what that hard hand had done to me went through my mind. I bit down on his fingers, my terror lending me extra strength.

“Arrrgh! You bitch!” Robert’s eyes grew wide. He stared at me with a glassy look that I remembered too well. He drew his arm across his chest to backhand me, but dropped it when the nurse appeared.

“What’s going on here?” the nurse demanded. Margaret was a hefty woman. She filled most of the doorway as she stood with her hands on her hips. “Sir! Come away from the bed.”

“She bit me!” he said, unable to keep the whine out of his voice. “I brought her flowers—orchids, her favourite kind—and she bit me!”

I gasped at his outrageous boldfaced ploy, twisting the truth. “He tried to kill me. Don’t let him near me. He’s the one I told you about.”

“Now, Andrea.” Robert’s voice, silky smooth, sent ripples of terror up my spine. “You know that’s not true.” He turned to the nurse and slowly shook his head. “I’m her husband. You see, she’s had quite a shock. We had an argument and she set fire to our cabin and ran away when she thought I had died in the fire. I guess she’s surprised to see that I’m still alive.”

The nerve of him! I tried to get out of bed. “No! No-no-no!” I had to get the nurse to believe me. “He’s twisting it all around. He tried to kill me.”

The nurse was quick to put her hand out. “Stay in bed, Andrea.” She looked flustered and tried to calm us both. But no wonder she was confused. The whole situation was so bizarre. She looked from Robert to me and back to Robert again.

Would she side with Robert?

“Sir,” she said, “would you mind going to the waiting room down the hall? I’m sure the RCMP would like to speak with you, too. They’ll be here soon to interview Andrea.”

Robert raised his chin and gave me a smirk. “That was fast,” he said. “We’ll soon get to the bottom of the situation then.”

The nurse escorted him out the door. “We called them this morning when she woke up,” I heard her say as they walked down the hall.

The nurse had explained to me earlier that the police have to make a report in cases where there has been violence, especially since a gun was found in my fanny pack. The gun I pointed at him last week. Should have pulled the damn trigger.


You will find paperback and digital versions of Reckoning Tide on amazon outlets and on (for e-readers other than Kindle). Just click on the links:

For more about Anneli Purchase and her books, visit her at

Fifteen minutes of fame…

Quite literally, it was fifteen minutes. That’s how long each of the authors who took part in Magic Spells had to read from their books.

The event was to take place outdoors, but the organizers had the foresight to have an alternate venue lined up in the event of inclement weather. It poured at times on Sunday. Other times a light mist but definitely not conducive to being outside.

The afternoon started out with some humour, followed by some of the actors from the local Shakespeare festival, a smidgeon of crime followed by me.

I was asked if I was nervous getting up and speaking in front of a crowd. Not in the slightest. Shhh… don’t tell anyone but I rather enjoy it. Well, at least when it comes to talking about Scotland, my writing and reading from my work.


I was followed by an intermission when people could buy books signed by the authors before things got back down to business. Before the event, the Friends of the Library sold 50-50 tickets and my husband won $57.50 from that.

The afternoon concluded with some historical folk music, poetry readings and mystery.

I enjoyed myself and should the Friends of the Prescott Library hold an event like this again, I’ll be there… that is, if they’ll have me back. Hope so.


Photos and such…

This was first posted on Feb 26, 2011.

I posted a photo of my grandfather and his first wife that was taken presumably on their wedding day a few years ago. I’m reposting it along with two more from the family archives.

Grandpa John Robertson with his first wife, Susan Christie

This photo was definitely taken in a studio setting and judging by their clothing and the way her hair is styled, it had to be a special occasion. Hence, the thought of it being a wedding photograph.

Grandpa Robertson was born in 1856 and married for the first time 20 years later. And yes, that is my grandfather, not great-grandfather or great-great-grandfather.

After looking carefully at the photo for a few minutes, close your eyes and imagine it in full colour, an oil painting of huge proportions… 6 ft by 8 ft (or larger still) and it’s hanging on a rich oak panelled wall. Can you visualize it in that setting?

That’s where it is in my novel. This is the Laird and Lady of Weetshill on their wedding day.

In my novel, the old Laird looks much more like this…

Grandpa Robertson as an old man

This photograph of an older Grandpa Robertson was taken some time before his death in 1930. I’m thinking maybe between 1915 (the year my grandmother-his second wife) and 1917 (the year my father and four of his nine siblings were admitted to The Orphan Homes of Scotland). By that time, he’d had a stroke with loss of memory and was unable to keep up the farm.

This is how I envision the hero’s grandfather. White-haired, balding, mustache and beard.

The old Laird in my novel also walks with a cane.

And finally this photograph from the archives…

Peter, Robert and Angus Robertson

This photo was taken on my Uncle Angus’s wedding day in Scotland. My father (Robert) was serving overseas with the Stormont, Dundas and Glengarry Highlanders at the time but was able to get leave to go back to Scotland for the occasion. It would have been the last time my father saw his brothers.

Now there’s no mistaking the men in this photo are related but look closely at the young man in the first photo, the old man in the second one and lastly (mostly Robert) the men in this photo. Perhaps, a natural progression of how my hero will age?

A Shadow in the Past ~ Descendant chart

The Descendants of John William Robertson, Laird of Weetshill

The Robertsons, a somewhat offbeat Victorian family, are the mainstays of my debut novel, A Shadow in the Past.

This first chart covers the main Robertson “characters” in the novel and, yes, it implies there are more. But that section of the family won’t be revealed… just yet. After all, we don’t want any spoilers to creep in and ruin things, now do we?


If you click on the chart, you’ll get a larger image making it easier to read the who, when, where, and who’s hitched to whom. If you want to know the ‘whys’ you’ll have to buy the book. *hint, hint*

What’s it all about you ask? Well, grab a cuppa sit back and relax, and I’ll tell you – but first, I’ll show off my fabulous cover designed by Aidana WillowRaven.

A Shadow in the Past

When a contemporary teen is transported back through time to the Victorian era, she becomes A Shadow in the Past…

Nineteen-year-old Sarah Shand finds herself thrust back into the past. There she struggles to keep her real identity from a society that finds her comments and ideas strange and her speech and actions forward, unlike Victorian women. When Sarah verbally confronts confining social practices, including arranged marriages, powerful enemies commit her to a lunatic asylum. After falling in love with the handsome Laird of Weetshill, Robert Robertson, she must decide whether to find her way back to her own time or to remain in the past with him.

Finding yourself tempted? You can buy A Shadow in the Past from these locations:

4RV Publishing | ChaptersIndigo | Barnes & Noble

and in print or kindle format from | |





#1 NY Times Bestselling Author Barbara Freethy talks strong women, hot guys and family series… Check out what she has to say then Read on for more information about this blog tour and all its great prizes!

One of my favorite quotes of all time is by Eleanor Roosevelt: “A woman is like a tea bag. You don’t know how strong she is until you put her in hot water.”

This quote perfectly describes the heroines in my new connected family series: The Callaways. I love to write about ordinary women who get caught up in extraordinary adventures. My heroines don’t always know what they’re made of until they’re tested.

While we sometimes associate strong female characters with over-the-top roles like vampire slayer or some other kick-ass profession, I believe most women, even the quiet ones, have a superhuman core of strength that enables them to change the world they live in and also to change the men who love them. In my books, the heroine’s strength is enhanced, not only by a new and powerful romantic relationship but also her personal journey to find herself.

In the first book in the Callaway series, ON A NIGHT LIKE THIS, the heroine, Sara, has grown up in a troubled family and is estranged from her father. She grew up next door to the chaotic, fun-loving Callaway family and often envied the relationships she saw on the other side of the fence. She also had a huge crush on the second oldest male in the family, Aiden Callaway.

While Sara was a studious, serious girl in high school, Aiden was the charming rebel. As teenagers they were not ready for each other, but now they meet again as adults and both are facing pivotal moments in their lives.

Aiden is recovering from an injury he acquired as a smokejumper and grieving for the loss of his best friend, who died during their last jump together. Sara has come home to repair the relationship with her father, only to discover that there are family secrets that will change everything she thought she knew about her past and her parents.

Sara has to find the strength within herself to risk her heart on a man who could quite possibly break it, to face a terrible lie and to find a way to forgive her father. Aiden also has to find a way to deal with the secret that took his friend’s life. Together these two characters find strength within themselves and also draw strength from each other, which is, really, what love is all about.

As a reader, I love books that have layers: romance, mystery, adventure and surprises. As a writer, I strive to bring those same elements to all of my stories. My heroines have to be as strong as the heroes. And I always hope that they inspire my readers in some way, too.

I grew up reading books about strong female characters, and I know those reading experiences helped shaped some of my own attitudes about the kind of woman I wanted to be.

Who are some of your favorite female characters? And what do you love most about them?


About the Callaway Blog Tour & All Its Great Prizes!

This is the week you finally meet the Callaways! Not only are they all over the web as part of their extraordinary blog tour, but they are also out and about in your neighborhood. That’s right; we’re celebrating the print launch with Ingram by throwing a party all over the world! Make sure to follow this tour closely for your chance to win gift cards, swag, autographed books, and other incredible prizes.

All the info you need to join the fun and enter to win amazing prizes is RIGHT HERE. Remember, winning is as easy as clicking a button or leaving a blog comment—easy to enter; easy to win!

To Win the Prizes:

  1. Purchase any of the Callaway novels by Barbara Freethy (optional)
  2. Enter the Rafflecopter contest on Novel Publicity (go here)
  3. Visit today’s featured social media event (that’s where the HUGE prizes are)

About The Callaways: The Callaways were born to serve and protect! In Barbara’s new connected family series, each of the eight siblings in this blended Irish-American family find love, mystery and adventure, often where they least expect it! Each book stands alone, but for the full enjoyment of the series, you might want to start at the beginning with On A Night Like This! Get the eBooks via AmazonBarnes & NobleiBooks, or Kobo.

callawaysAbout the Author: Barbara Freethy has been making up stories most of her life. Growing up in a neighborhood with only boys and a big brother who was usually trying to ditch her, she spent a lot of time reading. When she wasn’t reading, she was imagining her own books. After college and several years in the P.R. field, she decided to try her hand at a novel. Now Barbara is a #1 New York Times and USA Today bestselling author loved by readers all over the world. Her novels range from contemporary romance to romantic suspense and women’s fiction. Learn more on her websiteFacebook page, or in her Street Team.



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