Welcome Darlene Fredette, who’s here to answer some questions about her favorite books, characters, and her writing process. Also, take note: there will be a giveaway for visitors who leave a comment on any stop during the tour, and additional giveaways for visitors who leave a comment on her blog.

Are you working on another book?

I am nearing the end of the third story in my Redford Falls series. This one may be my favourite, however the fourth book is plotting out be a favourite, too!

If you could spend time a character from your book whom would it be? And what would you do during that day?

Definitely Candi from One Sweet Christmas. Candi owns a chocolate shop in Redford Falls. I’d get to visit my favourite fictional town, and snack on some of Candi’s delicious chocolate creations.

What are your books about?

Romance and happy-ever-after. I enjoy writing stories that pull at the reader’s heart and creating a plot that’s a page-turner.

What is your writing style?

I’m a slow writer. The story is in my head, but doesn’t flow from my fingertips as easily. Before I start a new story, I have it plotted from beginning to end with a few details to pop up during the actual writing phase. I use a notebook for each story with character names and details. When writing a series, you must keep track of details in past books so that moving forward your information is spot-on. I’m never alone when I write as my Yellow Lab is always lying at my feet. I prefer silence when I write because if a good song comes on the radio I tend to sing more than write, lol. I don’t set word or page count because it’s too depressing when you don’t reach that goal. Daily life always gets in the way, so I write when I can and hopefully a lot of words fall onto the page to make up for the day I don’t get to write.

What is the toughest criticism given to you as an author?

Bad reviews hurt. Thank goodness, I haven’t received a review where a reader trashed my book. I’ve had a few moderate reviews where maybe the reader was expecting or wanting more. The reality is, every reader likes different genres and different writing styles, and they may have a particular expectation that’s not in your story. As an author you have to ignore the negative and focus on the good, because there’s nothing better than getting a review where the reader loved your story!

Book

Return to beautiful Redford Falls: a woman who knows what she wants and a man who knows what he needs.

Winter’s Kiss
By Darlene Fredette

Title: Winter’s Kiss
Release Date: January 15, 2017
Publisher: Escape Publishing
Genre: Contemporary
Rating: Sweet (PG)
Keywords: sweet, romance, winter, snow, family.
Average Page Count: 112

Nothing thaws the chill faster than a warm winter kiss.

 

She’s been on a flight from hell for over eight hours, lost four hours of daylight, and arrived in temperatures twenty degrees lower than accustomed to. Disliking winter for a reason she refuses to discuss, Danielle Lerato would rather be anywhere than in Redford Falls. She needs to get the job done and return home before getting caught up in the small town’s charm…and the arms of the handsome, brown-eyed restaurant owner.

Andrew Haley’s first encounter with the buttery blonde didn’t go so well, and he well-remembers the chill of the glass of water she dumped over his head. Now, two years later, a raging storm drops Danielle back into his life. She’s determined to leave, but he’ll do whatever it takes to convince her to fall in love with Redford Falls…and him.

Excerpt

Danielle probably looked a hideous mess. Her hair had come loose from the clip on the top of her head. Sleep masked her eyes. She wanted nothing more than to wash her face and sterilize her hands from the airborne germs she encountered on the plane. “I’ve been on the flight from hell for over eight hours. I’ve lost four hours of daylight, and the temperature here is twenty degrees lower than where I live.” She pulled the straps of her leather jacket tight around her waist. “I have to rent a car and drive two hours to a small town where, if I blink I’ll miss it.” She waved a pointed finger in the air for dramatic effect. “I’d rather be anywhere but here.”

Bio

Darlene resides on the East Coast of Canada with her husband, daughter, and Yellow Lab. When not working on her next book, she enjoys spending time with her family. An avid reader since childhood, Darlene loves to develop the many stories swimming in her head. She writes heartwarming contemporary romances with a focus on plot-driven page-turners.

Contact Links

Web: http://darlenefredette.blogspot.com/

Blog: http://findingthewritewords.blogspot.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/DarleneLF

Twitter: https://twitter.com/DarleneLF

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/DarleneFredette/

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/DarleneLF

Purchase Links

http://www.escapepublishing.com.au/product/9781489236159

On my Escape page, click on the ‘BUY EBOOK’ button to find purchase links to Amazon, Kobo, Barnes & Noble, iTunes, and more!

http://www.millsandboon.com.au/product/9781489236159

The Pirate's LadyGenre: Historical Romance

Publisher: The Wild Rose Press

Publication Date: November 11, 2016

Cover Artist: RJ Morris

ISBN: 978-1-5092-1065-7

ASIN:  B01LZU45G4

Rating: Spicy

Number of pages: 70

Word Count: 16,330

About the Book

Captain Marco Dante was captured and sentenced to hang two years ago, but he escaped before his punishment was carried out. Now he’s come back to the woman whose memory kept him alive those long months in prison. Arianne had been his grand passion, but he failed to see how much she meant to him until it was too late. Can he recapture her heart? Or has he lost her forever?

Arianne never imagined she’d see her notorious pirate lover again. Though her heart sings with joy at his return, she knows he hasn’t come back for her but for the treasure he left behind. She agrees to help him find it, but can her heart withstand one more adventure with him?

Excerpt

“I have a life here now.”

“There’s nothing for you here. Your place is by my side. In your heart, you know ’tis true.”

She looked away, turning her gaze to the ocean’s waves pounding the beach with hypnotic rhythm. A few moments ago, she sat here, mulling over her life’s misfortunes and attempting to reach a decision about her future.

Her fate.

Arianne shook her head. “I no longer travel your path. You sail without me, my friend.”

She pushed her bare toes into the grainy sand and stood, brushing the remaining sand that clung to her petticoats. In the silence of the crashing waves, she turned and walked away.

Inside, her heart bled. Yet, she deserved no better. Her life led to this heartache. That she walked away from this man now, after all this time only confirmed it.

“Arianne, you’re coming with me.”

His serious tone warned her of his intentions. She spun to face him, unsheathing her sword in time to block his attack. The sound of metal striking metal pierced the moonlit darkness. Her ears rang with the sound.

They stood, neither moving. She stared into his eyes. “You would take me by force?”

“Never by force,” his voice lowered to a growl. “You will come willingly.” And he smiled, that knowing one she hated.

She let out a howl of outrage and swung her sword. He easily blocked. They stepped a deadly dance of striking blades, until again they were trapped by heated gazes.

Her breathing was heavy, labored, filled with excitement. She looked at his lips, wanting to taste them but knowing she dared not. Her will was never strong around him. With one touch she might lose herself and want him again for forever. But that dream would never be achievable with Marco.

With him, she’d always be alone.

“Come with me, Arianne.”

“No.”

She pushed away and again they danced. Her feet moved lightly as she sprang, her petticoats swirling with each movement though she hoped they would not entangle her legs. Her arm swung with lithe movements as she fought. She equaled him with skill and grace. Each time their swords clashed, the noise pierced her soul. That she fought him was a testament to her determination to escape his tyranny over her heart. She could not succumb to him again.

As they battled, a sheen of sweat appeared upon his brow. The exposed skin of his chest glistened in the moonlight. His arms flexed as he swung his sword. His grace, his power, his energy seduced her.

Her heart pounded. Her skin ached to touch his. The heat in her lower regions grew to a fiery inferno. She trembled.

Again, they locked blades.

They stood a moment, staring. His gaze burned into her soul. She licked the salty sweat from her upper lip, and his eyes followed the movement with utter fascination.

He pushed their swords away. With his free hand, he grabbed her shoulder, pulling her tight against his chest. Arianne tilted her head to look into his eyes. The blue depths called to her, like the ocean’s waves licking at her feet. The yearning to go to him was too great. She hadn’t the will to fight.

 Goodreads / Amazon / The Wild Rose Press /

Barnes & Noble / iBooks / Kobo

About the Author:

tricia-schneider-author-picTricia Schneider is an author of historical, paranormal and gothic romance. Before the supernatural took possession of her pen, she worked for several years as Assistant Manager and bookseller at Waldenbooks. After the store closed, she turned to writing fiction full-time. She has written both short stories and full-length novels published by The Wild Rose Press, including her newest book, The Pirate’s Lady, and her historical paranormal romance series, The Merriweather Witches. Tricia is a member of Romance Writers of America. She lives in the Pennsylvania coal region with her musician husband, their 4 young children and 3 rescued cats.

Website / Blog

Twitter / Facebook / Goodreads / Pinterest

 Tour Giveaway!

Enter for a Chance to Win a

$20.00 Amazon eGift Card

&

a Pirate Treasure Chest Trinket Box

a Rafflecopter giveaway

The Pirate Treasure Chest Trinket Box:

Click to see full size image.
Click to see full size image.

Dating Advice from Romance Novels: Magnate by Joanna ShupeI recently finished Magnate by Joanna Shupe. This first in a trilogy gripped me until the very. last. page. Like, I went and bought the prequel novella, read it in a day, then pre-ordered the other two books. This month and January will be good reading months for me.

And even though it’s set in New York City’s Gilded Age (which Wikipedia tells me is from the 1870s to about 1900), I decided a book this great had to offer some quality dating advice. So, you’re welcome.

  1. Don’t have silly, girly ideas, like thinking for yourself or working. That’s beneath the elite women. Unless, you’re awesome, and even though you are from old money, you still want to earn your keep and save your family from financial ruin.
  2. Do hit up your brother’s friends for help, even though you know it would make him, like, crazy mad. And ruin your chances to form a good marriage. Because see number one.
  3. Don’t assume that when a man invites you to a private dinner at a trendy restaurant, and then he kisses you (which means marriage, pretty much), that it was actually intended for you. Brothers are wicked matchmakers.
  4. Honeymoons aren’t for sex. They’re for being lonely and cold. And arguments. And jealousy. And a little bit of sexy kissing on the stairs.
  5. Oh. my. gosh. Do have sex with your husband, as soon as you can find a blizzard to hit New York.

I’m totally off to mine Joanna Shupe’s backlist.

What books or new-to-you authors have you discovered recently?

sig2015

22-bewitchedChicago, Fall 1964

Allison Stiles is the epitome of responsibility. Guardian to her two rambunctious younger brothers, she also runs a home daycare. While she doesn’t have time for a vacation, she really needs a diversion.

Enter Eric Thomas, her new neighbor. Tall, dark and handsome and just what she needs to get her mind off her responsibilities, even if only for a short time.

Moving into the house he inherited from his uncle was not part of Eric Thomas’ plan. Yet, starting a new business ties up a good portion of his capital, so he forgoes the fancy downtown apartment for the quaint Rogers Park neighborhood.

Now if he could just get his mind off his sexy neighbor and back on the business at hand.

Excerpt:

bewitched-meme-1Allison Stiles gathered up a book by her favorite romance author in one hand and a cup of tea in the other, then crossed the padded alphabet flooring and stepped out onto the enclosed front porch of her Rogers Park home. The neighborhood was old but well kept, the people warm and inviting. The shouts of children playing in the street drew her attention for a brief moment.

She wrapped a thin shawl around her shoulders and settled comfortably into the double-wide porch swing, set her teacup on the nearby window ledge, and opened her book to the first page. Given the week she’d had, she welcomed this chance to unwind, to do nothing but kick back and relax.

“I don’t know what we’re going to do with these two. They’re headed for juvenile hall, I tell you that.”

Principal Garner’s harsh rebuke swirled around inside her head like the colors from a child’s kaleidoscope, forcing her to set aside the book in favor of a sip of calming, herbal tea. As much as she hated to admit it, the man was right. Benny and Phillip were a handful and quickly getting on the edge of her very last nerve.

“We’re sorry, Sis.” Benny’s apology filled her thoughts.

“We didn’t mean to do anything bad. Honest.” Phillip’s younger, softer voice tugged on her heartstrings.

Her brothers’ penchant for trouble and the subsequent call to the principal’s office was just the icing on the cake. She’d spent the entire week wiping runny noses and disinfecting child after child in an effort to keep this first round of seasonal flu from infecting her and everyone around her. She needed more than a cup of tea and a great read. She desperately needed a vacation. Unfortunately, her obligations didn’t allow much down time.
At the very least she needed a distraction of some sort.

The loud slam of a car door and a man’s muttered curse pulled her from this latest bout of self-pity and to the closest window. With the tips of her fingers, she slid the hand-made paper skeleton aside and stared out across her toy-strewn yard.

There in front of her, his arms filled with boxes, minus the one he’d dropped on the ground, stood the most handsome man she’d ever seen. A real-life Adonis, complete with dark, wavy hair and broad shoulders. When he turned toward the porch, she was gifted with an unencumbered view of his narrow hips and taut backside, both of which were encased in a pair of impossibly tight jeans.

She swallowed back the lump in her throat and licked her suddenly-dry lips. As distractions go…this one was darned-near perfect.

Buy Links:

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | The Wild Rose Press

Fun Facts:

The friendly neighborhood traditions of Halloween were gleaned from my own childhood when it wasn’t unusual to trek for miles for pillowcases full of candy. Nobody worried about tainted treats. We trick or treated in stores, restaurants, and even in bars. We ran gleefully through the streets from the first streetlight until we could barely see our hands in front of our faces. It was the one time our parents looked the other way about curfew and more than one classmate missed school the next day due to a tummy ache.

Author Bio:

Like most authors, Nancy Fraser began writing at an early age, usually on the walls and with crayons or, heaven forbid, permanent markers. Her love of writing often made her the English teacher’s pet, which, of course, resulted in a whole lot of teasing. Still, it was worth it.

Published in multiple genres, Nancy currently writes for four publishers. She has published twenty-two books in both full-length and novella format. Nancy will release her 25th book in early 2017. She is currently working on her next Rock and Roll novella and two other equally exciting projects.

When not writing (which is almost never), Nancy dotes on her five wonderful grandchildren and looks forward to traveling and reading when time permits. Nancy lives in Atlantic Canada where she enjoys the relaxed pace and colorful people.

Media Links:

DAFRN DukeI recently read Sarah MacLean‘s third Rule of Scoundrels book, No Good Duke Goes Unpunished. Yes, it’s a historical but I think there are still some wisdom nuggets we can mine.

  1. If you’re going to accidentally frame a man for your murder, make sure he’s not your soul mate. It makes quite the mess to clean up later in life. This is probably a good rule in general, as coming back from the dead would be challenging in any situation.
  2. Women who work for a living have rough hands. And a man falling in love can’t stop thinking of them.
  3. A boxing ring and a two-way mirror can lead to sexytimes aplenty.
  4. Brothers and lovers don’t always get along. One may steal all the money you’ve collected to care for illegitimate sons or get stabby with the one you love.
  5. If he really loves you, he’ll want you to be warm. No, literally. He will buy you a heavy cloak and gloves for your work-roughened hands.

sig2015

Dating Advice from Romance Novels: Sarah MacLean's No Good Duke Goes Unpunished! Click To Tweet

(I say in theory because I’m sure I’ve read and loved a few. I’m definitely not putting down anyone else’s writing. I think the right person can tell any story and make it great. But, back to the subject.)

ducklingPygmalion. My Fair Lady. Pretty Woman. You can call them transformation stories, but at their heart, it’s ugly duckling syndrome. And they just get under my skin. Here’s why:

There’s something ‘not enough’ about the hero/ine.

Don’t get me wrong, I know that protagonists need to have flaws. There’s no character growth without imperfection.

What I take issue with is the unlovableness (I made that word up) of a woman until she is made prettier, or shinier, or softer around the edges.

It’s so shallow.

Which leads me to this problem. When we’re talking flaw, we’re discussing a deep issue. It’s not something a haircut is going to help the heroine change.

A person shouldn’t have to change to be acceptable.

Did Julia Roberts need to not be a prostitute to be in a relationship? Sure, that’s fair. But didn’t he like her realness, the parts that made her different from the society women he had already discarded? Yes. Yes, he did.

A change doesn’t need to make a person lovable.

It needs to make them able to love as a fully-developed, healthy human being.

Do you have any books or movies that you think did this well? Or, conversely, did it badly?

sig2015

Four reasons ugly-duckling syndrome makes me want to wall-bang a book. #romance #blog Click To Tweet

 

dafrn hollywood dirtI recently decided to jump on the bandwagon and read Hollywood Dirt. I couldn’t put it down until it was all gone. Plus, can you say, “Hot, hot, hot?”

The heroine is just a normal girl from the South, so I thought dating advice would be totally helpful from this book (even if the hero is the hottest actor alive).

Dating Advice from Romance Novels: Hollywood Dirt

  1. Always sleep in your good red panties and leave the front door unlocked. And sleep late, at least until a crazy sexy guy shows up to be overwhelmed by your hotness.
  2. Play hard to get. Apparently, that’s the way to a movie star’s heart.
  3. Kick rude people out of your house. Go ahead, you know you want to, and this way, you might become a star.
  4. Just because you’re insanely attracted to the biggest star on the planet, like you had personal happy time with him in mind, is no reason to not knee him in the balls.
  5. If, by some chance, you’re a gorgeous movie star whose wife broke your heart… go for the girl next door. Every time.

sig2015

if the shoe fitsI am reading all the Megan Mulry books I can get my hands on (like I do when I discover a new-to-me fave author).  Without further ado, some guidance at looooove.

Dating Advice from Romance Novels: If the Shoe Fits

  1. Save your v-card for just the right opportunity, then toss it aside for a fling, because that guy might turn out to be the love of your life.
  2. It’s really awkward when your dad comes in the morning after. Even when you’re in your twenties.
  3. It’s doubly awkward when you bring a fake boyfriend to make your fling jealous, then forget the poor slob to hang all over aforementioned fling.
  4. Internet espionage for love. Just don’t.
  5. Jealous outbursts when you’re barely more than a booty call. Just don’t.

siglori

dating advice HOC3JI mentioned last week that I’m reading the trilogy that inspired House of Cards (also the name of the first book). I have since finished and thought I’d throw down some rules.

Dating Advice from Romance Novels: House of Cards

  1. Don’t get crushes on married men. You may* not die, but you’ll definitely get hurt.
  2. How many times do I have to say it? Go for the nice guy!
  3. There’s this thing called age-appropriateness. No rule is true in every case, but if someone was pushing four decades when you were born, it’s got to make you wonder what you have in common. For example, my husband and I both grew up in the 80s. So when we run out of things to talk about, we can always rehash old Dukes of Hazard and A-Team episodes.
  4. It’s okay to not want romance. Empowering even, maybe. But don’t lie to yourself. If you secretly want to hook-up with a married power-hungry politician, sort that shit out. #blog… Click To Tweet
  5. Don’t let your libido prevent you from seeing that he’s a sociopath.

siglori

*Spoiler Alert: You’ll totally die.

Read More

Specifically, four years and four months older, which was the average “ideal” age gap as reported by a survey of 2,000 adults.

If you’re anything like me and most of the planet, you binge-watched House of Cards on Netflix when they debuted the entire season (like they do) in February.

Confession: I’ve watched Seasons 1 and 2 three times. Once for each new season because this is a show you have to pay attention to. The smallest detail, especially on the part of Frank or his wife, can mean huge repercussions later.

Why are we so obsessed with Francis Underwood and his dirty doings? How is someone so amoral the protagonist of the story? To answer that, we have to talk about anti-heroes.

According to dictionary.com an anti-hero is:

a protagonist who lacks the attributes that make a heroic figure, as nobility of mind and spirit, a life or attitude marked by action or purpose, and the like.

That’s a place to start, but it doesn’t really explain how so many people can be fascinated by a character that is, essentially, a bad, unredeemed and never-to-be-redeemed person. For something a little closer to our purposes, I’ll add Writers Digest to the mix:

Antiheroes can be obnoxious, pitiful or charming, but they are always failed heroes or deeply flawed. Often riddled with paradoxical traits and qualities, they resemble real people more than any other type of fictional characters do, and they are increasingly popular these days in fiction, film and television.

Now that makes my brain get clicky. Obviously, they’re not heroes, but failed heroes. A failed hero does not arc, but chooses to continue handling whatever life throws at him in the same way, or worse ways. What I find most interesting is the notion that anti-heroes are the most realistic of fictional characters.

I hate to think that’s true. As someone who has worked in mental health for many years, I’ve seen my share of people who get it, where they’re making flawed choices, and completely turn it around. On the other hand, people who make the same mistakes are more common than not.

Does that mean anti-heroes lack self-awareness? Not the best of them. Definitely not Frank Underwood. I think one of the qualities that make him so much fun to watch is the deliberateness of his every move.

I’d love if you’d share your fave anti-heroes. I’m currently reading the House of Cards trilogy and the main character (who is British, not Southern) as well as the story are different enough to be enjoyable unto itself.

Tweet: House of Cards and Anti-heroes. Why are we so obsessed with Francis Underwood and his dirty doings? http://goo.gl/bTF1kc

Links