Terri Brisbin, an award-winning author and three-time RWA RITA® finalist, has had her historical and paranormal romances published in more than 20 languages and 25 countries around the world since 1998. She’s written more than 33 novels, novellas and short stories for Berkley/Jove, Harlequin and Kensington Books. Now working on more romances for release through 2013, Terri has also self-published her backlist books.
When not living the glamorous life of a romance author in the southern NJ suburbs, Terri spends her time being a married mom as well as a dental hygienist to hundreds while plotting and planning future stories. For more info (more than you could possibly want or need to know) visit her website – www.terribrisbin.com .
Welcome to the Muse, Terri!
Thank you. It’s great to be here!
What do you love most about writing Historical Romance?
I love being able to use real history – real people, real places or events – in my stories and sharing that knowledge with my readers. I’m such a history geek that I can’t help being excited by it.
Where do you get your ideas?
I get my ideas from everywhere, everything and everyone! Bwaaahaaaaahaaa! I really do. I’m inspired by other stories and characters I write, tv shows and movies I watch, research I do for other projects and more.
I think that ‘what if. . .’ is an author’s most powerful tool in coming up with ideas for stories. ‘What if the bad guy lives?’ ‘What if there’s a secret baby from a hidden mistress?’ ‘What if the battle didn’t actually go that way?’ All those questions can (and have for me) lead to new creative paths and more stories.
What’s the most interesting thing you’ve ever done?
The most interesting thing I’ve done is travel to and tour Scotland on my own – for just over three weeks – in 2009! I planned out my stay and routes, rented a car and drove from one end to the other, ferried over to the Hebrides and the Orkneys and even hired an archeologist for a day-long tour of Viking-era sites in Orkney! It was wonderful and the most adventurous I’ve even been….and I hope to do it again. Read the rest of this entry »
Our guest blogger today is M.J. Schiller whose novel, Taken by Storm, debuted Oct. 15. I’m reluctant to call it her first book, because she has completed 12 novels. Taken by Storm is her first published novel. Join me in welcoming M.J. to BIOTM. Don’t forget to leave a comment to be entered in the BIOTM Halloween gift bag. Winner will be announced late Oct. 31.
Since this blog is called “Blame it on the Muse,” I thought I’d talk today about what inspires me, where I find my muse. When people hear that I’ve written twelve books, they often ask me where I get my ideas. And the answer is, everywhere.
My first book, Lady of the Knight, is a sci-fi romance that was basically a reoccurring fantasy I finally sat down and put to paper. Once it was down on paper, the fantasy was gone. My next novel, titled Damage Done, came to me with just a first line. “Even through bloodshot eyes he could tell that she was different.” The line floated into my mind, and I loved it. I built the story around that one sentence. However, when I had finished writing Tess and Michael’s story, it was far too short for a standard novel. That’s when I came up with the idea of writing the back story. Thus Michael’s father, Teddy, began the novel, making my wonderful first line appear somewhere near the middle. (But don’t you worry, I came up with a wonderful first line for Teddy’s part, as well.) At the end of the book, I was able to tie the two parts together when Michael’s father came in search of an item he had given to Michael as a boy, something that unraveled the mystery of why Teddy left Michael and his mother in the first place.
by Sharon Wray
Jessica Scott is a career army officer, mother of two daughters, three cats, three dogs and two escape-artists hamsters, wife to a career NCO and wrangler of all things stuffed and fluffy. She has commanded two companies, served in Germany, Korea, Fort Hood and Iraq, and been lucky not to get fired. She is a terrible cook and an even worse housekeeper, but she’s a pretty good shot with her assigned weapon. Somehow, her children are pretty well adjusted and her husband still loves her, despite burned water and a messy house.
Her novels are all pulled from her experiences as an soldier who has lived through both being deployed and being the spouse left at home with the kids. Her second release, Until There Was You, is a Loveswept eBook original. And like her debut novel Because of You, her new release has garnered rave reviews from press, peers, and public alike, including authors such as Suzanne Brockmann, Roxanne St. Clair, Cindy Gerard, and JoAnn Ross. Read the rest of this entry »
I’m very happy to welcome another great Minnesota debut author, Joyce Proell, to Blame it on the Muse. Joyce has written an amazing historical book called “Eliza” that is already garnering five star reviews. I’m grateful she could come and tell us about her story and her journey today. Welcome, Joyce! Read the rest of this entry »
For those readers who don’t know me, I’m Lex Valentine. I write across the genres, but mostly I write contemporary erotic gay romances and both M/M and M/F erotic paranormal romance. I have a few other things that don’t fit in either of those categories though.
My latest book is a contemporary gay romance and some people would say it’s high fantasy because it’s a coming out in the NFL novel. Yes, I actually have two players who come out before they retire. They do it before they even play a single game in the NFL. As soon as they are drafted, they come out. Read the rest of this entry »
Please welcome Valerie Bowman, whose incredible debut, “Secrets of a Wedding Night” released on Tuesday! This is a story you have to hear!
Ok, to hear this tale, I must first explain what I was like as a little kid.
Young Valerie Bowman was always angling for two things.
1) a trip to Florida
2) a dog
So, picture me tripping around East Central Illinois (shout out to the Fighting Illini) asking my mom for a dog, day after day. (I finally got the dog, btw. Though that story is not nearly as good a story as the time my friend Amy got her parents to buy her a horse, but I digress.)
The trips to Florida were not so difficult either because luckily my father’s family lived in Pensacola. Every so often, we’d load up the car and make the drive through Indiana, Kentucky, Tennessee, and Alabama (oh, how we loved to see the statue of Vulcan in Birmingham, it meant we were close!) to Florida. And Florida— as far as I was ever concerned—was the place in which the luckiest people on earth dwelt. A constant vacation, palm trees, beaches, and warm breezes. Ah, paradise!
So what the hey does this have to do with St. Louis? Plenty. Here’s how it went down.
I graduated from college with a degree in English Literature. So in January of 1996, armed with a liberal arts diploma and a wing and a prayer, I settled in the metropolis of St. Louis where one of my sister’s and my cousin lived. St. Louis is a great town, but I was mostly depressed there. For the first time in my life I didn’t know what to do with myself. I’d been a student all my life and without school, I had nothing.
So I did what any good hardworking degree-holding 21-year-old would do and I got a job waiting tables at a comedy club. I was a hideously bad waitress (and by the way, people, TIP. Good grief, wait staff do not rake it in despite what you might think). But in the spirit of trying to make friends and build a life, I accepted another waitress’ invitation to go out after work one night to a bar downtown. The waitress knew some of the St. Louis Rams football players and they were going to be meeting her and some other friends there.
Ok, I know squat about football and I must preface this by saying to this day, I don’t know or remember the name of the player involved in this story. I regret that. I truly do.
So, I get all gussied up and we go to this bar down by the river (yes, literally, down by the river) and I’m sure I was drinking a Bud Light b/c that’s how I roll. And at some point in the night, one of the St. Louis Rams football players comes and sits next to me. He was about 400 pounds and 8 feet tall (have I mentioned hyperbole is my middle name?) and he said something I’ve heard a lot through the years, being an introvert.
”You don’t look like you’re having a very good time.”
Me: Uh oh. No, no. I’m fine.
Him: What’s wrong?
Yadda yadda yadda, somewhere in the middle of that night, I end up pouring out my heart to this guy who I didn’t know and would never see again. Here’s the gist of the convo:
“I guess I’m just not doing what I expected I’d do with my life,” I told him.
“What do you want to do?”
“Well, I just graduated from college and I really have always wanted to live in Florida, get a dog, and be a writer. “
The football player shook his head. “You know what you should do?”
I moved to the edge of my seat and blinked at him. “What?”
“You should move to Florida. Get a dog. And be a writer.”
Blink. Blink. Blink.
Well, of course I was all a flutter with excuses and reasons why that could not possibly happen. I didn’t have a job! An apartment! Where would I live? What would I do? You can’t just GET a job being a writer. That doesn’t happen.
The football player stared at me. He was very calm. He waited for me to finish my long list of reasons why I could not follow my dreams.
Finally, he stood up, handed me a beer and said, “Move to Florida, get a dog, and be a writer.”
I’ve thought about that moment many times over the years. The quiet simplicity of it all and the fact that I do believe he and I were in the right place at the right time together. He was waiting to deliver that message to me and I needed to be ready to hear it.
Fortunately, both things happened and within weeks of having that conversation along the banks of the Mississippi (Ooh, I’ve always wanted to write that like I’m Mark Twain) I did it, Dear Reader. I threw some stuff in the trunk of my car, I moved to Florida, and I became a writer. A reporter first, then a technical writer, and finally, a romance novelist. It took me a few more years to find that particular path but the football player set me on my journey.
And guess what? Within two years of moving to Florida, I got my dog, Ellie.
In the years since then, every time I’ve started telling myself a lot of excuses about why I can’t do something, I think of that St. Louis Rams football player and his calm quiet advice. For me, that day, he was my muse.
Have you had a moment like this? Being at the right place at the right time? Choosing to follow your dream? I’d love to hear about it. One lucky commenter will win an autographed copy of Secrets of a Wedding Night!
Valerie Bowman writes racy Regency romps. Publishers Weekly calls Secrets of a Wedding Night, an “enchanting, engaging debut that will have readers seeking future installments” and Romantic Times Book Reviews says, “This fast-paced, charming debut, sparkling with witty dialogue and engaging characters, marks Bowman for stardom.” Booklist gave it a starred review! You can find Valerie on the web at www.ValerieBowmanBooks.com and on Facebook and Twitter.
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HOW TO STOP A WEDDING
Young, widowed, and penniless, Lily Andrews, the Countess of Merrill, has strong opinions on marriage. When she spots a certain engagement announcement in The Times, she decides to take action. She will not allow another hapless girl to fall prey to a man—particularly the scoundrel who broke her heart five years ago. Anonymously she writes and distributes a pamphlet entitled “Secrets of a Wedding Night,” knowing it will find its way into his intended’s innocent hands…
HOW TO SEDUCE A WIDOW
Devon Morgan, the Marquis of Colton, desires a good wife and mother to his son—someone completely unlike Lily Andrews, the heartless beauty who led him on a merry chase five years ago only to reject him. When Devon’s new fiancée cries off after reading a certain scandalous pamphlet, he vows to track down the author and make her pay. But when he learns it’s his former fiancée Lily, he issues a challenge: write a retraction—or prepare to be seduced—to find out how wonderful a wedding night can be…
“Secrets of a Wedding Night
is the most charming and clever debut I’ve read in years! ”
by Livia Quinn
C.J. Redwine loves stilettos, lemon bars, and any movie starring Johnny Depp. She lives in Nashville with her husband, four kids, two cats, and one long-suffering dog.
I’m delighted to have C.J. Redwine, a fellow GIAMer here to visit with us today. Some of you may know C.J. through her popular workshops on query letters and the dreaded synopsis. Her first YA release, Defiance, was released August 28. I was drawn to the cover the first time I saw it.
The trailer is awesome. Take a peak.
Welcome to Blame it on the Muse, C.J. You must be thrilled to see “Defiance” published.
Debut author R.T. Wolfe is our guest blogger today. Born and raised in the Midwest, R.T. is the youngest of six children. She married at a young age and decided early on she wanted a family. With three small boys in tow, she and her husband flipped two houses with R.T. in charge of the landscape design and install. Now, she is rooted in the final home they designed inside and out.
Now that her boys are nearly grown, R.T. spends much of her time on the road traveling from one sporting event to another serving as mom and cheerleader. When at home, she enjoys Pilates, working with her Golden Retriever and digging in the glorious dirt of her landscaping plots.
During one of many busy and restless nights, R.T.’s first novel, Black Creek Burning, began to pluck its way onto her laptop. It was a drug, an instant addiction that only grew with time. Moments borrowed and stolen at her laptop are, now, between all of the travel and work and many of those busy, restless nights. After several edits, revisions and versions, Black Creek Burning, will debut September 24th.
Welcome to the Muse R. T. When did you get serious about writing?
First of all, let me say thank you for having me today. I’m truly honored to be a guest on Blame it on the Muse!
I started writing Black Creek Burning in September of 2009. I finished in May of 2010. Since then, I’ve worked diligently trying to learn about the publishing process. Starting from scratch was a bear. I’m a quick learner, however, and was able to get an offer in May of this year. I like that I still have the mind of a ‘reader.’ Four short years ago I was only that, a reader. It’s amazing how differently enjoying a novel can be now that I read from an author’s view- point. I must be honest and say it’s not a good thing.
The Muse is excited to welcome paranormal author Alexis Morgan to sit in the guest chair and chat with us this Friday. The author of over thirty books, novellas, and short stories that include contemporary romances, American West historicals, paranormal romances, and most recently, fantasy romance, she writes about strong alpha heroes and gutsy heroines. Alexis has been nominated for numerous industry awards, including the RITA©. So without further introduction, here’s Alexis in her very own words…
This Friday, the Muse is proud to welcome New Zealander Bronwen Evans to our guest chair. Bronwen grew up loving books and has always indulged her love for story-telling, constantly gobbling up movies, books and theatre. Her head is filled with characters and stories, particularly lovers in angst. Is it any wonder she’s a proud romance writer?
She writes both historical and contemporary sexy romances for the modern woman who likes intelligent, spirited heroines, and compassionate alpha heroes. So, let’s give a warm welcome to Bronwen Evans… Read the rest of this entry »