Tag Archives: Contemporary romance

Guest Interview–Christine Ashworth

Today I have a writer friend from my local RWA chapter as guest. Welcome to Christine Ashworth.

What’s the logline that describes your writing?

Sweet, sassy, sensual stories to stir your heart.

Do you start a new story with the plot or characters first?

I actually start a new story with the back of the book blurb – weird, right? But from there I get both the outline of the plot, and my characters. I always think…what do I want to read? Then I just open the brain and let the words come out.

Is your writing style planned or freestyle?

Mostly freestyle – which can cause me problems. I usually have a vague idea of the story thru-line; it’s the little setbacks that the characters need to go through that tend to give me trouble. That’s when I start brainstorming.

Have you traveled to any locations that appear in your books?

So far, all of them! I tend to locate my stories in areas I know well, so I don’t have to do much research.

Do you write in a genre other than the one of this release?

Christmas Star is contemporary romance, a short-story prequel to the StarTide series. (The first full-length book comes out in February and is tentatively titled Guarded Star. )  I’ve also been published in paranormal romance, which is my first love. I have the rights back to the Caine Brothers series, and will hopefully be finishing off book 3 and indie publishing those this year.

Do you use visual aids (storyboards, Pinterest, collages) when plotting or writing?

Interesting question! I don’t, actually. Well, I do, but as a side effort – and after I’ve picked photos of my hero/heroine, I tend not to look at them again! But they are on my Pinterest boards, so…

In what genre do you read?

I read everything. From history to historicals, from zombie books to vampires to books on urban planning. Classics, comics, back of cereal boxes. I read everything and absorb knowledge as much as I can.

What do you hope readers gain from your stories?

Wow, a toughie.  I guess it would be that my very human characters are just like them, that everyone is deserving of love, that everyone to one extent or another has to overcome their own self-doubts or self-hatred before they can love and be loved unconditionally. That we all need to accept who we are, and by doing so a lot of internal wounds can be healed. Gee…maybe that’s too much to expect from a novel…

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Christmas Star Short Excerpt:

December 19th, evening

Elle Houston drew her feet up onto the couch and nervously watched her fiancé—her fiancé—finish packing in the hotel suite he called home. “Are you sure you want to get married?”

Taylor Collins, Grade A movie star, stopped adding shirts to his suitcase, tipped his head to one side and smiled, that lopsided grin that caused female hearts to flutter worldwide. “Are you getting cold feet?”

“No. Of course not.” She’d never thought she’d get a proposal, ever. Not saying yes to the guy who was People’s Sexiest Man Alive? She’d have to be brain-dead. “I’ve got the guy all the girls want, the guy paparazzi clamor over.” She nibbled her top lip, considering. “I guess I’m still just a bit stunned that you proposed.”

BUY LINK

Amazon

Christine Headshot

Christine Ashworth grew up listening to the sound of her father’s manual typewriter as he wrote and sold over 300 novels. Now, to her delight, she’s the one writing novels. But as her dad is still writing away, she’s got some major catching up to do.
Christine is happily married to an actor/dancer/guitarist/hippy, has two tall sons, and tends to her garden and her family in southern California. You can read about her cooking, gardening, and wine picks at her website at http://christine-ashworth.com.

Twitter: https://twitter.com/CCAshworth

Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/AuthorChristineAshworth

Facebook Profile: https://www.facebook.com/ChristineAshworthAuthor

Amazon Profile: http://www.amazon.com/Christine-Ashworth/e/B004WXK66O/

Guest interview–Katie O’Sullivan

Tell us a bit about you and your background.

Hi, Linda, and thanks for having me on your blog today! While my working background is in advertising and journalism, I became a stay-at-home mom when my first child was born. I covered events and wrote a column for the local paper for a while, but soon got swept up in a cloud of PTA volunteering, and Cub Scouts and Girl Scouts… you name it, I signed up for it. When my youngest went off to full-day kindergarten, I took a class called “Finish Your Novel.” I did just that, and have been writing ever since, with 5 published novels under my belt so far. I’ve also worked as the editor for an online magazine and as a freelance editor and copyeditor.

What’s the logline that describes your writing?

Since I write both romance and YA, my tagline-of-the-moment is: “Romance and adventure for Young Adults and the young at heart.”

What are your hobbies away from the computer?

We have two big dogs (one’s a Saint Bernard) who like to walk on the beach every day. I love to read, and I like to bake with my kids. And despite eight years as a Girl Scout leader, I still like to “get crafty” with my daughter.

Do you start a new story with the plot or characters first?

Characters come to me first, and the barest outline of their “situation,” but I find the plot twists and turns as I write – I’m definitely what you would call a “pantser” when it comes to writing! But for me, a story is about the characters. I have to care about a character to want to read – or write – about them!

Is your writing style planned or freestyle?

I guess it qualifies as freestyle, as I don’t work from an outline or character sheets. One of these days I keep promising myself I’ll do those first as they probably make keeping track of characters much easier.

What is the starting point for research—story concept or when you get stuck while writing?

 I use the internet extensively to research story concepts and plot points, and can get sucked down that rabbit hole for hours. When I get stuck, it’s usually because something I’ve written doesn’t ring true. That’s when I’ll grab the leashes and take the dogs for an extra walk while I work out what’s bugging me. (They love it when I hit a block like that!)

Have you traveled to any locations that appear in your books?

I actually live year round on Cape Cod, which is the setting for the last several books I’ve written. I love the Cape and think it makes a great story location – there are so many different aspects, all nestled on such a small spit of land. But in terms of exotic locales… hmmm… In my second young adult book, the characters fly to the Greek islands, which I visited during college. I spent a semester in London and we took a trip to Greece during fall break – what a great experience!

Thanks again for having me here today!

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BLURB for My Kind Of Crazy

Kendall Roarke is betting everything on making her Harwichport Bed & Breakfast into the premier wedding destination on Cape Cod, despite her recent messy divorce.

Jonathan Reynolds moved back to the Cape to take over his uncle’s business and start fresh after his own marriage ended. He’s not looking for anything complicated – until he meets Kendall, with her big plans and wild mop of curls.

Throw an unruly foster puppy and an uptight new neighbor into the mix and things get a little crazy. Now Kendall has to decide if it’s the kind of crazy that she can live with… for the rest of her life.

BUY LINKS

The Wild Rose Press

Amazon

EXCERPT

He reached out and gently wrapped his fingers around her arm, not letting her leave the front hall. “Kendall?”

Again with the major electrical sparks zinging through her! She was afraid to look him in the eye, afraid he’d be able to see it in her face, the devastating effect he had on her. They stood so close she felt the heat from his body radiating, warming the small space between them. His touch was fire on her bare skin. She finally raised her gaze to meet his eyes, luminous and deep. She felt like she might fall into those green pools and drown.

Breathe in, breathe out. She searched for words to answer the unasked questions in his eyes but none came to her.

“Kendall.” He whispered her name again as if it were the answer to some puzzle he was trying to solve.

Thoughts whirled through her head at lightning speed. Nothing about this made any kind of sense— especially not her attraction to a complete stranger. But there was no denying the electricity that ran through her body from his simplest touch.

“I’m not looking for a relationship right now.” Her low whisper matched his.

“What are you looking for?” He moved closer, his lips brushing her mouth, tasting of beer and salted peanuts. His warmth pulsed through her in shock waves, her traitorous body responding all too eagerly. He tasted so good, the salt sizzling on her tongue. The kiss shifted from soft and gentle to solid and deep. Arms slid around her, pulling her close, but she was too wrapped up in the kiss to protest. Why complain? He felt so good, the hard muscles of his arms and planed chest underneath that thin dress shirt, and another hardness evident, despite his proper dress pants.

Suddenly Kendall remembered that this was the same man who was fooling around with the married cougar of a librarian. She wanted to be outraged for the unwitting spouse, but all she could think was, Lucky librarian.

She wrapped her arms around his neck and shoulders. Vaguely she registered the wall behind her, pressing hard against her back. His clever tongue tangled with her own, sending fresh waves of desire rippling through her.

Even as her body screamed Yes! she slid her hand between them, firmly pushing him backward and breaking the connection. “I can’t do this. I don’t want to get hurt again.” Her eyes searched his before she turned her head to look away. If she looked into those eyes for one more second she would forget all about saying no and let her body do whatever it wanted.

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BIO

Katie O’Sullivan lives with her family and big dogs next to the ocean on Cape Cod, drinking way too much coffee and inventing new excuses not to dust. A recovering English major, she earned her degree at Colgate University and writes romance and adventure for young adults and the young at heart.

Living next to the Atlantic influences everything she writes. Her YA mermaid series begins in Nantucket Sound with SON OF A MERMAID, and continues the undersea adventures with BLOOD OF A MERMAID, both from Crescent Moon Press and on sale for the month of December for 99 cents! Her latest contemporary romance from The Wild Rose Press is MY KIND OF CRAZY, a Cape Cod story of second chances and starting over.

Website: www.katie-osullivan.com

Blog: http://katieosullivan.blogspot.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AuthorKatieOSullivan

Twitter: https://twitter.com/OkatieO

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/3326303.Katie_O_Sullivan

Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/author/katieosullivan

Guest Interview–Karen Cogan

Today I’m chatting with Karen Cogan, an author friend from Prism Book Group.

Tell us a bit about you and your background.

I have written fiction since elementary school. I remember writing and illustrating stories for my second grade teacher. Since I’m a terrible artist, I’m sure she wondered how the picture went with the story!

What are your hobbies away from the computer?

My hobbies away from the computer are thumbing through recipes, mostly on the computer. I garden occasionally. I have a passion for learning new horse techniques and ride my quarter horse most days.

Is your writing style planned or freestyle?

My writing style is mostly free-style. A story line occurs to me and the characters that are to fill the rolls. I have an idea of what problems they will encounter and how the story will end. Then, I begin writing and let the characters lead me where they will go.

Have you traveled to any locations that appear in your books?

One of my novels is set in Ouray, Colorado. It is a beautiful town set in a valley between the mountains. I became fascinated with the mining history and early settlement. I spent time poking around the town with my husband and getting photos. After that, I did extensive research and enjoyed writing a historical novel set in that location.

Do you write in a genre other than the one of this release?

I have written in several different genres. I have children’s picture books in print and middle grade novels. I also write sweet, adult contemporary and historical novels. I have written a time-travel novel set in the time of Lafitte, the pirate, in Galveston, TX. It is scheduled for release in January.

Are you a pet person? If so, what do you have?

Besides a horse, I have cats and dogs. I always thought of myself as a dog person. However, we took in a cat we found abandoned at a store and she has become one of my “babies”.

In what genres do you read?

I enjoy reading in the genre of mystery and suspense, as well as inspirational romance.

What do you hope readers gain from your stories?

I hope my readers take away the message that, while life is unpredictable, there is a plan for our lives. Though we are not always in control of events, they may be assured that God knows the plan and will bring it to fruition.

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BLURB

Lynn parked her truck in front of the adobe school building, took a deep breath, and let her body adjust to the stillness. It was an odd sensation after jostling over miles of rutted roads in her attempt to find this place. She stared at the doorway for a moment, mustering the nerve to go inside. Since, she’d come this far, She might as well get out of the truck and find out how far over her head she had gotten herself in this time.

EXCERPT

Copyright © 2012 Karen Cogan

Lynn’s thoughts scattered in a million directions as they grabbed their bags and wove their way through the holiday crowds to wait in the car rental line. When they finished the paperwork, they found the dark blue Probe that Greg had reserved for the ten days in which he was to stay at the rental property.

He handed the keys to Lynn. “I may know Albuquerque, but you know Houston.”

“At least well enough to get us home.”

They drove into the late afternoon rush hour traffic. The sun looked pale and anemic peeking through the gray clouds. Lynn turned on the wipers as a light drizzle began to fall.

“This is my least favorite type of weather. Cold and rainy,” she said.

“I thought you disliked snow the most.”

“Snow can be pretty when you don’t have to drive in it.”

“OK. If it starts to snow, I’ll drive.”

Lynn laughed. “Fat chance.”

It was dusk when Lynn pulled next to her mom’s Lincoln in the parking slot of the red brick townhouse. The decorative outside lantern glowed with a soft welcoming light. She turned off the engine and stretched her arms. “We’re here.”

“It’s an attractive place. Georgian?”

“You got it. I didn’t know you knew architecture.”

“I don’t. It was just a lucky guess.”

Lynn started to the trunk. Greg stopped her and said, “I’ll get your luggage after we meet your Mom.”

She smiled, grateful for the offer. She couldn’t wait to get out of the cold drizzle and let Mom know they were here. Mom would have worried all afternoon whether they would be delayed at the airport, have an accident or lose their luggage. The sooner they got in, the sooner they could ease her mind.

Lynn preceded Greg up the porch steps to the polished oak door. A glow of light shone through the oval etched glass window. Rectangular windows beside the door gave off their own assurance of the warmth and light within. Lynn felt a surge of homesickness for her mother and for the childhood she had left behind.

She rang the bell.

Footsteps reverberated on the marble entry. A shadow crossed in front of the light and poised to open the door. Lynn reached out, ready to embrace her mother.

The door swung open and Lynn gasped. Her arms fell to her sides. Her throat went dry.

“Mark,” she croaked.

“Hi, Lynn.” He smiled a welcoming smile. “It’s good to see you. You look wonderful.”

He noticed Greg, behind Lynn in the shadows. The surprise on his face spoke volumes as he stepped aside to let them enter.

“Your mother told me you were bringing a friend.”

And let you believe it was a female friend, Lynn thought, feeling her face heat with embarrassment.

“This is Greg Martin. He teaches at my school. Greg, this is Mark Andrews.”

The men shook hands and exchanged a greeting as they sized each other up. Lynn wondered what Greg must be thinking. She hoped he knew she had no part in this and was, in fact, chagrined at the comparison Mom had arranged.

Still, it was typical of Mom. And since, it wasn’t Mark’s fault that he had been invited or that she resented his presence, she would have to smile and make the best of things.

Mom glided into the entryway. She was dressed in a peach angora pantsuit, giving off the first impression most people had of her as soft, sweet, and easily led.

Lynn grimaced. They did not know her iron will as Lynn did. Maybe someday, these awkward moments would be funny. Perhaps she and Greg would look back on them with amusement. At the moment, she was not amused.

“I thought I heard voices,” Joyce said.

She held Lynn in front of her as she did when Lynn was a little girl. “I don’t think you’ve been eating well. We’ll have to work on feeding you well enough to finish one more semester.”

She turned to Greg. “This must be your friend.”

Greg extended his hand. “Greg Martin. It’s good to meet you, Mrs. Martin.”

She looked from Lynn to Greg. “Martin? You have the same last name. How quaint. But do call me Joyce. Mrs. Martin sounds so old.”

As “Joyce” wrapped her arm through Lynn’s and led her away, Lynn thought it was funny how her mother wanted to appear old and frail when it suited her purposes and young when it did not.

“I have a nice roasted chicken dinner I bought at the deli this afternoon. It’s all warmed and waiting. You can tell me about your trip while we eat. Did your luggage arrive? I’ve been so worried about having you travel this time of year. I hear there’s a lot of crime at the airports.”

Lynn glanced behind her and wondered what Mark was thinking about being invited to a dinner where his romantic interest showed up with another man. And Greg? His face was an inscrutable mask. She feared that behind that mask were some very interesting thoughts. Just what those thoughts were, she would have to wait until they were alone to find out.

Barnes & Noble

Amazon

from 5 star review:”

“There is plenty of humour and well drawn characters with sub plots that draw us in. Ms Cogan uses the New Mexico setting to set the mood and even play a role in the plot. I really enjoyed this story.”

Karen Cogan

BIO:

A native of Houston, TX, Karen spent her early years enjoying life along the Gulf Coast. After high school, she attended Texas A&M as well as the University of Houston where she obtained a B.S. in early childhood education. She has written numerous articles and stories, books for children and novels for adults. She particularly enjoys writing contemporary and historical romance, and now lives in the Southwest with her family and assorted pets.

Web Contacts:

Website

Blog

Facebook

Twitter

 

Guest Promotion–Rachel Brimble

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Here’s a spotlight on Rachel Brimble’s latest release, Christmas At the Cove from Harlequin Superromance.

More family for Christmas?

Scott Walker doesn’t have time for a relationship. The sexy mechanic has career ambitions, not to mention a mother and three sisters to take care of. The last thing he needs is Carrie Jameson, the beauty he never forgot, arriving in Templeton Cove over the holidays with some unexpected news.

Scott still finds Carrie irresistible, and he’s not one to shirk responsibility. Scott’s issues with his own dad make the prospect of parenthood a minefield. But if he and Carrie can overcome their fears, this Christmas could bring them the best gift of all.

Amazon US

Amazon UK

Barnes & Noble

EXCERPT:

She glanced around the garage. “I’m sorry to turn up unannounced like this, but I’m here and we need to talk.”

He stared at her in disbelief as questions, demands and weaknesses hurtled around inside him, battling with the intense sexual frustration storming through his body. “Just like that, you turn up and say, ‘We need to talk’?” He shook his head and turned away from her, lest he get caught in the snare of her wide, impossibly gorgeous eyes. “Go away.”

“No.”

Keeping his back to her, he uncrossed his arms and planted his hands on his hips. He tipped his head back and smiled as insanity rushed his bloodstream. He wanted to grab her, shake her, kiss her and make love to her. God, he wanted to drop to his damn knees in front of her and beg her to tell him where she’d been and now she was back, was she back for good?

“Scott?”

He closed his eyes, barely resisting the urge to cover his ears with his hands and block out her tempting voice, achingly laced with the unmistakable sound of a plea. “Whether you want to see me or not, I have to talk to you, and I won’t leave the Cove until you hear me out.”

Her heels clicked closer and his body tensed, waiting for what came next. The dangerous, musky scent of her perfume wafted under his nostrils and he inhaled. She approached the bench beside him and put down a business card. “My number’s on there. I’m staying at the Christie. Call me when you’re ready to talk. It’s important or I wouldn’t have come.”

He glanced at the card. Carrie Jameson. Producer.

She turned and walked away. He let her go, feeling like a smashed up car after a hurricane, tossed and turned through the air before being spewed crudely across the highway, left to rust and burn.

He picked up the card. His hand shook and the rare sting of tears shamed him. What the hell was he supposed to do now? Carrie was back and his libido told him only too clearly there was no way in hell he wouldn’t go to her. How was he supposed to let her go a second time when he’d lived the last three years regretting he didn’t stop her the first time?

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AUTHOR BIO:

Rachel lives with her husband and two teenage daughters in a small town near Bath in the UK. After having several novels published by small US presses, she secured agent representation in 2011. In 2012, she sold two books to Harlequin Superromance and a further three in 2013. She also writes Victorian romance for Kensington–her debut was released in April 2013, followed by a second in January 2014 and the third is released Jan 2015.

Rachel is a member of the Romantic Novelists Association and Romance Writers of America, and was selected to mentor the Superromance finalist of So You Think You Can Write 2014 contest. When she isn’t writing, you’ll find Rachel with her head in a book or walking the beautiful English countryside with her family and beloved black Lab, Max. Her dream place to live is Bourton-on-the-Water in South West England.

She likes nothing more than connecting and chatting with her readers and fellow romance writers. Rachel would love to hear from you!

Links:

Website

Blog

Twitter

Facebook

 

Guest Interview–Mary L. Ball

How about you introduce yourself by providing the basics?

Hi Linda, it’s great to be on your blog. Allow me to introduce myself.

I’m an inspirational fiction author and live in North Carolina between the wondrous mountains and beautiful beaches. My writing is about real-life problems, blended with suspense or mystery and of course, romance.

My one hope is that the books I scribe will encourage readers to see the wonder of love and a divine guidance that awaits us all.

My novels include, Escape to Big Fork Lake, Stone of Destiny, Postmarked Ever After and Redemption in Big Fork Lake.  I also contributed to 21 Stories of Faith.

When I’m not working on the latest story, I enjoy fishing, reading, and singing with my husband at church functions.

 Where were you raised?

I was born and raised in Salem, Virginia and still have family there.When I was a teenager, my mother moved to NC. That’s where I’ve lived since the age of sixteen.   

What’s your favorite participation sport?

I guess I don’t have any, unless you count being an angler. Is fishing a participation sport? I suppose it can be.  Actually, it is when hubby and I go. LOL

What are your reading tastes?

I enjoy all inspirational and clean fiction books.

List your favorite movie of all time and why.

I’m a softy at heart, always looking for a story with a spot of romance and a good ending. I know “You’ve Got Mail” is by no means a classic, but I enjoy watching it. I still cry at the end when they meet in the park and realize they’re meant to be together.

Where did you go for your most recent vacation?

Sunset Beach, NC. Hubby and I always go somewhere on the coast of NC for our anniversary.

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Blurb for Postmarked Ever After

A delayed letter and a message from afar unite two hearts.

Recently widowed, Serena Gray battles the daily drama of the Emergency Room, as well as her grief. When a mysterious letter arrives, it raises questions about a past she’d only heard her beloved husband speak about.

While on hospital rounds, she witnesses a child’s brush with death and recounts a vivid dream that bears a message.

Will she risk happiness for the truth or keep a secret from the past?

BUY LINKS

Amazon

Smashwords

Mary Ball

Get in contact with Mary:

Facebook

Twitter

Amazon Author Page

Caster’s Unfriendly Ghost by Alicia Dean

Here’s another selection from The Wild Rose Press’s Haunting In the Garden series.

Caster’s Unfriendly Ghost by Alicia Dean

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BLURB

A year after her husband’s death, Emily Tillman is ready to start dating again, and hopefully, find what she’s always wanted—marriage and children. But the man who broke her heart five years ago is back. And he’s anything but the marrying kind.  Confirmed bachelor Reese Caster is perfectly content with his life—and he’s finally over Emily, the one woman who almost made him commit. Now, his world is rocked when her dead husband shows up, demanding that Reese pursue Emily to keep her out of the clutches of her latest suitor—a jerk who is only after her money.  Being around Emily again has made Reese reconsider his bachelor life style. But now that the threat of the other man is gone, the pesky ghost wants Reese to break things off. Can he and Emily find the love they were denied, or will the ghost of her dead husband destroy their chances?

EXCERPT

“Emily is the kind of woman you have to take things slowly with.”

“Sure, if this was real. But you have to step it up, turn on the charm. You need to show you care, that you know her, buy her things that she loves. Her favorite flowers are white roses, she loves dark chocolate, and her favorite wine is Merlot. You need to move in on her, hard.”

Caster gave a humorless laugh and shook his head. “Do you hear yourself? You were her husband, for God’s sake. Have some respect.”

Joey’s face flushed. “I do respect her. That’s why I don’t want this asshole putting one over on her. She deserves to find someone who will truly love her and give her the things I couldn’t.”

A note of pain in his voice almost made Caster feel sorry for him. But not as sorry as he felt for the family who lost a loved one less than half an hour ago. “Listen, I’ve performed back to back surgeries today, and had my night capped off by an emergency surgery that ended with a young girl’s death. So, you’ll understand why I’m not in the mood for this right now.”

“I’m sorry, but there’s nothing I can do about that. My concern is with Emily. And I need you to follow through with your end of the deal.”

“Deal, my ass. You blackmailed me into going along with this bullshit. Well, I’m out. I’ll finish the haunted forest thing, but no more of this romancing Emily crap. I can’t use her like that, I can’t break her heart again.”

“Break her heart? You sound pretty sure she’ll fall for you. My, my. Someone’s full of himself.”

Caster stood and stalked to the door. “Look, I don’t know if she will or not, I just know I can’t do this any longer. You can destroy everything I own, keep me up every night for the rest of my life, but I’m done.”

He put his hand on the door, but Joey’s voice stopped him. “I’ll tell her.”

Caster paused and turned to face him. “You’ll what?”

“Not only will I continue to screw with you, even on the job, but I’ll appear to Emily, tell her about our little scheme. What do you think she’ll think of you then?”

“You’re bluffing. You wouldn’t hurt her like that.”

Joey shook his head and closed his eyes. When he opened them, they were suspiciously damp. “I don’t want to. But I’ll do anything to keep her from making the biggest mistake of her life.”

Caster let out a resigned sigh and shook his head. “Nah, getting mixed up with the two of us was the biggest mistake of her life.”

Website:

http://aliciadean.com/

Kindle:

http://www.amazon.com/Casters-Unfriendly-Ghost-Hauntings-Garden-ebook/dp/B00NQMV4NQ/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1412516933&sr=8-1&keywords=caster%27s+unfriendly+ghost

Nook:

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/casters-unfriendly-ghost-alicia-dean/1120455662?ean=2940150463943

Wild Rose Press:

http://www.wildrosepublishing.com/maincatalog_v151/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=242_177_139&products_id=5840

Character Interview-Rachel from Wish List Addiction

Today I have Prism Book Group friend, Lindsey Paley, here with an interview of the heroine from her August release, The Wish List Addiction.

How about you introduce yourself?

Hi, I’m Rebecca Mathews, thirty-two-year old, stressed out ex-lawyer and harassed mother of Max, my fabulous four-year-old son. I have copper-coloured hair, which I hated as I went through school but grew to love when at college, and emerald green eyes. I live in a dingy one-bedroomed apartment in Hammersmith, London and have a full-time job as a para-legal at Baringer & Co. Oh, and I’m a listoholic!

The worst part of my life is the daily struggle to get Max off to the day care he loathes in order to battle my ( single, childless) boss, Lucinda to be able to pay our exorbitant rent as Max’s dead beat father, Bradley, refuses to contribute child maintenance – it eats into his personal grooming and entertainment allowance. The best part of my life, of course, is Max. Oh, and my discovery of ‘The Little Green Book of Wishes’.  

 Where were you raised?

I was raised in the tiny village of Matfen in Northumberland, the largest and most rural county of England. I am an only child of George and Marianne who could not fathom the draw of the bright lights and fume-ridden atmosphere of London. It turned out they were both right as, when I became a mom, all I dreamed of was returning home to raise Max in the rural surroundings I was so happy in. But that dream was the catalyst to my downfall! Buying that rundown cottage was a stupid decision, despite the numerous lists I drafted of the pro’s and con’s of leaving London.

Did you always want to be a lawyer?

I did, yes. I enjoyed every moment of the study for my degree and I was fortunate enough to get a great job with a Top Ten law firm in London. I’d even started building up my reputation as a matrimonial litigation specialist until Brad dropped his bombshell that he was leaving me and Max and refused to provide any financial support. I couldn’t sell ‘Rosemary Cottage’ and the bank foreclosed. I lost my job and it was only the offer of a para-legal post that saved Max and I from destitution. I should have returned home, but I did hope that Brad would come round and see his son. He didn’t.

What’s the best thing that’s happened to you?

Well, that would be three things. Firstly, of course, Max. Then, the unearthing of ‘The Little Green Book of Wishes’. I truly believe that my colleagues, Deb and Nathan’s idea to challenge me to a bunch of off-the-wall activities, and their refusal to allow me to continue with my list-making obsession, turned my life around. I mean, who wouldn’t want to give kite-flying, dancing the Tango or learning to play golf a go? I’d urge any of your readers to grab a copy of ‘The Little Green Book’ – available on Amazon.com – and give it a try! It worked for me and led to the third best thing on my list (Ooops – sorry – here’s me telling you I’m cured!) the new man in my life, Josh Charlton – rugby-playing hunk extraordinaire!!

WishlistAddiction copy (1)

BLURB:

Rebecca Mathews is a Listoholic—you name it, she has a ‘To Do’ list for it. Coupled with her daily ‘Must Achieve’ List, she possesses a mid-term, creatively drawn ‘Wish List’ and an exhaustively-researched ‘Bucket List’. But so far, they have delivered nothing but spectacular failure.

With her much-loved career exploded in her face, her marriage terminated in an acrimonious divorce and her frail father’s pleas to return to her native Northumberland ignored, Rebecca concludes that if it wasn’t for her beloved four-year-old son, Max, she would be adding a trip to a Swiss clinic to her list.

A sparkle of light appears in Rebecca’s life wrapped in the guise of ‘The Little Green Book of Wishes’, which challenges the reader to ‘ditch the list’ and instead to use its gems of wisdom as a ‘dip in/dip out’ lucky bag of challenges from all areas of life.

Persuaded by her colleagues to relinquish her obsessive reliance on her multiple lists, cast adrift from their reassuring structure, she agrees to complete random tasks selected for her from the ‘little emerald book of miracles’.

Will it deliver the desired result and cure Rebecca of her Wish List Addiction?

 BUY LINKS

Barnes & Noble

Amazon

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Places to find Lindsey on the web:

Facebook

Twitter

 

Fall Into Books Blog Hop

Fall Into Books blog hop

BOOKS! I love this theme. No matter how many books I have on my To Be Read stack (translation: filling multiple shelves in a bookcase), I’m always on the lookout for more. For the past week or two, I’ve been alternating between contemporary suspense and historical romance. Switching back and forth helps clear my mind of the writing style of authors writing in the same genre so I’m less likely to compare them.

Because so many great books exist, I’m not one who goes back and re-reads often. But one author I return to is Jane Austen. My favorite book is Pride And Prejudice, which I have read more than once, and I’ve read most of her other novels. I have also enjoyed several novels that used the plot of P&P but updated it to contemporary settings (like Unleashing Mr Darcy by Teri Wilson or Pride, Prejudice and Jasmin Field by Melissa Nathan).

One of my favorite places to read is curled up in the corner of our comfy sofa that’s upstairs in our small forest cabin. Now as the fall sets in, I’ll get to haul out the fleece lap robes and snuggle in.

October is bountiful for new releases.

On October 20th, my contemporary novella set in Rhode Island and including bits of genealogy and pirate history titled Unlocked Treasure releases from the Wild Rose Press.

On October 31st, I have a story titled Bewitching Gypsy (western historical with a light paranormal touch) included in Spooktacular Seductions, a Halloween anthology from Roane Publishing.

And coming soon (date to be announced) is a Halloween anthology titled Cowboys, Creatures and Calico, Vol. 1 from Prairie Rose Publications. My story, Wanderer, Come Home, is a western historical featuring an ex-Texas Ranger and a widow on a small Texas ranch.

One lucky winner will win an ecopy of all three titles (as they become available). Three additional winners will be chosen to win one each of the titles. Enter the rafflecopter contest below for your chance to win an ecopy.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Then hop on over to the blogs for the other participants listed below for even more chances at winning books and prizes.


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Release promotion–Stones

Here is information about Marilyn Baron’s latest release, Stones, from The Wild Rose Press.

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Blurb:

Books with Bling: A Coming-of-Middle-Age Novel

When Julie Paver’s husband Matt moves his business to Atlanta, she is forced to leave behind her thriving jewelry boutique, Stones. The move threatens their twenty-five year marriage, because now if Matt isn’t out of town negotiating a merger, he’s spending late hours on overseas phone calls with his sexy-sounding second-in-command.

Feeling neglected and unloved, Julie seeks closure by reconnecting with her first love, Manny, when he pursues her with his Internet innuendos. Manny is unaware he is the father of Julie’s son, and Julie contemplates revealing the secret to him on the eve of their son’s wedding. But would such a walk down memory lane be worth the cost?

Julie and Manny finally meet at her oceanfront condo—in the midst of a hurricane—and elements collide to create the perfect storm in this coming-of-middle-age crisis.

 Excerpt:

To go or not to go to Palm Coast is no longer the question. The question is what will I do once I get there? Will I really have the nerve to reconnect, or as my daughter Natalie likes to say, “hook up,” again with Manny Gellar? How will I feel tomorrow when I see him alone for the first time after 25 years? Will I finally reveal what I feel compelled—no, what I’m busting a gut—to tell him? That he has a beautiful son, that our son Josh is getting married in just three months? I’m probably rationalizing, but I think he finally has a right to know.

If I could, I’d fix what is wrong with my marriage and put it back the way it was before. Before Matt yanked me out of Miami by my roots as if I were a noxious weed he was tossing out of a flower garden and carelessly transplanted us to Atlanta. Before we moved a state away from my family and my best friend and a business I’d worked a lifetime to create. Before Matt sold his freight expediting business to a German conglomerate for mega-millions and agreed to run the company for them from Atlanta for the next two years, barely consulting me. Before the German occupation, or rather before he became preoccupied with his sexy-sounding German second-in-command, Gretchen. Before he stopped sleeping with me in the biblical sense. Before I turned fifty.

All I really want is closure. I’m convinced that meeting Manny Gellar again is the only way I will ever come full circle and reconnect with my life.

BUY LINKS:

TWRP Digital

TWRP Print

Amazon Kindle

Amazon Print

Marilyn Baron

BIO:

Marilyn Baron is a public relations consultant in Atlanta. She’s a member of Romance Writers of America and Georgia Romance Writers (GRW) and the recipient of the GRW 2009 Chapter Service Award. Marilyn writes humorous women’s fiction, romantic thrillers, historicals, and paranormal suspense for The Wild Rose Press. Today is the release date for her new humorous women’s fiction, novel, Stones. She has won writing awards in the Single Title, Suspense Romance, Paranormal/Fantasy Romance and Fiction With Strong Romantic Elements categories.

Web Contacts:

Website www.marilynbaron.com

Blog www.petitfoursandhottamales.com

Twitter https://twitter.com/MarilynBaron.

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/pages/Marilyn-Baron/286807714666748

Pinterest http://www.pinterest.com/marilynbaron5/

Goodreads https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4722647.Marilyn_Baron

Amazon Author Page http://www.amazon.com/Marilyn-Baron/e/B008PJFQPC/ref=ntt_athr_dp_pel_pop_1

Linked-In http://www.linkedin.com/home?trk=nav_responsive_tab_home

 

Guest Interview–JM Stewart

Today I’m interviewing author JM Stewart, author of contemporary romance with titles available from several publishers.

Thanks so much for having me, Linda!

Tell us a bit about you and your background.

I’m a stay-at-home mom by trade. My husband and I have been married for 18 years now. I’ve been devouring romances since, gosh, probably around high school. I can’t actually remember when I first picked them up. I started writing them somewhere around 14 years ago, when my youngest was a baby. My first book published in 2010. That book has since been lengthened, revised and reedited, and is being republished by Berkley Intermix.

 What’s the logline that describes your writing?

Passionate, heartfelt contemporary romance

Do you start a new story with the plot or characters first?

Characters. My plots are always character driven, so the plot itself requires me to know the character(s) first.

Is your writing style planned or freestyle?

A little of both. I start with a basic premise and some idea of a plot, because I have to have some idea of where I’m going. But even then, I don’t really follow a plot. I follow my characters, so much of the book is character led. I like to say I just take dictation. I go where I’m told. 😉

If you use music while writing, name your favorite types.

I really kind of need quiet when I write. Music can be distracting, because my toe starts tapping, and suddenly I’m singing out loud and the page I’m writing has gone forgotten. lol I like a variety, though, usually stuff that moves me, but mostly contemporary stuff. Some of my current favorites: Josh Groban, Rascal Flatts, Adele, Daughtry, Christina Perri, Bruno Mars.

What is the starting point for research—story concept or when you get stuck while writing?

Depends on the story and how much the plot requires it. For example, for Risking It All, I didn’t need much. I needed to know about what it’s like to be a detective, the adoption process and witness protection, but most of it I researched as I needed.

Have you traveled to any locations that appear in your books?

Kind of. Risking It All and Whatever It Takes are both set around where I live, in Puyallup, Washington. But otherwise, no, not really. I wish.

Can you share a tip about what you do when you get stuck in creating a story?

Take a break and let it sit for a day or two or five. In other words, however long it takes to get me out of my head. Then I come back to it. Often, when I get stuck it’s because I’m stressing too much about writing the “perfect” story and not listening to my characters. Taking a break allows me to de-stress and get my head back where it needs to be. I need to forget the internal editor and write the story. I can always revise. The perfectionist in me absolutely loathes this, so when I get stuck, it can often take me days to let it go.

What was your biggest surprise in the editing/revision process?

The final product. I’m always amazed at watching the story come alive. For Risking It All, I had a lot of edits/revisions to do. The changes weren’t extensive, but lots of small things needed to be added in order to fully flesh out the story. The overall effect, for me, when it was finished was like looking at a different book.

Describe a normal writing day (or period, if you have other employment obligations).

 I’m up somewhere between 4 and 5 am most days. Just can’t sleep anymore. The older I get, the earlier I conk out, which means by the time 4 am rolls around, I’m wide awake. Lol From the time I get up until the time my kids leave for school at 6:30, I do promo (check email, check the street teams I’m on, including my own, check my calendar to see if I have a guest on my blog, write up tweets, etc).

The rest of the day is divided between household chores (laundry, dishes, vacuuming, etc), taking care of the dogs, and writing. But really, I write full time, from about 6:30 am until 2pm. The kids get home then, and the dogs get excited, and I like to catch up with my boys, so I take a break. IE: I can’t concentrate in noise, so I give in. lol I take another hour or so to write while I’m making dinner. After dinner, my brain is shot and my eyes are tired.

 Do you write in a genre other than the one of this release?

 My current release (and the next two, actually) is a contemporary romance on the sweet and heartwarming side. I’m currently writing (and getting ready to submit) a contemporary series that’s a bit hotter than what I’ve written before. Not erotic, but I’ve turned up the heat quite a bit.

 What’s your dream vacation destination?

It’s a toss-up between Hawaii and Paris. Paris is so romantic and the city has so much history. I’ve always wanted to go somewhere foreign, to visit someone else’s culture. But Hawaii is warm and beautiful, and I live in The Pacific Northwest. I’m tired of gray and I’m tired rain. So, somewhere sunny and semi warm would be a dream. lol.

Do you use visual aids (storyboards, Pinterest, collages) when plotting or writing?

Not while plotting. Though, I do like Pinterest. Most of the time, I just like seeing my story in pictures, because I’m a visual person, but it can also help when I need to describe something. So, in this case, I use it more for research. Like, for example, deciding what the heroine of my current work-in-progress wore to a formal function.

 In what genre do you read?

 Contemporary and historical. Historical is a pleasure read for me.

 What resources do you use for picking character names?

 Most of the time, my characters name themselves. But I like babynames.com for first and middle names. For last names, I look up a website on most common surnames. But in the last two series I’ve written, I had characters who came from specific roots. For example, the heroine of my current WIP is of Greek descent, so I had to research authentic names, in which case, Google is my best friend.

 Are you a pet person? If so, what do you have?

 Oh yeah. I love most animals, but I’m mostly a dog person. I’ve had them most of my life. We currently have two. Got them both from shelters when they were puppies. Misty is a Lab/Shepherd mix and Tiger is a Chihuahua/French Bulldog mix. Take a guess who runs the house. lol

 What do you hope readers gain from your stories?

 I hope they enjoy the stories. Though, honestly, I hope the stories touch them in some way. My favorite stories are the ones that touch me, that I can’t forget, and that’s what I always hope for. But really, in a perfect world, I want the reader to sit back and think, “Wow. That was a great story.”

Risking It All

Blurb:

She’s everything he wants…

For years, Kyle Morgan has hidden his true feelings from the gorgeous girl next door that he grew up loving and protecting. But when she shows up at his apartment in the middle of the night, desperately needing comfort and support, his iron will begins to waver…

 …and the only thing he can’t bear to lose.

 Kyle was always the big brother Cecelia Anton never had, but suddenly her goofy best friend has become a sexy man she can’t keep her thoughts—or hands—off of. As their deep connection melts into uncontrollable desire, Ceci is willing to put it all on the line for a shot at true love. Only Kyle is keeping a terrible secret about Ceci’s past that could destroy not only their lifelong friendship but their happily-ever-after…

Buy Links:

Penguin

Amazon

Barns & Noble

iTunes

Books-a-million

Excerpt:

 “I need to know, Kyle.”

His answer sat on the tip of his tongue, but the voice of reason sounded in his head. Don’t say it. Whatever you do, do not say it. Just keep walking.

Her soft footsteps sounded behind him. “You can’t just do something like that and walk away and expect me not to question it. You blow hot and cold, do you know that? I know desire when I see it, yet you just keep walking away.”

“Ever think maybe I wanted to kiss you?” The words left his mouth on a hoarse whisper, and God help him, a desperate need to see her eyes seized him. He turned to find her directly behind him. She stared for a fraction of a second too long, heat and curiosity blazed in her eyes. A heartbeat later, a light blush stole into her cheeks, but she didn’t move, didn’t say a word.

Everything inside of him ground to a halt, his mind twisting off in another direction. I’ll be damned. If ever he needed a confirmation, there it was. Whatever had happened between them was definitely not one-sided.

From 5-star reviews:

“I enjoyed this book and I really enjoyed Kyle I just loved him.” — A Crazy Vermonter’s Book Reviews

“While raising the perpetual question, “Can men and women ever be just friends?”, “Risking It All” by J. M. Stewart also adds mystery and suspense to the plot.” – Mari Davis, from Marienela.net

JM Stewart

BIO:

JM writes passionate, heartfelt contemporary romance. She’s a wife, a mother, a spiritualist, and lover of puppies, and happily addicted to coffee and chocolate. She lives in the rainy Pacific Northwest with her husband and two sons. She’s a hopeless romantic who believes everybody should have their happily-ever-after and has been devouring romance novels for as long as she can remember. Writing them has become her obsession.

Contact links: Website /Blog /Twitter /Facebook