Category Archives: Clean Reads

Proxy Bride books

I realize I have been remiss in listing all of the books in the first round of this series. There are ten of us writing in the series. Mine, A Bride for Carter, was book six. There are four more to follow and we’re planning for at least one more round. Check out these great reads )

A Bride for Jeremiah by Christine Sterling

A Bride for Clay by Marianne Spitzer

A Bride for Nathan by Barbara Goss

A Bride for Abel by Cyndi Raye

A Bride for Finn by Linda Ellen

A Bride for Carter by Wendy May Andrews [mine 😉 ]

A Bride for Charles by H. L. Roberts

A Bride for Sterling by Parker J. Cole – coming soon

A Bride for Henry by P. Creeden – coming soon

A Bride for Braylon by George McVey – coming soon

Proxy Brides – my new series

According to Merriam-Webster:

proxy

1the agency, function, or office of a deputy who acts as a substitute for another

2aauthority or power to act for another

ba document giving such authority

And according to Wikipedia:

Beginning in the Middle Ages, European monarchs and nobility sometimes married by proxy. Examples include the marriage of Mary, Queen of Hungary to Louis I, Duke of Orléans in 1385, the wedding at Eltham on 3 April, 1402 between Henry IV and Joan, the daughter of Charles II, King of Navarre, that of Catherine of Aragon to Prince Arthur in 1499, while a famous 17th-century painting by Peter Paul Rubens depicts the proxy marriage of Marie de’ Medici in 1600. Charles I of England married Henrietta Maria of France by proxy on 1 May 1625, and a well-known example more recently involved the marriage of Napoleon I of France and the Austrian Archduchess Marie Louisein 1810. By the end of the 19th century the practice had largely died out.

As of 2015, various Internet sites offer to arrange proxy and double-proxy marriages for a fee, although the service can generally be set up by any lawyer in a jurisdiction that offers proxy marriage. Video conferencing allows couples to experience the ceremony together. A unique “space wedding” took place on August 10, 2003 when Ekaterina Dmitriev married Yuri Malenchenko, a cosmonaut orbiting the Earth in the International Space Station, by proxy in Texas, US.

So that’s the history 🙂 Now on to what it has to do with me:

I was invited to join a multi-author project several months ago. We’re ten authors all writing in the same series. The premise is everyone is writing about a couple who, for various reasons, need to marry by proxy. It’s like mail-order brides but taken to a bit of an extreme – they haven’t even written to each other for the most part. Someone else stands in as the groom for the legalities. I’m fascinated by the different stories the other authors have come up with.

The books are releasing every two weeks. My first one comes out this Thursday!! I can’t wait to hear what you think of it. And tell me, can you even imagine marrying someone like this?

 

New Exciting Project

This weekend will be the official launch party for a multi-author project I’m involved in. I’m really excited about the opportunity. Along with nine other authors, I’ll be writing a stand alone book in a related series. They will all be Sweet Western Historical Romances. If you’re interested, here’s a link to a little preview video:

https://www.renderforest.com/watch-9459962

And if you’d like to come to the FaceBook launch party, please visit our reader group and find the link in Events. There will be some great prizes!

https://www.facebook.com/groups/247297295974312

My first book in this series launches at the end of November but book 1 is releasing next week!! There will be a new book every two weeks.

Can’t wait to hear your thoughts on these books. And I’d love to visit with you at the FB party 🙂

Doing interviews

Recently I have done two interviews, they haven’t yet been posted so I can’t link to them. But it made me think about previous interviews I’ve done. I thought it would be interesting to look back over different ones I’ve done in the past couple of years. Here’s one of the first one’s I ever did (by fellow author Rachel Jones), just before my fourth book released. It’s interesting to see how things change and how others stay the same. Check it out:

When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?

I loved to write when I was in school but I never actually thought I could be a “real” writer. When I was a teenager, a favorite aunt used to predict that I would be a writer since I loved books so much, but it wasn’t until my husband challenged me to give it a try when he got a little frustrated with how much time I spent reading. He thought it would be a more productive use of my time 😉 That was close to ten years ago now. Wow! The time has flown!

What genre(s) do you write?

So far, everything I have written has been Sweet Regency era Romance.

How many books have you written and how many of those have been published?

I have completed eight manuscripts. Three are published, one is in production (releasing May 5th) and a fifth is in final draft stage, about to be sent off to our publisher.

How many hours a day do you devote to writing?

Unfortunately, I tend to be very sporadic – for spurts of days/weeks I will write feverishly, then I will go weeks without writing. But the “business” of writing, now that I’m published, requires attention more regularly so I would say I average a few hours/week devoted to promotional activities and social media as Wendy May Andrews.

What’s more important: character or plot?

To me they are equally important although romance books are more character driven than plot driven. The majority of my books tend to have a mystery woven through them that requires the characters to interact and grow.

What is the hardest part of writing?

Promoting it 🙂 I would be as happy as a lark if I could just write and forget about trying to sell the books. The good news is, everyone says that the best promotional tool is the next great book.

What does your family think of your writing?

My parents are my biggest fans and have read every word I’ve written with enthusiasm, including multiple drafts of the same book. My husband is very supportive of the idea of my writing but has only read one of my books (he’s not a prolific fiction reader). But he’s very proud of me and is willing to order pizza when I’m deeply embedded in my writing cave. All three are very vocal in telling everyone they meet that their wife/daughter is a writer. That means the world to me.

What do you like to do when you’re not writing?

Like all writers, I am an avid reader. I also like to be active, taking long walks around my city or in conservation areas in the outskirts of town. I also do a lot of volunteer work. And my husband and I love to travel. I think exposing myself to other environments and observing people makes me a better writer.

What authors do you like to read?

My favorite Regency writer is Georgette Heyer. I also love Julia Quinn and Susan Elizabeth Philips. I’ve also recently discovered a new favorite – fellow Clean Reads writer, Rachel Jones 🙂

Do you have future projects in mind?

I am working on a final draft of a sequel to my first Clean Reads release, The Duke Conspiracy. I also have a few other completed manuscripts that need sprucing up before submitting them to our publisher. And I have a fabulous idea for a Western Historical trilogy that has been scratching at the door of my muse so I’m hoping to get to work on that shortly.

What is your favorite genre to read?

Sweet romance of any type – contemporary, historical, romantic suspense, etc – I have yet to meet one I didn’t like. But I will read just about anything. I love cozy mysteries as well as thrillers and women’s fiction. I also like to read the news and advice columns.

Do you write every day?

I should, but I don’t. What tends to work best for me is if I block off a couple weeks or a month in which I plan to write a book. I prepare for it by freezing meals and scrubbing my house, then I clear my schedule and set my word count goals (5000-7000/day). Then I will write for 5 or 6 hours to accomplish the daily goal. This works for me because I am immersed in the book and keep track of the characters and story threads. It is not at all a balanced way of doing it but it has worked for me for my most recent few manuscripts. I love NaNoWriMo – National Novel Writing Month – which is every November.

How did your writing journey begin?

With a dare from my husband 🙂

How do you deal with writer’s block?

Luckily, I haven’t yet been struck with true writer’s block, but if I ever have trouble with a plot point, I have a circle of writer friends that I can turn to. And my critique partner is very helpful. We get together periodically and discuss our plots and any challenges we might be facing.

What’s the best thing about being a writer?

Keeping myself entertained 🙂

What motivates you to write?

I find it remarkably satisfying. This kind of ties in with the previous question. I find these two questions difficult to articulate. It just makes me happy.

Do you have any advice for other writers?

Keep at it. Learn more about the craft of writing, no matter where you are in your career. We can all learn to be better writers and grow.

Feature Fiction Friday – Bethany Swafford

 

bethany-swafford_origPlease welcome Bethany Swafford today. She’s here to tell us about some great books, including her newest release, Not My Idea.

 

First, Bethany, please tell us a little bit about yourself:

For as long as she can remember, Bethany Swafford has loved reading books. That love of words extended to writing as she grew older and when it became more difficult to find a ‘clean’ book, she determined to write her own. Among her favorite authors are Jane Austen, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, and Georgette Heyer.

When she doesn’t have pen to paper (or fingertips to laptop keyboard), she can generally be found with a book in hand. In her spare time, Bethany reviews books for a book site called More Than A Review.

Please share your favourite books with us:

Persuasion by Jane Austen
Anne Elliot may not have the charm of Elizabeth Bennet, but she is the most loyal of all Jane Austen’s works and thus my favorite. I love how in her story, she’s matured but still loves the man she turned away. Also, this quote: “All the privilege I claim for my own sex (it is not a very enviable one: you need not covet it), is that of loving longest, when existence or when hope is gone!”

The Foundling by Georgette Heyer
What I love about this book is Gilly, the seventh Duke of Sale. He is a mild mannered young man, who longs to know what life would be like if there weren’t well meaning family members and servants who won’t let him lift a finger for himself. He is such a lovable character who really grows up in the story.

The Case of the Left-Handed Lady (Enola Holmes #2) by Nancy Springer
This is the second book in a middle-grade series about Sherlock Holmes much younger sister. What I love about this book especially is Enola Holmes interactions, not only in disguise with her detective brother, but with a young lady who comes to be her best friend. With codes to solve and danger on every corner, this book out of the series is the one I pick up first.

The Clue of the Broken Locket (Nancy Drew #11) by Carolyn Keene
This one is on my list because this was my first introduction to Nancy Drew when I was seven years old. Nancy has two mysteries to solve. What I fell in love with was how the mysteries entwined through the story and how much spunk this detective has.

Murder on Black Swan Lane by Andrea Penrose
So this is a book that has yet to be released but I was privileged to receive an ARC. The hero of this particular book is an earl with an interest in science and when he comes under suspicion for murder he quite logically sets out to prove his innocence. The plot of this book is unusual for the Regency era and is written brilliantly.

Wow! These are some great choices, Bethany, thanks! Now I have some reading to do 🙂

not-my-idea

 

Now, please tell us about your new book, Not My Idea. I must admit, your title is very intriguing…

“Lucas, you must return home.”

Twenty two year old Lucas Bywood abandons his Grand Tour in response to those words from his father. Everything is not well at home and he finds himself in a bit of a fix. A little warning that his father had made tentative arrangements for his marriage would have been nice but Luke really wishes it had been anyone other than the young lady chosen. After all, Phoebe Ramsey had always been an annoyance and any time they had spent together had resulted in physical injuries for one of them.

Just when Luke thinks he’s escaped that particular future, he finds himself courting a young woman he doesn’t want, a furious best friend who wants a duel to satisfy honor, and the responsibility of finding who and why someone had caused an accident for his mother.

This was not his idea of what the summer was going to be like.

Here’s an excerpt:

​“Luke, you finally came!” Philippa said, squeezing tightly. Her wispy brown hair tickled my cheek. “I thought you must have been killed in France. It was too cruel of you to stay away for so long!”
“Hello, Philly.” After a few seconds, I disentangled myself from her. “That’s enough of that. It’s good to see you, brat.”
Philippa scowled at me. “I am eighteen now, Luke. You have no right to say I’m a brat.” She smacked my arm, causing me no pain at all but the action seemed to make her feel better. “What took you so long to get here? It’s been ages since I sent you the letter telling you Mama was ill.”
I raised an eyebrow. I had not been told this. “Father said you wrote the letter after Mama and Sprite fell.” She opened her mouth, no doubt to argue the point, but I kept talking. “I did not receive your letter, and this afternoon was the first I have heard of Mama’s accident and illness. Are you certain you sent the letter at all?”
“Certainly I sent it! You cannot blame me for the lack of reliable mail delivery in foreign lands if you’re the one who chooses to go there.”
Waving my hand, I decided to let the matter pass. “I’m here now,” I said. She wrinkled her nose, surveying my appearance. “Do I pass muster, or do you find me wanting?”
“You have not washed from your travels,” she said, her tone judgmental. Her eyes widened with horror. “Please tell me you did not go into Mama smelling like a stable!”
“Our mama is not about to object to the smell of animals, sister of mine. But if I am so offensive to your nose, I will go to my room now.”
Apparently forgiving me for any offense I had given her, Philippa looped her arm around mine and walked with me down the hallway. “I am so glad you are here, Luke,” she said magnanimously. “My first Season was such a success, and you will never guess what happened!”
Even if I had not been told, what she wished to reveal would not have been difficult to discern. “Let me guess. You wore a pretty dress of fine muslin and you gossiped to all hours of the night? Or was it that you danced until dawn every night?”
“I’m not a gossip! No, Luke. I had no less than four offers, and I accepted one of them. I am to be married!”
“I am glad you accepted only one of those offers,” I told her. “Imagine what would happen if word got around you had consented to marry all of them!”
Philly scoffed at my teasing. “You are ridiculous,” she said. “His name is Mr. Bartholomew Talbot, and he is quite the nicest gentleman I have ever had the pleasure to meet. I have high hopes of him joining the party, and then you will be able to meet him.”
“Party? What party is this?” I asked, reaching the door of my room. I paused, my hand on the doorknob as I glanced back at her.
“Phoebe told me all about it. Her parents are having a grand house party in a week. They have invited several of our friends from London. Phoebe is thrilled about it.”
I chuckled. Phoebe Ramsey was a year older than Philippa and was one of the silliest girls I had the misfortune of knowing. Growing up, she and I had done nothing but fight if we were left together for longer than a few minutes. As the older one, I had been scolded for not behaving better, an injustice I had never forgotten.
“Did you even tell her you were coming?”
Startled by the question, I frowned at Philippa. “No, why would I?”
“I was going to say you must not have. Heaven knows Phoebe cannot keep a secret,” Philippa said with a laugh. “She will be pleased when you visit, though she may not appreciate the surprise. It was badly done of you, Luke.”
Blinking, I tried to make sense of her words. “I doubt Phoebe Ramsey cares about my comings and goings, Philly,” I finally said, giving up on understanding her. “Run along.”
My sister frowned at me for a moment and then shrugged in an unladylike manner. “Brothers,” she said with a huff. She spun on her heel and called over her shoulder as she walked away, “You have no idea what a lady expects from you!”
Shaking my head at her incomprehensibleness, I put the matter from my mind and entered my room.

Not My Idea can be purchased wherever ebooks are sold including Amazon: http://amzn.to/2ts9iM9

Bethany would love to hear from you. She can be found in these places:

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/bethanyswafford/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Bethany-Swafford-Author-303302543339828/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/SwaffordBethany

~ Happy Reading ~