Misty Simon Talks Liv & Breathe

Misty Simon always wanted to be a storyteller…preferably behind a Muppet. Animal was number one, followed closely by Sherlock Hemlock… Since that dream didn’t come true, she began writing stories to share her world with readers, one laugh at a time. She knows how to hula, was classically trained to sing opera, co-wrote her high school Alma Mater, and can’t touch raw wood. Never hand her a Dixie cup with that wooden spoon/paddle thing. It’s not pretty.

Touching people’s hearts and funny bones are two of her favorite things, and she hopes everyone at least snickers in the right places when reading her books. She lives with her husband, daughter, and two insane dogs in Central Pennsylvania where she is hard at work on her next novel or three. She loves to hear from readers so drop her a line at misty@mistysimon.com.

Tell us about Liv and Breathe:

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Olivia Jameson runs a summer camp called Breathe, giving inner-city kids a chance to see a different life. When the man who owned the camp died, leaving his dream to his son, Liv took charge, and the work means the world to her.


As far as Alex Campbell is concerned, the camp is a hands-off tax write-off. But when Liv calls because her boys are accused of property damage, Alex returns to the place he hasn't called home since age twelve…and to a girl he barely remembers, now a woman who stirs him like no city sophisticates ever have.


This is Liv's livelihood, her mission, her dream. Sharing it with a man who doesn't understand the impact is frustrating. But as he begins learning truths that were hidden from him, both Liv and Alex may have a change of heart. Can Liv open up her life one more time to love?

What do you write?

I write short stories, novellas and novels in cozy mystery, paranormal and romance.

When did your writing journey begin?

It’s 1999 – I’ve been married for two years and my husband and I work opposite shifts. I’m in the grocery store and see a book called Tender Triumph by Dianna Devlin. I’m home by myself most nights with not a whole lot to do, so I pick it up, thinking it’s better than watching more Lifetime than is strictly healthy for one person. And I’m hooked on the romance…

That was the beginning for me. I devoured books after that, haunting used books stores and the local independent book sellers. I’d always been a reader, but ran more toward High Fantasy and Suspense. But now, my romance collection grew and so did my appetite for that Happily Ever After. I read them all – historicals, Harlequins, contemporary, romantic suspense. You name it, it was on my bulging shelves. I wanted to write for Harlequin so badly, I could taste it in the back of my throat. I had no idea what I was doing when we got a computer for Christmas one year and my husband cranked it up. I opened a word document and began a truly ridiculous novel called The Teacher’s Lesson…

Drums sounded, fireworks went off. I never got past the first three chapters. But it began a love affair that hasn’t yet ended. 

Tell us about your experience with the publishing process.

I’ve done it all. I have self-pubbed, small press and now published with Kensington. They all have their wonderful aspects and the things that you wish you could change but I love it all!

Words of advice for fellow writers in the trenches:

Know what you want and then go get it! If you want to be traditionally published then know what is selling and see if you can fit your stories into that frame. If you want to self-publish then know the ins and outs of what you’re getting yourself into. But always stay true to what calls to you to write it. Huge numbers of readers are awesome but if you are writing something that just doesn’t speak to you then I think it comes across to the reader and cheats both of you of what could have been an amazing story.

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Speed Round!

Oxford comma, yes or no? If I remember!

Ice cream? Chocolate peanut butter ripple

Coffee or tea or wine? Tea all the way

What does your desk look like? It’s a huge breakfast bar with bookshelves on the end

Beach, lake, or mountains? Lake

What are you known for? My laugh, inspirational quotes and telling stories that might make you snort tea out of your nose.

Find Misty on her website or on Facebook and The Wild Rose Press.

How about an excerpt from Liv and Breathe?

The clink and clatter of silverware in the busy diner did nothing to block out the thoughts churning through Olivia Jameson’s head. She had made the call earlier this morning, and now she would have to live with the consequences. Hoping she’d survive the experience, she had her doubts it would be easy.

“What can I get you, hon?” Betty, the owner of Petri’s Dish, asked with pad and pencil in hand.

“Just coffee.” At the thought of the storm she may have created, Liv’s shoulders drooped.

Betty’s eyes narrowed behind her thick glasses. “Tell me what’s wrong. You never just order coffee, especially when I have my pineapple salsa pancakes on the Specials board.” Her hand went to her hip, while her expression became mutinous. “So you’re not still worrying about that little ruckus over at the Beckham farm, are you? I told you it would all blow over.”

Unfortunately, it wasn’t blowing over. In fact, it had just gotten a whole lot bigger. “They’re pressing charges.” It was as simple and as complicated as that.

“What?” Bustling around the counter, Betty plopped down on the stool next to Liv. A crowd began to gather the second she did. She never sat down for anything, not even when she wasn’t working. “You better tell me what in the world is going on, right now.”

No matter what she said or did at this point, Liv knew the entire story was going to come out soon enough. Such was life in a community their size. Sometimes she wished she lived in Kissinger, the next town over, where everyone seemed to mind their own business.

She might as well take a chance and tell her side before Mr. High and Mighty came rolling into town—if he could unglue himself from his society life long enough to take any interest.

“Some boys in town say they saw my boys over in Beckham’s pastures trying to tip over cows. When these town kids came along, they said they spooked the camp boys, who took off running. According to the accusers, that’s how the fence was broken and how the alpacas got out and ran away. Beckham still hasn’t found two of them.”

By this time, there was a solid crowd of about twenty people hemming Liv and Betty in at the counter. As much as Liv appreciated the looks of outrage for her camp boys, and for the situation in general, she didn’t blame the Beckhams for pressing charges. Especially with the graffiti Mr. Beckham had told her was spray-painted on the side of his barn.

She just couldn’t wrap her head around the idea that her boys would do something so destructive when they knew the consequences and the punishment for not toeing the line.

“I don’t believe it,” Betty declared, and had the majority of the other people agreeing with her both verbally and by nodding their heads. “There’s no way the boys at Breathe would jeopardize their time here by doing something so stupid.”

Liv would have said the same thing to her boss, Alex Campbell, this morning if he’d picked up his phone. Instead she’d left him a message asking him to please come to the farm, and she’d explain when he got here. It would be far better to handle this face to face. That way she could plead the case for her boys and make him understand more easily than she could convey over email. She didn’t want him here, but she wasn’t able to figure out a way to avoid it.

“I agree,” Liv said to the diner at large, but worry still pulled her eyebrows together. “The problem is how do I prove it? I don’t want to accuse anyone else, and I can’t prove without a shadow of a doubt that the boys were all in their beds last night. Not even David. This is a huge mess, just in time for the annual cook-off.”

“Don’t you worry about the cook-off,” Tim from the mechanic’s shop said. “That’s all taken care of, except for a few details. We’ll figure something out with the boys, too. I’m coming there today to work on that car with them. I’ll ask some questions that maybe you can’t ask.”

There was a chorus of agreement while people all went their separate ways. She really appreciated the support, but who was going to be there when Mr. Campbell came riding in to shut down the camp because she wasn’t doing a good job as the director? She couldn’t—and wouldn’t—lose Breathe, a camp that had been around for almost eighty years. It housed underprivileged boys from major cities over the summer, giving them a chance to see real grass and real cows, to ride horses and learn skills and self-worth that would hopefully keep them out of gangs and make them productive members of society.

One of Misty’s favorite photos from a book signing.

One of Misty’s favorite photos from a book signing.


Swept away in time by CJ Fosdick in the "Accidental" series...

Today, my special guest is CJ Fosdick, author of romantic and historical suspense novels. I just finished reading The Accidental Wife and wowza, CJ really swept me away with her words and into a new world. I had read her novella for the Candy Heart series, Hot Stuff (it’s a sweet romance novella), and what struck me most was her polished style and vivid voice…and I read that story in one sitting. I knew I had to read more. Her writing styles reminds me of one of my favorites, Diana Gabaldon. I’ve become a pickier reader these days, but I give her stories 5 stars, hands down. I’m now on the second book in the Accidental series, The Accidental Stranger, eager to find out more about Jess and Mitch.

Self-determined Jessica Brewster is wary of any emotional relationship, after being betrayed in a bet. When the beloved grandmother who raised her dies, she inherits a mysterious teacup which when rubbed transports her back to 1886 in Old Fort Laramie, switching places with her look-alike great-great-grandmother—wife to her ancestor’s magnetic first husband and mother to his charming nine-year-old daughter. 
Can she pull off the charade and find a way back, or will conscience and her twenty-first century “slips” expose her identity? As true love—and a gypsy—derail her plans, her ancestor’s brother shows up with his own dark secret. Is her future in the past? Her decision could save her life...and her legacy.

Jessica Brewster is being watched...and things go missing from the remote Wyoming home she shares with her toddler. In a freak accident, she shoots the bearded thief stalking her before she recognizes the mesmerizing green eyes that belong to the only man she ever loved. Has Mitch bridged time to find her? In a race to save his life and change hers forever, she takes him into her home and heart. But his memory loss and puzzling clues curry doubt and expose mystery and danger. Is he truly her son’s father or an irresistible stranger in her arms?


I invited CJ for a chat!

When did you know you were destined to be a writer?

I won a writing contest at age 12 and loved the brief “celebrity” status it brought me after blowing the $5 prize on candy dots to share with friends. As an only child, I read a lot and often made up imaginary scenarios. By the time I was feature editor of my H.S. newspaper and a teen columnist for small presses in Milwaukee, my avocation was set in stone.

What’s your favorite time management tip?

My new Amazon Echo is helping out with quick research questions. “When were chocolate chips invented?” When the answer was needed for scenes in The Accidental Wife, it took more time to check with Google and Wikipedia than simply asking Alexa--who also plays my favorite  Celtic music while I write.    

Please tell us something unique about you we can’t learn from your bio.

A few come to mind: I hate eggs. Never eat them. Fear of heights once gave me second thoughts about riding on a ferris wheel, so I jumped off as it rose 8 feet. Trying to control this fear, I once climbed a waterfall in Jamaica and bent over backwards in a tower to kiss the Blarney Stone in Ireland.I may also be a magnet to animals—wild and domestic. Dogs and cats seem to show up to be adopted or fed. With two of our four adopted children, we also adopted & trained two wild horses from the BLM, and with domestic horses we gave riding lessons for 15 summers. Horseless now, I currently feed a small herd of deer, their wild turkey friends, birds, and critters that lurk in the woods surrounding our hilltop home. 

What’s your favorite part of writing?

I love to write dialogue and dialect when necessary. My characters sometimes write their own smack, even waking me from a sound sleep to force me to write down what they say. I love the input!

Do you make up settings or use real places and why?

So far, I’ve had boots on the ground at every setting in my books. Research was my favorite excuse to explore Ireland and Wyoming for The Accidentals and several other states and historic sites for other books. Sponging up senses and photographing sites always creates a descriptive flow that hopefully pulls readers into the story SETTING-- which is a character by itself.

If you could live in one of your stories, which one would you choose and why?

Since my series heroine is the redheaded image of me, I live in her shoes. Her slip in time to 1886 Wyoming in The Accidental Wife was truly virtual time travel for me. Besides learning to live with less and depend on nature, Jessica the transformer-- who challenged diversity-- was transformed herself by the power of love and simplicity in one hot Wyoming summer. Forced by necessity to cook on a woodstove and bathe in a creek, she used her wit and knowledge of the present to “invent” things that weren’t science fiction to her. In 1886, chocolate chips were still 50 years shy of being invented, so she added broken bits of a chocolate bar to cookie dough. (Each book features a historic recipe shared in my newsletters or given away on recipe-card swag. For my own “Meet the Author power-point presentations,” I offer tea and fresh-baked “Accidental recipes.”  

What stories do you have in the works right now?

In book three of the Accidental Series, Jessica and Robbie—her gorgeous time traveler husband—find their contemporary Irish honeymoon begins in peril. After Robbie realizes their historic B & B is actually his boyhood home still operated by his family, the couple uncover secrets and scandals set in motion when he emigrated to America in 1883. With a foot in two worlds, can Robbie right wrongs and alter history at the expense of his honor and Jessica, the soulmate he bridged time to find?  Look for The Accidental Heiress in 2019 and perhaps another anthology, including some of my favorite award-winning stories wrapped around a holiday theme.

What motivates you to write? 

Beyond oxygen, I'd say it is emotion and social diversity. A good story that NEEDS to be told is always within discovery...filed in memory with a NEED to share. 

What makes your stories unique?

In the first three Accidental books, a strong but conflicted red-haired heroine and a green-eyed hero with a past may not seem terribly unique, but throw in some time travel, rugged settings and social diversity and you have  more organic conflict and suspense. Animals are always included in an unconventional character line-up, along with plot twists, buckets of emotion and unimpeachable research.

If you met one of your heroines in person, what would be the first question you ask her? 

Do you agree well-behaved redheads rarely make history?

Who or what has influenced your writing, and in what way?

Winning--and sometimes losing--writing contests and awards always inspire me to learn, create and take the novel journey to a higher level. Family sagas, stories from history, a movie or series with characters that move me emotionally also have greatly influenced me. I was starstruck and very inspired after meeting Diana Gabaldon twice at Writer Conferences years ago. Reading her wonderful 1000+ page Outlander books is an entertaining writing course in itself. Boots on the ground at all my settings also inspire me to the details I need to bring a story to life because I do believe setting is character, too. 

What advice would you give an author new to the publishing world?

Learning what you didn’t know that you NEED to know can be daunting. Find a good editor, create a platform and website, and learn everything you can about navigating social media. Once you learn that marketing is key to success, learning to navigate with insight and speed  will eventually give you more time to write! Curry relationships with other authors and  reading groups. For me, attending Writer Conferences at the beginning of my journey was like getting a degree in Publishing 101. I learned about the changing winds of the Industry, found confidence to pitch my work, traded stories with newbies and was inspired by best selling authors. New authors are swimming in an ocean of minnows, hoping to avoid being devoured by bigger fish. PERSISTENCE and PATIENCE  is key to discovery and survival which can lead to success.  

What is your secret guilty pleasure? 

So many! Turtle Sundaes, back rubs, and watching a great movie with a score that inspires and transports. Of course with kleenex and plenty of buttered popcorn!




Sandra Dailey's new release: The Co-Parent Project

Parenting style won't matter if they don't all survive.

The Co-Parent Project is Sandra Dailey’s latest romantic suspense release. Today she joins us to share a bit about the book. Check it out!

Out now!

Out now!

Luca Wolff and Joy Sullivan are competing for guardianship of their estranged, teenage nephew, Eric, after his parents are killed in a plane crash. Evidence shows the crash wasn't an accident. Neither was a recent explosion that destroyed Luca's house. When a fire is intentionally set in Joy's home, suspicion points to Eric--and that's not the end of their trouble. Eric has been in his share of mischief, but now he has a chance to clean up his reputation. That's hard to do when the only people who believe in you are the ones you're accused of targeting. Just as Luca and Joy give in to romance, new information comes to light that could tear them apart along with Eric's dream for a happy family. The three have to set aside their grief, personal issues, and disagreements to figure out who is out to kill them…and why.

Find The Co-Parent Project with these vendors:

Wild Rose Press ~ Amazon ~ Barnes and Noble

 

Excerpt:

As soon as he walked through the door the smell of chemicals nearly drove him back outside. The odor was so strong it made his eyes water. He couldn’t take it anymore. “How can you live with the constant stench in this house?” “I’m sorry. Mrs. Erving needed a perm today.” Joy walked in through the kitchen door carrying a squeeze bottle of mustard. “I was just making lunch. Would you like a ham and cheese sandwich?” “No thanks,” he snarled. “All I’d be able to taste is that nasty smell.” “How can you taste a smell?” “You’d know if your olfactory receptors weren’t burned away. That stuff has got to cause brain damage.” “Do you plan to claim it as a way to get Eric away from me? I wouldn’t put anything past a Wolff.”

 

Author Bio:

From childhood I've moved from place to place, from Indiana to Florida, stopping in several places in between. I also moved from job to job; as a waitress, soldier, retail manager, dental assistant, etc… The one thing I never had to leave behind was my imagination. Storytelling has always been my favorite way to pass time. I've often been told I should write a book. Finally, I did. It was so much fun: I felt I must write more, so I have. I've been a student of Long Ridge Writers Group and once won a short story contest with Harlequin. I currently live in North Florida with my husband, whom I torture with crazy story lines and half written manuscripts.

 

Find Sandra online:

Website/Blog ~ Amazon ~ Facebook ~ Twitter ~ Goodreads

 


Kim Turner Talks Family Sagas, Cowboys, and Romance

Hi! Thanks for having me. I am Kim Turner and I write Western Historical and Contemporary romance. My first Story Sawyer’s Rose was released in March of 2016 and was a Golden Heart and Maggie Finalist. The series is called The McCades of Cheyenne and book two is Wyatt’s Bounty which was released in April of 2017 and was a Maggie Finalist in 2018. I just submitted the third story in this series Dawson’s Haven which I expect to be out in late summer of this year. (2019) And I am presently working on the fourth brother Evan’s Ransom.

I like to say I write family saga, Love, & Suspense as the McCade brothers fight to settle an untamed West and also at times an untamed woman!

When did your writing journey begin? I have always wanted to be an author. I wrote short stories and poems but one day wanted to write novels. It just took me thirty years to take it seriously.

What was your inspiration for series? I think you are asking here about where I decided to go cowboy? I grew up watching Little House on the Prairie and any western that hit the screens. And then later on as an adult fell in love with Dr. Quinn Medicine Woman—probably because I have been a registered nurse for almost thirty years.

Do you find inspiration in your own life for your writing? I pull a few things from life to add to my stories but most often I create the characters and situations in my head as a total panster.  

Tell us about your experience with the publishing process. I work as a full time RN Quality Analyst and I have two kids so when I started writing in 2011, my goal was the traditional path as I didn’t figure I would have time to look into self publishing. I kept pitching at events for several years and finally got a contract offer from The Wild Rose Press in 2014 and my first story was released in 2015. (The McCades of Cheyenne Series began.)

Any new projects on the horizon? I just turned in the 3rd story in The McCade’s of Cheyenne, Dawson’s Haven—so look for it this summer some time.

Words of advice for fellow writers in the trenches: Just keep writing, contesting and meeting other authors in the business. If it were easy, everyone would do it.

The McCades of Cheyenne keeps me on my toes as this series will have stories on all four brothers and possibly a few spin offs. When writing historical, you gotta make sure your history is correct or readers will call you on it.

Find Kim’s books on Amazon:

Sawyer’s Rose, Wyatt’s Bounty, and All But the Fall.

Sawyer’s Rose:

Will a sheriff set on avenging his father rescue the mail order bride with secrets of her own?

As if he doesn't have enough to handle between running outlaws out of Cheyenne, keeping his brother's out of trouble and avenging his father's death, sheriff Sawyer McCade's meddling mother just dumped a mysterious mail-order-bride on his doorstep. One woman can be more trouble than a band of renegades and while this one has him all stirred up, he'd rather get to the bottom of the story she isn't telling. Rose Parker had it all. Until she discovers a web of danger and deceit that sends her running to Cheyenne, posing as a mail-order-bride. Escaping the evils of New York seems sensible until she meets the unsuspecting sheriff who didn't ask for her, has no intention of marrying her and won't rest until he uncovers her secret and sends her back home.

Wyatt’s Bounty:

Will a bounty hunter set on revenge risk it all to rescue the woman who walked away? 

Bounty hunter Wyatt McCade is recklessly taking down one outlaw at a time. Hard work is one way to forget Tess Sullivan’s womanly curves. But when he learns that she never left Cheyenne, he rides home and right into a trap. Left for dead, he recovers in the capable hands of the lady doctor and even if she can’t forgive herself, loving her is the easy part. But when McCade lands are threatened and he uncovers the truth, it is Tess who is caught in the balance. Finding himself on the bounty hunt of his life, he’ll risk it all to rescue the woman he loves.              

Doctor Tess Sullivan shattered her own heart by turning down Wyatt McCade’s proposal. Worse than the hurt in his eyes was watching him ride out of Cheyenne, knowing she’d made the biggest mistake of her life. Pining for his return, she blames herself when he is brought to Cheyenne beaten and near death. Forgiveness comes quickly in the arms of the bounty hunter she has always loved, but she soon finds herself the pawn in a deadly game of revenge, praying Wyatt will find her before it’s too late.

All But the Fall:

She’s running from the past…He’s running to her…

Stunt man Aaron Decker has his hands full raising his daughter, running his ranch and jumping horses for on a western television series. The job pays well enough for to purchase land to build a working ranch for older kids lost in the foster care system—much like he once was. What he doesn’t expect is to fall hard for beautiful nurse consultant, Jenna Wilder.

Putting a violent marriage behind her, Jenna Wilder has taken a job on the set of a western television series. With an infant son to raise on her own, she has no plans to ever trust a man again. So why can’t she get her mind off the soft spoken stuntman with a passion for horses? With Aaron, she begins to dream of a life she thought she would never have. But her past returns with a vengeance.

In a race against time, Aaron must convince Jenna to trust him in—and he will stop at nothing to save the woman who holds his heart.

Speed-dating round:

Ice cream? Vanilla.

Coffee or tea or wine? Coffee with half and half and splenda.

What does your desk look like? Have laptop, will travel. I don’t have a desk or office just laptops.

What is your writing vice or must-haves? I have my cowboy book which is a journal of notes about all my stories. It logs hair color, eye color, weapon used, quirks etc.

Describe a perfect writing day. I work full time. Only a writing retreat gives me a perfect writing day.

What are some of your go-to methods for writing? I do not outline as I am a total punster, but I use a story board to keep me on track.

In an alternate reality, what would be your dream job (besides author)? Cowboy’s wife. Ha

Where is your favorite place you've visited (or wish to visit)? I hope to venture out west sometime. I would also like to go to Alaska.

You have a time travel machine: past of future? Where/when? I suppose The old West.

What do you like to do when not writing? Hang out with my girls.

Beach, lake, or mountains? My husband and I hope to retire to the mountains but take vacations to the beach.

If you could meet one famous person, living or dead, who would it be? Dead maybe Abe Lincoln, living, still want to meet Garth Brooks.

You’re a new addition to the crayon box. What color would you be and why? A new teal green---and do not put me beside red. I don’t like her.

What are you known for? These stories I write I hope, but before that as a nurse.

Morning rooster, night owl, or midday lark? I enjoy mornings and I am ready for bed at night.

What comes first, character or plot (or other)? Character and idea, never hardly plot, just let the characters lead.

You find a $100 bill in your purse/bag, what would you spend it on? Books and Mexican food.

How many hours a day (or week) do you write? About 2 hours a night and weekends a little more when time allows.

Favorite childhood book? Little House Series.

Favorite book of all time? I have enjoyed The Outlander series…took me 16 months listening on Audible while driving to and from work.

(I love Outlander and listened to half of them on Audible, too, while driving!)

You’re on a desert island, besides essentials, what do you bring? Duct tape and a cow---Love milk! Ha

Website ~ Blog ~ Facebook ~ Twitter ~ Google

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About Kim…

Kim Turner writes western historical romance, and discovered her passion of writing at the age of eight by writing poems, short stories and journals. Kim graduated from Clayton State University with a Bachelor's of Science in Nursing and holds a Master's Degree in Adult Education from Central Michigan University. Working as a registered nurse educator for over twenty-seven years, she enjoys studying the medical treatments of the old west as well as keeping up with the latest western movies and television series. While she loves reading anything from highlanders to pirates, she claims to have an unquenchable thirst for the American Cowboy when choosing her reads. Kim lives south of Atlanta with her husband and calls her greatest accomplishment the birth of one daughter and the adoption of another from China-neither of which came easy. Kim is a member of Romance Writers of America and Georgia Romance Writers. Kim's Motto: It's All About A Cowboy and the Woman He Loves.

Katie O'Sullivan's Hot Hunks Steamy Romance Collection

Thanks so much for hosting me and my new release on your blog today, Jean!

I’ve been writing fiction “seriously” for about ten years now, and have about a dozen book published – YA and contemporary romance and romantic suspense and paranormal romance… all the genres I also like to read, so it works out pretty well. My YA books are all in a series, and in the past I’ve participated in a Valentine series for The Wild Rose Press (the Candy Heart series) and an indie anthology entitled “Hunks to the Rescue” where all the heroes were in some sort of rescue profession (mine was an undercover cop.)

Last year I was invited to join another series, this one with a different kind of twist. Eight authors writing standalone stories, eight strangers who were affected by the same natural disaster, and how each of them dealt with and came to terms with their grief.

The idea intrigued me, and I jumped at the chance. I’m really excited about my release today – it’s Book 5 of the series, with a new story releasing every two week since New Year’s Day. My hero is a rock star, who lost the rest of his band in the hurricane that ties the series together.

As a writer, how do you get to be part of a series, and what are the advantages?

Well, the first path is to write the whole series yourself. (Obviously.) I do that with my young adult series about the mermaids who summer off the coast of my Cape Cod hometown. It’s a commitment, but it can be totally worth it. The downside is that like a standalone, you’re the only author doing the promotion. The upside? If readers like the first book, it’s almost a given that they’ll buy the second. And the third.

The second way is to send in a query when a publisher, like The Wild Rose Press, is announcing a series and looking for authors. Some are limited (like Candy Hearts) and some are more ongoing (like The Deerbourne Inn series)…the opportunities are there if you read the materials and send in your idea for a story. You need to keep your eye out for the calls for submissions, and then the important part is to thoroughly read the guidelines. The upsides? If it’s a publisher who you’ve already worked with, you may not have to turn in a complete manuscript to get the initial nod – and you also have a team of authors you may already be familiar with writing in the same series to work with for promotions and parties. The downside? Readers know it’s not a “real” series and love of one story may not translate into sales of others. This kind of hinges on the marketing, both from the publisher and the authors as a group.

Another path is being invited by another author you’ve befriended previously. Author loops, RWA local groups, online communities, Facebook pages… the opportunities to connect are endless if you think about it. Make friends. Write reviews for other authors. Get to know them. First, however, you need to prove you can write a good story. And that you can help promote for others.

The upside to this indie-type box-set or series? Each author is committed to the promotion, and shares access to their newsletters, their graphic abilities, and more. Most of the indie authors I know online first got their “best selling author” credentials by being part of a box set or anthology.

The bottom line? Start by writing the best story that you can. Whether it’s inspired by a series theme or not, if it’s not a good story to start with, why bother?

About the Book   :   Eight Strangers. Eight Unique Stories. All Stand-alone Novels.  On November 30, 2016, Hurricane Nina hit Bali, Indonesia. In the aftermath of death and destruction, eight strong sexy men will realize it’s time for a change in their lives. A resolution of sorts. A contractor, a personal trainer, a millionaire, a stuntman, a rock star, a thrill-seeker, an army veteran, and a trust fund prodigal will all find a way to conquer their loss and learn to love.   This is Quinn’s story. Resolution: To find his way back to the music.   Quinn MacDonald had it made. With a record label deal and their first single skyrocketing up the charts, his indie punk band is finally getting a taste of rock and roll fame. Bikini-clad women and bottomless bottles of booze fill endless days… until their hotel collapses during a hurricane. He’s still under contract but as far as he’s concerned, the music died along with the rest of his band.  Life has never been easy for Phoebe Snow. Working three minimum wage jobs barely keeps a roof over her head while she and her band struggle to get noticed. But on stage, nothing matters but the music in her heart.  When her band plays a cover of one of his hits, Quinn is blown away. Can Phoebe be the inspiration he needs for more than just writing songs?  Find it on  Amazon .

About the Book:

Eight Strangers. Eight Unique Stories. All Stand-alone Novels.

On November 30, 2016, Hurricane Nina hit Bali, Indonesia. In the aftermath of death and destruction, eight strong sexy men will realize it’s time for a change in their lives. A resolution of sorts. A contractor, a personal trainer, a millionaire, a stuntman, a rock star, a thrill-seeker, an army veteran, and a trust fund prodigal will all find a way to conquer their loss and learn to love.

This is Quinn’s story. Resolution: To find his way back to the music.

Quinn MacDonald had it made. With a record label deal and their first single skyrocketing up the charts, his indie punk band is finally getting a taste of rock and roll fame. Bikini-clad women and bottomless bottles of booze fill endless days… until their hotel collapses during a hurricane. He’s still under contract but as far as he’s concerned, the music died along with the rest of his band.

Life has never been easy for Phoebe Snow. Working three minimum wage jobs barely keeps a roof over her head while she and her band struggle to get noticed. But on stage, nothing matters but the music in her heart.

When her band plays a cover of one of his hits, Quinn is blown away. Can Phoebe be the inspiration he needs for more than just writing songs?

Find it on Amazon.

About the Katie:   Katie O’Sullivan is an award winning writer with a dozen books to her credit, including  My Kind of Crazy, Ghosts Don’t Lie, Breaking the Rules , and the  Son of a Mermaid  series for young teen readers:  Descent, Defiance, Deception , and the yet to be released  Destiny  (Coming soon.) (Hopefully.)  A recovering English major, she earned her degree at Colgate University and now lives on Cape Cod with her family and big dogs, drinking way too much coffee and finding new uses for all the sea glass she obsessively collects from the beach. She writes YA and romantic suspense novels, as well as working full time for a high tech company. Which explains all the coffee.

About the Katie:

Katie O’Sullivan is an award winning writer with a dozen books to her credit, including My Kind of Crazy, Ghosts Don’t Lie, Breaking the Rules, and the Son of a Mermaid series for young teen readers: Descent, Defiance, Deception, and the yet to be released Destiny (Coming soon.) (Hopefully.)

A recovering English major, she earned her degree at Colgate University and now lives on Cape Cod with her family and big dogs, drinking way too much coffee and finding new uses for all the sea glass she obsessively collects from the beach. She writes YA and romantic suspense novels, as well as working full time for a high tech company. Which explains all the coffee.

 Website ~ Blog ~ Facebook ~ Twitter ~ Goodreads ~ Amazon Author Page

Short Excerpt from QUINN’S RESOLUTION:

On the open-air stage in Times Square, Quinn MacDonald was making a very different resolution for the fast-approaching new year. As he stood there with a fake smile plastered on his face, listening to Wiz Khalifa spout on about some after-party, Quinn vowed he would never sing on stage in public again. No matter what the fucking studio executives said, they couldn’t make him do this. Rock stars don’t cry on national television, for fuck’s sake.

He felt raw. Exposed. Alone.

And the duet with Demi Lovato? Someone had to have planned that ahead of time without telling him a thing. There’s no such thing as spontaneous singing for television cameras. Certainly not on New Year’s Eve in Times Square. So let’s add feeling “used” into the mix.

He didn’t like it. It was… wrong.

Sure, he’d promote the album. It was part of the contract he signed. He owed that much to the memory of his friends, and to their families. But as far as Quinn was concerned, the music died in the hurricane along with the rest of his band.

 

Child of Mine – Book 1 of The Masonville Series by Jana Richards

Welcome, Jana!

Tell me a bit about Child of Mine which releases today!

Lauren didn't intend to sleep with her brother-in-law Cole on the day of her husband's funeral. But now that she is pregnant, she's not sorry. Cole's given her a baby, a long-wished-for miracle. He's been her friend forever, though she never told him or anyone else how unhappy her marriage to his cheating brother was. And she's afraid to tell the small town that considered her husband a hero that the baby isn't his.

Cole's been in love with Lauren since he was sixteen. It kills him that everyone believes the baby is his dead brother's. All he wants is to claim the baby, and Lauren, as his own. Though she marries him, will Lauren's heart ever be his?

Lauren must tell the truth or risk losing Cole. Is her newly-discovered love for him greater than her fear of scandal in her hometown?

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Is Lauren’s love for Cole stronger than her fear of scandal in her hometown?

The Wild Rose Press ~ Amazon US ~ Barnes and Noble ~ Ibooks

How about an excerpt?

Cole wrapped her in his arms. He held her securely, whispering reassurances. “It’s all right, Lauren. Don’t cry. It’s going to be okay, sweetheart.”

She clung to him, her face buried against his neck. How wonderful to be held, to be touched. It had been so long—

What was she doing? This was Cole, her friend. She pulled away from him. “I’m sorry.”

“You don’t have anything to apologize for.”

She turned away and tried to wipe the tears from her face. After she got her tears under control, she made herself smile at him. “Do you remember the homecoming dance? The time I tripped in my new high heels and sprained my ankle?”

“Of course I do. You couldn’t walk, so I carried you from the school gym to Billy’s car, and he drove you home. I remember you were a lot heavier than you looked.”

She swatted his shoulder, hiccuping laughter mixing with her tears. “Very funny. I was trying to

make a point.”

He wiped the tears from her cheek with the pad of his thumb, his dark eyes full of tenderness. “So what was your point?”

“You’re a good friend. You’ve always been there every time I’ve needed you, and here you are again. Thank you.” He stared into her eyes, but said nothing. She couldn’t look away. He continued to stroke her cheek with his thumb, the tiny caress acting like a balm to her battered heart. She placed her hand on his cheek.

 “Cole.”

They reached for each other in mutual need. He pulled her against his chest, his mouth descending on hers in a hungry, urgent kiss. She sighed against his mouth, and he brought her closer. He wants me. It had been so long since someone had wanted her. Only her.

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When Jana Richards read her first romance novel, she immediately knew two things: she had to commit the stories running through her head to paper, and they had to end with a happily ever after. She also knew she’d found what she was meant to do. Since then she’s never met a romance genre she didn’t like. She writes contemporary romance, romantic suspense, and historical romance set in World War Two, in lengths ranging from short story to full length novel. Just for fun, she throws in generous helpings of humor, and the occasional dash of the paranormal. Her paranormal romantic suspense “Seeing Things” was a 2008 EPPIE finalist.

In her life away from writing, Jana is an accountant/admin assistant, a mother to two grown daughters, and a wife to her husband Warren. She enjoys golf, yoga, movies, concerts, travel and reading, not necessarily in that order. She and her husband live in Winnipeg, Canada with an elderly Pug/Terrier named cross Lou. She loves to hear from readers and can be reached through her website at www.janarichards.com

Find Jana:

Website * Blog * Facebook * Twitter * Amazon Author Page

Amazon UK Author Page * Newsletter Signup * Goodreads * Bookbub

Charlene Namdhari's new release: Daredevil's Mistress

Welcome, Charlene!

Tell us a bit about what you write:

So far every attempt ends in a novel. Just when I think the end is around the corner I decide to add something else which eventually leads to a full length novel.

When did your writing journey begin?

Started in school where I enjoyed English especially the creative and essay writing portions. I attempted a few short stories then but mainly for school competitions. Wrote my first full length novel fourteen years ago. But chose to keep it merely as a hobby and only sought publishing recently.

What was your inspiration for (name of work/book)?

Daredevil’s belongs to Cody and plays an integral part in bringing Cody and Samantha together. If I say anymore then I’d spoil the story for my readers.

Do you find inspiration in your own life for your writing?

I do actually. Some of Daredevil’s Mistress stems from a facet of my life when you didn’t question your elders and respect was important. I doubt I would’ve had the nerve to portray Samantha’s character with my uncles. I would’ve loved to have met my own Cody though.

Any new projects on the horizon?

Currently working on book two which is based on Cody’s younger brother, Reece and his relationship

Words of advice for fellow writers in the trenches:

Just do it. Nope, I didn’t steal this from Nike. Thinking about writing that book and procrastinating helps no one just prolongs the query and publishing if it turns out to be a book publishers want. Believe in yourself and just write, editing comes later.

What was the hardest/most unusual/interesting part of the story to write/research?

Cody is pure alpha. Arrogant and downright rude. I think the hardest part to write was the development of Cody’s character from arrogant to lovable without readers hating him from the get go.

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Fire and Ice…

Twenty-four-year-old virgin Samantha Harman longs to escape her boring life and overbearing father in South Africa. She gains temporary freedom when she visits a friend's ranch in Arizona. Her father's price for letting her go? Return to an arranged marriage. But an unexpected attraction to a sexy cowboy is hard to fight and soon she's in bed with the devil.

Cody Bentley, a hardworking no-nonsense rancher, has been hurt before. To him, women are wanton troublemakers out for gold. Then his sister's feisty friend comes for a visit and ensnares him in a white-hot passion that threatens to melt the icy wall around his heart.

Will Samantha dare to defy her father's demands and convince Cody to take a chance on love?

Amazon ~ Amazon UK ~ Barnes & Noble ~ The Wild Rose Press

Speed-dating round:

Oxford comma, yes or no? Yes

Ice cream? Haagen Das Strawberry Cheesecake

Coffee or tea or wine? Tea

What does your desk look like? Currently – like a hurricane hit, I call it WIP

What is your writing vice or must-haves? Strangely, the TV

Describe a perfect writing day. Cold and rainy and no housework

What are some of your go-to methods for writing? When it hits, jot it down

In an alternate reality, what would be your dream job (besides author)? I married a billionaire – lazing by the pool

Where is your favorite place you've visited (or wish to visit)? Cannes, France

You have a time travel machine: past of future? Where/when? Past, Durban, SA, just turned 17, accept that modeling contract

What do you like to do when not writing? Read or watch a good horror

Beach, lake, or mountains? Lake with a mountainous backdrop

If you could meet one famous person, living or dead, who would it be? JK Rowling

You’re a new addition to the crayon box. What color would you be and why? Blue – Cody’s sexy eye color

What are you known for? Being mischief

Morning rooster, night owl, or midday lark? Night Owl

What comes first, character or plot (or other)? Plot

You find a $100 bill in your purse/bag, what would you spend it on? That’s a lot in rands so a full day spa treatment

How many hours a day (or week) do you write? I try to do it every day

Favorite childhood book? Nancy Drew

Favorite book of all time? IT – I hate clowns

You’re on a desert island, besides essentials, what do you bring? A hot sexy man – desert could get lonely

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Born and raised in the coastal city of Durban, South Africa, she now lives in the City of Gold, Johannesburg. Charlene’s days are an energetic mixture of a full time job, a wife and mom to two beautiful teenagers and four dogs. She holds a law degree and is a passionate events manager.

Charlene enjoys travelling, a Mediterranean cruise being her most recent venture. She hopes to retire to a beautiful seaside cottage where she can spend lazy days on the beach drinking cocktails and focus all her energy on writing. She is of the firm opinion that one should not give up on a dream but rather make every attempt to get there no matter how long it takes.

Her love for writing stemmed from an avid interest in English at School, more so Literature and enjoyed writing short stories. She attempted her first full length novel fifteen years ago and although she loved the finish product decided she’d write mainly as a hobby and only recently sought publishing. Believing writing is the wings to holistic escapism, she makes the time in her busy schedule giving life to her dreams of bringing together passion filled heroes and heroines in a happily ever after.

A picture from one of the events Charlene coordinated the decor for as an event planner.

A picture from one of the events Charlene coordinated the decor for as an event planner.

Find Charlene: Twitter, Facebook, Instagram

Diving into Laney Kaye's newest release!

Welcome, Laney!

Tell us about what you write.

Under my ‘real name’ as well as this pseudonym, I write across a number of genres including contemporary romance, historical romance, light sci-fi romance, dark romance, women’s fiction, and erotic fiction, both novellas and novels.

What drew you to writing?

I fell in love with Enid Blyton’s stories when I learned to read, at around three years of age. Growing up in country Australia, we had no television, no entertainment other than what the seaside and country offered (okay, so that wasn’t exactly a hardship…picture the gorgeous South Australian coast, and the rolling plains of the Riverlands…) and I’d lose myself in the Enchanted Wood. I read the books to my children, multiple times, and still have all the original copies. When you love something that much, I guess it’s only natural to want to emulate your idol, in some fashion, even if not by writing in the same genre (which is not to say I don’t have a fairy story beneath my bed…

Tell us about HOOK: THE LURE OF THE MER Book One:

Marine biologist, Jayde Collins, has a love affair with the ocean. Lucky for her, because lately, swimming is the only way she can get satisfactorily wet. While out diving, she's caught by the crew of a trawler, beaten, and dumped as shark bait. Rescued and magically healed by a hot lifeguard, she's not sure if she's dreaming—but with the fantasy he presents, she's sure she doesn’t want to wake.

Trent Okeanós leads an elite group of Australian lifeguards who hide a secret; they are the last of the Mer. Their law forbids relations with humans unless specific conditions are met. But when Trent saves Jayde, he’s unprepared for the choice he must make; to fall in love and claim her as his own, he must sacrifice his immortality.

Tell us about your experience with the publishing process.

Always greedy, and never patient, I’ve a finger in every pie! Agented under my real name, I’m both traditionally published and indie published under my pseudonym.

Any new projects on the horizon?

I have a series of four books, CAT SHIFTERS OF AAIDAR out with my co-writer, Christina. The follow up to this book, LINE: THE LURE OF THE MER Book Two, comes out in a few weeks…and a third book, a contemporary romance based in Hawaii, will be released by The Wild Rose Press in a few months.

Christina and I are working on two new series, and I’m writing sequels to both THE LURE OF THE MER and my new Hawaii-based series (remember what I said about fingers and pies, right?)

Words of advice for fellow writers in the trenches:

I’m sure everyone says it, but that’s because it’s true – keep on writing. It’s a craft, there’s always room for improvement, and you will  improve. Get yourself a range of critique partners—you need those who will pad your ego, pat your back and provide a safe space for venting. But be aware that you also need those with a firm hand to run the red pen through your work. 

What was the hardest/most unusual/interesting part of the story to write/research? Never having studied ancient history, I had to make certain I had the lesser Greek gods straight!

Speed Round!

Oxford comma, yes or no? Yes, I think. Maybe. Hang on, I’m not sure, ask my editor…!

Ice cream? Yuk. Zip. Nothing. Nada. Not a fan.

Coffee or tea or wine? Yes, please. Oh, was that an either/or question?

What does your desk look like? I’ve just spent the princely sum of $5 on this second desk that is absolutely perfect for a nook in my library. Or perfect as a cat bed, apparently. (picture attached)

What is your writing vice or must-haves? A double shot of coffee.

Where is your favorite place you've visited? Oooh, a toss up between New Zealand and Hawaii….and I’ve road tripped right around Australia, which is spectacular!

(I love New Zealand — let’s chat about that sometime!)

You have a time travel machine: past or future? Where/when? I’ve a book set in 1870’s country South Australia, and I’d love to nip back and check if all my research was correct!

How many hours a day do you write? At least six hours a day, seven days a week—though much of this time is spent mentoring other writers.

Favorite childhood book? The Magic Faraway Tree/Enchanted Wood

Find Laney on the web: Twitter  ~  Amazon ~  InstagramWeb page ~ Goodreads ~  BookBub

Deerbourne Inn Series: Spirited Quest by Julie Howard

Welcome, Julie.

Tell us about what you write.

My main focus has been my mystery novels, but my current release is Spirited Quest, a novella. This is my first novella and I had such a blast writing this shorter mystery that I’ve already started a second one.

When did your writing journey begin?

I’ve always written stories and had a career as a journalist (the nonfiction side of me). But writing fiction has been my life’s dream. Now I’ve written short stories, novels, and novellas. I can honestly say I love all three lengths since they allow me to develop different types of stories. I always picture my reader when I write. A short story can be read over a cup of coffee, a novella leaves one breathless, and readers can fully immerse themselves in another world in a novel.

What was your inspiration for Spirited Quest?

Before I heard about my publisher’s Deerbourne Inn series, I never considered writing a short book, or novella. I’ve written more than a dozen short stories that have appeared in a number of literary journals, as well as two full-length novels. A novella, though, is in that in-between space, and I wasn’t sure I could fully develop an appealing plot or characters.

It was the fictional town of Willow Springs, Vermont, and the publisher’s description of the Deerbourne Inn that drew me in to this project. Each author in the series is taking on a separate main character who lives in the town and choosing our own genre – from romance to mystery to paranormal to historical. The clincher for me was the fact there was a ghost at the Deerbourne Inn. The story grabbed me from the start and wouldn’t let go until I wrote it all down.

My full-length novels are mysteries, but I’ve written paranormal short stories and absolutely love writing and reading a story with mystical elements. Within a few hours of learning about this series, I had my plot outlined and knew who I wanted this ghost to be. I knew what role she would play in my paranormal mystery. The title jumped out at me: Spirited Quest. I submitted a synopsis to The Wild Rose Press and began writing.

The surprise I discovered about writing a novella was twofold: First, the length (less than half that of a regular novel) created more drama as the plot raced along. Second, I developed a thirst for writing more of these short books. While I still have full-length novels underway, I’ve outlined a novella series I hope to pitch to my publisher later this year.

What else have you written?

I have two other books out by The Wild Rose Press. “Crime and Paradise” and “Crime Times Two” are part of my Wild Crime mystery series. I’m currently working on the third and final book in this series.

Words of advice for fellow writers in the trenches:

Never stop writing and never give up your dream. The road to being an author is tough, especially these days. Don’t worry about rejections; everybody gets them. Just keep submitting and keep perfecting your craft.

A bit about Spirited Quest:

Paige Norman believes in a tangible, explainable world. When her ghost-hunting niece comes for a visit, she tries not to scoff. But someone, or something, is stirring up trouble at the Deerbourne Inn and her niece, Jillian, is at the center of the mystery.

Paige is certain the handsome Aussie photographer is behind the unexplained disturbances, and she warns her niece to stay clear. Meanwhile, Jillian gets to know the otherworldly Lady of the Deerbourne, who foretells an encounter with "two men." Then the pranks turn dangerous. Has her niece attracted a stalker or has she conjured an evil presence? Can the culprit be the man who has captured her heart? 

Where can you find Julie? Website, Facebook, Goodreads & Amazon

Speed-dating round:

Oxford comma, yes or no? Sometimes. This must drive my editor crazy. But there are times an oxford comma makes sense (to separate ideas) and other times unnecessary.

Ice cream? Chocolate!

Coffee or tea or wine? Coffee, to make it to the wine

What does your desk look like? I work at cafes. I love the buzz of conversation around me.

What is your writing vice or must-haves? I suppose coffee, though is coffee really a vice?

(Jean’s comment: YES! It’s my must-have, too, along with red pends and Post-its)

Describe a perfect writing day. Some days my head swims with characters and plots, and so I write all day and well into the evening. Those days come more and more often, and they are wonderful.

Where is your favorite place you've visited? I loved Istanbul and how very different a culture it is from ours. The language, religion, manner of dress and even the driving rules (none!) are literally a world apart. I love to travel and take advantage of the opportunity every chance I get. My dream trip is southeast Asia, where I have a historical novel based.

Beach, lake, or mountains? I’m torn between the beach and mountains, but I think beach wins by a nose.

Morning rooster, night owl, or midday lark? I get up before the sun. One of my favorite things is watch the dawn appear.

What comes first, character or plot (or other)? Plot, though the main character is right on its heels.

You find a $100 bill in your purse/bag, what would you spend it on? Books. What else?

Favorite book of all time? The Moon is Down by John Steinbeck. It’s a very different book for him, set during WWII and in a town occupied by German soldiers. Incredibly beautiful story.

 

The Deerbourne Inn: Lyrical Embrace by Amber Daulton

The newest book in the Deerbourne Inn series releases:

Lyrical Embrace” by Amber Daulton 

What inspired this story?

I love small-town romances, especially ones with an edge and a little bit of danger weaved in. I’m not sure why, but right away I pictured a young woman running away from the big city to escape her abusive boyfriend. I mostly write romantic suspense, so this idea worked.

My heroine, Erica, was in a bad relationship and finally found the courage to break free. Even though she found help, a new love, and a chance for a better future, the past was still looming over her.

I think a lot of readers can sympathize with such a situation, especially those who have experienced abuse and neglect from someone claiming to love them.

I also love stories about music and rock stars, but I don’t like the cheating and drugs that go along with the lifestyle. I haven’t published a story featuring a musician yet, so I figured I should get on the ball and do it.

My hero, Dylan, has retired from the New York music scene, and he now teaches kids how to play instruments. He’s gotten his life back together after all the drama of being a semi-star, and he and Erica have an instant connection.

This story is fun, uplifting, and hot. The characters are real and flawed. I really enjoyed writing it, and I hope readers will love it.

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Out-of-work violinist Erica Timberly decides enough is enough. She leaves her abusive boyfriend and flees the big city, but then her car breaks down in the middle of the night. Though wary of men, she accepts help from Dylan Haynes, a stranger driving by on the road, and soon recognizes him as the sexy former drummer of her favorite indie rock band. Maybe, just maybe, her run of bad luck is finally turning around.

Music teacher Dylan Haynes knows Erica is in trouble, and her black eye is only the first clue. The stubborn yet vulnerable woman needs a friend, but he’s determined to give her everything she deserves.

Will Erica listen to the music in her heart and trust Dylan, or will her past always threaten her future?

Did you come upon any interesting discovery or tidbit of info while researching/writing this book?

I did a lot of research into how a music school is set up and operated, and it’s more difficult than I’d thought. A teacher can either work for a school or work freelance, and there are pros and cons to each option, mostly dealing with pay and stress levels. Once the instructor gets a good routine going, however, it can be a fun, rewarding job to have.

Lyrical now available:  Amazon  ~  Barnes and Noble  ~  iTunes  ~  The Wild Rose Press  ~ Kobo ~ Google Play

Lyrical now available: Amazon ~ Barnes and Noble ~ iTunes ~ The Wild Rose Press ~ Kobo ~ Google Play

Tell us one unique thing about you many might not know.

I’m from North Carolina, USA and have lived there all my life, but most people think I’m from England or even France when they first meet me (and yes, I’ve been asked to speak French, which I don’t know). I have an accent which sounds proper and smooth; a far contrast to how most people sound in my area. I’ve been getting the “Where are you from?” question since I was in elementary school, and kids can be quite cruel. Luckily, I’ve never really been bothered by the questions and funny looks. In fact, I take sounding different as a matter of pride because I like standing out in a crowd.

Lyrical Embrace is my eleventh publication to date, my second one with The Wild Rose Press.

Arresting Mason is the first with The Wild Rose Press and kicks off the five-flame romantic-suspense series Arresting Onyx. Arresting Jeremiah, book two in the series, will be out later this year.

Where can you find Amber?

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Facebook Author Page

Twitter

Pinterest

Goodreads

Amazon Author Page

Instagram

Book Bub

Book Gorilla

Smashwords

LinkedIn

Google Plus 

The Wild Rose Press

 About the Author

Amber Daulton is the author of the romantic-suspense series Arresting Onyx and several standalone novellas. Her books are published through The Wild Rose Press and Books to Go Now, and are available in ebook, print on demand, audio, and foreign language formats.

Amber lives in North Carolina with her husband and four demanding cats. Feel free to visit her at http://www.amberdaultonauthor.blogspot.com.

An Excerpt:

Erica leaned up and combed her fingers through her hair. “I’ve never made love outside before. It’s a surreal experience.”

“We can do it wherever you want. In an elevator, in an alley, in my car. I’m game anywhere and everywhere for as long as you want me.”

“I want you so much it hurts.”

Dylan thumbed her knuckles and hoped she meant that. “I don’t know how you feel about labels, but I haven’t had a girlfriend in years. I’ve just had flings, but I want more than that with you. I want us to be with each other and no one else. I want a relationship with you.”

Tears welled in her eyes. “I feel divided in two. A part of me thinks we’re moving too fast, but another part says to jump in with both feet. I want something real with you too. I don’t want to feel dirty after we fool around. Just make me happy. Will you do that, Dylan?”

Her soft, pain-filled words struck Dylan like a dagger in his gut, and he bit the insides of his cheeks to steady his features.

Her ex-boyfriend had probably called her names and degraded her after they would find release in each other’s body, and the bastard likely never cared if she reached climax at all.

“I understand, Erica. I promise to treat you with nothing but respect, and I will do my very best to make you happy. I swear you will always scream your head off in pleasure every time I touch you. I’m not the sort of man to get my jollies off and leave my girl hanging.”

Her lips twitched up in a grin. “That’s good to hear.”

“So are you my girl?”

“Yeah, I’m your girl.” Erica giggled and tapped her fingers on his chest. “How could I not be? You make a very compelling argument, but I will have to hold you to it. I’m definitely looking forward to screaming every time you touch me.”

“Let’s rest, and then we’ll play again. The night’s early, and I’ve only just begun.”

Roxanne Howard's newest release: When You Close Your Eyes

When You Close Your Eyes
by Roxanne D. Howard
Genre: Supernatural Romance
Dreams are the perfect shelter for fantasies, safe havens to step inside without changing our daily lives. For Lark Braithwaite, all that is about to change. During the last six months, Lark has dreamt of a mysterious Irish lover who knows what she wants and gives her exactly what she needs. In her waking life in busy London, things aren't as ideal as her long-term relationship with her controlling fiancé Charles has hit a dry spell.
When Lark is called home to Oregon for her father's funeral, she comes face to face with the demons from her past, but she never expects to meet her dream lover in the flesh. Niall O'Hagan steps straight out of her fantasies and into her life, and the powerful connection they share rocks her foundation. Although she's dealing with the bitterness of her fiancé's betrayal and his jealousy, Niall soon stirs Lark's awareness of her superficial existence and reawakens her sexuality....and her soul.
Roxanne D. Howard is a U.S. Army veteran who has a bachelor's degree in Psychology and English. She loves to read poetry, classical literature, and Stephen King. Also, she is an avid Star Wars fan, musical theater nut, and marine biology geek. Roxanne resides in the western U.S., and when she's not writing, she enjoys spending time with her husband and children. Roxanne loves to hear from her readers, and encourages you to contact her via her website and social media.
Follow the tour HERE for exclusive content and a giveaway!

September's Song by Ryan Jo Summers

Welcome Ryan Jo Summers!

Tell us about what you write.

I write contemporary romance, both novels and shorter stories. The sub-genres are mish-mashed. I like to write clean, wholesome and sweet romance, or mystery, suspense, shifter, time travel, Christian, or any combination of these. The full length novels are stand-alone, the shorter ones might be stand alones too or part of anthology collections with various publishers. 

I also write non-fiction and women's fiction/metaphysical. I self-published a blog-to-book about the first two years with my adopted PTSD collie, Ty, to encourage pet adopter's coping with pets suffering from past trauma or people thinking of adopting a pet with emotional issues. I write non-fiction for local, regional, and national magazines. The topics range from pet and animal issues to devotionals to women's issues and many things in between. 

What was your inspiration for "September's Song"?

A friend sent me an email a few years ago with a series of random photographs. One photo resonated with me. It was a young boy handing a presumably homeless man a Styrofoam meal. It was winter time, they were both bundled up. The man looked to be a veteran. The boy was only scene from the back, however, his stance said a lot, as did the wonderment on the man's face. That image never left me and became the inspiration for “September's Song.”

Find September’s Song with these retailers:  Lulu ,  ITunes ,  Amazon ,  Barnes & Noble , and  Kobo

Find September’s Song with these retailers: Lulu, ITunes, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Kobo

Do you find inspiration in your own life for writing?

I am blessed to be able to find inspiration anywhere. It's astounding to my friends how and where I find it. Many years ago a friend was showing me photos of her recent trip to New England. One photo was of the Grafton Inn. As soon as I saw the cupola on top of the inn, I immediately envisioned a fight scene for a book I was currently working on. I went back home and added a night rooftop shoot-out fight scene for my third novel, "When Clouds Gather."

One night, Valentine's, I was driving home along a two-lane road. In the middle of the road lay a perfect condition bouquet of red roses. Imagining what it was doing in the middle of the road, late Valentine's night led to me writing the short novella, "Glimpse Eternity." Seeing a plumber's van, called Coyne's Plumbing, turning the corner while parked at a traffic light led me to incorporate a treasure-hunting scene and a change of my heroine's last name in the story, "Chasing the Painted Skies." The list just goes on and on. Most of my character's cars, hobbies, and other personal details are usually inspired by observations, conversations, songs, etc....

Tell us about your path to publication.

I started with small presses in 2012 and have published with four of them so far and have been very pleased with them. My non-fiction blog-to-book (“Ty’s Journey”) and women’s fiction novel ("September's Song") are both self-published. I decided against pitching these these book babies of mine. There were loads of steps and decisions and expenses along the way that are usually covered by or discussed with houses, that I had to handle myself. Having been multi-published already was a huge help in making those endless little but important decisions. 

Any new projects on the horizon?

My goodness yes!. In no particular order…I am dipping my toe into the genre of horror/thriller and writing a short story to contribute to an anthology collection. I am actually using the project as a catharsis coping devise to some personal news I need to work through. It's cheap therapy.

I have a spot saved for November 2019 with Melange Books to release a time travel romance novel. I need to get it finished. Late 2018 I signed with The Wild Rose Press to release a series of shorter works based on a family on the North Carolina coast: three sisters, their brother, and eventually extended cousins, all finding true love in a small town. Contracts are signed for three so far, edits are at various stages, book 4 is planned and being written, and books 5 & 6 are being planned now.

((Wow! That’s a lot of books ahead for you!))

Lastly, I have been included in a 6 volume series with a new publisher. The pace for that series is fast and furious. I’m a regular contributing author for The Asheville Pet Gazette so I have six articles a month I write for them. And I have been invited to write both fiction and non-fiction for The Cassette (magazine). I have had a few articles published with them already and need to submit more. All this takes time. Additionally, I review books for two professional book reviewers and I create graphic designs each month for one of them. So I stay busy. Very busy!

Find Ryan Jo Summers:   Website  ~  Blog  ~  Facebook  ~  Twitter  ~  Google  ~  Amazon  ~  Bookbub

Find Ryan Jo Summers:

Website ~ Blog ~ Facebook ~ Twitter ~ Google ~ Amazon ~ Bookbub

Now for a fun character interview!

Today we are joined by Father Patrick who runs a homeless shelter in Chicago. Good day, Father, and thank you for joining us.

FP: Tis good to be here.

So tell us a bit about yourself and how you came to be over this shelter.

FP: I suppose it was back about fifteen years ago, and I grew weary of me regular clergy duties. Mass was mundane, confessions were commonplace, and I felt a stirring within me. Fate and Divine Intervention led me to both the need for a shelter in my district and the brick building we can call home.

That’s super. It’s always good to see a need fulfilled. I imagine you see a lot of interesting people in your line of work?

FP: Indeed I do. So many broken souls and wounded bodies. Many damaged from the different wars, and unable to find their footing. Some stay a while, and others just a short bit. They all have their stories to tell. My job is to help them find their stories and share them. Sometimes all that takes is a good pot of soup, a warm bed, and a listening ear. Oh, a spot of hot tea as well.

I’m sure. It’s hard to beat soup and tea. Can you tell us about Keegan London? He was not your normal, everyday homeless man, was he?

FP: (Shakes head) The moment Keegan London crossed the door, I knew he was someone different. He came in as many a stray lamb does, but there was a diverse look to him. He wore the cloak of a military man, but he claimed no such service. He had nothing to claim, not even a memory. One might say he twas in the field when luck is on the road.

 Umm, yes, sure.  He didn’t have even a memory? That’s strange.

FP: Aye, indeed. The poor lad recalled nothing of his life before coming to our humble shelter. However, there was a feisty, be-freckled miss who insisted they were married. She found him at our shelter, said he died five years ago, and overrode all the lad’s hesitations. She badgered through them.

Hesitations? If he had someone saying they were married, why was he hesitant? Seems to me he would welcome someone who could assist him with recovery.

FP: Aye, one might. And Ivey was the type, when she wasn’t fishing, she was mending her nets. But there’s not a wise man without fault and Keegan had demons. They pursued him when he ventured away from the shelter. They wanted him back from wherever he came, badly. And he had powers. Frightening, unexplainable telekinesis abilities. Because of those…issues, he was reluctant to go to the home and family Ivey offered him. He was reluctant to stay at the shelter much. Poor Ivey, strong lass that she was, had her hands full. Keegan was the type to bust his shin on a chair that’s not in his way.

(Slowly) I see.  So, wow, yes, I would think they both have a lot on their plates. And trying to resurrect a marriage from five years ago. And you said he had died? Where and how do they even start?

FP: (shrugs) Bang on. Where and how indeed? And the lass, Ivey, had a new romance bubbling on the stove and a constant fit with her brother over custody of their dear Alzheimer’s mother, and she and Keegan shared a young son. She was not one to be trifled with when it comes to her family. And no man ever wore a scarf as warm as the woman he loves with her arm about his neck. Under the shelter of each other, people survive. And Ivey and Keegan London are survivors, in spite of all the wedges between them.

Father Patrick, thank you for joining us. Best of luck for your continual success at the shelter.

Author Bio:

Ryan Jo Summers writes romances that blur the lines of sub-genres. She mixes contemporary with time travel, Christian, suspense, sweet, and paranormal like blending a fruit and yogurt smoothie. Her non-fiction works have appeared in numerous trade journals and magazines including ‘WNC Woman Magazine’, ‘Critter Magazine’, ‘Journey Devotions’, and ‘Vet Tech Journal’. She is a regular contributing author for the ‘Asheville Pet Gazette’.

Her hobbies include baking, crafts, gardening, enjoying nature, and chess/mah-jongg/word-find puzzles. She pet sits/dog walks when she’s not busy writing and she fosters homeless pets for area animal rescues.

She lives in a century-old cottage in North Carolina with her own menagerie of rescued pets and way too many houseplants. “September’s Song” is her second self-published work, the first one being the chronicles of the first two years with her adopted PTSD rescue collie.


For the Love of a Spy with M.S. Spencer

Let’s start with a speed round first! Welcome, M.S. Spencer!

Oxford comma, yes or no? Yes!

Ice cream (favorite flavor)? Fudge brownie

Coffee or tea or wine? Champagne

What does your desk look like? Actually not bad today

What is your writing vice or must-haves ? A view

((oh I love that answer! I agree with that one!)

Describe a perfect writing day. Getting what I wanted to say down on paper

Favorite childhood book? The Wizard of Oz

Inspiration…Top: Chablis, France. Bottom: The U.S. Capitol.

For the Love of a Spy is set in 1991-1992. Why, you may ask. Well, you could call 1991 a pivotal year for world events. The year 1991 saw the beginnings of normalization of Vietnam’s relations with the rest of the world and a summit on apartheid in South Africa. Operation Desert Storm made quick work of Saddam Hussein’s army in Iraq. Albania saw its first free elections since 1945. By the end of August the collapse of the Soviet Union was all but complete, with country after country declaring their independence (the USSR was dissolved in December).

But the tides of history didn’t stop there. The Arabs and Israelis met to discuss peace for the first time in Madrid in October—leading to the secret talks that culminated in the Oslo Accords. Also in October (I think I’m hyperventilating here) the Paris Peace Agreements ended the Vietnam-Cambodia conflict. Finally, North and South Korea signed a non-aggression pact in December.

So you can see how a CIA fixer—a jack of all trade who can troubleshoot potential crises—would have his hands full. It didn’t give him much time to woo his one true love.

When Maris Graystone, author of the political column The Scrivener, and the mysterious Michael Kinder, meet, sparks fly. Their love affair intensifies against the backdrop of the dramatic world events of 1991. Michael appears and disappears at unpredictable moments, leaving Maris limp and lovelorn. Looking for safe harbor for her emotions and her body, she accepts the advances of a dashing French diplomat.

Torn between the luxury and comfort of Émile and his chateau, and the romance of international intrigue with Michael, she must choose…but which one?


Excerpt: Escape from Reality

They had been in the country for five days when Émile took her to lunch at l’Étoile, a little family-run bistro in Chablis. As they finished their andouillettes—grilled sausages for which the bistro was famous—Émile took her hand. In a solemn voice, he said, “Mignonne.”

Oui, Monsieur le Comte sans Merci?” She liked to tease him. After all, Émile would have been a count in fact, had his father not relinquished the title in the 1940s. Having pet names for each other wasn’t anything to be concerned about. Surely not.

“The week is nearing its end, Maris. I must report to the Ministry on Monday. We are booked on the train to Paris tomorrow.”

“Train? What about the Jaguar?”

“I cannot keep a car in Paris. The Jaguar stays here.”

“Oh.” Maris had had just enough champagne to find it difficult to focus on the conversation.

“Maris! Fais attention. We shall go to the flat in Paris—”

“Flat? You didn’t mention an apartment.”

“Yes, I did,” he said patiently. “I told you. My family has always maintained a flat in the ninth arrondissement. My parents have given it to us. They doubt they will need it again.”

“Us?” Did she sound as stupid as she felt?

“Well, to me. To us afterward.”

Maris shook her head to clear it. “Afterward.”

Émile evinced a rare flash of irritation. “I mean, as I assumed I didn’t have to tell you, after we are married.”

Maris closed her eyes and felt herself sliding slowly off her chair. 

Where can you find more about M.S. Spencer and her work?

About the Author:

Although M. S. Spencer has traveled in five continents, she spent the last thirty years in Washington, D.C. as a librarian, Congressional assistant, speechwriter, and non-profit director. She has two grown children and a perfect granddaughter. Ms. Spencer has published twelve mystery/romantic suspense novels, and currently divides her time between Florida and Maine.

Blog ~ Facebook ~ Twitter ~ GoodReads ~ Pinterest

Instagram ~ Google + ~ Linked in ~ Bookbub

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Her calendar of events can be found here:

Romance Books 4 Us

Amazon Author Page

I Heart Author Page

 

 

Beyond the Fall with Diane Scott Lewis

Welcome Diane Scott Lewis!

What was your inspiration for Beyond the Fall, and time-travel?

Since a child I always thought going back in time would be a great adventure. After reading Outlander, I really wanted to write a story of my own. I love authenticity, so I had to make my character struggle through the realities of a primitive era. How would a person react to being faced with strange clothing, food, customs, and for a woman, a restrictive existence. A man could lock her in an asylum in the 18th c. if she became “troublesome.”

Do you find inspiration in your own life for your writing?

I have traveled all over the world with my navy husband, and explored the history of each place. History inspires me, and putting vibrant characters into difficult situations in the past, and watching them struggle to prevail.

Beyond the Fall can be found on  Amazon .

Beyond the Fall can be found on Amazon.

Now for a little fun! A character interview!

Interviewer: Tamara, I understand you came from San Francisco, in 2018? How is that possible?

Tamara: I’m flummoxed, as they say here in the 18th century. I was researching my ancestors in a cemetery in Cornwall, England, moved a fallen stone, a burning smell, and boom, I woke up in this primitive past. I thought time travel was…a fantasy, not a reality.

Interviewer: How have you adjusted to your predicament?

Tamara: Once I realized, and believe me it took a while, that I was really in 1789, I had no choice but to adjust. The clothing is so restrictive; and these women, they wear no underpants, why? Deodorant wasn’t invented yet, so many people are, pungent, to put it nicely. No running water, no electricity. The worst is that women have few rights. Men run everything. I have to keep my big mouth quiet, and don’t always succeed.

Interviewer: Speaking of men, I understand you’ve grown close to that farmer, Colum Polwhele?

Tamara: Ah, Colum, very handsome. He’s a good man, or, well, he does have his secrets. I better not say much more. He also has a fiancée, so I’m in danger of being hurt. Again! You know my narcissist husband walked out on me, though I discovered I didn’t love him so much anymore. But it was still a shock.

Interviewer: So this slip to the past happened just in time; sorry no pun intended. I hear you have a cousin here in Cornwall, an ancestor named Arthur Trembeth. Has he been of help to you?

Tamara: Quite the opposite. He immediately accused me of trying to take advantage of him, then demanded I prove who I was, which of course I couldn’t. I’d left my purse in my car, then my car vanished. Arthur, and his wife, are not nice people.

Interviewer: Are you trying to return home, to 2018?

Tamara: I did, a few times, but nothing worked. Now, well, Colum is heading for trouble with these grain riots, and I want to help, and I am drawn to him. But we both might end up in jail, or worse.

Any new projects on the horizon?

I have a sequel in the works for Beyond the Fall. This time, in The Tangled Branch, it’s Tamara who drags Colum into the future. How will an 18th century man respond to the modern world of noise and technology? Cars, Smart Phones, and women who can dress as they wish and speak their minds.

Words of advice for fellow writers in the trenches:

If you’re unpublished, keep trying and perfect your craft. Attend workshops, go to conferences, or take an online class. So many writers don’t even know the basic punctuation of dialogue. I learned many things from critique groups. I’m in an online group now I’ve been with for over twelve years.

What was the hardest part of the story to write/research?

How to transport Tamara back in time. I explore more of the nuts and bolts of this (clearly from my imagination, of course) in the sequel.

Speed-dating round:

Coffee or tea or wine? Can I choose all three? Coffee gets me going in the morning, wine relaxes at night.

What does your desk look like? Controlled chaos? Here’s a picture of my desk and my writing partner, Fritzie.

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 Describe a perfect writing day. A good night’s sleep so my mind is clear, and quiet in my house.

In an alternate reality, what would be your dream job (besides author)? Graphic artist.

You have a time travel machine: past of future? Where/when? The eighteenth century, for more in-depth research.

You’re a new addition to the crayon box. What color would you be and why? Burgundy, I love the richness of that color. Most of my clothes are burgundy.

What are you known for? Authenticity in my research. I dig deep, books, libraries and the internet, to get my facts correct.

What comes first, character or plot (or other)? Character, era, and then the character usually tells me how to proceed with the story.

Favorite childhood book? Charlotte’s Web. I loved it for the story, but there’s much to learn about inclusion.

You’re on a desert island, besides essentials, what do you bring? Wifi, plenty of books, and my husband of course.

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Connect with Diane on her website.

To Audio or to Not Audio? by Stephen B. King

It’s the new year. Why not highlight a book about time travel? :)

Today, my guest is Stephen B. King…and a discussion of to audio…or not.

So without further ado…

by Stephen B. King

Many years ago, I was a long-haired guitarist in a rock band – I was pursuing a dream I’d had since childhood, which was to be on stage and play guitar. Prior to that I used to love writing short stories and poetry and once I was reasonably proficient at playing half a dozen chords, I wrote my first song. Of course, I thought it was one of the greatest songs of all time. Funny how time alters your vision, doesn’t it? Anyway, I played it for the band, and our lead female singer, Irene, loved the lyrics (which was great for my ego). So before we knew it, the band had its first original song to perform, which we did with gusto. Now, when you’re playing live, you can’t really listen as the audience does, because you’re concentrating on the job at hand. A bit like writing a book, really. What the reader reads can be different to what the author thought he, or she, wrote. Anyway, I digress. We did a full rehearsal and recorded it through the mixing desk, and then later over a beer, or six, listened to how we sounded.

I remember to this day, the goosebumps that sprang up on my arms when I heard for the first time He is the Dawn (corny title? You bet – this was the 70’s) . Here we are nearly forty years later and that memory has never left me. I went on to write a lot more songs, and had the pleasure of listening to  some pretty decent performers  sing then, but that goose-bumpy feeling of hearing something I wrote performed for the very first time was, and still is, indescribable.

Why am I boring you with this story? Well, very recently, I got to enjoy that experience all over again. I’m speaking of  when I heard the actor, hired by The Wild Rose Press, narrate my book, Thirty-Three Days, when it went to audio. The voice artist, Geoffrey Boyes, had done the first chapter as an audition, and Oh my God, the hairs rose on my arms as I listened through headphones to him read my words, and portray my characters. I can only imagine what it must feel like to write a movie, or TV show script, though that would not be the same due to a screenplay being different to the book. An audio is a reading of the original manuscript the author intended, and the voice actor interprets it. Thankfully, Geoffrey was hired, and went on to do the entire book which has since been released. He did a superb job, in my humble opinion.

Last night I was playing poker with a group of friends, and one of the guys, an electronics engineer, mentioned  that he was listening to Thirty-Three Days on audio. Of course my ears pricked up. He said he was about two thirds the way though, and couldn’t wait to get back to it to find out what happens next. He gushed what a great book it was and it was one of the finest ever he has read/listened to. The other six players at the table stopped playing and listened. Yes, discussion of my book on audio held up play while he lavished praise on the story, characters, and locations.

I think I am very fortunate with my publisher, The Wild Rose Press, that if you write a book over a certain wordage it goes to print rather than just Kindle, you can also send it to Audio by extending the rights period. I would urge anyone contemplating that option to take it. Trust me (I’m a car salesman! You will love that experience of hearing your work reproduced and performed. As my mum used to say, it’s worth more than all the tea in China.

Jenny is a lonely university lecturer who's consciousness has traveled back in time to her younger body to try to save the future of the world. A young microbiologist is going to release a genetically modified wheat that will mutate and ultimately destroy all plant life, leaving nothing but barren, windswept dust bowls.

In the past, Jenny finds a love that has been missing from her life - the kind that comes just once in a lifetime. But Jenny can stay in that time period for only 33 days.

Meanwhile, in the future, fearful Jenny will fail, plans are made to send another back in time - an assassin. How can she choose between saving the man she loves and saving the future?

Find Thirty-Three Days on Amazon or iTunes.


Excerpt from Thirty-Three Days:

Here goes, I’m about to bait the hook. “Well, let’s take Brad for example. He wants to genetically modify food sources to make them grow more efficiently to feed the starving millions; which is a wonderfully noble ideal. But, what if he gets it wrong somehow; instead of feeding the world, he kills it?”

“How could that happen, hypothetically, of course?”

“Oh, I don’t know, it’s a bit like when I talked about cane toads the other night. They introduced them to solve a problem, a serious one from a productivity point of view. But all it did was create a far more, wide-reaching, issue which has now achieved epidemic proportions. Wouldn’t it be great if we could go back in time and stop them doing that somehow? Go back to the guy who had the brilliant idea to import a toad that, because of our ecology, was fundamentally destructive. Millions of native animals have perished because of the cane toad and some are near extinct. So, suppose Brad could change the structure of his grain, but the nature of the change allows some otherwise hitherto unknown disease to grow, and spread only because he modified it from its original structure.”

“But surely there are safeguards in place to stop that very thing happening? If somehow it did occur, they would just change it back, or find a cure.”

“Iain, you can start a bushfire by lighting a match, but blowing it out doesn’t stop the conflagration, does it? In this theoretical discussion, maybe the change would occur so slowly, and in such a diverse way, it takes years for us to track down the source of the disease. And, unfortunately, by the time we do, it’s too late; it would have spread to all sorts of other food sources. You can have all the safeguards in the world, but when industry sees a way to make a lot of money, it’s funny how often those rules and safeguards are ignored. We have seen it happen all too often. Thalidomide, comes to mind. That was a drug developed to help pregnant women with morning sickness, and wow wasn’t there money to be made from a wonder drug like that? Thousands of children were then born with deformities or were stillborn. It was horrific.”

“You keep saying ‘we’ and ‘us’ like you are from the future….” He looked at her, strangely, and Jenny just stared back, her head tilted slightly to one side as she gave a small shrug. She took a sip of her wine, choosing to neither deny nor confirm his suggestion.

Back in November, Stephen also stopped by to chat about a suspense series he’s working on.

For more from Stephen, find him here:

www.stephen-b-king.com
Twitter: @stephenBKing1
Facebook: @stephenbkingauthor

Thanks for stopping by!

Leslie Scott stops by to share about her new release

Leslie spends most days attempting to wrangle the voices in her head and often wishes she could clone herself so that their stories get told faster. She loves words, romance, and characters that feel like family and spends almost all of her free time with her own family; including a boisterous eleven-year-old that she homeschools and an assorted cast of rescue pets. She lives her own happily ever after with her soul mate and best friend in the northern part of Alabama and hopes you enjoy reading her stories as much as she enjoys writing them.

What do you write?

Currently, I write romance – novels and novellas. Though I am branching out in the next few years to serialized fiction and the like. Anywhere the muse takes me, I go!

When did your writing journey begin?

I’ve been writing my entire life, making up stories and characters before I knew how to spell my own name. Every doll, every toy—had its own story.

Do you find inspiration in your own life for your writing?

Absolutely. Names, faces, pictures, experiences, stories—everything within the artist’s scope and all that.

Tell us about your experience with the publishing process.

My two published works as well as the upcoming one next year are published with a small press. I am, however, querying  agents with a romantic suspense series I hope to have published through more traditional avenues.

Words of advice for fellow writers in the trenches:

Hang in there. The publishing world is incredibly subjective. What works in one place may not in another. Eventually we all find our niche—so keep on, keeping on.

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Horse trainer Stone Dempsey’s life is all about the ride—with horses and women. He uses his equine talents to impress the country club set and earn money for Smoky Mountain Reining Horses. When his drug-addicted sister deposits her sick baby on his doorstep, he’s suddenly saddled with real responsibility.

Dr. Emmersyn Cole’s goal of starting a practice in her favorite place on earth is finally coming to fruition and she is not going to be sidetracked. Everything is going great until Stone swaggers into her life, half-dressed with a smile that could melt her insides. She's determined to keep her distance…until he rushes into her grandfather’s home, clutching a feverish baby, terrified and vulnerable, and her heart’s hard shell begins to crack.

In only a few short weeks, Stone’s wayward heart suddenly relies on two women—one who needs him—and one that he might not be able to live without.

From Two Hearts, One Stone:

His upper lip curled into a snarl, but it did little to dampen her flourishing attraction. She took a step forward and sucked her bottom lip between her teeth. Ready to do just about anything to wipe the forlorn look from his face.

That’s how he does it.

Without even trying, he’d reined her in like his horses. She stood closer, at ease, and far too eager to please him. When she lifted her gaze to his, the slow burn of tension-laced desire beckoned her.

“Oh no you don’t.” Emmy took two dramatic steps backward.

His laugh in response wrought a heat in her cheeks. Annoyed with her behavior, she fisted her hands on her hips and spun away. She was an intelligent, highly educated, independent woman. Absolutely not the sort to get sucked into the Stone Dempsey tractor beam of sex and debauchery.

She only managed half the length of the barn when, abruptly, he stopped laughing.

“Emmersyn.”

Had the sound of her name ever held such a heated promise?

Two Hearts, One Stone can be found on Kindle and Nook.

Speed-dating round!

Oxford comma, yes or no?  Yes!

Ice cream (favorite flavor)? Chocolate.

Coffee or tea or wine? Wine!! (sweets, not red)

What does your desk look like? A hot mess.. hurricane Nano at the time of me writing this.

What is your writing vice or must-haves? Multicolored Sharpies and notebooks.

Describe a perfect writing day. Uninterrupted writing for the entirety.

What are some of your go-to methods for writing? Just do it.

In an alternate reality, what would be your dream job (besides author)? I don’t have one. This is it for me.

Where is your favorite place you've visited (or wish to visit)? I want to visit Europe.

You have a time travel machine: past of future? Where/when? Croatoan (What, we all wanna know!)

What do you like to do when not writing? Read and hang out with my kid.

Beach, lake, or mountains? All of the above.

If you could meet one famous person, living or dead, who would it be? Nobody. lol

You’re a new addition to the crayon box. What color would you be and why? Spazz. Can that be a color?

What are you known for? Being LOUD and writing.

Morning rooster, night owl, or midday lark? Night owl, all the way.

What comes first, character or plot (or other)? Depends on the story.

You find a $100 bill in your purse/bag, what would you spend it on? Probably something for my kid.

How many hours a day (or week) do you write? 60 plus?

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Favorite childhood book? Little Women (or any of the Babysitter’s Club books)

Favorite book of all time? Old Man’s War by John Scalzi

You’re on a desert island, besides essentials, what do you bring? My kid. (I love him, he’s pretty entertaining)

Where can you find Leslie Scott?

Website ~ Facebook ~ Twitter ~ Pinterest ~ Youtube Playlists

Mary Morgan talks about the Trial of a Warrior

Mary Morgan is here with us today! She writes time-travel, historical, paranormal, and fantasy stories. She’s often said, “It’s where history meets magic.”

Hi Jean! I’m thrilled to be here today! Thank you for allowing me to share with your readers my new release. Let me give you a glimpse behind the scenes of how this tale began…

I have never had a story developed so quickly as Trial of a Warrior. Princess Abela, a major secondary character from the previous stories, stunned me one cold winter morning when she stepped forth within my thoughts and Liam’s prison. Uncertainty filled me as I fought against her choice for the heroine. Yet, she refused to leave, and I yielded to her demands. After all, she is royalty. In the end, it was a perfect match.

Liam and Abela took me on an amazing adventure. I allowed these characters to involve me—the writer—on their epic journey. We also learned that the greatest Fenian Warrior, Aidan Kerrigan, had his own secret. Did I know this important fact? No. The warrior chose not to reveal this particular information until I was almost finished writing the story.

And this is what happens in the life of a writer. Some elements of a story unfold immediately before we hit the first keystroke. However, there are times when you have nothing, and when you sit down to begin, the characters reveal the story to you

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Trial of a Warrior

A warrior sentenced to die.

On trial for breaking a supreme Fae law, Fenian Warrior, Liam MacGregor has no regrets. He is prepared to accept his sentence—even if it means his death. However, freedom comes in an unexpected manner, and brings with it certain dangers as he travels through the Veil of Ages.

A princess honor-bound to remain hidden.

Princess Abela might be a priestess and the daughter of royalty, but that doesn’t prevent her from doing the unimaginable. She sacrifices duty and honor to set free the man who captured her heart so many years ago. No matter the severity of his crimes, she cannot let Liam die.

A rescue that will bring about a war and divide a kingdom!

In their quest to secure a treaty to forestall Liam’s death sentence, they must fight their desires for one another, as well as the Fenian Warriors sent to capture them.

"You met them in the Order of the Dragon Knights. Now, journey to the realm of the Fae and witness their legends!”

Found on: Amazon, Barnes and Noble, iTunes, The Wild Rose Press

Now for an excerpt:

Taking the end of her braid, Liam wove the soft hair around his finger. Black as ebony, the lock glistened in the soft glow of the fire. She’d tempted him beyond reason. Once, he thought there might have been a destiny, but her words of rejection slammed the door on any possibility. If she had no desire to claim him, why did Abela come to his initiation?

“Why witness my ceremony?” He let out a frustrated breath and brought the braid to his lips.

“Because I never said goodbye,” she uttered softly. Lifting her head, her eyes sought his and her cheeks colored from the heat of his gaze.

Liam was unable to look away from her beauty. “No. I recall harsh words and tears.”

“We were young—naïve.”

“Stubborn and set on a path of adventure,” he added.

“But our roads have led us to this fork, so to speak.”

Liam cupped her chin. “Was it destined?” He felt her tremble from his touch.

“I am not a seer,” she replied, darting her tongue out along her bottom lip. 

His mind screamed at him to move away. She was a princess—a priestess. But the temptation to taste her lips once more seeped into his being. Liam bent his head and placed a feather-like kiss on the corner of her mouth.

A small breathless whisper escaped her lips, “More.”

Her invitation sparked a desire that had remained sealed. Cupping the back of her head, he continued to kiss her tenderly on the eyes, nose, and forehead. As he shifted his position, Liam brought his arms around her and dared to feast on something that was forbidden. If death was his future, he wanted one more kiss to take with him.

More with Mary…

When did your writing journey begin?

I’ve been writing since I was a child—from poems, short stories, and plays. Yet, life got in the way of my dreams, and it wasn’t until much later on in my life that I took to writing seriously. I believe I had to take the long journey of self-discovery, before I became a published author.

Do you find inspiration in your own life for your writing?

There’s a wee bit of myself in all of my heroines.

Any new projects on the horizon?

I’m finishing up the fourth and final book in the Legends of the Fenian Warriors called Destiny of a Warrior. This is the tale of Aidan Kerrigan, one of the mightiest warriors of my fictional Fae realm, and his exile from his own kingdom after falling in love with a mortal woman. I’m keeping fingers crossed it will be out in early summer of 2019.

Words of advice for fellow writers in the trenches:

When those whispered words of doubt creep in, banish them. Do not listen to the negative or someone else stating your work isn’t any good. Trust your inner voice and do not give up! There will always be a critic, so develop your turtle shell now. This will enable those harsh words to roll off your back. There’s a difference between constructive criticism and those who are mean.

Great advice!

Where can you find Mary (besides hanging out at Urquhart castle - top right)?  Website ,  blog ,  Twitter ,  Facebook ,  Goodreads ,  Amazon ,  Pinterest ,  Instagram ,  Bookbub .

Where can you find Mary (besides hanging out at Urquhart castle - top right)? Website, blog, Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads, Amazon, Pinterest, Instagram, Bookbub.

SPEED ROUND:

Oxford comma? Yes!

Ice cream: Vanilla bean.

Coffee or tea or wine? Coffee in the morning and tea in the afternoon.

What does your desk look like? I’m surrounded by books on writing, history, and Celtic mythology Ancient maps, stones (from my travels in Europe), and crystals are tucked into nooks within the desk.

What is your writing vice or must-have? Leather journal.

Describe a perfect writing day. No interruptions.

What are some of your go-to methods for writing? I plot everything, though it doesn’t mean those segments will make it into the final story.

In an alternate reality, what would be your dream job (besides author)? Archaeologist  or history teacher.

Favorite place you've visited? Two: Scotland and Ireland.

You have a time travel machine. Past of future? Where/when? The past to Arbroath Abbey in Scotland, where the Declaration of Arbroath was drawn up in 1320.

What do you like to do when not writing? Reading, baking, or tending to my garden.

Beach, lake, or mountains? Mountains.

If you could meet one famous person, living or dead, who would it be? King Brian Boru of Ireland (941-1041)

Thanks for joining us today, Mary!

Better to Marry Than To Burn by Michal Scott

Welcome, Michal Scott!

What was your inspiration for Better To Marry Than To Burn?

Inspiration for Better To Marry Than To Burn came from an account of African-American mail-order brides coming to Arizona. In Black Women of the Old West, William Loren Katz shares how the married women of Arizona mining camps grew tired of unmarried men fighting over the wrong kind of women, i.e. prostitutes. They used churches and newspaper ads back East to find women willing to leave behind “lives of poverty, family problems or personal tragedy” for “the thrill of love, the warmth of family and a new life.” Women and girls responded. So did my heroine, Queen Esther Payne. I then transported Beatrice and Benedict from Shakespeare's Much Ado About Nothing to Reconstruction Texas. What if Benedict an ex-slave in need of a wife and Beatrice a free-born Northerner in search of autonomy agree to a marriage of convenience but once they meet are too proud to admit they want love? Thus Better To Marry Than To Burn came into being.

Can be found at:  Wild Rose Press  and  Amazon

Can be found at: Wild Rose Press and Amazon

How about an Excerpt (Note: PG-13, and this book is considered erotic romance):

“Our children?” She swiveled in her seat. “You made no mention of wanting children, just marital relations as necessary. I understood that to mean intercourse.”

“I wrote I wanted to leave a legacy.”

“A legacy. Not a dynasty.”

“Legacy. Dynasty. Is there really so sharp a distinction?”

“To my mind there is. I understood you meant to affect future generations—endow schools, found churches, create civic associations. I didn’t realize that meant children. I agreed to having sex, not having children.”

“Of course I want children.” His brows grew heavy as he frowned. “Doesn’t having sex lead to having children?”

“Not with the right precautions.”

His frown deepened. “Precautions?”

“There are many ways to prevent your seed from taking root, Mr. King.”

“I want children, Mrs. King.”

Her lips twisted and her brow furrowed, but she kept her silence.

“All right,” she said. “You can have children with any woman you like. I won’t stop you. I free you from any claim to fidelity.”

“Legacy—or dynasty if you will—means legitimacy. No bastard will carry my name, not when I have a wife to bear me children.”

“I see.”

Her tone signaled she didn’t. 

Real-life inspiration for Better to Marry than to Burn.

Real-life inspiration for Better to Marry than to Burn.

Let’s find out a bit more about Michal with a Speed Dating Round!

Describe a perfect writing day.

Plugged in at a window seat on an Amtrak train going anywhere warm.

You have a time travel machine: past of future? Where/when?

Paris in the 1920's.

What do you like to do when not writing?

Watch '30's and '40's movie musicals.

Beach, lake, or mountains?

Beach. I love it hot.

What comes first, character or plot (or other)?

Plot. I could play “What if” all day. 

Favorite childhood book?

The Borrowers. Little people using thread spools for tables. How cool.

Michal can be found on her:  Website/blog  or on  Twitter .

Michal can be found on her: Website/blog or on Twitter.

Bio:

Michal Scott is the pen name of Anna Taylor Sweringen, an ordained United Church of Christ and Presbyterian Church USA minister. Inspired by the love mystics of Begijn, Audre Lourde and Bell Hooks, Rev. Anna writes erotica and erotic romance with a faith arc, hoping to build a bridge between the sacred and secular, spirituality and sexuality, erotica and Christ, you and a well-written spiritually-stimulating and erotically-arousing story. Her story settings also seek to give insight into the African American experience in the US. She also writes inspirational romance as Anna Taylor and gothic romance as Anna M. Taylor.

Also by Michal:

513UL9IR7bL._SY346_.jpg

One Breath Away

Sentenced to hang for a crime she didn’t commit, former slave Mary Hamilton was exonerated at literally the last gasp. She returns to Safe Haven, broken and resigned to live alone. She’s never been courted, cuddled or spooned, and now no man could want her, not when sexual satisfaction comes only with the thought of asphyxiation. But then the handsome stranger who saved her shows up, stealing her breath from across the room and promising so much more.

Wealthy, freeborn-Black, Eban Thurman followed Mary to Safe Haven, believing the mysteriously exotic woman was foretold by the stars. He must marry her to reclaim his family farm. But first he must help her heal, and to do that means revealing his own predilection for edgier sex.

Hope ignites along with lust until the past threatens to keep them one breath away from love…

Available on Amazon.

Thanks for joining us today, Michal!

Debby Grahl shares a cozy Christmas mystery…and a spicy new release!

Welcome Debby Grahl!

Debby writes both contemporary and paranormal romance. She loves reading about witches, ghosts, and time travel. She likes using witches and ghosts in her writing because they’re so versatile. :) You can have good and bad witches. You can have ghosts that you can see, or not see. Ghosts who can move objects, or those who fumble their way around. She also likes writing about handsome sexy men and strong independent women.

How did you get the idea for Decorated To Death?

Decorated to Death can be found on  Amazon .

Decorated to Death can be found on Amazon.

This idea came from my love of murder mysteries, especially cozies from authors such as Agatha Christy. My husband and I were living in The Oregon Historic District in Dayton, Ohio. I was on the tour committee, and each year we’d open six homes for our holiday tour. Anyone who has served on a committee knows things are bound to go wrong somewhere along the way. I was attending one such meeting where chaos reigned. I thought to myself, all we need is for dead bodies to show up as the tourists arrive.

About Decorated to Death:

The restored historic town of Newcomsville, with its unique shops, quaint eateries and cozy inn, is getting ready for the third annual Christmas tour. A festive holiday mood engulfs the town’s residents, but greed, betrayal, blackmail and murder lie beneath the gentle mantle of new-fallen snow.

Excerpt:

Alex began typing his notes into his computer. When he finished, he sat back in his desk chair and thoughtfully reviewed the file. He was pretty confident who the blackmail victim was. Blackmail victim, yes. Murderer, I can’t see it.

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He made his way downstairs to tell Abigail he was leaving. As he entered the kitchen, the aromas of fresh baked bread and simmering homemade soup made his mouth water. Beatrice, standing at the stove, was busily ladling what looked like thick potato soup into two large bowls.

Alex sniffed appreciatively. “That smells wonderful. Is there enough for a neglected starving husband?”

“Abigail told me you two didn’t have a proper breakfast this morning,” Beatrice replied with disapproval. “Set yourself down and I’ll get you some soup and a slice of my chicken pot pie.”

As Alex sat down at the scarred wooden table, Abigail came rushing through the swinging kitchen door.

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“Three more specials, Beatrice,” Abigail said breathlessly. “Oh, hi, Alex. My goodness, you wouldn’t believe how busy we are. We hardly have time to get a table cleared before Peg is seating someone else. Yesterday Claire and I were wondering if the murder would keep the tourists away and hurt ticket sales for the tour. Well, we needn’t have worried. The murder is all everyone is talking about.”

When did your writing journey begin? What drew you to writing?

I have a disease of the retina called Retinitis Pigmentosa which causes gradual vision loss. I lost the ability to read in my early twenties, but even when I had sight, seeing the printed word was always difficult for me. Reading a book would take me twice as long as a person with normal sight. I became frustrated with this and  began to make up my own stories. It wasn’t until the invention of computers and wonderful screen reading software that I was able to put my stories into words. Everything I type is read back to me aloud on the computer. This enables me to do my research, use the online dictionary, post on Facebook and other social media. This has truly opened a new window of opportunity for me.

Tell us about your experience with the publishing process.

My publishing journey has been a long and frustrating one. I’ll never forget the thrill when I received my first contract. Talk about walking on a cloud. But my excitement was short-lived. The small press I signed with went out of business before my book was published. Believe it or not, this happened to me with the next publisher as well. I finally signed with a small press that published two of my books, but like the others, they eventually closed their doors. I decided to self-publish Decorated To Death. Now, I’ve signed with The Wild Rose Press and hope to make them my home.

His Magic Touch is the first in my Magic in New Orleans trilogy. My previous books include: The Silver Crescent and Rue Toulouse.

Words of advice for fellow writers in the trenches:

My advice for new writers is take writing classes. There’s a number of writing groups that provide these, and they’re usually not expensive. My first mistake in writing was thinking you wrote the book, sent it to a publisher or agent, and away you go. Not! I sent the first twenty-five pages to a publisher who was offering a free critique. She wrote back and said I had a good idea for a story if I could write it. She said she marked all my writing mistakes in red. Well, most of the page was in red. There’re a lot of unknown writing mistakes beginners make that they’re unaware of. Such as the use of tag lines, POV changes, information dump, and grammar and punctuation. A critique group is also a good idea. It’s amazing how different your story sounds when you hear someone else read it. My last bit of advice is stick with it. If you want to write, don’t give up. Remember even the well known+ authors received rejection letters. 

Has a trip influenced any of your stories?

My next release, His Magic Touch, is a paranormal romance set in New Orleans. My husband and I spent our honeymoon in the French Quarter and fell in love with the city. Two of my favorite things to write about are witches and ghosts. The history and magic of the city surround you as you walk the streets. In New Orleans, the cemeteries are known as cities of the dead. Because the city is just above the water level, people are buried in above ground tombs. It was while visiting the cemetery known as St. Louis #1, where the voodoo queen Marie Laveau rests, that the inspiration for this book began. My husband claims what happened to me there was caused by being in the heat, but I swear I was zapped by the voodoo queen herself. 

His Magic Touch can be found at:  Amazon  and  The Wild Rose Press .

His Magic Touch can be found at: Amazon and The Wild Rose Press.

Oxford comma, yes or no? yes

Ice cream? Coffee

Coffee or tea or wine? Wine

What does your desk look like? Neat

What is your writing vice or must-haves? Coffee and a little chocolate

Describe a perfect writing day. No interruptions and the words flow.

What are some of your go-to methods for writing? If I’m blocked, I’ll clean, or pour a glass of wine and sit in the hot tub.

In an alternate reality, what would be your dream job (besides author)? I love to travel, so a flight attendant would be my choice.

Where is your favorite place you've visited (or wish to visit)? England

You have a time travel machine: past of future? Where/when? I’d travel into the past, how cool would it be to pop in and out meeting historic figures.

What do you like to do when not writing? I live on Hilton Head Island in SC. I love walking on the beach, biking, boating and enjoying beautiful sunsets

Beach, lake, or mountains? LOL, all of them.

Where can you find Debby?   Website  ~  Facebook  ~  Amazon Author Page  ~  Twitter  ~  Bookbub

Where can you find Debby?

Website ~ Facebook ~ Amazon Author Page ~ Twitter ~ Bookbub

If you could meet one famous person, living or dead, who would it be? Eleanor Roosevelt

You’re a new addition to the crayon box. What color would you be and why? I’d be the tranquil color of the Caribbean. 

Morning rooster, night owl, or midday lark? Morning rooster

What comes first, character or plot (or other)? I usually begin with the location, plot, then character.

You find a $100 bill in your purse/bag, what would you spend it on? Shoes!

How many hours a day (or week) do you write? It depends on if the words are flowing. If they are, I can write all day. Usually though I try and write around five hours a day.

Favorite childhood book? Pippi Longstocking

Favorite book of all time? Gone With The Wind

You’re on a desert island, besides essentials, what do you bring? A handsome man