USA Today Best-Selling Author
RaeAnne Thayne
"I’m not one of those people who knew from birth she was destined to become a writer. I always loved to read and throughout my childhood I could usually be found with a book in my hands. To the disgust of my friends, I even enjoyed creative writing assignments that made them all groan. But I had other dreams besides writing. I wanted to be an actress or a teacher or a lawyer.

Life took a different turn for me, though, when my mother made me take a journalism elective in high school (thanks, Mom!). I knew the first day that this was where I belonged.

After I graduated from college in journalism, I took a job at the local daily newspaper and I reveled in the challenge and the diversity of it. One day I could be interviewing the latest country music star, the next day I was writing about local motorcycle gangs or interviewing an award-winning scientist.

Through it all — through the natural progression of my career from reporter to editor — I wrote stories in my head. Not just any stories, either, but romances, the kind of books I have devoured since junior high school, with tales about real people going through the trials and tribulations of life until they find deep and lasting love.

I had no idea how to put these people on paper, but knew I had to try — their stories were too compelling for me to ignore. I sold my first book in 1995 and now, more than 30 books later, I’ve come to love everything about writing, from the click of the computer keys under my fingers to the “that’s-it!” feeling I get when a story is flowing.

I write full-time now (well, as full-time as I can manage juggling my kids!) amid the raw beauty of the northern Utah mountains. Even though I might not have dreamed of being a writer when I was younger, now I simply can’t imagine my life any other way."

You can find RaeAnne Thayne at her website, on Facebook, and on Twitter.

RaeAnne Thayne was kind enough to answer a few questions for her readers:

WPMP: What influenced you to become an Author?

RT: I was a voracious reader when I was a child, which led to love of writing. I eventually decided on a career in journalism and spent a decade as a newspaper reporter and editor. The whole time I worked at the newspaper, though, I dreamed of writing a romance novel, the kind of book I’ve always loved to read. I started writing when I was home on maternity leave with my daughter (now 21!) and I’ve been at it ever since.

  WPMP:  Where do you typically write?

RT: With three children, one with special needs, I’ve learned to write anywhere. I wrote my first 20 books on a makeshift office set up in our dining room, dreaming of a day I would have my own real office. We moved into a larger home that better met our needs about seven years ago and I have a really lovely office now but, ironically, I find I’m often most productive elsewhere. I love to write at the campus library in our community, in the bookstore, even in my car in the mountains near my house. I guess I crave environmental variety!

WPMP:  How long did it take to have your first book published?

RT: I sold my first two books to Bantam Loveswept in 1995, about five years after I started writing.

WPMP:  What is the best gift you ever received?

RT: This one is easy but requires a little backstory. I quit my job as a newspaper editor upon the birth of our second child (the week I sold my fifth book!) to write full time. Our son was born with some serious medical challenges, though, and I spent the next year struggling to keep up with deadlines while dealing with this frail baby who had multiple doctor and therapy appointments a week. My wonderful husband, who has always been my biggest cheerleader, was working a job he didn’t necessarily love but that (mostly) paid the bills while I struggled to keep my writing career going. His greatest joy were his vacation days when he could spend his time with his family or doing his favorite hobbies.

Money was very tight and we made a deal the second Christmas after our son was born that we would get each other only small gifts that year – but my husband stunned me on Christmas morning by presenting me with a used laptop I could take with me to my son’s various appointments. I knew we didn’t have several hundred dollars for this and when I asked how he could possibly have come up with the money for it, he admitted he had cashed out most of his vacation days for the next year to afford it. Isn’t that the sweetest thing?! He is still my hero in every single way!

WPMP: How do you decide on character’s names?

RT: I work hard on picking my character’s names, trying to choose the best one for how I visualize that character. Sometimes I’ll use baby name books (or apps now!) and sometimes I’ll leaf through the phonebook. It’s one of my favorite parts of coming up with a plot, coming up with just the right names for my people.

WPMP: Do you ever suffer from writers block?  How do you deal with it?

RT: I don’t really have time for writers block. My problem is usually not so much writers block as mental fatigue. Writing is hard work and sometimes I just have to take a break from the words for a few days. If I do find myself struggling to figure out what happens next, I find if I take a walk on one of my favorite trails nearby, I can usually come up with the answer.

WPMP:  What authors inspire you?

RT: So many! I love discovering new-to-me authors who have a huge backlist and I also love the hard work and enthusiasm of those who are just starting out.  Some authors, like Brenda Novak and Debbie Macomber, accomplish so much good beyond their wonderful stories that they continually inspire me to try harder to be a better person.

WPMP:  Where do you get the inspiration for your plots/characters?

RT: I’m not sure I have a good answer to that. When I was a journalist, I would find a dozen stories a day reading through the wire service stories. These days, I get a lot of help from my wonderful plot group. And sometimes I think my subconscious is busy all the time, seething and bubbling under the surface while I go about the rest of my life. I just keep my fingers crossed that the ideas keep coming!

WPMP: What is your favorite dessert?

RT: Creme brulee. No question. I’m on a life-quest to find the perfect creme brulee.

WPMP: If your life had a theme song, what would it be?

  RT: Wow. You ask the tough questions! The first song that came to mind was Amazing Grace because I do feel as if I have been extraordinarily blessed in my life. But since I don’t write inspirational fiction … on a non-religious note, the first song that came to mind was the New Radicals song, You Get What You Give. I think that simple philosophy is true in virtually every area of life. Give your best self in everything you do – with your loved ones, with your career, even in your casual associations and your life will be better for it.

Thanks so much to RaeAnne for her great interview!
Leave her a comment to make her feel welcome!

Check out our reviews of Blackberry Summer and her newest book, Woodrose Mountain
New York Times, USA Today, and Publishers Weekly bestselling author  Elizabeth Hoyt
Elizabeth Hoyt is the New York Times, USA Today, and Publishers Weekly bestselling author of historical romance, including reader favorite, The Raven Prince. Elizabeth was born in New Orleans but grew up in St. Paul, Minnesota. She was fortunate to be able to travel extensively as a child, visiting St. Andrews, Scotland; Germany; France; and Belgium. She spent a year in Oxford, England and was a summer exchange student to Kawasaki, Japan.

Elizabeth has a BA in anthropology from the University of Wisconsin at Madison and, as a result of having no clue what to do with her life thereafter, a career history as a barista, a (terrible) sales clerk, a Wisconsin Revenue Service data entry slave, and an archeological field work grunt. Fortunately, Elizabeth married relatively young and produced two children who kept her busy until her mid-thirties. At about this time, when her youngest was entering Kindergarten, Elizabeth’s mother hinted that perhaps Elizabeth should get a Real Job. Sadly, Elizabeth was so delusional she thought writing a romance novel might qualify as a Real Job.

But! Five years later, to everyone’s surprise, she actually sold that romance novel (The Raven Prince) and began a rather successful career as a Romance Novelist. This was most fortunate since Elizabeth is singularly unqualified to do anything else but Make Up Stories. Since then Elizabeth has written eleven books to critical acclaim: The Prince Trilogy (The Raven Prince, The Leopard Prince, and The Serpent Prince); the Legend of the Four Soldiers series (To Taste Temptation, To Seduce a Sinner, To Beguile a Beast, and To Desire a Devil); and the Maiden Lane series (Wicked Intentions, Notorious Pleasuresand the upcoming Scandalous Desires.) All of Elizabeth’s books are set in eighteenth century England and all feature a fairy tale story that serves as a foil to the main story. Elizabeth lives in central Illinois with a bevy of untrained canines and a garden in constant need of weeding.

You can find Elizabeth Hoyt on Facebook: 
and Twitter:!/ElizabethHoyt

Elizabeth was kind enough to answer some questions for her readers:   

     WPMP: Has it become easier to complete manuscripts the more you have written?
How long does it take you to complete a manuscript?

EH: You’d think it would become easier to complete a book the more you write, but in my case at least, it’s the opposite. It takes me about four months to write a first draft, but then I spent a lot of time on revisions—up to four to six months. 

WPMP: How long did it take to get your first book published?

EH: It took me three years to write The Raven Prince, about six months to find an agent, and then about one and a half years before we found a publisher. 

WPMP: What is your favorite foreign location?

EH: I’d love to visit India. Does that count? ;-) 

WPMP: Do you write while on vacation/ abroad?

EH: If I have a book due, then yes. I tend not to go on vacation unless I’m between books. 

WPMP: Do you have any trunk novels?

EH: Yup! Two detective books. Maybe if this historical romance thing doesn’t work out… 

WPMP: What authors inspire you?

EH: Authors with elegant prose. Lately I’ve enjoyed Eileen Dreyer, Eloisa James, and Jim Butcher. 

WPMP: What made you choose to write books set in 18th Century England?

EH: I think subconsciously because that’s when all the great swashbuckler stories are set: Scaramouche, The Scarlet Pimpernel, etc. I liked the swords and the elegant dresses. Now I’m writing in the early part of the Georgian period with my Maiden Lane books and it’s a very exciting time period for London: lots of immigration and turmoil. 

WPMP: What is your favorite fairytale?

EH: Hm, that’s a hard choice. One of my favorites is The Seven Swans

WPMP: What would we find inside your purse?

EH: Everything! I am prepared: tissues, bandaids, earbuds, gum, mints, hand cream, chapstick, lipstick, folding brush, two small notebooks, pens, my iphone, my ipad, and a Bluetooth keyboard. Oh, and my wallet. ;-) 

WPMP: Do you have a favorite family recipe?  
EH: We eat quiche a lot:  
Store-bought pastry
3 eggs
3 cups whole milk
1 cup shredded cheese of your choice
½ cup chopped onion spinach, red peppers, broccoli, or asparagus up to ½ cup cooked.  

Sautee veg in 2T butter. Put pastry in pie plate. Place sautéed veg in pastry. Add cheese. Combine eggs, milk, 2T flour, salt and pepper to taste in bowl, then pour in pastry up to edge of shell. Sprinkle lightly with nutmeg. Bake at 425 degrees until top is puffed and just beginning to lightly brown. Cool before cutting.

Our thanks to Elizabeth for sharing her time and her talent! 
Enter our giveaway for your chance to win a copy of her latest book in the Maiden Lane series, Scandalous Desires.

New York Times and USA Today Bestselling author Maggie Shayne

New York Times and USA Today Bestselling author Maggie Shayne lives in the wilds of Cortland County, NY.  She spends her time in her farmhouse “Serenity” with her soulmate, Lance.  She has a pair of English Mastiffs, Daisy and Dozer, Niblet – the English Bulldog, and Glory, their wise feline guardian. Maggie is a Wiccan high priestess and a strong believer in the Law of Attraction. 

She has over 50 published novels and 23 novellas to her credit.  She has written for two soap operas: As The World Turns and Guiding Light, and 7 publishers.  If that wasn’t enough she also writes a weekly advice column, “Shayne on You” for the Norwich Evening Sun.  She has had 15 RITA Award nominations with a win in 2005.  Her novella, Love Me to Death in the Heart Of Darkness anthology is a nominee for Best Novella of 2010 RITA Award and Kill Me Again is a Rita finalist for Best Romantic Suspense!
Look for the release of Vacation With a Vampire (anthology) this summer and Twilight Fulfilled in October. Also now out in electronic format, Fairytale and Forever Enchanted two novels written by Maggie back in the 90’s for Avon Books.  She retained the rights when they went out of print so they are now available.  Watch for another 90’s favorite, Annie’s Hero coming to electronic format soon!

You can visit Maggie at her website      

She’s also on Twitter -!/maggieshayne and Facebook - 
She blogs solo at and with friends at