Sunday, July 16, 2017

Books by Brenda Sinclair

I promised you a selection of books by Brenda Sinclair today, and here they are. Scroll down to the bottom of the post for links to her website.

No More –

Destitute widow, Maggie Burns is willing to do anything to ensure her children’s well-being, even agreeing to a loveless marriage to a virtual stranger like Luke Carlyle. If only he wasn’t so darn handsome.

Wealthy widower and rancher, Luke Carlyle has had it with housework and raising his two daughters alone. A marriage of convenience with Maggie Burns is the answer. She’ll care for the house and the children, and he’ll run his ranch while downplaying the dangerous situation brewing there. And he’s hardly noticed the fact that the grieving widow is a very beautiful woman.

Now that they’ve formed a new family through their platonic business arrangement, can Luke and Maggie overcome every challenge Fate throws their way? Or due to their secret feelings for each other, is this marriage of convenience about to become exceedingly inconvenient?

No Time –

Raised in an orphanage, Ellie Thomas worked hard to earn the prestigious position of Spirit Creek’s schoolteacher.

Robert Rutherford has loved Ellie from afar for years, and he can’t imagine why she married a total stranger. When Ellie arrives at his law office, he’s dumbfounded by her scandalous request: an immediate divorce from her husband who has gone missing. When Robert is arrested by Pinkerton detectives, he finds his own life in chaos. Will Ellie believe he’s innocent?

Can she find the happiness she only ever dreamed about? Or, yet again, has a man made a fool of her?
With her life in pandemonium and her reputation in jeopardy, Ellie agrees to a marriage of convenience, but she soon discovers her new husband isn’t the man she thought him to be. Despite her attraction to Robert Rutherford, she considers the local lawyer only a friend who has stood by her during difficult times.

No Chance –

Warning: Adult content 18+. Some scenes may not be suitable for younger readers.

Sadie Peterman vows to change her acid-tongued, self-absorbed ways in order to achieve her dream of finding a suitable husband. But devastating circumstances, that have nothing to do with the passion-filled night she spent in the arms of handsome Chance Maxwell, throw her life into chaos. Faced with the possibility of a totally ruined reputation, Sadie quickly learns that finding a husband is the least of her worries. But is a husband who loves her the only solution for the spoiled debutante?

Chance returned to Spirit Creek after an eight-year, self-imposed exile in Texas. After an unplanned night of passion with beautiful Sadie, Chance is totally smitten. But the unexpected arrival of a woman Chance knew in Texas complicates his plans to win Sadie’s heart and her hand. After an accident on the family ranch, Chance isn’t expected to live. Could a medical miracle save Chance and Sadie’s dreams of a happy ending? Or will a misunderstanding prove too much to overcome?

Other books in the series – No Ties, No Peace (special novella), No Way, and No Hope.

Check out more about Brenda Sinclair at the the links below.

Saturday, July 15, 2017

My guest this month is.......

Brenda Sinclair is an Indie author with twenty books published in the historical western and
contemporary romance genres. She worked in the accounting field for over twenty-five years before trading in numbers for words to become a full-time writer. She has been married for over forty-five years, raised two sons, and is extremely proud of her three grandchildren. During writing breaks, she enjoys walking her little dog, Kelly, checking out what Jack Abbott is up to on today’s installment of The Young and The Restless, or snuggling with Kelly on the sofa and enjoying a good book.

Brenda believes life is good, and for days that life isn’t so good, just get over it. There’s always tomorrow.

I’m so pleased she agreed to be my guest this month and answer some of my questions.

Q: What is one subject or genre you would never write about and why?
A: I would never write any genre other than contemporary romance or western historical romance, both of which I love to read. In fact, I seldom read anything but romance. Early in my career, I was told ‘write what you read’ and ‘write what you love’ and I’ve found that is especially true for me. I couldn’t write science fiction with a gun to my head. (Sorry. The western writer in me just popped out.) 

Q: What advice about writing do you wish you had given yourself early in your writing career? 
A: Join a writing group! Specifically, one centered in the genre you’re most interested in. Becoming a member of CaRWA, the Calgary chapter of Romance Writers of America, was the best career move I ever made. Also, finding trusted beta readers or critique partners is a must. And lastly, attend workshops, sign up for online courses, and enter contests.

Q:  How did you feel when you held your first book in your hands?
A: My goodness, there are few greater thrills in life. That was something I had dreamed about my entire life. Hard to put it into words, even for an author! *laughs* 

Q:  Do you read your reviews? If so, how do you celebrate the good and get over the bad?
A: When I initially published, I read every review. Even the bad ones. But I never took them personally. No tears shed. One reader will consume a book voraciously, and another reader will find the same book completely unenjoyable. Simply, a matter of taste; you can’t please everyone. Now, I only check out reviews occasionally, but I love those four and five stars; keeps me smiling for days!

Q:  Do you work with critique partners? If so, what do you most like about the process?
A: Yes, I work with several for every book. Early drafts are read by a female author in my genre, a female author in another genre, a female who is an avid reader of my genre, and often, in the case of westerns, a male reader (most of whom would never admit to reading a romance). It’s surprising what issues critique partners pick out; things I’ve never considered at all. Their combined feedback provides a broad view of comments and suggestions, resulting in tons of revisions (which I don’t mind) and ultimately, a much-improved finished manuscript. Of course, I reciprocate by reading these authors’ manuscripts in return.

Q:  If you weren’t a writer, what would you be and why?
A: I’ve worked at everything from elementary school teacher to caretaker of an apartment block to accounting clerk for a manufacturing company. And now, I have finally discovered what I want to be when I grow up. I can’t imagine doing anything else. Why? The hours are great; completely my decision, even late at night in jammies. And I love turning a vague idea rumbling around in my mind into a book that I can be proud of. Especially stories that earn those wonderful five-star reviews. I’m certain, Victoria, you agree that every author appreciates the time taken from readers’ busy schedules to post reviews. 

And now for some fun questions…

Q: Are you a glass half full or half empty kind of person?
A: Definitely, half full. I’ve mostly been an optimist my entire life.  I accept and adjust to change easily, often welcoming it. And there is nothing I like better than a challenge. 

Q: Which of the four seasons do you like/dislike the most and why?
A: I love autumn when Mother Nature is wearing her most beautiful colors: gold, rust, red and orange. The air is crisp and it’s harvest time, yielding gardeners bountiful crops and providing feelings of accomplishment. Even when making my favorite recipe for bread and butter pickles! (I will post it on my website.)

Q: What is the best or most memorable compliment you ever received?
A: As an author, the best compliment I receive is: I had to work the next day, and you kept me up reading until 2 a.m. finishing your book because I had to know what happened! Makes me smile every time. Of course, that might be complaint as much as compliment. I prefer to think of it as the latter.

Q: You are offered a free vacation, one a beach destination, the other a sight-seeing tour, which would you choose and why?
A: Without a moment’s hesitation… the beach. I would unpack, settle in, and spend my days sitting in the shade writing my latest book, and my evenings would be spent checking out a different local eatery.

Now for some speed questions:

Have you ever:
1.    Lied about your age? No
2.    Danced naked in the rain? Goodness, not that I recall.
3.    Called in sick to work when you weren’t sick? Maybe once.
4.    Won a contest? No
5.    Eaten ice cream straight from the carton? Oh, yeah.
6.    Locked yourself out of your house? Yep, and in winter too!
7.    Ridden a motorcycle? Only as a passenger.
8.    Taken an enormous risk? Not that I recall.
9.    Gotten lost in a strange city? Frequently, when driving.
10.Eaten a whole packet of cookies? Could give Cookie Monster a run for his money.
11.Watched the stars at night? Definitely. Love it!
12.Worn odd socks? Not intentionally. But once there was the odd shoes incident.

Now I want to know about those odd shoes! Join me tomorrow to see a selection of Brenda's books. I promise you won't be disappointed. 

Saturday, June 24, 2017

Where Do Your Characters Come From?

This month we have a very basic topic --how do you go about developing your characters for a story? How much time do you spend or does it just happen in the writing process? What inspires it?

Oh, characters – my favorite subject! Of all the components that go into creating a story, of whatever length, it’s the characters that get my juices flowing. I’ve always been lucky in that my characters simply present themselves to me. I can see them, I know their names, and then I go from there.

Even though I have this very visual start I still complete my basic character outline. I start with looking for images that are as like my characters as possible. Even though I mostly write historical I will comb through glossy magazines, stock photo sites like and for these images. If the face is right I can imagine the costume they would be wearing. As an example, Lord Lucius Clifton, Earl of Avondale, looked remarkably like French actor Vincent Cassel whose movie list is extensive but might be more 

recognizable for his roles in Ocean’s Twelve, Ocean’s Thirteen and Black Swan. He was also, for a time, the face of an Yves Saint Laurent's men's fragrance.

I know their family backgrounds, their relationships, their strengths and weaknesses, their likes and dislikes, hopes and fears. I know where they went to school (unless they were tutored at home), I know who were their childhood friends and what influences they had when they were growing up. I do not do this for my whole cast of characters, only the major characters which makes life much easier for me by the time I start writing.

Lord Randolph and Lady Serena Buxton, the characters in my Cold Gold novella set in California, would not let go so I continued to write about them. Plus, I had queries from readers as to what happened to them when they returned to England and did they ever have children? Sorry, if you want the answers to those questions you’ll have to read the books. That first story was set in 1907, the subsequent tale, On Borrowed Time, was set in 1913 and the final part of what turned into a trilogy was Shell Shocked set in 1918. Those novellas appeared in one volume as The Buxton Chronicles.

Such is the way my mind works, when I started writing my first Regency, His Dark Enchantress, I wondered if there was a way I could link Serena back to the Cliftons: Lucius, Earl of Avondale and his younger sister, Juliana. Juliana was so intrusive while I was writing Enchantress that I promised her a book of her own which I did with His Ocean Vixen. I linked Serena’s family tree back through a whole set of characters and marriages that I may, or may not, one day choose to bring to life on the page.

These characters are like my best friends. Once they are in my life I’m reluctant to let them go. Although I have used the same characters in several of my books, each is written as a stand-alone. My current work-in-progress is another Regency, the third in my Berkeley Square series and this has been so easy to start because I have all the information I need on these characters, Lady Olivia Darnley and Lord Peter Skeffington who first appeared in His Dark Enchantress.

Do they surprise me sometimes? Always. Just as in life, something always crops up that throws them a curveball and presents a fear for them to overcome. As I write, I’m always looking for the opportunity to up the ante for them. Sometimes I just plain don’t like the characters I create but always try to give them some kind of credibility by including snippets of their backstory to at least explain why they are the villain or villainess of the piece.

Check with these authors to see what they have to say on the subject of their characters.

Skye Taylor
Margaret Fieland
A.J. Maguire
Marci Baun
Judith Copek 
Rachael Kosinski
Diane Bator
Dr. Bob Rich
Fiona McGier
Beverley Bateman
Anne Stenhouse 
Marie Laval
Rhobin Courtright