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  1. A warm welcome to romance author, Kathy Bosman, who's dropped by today to talk about her latest release, Three Tiers for Win. Three Tiers for Win is book #2 of The Wedding Girls Series. Book #3 is coming out just before Christmas.

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    Blurb

    Three Tiers for Win is a story of adventure, romance, and family passion that unfolds with the backdrop of the 2012 London Olympics. Elaine said she would never date an athlete as they’re too driven. That’s until she meets kind, yet intensely focused and ambitious South African Olympic swimmer, Winston Harper. He stands for everything she’d chosen not to go for. Win also has a bad family history which keeps him from opening his heart to her. When intense attraction and affection break through some of their barriers, family secrets and conflicts pull them apart again. Only Elaine’s support and Win’s brokenness can draw them back together, but will that be strong enough to wipe away the past?

     

    Excerpt

    Her hands shook as she spooned the mixture back into the food processor and he came closer to peer into the bowl. Electricity seemed to ooze out of his pores instead of sweat. She had a strong desire to rub the raised hairs on her arms.

    “What are you doing?” he asked.

    “I’ll mix the baking powder into a paste and add it in.” Wish he would go away so I can do this in peace.

    “Good idea.”

    “Aren’t the guys missing you?” she asked.

    “Trying to get rid of me?”

    Her cheeks throbbed, and she steadied the dish she was holding with all the willpower left inside of her.

    “I’ll only go if you let me make myself some coffee. The other guys are drinking sports and fruit drinks. I feel like coffee.”

    She laughed. “Are you eating right for your training?”

    “Not really.”

    “Okay.” She couldn’t help smiling. This guy was becoming more and more appealing with each minute.

    “Ooh, there’s biltong.”

    “It’s Mick’s. But I have some chocolate if you’re in the mood for being naughty.” Why did she say that? Now her face must be as red as a tomato because of the thoughts running through her head.

    “Do you think he’ll mind if I grab some?”

    She considered offering to buy Mick some more. The poor guy was starved. “What exactly did my brother buy for you all tonight?”

    “Chicken salad.” The face he pulled forced a strange squeaky giggle out of her. She would have given her usual trill laugh if she didn’t feel so embarrassed and overwhelmed with strange feelings for the guy.

    “I wish I had something else to offer you.”

    “Come out to dinner with me. Then I can order a man-sized steak.”

    Flustered was not a strong enough word for Elaine at that moment. She could swear the temperature in the kitchen was as hot as the oven and that the room was about to explode. “I have to bake a cake.”

    “That can wait, can’t it? Tomorrow’s another day. If you want, I’ll help you with it.”

    The guy was probably aiming to get into the Olympics team. They had two months left before the trials. He couldn’t be serious about giving up a training day to help some silly girl bake a wedding cake? That idea didn’t match the solid, oozing-with-masculinity man with piercing steel blue eyes, standing a mere two feet from her. She must be dreaming. Maybe she’d fallen asleep next to Peggy on the sofa, and she would wake up to find this all a crazy dream.

    “I think a cup of coffee will have to do then.” He turned around and pushed the kettle button on. She hadn’t said ‘no,’ and now he was giving up. Her heart plummeted to zero in two seconds. She’d just missed the opportunity of her life to go on a date with the hunkiest piece of male on the planet.

    What was she thinking? Of course it wasn’t a good idea. She wasn’t setting herself up for disappointment going with someone smooth and driven like him who would hurt her as soon as the athletic or model type woman came along.

     

    Buy Links

    Amazon

     

     About Kathy

    I asked Kathy  to tell us a bit about herself.

    How did you get started writing?

    I enjoyed writing as a child but when I got to high school, I became involved with other things. Only once I’d reached a quiet time years later did I pick up the dream again. I started with children’s books and then tried an adult novel which turned out to flow more naturally. The book was a romance so I knew I’d found my genre.

    Can you tell us a fun fact about yourself?

    I have really tiny feet.

    What’s your top writing tip for new writers?

    To be honest, I think the best way to learn is to write, write, and write more. Read writing tips on blogs and join a group of other writers who can read your work and give you good wholesome criticism. There’s always more to learn and room for improvement.

    Good advice, Kathy.

     

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    A brief Author bio.

    Kathy loves reading and writing even more. She homeschools her three kids, so in between unsuccessfully explaining the difference between subject and predicate or how to divide fractions, she enters an imaginary world of troubled and passionate characters whose stories take over the page. Kathy lives in Kwazulu Natal, South Africa, where the summers are hot, the winters cool, and bugs thrive. Her first published novel, Wedding Gown Girl, came out in 2012 with Astraea Press. She belongs to the Romance Writers of South Africa Group (ROSA) which has been her greatest support and inspiration the last few years.

    Author Links

    Website            

    Facebook         

     Thanks for  telling us all about your book, Kathy. Good luck with the series!                      

  2.                                                                 

    There’s a famous quote by Albert Einstein that goes: ‘Imagination is more important than knowledge’. I love this quote and think he is so right. Imagination is the spark that everything else springs from. If the Wright brothers hadn’t imagined being able to fly they would never have invented the first aeroplane and we wouldn’t be flying around the world visiting different countries like we do now. The imagination comes first, the knowledge comes later.

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    It’s the same with stories. It’s good advice to write about what you know but even better if you can write about what you imagine and then find out what you need to know. So before you write a story, take a while to let your imagination kick in. Sit in a comfy chair, close your eyes and relax. Or look out of the window at the clouds in the sky and imagine the stories there. Do whatever works for you but forget about everything else and imagine …

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    A good way to start yourself off imagining is to ask 'what if...'. If you're writing a children's story you could ask yourself things like:

    What if a child woke up in the morning and a dragon was sitting on the end of their bed?

    What if they found a giant egg in the garden that was just about to hatch?

    What if a spaceship landed in the school playground?

    What if their skin suddenly turned blue?

     

    If you're writing for adults then you could ask yourself things like:

    What if the man next door dropped something as he was about to get into the car, you picked it up and discovered that he was really a spy?

    What if your best friend was having an affair?

    What if your partner wanted to sell up and trek around the world for a year?

    What if you witnessed a murder?

    These could all spark off ideas for a story.

    Don’t be put off by the fact that you don’t know enough about your idea. If you’ve a story in your head about a woman who lives high up in the Alps but you’ve never been there – well, you can research it. Do you want to write about a boy who lives in a city under the sea but you don’t know anything about living under the sea? Then find out about it. Don’t let your lack of knowledge restrict your ideas. Let your imagination fly free and see what wonderful ideas you can come up with. Go  on, reach for the stars!

     

    (A version of this post first appeared on Girls Heart Books )

     

     

  3. A big welcome to romance writer, Rachel Jones, who's dropped by to tell us about her latest release, To Dance One More Day.

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    Blurb 

    At age thirty-two, Jillian Russell has endured a life time of heartache. Alone in the world, she has also suffered the loss of her dance career. Redirecting her life, she opens the North Carolina Ballet Company. Intent on making it the go-to company for serious performers, she shuts down her personal life while she struggles to build her company into the success she envisions.

    As far back as he can remember, trauma surgeon, Alan Armstrong has had a penchant for fixing things. Since his father’s death, the ambition to open a community clinic in a rural area on the eastern coast has directed his actions. Hopeful to prevent future deaths due to lack of medical care, he has made the clinic his top priority.

    When Alan’s life intersects with Jillian’s, the connection they both feel is undeniable. As a new board member to her ballet company, Alan is eager to help solve the financial damage of lost federal funding. But he doesn’t stop there. He wants to help her build new relationships to chase the loneliness from her life. As they grow closer, secrets from their pasts cause them to be pulled apart. Will they be able to overcome their pasts to have a future together?

     

    Excerpt

    Jillian turned around and as she moved toward him, she tripped over a shoe left behind by someone. She lost her balance and with amazing timing, Alan broke her fall as he caught her by the shoulders. The heat from his hands spread through her body.

    Pulling her upright, his hands lingered as he asked, “Are you okay? Your head almost collided with the edge of the bench and it wouldn’t have been pretty.”

    Her breath caught in her chest. “Well, I guess my secret is out.” She giggled to hide her embarrassment. “I’m a klutz, except of course, when I’m dancing.”

    “So, Ms. Klutz, are you sure you’re all right?” He guided her to sit on the bench. “You didn’t twist your ankle?”

    His eyes pierced through her. She was not used to being so closely scrutinized and she felt she was losing control of the situation. One more flash of those dimples and she might cave.

    “No, my ankle is fine. I’m good. So you said there was something you wanted to mention.” He must think I’m a klutz, first the water on his pants and now tripping over my feet. Looking up, she saw his eyes remained fixed on her.

    “Are you sure you can’t skip rehearsal and go to dinner with me?” He removed his hands from her shoulders and reclaimed his seat.

    “Somehow I think it would send the wrong message about professional obligations if I decided to cut rehearsal tonight.”

    His head bobbed slowly up and down. He sighed. “Well, we can’t have that. So if you won’t lower your professional standards and go to dinner, I was wondering if you’d allow me to escort you to David and Ann’s wedding on Saturday.”

    The question took her by surprise, but what a wonderful surprise! She sat without moving, her stillness rendering a statuesque appearance. The silence continued.

     "It’s not a hard question. Just give a yes or no.”

     Butterflies circled in her stomach. Her heart rate galloped and a seed of panic threatened to shut down her voice. On the one hand she wanted to go with him. On the other, she knew she shouldn’t.

    Alan snapped his fingers in her direction. “Jillian — hello? Where’d you go?”

    She focused her eyes on his handsome face. “Um, I’m sorry. My mind ran off on a little tangent about what dress I would wear. I’d love to go to the wedding with you.” She flashed a big smile and wondered how she could do such a horrible thing to him.

     

    What an intriguing end to the extract, Rachel! Now I'll have to find out what happens next...

     

    I asked Rachel to tell us a bit about herself:

     

    What made you start writing?

    I had free time. With grown children and my husband and I working opposite shifts, I found myself with an enormous amount of free time. At first, I filled it with more reading, historical and contemporary romance being my favorite genres. In 2012 I decided I wanted a shot at writing my own romance novel.

    Can you tell us a fun fact about yourself?

    I began playing the clarinet when I was eight years old. I have played for many decades.
     

    What's your Top Tip for new writers?

    Use your low points to persevere - write, write, write. And when you're on an author high - write, write, write.

     

    Author Bio

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    In 1977 Rachel earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in Music Education and taught music for ten years. After the birth of her second child, she returned to school and in 1991 earned her Associate of Applied Science degree in Nursing and passed the state boards for registered nurses. She has been a labor & delivery and antepartum nurse since that time.

    Anticipating her retirement from healthcare, Rachel decided to write her first novel at age fifty-seven. For years she had experienced scenes of heroes and heroines rambling about in her thoughts and spilling into her dreams. So it was a no-brainer that she should attempt to capture these thoughts on paper.

    Rachel resides in a suburb of Atlanta, Georgia with her husband of thirty-seven years. She has three adult children, who help spoil their Labrador retriever. She is a member of Georgia Romance Writers, Southeastern Writers Association and is a PRO member of Romance Writers of America.

    Author Links

    Facebook

    Goodreads

    Twitter

    Pinterest

     

    Thanks for dropping by, Rachel. I hope your book is a big success.