Sneak Peak: HITCHIN’ POST by Julie Barker

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Julie Barker
 Genre: Children’s Picture Book / Rhyming / K-3
Publisher: LifeRich Publishing
Date of Publication: July 14, 2016
Number of Pages: 46
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Hard work and the cowboy life on the 6Bs Ranch is nothing new to old jackrabbit Hitchin’ Post.  Hitchin’ Post is a picture book written in rhyme describing old Hitch’s life on the 6Bs Ranch and his journey in finding what it truly means to be thankful.  His beloved ranch goes through a terrible drought, but Hitch decides that despite challenges, there is always something to be thankful for. He discovers that it is relationships with his friends and his beloved ranch that makes him feel rich.



**2017 North Texas Book Festival Honorable Mention award*
Wonderfully told with beautiful, rustic illustrations. — Emily-Jane Hills Orford, Readers’ Favorite 
I can’t wait to share this book with my granddaughters! –- Amy, Goodreads Review
Hitchin’ Post is the most adorable story with the best illustrations! We love, love, love it!!! Cory, Amazon Verified Customer
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Julie Barker was born and raised in west Texas, and currently resides in Quanah, Texas, with her husband and three children.  She maintained her west Texas roots into college when she attended Texas Tech University in Lubbock, receiving a degree in social work.  Julie has grown up surrounded by the ranching heritage, and felt drawn to share this way of life through the adventures of the little cowboy jackrabbit, Hitchin’ Post.  Hitchin’ Post marks Julie’s debut into the world of children’s literature.  She was fortunate to have her mother, artist Carolyn Altman, provide the cute, whimsical illustrations of old Hitch and the 6Bs, making this project extra special.
Grand Prize:
1st Place Winner receives an eBook AND a Signed Print Copy
4 Runners-Up each have a choice of eBook OR Signed Print Copy
June 26-July 6, 2017
(U.S. Only)

Sneak Peek
Character Interview
Scrapbook Page
Cover Reveal
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Special Preview: Educator’s Guide to THE ELDRIDGE CONSPIRACY by Don M. Winn

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Sir Kaye the Boy Knight, Book 4
Don M. Winn
  Genre: Children’s Chapter Book / Adventure / Medieval
Publisher: Progressive Rising Phoenix Press
Date of Publication: June 16, 2017
Number of Pages: 166, B&W illustrations
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Kaye’s father is in danger! The young knight, Kaye, and his friends Reggie and Beau enter Eldridge in search of the only man who can save Kaye’s father. During their journey, they encounter and make a powerful enemy of Baron Thomas—the self-proclaimed heir to the throne of Eldridge—who also has his sights set on ruling the country of Knox. Together, the boys dodge the baron’s henchmen and race against time to stop an assassination that would plunge the two kingdoms into war in this exciting conclusion to the series.

“This set of books just gets better and better. Yes, it’s a non-stop adventure, packed full of nasty barons and battling knights. But it’s also a story which is strongly-themed and where the bond between the characters is highly prized.” —The Wishing Shelf Awards Book Review

“Books of adventure and challenge that still offer an emotional component are hard to come by for middle-grade readers—and even more so for middle-grade boys—yet Don M. Winn hits the mark dead center with The Eldridge Conspiracy.” —Patricia Reding, 5-Star Readers’ Favorite Book Review
“This is more than just a fictional story; it teaches children about life, about friendship, making decisions, and about not putting too much stock in pride all the time – sometimes pride gets in the way of making the right decision. Great story. I would recommend that the whole series be read in order to get the most out of it and I think all kids will enjoy this tale.” —Ann-Marie Reynolds, 5-Star Readers’ Favorite Book Review

“The Eldridge Conspiracy was a rewarding read due to a wonderful writing style of incorporating dynamic characters, humor, relevancy, and the thought that even without superpowers, children can be heroes.” —Stacey Waltzer, Urban Mommies 

Sir Kaye Series Study Guide

A complete classroom study guide is now available for the entire Sir Kaye series on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and other online retailers. The Sir Kaye Study Guide is also available directly from the publisher (Progressive Rising Phoenix Press) for schools that order the Sir Kaye books for the classroom.

This comprehensive study guide contains teaching materials for all four of the Sir Kaye the Boy Knight books. The classroom lessons help students improve reading comprehension, build vocabulary, and expand their writing skills. This study guide also includes fascinating supplementary historical material to help students get a feel for what life was like in the Middle Ages.

Study Guide Summary for Book 3, Legend of the Forest Beast:

Sir Kaye the Boy Knight Book Three: Legend of the Forest Beast is an adventurous installment in the series portraying complex and relatable characters while teaching kids that they are capable of great things. The story and lesson plan teach the importance of humility while challenging students’ creative and objective writing skills. Beginning with fun trivia to test reading comprehension, the lesson plan also provides activities to help students create their own fictional characters and questions to stimulate comprehensive classroom discussions about what humility looks like in contemporary life. Vocabulary activities help students understand the story and improve dictionary and writing skills.

Study Guide Sample from Legend of the Forest beast:

Introduction to a Main Theme: Humility

Throughout the story, there are many times when the characters have to do embarrassing things or things that make them seem smaller or less important in order to accomplish their goals.

Ask the class if they can think of any examples of this: i.e., Kaye riding a donkey instead of Kadar; Kaye being called Sir Donkey; Kaye having to deal with the villagers making up mean songs about him; Reggie having to dye his hair; Reggie being called Ugly; Reggie working in the kitchen and as a page for Sir Bragwayne

Ask the class if they know what is it called when you lower your own importance to get the job done.

Introduce class to the word and definition: Humility – lowering your own importance to get the job done, not proud : not thinking of yourself as better than other people

Ask the class if they can think of any examples of what might have happened if the characters hadn’t practiced humility: i.e., Kaye would have never made it out of Castle Forte without riding Grumble; Reggie wouldn’t have gotten into Bragwayne’s manor without dyeing his hair and working in the kitchen;

Ask students for examples of times they have practiced humility or could in the future: i.e., When their little sister wants to play dress up and put crazy makeup all over their faces; When they are playing sports and have to play a different position than what they want

Activity: Royal Chronicler

At Castle Forte, Reggie has been given the job of the Royal Chronicler, which means he has to write about everything that happens so no one will forget the adventures of Kaye, Reggie, and Beau. Today, give students the chance to document the goings-on of the class. Have the kids go out to playground to play, or even just do activities in the room for ten to fifteen minutes. Then have them write a few sentences about what happened. Don’t forget to ask if anyone would like to share their work with the class when everyone is finished.

Vocabulary Activity

Have students select 1-3 words (depending on time restraints) from the vocabulary list, and ask them to write original sentences using the words. Then, ask students to share their sentences (preferably one for each vocabulary word) with the rest of the class, either by writing it on the board or reading it out loud


Don M. Winn is a multiple award-winning children’s author of eleven picture books and four children’s novels. His Sir Kaye the Boy Knight® series of novels for independent readers include The Knighting of Sir Kaye, The Lost Castle Treasure, Legend of the Forest Beast, and The Eldridge Conspiracy. Don’s picture books include The Higgledy-Piggledy Pigeon; Superhero; Twitch the Squirrel and the Forbidden Bridge; Shelby the Cat; Space Cop Zack, Protector of the Galaxy; and many others. 

Don has been writing for over 20 years. After beginning with poetry, Winn moved on to writing children’s picture books. Almost immediately, his growing young readers begged for chapter books, which led to the creation of the Sir Kaye series. As a dyslexic, who well knows the challenge of learning to love to read, Winn’s goal is to write books that are so engaging they will entice even the most reluctant or struggling reader. Winn lives in Round Rock, Texas.

Three Sir Kaye #4 ARCs + 1 Sir Kaye Series Study Guide!
  June 14-June 28, 2017
Book Trailer
Guest Post 1
Author Interview
Scrapbook Page 1
Guest Post 2
Character Interview
Educators’ Special
Scrapbook Page 2

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Blogger Recognition Award

I was nominated by Becca Cahill for the Blogger Recognition Award!

Thanks so much Becca for the recognition of The Librarian Talks.  Blogger love is much appreciated.  You can check out Becca’s blog, and what she’s up to with her writing (sooooo excited about this) at

Here’s what the Blogger Recognition Award is all about (taken from Ashe from Subliminal Wish‘s blog):

“If you’re not already familiar with the concept, the Blogger Recognition award is just an “award” given to a blogger by another blogger to appreciate and recognize all the hard word that we all put into publishing new content and keeping our websites fresh and updated. Blogging takes quite a bit of work and this is just a small way of showing our fellow bloggers that we all see the effort they put into their little corners of the internet.”

How did I get the award?

I was nominated by Rebecca Cahill for the award.  Becca is an aspiring author, and I’ve been following her journey closely.  I’m super excited to see what she’s writing!!  You should check it out too, at

How did my blog start?

I started this blog as an extension to my internet radio talk show, The Librarian.  Since I only interviewed romance authors there, I wanted to extend my coverage to all subjects and genres.  A Librarian has to be open and willing to share all kinds of books with potential readers.  So my vision was to stay away from promotional materials, and include interactive posts from authors, librarian, bloggers and writing/publishing professionals.  So far, I’ve really enjoyed the interaction with my guests and readers.

Advice for new bloggers:

Blog about what you love.  Your passion will come through in what you write and share with you audience.  If you have a particular love for one genre or subject, don’t be afraid to concentrate on that.  You WILL find an audience for your blog.  People have widely diverse tastes/likes.  Live it up!  Share, share, share!
Also, cross-post on all the social media outlets.  You’ll find an audience there that you wouldn’t reach otherwise. Engage with other bloggers.  We love to share great content with our audience, even if we borrow it from other bloggers (with attribution, of course). And we all follow back, because blogging is a community.


My nominations:

  1. Hall Ways by Kristine Hall. Once a librarian, ALWAYS a librarian!  Kristine blogs about books.  She also runs the Lone Star Literary Life Blog Tours, which features authors who are from Texas, or write about Texas (a matter of the heart for us Texans).
  2. Stephanie’s Book Reports by Stephanie Phillips, et al.  TONS of reviews from these ladies! A great place to find a new book or author to read.  Stephanie also owns the boutique literary agency, SBR Media.
  3. Books and Broomsticks by Belle Whittington. Belle is the author of the Young Adult series, Cicada, set in East Texas (her author website is here –  LOVE LOVE LOVE these books! And I love this quirky woman’s blog.
  4. Miss Riki by Riki Cleveland. Book lover and publicist extraordinaire.  Heavy on romance, but I like heavy romance (giggle).
  5. Jami Gold by author Jami Gold.  Jami is a Paranormal Author.  Her website is fantastic, but I am a HUGE follower of her blog, which celebrates its 7th Blogiversary in July!  Check it out for lots of fantastic tips on writing.  I’ve pinned a TON of her posts to my Pinterest – Writing board.
  6. MuseTracks by Jennifer Bray-Weber and Stacey Purcell (with a few others occasionally). Great stuff for writers, including a weekly writing prompt (HUMP DAY KICKSTART) to get your muse talking to you!
  7. History Imagined by Linda Pennell, et al.  If you love historical fiction (like I do), this is a blog filled with fascinating historical tidbits, author interviews, and writing tips.  Get your nerd on!
  8. Now Novel part of the Now Novel Website.  Probably my most “pinned” blog, choc full of excellent writing tips.
  9. Blogging for the Love of Authors and Their Books by Nicole and Kim.  Two ladies, blogging about the books they love from across the pond.  Lots of news on new releases. Lots of romance and YA.
  10. YA Outside the Lines by a dozen plus, fabulous Young Adult Authors.  I can never get away from my YA roots.  LOVE this blog and these authors’ perspective.


Nominees – Here’s what you need to do now:

  1. Thank the blogger who nominated you and provide a link to their blog.
  2. Write a post to show your award. Feel free to download the pic above to use on your blog.
  3. Give a brief story of how/why your blog started.
  4. Give two pieces of advice to new bloggers.
  5. Select 10 other bloggers you want to give this award to.
  6. Comment on each blog and let them know you have nominated and provide the link to the post you created.


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Julie Wernersbach & Carolyn Tracy
  Genre: Travel / Outdoors / Swimming
Publisher: The University of Texas Press
Date of Publication: May 16, 2017
Number of Pages: 240, 100 color photos
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A Must-Have, So-Much-More-Than a Guide Book – helping Texan families survive the summer (and learn a little too).

I absolutely loved The Swimming Holes of Texas.  Of course, majoring in geography and being a “fun fact” junkie might make me a bit biased.  The comprehensive information about each location, including historical, geographical and geological information, alongside the wonderful photography, serves the reader so much more deeply than the average “travel guide”.  

As mentioned in the introduction, summers are unbearable here in Texas and free time usually includes finding a way to cool off from the heat.  This book is a fantastic guide to the oasis that is the swimming hole.  Don’t miss the “pro-tips” for insider info (so you don’t get caught with your pants down – literally).  And most importantly, I think, the author stresses the importance of taking care of our natural sites.  Clean up after yourselves so that we leave it for others to use.  Kudos for making sure to reiterate that point.  We love our state, hence the motto, “Don’t Mess with Texas”.

Whether you’re a traveler just visiting, or a family looking for a unique place to have fun, you’ll find something to meet your needs in this book. The photographs are fantastic, capturing the magnificence of these unique places.  No matter where you are in Texas, you’ll find a place not too far away to make a day trip worthwhile.

I highly recommend this book, and will be keeping it handy to find a spot to cool off this summer.


Nothing beats a natural swimming hole for cooling off on a scorching summer day in Texas. Cold, clear spring water, big old shade trees, and a quiet stretch of beach or lawn offer the perfect excuse to pack a cooler and head out with family and friends to the nearest natural oasis. Whether you’re looking for a quick getaway or an unforgettable summer vacation, let The Swimming Holes of Texas be your guide.

Julie Wernersbach and Carolyn Tracy highlight one hundred natural swimming spots across the entire state. The book is organized by geographic regions, so you can quickly find local places to swim—or plan a trip to a more distant spot you’d like to explore. Each swimming hole is illustrated with an inviting color photo and a description of what it’s like to swim there, as well as the site’s history, ecology, and conservation. The authors include all the pertinent info about admission fees and hours, parking, and on-site amenities such as showers and restrooms. They also offer tips for planning your trips and lists of the swimming holes that are most welcoming to families and pets.

So when the temperature tops 100 and there’s nothing but traffic in sight, take a detour down the backroads and swim, sunbathe, revel, and relax in the swimming holes of Texas.

Julie Wernersbach, Austin, is the literary director of the Texas Book Festival and a former marketing director at BookPeople, Austin’s largest independent bookstore.
Carolyn Tracy, Austin, is a freelance photographer who works for an animal welfare nonprofit. They are the authors of Vegan Survival Guide to Austin.

Connect with The University of Texas Press:
  June 8-June 22, 2017
Book Trailer
Sneak Peek 1
Guest Post
Sneak Peek 2
Sneak Peek 3

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Audio Excerpts from The Sons of the Apocalypse MC Club by Roxanne Greening

Check out this super awesome narration! This lady is amazing!

Jesse: Sons of the Apocalypse: MC Book 4


JESSE: The Sons of the Apocalypse – MC Book 4 (Amazon USA) (Amazon U.K.)  (Amazon CA)  (Amazon AU)


BRANDON: Sons of the Apocalypse MC Book

Amazon US-

Amazon U.K.-

Amazon CA-

Amazon AU-








Reblog: On the non-reading of books by Americans — Why Evolution Is True

I’ve long heard the claim that the average American reads less than one book a year, but a Pew Poll released last November shows that that’s not accurate—in two ways. First, as I note below, the concept of “books read by the average American” isn’t accurate, as the concept of “the average American” is meaningless on […]

via On the non-reading of books by Americans — Why Evolution Is True

Review: BEFORE THE RAIN FALLS by Camille Di Maio

  Genre: Women’s Fiction / Historical / Family
Publisher: Lake Union Publishing
Date of Publication: May 16, 2017
Number of Pages: 334
Scroll down for Giveaway!
(I received an e-galley of this book in exchange for an honest review)
This is a story of love in it’s purest form.  It’s about sacrifice and family.  It’s about finding oneself amidst the crisis of your life.  It is truly a beautiful story.
This book cannot be classified into any particular genre.  It’s realistic fiction, women’s fiction, historical fiction, mystery, and romance.  Di Maio’s writing has springboarded from it’s already lofty place (with her debut novel, THE MEMORY OF US) with the story of Della Lee.  As the story unfolds, the author skillfully parallels four storylines, weaving them together like an elaborate tapestry to a beautiful and satisfying conclusion.  The characters are wonderful and the descriptions are so fantastic.  I could almost feel the heat on my skin as I read about Puerto Pasar I really can’t say enough about how much I enjoyed the writing in this book.
Absolutely DEVOURED this book! Best book I’ve read all year. It has history, romance, intrigue and wonderful characters that make you feel like you’ve known them all of your life. What an amazing story this turned out to be. I loved Di Maio’s first book, but this one blows it out of the water! I’d give it 10 stars if I could!
After serving seventy years in prison for the murder of her sister, Eula, Della Lee has finally returned home to the Texas town of Puerto Pesar. She’s free from confinement—and ready to tell her secrets before it’s too late.

She finds a willing audience in journalist Mick Anders, who is reeling after his suspension from a Boston newspaper and in town, reluctantly, to investigate a mysterious portrait of Eula that reportedly sheds tears. He crosses paths with Dr. Paloma Vega, who’s visiting Puerto Pesar with her own mission: to take care of her ailing grandmother and to rescue her rebellious younger sister before something terrible happens. Paloma and Mick have their reasons to be in the hot, parched border town whose name translates as “Port of Regret.” But they don’t anticipate how their lives will be changed forever.

Moving and engrossing, this dual story alternates between Della’s dark ordeals of the 1940s and Paloma and Mick’s present-day search for answers―about roots, family, love, and what is truly important in life.

Check out the book trailer!
Praise for Before the Rain Falls:
Still wiping away tears! Before the Rain Falls is simultaneously heartbreaking, hopeful, and joyous: a story of complex characters with varied pasts and bright futures. Loved it! – Jennifer B. on Goodreads
This novel takes readers on an emotional, fast-paced, ride through one sister’s journey to self, redemption, and the true meaning of “freedom.” – Nicole W. on Goodreads
There is romance, mystery, and secrets that are kept till the very end that will have you not wanting this beautifully written story to end. – Carol B. on Goodreads
Camille recently left an award-winning real estate career in San Antonio to become a full-time writer. Along with her husband of 19 years, she enjoys raising their four children. She has a bucket list that is never-ending and uses her adventures to inspire her writing. She’s lived in Texas, Colorado, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and California, and spends enough time in Hawai’i to feel like a local. She’s traveled to four continents (so far), and met Mother Teresa and Pope John Paul II. She just about fainted when she had a chance to meet her musical idol, Paul McCartney, too. Camille studied political science in college but found working on actual campaigns much more fun. She overdoses on goodies at farmer’s markets (justifying them by her support for local bakeries) and belts out Broadway tunes whenever the moment strikes. There’s almost nothing she wouldn’t try, so long as it doesn’t involve heights, roller skates, or anything illegal. The Memory of Us is Camille’s debut novel. Her second, Before the Rain Falls was released on May 16, 2017.


  May 17-31, 2017 
Excerpt 1
Author Interview
Guest Post
Excerpt 2
Deleted Scene
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Interview with Jackie Ashenden on her new release DANGEROUS BILLIONAIRE


Why did you choose to write in your particular field or genre?

I chose romance because I like writing about people and their relationships to one another. And I also really like giving people who’ve had tough backgrounds a happy ending with someone who loves them.

What do you think most characterizes your writing?

Lots of dark emotion and a gritty atmosphere. Plus sexy times!

What projects are you working on at the present?

At the moment I’m writing the first of a hot erotic suspense trilogy about a group of ex military guys who do certain ‘jobs’ for people. Then I’ll be writing the second in a biker series that will be out next year.

Fun Stuff

What is your go-to method for getting rid of hiccups?

Telling someone to ‘hiccup for me’. It only works once though.

If I gave you a pencil and piece of paper and told you to draw something funny, what would you draw?

Nothing. I can’t draw to save my life.

How many friendships have you ruined because you refused to play a game of Monopoly mercifully?

My kids hate me because I refuse to play Monopoly at all. Seriously, a game can take ALL DAY!

Do you have a favorite Girl Scout Cookie?

We don’t have Girl Scout cookies in NZ. But we do have Girl Guides and the chocolate chip Girl Guide biscuits are pretty good.

How many times does it take for you to listen to a song that you love before you actually hate it instead?

Many, many, many times.

This or That? 

Dogs or Cats? – Cats

Tea or Coffee?-  Coffee, always coffee.

TexMex or Italian? – Italian

Chocolate or Vanilla? – Chocolate.

Bond or Bourne? – Bond

Fun Facts about the Author

I used to be a librarian before I became an author and I also used to sing opera – neither of which I do anymore!

About the Author


“With a distinct voice and fresh, complex characters, Mine To Take is a sexy, emotional read that gripped me from page one. I can’t wait to see what Ashenden brings us next.”

–Laurelin Paige, New York Times bestselling author

“Utterly captivating…with searing sensuality…Ashenden has once again provided series fans with a book to savor and remember.” – RT Book Reviews Top Pick on In Bed with the Billionaire

“Dances on a dark edge and frolics in naughtiness.” – Kirkus on In Bed with the Billionaire

“The sex is dirty-sweet, with a dark lick of dominance and the tantalizing potential of redemption, and an explosive ending provides the perfect closure to Gabe and Honor’s story while setting up the next installment.”–Publishers Weekly Starred Review on Mine To Take

Jackie Ashenden

Jackie Ashenden lives in Auckland, New Zealand with her husband, the inimitable Dr. Jax, and their two kids and two cats. When she’s not torturing alpha males and their stroppy heroines, she can be found drinking chocolate martinis, reading anything she can lay her hands on, posting random crap on her blog, or being forced to go mountain biking with her husband.


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About the Book

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Critically acclaimed author Jackie Ashenden is back with the first installment in her new, provocative Tate Brothers series—a series about three Navy SEAL foster brothers who inherit a massive empire, including all the passion, pain, and desire that come with it.

THE DANGEROUS BILLIONAIRE (St. Martin’s Paperbacks, May 2, 2017; $7.99; 978-1-250-12279-7) introduces readers to the rugged Van Tate and the woman he has never been allowed to love.

Nothing about Sullivan “Van” Tate is what it seems. A Navy SEAL raised among the New York City elite, Van prefers heart-pounding action over a Wall Street corner office. But when his adoptive father dies and his business rivals move in to overtake his empire, Van must suit up to save the company and protect the one woman most forbidden to him…and the object of Van’s most dangerous desires.

Chloe Tate is as ambitious as she is gorgeous. With a newfound independence, Chloe is no longer a prisoner on her father’s ranch. But everything changes when losing her father may also mean losing her life. Even with her survival on the line, Chloe can’t deny the burning attraction she feels the moment she locks eyes with Van, her rich, rough and ready, foster brother and the new head of her father’s company. Tall, dark, and muscled, he’s the one man who she has no business being with. But how can she resist a Navy Seal Warrior when he’ll do anything to protect her?


Interview with Janna MacGregor on the release of BAD LUCK BRIDE


Why did you choose to write in your particular field or genre?

I’ve always loved Regency romances. Who wouldn’t want to ride in a stylish carriage with a matching team of black horses? Seriously, I love creating characters, particularly women, who must live under severe social and legal restrictions while trying to carve out an independent and worthwhile lives. Finding the perfect person to help him or her achieve those dreams is exciting.

Where did your love of books/storytelling/reading/writing/etc. come from?

My darling mom was an elementary reading teacher. She passed her love of books, especially romances, to me. Some of my fondest memories are the weekends we spent together. She would come home from teaching school all week with a bag full of paperback romances. She and her fellow teachers would swap books constantly. Needless to say, we had a ton of books around our house. My mother loved Regencies. One day, I found a Barbara Cartland novel and never looked back. 

How long have you been writing? 

I attended my first romance reader’s convention, the Romantic Times event in Kansas City, in May of 2013. I enrolled into a Cherry Adair plotting class just to see if I could learn anything about the genre I so loved. The class lasted a day. By the end of my time with Ms. Adair, I had a sketch in my mind of the Cavensham family. I plotted The Bad Luck Bride in a month, and wrote it in two months. Of course, then I had to learn how to edit.

What was the hardest part of writing this book? 

Let me answer that in two ways. Studying the craft of writing is hard. But, it’s fundamental to the story. For me, learning how to edit was painful at first, but now, it’s one of my favorite parts of the writing process. That’s where the story really starts to become polished and the characters shine. I don’t think you can ever short-change the editing process.

With this book specifically, the hardest was showing Lady Claire Cavensham and her survivor guilt in a sympathetic and realistic manner. Throughout her life, she tries to rationalize why bad things happen to her, but always comes back to the easiest explanation-she is cursed. I talked to a psychologist about Claire’s character, so hopefully, I’ve captured her essence in a way that will resonate with readers.

What did you enjoy most about writing this book? 

Creating scenes and developing the characters. The garden scene where we first see the Alex and Claire together was one of my favorites. I think you really get to see the characters’ personalities and vulnerabilities in that scene. Of course, the carriage scene on the way to the opera is another favorite.

Who are some of your favorite authors that you feel were influential in your work?  What impact have they had on your writing?

Without a doubt, I have to say Eloisa James, Lily Blackwood/Lily Dalton, and Maggie Robinson. In 2015, I attended a two-week workshop in Tuscany with Eloisa James. I learned not only how to become a better writer, but also the business aspects of writing. That time was invaluable, and Eloisa is such a supportive and giving person. One year, I won an auction from the RWA Beau Monde chapter for a critique from Lily Dalton. She taught me so much about the emotional aspects of writing. I’m eternally grateful to her. I’m a huge fan of Maggie Robinson, too. When I first wrote the book, Maggie graciously read it. She taught me the craft of writing. I am so, so lucky that these talented writers took an interest in my stories and me!

What did you find most useful in learning to write? 

Reading stories you love every day is fundamental to honing your craft. Plus, I entered a ton of contests and received wonderful feedback from the judges.

Are you a full-time or part-time writer?  How does that affect your writing?

Let me answer that in a different way. I’m somewhere in the middle of full-time and part-time. I still have a day job, but I’ve cut my hours there so I can devote more time to my writing. You have to write regularly if you want to get a book finished!

What are some day jobs that you have held?  If any of them impacted your writing, share an example.

Great question! I clerked for a federal district court judge where my job was researching and writing every day. After my clerkship, I taught legal writing and research at my alma mater. Though legal writing and writing romance are vastly different, in many ways they’re similar. A legal memo or brief must follow a certain structure. The same is true with a romance novel. Readers expect to have a fulfilling experience where the characters will go through some type of personal growth that will allow them to have a happy ever after.

What do you like to read in your free time?

I read romance! Contemporary, historicals, paranormals, if there’s a powerful love story in it, I’m game. There is nothing more uplifting than a couple who have to work through unbelievable odds to have their happily ever after!

What projects are you working on at the present?

Earlier this year, I finished the second book in the Cavensham Heiresses. This story The Bride Who Got Lucky features Claire’s cousin, Lady Emma Cavensham and Nicholas St. Mauer, the Earl of Somerton. It’s scheduled for an October 31st release. I had a tremendous amount of fun writing Emma and Nick’s story. I just finished the third book in the Cavensham Heiresses series. It features Lady Claire’s cousin, Lord Michael Cavensham, the Marquess of McCalpin, and Miss March Lawson, an embezzling sheep farmer. McCalpin meets his match with March, who’s introduced in The Bride Who Got Lucky.

About the Author

Praise for Janna MacGregor:

“A delightful debut! Janna MacGregor bewitched me with her captivating characters and a romance that sizzles off the page. I’m already a huge fan!” — New York Times bestselling author Eloisa James

“The Bad Luck Bride is a stroke of good luck for readers—the intricate plot, arresting characters, and rich emotional resonance will leave you swooning.” —New York Times bestselling author Sabrina Jeffries

“Readers, rejoice! We have a new writer to celebrate. Janna MacGregor writes with intelligence and heart. The Bad Luck Bride is a full-bodied Romance about what it truly means to love, to forgive, and to heal. Plus, it introduces us to characters we will enjoy as they grow and develop. Smart, smart Romance.” —New York Times bestselling author Cathy Maxwell

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Janna MacGregor was born and raised in the bootheel of Missouri. She credits her darling mom for introducing her to the happily-ever-after world of romance novels. Janna writes stories where compelling and powerful heroines meet and fall in love with their equally matched heroes.

She is the mother of triplets and lives in Kansas City with her very own dashing rogue, and two smug, but not surprisingly, perfect pugs. She loves to hear from readers. The Bad Luck Bride is her first novel.


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About the Book

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Mix together a Marquess hell-bent on revenge, a seemingly cursed bride, and a forced marriage that might just end in love after all and you’ll get Janna MacGregor’s sparkling debut, THE BAD LUCK BRIDE (St. Martin’s Paperbacks; May 2, 2017; $7.99; 978-1-250-11612-3).  This new Regency era romance finds its heroine, Claire Cavensham, unable to keep a suitor…again.  Claire is convinced her bad luck will never end, that is until Alexander Hallworth, Marquess of Pembrooke, steps in and changes everything.  His need for vengeance has him plotting to marry his enemy’s fiancée, but soon he finds himself falling for her.  Once secrets are revealed about the real reasons behind their engagement, will the scandal that ensues prove that Claire truly is cursed, or is their love strong enough to endure it… Readers of Regency romances and love stories alike will find themselves swept up in the tantalizing first installment of the Cavensham Heiresses series!

No one is left breathless at the imperious pronouncement of her engagement to Lord Pembrooke more than Claire. She hardly knows the dangerously outrageous man! But after three engagements gone awry and a fourth going up in glorious flames, she isn’t in a position to refuse…especially once she realizes that Lord Pembrooke makes her want to believe she’s not a bad luck bride anymore…

Alexander requires the hand of his enemy’s fiancée in marriage in order to complete his plans for revenge. It’s his good fortune that the “cursed” woman is desperate. However, what begins as a sham turns into something scandalously deeper. The beguiling lady has no business laying claim to his heart. But as a mission of revenge turns into fiery passion, Alexander wants nothing more than to break Claire’s curse…and lead them both to their hearts’ desire.