Thanks to @uLibraryDigital for producing these stories!
You can listen below and on the Ulverscroft page on Spotify. https://open.spotify.com/episode/07cHfvk7h59dfewTRVxNO7?si=u26TNw4XQVWqZEDq-dW1jA
People often ask how I come up with ideas for my novels. Sometimes I have no answer—it just seems to pop into my head. Best guess, the kernel of an idea probably came from a newspaper or magazine article or something I saw in a movie. It was probably just so far back I don’t recall.
Before I started to write THE ULTIMATE BETRAYAL, Brandon Garrett’s story, the third book in my Maximum Security Series, I had decided to set a book in Colorado, maybe even a new series. I ran across an article about the Army Chemical Weapons Depot near Fort Carson and started thinking… wouldn’t it make be interesting if someone stole chemical weapons from the depot? I wonder if it could be done? How would the good guys catch the thieves? And so off I went on a story that turned into The Ultimate Betrayal.
Having written over 70 novels since I began way back when, it’s harder and harder to come up with fresh ideas. I do a lot of research for my books. This novel, set around a military base, was particularly difficult. Lots of stuff I didn’t know.
In the story, when investigative journalist Jessie Kegan’s father, a colonel in the army, is accused of treason, Jessie is determined to clear his name. Reluctantly, she turns to former Special Ops soldier, Brandon Garrett, her late brother’s best friend–a true heartbreaker, according to her brother.
With danger coming from every angle, time is running out and the game being played is deadly. Working together, Bran and Jessie must risk everything to solve the riddle and confront the threat–before it’s too late.
Till next time, happy reading and all best, Kat
When investigative journalist Jessie Kegan’s father, a colonel in the army, is accused of treason, Jessie is determined to clear his name. Reluctantly, she turns to former Special Ops soldier, Brandon Garrett, her late brother’s best friend—a true heartbreaker, according to her brother.
With danger coming from every angle, time is running out and the game being played is deadly. Working together, Bran and Jessie must risk everything to solve the riddle and confront the threat—before it’s too late.
Bestselling author Kat Martin, a graduate of the University of California at Santa Barbara, currently resides in Missoula, Montana with Western-author husband, L. J. Martin. More than seventeen million copies of Kat’s books are in print, and she has been published in twenty foreign countries. Fifteen of her recent novels have taken top-ten spots on the New York Times Bestseller List, and her novel, BEYOND REASON, was recently optioned for a feature film. Kat’s latest novel, THE ULTIMATE BETRAYAL, a Romantic Thriller, will be released in paperback December 29th.
Ah, the magic of Christmases past… even those we want to forget…
Like spending an hour hanging up Christmas tree lights that don’t work when you plug them in.
Or imbibing in two much spicy eggnog at the office party while wearing a tipsy Santa hat… and then seeing your grinning face splashed all over social media.
Or digging through your closet for your favorite red Christmas dress to impress the new man in your life and you find out it doesn’t fit anymore.
Not our best holiday memories and ones we’d rather forget. But what about the holiday moments that make our eyes misty no matter how many years go by?
Memories of Christmases past race through our heads like sugar plum fairies on a triathlon this time of year… for me, I’ve turned three of them into Christmas stories that turn back the clock.
When I was stationed in Livorno, Italy, I worked in the US Army Service Club and every Christmas we hosted an event for the soldiers with the nuns and little boys from the local orphanage. I never forgot how the soldiers and little Italian boys had such a great time even though they didn’t speak the same language… except they did.
The spirit of Christmas.
I wanted to capture that lovely day in a story about a US Army captain in Italy during World War 2 who gets lost on the road to Rome right before Christmas Eve. He ends up helping out a beautiful nun and her charge of little boys and saves them from the Nazis.
If you like WW 2 romance, check out my holiday novella that takes place on Christmas Eve during the cold winter of 1943: A Soldier’s Italian Christmas.
December 1943 Italy
He is a US Army captain, a battle-weary soldier who has lost his faith.
She is a nun, her life dedicated to God.
Together they are going to commit an act the civilized world will not tolerate.
They are about to fall in love.
I was only six years old when I attended a strict parochial school behind a big iron gate in Philadelphia… at Christmastime, the nuns took us to see Santa Claus at Wanamaker’s department store, but we had to pass by the ‘poor house’ – an old limestone building with broken windows and no trees. Lost souls squatting. We gave them packages of food and the sisters told us kids we’d end up there if we didn’t learn our Catechism lessons.
It scared the heck out of me.
Years later when I saw ‘A Christmas Carol’ on TV and got a glimpse of Scrooge threatening to send the hungry and poor to a workhouse, I remember the nun’s warning.
I wanted to write my own version of Scrooge, but I fantasized him more like a tortured, romantic hero, so I created Nick Radnor… handsome, brilliant… and with a smartphone.
And one so close to my heart…
I grew up hearing my dad’s stories about how he met my mom during the war… the red coat she wore when she saw him off at the train station… the letters they wrote to each other. The strong feelings of hope and love that kept everybody’s spirits up till the soldiers came home.
When I wrote Christmas Once Again about a woman who goes back in time to save the man she loves, I drew upon those memories, especially for my heroine’s mother. Kate’s strong bond with Ma, her need to see her again (she lost her mother before the book opens), also reflects my desire to see my mom.
My mother passed away a few days before Christmas many years ago…
So, when I talk about Christmas Once Again, you’ll understand the joy and poignant feelings racing through me when I wrote those scenes when my heroine reconnects with her mother once again… if only for a little while.
What are your most emotional Christmas memories?
Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays, everyone!
I’m sitting here at my computer with thoughts of sugar plum fairies dancing in my head…
Hearing jingle bells as I type.
And drinking hot coffee with a cinnamon stick.
No, I’m not lost in the Twilight Zone. I’m traveling back in time to the holiday season during WW 2…
I can’t reveal all…yet.
More as it happens…
PS I’ll update the page as I get more news.
UPDATE: Tuesday June 18, 2019 is the day the publisher will be making a formal announcement re: their upcoming books!!
I’ll be able to reveal my story then…stay tuned.
2nd UPDATE:***************June 18, 2019 PDT
I’ve been on London Time for days and this is my first chance to update my post…Yes, London. Like in William and Kate, Harry and Megan — because I feel like an American royal! My new publisher is London-based BOLDWOOD Books.
It’s so exciting to be a part of this new adventure.
So hold tight and I’ll give you all the fab details.
My first book with Boldwood is a WW 2 Christmas story about love lost and time travel…what if you could go back in time and save the man you love from being killed on a secret mission in France?
My heroine, Kate Arden, gets that chance.’
More on “Christmas Once Again” and the amazing Boldwood Books next month!
Aviva Vaughn is the author of BECKONED—slow burn women’s fiction inspired by food, travel, and Jane Austen. A lifelong bibliophile, she enjoys a wide variety of genres from historical fiction to science fiction to non-fiction, and loves reading, and writing, hot—scientifically accurate—sex.
As a young adult, Aviva rejected the romance genre. “My mother had at least sixty of those old-school romances with the Fabio-esque covers. I didn’t like the way they depicted women or sex,” she says. However, after becoming a mother herself, she recognized the potential power of fiction as a force for female empowerment.
Her series—BECKONED—features strong, educated, diverse characters, with heroines who speak their mind and heroes who respect them for doing so. She writes so that her daughter will have inspirational, multicultural book characters to identify with, and a depiction of what a healthy relationship looks like both in the power dynamics and in the sex itself.
Aviva is not afraid to try new things, which has made for an interesting—although not always straight forward—life. Her favorite “two truths and a lie” line is: I have ridden bareback in the Navajo nation, I have jumped out of an airplane over New Zealand, and I have gone spelunking in Costa Rica. The answer appears at the end of BECKONED, Part 4: From Barcelona with Love ;^)
For a list of her favorite books, visit AvivaVaughn.com/about
Jann: Let’s welcome Aviva Vaughn to A Slice of Orange blog today to chat about her series BECKONED.
Jann: When did you start writing? Why romance?
Aviva: I can’t remember a time when I didn’t write creatively. I’ve written songs, poetry, and fiction at least since I was thirteen, if not before. I’ve always been fascinated with books and words, and have been an avid reader my entire life. Although my writing covers a variety of genres, the first book I decided to publish was a romance, and the reason why was because it told me to. My slow-burn contemporary series, BECKONED, has been a very bossy master. It wouldn’t leave me alone … it beckoned to me. However, it makes sense that I would start with a romance, because my favorite stories are always the ones where the human relationships are the focus, and the challenges that come up are the all too real challenges of human interaction and miscommunication. I mean, I like plot too, but what makes stories pierce your heart is not plot, but the human relationships. What would Star Wars be without the angst of Darth the wayward father, or the war-torn love of Han and Leia? It’s the relationships that hold one captive, and the stories that focus on them are the ones that I return to again and again. Authors like Jane Austen, Edith Wharton, and Margaret Mitchell, who create characters that just seem to keep missing each other over and over, those are the stories I love, but I wanted to give them a modern twist.
I often describe BECKONED as “a modern story told in an old-fashioned way.” By “modern story” I mean that it’s set in contemporary time, and the characters are diverse, and the heroines are strong. By “old-fashioned” I mean that the language and scene setting are very descriptive and literary feeling. My tagline for BECKONED is “slow burn, second-chance romance inspired by food, travel, and Jane Austen.” If your readers would like to read my series starter for free, they can sign-up for it at SmartURL.it/BeckonedLondonFree
Jann: Your series BECKONED–how, when, or where did your idea for the series come to be? Do you have a goal for the series?
Avivia: BECKONED was birthed by a couple of ideas. The first was that as a multicultural reader—I’m of Asian, Polynesian, Hispanic, and European descent and I was born and raised in Los Angeles—I was never able to find a character that looked like me, not even one. I wanted to create characters that my own mixed child could relate to and look up to. So I fashioned Angela: an aspiring entrepreneur putting herself through MBA school who just happens to be of a mixed background. The second idea was kind of inspired by one of the parameters Stephenie Meyer uses in TWILIGHT; in her books, vampires’ personalities are fixed when they become vampires, so her hero, Edward, has the values of someone from the early 1900’s. I liked the tension that it created having her modern heroine fall in love with a old-fashioned guy. I also wanted to have a hero who was the complete opposite of my fiery, multicultural Angeleno, and so I looked to Denmark which is a very homogeneous society and is famous for its gender equality and it felt perfect. So I created my hero, Soren Lund, who is a humble, polite real estate heir that has lived a life of boring privilege until he meets fiery Angela—who melts his heart—and realizes he doesn’t want to live without her.
Those twin inspirations, along with my love for food and travel, are what inspired the series. As far as my goal for the series, I want women to feel inspired and empowered by BECKONED. Many readers have said that they look up to Angela and I think that’s wonderful. I happen to know many women like Angela, so she’s not aspirational, she’s inspirational.
Jann: Beckoned Part 6 – Adrift in New Zealand makes its debut on May16th. What can you share with us about this new book?
Avivia: Hhhhmmmm … all I can say is that books 1-4 are kind of like “The Bachelor,” where there is a love triangle, and the man who doesn’t get the girl becomes the focus of Books 5 and 6. Readers have loved that I’ve been tying up the loose end of the guy who “lost”. Part 6 will be a very satisfying conclusion to this part of BECKONED.
Jann: What’s the best writing advice you ever received?
Avivia: The best writing advice I’ve received can be summed up in four points
My tip: I carry a Bluetooth keyboard so that I can “write on my phone.” This lets me write everywhere. I’ve had this $20 keyboard for four years and it’s still as responsive as ever and it weighs nothing. https://amzn.to/2TpmMli
Avivia: I’m working on a collection of steamy slow-burn stories as a way to introduce different couples to my readers and get their feedback on whom I should turn into my next full-length book. I’ll also have some previously unwritten scenes for Angela and Soren to introduce new readers to BECKONED. This collection might come out as early as March 2019, so stay tuned!
Jann: What’s the funniest (or sweetest or best or nicest) thing a fan ever said to you?
Avivia: I don’t think I can pick just one! Some of my favorite quotesfrom reviews are:
Jann: Do you have a website, blog, twitter where fans might read more about you and your books?
Avivia: Choose your favorite way to follow me! I love interacting with readers. If you are in the Southern California area, I have a bunch of readings and signings coming up.
Jann: Thank you Avivia for chatting with us here on A Slice of Orange.
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