Saturday, March 17, 2012

Kiss me, I'm Irish by Bella Street : Interview, Excerpt

Sweet Time-Travel Romance

Emily Musgrave is heading a direction she never wanted to go in Regency England--namely a convent to turn her from her waywardness. But it's more loneliness than rebellion that motivates her to escape her certain fate.

Liam Jackson is going nowhere fast in modern-day Tennessee. Playing his Dobro in seedy bars and backward dives along with his fiddling sister, Tinker, is doing nothing for his music career--and even less for the dark places in his soul.

Pixie dust and thieving mischief can not only change time-lines, it can change hearts--because a girl can only get so far without a little magic in her life

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He stared at her without answering. Emily returned his gaze, realizing this was the first time she'd seen him in full light. His hair was coal black and mussed from sleep. His skin, tan and ruddy, as if he were a field laborer. And his eyes were the intense blue of a milkwort blossom, with a telltale darker ring around the outer edge of the irises. Of course! With a name like Liam she should've realized it sooner. He wasn't a gypsy at all.

He was an Irishman.

That meant this was some form of purgatory. Jem, Donnelly, and Our Lady of the Portal had had their revenge after all.

Crinkles formed at the edges of Liam's eyes.So you're still holding to the story that you're from another time?

I believe I've already made it clear I don't tell falsehoods, Mr...She bit her lip.As we have not yet properly been introduced, I'm afraid I am ignorant of your formal title.

My last name is Jackson, but you can call me Liam.

Well, Mr. Jackson,she said, lifting her chin,I am Miss Emily Musgrave recently of Trethwick Hall, Truro, Cornwall, 1813.

His mouth quirked.Okay, Miss Emily, how are we gonna get you back to '1813'?

The mocking question gave her pause. Did she really want to go back? Go back to what? Lady Tremaine, or the convent? She straightened her shoulders and struggled to gather her swirling thoughts into some semblance of order. Even if she was experiencing some sort of altered state or hallucination, wasn't it far superior to her alternatives?

Are you some kind of princess where you're from?Liam said, his voice lit with amusement.

Emily looked away, wishing he would not tease her.No, Mr. Jackson, we are not royalty. My great aunt is a baroness.

Why would he think her a princess? She'd arrived dirty and bedraggled. Lady Tremaine would have a fit if she could see her now. In fact, Lady Tremaine would get a chuckle of out Mr. Jackson's assumption that Emily was a princess. Especially when my lady's favorite descriptor had been more along the lines of hoyden. But throughout her lonely childhood, Emily had entertained rosy dreams of castles and knights, princes and princesses, sprinkled with piskeys and stardust. Somehow that dream had remained tucked away in the recesses of her mind as the distasteful realities of life had intrudedduty to her family name, duty to her great aunt, being sold to the highest bidder...

Oh, that mama and papa were still alive.

Emily reached for her locket, but instead of finding it she touched bare skin. Her breath hitched as she finally realized what was missing. Her necklace must have been lost during the chaos of her arrival! Emily's heart sank like a stone. It was probably in the bog. Or it had slipped down one of the many drains in the necessary room. Regret filled her, wringing her heart out like a rag. How could she have lost it when she needed it most? Even in their absence, her parents were somehow near to her heart when she wore that locket. Now she was completely adrift, forever cut off from her past, lost in a bewildering muddle of time and circumstance. Tears burned at the back of her eyes.

So, uh, what you see around you isn't exactly the future you'd imagined?

She blinked away her tears, her fingers seeking the locket she knew wasn't

Did you ever wonder what it would be like?

A great sadness descended upon her. Perhaps it was time to no longer dwell on the pastespecially now that she'd been thrust so far into the unknown. She must face the here and now and determine her fate. Emily glanced up at Liam, swallowing a great lump.When...I used to think of the future, it was always about who I would marry, what name would be linked to mine, and pleasing my family. I never imagined horseless carriages, colored words that glow in the dark, and...

An overhead roar arrested her attention. She tipped her head back and gasped, her grief displaced for the moment. A great fixed-winged bird thundered above them.

And airplanes?Liam said.

She tore her attention from the marvel above and looked at him in a daze.

He sent her a searching smile.It's basically a...horseless carriage in the sky. They carry freight and people.

Ren ow thas.The world tilted beneath her. She reached for her locket, found it wasn't there, and swayed.

Okay, I'm thinking this isn't time to bring up the moon landing.Liam's arm came around her waist.Are you gonna faint? Hey, you aren't back in that corset thing are you?

Emily struggled to stay lucid. She blinked her eyes hard and gulped several deep breaths of warm, sticky air, thankful for a gentleman's support.

Did your neck get hurt?

She focused on Liam.Pardon me?

You keep scratching at your neck. Were you injured there?

She frowned, straightening until she felt steady on her own two feet.No, but I fear my gold locket was lost in the melee—”

His brows snapped together.Do you mean a necklace?

Emily nodded, wondering at his furious expression.

Dammit! Tinker!

Liam hustled her back into the room, leaving the door ajar. He settled her on the edge of his bed and turned on the overhead light. After stalking to the next bed, he shook the blonde's shoulder.

Tinker grumbled in her sleep and swatted his hand away. He tried to rouse her again. Finally, she cracked open her eyes and sat up in a huff.What?

Miss Emily here seems to be missing something.

Her marbles?she groused.

Seems she arrived with a gold locket that has particular meaning to her.

Tinker went very still.Oh, the necklace. It had fallen off her in all the confusion, so I picked it up for safekeeping.She shot Emily a tight smile.

Liam towered over her bed, his arms crossed.She'd like it back. Now.


Whipping the blankets to one side, Tinker slid from the bed wearing a shocking lack of clothing. Emily didn't know how the woman could bear to be seen in a thin sleeveless garment worn with extremely short bloomers. Tinker rummaged in the drawer of the small table next to her side of the bed. She brought out her hand, revealing the locket dangling from between her fingers. The gold gleamed dully in the light.

Liam turned to Emily.Is that it?

She nodded, her lips pressed together to keep from crying out in relief.

He took it from Tinker and approached her.Let me help you put it on.

Heart thudding with anticipation to receive it back, she pulled her long braid to one side. Liam threaded the chain around her neck, his fingers warm against her skin as he fumbled with the clasp. As soon as the familiar weight pressed against her sternum, a calm came over her. She brought the locket to her lips and closed her eyes for a moment, feeling some of her equilibrium restored.

Behind her, she heard Tinker grumble and slam the door of the necessary room.


Emily twisted around and offered Liam a grateful smile.Yes, thank you.

His stern expression eased somewhat.

Who is your favorite author?

I have sooo many favorite authors, but I own every book Marion Chesney has ever written. She started writing historicals in the 80s and while the stories (primarily regency romance) tend to be light and funny, theres always a keen observance of the dark side of human nature that intrigues me.

you listen to music while writing? If so what?

Music is a huge part of setting the mood for my writing. Some favorites are Alison Krauss, Evanescence, Berlin, Within Temptation, Rocco Deluca and Coldplay. I wish I could find the music I describe in Kiss me, I'm Irish. I would really like it!

How do you develop your plots and your characters? Do you use any set formula?

I usually start with a theme. Then I build characters around that. I love symbolism and motifs and choose character names based on their place in the story. From there I plot out their goals, motivations, and conflicts. After that, it's by the seat of my pants :)

are your favorite TV shows?

I love the dry humor and quirkiness found in Portlandia, The Office, and Arrested Development. For drama, I adore 24 and Justified.

you have any suggestions for beginning writers? If so, what are they?

Be confident that you have a story to tell. There is an audience for every voice (the challenge is finding the audience).

As far as craft goes I always recommend the books that have helped me the most:Self-Editing For Fiction Writers by Browne and King. This simple, straightforward book on craft will take your writing to another level about as painlessly as possible, and nix bad habits in the bud, especially for newcomers to writing. The other one on craft is Goal, Motivation, and Conflict by Deb Dixon. Sooo helpful for building the framework of your story whether you're a plotter or a pantser.

How do you react to a bad review of your book?

While I never like them, I remind myself of all the books I've read that I hated or threw against the wall. LOL I read the review to see if there's any helpful advice to hone my skills, otherwise, I chalk it up to a subjective opinion and move on. When I get really depressed, I reread my good reviews.

What hobbies do you actively pursue?

While writing is my obsession, I try to play the fiddle. I've been taking lessons for about 2 years and I still suck. I suck eggs. I have no natural ability but it just seems so darn easy when I hear a song. But when I pick up my fiddle it sounds like mating cats. Scary.

Do you have a Website or Blog?

Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?

I'm so grateful and blessed when people read my work. Period. No one has many spare moments in their day and there are hundreds of ways to spend leisure time. If someone uses that to read one of my books, it's a special thing. And if they like it, well, hey! Even better! LOL So I say THANK YOU to my readers. They are the best!

And thank you, Laurie, for the opportunity to be a part of your great blog!

Bella Street lives so close to Nashville that she's been provoked to take up fiddle lessons. Until her tunes are fit for human consumption, she writes romance with a touch of weird.

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steve said...

Always on the look for new works by authors I am unfamiliar with. The excerpt makes this look like an interesting work which I would enjoy reading.

Heather said...

Looks like something I would really enjoy reading.

Eva U said...

They always say the first paragraph is meant to get your attention and grab the reader, you GOT me. Want to know what happens next ....I'm intrigued !

eva marie urban (Emu)

Eva U said...

BTW, I meant to say "Go raibh maith agat" for the giveaway.

eva urban

SusanD1408 Crochet Addict said...

Sounds like there maybe some exciting twists to this book.

Tanja - Tanychy said...

Thanks for the giveaway! :) This book sounds interesting :)

Dinky said...

This book sounds great! Thank you for this awesome giveaway :)

Kristin said...

I saw this book on the St. Patty's day hop and it grabbed my attention. It sounds like a great book.