Tag Archives: Writing Advice

Deerbourne Inn Dates: Peggy Chambers

Today I’m talking to Peggy Chambers, author of 2 YA Fantasy Novels, 3 Adult Suspense Novels, 1 Adult Fantasy Novella, and 1 Adult Pulp Fiction novel. She is a contributing author to the Deerbourne Inn series and her book Witches’ Cliff  is out now.

What’s the first book you remember reading on your own as a child, or your favourite childhood read?

I remember the Dick and Jane books from grade school when I first started reading. I loved taking the newspaper my dad always read and picking out words I’d learned at school. My favourite books to read later in grade school were the Nancy Drew series.

What’s your favourite place to write?

I have an over-sized red leather recliner in the guest bedroom that used to belong to my father-in-law. It is too big for me, but immensely comfortable. In the room I am surrounded by family objects: my grandmother’s bed, a small table that belonged to my dad, pictures from my aunt, and a muse in the form of a drawn print from a friend I used to work with. All these things are comforting and inspiring.

What’s the most important lesson you have learned on your writing journey so far?

Keep learning. You can never learn all there is about writing. I love to learn what other writers do and try it in my own writing.

What do you do when you feel stuck?

Like most writers, I get stuck in the middle of the story. I always know how it starts and where it is going. The middle of the story is more difficult. When I get stuck, I write a different section of the story, leave it at the bottom of the manuscript and eventually it will go in the right place.

Writers are readers too. Please recommend a romance you recently read and enjoyed.

I love the Outlander series by Diana Gabledon, but I recently read three romance novellas in the Deerbourne Inn series, Hope’s Dream by Peggy Jaeger, Soul of the Storm by Jean M. Grant, and Lyrical Embrace by Amber Daulton. I highly recommend them – a short read with a powerful story.

What was it that appealed to you about the Deerbourne Inn series?

I love a quaint inn. I’ve never been to Vermont, though it is on my bucket list, but the setting at the inn on Halloween made me think of witches and then the Salem Witch Trials that took place near the area. It made for the perfect backdrop for a story. Also, the Wild Rose Press has some impressive authors in their stable. I wanted to get to know them and be associated with them as people and authors.

What was the inspiration behind Witches’ Cliff?

WitchesCliff_w13159_750I chose the holiday of Halloween because I thought most of the stories would be set at Christmas. As I said, Halloween made me think of witches and I started to research the Salem Witch Trails. The story took off from there.  I don’t write historical novels, so I set it in the present and included a visit from a ghost who knew about the witch trials of Willow Springs.

Tell us about Witches’ Cliff  in 150 words or less.

In 1692 Salem, Massachusetts held the witch trials and many innocent women died. During that same dark time the tiny town of Willow Springs, Vermont had their own slaughter at a local cliff. Penny Winter’s ancestor was one of those witches.

Years later Penny’s mother moved to Salem with her new baby to avoid the long memories of her neighbors. Penny learned the wiccan ways from her mother and became a professor of history at a local university. And then she met Jeff.

With no relatives to depend upon, Penny returns to the town where her grandmother died to seek her opinion of the man who has asked her to marry him. She once again encounters a Willow Springs witch. It’s Halloween and Penny desperately needs to talk to her ancestor before she marries, and it has to be at the cliff where grandma died. But she is not alone.

Do you have an extract you can share with us?

Appearing from nowhere, the elderly woman, in a tattered dark dress stood in the middle of the road.  Her wild hair strung with branches like she had fallen in the forest before stumbling onto the highway.

Swerving to a stop on the side of the road, Penny threw open the door. Jumping from the car she raced back where the woman had been – and stood in the middle of the road turning around.

No one was there.

She spun in a circle three times, searching the woods beside the road for the woman. Where could she have disappeared? The woman was there – Penny saw her. But no one could be found in the area, now.

A horn blasted behind her making Penny jump and twist around.  The semi barrelled down the highway and she leapt out of the way, running for her car.  That was real, and much too close.

“Go home.” The voice whispered in her ear. And once again Penny spun around.

Buy link: https://tinyurl.com/y3fktu44

Where can readers find you online? 

My website is located at http://peggylchambers.wordpress.com/ where I write a weekly blog. You can like me on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/BraWars, connect with me on Twitter at @ChambersPeggy, or on Instagram at champeggy.

Thanks for stopping by Peggy. I’m intrigued to read Witches’ Cliff and I LOVE your cover.

Our Five Favourite Summer Reads

I read many fabulous books this quarter, but my five favourites are:

 DILF by Amy Andrews (contemporary)

DILF‘Serious DILF alert.’ Those are the words that warn Stefanie that her younger brother’s best friend Owen has grown up and graduated as a doctor. He’s about to start work at St Bart’s General Hospital, and she had promised her brother he could stay with her until he found his own place. But… that was when she still thought he was a skinny teenager with acne rather than the hottest doctor in town. The chemistry between them is off the charts but there are a zillion reasons why having sex with Owen is a bad idea. For starters, there’s the age. Owen doesn’t see it as a problem. He’s always had a thing for Stefanie even if she didn’t notice him before. Stefanie is ready to settle down and have babies. She reckons Owen still has to date a thousand nurses. Can he change her mind and get her to give them a chance, first in the present and then in the future? Written with Amy Andrew’s trademark wit and wickedly sexy encounters, this is a delicious romp that will have you alternatively laughing out loud and fanning yourself.

Down and Dirty (Men of Haven) by Rhenna Morgan (contemporary)Men of Haven

I’ve been waiting a long time for Axel’s story, ever since I met him in book 1 of Men of
Haven alongside his brother by choice Jace. Rhenna Morgan doesn’t disappoint. His love interest, rock lead singer Elizabeth is his perfect foil, bringing out all of Axel’s protective instincts and allowing him to engage more fully with the music world he loves and turned his back on as a young man. Elizabeth is scared of being overwhelmed. She’s been down that path once before. Axel, with his dark desires and ferocious intelligence is surprising hesitant when it comes to pursuing Elizabeth, needing a good push from his family. I adored this series and hope to see all the characters pop up again in future series from Ms Morgan.

Devil’s Daughter (The Ravenels) by Lisa Kleypas (Victorian)

Devil's DaughterThe Ravenels and the second generation of wallflowers just can’t seem to keep their hands off each while declaring they just won’t suit. This leads Sebastian, former wicked Lord St Vincent and now meddling Duke of Kingston, to pull strings in order to ensure his beloved daughter Phoebe gets her happily ever after second time around. Phoebe doesn’t want to like West Ravenel. He’s the boy who bullied her poor dead husband at school. But, her father likes him, her son adores him, and even her brother thinks men can change. West doesn’t think he’s good enough for Phoebe. Will all Sebastian’s meddling come to naught or will passion overcome Phoebe’s scruples long enough to allow her to seduce West? Lisa Kleypas once again delivers a witty, intelligent romance with a cast of memorable characters.

On Bended Knee (The Wicked Worthingtons) by Celeste Bradley (Regency)On Bended Knee

I had the great good fortune to meet Celeste Bradley as part of the Australian Romance Readers Association (ARRA) book signing tour of Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne and Perth. She is charming with a dry sense of humour that resonates through her books. If you haven’t met the quirky Worthingtons, make a date in your diary to do so. You won’t regret it. Lysander Worthington is back from the war in Spain, carrying a terrible secret that haunts him day and night. In search of his brother, he accidentally takes on a fight with a male pig who is not to be outdone on his own territory, thus introducing himself as a patient to Gemma Oakes, doctor’s widow. Gemma feels responsible for her hamlet in Yorkshire and continues to provide medical services. She accompanied her husband to the war, knows the horrors that Lysander faced, and is determined to rescue him from himself. However, he couldn’t fall in love with a patient – that would be unethical. Except no one on her side or Lysander’s agrees. Can Lysander face the horrors of his past? Will his secrets drive Gemma away? Only by confessing, can he find out. Celeste Bradley writes with compassion, humour and an understanding of human foibles. This is a delightful, amusing and heart-warming romance.

Of Sunlight and Stardust by Christina Lee and Riley Hart (contemporary dual timeline gay romance)

Tanner Rowe is livinOf Sunlight and Stardustg in the house he bought for his dead wife because that is what she wanted of him. Cole Lachlan has been released from prison and is looking for work, finding out the hard way that no one wants to give an ex-con a chance. He’s camping on Tanner’s property when they meet. Tanner, realising Cole is down on his luck, asks him to help rebuild the burnt barn. Cole knows he is gay but makes no move on Tanner. Tanner is initially confused by his feelings for Cole but comes to understand and accept them for what they are. Their story is eerily similar to that of two boys who lived and worked on the property fifty years ago in less enlightened times that ended in tragedy with Tanner’s dead wife mirroring the role of the girl who tried to help them. As Tanner and Cole seek to uncover what happened to the boys, the relationship grows. The question is, has the town grown enough to appreciate the value Tanner and Cole can add to the community, or will prejudice and fear of Cole’s past isolate and endanger the men? Of Sunlight and Stardust is the most beautiful, sensitive and heart-warming romance I read this past year, demonstrating the range and fluidity of human sexuality that psychologists now acknowledge. Contemporary romance at its finest.

The above are all five star romance reads. If you’re looking for something different, why not see what the other members of The Writers’ Dozen have been reading?

Angella Whitton

Rae Cairns

Pamela Cook

Michelle Barraclough