Promises Kept… Interview with author Piper Huguley

Today on ye old blog I’m so happy to have my friend, the super talented and all around amazing person, Piper Huguley here to talk about writing, her process and her much anticipated full length inspirational debut, THE PREACHER’S PROMISE (book 1 in her Home to Milford College series).

Hello Piper it’s so wonderful to have you here on ye old blog today! 

First off can you tell us a bit about THE PREACHER’S PROMISE?

1866 – Oberlin, Ohio

Devastated by her father’s death days after her triumphant graduation from Oberlin College, Amanda Stewart is all alone in the world. Sorting through her father’s papers, she discovers he had carried on a mysterious correspondence with a plantation in Milford, Georgia. To fulfill a promise she made to her father, she resolves to start a school there to educate and uplift their race.  However, when she arrives, the mayor tells her to leave.  There’s no where for her to go.

Virgil Smithson, Milford’s mayor, blacksmith and sometimes preacher man with a gift for fiery oratory, doesn’t want anything to do with a snobby schoolteacher from up North. On top of everything else, the schoolteacher lady has a will hard enough to match the iron he forges. He must organize his fellow formerly enslaved citizens into a new town and raise his young daughter alone. Still, his troubled past haunts him. He cannot forget the promise he made to his daughter’s mother as she died—that their child would learn to read and write.  If only he didn’t have secrets that the new schoolteacher seems determined to uncover.

 piper cover

 

Now here is a short excerpt from The Preacher’s Promise:   

 

If he had shot March with an arrow, he couldn’t have wounded his daughter more, judging from the screwed-up look on her brown face. And made him all the more determined for this pretty lady to get on about her business. This woman with her fancy bonnet and her big trailing dress with the smallest possible waist put big ideas into March’s head. What would he do with that once this lady was gone on about her rich life? Best to put all of that to an end. Now. Today. Well, at least tomorrow.

            He moved off the platform, and March dragged her feet in her dusty shoes. But the rustle of the lady’s skirts did not follow them.

            Virgil turned. She was still up there on the platform, a dark bell against the afternoon sky.

            “Got to walk. Town’s up this way, Miss. Can’t wait out here all night.” If she stayed all night on the platform, he really would be responsible for her then. The thought of what could happen to her in the night made his dry throat catch.

            “I’m staying right here, Mr. Smithson.”

            A stubborn female. An even worse sight for March to see.

            He started again. “Nightfall come, Miss, and the night riders could come and do you great harm. Wouldn’t want it to come to that.”

            Couldn’t she see her safety was at stake? And he couldn’t touch her to bring her on. He looked at March to see if she were concerned about this lady’s safety, but his daughter, his own child, looked away from him.

            Miss Amanda embodied danger itself. She had to go.

            “I mean to say, I can’t go anywhere else, Mr. Smithson. If you’ll just take me to the teacher house, I’ll be comfortable.”

            “I’m telling you, Pauline will put you up. What else you need to know?”

            “I’m homeless, sir. I have no home or family or anywhere else to go.”

            He dropped her case to the dust, clean out of options and responses. No matter that he was a freeman who bought himself out of slavery way before the war come. A man who used fire to make iron bend to his will had just met his match.

 

The Lawyer’s Luck is a prequel story about Amanda’s parents in 1844 Ohio.  It is a short novella. What inspired you to write this story?

The Reconstruction-era is not a time period that is often written about. So, I was looking for the history that was not written about, rather than gravitating to the often-told history. As it often happens, once I investigated the events of the time, the story grew out of those events in an organic way.  A bunch of teachers going in to tell native people that they were ignorant and needed to learn a new way of doing things?  Natural conflict.

 Do you feel your works are more character or plot driven?

I have always thought they were more character driven, but having answered the above question, I would have to say maybe they are more plot driven. The history does provide certain answers when I am stuck.

What made you choose this genre to write in?

We see enough about the historical struggles of our ancestors.  I thought about this idea, and the idea for my 20th century series when I came to know, through the classroom, how younger people don’t know this history.  I thought of the fiction approach as a “fun” way to convey it.  Others on Facebook always proclaimed a desire for more African American Historical Romance.  It seemed to be a ready made market.

Tell us a bit about your writing schedule. I know you have a busy schedule also being a professor. How do you fit your writing into this world?  

I tend to write in the evenings.  I will settle down to the computer for an hour or two and fast draft.  Then I will go back and revise.  I love accountability groups. It helps me to get a kick in the butt and to watch the words pile up.  I’m always looking for new accountability groups to join!

What advice would you give other aspiring writers?

If you have an idea that is unique, don’t give up on it.  There is an audience. The beauty of self-publishing is that there’s a better chance of reaching a  smaller audience.  Traditional publishers feel that because the audience is small, reaching those readers is not worth the risk.  I understand their point of view, because they have to make money to pay for their overhead and expenses, but in self-publishing, that doesn’t exist.  Save your money to self-publish to ensure that your voice and idea can be heard in the best most professional way.

 

 Lastly what can readers expect next from you?

If it appears that people like my interpretation of this history, I’ll put out the next story in the series, The Mayor’s Mission.

I’m already loving the title! Can’t wait for that one to come out too.Thanks so much for being here today. It’s been a real pleasure.

Thank you for having me!

You all can find Piper in these spots around the web. Please look her up. You won’t be disappointed!

Blog: http://piperhuguley.com

Facebook: Piper Huguley, Home to Milford College

Twitter:  @writerpiper

piper author

You can pick up The Preacher’s Promise at these e-tailers:

Amazon 

Nook 

Kobo

All the best,

KMJ

Not Your Mother’s Romance? Well, It’s MY Mother’s!… Guest post from author, Laura K. Curtis

I’m so happy to have my good friend, Laura K. Curtis, the super talented romantic suspense author of Twisted and Lost on ye old blog today guest posting to introduce us to her latest contemporary romance Toying With His Affections. It’s definitely not your mother’s romance. Take it away Laura…

Laura book cover

 

Not Your Mother’s Romance? Well, It’s MY Mother’s!

 

My mother reads my books. I sometimes wish she wouldn’t, but she’s eighty years old and knows her own mind, and she’s my mother—it’s not like I can tell her not to! She read my first romantic suspense, Twisted, and said she enjoyed it. But one night right after Lost came out, I was on the phone with my father and he said “your mother is reading your book and she wants to know how you know all this sex stuff.” Uh, she what?

Needless to say, we took a few minutes while I cleaned up the water I’d spat all over the couch when he came out with that gem, which gave me a little time to gather my thoughts. “Uh,” I said oh-so-eloquently, “research?”

I mean, seriously. Those two books were romantic suspense. They had relatively little sex as far as the romance world goes. It didn’t bother her that I knew any number of ways to torture and kill people, that I had good ideas about where to hide bodies. Nope. She was only bothered by the sex.

So now I’ve released Toying With His Affections. No murders. No (serious) crimes to solve. Just a woman who sells sex toys for a living. Oh, yeah, I can’t wait to hear what she has to say about this one.

Here’s a little taste of what she’ll be reading…and what you’ll be getting should you choose to get to know Griffin Barstow and Evie Bell, the Sheriff and the sex toy saleswoman. In this little preview, she’s showing him her wares as she prepares to do a home party.

Evie set the papers aside and reached back into the box. This time, she held up a pair of pink, fuzzy handcuffs. “Want to take these on patrol with you, Sheriff?”

“Uh…not particularly.” He grinned, though, imagining the faces of some of his deputies if he showed up with those hooked to his duty belt. The next item wiped the smile off his face. Black and almost evil-looking, it was circle with small rubber spikes all around and one larger protrusion so that it looked a bit like the symbol for Mars. At the end of the prong, however, a perpendicular spike gave the impression that someone had twisted the arrowhead of the symbol to stand straight up.

“What is that?”

Again, Evie’s fair cheeks reddened. The contradiction between the woman who could passionately defend the use of creams and toys and the one who blushed attempting to explain the actual use of such products entranced him.

“Uh, that’s for men. I mean, it’s nice for women, too, if the guy wears it, but it’s more designed to increase his pleasure than hers.”

“Please tell me this doesn’t sell.” 

She’d regained her composure. And her starch. “Everything sells. But no, that’s not a top ten item.”

“Thank God for small favors.”

She handed him a tube of something else. “This is, though.”

He practically choked as he read the name aloud. “Staze-Long?”

“Yep! Between that and the numerous offers I get in my email every day, I can only assume many men in this country have a premature ejaculation problem.”

“I don’t think I can take this.”

She dropped her head and glanced up at him through the screen of her thick lashes. “I didn’t say you could. I need it.”

He dropped the tube and rubbed his hand against his leg. “That’s not what I meant and you know it.”

“Yeah, but you’re so easy to tease. Who’d have believed that under the bad boy of Fairview High lay a closet prude? Your reputation has suffered here today, Barstow.”

“Is that a dare, Bell?”

She cocked her head. “It may be. I’ll think about it.”

His heart pumped harder and he felt more alive than he had since the day he’d moved home to Fairview. You’ve always been addicted to danger, Bub, and it’s never done you a lick of good. Stay the hell away. But he had a sinking feeling he wouldn’t be able to take his own advice.

 

If you want another excerpt, there’s one up on my site at http://www.laurakcurtis.com/toying.php Come on by!

You can also find me on Facebook, gabbing madly on Twitter, or musing and giving things away on my blog.

LauraKCurtis author pic

 

Thanks so much for being here today, Laura. Everybody check out Laura’s books. And you can get Toying With His Affection Here and at all your favorite e-tailers. You won’t be disappointed!

 

All the best,

KMJ

Scribbling away…

Happy New Week and the summer flutters along, seeming to flitter away just out of my grasp, it’s going by so quickly. I hope it’s going a little slower and a bit more leisurely for you. This past weekend though I did get to enjoy a fun summer night heading to the Bronx to cheer on the Yankees and see The Captain #2 Derek Jeter in his final season. The family and I had a great time and the Yankees won too. It was fantastic all around!

yankees 7-14

Next week I have some more excitement coming up (and a bit of terror too if you know me). On Monday night August 4th I’m honored to have been invited to read at the fabulous Lady Jane’s Salon once again.

Lady Jane's Header

This time I’ll be reading my essay from Scribbling Women, the for Charity Anthology edited by Lady Jane founder Hope Tarr which I’m so proud to be a contributor to. If you are in New York please stop by. My essay is sure to embarrass my dear DH as it’s all about how we sleep together after 25 years. The poor man being married to a romance writer. LOL

But don’t just come to hear me, even better come to hear the other fantastic authors reading. There will be: Katana Collins, Alice Clayton and Sofia Tate making her Lady Jane’s debut! Yay!

scribbling women

 

All the best,

KMJ

 

Many Faces…

From me and all the many faces of Jack…

jack landscape 1

 

We wish you a wonderful week and hope it’s filled with laughter, joy and many great books. We’d also like to once again extend an invite to our new private TEAM KMJ fan page where this week on Wednesday, July 23rd at 9pm we’ll be having a group chat about THROUGH THE LENS. I’d love to have you join us where the team and I will be discussing beach reads, office romances and I’ll be answering all your probing questions.  I hope so see you there!

through the lens

 

All the best,

KMJ

Time won’t give me time…

Ain’t that the truth? Thanks for the wisdom Culture Club.

In my ever quest at somehow getting my uncontainable life contained and in some semblance of control, I spent the better part of the weekend reading a fantastic book called Write Every Day by Cathy Yardley. Now you think writing everyday would be easy since I’m a writer and it’s my job… and all.

But hold it there, Sparky, it’s not as easy as one would assume when you’ve got the husband, kids, Facebook, The blog,  laundry, Twitter, dishes, The dog, The grocery store, The bank, Twitter, Cleaning well, everything, dinner, pick-ups, errands, family runs, did I say twitter?, oh and the dog needs to run out again all pulling for your attension just because you’re the one there and the one designed to be in charge of all the domestic stuff. Somehow it’s way too easy for the job of writing, that really is your J-O-B to get pushed to the bottom of the list when it should be at the very top. Especially if you want to make a living… and all.

write everyday

In Write Every Day, Cathy suggests tracking your time for a week to see where what you’re really spending your time on in order to see where you can find more time to write. The challenge is on! It’s time to take a brutal look at how much time I really spend going in circles and clicking on links that have nothing to do with my WIP under the guise of research.

Tell me do you know how you’re really spending your time? Would you want to track your time for a week to see what your biggest time sucks are? As you think it over join me in a little Culture Club. I can’t seem to get this song out of my head now.

 

 

All the best,

KMJ

Happy Friday & a winner announced

Happy Friday! So another week down. This one felt like quite the speedy one, seems I was just blinking by on Monday a minute ago. Oh well, I hope it was a good week. It’s onward and forward from here.

Friday 3

 

Thanks so much to all that entered into Lauren Christopher’s Giveaway. The comments were fantastic. Thanks so Random Number Generator the winner is Pricakiss. Congratulations Priscilla! Lauren will be in touch about your win.

 

Have a great weekend everyone!

All the best,

KMJ

 

Image from Pinterest

Nana knows best!

So this past holiday weekend we had Nana over and it was all pretty fantastic with us doing the usual … *Chilling on porch, eating lots of good food, playing cards and then eating some more. Like a knitting pattern cycle back to the * and repeat. At one point during our chill fest I put my sweet Nana on the spot and flipped the video camera on my cell phone and asked her to give 3 reasons why people should read BOUNCE this summer.

Bounce perfection ad 2

This is now my favorite endorsement ever! Enjoy.

 

 

All the best

KMJ

 

P.S. There is still time to enter Lauren Christopher’s Red Bikini Giveaway. Just click over and leave a comment!

Teeny Weeny Red Bikini… Interview with author Lauren Christopher plus a giveaway!

Today on ye old blog I’m excited to introduce you all to another fabulous author and friend with another great debut, Lauren Christopher with her novel THE RED BIKINI.

Laurie The_Red_Bikini cover.large

Hi Lauren, thanks so much for being here on ye old blog today. It’s a real treat!

Thanks, Kwana! I’ve been a long-time blog reader of yours, and it’s been so fun and inspiring watching your success. (Especially because we’ve both been writing while raising kids at the same time and sending them off to college!) I’m just thrilled to be here.

Yes, we have both been juggling together. Thanks so much for being such a supportive friend. I’m happy to have journeyed along with you. First off can you tell the blog readers a bit about your current work?

Sure! I’ve just launched my very first novel, The Red Bikini. It’s set in a fictional California seaside town called “Sandy Cove,” and it’s got a divorced mom from Indiana, a younger man, sand and sunsets, and some sizzling summer romance. Here’s the blurb:

For the last five years, Giselle McCabe’s life has been about sippy cups and playdates. But when her husband suddenly leaves her, Giselle flees to her sister’s California beach house for a two-week getaway. Out of her element, she’s surprised to receive such a warm welcome—especially from gorgeous celebrity athlete Fin Hensen. …

Fin is escaping his pro tour for a season, trying to lay low until all the hubbub over a huge mistake in his past blows over.  And when he sets his sights on Giselle, he realizes that the beautiful good girl just might be his ticket to success.

But Giselle never expected romance to enter the picture again—especially with a hot twentysomething from a completely different world. And even though it feels like Fin is everything she’s trying to run away from, she can’t help coming back for more…

 

What inspired you to write this story?

I think I really like stories where things aren’t as they seem, and where people have to overcome stereotypes or assumptions to get down to truth and beauty. In this story, there are a lot of stereotypes being held – of surfers, of Californians, of beauty queens, of people who drive certain cars or have certain professions – and I wanted to write a story where all the stereotypes get stripped away, one by one, for both the hero and the heroine. I guess I wanted to explore how often, perhaps, our assumptions or misperceptions might get in the way of letting us make real connections with people, and might even get in the way of letting us fall in love.

 

Did you always know you wanted to be a writer?

Yep. I remember standing at the edge of my kindergarten teacher’s desk and dictating “The Runaway Easter Egg” and “My Baby Brother.” We bound them in yarn, and they went on display at the Huntington Beach Mall with the rest of my class’ books. I remember being so proud when my parents took me to see it displayed there. By the time I was in first grade, my first grade teacher wrote a little poem for me that went “Laurie, Laurie, tell me a story.” I think I was destined for storytelling!

 

What made you choose this genre to write in?

I really love writing about love. I myself married my high school sweetheart, and he’s the most amazing man – truly my best friend and the love of my life. So I really believe in true love. And I like exploring what makes it work for some people and how people find it. I mean, marriage is hard work and all – we all know it’s not all starry-eyed walks on sunset-y piers! But there is truth to the starry-eyed start: finding that special someone, and knowing he or she is your special someone, and making the commitment to making that relationship work for a lifetime. So I like exploring that in stories – putting two characters (two “types”) together and seeing how these two random personalities could do that. Can an introvert make it work with an extrovert? Can an optimist make it work with a realist? Can a homebody make it work with someone with wanderlust? It’s so fun to set two people up and see how sparks fly.

 

What characteristics are essential in a hero for you? And how about a heroine?

This is a great question! Hmmm, let’s see. For me, the hero has to have an honor code of some kind. It can be a little thwarted at first (as it sometimes is in some of the bad-boy heroes I like to read), but it has to be there. And he has to have respect for women in general – we’ll usually see it in the way he treats a mom, sister or female friend first, so we’ll know the heroine is going to be in good hands ultimately, and treated with the respect that makes true love work.

And for me, the heroine has to be kind. It sounds so simple, but she just has to have a kindness that might extend to her pets or friends or other family members that lets us know that the hero is going to be in good hands, too.

 

Lastly what can readers expect next from you?

Whew! Well, the next book is already turned in to my publisher and comes out April 2015. It’s called Ten Good Reasons and features Giselle’s sister Lia. It’s got a workaholic heroine, a hero who looks like a pirate, some serious tanned forearms, a whale named Valentine, some Cinderella imagery, and a whole lot of fun! I hope readers will come along for another ride. And I’m writing the third book, for the youngest sister, now.

 

Wow! So many wonderful stories to come. I can’t wait. Thanks so much once again for being here today. It’s been a real pleasure.

Thanks for having me, Kwana! I want to do a little giveaway here to help celebrate my first book! (I’m just SO EXCITED!) I’d love to know others’ answers to your great “essential characteristics” question (and your answer, too!): As a reader, what characteristics are essential in a hero for you? And how about a heroine?  If you answer below, or just say hi, you’ll be entered in a drawing for a $10 Amazon Gift Card and a “Sandy Cove” souvenir gift pack. Winner will be drawn Thursday at 10PM EST.

Thanks so much once again for being here Lauren and for the wonderful giveaway. Ugh you got me with my own question.  Hmm… essential for me? That’s tough I think for both the hero and the heroine it may be that they have to be prepared to ultimately put the needs of their loved ones before their own. Sacrifice is big for me and seeing through the other’s eyes.

 

You can find Lauren at www.laurenchristopherauthor.com, or chat with me on Twitter @mizwrite (https://twitter.com/mizwrite) or on Facebook here  (https://www.facebook.com/laurenchristopherauthor).

Laurie author LS-rectangular-Medium (397K)

THE RED BIKINI can be found at:

Amazon.com
Amazon.co.uk
BarnesandNoble.com
iBooks
BookDepository.com (free delivery worldwide, to Australia, Switzerland, Philippines and more)

All the best,

KMJ

Happy Monday and sharing Beauty Secrets

Happy Monday friends. I hope you had a wonderful long holiday weekend if you were celebrating the 4th and if not I hope you had a lovely weekend anyway. I had a great time relaxing with family. I chilled hard, laughed a lot and ate maybe just a little too much but it was all delicious so I’m not going to feel bad about it.  Now it’s Monday and back to the grind so limbering up my writing/editing fingers.

monday a

 

I’m also happy to say I’m featured to today for something not bookish but very different and quite flattering for me. I’m over on Brown Beauty blog. Please click over and check me out sharing what’s in my makeup bag! I adore talking beauty products so this was so much fun for me.

brown beauty

Have a fantastic day.

 

All the best,

KMJ

images fm Pinterest & Brown Beauty Blog

 

 

Happy 4th of July!

From my heart to yours… hope you have a sweet Independence Day!

sweet

 

All the best,

KMJ

 

image fm we heart it