Sunday, February 26, 2012

Pirate Lovers, Come Join Us! Meet Marti Melville!

     Pirate lovers and readers, thank you so much for stopping in today. We have quite a story for you along with a wonderful author who loves her pirates and she’s as beautiful as her characters! Come with us as we walk along the beach and gaze out at the anchored frigate riding the gentle waves as the sails pop in the breeze. I do love the smell of the ocean!
     Louise and I are long time lovers of pirates so it’s a special treat for us to have Marti Melville stop in to visit with us. She can’t say long because her movie crew is at the far end of the beach waiting for her input on the next scene so let’s get right to her interview.

Reader’s Haven:  Marti, first, thank you so much for taking the time to chat with us even if it’s for a short while. I love pirates and their stories, which are what attracted me to your website a few years ago. Congratulations on the success of book one in your Déjà vu trilogy and your readers are looking forward to the other two. I’m sure you’ll gain a few more readers before we even finish this interview. Book one is an amazing story for those who haven't read it yet. (Psst - readers, if you HAVE read, leave a comment for those who are considering the wonderful story) Marti, tell us a bit more about yourself .

Marti:  Louise and Deanna, thank you for having me here this week. It’s been an exciting journey! I have a background as a Registered Nurse specializing in Emergency and Trauma medicine.  I am the mother of five children, three sons (three soldiers, two of whom have served separate deployments twice) and two daughters attending university studies.  I am also the grandmother of six.
Reader’s Haven:  What made you want to become a writer?

Marti:  During my sons’ first deployment (one was in Afghanistan and the other in Iraq at the same time), I faced many sleepless nights.  Sitting outside during those deep nights, I would sit under the moon and research family history.  I happened across a pirate by the name of Phillips (a possible family last name) and read his story.  It was obvious this was juicy material – history is always much better than anything I could have created in my mind…so I decided to write it.

Reader’s Haven:  Hhhmmm...I need to check into my English background a bit more, too! Please share a bit about your new release Midnight Omen Déjà vu without giving away any spoilers.

Marti:  The Déjà vu series is a trilogy about Captain John Phillips who sailed aboard the ship, the Revenge over the Caribbean Sea (circa 1721-1724).  The events, locations and crew are factual.  The fictional Celtic healer, Kathryn is kidnapped and taken aboard the Revenge, hostage of the pirates.  She experiences adventure, suspense, mysticism and piracy – as well as forbidden romance sailing the crystal waters of the Caribbean.  Midnight Omen Déjà vu is the first novel in the series (released in 2010).  Silver Moon Déjà vu, the sequel is scheduled to be released this year.
My tremendous love for history propelled my launch into writing this book.  Initially, it was intended to be a simple story about a great-great-great (a few more greats) grandmother from Wales or England.  I wanted my grandchildren to read about my lineage and I wanted to make it fun! 
Because there is a little controversy over the last name of one of my ancestors who lived along the coast and worked on the docks, I decided to look up sailors by the last name of Phillips (a version of the controversial last name).  I found Captain John Phillips, a pirate captain of the great merchantman Revenge.  Reading the account of this blood-thirsty pirate's life made me think, "you just can't make this kind of stuff up". 
 I found my story!  Out came my laptop and the next 8 - 9 months were spent walking in the early evenings with my dogs, staring at the rising moon and creating the ideas that developed into the plot.  
Midnight Omen Deja vu is a rather mystical look at this pirate's life and what might have happened aboard the Revenge.  Most of the male characters are actual crew members who sailed with Captain Phillips (with the exception of Seth) and can be found easily on a Google search (the scant details of their brief history found matching their part in Midnight Omen Deja vu).  
Kathryn - of course, is fictional.  Her personna and beauty is a combination of both my daughters.  The other female characters are also fictional, with the exception of Wendy (who is truly a sister to me - you can see her in the Gallery section of this site).  The Celtic Godesses (Morrigan, Roane and Macha) are based on actual Celtic folklore.  With superstition steeped in the tales of the sea, how could they not be included int such a story. 
Captain John Phillips - we know he actually lived and plundered the Spanish Main between 1721 - 1724.  Whether he was tall, had dark wavy hair and clear green eyes the color of Spanish emeralds is something unknown.  His personna and likeness...well, that is someone I keep locked deep inside my heart.

Reader’s Haven:  Do you write under a pen name?

Marti:  I write under my given name, Marti Melville

Reader’s Haven:
 What types of hero or heroine do you like best?

Marti:  I have chosen a heroine who discovers her inner strengths and reinvents herself as a result.  It’s about overcoming obstacles and moving forward in faith.

Reader’s Haven:  Characters our readers can easily relate to! Tell us about a typical day in your life as a writer.

Marti:  Currently, I am writing the screenplay for the first book (Midnight Omen Déjà vu).  I collaborate with a very experienced screenwriter/director/producer out of Hollywood – as a result, I view my writing experience during this time as an education for creativity in a new venue.  I am still working on completing the third novel as well. Readers can check that out here:

Reader’s Haven: How exciting that has to be for you, again, congratulations on the deal! Do your books have a common theme or are they all different?

Marti:  Thank you! The trilogy is based on a common theme of reinventing oneself, having hope and looking for meaning in life – a very metaphysical and spiritual feeling overall which is also the goal for the film.

Reader’s Haven:  *Louise shades her eyes from the sun so she can watch the pirate actors at the other end of the beach* How long does it take you to write and then edit a story?

Marti:  Each book has averaged about a year to write, edit and have prepared in proper form for submission for publication.

Reader’s Haven:
 Do you have to be alone to write?

Marti:  I prefer to be alone at night with a full moon to write (something about the moon is mystical and a creative influence for me).  I have also spent time at Starbucks watching people as they interact for inspiration for characters – something I learned from a producer I have associated with in the past.

Reader’s Haven:
  *Deanna touches Marti's arm* I have to agree with you about writing during the full moon. Somehow the ideas flow better! How do you go about naming characters?

Marti:  The characters are factual so I use their actual names.  Kathryn is a name I have always loved and would have chosen for myself from the time I was a little girl.  Other fictional names just seemed to pop into my thoughts or were picked after painstaking research for 18th Century names (Welch, Celtic, Caribbean and nautical).

Reader’s Haven:  Is it easier to write about the characters if you find pictures of them before you write or do you write then find character pictures?

Marti:  There are no pictures of the characters in my stories – so I have created their images as I wrote.  However, Kathryn is a combination of both my daughters (one with heart-stopping blue eyes and the other with cascading dark wavy hair – a little feistiness from them both).

Reader’s Haven:
 How do you pick locations for your stories?
Marti:  The locations in the trilogy are factual, historical accounts of John Phillips’ travels. Thank you for having me but I really must run along; the crew awaits and more edits have to be done on the screenplay. Readers, I appreciate that you've stopped in to meet me and I hope you get a chance to read the book. Please visit my websites for more information and the book can be bought on my web store. Join in the contest below!

CONTEST:  Share this interview on your FB page and tag me in the interview. From those tags, I'll pick a winner to receive a goodie basket with a Gift Card, a copy of Midnight Omen Deja vu and a surprise. The winner will be picked on The Ides of March or March 15th to be exact.


Sunday, February 19, 2012

Paty Jager - Romance Author

      Welcome! Deanna Jewel here with Louise James. Thank you for joining us today for our interview with Paty Jager, a romance author from Oregon that I had the opportunity to meet when she did a book signing in Clarkston WA, across the river from where I live. Her books will pull you into the vivid scenes to feel what her characters feel and just a warning - you won't want to put the books down until the last page is read!
     We're on location in what is known today as the Geiser Grand, a hotel set in Baker City with old world charm. We've chosen the cozy Palm Court to chat with Paty. If you live in the area, taking a visit to this old hotel is worth the visit to meet the friendly staff and...perhaps a ghost or two! *wink*

Reader’s Haven:  Paty, thank you for joining us today! I'm so glad we got to meet last summer when you visited. Tell us a bit about yourself that our readers might not know.

Paty:  Deanna, I enjoyed out meeting too! Thanks for having me here at Reader's Haven. My husband and I own 350 acres growing hay and cattle. I enjoy driving the tractor. It gives me time to think about books I’m working on. My husband has learned that when the tractor stops in the middle of the field it doesn’t mean here’s a break down. It means I’m jotting down something that came to me.

Reader’s Haven:  Now that's cute! I hope it didn't take him long to learn that meaning from you! What made you want to become a writer?

Paty:  I’ve been an avid reader since the age of five. In high school, the teacher read one of my assignments to the class. When there wasn’t a sound when she finished I realized the power of words. But it wasn’t until my children were small and I needed an outlet that I started actually writing.

Reader’s Haven: Please share a bit about your new release (Logger in Petticoats) without giving away any spoilers.

Paty: Logger in Petticoats is the fifth book in the Halsey brother series. This series has been fun to write. Hank is the last of the brothers to find the woman who captures his heart and makes him see life with a partner is better than going it alone.

Blurb: Hank Halsey believes he’s found the perfect logging crew—complete with cooks—until he discovers Kelda Nielson would rather swing an axe than flip eggs. As he sets out to prove women belong in the kitchen, he’s the one in danger of getting burned. Strong and stubborn, Kelda Nielsen grew up falling trees, and resents any man who believes she’s not capable, until Hank. He treats her like a lady and has her questioning what that means. As Kelda and Hank’s attraction builds, she hires a cook so she can sneak out and work in the woods. But will her deceit ruin her chance at love or will hardheaded Hank realize it’s more than his love that puts a sparkle in Kelda’s eye?

Reader’s Haven:  Paty, I love the cover! That looks like the Lochsa Mountains! I love it. Do you write under a pen name?

Paty:  No, I don’t write under a pen name.

Reader’s Haven: What types of hero or heroine do you like best?

Paty: I like strong heroes with a sense of humor but not arrogant or bossy. They know who they are and are just a bit surprised when they discover a woman who they can’t seem to get out of their system. My heroine’s are strong, know what they want out of life and go for it, believing their work will make them happy, until the right hero comes along and their bodies and hearts find a new life.

Reader’s Haven: Readers love to know what we do on a daily basis. Tell us about a typical day in your life as a writer.

Paty: We get up at 6am. My husband leaves for work at 6:30. I get on the computer and do two hours of e-mailing and promotion work. I do chores, and get back on the computer to write for three hours. I have lunch and in the winter do more chores then back to write another 3-4 hours. Hubby comes home w eat and I might get back on the computer for more e-mails and promo in the evening depending on what’s on TV or if hubby is feeling needy. ;) That’s the winter schedule. Summer, when we are haying and irrigating, I can be at our property in Eastern Oregon. Then I do what needs done, irrigating, driving tractor or whatever and write when I’m done.

Reader’s Haven: You are a busy woman! Do your books have a common theme or are they all different?

Paty: I think the common theme in my books even though they are romances is justice prevails. And, you never know when love will come along.

Reader’s Haven:  How long does it take you to write and then edit a story?

Paty: A typical story about four months, but I’ve had a couple, the May release, Spirit of the Sky, for example, that took nearly six months. Partly because of company that wouldn’t leave and partly because of the intense research it required.

Reader’s Haven:  Readers, you need to check out her Spirit books! Just sayin'....  Do you have to be alone to write?

Paty:  I don’t have to be alone to write. I’ve sat in a restaurant waiting for a friend and wrote a whole scene with all the hubbub around. And I can write with grandkids playing as long as they aren’t coming up and asking me a question. But I prefer to write to music. I’m like Pavlov’s dogs. If I listen to the same music while writing a particular book, I’ll zone into the story and character’s faster when I hear the music.

Reader’s Haven:  Our characters are special to us and we want the readers to remember them. How do you go about naming characters?

Paty: Sometimes the name comes to me out of a mirage just like the character does. Or I’ll have a story in mind and conjure up the character. If they have a distinct ethnic background I’ll look up baby names for that ethnicity or I’ll just to go a baby book and look up what names mean and then roll them around with the character’s attributes I know ad come up with a name I like.

Reader’s Haven: Is it easier to write about the characters if you find pictures of them before you write or do you write then find character pictures?

Paty:   I never start writing a story without a clear picture(whether a clipping or a written description) in my mind. I have to have their features in my mind and their background all flushed out before I can start writing. I like to know the characters well before we leap into a story together.

Reader’s Haven:  Both Louise and I agree with you on that one! How do you pick locations for your stories? 

Paty: Sometimes the locations come about because I’ve visited a place and found something interesting I thought would be fun to put in a book. Sometimes the location comes from the plot or the character. The Halsey series came about because I love the area where I grew up in NE Oregon and picked the gold mining area of Sumpter to have the family located. The stories have sprouted out all around the area but the characters always return to Sumpter. The Spirit trilogy is set (first two books) in the county where I grew up. The other books are all in and around Oregon with the exception of Improper Pinkerton which I set in Montana because the area worked for the plot I’d concocted.


       Kelda stood by the door, a man’s black wool coat buttoned up to her neck and a wool scarf wrapped around her head. Her flushed cheeks shone in the lantern light. Her gaze met his solid and unflappable.
       To appease Karl, Hank said as he pulled on his coat, “If Kelda isn’t back in here in fifteen minutes you can come looking for us.”
       The door hadn’t fully closed when Dag’s voice cleared the threshold, “I don’t know what you’re worrying about. No man is going to think of Kelda in the way you’re talking.”
       Kelda’s shoulders drooped proving she’d heard her brother’s comment. She walked around the corner of the cookhouse to a fallen log at the backside of the building. Hank wanted to catch up to her and wrap an arm around her shoulders. She was a fine woman. Any man would be dang lucky to have her for a wife. He stood in front of her as she sat on the log, her face pointed toward the men’s logging boots on her feet.
       Hank crouched in front of Kelda, tipping her face up to read her emotions. “Your brother sees you only as his sister. You’re a woman any man would be lucky to marry.”
      Tears glistened in her eyes. “I’m the size and body of a man. Men want a small delicate woman.” She wiped at the tears and her hands clutched his. “Don’t make Far keep me out of the woods. It’s all I have to make me happy.”
       Pleading in her eyes and voice sucker punched Hank. “Why would you want to work alongside men in the woods? Women belong in the home.”
      “I don’t care to work inside. I love the outdoors and the labor of logging. Don’t keep me out of the woods. It’s the one thing I can do well.”
      The strong grip of her fingers on his proved her strength. He had no doubt she was a skilled woodsman…woman. He pried her fingers from his hands and held them between his palms. “I’m sorry, but I can’t allow you in the woods. It isn’t proper for a woman to work like that. And what if you prove too weak to handle a job and someone else gets hurt?”
      “Ooooo!” Her hands ripped from his grasp and rammed him in the chest. He started tipping backwards and grabbed the first thing in reach—Kelda’s arms.
      He fell back into the snow dragging Kelda on top of him.
     The surprise in her eyes quickly turned to interest as she gazed down into his face. Her body sprawled across Hank, pressing him into the snow. Even with the heavy clothing, her curves were evident as her relaxed body molded over his.
     Hank pushed the scarf back from her face and stared into amazing eyes that glistened from the moonlight bouncing off the snow. Her gaze searched his. The rise and fall of her chest quickened. She licked her lips… 
       He held her head in his hands. Inch by inch, Hank drew her lips closer, wondering if the heat and passion he’d witnessed in her eyes would be in her kiss.    
      The male voice broke through the insanity of his actions. Hank rolled, rose to his feet, and pulled Kelda up with him. 

Reader's Haven: Paty, it's been a pleasure chatting with you again and feel free to contact us when you release the next book. Is there anything else you'd like to tell our readers?

Paty:   Deanna and Louise, it's been great being here but I'll be around all week to chat with your readers. I'd love for them to stop at my sites, check out my books and join me online! I'm also holding a contest!

Contest:  One lucky commenter will win a gift card or an e-book of their choice so please....leave your email addy in your comment so we can contact the winner easily. Thank you all for stopping by this week!

Visit Paty's Web Sites:


Twitter: @patyjag  


Sunday, February 12, 2012

Renee Vincent - Romance Author

     Readers, thank you for stopping in to visit with our author this week. We're on location in Ireland and if you'll follow us up the stairway, we're going to meet in the castle courtyard. Deanna met Renee online over a year ago and they've become good friends, chatting online, helping to promote each others books. I'm sure you'll agree with us by the end of the interview that Renee is a sweetheart! She's here to promote her third book in the Emerald Isle Trilogy set in her beloved Ireland and I think our home here suits her well with our green decor!
     Renee, thank you so much for being with us this week. We both enjoy historical romances and yours are a wonderful set!

Reader’s Haven: What made you want to become a writer?

Renee: I suppose it all started when my parents had given me a personalized book during my preschool years. I was the protagonist of the book in a detective story and had to solve the mystery. Of course, I cracked the case and was the hero of my neighborhood. From that moment on, I always thought it would be so neat to see my full name printed in a real book, as an author and not a character. And so…began my dream.

Reader’s Haven: Please share a bit about your new release, The Fall of Rain, without giving away any spoilers.

Renee:  The hero, Leif Dæganssen, is a Norwegian archeologist who lives in Ireland and has dug up a very specific artifact (one that was very important in the first book of the trilogy, Ræliksen, which took place in 10th Century Ireland.)
     The heroine, Lorraine O’Connor, takes a much needed vacation to Ireland to get away from her cheating fiancé. If you’ve read the first two books of the trilogy, you know that the heroine’s name was Mara. Lorraine realizes, through the course of spending time with Leif and the many déjà vu moments she has, that she is the reincarnated version of Mara and Leif is her reincarnated husband, Dægan Ræliksen. While she may have tragically lost Dægan when he gave his life for her more than a thousand years ago, Lorraine comes to understand that they have been given a second chance at love.
      If only it were that easy to convince Leif…

 Here is the blurb:

     Leif Dæganssen, an archeologist from Norway, is determined to trace back his Scandinavian roots as far as the Dark Ages and find proof of their existence on the Emerald Isle. After several years of living off the west coast of Ireland, he finally uncovers an ancient artifact—an intricately decorated chest with pagan carvings—buried beneath the very porch of his coastal cottage. Knowing it only confirms the presence of a glorified Norse-influenced settlement on Inis Mór, he’s determined to establish a link between himself and those who once inhabited the rugged isle.
      For as long as she can remember, Lorraine O’Connor has had dreams of a Norse warrior kissing her. And even though she’s never fully understood the reason for her vivid subconscious imagination, she welcomes the meaningless and wanton pleasure of being in a Viking’s protective embrace—until the day she meets that brazen Northman on an impulsive vacation trip to Ireland.
   Though blindsided by the relevance of her dreams and the strange familiarity of the man within them, Lorraine can’t help but feel a deep-seated intimacy toward Leif. And the more she gets to know him, the more she’s convinced they’ve shared a life together in a time long forgotten.
    Are the clues to their ancestral past hidden within the contents of the chest or buried deep within their hearts?

Read the excerpt HERE

Reader’s Haven: Wow! We're already pulled into the story, looking forward to the emotional struggles these two will endure trying to figure out their past. What types of hero or heroine do you like best?

Renee:  I love Alpha males. There is nothing better than a sexy, domineering man with a rockin’ body and a charming soul. I love heroes who know how to get what they want, who don’t stop until they do, and always do so with honor and chivalry. I also enjoy humor in a man, but I usually save that for the side characters in my story. As for heroines, I like women who have a level head on their shoulders. I don’t need the heroine to be Einstein, but she can’t be too stupid to live.

Reader’s Haven:  Tell us about a typical day in your life as a writer.

Renee:  I’m a full-time writer, who’s also a mother and a wife. My morning consists of getting my two children off to school. They are always my priority. Upon returning, I have a cup of coffee to get the juices flowing, I answer emails first and do some promoting for my fellow authors on the Deep In The Heart Romance site, as well as my own stuff on my blog, then I sit down to write. I’d like to have more time in my day to write, but sometimes it doesn’t always work out that way. After two o’clock, I’m back to being the mother. I wouldn’t change a thing.

Reader’s Haven: Do your books have a common theme or are they all different?

Renee:  I write historical and contemporary, but they all seem to have a twist in the end. I love surprises and I can’t help but add them to my stories.

Reader’s Haven:  Your books certainly grab the reader's attention from the first page. How long does it take you to write and then edit a story?

Emerald Isle

Renee:  That’s a funny question. I’d like to say I can write a full novel in less than six months (research and editing included) but with being that mother and wife I told you about, life gets in the way and sometimes writing has to take a back seat. But I’ve never missed a deadline. I’ll work long hours into the night if I have to.

Reader’s Haven: And we can work those kinds of hours because we love what we do so we can bring our stories to our readers. Do you have to be alone to write?

Renee:  Oh gosh, yes! With kids around it’s virtually impossible to write a scene. I like to be completely absorbed in it so I can write as though I am smack dab in the middle of it and I want my readers to feel as if they are as well. I write how things smell, sound, and feel when creating that perfect scenario and too many distractions get in the way. The last thing I’d ever want to do is disappoint my readers with a poorly written romance.

Reader’s Haven: How do you go about naming characters?

Renee:  With my contemporaries, I usually find names that are “fitting” for the character. I’ve even asked my husband to help me name a few. But with my historicals, a lot more goes into it. I still choose names that fit the character’s personality, but they also have to originate from the country in which they were born during that time period. I’m pretty particular about that.

Reader’s Haven: Is it easier to write about the characters if you find pictures of them before you write or do you write then find character pictures?

Renee:  Hands down, I find the picture first. Not so much with my side characters, but with the H/H I must find a picture of a person that suits my description. I have an idea of what I want them to look like in my head before I write about them, but finding that perfect photo (usually a famous actor) helps me to really pick them apart and describe their physical features, from the color of their eyes down to their laugh lines and bone structure.

Reader’s Haven:  We do love our details but it makes for better writing. How do you pick locations for your stories?

Renee:  In my Emerald Isle Trilogy, the location picked me. Ireland is a country that is very special to my heart and the Vikings are a crazy passion of mine. So, in researching this period in the Middle Ages, there was no better place to have my hero and heroine meet than the isle with forty shades of green.

      Please be sure to hop over to Renee's sites, follower her blog and on Twitter and don't forget to sign up for her newsletter!

     Readers, Renee is giving away a signed copy of any one of the books in the trilogy or and E-book of one, winners choice. One lucky commenter will be picked by Renee on Saturday Feb 18th - you must leave your email in your comment so Renee can contact the winner.


Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Valentine's Day Blog Hop


     Thank you for joining us! Please book mark our site so you can return later to roam around and we hope, to join our site later and use the Forum to chat with other readers. The rules are listed below.

Our Prizes
1st Place: $15 Gift Card

2nd Place: Signed copy of Never Surrender
by Deanna Jewel
(US only; International will get the e-book)

Blog Hop Rules

  • Follow our blog, either way
  • Leave a comment WITH your email addy so we can contact you.
  • Tell us where you'd like your gift card to: All Romance E-Bucks, Amazon or B & N
  • Click on the other blogs to enter their hop contest for more prizes!
  • Be sure to hop DAILY over to Ravencraft's Romance Realm where you can enter every day for prizes!