Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Tattered Pages Welcomes Wild Rose Press Author Amie Louellen!

Amie Louellen loves nothing more than a good book.  Except for her family…and maybe homemade tacos…and shoes.  But reading and writing are definitely high on the list. When she's not creating quirky characters and happy endings she enjoys going to little league baseball games and boy scout meetings. Born and bred in Mississippi, Amie is a transplanted Southern Belle who now lives in Oklahoma with her deputy husband, their genius son, a spoiled cat, and one very hyper beagle.
Good morning, AJ and Blog World. I’m so glad to be here today!

I'm so happy to have you, Amie! Tell us how your writing career began.

Once upon a time, my family had the privilege of living in the Caribbean. (Yes, live. Yes, it was amazing.) Since I didn’t have to work then, I ended up with some time on my hands. (After all, there’s only so many hours one can while away lounging by the pool.) My sister-in-law and I used to go to the local used book store in town. She found a copy of Megan McKinley’s Till Dawn Tames the Night there and said I had to read it. She was right, and I’m glad I did. After that, I kept telling her, “We can write a book like this.” And we did. I admit our first book together holds a special place in my heart, I don’t think it will ever be publication-worthy. But it started the journey. I write solo now, but I still have the copy of Till Dawn Tames the Night. <g>
Have you ever considered self-publication?
I have, but not for my romance works. I have a children’s book that is near and dear to my heart. I wrote it for my son, who is amazing, but severely ADHD. (Yes, there are severities in the condition). He’s had a tough time adjusting to the world around him. My biggest concern is making sure his self-esteem has not been damaged by those who don’t understand the condition, and those who think they understand it as well. It’s a book for kids who suffer from ADHD. It lets them know how special they are, that nothing’s wrong with them, and they are perfect the way God made them. (Now will somebody give me a hand down from my soapbox? J
What are you working on now?
A week or so ago, TWRP editors gave a call out for a new series of Champagne Roses called the Millionaire’s Club. Old school romances where the nanny/housekeeper/babysitter/secretary gets the millionaire. LOVE these kinds of stories. I have two that I’m hoping to submit in the next couple of weeks. Just as soon as I can rescue one of them from the A drive! LOL
 After finishing a manuscript, do you take some time off or dive right into the next story?
I always say I’m going to take a break, but I usually just dive right back into something. I have a “To Do” list posted at my computer. I sometimes veer off course, but it helps me remember what my plans are and gives me a direction to dive towards.
What are you reading now?
I just got a copy of Sarah Grimm’s Not Without Risk in the mail yesterday. (Thanks, Sarah). Just haven’t sat down long enough to actually start it. Probably tonight. Then I have a loooooong list of books I need to read by the great authors of TWRP. Including one I featured on my blog recently. J
Who is the one person that most influenced your life?
Do I really have to pick just one? I have three very dear friends who are always there for me. Michele Bardsley who has always been an inspiration to me ever since we met—back eons ago before either one of us published. Laura Marie Altom, who is so very supportive and somehow finds the time to answer my emails even though I know she’s incredibly busy with her own writing career. And Karen Crane (who also writes as Karen Toller Whittenberg) because she has always believed in me, even when I didn’t believe in myself. It’s hard to beat friends like them.
Does your husband/significant other read your work? What’s their reaction?
My husband has been going around telling everyone he’s my inspiration. I told him that he might want to read the book before saying that. (After all, he’s not a green-eyed construction worker from Vegas.)  But hey, if makes him feel manly…What’s really going to be funny is when one of his co-workers actually reads it. Maybe hubby will see what it’s all about after that. Probably not! <g>
What are your hobbies?
I love to read, cross-stitch, watch my “boys” play sports, piddle with paint, scrapbook, and garden. Pretty much anything that can get me out of housework.
 Any pets?
We have a really fat beagle named Ammo and a geriatric cat named Cheng. But I keep telling the boys that as soon as the little one goes to college I’m buying a poodle. They think I’m kidding. Since he’s just in the fourth grade, they’ll have to wait a few more years before they find out how serious I am.
Thanks again, AJ for allowing me to hijack your blog today. My pleasure, Amie!
Please keep reading below for the blurb and excerpt to Amie's latest novel, Brodie's Bride, which releases June 24th from The Wild Rose Press, and has one of the most beautiful covers I've ever seen. Whoo Hoo!
Waking up next to a beautiful golden-haired stranger isn’t the worst thing that has ever happened to Brodie Harper, but staying in a fake marriage in order to gain a new construction contract could very well be.

Savanna Morgan just wanted a way out of an engagement to a man she didn’t love.  Marrying Brodie seemed liked the perfect answer at the time.  Less perfect the next morning when she finds herself disowned by her father and flat broke.  Now she must make it through the weekend. Monday they can get it all annulled and forget it ever happened.

The real problem may be keeping their hands off each other until then.

 “Married,” the official supplied with a happy nod.
For the first time since the blonde had screamed and set off the pounding in his head, Brodie noticed the band that circled the fourth finger of his left hand. Married. Images of a scarlet chapel and gold rings flitted through his mind. Lost in the fog of straight shots of tequila, the whole ordeal seemed liked a dream. But if what the man said was true...
Holy heaven. The last time Brodie had gotten drunk had been the day his grandfather died. Then, he’d only acquired a tattoo, but this time... Married? And to a hooker? A gorgeous hooker. An expensive hooker by the depleted state of his wallet, but a hooker none-the-less.
“Where’s my dress?”
Brodie half-turned as his hooker-bride stumped down the stairs, her naked glory covered by the rumpled satin sheet. One red, high-rise pump was missing.
“I wouldn’t know,” he replied, his headache tripling.
“You took it off. You find it.” She punched him hard in the chest with one red lacquered fingernail.
“You want it. You find it,” he countered.
“That dress was an Armani. And you—”
Brodie leaned away from the blonde and closer to the man behind the counter. “Are you sure we’re married?”
“Quite certain.”
“Married?” she squeaked.
“One hundred percent sure?” Brodie added.
“It was a lovely ceremony.”
Damn, Brodie thought. He was too nice of a guy, but he couldn’t stand the panic he heard in her voice. He faced her and took her left hand in his own, turning them both so she could see their identical rings. “Seems we tied the knot last night, sunshine.”

Contact Amie on the web at:

amie louellen--author FaceBook

Friday, April 15, 2011

Release Day is Finally Here!

In both print and e-book formats, I present: 
Jezebel's Wish
 Available now from The Wild Rose Press!
Buy Link:  http://tinyurl.com/446f7r3

Haunted by nightmares, tormented by guilt, Jezebel came to Redemption Ranch to escape the past—except now she's stuck in the middle of nowhere with no redemption in sight. When her mother pushes her into riding lessons with local veterinarian Matthias Saunders, Jezebel balks. Sure, the doctor is gorgeous, but he’s completely obnoxious and knows how to push every one of her buttons.

Only her deep connection with The Reverend, a gentle stallion who guards her darkest secrets, has her agreeing to spend any more time with Dr. Saunders. Caring for the stallion is the first bright spot in her life in months, and if being around the horse means she has to deal with Matthias Saunders, then so be it. Surely a city girl like her can handle one country vet—even one with disturbing blue eyes. Can't she?

Jezzy stopped. “I thought I was having a riding lesson.”
“You are.” He nodded toward the empty paddock. “Go in.”
“Go in?” Jezzy propped a hand on her hip. “You sure you know what you’re doing? Because it was my understanding that an actual horse is needed for a riding lesson.”
“Don’t you think it would be wise at this juncture to leave the understanding up to the professionals?”
Jezzy rolled her eyes. “You’re making this way too easy. Professionals? Please. Don’t get me started.”
“Why not? Getting you started is exactly what I’m here for.”
Jezzy’s jaw dropped. She didn’t quite know how to interpret that remark.
He held out the rope. “Now go in. And take this lead line with you.” Steely blue determination glinted in his eyes. There was no way he was going to give in.
Jezzy snatched the lead line from his hand and stormed through the gate, then turned when he closed it behind her.
He put a foot on the bottom railing and rested against the gate, facing the horizon. “Take the chair to the center of the paddock and sit down.”
“And just exactly how is that supposed to teach me to ride?”
He cocked an eyebrow. “You want out of the deal?”
Jezzy’s fist clenched tight around the lead line. What she wanted was to march back to the fence and smack his face.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Edin Road Radio Interview

Tonight at 6:30 P.M. EST, I will be featured LIVE on Edin Road Radio, reading an excerpt from Jezebel's Wish, in celebration of tomorrow's release. If you want to hear me in full panic mode (or perhaps get a peek inside the story), come take a listen. Go to: http://www.edinroad.com./ and click the tab Edin Road Radio to hear the podcast. I'm going to pretend no one is there. It's the only way I'll make it...

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Welcome Wild Rose Press Author Mary Campisi to AJ's Tattered Pages!

Please join me in welcoming Mary Campisi to AJ's Tattered Pages today, who shares with us her expertise about Hop Scotching Genres. Take it away, Mary!

When AJ invited me to her site and asked if I wanted to talk about crossing genres, I agreed. Then I started to think about it. What the heck do I really know about writing in more than one genre, other than I do it? I’ve had my share of missteps, some might call them blunders, but the different writing is all part of my growth as a writer. This piece isn’t meant to be an instructional how-to because I don’t have the answers or a template. I’ll write about what I did and why I did it at the time, which doesn’t necessarily mean it was the wisest choice but again, it was all part of discovering my strengths.
When I sold my first book in 1999, all I really knew about genres was that they existed and my book fit in the historical romance category, Regency historical to be exact. I wish someone had taken me aside and talked about branding or building readership or something that would knock me on the head and say, ‘One book, like one brick, will not build a foundation’…Okay, I just made that up but you get my meaning. Instead, I had an agent, (sold the book, got the agent) who asked right off if I could write contemporary romance as well. His idea was to switch on and off; one historical, one contemporary. Of course I said yes even though I’d never written a contemporary before other than two short stories. I would have told him I could do a back flip off a balance beam (even though I’d never mastered a plain old cartwheel…on the ground.) I was so excited, so psyched…so darn naive.
Innocent Betrayal came out with Kensington Publishing in 2000 (I recently got the rights back and sold it to The Wild Rose Press. Smoking hot cover- thanks Rae Monet!) I wrote another historical which my editor turned down, (that alone was a depressing shocker) and then I wrote a contemporary which my editor loved. She said this was what I should be writing. It was my ‘blind’ hero story- still one of my favorites. Anyway, I put the historical idea aside, published three contemporaries and then needed to write something bigger. More layered. Just more. My agent agreed. We parted ways with the publisher and I wrote the story. I loved it! It didn’t sell. I cried. I agonized. I questioned my abilities. I took a deep breath and parted ways with my agent. With nothing to lose and no one waiting for my work, I wrote like crazy. First person young adult, contemporary, women’s fiction, more Regency historical. Agent number two entered and loved the YA- it had made the first cut in the Amazon Breakthrough novel contest. Why was I even writing YA? No idea. I didn’t know that’s what it was when I wrote it; truthfully, it was just a story I wanted to write and a desire to play around with first person. I revised the book and it came close to selling, even had a two page revision letter, but in the end, it was a pass. Along the way, agent number two and I parted. More writing and then a sale of the ‘more’ book to a small press! Happy day! 
Buy now  A Family Affair

A Family Affair was published in 2006 but soon after the small press pulled romance production. Now that was sad. I recently worked up the nerve to publish this book myself on Amazon and Smashwords, (okay, my husband did it for meJ) Time and years ticked by and I wrote and wrote (no more YA) but Regency historicals – A Taste of Seduction came out in March with The Wild Rose Press and bigger single title contemporaries. Oh, but there was that contemporary novella  - The Sweetest Deal with Carina Press last September . . .  

What’s the lesson here? My old agent once told me that just because he could drive a milk truck, didn’t mean he should. I think about that every now and again and I see the wisdom in those words. My new agent is more blunt; both are right. Along that line, I recently took a voice class with the very talented Barbara Samuel, who commented on how I might possibly be letting myself become distracted by the possibilities inherent everywhere for a writer of good commercial sensibility. I was flattered she thought I had good commercial sensibility. She had a point. I love writing and I’m fascinated by characters and situations, but that doesn’t mean I should follow every tangent that sparks in my brain….doing so can pull me from what I should really be writing. I look at every book in the past as practice for the next one but the difference with the past and present is that I will focus my energies on narrowing the genres and finding the ME books I’m meant to write. And when I spot that milk truck chugging alongside me, painted shiny red and beckoning, I will wave and move on.

A little about Mary...

Mary Campisi should have known she’d become a writer when at age thirteen she began changing the ending to all the books she read.  It took several years and a number of jobs, including registered nurse, receptionist in a swanky hair salon, accounts payable clerk, and practice manager in an OB/GYN office, for her to rediscover writing.  Enter a mouse-less computer, a floppy disk, and a dream large enough to fill a zip drive. The rest of the story lives on in every book she writes.  

When she’s not working on her craft or following the lives of five young adult children, Mary’s digging in the dirt with her flowers and herbs, cooking, reading, walking her rescue lab mix, Cooper, or on the perfect day, riding off into the sunset with her very own ‘hero’ husband on his Electra Glide Classic.

Mary shares with us her inspiration for A Family Affair...

Several years ago, I read an article about a man who’d kept a secret family for years without anyone’s knowledge. I was fascinated that someone could and would actually do this. That one small article lived in my subconscious for years, emerging occasionally as I considered how a person might achieve this, the effects on the primary family as well as the other family, the pain, the grief, the anger, the emotional, financial and psychological entanglements between the two, and the ultimate question; which was the real family? I became so engrossed with the emotion of the situation that I knew I had to create my own characters and my own story and so emerged...
A Family Affair
When Christine Blacksworth’s larger-than-life father is killed on an icy road in Magdalena, New York, a hundred miles from the ‘getaway’ cabin he visited every month, she discovers a secret that threatens everything she’s always held to be true. Her father has another family which includes a mistress and a daughter. Determined to uncover the truth behind her father’s secret life, Christine heads to Magdalena, prepared to hate the people who have caused her to question everything she thought she knew about her father. But what she finds is a woman who understands her, a half sister who cherishes her, and a man who could love her if she’ll let him. The longer she’s around them, the more she questions which family is the real one.
In another week or so he’d be able to get back to his own place, back to seclusion, where the loudest noise at night was a flip between a screech owl and a log crackling on the fire. Just the way he liked it. The majority of the human species was nothing but an annoying intrusion on his state of mind and other than the times when he had to interact with them, he preferred to be alone.  Of course, family didn’t fit into that category, just everyone else.  His mother said he was afraid to open up after what happened three years ago.  She was wrong; he didn’t care about Patrice anymore, didn’t even think about her, not since the day the sheriff delivered the divorce papers. Nate heard she was remarried to some bank president in Palm Springs, drove a Lexus now.  Probably silver; she’d always had a fondness for silver.
The doorbell rang again, twice, rapid staccato.  “Hold on, hold on.”  Damn intrusive busy bodies. He reached the front door, preparing the same speech he told all the well-wishers.  She’s fine . . . needs her rest . . . she’ll be in touch when she’s up to it.  She’d be furious if she had an inkling that he was blowing off people like Father Reisanski and Judge Tommichelli, but hell, did she have to be best friends with half the town?
He opened the door. 
It was her.
“Hello.  I’m looking for . . .”
Her voice was softer than he’d imagined, more breathy . . .
“. . .  this is a bit awkward . . . ”
Her eyes were bluer than her picture . . .
“Lily Desantro.  Is she here?”
That brought him around fast. “Who are you?”  Stupid question, but damn if he’d let on he knew who she was.
She hesitated, a split second extra air exchange.  “Christine Blacksworth.  I’m . . . are you Nate Desantro?”
He said nothing.  Let her squirm.
“Is Lily here?”
“May I come in?”  She tried to look around him, into the house, into their lives. 
He blocked the door.  “I don’t think that’s a good idea.”
“You . . . you know who I am, don’t you?”
He stared at her, refusing to acknowledge the man or his daughter as hatred seeped through him, brought back the days, months, years, his mother spent alone; four damn days a month for fourteen years. 
“You called my mother’s house . . .  about my father.” 
Her voice wobbled. Good, feel it, Christine Blacksworth, feel what I’ve felt for the past fourteen years every time I saw your father’s bathrobe hanging in my mother’s closet, saw his razor in her bathroom, his glasses on her nightstand.  Let it strangle you . . .
Contact Mary on the web at:  www.marycampisi.com