Romancing September – Olivia Stocum (Day 7)

Day 7 on Romancing September, please join me in welcoming author Olivia Stocum as our guest author, then pop over to Georgia to catch up with her views on writing romance in today’s society with Stephanie in a few hours.

Olivia Stocum AuthorLet’s go and find out some more about Olivia;

1) Where is your hometown?

My hometown is Owego, New York. It’s a historic town dating back to the Revolutionary War. I still live there. My house is 213 years old and has been in my husband’s family for three generations. I love ‘old’ things. Houses, towns, furniture…

2) How long have you been writing?

I started writing as soon as I had the ability to form sentences on paper. I couldn’t wait to learn how to read and write. I just knew books and I were a love match.

3) Have you always written romance?

Yes. It all started with Cinderella and Beauty and the Beast.

4) Before we get into the book, I must compliment you on the cover, It’s gorgeous! Who designed it?

An uber-talented woman, Stephanie White. Check her out if you’re in the market for a book cover. She really cares about your vision for your book.  

5) “Dawning” is a historical romance, is this your favourite style?

Yes, it is. Although, that said, I do have a paranormal series about a female werewolf in the works.

6) Set in Scotland in 1599, what made you choose this time and setting?

I wanted to create a world where the great kilt, castles, and damsels in distress all existed at the same time. Since the Great Kilt didn’t come into use until the mid fifteen hundreds, and castles fast went out of style in the sixteen hundreds, (yes, some people do still live in them, but for the most part they were no longer being built) I realized this was my best choice.

7) Do you have any family link to the MacAlastair clan that you wrote about? 

Nope. I completely made up the clan out of my imagination. I did that on purpose, because I knew the last thing I wanted was hate-mail because I made someone’s great-great-great-great grandfather into a bad guy. (Or something to that extent). My grandmother was Scottish however, from the Davidson clan.

 8) Clans are renown for their fierce protection of family, how do you show this in the book?

I could talk about Triona’s father, who is laird, or William, who is heir apparent, or even Triona, who is painfully devoted to the both of them. But I think it’s our hero, Ronan, who shows this the most. He has no idea who his parents are, and although he has been adopted into Triona’s clan, he isn’t able to accept it. He sees Triona alone as his legacy. And he will do anything to build his own clan around her.

9) Tell us more about the mysterious “Blackhawk” in your book, does his reputation precede him?

It does, and in ways he doesn’t come realize until the end of the book. Ronan (AKA Blackhawk) describes himself as the sort of mercenary who only sells to the highest bidder, but at closer examination, he’s left a trail of goodwill behind him. Maggie, for example, who was sold into harlotry at thirteen. Ronan pays off her debt to the man who owns her, then uses his powerful influence to find her a position as a lady’s maid, changing her life forever.  

 10) I was surprised when one reviewer picked you up on your lack of historical content in “Dawning” it is after all a fictional piece. Would this comment influence your future writing?

I don’t see it as influencing my writing at all. I’m very much like Jane Austen, who wrote her books during the Napoleonic Wars, yet never found it necessary to take her reader onto the battlefront. My books are ROMANCE. I write about relationships of many kinds. Friends, father and daughter, cousins, and yes, lovers. That is the essence of my writing. I don’t pretend that it’s something it’s not, either. I never once said that Rob Roy or Bonnie Prince Charley would be making an appearance in any of my books.

11) Fans are clamouring for a publishing date of your next book “Moonstone” do you have a date yet? Is it a sequel to “Dawning”?

Yes, and yes. The release date is January 2014. The book is written, and I am doing some of my own editing before it goes off to my hired editor next month. It’s about one of my most admired characters, William MacAlastair. I have yet to find a woman who doesn’t like him, and I can understand. Secretly, I’m in love with him too. (But don’t tell my husband, please.)

 Thanks for having me on your blog, Rosie. I really enjoyed our interview!

Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000026_00024]You can go and find “Dawning” here on or

Thanks for being my guest today Olivia, I loved your answers!

Guest Author Julie McDowall

Today my guest is Julie McDowall author of “Casting The Net”, a very entertaining book about internet dating. I recently reviewed the book and you can read that review here.    Now let’s go and meet Julie; Julie McDowell Casting the net

1) Where is your home town?
Glasgow, Scotland.
2) Where did the idea for “Casting the net” come from?
It is a non-fiction account of two very harrowing, disturbed but funny years I spent online dating in Glasgow. I would come into the office on a Monday morning, still baffled, reeling, aghast, furious or overjoyed from the weekend’s mad dates. My friends would gather round my desk, desperate to hear what on earth had happened this time. I got real pleasure out of telling my stories and entertaining my friends, so I set up a blog on WordPress so I could share the horrors with a wider audience. The blog became massively popular, and within four months of starting, had been taken up by The Herald newspaper where it still appears in instalments each Monday. The editor at The Herald then suggested I contact a publishing house called Blasted Heath. To my mad and crazy delight, they agreed to publish it as an extended and uncensored book, in two volumes.
3) Your book is set in Glasgow, can you tell our international readers where that is and tell us 5 great things about Glasgow?
Glasgow is the biggest city in Scotland, and is on the west coast of the country.
It was once known as The Second City of The Empire as it produced so many of Britain’s ships and locomotives, and had great wealth.
Its history is evident in its architecture, so much of which is proud and ornate Victorian.
It has produced a staggering amount of great writers, such as Alasdair Gray, William McIllvanney, James Kelman, Julie McDowall…(Of Course!)
It’ll host the Commonwealth Games in 2014
4) In your book, you try out several types of dating sites, do you think there is much difference between sites, or does it not matter because everyone enhances their profile regardless of online styles?
There is a huge difference between the various sites, and a novice must choose carefully. Some sites, such as Guardian Soulmates, are aimed at middle-class types, so you’ll tend to find people who are in their 30s or 40s and are serious about finding a partner, and will expect that person to have achievements and interests. At the opposite end of the spectrum are sites like Plenty of Fish which can be quite foul. The people on these sites don’t need to pay to upload their advert, so you find silly, badly-spelled, sometimes rude and aggressive adverts, many of whom are from people simply seeking a one-night stand. Then, there are novelty dating sites, like ones for people in uniform and ones for clowns and circus performers.
5) Do you think there are upper age limits to online dating or is everyone getting involved now a days?
Most sites require you to be 18, but they have no way of testing your age so anyone can join. These days, you find a massive age range on these sites. I’ve seen teenagers and pensioners trying it (though not together) and I say good luck to ’em! There used to be a sad stigma attached to online dating and it was seen as something only desperate folk would do, but that silly notion is vanishing.
6) Can you give 3 pieces of advice to someone about to take their first scary steps into online dating?
The first is to upload a photo. I was nervous when I first started and didn’t want my picture out there for the world to see, but you will scarcely get any approaches without a photo. It will imply that you are concealing something, or that you’re not really committed. I say, be brave and post a nice photo.
The second is don’t be afraid to be rude. If someone emails you and you’re not comfortable with them, or you know there’s simply no way you’ll want to meet them, don’t be afraid to simply ignore and delete the e-mail. Don’t waste your own time, and don’t give people false hope. It’s OK to be ruthless!
The third is to meet a date sooner rather than later. If you e-mail someone for weeks, trying to work out if they’re right for you, you’ll build up a false picture of them in your head. Meet them in person as soon as is reasonable and don’t let a whimsical e-mail romance develop. You’re not here to find penpals!
7) Your book has been extremely popular, is their a sequel on the way?
Yes indeed, Volume 2 will be published and I am also writing a novel about sexual obsession.
ctn-400Find “Casting The Net” here on
Catch up with Julie at these following places;

Thank you Julie for being a guest on the blog, good luck with the new writing.

Good Deeds Week 11th – 17th August

Let’s get on with my next round up of Good Deeds from my year long challenge. If you are new to this page, back in April, I started one Good Deed a day on the day I started reading “A Year of Doing Good” by Judith O’Reilly. I’m thrilled to tell you that last week Judith agreed to come and be a guest author on the blog after the school holidays are over. As I’m planning  the Romancing September World Blog Tour for the whole of September, I’ll pencil in her interview for early October.

Good deeds

11th August – Finished reading a book today and posted my review on Goodreads for the author, I needed to finish the book so that I could send a set of questions to the author who is also taking part in our Romancing September tour. Have been really busy promoting the opportunity for authors to promote their work for free in two places across the world on the same day.

12th August – Doing Good Deeds for others is truly amazing my cup is overfloweth, well my inbox is! Romancing September has gone overboard and we’ve been inundated today with requests to join the tour. On top of that I’m sorting out guest posts for authors on my blog  for August  and October. Sent my daughter off to see friends with a box of cakes. Had an appointment at my chiropractor and confessed that my neck and shoulders were a mess due to spending too many hours at the computer. Brought a smile to his face when I told him it was all self inflicted due to this super addictive blog. Suggested he browse his table in the waiting room and pick up copy of Fleet Life to see my page of “Rosie’s Good Reads”, two plugs there, one for Fleet Life and one for me! Have been sending love and support across to America for a blogging friend facing some medical demons.

13th August – Posted a guest author interview for a hugely popular author, at the age of 14 Savannah Grace was taken backpacking for a year with her family, she kept a diary and wrote a book about their adventures, she then got the travel bug and has travelled all over the world. Check out her post here, I was so pleased I could introduce readers to her adventures. A busy day, but I still had time to pick up litter when I went for a walk to post a letter.

14th August – Took my son to the park for a game of tennis, picked up litter on the way out as a thank you for the lovely free facilities. Just had a phone call from my husband’s aunt who wants to pay us a visit on Friday afternoon, so I need to run around like a mad thing tidying the house as we are in school holiday mode. It will give me a great opportunity for a good deed because she wants me to help her find a cottage that her Grandmother used to live in. We laugh that this will be a royal visit! She’s of an era that oozes etiquette and she is a tour guide for Prince Charles’ gardens, so we’re pretty close with our label.

15th August – Did the grocery shopping today and gave a donation to a charity called “Children’s Hope Foundation” a charity for children with special needs.

16th August -Have done the Good Deed for my husband’s Aunt, I took her to visit some houses that her cousins and Grandmother lived in over 50 years ago. Sadly all has changed and there was little left of the places she knew, but she had tied it in with a visit in the morning to a house where her and her husband had once lived. She is 84 and wears me out with all her activities, she plans to fit in trips to Scotland, Anglesey and the gardens of Versailles in Paris all before the end of September!

17th August – Friends dropped by to pick up some books. I was extremely pleased when a conversation I had with the husband on Thursday encouraged him to visit his mother who has Alzheimer’s. She didn’t know who he was, but his guilt and fear had lifted and he was able to face his father once more.

Guest Author Leti Del Mar

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Leti Del Mar is doing a blog tour to promote her book Land of the Unaltered, today she is a guest author on my blog talking about herself and giving us her writing tips. Please join me in welcoming Leti.

1)Tell me your name  Leti Del Mar

2) Where do you live?

Sunny Southern California, USA

3)When did you start writing?

I’ve tinkered around with writing for most of my life but i wrote my first novel in 2009

4)What type of books do you like writing the most?

I like to write something with a good mix of romance and adventure.

5)Pass on 3 tips about writing or publishing.

1- Never give up.  The only one who can prevent your words from reaching readers is you.

2-Pace yourself.  If all goes well, you’ll be doing this for decades to come so don’t freak out if things aren’t happening as fast as you would like them to.

3- Learn the business side of writing but keep it in its place.

6)What was the last book that you read? How would you rate it?

I just finished the Dumfries Detective Trilogy by RR Gall.  It is a collection of detective stories set in Scotland and I gave the first two a four star rating and the last one five stars.  They are great detective stories that kept me guessing until the very end.

7)Now choose just one of your books and add a link to it.

Land of the Unaltered.

Contact Links:





Mailing List:

Book Links:


Amazon UK



Barnes & Noble

Blog tour tab on my website (contains tour schedule):

Here is your chance to win a $25 gift card from the tour;

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If you missed my earlier review of her book, here it is;

Land of the Unaltered by Leti Del Mar

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I was lucky enough to receive an advanced review copy of this book from the author and was delighted to read the story. A young adult romance set in a futuristic world where there is a liking to have repeated medical alterations. However there are people who don’t want the high life of the city, Rose goes to live with her aunt to escape the world that her parents live in. She meets Flynn, but he refuses to be friendly. A romance blossoms, but what will become of their future? A great story with the promise of its continuation in the next book.