Sunday, December 15, 2013

10 Questions For Vonnie Hughes

Today, we have the a visitor from down under. Welcome to Vonnie Hughes! Since this is Summer in Australia, Vonnie's topic is all about travel, especially in warm climates. Who doesn't want a little tropics in their life right now?

1.      Can you tell us a little about yourself? 
I’m a New Zealander who is living in Australia with all her family. My husband and I moved over here just prior to retirement and our family followed post-haste. I’ve always written, even since I was seven years old. Poetry, short stories, now novels and novellas. For Musa and Robert Hale I write Regencies and for The Wild Rose Press I write romantic suspense with the emphasis more on the suspense. Here’s my website: I am also on  Facebook and have an author page on Amazon.
2. If you could spend a year on a deserted island, who would you take with you?
A deserted island...hmm, I think I’d take the dog. Hey, I’m a loner and the dog is young and strong.

3.      What food would you take? Do you have the recipe?
What food to take…well, if we’re being realistic, the most important thing would be the manual can opener. And some sealed, dried foods. But the main thing I’d take would be packets and packets of chocolate. A girl’s gotta live. And therefore my recipe is a simple Cadbury’s one. It’s Chocolate Raisin Hedgehog. Only takes 10 minutes to make. But of course, if I took it to a desert island, it would also only take 10 minutes to eat it too.

250g packet of dark chocolate melts (about 7 ounces)

125g butter (about 4 ounces)

¼ cup golden syrup (light treacle)

¾ packet of chopped-up shortbread biscuits

1 cup raisins

About 7 ounces of milk chocolate

Place the dark chocolate, butter and syrup in a saucepan and melt over a low heat until smooth, stirring all the time. Stir in the biscuits and raisins, (if not solid enough mixture add more crushed shortbread) and press it into a baking pan. Refrigerate until set.

Pour over the melted milk chocolate and refrigerate all until set. Store in the refrigerator in an airtight container. Cut into squares when ready.


Oh, and you did say what food would I take, didn’t you? What about tequila? Surely that’s a food.

4.      What five books would you take with you? Yes, only five books. Choose! *cue evil laugh*

What five books to take? You don’t half like difficult questions, do you? Let’s say James McGee’s The Ratcatcher, Karen Rose’s Don’t Tell, J.D. Robb’s New York to Dallas, Nora Roberts’ Chesapeake Blue, and Amanda Quick’s Crystal Gardens.

5.      Would you take a cell phone with you (assuming you had service there)?
Would definitely NOT take a cell phone with me. If it’s to be a desert island, let’s stick with the format.

6.      Say that you had a TV—okay, yes and you had power and a signal, yada, yada,yada—but you could only watch one show. What would it be?
One show I’d watch on TV would be Criminal Minds.

7.      Would you climb a tree for coconuts?
Climb a tree for coconuts? If I had to. Just think of the chafing.
8.      Pretend you’re on this island alone. Clothes or no clothes?

1.     On this island alone – if it’s hot, of course no clothes. Why on earth would you bother with the trappings of non-island dwellers? Unfortunate fools.

9.      Pimp it if you’ve got it. What’s new and next for you?

1.     What’s next for me? I have three Regency novellas in the pipeline for Musa. They are about two sisters and they are called A Tale of Two Sisters to be released on December 12, A Surfeit of Suitors to be released on January 31 and Sisters in Jeopardy to be released on April 25. I also have a New Zealand-set romantic suspense in the pipeline. It’s finished but a beta reader is going through it as we speak. It is about one of New Zealand’s Armed Offenders’ Squads i.e. a SWAT team.

10.   Would you write your rejection haiku before you left or after you got back? Yep. It’s time for the rejection haiku.

I’d write my rejection haiku when I got back. Nothing like 12 months alone to compose a truly startling haiku. Ah, did I tell you I won a trip to Japan 12 years ago with a haiku I wrote? No? Be very afraid.

Golden words are dust

Editors run free with glee

Can I overcome?

And for any Regency specialists out there, if you reply to this post, I’ll dig down and find the most original and outstanding post and post you a paperback copy of either The Second Son or Mr. Monfort’s Marriage, whichever you prefer.
No clothes. Did NOT see that one coming. Alrighty then. I actually have signed copies of both of The Second Son and Mr. Monfort's Marriage and I will send the copy when Vonnie tells me who she chooses.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

10 Questions with Nicky Penttila

1.      Can you tell us a little about yourself?
I’m curious about lots of stuff, and am always asking questions--How does that work? Why? Who said? College counselors steered me into journalism, where it’s OK to be curious (OK, nosy). Now I report and write about brain science during the day and make up stories with lots of history and ideas and love at night. My husband is my first reader, if you don’t count my rescue cat, who has to check up on me (see photo) from time to time.

2.      If you had a time machine, where and when would you visit?
So many choices! Today I think I’d go on a Regency tour (post-war). Arrive in Plymouth or Bath, take the stage to London for a bit, take in the theater and the opera, and then hop a swift cutter to France and see Paris. Then sail to India and see how the colonials lived.

3.      Would you stay there or come back?
I’d come back. So much is changing in our time—and we’re living longer so we can take part in more of it. I can’t wait to see what comes next.

4.      Who would you take with you?
My lovely husband, in case I ran into anyone who didn’t want to take a lady’s word for it. And a boatload of money, since it’s an age where it was far better to be rich.

5.      Say that your arch nemesis had a little accident and ended up unconscious on the floor of your time machine. Oopsie. When and where would you send him?
Salem, during the witch trials.

6.      If you could bring any historical figure back with you in time machine, who would it be?
It would be quite disturbing to them to bring someone forward, so I’d pick someone who has a reputation for serenity: the Buddha. I’d like to hear his ideas as he experiences our modern “enlightenments.”

7.      Which modern convenience could you never live without?
It’s a tie: vaccines, and modern bathrooms.

8.      Which modern convenience would you happily forgo?
Hand sanitizer.

9.      Pimp it if you’ve got it. What’s new and next for you?
An Untitled Lady, historical romance, releasing December 20 (11 days!). The story: News that she was adopted forces Lady Madeline Wetherby to lower her expectations and marry an upstart Manchester merchant. When she later discovers that her birth father is one of the weavers her husband is putting out of work—and a radical leader—Maddie must decide whether the family she longs for can be made of the man of her heart or the people of her blood.

INTRUSIVE REDNECK NOTE: Nicky also has a free short story featuring Maddie. Look for "The Last Stage" on the Musa Publishing website in December. That's FREE, y'all, which is totally my favorite price.

10.   Do you know what time it is? Trick question! It’s rejection haiku time.
From the chilly ether
yet another round
of  “It’s not you, it’s me.”

Your turn:

Tell us in the comments what modern convenience you could not live without, and you’ll be entered in a drawing to win one of two copies of Nicky's first historical romance, A Note of Scandal (ebook or audiobook, your choice). As for me, I'm with Nicky. The flush toilet completely rocks my world.

Nicky Penttila writes stories with adventure and love, and often with ideas and history as well. She enjoys coming up with stories that are set in faraway cities and countries, because then she *must* travel there, you know, for research. She lives in Maryland with her reading-mad husband and amazing rescue cat. She’s chattiest on Twitter, @sunshinyday, and can also be found at