Monday, March 18, 2013

Please Welcome Shirley Martin, Author of Enchanted Cottage, a Sweet, Discreet, Unique Romance

Shirley Martin
About Shirley Martin
Born near Pittsburgh, Shirley Martin attended the University of Pittsburgh. After graduating from "Pitt", she taught school for one year, then obtained a position as a flight attendant with Eastern Airlines. Based in Miami, she met her future husband there. After raising three sons, she devoted her time to writing, something she had always wanted to do.

Shirley Shares How Enchanted Cottage Was Created 

It was fun to write Enchanted Cottage. Whenever I write a novel, I do a rough plot that gives me an idea of where I want the book and the characters to go. I do a Goal, Motivation, and Conflict chart for my main characters, external and internal. Before I started on Enchanted Cottage I wondered what it would be like if a wicked witch placed a curse on a beautiful woman. In this case, Alana is the beautiful woman whose curse makes her break out in ugly purple spots on her face. At the same time, the witch places a curse on the village that causes many of the villagers to die. Then the witch blames the deaths on Alana, and she is chased from her village. She finds a strange cottage in the forest and makes her home there.

Enter the hero, Colin, a mercenary soldier who's been demoted and badly wounded in battle. On the way home to recover, he takes a shortcut through the woods and comes across this isolated cottage in the woods. There in this strange cottage, Alana and Colin find they can help each other. There, too, they find that true love can break a curse.

Enchanted Cottage
Avador Book 3

An evil witch places a curse on Alana Cullain, turning the once beautiful woman into an ugly hag. Chased from her village, Alana seeks sanctuary in the dark forest. There she finds a strange cottage, one she had never seen before,and makes her home there.

Demoted and badly wounded in battle, mercenary soldier Colin Duffrey heads home to recover. Along the way, he discovers a cottage in the midst of a forest and finds refuge there. 

A woman, marred on the outside, and a man, afflicted on the inside, meet in an isolated cottage. There, they learn that they can help each other. And with a bit of magic, miracles can happen.

Find Shirley Martin at: 

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Anne Ashby Shares The CEO Gets Her Man

Leave a comment and your e-mail address for your chance to win a PDF copy of  The CEO Gets Her Man - or, if you've already read CEO, you can choose one of Anne's backlist stories.

Anne Ashby grew up in a very small coastal town in Southland, New Zealand. An eagerness to travel, fostered by her mother, led her to join the Royal NZ Navy where she enjoyed a very satisfying career. She has travelled extensively and lived in Singapore and Maryland USA. Her stories are either set in NZ or have NZ characters. It is her dream to bring something of her beautiful country to romance readers everywhere.  Anne has a keen interest in genealogy, an obsession for rugby and a definite dislike of housework. Anne has recently begun speaking and teaching about the skills required for romance writing. When not reading or writing, Anne finds plenty to occupy her time with her family commitments. She lives in Auckland with her husband and the youngest of their four children.

Anne Tells Us How The CEO Gets Her Man Was Born -Hi, thanks for having me visit with you today. I thought I would tell you a little about the 'birth' of my latest book The CEO Gets Her Man.
A few years ago my older sister took me to task (as older siblings are prone to do) about the settings for my stories. She pointed out that while I have based most of them in New Zealand, I had never set a story in Southland where I grew up and my extended family live. It took me some time to come up with the idea, but The CEO is primarily set around my childhood home. I changed the name of the town from Riverton to Riversleigh so I couldn't be 'caught out' by possible changes since I left the area to join the Navy, and to disguise the most certain fact that this quiet backwater of a town would never be the location of a 5 star resort hotel despite its beautiful coastline. But as writers we're allowed a little poetic licence and I used this to the max.
The title is pretty cheesy, isn't it? I admit I'm not good at coming up with titles, but this one sort of struck me right away. I figure it tells a reader up front quite a bit about the story. My heroine is a CEO, so we can assume she's hard-nosed, focused, confident and not one to suffer fools gladly. That's Debra! Or at least the persona she projects to the world. Badly duped by a relationship in the past, she's determined no-one will ever take advantage of her again. Learning someone is skimming money from one of her hotels is enough to send her into attack mode. No one cheats Debra Laurie!

Since reading some of the reviews of The CEO, I admit there are a couple of things I could have done differently. But I don't regret the abrupt change of location two thirds the way through the story. Once Debra unearths the culprits, her job at Riversleigh is done. It would have been totally out of character for her to stay even a moment longer. By transferring the story to Wellington, and her home ground, she regroups and returns to the cold, hard businesswoman that had been showing signs of crumbling under Jase's influence and in the friendliness of Southland. I believe presenting a new situation in Wellington where Jase gets the upper hand allows for the continuing thaw in her character which eventually leaves them together. Having that change occur completely in Riversleigh would have had me as a reader asking "what about when she goes back home?" The CEO isn't a 'holiday' romance where you're left pondering that question. You find out what happens when Debra's life returns to 'normal'.
NB: CEO is a sweet romance, but it is a modern contemporary - there is the inference of sex (outside of marriage) behind closed doors

Leave a comment and your e-mail address for your chance to win a PDF copy of  The CEO Gets Her Man - or, if you've already read CEO, you can choose one of my backlist stories.

What The CEO Gets Her Man is about -
Ensuring her company's success is Debra Laurie’s life. But when she goes undercover to investigate a failing hotel in southern New Zealand, she finds her confidence crumbling. Masquerading as a waitress is a disaster—especially when the hotel’s assistant manager is a former rugby star she once had a crush on.

Jase McEwan is struggling to keep the hotel afloat. An unpredictable manager, ridiculous demands from the head office, and employee unrest are problems enough. Now a haughty new waitress is causing mayhem in the restaurant—and in his heart.

Determined to be impartial, Debra sets out to discover if Jase is responsible for the hotel’s drastic situation. But the more she investigates, the more she likes his work—and the more their attraction sizzles. Before long, Jase has turned Debra’s world upside-down. But what happens when he learns the new waitress is really his CEO?

Buy link:     
Currently part of the Amazon KDP programme this story is only available through Amazon until 15 April 2013 when it will be released in both print and digital format by The Wild Rose Press. Until it's full release it's on sale!
Get your copy here for half price!

Remember to comment with your e-mail address for a chance to get a free copy of The CEO Gets Her Man, a sweet, discreet book, with some sensuality.