Tag Archives: Romance

Guest Interview–Alice Wootson

Today I’m chatting with a multi-published author friend from Prism Book Group, Alice Wootson.

Tell us a bit about you and your background

I grew up in Rankin, Pennsylvania, a suburb of Pittsburgh. Rankin is one mile long and six streets wide. I was the oldest of seven children. I worked a year between high school and college as a nurse’s aide. I’m a retired teacher/reading specialist. I taught in the Philadelphia public schools for many years.

What’s the logline that describes your writing?

Romance. Many of my eleven published novels are romantic suspense, but one was described by a reader as ‘chicklit’. I laughed because I am way past the ‘chicklit’ age’. Even the lighter novels, Dream Wedding and Perfect Wedding, have serious undertones.

What are your hobbies away from the computer?

Reading, watching television. (I work on puzzles while I watch so I don’t feel guilty about spending so much time watching television), traveling with my husband and exploring the places we visit. I attend poetry readings in and around Philadelphia.

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

Usually it’s a plot idea that gets me started, then I think of the main characters who might be in the situation and why.

Is your writing style planned or freestyle?

Freestyle, definitely freestyle. I wish I could plan first. It would be so much easier, but when I get an idea I have to run with it. I always know the specifics of how it will end. It’s the middle I have to fill in.

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

When I get an idea I have to ask the basic questions: who, what, when, where and why. Then I have to work out the how. All of these are important, but I have to know the ‘why’ before I begin. I research background details needed to give the story a feeling of authenticity. We spent several winters in Brownsville, Texas and I travelled the surrounding areas extensively. The main characters in Border Love and Border Danger (which is next), are Border Patrol Agents so I did a lot of research about that government department. I took a helicopter ride in Hawaii and interviewed several helicopter pilots over there because Jeanine in Aloha Love is one and I needed to know the details of flying a helicopter. (I got airsick.)

We spend winters in Florida now. Hot air balloon rides are popular. Once one almost landed in the community where we were staying. That triggered part of the idea for Kindred Spirits. I had to use a balloon in a story, so I contacted the owner of a company, told him what I was doing and he invited me to an orientation. I told him I wasn’t going for a ride. (I didn’t want to repeat my helicopter experience with airsickness.) He invited me to come to the meeting anyway. Then I had to build a story around a hot air balloon. I always do the research as soon as I have an idea. Sometimes I reach a point where further research is required so I do it then.

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

I’ve spent a lot of time in all the locations I write about. I even went out to check the color of the South Carolina soil Missy stepped down into in my second book, Dream Wedding. If you follow the routes my characters in my books take, you’ll arrive at the location they come to. For example, if you follow the directions Jeanine follows in one scene in Aloha Love, you’ll end up at the coffee plantation.

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

  1. I make a list of at least 10-15 things that could happen next & mentally follow each one while weeding out some as I go.
  2. I might go for a walk. (My favorite exercise.) I walk my neighborhood which has wide quiet streets. I have a 3-3 1/2 mile route that I take 5-7 mornings a week. Many times the walk helps me iron out problems and move the story forward.

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

I kind of revise and edit as I go. It’s the writing that holds surprises. In Aloha Love a secondary character, Nate, tried to take over every scene he was in. I had to promise him his own story before he behaved. (I haven’t done so yet & every now and then he reminds me.) I was going to take him to Washington and completed six chapters, but I decided a few days ago to bring him to the Orlando, Florida area where I am now. He’s a helicopter mechanic so he’ll be one here. Details are still percolating in my head, but the story will be a romantic suspense. This is one of the rare times where I start with a character, but I promised him so I have to keep my promise so he’ll leave me alone.

What’s your dream vacation destination?

Hawaii. (Did you hear me sigh?) We’ve been there six times but it’s so far from Philadelphia. It’s a long flight there and a longer one back. I also think it would be nice if we Prism Book Group authors take a cruise together. We could offer to present writing workshops. (They might give us a discount.) I already have an idea for a novel set on a cruise ship.

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

I’ve drawn plans and made calendars for some of the books. In Escape to Love I had to sketch a building floor plan to get Angela to the elevator when somebody was chasing her and trying to kill her. I also use actual maps.

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

We have three dogs all from the same litter although they don’t look alike. Their mother was a yellow lab mix & their father was a mutt, too. Somebody watched Nanook when we went to Pittsburgh to celebrate my sister’s birthday. They said their male was fixed. He wasn’t. Nanook had 9 puppies the following December 23, six years ago. Buster is the alpha & weighs 120 pounds. Buddy weighs about 116. (He has a story of his own. I call him the ‘Return to Sender’ dog because he was sent back three times. I once had to give him a timeout for talking back.) Princess weighs 112 pounds.

What do you hope readers gain from your stories?

Several things: 1. First of all an enjoyable read worth the time they spent. 2. An escape from reality for a little while 3. Insight into some aspects of human nature

Border Love cover BLURB

Border Patrol agents Brooke Hudson and Darien McKee experience different situations while on assignment that shake their faith. She considers resigning, but will try reassignment instead.

Darien is forced to transfer from the Yuma Sector after an incident in the desert. They are assigned as partners. A personal relationship develops between them. An incident occurs that makes it necessary for them to be assigned different partners, but they continue to see each other socially.

Brooke’s new partner makes a rash decision that puts her in jeopardy. Will her faith help her out of the dangerous situation?

Darien realizes he loves her. When she disappears, he finds his faith returning as he searches for Brooke. Will he find her in time?

BUY LINKS

Amazon

Barnes & Noble

Smashwords

EXCERPT

Brooke Hudson drew her gun and crouched behind a thick bush, grateful for the tropical climate of Brownsville, Texas. She pressed her face so close to the ground, she could smell the musty, rotting leaves that covered this section of land.

The footsteps that caused her to take cover came closer. Birds scattered from the ground into the air announcing the path of the person approaching. The steps were slow, but the person didn’t try to keep quiet. Brooke frowned.

Even illegal intruders who got lost knew to move quietly. She shifted softly until she faced the sound. Unless they were armed and didn’t care if they encountered anybody.

She thought of a week ago when an officer’s body was found thirty miles north of where she was now. Lord, please be with me, she prayed. She pulled her mind back to the sounds, eased behind a vine-covered tree, and waited.

When the noise was almost on top of her, she stood with her back against a tree and aimed her weapon at the direction of the sound coming through the brush. She waited and watched. A final thrashing through a thick clump in front of her sent a ground squirrel scampering across the tiny clearing and brought the person almost out of cover.

Dente! Halt! No te mueve! Don’t move!” Brooke ordered just as a young woman stepped into view. “Are you alone?” she asked in Spanish as she scanned the area surrounding the woman. Then Brooke looked back at her and frowned. This wasn’t a woman. This was a girl not even in her teens.

Brooke scanned the area again; slowly this time. Mexico was only a few hundred yards on the other side of the fence across the road, but nobody this young would cross alone. Somebody was with her. How many? And where were they?

REVIEW SNIPPETS

“I absolutely loved this book. It fed my need for high paced tense action and romance all at the same time. “

The setting,  too, was unique, the border agent angle was a clever twist on the classic romantic suspense. Great characters, well written, fantastic story. “

Alice W

Alice Greenhowe Wootson is a retired teacher and award-winning author of eleven novels. She is also a prize-winning poet.  She’s a member of The Philadelphia Writers Conference, Mad Poets Society, Romance Writers of America and The Authors Guild. She meets with book clubs and readers.

Alice is a member of several ministries at her church: Enon Tabernacle Baptist Church in Philadelphia.

She uses any spare time she can find reading, traveling and spending time with her husband, her sons and grandchildren. She is always working on her latest novel or piece of poetry. For more information on her other releases, please visit her website.

Guest Interview–Kathy L. Wheeler

Welcome to an author friend I met through an online author community.

How about you introduce yourself by providing the basics?

I write contemporary and historical romance. I’ve been writing since 2007, and wished I’d started back in the 70s!

Where were you raised?

I was raised in Texas, the Dallas/Ft. Worth area, and Boulder/Longmont, Colorado.

Family members?

I have 2 sisters, 2 brothers, 1 daughter (who just had a baby), 1 husband, and 1 cat.

Did you attend college?

I graduated from the University of Central Oklahoma with a BA in Management Information Systems and a vocal minor in music.

What’s your favorite sport to watch?

NBA Thunder Basketball. And it’s been a rough year. **sigh**

Did you always want to be a singer? YES; Computer programmer? I thought I did. Writer? I never knew how much I would love it.

Are you a pet person?

I love animals. But it’s very hard when something happens to them. I love my cat. She’s quite adorable, demanding, sweet, and demanding! Right! She’s very demanding.

Do you have any hobbies?

I love to karaoke, hang out with my Martini Club 4 friends, writer friends. I just joined the YMCA, so I haven’t met anyone there yet. Of course, basketball, NFL, travel.

List your favorite movie of all time.

An Affair to Remember with Deborah Kerr and Cary Grant.

Where did you go for your most recent vacation?

Well, in February I went to Seattle to see my dad. I went from OKC through Denver and my brother ended up on the same plane! In January, I went to San Francisco to see my daughter and her new little boy. He’s adorable, though it took me two days to get up the nerve to hold him.

Is there a place you’d always wanted to visit?

I’m dying to go to Ireland. I’ve already been to London, Paris, Köln, Amsterdam, Madrid, Barcelona, Avignon, Vancouver, Victoria, Grand Cayman, Hawaii…(now I’m just bragging)

Reckless (2)_resized

BLURB for Reckless, part of the Martini Club 4 series

Lady Margaret turned Lady Bootlegger…

Singer Margaret (Meggie) Montley needs money…fast. Her friend is in a dire situation with nowhere to turn. While Meggie is on the brink of stardom, it’s not soon enough to save her friend.

Harry Dempsey is out to avenge the deaths of his father and brother at the hands of a ruthless gangster. But trouble spirals out of control when Meggie Montley shows up the night he meets his nemesis to settle the score. Saving the impetuous woman from a crime lord might be easier than saving her from her own reckless behavior.

BUY LINKS

Amazon

Nook

Kobo

EXCERPT

“He’ll be here. He’ll be here,” Butch snapped.

“What the hell is his name?”

Butch barked out a laugh. “What the hell’s wrong with you, Harry? I’ve never seen you this out of sorts. Ah, need a boff, do ya? I saw you talking to Alyce. I’m pretty sure—”

Meggie cringed. Did Harry have a thing for “The Kitchen”?

“That’s enough,” Harry growled. “His name.”

“Sid. Flash is sending him over. Keep an eye out for him, I’ll be in the office if you need me.” Butch slipped inside.

This was it. Now or never. Meggie pulled her cap down over her brow and stepped from her hidden place among the bushes.

“Sid? ’Bout damn time,” Harry said. “Let’s go.”

With a steady pace, Meggie edged her way to Harry, knees threatening to give way. Harry’s mood kept her quiet and watchful. With the grace of mountain lion, he leaped up in the bed of the truck. Her first real attack of fear slammed her when she gaged the height at which she’d need to somehow maneuver and appear masculine. She stole a glance at Harry who watched her, with curled lips. She threw out a gloved hand. The curled lip shifted to a disgusted smirk, but with a grunt he hauled her up. Just like the Harry she believed him to be.

He banged on the ceiling and the truck jerked into motion, tossing her to the straw covered floor.

Lightweight. Harry turned his gaze out to the street. The boy couldn’t have been more than sixteen, though that mustache was pretty full for one so young and slight. “You been doing this long, Sid?” His shirt was too damned white.

The kid just grunted, leaned back and pulled his cap further over his face.

Harry decided to do the same. No sense wasting unnecessary words. These weren’t the assignments where a man made lifelong friends. Pelham was an hour’s drive. They’d catch the boat out to the Long Island Sound. Hell, he’d be lucky to make it home by six.

The depth of night meant less traffic and faster time. The usual sixty minute trek took forty-five. The truck lurched to a stop and Harry jumped out. The kid attempted the same, barely avoiding a conk on his head but for Harry’s grab on his arm. The maneuver sent his cap flailing. Jesus, the kid needed food, he had no muscle.

Harry narrowed his eyes on the brown, lackluster hair tied back with a black strap. Sid jerked his arm from Harry’s hold and swooped his cap from the ground.

A whiff of something vaguely familiar—soft and floral, flowers of the hothouse variety, tingled his nostrils. A not-so-good feeling started deep in Harry’s gut. The kid jammed his cap on his head, stepping back. Roses.

“Meggie,” he whispered harshly.

The kid whipped his head around, facing him, mustache slightly off center. Angled like the Leaning Tower of Pisa.

“What the fu—” He stopped himself from letting his vulgar language touch such delicate ears.

“Boat’s ready for you, cap’n.”

Harry jerked ramrod straight. “Give us a minute, Marco.”

“Sure thing, cap’n, but time’s a wastin’, they won’t give you too long. You know the score.”

“Yeah, yeah. I said a minute,” he growled. He turned back to his companion, fury surging through his veins. “What the hell do you think you’re doing?” He kept his voice to a whisper. The danger temperature just hit the hundred mark.

Her brilliant eyes flashed. “I need blunt. And this seemed the quickest way to obtain it.” Her clipped British accent was low but definitely the same distinct voice that haunted his dreams night after night.

“The butt of a cigar? What the hell are you talking about?” The effort to keep his voice low was building the pressure in his skull.

“Money. Cash. Currency,” she said just as hotly.

“For what!”

“For—” she stopped, mouth gaping. It snapped shut. “Never you mind—cap’n—I-I have my reasons.”

“I’ll give you the god damned money. How much?” He glanced over his shoulder.

A figure stood on the bow of the boat. “What’s the hold up, cap’n? Time’s a’wastin’.”

She followed his gaze. “One thousand dollars.”

“One thous—are you out of your fuc—” Harry pulled himself up. “What the hell for?”

“Keep your voice down.” She raised herself up. She looked magnificent, despite the crooked mustache. Only where the hell were her curves?

“What for?”

Her gaze dropped to her feet. “I can’t say.”

“God almighty. Do you know what kind of people these are? What kind of danger you’re putting yourself in? Me in?”

That jerked her head up.

“These men don’t give a shit whether you are the biggest star on the Silver Screen or the lowest life in the subway.”

“I-I’m sorry.” Tears glinted on her lashes.

“Oh, for God’s sake. You’ll damn sure give us away if you blubber like a girl.” He squinted out in the dark. “I can’t very well leave you here. You’ll have to come with me.” He rested his gaze back on her. “Keep that hat low on your head and don’t say a fucking word. If they kill me, you can bet when they find your body there won’t be anything recognizable.” He felt like an ass letting the curse words fly. But if something happened to her—it didn’t bear thinking about. Then, to see her lips tremble. Hell. “I don’t suppose you know how to use a gun.”

“I-I used one on stage once,” she whispered.

Compressing his lips, he tugged the Luger from his trousers at his lower back, hidden beneath his jacket. “Damn thing’s loaded.” He grabbed her hand, its utter femininity reaching through her glove. How had he missed that when he’d hauled her into the truck? He was an idiot.

Shoving away fear that centered deep within his belly, he positioned the gun in her hand, showing her the proper hold. “If you have to shoot, try to aim it in someone else’s direction. Stay behind me.”

He let out a held breath at her shaky nod.

“Let’s go. And straighten the mustache.”

Kathey Wheeler

Kathy L Wheeler has a BA degree from the University of Central Oklahoma in Management Information Systems that includes over forty credit hours of vocal music.  As a computer programmer the past fifteen years, she utilizes karaoke for her vocal music talents. Other passions include travel, fantasy football, NBA and musical theatre. She is a long time member of several RWA Chapters, including OKRWA, DARA, and The Beau Monde. As an avid reader of romance and patron of the theatre, her main sources of inspiration come mostly from an over-active imagination. She currently resides in Edmond, Oklahoma with her musically talented, attorney husband, Al, and their bossy cat, Carly.

Guest promotion–The Widow’s Gallery by Marilyn Baron

TheWidows_Gallery_w9270_med

part of the Lobster Cove series, published by The Wild Rose Press

Blurb:

Childless heiress Abigail Adams Longley and three other widows bond over a Renaissance masterpiece in Florence, Italy, and find love, friendship and joy in their joint venture to open an art gallery at the Longley mansion in Lobster Cove, Maine.

Since the death of her husband, Abigail has been lonely and drifting in a house that’s too big and a town that’s too small. When she literally runs into sexy widower and whale-watching excursion captain Tack Garrity on the dock, she’s entranced by his adorable five-year-old daughter. But will Tack, who has harbored a secret crush on Abigail for almost two decades, be able to capture her heart?

Excerpt:

Abigail Adams Longley looked aroundat the three women flanking her in Hall 10/14 of the Uffizi Gallery. They were all staring at The Birth of Venus like wide-eyed art students. Admittedly, the painting was as compelling as when the Medici family originally commissioned the tempera on canvas in the fifteenth century. But for Abigail, seeing the painting again wasn’t cathartic. It was beautiful, but that wasn’t the feeling she was going for. Peace. Why couldn’t she get some goddamned peace in this life?

 

Abigail glanced at the square-cut, four-carat diamond on her finger, gazed at the sparkle of the ring she hadn’t removed since the day Louis had proposed. And now, a whole year after his death, she still hadn’t taken it off. Conventional wisdom dictated that you weren’t supposed to make any major life decisions until a year after a spouse’s death. Well, it had been a year already, and she hadn’t wanted to make even one decision—major or minor—about where to live, where to go, or what to do. Whoever said money can’t buy happiness had devised another dead-on axiom. She had all the money in the world—in fact Louis had left her a big chunk of the globe. He’d left her set for life, monetarily. But she would have traded every cent for the chance to be with him again. Louis was gone, and the sooner she faced the fact that she was alone on this planet, the better off she’d be.

BUY LINKS

All Romance ebooks

Amazon ebook

Amazon print

The Wild Rose Press

Marilyn Baron

Marilyn Baron is a public relations consultant in Atlanta. She’s a member of Romance Writers of America and Georgia Romance Writers (GRW), recipient of the GRW 2009 Chapter Service Award and winner or finalist in writing awards in single title, suspense romance, novel with strong romantic elements and paranormal romance. To find out more about Marilyn’s books and stories, visit www.marilynbaron.com.

 Web contacts:

Twitter — https://twitter.com/MarilynBaron

Facebook— https://www.facebook.com/pages/Marilyn-Baron/28680771466674

Blog Link—Marilyn blogs with Savvy Authors on the 22nd of each month at http://savvyauthors.com/blog/

Website—http://www.marilynbaron.com/

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

Guest Release–Martini Club 4

A four-book series by four authors set in the Roaring Twenties

MC4 New Banner

Blurb for Ruined by Alicia Dean:

After the Earl of Goodwin attempts to force himself on her, housemaid Eliza Gilbert flees England for New York, hoping to build a better life. But the land of opportunity proves as harsh as the London docks, and she finds herself in a situation more dreadful than the one she escaped.

When Vince Taggart’s childhood friend disappears, he heads to New York in search of her and meets Eliza, a woman with a less than honorable reputation. Inexplicably captivated, Vince can’t force himself to stay away, especially when he learns Eliza may be the key to finding his missing friend.

Ruined_NEW CVR_LRG

Excerpt:

The next night at Oscar’s party, Eliza tried to put the missing girls out of her mind. The penthouse was filled with people; everyone seemed to be in an exceptionally good mood.

She moved across the room and chatted with Oscar’s guests. Her enthusiasm for the position had dimmed, but really, she’d overreacted at the Jubilee. Betty and her husband had been nice people. The music and dancing were incredible. She’d never seen people move like that. Other than some uncomfortable pawing, Betty had been right, Gregor hadn’t made a pass at her. She could do this. The money was fabulous, and employment was not easy to find—especially for a female immigrant.

She forced herself to relax and enjoy the party. She’d been here for three hours, and Oscar hadn’t asked her—correction, insisted—that she leave with anyone. Maybe this would be like the other nights and she could just mingle and drink and entertain guests—here, under Oscar’s roof. Tonight, she wore the last of her new gowns, a black, figure hugging knee-length with fringe along the hem that went down to her ankles. She felt daring…pretty, even. She’d have to go shopping if she didn’t want to start rotating the same dresses all over again. At least she had plenty of funds to buy new things. Oscar had been more than generous. His many moods confused her. He could scare the bloody daylights out of her one moment, then become kind and giving in the next.

Oscar and a tall man with thick, dark hair approached. “Eliza, my dear, I would like you to meet Thomas Killman.”

She took his hand. He was handsome, if a little fleshy. “How do you do.”

“Delighted, my dear.” He bent and placed a wet kiss on the back of her hand. She resisted the urge to rub the saliva off on her dress.

“I would like you to be Mr. Killman’s companion for the evening.”

Eliza smiled. At least she wouldn’t have to leave with this one. “Of course. It will be my pleasure.”

His brows lifted, and a broad smile broke over his face. “Indeed?”

Oscar took her arm and led her a few paces away, out of Mr. Killman’s earshot. “This is going to be a little different arrangement tonight. You’ll have to be extra nice to him.”

“I’m always nice, Oscar. I smile and I’m polite. I even let them kiss me if they want. I will be his escort for the entire evening. As late as he wants.”

“That’s fine. But he’s going to want more than an escort.” He narrowed his eyes. “More than a kiss.”

“More than a kiss?” Her heart thudded madly. “I—I don’t understand.”

“Eliza, please. You aren’t really that naïve, are you? You will have sex with him.”

The room spun and her ears rang. She must not have heard him correctly. “Wh—what did you say?” The words came out in a squeak from her strangled throat.

“I believe you know exactly what I said.”

The world dropped out from under her. She would not do something so, so depraved.

“No!” She’d meant to keep her voice low, but when heads turned her way, she realized she’d shouted the word.

All pretense of civility left Oscar’s features. He tightened his lips and gripped her arm. “You heard me. You’ll have to sleep with him. All the other girls do that sort of thing. You’ve just managed to avoid it so far. But he picked you.”

This was the reason she left England. Her mother warned her on her deathbed that once the Earl was gone, she needed to run. Lord Renwald would make her his whore. She’d run, but not far enough. She’d barely escaped the same thing Oscar was trying to make her.

*** Available now for Amazon pre-order for only 99¢ – Regular price will be $2.99 when the stories release on February 26!***

This book is part of a fun series I did in conjunction with three of my writer friends. We have been meeting for martinis at the Martini Lounge in Edmond, Oklahoma nearly every Friday for the past four years. From those get-togethers, we developed the idea to write a series centered around a Martini Club. Those stories are finally completed, and we’re pleased to present the Martini Club 4 series…

Rebellious by Amanda McCabe – Can an aristocratic lady melt the cold heart of a Russian gangster?

Ruined by Alicia Dean – She vowed she’d be no man’s doxy, but fate had other plans.

Reckless by Kathy L Wheeler – Lady Margaret turned Lady Bootlegger.

Runaway by Krysta Scott – Can she prove her innocence before more than her dreams are destroyed?

Find all four at this link

MC4 1

Left to Right: Krysta Scott, Amanda McCabe, Kathy L Wheeler, Alicia Dean

Contact info:

www.AliciaDean.com

Twitter: @Alicia_Dean_
Martini Club 4 FB page:  https://www.facebook.com/martiniclub4

Guest Promotion–Lady Of The Night by M.J. Schiller

LadyOfKnight_CVR_MED

Blurb ~

Can she betray the man she loves to save him?

An explosion rips Darius away from Maggie. Everyone believes him to be dead, but in her heart she knows it’s not true.

Will he betray The Order to make his way back to her?

Darius’s captor wants information about Council members.  Will duty win out over love?

Will he betray his best friend for the woman he loves?

Orion has learned to keep his distance from Maggie, but when circumstances throw them together in a very intimate way, how can he be expected to remain a loyal friend to Darius?

Excerpt ~

He entered a hallway lined with doors on either side. About halfway up a patch of light on the polished wood stretched from one of the doorways and then became slimmer and slimmer, disappearing as the door slid shut. He picked up his pace, but footsteps approached from a side hallway. Ducking into a doorway, he flattened himself against the cold metal, his heart racing. The footsteps echoed loudly on the flooring, but soon became more distant. Daring to stick his head out, he got a glimpse of the back of someone turning onto another corridor. He estimated the spot where he thought the light shone on the floor, then strode to the door, took a deep breath, and punched the keypad.

He was horrorstruck when the door opened. Maggie knelt at the foot of a brass bed facing it with her arms spread wide, electro-cuffed to the bedposts. The ape called Mic brought a whip crashing down on her back. Orion jumped at the sharp crack, wincing. He rushed forward and grabbed the slaver’s arm as he pulled it back for another blow. He ripped the whip from the meaty fist and threw it across the room where it knocked over a lamp. Mic whirled in a rage but was laid low by a single punch to his jaw. He staggered backward into the bed and slid slowly, almost comically, to the floor.

“Maggie.”

He hurried to her side, kneeling and laying his hands on her bare arms. “I’m so sorry.” He peered over her shoulder to see her exposed lower back and the welt already rising there.

“I’m okay.” She leaned to peer around the side of the bed at Mic’s prone figure. “Wow. I guess it is true. The bigger they are, the harder they do fall.” The corners of her lips turned up, but her eyes watered.

He smiled back, relieved she was safe. For the moment anyhow. He ran his hands along her arms to the electro-cuffs and deactivated them. They fell from her wrists, and she grabbed the bars of the bed to help her to her feet. She sucked in her breath through her teeth, then halted, appearing to gather herself for a few seconds. “I’ve got an idea about how I can get into the slave quarters.”

BUY LINK

Amazon

MJ Schiller

M.J. Schiller, lunch lady/romance-romantic suspense writer, is the mother of a twenty-year-old and three eighteen-year-olds. That’s right, triplets! So having recently taught four children to drive, she likes to escape by pretending to be a rock star at karaoke. However, a record label is out of the question.

Web Contacts ~

Website: www.mjschillerauthor.blogspot.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/MJ-Schiller-Romance-Author/286382241460365?ref=hl

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

Twitter: https://twitter.com/mjschiller

Tumblr: http://mjschilz.tumblr.com/

Instagram: http://instagram.com/mjschiller

Google + : https://plus.google.com/u/0/110797684036386240402/posts

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6479377.M_J_Schiller

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/M.J.-Schiller/e/B009JOQFQQ/ref=ntt_athr_dp_pel_1

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Guest Interview–Nicki Greenwood

Today I’m pleased to have an author who is also published by The Wild Rose Press, Nicki Greenwood.

Tell us a bit about you and your background.

My writing career began a lot like most authors’ did: I was never without a book or a pen in my hand. Stories were my life. Things really took off when I discovered the Central New York Romance Writers. In between two fabulous years as an editor and a sideline as a web designer, I have since published five books and counting. I have a day job, but my first love will always be the power of the pen (or, these days, the keyboard). I’m still rarely without a book.

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

Usually, it’s the plot. Once in a great and very welcome while, a character will start talking to me, and refuse to stop until I write down what he says. Those are the best kind of stories, and the easiest to write!

Is your writing style planned or freestyle?

I used to “pants” it entirely. If I knew the ending, it wasn’t worth writing the story. These days, I’ve had to work out a balance between plotting and pantsing. I keep the plot deliberately vague so that I leave myself room for surprises, but there’s a general idea of where the whole circus is going.

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

I’ve discovered that, even five-plus books in, I’m always going to hate my first draft. No matter what I do, I’m just not going to be happy with what goes into that initial round of writing, and it’s hard, slow going. The key is just to keep getting those words on the page, even if I think they’re terrible. Most of the time, the words are better than I think, and I need to remember that I can make them better when it’s time to revise. (That’s where I have my real fun!)

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

I generally pick an actor or actress that resembles my hero/heroine, and that sets a mental image in my head from which I can build a personality. I use Pinterest as a “visual aid” for my novels, where people can “see” inside my books and find locations, professions, or special items highlighted in the stories (see the link for my Pinterest page).

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BLURB for Flashpoint:

Faith Markham knows her place in life—paranormal expert and world-traveling archaeologist. She also knows she’ll never fall in love again. How can she, when the only man she’s ever wanted is a long-dead Viking warrior? She has resigned herself to loneliness, but fate has other ideas.

Hakon Ivarsson has had enough of women. His ex-wife left his life in ruins, and only Australia’s Blue Mountains can soothe his empty soul. When Faith shows up needing a trail guide, he regards her with instant suspicion. This enigmatic beauty pulls at him in ways he can’t explain. Trusting her is out of the question, but protecting her is absolute.

When they stumble on an artifact-smuggling ring, led by a man poised to bend the world’s paranormal power to his own terrible purposes, they must join forces. Will it tear them apart, or has fate finally delivered a second chance?

2nd Place, 2006 Golden Pen Contest

EXCERPT:

Just who was guiding who?

Hakon growled and pulled his own backpack from the Land Rover, locked the vehicle, then stalked down the trail after her.

It took him all of two seconds to decide he should have been the one walking in front. Faith strode ahead of him, dodging ruts and potholes with sure feet. Her hips swayed with each step in a compelling rhythm that drove his body into a riot. He imagined drawing her back against him, kissing that spot behind her ear where tendrils of golden hair had fallen loose….

She stopped dead and turned around with wide eyes. Damn, had he said something out loud? He thought he’d seen a flash in her eyes just before they saw the truck. There it was again, though before, he could have sworn her eyes had been silver…

“Aren’t you supposed to be in front of me?” she asked.

Desire and doubt vanished. “I would have been, if you hadn’t bolted off in the first place.” He stepped around her and went on without pausing. “Next time, let me go first. Clear?”

“Get up on the wrong side of the bed?”

He didn’t bother telling her he hadn’t slept at all. Her presence had echoed through the walls of the inn like a resonating bell, one moment consuming him with the need to go to her, and the next, driving him away in a fit of resentment.

She was money. His ticket to freedom, nothing more.

Maybe if he kept telling himself that, he might start to believe it.

BUY LINKS

The Wild Rose Press

Barnes & Noble

Amazon

Nicki Greenwood graduated SUNY Morrisville with a degree in Natural Resources. She found her passion in writing stories of romanticnickibiolg-s adventure, and combines that with her love of the environment. Her works have won several awards, including the Rebecca Eddy Memorial Contest. Her first book, Earth, debuted in 2010 through The Wild Rose Press. Her latest book is Flashpoint.

Nicki lives in upstate New York with her husband, son, and assorted pets. When she’s not writing, she enjoys the arts, gardening, interior decorating, and trips to the local Renaissance Faire.

WEB CONTACTS

Website: http://www.nickigreenwood.com

Blog: http://nickigreenwood.blogspot.com/

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/nickigreenwood

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/Nicki.Greenwood.Author

Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/nickigreenwood

Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/greenwood0798/

 

Guest promotion–A Very Merry Superhero Wedding by Kitty Bucholtz

Cover_ip03

BLURB

Tori Lewis can hardly wait for her Christmas Eve wedding to handsome Joe Clarke. Joe expected to be a happy superhero bachelor for years to come, but he is determined to marry Tori, the woman he saved on Halloween. But she doesn’t know who he really is. How can he explain his life to a woman who doesn’t believe in superheroes? Meanwhile, the city is going through a Christmastime crime spree. Will it all come together without ruining the perfect Christmas wedding?

EXCERPT

TWO things always surprised Joe Clarke in December: the weather, and the people of Double Bay.

Some years the snow would start falling by Halloween. Thanksgiving would be a day to have a plan B in case you couldn’t make it to Grandma’s house due to blowing and drifting snow. And Christmas would be both beautiful and frustrating with every outing marred by icy roads and fresh piles of snow to clear off the car.

Other years, like this year, there were a few snow showers, but hardly any of the snow stuck to the ground. The ski slopes were covered with machine-made snow. Shopping and traveling were a breeze.

And tracking potential home invaders proved more difficult.

Ah, yes, the wonderful citizens of Double Bay constantly surprised him. The young man he tracked now — that is, that his alter ego Superhero X tracked — really put the “dumb” in dumbed down. Not only was he peeking in windows in the fading light of the afternoon rather than waiting for the full dark that would fall over the city by dinnertime, but he wasn’t paying attention to the security signs.

This particular yard sported a bold red and white sign near the front door — MGV Security. The sign wasn’t hidden by snow either. What, did the guy think it was a Christmas decoration? Superhero X shook his head and waited. When the young man took out a pocket knife and pried the screen off one of the windows, Superhero X moved closer and cleared his throat.

The man jumped and dropped his knife. His eyes widened as he looked up — way up — into the superhero’s face. “Oh! I-I-I was just…I mean, I…I live here…”

X raised his eyebrows skeptically. “What’s your address?”

“It’s, uh, let me think, I just moved here and…” The man looked around the yard and at the other houses nearby, searching for a helpful clue.

Taking a long black zip tie from a pocket of his super suit, X gestured. “Hands.”

The man sighed heavily and sagged against the siding. “You’re not going to call the cops, are you?” He held out his hands. “I didn’t take anything.”

X tied the man’s hands, then pressed a button on the wrist of his suit. “Superhero X to dispatch,” he said. He gave the address, dispatch assured him that a police car would be there soon, then he marched the would-be Christmas thief to the sidewalk.

Pressing another button, he winced at the time. He’d have to hurry home to change after the police picked up the wannabe burglar. His fiancée, Tori Lewis, would be waiting for him — that is, for Joe — to pick her up from her last day at work. He didn’t live far from here since this was his regular patrol neighborhood, but he still wanted to hurry.

Superhero X kept his facial expression impassive, but on the inside he could feel a grin. In five days, on Christmas Eve, he would finally marry the girl he rescued Halloween night. He could hardly wait.

Afraid a smile would break through and spoil his stern superhero expression, he brought his mind back around to work. He pressed a different button on his wrist and recorded a message with the time, the date, and the address of the house that had been broken into. Someone at MGV Security would get the information and call the homeowner to make a report.

“Someone” who was not Joe Clarke. MGV Security was a real security firm, but it was also Joe’s cover job. A cover job from which he was technically on vacation for the next two weeks. Owned and operated by Joe’s friend and fellow superhero Mickey Valient, a.k.a. Tick Tock, MGV provided professional security services to all of its clients, but there were also more…discreet…services they provided the city.

A snowball whizzed overhead.

Superhero X turned to look down the sidewalk. Two boys around eight or ten years old stood frozen in their snow suits, mouths gaping. They’d collected what little snow was on their lawn and made a half dozen little snowballs, piled at their feet. X smiled and gave them a little salute. They whooped and jumped up and down. X grinned. He loved his job.

A Double Bay police car pulled up to the curb. Time to finish up work for the day and hightail it over to get his girl.

***

TORI Lewis felt butterflies square-dancing in her stomach. In a few minutes, she’d be off work to finish planning her wedding — and then she’d be away on her honeymoon. It almost didn’t seem real.

For the last ten years or so, she had lived a quiet, semi-solitary life. Her mother Dixie and older sister Lexie were living proof that women in her family didn’t make good choices when it came to men. Dixie’s marriage to Tori’s biological father had ended so badly that Dixie was still angry about it nearly twenty-five years later, even though her second marriage to Danny Lewis was filled with love and respect. Lexie had finally turned her life around a few years ago and found a “good” man to share it with. Then he broke it off and left when he found out she was pregnant. With those examples always on her mind, Tori had been afraid to chance the heartbreak and disaster she was sure would accompany a profession of love.

Until now.

BUY LINKS

Amazon

Smashwords

Kitty Bucholtz Author Photo2 small

Kitty Bucholtz grew up forty miles east of Traverse City, Michigan—a town that is a smaller but surprisingly similar version of Double Bay, Michigan, the setting of this book. As far as she knows, there are no super villains in Traverse City, but they have super pie.

WEB CONTACTS

Website

Goodreads

Facebook

Twitter name is @KittyBucholtz

Guest release–Of Love and Vengeance by Louise Lyndon

COVER Of Love and Vengeance

BLURB:

Forced to marry Lord Aymon to ensure her nephews survival, English Lady Laila vows undying hatred for the Norman she holds responsible for so many deaths. Discovering Aymon has committed an act of treason gives her the chance to seek vengeance he deserves.  But will Laila really let Aymon die once she learns the truth?

A hardened Norman warrior, Lord Aymon has lived through atrocities no man ever should. With the invasion of England over, all he wants is a quiet life and a wife who will give him heirs and obey his every command. Instead, he finds himself wed to feisty and outspoken Laila. But when she learns the truth of his treasonous act, can Aymon count on her to keep his secret?

EXCERPT:

Laila heard them long before she saw them. Their angry, frenzied shouts and thunderous roars filled her ears. With her hands tied securely behind her, she was dragged up the lane toward Tyburn Gallows, where she was to be hanged for a crime she did not commit. The mob sounded blood thirsty. Large. Frightening.

There was no sign of Aymon. Or Hugh. Had they left her alone to die?

Her chin trembled and her nails dug into her palms.

She suddenly fell to her knees and screamed until she tasted blood at the back of her throat. She kicked out and tried to crawl free as her hair was almost torn from the roots as she was pulled up and shoved along the lane.

Her eyes burned with her tears.

“I am innocent!” Laila screamed.

They came around a corner, and that’s when she saw them. There must have been a least two thousand men, women, and children, hungry for her blood. And when they saw her, they erupted into a wild fever of roars and cries for a slow and painful death. Their thirst had been piqued, and now it must be sated.

Laila was shoved into the center of the clearing.

She glanced wildly around in a desperate search for Aymon’s towering, bulky frame. She could not see him.

But what she could see was the Tyburn Tree. The gallows she was to be hanged from. The executioner, hooded, stood beside the tree as he waited patiently for her. Laila’s mouth suddenly went dry.

BUY LINKS:

Amazon US http://ow.ly/FT0wg

Amazon UK http://ow.ly/FT0CD

Amazon AU http://ow.ly/FT0GP

The Wild Rose Press http://ow.ly/FT0oK

Kobo http://ow.ly/FT0K8

All Romance eBooks http://ow.ly/FT0O6

Book Strand http://ow.ly/FT0Ra

Louise

Louise grew up in Australia before moving to England, where for sixteen years she soaked up the vibrancy of London and the medieval history of England. She has since returned to Australia. In 2013 Louise won first prize in the Crested Butte Sandy Writing Contest – Historical Romance Category –for her story, The Promise, which has since been retitled as, Of Love & Vengeance. When not writing, she can be found crawling under barbed wire and hoisting herself over twelve foot walls!

WEB CONTACTS:

EMAIL  
WEBSITE
  
BLOG
 
FACEBOOK
  
TWITTER 

GOODREADS 

ARC giveaway–Light A Candle for the Beast

Roane Publishing is giving away three eARCs of 

Light a Candle for the Beast!


Light a Candle for the Beast
by Echo Shea

 

Genre: Paranormal Romance

 

 

Release Date: November 26, 2014

 


If you’ve ever been caught in a riptide, pulled down into the water, then you know me. Or, more accurately, what I’m like when I’m angry.

Delia was beautiful, smart, and kind. He wasn’t. He said he loved her, but he didn’t know what love was. He was manipulative and cruel—more than a thief. A beast.

All she wanted was a rose… 

These are the words on my sister’s grave. Her sadness, her obsession, forever a reminder I didn’t–couldn’t save her.

I’m not vindictive or cruel. I’m simply as the river–my memory is winding and my reach is long. I watched him steal her beauty, her essence. Watched him become a beast. He thought he’d get away with it, thought he’d go free.

I lay a rose upon my sister’s grave.

Light a candle for the beast.


Roane Publishing is giving away THREE ARC copies to three lucky winners!


You don’t even have to be a blogger.


If you are willing to leave an honest review between the dates of November 26th and December 10th, you are eligible to enter.

How? Simply fill out the form!

You have until Midnight of November 15th when three winners will be chosen by random drawing.



Thanks so much & best of luck!

Guest Interview–Sharon McGregor

Welcome today to Sharon McGregor, an author with Prism Book Group.

Tell us a bit about you and your background.

I ‘m a prairie transplant to the West Coast, trying to run away from winter.  I  am moving this month to the warmest spot I can find and still live in Canada- on Vancouver Island, where I will be a block away from the beach. I grew up on a quarter-section farm on the prairies and attended a one-room country school of the sort where  Maggie has come to teach  in Autumn Dreams. Unlike Maggie, I have always loved horses.

What are your hobbies away from the computer?

I’m a history buff. My favourite period is the time of the Plantagenets. I want to do some travelling if I can ever get away and I plan a trip to the UK with friends next year. I like watching my grandchildren with their sports.  Any time I spend with animals is time well spent. I love horses, dogs, and my cat Zoey as well as any others that cross my path.

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

I would say the two main characters first. Some of the other characters just show up as the plot develops.  In Autumn Dreams, I wanted to start with a teacher of the sort my aunts were when I was young. Then Maggie just walked in and said, “This is my story.”

Is your writing style planned or freestyle?

I do about sixty percent planned and the rest freestyle.  I don’t feel comfortable without a structure to work within. Then I often change things as I go and the outline goes out the window. An outline is sort-of like your reserve parachute-it’s comforting to know it’s there even if you don’t use it.

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

I lived the location. Maggie was just a little before my time but close enough that the farm, the people the school and the families all seem to be familiar on a personal level.

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

The first thing I try is take the dogs for a long walk.  That usually clears my head and I find on my feet is the best way to think.  Second best is my Lazy boy, but sometimes I goof that one up and doze off.  If I am stuck for too long, I set the story aside for a couple of days and tackle something else-maybe a short story or plotting another book.  Then some little thing hits you and you’re back on track with your work.

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Blurb:

Autumn Dreams takes place on the prairies in the late 1940s.

Maggie arrives at her new teaching job, to board with a family she’s prepared to like. What she isn’t prepared for is her landlady’s brother Marshall who seems to hate her on sight. She is captivated by Ellen’s six year old daughter Emma who is having identity problems when faced with the arrival of a new baby. Then Ellen goes into labour in the middle of a storm and Maggie must face her fears to help. Along the way she helps a family grow closer together but what about her hopes for the future? Can she get past the wall Marshall has set up and does she really have a future here amongst the people she has grown to care for?

BUY LINKS

Amazon

Barnes & Noble

From a 5-star review:

This charming story weaves little touches of 1940s history with romance and endearment. The story is so well written, with delicate description, a great storyline and believable characters. The heroine, Maggie, not only has to adjust to a new life and job, but overcome her fear of horses and find romance along the way, a true inspiration to us all.

Sharon McGregor

 

Excerpt:

Maggie stood in the barn doorway watching for a moment as Marshall threw forkfuls of soiled straw onto the stoneboat.  It was a warm day and his shirt hung on a wooden peg on the wall.  Maggie wasn’t used to seeing a man’s naked torso.  When her father came home from the hardware store, he might take off his jacket and loosen his tie but that was as casual as he got.  She watched in admiration as each muscle moved and realigned when Marshall lifted. She could feel an unfamiliar warmth in her own body as she watched.  She knew from the way his shoulders tightened that he was aware of her presence.

“Ellen says supper will be ready in a half hour,” she said.

“I figured.”  He stopped briefly and stood, fork in hand, one foot resting on its shoulder, a slight smile pulling the right side of his mouth upward.  “Is there more?”

“You used to live here, right?”

“It was our family farm.”

“Your parents aren’t still living?”

“No.”  He pointed through the open north door to a hillside. “My father was cultivating that hillside when the tractor wheel hit a large rock and threw it off balance.  The tractor rolled over on him. He was dead before help came.  Mom died a year later.  Farm life isn’t all baby calves and collecting eggs, you know.  It’s a hard life.”

“Why didn’t you stay on the farm?’

He picked up the fork again.  “Do you always ask so many questions?  If you want to make yourself useful, grab a fork.”  His eyes travelled over her from head to toe sending a shiver down her back. “On second thought, you’d better not.  Those shoes weren’t made for shovelling manure.  Wouldn’t want to soil them.”  He turned dismissively back to his work.

She flushed as she felt her anger rise at his off-handedness.

She marched past him skirting the flailing fork handle. She knew she’d seen a pair of rubber boots earlier by the corner stall. She pushed her feet out of her shoes and into the boots.  A little big but they’d do. She reached for a fork hanging on the barn wall aware of his stillness as he watched her.

“Not that one; that’s a hay fork. Take the one next to it.”

She lifted the shorter heavier manure fork and tentatively shoved it into a pile of damp, smelly straw. As she lifted, most of it fell off but she managed to fling some of it onto the stoneboat. The second forkful went better. Marshall had turned his back but she knew by the way his shoulders moved that he was laughing at her.

I’ll show you she thought. She closed her nose to the stench and wondered if you ever got used to the smell of manure. ‘Oh Dora, if you could only see me now.”

///

Maggie bit the side of her lip and plunged in, partly because she wanted answers and partly just to say something to cover her confusion. “So why didn’t you stay on the farm?  Don’t sons usually take over?”

He gave her an amused look. “You never give up with your questions, do you? Well, let’s see if I can satisfy that curiosity bug of yours.” He leaned back in his chair balancing it on the rear two legs and closed his eyes for a moment. “When our parents died, Ellen was already married to Ray and I was turning eighteen.  That was when the war came.  Ray couldn’t join up; he’s always had weak lungs.  That’s why he keeps getting those bouts of pneumonia.  But I was young and idealistic so I enlisted.  Ray and Ellen moved in and ran the farm.  When the war finally ended I was restless like so many others and I wandered around the country for a bit before coming back to Timber.  Ray and Ellen had put so much into the place and I wasn’t really anxious to become a farmer, so they bought out my share.  I started the lumberyard with a friend and here we are.”  He bounced the chair back to an upright position with a bang.  “Does that answer all your questions?”

“All but one.”

He stood and set his cup down as if to show he’s given her all the time he would allot her and said “What might that one be?”

“Why do you dislike me?”

He gave her a long slow look. “Yes, I can see where you’re one of those people who needs to have everyone like them.”

She flushed and was about to protest when he moved closer and said, “The short answer is I don’t dislike you.” He put one arm around her shoulder turning her to face him and leaned down to kiss her, gently at first and then with a ferocity that shook loose all her feelings for this intriguing man and replaced them with sensations she had never felt before.  Warmth swept through her very essence. Just as she felt she was going to fall over the edge of a cliff he released her, swung around so quickly she couldn’t see his expression and walked out the door.

Bio:

Sharon McGregor is a west coast transplant from the Canadian prairies. Her imagination and story weaving got its start when she was an only child living on a farm. She’s moved on from cowgirl dreams to romance and mystery, but hasn’t lost her love for horses.
In spite of her eternal quest to escape the cold, she does spend time at ice rinks watching her grandchildren figure skate and play hockey.
When she can summon up the nerve to get on a plane she likes to visit with her son and grandchildren who are still knee deep in the prairies.
Sharon loves endings with happy resolutions which is why she enjoys writing romance.

Web Links:

Web site

Blog

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Twitter name: @sharonmcgr

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