The  February Chilling with Books Corner and Author Spotlight on Penelope Daniels

Difficult as it may seem, we are at the end of February, and it is time once again for my author spotlight and Chilling with Books Corner. I cannot believe the wonderful collection of people I have been fortunate enough to get to know since I decided to take that chance and call myself a writer. Are you wondering why then the picture of The Nanny? You will have to read further down to have an answer.

This month I am spotlighting Penelope Daniels, a very clever young author who designs all her own covers, and someone who gives a fairy tale a very nice twist. Penelope’s covers are beautifully romantic, a fairy tale in themselves with their gentle invitation to turn a page.

On the home front, I have managed to do a few things this February, none of them helpful towards getting my second novel out there. Nevertheless, it has been a very interesting month so check out my news section. Right now, let’s meet the delightful Penelope Daniels.

Spotlight on Penelope Daniels

Hello, I’m Penelope Daniels. I write historical and low-fantasy romance. I’ve published five books, four of which are fairy-tale retellings. I’ve always adored fairy tales and had a lot of fun putting my own spin on classic stories by asking questions like what if Cinderella had a prosthetic leg? What if Snow White found sanctuary at a perfumery? What if Sleeping Beauty pricked her finger on purpose to save her family?

I love writing what I do because it’s so exciting to delve into each character’s emotional journey and growth. I particularly love writing tender moments between strong heroines and gentle heroes, the hurt/comfort trope, and relationships where two people slowly learn that they can be vulnerable in front of each other. To me, those emotional connections are what the best romance stories are all about.

I fell in love with writing the summer after eighth grade. On the last day of school, my library was getting rid of outdated computers, and I was able to purchase an enormous, dinosaur-of-a desktop for just $10. It was one of the best purchases I ever made. Because the computer was so old, it could really only handle a media player and a word processor. And so, I spent the entire summer hiding in my room and staying up all night, listening to the Josh Groban CD I got for my birthday and writing stories to my heart’s content. They were all rather short and shallow (usually about princesses being rescued) but writing them was the most fun I’d ever had.

I can still feel that ache behind my eyes from staring at the computer screen all night. It was one of the best summers of my life and really made me realize my potential for storytelling and the joy that it brings me. I have come to view storytelling as one of the most important and beautiful parts of the human experience. There is a reason that for thousands of years, people have been sitting around campfires telling tales. There is simply no better way to connect with others.

When I was young, I used my stories to work through a lot of things that were difficult for me—the aftermath of abuse, my parents’ divorce, my desire for (but difficulty attaining) friends. I still write for the same reasons, though the stories and emotions have matured over the years. So many readers have been through the same things I have. It is always my hope that those personal moments in my writing are things the readers can connect with. Though what I write is fiction, there are so many truths woven into the stories.

My favorite part of being an author is receiving messages from readers who have told me that something in one of my books really spoke to them. When I decided to publish, it wasn’t really a question for me—I knew I wanted to go indie. I wanted full control of my work and most of all, for no one to ever tell me that I needed to change my creative vision because it wasn’t marketable. On top of that, the indie author community is the most incredible group of individuals I’ve ever had the pleasure of interacting with.

Everyone is so kind and supportive and it’s wonderful to share stories with a group of people who are just as enthusiastic about sharing their stories too. It is a lot of work to make my own book covers, do my own marketing, find creative ways to bring in readers and reviews, etc. but in the end, it’s so rewarding, and I wouldn’t have it any other way. 

Come say hi. I’m always up for making new bookish friends!

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Barbara’s News

Despite Lexi from Unexpected Passion, Book 2 in my Unexpected Love series yelling in my ear, I have had to take a break from edits. She wants her romance and the dramas that come with it out in the world; she wants attention; she will have to wait a little bit longer.

I am now working part time and teaching one day a week with the U3A. For those that don’t know, U3A is an acronym for the University of The Third Age. Currently I am teaching Italian Conversation and Japanese Poetry Appreciation to some incredible people. Who knew volunteering teaching could be so much fun? I suspect though, I have lucked out with my students.

February Chilling has been very good for me. I watched an ‘oldish’ movie with Reece Witherspoon called The Man in the Moon. Such a lovely film about coming of age, sisters and first love and I found myself saying why don’t they make more movies like this. And then, I watched the finale of The Nanny and I laughed and cried and asked the same question only in this case it was a television series. There was so much heart, laughter, and joy that it was nice. Yes, I am aware that nice is a ‘lame’ word but I am sure you know what I mean. I enjoyed both the young Reece and the clever M/s Drescher so much I might throw out some birthday or Mother’s Day hints.

Another good read included a blog by Shayla Raquel which contained some very helpful and positive tips for Indie Authors. My reading luck held and I read two great books. Happy Hour by Jacquie Byron and was thoroughly charmed.

And then I read Forsaking all Other by Catherine Meyrick, a historical delight. Both books were completely different but there was a lovely down to earth flow in the writing I really enjoyed.

Some months are so good.

Until next time,

Barb

Questions for me? Want to share your views and ideas? I’d love to hear from you. A like and a comment will keep me working harder and if by any chance you have read my books or a book I have featured then please leave a review on Goodreads or wherever you originally purchased the book. It helps writers learn to be better writers.

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7 Comments

  1. Nice spotlight. I really need to read more fairy tale retellings. I like the sound of Penelope Daniels’s work. I am glad that you have had a great month.

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