Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Books by A.M. Westerling

I am thoroughly enjoying the Canadian Historical Brides series published by Books We Love. There is one book for each province and two of the territories. If you enjoy historical romance, you will enjoy all of A.M. Westerling's books. As she says, ""From vikings to viscounts, join the adventure, live the romance."

Faced with financial ruin and the loss of her good name, Rose Chadwick decides to make a new start for herself and her young daughter Hannah in the rough and tumble gold rush town of Barkerville, British Columbia. However, making a new life is not so easy when it’s built on lies. And, long suppressed emotions within her are stirred when she meets a handsome young Englishman.

Viscount Harrison St. John knows he’s expected to marry well to bolster his family fortunes. Instead, he leaves England to pursue riches in the gold fields of a frontier town in the far off wilds of Canada. Soured on love because of a betrayal by his former fiancĂ©, Harrison resists the attraction he has for Rose. Particularly considering she appears to be a happily married woman with a daughter of her own.

Will dark secrets from Rose’s past keep them apart? Or will they find love, happiness and a new life together in the bustling town of Barkerville?

If your taste in romance harks back to the age of Vikings, I can promise this next title won't disappoint.

A HEART ENSLAVED.                                                      BUY HERE
Banished from his homeland for a crime he didn’t commit, Thorvald Stronghawk knows selling the Frisian beauty he’s captured will bring him the blood money needed to regain his good name. When the man who accused Thorvald of the crime is the one buying Gisela, Thorvald must decide what he wants more: To recover his reputation among his fellow countrymen, or tame the woman who has vowed to hate him forever for destroying her home and family.
Gisela of Falkenstead realizes the handsome, self assured Viking views her as nothing more than chattel to be bought and sold rather than a woman with a life and mind of her own. Although her head tells her to escape the man she thinks is nothing more than a savage murderer, her heart has other ideas.

Will Gisela find a way to flee? Or will she find love and happiness in Thorvald’s arms?

And now for a Regency era tale with bags of adventure and romance.

HER PROPER SCOUNDREL.                                       BUY HERE              
Threatened with an unwanted marriage, Lady Josceline Woodsby escapes London to take a position as a country governess. When she discovers the job is no longer available, Josceline vows she will do anything to avoid returning to her previously dismal life - even if it means coercing the ruthless Captain Sharrington into providing her with employment.
Spurned by a father he never knew and sent off to sea at a very young age, Christopher Sharrington leaves a promising naval career determined to make his own mark on society as owner of a shipping enterprise. The only problem is, hiring the alluring Lady Woodsby as governess for children he doesn’t even have, is definitely not part of his future plans.
Josceline soon realizes Christopher is under the mistaken impression her social connections will help him attain his dream. Will he cast her out when he determines she is more a hindrance than a help? And what of the devastating secret he harbors? Will it destroy any chance they have of building a future together?
Disgraced duchess Lady Josceline Woodsby ends up in the employ of the ruthless Captain Christopher Sharrington as a sham governess. Marriage to Josceline may give Christopher the social acceptance he craves but his devastating secret could destroy their chances of finding happiness together. 
Learn more about A.M. Westerling at these links:

Monday, May 15, 2017

My guest this month. . . by Victoria Chatham

I am so pleased to introduce to you this month author A.M. Westerling. Not only is she a very good friend of mine, she is also one of my eagle-eyed critique partners.

We first met at a Calgary Association of Romance Writers of America (CaRWA) information evening, held at the Memorial Park Library in Calgary. Both of us had attended in the hopes of finding out more about the craft and business of writing romance. It was shortly before CaRWA hosted its first conference, Crossing the Publishing Threshold, in November 2004. Much has flowed beneath the bridge since then and, as well as I thought I knew Astrid, some of her answers surprised me!

1.     When and why did you start writing? What is it about writing that satisfies you the most?

Unlike a lot of authors, I never had a burning desire to write. I was quite happy to be a reader and I read one or two books a week. I discovered historical romance and I devoured every one I could get my hands on. The genre was popular at the time and publishers were pumping them out as fast as they could which meant the quality got diluted and some of them were so bad, I couldn’t even finish them. In fact, some of them were so bad, it occurred to me I could do better! But life was busy and I never pursued it any further.

Then in the early nineties, my husband and I started an engineering company which meant I was in the office with time on my hands as we didn’t have a lot of work in those early days. That was when I started to write. Our company became successful so I put that book aside and didn’t pick it up again until 2001, when we sold the company and retired. I did sub that book to a couple of editors but it didn’t sell and it’s my proverbial “manuscript under the bed.”

The thing that satisfies me the most is creating a new world and bringing new characters to life. If I do my job properly, they take over the story and what happens depends on them.

2.     What is one subject or genre you would never write about and why?

Erotica. Quite honestly, I don’t see the appeal. That’s not to say I don’t write sex scenes, I do, but I would consider my work as sexy historical romance and you could skip the scenes and not lose the thread of the story.

3.     Have you had a defining moment in your writing life that changed everything for you?

I had the opportunity to work one on one with author and writing instructor Mary Buckham (www.marybuckham.com) on my third manuscript. I learned so much from her about the craft of writing and she pointed out mistakes in my own work that I never noticed. ie: passive voice, raising story questions and who knew my characters actually needed goals?! My work improved leaps and bounds after that and this exercise turned into The Countess’ Lucky Charm.

4.     How did you feel when you held your first book in your hands?

A feeling of disbelief, as in, is this really happening to me?! Also pride in what I had accomplished.

5.     Do you read your reviews? If so, how do you celebrate the good and get over the bad?

I absolutely read my reviews and I’ll tweet or FB about it if I get a good one. I use the comments as learning tools, even the poor ones. Bad reviews don’t bother me at all because I don’t like everything I read either. As Jo Beverley said in one of the first workshops I ever attended, “not everyone will get my magic.”

6.     Have you ever judged any writing competitions? If you have, what about the process surprised you the most?

I judged the Emerald City Openers for a few years. What surprised me the most is how much I enjoyed the opportunity to provide helpful (I hope!) feedback and encouragement on what I had read. I could tell some of the entries came from beginning authors and I liked the feeling of being a mentor.  


1.     What keys on a keyboard do you not use?

The Function keys.

2.     Are you a glass half full or half empty kind of person? Or is the glass just malformed?

Definitely the glass is half full. Life is an adventure - try something new, follow your dream, smile at a stranger, make time for friends and family. Yes, I have my down days but every dark cloud has a silver lining. J

3. Which of the four seasons do you like/dislike the most and why?

I love spring. I love the feeling of renewal and the soft green of new growth. I love spending time out in the garden and getting dirt under my nails after a long Canadian winter. I love planning what I’m going to plant this year and deciding what little yard project to tackle. Besides, summer follows it and then I can enjoy the fruits of my labour!

4.     What is your idea of perfect happiness?

Camping with my sweetie. Anywhere, but particularly in northern British Columbia.

SPEED QUESTIONS: Straight YES/NO answers, unless you want to add a few words to qualify the answer. Have you ever:
1.     Lied about your age? No
2.     Won a contest? Yes. Earlier this year I won sideline passes for a Calgary Stampeders home game in the upcoming season.
3.     Ridden a motorcycle? Yes, as a passenger. Scared me silly, especially going around the corners!

4.     Watched the stars at night? Definitely yes! J See my above answer re: camping.

Please join me tomorrow, May 16th,  to check out some of Astrid's title. I promise you won't be disappointed!