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

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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:

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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

Learning to Love by Jennifer Wilck

Learning to Love is the third story in my Serendipity series, and takes place in Morristown, NJ, which is close to my hometown. In some ways, this sotry was the most complicated to write. The overarching theme is looking beyond the surface. Both my hero, Adam, and my heroine, Dina, are more than first meets the eye. They also have to learn to be less judgmental of others in order to allow themselves to fall in love.

As a writer, this story posed several challenges for me. The first challenge actually resulted in my having to completely rewrite the story based on outside events. Adam has appeared in the previous two books as a minor character. He’s friends with the main characters in those two books, and he jumped onto the pages of those books as a player. In both of those books, he was a love ‘em and leave ‘em guy with a heart of gold. That meant he was a terrific friend, but definitely not boyfriend material. In fact, the heroine of book 2, Five Minutes to Love, is sick of men just like him, having dated him for a brief time.

When I first sat down to write Adam, I wanted a misunderstood hero. I created a character whose lack of commitment stemmed from his mother leaving him without explanation, and an emotionally distant father. It worked. But I wanted more. So I originally made him falsely accused of sexual harassment. And then #MeToo happened. Regardless of one’s thoughts on that subject, or one’s political leanings, I really did not want to delve into this area. I didn’t want to come across as making light of the subject, nor did I want to seem as if I was suggesting women shouldn’t be believed. And, I wanted a likeable hero, so making him accused of sexual harassment did not seem to be the way to go. Unfortunately, I was finished with the first draft and it was already with my critique partners. I put a halt to everything, took the story back and rewrote it.

This time, and this is the version that is published, Adam is accused of messing up at work. He’s been careless and as a result, has lost several cases for clients. His father is the head of the law firm, and even though Adam is his son, he fires him. No matter how many times Adam declares he didn’t actually mess up, no one believes him. He is in desperate need of fixing his reputation, getting his head on straight, and settling down. Dina is the perfect solution. She’s brilliant—like Mensa brilliant—and doesn’t physically look like the typical women he’s dated. What’s even better, is that she can see through him, past all of his moves, and appreciate his heart of gold. This terrifies him. As for Dina, like she repeatedly says to her friends that Adam is nothing like the men she typically dates either. He’s completely out of her league, or so she thinks. But then he comes to her rescue, and everything changes.

I’m not going to tell you any more about the book, but it required a lot of digging into my own soul to figure out how to write theirs. In the world we live in currently, it seems that the outer layer, the one we portray to the world, has to be perfect. On social media, no one posts early morning bedhead pictures. We post edited versions of ourselves, happy status updates, and funny anecdotes. But it’s what we don’t show the world that really matters. Adam and Dina—and I, as their creator—had to figure out the deep core of themselves, in order to let that shine through, and serve as a magnet to each other.

Learning to Love can be found for pre-order (it releases November 28th!) :  Amazon ,  Apple , and  Barnes and Noble

Learning to Love can be found for pre-order (it releases November 28th!) : Amazon, Apple, and Barnes and Noble

Now for an excerpt:

What the hell just happened? She wanted to be friends. The only kind of “friend” he wanted to be with her

had “boy” attached to it. No, that wasn’t true. He enjoyed her friendship because he loved talking to her, hearing her opinions, sharing himself with her.

But he was becoming more attracted to her. So far, they’d only kissed, but that one kiss, that unbelievable kiss, haunted him. His lips still burned where they’d touched hers, his insides still turned to jelly when he thought about it. In fact, he’d been hoping there would have been more kissing in her apartment once he’d apologized for his gaffe.

But she’d focused on their arrangement and her overreaction, and here he was pulling away from the curb into rush hour traffic.

She thought he was dating her only to impress his father. If he were one hundred percent honest with himself, he’d acknowledge the partial truth in that statement. But the more time he spent time with her, when he wasn’t royally screwing things up with her, the more he wanted to move beyond their arrangement.

His head was another matter. It was still focused on not making a fool of himself, on maintaining the right reputation, on spinning the right message.

But listening to his head was probably what had gotten him into this mess in the first place. As unbelievable as it might sound, it was time to follow his heart.

Inspiration for  Learning to Love  (clockwise): Adam’s apartment, Adam’s office, the Morristown library, Dina’s apartment, the Morristown village green.

Inspiration for Learning to Love (clockwise): Adam’s apartment, Adam’s office, the Morristown library, Dina’s apartment, the Morristown village green.

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Find Jennifer here.

Jennifer started telling herself stories as a little girl when she couldn’t fall asleep at night. Pretty soon, her head was filled with these stories and the characters that populated them. Even as an adult, she thinks about the characters and stories at night before she falls asleep or walking the dog. Eventually, she started writing them down. Her favorite stories to write are those with smart, sassy, independent heroines; handsome, strong and slightly vulnerable heroes; and her stories always end with happily ever after.

In the real world, she’s the mother of two amazing daughters and wife of one of the smartest men she knows. When she’s not writing, she loves to laugh with her family and friends, is a pro at finding whatever her kids lost in plain sight, and spends way too much time closing doors that should never have been left open in the first place. She believes humor is the only way to get through the day and does not believe in sharing her chocolate.

She writes contemporary romance, some of which are mainstream and some of which involve Jewish characters. She’s published with The Wild Rose Press and all her books are available through Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

Website ~ Facebook ~ Facebook Readers Group ~ Newsletter ~ Twitter ~ Instagram ~ BookBub

Speed Round!

Oxford comma, yes or no? Sometimes, which creates a ridiculous amount of editing problems.

Ice cream? Chocolate—there is no other flavor.

Coffee or tea or wine? Coffee and tea, depending on the time of day.

What does your desk look like? Hopefully ordered chaos. There is a combination of papers, files and cute things my kids have made me.

In an alternate reality, what would be your dream job (besides author)?I’d love to be an archaeologist. I love learning about previous times.

You have a time travel machine: where/when? I’d go into the past. Probably somewhere with castles.

What do you like to do when not writing? I love hanging out with my friends and family, as well as taking photographs.

Beach, lake, or mountains? I think the mountains. My husband and I love hiking in the summer.

Learning to Love can be found for pre-order on (it releases November 28th!) : Amazon, Apple, and Barnes and Noble

A Glimpse into the Mind of a Serial Killer with Stephen B. King

Welcome, Stephen, to Visiting Authors today! Let’s talk serial killers and time travel, shall we?

A desperate race against time to free a victim while fighting desire with a new partner in  Glimpse, Memoir of a Serial Killer .

A desperate race against time to free a victim while fighting desire with a new partner in Glimpse, Memoir of a Serial Killer.

The most common question I am asked as an author is: where do you get your ideas from? The Deadly Glimpses Trilogy had such an unusual birth, I thought I’d like to share it with you. At the time, I was very much ‘head down, bum up’ (an Australian saying) into the editing rounds of Thirty-Three Days, and the last thing on my mind was where was the next book coming from. So, I was driving to work (I manage a large Kia Dealership) when out of the blue I had the most unusual thought: ‘I was five years old when I first saw someone bleed out.’

Now, thankfully, I’ve never seen anyone bleed out at any age, let alone at five years old, but that random thought haunted me. Where did it come from, why did I think it, and what did it mean? In the Book, Glimpse, Memoir of a Serial Killer, Paul Rankin asks the question: Who knows where random thoughts of inspiration come from? For me to explore an idea, I must write it, and see where it leads. And so, the backstory of my Serial Killer who kept a journal because he wants to be the most famous murderer of all time, developed, starting at age five. He describes a horrific childhood, which was the catalyst for what was to come; a narcissistic, sociopathic killer who was destined to taunt the police because he craved the limelight.

My favorite part of writing is creating characters who the reader can invest in, and for the investigations I wanted to describe the relationship between four people. A cop who has seen it all, and is trying to rebuild his marriage after having an affair. His wife takes him back, but does she do it for the right reasons? And then, he is paired with a wealthy glamorous criminal psychologist who yearns to be at the coalface of a major criminal investigation. She is married to a controlling surgeon, who does not want her working with the cops. There is friction in both marriages as the two protagonists try to catch each murderer before they strike again.

There are three Deadly Glimpses, of three separate killers in this series, as our two central characters hunt them down all the while fighting their attraction for each other, and try to keep their marriages intact. Will they succumb to their desires for each other?

Wow! Those are some amazing ideas, Stephen! And having already read your other book, Thirty-Three Days, I am interested to see how these Glimpse novels play out.

Okay now for some lighter chit-chat…

What do you write?

Traveling through time in  Thirty-Three Days . Can Jenny choose between saving the man she loves or saving the future?

Traveling through time in Thirty-Three Days. Can Jenny choose between saving the man she loves or saving the future?

I don’t know why, but all my books are around 100,000 words. To me that ‘feels’ about the right length to tell the story I need to tell. Sometimes though, it’s like when I finish a first draft, I have some creative ‘juices’ left in the tank, and I sometimes write a short story, just for fun. I often give these away to readers via Goodreads, or on my website, or to anyone who posts a review. Some of these have been short listed in competitions, but never published. One day I will have enough to put them all together in one book, an anthology, though there is no central them to them, they are more a rag tag, assorted bunch of stories I wrote for fun.

When did your writing journey begin?

I wrote my first book, Forever Night, after being inspired by a song by Leonard Cohen, called Nevermind. The song is one of those ones you wrack your brain to wonder what it’s about, but to me it was about a serial killer. The book is the story of a highly trained SAS soldier that survived a sadistic father, and a clingy over protective mother. He finds the one true love of his life, but, after being wounded in battle, becomes psychotically jealous, causing her to run away. Physically and psychologically scarred, he hunts for her, but mistakes women who resemble her, and so begins a hunt to catch a man more highly trained than the police. 

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

Thankfully, my life is nothing like what I write about, and that’s a very good thing.

((Good thing, right?))

Tell us about Glimpse, Memoir of a Serial Killer.

In 1999 Perth, Australia, Sergeant Rick McCoy investigates the murder of a woman found packed inside a suitcase.

The Killer abducts another victim and threatens to dismember her slowly until he is caught. His life is further complicated by a marriage in tatters. Frustrated at every turn, he is paired with glamorous Criminal Psychologist and profiler, Patricia Holmes.

While trying to rebuild his marriage, he finds himself in a desperate race against time to free the victim and fight his desire for his new partner.

Let’s talk about the publishing process.

My journey before joining The Wild Rose Press, was nothing short of a nightmare. I was contracted to a UK publisher that was bought out by a big company that immediately shut down the imprint I was signed to. So, began a long battle which forced me to self-publish three books until I could get contractually free of them. I LOVE being with the wonderful people at TWRP – they are awesome.

Any new projects on the horizon?

Once Book 3 is finished I am torn between writing a sequel to Thirty-Three Days, called Thirty-Three Years, or following a dream I have had for more years than I care to remember: to write a series of comedy stories around life in a large metropolitan car sales dealership.

 Words of advice for fellow writers in the trenches:

No matter what, just keep writing, and don’t let rejections stop you; they are stepping stones to becoming published.

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

The psychology. My daughter studies it and I have a good friend who is a psychologist. I have the utmost respect for the profession, and sufferers of mental illness. If I’m going to write about it, I want to get it accurate.

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Where can you find Stephen?

Website

Facebook: @stephenbkingauthor

Amazon

Twitter: @StephenBKing1

 

 

Deerbourne Inn series by The Wild Rose Press

The Deerbourne Inn series by The Wild Rose Press just came out this fall. This is a delightful series of shorter stories/novellas that take place in the quaint fictional town of Willow Springs, Vermont. The stories range from sweet to spicy/hot, historical to contemporary, seasonal, and even a bit of paranormal (ghosts, I dare say!).


This month, Freedom’s Path by Linda Carroll-Bradd arrives on December 12th!

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And don’t forget these other books available in this ongoing series…

Hope’s Dream by Peggy Jaeger

You can find Barbara on:  Website ,  My Blog ,  Amazon Author Page ,  Facebook ,  Google+ , and  Pinterest

You can find Barbara on: Website, My Blog, Amazon Author Page, Facebook, Google+, and Pinterest

Love at Solace Lake Series...Chatting with Jana Richards today

Jana Richards is here with us today to talk about her latest book, Lies and Solace, in her Love at Solace Lake Series.

Lies and Solace ~ Secrets and Solace ~ Truth and Solace

What’s this series about? Well…

Love is worth the risk…

When their grandfather dies, the Lindquist sisters, Harper, Scarlet, and Maggie, inherit the northern Minnesota fishing lodge that had been in their family for three generations. The inheritance is bittersweet. They were raised at the lodge by their grandparents. The natural beauty of the place hasn’t changed, but the building itself is crumbling and desperately in need of repair. The lodge also reminds them of what they lost. Twenty-two years previously, their parents died there in what was ruled a murder/suicide.

 As the sisters struggle to breathe new life into the failing lodge, old fears and questions rise to the surface even as new love presents itself. Why did their father murder their mother? What truths did their grandparents keep from them? The sisters must fight to keep the wounds of the past from putting their futures, and their fledgling relationships, in jeopardy.

When did your writing journey begin?

My writing journey began more than 25 years ago. I’ve always been a reader, so I suppose that was what brought me to the world of writing. The more romance novels I read, the more I wanted to write one myself. In my naivety, I believed it would be a snap. I mean, really, how hard could it be? I soon discovered how hard! But the crazy thing is, despite the difficulty, once I started I couldn’t stop. Apparently, writing is my drug of choice.

Tell us about what you write.

I write romance fiction in novel and novella lengths, and I’ve also written a few short stories. (You can read three of them for free on my website.) My favorite romance genre to write is contemporary romance, though I have written a book or two of romantic suspense, which I also adore. So much fun to put the characters in physical peril! (Does that make me a bad person?) I’ve also written a couple of stories set during or just after World War Two, which is a time period I find fascinating. I also enjoy melding genres by occasionally incorporating bits of the paranormal or mystery into my contemporary romance novels. In one of my works-in-progress, a series I call Twice in a Lifetime, I combine my love for World War Two stories with contemporary romance, paranormal romance and time travel. So much fun!

Did you go the traditional route (agent/publisher), small press, or self-pub? Tell us about your experience with the publishing process.

For several years, I submitted manuscripts to various imprints of Harlequin Books without success. As you can imagine, I was pretty discouraged, and despite what I said about not being able to stop writing, I was on the verge of losing hope. Then one of my writing friends suggested I try submitting to her publisher, Uncial Press. At the time, they were a brand-new small press exclusively publishing e-books, but since my friend Lesley had known the owner from her time at another publishing house, I decided to give them a shot. I honestly didn’t expect anything, but to my surprise and amazement, they wanted to publish Her Best Man. The idea that someone thought enough of my writing to publish it gave me the confidence to keep writing and to continue to hone my craft. Since then I’ve also been published with The Wild Rose Press and Carina Press, and this past year I self-published my Love at Solace Lake series.

What was your inspiration for Lies and Solace, book one in the Love at Solace Lake series?

I wanted to explore the effect that murder/suicide in a family has on children. What sort of adults do they grow up to become? What are the ripple effects on extended family and friends? In Lies and Solace, Harper Lindquist is only ten years old when her father kills her mother and then commits suicide. Harper and her sisters Scarlet and Maggie, all bear the psychological scars of this early trauma. They were left with abandonment issues, shame, anger, and guilt. It was fascinating to get into their heads and try to imagine what such trauma must have been like for them.

Words of advice for fellow writers in the trenches:

Never stop learning about the craft of writing. Never stop trying to be a better writer. Take classes, read books on craft, go to writing conferences. Too many writers decide they know enough. What more could they possibly have to learn? Trust me, there’s always something.

((Great advice!))

Any new projects on the horizon?

Yes, thanks for asking! I’ve just been contracted with The Wild Rose Press to write a small-town romance series set in North Dakota that I call The Masonville Series. I am currently working on edits for the first book in the series, Child of Mine. Here’s the unofficial blurb:

Lauren didn’t plan to sleep with her brother-in-law Cole on the day of her husband’s funeral. And she certainly didn’t intend to get pregnant.

But now that she is, 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 was to his cheating brother. She’s afraid to tell the small town that considered her husband a hero that the baby isn’t his.

Cole’s secretly 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?

Where can you find Jana?

Website ~ Blog ~ Facebook ~ Twitter ~ Newsletter

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 2015 “Always a Bridesmaid” was nominated for a Rone Award in the Steamy Contemporary category, and though it didn’t make the finals, it was an honor to be nominated. “Always a Bridesmaid” did, however, receive Best Opening Hook from Trans Canada Writers in their Maple Leaf Awards.

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 cross named Lou. She loves to hear from readers and can be reached through her website at www.janarichards.com

Other Social Media Links:

Amazon Author Page ~ Amazon UK Author Page ~ Goodreads ~ Google+ Profile ~ Bookbub

Debut Author Mona Sedrak - Six Months releases!

Welcome to Visiting Authors today, Mona!

What do you write?

I started my writing career writing textbooks and journal articles. Now, I write contemporary Romance novels and women’s fiction.

What drew you to writing?

I have always loved to journal and to write short stories. Reading and writing were a wonderful escape when I was a child and I never left that habit behind. While reading or writing, I could sink into a different world and forget all my troubles. While I do a fair amount of public speaking I have always preferred to express myself through the written word.

What was your inspiration for Six Months?

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When you've lost everything, it takes courage to forgive, rebuild, and learn to love again.

For twenty years, Mikala Jacobson had it all: loyal friends, a precious little girl, and a man who adores her. Then double tragedy strikes and her perfect world shatters.

Good friends, Rena and Jake are instantly by her side, protecting her from her husband David's sordid secret life and his final drunken confession.

With their help, Mikala finds strength to rebuild and redefine her life. As her spirit and heart heal, she not only finds closure, but the beauty of a new love built upon an old friendship.

Available: Amazon ~ The Wild Rose Press ~ B&N ~ Ibooks

I wish I could tell you what exactly inspired me to write Six Months. As a mother I have always thought that losing a child would be life altering, and I wondered how women survived that tragedy. I did not lose a child in the way described in the book, but I had a very similar experience that changed me as a person and as a mother permanently. It was very hard to learn to live after the fact and to find joy again. I think women are very resilient, and we hold our families together under the worst of circumstances.

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

Yes, every book and every character I write has a little bit of me or my life in it. I think it is impossible for a writer’s life not to bleed into their work.

Tell us about your experience with the publishing process.

Six Months is published by The Wild Rose Press. I did consider self-publishing, but after much research, I decided that route was not best for me. It took me about eight months to write the book and additional two months to shop for a publishing house and then a year of edits as I moved across the country, quit one job and started another, sold a house and bought a house and became a grandma….busy, busy time. I love working with The Wild Rose Press and learned so much from my editor. It has been a wonderful experience. I don’t think all publishing houses are created equal and believe authors should make decisions carefully.

Any new projects on the horizon?

Currently, I am 2/3 of the way through a new book titled Gravity. It is a contemporary romance about a Middle-Eastern woman who is shunned by her family after she becomes pregnant out of wedlock. She loses everything and everyone she knows and has to start her life, with a child, on her own. She must learn who she is and must learn to forgive herself for her mistakes as well as her family. When she does find forgiveness, she learns what unconditional love is and finds the love of her life. Together, their blended family mirrors many American families and their differences and life experiences make them stronger.

Words of advice for fellow writers in the trenches:

I know writers often hear this, but it is true. Writing is not easy. It is work….every single day! If you really want to be published, then get ready to bleed a bit for your art. Learn to have a thick skin, and never give up. Writing is a muscle that must be exercised, or it atrophies, so commit to it and just do it! 

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

The hardest part of the story that had me in tears was a goodbye letter that the main character had to write to her daughter. I had to imagine the unimaginable–saying good-bye to one of my girls. It was tough! I think it took me three weeks to write that letter alone.

Mona, her writing buddies and sunset in Costa Rica, one of her favorite places.

Website ~ Facebook ~ Twitter ~ Instagram: authormonasedrak

Excerpt

Wandering from room to room, she memorized every detail of the life she and David built––the family photos lining the mantel, the hand-carved jewelry box David bought her on their honeymoon in Salzburg, and Molly’s tea set arranged on the coffee table for evening tea. A cold, hollow ache took residence in her belly where the knot of dread made its appearance that morning. The sensation expanded with alarming speed, dug in deep, and planted roots. Like an unwanted guest appearing without warning and bringing too many bags for just a brief visit, sorrow moved in, shifted, and stretched then got comfortable for the long haul.

When the house line rang, Mikala froze, and her gaze darted to the cordless on the couch. Her breath stuttered. Her heart seized. Clarity forced its way past the tentacles of sheer terror strangling, dominating, and paralyzing her. She shook her head and took a step forward, only to be hit by a wave of dizziness and nausea so tremendous, she doubled over wrapping her arms around her womb. Mikala’s entire being, inside and out, shook as her heart tumbled about in her chest without a set time, tempo, or rhythm. Her breaths grew shallow and choppy, and her legs turned to rubber. The cord tethering Molly to her and this world had been severed.

The telephone rang four times before Mikala forced her body to cooperate. God, she hadn’t wanted to answer. She hadn’t wanted to know. She’d even considered not answering, protecting herself and her beautiful family from the annihilation of their world.

People said she was strong––the strongest woman they knew. They said in time she would heal. She would build another life. And God didn’t give you more than you could handle. People were idiots. They had no idea how in her head she raged. She howled, and shrieked, and wailed...and begged, and pleaded for mercy. All day. All night. Every day. Every night.

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About the Author

Mona Sedrak lives in Ohio and works as a university administrator and professor. Although she has co-published two academic books, she is now writing mainstream fiction and women's fiction. She is an avid reader and is probably Audible's best customer.

Writing and reading fiction is her escape from reality.

Mona lives with her husband of 31 years, a geriatric maltipoo, and an Amazon Parrot named Pretzel. She binge watches too many shows to count and she loves fine brandy.

Website

Amazon

Twitter

Facebook

Goodreads

Newsletter

Instagram

Facebook Readers Group

 

Roxanne Howard's Flip the Beat: a steamy romance with a fairy tale & comedy twist

Welcome Roxanne Howard to today’s Visiting Authors!

Roxanne D. Howard writes sizzling erotic romance with Boroughs Publishing Group and The Wild Rose Press. She is a U.S. Army veteran, and a Columbia College alumni. 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 quality time with her husband, children, and furry companions. Roxanne loves to hear from her readers, and encourages you to contact her via her website and social media.

Let’s talk sizzling romance with a modern-day fairy tale and comedy twist…Flip the Beat!

Flip the Beat can be found on  Amazon  and  Boroughs Publishing .

Flip the Beat can be found on Amazon and Boroughs Publishing.

About Flip the Beat:

Molly Ivers thinks she is falling for the opposite of Prince Charming, and she knows she should give him up, but, oh, the temptation.

WHEN YOU WISH UPON A STAR

Molly Ivers thought she found Prince Charming, complete with a devilishly sexy accent, and six months ago she gave into their undeniable attraction. But the swarm of ever-present groupies was so not part of the fairy tale. As much as it hurt her heart, she shut out rocker Evan Castle.

Now, on the verge of finishing her graduate degree and moving to Paris—she even hires a French life coach—Molly begins to realize Evan, who hasn't given up on her, might be the man of her dreams after all.

 

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And a little excerpt:

“Thanks, guys.” Evan’s smooth voice came over the mic while the guitar music died. “We’re gonna take a quick break, but we’ll be back in ten, so stick around.” He hopped off the low stage to scattered applause and whistles. Molly schooled the smirk on her face as he sidled past the flirting girls and made his way toward their table.

“Well, well, well, if it isn’t the Wonder Twins, TWT, Inc.”

He slid into the empty space beside Molly in the booth. She exchanged an amused look with Nell. He’d christened them with the moniker upon moving in. They were never Nell and Molly, but Fischer and Ivers, TWT. Their eye color, skin, and facial features couldn’t be more different, but they were both the same height, petite-figured, and had wide, generous mouths and lots of hair.

“So, where’s the right-wing Republican boyfriend tonight?” he asked.

He stretched his arm over the back of Molly’s seat in a casual way. His forefinger grazed the edge of her earlobe, and a pleasant shiver ran through her.

“I thought you two were attached at the hip.”

Molly went silent and looked at her drink. Great, here it came.

“They broke up,” Nell chipped in.

Molly gave her a look of mock gratitude from across the table as Evan turned to her in surprise. His sexy hazel eyes searched hers. She waited for one of his classic Evan Castle comments, but the solemnity in his expression told her he wouldn’t give any.

He whistled low. “Sorry, Ivers, that sucks. You guys were together for a while.”

She hid her cringe as she took another sip of her drink. “Yeah…” Gulp, gulp, uncomfortable silence.

The drummer in Evan’s band called over to him, and Evan told him he’d be right there. He rapped his knuckles on the table and flashed them both a flirty smile.

“Well, Ivers,” he said as he slid out of the booth. “You’ll have a lot of attention to deal with, now that you’re back in the jungle with the rest of us primates. Do me a favor, eh, and don’t forget to put a bag over your head when you go out from now on, or you’ll have every guy in the room at your feet and beating down your door. Then I’ll never be able to talk to you.” He gave her a cheeky wink and walked off.

Molly turned crimson. Nell mouthed, Wow! as she put her palm over heart, and her jaw dropped open. They watched him walk off.

Jeny Heckman’s Latest Book dives into the Deep Blue Sea of Romance and the Paranormal

Welcome, Jeny Heckman to Visiting Authors today! Jeny has just returned from a whirlwind trip to Scotland and Europe, so let’s start with some eye-candy for us travel buffs!

What do you write?

I love the paranormal romance genre. It’s interesting and unique. I had never written in this genre before though and that was a little different. I changed from being a pantser to a plotter but all in all I loved the process. It was really fun implying the “fantasy” world within the real one. Where you get that reasonable doubt that the fantasy may be possible. 

When did your writing journey begin?

I’ve always thought in stories and pictures. My imagination was always very vibrant and I loved to read and enter those “other” worlds. I never thought about writing until I was older and walking one day. My father-in-law was very ill and I was taking a break from caring for him. I had an idea for a story and the character wouldn’t stop talking in my head. When I got home, the kids were in school and I didn’t have anything going on so decided to write it down. At one point, I looked up and four hours had passed! I decided to play it out and in three days had a somewhat fleshed out story. I sat on it for a long time, just being busy with my active family and job. People read it and encouraged me to, “do something with it.” However, it wasn’t until my son (who isn’t a big reader), read it and said he wanted me to publish it. I decided to try and, “The Catch,” was created. I fell in love with the craft and started writing another book which was picked up by The Wild Rose Press and the result is or hopefully will soon be in your hands, The Sea Archer.

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

I really like this question. My life has been a very fascinating one. Most people in my life don’t know half of what has happened to me and one day I may write about it. I do feel my life has appropriately set me up to write about the topics I write. Empowerment has not come easily, it’s been a very long process but as I get older I do feel stronger, and more empowered than I felt possible. That’s why I wouldn’t trade my life now for my twenties or thirties for anything. It’s also why I like that evolution to happen to my heroes and heroines.

Any new projects on the horizon?

I’m working on book two, The Warrior’s Progeny, right now and can’t wait to dive in even deeper.

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

By far the most interesting part was the Hawaiian Monk Seals. I had no idea what they were and needed an endangered species. They are absolutely brilliant creatures. They are so intelligent yet also child-like and fun. It was fascinating getting to know them, learn about them, see them and feel for their limited place in this world. The hardest part was all the technical information both medical and then the alternative energy stuff.

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Available from: The Wild Rose Press Store Amazon   Barnes & Noble BookStrand Chapters iTunes KOBO

Now for an excerpt:

“Finn, I understand it sounds crazy, really. I knew nothing about Greek mythology or who any of these people were until she told them to me.”

“And now you think Poseidon… I’m assuming you think I’m some offshoot of Poseidon, right?”

“You have a trident on your back.”

“Because I thought it was cool when I was twenty-years-old.”

“And you’ve never felt anything strange that you can’t explain?”

“And Raven,” he continued, unwilling to entertain those thoughts. “Who I just met, is Apollo? You realize, Apollo was a dude, the boy half of the twins, right?”

“God of music.”

“Jesus!”

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Faves:

Movie: Pride & Prejudice

Music: I like all genres for different things. I play classical when I write

Place you’ve visited: Scotland

Place you’d like to visit: Greece

TV show from childhood: Fame

TV show from adulthood: The Good Doctor, ER, or Grey’s Anatomy

Food: Italian

Dessert: Lemon meringue pie

Drink: Malbec

Sports team: Seattle Seahawks

Contact: www.jenyheckman.com Facebook Twitter LinkedIn Instagram Goodreads

Let’s leave with a wee bit o’ Speed Round!

Oxford comma, yes or no? Absolutely

Ice cream: vanilla or chocolate ? As long as there’s caramel on it

Coffee or tea or wine? Malbec

What does your desk look like? An absolute disaster

What is your writing vice or must-haves? Pads of note-taking paper

Describe a perfect writing day. Uninterrupted

What are some of your go-to methods for writing? An outline, definitely have become a plotter

In an alternate reality, what would be your dream job (besides author)?Travel photographer

Since I'm a hiker/travel-lover, what's your favorite place you've visited? Scotland, specifically Scottish Highlands

You have a time travel machine. Where/when? The Titanic, as long as I came back on April 14th

What do you like to do when not writing? Always, family, friends, photography

Beach, lake, or mountains? Ocean, lake or any body of water

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

Haley Cavanagh: new release!

Haley Cavanagh joins us today to share about her newest release.

Haley Cavanagh is a military veteran, wife, and mother. She is an alumna of Columbia College, a musical theater nut, and she loves to dive into any book that crosses her path. Haley resides with her family in the United States and enjoys spending time with her husband and children when she’s not writing. She loves to hear from her readers, and encourages you to contact her via her website and social media.

Got a hankering for a sci-fi romance? Check out Astraeus!

Character Art by Bianca Duarte

His existence changes everything.

One pre-apocalyptic Earth. One desperate space mission to find a solution. One unexpected alien.

When Dr. Sakota Thorell signed onto the mission to scout out a new, habitable planet, she knew discovering extraterrestrial life was always a possibility. But she never expected to find an alien adrift in space, nor for that alien to be so intriguing. Sakota feels an instant and undeniable attraction to Astraeus, but he represents a million possibilities, and just as many threats.

There are others hunting Astraeus, and his rescue may cost Earth its last hope.

Astraeus can be purchased on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Kobo, and Goodreads.

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Excerpt:
“What are you called? What’s your name?”
He opened his mouth, and she moved closer, eager for his first words. Instead, he focused on her lips with obvious fascination. His intriguing eyes caught the light. Despite her disappointment that he couldn’t speak, a rush went through her. Alien or not, he was the most handsome man she’d ever laid eyes on, with the kind of ethereal elegance some upper-class, privileged men on Earth spent fortunes on plastic surgery trying to achieve.
“It’s okay if you don’t want to talk, or if you can’t. We’ll get there. Now, I’m going to check you.” She kept her voice gentle, as she might use with a child. She pressed the button to disengage the protective bubble over the med bed and shone the retinal scanner in her own eye to demonstrate. “I just need to look at your eyes with this.” She motioned with the scope to him. “It won’t hurt. I promise.”
Warm puffs of his breath blew on her neck as she leaned in. She paused, noting the remarkable eight-pointed star-shape of his pupils. The mutation was his one physical difference, and only if one looked closely. The pupils dilated when hit by the scope’s light. She’d never seen eyes as remarkable.
“You’re doing great,” she soothed. Her head burst with countless questions. Where are you from? How did you get here? What do you want?
He appeared to like the cadence of her voice. His posture relaxed, and his breath against her was steady. How long had she been staring into his eyes? Should she push her luck and try to examine his mouth?
Before she could try, his finger stroked her inner arm. He was still restrained at the wrists, but he could reach her.
She allowed it. He stroked a featherlight finger along her forearm. As he did so, his gaze never left hers. She offered a kind smile. “That’s right. Friend. Sakota. Sa-ko-ta.”
He opened his mouth and let out a chicken-like squawk. “-Ota,” he said in a throaty, deep voice.
She raised her eyebrows. “Good. Very good.”
He tilted his head, watching her lips. “Gooood.”
Excited, she lowered the retinal light. “Can you understand me?”
He looked confused. “Me…”
“Okay. That’s a no. Then let me take this opportunity to say, in no uncertain terms, you, my friend, are the stuff of dreams and legends. I’ve waited my whole life for this. Are you getting this, Alistair?” she called out.
He came in over the speakers. “I am. Amazing. I’ll get to work on a linguistics program. Our friend seems to want to communicate.
She moved to pull away, but the man’s fingers closed over her wrist.
“Let me go.” She jerked her arm, but he wouldn’t release his grip. She gave him a cautionary look, and he loosened his fingers, though he still held her. Warning bells went off. What if he’s not here in peace? But his eyes sparkled impishly. He seemed to enjoy her skin pressed against his. Maybe he hadn’t been touched in a while. Or maybe he had a crush. Who knew.
Before she could extricate herself, the intercom chimed. “Sakota, are you okay?
“Yeah, I’m fine. He’s just being friendly—”
The man’s forefinger trailed along her arm again. She sucked in a breath and shut her eyes as a series of images flashed through her mind. A high wall made of stacked stones. A hand spread out to touch the tips of tall, golden wheat of a field. Multihued buildings in the distance under a purple sky. Children’s laughter and then screams. She jerked when the images changed. Strange rain, like metal. Black ships attacking from the sky, horrible screams which rent the air, death. A gentle brush against her hand again. She inhaled and opened her eyes. The man searched her, calm and patient. She struggled to see straight, but her mind spun.
“W-was that your—”
The isolation walls shot up. Rutledge burst into the room and advanced like an angry bear, brutish, immaculate, and combat ready in his black Oceanstone fatigues. “Let her go,” he snarled.
Rutledge yanked the man’s hand off her and pushed her aside. She fell to the floor on her back in a dizzy haze, reeling from the vision. She turned her head. The man bellowed and tore loose from his restraints. His and Rutledge’s images faded into one as they collided and fought. Rutledge’s weapon whirred as he strained to activate it. The rifle propelled over her head and hit the wall.
“Stop.” Her pleas fell on deaf ears. She closed her eyes.
The men barged into the room with heavy footfalls and angry shouts.

She opened her eyes, but her vision swirled. The blurred image of the alien lifted Rutledge’s lieutenant like a kitchen chair and catapulted him in the same direction as the weapon. “Stop,” she hollered to the men.

“Don’t shoot him. He wasn’t attacking me.”
Another soldier fell to the floor with a sick thud, holding his stomach. “Yeah? Well, he’s attacking me.”
The alien pounced over her, crouching low. He caged her with his body and made a guttural rumble in his throat, a warning to the men. She turned her head to the marines, who zeroed their weapons in on them.

Crime & Paradise with Julie Howard

Welcome, Julie! Let’s jump in! What do you write?

My true love is in writing novels. I love the ability to build up a plot and lead the reader along with plot twists. I do fall in love with my characters and want to stay in their world as long as possible too.

That being said, I also write flash fiction, short stories and novellas. I’ve even written a number of “ten-word stories,” where you have to convey an entire story in just ten words (challenging, but fun!).  I also wrote non-fiction as a journalist. So, I’ve worked in virtually all areas of writing. Novels, though, give me the most satisfaction and joy.

When did your writing journey begin?

I’ve been writing ever since I can remember and have always wanted to be a novelist. When I got to college, they didn’t have a degree in being an author – and my parents wanted me to be able to earn a living – so I got a degree in journalism. The upside of that I did become a writer for a living, and I enjoyed meeting a variety of people, from business executives to celebrities. However, I never lost the desire to write fiction, and one of the best moments of my life was getting my first contract!

What was your inspiration for your Wild Crime series?

I lived mostly in urban areas so moving to Idaho was quite a change. My home is in Boise, which is definitely urban, but a vast portion of the state is uninhabited, forested and wild. I’m always amazed to find little outposts far back, miles down dirt roads, that are cut off during the winters. My imagination started churning soon after we moved here. I wondered who chooses to live in such isolated areas and what would happen if a woman didn’t want to be there. I created a character, gave her a worst-case scenario, and started writing.

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

I’m sure there’s a piece of me in every one of my characters. But I also draw liberally from everyone I know and come across. I’m afraid I have no boundaries when it comes to finding inspiration for my characters. A friend’s sweater with a hole in the sleeve made it in one book, and a wine merchant’s long hair and happy dance made it in too. These are just pieces of people though and not representational of them at all; I suppose all writers steal from life in one way or another.

Certainly, though, the biggest influence tends to be the environment and culture in which I live. I’ve lived in three states (California, Nevada and now Idaho) and all three are very different. The terrain impacts people’s lifestyles and how they make their living, so my books reflect that. I’m fascinated by how unique people are in various areas of the country.

Julie visiting Italy (check out the handsome soldier behind her), fire lookout tower in the Idaho wilderness, Irish castle with her son Trevor, and a walk with her dog in California.

Tell us about your experience with the publishing process.

I sent my first book, Crime and Paradise, to a number of agents first. I received a fair amount of interest but no one offered a contract. An author friend suggested that small presses might be the way for a new author to go. I sent my manuscript to two small presses and one of them was The Wild Rose Press, who responded positively almost immediately. I love working with them! They’ve been so encouraging and helpful every step of the way.

Any new projects on the horizon?

I’m off and running with a paranormal mystery that will be out next year, and I’m writing the third book in my Wild Crime series. I have two other series mapped out. There’s nothing that makes me happier than knowing I have more writing to do.

Words of advice for fellow writers in the trenches:

Don’t focus on getting published until your manuscript is done and edited. Write the best story you can and give it everything you have. The story deserves your best work. I meet a lot of writers who obsess about the publishing side when they don’t even have a first draft completed. I think that is a distraction that can sideline writers from their main work.

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

I write murder mysteries so I have to get the law enforcement and medical parts right. I end up googling so many strange things, like what does a morgue look like, or what would happen when a bullet hits someone’s head. Awful stuff! My novels aren’t gruesome – I avoid the gory details – but I’d need to know if a body would be recognizable in a morgue, for instance. If I don’t get it right, my editor will let me know!

BOOK SALE ALERT! The first book in the series, Crime and Paradise, is on a 99-cent flash sale until Oct. 18 on Amazon.

The story follows a young abused woman who ends up in a remote Idaho town. When her husband is murdered, she becomes the prime suspect. The local sheriff develops an interest in her beyond the investigation, and together they uncover some unsavory secrets in their small town.

 Crime Time Two also just released!

“When divorce is out of the question, can murder be forgiven?”

Meredith knows three things: First, the man in the library begged her to help him. Second, he was afraid of his wife. Third, now he’s dead.

While the evidence first points to a natural death, Meredith is certain there’s more to discover. People are tight-lipped in this small mountain village, and the man’s wife isn't talking either. Then a second death occurs, with remarkable similarities. It’s time to talk about murder. 

As a slow-burning relationship heats up in her own life, Meredith struggles with concepts of love and hate, belief and suspicion, and absolution and guilt. Nothing is clear cut…

She must decide: Is guilt, like evil, something you can choose to believe in?

Excerpt from Crime Times Two

Jowls quivered under the man’s weak chin, and Meredith noted the stained and frayed shirt of someone who spent a lot of time alone in dark rooms, sending out a better version of himself into the virtual world. His eyes were anxious and beseeching at her as though she should have a clear understanding of him and his life.

Somehow, over the past hour and a half they’d been sitting next to each other – him playing video games and sharing his life story and her ignoring him the best she could – she had become his confessor and friend.

Meredith gave him what she hoped was an impartial-though-quasi-friendly smile. She reached for her purse and papers and rose from her chair. “Well. Nice talking with you.”

The man was lost in his own train of thought and seemed only slightly aware that Meredith was leaving.

He shook his head, morose.

“To make a long story short,” he summed up, “I think my wife is trying to kill me.”

 Where can you find Julie?

Facebook & her website

Speed Round!

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About the author

Julie Howard is the author of the Wild Crime series. She is a former journalist and editor who has covered topics ranging from crime to cowboy poetry. She is a member of the Idaho Writers Guild and founder of the Boise chapter of Shut Up & Write. Learn more at juliemhoward.com.