Book Characters IRL

October’s Question: Have you ever slipped any of your personal information into your characters, either by accident or on purpose?
YAASSSS! The main protagonist in my 18 Things trilogy is named Olga Gay Worontzoff, and she’s named after her two grandmothers. As stated in my author’s bio to the right here, I really do have grandmothers named Olga and Gay but unlike my heroine, I’m not named after either one of them.
My character is also addicted to coffee, and I must admit, I have zero self-control when it comes to avoiding Starbucks.
Fun Fact: I met my hubs the first day of high school when I was 14 and heard the first of many voices in my head, whispering I’d marry him someday. In the meantime, I fell in love with someone else and dated him for three years while my future husband became one of my best friends. Hence, I could definitely relate to Olga’s love triangle in my series.
The most important way in which I’m like my MC is I turn to Jesus for his boundless love & amazing grace, for his ability to turn my despair into hope, and for giving me the desires of my heart in his perfect timing. Ecclesiastes 3:1 said it best:
Ecc 3
To be honest, I think all authors see a little of themselves in our characters. Through them we see our own goals, dreams, truths, fears, and thoughts. And we hope our readers see a bit of themselves in our characters, too.
This has been another post for the Insecure Writer’s Support Group, the brainchild of Head Ninja, Alex J. Cavanaugh. Feel free to join us the first Wednesday of every month! Purpose: To share and encourage. Check out the co-hosts this month for some more related posts:

Olga Godim, Chemist Ken,Jennifer Hawes, and Tamara Narayan!


Author Elizabeth Seckman Shares 18 Thoughts Defying Reason

Hi, I’m Jamie today!

Okay, not really. I’m still Elizabeth…I’m just here swapping blogs and thoughts with Jamie. You can find her on my blog today sharing 18 Reasonable Thoughts. She’s in the midst of her new book launch; I’m on the eve of mine. Defying Reason releases tomorrow! I know I’m excited. I had fun writing this book- having the mindset of a twenty-something again was refreshing. I won’t tell you many decades separate me from my twenties, but when doctors start mentioning words like perimenopause? It’s time to walk down memory lane and enjoy the scenery.
Jamie’s book is 18 Thoughts and mine is Defying Reason…soooo, I thought I’d combine the two and offer up 18 thoughts that make my brain go hmmm….
The 3 D copier. A copy machine that can spit out clothes? A gun? Can’t wrap my brain around that.
Mean people. Who wakes up and thinks, “Who can I hurt today?”
They are awesome. Probably God’s best work.
Microwave ovens. I remember what it was like to bake a pizza roll in the oven. Nuking
things is way more awesome.
Still hate it. Still don’t know why I had to learn it.
Amazing how many perfect babies are born. It’s a complicated process. If it
were a recipe I had to follow, I’d mess up at least half the time.
They see the wonder in everything; we just need to listen.
Internet shopping. I can buy just about anything and have it delivered right to your my
Watch your government in action and you’ll wish laws were made by
Fiber cookies. What a delicious idea they were.
Better than anything you’ll see in the Louvre and still completely free.
Amazing stuff. It can be used to cleanse, as transportation, as recreation. And
it can bring life. Or it can bring death.
Animal instinct. Amazing how beavers know how to build damns and birds to go south for
the winter.
We willingly give up our time, money, and sanity just to enjoy hugs and back
Those tiny little vessels are everywhere!
Still amazed how a signal turns into so much fun. No, I don’t still think people
live in the set.
From athletes to math geniuses…amazing what extraordinary things people can do.
It’s a glorious thing

The Blurb:
Jo Leigh Harper comes from a long
line of trouble-making, white trash stock.
Tanner Coulter comes from a longer
line of wealth-creating, blue blood stock.
Jo graduated college top of her
class, moving toward a future full of possibilities.
Tanner dropped out of college,
trading a law degree for drinking games and one night stands.
A family crisis
throws the rich party boy and the poor genius girl together. The attraction is
immediate, though neither one is a heart-in-the-sand-drawing believer in true
love. But as the summer sun heats up along the shores of the Outer Banks, so does the connection between them. Maybe, just maybe, they can win at love by defying reason.
Author Bio:


is a multi-published author of books for people who are believers in happily-ever-
after, true love, and stories with a bit of fun and twists with their plots.
The mother of four young men, she tackles laundry daily and is the keeper of
the kitchen. She lives along the shores of the Ohio River in West Virginia, but
dreams daily of the beach. 

FacebookBlogWebsiteBuy Link


What are some thoughts that you think defy reason? Comment for a chance to win Elizabeth’s ebook for Defying Reason!

Somebody Like You . . . or Me (Welcome a Contemporary Romance Author with a Southern Flavor)

So I’ve been working hard on the sequel to 18 Things and haven’t felt much like blogging. I’ve wanted to visit other blogs, but I’ve limited myself in order to get some work done . . . hope you’ll forgive me and we can still be friends:-) I just can’t seem to fit social media in and writing *sighs* But this Wednesday I’m back with an interview with a wonderful buddy of mine, author Lynnette Austin, who I met through my Southwest Florida Romance Writer’s Group!

L: Jamie, thanks so much for having me on your blog today.

J: The pleasure is all mine:-) So Lynnette, can you tell us in 20 words or less what your book is about?

L: How about fifty words? I know, I know. That’s bending the rules, but…sometimes you just have to color outside the lines. J

In Somebody Like You, rancher Cash Hardeman loves longneck beers, while heiress Annelise Montjoy prefers champagne. Both have a secret—she’s trying to save her grandfather’s life; he’s trying to save the family ranch. Cash belongs in Maverick Junction, Texas, Annelise in Boston, or could it be they belong together?


J: Sounds fantastic!!! Your book is with Grand Central Publishing. How did your deal come about and how do you like working with them?

L: Nicole Resciniti, agent supreme, sold the three book series to Grand Central. We actually had multiple offers which sure made my heart beat a little faster! After some discussion back and forth between us and the publishing houses, we decided to go with Grand Central. The fun part of this? Our writing group, Southwest Florida Romance Writers, was hosting a conference at the time GCP made their offer. I stopped by Nicole’s, and she shared it with me. We went inside to a houseful of editors down for the conference, all of whom congratulated me on my sale. What could be better?  

I love working with Grand Central Publishing. I made a quick trip to New York City last fall to visit a friend and fellow SWFRW and had the opportunity to have lunch with Lauren Plude, my fabulous editor, and Amy Pierpont, senior editor at GCP. Can you say fabulous? It was really great to visit the office and see, as Amy said, where the magic is made. I also got a chance to meet some of the others who work so hard to bring our books to life.

J: Nicole is agent supreme for sure! I’m looking forward to meeting my editor for the first time in July *squeeee* What does your typical writing day look like?

L: Even though I continuously promise myself I won’t, the first thing I do is check my email to see if there’s anything that needs taken care of, anything that won’t wait. Then I pull up my WIP and get busy. I like to work in the mornings, but with tighter deadlines I’ve found myself working most of the day. At the beginning of a book, I figure how many words per day I have to write to meet my deadline and stay at my computer till I get there.

I generally start by reading over what I wrote the previous day and making light edits. Then I pick up where I left off. A quick tip. I’ve found it works so much better for me if I don’t stop writing at a chapter or scene end. I usually quit for the day right at the beginning of a new scene. I write just enough that when I turn on my computer, I remember where I was headed and can jump right back in. I’ve already set the stage. It can really help eliminate what many call writer’s block. There is no where-do-I-go-today moment. I’m already on my way. Also, my storyboard keeps me on track.

I seldom reread what I write that day. By the next morning, I can see it through fresher eyes and make better decisions. Besides, it’s extremely important to keep the story moving forward. It’s really easy to tweak and fiddle around with what you’ve written, but that’s not going to get you to the place where you can type “the end”.

J: Great advice! Somebody Like You takes place in Texas . . . have you ever visited? What’s your favorite place in the world?

L: I have been to Texas, yes, several times—and I’ve thoroughly enjoyed each and every visit. It’s a great state and very unique. I’ve covered the state north to south and east to west, and, believe me, there’s some miles to cover there!

My favorite place in the world. Hmmm, that’s a hard one. I’ve lived in Pennsylvania, New York, Wyoming, Florida, and Georgia and love them all. I’ve traveled in Europe, Africa, Central and South America. In North America, I’ve been in all fifty states with the exception of Alaska and have traveled fairly extensively in both Mexico and Canada.

If I had to choose one spot, though, I’d say Bantry Bay, Ireland. Two friends and I rented a small cottage there for a week and fell in love with the small town and its people. The bread in the market is made daily by a local and brought into the small store. The postmistress couldn’t sell us stamps when we arrived because it was too early, so she shared biscuits and tea with us in her living room. Our kitchen window looked out over the green, green hills and farms, and our living room window looked out over the bay with its beautiful blue water. My dream is to return there. 

J: Hubs and I visited Ireland for 2 weeks in 1999–would love to go back and visit that small town!

What would you like the world to know about you and your books before you leave?

L:  I was a reader long before I started to write. There’s nothing like picking up an incredible book and losing yourself in the story, in the characters and their world. I sincerely hope my books will provide that for readers. A lot of time, thought, and effort go into every single one. I have fun spending time with my characters and hope my readers do, too.

My newest book, Somebody Like You, written as Lynnette Austin, is the first of at least three in the Maverick Junction series. There’s something so sexy about a cowboy, and Cash, Ty, and Brawley, the heroes of the series, have it in spades. Cash and Annie have to fight hard in order to be together. I like strong, independent heroines and a hero that’s every bit as self-confident. The next two books, Nearest Thing To Heaven (June 4, 2013) and Can’t Stop Loving You (November 4, 2013) showcase equally strong heroes and heroines caught in the act of falling in love. Having married my high-school sweetheart, I’m a strong believer in forever love.

I do write under the name Lynnette Hallberg, also. Chantilly Lace and A Pretty Face is a contemporary Western set in Wyoming. Moonlight, Motorcycles, and Bad Boys, along with Just A Little White Lie, are set in small town Georgia. I love to create small towns with all the flavor and quirky characters they seem to grow. Enchanted Evening takes place in Pittsburgh and Night Shadows, a romantic suspense, has that special magic only New Orleans can provide.

I’ve had a great time with you today, Jamie! Thanks again for having me over.


J: Thank YOU! And you’re welcome to stop by any time! If you’d like to get to know Lynnette some more (and who wouldn’t?!), you can find her on FB and Twitter.

*So, are you interested in reading Somebody Like You? It’s only $1.99 for the Kindle version–what a steal! And do you forgive me for being a bad blogger buddy, but a good writer *on hands and knees pleading* Hope to see ya’ll soon~hugs!

A Valentine Treat with Marisa Cleveland and the 18 Things Tour Continues to Sweep the Blog Nation;-)

HaPPy*Valentine’s* Eve!!! And oooh boy, do I have the perfect gift for you!!! A book, of course . . . would you expect anything different from me?
Today marks the release of the Debut Novella for Marisa Cleveland, a very sweet kindred spirit who I met through my Southwest Florida Romance Writer’s Group. She is now a recovering high school teacher turned writer and agent extraordinaire, and she was kind enough to read my manuscript for 18 Things soooo many times that it made her head spin faster than if she’d starred in The Exorcist.  
Here’s the scoop:
Marisa Cleveland’s novella, The Valentine Challenge, debuted from Entangled Publishing! Join the celebration by visiting participating blogs and commenting the answer to this question: In your opinion, what’s the sexiest part of a man?
Between now and February 28th, Marisa’s super secret judges will browse the blogs and choose up to three winners to receive Valentine goodies!
No purchase necessary, but a Like on Amazon is always appreciated!
Title: The Valentine Challenge
Author: Marisa Cleveland
Publisher: Entangled Publishing (Flirt)
Genre: Contemporary Romance Novella
Valentine Challenge
Book Description:
When Stacey Bradford’s hot boss convinces his company’s board to close her best friend’s flower shop – days before Valentine’s Day! – Stacey declares war.
Intrigued by Stacey’s devotion to her friend, the hearts and flowers holiday, and belief in true love, Marsh issues a challenge – prove love exists or deliver the closing documents to her friend herself.
Stacey never could resist a challenge, but when Marsh makes Valentine’s Day the deadline for their deal, Stacey must decide how far she’s willing to go…for love.
Author Bio
Marisa Cleveland loves to laugh, hates to cry, and does both often. As a writer, she writes. Every day. Perhaps because she married her best friend, her adult romance novels focus on playfully naughty relationships developed through friendship and family-oriented values. She loves to connect with writers and readers.
Author Links
Website and blog:
Super Amazing Participating Blogs:
*WHat R U wAItiNG fOR?! What do you find sexiest in a man? *cough cough, please keep it PG-13 since I write for young adults*
Oh, and incase you missed it, here’s my guest post on Talynn’s Ink in the Book blog about my sweet first kiss and my inspiration for writing love stories.
And today, I’m visiting England on Rebecca Bradley’s blog, where she asks me this question: How Do I Fit It All In? You can comment on either blog through Friday for a chance to win a copy of 18 Things:-)
Well, I’m off to help lead Youth Group. Hope you had a very happy Over-the-Hump Day! Mine was full of many firsts: TV interview on The Morning Blend, Library Event, then my first Author School visit with some 8th graders who were one HUGE batch of Awesomesauce. I’ll tell ya allll about it later.