Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Author Interview with L.S. Young

Today Carly's View welcomes writer L.S. Young, author of A WOMAN SO BOLD from Soul Mate Publishing. L.S. has been obsessed with love stories and all things historical since she first read Little Women and Anne of Green Gables at age eight. Her debut novel, A Woman so Bold, was released by Soulmate Publishing. Her novel Montana Burning placed second in the historical romance category of the Chesapeake Romance Writers 2016 Rudy Contest. Her books feature realistic characters, complex female relationships, against-all-odds love stories, and witches.

Young grew up in the rural countryside of North Florida, and now lives in Central Florida with her husband and daughter, where she enjoys gardening, spying on Sandhill cranes, wandering through antique shops, and adding to her ever-increasing mug and book collection. 

She graduated from Southeastern University cum laude with a BA in English Literature and Religion. She is a member of the Historical Novel Society.

           ·    What made you decide to become a writer? 
I can remember being interested in writing as early as 3rd grade. I wrote some terrible and mostly plagiarized stories back then. I think reading Little Women and loving Jo March encouraged me in that direction too. I didn’t start writing steadily until around 10th grade, and I churned out a ton of inspirational historical romance for my friends to read back then! I wish my brain still worked that quickly. So it has been a dream of mine for a long time. 

·         Who are some of your favorite authors and why?
I love Jane Austen and L.M. Montgomery. I don’t think that even needs an explanation. In fantasy, you can’t beat Naomi Novik or Catherynne Valente for creativity and beautiful writing. I love Rosamunde Pilcher’s cozy British romances. And on a totally different note, I love Stephen King. He’s terrifying but his characters are fascinating. I am still working on reading all of his books.

·         If you could be any character in any book, who would it be and why?
I always wanted to be Jane Eyre. Not the terrible childhood, but living at Thornfield appeals to me. Or Daenerys Targaryen. Who doesn’t want beautiful clothes and dragons?

·         Do you have any hobbies you would like to share?
Lately I’ve been into macramé and yarn on plastic canvas. I also love to bake. So far this year I’ve experimented with pies, scones, and homemade bread.

·         Tell me about your first kiss? Was it magical or not so magical?
It was so far from magical that I considered inventing a better one. I guess I’ll go with the truth. It happened in a Walmart parking lot at midnight in the freezing cold. That’s all I’m going to say about that. Fiction is much more romantic.

·         Do you have another career besides writing? If so, what is it?
Not really. I worked in childcare and then taught English for a few years and now I’m a stay at home mom.

·         What’s an item on your bucket list that you haven’t done yet?
I love the ocean and I’ve always wanted to get a scuba diving certification, but the thought of all that deep water (and sharks!) scares me off a bit, and lately I’ve been considering taking up stand-up paddle boarding instead. At least paddle boards float!

·         Tell us the best vacation you have ever been on.
My family used to spend two weeks in North Carolina every summer and it was always great, but there is one year that stands out in my mind. There was no particular reason, except that it was a very poignant time in my life. I was still in college, I had a new camera, I read a lot and went for a lot of walks at twilight with fireflies all around, and there were horses pastured near the house where we were staying. Everything had such a beautiful quality to it. I feel like it was the last summer before I really grew up.
·         Where do you find the inspiration for your books?
From other historical fiction and romance, history, and everyday life. My first novel was inspired by my love of North Florida where I grew up, my second novel (a western romance) was inspired by watching When Calls the Heart and a dream I had. My current work in progress was inspired by my love of fantasy and Nordic folklore, and the sight of an old stone birdbath filled with water in the moonlight. In the beginning of the story, the heroine and her sister are scrying in an old stone basin.

·         Is there anything else you would like to share with your fans?
I’m currently at work on a possible sequel to my second novel Montana Burning, and I am researching for a NA historical fantasy romance set in 17th century Iceland. 

Want to know more about A WOMAN SO BOLD? Read on for a short blurb and excerpt:

Love. Betrayal. Redemption. Landra Andrews once dreamt of a life far from sweltering, sandy Florida, where she works on her father’s farm and cares for her stepmother’s many children. She thinks she has found love and freedom at last in the gentle and forgiving William Cavendish, a man who seems her peer in every way, but when a dark secret and a past lover intertwine to threaten their relationship, will their love, and her life, be ruined forever?

The next two dances were waltzes. I sat the first out, fanning myself and drinking a glass of punch Ida had abandoned in order to dance with Arnold, the Baptist minister’s handsome son. She hung on his arm, gazing at him, as he walked her back to the bench we’d been sharing. 
A moment later, Mr. Cavendish was at my elbow. “I believe I’ve engaged you for the next waltz,” he said.
I gasped, inspecting my dance card. “Oh, dear! It seems you have. I always seem to forget these things.”
He smiled, holding out his hand. “No matter. Shall we?”
I felt Ida pushing me. “Go! It’s beginning!” she hissed.
A moment later, I was dancing with him again. The waltz was far more intimate than the quadrille. A woman was face to face with her partner, looking into his eyes, clasped in his arms. For the first time in some years, I felt the exhilaration of mutual attraction blended with physical contact. It was a heady sensation, and I basked in it.
Then I fainted.
One moment, I was whirling around in blissful oblivion, and the next I was hot all over, watching the room fade into darkness. I came to on the balcony. Someone was slapping my wrists and cheeks, and Mr. Cavendish was fanning me. I tried to sit up.
“Stay put!” admonished Letty Hamilton in her nasal tones. She was the one slapping me. “I fainted an hour ago, and believe me, you’ll feel better if you lie still in the cool air.”
I closed my eyes and obeyed her. It was rather nice to lie there in the dark with the breeze blowing my hair away from my sweaty neck, if I didn’t dwell on the fact that I’d fainted in front of a man I found appealing. Eventually, Mr. Cavendish brought me a glass of water, and Letty found the decency to give me some air and move to the other side of the balcony with the gentleman she’d been speaking to when I was brought out.
“I’m afraid I’ve humiliated myself,” I said.
“Nonsense. You’re not the first woman to faint tonight. Nor the first to faint in my arms.”
“How debonair.”
He smiled. “I’m afraid my charm has nothing to do with it. Women compress their lungs with whalebone and prance around a crowded room all night in heavy silks, then wonder why they drop like flies.”
“However did I get out here?”
“I carried you, of course.”

Buy Link for A WOMAN SO BOLD:

·         Amazon

Follow L.S. Young on Social Media:

·         Website: http://lsauthor.wixsite.com/lsyoung
·         Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/lsyoungauthor/
·         Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/lsyoungauthor/
·         Twitter: @LSYoungAuthor
·         Instagram: @l.s.young_writes

Saturday, July 15, 2017

Book Feature of HIGHLAND FAITH by: Madelyn Hill

Carly's View welcomes writer Madelyn Hill to the blog today. Madelyn is a multi-published author who writes Highlander historical fiction. I will be reviewing Madelyn's latest release, HIGHLAND FAITH in the near future, but for today, I will give you a glimpse in the book.

Madelyn Hill has always loved the written word. From the time she could read and all through her school years, she'd sneak books into her textbooks during school. And she devoured books daily. At the age of 10 she proclaimed she wanted to be a writer. After being a "closet" writer for several years, she sent her manuscripts out there and is now published with Soul Mate Publishing. And she couldn't be happier! 

A resident of Western New York, she moved from one Rochester to another Rochester to be with the love of her life. They now have 3 children, a puppy named Cannoli and keep busy cooking, watching their children's sporting events, and of course reading!


Lady Faith wished for adventure. Be careful what you wish for . . .

Huntress Lady Faith MacAlister seeks adventure. Her father’s dying pledge tethers her to Wild Thistle Keep, thwarting her desire to explore the world beyond the palisade. Solace is found while hunting and providing sustenance for her clan. When snatched from the safety of MacAlister lands by a rogue bent on securing a ransom, she finds the adventure of her life.

Disgraced Captain Graeme Ross travels the high seas in search of bounty to sell in order to secure lands seized by the Crown. He longs to regain his honor in his father’s eyes and continually risks his life on the high seas. Lacking enough funds, Graeme and his crew follow Lady Faith MacAlister as she hunts. Out of need and desire, he kidnaps her. The lady captivates him for the moment he laid eyes upon her. Bold and spirited, she fights him. When he negotiates a ransom, deception tears the burgeoning romance apart.

Now, Lady Faith and Captain Ross seek to settle those differences hindering their union, despite the stretch of land and sea—and angry Highlanders standing between them.


’Twas her sister’s fault.
Hope had married Aidan MacKerry, leading the MacAlister Clan together, and now they were acting like lovesick cows. Aye, they’d recently had another bairn and ’twas why they were smiling like amadans. But Faith MacAlister had enough of the cooing and kissing.
She had to leave the Wild Thistle Keep or go mad.
Hunting was the only option.
The size of the MacAlister Clan dictated hunting trips each fortnight to keep the larder full. Faith grabbed her quiver and bow, left word with the guards at the palisade to inform the lairds Aidan and Hope her direction, and left to find sustenance and peace.
And now, three days later she continued stalking the elusive stag. She kenned her sister would be close to sending a group of men to look for her in a day or so. Luckily she’d managed an agreement with her sister whom was also her laird. An agreement between sisters proved hard to negotiate, but she’d won in the end. And she hunted without escort as long as she never left without telling the guards her direction.
A sun filled day, just cool enough not to need too much clothing that may hinder her movement, but warm enough she didn’t need to start a fire to warm herself. She stretched in the britches she’d stolen from one of the stable hands. Aye, she’d tried the tartan her sister Hope loved to wear, but found it too revealing as she moved and climbed to find her prey. And a gown, the devil take them, ’twould make it nigh impossible to hunt and secure meat for the clan.
She moved quietly through the woods. Each footfall, purposeful, silently brought her closer to her elusive prey.
Aye, there he stood. In the morning mist that hovered just above the low foliage, a proud, beautiful stag who’d avoided her arrow for too long. Huge, with several points on his rack and a cocksure stance stating, I’m king of the forest. She hated to take down the magnificent animal. But he’d provide for her clan and her duty dictated securing meat for those who depended on her.
She drew her bow, stretching the sinew, straining her arm muscles as she prepared to let the arrow fly. The feather fletching grazed her cheek as she held her breath waiting for the perfect moment to release. She’d traveled far for this chance, stalked her prey as her father had taught her so many years ago with her so wee she could barely hold a bow, much less draw and aim. And today, her size may well again thwart her hunting. ’Twould be problematic once the massive stag was felled. She’d have to dress him in the field and lug the meat back with her. No matter, she’d manage as always.
Two more steps forward. Stared down the length of the arrow past the head, ready to release.
“Well, well, well. What have we here?” a man said.

 Sounds rather interesting doesn't it? You can learn more about Madelyn and her books by following her on social media!

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

What I Did on my Summer Vacation by: Carly Jordynn

Hey guys, it's Carly and I'm on my own blog today. How many times did you come back to school after summer break, just to have to write the essay of what you did over the summer? Since I didn't have anybody scheduled for today, I thought I would share what I have been doing so far.

School let out the last week of May. That meant that I could sleep 90 extra minutes each morning since I didn't have to get my middle schooler up for school. That 90 minutes has made a huge difference in my life. I'm loving it!

In June, I had a lot of doctor's appointments going on, not only for myself, but for my family. Thankfully, by the end of the month, all issues were resolved. 

During June, I was able to do a lot of reading both for pleasure and work. Of course, I devoured the new Cassandra Clare book, LORD OF SHADOWS. I also loved Carolyn Haine's new book, STICKS AND STONES. I have to say, the book that surprised me the most was one I was asked to read by a friend of mine. It was written by her son, Bailey, who is 17 or 18 years old...sorry, can't remember his exact age. I have known this family for many years, attend Church with them, and have dinner with Bailey's mom once a month.  I have known Bailey since he was a little boy. I'm usually leery when asked to read something written by someone I know. Sometimes it's hard to be objective or you don't want to hurt their feelings...you guys know what I mean...it's hard.

Bailey's mom gave me his book on a thumb drive. All she told me was the genre, science fiction, and that it wasn't overly long. I was in the middle of reviewing a book for my blog so I had to postpone reading Bailey's book. I finally popped in the drive one afternoon and began to read. He has written a little over 27,000 words so far and I have to say, the story is flat out amazing. I decided then and there that I would do more than just read his book and give my opinion. I edited the first ten pages. It had all the typical first time mechanical errors. By doing the first ten, Bailey will be able to see what I am talking about and make those corrections throughout his manuscript. I read the rest of the story and was pleasantly surprised. He takes you deep into the parallel world with complex characters. The thing is, he sets it up so vividly that you don't have any problem imagining it. Stating the characters are complex is a bit of an understatement, but again, he describes and writes it so well that you don't have any problems following along. There were times when his story totally took me by surprise. There was no way to predict what would happen next. Yes, folks, his story is that good. I found myself drawn in and wanting to know more. I have spoken to Bailey's mom and grandmother about this book and told them they need to seriously encourage him in his writing. He has what it takes to make it...all he needs is a little editing, which he will learn with practice and time.

For the rest of my summer, I have an appointment for new author photos, as well as, new modeling portfolio pictures for my daughter. I have a few weekend and day trips planned. Oh, another surprise back in June...a friend from college was in town for a conference. He called and we went out to dinner at Abuelos. He's still as handsome as ever, not only in looks, but in his personality. He makes me laugh. I had a wonderful time and hope to see him again some day.

At the end of this month, I have a reunion to attend at a friend's farm. The reunion is a group from the Baptist Student Union from NKU in the 1980's. Wow, the memories from that time :) Last year was our first reunion. It had been around 30 years since I had seen some of these folks. Our campus minister was able to make it in and we had around 70 people show up. Hoping this year is even bigger. It's great to catch up with everyone again.

Last but not least is the changes I am making with me. For one, I am more active in my Church which is something I have wanted for a long time now. For another, a dear friend passed away a couple of years ago. He was an athlete and I...well let's just say I could win at couch potato sitting LOL. About a month ago, I decided I would complete a 5k in his memory. I have no delusions of being able to run the whole thing, but I would like to be able to do a part walk/part run. I started a little over 2 weeks ago. The race I have picked out is in March. So far I have lost 6.6 pounds. Yesterday, I walked 2 miles in 45 minutes. Maybe when I get good enough to run some of it, my time will improve. Hopefully by March, I will be able to complete the 3 miles in an hour. That is my goal. 

Oh, before I forget, I am still writing on the final book in the Forest of the Mist series and the final book in the Sasha series. I hope to have them finished by the end of October. ETA for publication would be spring of 2018.

Hope you guys have a wonderful summer!


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Author Bio:

Carly Jordynn is a writer from Northern Kentucky. Her books are published by Soul Mate Publishing and are available on Amazon in e-book and on Barnes and Noble for paperback versions. When Carly isn't writing, she enjoys spending time with her family, working at Church, walking, music, movies, traveling, party planning, shopping and reading.