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Debut Print Book: Waltz with a Stranger by Pamela Sherwood

Debut Print Book: Waltz with a Stranger by Pamela Sherwood

I’ve had some concerns by readers who are primarily print readers that the coverage at Dear Author has been too focused on ebooks. When I asked the readers what they were interested in seeing, they responded that they would like to know more about print debut authors. We developed a little questionnaire and every Wednesday at 10:00 AM CST (as long as we have content) we’ll post the questionnaire answers along with links to the author’s site and a buy link to her book. I hope this helps people discovery new books. Now, on to the answers.

 Waltz with a Stranger by Pamela Sherwood

Name of debut release: Waltz with a Stranger

Release date: 12/04/2012

Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca

2 sentence summary: A man who never expected to inherit, a woman who never expected to wed, and a choice that pits their honor against their hearts. One dance will change their lives forever.

Genre: Historical Romance, Mystery

Characters: Aurelia Newbold, an American heiress lamed and scarred from a riding accident three years before the story begins. She’s convinced she is both undesirable and unmarriageable, unlike her beautiful twin sister who seems destined for a brilliant match.

James Trelawney–handsome, chivalrous, and kind–who draws Aurelia out of her shell for a secret waltz by moonlight and wins her heart. But can she ever hope to win his, especially after he succeeds to an earldom and her dazzling twin stakes a claim to his hand?

What makes this story different: A heroine who lives with permanent disability and disfigurement–no miracle cures, only the best treatment available at the time.

Twins whose sisterly bond is every bit as strong as their love for a man.

A triangle in which all three parties are sympathetic figures struggling to do the right thing–even when they’re no longer sure what the right thing is.

Is this a series?: The series is unnamed at this time.

Why you wrote this book: Several things inspired me to write Waltz with a Stranger: the transatlantic marriage market of the late 1800s, Edith Wharton’s The Buccaneers, the fairy tale Beauty and the Beast, and an early Tennyson poem, “The Sisters,” about a man who falls in love with identical twins. The poem ends tragically, but there’s no clear-cut villain–just three young people trying to do what they think is right and making a hopeless muddle of it. I wondered just how a happy ending could have emerged from all that confusion. The romantic triangle between the hero and the twins is at the heart of Waltz with a Stranger, but it is much more happily resolved than in the poem that inspired it!

Why is this your first published book? How many did you write before? I wrote and shopped one novel before Waltz with a Stranger. My first novel did win me representation with my agent and there were a number of readers who liked it, but as of this writing, it hasn’t yet found a home. So we set it aside for now, and focused on finishing Waltz with a Stranger, which sold quickly once it went out on submission.

What’s your writing process? I write in the early mornings when the house is quiet and in the evenings when all the cooking and clean-up is finished. I try to produce 1000 words a day. Sometimes I make my quota, sometimes I fall short, sometimes I hit a hot streak and go well beyond it. But having a projected goal tends to help.

So does having a general outline before I begin a project. It’s like having a road map before going on a trip: you need to know your starting point and your ultimate destination, even if you take some interesting detours along the way.

Your next published book. A Song at Twilight, a loose sequel to Waltz with a Stranger.

The last book you read that you loved. Tempting the Bride by Sherry Thomas

The last book you read for research. In a Gilded Cage: From Heiress to Duchess by Marian Fowler

The romance book character you most identify with. Harriet Vane in Gaudy Night–which isn’t strictly a romance, but has a major romantic subplot–mainly because she’s work-oriented, independent, slightly prickly, and rather sardonic, but capable of deep love all the same.

Pamela Sherwood

You can check out more about Pamela Sherwood and her books at http://pamelasherwood.wordpress.com

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Debut Print Book: LESSON IN ROMANCE by Harmony Evans

Debut Print Book: LESSON IN ROMANCE by Harmony Evans

I’ve had some concerns by readers who are primarily print readers that the coverage at Dear Author has been too focused on ebooks. When I asked the readers what they were interested in seeing, they responded that they would like to know more about print debut authors. We developed a little questionnaire and every Wednesday at 10:00 AM CST (as long as we have content) we’ll post the questionnaire answers along with links to the author’s site and a buy link to her book. I hope this helps people discovery new books. Now, on to the answers.

Lesson-in-Romance-final-cover

Name of debut release: LESSON IN ROMANCE

Release date: 09/18/2012

Publisher: Harlequin Kimani Romance

2 sentence summary: LESSON IN ROMANCE tells the story of a famous jazz saxophonist who can’t read and the literacy teacher who has to teach him how in 3 days. If she fails, she could lose a substantial donation that will prevent the Harlem literacy center she owns from shutting its doors forever.

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Characters: My heroine is Cara Williams, a Harlem literacy teacher who has a deep love for her community. She owns a community-based literacy center that she has cultivated from the ground-up, but now, she faces losing the center due to lack of funds, and she’ll do anything to save it.

Alex Dovington, the hero, is a famous jazz saxophonist with a terrible secret: he’s illiterate. He’s been able to hide it for years, but now, he’s been booked on a reading tour for Harlem elementary schools. His manager hires Cara to teach him how to read a basic children’s book, but because of the dates of the tour, the time limit is short: 3 days.

What makes this story different: The premise of LESSON IN ROMANCE is built around illiteracy — a serious real-life issue. As I was doing research, I was amazed at the number of stories I found of professional people who were successful at hiding the fact that they were functional illiterates for years. When I combined the illiteracy factor + secrecy + a famous person, I discovered that I had an idea for a book that I could really delve into…and the story flowed from there.

Is this a series?:

Why you wrote this book: The idea for writing this particular book came during a time when I was very dissatisfied with my life, and not really knowing where I fit in or what I wanted to do. I was talented in a lot of different areas but still wasn’t happy. I was actually at work, on a break, and reading a book and it was a very stressful day. And the following thoughts came to me suddenly: “what if I couldn’t read? what would I do then? how would I find an escape from whatever troubles me at the moment?” And I really began to feel grateful for the ability to read because for me, books DO provide an escape from reality and oftentimes when I’m done reading, I come away with a renewed sense of HOPE about life.

So that’s really why I wrote this book: to open eyes about the issue of illiteracy, to give readers a sense hope about life, love and overcoming tragedy, and because I am simply grateful that I can read (and write!).

Why is this your first published book? How many did you write before? Yes. This is my first published book, and the first book I actually wrote. I worked on LESSON IN ROMANCE for about 10 years prior to submitting it to agents and publishers.

What’s your writing process? I typically write in the evenings, after my daughter goes to sleep, and into the early morning. Sometimes I write in silence, other times I will listen to music. It could be classical, jazz, house or R&B, depending on my mood (and sometimes the scene in the book!)

Your next published book. My second contemporary romance for Harlequin Kimani Romance will be released in Fall 2013.

The last book you read that you loved. I recently finished reading PRAYERS & LIES by Sherri Wood-Emmons. It centered around a question that I struggle with daily which is “does God answer prayers?” I didn’t get the answer, but I loved the book anyway!

The romance book character you most identify with. Scarlett O’Hara, Gone with the Wind. I love this book and read it about once a year. Like myself, Scarlett is adamantly independent, yet emotional and vulnerable at the same time. She goes for what she wants and stops at nothing until she gets it. She also loves hard and has a difficult time letting go. I share all of these traits with this timeliness heroine!!

You can check out more about Harmony Evans and her books at http://www.harmonyevans.com

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