Please welcome Winnie Griggs

Stacey and I have both met Winnie and we’d like to say she’s as sweet and nice in person as you will ever find.  Please welcome Winnie to Authors4Veterans.

Do you have a personal connection to the military or what is the reason you chose to support Authors4Veterans?
My husband served in the Navy during the Viet Nam era. I also have a nephew who served in the Air Force for eight years. And the husband of one of my nieces still serves in the Army.

Tell us a little bit about yourself. Where you’re from, where you live? Do you have one of those day-jobs?
I was born and raised right across the river from New Orleans and then moved to the opposite corner of the state when I married my college sweetheart.  We’ve raised four responsible, talented children and are now living the empty-nester life. I did have a day job – I worked for over 30 years for an electric utility company, moving from the information technology department, to project management to contract management. I’m now happily retired and enjoying my life as a full time writer.

What is your latest release and share one detail from your current release with readers that they might not find in the book?
A Tailor-Made Husband released in June 2017. It’s the 9th book in my Texas Grooms series. However, I had actually intended for it to be number seven. In fact I actually started this story three times, with three completely story lines, none of which seemed to work for this series. So I put it aside and wrote the next two books before coming back to Hazel and Ward’s story. And during that time, the characters continued to talk to me until I finally realized the story I needed to tell.

Do you have a secret talent readers would be surprised by?
I don’t know if this qualifies as a ‘secret talent’ but I absolutely love working on brain teasers and logic puzzles.

What would you choose as your specialty if you were in the military?
My college degree is in Mathematics with minors in Computer Science and Accounting. My favorite role in the day job I had was those years where I did Project Management and Process Improvement work. So I would probably try do something in IT or Project Management.

Follow Winnie on social media to learn more about her.

Website
Facebook
Amazon
Twitter

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Melissa McClone is in the house!

If you’ve been following our posts, you’ll know that we got the idea of the Fisher House donations from Melissa.  You see, she does this charity in her home state of Washington. So supportive of us when we approached her about starting our own charity for Fisher House and explained how she did it and then helped us select our ThirtyOne bags. So, it is with pleasure that we introduce you to Melissa McClone.

Do you have a personal connection to the military or what is the reason you chose to support Authors4Veterans?

Many of my family members are veterans. My dad was in the Air Force during the Korean War. Three uncles fought in World War II. My brother-in-law flew helicopters during Desert Storm.
 
I chose to support Authors4Veterans because I’ve been doing something similar for two Fisher Houses in Washington state since 2013. In 2018, we’re adding a third Fisher House that recently opened and I’m so excited about that! The Fisher House is an amazing organization that does so much for military families from offering a place to stay during medical treatments, to getting plane tickets for family members in times of emergency, to providing scholarships… plus so many other things!

 
Tell us a little bit about yourself.  Where you’re from, where you live? Do you have one of those day-jobs?
 
I was born on the east coast but have lived all but the first 18 months of my life in the West—California, Arizona, Oregon, Washington. I currently live in the Pacific Northwest with my husband, three children, dogs, and cats. My hobbies include reading, animal rescue, and sending care packages to deployed service members. I write sweet contemporary romance. I’m also an independent consultant for Thirty-One Gifts (I’m addicted to bags, totes, and purses!) 

 
What is your latest release and share one detail from your current release with readers that they might not find in the book?
My latest release is called Jenny and is a standalone story in the Beach Brides series. Part of the book is set in Berry Lake, Washington where a new series of mine will be set. It’s fictional, but I used two towns I’ve visited (and don’t live that far from) in the Columbia Gorge to create it.
Do you write military characters in your books?  If so, how did you research them?
I do write military characters in some of my stories. Jenny features a hero who is an Army Ranger. I usually rely on friends to answer my research questions. Some are veterans or current servicemembers. Others are friends/family of friends. I also take advantage of the public relation phone numbers I find on websites. When I was writing Jenny, I spoke to two different military hospitals to make sure what I’d plotted out was plausible.
Do you have anything you would like to say to our members of the military and their families?
 

What you do is so important.  Thank you for your service and the sacrifices you and your family make for all of us.

Follow Melissa out on the web:

Facebook
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Bookbub

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Shannyn Schroeder is here!

I’d like to welcome Shannyn Schroeder to Authors4Veterans. We’re happy you could join us.  Let’s get to know you better.

First of all, do you have a personal connection to the military or what is the reason you chose to support Authors4Veterans?

I am married to a U.S. Marine who served in Operation Desert Storm/Desert Shield (many, many years ago). In addition, my father and grandfather were both in the Army.

Thank you so much for their service. Tell us a little bit about yourself. Where you’re from, where you live? Do you have one of those day-jobs?

I live in a Chicago suburb. I’m a mom of three and a former high school and middle school English teacher. I do have a day job – a few actually. I work as a curriculum editor and I teach college level English grammar and a middle school enrichment program on Saturdays. I also do some tutoring. My schedule is always packed, especially when you add in the kids’ activities (swim team is a killer). I do find downtime and when I can, I love to bake cookies and I watch a lot of TV. And of course, I read.

You’re a super busy lady. Tell us about your latest release and share one detail from your current release with readers that they might not find in the book?

I have a book releasing on October 12, Meeting His Match. I had a lot of fun researching for this book, which pits a professional matchmaker against a YouTube pick-up artist to see who can help three women find love. I spent a lot of time reading about matchmaking and the techniques pick-up artists use. If my husband ever looked at my browser history, he’d probably freak out.

OMG! I bet he would freak out. What’s the most difficult thing about writing characters of the opposite sex?

The most difficult thing about writing men is that most men aren’t talkers, especially when it comes to emotional stuff. In romance, we need the characters to communicate or nothing would ever happen. It’s a tough balancing act to get them talking without making it sound like a bunch of women chatting.

I have to agree with you on that one. What would you choose as your specialty if you were in the military?

I’m really too much of a chicken to be in the military, but if I had to choose, I think sniper. I have no problem working alone. I can handle being silent for long periods of time. And I have excellent focus and attention.

Do you have anything you would like to say to our members of the military and their families?

Thank you so much for all that you do and that you’re willing to sacrifice to protect our country. Without people like you, we wouldn’t have the freedom and peace of mind we take for granted every day.

Follow Shannyn at these places.

Website:
Facebook:  
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Renee Lee Fisher is here today!

I’ve not had the pleasure of meeting Renee in person but I sure hope I do one day.  Please welcome and get to know Renee.

Tell us a little bit about yourself.  Where you’re from, where you live? Do you have one of those day-jobs?

Writing is a full-time mind type of job.  Here is little bit about me. I am a Romance Author that has the passion for putting my pen and ideas to paper. A pure romance junkie and I truly love to tell stories. I always wanted to be a writer.

Don’t look for me to stop writing anytime soon, I have been called the Duracell Bunny that keeps going and going.  I do sleep about four hours a night and continue to create many more story lines for the readers to enjoy.

I reside in Eagleville, PA. with my husband Michael, of 22 years and her two cats – Nyah and Cody. (Side note Cody is 21 years old.)   I have a great support system of Love from my family and friends.

I believe everyone should follow their DREAMS and that –

The HAPPIEST of people don’t have the best of everything,
they simply make the best of everything.

I love to travel and enjoy meeting new people that inspire me.  I often ask strangers their names and write it down to use as a potential character in my future writings.

What is your latest release and share one detail from your current release with readers that they might not find in the book?

I write Contemporary Romance, Rock Romance, Time Travel Romance and Suspense Romance under my real name – Renee Lee Fisher.

Next month I debut Arden Wylde.  Arden is my writings that are a little sexier, intriguing and Wylde. Secret Crush is the first novella by Arden.  Quickly followed by Flirtini.  They are also all drink names as the novella book titles.

All these novellas by Arden Wylde (ME!) will be taking place at a restaurant location and what information you don’t find in the storyline is that I am also part owner of a catering company.  Valley Forge Catering Company. We are located on the Valley Forge National Park in Pennsylvania and besides our catering services for weddings, parties and such we also cater to many of the Valley Forge Freedom Foundation happenings and Military events there as well.

Do you have a secret talent readers would be surprised by?

Not a talent per se, but I have a photographic mind.  I can meet someone and years later remember them and the outfit they wore.  It is uncanny but I recall many details of past happenings, seeing them unfold perfectly clear in my mind.  I would good picking out someone in a lineup.  No mistake on that.

What’s the most difficult thing about writing characters of the opposite sex?

Getting the voice correct in the dialog.  For example:  While writing my Rock Series – The Heartbeat Series I needed a male character voice of the lead vocalist – Max Rand.  I spoke with my one brother many times as he is a popular lead metal vocalist to get how he spoke and then try to use that when I needed to be in the male characters’ head for the storyline.  It helped greatly.

What would you choose as your specialty if you were in the military?

To be perfectly honest… I would rather not be the hero of the forefront but the unknown helper for the aftermath.  Assisting in the military families to rebuild their lives.  I would love to read for countless hours to those that are immobile, scared, in transition.  Carrying them mentally to a place far from their pains and worries within their minds… if just for a little while.

Do you have anything you would like to say to our members of the military and their families?

Yes.  To the military members, I thank you for all you do in paving the way for our lives to be free.  It is with your dedication and commitment to the military that we all benefit from.  To the families of those military members, I thank you for allowing us to be served and protected by your loved ones.

Learn more about Renee on her website.

Follow Renee on social media.

Facebook:  https:/www.facebook.com/reneeleefisherauthor
Twitter:  https://www.twitter.com/reneeleefisher
Instagram:  https://www.instagram.com/reneeleefisherauthor

 

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Barbara Lohr has agreed to join us, and we couldn’t be happier

Please welcome Barbara Lohr to Authors4Veterans.

Welcome Barbara, please tell us about your connection to the military.

My husband is a Vietnam Vet, a graduate of KMI military school, once in Louisville. Being a vet is an important piece of who he is. He even has a Vietnam Vet license place holder. Serving our country is more than a job. It’s a calling. I’m really proud of him and anyone who answers that call.

Yes, thank you to your husband for his service.  You’re right, it is a calling.  Where are you from, where do you live? And do you have one of those day-jobs?

Milwaukee is my hometown. I graduated from Dominican High School and taught briefly at Pius High School. Some of my family still live in that area. I love Milwaukee and Wisconsin. We have the best state fair ever, with real cream puffs, Italian sausage and butter dipped corn. During any visit, I have to visit Culver’s Custard and Mama Mia’s. (Good memories are often associated with food, and that appears in my books.) Summer Fest is fabulous along the lake. Milwaukee offers the solid Midwest values that have shaped me. When I was growing up, my summers always included a trip Up North. And every Wisconsinite knows that’s the North Woods, where my great uncle had a cottage outside of Land O’Lakes. Those were special times.

I grew up near Lake Michigan and later moved to Chicago, followed by South Bend. That lake remains a powerful draw for me and my family. One of my series, Man from Yesterday, is set in a Lake Michigan beach town. The other series, Windy City Romance, is based in Chicago, on the shores of Lake Michigan. Although now I live in the South, I’m very Midwest.

Wow, a hometown girl for sure.  Tell us about your latest release and share one detail from your current release with readers that they might not find in the book?

My latest release is Late Bloomer, the 4th book in my Man from Yesterday series. Carolyn, an English teacher, travels to Santa Fe to help her grandmother recover from a broken hip. In the airport, she runs into Brody, a former student. Ten years ago, he caused havoc in her classroom. He was the problem she didn’t need that first year of teaching. Now she finds Brody has matured into a caring guy who helps her overcome a paralyzing fear of heights. But she struggles with the age difference. Brody has his job cut out for him. Meanwhile her grandmother Mama V is dating a younger man she met in rehab. You can see where this story is going. Carolyn’s grandmother helps her deal with life as it is now, not as it was––a conflict we all face some time in our lives. (Note: The Man from Yesterday series, Books 1-4, was released as a box set on Sept 8, as I fled the path of Hurricane Irma.)

Readers may not know that I actually taught in Room 207 (although I had no Brody lounging in a back seat, making things tough for me.)

Secret talent – Since I’m on Facebook, everyone probably knows all about me! I don’t think I have any secret talent. My work carries many pieces of my life. I think that’s true of all authors.

I think you’re right there, we tend to share pieces of ourselves in our stories.  What’s the most difficult thing about writing characters of the opposite sex?

Getting into their heads is always the challenge. Talking like a guy, acting like a guy and, most important, thinking like a guy. Growing up with three older brothers has helped. I actually like writing from that viewpoint.

Are there other military charities you support?  If so, please tell us which ones.

We support the local Military Family Relief Fund. Two years ago I joined other authors in a box set benefiting the Wounded Warriors program. Toys for Tots at Christmas. There are so many efforts.

Thank you for all you do for our veterans.  Do you write military characters in your books?  If so, how did you research them?

Yes, definitely. I regularly read the newspaper, and there are many military stories so sources are not a problem. In the novella Summer Riptide, Kevin is a vet who returns suffering from PTSD. The star quarterback in high school, Kevin returns irrevocably changed. But he brings Rufus with him, a mutt he rescued in Kabul. They heal each other, along with Mandy, his high school sweetheart.

Having Kevin as part of Gull Harbor seemed necessary. From what I’ve read, military forces often come from our small towns. I can’t depict an idyllic setting where romance blooms without including military families and the challenges they face. That’s just not life. Sarah in the Man from Yesterday series owns the local bakery. Her husband Jamie serves in Afghanistan. They were high school sweethearts. She is raising two small boys with the help of her mother. That’s a familiar scenario for many families.

My next book will have a Vietnam Vet. I have used that character type before. They can be fun with their wisdom and their quirks.  In Stanley’s case, he is a real influence on his son Ryder.

What would you choose as your specialty if you were in the military?

I’d probably be in communications since marketing and communications has been the core of my career.

Do you have anything you would like to say to our members of the military and their families?

We’re with you. We value the sacrifices made by you and your families. The news clips I see on TV when a service man or woman shows up at a school, surprising his or her child bring tears to my eyes. The rehab stories make me marvel at the strength of both husband and wife. Your service humbles me. Your tenacity leaves me in awe. We salute you.

Thank you all for participating in our Fisher House charity drive.

You can find more out about Barbara on her website.  

You can also follow her on Facebook

www.facebook.com/barbaralohrauthor

 

 

 

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Super excited about these donations

My mailman is beginning to dislike me, but I’m happy about that.   You see, I have a Belgian Malinois and he is a bit excitable, so when the mailman, UPS or FedEx truck pull into the driveway, he has a fit.  He runs around the truck barking, hair standing up and basically being a menace.  They’re all scared of him and if we aren’t sure they are coming, we don’t lock is doggy door.  Ooops.

Anyway, the packages have been coming almost daily and it’s rather fun. For me.

Anyway, take a look at some of the fun items our participating authors, Barbara Britton, Julie Moffett and Maryann Jordan donated.

                                                     

Books, swag, lotions, bath & shower gels, comfy socks, note pads, pens, snacks, journals, and so much more.  Thank you again authors for your generous donations to our Fisher House Families.

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