Imelda Evans – Rules Are for Breaking

Hi there Imelda, thanks so much for taking the time to be on my blog today! Can I just say, I adore the cover of you book.

IE: Thank you for having me!  I am very fond of this cover too.  I love the look in her eye.  It’s very ‘Jo’ (the heroine, for those who haven’t read it).  Although, as an ardent Kerry Greenwood fan, I was amused to discover that I had apparently written Phryne Fisher…Image

DM: Delicious! How did you come about Jo’s character? Despite the fact she perhaps embodies how a lot of women view   trying to find ‘The One’, she really came across to me as a complex, fabulous mix of cynicism, vulnerability and hope.

IE: Aw, shucks!  I’m not really sure where Jo came from.  She walked into the manuscript with a   cocktail in her hand and a chip on her shoulder and I couldn’t shake her!  I think she was a    manifestation of thoughts I had been having about the baggage we don’t know we have that can get in  the way of our dreams.  She is generous and she thinks she is open, but past hurts have left some big  scabs on her heart that need to be peeled off before she can let anyone new in.

DM: Scabs on the heart! Yikes and yet it’s an apt description of emotional pain. Did you struggle with matching Declan’s character with Jo? She was a tough nut to crack and it really did take a special man to get past all those barriers.

IE: I needed someone as pig-headed as she was!  Declan wasn’t bossy or arrogant, but he was very determined.  The more she threw rules at him, the more he found ways to use them to his advantage.   He wasn’t intimidated by her beauty, her brains or her strength, which made him a match for her.  He was very secure in who he was and had a deep centre of calmness that appealed to Jo, as it does to me.  We dramatic females need someone centred!

DM: How long have you been writing, Imelda? What got you into writing in the first place?

IE: I’ve always loved words.  When other girls were playing netball, I was reading.  So I always loved the idea of writing.  But it took me a long time to get here.  After doing a lot of other things, I spent ten years freelancing as a copywriter before I was game to try fiction.  I’ve been seriously working at fiction for 5 years and I still struggle every day with the fear that I’m no good at this!

DM: Throughout ‘Rules Are For Breaking’, there shines through a love of music. Do you sometimes use music as inspiration for your writing?

IE: Thank you for noticing!  I am very eclectic in my musical preferences (which I suppose shows in the pop-to-opera coverage of the book).  I’m not sure I have ever consciously used it as story inspiration, but I do like listening to love songs written by men when I’m trying to get into the heads of romance heroes.  Our culture sometimes seems to deny that men can love deeply or care as much as women – but their love songs tell a different story!

DM: I agree!  I especially love the scenes following where Jo feels Declan has seen her as a challenge and nothing more. It was intriguing to see how she struggled with her emotions, trying to work through them. How hard was that to write?

IE: I’m glad you enjoyed that.  It was her worst nightmare made manifest.  I based her devastation on a personal experience (from a long time ago) so the emotions were easy to come by.  The hard part was conveying them convincingly and showing that she’d changed from the girl at the start of the story, who would have just grown another layer of armour and moved on.  I’m glad you think I managed it!

DM: Thanks so much for coming on my blog today, Imelda. Your second book, ‘Playing by the Rules’ is also out which is fabulous! Folks, if you love intense, character-focused romance, you’ll love Imelda Evans. If you’d like to connect with Imelda, you can find her here:

To purchase any of Imelda’s books, try the following links:

Playing by the Rules:  http://www.destinyromance.com/products/9781743483961/playing-rules

Rules are for Breaking:

http://www.destinyromance.com/products/9781742538020/rules-are-breaking-destiny-romance

My website/blog: http://imeldaevans.wordpress.com/

Thank you!

Uncovered By Love – Madeline Ash

I’m here today talking with Madeline Ash and her deeply emotional book, ‘Uncovered By Love’. 

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Madeline, thanks for coming on my blog. I view the emotion of love as making the world revolve. After reading UbL, I was reminded that people sometimes have to overcome huge emotional and sometimes physical obstacles to find that special someone.

I found your story so inspiring; you wrote about the issues your characters were dealing with such tenderness and respect. Vera and Leeson were two people that very much deserved to find happiness and despite knowing that romance carries the promise of a happy ending, I still found myself cheering for Leeson at the end. ❤

DM: Your heroine, Vera, has a heart condition and required a transplant, a major disruption to anyone’s life. I love how her brother Jayden is so protective of her, having gone through that awful journey by her side. Is this something that has affected you or someone you know?

MA: Thank you Dana, Jayden was a really sweet character to write. And yes, a member of my immediate family has a heart condition (ARVC). I developed the idea for Vera’s illness when we discovered the condition is actually genetic, so any of us could be carriers. After doing research, I learned that the most severe form of the condition would ultimately require a heart transplant. As an issue so close to home, I was able to consider the possibility on a personal level and really feel through Vera what it would be like to cope post-transplant. Not to mention being able to imagine, as a family member, what it would be like to have to sit by and watch someone I love go through such suffering.

Oh dear – that all sounds quite tragic! To anyone who hasn’t read it, the book isn’t a downer, really! I like to think it’s full of hope and tenderness. It IS escapism, after all J [DM: It is so not a downer! More like inspiring!]

DM – Leeson, your hero, has his own issues to deal with, namely being dyslexic and unable to read. Yet he was still able to successfully run a large business enterprise. *Sigh. J How hard was it to reconcile the successful business man to the real Leeson?

MA:  Not hard for me – I knew he was just confused! But Leeson finds it very difficult to accept that the two aren’t mutually exclusive. He uses the successful investor as his façade; the man he wishes he could be. Secretly, he defines himself by his inability to read fluently, believing he is a fraud of a businessman. Only when he gains Vera’s acceptance does he realise that he IS successful – not pretending to be. And that his success is made more impressive, not less, by his dyslexia.

DM: When writing such weighty issues, how do you find that place to concentrate on ensuring the emotion is leaping off the page? Are you a plotter, or like me, do you have it all in your head?

MA: I’m more of a plotter, but I certainly have a lot stored in my head too. Before I start writing, I need to know how the characters’ conflicts will clash, what their goals and motivations will be (both internal and external), and the basic plot of the story. I don’t plan on a scene-by-scene level though – I let the characters’ emotional journeys shape what needs to happen next.

Specifically, to ensure emotion leaps of the page, I often play music to manipulate my mood (I’ve got some very achy contemporary piano albums). I couldn’t pull off a sad/moving scene if I wasn’t feeling that way myself. I have a very simple motto for sad scenes – if I don’t cry with my characters, readers won’t either!

DM: I found the details of Vera’s art very interesting. Do you also sculpt or have an interest in art?

MA: Unfortunately, I have no talent for fine arts. I practically needed help with coil pots in high school. But I do love art, so Vera’s sculptures are what I would create if I were that gifted.

DM: And finally, I’m really looking forward to your next book, Madeline! Are you currently working on another? (please say yes!)

Okay, yes, I am! J I’m currently writing another contemporary romance set on a vineyard in the Yarra Valley. It’s really sweet and sexy, and I’m hoping to have it finished by October (I write slowly). [DM: Me too, don’t worry]

Thanks so much for having me here, Dana. I’ve loved chatting with you!

Thanks again, Madeline!

Her Italian Aristocrat – by Lousie Reynolds

9781742538747[1]There’s something about an Italian hero that reels me in every time. In Louise Reynold’s debut novel for Destiny Romance, we immediately get the sense that Gemma is in a little bit of trouble, not able to understand the lingo while stuck in an Italian hospital. So why is she there? Why, to buy a prestigious shoe company, of course.

Enter Luca, Gemma’s saviour as he translates so the nurse from hell doesn’t stick her with a needle that she shouldn’t. And who is this Luca? He is the local Aristocrat, determined to save the town’s industry. You know things from here are going to get interesting.

Not only does Louise create a memorable character in Gemma, with that unique Australian charm, but also weaves an effortlessly beautiful setting. It was a wrench to come back to reality!

I would recommend this book with a good drop of red, some candles and no interruptions please! Am looking forward to Louise’s next release with anticipation.

Yours,

Dana x

Craft

So, after a year of not blogging at all and more reading ‘How To…’ rather than actually doing a lot of writing, I’m finally coming back into the fold. Have learned a hell of a lot, and seen a whole new crop of exciting e-publishing outlets crop up out of nowhere, see below.

              Destiny Romance       Cover photo

The publishing world suddenly appears a lot brighter and more accessible. Am back in the saddle and actually wanting to write again. Current WIP’s (cannot work just on one – the curse of the pantser) include a category romance and a single title heavy on Mythology.

*shivers…its good to be alive in this digital age!

Happy writing you lovely people.