Tag Archives: The Wild Rose Press

#BookPromo and #CharacterInterview with Donna Simmonetta

You all know I love love love when a Wild Rose sistah comes to visit, and I especially love when that sistah beings one of her characters! Today, we’re visiting with author Donna Simonetta and Heather Braden, whom we first met in A Sweeter Spot, book one in the Rivers Bend trilogy, and get to know better in the new release, Love is Lovelier. She’s mixed up one of her signature cocktails for the interview, so let us pour you a Mai Tai, and hear what she has to say.

Heather, you’re from the tiny town of Rivers Bend, Virginia. Tell us what it is that draws you to live there.

(Smiles in a way that lights up the room) Well, it’s my hometown. I was born and raised there. But there are lots of things that keep me living there. The scenery is beautiful…rolling fields, the winding river wending its way through the town, the blue ridge mountains in the distance. It’s truly lovely. The best thing about the town though, has to be the people! For some reason, Rivers Bend seems to attract quirky, fun people. They might be in your business a little too much, but it’s done out of love, and frankly, it’s kind of nice living in a place where you know everyone has your back.

So you never considered living anywhere else?

After high school, I did move to Portland, Oregon to help my brother Jeff with his daughter after her mom died. And it was fun living there, but it never really felt like home, y’know?

You strike me as the kind of person who would have fun wherever you are living.

(Throws back her head and laughs) That’s probably true. Mick Evans would certainly say it about me.

Since you brought up Mick Evans, I have to ask…in A Sweeter Spot, you did not seem at all pleased to learn he was moving to Rivers Bend to be your boss at the Retreat. How are things going between you?

(Blushes to the roots of her sun-kissed brown hair) We’ve had our ups and downs. (Pauses, and takes a long sip of her fruity cocktail) You see, Mick and I have a bit of a history together. And those pesky feelings for each other don’t seem to want to stay in the past where they belong.

(Waits several beats, but Heather doesn’t seem inclined to continue) Okaaay…how about this question. You are known in Rivers Bend for creating signature cocktails for different events.

(Leans forward eagerly and nods, brushing her choppy bangs back off her face) I even have a tiki bar in my little apartment over my sister’s café, the Nosh Pit. I love to try to find the perfect creation to celebrate different events. For my mother’s annual Kentucky Derby party at her horse farm, I made frozen Mint Juleps this year, and they were quite a hit with everyone.

If you were going to have a drink that represents Mick, what would it be, and why?

(Screws up her mouth and narrows her eyes as she considers) An aged Scotch. Neat. Like Mick, it’s classic, elegant, smooth, but a single sip and I’m knocked off my feet!

That certainly doesn’t sound like your feelings are in the past. How does Mick feel?

(Shrugs) You’d have to ask him.

But Mick isn’t here with us today, so I’m asking you…are you two an item again?

We are drawn together––it’s the old cliché about opposites attracting. But, there are a lot of reasons…valid reasons, good reasons…for the two of us to remain just friends. So, that’s what we’re trying to do.

How’s that working for you?

(Grins and winks) You’ll have to read Love is Lovelier to find out!

Heather and Mick have a long history together, and Heather wants to leave it in the past where it belongs. Yet, here Mick is, very much in her present, thanks to her brother Jeff, who hired Mick to be her boss at the Retreat at Rivers Bend.

It wouldn’t be so bad, except Heather and Mick are still attracted to each other like metal to a magnet. Oh, and her brother is considering offering Mick a partnership in the Retreat, which by rights should be hers. And even if they act on their attraction, Heather is a small-town, country girl, and proud of it, whereas Mick can’t get far enough from his West Virginia coal-mining roots.

Will they be able to get a second chance at their first love and find their happy ending together in Rivers Bend?


“Stick close. I’ll get you out of here.”

He used his broad shoulders as a wedge to propel himself through the crowd; Heather scurried to keep up with him so she could take advantage of the gap he created, not wanting to be so close that she could feel the warmth of his body through his elegant suit, but because she needed somehow to beat this crush of people to the Retreat to make sure that everything was in place for the post-christening party she’d planned for Bethanne – only perfection would do for her BFF.

She watched Mick’s back as she stuck close to him; he looked so strong and fit – it was hard to imagine him the way he was ten years ago, when he’d suffered his NFL career-ending injury, but the same business acumen that kept him with the Portland Pintos organization back then was the reason Jeff and Cisco hired him at the Retreat.

He’d be good for business – she’d just have to keep chanting those words in her head like a mantra, or else she’d do one of two things she’d regret – kill Mick, or kiss him, and she’d gone the kissing route with him before. It did not end well. And tempting as the killing option was at the moment, it probably wouldn’t end any better.

Buy Links:

Amazon // B&N  // The Wild Rose Press // Amazon UK

A little about Donna :

My career has been a winding road. I worked in the business world for years, got my MLS and worked in a school library, and am now living my dream as an author. I love to read and write contemporary and fantasy romance. I live in Maryland, with my husband, who is my real-life romance hero. We both enjoy traveling to visit our far-flung family and friends, and spending time on the beach with an umbrella drink and a good book.



YOU can connect with Donna here:

Facebook // Twitter // Goodreads // Amazon // Book Bub

My review of LOVE IS LOVELIER can be found here: Goodreads



Filed under Uncategorized

Just in time for #ValentinesDay

A few years ago I was part of a Wild Rose Press series called the CANDY HEARTS. Each little novella told a love story centered around the candy sweetheart candies. This year, WRP has decided to do a series of boxes sets of those Candy Hearts books and I’m in the first one OUT TODAY!!!

The collection I’m in is called BE MY HERO and you can order it here. 

A quick little synopsis of each book is below. Get yours today and get a jump start on your Valentine’s Day love!!

 3 Wishes by Peggy Jaeger 
Valentine’s Day is Chloe San Valentino’s birthday. Her birthday wish list for the perfect man: he’d fall in love with her in a heartbeat, he’d be someone who cares about people, and he’d have one blue eye and one green eye, just like her. So far, Chloe’s fantasy man hasn’t materialized, but this year for her big 3-0 birthday, she just might get her three wishes.

Say Yes by Katie O’Sullivan
Darby Malone has trouble saying no. Hosting a children’s Valentine party at her recently renovated gallery is the last straw, and the last time she intends to say yes to anything. That is, until she meets Ben.
Ben Phillips’ life has been empty since his wife died, his paintings the only thing giving him solace. Can he convince Darby to give him a chance – and to consider him for more than just a place on her gallery walls? Will she give him a place in her heart as well?

You & Me by Stephanie Kepke 
Forty-year-old Alex Spencer has given up on love. Her life revolves around her daughter, sixteen-year-old Josie, even if Josie wants nothing to do with her.
But with Valentine’s Day looming, Alex’s former high school sweetheart, Billy Leibowitz, has been invading her thoughts. Now Candy Hearts are arriving in the mail. Is Billy sending the Candy Hearts? Will this finally be her chance at happily ever after?

One Kiss by Misty Simon 
The last place Lorena Weber wants to be on Valentine’s Day is a singles party. She’ll give it an hour —two, tops. But she didn’t plan on seeing the one man who had turned her world on its side New Year’s Eve.
Caleb Manning got coerced into attending this ridiculous party by a co-worker. His plan was to stay for an hour. That was until he recognized Lorena across the room and had to see if that one kiss was only New Year’s Eve magic or something more.

Dare Me by Debra Druzy
For wedding stylist Misty Morningside, mixing business with pleasure is a professional no-no. That is, until she runs into wedding photographer Adam Wright at a Valentine’s Day event. Dare they set aside business for one night of pleasure?

Ask Me by Laura Strickland 
Leo Rankin attends the library’s Blind Date With a Book and finds himself competing for the last remaining book. Wild child Gerri Webb is not his usual type. Yet he feels an immediate, sizzling attraction and agrees to share the book and its accompanying bag of candy hearts.
The whole idea of a Blind Date With a Book is to go off genre, so Gerri doesn’t mind when their flirty conversation suggests they unwrap each other rather than the mystery book. When a candy heart advises, “Ask Me,” she asks Leo back to her apartment. She never expects button-down Leo to hit all her buttons. Can one night spent off genre translate to real life?

Chill Out by Jana Richards
Renata Cabral needs to hide for the weekend. Her cousin’s Valentine’s Day wedding means she’ll face embarrassing questions from her large, extended family, questions she’s not ready to answer. So, she invents a work-related excuse and escapes to a friend’s lakeside cottage.
Noah Brownlee is ready to mend his broken relationship with his brother. When a friend offers the use of his lakeside cottage, Noah arrives in the middle of a blizzard with his English Mastiff, only to find the place is already occupied by a woman with big brown eyes and quirky sense of humor.
As the blizzard rages, can the candy hearts predict love?

You can find me here if you need me :Tweet Me//Read Me// Visit Me//Picture Me//Pin Me//Friend Me//Google+Me// Triber// Book Me

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Filed under #Mfrwauthors, 3 Wishes, Author, Candy Hearts, Cooking, Family Saga, Food lover, Foodie, Romance, Romance Books, WIld Rose Press AUthor

Christmas/Holiday Traditions

Growing up in the 60’s, times were different. We didn’t have the Internet, Facebook, or any social media, so staying in touch with people who lived far away was usually done during the holiday season with the sending of the yearly Christmas card. Nowadays, we can keep in touch with relatives and friends a dozen times zones away much easier – and for no postage costs! People still do, though, send out holiday greeting cards, a custom that was started around 1843 by a civil servant in England called Henry Cole. He and his friend John Horsley designed the very first cards and sold them for a shilling each. As the quality of printing improved and people earned more money for “extravagant” items, Christmas cards became more popular. Again, back before the cyberuniverse ruled the world, the postal service did the majority of its delivering during two holidays every year – Christmas and Mother’s day.

I’m going to be honest and tell you I haven’t sent out holiday cards in years. The people I want to keep in touch with, I do, all year round. Facebook has made it possible to connect and keep up with people much more easily than ever before. I simply don’t have the time or the inclination to sit down and send a card to someone I spoke with yesterday! IF that’s a little Scrooge-y, okay. I’ll own that.


Another thing that was different when I was growing up was the Christmas tree and the ornaments we decorated it with. I don’t have one memory that isn’t filled with the tree being filled with those awful and cheap glass ornaments in a variety of colors. they were horrendously made and produced — I feel — simply to shatter. Truly. If you walked near the tree a ball would fall to the floor no matter how well you’d secured it, and shatter into ten thousand shards of glass that was almost impossible to completely sweep or vacuum up. I distinctly remember walking in my living room when I was eight in July and getting my foot pierced by the sharp remnants of a fallen, broken ball. The very first decorations put on trees when they became popular in the 18th century was apples, oranges, and -God Help me!– lit candles. Hallmark began producing specialized ornaments during the 20th century to depict all manner of thing and today, most homes in America that put up a tree, have at least one Hallmark-inspired or made ornament. I’ve been honest on my Instagram account and share pictures of the 4 trees I have in my home. Almost all of my ornaments – except for the tree filled with ornaments from the countries I’ve traveled to – are Hallmark ornaments.


Do you put a candle in your window during the Christmas season ( or one in each window!!)?

This tradition means different things to people of different faiths. Christians liken a lit candle to the Star of Bethlehem, guiding the wise men to the manger. The lights from a Menorah symbolize the miracle of Chanukah when a single jug of oil burned for 8 solid days. Irish Catholics used to put candles in the window to denote that the house was safe for Priests to enter during the Protestant uprising when Priests were in danger of being put to death. I like candles in the window because to me they symbolize that the way home will always be lit for whoever wants to journey there. The Alabama song Candle in the Window exemplifies this thought.

There are so many traditions that people hold fast to during the holiday season. I think that’s what makes our shared humanity so wonderful. Different cultures and diverse religions bring many things to the table. WOuldn’t it be nice if we could all respect, honor, and enjoy one anothers traditions?
So ( you knew this was coming!) what are some of your favorite Holiday traditions. I’m going to pick one person who comments and send them an ecopy of my Christmas book A KISS UNDER THE CHRISTMAS LIGHTS. So….talk to me.


Filed under A kiss Under the Christmas LIghts, WIld Rose Press AUthor

Celebrating Christmas with two crazy families…

This Holiday Season I’m channeling my inner Attic Elf and while I’m playing White Christmas on a continuous loop on my CD player, I want to  tell you the inspiration behind my favorite family, The San Valentino’s of Manhattan,

My parents split when I was an infant and both remarried. My parents are of Irish extraction, my stepmother the same. My stepfather, though, was first generation Italian/American. This made for some memorable Christmas get-togethers during my childhood.

Christmas Eve was usually spent with the Italian relatives, starting at around 4 p.m. with the first course of the Feast of the 7 fishes. Every hour on the hour for 7 full hours a different fish course was served by my Sicilian-speaking-only step-grandmother.And with every course, a new bottle of wine would be served, so that by the time my mother, stepfather and I left, most of the relatives were gluttonously full and three sheets to the wind drunk. It made for many an interesting evening, especially when they all started spewing in Italian just so my mother and I couldn’t understand what was being said. (P.S. most of it was about us!!!)

Christmas day was always spent with Irish relatives, starting with Midnight Mass Christmas eve,( and yes, we traveled to them as soon as the last fish course was finished on the Italo side.) and culminating in a day of drinking and eating. And when I say drinking I mean it in the purely alcoholic sense. Unlike with the stepfamily, my mother’s family consumed more booze than food. And they started drinking earlier, too. Like noon early. There would only be two courses for dinner, which was usually served at 5 without any food before that, because my Irish grandmother didn’t want any of us to spoil our dinners and eat too much before the meal was served. I never understood how she didn’t equate the falling asleep drunks at the dinner table with the lack of food to sop up the afternoon booze. By seven p.m. most of them would be passed out in various lounge chairs and couches, the Yule Log blasting Christmas music in the background to drown out the yelling coming from the kitchen where my mother, her mother, and my aunt would be fighting about….anything and everything.

From the time I realized my family was different from all the other families in my school I started asking Santa for a different family every year for Christmas. The number one item on my Santa wish list was : a family that didn’t fight, drink, or yell. I think I actually wrote that for eight years straight. When I never got the family I wished for, I stopped writing it down.

But I never stopped wishing for it.

It wasn’t until I was married and made my own family that my wish turned into my reality.

When I wrote my very first Christmas romance, A KISS UNDER THE CHRISTMAS LIGHTS, I invented the family I wished for as a child. The San Valentinos are loyal and loving and they do fight – but only in the best sense of the word because they fight for each other, not against one another. I got my wished-for family twice: One, I married; the other I created.


Gia San Valentino is the beloved baby in her large, loud, and loving Italian family. Family dramas, passion, and food rule the San Valentino clan, and Gia takes it all in stride, her family the touchstone of her life. But with Christmas fast approaching she longs for a life and home of her own with a husband and bambini she can love and spoil. The single scene doesn’t interest her and the men her well-meaning family introduce her to are all wise guy wanna-bes, with old world views on women – the pregnant and barefoot kind – just the type of man she’s trying to avoid.

When Gia lends a helping hand at her neighborhood parish’s Christmas Festival she meets a guy who has all her requirements for perfect-man status. Tall, sweet, good looking, and from a big Italian family of his own, it seems she might finally have found a man she can give her heart to. When a miscommunication has her believing he’s the new parish priest, her happily-ever-after hopes evaporate because he’s the proverbial forbidden fruit.

Or is he?

Buy Links: Amazon // Wild Rose Press // Barnes and Noble // KOBO // Google Play

Question for Readers: Do you come from a Big family or a small one? I’ll be picking one reader who comments to receive an e-copy of A Kiss Under The Christmas Lights. Comment in the comments section and let me know!!

When I’m not writing about crazy families you can find me here : Tweet Me//Read Me// Visit Me//Picture Me//Pin Me//Friend Me//Google+Me// Triber// Book Me

And please visit these wonderful author blog sites for more Christmas in the Highway Cafe fun!

December 4
Holland Rae – https://hollandrae.com/
Susanne Matthews – https://mhsusannematthews.wordpress.com/
Sorchia DuBois – www.sorchiadubois.com
Mariah Lynne –
December 5
Tena Stetler – http://www.tenastetler.com/category/my-say-what-blog/
Maureen Bonatch – http://www.maureenbonatch.com/blog/
Peggy Jaeger – https://peggyjaeger.com/
Barbara Burke – https://barbaraburkeauthor.wordpress.com/
December 6
Kelly Kalmanson – http://kkweil.blogspot.com
M.S. Spencer – http://msspencertalespinner.blogspot.com
Hywela Lyn – www.hywelalyn.blogspot.com
Reggi Allder – https://reggiallder.blogspot.com/
December 7
Denyse Bridger – http://www.fantasypages.ca
Clair de Lune – https://clairdelunebooks.co.uk/
Karen Blake-Hall – https://kaydenclaremont.wordpress.com/
Casi McLean – http://casimclean.com/a-christmas-to-remember/
December 8
Darlene Fredette – http://findingthewritewords.blogspot.com
Daryl Devore – http://daryldevore.blogspot.ca
Gini Rifkin – http://ginirifkin.blogspot.com
Linda Carroll-Bradd – http://blog.lindacarroll-bradd.com



Filed under A kiss Under the Christmas LIghts, WIld Rose Press AUthor

An interview with a Vampire…and it’s not the one you think!

It’s always a fun day on my blog when Wild Rose Press sistah Tena Stetler comes for a visit. Hey, girl!

“Good Morning Peggy. Thanks for having me on your blog today talking about my upcoming release “A Vampire’s Unlikely Alliance.”

“Glad to have you, Tena my friend. Let’s start with what inspired A Vampire’s Unlikely Alliance?”

“Several years ago I took a creative writing class to brush up my skills. Vampires had always intrigued me. Dark Shadows a 1966 TV show was a favorite of mine and Barnabas Collins was my dream. Yeah, I was a strange kid. Anyway, the assignment was to write about anything you wanted. Stefan, assassin to the Vampire Council was born. That summer we vacationed in Glacier National Park, I was struck by its beauty and possibilities as a setting for my vampire tale. I completed two-thirds of his story before I discovered another’s story, A Demon’s Witch, had to be told before I could finish Stefan’s. As it turned out there would be one more tale, A Warlock’s Secrets, before Stefan’s tale would be told. He became a secondary character in two of my paranormal romances before I finished his story. But it had to be an extraordinary vampire tale, so my vampire assassin transitioned to a midnight DJ in the small town of Whitefish, Montana.”

A solid knock on the door took me by surprise. “I’m not expecting anyone,”

“I invited Stefan to join us – I hope you don’t mind.”

“Of course not, I’ve always wanted to meet a tall, dark and dangerous vampire – up close.” Absently rubbing my neck, I sucked in a breath and swallowed hard. “Come in Stefan.”

He sticks his head in the door. “I’m not intruding, am I? Tena asked that I come by if I had a couple minutes. As luck would have it, I’ve got a bit of time before I meet Brandy for lunch.”

I  blew out a breath drinking the tall, handsome vampire standing before me. “Of Course not. Stefan, have a seat and tell us about yourself.”

He eased down into the chair between us. “I became a vampire because I fell in love with the wrong woman. She was only toying with me, turned me and left on me on own. Unable to control my blood lust, I was a danger to myself and my tribe. My grandfather who raised me was the tribe’s shaman. Though it broke his heart, he asked me to leave the tribe, but not before he conjured a gold chain around my neck that allowed me to walk in the sunlight.”

“That’s powerful magic.”

“Yes, it was but didn’t keep me out of trouble. I was alone, rogue vampire who wandered into Lady Rose’s territory. Without a responsible sire, I was lucky Lady Rose didn’t terminate me immediately. After hearing my tale of being turned, she arranged for me to be mentored by one of her vampires, who happened to be the Vampire Council’s assassin.”

“So she offered you a vocation.”

“I guess so. I learned to live within the vampire rules and became proficient at my craft. When the kill orders became political, I was caught in the middle. To survive, I had to play both sides, but my allegiance remained with Lady Rose. A faction of the vampires broke off and tried a coup. Lady Rose quashed it and terminated those responsible. At that point I asked to be released from her service, something that a vampire rarely survives, but she allowed me to leave.”

“So what did you do next?”

I drifted around a while, careful not to interlope into another vampire’s territory. Settled in Whitefish, Montana, a little town located outside Glacier National Park. As it turned out the man I rented a cabin from was the manager of a local radio station. One of those over-friendly sorts. You know that type?

“I do.”

“He offered me the midnight DJ position and from there things got interesting. I met Brandy who had secrets of her own. A fated trip to Ireland reveals more than a family reunion at Christmas.” He glances at his watch. “Unfortunately, that’s all the time I have.” He stood bowed slightly, reached out and brought my hand to his lips. “It was a pleasure talking with you.”

I  fan my face with the useless interview script. “The pleasure was all mine.” In a whisper of movement, he was gone – the door closed quietly. It took a couple of beats for me to gather my thoughts.

“Tell us a little more about A Vampire’s Unlikely Alliance.”

Stefan is a Native American vampire, former assassin for the Vampire Council. In a twist of fate, he now DJ’s the midnight shift for a small radio station in Whitefish, Montana, on the edge of Glacier National Park where his secret is safe until…

Born in Ireland, Brandy now works as a park ranger and trail guide in the park. During a full moon, Stefan and Brandy’s paths cross in a near physical collision on a trail. Their attraction is immediate and undeniable, almost as if fate demanded it.

Their union was foretold long ago in Irish folk tales where vampires and gryphons, warlocks and demons, witches and faeries must work together for the good of man and magic kind. Is a trip to Ireland the key to unraveling secrets and returning the magic? And even more importantly, will their love survive the trip?

A sneak peek between the pages of A Vampire’s Unlikely Alliance.

It was nearly midnight when he cut across the Sun Road to another trailhead, so intent on his goal that he nearly collided with an attractive young woman. He skidded to a stop, spraying gravel, rocks, and small twigs down the road in front of him. A pinecone dislodged and bounced along the road past her. Tall and slender, she had miles of fiery-red hair that hung down her back in a cascade of curls. Intense emerald eyes stared back at him as he attempted to regain his composure, not to mention balance. What the hell was she doing here at this time of night?

“Whoa.” She stepped lightly to the side to avoid the flying debris. “You really should watch where you’re going, especially at that speed.” Her voice scolded, but the smile on her lips teased. “Someone could get hurt.”

A Vampire’s Unlikely Alliance is available for pre-order at Amazon itunes and Barnes & Noble. Release date November 29, 2017. Just in time for Christmas.  Reserve your copy today!

About the Author:

Tena Stetler is a best-selling paranormal romance author with an over-active imagination. Colorado is home; shared with her husband, a brilliant Chow Chow, a spoiled parrot and a forty-five-year-old box turtle. Her books spin the adventures of magical kick-ass women and the mystical alpha males that dare to love them.

Contact Information:

Website //Authors’ Secrets Blog // My Say What Blog //Facebook // Twitter // Goodreads // The Wild Rose Press // Amazon // Newletter // Pinerest // Tribber // Book Bub




Filed under Author, love, Romance, Romance Books, Strong Women, The Wild Rose Press, WIld Rose Press AUthor

When Characters have their say….

It’s always a treat when I get to interview my favorite authors. It’s a double treat when I get to sit down with one of their characters!!! Today I’m talking to Lacey Reed, star of my author friend Charlotte O’Shay‘s newest book A MODEL ENGAGEMENT. Lacey is much much more than just a pretty face, as you’ll see in our interview. Sit back and enjoy!



Lacey Reed jumps at the chance for independence with a career in the big city. But her naivety and ambition blind her to the lure of a blackmailer.

With her savings gone she has nowhere to turn when she literally runs into financier Connor Devlin.

Though dazzled by Lacey Connor sees the desperation she tries to hide. He hires her as his fake fiancée. Now Lacey has a job and he has a bandage for a family crisis.

When the blackmailer ups the ante, Lacey resolves to face him down— no matter what the consequences.

Does that mean Lacey will lose the only man who’s ever seen who she truly is?


Let’s chat with Lacey…..

Q: Well we can dispense with some preliminaries because I recognize you. You’re Lacey Lee, the runway model for Miranda’s Moments. Didn’t Vogue call you ‘the eyes that launched the fantasies of a generation’?

A: (Blushes, rolls those cornflower eyes) Yep, that’s me.

Q: Well, your eyes are even more striking in person. Even that impressive sapphire on your engagement finger doesn’t quite have the same intensity. Who’s the lucky man?

A: Well, I’m not engaged. Not for real. I’m employed as a companion and Connor, my fiancé, I mean my employer, knew his mama who has a severe generative vision problem, wouldn’t accept outside help. So I’m just pretending to … (mutters) always pretending.

Q: Something doesn’t add up here. Why would a model pulling down the kind of income models earn have to take a job as a companion?

A: (Deep sigh) Yeah, it’s a great question. In a nutshell, I need the money. (fidgets, crosses then uncrosses legs) It’s complicated. I only just told my best friend Sabrina. (whispers) I’m being blackmailed.

Q: (shouts) What???

A: (presses lips together then) That was Sabrina’s reaction too. I’ve been living with this secret for months and I finally decided enough is enough and I’m going to get this guy that’s doing this to me. Get him arrested and hopefully put away for what he did to me.

Q: Did to you? Oh honey, what’s he blackmailing you for?

A: (Looks down, then raises head to look straight into Q’s eyes) He gave me a date rape drug and then he filmed me doing… I don’t know what, I was so zonked out I just remember not being able to move and, and… (clears throat) I don’t know what’s on the video. I’ve only seen a couple of seconds of it. But if the film is put online it won’t just affect me. I mean (shrugs) I have sort of a wild reputation in the media but the video might hurt my dad’s career. So I’ve been paying him off.

Q: Your dad’s career?

A: My father is Lucius Reed, the admiral. He’s up for a post in the new administration. He’s career navy. This appointment will be the pinnacle for him and he deserves it. I can’t let my mistakes cause him to lose out on the opportunity of a lifetime.

Q: Who would do such a thing?

A: (voice firms) I knew I should have canceled this interview. Listen, one way or another this will all be out in the open soon. Either he (voice drops) releases the video or I can get him arrested. Either way, you’ll know then. But I can’t take the chance of telling anyone who he is right now…

Q: I understand. And Connor, your fiancé?

A: (Firmly) My employer. He got more than he bargained for. He felt sorry for me I think when he saw how empty my apartment was—I’ve been selling all my stuff. He basically offered me a job on the spot. He loves his mama enough to pretend to have a fiancée just to save her pride. He’s a good son. And I’m a terrible daughter.

Q: From where I’m sitting you’re a pretty good daughter trying to protect your dad.

A: (Shrugs) I got myself into this mess and somehow I will get out of it. I’m not my father’s daughter for nothing.

Q: But Connor?

A: (shakes her head) He’s this big bear of a guy. His entire family, this giant, noisy clan (laughs) all think the world of him. They look up to him for everything.

Q: And you? You and Connor?

A: We get along so well, we have fun. And not only, you know, in the bedroom. But there can’t be a ‘me and Connor’. When all is said and done, if and when this sex video is posted, I won’t drag him, his mama or his family into my drama. They don’t deserve it. I’ll remove myself from their lives. (raises a knuckle to wipe under eyes)

Q: But what if…?

A: (glances at phone) Oh wow, is that the time? I’ve got to go.

(Stands, puts sunglasses on, nods) Such a pleasure to meet you, Miz Jaeger. (walks out the door)


In that moment, she relived just why she needed a job so damn bad. In that moment, all she could remember were the targeted emails, the strategic telephone calls and the persuasive texts she’d received from Barry as he set out to reel her in like the very gullible fish she was.

It all came back like a rush of filthy sewage.

How he’d drawn her in. Discovered her desire to reap the most financial benefit from her career before retiring. Then, in a seemingly normal progression, he set up a meeting at his office. Designed for shoptalk so that they could discuss photographic details of her breakout exclusive ad campaign for Mon Secret.

His home office as it turned out, complete with multiple couches and a closet full of evening wear and fur, props for the shoot. Lacey had developed a veneer of sophistication during her four plus years in the business. Or so she’d thought. But Barry’s lavish living and working space wowed her. She cringed as she remembered telling him how eager she was to start.

Lacey relived it all in that split second and Connor, who’d done nothing more than offer her his jacket and then a ride home was suddenly a stand in for the monster who had taken her piece of mind along with practically every red cent she possessed.

Buy Links: Amazon //Nook // Wild Rose Press //

About Charlotte…..

Charlotte O’Shay was born into a big family and married into another big family.

The drama! The noise! The inspiration!

Negotiating skills honed at the dinner table led her to a career in law. After four beautiful children joined the crowded family tree, Charlotte traded her legal career to write about happily ever afters. She lives on the far westside only 3 subway stops from where she grew up.

When Charlotte isn’t reading or writing steamy contemporaries featuring heroines in crisis and swoony heroes with issues, she’s on the hunt for that perfect pair of sunglasses.

She LOVES to hear from readers.

You can find Charlotte here:

website // Twitter //Instagram // Facebook //  Goodreads

Sign up for her  newsletter to find out about giveaways and new releases: http://eepurl.com/b4lbvn






Filed under The Wild Rose Press, WIld Rose Press AUthor

Less than 2 weeks until PASSION’S PALETTE releases…8.4.17

I’m off to #RWA17 today but before I go and start a week long blog fest about the event, I wanted to just give myself a plug of shameless promotion for my Wild Rose Press release on 8.4.17 of PASSION’S PALETTE.

This is book 5 in MacQuire Women Series and it’s a prequel in which I tell you the love story of Serena MacQuire and Seamus Cleary. They went through quite a bumpy road before they found their HEA, I’ll tell you that! The book is available for preorder now using the link at the top of the page. This book is filled with the humor, love and loss of all my MacQuire women books, and Serena is so very near and dear to me I heard her voice in my head sometimes when I was writing her dialogue say, “Are you sure that sounds like me? ” Or “Yeah, that’s just what I’d say!” Hee hee. Don’t worry, I’m not ready for a prolonged hospital stay!

I hope you enjoy reading Passion’s Palette as much as I did writing it.


Talented and witty portrait artist Serena MacQuire is successful in everything but love. Her gift for capturing people on canvas is rivaled only by her fiery and legendary temper. A tragedy from the past keeps her heart securely locked away, preventing any man from getting close enough to claim it.

But Seamus Cleary isn’t just any man. After he left his professional football career to become a veterinarian, his bitter wife ended their marriage. Now, as he starts his life over in a new town, love is the last thing he’s looking for. The more he tends to Serena’s horses, though, the more he realizes her own heart needs tender care and healing as well.

Will he be the man who finally unlocks and claims her heart?


From the side view mirror Seamus watched her cross her arms over her chest again in what he guessed was an habitual gesture, turn, and then walk back toward the house.

What the hell was wrong with him? He’d never acted so impulsively with a woman before. All professionalism had flown the moment he’d laid eyes on her.

Good Lord, she was gorgeous.

When she’d called out from the porch he’d almost gasped out loud. She looked all of twelve years old with her hair hanging down the sides of her head in two thick braids and no makeup camouflaging her unlined face. But her voice and the air of mature self-assurance surrounding her mocked the age she presented.

He’d never seen eyes so blue. Blueberries drenched in cream. Sweet; succulent; seductive. They engulfed her face, surrounded by long, thick lashes mimicking the color of her hair.

And what magnificent hair. It was so black shards of blue shone through it in the sunlight. In a flash of carnal excitement, he wanted to see it un-braided and hanging free, dancing around her body in the breeze.

Her naked body.

When she came toward him, he realized she was much shorter than she’d looked standing on the porch. Long, coltish legs barely covered by her cutoffs, were the lengthiest part of her body. Her torso was small and angular, the bones in her neck outlined and protruding beneath her shirt. She looked frail, as if she’d been ill. The description died a moment later when she shook his hand. The quiet strength of her grip belied her outer waifish appearance.

When he’d driven out to the farm, his first stop of many for the day, he’d expected to see the ailing horse, treat it, and be on his way. After meeting Serena MacQuire, the thought he had to leave to tend to the rest of his clients was maddening. He wanted nothing more than to stay as long as he could with her.

He’d been more than willing to help her move things in the loft, never guessing she’d mistaken who he was. It gave him a cheap kind of thrill to be the stronger one, the one she needed to open the skylights, lift the heavy equipment. Sure, it made him seem a little like a conceited prick, but he didn’t care.

When he’d caught the appraising qleam in her stare as she raked her berry colored eyes up and down his body, he had to stop himself from flexing his biceps and pumping his pecs. Like a peacock, he wanted to preen for her.

And dear God, when the notion to kiss her bloomed easy and free in his head, he’d had no will to stop himself.

Thinking back to those all-too-quick few seconds, the power of that unexpected touch shook him to his core.

Why the hell had he acted on the impulse to kiss her?

He prided himself on his control both professionally and personally, but no matter how hard he tried, he couldn’t summon up any will at all to stop from leaning down and tasting her.

It was almost as if he’d been hypnotized. He didn’t think. He didn’t rationalize what was happening. He’d just lowered his head to hers and taken.

Want to find out where that kiss leads? You will, on 8.4.17 Hee hee

I’ll be at #RWA17 this week in Orlando, Florida and blogging every day, so look for my links when they go live. And if you’re in the Orland oare on Saturday, July 29, please stop by the book signing at the Dolphin Hotel and come meet me…maybe even buy a book or two…or ten!

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Filed under Alpha Male, Author, Contemporary Romance, Family Saga, Life challenges, love, MacQuire Women, Romance, Romance Books, RWA, Strong Women, WIld Rose Press AUthor

A visit with WRP author Judith Sterling

Today, I get to introduce you to another of my wonderful and talented Wild Rose Press sistahs, Judith Sterling. Judith writes medieval romances, and I’ll admit, I haven’t read a lot of that genre. But after reading a little about her new release, The Cauldron Stirred ( Guardians of Erin, nook 1) I am certainly going to rectify that!! Meet Judith and then stick around for a little sumthin’ sumthin’ from The Cauldron Stirred.

Judith, the Author 

  1. What drives you to write? An instinctive urge that’s always been with me. I wrote my first story when I was three years old. By age nine, I was writing chapter stories and elaborate scripts for my dolls to act out. Of course, I played all the parts!
  1. What genre(s) of Romance do your write, and why? I write medieval romances, The Novels of Ravenwood. During college and grad school, I studied in England, Scotland, and Sweden. I jumped on every opportunity to explore castles, monasteries, and other medieval buildings throughout Europe. The older the structure, the better! In ruin after ruin, the whispers of the past seduced me; in particular, 12th-century England. There’s also a touch of romance in my young adult paranormal fantasies, the first of which is The Cauldron Stirred.
  1. What genre(s) of Romance do you read, and why? Mostly historical romance set in the British Isles. I love England, Ireland, Scotland, and Wales, and my first degree was in history.
  1. What’s your writing schedule? Do you write everyday? I write most weekdays but try to devote my weekends to family and relaxation. It’s good for the soul and for my lower back!
  1. Give us a glimpse of the surroundings where you write. Separate room? In the kitchen? At the dining room table? I write in front of a window in my bedroom. When I need a break, I look outside at the 17th-century Witch House across the street. Salem, Massachusetts isn’t a bad place to write. This is Hawthorne country!
  2. Are you the kind of writer who needs total quiet to compose, or are you able to filter out the typical sounds of the day and use your tunnelvision? I prefer quiet, but with 13-year-old twin boys, that’s a rare luxury!
  3. Do you listen to music while you write, and if so, what kind? If not, why not?Sometimes I listen to music—film scores mostly—but I also like quiet. It might sound strange, but oftentimes, music plays in my head without the need for an outer source.
  1. How did you come up with the plotline/idea for your current WIP? The Cauldron Stirred (the YA paranormal fantasy) was partly inspired by travel in Ireland and paranormal events in my own life.
  1. Which comes first for you – character or plot? And why? Plot, and I always use old-fashioned pen and paper for brainstorming and outlines. It’s hard to pinpoint exactly how and why inspiration strikes. If I sit in front of blank paper with my pen poised above it, images and ideas just start to flow. Sometimes they’re connected to my own experience; other times, not. But sitting there ready and waiting seems to signal my muse.
  1. What 3 words describes you, the writer? Passionate, empathetic, wistful.

 Judith, The Person

  1. Tell us one unusual thing about yourself – not related to writing! During grad school, my Hindi professor loved the sound of my voice. He recorded me singing, then took the tape home to India, where he played the songs for his family and his pet cow. Does that qualify as unusual? If not, I can tell you I’ve always been a magnet for the paranormal.  And I’m cool with that!
  2. Who was your first love and what age were you? I was infatuated with a classmate when I was 10 years old, but in terms of real love, I’d have to say my husband!       We met when I was 31—and he was 25—and from day one, we knew we belonged together. He was well worth the wait!
  3. If you could relive one day, which one would it be? Think GROUNDHOG DAY, the movie for this one – you’ll have to live it over and over and….That’s hard to answer, but off the top of my head, I’m torn between two: (1) my first day in Killarney; (2) the day (night, actually) when my family and I investigated the paranormal in Gettysburg.
  4. Do you like a guy in boxers, briefs, or commando? Boxers.
  5. If you had to give up one necessary-can’t-live-without-it beauty item, what would it be? I rarely wear makeup anymore, so I guess I’d say moisturizer.
  6. What three words describes you, the person? Loving, compassionate, adventurous.\
  7. If you could sing a song with Jimmy Fallon, what would it be?       Either “Bring Me to Life” by Evanescence or “Come Sail Away” by Styx.
  8. If you could hang out with any literary character from any book penned at any time line, who would it by, why, and what would you do together?       Nancy Drew, and we’d solve a spellbinding mystery together. I loved those books when I was younger!

Bonus round

I love the Actor’s Studio show on Bravo, so this is my version of it:

  1. Favorite sound – howling wind
  2. Least favorite sound – motorcycles
  3. Best song every written – a tie between Mozart’s Symphony #25 in G minor and “Carry on Wayward Son” by Kansas
  4. Worst song ever written – Hard to say, but I’m not fond of country music.
  5. Favorite actor and actress – Christopher Lee and Katharine Hepburn
  6. Who would you want to be for 1 day and why? ( It can be anyone living or dead) – Eleanor of Aquitaine. She’s a fascinating figure from the High Middle Ages, and I’d love to see her world through her eyes.
  7. What turns you on? Halloween, the sound of rustling leaves, stormy skies, ruins, ancient stones, classic movies, intelligence, humor, contemplation of the unknown, travel, foreign languages, and delicious food!
  8. What turns you off? Violence, bigotry, false accusation, hot weather, and reptiles.
  9. Give me the worst 5 words ever heard on a first date ( here’s mine: “Is that your real hair?”) I’ve had fewer first dates than most of my friends, and probably most women! I honestly don’t remember.
  10. What’s your version of a perfect day? Exploring a historic site on a cool, cloudy day with my loved ones, followed by good food and a great movie.

The Cauldron Stirred

Ashling Donoghue never dreamed moving to Ireland would rock her perception of reality and plunge her into a mystery that brings legend to life.

At seventeen, she’s never had a boyfriend, but she feels an immediate connection to Aengus Breasal, the son of the wealthy Irishman who’s invited her family to stay at his Killarney estate.  For the first time in her life, a guy she likes seems attracted to her.

But Aengus is secretive, with good reason.  He and his family are the Tuatha Dé Danann, ageless, mythical guardians adept at shifting between this reality and the magical dimension known as the Otherworld.  Evil forces from that world threaten the Breasals, the Donoghues, and all of Ireland.  Ashling must open her heart, face her fears, and embrace a destiny greater than she could ever have imagined.


The night air was deliciously cool. Moonlight and darkness held equal sway over the backyard thanks to the shifting clouds. I dashed across the lawn and halted in the exact spot where Aengus had stood. Panting, I looked around, willing some kind of clue to materialize.

The ruins in front of me darkened as large, heavy clouds swallowed the moon whole. The wind tugged at my long, loose hair and pajamas. Tiny raindrops spattered on my nose and cheeks. I turned my palms to the sky, and cold rain pelted them.

“Great.” Intending to return to the house, I swiveled around.

I gasped. My right hand flew to my chest. “Aengus?!”

The man himself stood an arm’s length in front of me. “Why are you here?”

“You scared the crap out of me!”





The strident sound came from the ruins. I whirled around and stared at the dark keep.

Aengus grabbed me from behind. He pulled me to him and wrapped his arms around me. I reveled in the feel of his taut body, of his warm flesh against mine.

Suddenly, everything changed. The rain stopped. The wind died. The entire landscape was bathed in the soft hue of twilight. Breasal Castle looked brand spanking new, just as it had during the bizarre dream in which I brought Aengus to the cottage. But this time, I knew I was awake.

Dumbfounded, I gawked at the medieval magnificence before me. I had no idea what had happened and no desire to pull away from his embrace.

His lips brushed my right ear, sending a shiver down my spine. “This way.”

His right arm released me, and his left slid down to my waist. Maintaining body contact the entire time, he steered me toward the stand of oaks on our right.

Once sheltered by the trees, he turned us around so we faced the castle.

“Are we hiding?” I whispered.

“We are.”

“Why? And what just happened?”

“I can’t say.”

“Can’t or won’t?”


Until that moment, I’d forgotten I wore pajamas. Now I was acutely aware of it. Satin was pleasing to the touch, but something told me my attire had nothing to do with his grip on me.

I looked up at him. “Not that I mind, but why are you holding me so close?”

His hand tightened on my waist. “It’s necessary.”

“I don’t suppose you can explain that, either.”

With his gaze locked on the castle, he shook his head. He pressed his right forefinger against his mouth in a silencing gesture. Then he pointed up at the keep.

High on the battlements, the black-haired woman from my dream—and from Branna’s painting—paced back and forth. Her hair whipped about her pale face and slender frame.

She paused beside a gap in the crenelated wall and glared down at the fairy mound. Her colorless lips curled into a sneer. Then her human form morphed into a dark shadow, which fragmented into what seemed a million black particles. They swarmed into the air and shot across the twilit sky, disappearing into the distance.

I took a deep breath. “So she’s real.

He nodded. “She’s real, to be sure. Come.” With his arm still hooked around me, he led me out of the woods and toward the fairy mound.

Buy Links

Amazon // Wild Rose Press //

A wee bit more about Judith:

Judith Sterling’s love of history and passion for the paranormal infuse everything she writes. Flight of the Raven and Soul of the Wolf are part of her medieval romance series, The Novels of Ravenwood. The Cauldron Stirred is the first book in her young adult paranormal series, Guardians of Erin. Written under Judith Marshall, her nonfiction books—My Conversations with Angels and Past Lives, Present Stories—have been translated into multiple languages. She has an MA in linguistics and a BA in history, with a minor in British Studies. Born in that sauna called Florida, she craved cooler climes, and once the travel bug bit, she lived in England, Scotland, Sweden, Wisconsin, Virginia, and on the island of Nantucket. She currently lives in Salem, Massachusetts with her husband and their identical twin sons

You can connect with Judith here:

Amazon // Goodreads // FaceBook // Website


Filed under Romance, Romance Books, The Wild Rose Press, WIld Rose Press AUthor

Christmas in July…Bah Humbug??? Maybe not.

I’m going to be brutally honest and tell you one of the things I hate, historically, has been what’s called Christmas in July by the retail and commercial selling world. Christmas is Dec. 25 a winter holiday, so I have never understood why Hallmark and the Christmas Tree Shops, just to name 2, go bat-shit crazy during one of the hottest months of the year promoting the holiday shopping season.

Since I’ve published a Christmas-themed novel, though, my thoughts have changed. I now understand the WHY of such early promo. You want your readers to start reading and reviewing your holiday works so that when the actual dates roll around, the gift-of-a-book-buying public will choose yours, based on buzz.

I get it now. In spades.

Or maybe that’s in Christmas cookies(!)

For my Christmas in July, here’s A KISS UNDER THE CHRISTMAS LIGHTS from The Wild Rose Press. The book is also up for a Contemporary  Romance Writers STILETTO AWARD this year. Keep your fingers crossed. I’m a finalist and the winners are announced on July 28!

Here’s a little sumthin’ sumthin’ to whet your holiday appetite.


With Christmas just a few weeks away, Gia San Valentino, the baby in her large, loud, and loving Italian family, yearns for a life and home of her own with a husband and bambini she can love and spoil. The single scene doesn’t interest her, and the men her well-meaning family introduce her to aren’t exactly the happily-ever-after kind.

Tim Santini believes he’s finally found the woman for him, but Gia will take some convincing she’s that girl. A misunderstanding has her thinking he’s something he’s not.

Can a kiss stolen under the Christmas lights persuade her to spend the rest of her life with him?


He came toward me and I could see every ripple of muscle, every action and reaction of his gait, every blink of his eyes, as it happened. Detailed, distinct, delicious.

The bright sun shone low due to the hour, but it haloed around his form, bathing him in light.

He looked like an angel.

A dressed-all-in-black angel, but an angel, nonetheless.

“Need some help?” he asked when he was within a foot of me.

I still hadn’t moved, my fingers cemented around the ladder rungs. I couldn’t feel them anymore. Merda, I couldn’t feel anything I was so numb from just looking at him.

But I could hear. My blood, as it river rafted crazily through my temples; my heart drumming like a heavy metal band in my chest.

And his voice. Mio Dio, his voice.

When I was six I had a terrible chest cold. Wheezing, choking on phlegm, unable to cough anything up. The doctor told mama to keep me warm and hydrated and the cold would ride itself out in time. Nonna Constanza, ancient even when I was a kid, scoffed and prescribed her own old world remedy. She sat me in her lap, cooing to me with her singsong voice and held a tiny shot glass up to my lips coaxing, “Tu bevi, Gia bambina. Tu Bevi.”

Drink, Gia baby. Drink.

She tilted the glass back into my mouth and I did. I drank every drop.

I don’t remember much after because Daddy told me I slipped into a mini-coma for about sixty-two hours, bombed out of my head from the anisette nonna had dosed me with.

But this is what I do remember. The amber colored liquor slipped down the inside of my mouth to the back of my throat and onward into my belly, tasting of melted marshmallows and warming each place it touched like a million little hits of heat popping everywhere inside me. When it reached my tummy it settled and dug in, filling my senses with the sweet flavor of mama’s Sunday morning caramel rolls and sugar.

That’s what his voice sounded like: warm and sweet, thick, delicious, and soothing.

My entire body relaxed when I heard it. My paralysis flew and my frozen-in-place digits melted.

He’d held my stare the entire time, never wavering, never becoming distracted by something else. He looked straight at me; just me. Like a missile dead-eye-aimed for a target.

“Here,” he said, moving in closer, so close I could make out the actual color of his eyes now. I’d thought they were dark and from far away and they were. But seeing them now, face-to-face, I spotted little flecks of yellow and slivery shards of gold mixed into the center and surrounded by a ring of deep, rich, mink.

If his voice was warm and soothing, his eyes were hot enough to singe, and mama mia, I wanted to be burned.

Buy LInks: Amazon //WRP // Nook // Kobo //


Filed under A kiss Under the Christmas LIghts, Author, Characters, Contemporary Romance, Cooking, Family Saga, love, Romance, Romance Books, Strong Women, The Wild Rose Press, WIld Rose Press AUthor

A visit and a debut novel….


Today I’m introducing you to another of my lovely and talents Wild Rose Press sistahs, Dee Gatrell. 

Dee’s first book SWEET SUNSET was released in December 2016 to wonderful reviews. Stay tuned after the interview because she’s giving me ( and you!) a little glimpse of the book.

Dee, The Writer

  1. What drives you to write? I have always been driven to write. When I was a child, I loved getting mail and answering letters. Writing helps to keep me sane, especially when life gets me down.
  2. What genre(s) of Romance do your write, and why? I like all types of romance and mystery books. I like to mostly write Women’s Fiction, but have an inspirational romance at the publishers that I’m working on revisions now.
  3. What genre(s) of Romance do you read, and why? Over they years I have read many types of romance novels, except erotica.
  4. What’s your writing schedule? Do you write every day? I try to write every day, but can’t always. I prefer writing in the morning and sometimes in the evening.
  5. Give us a glimpse of the surroundings where you write. Separate room? In the kitchen? At the dining room table? Well, you’ll love this. I used to have a bedroom that was my office to share with my hubby. Three weeks ago I fell off the treadmill and dislocated my right shoulder. We had given a couch and chair to my granddaughter since we had two sets, living room and family room. Then we set the treadmill and bike in the mostly empty living room. A nurse came to visit and suggested the living room would make a great office, much larger.. My husband agreed . There I was, arm in sling and hubby and one son decided this was the perfect time to make a switch. I’m giving the treadmill that nearl killed me to my older son as I’ll never use it again. My husband has multiple health issues, including cancer, and should not be moving stuff around, but he did with the help of son. Then daughter and grandson visited and finished the move for him. WE have both our desks in here, me facing the set of three windows with bushes growing in front of them, him facing the rest of the yard and the house at the end of the street that sits on three acres. We have one acre, which is plenty. All the things I said like we’d have to move the phone and computer lines? Wrong. They didn’t need changed. By the way, last week hubby was sitting on the love seat, stood up and so did Ellie, our large dog. Hubby tumbled right over dog, grabbed my bad arm, but thankfully for me he continued falling without taking my arm out of joint. Bad for him as he was bruised but thankfully didn’t break or displace anything.
  6. Are you the kind of writer who needs total quiet to compose, or are you able to filter out the typical sounds of the day and use your tunnelvision? My house has always been chaotic, so I’m used to noise. Although I do ask my husband to quit talking out loud at times. Take last week, I had three grands here, ages 11, 10 and 7. They said they wanted to come help Gammy. Ahem. Well, they did do a few things, but the weather wasn’t great to be outdoors much, therefore they played hide and seek in the house. When my PT was here, they came sneaking into the bedroom and then hid in the bathroom, leaving the 7-year-old looking for them. Then I told them they couldn’t hide underneath the computers. They did play some board games and watched a few movies. The 7-year-old is the most helpful, asking to take out the trash, going to the curb to get the containers etc. And now it is us and the three dogs. I hope to get more writing done now.
  7. Do you listen to music while you write, and if so, what kind? If not, why not? I like to listen to music but don’t always.
  8. How did you come up with the plotline/idea for your current WIP? I started this book, Sweet Sunset, several years ago. I think most of us have dysfunctional families. No, the story isn’t all about my family, but my mom did have dementia and did weird things that I used. My granddaughter went to high school wand was friends with a gay boy whose mother did commit him thinking he was crazy and was upset when they wouldn’t lock him up. One of my daughters was in an abusive marriage. And my one dog is named Zeus and we had another one named Coal. Oh, and June was the mother of friends and I had to use some of the stuff she used to say. The rest is my imagination.
  9. Which comes first for you – character or plot? And why? Character. I have to have people to work with, give them problems and find happiness for them in the end.
  10. What 3 words describe you, the writer? Determined, dreamer, and humorous (Peggy here: I lovelovelove those 3 descriptions!!!)

Dee, The Person

  1. Tell us one unusual thing about yourself – not related to writing! I once took belly dancing lessons.
  2. Who was your first love and what age were you? You mean besides Elvis? OK at age 16 his name was Gary.
  3. If you could relive one day, which one would it be? Think GROUNDHOG DAY, the movie for this one – you’ll have to live it over and over and…. The day I won $8,000 on the lotto and nothing since then. So that day I would love to do over and over.
  4. Do you like a guy in boxers, briefs, or commando? Briefs
  5. If you had to give up one necessary-can’t-live-without-it beauty item, what would it be? lipstick
  6. What three words describe you, the person? Wife, Mother, Writer
  7. If you could sing a song with Jimmy Fallon, what would it be? A Million to One (that was mine and hubby’s song when we got married, the words fit)
  8. If you could hang out with any literary character from any book penned at any time line, who would it by, why, and what would you do together? Gone with the Wind. Scarlett O’Hara. Probably get in trouble together.

Bonus round I love the Actor’s Studio show on Bravo, so this is my version of it:

  1. Favorite sound:  Music
  2. Least favorite sound : Rap
  3. Best song every written: Too many to name
  4. Worst song ever written ????
  5. Favorite actor and actress : Tim Allen Sandra Bollock
  6. Who would you want to be for 1 day and why? ( It can be anyone living or dead): Sandra Brown. She’s a great writer and I got to spend time with her once. She’s really a nice person and admired by many. ( Peggy here: She’s one of my all time favorite authors and I am uber-jealous that you got to meet her!!!)
  7. What turns you on?: being at the beach
  8. What turns you off?: stinky smells
  9. Give me the worst 5 words ever heard on a first date ( here’s mine: “Is that your real hair?”): Been too long to remember (Peggy here: LOL! that’s 5 words!!!)
  10. What’s your version of a perfect day?: Being with family and doing something fun



Myrtle Sue Henderson, widowed, didn’t count on her mother-in-law moving in with her when her husband passed over. But Myrtle Sue’s loopy in-law troubles aren’t her only family baggage-she’s ailed with three adult children who use her like a pair of Depends. With a daughter and two grandchildren attempting to escape an abusive husband, a second daughter who is pregnant with twins, and a son who refuses to grow up, she’s at her wit’s end.

Myrtle Sue didn’t figure she’d ever meet another man she’d care for, until she went to church to get away from her troubles, only to find more when her mother-in-law causes chaos and hits an elderly man with her cane and helps herself to money out of the collection plate. That’s how she meets Zack. She figures once he meets her dysfunctional family,  he’ll run as fast as he can-away from them.


Hazel walked into the kitchen and glanced around. “Who’s here? Oh my goodness. It’s my son Harold. How are you, honey?” She bent over and kissed Adam’s cheek. “And why don’t you ever visit your mommy,  you naughty boy?”

I rolled my eyes and waved toward Adam. “Hazel, Harold’s been dead for twenty years. This is Adam, Sonja’s friend from the hospital. Remember? He’s a nurse and stays with you while I work.” I should’ve added whatever we paid him was worth every penny. He really was good to her.

“Oh yes, Adam, dear.” She frowned at me. “Why can’t you be kind like Adam, Myrtle Sue. You’ve always been so mean to me.”

Sonja grinned. “Hi, Nana. How are you?”

“I’m fine.” She took a seat and grabbed a muffin. “Who are you? Are you Violet’s daughter?”

Sonja narrowed her eyes at her grandmother. “Nana! I’m Sonja, your granddaughter. Myrtle Sue and Don’s daughter.”

“Of course.” She laughed and pointed at her head. “You know how it is when you get old. Some day your mother will be just like me.”

Shuddering, I mumbled, “God Forbid.”

“I hope you made roast beef for Father,” Hazel said.

“Yes, of course. And I made garlic rolls, too,” I lied, and then whispered, “Sonja, want some garlic tied around your neck?”


I hope you’ll enjoy visiting Myrtle Sue and her wacky family. Drop by anytime for some good cooking.

Buy Links: Amazon // Wild Rose Press // B&N // Kobo

A little about Dee: 

 Dee Gatrell is a mother and grandmother. She spent time raising her children and didn’t attend college until she was in her thirties. She graduated from Seminole Community College and the University of Central FL.

When her husband’s job relocated them to Ohio, she worked as a reporter for the Galion Inquirer and later as a free lance writer for the Mansfield News Journal. When the family returned to Florida she accepted a job working at Seminole State College as an educational advisor. She also did freelance writing for newspapers and magazines during this time. She sold a story to Chicken Soup for the Soul and sold many stories to the confession magazines.

Deciding it was time to retire and do what she always wanted to do, write novels. Sweet Sunset is her first published novel. She likes to refer to the book as her dysfunctional family novel. Who doesn’t have a dysfunctional family? She always had a lot of quirky relatives and friends, so writing about these folks was natural for her.

She lives in Florida with her husband, Larry, one son, Doug, and three dogs. They also have two grown daughters, Michelle and Diana,  and a grown son, Chris, and a herd of grandkid (a happy dozen.) Their rescue lab, Ellie, finds them boring and loves it when the grands come to play with her. They also have two white schnauzers, Zeus and Icarus.

You can visit Dee here: Amazon // Goodreads // Wild Rose Press // Twitter // Facebook

(Peggy here: Dee thanks so much for visiting me today and for introducing us to Myrtle Sue!!! Her story sounds like a real corker!)


Filed under Author, Characters, Contemporary Romance, Life challenges, love, Romance, Romance Books, Strong Women, WIld Rose Press AUthor