Tag Archives: Author

October Spotlight: Amy Alessio

Set * Overcome * Achieve * Receive

October – November

You may encounter defeats, but you must not be defeated. In fact, it may be necessary to encounter the defeats, so you can know who you are, what you can rise from, how you can still come out of it.

Maya Angelou

 

Our October Dare to SOAR participants!

J.C. DePaul
Sherry Weddle
Katrina Bauer
R.Q. Bell 
Michele
j. leigh bailey

Author Spotlight

Amy Alessio

Amy Alessio is an award-winning librarian (a former WC librarian of the year!) with a black belt in karate. Her latest reference book is the co-authored of A Year of Fandom Fun (American Library Association, 2017). Her fiction includes the Amazon bestselling Alana O’Neill mysteries with vintage recipes, including the 2017 Struck by Shillelagh. She teaches graduate-level young adult literature and webinars on book trends and social media. She enjoys helping authors find readers through her work at AuthorRx and she is a romance reviewer for Booklist. Her husband and two sons keep life moving fast. You can see them on their live cooking videos.
As Lia Violet, she’s been having fun writing romantic erotica with Ginger Leone since February. They have two series and a review blog. Their latest searing collection, Autumn Fever, the third in their Seasons of Three series, was published on Halloween, 2017.
Connect with Amy: www.amyalessio.com
Lia Violet & Ginger Leone review blog: https://www.facebook.com/QuickieRomanceReviews/

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September Spotlight: Livia Grant

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September – October
You have to trust in something – your gut,destiny,life, karma,whatever.
This approach has never let me down, and has made all the difference in my life. – Steve Jobs

 

Our September Dare to SOAR participants!

Susan Gibberman
J.C. DePaul
Cindy Maday
Sherry Weddle
Katrina Bauer
j. leigh bailey
Stephanie Scott
Kelly Garcia
Michelle Blackstone
Carmella A. Martino

 Author Spotlight

Livia Grant

USA Today bestselling author Livia Grant lives in Chicago with her husband and two sons… one a teenager, the other a furry rescue dog named Max. She is blessed to have traveled extensively and as much as she loves to visit places around the globe, the Midwest and its changing seasons will always be home. Livia started writing when she felt like she finally had the life experience to write a riveting story that she hopes her readers won’t be able to put down. Livia’s fans appreciate her deep character driven plots, often rooted in an ensemble cast where the friendships are as important as the romance… well, almost.

Livia will be releasing her 16th book in October. It’s the next installment of her Black Light series.

 

Connect with Livia:

Facebook: https://facebook.com/lb.grant.9

Twitter: https://twitter.com/LBGrantAuthor

Email: lb.grant@yahoo.com or livia@liviagrant.com

Instagram: @liviagrantauthor

 

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August Spotlight: D.L. Larson

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August – September

 

However bad life may seem, there is always something you can do, and succeed at. While there’s life, there is hope
— Stephen Hawkins

 

Author Spotlight

D.L. Larson

What do you do when you believe you are headed for the big city only to fall in love with a farm boy? You say, “Good bye, city life, and bloom where you are planted.”

I thought writing was something other people did, not me. I wrote news articles for a lady’s group, I chartered another organization in my hometown and wrote the constitution for it. I became a state officer in that women’s group and used my writing often. I wrote Christmas scripts for church, never believing I was being a writer. I stumbled upon my first paying job. A woman called and asked me to write a poem for her organization. I wrote the poem and got paid. I still have the wooden chest I purchased with the money I received.

By the time my third child was born I had a yearning to write, really write. I went back to school thinking I was pretty rusty with the English language. Seemed I remembered a great deal and won my first awards in writing fiction.

I completed my first manuscript in 1992 – I know, I’m really old! My daughter had just graduated from high school.  It wasn’t until my youngest graduated from college did I sell my first book. I waited and waited for the reviews to come out. Nothing happened. My publisher promised me she had sent my book on months ago. I finally grew brave enough to call Midwest Book Review and asked about the delay. They had misplaced my book. They apologized and within a week I received a personal note and a great review. Nine months had gone by and I never entered that book into any contests. I would like a do-over, if I could …

My other two books, historical fiction, received a few awards. Promises To Keep won a Reader’s Choice Award in 2008, and Promises My Love was in the top fifteen finalists in 2014 in the ILA Soon To Be Famous Illinois Writer Contest.

My goal is to continue writing even as life gets in the way. Currently I’m working on a sci-fi romance. When I get that first chapter to behave and say what I want it to say … I’ll move on to publishing.

My office is littered with my historical romance series along with my sci-fi series. Long ago I prayed for something meaningful to write about and the good Lord delivered. I have seven books in my historical series complete ~ waiting for me to do something with them. Plus my sci-fi series has four and one still a WIP… if only my grandkids weren’t so darn cute … I’d be sooo much more productive.

Writing is a journey. So don’t be discouraged if your writing takes a backseat now and then. I’m still working my way up the mountain.

DL Larson

 

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July Spotlight: Blythe Gifford

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July – August

Writing has freed me from the despair of living. ~ Anita Brookner

 

Our July Dare to SOAR participants!

 

Any one who wrote a paragraph or a page or a word on a page.

Anyone who sat their butt in the chair and put their fingers to the keys

and attempted to create something original.

Anyone who deleted words and rewrote them. Added a comma and took it out again.

Changed giggled to laughed and then laughed back to giggled.

Anyone who made any effort at all toward their dream of dreams.

Even if it was the tiniest of a tiny baby step. However big or small.

That step matters.

Dare to Dream.

Dare to Soar.

 

Author Spotlight

Blythe Gifford

After many years in public relations, advertising and marketing, Blythe Gifford started writing seriously after a corporate layoff. Ten years and one layoff later, she became an overnight success when she sold her first book to the Harlequin Historical line.

The Chicago Tribune has called her work “the perfect balance between history and romance.”

Set primarily in in England and on the Scottish Borders, most of her books incorporate real historical events and characters.  RUMORS AT COURT, her May release from Harlequin Historical, is her third Royal Wedding Story.  Like SECRETS AT COURT and WHISPERS AT COURT, it takes place against the backdrop of the weddings and marriages of the children of the medieval English King Edward III.

A long time RWA member, Blythe will be attending her 24th RWA National Conference this year.She is lobbying for a special pin in honor of her 25th!

For more information, visit www.blythegifford.com, www.facebook.com/BlytheGifford, www.twitter.com/BlytheGifford, www.pinterest.com/BlytheGifford, or www.instagram.com/blythegifford/

 

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May Spotlight: Shelley Tracy

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May – June

 

I cannot live without books- Thomas Jefferson

 

Our May Dare to SOAR participants!

 

Susan Gibberman
J.C. DePaul
Cindy Maday
Sherry Weddle
Katrina Bauer
R.Q. Bell
Stephanie Scott

 

Author Spotlight

 

 

Shelley Tracy

 

Shelley Tracy is a writer, mother, grandmother, and a retired teacher. She is happiest when she is spoiling her grandchildren or writing. Currently, she is working on another paranormal story.
 

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April Spotlight: Barbara Valentin

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April – May

One of the most beautiful qualities of true friendship is to understand and to be understood.

 

Our April Dare to SOAR participants!

Alma-Marie Graf
Denise Swanson
J.C. DePaul
Patricia Ruocco
Carmela Martino
Sherry Weddle
Katrina Bauer
R.Q. Bell
Robin Kuss

 

Author Spotlight

Barbara Valentin

 

Barbara is a corporate minion and over-scheduled parent. A second-generation journalist, her work has appeared in the Chicago Tribune and its affiliates as well as Mom.Me. Her true love, though, is writing romantic comedies. If you’re looking for fun, light stories filled with relatable characters and happy endings, be sure to check out her Assignment: Romance series!

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Cathie Linz Romance Appreciation Dinner

It’s Windy City’s Annual Romance Appreciation Dinner!

Join your fellow WC members, local librarians and booksellers as we gather to honor those who celebrate the romance genre.  Every year we honor one special librarian who goes above and beyond to support romance with the NI Librarian Of The Year Award.

***This is a catered event and we’d love to have an accurate count of our attendees. Please RSVP by 3/24/17***

Windy City members please sign up on the yahoo loop to bring a dish or beverage to share.

(If you have any questions please feel free to contact Susan Gibberman at: sgibberman@stdl.org)

NI Librarian Of The Year Award

  • Any librarian in Northern Illinois is eligible for nomination
  • Criteria for nomination should include going “above and beyond” in service to romance readers, writers, and the genre.
  • Any member in good standing of Windy City RWA can nominate a librarian.
Our RAD dinner is intended to foster good will, education, and communication between Chapter members, local area booksellers and librarians.

January Spotlight: Tracey Devlyn

Set * Overcome * Achieve * Receive

 

January – February

 

A writer–and, I believe, generally all persons–must think that whatever happens to him or her is a resource… All that happens to us, including our humiliations, our misfortunes, our embarrassments, all is given to us as raw material, as clay, so that we may shape our art.
                                                              -Jorge Luis Borges

 

Our January Dare to SOAR participants!

Carmela
Vanessa M. Knight
Denise DiLeo
A. Lynne Wall
j. leigh bailey
Stephanie Scott
Cheryl Lynn Neumann
Sherry Weddle
Katrina Bauer
R.Q. Bell
Nicole Leiren
Regena Bryant

 

Author Spotlight

Tracey Devlyn

 

USA Today bestselling author Tracey Devlyn wanted to be the next Dian Fossey and explore the wilds of Africa, but that was before she met chemistry and calculus and realized a business major, rather than a scientific degree, might be more up her alley. With a creative mind capable of bringing the nineteenth century to life and an enthusiasm for research that borders on disturbing, it was no surprise when she started penning romantic historical thrillers that have been met with high critical acclaim.  On top of all that, Tracey is a closet entrepreneur who co-founded the popular Lady Jane’s Salon-Naperville, Chicagoland’s exciting new reading salon devoted to romantic fiction. Tracey spends her evenings with her sexy practical-joke-playing husband who she has yet to pay back for the sneaky underwear trick and her weekends torturing her Regency-era characters. For more information on Tracey, please visit www.TraceyDevlyn.com.

Tracey’s latest release:

LOVING DEEP

Steele Ridge, Book 4

When passions of the heart and soul collide, these lovers are forced to make dangerous choices.

 WOULD YOU LIKE TO BE A DANGEROUS DARLING?

DANGEROUS DARLINGS is an exclusive reader group of authors Tracey Devlyn, Adrienne Giordano & Kelsey Browning.

If you enjoy ROMANCE, then come join us! Our DARLINGS are passionate and enthusiastic readers who love to spread the word about our books. As a DARLING, you’ll be the first to see our covers, read our excerpts, and vie for our giveaways! Oh, and we have a lot of fun.

Interested in becoming part of our exclusive Dangerous Darlings reader club? Are you on Facebook? Love Tracey, Kelsey and/or Adrienne’s books? Sign up HERE!

Questions? Contact Lisa at DangerousDarlingsStreetTeam@gmail.com

Dangerous Darlings Rules:

If you have any questions email DangerousDarlingsStreetTeam@gmail.com. You must be 18 years old to join. Dangerous Darlings is sponsored by authors Tracey Devlyn, Adrienne Giordano and Kelsey Browning. No purchase necessary. The authors and virtual assistant are not responsible for transmission failures, computer glitches or lost, late, damaged or returned mail.

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June Dare to SOAR – Spotlight: Pauline Gruber

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June – July

 

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Our JUNE Dare to SOAR participants!

 

Michelle Blackstone
Sherry Weddle
Stephanie Scott
R.Q. Bell
Savannah Reynard
Kelly Garcia
Chris F.
Cindy Mayday

 

Author Spotlight

Pauline - Color (3 of 6)

Pauline Gruber

Pauline Gruber is a self-professed music junkie, cat wrangler, and travel nut. She went to Paris in the 90’s where she discovered a love of three things: croissants, old cathedrals, and gargoyles. Deciding that the paranormal world could use a new kind of hero, Pauline translated her fascination with the protective gargoyle into a suspenseful love story. She is the author of the series: The Girl and the Raven, The Girl and the Gargoyle, and the forthcoming novel, The Girl and the Demon. By day, Pauline is a legal assistant for a Chicago law firm where she steals identities and incorporates them into her books. If you tell anyone, she’ll deny, deny, deny.

Pauline lives outside of Chicago with her precocious black cats and impressive gargoyle collection.

For more information about the author, her novels, and book signings please visit: www.paulinegruber.com.

The Girl and the Raven Cover

Why do I write paranormal fiction?

I write what I like to read, watch on TV and at the movies!

As a kid I remember watching a Dracula movie on TV (my aunt was babysitting and fell asleep on the couch). It scared the bejeesus out of me, so I hid under the coffee table with my hands over my ears while I squeezed my eyes closed. Then I crawled out to watch a few more minutes, before diving to my “safe” place under the table again. This went on until the credits rolled. That’s when my fascination with scary stories began.

Over the years I would add more movies, such as: The Exorcist, The Omen, The Fog, and Poltergeist. And it wasn’t just about movies. I devoured scary books, too! The Shining by Stephen King? I couldn’t put it down—then proceeded to read Christine, The Stand, ‘Salem’s Lot, and Firestarter.

It wasn’t until I read Interview With a Vampire by Anne Rice that I became enthralled with vampires (stoked, no doubt, from watching my first Dracula The Girl and the Gargoyle Cover copymovie so long ago). After Rice’s Vampire Chronicles, there was Charlaine Harris’s Sookie Stackhouse novels, the Twilight Saga by Stephenie Meyer, Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead, and The Morganville Vampires series by Rachel Caine.

Vampires aren’t your thing? The paranormal world has so much more to offer. I’m a big fan of the mermaids in Lies Beneath by Anne Greenwood Brown, Cole Gibsen’s novel, Katana, about a teen girl harboring the spirit of a five-hundred-year-old samurai warrior, and the story of angels and monsters as depicted in Laini Taylor’s lush novel, Daughter of Smoke and Bone.

Confession time. I read realistic fiction, too. Have you heard of Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell or Voyage of the Defiance by S.E. Smith? They’re very different books, but equally wonderful. Once I finish writing my current series, I’ll switch gears with my new YA series which—while chock full of drama, dysfunction, and wackiness—has no supernatural elements. Stay tuned!

Feb. Dare to SOAR – Author Spotlight: Savannah Reynard

Set * Overcome * Achieve * Receive

February – March

GO CONFIDENTLY in the direction of YOUR DREAMS live the life YOU’VE IMAGINED

Our February Dare to SOAR participants!

Nicole Leiren
Kelly Garcia
Cindy Maday
Sherry Weddle* (raffle winner)
Michelle Blackstone
Katrina Bauer
Robin Kuss
Vanessa M. Knight
Savannah Reynard
Chris Foutris
Lynne Wall
Cheryl Huth
j. leigh bailey
Stephanie Scott

Author Spotlight

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Savannah Reynard

 Savannah Reynard wanted to have a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and win an Oscar for best actress until she stumbled upon an abnormal psychology class and fell in love with the human psyche. She now combines her creative side with her experience working in the mental health field to write about characters who rise from their lowest points and achieve their undiscovered potential in her fantasy and paranormal romances. In these worlds, she makes sure everyone gets their happily ever afters. Savannah’s own storybook ending consists of living in the Chicagoland area with her two favorite men in the world, her husband and son, along with two quirky cats and one very lovable black lab.

Savannah just published her first story in the Windy City anthology, A Lovely Meal. As a newly published author she’d be happy to talk about her writing and publishing experiences as a newbie. She has a Bachelor’s in psychology and has worked for almost twenty years on an inpatient adolescent psych unit. She welcomes the chance to share some of her experiences.