Monday, December 9, 2019

Interview with Tena Stetler

I had the chance to interview fellow Rose, Tena Stetler, for my blog. Read on to meet her!

 What do you like about being an author? Crafting tales that will sweep people out of their ordinary world into a magical, romantic fantasy with a touch of mystery and adventure.   For a few hours a day, my readers forget about their problems, worries, stress, and the real world enjoying a feel good story with a happy ending. I think we all need that these days. Don’t you?
Absolutely!
What don’t you like about being an author? Having to put yourself out there for promo, etc. Don’t get me wrong, I’m an extrovert and love to talk to people, but sometimes reviews feel like you are being judged.  I realize writing is subjective and not everyone is going to like your work, but some revel in tearing it apart. 
Yeah, it can be tough sometimes. And some people...
What is the writing process like? I write 6 hours a day, promo two more. I am a panster, I have an overactive imagination so there are always voices in my head vying for attention.  When I start a new story, I have a 5 page character worksheet I complete, so I know my characters inside and out as well as their GMC before I begin. 
Wow, that's impressive! 
How did publishing your first book change your process of writing? What is different now, compared to then? I love to write, but promo, not so much. Rather than spending hours writing, my time now is divided between writing and promo. I’ve learned a lot about editing and what is expected too. So polishing a manuscript takes on a different bent that before.
Do you read your book reviews? How do you deal with bad or good ones? I do read every review. The good ones I read and reread.  The bad ones I read once to see how I can make my upcoming books better. Then I never read them again. 
Same here! 
How long on average does it take to write a book? 3-5 months from beginning to end. Sometimes the story flows flawlessly from beginning to end. Other times it’s like pulling teeth to keep the characters on the right path. Sometimes I lose and they make their own path.
What have you put most of your effort into regarding writing? Making sure I craft a great story with GMC, vivid descriptions and characters that my readers will find interesting and fun. There is always something to learn in the craft of writing.
It shows. :)
What is the toughest criticism given to you as an author? Constructive criticism I can handle, it’s the mean spirited criticism that is tough to take. Gotta have a very thick skin in this industry.  
I'm still working on that.
What is the hardest thing about writing?  Getting my butt in the chair and keeping it there when there are so many other things demanding my attention.  And letting the book out into the world.
What is the easiest thing about writing? Living in a fantasy I’ve created. I’m not a fan of the real world. LOL I love telling my characters stories. Crafting a story for others to enjoy (of course I enjoy it too)is the best feeling in the world.
Do you write full time or part time? I’m lucky enough to write full time. Though I did write part time for a number of years as I had a demanding day job.
Do you have a special time to write or how is your day structured? I get up, fix breakfast for hubby, and my furred, feathered and scaled kids. Take my dog, Mystic for a walk, then sit down at the computer around 7-8 a.m. write until lunch. Taking breaks to do laundry, vacuum, dust, load and unload the dishwasher, etc. Exercise from 10-11 a.m. or 1-2 p.m. depending on how the story is flowing. I write in the afternoon until 4 p.m. most days, that’s when I let my parrot out of her cage and we go in the sunroom. I don’t usually write on weekends, that’s family time. Of course as with anything, nothing is set in stone, and there are always rare exceptions.

CHARM ME AGAIN BLURB
Daylan, a warlock, is being haunted, but what the ghost wants is a mystery. His magical powers bring him no closer to an answer—until he encounters Josie, a Yoga instructor.
But when she is kidnapped by an ancient Fae Warrior set on revenge Daylan must rescue her before the rogue claims her as his own. During his quest, his world spirals out of control, and a devastating curse comes to light. Could the ghost hold the answers he needs?
Can he break the age-old curse to save Josie and their future, or will Daylan lose her forever?

Excerpt:
Suddenly the wind increased and changed direction bringing a cold chill to the warm day. She tugged her sweater close around her as a thin maroon line formed along the flat bottom of a dark, boiling cloud spreading across the sky. Moments before there’d been only an occasional fluffy white cloud floating in the bright blue sky. Oh, no, not again.
The line slowly drifted to vertical and spread open to reveal a sparkling interior. Four striking creatures, sharp-angled features with fierce expressions on their inhumanly handsome faces appeared. Gleaming swords hung at their sides as they slipped out of the cloud and stepped onto the ground not more than fifty feet from her and Daylan along the tree line of the property. Holy shit. This can’t be happening.
She rubbed her eyes but when she opened them the men were still there. Dressed in heavy boots, jeans, and formfitting leather vests, shimmering silver bands adorned their muscular upper arms. Two of them had thick shoulder length blond hair, the others had jet black hair hanging in waves past their shoulders.
She jumped up and opened her mouth to scream. But Daylan reacted faster clapping his hand over her mouth while still facing the advancing creatures. To her surprise, a soft giggle escaped from her lips. They look like a group of medieval bikers. Their apparent leader, his reddish sable hair hung well beyond his shoulders in waves, paused a few yards in front of them.

Buy Links:





KOBO:  I’ll send it as soon as I have it.



About the author:
Tena Stetler is a best-selling author of award winning paranormal romance novels. She has an over-active imagination, which led to writing her first vampire romance as a tween to the chagrin of her mother and delight of her friends. 
With the Rocky Mountains outside her window, she sits at her computer surrounded by a wide array of paranormal creatures, with a Navy SEAL or two mixed in telling their tales. Her books tell stories of magical kick-ass women and strong mystical males that dare to love them. Travel, adventure and a bit of mystery flourish in her books along with a few companion animals to round out the tales.
Colorado is her home; shared with her husband of many moons, a brilliant Chow Chow, a spoiled parrot and a forty-five-year-old box turtle.  Any winter evening, you can find her curled up in front of a crackling fire with a good book, a mug of hot chocolate and a big bowl of popcorn.
Author Contact Information:
Bookbub,      Goodreads,   Amazon Author Page,  



Monday, December 2, 2019

It’s Release Day!

My Hanukkah novella, Waiting for a Miracle, releases today. It’s a sweet romance (just kissing—sorry, but it takes place over 8 days and well, that’s all I could manage), e-book only and short. I’d love you to take a look.

And if you read it, please review it!

Blurb

Benjamin Cohen, widowed father of six-year-old Jessie, is doing his best to hold it together through order and routine. The last thing he needs is his matchmaker mother to set him up with her next door neighbor, no matter how attractive she is.

Rachel Schaecter's dream of becoming a foster mother is right within her grasp, until her meddlesome neighbor tries to set her up with her handsome son. What's worse? He's the father of her favorite kindergarten student! She can't afford to let anything come between her and her dream, no matter how gorgeous he may be.

Can these two determined people trust in the miracle of Hanukkah to let love and light into their lives?

Excerpt

Six-year-old bodies were good at many things— bouncing, hugging, and racing. Rachel was thankful they were also good at hiding her surprise. Never in her wildest dreams did she imagine her favorite student, and her student’s father, would be at her neighbor’s house the same night she was invited to celebrate Hanukkah. 
She met the hard gaze of Jessie’s father across the room. Eyes narrowed as if he suspected her reasons for being here. His broad shoulders were stiff. His jean-clad muscular legs were spread apart in a solid stance. Square hands fisted at his sides, and one of them held a menorah. Did he plan to throw it or club someone with it? 
Giving Jessie a last pat, she rose. With an arm around Jessie, she extended her other hand to her father. “Happy Hanukkah.” 
“Ms. Schaecter.”
“Mr. Cohen.”
“Oh, please,” Harriet said, “Such formality between 
you two. Rachel, this is my son Benny. I mean Benjamin.” 
Benny. Rachel filed the information away for later, along with his flushed skin at the nickname. Interesting
“And Benjamin, this is my neighbor, Rachel. We’re not at a school event. You can call each other by your first names.” Harriet pointed at Jessie, who gripped Rachel’s hand so hard, Rachel’s fingers lost their circulation. “Except for you,” Harriet added. “You have to call her Ms. Schaecter.” 
Jessie giggled. “Yes, Grandma.” 
Buy Links:





Monday, November 18, 2019

My Last Book Stop

The “Jennifer Wilck Book Tour” is officially over for 2019. My last stop was a temple holiday bazaar, which was very successful—hello, I write Jewish romance, these are my people!—and provided me the opportunity to sell lots of books and meet some interesting people. The bazaar was well-run, and I highly recommend it.

For those of you following along, you can rest assured that once again, I found the fool! There’s always someone, who either looks down their noses at romance writers or is obnoxious, offensive or worse. Luckily for me, I felt completely safe with the armed security guards who were also there (although deeply saddened they needed to be, and that their presence made me feel safer). The fools I meet are usually men (sorry). Women who feel disdain for romance tend to sniff and strut away. It’s the men who stop, when they really, really shouldn’t.

Most people I know who find out I write romance novels want to know if they, or someone else they know, ever makes it into one of my books. They usually give me a wink, as if what they’re really asking is, “Is your sex true to life?” No, it’s not, and no, I don’t write about people I know in my books.

I do, however, feel perfectly comfortable, and justified, in writing about the fools I meet in my blog.

Today is no exception. J

I’m actually not going to focus on the man who had an issue with the logo on my brand new banner—Love, Laughter and Happily Ever After. As far as I’m concerned, we’re in approximately hour 4,945 of the worst dystopian-novel-made-into-a-movie-come-to-life and frankly, even if you hate romance novels, if you don’t like my logo, there’s this big house in DC that I hear is looking for employees (or scapegoats), and maybe you should apply. You can’t miss it. It’s white.

Nope, today’s blog is about the lovely gentleman who came up to me and stood there, staring at my books. Now, I’ve got to admit I cringe every time a man approaches my book table. From previous experience, and as mentioned in several blog posts, like here and here, it’s often the men who have something to say. This one apparently studied the dictionary. He looked at my books, and my banner with the above-mentioned logo, and asked me if I wrote romance. I did not say, “Duh.” I smiled and said, “Yes.” He said, “Well, I’m more of a misanthropic misogynist.” So I responded, not with what I wanted to say, which was, “Oh how cute, you’ve made it to M in the dictionary. Read a little further, to ‘moron’!” but instead, I just said, “Well, then my books are definitely not for you.” Apparently I was a little loud, because his wife—who obviously provides hope to all bachelors everywhere—called him over to her. 

Crisis averted and entertainment provided.




Monday, November 11, 2019

Holiday Romance Gift Haul Giveaway

HOLIDAY ROMANCE GIFT HAUL GIVEAWAY
November 7-27

Grand Prize Haul Includes Gifts from 40 Authors!


Christmas is coming early for one lucky winner. 7 gift cards, 17 paperbacks (most autographed), a light diffuser and essential oil collection, a T-shirt, 2 literary-themed mugs, Godiva chocolate, 3 gorgeous pieces of jewelry, book-themed ornaments, a book tote, and swag galore from some of your favorite authors. Enter Nov 7-27 for your chance to win the haul!

Then pull in your own book haul with page-turning reads from our book fair. Ebooks in all romance genres, 2.99 or less, or FREE. While you’re shopping, play our scavenger hunt game with a bonus gift box of holiday goodies up for grabs!


(This giveaway is sponsored by the authors listed below)

Amanda Uhl • Amy Knupp • Angelica Kate • Angelica R. Jackson • Aubrey Wynne • Brooke Warren • C.D. Gorri • Calinda B • Callie Bardot • Crystal Dawn • DB McNicol • Debbie White • E.B. Black • Eichin Chang-Lim • Eliza Watson • Elizabeth Rose • Ellen Mint • Em Petrova • G.K. Brady • Holly Cortelyou • Jacqueline Diamond • Jennifer Wilck • Joanne Dannon • Josie Riviera • Judith Sterling • Karina Kantas • Kat Drennan • Kat Samuels • Kerry Blaisdell • Leeann Betts • Linda Mooney • Lori Herter • Lucy Lakestone • Melissa McClone • Michelle Dalton • Michelle Jo Quinn • Mona Sedrak • Nikki Lynn Barrett • Penelope Wylde • Renee Ann Miller • S.L. Sterling • Sabrina Kade • Soraya Naomi • Stephanie Queen • Stormy Legend • Susan Jean Ricci • Tammy Andresen • Tana Stone • Theresa Paolo • Tracy Ellen • Zoe Dawson • Aileen Harkwood

Monday, November 4, 2019

The Bookstore in the Hallmark Town

Crazy weekends make for tired Mondays.

Once again, I went to a book signing. This time, it was in Montgomery, NY, at the Montgomery Book Exchange. I was invited by a writer friend of mine to participate, so of course, I said yes (I’m easy).

I wasn’t sure what to expect, since it was held at a used bookstore. But it was terrific! 

The drive up north was beautiful—farmland and foliage, which would have been spectacular three weeks earlier. But the golds, oranges and browns were breathtaking. Montgomery is a quaint, Hallmark-type town that I want to explore someday when I’m not lugging a suitcase full of books. Walt, the owner, was so nice and professional and knowledgeable.

The three other authors—Roni Denholtz, Ruth Casie and Jean Joachim—were lovely. I knew two out of three of them prior to the signing. Now that I know all four, I consider myself lucky. Writers are friendly folks, and romance writers are some of the best and most supportive people you’ll ever meet. I loved spending time with them, chatting, laughing and learning. And they write great books, so check them out here, here and here!

The bookstore had steady traffic throughout the day—and cookies!!!—and I sold books. More importantly, I made connections with readers and Walt, and he’s now carrying my books. So if you’re in the area, stop by!

One more stop on the book tour and then I’m done for the season!






Wednesday, October 30, 2019

Welcome Back, Peggy Jaeger

I’m going to admit this honestly because, really, why lie? I’m a techno-phobe. Most people who know me will disagree because I do so much with social media and blogging. But the truth is it all scares the bejeezus out of me. 

I came to the techno-table later in life.  I had my very first romance book published right before I turned 55 and up until then I still used a flip-phone and only received calls on it because actually making one gave me stomach pains.

Being traditionally published as opposed to self (or Indie) published was the direction I wanted my writing career to move in. All I wanted to do was write my stories, submit them to an editor, be assigned a cover and then write the next book. It all worked wonderfully until two of my publishers dropped me because of lack-luster sales. I couldn’t blame them, even though I thought they’d made a mistake in letting me go. Publishing, like everything in our world, is profit driven. Why would a publisher want to invest money in an author by paying cover designers, editors, booking promotion tours and giveaways, if they didn’t feel they would get a return on their investment. Makes sound business sense.

Unless you’re the author being dropped.

Wake up calls are reality checks for a reason, kids. When my second publisher dropped me I already had book two written and edited and book 3 in the series plotted. I’d invested months in perfecting the manuscript and getting it reader ready. I didn’t want to start a search process for another publisher, knowing that would be another year or more of my life, and I didn’t want to just store it in a file on my computer. That was a little too much like assigning it to the land of lost toys. But what to do? I knew nothing NOTHING about self-publishing. At every romance and writing conference I’d ever attended I took all the craft classes and none of the business of publishing/indie publishing classes. The very thought of learning how to do all the formatting, marketing, distribution, pricing… gave me migraines, so I avoided those classes like they were the Ebola virus.

But…I wanted this book released and since I was now publisher-orphaned, there was only one solution: self publish it.

I knew nothing, remember, about how to do this. It’s all done electronically now through Amazon and all the other online book retailers. The learning curve for me was vast. Mount Everest-to-the-moon vast. 

When I finally came to the decision to go this route, I didn’t hem or haw or waste a moment. So, how did I learn how to do all the stuff that seemed like learning Greek in a week to me? 

Well, the thing about self-publishing on Amazon is that they actually hold your hand and walk you through everything with videos and instructions. You-Tube became my best friend for two weeks solid. After all the learning, trials and errors – goodness, the errors! – I was able to upload an actual manuscript I’d formatted in their Kindle Create program. I designed my own book cover using Canva and Deposit photos, too. I didn’t pay a book designer because I couldn’t afford it. I didn’t have it professionally edited ( as in paying someone oodles of money to do so) but asked a friend of mine who actually teaches English composition at the college level to walk through the book with me. Her insights were great and I wanted to credit her in the book on the copyright page. She didn’t want her name made public because she was afraid other authors would ask her to do the same and she didn’t want to. But because she’s my friend, she agreed to help me.

I offered the book in a digital format only to begin with, and not Print on Demand, and exclusively with Amazon. That means you can only read it if you have a Kindle. It was easier for me to do this first, as an experiment really, just to see if I could actually accomplish it.

It’s a seven day miracle that I could. And did.

So, here’s the moral of my twisted story. You’re never too old to learn something new- even if it terrifies you; with Indie publishing you make the timeline – not wait in line for a year or more for a release like you do with a traditional house. All the profits from the book sales go to you directly every month. You don’t need to wait around to get a check quarterly or semi-annually sent to you. Plus, you can actually see how many books you sell everyday directly from Amazon. You don’t need an agent, so more money for you! Yay, to that.

There are drawbacks, though. My cover is not professionally done and to my eyes looks it. But like I said, this was more an experiment than anything. The only thing the entire process cost me was time.

Will I self publish another book? Probably. I still have five manuscripts from two different series that I owe to one publisher (of my three), the one who didn’t leave me stranded on the sidewalk in the dead of winter, shoeless and hungry.

Okay, that’s a bit dramatic, even for me. What I really learned from this entire process is that as an author, I’ve got options for publication where I didn’t think I had more than the traditional choice before.

That’s kinda cool, I think.

Book blurb:
Nell Newbery has trust issues. It’s hard to trust when you’re the daughter of a fallen financial scion who bilked people out of billions. Nell’s done everything in her power to keep away from men who see her as their ticket to fortune and fame. All she wants to do is run her ultra-successful business, HELPFUL HUNKS, in peace.

But it wouldn’t hurt to find a guy who doesn’t know a thing about her father’s felonious past; one she can give her heart to and trust it won’t come back to her battered, bruised, and broken.

Is Charlie Churchill that guy? On the surface he seems perfect, all polished manners and quiet mirth. Nell’s convinced he knows nothing about her, other than she likes superhero movies and views junk food as a food group.

Can she trust him to be what he appears to be? Or is he just pretending?

For Nell, trust is everything in life…and in love.

Excerpt:
We made our way into the assigned theater, found our seats and settled in. The theater was full to capacity but we had a great view, dead center and luckily the two people in front of us weren’t tall, so I’d be able to see the screen without shifting left or right. 
I sighed when I realized my good fortune. Charlie turned toward me and asked, “Everything okay?”
“Yeah.” I lowered my voice. “I was offering up a silent thank you to the God of the vertically challenged because I’m not behind a giant. The last time I was at a movie the guy in front me had to be an NBA player. His torso was as long as my entire body and his shoulders obliterated the screen.”
He stared at me a moment, his forehead creased, his head tilted. “I wasn’t aware there was a God of the vertically challenged.”
I nodded. “Saint Shortstack.”
The lighting in the theater had dimmed, but his quick smile lit up my little area like a fourth of July fireworks explosion. 
Concentrating on the movie should have been easy since I’d been looking forward to it for months. The man seated next to me, though, proved to be a huge distraction. Despite the spacious stadium designed chairs, our bodies came in frequent contact. His thigh brushed mine and our knees bumped several times when Charlie leaned over to scoop some popcorn from the tub in my lap. Our elbows met when we placed them on the armrests. The subtle, tempting scent of his cologne wafted toward me every time he moved closer to grab the candy box out of my hand and pour himself a few pieces. His fingers grazed mine as he handed the box back and a frisson of desire shuddered down my spine from the innocent touch.
My fantasy superhero actors filled the screen and my attention should have been focused on them. At any other time it would have. Instead, my concentration was centered totally on the man sitting next to me.
When Iron Man took Pepper into his arms and kissed her silly, I remembered the incredible sensation of Charlie’s lips on mine. When Black Widow cupped the Hulk’s cheek to reassure him, the memory of Charlie’s fingers skimming my jaw had me squirming in my seat. Even when the team was saving the world and I should have paid attention to who was getting knocked out or wounded, the fascinating man next to me stole my every thought.
At one point my leg started bobbing, an old tick from my teen years that reared itself whenever my nerves popped up. I nearly came out of the chair when Charlie placed a hand on my knee, leaned in close and whispered, “What’s wrong, Nell?”
My knee instantly stopped bouncing.
“Sorry. Thinking about something work related.” I had to lie. I couldn’t admit the reason I was so keyed up was because of him. Sitting next to him, his touch – however innocent - heck, even the smell of him, was such a turn-on that my body wouldn’t quiet down. It was like I’d drunk six cups of caffeinated coffee and then been forced to stay immobile while all my adrenaline fought to be set free.
He squeezed my knee then patted my thigh.  Both gestures sent my nerve endings into hyperdrive. 
“Work will always be there,” he said softly, his lips delightfully close to my ear. “Relax.”
“Impossible,” I muttered.

Buy Links:
Exclusive to KU  and Kindle only: 


Author bio:

Peggy Jaeger is a contemporary romance writer who writes Romantic Comedies about strong women, the families who support them, and the men who can’t live without them. If she can make you cry on one page and bring you out of tears rolling with laughter the next, she’s done her job as a writer!

Family and food play huge roles in Peggy’s stories because she believes there is nothing that holds a family structure together like sharing a meal…or two…or ten. Dotted with humor and characters that are as real as they are loving, she brings all topics of daily life into her stories: life, death, sibling rivalry, illness and the desire for everyone to find their own happily ever after. Growing up the only child of divorced parents she longed for sisters, brothers and a family that vowed to stick together no matter what came their way. Through her books, she’s created the families she wanted as that lonely child.

When she’s not writing Peggy is usually painting, crafting, scrapbooking or decoupaging old steamer trunks she finds at rummage stores and garage sales.

A lifelong and avid romance reader and writer, Peggy is a member of RWA and her local New Hampshire RWA Chapter.

As a lifelong diarist, she caught the blogging bug early on, and you can visit her at peggyjaeger.com where she blogs daily about life, writing, and stuff that makes her go "What??!"

Social Media links:

Website/Blog: http://peggyjaeger.com/


Amazon Author page: http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B00T8E5LN0