Meet Natasha Polak

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Please welcome Natasha, a brand new author from Rebel Ink! You’re welcome to ask her questions and connect through the comments!

  • You are going to be new to many of my readers. Tell us about yourself.

When I’m not writing, I love sharing in experiences with my family and friends, hosting get-togethers or traveling with them, and going to events. In my quiet time, I always love reading a good book, conducting genealogy research, trying new recipes, playing guitar, gaming, browsing Pinterest, and listening to music. I love singing in the car, and you’ll find me listening to my favorite artist – Sir Paul McCartney!

  • Tell us about the book that’s just come out. 

Elaina Ellis would do anything to protect her family – even if it means keeping secrets from them.

Elaina has always been a dutiful daughter. When her father suddenly dies in the summer of 1905, she begrudgingly leaves the safety of her life in Philadelphia to return to her hometown. Once there, Elaina encounters the very man responsible for her leaving her home to begin with, as well as a newcomer she distrusts—a man who seems determined to stand in the way of her future.

When the newcomer turns out to be yet another man in town Elaina feels she must answer to, she’s all too glad to leave him, and everyone else in her small, narrow-minded town, and return to Philadelphia, where she feels she belongs. Convinced that no man should dictate the course of her life, she expects to find solace from her grief and pain in the big city, but is sorely disappointed when everything starts to fall apart.

Will the secrets she harbors be her undoing? Will she ever truly find a place she can call home?

  • What started your love of writing?

Honestly, fiction writing started as a means of entertaining myself during an extended trip overseas with my family when I was 8 years old. With nothing else to do, I would dream up alternate endings to my favorite television shows. So many times, I would think about what the characters were up against, and how they could have done things differently, and create new storylines accordingly. I did love books at an early age, and if anything, I’d considered myself a poet or a lyricist back then. I was 12 when I began aspiring to become a writer by profession, which was also actually when I first got the inspiration for The Ellises!

  • Do you write in more than one genre – tell us a little about each one and the book you’re working on in each.

Fiction as a whole of interest to me; however, the older I get the more important I find inspirational fiction to be, which is why A Place to Call Home is just that, and I could think of no better way than to have it be my debut novel. Writing historical fiction is also a first for me, but it is something I enjoy as a reader and as a genealogy fanatic. I do have other storylines from contemporary inspirational fiction, and Christian Chick Lit in mind as well.

  • Have you attended any writing conference or classes. Tell us about some that and some that have been especially helpful.

I haven’t, but plan to in the future! When I was a senior in high school, I enrolled in a freelance writing certification program on the side, which is how I got my career off the ground and landed two completely different writing gigs that have helped shape what I do most – I wrote (non-fiction) website content and had my first article published in a Christian magazine.

  • Are you a member of any writing groups?

No, but I plan to be!

  • How attached do you get to your characters? Do you know what happens after the book ends?

I see elements of my characters in myself or others in my life, so I frequently am thinking of how my characters would think or act to a given situation I experience, which leads to thinking up new ideas. I have to get into “character mode” and when I do, I envision myself as each of the characters in some way. Usually I know what happens after the book ends, but it sometimes can take a little while for me to envision it. When I do, it’s the lead-in for the next storyline.

  • Describe your perfect writing day.

The perfect writing day to me is when I can be in a scenic setting overlooking woods or water, where I have uninterrupted time to write as soon as I wake up and have the most energy to be creative. Having free access to food and drink as the mood strikes is essential, because writing sure makes me hungry and thirsty!

  • Could you tell us the one question you wish people would ask about your writing and don’t forget the answer.

Where do your inspirations come from?

 

NATASHA L. POLAK (nee Kohlhoff) writes and copy-edits non-fiction articles as well as Inspirational fiction, Inspirational Historical fiction and Christian Chick Lit novels, and is the founder of The Barbie Girls Project.

Her earliest writings were poems that appeared in school publications and local newspapers. Since then, she has successfully written and edited for a variety of websites, newsletters, and in-print magazines for over 20 years.

In addition to her debut fiction novel, The Ellises Book 1:A Place to Call Home, she has also authored the e-book “10 Toxic Ingredients That Should Never Touch Your Face” for Trevida.com in 2016, self-published a devotional “Love, God” in 2009, and was a contributing writer with “The Wise Guides: The Fan Navigator to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway” in 2008.

Originally from Boston, MA, Natasha spent her childhood in Manchester, NH, but has resided in Indianapolis, IN since her teens. She is married to her high school sweetheart and they have one daughter and a cat whom they refer to as their second child.

Contact her at Facebook, Amazon, Twitter, and Instagram

Girls Again

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I know you’ve seen these ladies before – it was Roommate week for catching up. These are the strong women that helped raise me and have been there for me for more than forty years. College roommates, we’ve stayed together, raised our families together and still love each other. It’s kinda nice. 

The week was low key, just visiting and reconnecting in person rather than electronically. Since I’m now settled in my new place most of the activities were here and surrounding eating, but it’s a treat. We did go see Wonder Woman and we all loved it – strong women are what we’re about and a woman director finally got a super hero movie right! There was some shopping but not as much as you’d think. We’d planned to sit by the pool one day but it turned cold, so we stayed in and watched other movies, like Wild Oats and shared grandkid pictures. As college kids that activity never occurred to us.

We toasted our daughters at dinner last night – all have turned into strong women as well, with different adventures than ours, but strengthening as well and all have turned into lovely young women we can admire and learn from ourselves. The good thing is, they also know each other and are in touch – maybe not as much as we are, but they know they’re out there if needed and are family as well.

Okay, back to editing and writing, but with renewed strength and grounding and maybe even a little inspiration. Thanks, girls . . .

   

Write In!

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Talk about a great weekend. I held my first write-in here at the new condo. Hubby was out of town so it was just us writers, writing. Had some super writers here, you probably heard of some of them – Nancy Lee Badger, Laura Browning, Leslie Ray, and me. Others you will hear of soon.  (Don’t ask what we were laughing about in this pic – it’s rated higher than this blog)

Having never done this before, it was loose but fun. I think next time I’ll plan sprints for the writing. We did get into discussions several times, which might have kept the word count down, but were definitely educational. Some of us are hybrid writers (traditionally published as well as self-published), others were traditionally published only. That led to more than one conversation about the merits of each.

Some of us are planning to go to Nationals this year in Orlando, and discussed previous conferences. Leslie had been to RT and we queried her about that – when it gets close again, I’d like to try it. All of us are in HCRW (Heart of Carolina Romance Writers) so we talked about the chapter and possible future programs as well.

That’s not to say we didn’t write (or edit) all day. I personally wrote 800+ words and I saw a lot of finger movements over the keyboards in the other seats as well.

I am going to do this again – it was inspiring, helpful and just plain fun having such creativity going on in my home. Not to mention I cleaned house for it, so Hubby is going to be all for it as often as possible.

Nancy spent the night to have time to tutor me in some marketing (and we watched a couple of movies I’d never have watched without her – going to call it research – Fifty Shades and Fifty Shades Darker). Hey, like I said, Hubby was out of town! So sue me….

New from Cyn Hadyn!

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My good friend Cyn Hadyn has not one but TWO books coming out in May – Null Sanction and Off Track  – be sure to check them out and learn a little more about Cyn herself!  

What made you want to start writing? I’ve always written, but not in the romance genre. I wrote history which, as you know, doesn’t permit fudging the facts to fit your story line.

When did you start writing? I started writing in 2011, a year before I retired as the Command Historian for Marine Special Operations Command. I’d work at night and over my lunch hour and, honestly, my stories had better endings than the history I was dealing with.

Who inspires you? People who are willing to put their life on the line to keep little ol’ me safe. Servicemen and women, police, firefighters, etc. I especially am inspired by the way they continue to do so without expecting a pat or the back or a kind word from the ungrateful people they rescue.

        I have my favorite Paranormal authors and Historical Romance authors, but I am truly inspired by anyone who has the gumption to start with a blank computer screen and keep at it until they can type “The End” several thousand words later, and then stick with it to pick it all apart in the editing process so it becomes the best book they’ve written.

I’m also inspired by authors who take the time to drop their own works in progress to help a struggling writer. My Romance Writers of America Chapter, TARA, or Tampa Area Romance Writers, abounds with senior, published authors who will gladly help out a writer who can’t seem to figure out what the problem is with her current work.

What do you do when you have writer’s block? I step away from the computer. I may spend a day, a week, or several weeks just mulling things over and letting my mind go in free association. My dreams also seem to suggest solutions. I just know that, suddenly, I have exactly the right word, phrase, or direction to take things.

Who knows you best? Does anyone really know anyone? For writing I’d have to say you, Donna Steele, because you let me whine over the phone, and you know you can do the same with me.

There is also our mutual friend, Bette Franken, who lets us both whine a little and then tells us how it’s going to be.  (So true, that! DS)

What do you do when you’re not writing? Read, read, read, and read. I love reading, and the more diverse the subject the better. I want to be the sole survivor trapped in the New York Public Library during the apocalypse.

Where is a place that makes you feel “at home”? Thanks to my Hungarian ancestry, I have a gypsy’s short roots. I’ve lived in PA, NC, NJ, FL, CA, MD, CO, GA, and NY and still haven’t found the one place that says home to me, but I am a nester. Wherever I happen to be living, I take great care to make that place as comfortably soothing as I can.

When has there been a time where you were put to your limits? Yes, twice. Not pleasant, and not something I will take a chance on having a repeat of by talking about it.

How do you wind down? A glass of wine or scotch and a good conversation with a friend.

If you could meet anyone, dead or alive, who would it be and where would you meet? My true soulmate. Since that hasn’t happened, I’d have to go with Winston Churchill. As to meeting place, in his underground bunker during WW II. I’ve always admired Winston’s vocal penchant for not suffering fools overlong in his presence.

Buylinks – Amazon

Bio – I’m a transplanted Yankee of Hun-Viking ancestry now residing in Florida. I write paranormal and historical with a paranormal twist. You can visit my author page on Facebook  or Amazon to learn more about me.

 

A few more titles to check out (click on the cover for more info) –

      

Weddings Galore

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Spent this past weekend at a glorious and elegant family wedding. Though nephew age, he’s actually my first cousin once removed (we have those here in the South) and his mother was my first ever friend, being only a few months apart. I wish the very best for Tim and Stephen as they start their lives together.

It made me think about all the varied weddings I’ve enjoyed over the past twelve months. The first being my son and daughter-in-law, who chose a destination beach wedding (shoes optional). It was small, intimate and perfect for them, with dinner on the beach.

Then a cousin (actually the niece of an uncle, but close enough) who married her high school sweetheart after both of their spouses passed away. The reception was in their backyard overlooking the river and informally elegant. Both in their 70’s now, I’m glad they didn’t opt for a long engagement.

Now this one, large with all the trimmings, dancing and more formal. But each got the perfect wedding for them.

My own wedding, 38 years ago last month, was in the family church with the reception in the fellowship hall – punch and peanuts, but made much more elegant by a cousin (yes, I have tons of them) who catered weddings and brought her silver punch bowl and trays and put those excellent touches around making it the most elegant reception that space had ever seen, until my sister’s wedding where she did it again.  

I can see my niece marrying there, in the family church, but a different kind of reception. Her brother married his husband in a bar across the street from Stonewall in New York. My own daughter, I haven’t a clue. Her career has taken her far from the south and she has her own ideas, which will be classy and totally different than anything I would think of, if and when she decides marriage is right for her.

It really makes this romance writer sit up and think about all the possibilities and how many ways happily ever after can be achieved.

Spring into Romance Blog Hop!

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Spring Into Romance

The winner of Another Time through the Spring into Romance blog hop is . . .
Maria

And because it’s my birthday month I picked an addition winner . . .
Edye

I’ll be in touch, Ladies and thank you!

It’s Spring and my birthday so I’m celebrating! (and giving some stuff away! So don’t miss the Rafflecopter at the bottom of the page!)
Click on the pic to see all the other wonderful Authors also giving away prizes in the hop!

 

There are a lot of books I’m looking forward to this spring. A lot are paranormal but there’s more too.

 

The first one I’m looking forward to is Smolder – it’s the third in Clan of Dragons series by Nancy Lee Badger

 

In a totally different genre, I’m also going to be checking out Cal’s Law, a new series begun by PK Corey

 

 And there’s Bloodstock by Cyn Haydn –
I’m seeing a chest theme here…. I’ll be reading tons of books, so please let me know what’s on your list! And be sure to sign up for a chance to win a copy of my latest – Another Time!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

SMOLDER – Book #3 Clan of Dragon series

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A dragon-shifter in pain wants nothing more than to fly, and he sure as hell kneels to no one.

Multi-published and award-winning author, Nancy Lee Badger, announces her 19th book. The author has used her love of all things Scottish, as well as years as a volunteer at a Scottish festival, to bring her readers another series. Ever since her first books were published in June 2010, she has successfully self-published a variety of novels and novellas. This book is a paranormal fantasy romance and is set centuries ago on the Scottish island of Skye.

Blurb
As a white doe, Fiona searches for her friend, Cliona. The snows have melted across the Island of Skye, and she tracked her from their northern herd, to the Black Cuillin Hills, and to a fairy pool. Shifting into the human form Cliona had shared with her, Fiona swims and enjoys using her new human limbs. When a dragon lands along with two humans, she overhears them talk about a festival. Would Cliona head to a village?

Dougal’s scales tremble with anger. Tasked with the safety of his kin as they travel to the village of Morbhan to celebrate Beltane, and the coming of spring, he shifts into a human form. He would rather fly across the sky or race through the forest as a red stag. Spying the white doe, the one he has searched for, for months, he follows her. Pirates, a villain, and drunken celebrators keep him from his task. Will he ever find the doe that pricked his interest and make her his?

Buy Links
Amazon
Amazon UK
Amazon CAN
Amazon AUS
Amazon NL

About the Author   
Nancy Lee Badger loves chocolate-chip shortbread, wool plaids wrapped around the trim waist of a Scottish Highlander, the clang of broadswords, and the sound of bagpipes in the air. After growing up in Huntington, New York, and raising two handsome sons in New Hampshire, Nancy moved to North Carolina where she writes full-time. Nancy is a member of Romance Writers of America, Heart of Carolina Romance Writers, Fantasy-Futuristic & Paranormal Romance Writers, Triangle Association of Freelancers, and the Celtic Heart Romance Writers. Nancy and her family volunteer each fall at the New Hampshire Highland Games surrounded by…kilts!

Connect with Nancy Lee Badger
Blog Website Twitter Facebook Goodreads Amazon Author Page  and at badgerpress@yahoo.com

Also check out –