Thursday, October 22, 2015

Patsy Collins isn't a Crazed Stalker, and other Fun Facts

Today I have Patsy Collins here. If you aren't familiar with Patsy, you should be. She's a fun, witty romance writer and blogger. You can find out more about her on her website

Patsy has a new book out called Firestarter and it sounds wonderful. But before we get to that, a little Q&A with Patsy:

1. Alice in Firestarter has a fireman fantasy, (which I'm thinking many women can relate to.) There's just something about servicemen. Do you prefer firemen, cops, or military men yourself? (I'm actually married to a former Marine who is also a fireman.)

All the nice girls love a sailor, don't we?

My husband was in the Royal Navy when we met. Formal naval uniforms are very smart and that look really suits him. So did the No. 8s trousers (working uniform, rather than ceremonial), especially when I followed him up stairs. *sigh*

I should perhaps explain that I wasn't a crazed stalker who stowed away on frigates; we worked together. I had a really sensible civilian job in a finance department and he needed to sweet talk someone in my department into signing off on the photographic equipment he needed, so that worked out very well for me.

Not that I have anything against firemen. Especially if, like Hamish, they're nice to animals, can cook and are pretty good at massage. Obviously he's good at the whole rescuing people from burning buildings part and has muscular thighs. *sighs again* (though not quite as much over my character as my lovely husband)

2. It sounds like Alice's family is also a big part of the story. I love reading about family dynamics. Who was your favorite family member to write about, and how do they add complications to Alice's story? 

Yes, her family are important, both to Alice and the story. Her parents are both lovely, though her dad is perhaps just a touch obsessive about his hobbies which include making the worst wine never to kill anyone.

My favourite though has to be Alice's big sister Kate. She was so much fun to write about that I'm considering giving her a book to herself. Kate is very fond of her sister and wants what's best for her. That is, what's best according to Kate.

Alice's steady boyfriend, Tony, is altogether too dull, according to Kate. Eggs on plates is a daft idea, according to Kate (to be fair I agree). Daring red dresses are a sensible choice, according to Kate. Hot sex with members of the emergency services is also an excellent idea. Trouble is Kate doesn't keep these opinions to herself and doesn't often let people avoid following her advice. Generally it's Alice who's her target, but Kate isn't opposed to helping others, even complete strangers in changing rooms.

Then there's the calender thing, all that rubbish over ring sizes and the way she reacts when Tony claims to be innocent of making the hoax calls. Basically Kate herself is a complication for Alice.

3. And just for fun, when writing or reading romances what's your steamy drink of choice? Tea, coffee, cider, or hot chocolate? 

When writing, it's tea. I do about a paragraph to the cup if you include editing. Actually it's tea for reading to, usually. I drink a lot of tea.

And now for a little more about the book! (Which looks awesome, by the way.)


Alice has a fantasy. It starts with being rescued by a hunky fireman, involves the kiss of life and ends in him not needing his uniform. At the New Forest Show, Alice is offered an innocent version of her dream. Reluctantly she turns down fireman Hamish's invitation. 

Despite Alice's blameless behaviour, boyfriend Tony's obsessive jealousy kicks in. Hamish wants to take Tony's place, but a hoaxer ensures Alice already sees far too much of Hampshire Fire Service. The threat of an explosive sprout surprise, her mum's baking, sister Kate's mind boggling pep talks and the peculiar behaviour of Alice's boss Miles provide distractions. 

Is Alice really in danger? What is Kate up to? Can Hamish possibly be as perfect as he seems? It takes Alice masses of wonderful food, disgusting wine, smelly mud, red footed crows and steamy Welsh passion, but she finds the answers. And rethinks her fantasy.

You can buy Firestarter on Amazon and Barnes & Noble.
and add it to your TBR list on Goodreads.

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

IWSG: October

It's the first Wednesday of the month and that means it's time for insecure writers all over the blogosphere to unite!

Big thanks to Alex J. Cavanaugh and his wonderful co-hosts this month,TB Markinson, Tamara Narayan, Shannon Lawrence, Stephanie Faris, and Eva E. Solar! 

Also going on now: the IWSG Anthology Contest is open until November 1! The theme is Alternate History/Parallel Universe and any member of the Insecure Writer’s Support Group is encouraged to enter.

I had a rough summer, writing-wise. I had so much going on it was really hard to find time to write. I started feeling like a giant loser. Like I was basically quitting. Thankfully this month I've finally gotten back into the swing of things. It's the 7th and I've already written more than I did all last month.

But I was talking to a friend yesterday and she was going through the same thing. Feeling like quitting. It's so hard. I think we all go through times like this. Where we feel like phonies. Or we feel like it'll never happen for us. 

But one thing I've learned is that the people who it happens for, the people who have books out in the world, are the people who just flat out don't give up. They work their butts off. The push through those doubts and they keep going.

So that's what I'm going to do. And what I encourage all of you to do

Inspirational Quotes About Writing | with writing quotes tips and just funny or cool texts about writing ...

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

IWSG: September

It's the first Wednesday of the month, and that means Insecure Writers Support Group day. :) A day for writers all over the blogsphere to share their insecurities and help encourage each other.

Big thanks go out to Alex J. Cavanaugh, our fearless leader and IWSG founder, and to his wonderful cohosts, Heather M. GardnerChristine RainsDolorah at Book LoverJulie Flanders, and Murees DupĂ©. 

As I sit here and think about writing this post, I'm not sure what to say. What am I insecure about? A better question right now may be what am I not feeling insecure about? This summer has not been a good one where writing is concerned. I've been so busy with other things, writing has taken a backseat. But with school starting I'm excited to get some more down time and hopefully get a lot more writing done.


I'm also on submission right now, which is hard. There's a lot of waiting, with occasional nos thrown in, then more waiting. Needless to say it is anxiety-inducing.

And now I need to change the title of my ms that's on submission because a popular author just released a book with a very, very similar title. And while I know that titles often change once in the hands of a publisher anyway, it still feels stressful now. I still feel like I need to come up with something else to call it while on sub, because we all know the current title will need to be changed at some point. And I hate titles.


Okay, whining over. On the up side, I have finished another round of revisions on said ms and I think it really is in the best place now. On the up side, I am on submission. Which means I found an agent who loved my story and I'm thankful for that.

It's easy to get down about things at any step along this road, because each step can be hard. But it's good to stop sometimes and remember all the hard steps we've already made.

Have a great September everyone! I hope you had a wonderful summer! :) :)

Thursday, July 2, 2015


So remember that pretty book that was on my TBR list? 


(I'm reading it now and it's great so far.) 

Well, the cover for the next book in the series is being revealed today and it's equally wonderful!

Don't they look great together?

You can find out more about it on Cassie Mae's blog. If you (somehow) aren't familiar with Cassie, you really need to go check her out. She's as sweet and funny as her books. :)

You can add NO INTEREST IN LOVE to you TBR list on Goodreads here!

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

IWSG: July

It's time for another Insecure Writers Support Group. The first Wednesday of every month we share our fears, our insecurities, and also our encouragements. Big thank you to the group's founder and co-host, Alex J. Cavanaugh, and the other awesome co-hosts, Charity Bradford, S.A. Larsen, AJ, Tamara Narayan, Allison Gammons, and Tanya Miranda!

This is a wonderful group for writers, and if you aren't familiar with it, I highly recommend you check it out.

So, insecurities. . . There are plenty to choose from. I'm trying to get back into blogging, but not doing so great. I'm on submission for the first time, which is its own big ball of scary.

But right now the thing freaking me out the most is probably time. In that I don't have enough of it. Summer is already one third over and it's been crazy. We're working on our new house and slowly moving in. (Although we hope to fully move in this weekend and then get our old house ready to show.) There have been horse shows and band lessons and sleep overs, and rehearsals for Cinderella. All things cutting into my writing time and leaving me feeling rather unproductive.

So, any tips on keeping your writing time sacred? On not letting the demands of everything else in the world keep you from your keyboard? Thanks. Because I need them right now. :)

No one can stop you from being a writer.

(Maybe I'll repeat this in my head a few times a day.) ;-)

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

To Be Read Tuesday

I have a zillion books on my TBR list, but I'm going to start with books I actually have, and therefore should be high on the list. (I keep telling myself I won't buy new books until I get through a bunch of the ones I have. But then I see a book I need.)


Elizabeth Fanning’s life looks pretty perfect, judging by the diamond ring on her finger. Her fiancĂ©, Landon, is sweet, handsome, and hilarious. The trouble is, before they’ve even tied the knot, their sex life has gone from mind-blowing to “meh”—and Liz isn’t ready to be part of an old married couple. After a cathartic call to her best friend, Liz comes up with a brilliant idea. She and Landon may never be able to re-create the magic of their first time, but how amazing would their wedding night be if everything below the neck was off-limits until then?

Liz thinks it’ll bring them closer together. Landon’s convinced she’ll cave first. So they raise the stakes: Whoever lasts longer gets to pick their honeymoon destination. With her heart set on the Bahamas and Landon fighting for snowbound Utah, Liz simply has to win. But pretty soon, her body is screaming for attention, and Landon’s never seemed so far away. Has Liz’s experiment backfired? Losing their little competition would be frustrating—but the one thing she can’t afford to lose is him.

Why it's on my TBR list: I have pretty much loved everything Cassie Mae has written 
so all her books automatically land on my TBR list. 
Her writing is fun and witty, and her characters are real.
(Update: Okay, so I wrote this post last week and have since started this. So maybe it's not technically on my TBR list anymore, but it is very good so far!)


Reality, it turns out, is often not what you perceive it to be—sometimes, there really is someone out to get you. Made You Up tells the story of Alex, a high school senior unable to tell the difference between real life and delusion. This is a compelling and provoking literary debut that will appeal to fans of Wes Anderson, Silver Linings Playbook, and Liar.

Alex fights a daily battle to figure out the difference between reality and delusion. Armed with a take-no-prisoners attitude, her camera, a Magic 8-Ball, and her only ally (her little sister), Alex wages a war against her schizophrenia, determined to stay sane long enough to get into college. She’s pretty optimistic about her chances until classes begin, and she runs into Miles. Didn't she imagine him? Before she knows it, Alex is making friends, going to parties, falling in love, and experiencing all the usual rites of passage for teenagers. But Alex is used to being crazy. She’s not prepared for normal. 

Funny, provoking, and ultimately moving, this debut novel featuring the quintessential unreliable narrator will have readers turning the pages and trying to figure out what is real and what is made up.

Why it's on my TBR list: I think this book sounds fascinating. 
For one, I enjoy unreliable narrators. For two, I haven't read many books dealing with schizophrenia, and everything I've read says this book deals with it well.

If you want to add these books to your TBR list on Goodreads,
you can click the titles above. 

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

To Be Read Tuesday

Time for another TBR Tuesday! I'm sharing a couple more books from my pub-sisters today.

The Artisans

They say death can be beautiful. But after the death of her mother, seventeen-year-old Raven Weathersby gives up her dream of becoming a fashion designer, barely surviving life in the South Carolina lowlands.

To make ends meet, Raven works after school as a seamstress creating stunning works of fashion that often rival the great names of the day.

Instead of making things easier on the high school senior, her stepdad's drinking leads to a run in with the highly reclusive heir to the Maddox family fortune, Gideon Maddox.

But Raven's stepdad's drying out and in no condition to attend the meeting with Maddox. So Raven volunteers to take his place and offers to repay the debt in order to keep the only father she's ever known out of jail, or worse.

Gideon Maddox agrees, outlining an outrageous demand: Raven must live in his home for a year while she designs for Maddox Industries' clothing line, signing over her creative rights.

Her handsome young captor is arrogant and infuriating to the nth degree, and Raven can't imagine working for him, let alone sharing the same space for more than five minutes.

But nothing is ever as it seems. Is Gideon Maddox the monster the world believes him to be? And can he stand to let the young seamstress see him as he really is?

Why it's on my TBR list: It sounds all Beauty and the Beast and I LOVE that! And I think the fashion design stuff sounds really interesting too. I'm excited about this one! 

Pretty Dark Nothing (Pretty Dark Nothing, #1)

It’s been twenty three days since Quinn has slept for more than minutes at a time. Demons have invaded her dreams, stalking her, and whispering of her death. The lack of sleep and crippling fear are ruining her life. Energy drinks and caffeine pills don’t make a dent. When Quinn dozes off in the school hallway, Aaron, an amnesiac with a psychic ability, accidentally enters her nightmare. The demons are determined to keep them apart, and Aaron from discovering the secret locked away in his memory. Together, they could banish the darkness back to the underworld for good. That is, unless the demons kill them first.

Why it's on my TBR list: This sounds so creepy and good. Plus that cover is awesome. (I know it shouldn't matter, but it helps.) ;) This one has been on my TBR list for a while now, and I think it's time to move it up to the top. :) 

You can add these to your to be read list on Goodreads by clicking the titles above. :)