Tuesday, April 22, 2014

New Interview with Betty Jo Schuler

Betty Jo Schuler, an author and former elementary teacher who writes for children, teens, and adults, has had seventeen books published.  She is an instructor for Writers Digest University where she's taught online courses in writing romance novels, children's books, and most recently teaches "Writing the Young Adult Novel" on a fairly regular basis. She also edits YA Novels in WDU's Second Draft Critique program. A former Indiana native, she loves life in Florida where she gaze out at palm trees, tropical flowers, and sunshine while fulfilling her lifelong love of working with words. Betty Jo has a BS in Education from Miami University of Ohio and an MA from Ball State University of Indiana.  She's married with four grown kids who have families of their own. In her spare time, this writer and instructor enjoys yoga, water aerobics, time with friends and many other "fun" activities" She invites you to visit her website at http://bettyjowrites.com/

BWL:   Why did you choose the genre you write in? Is it your favorite to read, or another reason?
BJS:  It’s more like they choose me! I have written for children, young adults, romance, and fiction and non-fiction for about every age.  That’s typical of my tendency to jump about.  I started writing for kids because I had four of my own and then went back to college and became an elementary teacher, so that was what I knew. I took a part-time job as a diet instructor for a major weight loss company and started writing health and nutrition articles for magazines and columns for newspapers.  I think you get the idea.  I just wanted to write.  I love characterization and that’s what I really look for in books I read.

BWL:   Describe yourself using 5 words. 
BJS: Imaginative, sentimental, loving, restless, and a procrastinator.

BWL:   What might readers be surprised to learn about you?
BJS:  A number of years ago, I won seven trophies drag racing the family station wagon—P- stock automatic at a sanctioned drag strip.  I’m surprised myself.  I am not usually daring or sports-minded. Go figure. Read my YA novel, Heart Strings, in which the heroine lost her boyfriend when he was drag racing on a country road.  I call that my heart transplant book. I’m from Indiana by the way, home of the Indianapolis 500.

BWL:   What was your favorite book as a child or young adult?     
BJS:  As a child…Bambi, Little Women, Nancy Drew books, Bobbsey Twins (giving away my age), Heidi, A Tree Grows in Brooklyn.

BWL:   If you could go back in time for one day, which time period would you like to visit?
BJS:  The carefree days of the 1940s when you could play outdoors until after dark or walk to a friend’s house without fear.  Playing tag, jumping rope, roller skating…

BWL:   Choose one person, living or dead, you'd like to share a meal with.
BJS:  My mother.  She just passed away three years ago, but she was a fascinating person who even at 96, had an amazing memory and the vocabulary of a dock worker (for want of a better term).  One of my granddaughters in her teens was amused and fascinated by G’ma O’Leary’s language. I miss my mother. She was outgoing and loved by many people.

BWL:   Name one thing you'd change about yourself if you could.
BJS:  I try hard to organize, but my mind just won’t work that way. I tend to have scattered documents, etcetera, in my work area, and too many files on my computer.  I need to spend more time “in the moment” and less thinking ahead to what I should be doing or am going to do next. My yoga instructor calls this trait which so many of us today possess, “the drunken monkey mind.” While she stresses staying in the present and repeating mantras, I struggle to keep my mind still.
Writing is the one thing that totally absorbs me. I like the discoveries I make while creating and bringing the characters’ stories to life.  I know outlining a book beforehand is probably sensible, but my “map” isn’t detailed.  I’m pretty much a “by the seat of your pants” author enjoying the journey, even if it means extra work in the end.

BWL:  Thanks Betty Jo!

Please stop back over the next few days to read some excerpts from her Books We Love titles. Find all her BWL books here: http://bookswelove.net/bettyjoschuler.php


Monday, April 21, 2014

99 Cents for a Limited Time ~ The Mystery Lady by Diane Bator

Wild Blue Mysteries

Danny Walker used to enjoy chasing criminals, but after being kidnapped and nearly killed, he longs to close the Wild Blue Detective Agency to live a simpler life. Forced to take leave from the police force, he has a long way to go to convince the shrink he's even close to sane, especially when he helps his former partner solve a series of murders that endangers the woman he's tailing.

Wanna-be writer Lucy Stephen never wrote about murder until her husband moved out and now she thinks some man in a blue car is stalking her. When her husband and his girlfriend take her kids on vacation, Lucy discovers a hidden package of jewelry her husband desperately wants back. The more she learns about the assorted pieces, the more Lucy realizes she may never see her kids again and needs to fight for her life with the help of the man who's stalking her.

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Friday, April 18, 2014

99 Cent Weekend Special! Summer Magic by Sydell Voeller

When her fiancé calls off their engagement, veterinarian assistant Lisa Prentice joins the circus in hopes of escaping the everyday grind. But life under the big top isn't quite what she expected. None of the veterinarian's former assistants managed to please their short-tempered boss, and Lisa fears that her days are numbered, too. Michael Figaro, a dashing young trapeze artist, is also cautious about whether Lisa can stay, and because of that, he tries to keep his distance. Still, Lisa finds herself overwhelmingly attracted to him. Although Michael is the aerialist, it is Lisa who is flying on an emotional high wire. What happened to her safety net? Will their love survive?

"This book is an example of the perfect romance. I enjoyed Ms. Voeller's ability to switch between the points of view of Lisa and Michael. I felt I knew all the characters very well...This is a great story to read in one sitting and spend a few hours swept away in the magic of the circus." ~ Bethany Payne, Roundtable Reviews

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

99 Cents for a Limited Time ~ I Hitched A Ride Into Hell by Joan Hall Hovey

A Young Adult Novelette by Joan Hall Hovey

All we wanted to do was hitchhike across Canada before we got into the college grind – get to know our country. Everyone said travelling was educational and my best friend Shirley and I thought it would be fun and exciting to go off on our own. Neither of us expected the nightmare it would turn out to be.

"…Ms. Hovey's talent in creating characters is so real, you feel their emotions and their fears. You want to yell at them to warn of the danger . . . and you do! The best suspense writer I've ever read!
Beth Anderson, Author of Raven Talks back

"...Alfred Hitchcock and Stephen King come to mind, but JOAN HALL HOVEY is in a Class by herself!…"
J.D. Michael Phelps, Author of My Fugitive, David Janssen

"…CANADIAN MISTRESS OF SUSPENSE…The author has a remarkable ability to turn up the heat on the suspense… great characterizations and dialogue…" James Anderson, author of Deadline

Monday, April 14, 2014

Chat with BWL authors in our Online Book Club

Books We Love hosts an Online Book Club on Facebook. You can ask questions of our authors or just make conversation. We're here and ready to chat!

Everyone who joins receives a free Books We Love pdf just for the asking. Read the group description and find out what you can do to easily claim your free book.

Come chat with us!

The Books We Love Online Book Club on Facebook.


Friday, April 11, 2014

Excerpt from Stone Maiden by Tina Gerow

In Stone Maiden, Ariel Knight, a nine-hundred year old gargoyle and ex-warrior for God opens a present-day bodyguard agency with her three sisters. At the request of the Angel Gabriel, they take on protecting Logan McAllister, playboy country music songwriter, who has suddenly become a prime target for all of the evil supernatural beings in the area. While Ariel tries to unravel who is behind the mysterious attacks, she is also battling a growing affection and attraction for him. To make matters worse, Logan's business manager turns out to be a master vampire who broke her heart two centuries ago and still seems to have feelings for her. Nothing like finding out your lover is a soulless bloodsucker to ruin a relationship.


eCataRomance Reviewer's Choice Award 2006

Desert Rose Golden Quill Finalist 2006 

"This was a fantastic read. It had action, comedy, hot love making and the best part. . .it read so smooth it went down like the richest chocolate. Ms. Gerow peppers the story with witty comments that make you smile or laugh out load. The characters are rich in their admirable traits and balanced by their imperfections. The reader falls in love with both of them as they continue to read and that makes this story an incredible read. The other fantastic thing in this story is the potential for a sequel. Ms. Gerow introduces many secondary characters that you fall in love with too. Hopefully, she will work on several sequels, particularly with regards to James, the Dark Redeemer." ~ Teri, Romance Junkies 

"Tina Gerow has done a fantastic job with world building! Gargoyles appear very real and she provides a rather unique and believable background for their existence. The variety of supernatural beings in STONE MAIDEN is impressive and also includes vampires, zombies, succubi, and even a rokurokubi (Japanese goblin). Paranormal fans will be delighted with the mixture without being overwhelmed.  STONE MAIDEN is an incredible start to what appears to be a fabulous series. Tina Gerow is obviously a very talented writer and she expertly combines action, romance, and the paranormal to create a book that readers will not want to put down. FIRE MAIDEN is the second book in the series and this reviewer cannot wait to read it!  STONE MAIDEN is a compelling read and one that will belong on any paranormal reader's keeper shelf. Tina Gerow has woven an intricate storyline that will leave readers begging to know when the next book will be out. Highly recommended!" ~  CK2S KWIPS AND KRITIQUES

“Take your hand off me, or I’ll remove it and several other of your favorite appendages.”
          Ariel Knight stood toe to toe with the Goliath blocking her way and stared him down.  She’d faced hellhounds, demons, vampires, and all manner of scary beasties in her time.  One oversized cowboy with a chip on his shoulder didn’t even cause her to bat an eyelash.
          “Now, sweetheart, you’re not wanted here, so why don’t you just go on back to wherever it is you came from.”
His gravelly voice reminded her of the sound her car made when she didn’t add oil for too long.  And the “sweetheart” grated on her nerves.  She took a breath, calming her simmering temper and tried to use her most professional voice along with her sweetest smile.  “This is the last time I’m going to warn you, Jeb.  I have an appointment with Logan McAllister, and no one is going to scare me off.”  From her background check of Mr. McAllister, she knew Jeb was a former bouncer and Logan’s horse trainer and sometimes security man. 
If this is any indication of his people skills, he needs to stick to the horses.
His deep chuckle reverberated around her.  “You’ve got spunk, I’ll give you that, but you’re no match for me and we both know it.  So, this is the last time I’ll ask you to leave before I help you out the door.”  His lascivious gaze slid over her like an oily caress.  “And believe me, that won’t be a hardship.”
Dream on, big boy.  I’ve been leered at by far scarier things than you.
          Quick as lighting, Ariel grabbed Jeb’s wrist.  Twisting it back at a painful angle, she used leverage to drive him to his knees and then locking his hand up behind his head, she applied more pressure to keep him there. 
The door in front of her flew open and a man right out of her fantasies stepped through and then stopped short as if he’d slammed into a solid wall.  He stared at the scene in front of him openmouthed as if still trying to comprehend what he saw.  Ariel took the opportunity to study him right back. 
He stood before her, six foot plus of golden muscular delight topped by gently waving sandy blonde hair and piercing blue-gray eyes the color of the sea after a storm.
Jeb’s whimper brought her back from her male inventory.  She glanced down to see her captive’s eyes watering from pain.       “I tried to ask you nicely,” she reminded him.
          The intensity of the scrutiny from the blue-gray eyes burned through her skin until she glanced up.  The passion swimming in the fevered depths hit her like a physical blow.  It zinged through her, touching off small sparks of awareness throughout her body and causing heat to pool between her legs.  She sucked in a breath, fighting not to drown in the sexual buffet of sensations assaulting her.  Closing here eyes for a moment, she allowed two hundred years of training to return her to her calm center. 
Ariel stood stock still as he completed his slow inventory.  And if his hungry gaze was any determination, he liked what he saw.  A flicker of pure female delight flowed through her until she reined it in.
Get your mind out of your crotch!
She’d even worn her business skirt and blazer to appear professional, but they way he looked at her gave images of him peeling her out of it to discover what secrets she hid underneath, which blew the whole professional image out the window. 
          “You must be Mr. McAllister,” she said, breaking him out of his inventory.
          “Yes,” he said finally and reached out to shake her outstretched free hand.
          “I’m Ariel Knight.  I believe we have an appointment?”
          His lips quirked just enough to show the dimple in his left cheek.  “Yes, I believe we do.”  He gestured down at Jeb still trying to break out of Ariel’s leveraged grip.  “Would you mind letting Jeb up?”
          Ariel smiled, just a small curve of her lips, and met his gaze.  She wondered briefly what his stormy eyes would look like darkened with desire as he moved inside her. 
Get a grip, Ariel.  You’re here to work, not…play.  Her traitorous body reminded her it had been quite a while since she’d played, and it would be more than happy to nominate Logan McAllister to play with.  She chided herself out of that train of thought and glanced down at Jeb.  “Now, I’m willing to let you go if you promise to keep your hands to yourself.  I really don’t want to have to hurt you.”
          Anger flashed in Jeb’s eyes and smoldered.  She knew she’d just made an enemy, but in her job, she made many more of those than friends.  Jeb’s ego was taking a beating, but from the pained look on his face, she wasn’t overly surprised when he finally muttered, “Yes, Ma’am.”
          “Ma’am works much better on me than sweetheart,” Ariel said.  She released Jeb’s wrist and stepped back so he could stand, keeping enough distance to maneuver in case he wanted to take another shot.  But he only stood, rubbed his sore wrist and glared at her.
          Logan, visibly trying to hide his smile, turned to his bouncer.  “Thank you, Jeb.  I think I can take it from here.”  Jeb looked between the two of them before nodding and turning to go.