Brenda Novak Holds Annual Auction for Diabetes Research

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Brenda with son Thad

As if being a mother of five and a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author weren’t enough (upcoming titles include COME HOME TO ME and THE HEART OF CHRISTMAS in her Whiskey Creek series as well as a new thriller, A MATTER OF GRAVE CONCERN), award-winning novelist Brenda Novak is also a true philanthropist.
Wrapping up its 9th year, Novak’s Online Auction for Diabetes Research, benefiting the cure-focused work of the Miami-based Diabetes Research Institute surpassed the $2 million mark. Held each May at BrendaNovak.com, the month-long online auction features personal meetings, lunches and dinners with celebrity authors, world-class getaways and state-of-the-art gizmos and gadgets.
These days, Brenda is contacting the previous years’ donors and looking for new people who might be interested in contributing. For Novak, it’s a labor of love and a concentrated effort to find a cure for her son, who has lived with diabetes since he was five years old. “I remember when this all started how excited we were when we raised $34,000. Never in my wildest dreams would I have thought we’d come so far so fast,” says Novak. As in previous years, the 2013 annual auction boasted some incredible and very unique items that are of particular interest to budding authors due in large part to the participation of some of the most prolific writers in the country, who are offering their experience and expertise to help cultivate future talent. The Diabetes Research Institute, a center of excellence at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, is a recognized world leader in cure focused research. Since its inception in the early 1970s, the DRI has made significant contributions to the field of diabetes research, pioneering many of the techniques used in islet transplantation.
The DRI is now building upon these achievements by bridging cell-based therapies with emerging technologies to restore insulin production. For the millions of families already affected by diabetes, the Diabetes Research Institute is the best hope for a cure. For more information, visit DiabetesResearch.org

This year’s auction is jam-packed full of great deals for writers and readers. Buy wonderful gifts and /or bid on career building opportunities while benefiting Diabetes Research.

Longing for Home Series by Sarah M. Eden

LforHShelfSlideSarah M. Eden is a fantastic Regency Romance author who recently wrote a two book Historical Irish-American Western Romance series: Longing for Home. This week (March 10th – 16th) readers have the opportunity to participating in the 2014 RONE Awards decision making process.  The RONE Award is growing in significance throughout the Indie/Small Press publishing arena. Longing for Home has reached the semi-final round of the RONE awards. You can help Sarah reach the final round (6 finalists will be chosen from 23 semi-finalists) by voting HERE

Longing  for Home Book I:

Still haunted by the dark days of Ireland’s Great Famine, Katie Macauley has come to Hope Springs, Wyoming Territory, a town sharply divided between the Americans who have settled there, with their deep hatred of the Irish, and the Irish immigrants who have come searching for a place to call home. Two men vie for her heart, turning her thoughts for the first time toward a future away from Ireland. Katie must now make the hardest decision of her life: stay and give her heart a chance at love, or return home and give her soul the possibility of peace.

Longing for Home Book II: Hope Springs

Katie’s heart still remains sharply divided between playful Tavish and steady Joseph, though she feels ill-prepared to make a decision. Furthermore, the town is more divided than ever with both the Irish and the Reds stealing property, burning buildings, and endangering lives. In the midst of the growing unrest, tem­peratures drop quickly, too quickly, and Irish nightmares of famine and cold resurface as the little Wyoming town struggles to beat the harsh winter. Katie makes one sacrifice after another to keep the peace and help see her loved ones through the difficult days ahead, but will her efforts be enough? Can the town make amends before their hatred consumes them all? And will Katie find the love she has been searching for as well as a home to call her own?

Margaret:  Your other novels are Regency Romance.  What inspired you to change settings and why?

Sarah:  Many years ago while undertaking a little casual historical research just for fun (yes, I’m a bit strange) I began reading about the Irish immigrant experience in mid-19th Century America. I began to wonder how that  felt, what they would have seen and experienced. As I read more about the Great Famine in Ireland that led to the mass emigration of poor, destitute Irish, a story began forming in my mind of what that experience might have been like. The story simply grew from there.

Margaret:  Do you have family history stories that contributed to the ideas for this series?

Sarah:  I do have a very proud Irish heritage, which I harkened back to many times in this story. While none of the characters’ lives or experiences are drawn directly from my own family history, I did pepper the story with little details that paid homage to my ancestors. Katie, the heroine, comes from the same tiny town in County Donegal that my family lived in for centuries. Some family names appear amongst the cast of characters.

 Margaret:  The feud here is so intense and real. Have you experienced anything like this that inspired your writing. If not, tell us what research helped you the most to create these intense scenes.

Sarah:  I haven’t personally experienced that kind of hatred or  prejudice, but I think it is a problem that continues to plague society. We see discrimination and anger all around us. It wasn’t hard to imagine how that would feel and how easily it could lead to violence in an isolated and tense location like Hope Springs. In my study of 19th Century America and Ireland, I read about many instances of prejudice, segregation, and a determination to distrust and dislike others.

Margaret:  Are there more stories coming from you for A Proper Romance collection?

Sarah:  That hasn’t been determined at this point. I’m working hard on some new projects and am looking forward to seeing where they go.

Margaret:  What is your current WIP and when can we expect to  be able to read it.

Sarah:  I’m working on another  story set in the 1870s American West with a bit of an Irish flare, something my agent has dubbed “an Irish Western.” The wheels of publishing turn slowly, so it’s hard to say when this book will be on shelves. I do have a book due out in September of this year, however, another Regency romance.

Margaret: Thank you, Sarah, for taking the time from your very busy schedule to visit about Longing For Home.  I look forward to reading everything you write.

Regency Romance by Donna Hatch

APerfectSecret-new-coverA Perfect Secret is the third Regency Romance in The Rogue Hearts Series by Donna Hatch. Christian is the youngest Amesbury brother whose struggles melted my heart. I cheered him on as the perfect hero who rescues the damsel in distress while conquering his personal dragons. The third novel in this series weaves in the rest of the family introduced in previous stories and entices me to want to know more about the fourth and darkest brother. A Perfect Secret is a very satisfying read.

“Desperate to protect her father from trial and death, Genevieve breaks off her engagement with Christian Amesbury and marries a blackmailer. After a year of marriage, she flees her husband’s violent domination only to have fate bring her back to Christian. Just when she thinks she’s started a new life of safety and solitude, her husband tracks her down, stalks her, and threatens everyone she loves.

“Still brokenhearted over Genevieve’s betrayal a year ago, Christian can’t believe she’s come back into his life–and worse, that she’s done it on the anniversary of his brother’s death, a death that haunts him. Though tempted to throw her back into the river where he found her, he can’t leave her at the mercy of the terrifying man she married.

“When her husband torments Genevieve and puts the Amesbury family in danger, Christian will do anything to protect those he loves…anything except give Genevieve another chance to break his heart.”

Other novels in The Rogue Heart Series:  The Stranger She Married and The Guise of a Gentleman.

More Historical Romance by Donna Hatch: Regency Hearts: Three Short Tales of Love and Happily After, A Winter’s Knight (One of six short stories included in A Timeless Romance Anthology – Winter Collection), Troubled Hearts, and Mistletoe Magic.

Donna Hatch’s writing has won or been nominated as a finalist in many writing awards including the Golden Rose and the prestigious Golden Quill. In between caring for six children, (7 counting her husband), her day job, and her many volunteer positions, she manages to carve out time to indulge in her writing obsession, an obsession with writing which began at age 8 when she wrote her first short story. A native of Arizona, she writes Regency Romance and Fantasy. And yes, all of her heroes are patterned after her husband of over 20 years, who continues to prove that there really is a happily ever after.