Tag Archives: The Wild Rose Press

A little something new…Guest Hostess Karen C. Whalen

Today, something a little different. I’m turning my blog over to one of my Wild Rose Press sistahs, Karen C. Whalen, for the day. Karen has new book out in her culinary cozy mystery series, the dinner club murder mysteries, titled  NOT ACCORDING TO FLAN. As a writer, Karen is going to talk to you today about that wonderful thing every writer needs to establish in their stories and between their characters: CONFLICT.

She’s also giving you a litte sumthin’ sumthin from her book, so stayed tuned to the end!

Please welcome, Karen C. Whalen.

Conflict has been called the most important element in fiction, an essential crafting tool every writer must master. Novels demand conflict and tension to compel readers to keep turning the pages.

Adding conflict was the subject of a writing exercise in a workshop I attended a few years ago. The first step was to jump to the middle of our WIP (work in progress). My middle was at page one-hundred. Then, we were instructed to add conflict on that very page by having the characters argue. They were not to have a nice, gentlemanly disagreement, no. The characters had to insult each other and call one another names. The instructor required a knock-down fight of the blow-out variety, not a puny squabble. When I started the assignment I wondered how in the world my main characters could argue. They were friends in a cozy gourmet dinner club in a cozy murder mystery. How was I going to toss in the kind of verbal exchange that would endure to a final draft?

I started reading the scene on page one hundred. Even before I finished the page, an argument popped into my corrupt and depraved mind. I let it all hang out, the taunting and the mud-slinging, all of it. The scene was much improved. The conflict added depth to the dialogue, enhanced the theme of the book, and brought the characters to life. Even I wanted to read to the end to see how the characters resolved their issues.

Why? Because in real life friends do not talk to each other that way. Friends don’t insult each other; they don’t call each other names. Friendships, in reality, are fragile. But friends think those angry thoughts, they just don’t say them out loud. Not if they want to stay friends. Admit it, you’ve played such an argument out on the pages of your imagination many times. The reader’s fantasy is fulfilled in the conflict on the written page.

Not only do readers crave the conflict, they need a satisfactory resolution as well. End results are impossible to control in real life, but the creator of the characters can control the outcome. At the end of my new and improved scene, the first character apologized to the second character who said, “No, I totally see your point of view.” Not every clash of character is going to resolve this way, nor would we want it to. At least not every time. But, hey, wouldn’t our lives be wonderful if we could resolve our arguments so happily?

That’s not reality. That’s why it’s called fiction.

Like everybody else I had a best friend growing up. We were best buds from grade school to high school to college. We swore we’d always be best friends. And you can guess what happened. She said I said something that hurt her feelings. I don’t even remember saying what she said I said. As I said, friendships are fragile. And how I would like to rewrite that dialogue!

And I can.

I can create my own comfy world in my own cozy murder mysteries. My characters are friends, good friends. When they argue, they kiss and make up (usually) and the reader keeps turning those pages to make sure.

In the last part of the writing exercise, we were instructed to examine every page of our WIP, every single page, not just every scene, and add conflict to each page, to create a page-turner, can’t-put-it-down novel.

When I heard that, I wanted to punch out that instructor. Not really, because he was so right. And besides, I live in reality where people restrain themselves most of the time. But in fiction, there are endless opportunities for confrontation and clash…and conflict.

Blurb: NOT ACCORDING TO FLAN

Jane Marsh wants to shake off the empty nest syndrome, plus the notoriety of the death of her first and second husbands, by starting over in a new place. She sells her family home to move to a far northern suburb of Denver. At the same time, Jane’s dinner club is undergoing a transformation, and a new man—a gourmet chef—enters her life. But, things turn sour when, on the day Jane moves into her new home, she discovers a dead body. She cannot feel at home in this town where she’s surrounded by cowboys, horse pastures, and suspects. Not to mention where a murder was committed practically on her doorstep. How can she focus on romance and dinner clubs when one of her new friends—or maybe even her old ones—might be a murderer?

Excerpt :

Slam! Chink. The brown packing box fell off the dolly with the tinkling sound of glass on glass. Jane sighed as the mover stacked the box labeled “kitchen” back on the dolly and thumped down the basement stairs with it.

Never mind. She’d sort it out later. She slipped outside into the warmth of the early September, blue-sky, Colorado day to check on her puppies sniffing around their new territory in the backyard. Leaning over the deck railing facing the lot to the east, she gazed into the bottom of an open excavation where a basement was being poured. Someone had parked a tractor down in the dirt, and near it a white cowboy hat lay on the ground. A man’s hand stretched toward the hat’s brim. Had someone fallen into the pit?

Jane bounded down the deck stairs and out the wooden gate, only stopping for a moment to secure the latch. She rounded the corner of her new house and rushed to the adjoining lot, pausing near the edge of the concrete that formed the basement’s foundation.

A man was shoved against the corner of the foundation wall. His torso and legs were partly covered with dirt. The cowboy hat concealed the top of his head. His left hand almost touched the brim, as if he were about to take off his hat and say “Howdy do.” A large manila envelope lay a foot or so away from his other outstretched hand.

On the envelope tall, block letters spelled out: “Jane Marsh—welcome to your new home.”

Jane’s hands flew to her throat. “Ethan,” she breathed.

Her eyes took in the three cement walls rising out of the dirt floor and at the rear, a crumbling slope of dirt spilling into the pit. Starting toward the back slope, she hesitated. The soil might not be stable. She lifted two planks, plunked the long ends of the boards into the pit, and climbed down.

The smell of turned earth filled her nose as she skirted the tractor, a small, front-end loader. Falling to her knees, she lifted the cowboy hat, then dropped it. She felt the man’s wrist for a pulse. It wasn’t there. Then her hand moved toward the envelope with her name on it, but she drew back.

After yanking a cell phone out of the back pocket of her worn jeans, she punched in 9-1-1. “A man fell into a construction pit… I’m pretty sure he’s dead…no, he’s beyond help.” The dispatcher asked for the address, and she gave it to him in a shaky voice. “Yes, I’ll stay on the line.” The makeshift bridge was harder to get back up than it was to get down. After making it to the top, she crossed the lot and rushed through her front door.

“Caleb!”

“Yeah? Whatzup, Mom?” Her grown son appeared from the kitchen. He was almost a foot taller than she, but with the same slim build and a cap of the same rich brown hair.

“Ethan Valrod. The construction manager for the builder. He fell into the basement pit next door. He’s dead.” Breathless, she took a deeper breath to stop her ears buzzing and her heart pounding.

“What the?” Caleb’s eyes widened and his mouth dropped open.

“Ethan Valrod’s dead. I’ve called 9-1-1 already and they told me to stay on the line.” Jane lifted the phone to her ear, but the operator was silent. Legs shaking, she led the way, and Caleb followed her out the door.

Her son stationed himself on top of the foundation, hands clenched to his sides, while taking in the sight below. She plucked at his sleeve. “Are you going down to look?”

He nodded his head and descended the plank. In only a few moments he was back, dragging her by the elbow over to the concrete curb where they sat together facing the street.

After hearing a voice spluttering from the phone, Jane spoke into it. “I’m all right. I’ve got my son here with me now. We’ll wait together.” She hit the mute button and shifted the phone from her right hand to her left.

Caleb slid a folded piece of paper out of his tight jean pocket and handed it to her. “I forgot to give you this.”

In a tremulous voice, she read out loud, “Mrs. Marsh, I stopped by to give you a welcome packet with the keys. I’ll come back later.” Ethan Valrod’s signature was scrawled across the bottom. She gazed into the distance for a moment.

Caleb lifted his hands, palms up. “It was on the counter when I got here. The movers set a box on top of the note, and I didn’t want it to get lost, so I put it in my pocket.”

“Okay, thanks.” Swallowing hard, she darted a quick glance over her shoulder, but no one else was around. “It looked like someone used the tractor to cover the body with dirt.”

“I noticed. And there were marks on the ground, like someone rolled his body into the corner first.”

“Did you see the blood on the tractor bucket?”

“Yeah.” Caleb gave his mother a pop-eyed stare and she returned the look.

Her ears seemed sharper than usual. The dogs barked from the other side of the fence. A plane’s engine droned from overhead. Police sirens approached from the next block.

Buy links:

Book 1: Everything Bundt the Truth

Wild Rose Press // Amazon // B&N 

Book 2: Not According to Flan

Wild Rose Press // Amazon // B&N

A little about Karen:

Karen C. Whalen is the author of a culinary cozy series, the “dinner club murder mysteries.” The first three in the series are: Everything Bundt the Truth, Not According to Flan, and No Grater Evil. Her books are similar to those written by cozy authors Jessica Beck and Joanne Fluke. She worked for many years as a paralegal at a law firm in Denver, Colorado and has been a columnist and regular contributor to The National Paralegal Reporter magazine. She believes that it’s never too late to try something new. She loves to host dinner clubs, entertain friends, ride bicycles, hike in the mountains, and read cozy murder mysteries.

You can connect with Karen here:

Facebook // Website // Twitter // Goodreads // Amazon

 

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Filed under Author, Cooking, female friends, Food lover, Foodie, Friends, Life challenges, Strong Women, The Wild Rose Press, WIld Rose Press AUthor

Presenting…..#author Tena Stetler

One of my lovely and talented writing friends, TENA STETLER, has a new paranormal release — A WARLOCK’S SECRETS — and she’s visiting me today, along with one of her characters, Hannah Shaughnessy, to tell you a little about the book and how it came to be.  I’ve got a few questions for these two, so sit back and let’s get to know them a little better. And stick around – Tena’s giving you a treat at the end…

Tena, tell us a little about writing this story. A Warlock’s Secrets was one of the hardest books to write. I write by the seat of my pants. Most characters come to me and boom, I know their name, and tell me their story. Tristian was a secondary character in A Demon’s Witch, and a difficult one at that. Who would ever imagine an enforcer/assassin would charm my readers and reviewers so much that they demand his story be written? Tristian taunted and tested me every step of the way. But I believe it’s one of my best novels yet. Hannah, aww… she gave him a run for his money, but it was worth every penny. LOL. The family and friends that surrounded them were the best. Looking back I had a lot of fun writing the story too.

But Hannah is here today to tell you a little bit about her.

Hannah Shaughnessy, meet Peggy Jaeger.

Hi Hannah, nice to meet you. How about telling us a little about the real youI am a cyber security specialist. Came to the U.S., from Ireland to attend college, graduated early and was snapped up by a big cyber security firm. My family is close, and holds our guarded secret closer. I love my little cottage in Misty Harbor, Maine. On one of the worst days of my life, I stopped in a little diner and vented to the waitress I know there. This unbelievably hot man with intense blue-gray eyes, asked to join me. All I could do was nod, hoping the drool didn’t pool in the corners of my mouth. He was having a bad day too. We talked for hours. But his magic signature was disguised.

What event in your past has left the most indelible impression on you? Being sucked into a world I didn’t know existed and danger that lurked there.

What was the hardest thing you ever had to do? Keep my relationship with Tristian a secret from my sister. She attended college over here too, she’s a park ranger and we’d always told each other everything. With Tristian, I couldn’t.

What do you most value? Family and trusted friends. I know it sounds cliché, but when danger finds you, family and friends are all you can trust to be there for you.

What type of man do you want to spend the rest of your life with? A confident man with a strong moral compass and a kind and compassionate heart.

What do you consider most important in life? Being true to yourself.

What is your biggest secret? Oh, now I can’t tell you that or it wouldn’t be a secret anymore. But I guarantee it’s a doozy. LOL

Who were the biggest role models in your life? My mom. She raised my sister and I, worked at the family pub, and knew when to let us try our wings at colleges in America. It was hard for her but she supported us and our dreams all the way.

What kind of man would you never choose? Until Tristian, I’d never fallen for a “bad boy type”. But… wow… did he fit that category.

What is your biggest fear? Losing someone close to me. Tristian’s profession is dangerous and can affect family and friends, though he does his best to protect us.

            It was nice meeting you. But I gotta get going, I’m on my way to check out the new digs in Colorado Springs, Colorado, for the company I work for, Shadow Hawk Cyber.

 A Warlock’s Secrets

Blurb:

Years ago, a sacred ceremony at the Dragon’s Moon Coven turned deadly. Son of the high priestess, Tristian Shandie’s life changed forever. With a price on his head and revenge in his heart, he has no choice but to follow in his father’s footsteps to a profession shrouded in secrets. Now his skills as an enforcer for the Demon Overlord are second to none. But dangerous secrets he harbors are a liability he can no longer afford.

A chance meeting with a woman he finds irresistible flips Tristian’s world upside down. Hannah is a cyber security specialist with secrets of her own. Bad boys never appealed to her until Tristian, who changes everything. In his darkest hours, she is dragged into his magical world.

If they survive, is she strong enough to heal his heart and tame the warlock? Or will their secrets destroy them?

Excerpt:

Inside the house, a shadow passed by the huge bay window. She held her breath. Am I really going to go through with this?

Walking up the steps to the house, she paused. Why would he leave such an expensive car sitting out when he had a four-car garage? She was stalling. Straightening her shoulder’s she used the brass doorknocker. There was no answer. She knocked again.

The heavy oak door creaked open. Tristian stood shirtless, his abs rippled as he raised one muscular arm to lean on the doorframe. The skintight blue jeans hung low on his hips and his hair tousled as if he’d not been awake long.

When he stared at her, with those huge blue-gray eyes, tingles careened up her spine. She covered her mouth in case drool pooled in the corners her mouth. He was one sexy male. She sucked in a breath and opened her mouth to speak but nothing came out. A brow arched, he peered questioningly at her then twisted to glance backward into the house. The sunlight streaming through the doorway accentuated several scars across his chest, rib area and a healed slash across his back. Who gets those kinds of battle scars and lives to tell the tale? Not going to ask. Maybe this wasn’t such a good idea after all.

The corner of his mouth curved up in an inviting sexy-as-hell grin. “Good morning, Hannah. What a surprise.”

Buy Links:

Amazon  // Kobo  // Barnes& Noble, //  iTunes, / The Wild Rose Press 

A little about Tena…

Tena Stetler is a paranormal romance and cozy mystery author with an over-active imagination. She wrote her first vampire romance as a tween, to the chagrin of her mother and the delight of her friends. With the Rocky Mountains outside her window, Tena sits at her computer surrounded by a wide array of paranormal creatures telling her their tales. Colorado is her home; shared with her husband of many moons, a brilliant Chow Chow, a spoiled parrot and a forty-year-old box turtle. Any evening, you can find her curled up in front of a crackling fire with a good book, a mug of hot chocolate and a big bowl of popcorn. Her books tell tales of magical kick-ass women and mystical alpha males that dare to love them.

 

You can find Tena here:

Website // Author’s Secrets’ Blog // My Say What Blog // Facebook // Twitter // Goodreads // Amazon // Newsletter Signup // Pinterest // Tribber // BookBub // Instagram

Hannah and Tena, thanks so much for stopping by today. Much luck in all….your pursuits!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Filed under Alpha Hero, Alpha Male, Author, Romance, Romance Books, WIld Rose Press AUthor

Sorchia Dubois, a tasty salad, and a little visit with Zoraida Gray

Today, in my constant attempt to bring you great authors and even better food (!) author SORCHIA DUBOIS is visiting me. She’s brought along a tasty summer salad recipe and an even tastier sample of her newest book ZORAIDA GRAY AND THE FAMILY STONES. 

Here’s Sorchia to tell you all about it….

In my Zoraida Grey series, Zoraida and her BFF Zhu are women of many passions. Food and drink come in about third on their list (magic and men being numbers one and two, not necessarily in that order.) From curly, cheesy fries at the local eatery in their hometown of Bear Hollow, Arkansas, to the tempting fare at a formal dinner in a haunted Scottish castle, they eat and drink their way through one magical adventure after another.

Self-depravation may be coming through in my writing since I often reward myself for meeting a deadline or word count with a wee dram. My first book, Just Like Gravity, contained so many references to a particular brand of Scotch that my publisher dedicated the entire book to the distillery and one of my reviewers says she gets thirsty every time she reads a passage about whiskey.

The format of a Gothic novel seldom allows for the inclusion of recipes, so I use my blog—Sorchia’s Universe—to cater to my own passions with an irregular feature I call the Writer’s Scotch and Salad Diet. The Writer’s Scotch and Salad Diet came about when a friend and I surmised that it should be possible to build a healthy diet around alcoholic beverages (it isn’t) and set out to prove it (We didn’t—don’t remember what went wrong, but something did go horribly, horribly wrong and I just thank the Powers That Be it happened before cell phones.)

Not to be deterred by common sense or nutritional science, to this day I continue the search for the elusive balance between healthy food and booze. Let me show you what I mean. Here’s a salad recipe and suggestions for drinks (alcoholic and non-alcoholic) to accompany it, followed by an excerpt from Zoraida Grey and the Family Stones.

Let me hear from you! What is your favorite combination of food and drink?

 The Writer’s Scotch and Salad Diet: The Couscous and Black Bean Fiesta Salad.

Black Beans—2 cans or 1 cup of dried beans

¼ cup of minced fresh cilantro

½ tsp cumin

4 T Olive oil

3 T Lime Juice

1 tsp red wine vinegar

1 ¼ cup broth—any kind but chicken or veggie broth work nicely

1 cup raw couscous

1 chopped green pepper

1 chopped red pepper

1 cup frozen corn

8-10 chopped green onions

Sliced tomato

Shredded cheddar cheese

Method:

  1. If you use dried beans, cook until tender and cool.
  2. Prepare the couscous using the broth and cool.
  3. Mix everything except the tomatoes and cheese together and salt and pepper to taste. If you use frozen corn and mix in the rest, the corn will chill it down quickly.
  4. Chill for at least half an hour.
  5. Garnish with cheddar cheese and tomato slices.

A nice Speyside Scotch might go well with this salad—Glen Livet, Balvenie, or Glenfiddich. Something light and a little sweet. I love Rob Roys—especially smoky Rob Roys made with Laphroaig––which would be a good finisher to nearly any meal.

While I am enamored of Scotch, the salad does have a Mexican tang to it, so a Marguerita wouldn’t be amiss. Being a purist in all things, I advise against a mix. Get your bar book out and make it from scratch—not hard and much, much better. As always, avoid the cheap stuff. Patron Silver is touted as the best by many tequila aficionados in my acquaintance but I am not of their number so I can’t say anything beyond that.

If you don’t drink alcohol, then a sparkling white grape juice would be perfect. Go for something not loaded down with sugar or make your own:

  • 2 bottles well chilled Welch’s Sparkling Strawberry Lemonade. (This stuff may include sugar so you could make your own strawberry lemonade to create a healthier drink.)
  • 3 cups Welch’s 100% White Grape Juice. (You can get the unsweetened variety which is only 45 calories per serving.)
  • 2 cups peach juice.(Unsweetened!)
  • 1 lemon, thinly sliced.
  • 1 peach, thinly sliced.
  • In a large punch bowl or pitcher stir together Sparkling Lemonade, White Grape Juice, Peach juice, lemon slices, strawberries, lemons, and peaches.

Here’s a little excerpt from Zoraida Grey and the Family Stones which shows Zoraida and Zhu in action at a formal dinner in a haunted castle.

Ursula moves her soupspoon—the one on the far right, I note—from front to back. Her manner looks much more civilized than the shoveling motion Zhu and I employ at home when we eat Campbell’s Chicken and Noodle soup on the porch. I catch Zhu’s attention and cock an eye at Ursula. Zhu sets her mouth grimly and copies the motion. Shea watches first her and then me. His eyebrows arch high and his mouth twists with suppressed laughter.

“I heard about the renovations.” I take a sip of soup, trying not to slurp. I could lap the savory chicken broth like a dog if I wasn’t trying to impress my new relatives. “That tower looks like it could withstand a hurricane.”

“The outer rockwork is as perfect today as it was when Lorne Logan built it in the fourteenth century.” The corners of Shea’s lips turn up slightly. Miss Watson Part Deux told us he is a murderer, a dangerous fellow likely to gut us in our sleep. He crackles with magic like the rest of them, hiding something from me and from the others. His voice is a delicious blend of rolled l’s and burred r’s, more Scottish than Michael’s clipped English accent. “We’re repairing doorways and excavating an old part of the interior that has been in ruins for nearly two centuries. Old tunnels and dungeons. Michael wants to make it part of the tour and charge an arm and a leg for the privilege. Always thinking ahead is our Michael.”

Michael shrugs. “One must do what one can to ensure the family’s security.” He smiles at me, but his words are for Shea. “We must make difficult choices and utilize our resources wisely. Shea and I have a disagreement about how to do that. Ours is a family of great diversity, and so we seldom agree on any course of action. I’m afraid family history is fraught with such disagreements, ranging from minor arguments to full-fledged feuds.”

The servants clear away the soup and bring in platters of fish ringed with lightly toasted Brussels sprouts. Fresh basil and rosemary leaves sizzle on the surface of fillet. It’s a far cry from the fried catfish they serve at Hofstedler’s in Bear Hollow.

Again, I survey the choices of implements at my disposal and wonder which one is for the fish. Who knew eating could get this complicated?

Across the table, Shea unobtrusively touches the fork on the outside left with his index finger. He shoots me a pointed glance, the smartass. With another quiet gesture, he indicates the knife on the outside right. I pick up my fish knife and fork and narrow my eyes at him. I can see enough of his mind to know he finds me hilarious.

 

To buy your very own copy of Zoraida Grey and the Family Stones—now a finalist in the Prism Awards offered by the Fantasy, Futuristic, & Paranormal Romance Writers chapter of Romance Writers of America, here are the links to purveyors of fine literature as close as your computer screen:

 Amazon // Wild Rose Press // B&N // Kob

You can connect with Sorchia here:

Website // Twitter // Pinterest // Facebook // Amazon // Goodreads //

 

Bio – A little about Sochia…

Sorchia Dubois lives in the piney forest of the Missouri Ozarks with seven cats. She edits technical writing part time, but she spends a number of hours each day tapping out paranormal romance, Gothic murder, and Scottish thrillers.

A proud member of the Ross clan, Sorchia incorporates all things Celtic (especially Scottish) into her works. She can often be found swilling Scotch at Scottish festivals and watching kilted men toss large objects for no apparent reason.

 

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Filed under Author, Cooking, Food lover, Foodie, Romance, Romance Books, Strong Women, The Wild Rose Press, WIld Rose Press AUthor

An #interview with A HUNDRED KISSES #author Jean M. Grant

I’m pleased and delighted to introduce you to another new writer to me today, JEAN M. GRANT . Jean is one of my Wild Rose Press sistahs and her first book, A HUNDRED KISSES is available now. SO, sit back and learn a little sumthin’ sumthin’ about this new author you’re sure going to be hearing about.

 

Jean, The Writer

  1. What drives you to write? I’m a sucker for happy endings that I can control. I love beautiful landscapes and to escape into fictional worlds. I am a daydreamer and it extends to the written word.
  2. What genre(s) of Romance do you write, and why? Historical, with a supernatural twist. I’ve considered a time travel and contemporary, too (those manuscripts are on the planning phase as I work on the prequel to A Hundred Kisses).
  3. What genre(s) of Romance do you read, and why? Historical, contemporary, time travel. I also dip into women’s fiction, mainstream, thriller.
  4. What’s your writing schedule? Do you write every day? I don’t write every day as much as I would like to. I write in nooks and crannies, morning, day, and night. I usually go through a stretch of heavy writing for a few days or weeks, and then I need to take a break for “life.” Then back to it again. It’s hard to write for a few minutes here and there; I like to allot big chunks of time. The worst thing for a writer is to get interrupted in the middle of a great scene! You lose the flow.

5. Give us a glimpse of the surroundings where you write. Separate room? In the kitchen? At the dining room table? Most writing is done on my laptop at the kitchen island/counter or dining room table. Sometimes the couch. Rarely my desk. Not the most ideal places for proper back and wrist position though.

  1. 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 am pretty good at filtering, as many times, I have my young children running around. I love to have music on. Sometimes the music must get turned off and I work in complete silence for particular writing projects or sections of work.
  2. Do you listen to music while you write, and if so, what kind? If not, why not? I listen to a variety of music, depending on what I am writing, and what the scene (or project) is about. The music matches the mood. A good deal of Enya gets me through, but I mix it up with some Ed Sheeran and Maroon Five, as well as movie scores-type of music.
  3. How did you come up with the plotline/idea for your current WIP? I had written three historical romances (unpublished; dare I say as practice, over the years) in 12th century Scotland. For my current book, A Hundred Kisses, I decided to jump ahead a century and apply the feedback I’d received from beta-readers, agents, editors on the first three. I really learned a lot from those manuscripts. I honed my skills. I also threw in some magical/supernatural elements to the current book. And that’s how that one came to be! My current WIP is a prequel to A Hundred Kisses, about the heroine’s mother. It’s got Vikings and more magical elements, too. I also have a Women’s Fiction/Mainstream book I am querying to agents – about a widowed mother on a journey to locate her missing child, after a natural disaster, with her other high-functioning autistic son at her side. That book is inspired by my own parenting journey, while being a work of fiction. And yes, she meets a man with his own tortured past along the way, so there is a romantic element!
  4. Which comes first for you – character or plot? And why? Plot. I love stories. I do love to connect to characters, feel their emotions. But for me, I am a plotter, so that comes easier. I always have ideas! Then I need to assign characters that suit those ideas.
  5. What 3 words describes you, the writer? Patient, Resilient, Daydreamer (Peggy here: LOVELOVELOVE those 3 words!)

Jean, The Person 

  1. Tell us one unusual thing about yourself – not related to writing! I love to travel. I love to hike and tackle mountains big and small. I have a weakness for green rolling hills. I also love sharks and have a degree in Marine Biology.
  2. Who was your first love and what age were you? T.C. from early elementary years
  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….my hike through Abel Tasman in New Zealand (I picked this over other more grueling hikes, because who wants to repeat over and over those torturous hikes that left me limping for days after?!)
  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? Chapstick/lip balm. I would die without it.
  6. What three words describes you, the person? Daydreamer, nurturer, resilient
  7. If you could sing a song with Jimmy Fallon, what would it be? Daydream Believer (aka Cheer up Sleepy Jean) by The Monkees (Peggy here: We could be BFFs. My all time fav group is the Monkees, in fact, my wedding song is I’M A BELIEVER)
  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? Claire and Jamie Fraser (both). Why? Why not? J Sexy Scot and strong-willed English nurse. What would we do? Hmm, not sure. Hang out at some standing stones or by Loch Ness?

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

  1. Favorite sound – water or rain, birds chirping at 4:30 a.m.
  2. Least favorite sound – cars idling
  3. Best song every written – Sleepwalk by Santo and Johnny
  4. Worst song ever written – Barney’s theme song ( Peggy here: I can’t stand that song!!!)
  5. Favorite actor and actress – Kit Harrington and Ewan MacGregor, Emily Blunt     
  6. Who would you want to be for 1 day and why? ( It can be anyone living or dead) – I’d actually like to just have dinner with (not be) The Rock, Dwayne Johnson for one day. Silly, right? He seems like an amazing, funny, nice guy. If I could be somebody for a day, it would be my oldest son, who has Asperger’s/ Autism. I want to feel, see, and experience life through his eyes.
  7. What turns you on? – coffee and sweets and my husband playing with our kids
  8. What turns you off? – mean people
  9. Give me the worst 5 words ever heard on a first date (here’s mine: “Is that your real hair?”) – I’ve not had too many first dates so I am not sure what to put here!
  10. What’s your version of a perfect day? – writing at sunrise, then a daytime hike through some breathtaking place (New Zealand and Scotland top the list), finished with a frothy latte on a porch with a remarkable view (lake, ocean, mountain); all with my husband and kids of course

And now, for a little treat, here’s an excerpt from Jean’s debut novel  A Hundred Kisses

Blurb

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Two wedding nights. Two dead husbands.

Deirdre MacCoinneach wishes to understand her unusual ability to sense others’ lifeblood energies…and vows to discover if her gift killed the men she married. Her father’s search for a new and unsuspecting suitor for Deirdre becomes complicated when rumors of witchcraft abound.

Under the façade of a trader, Alasdair Montgomerie travels to Uist with pivotal information for a Claimant seeking the Scottish throne. A ruthless baron hunts him and a dark past haunts him, leaving little room for alliances with a Highland laird or his tempting daughter.

Awestruck when she realizes that her unlikely travel companion is the man from her visions, a man whose thickly veiled emotions are buried beneath his burning lifeblood, Deirdre wonders if he, too, will die in her bed if she follows her father’s orders. Amidst magic, superstition, and ghosts of the past, Alasdair and Deirdre find themselves falling together in a web of secrets and the curse of a hundred kisses…

Excerpt

She sensed no colors in the murky, lifeless water, and it was freeing. All breath escaped her. Muted visions passed before her eyes—her mother, her father, Gordon, and Cortland. Just a moment longer, she thought…

Suddenly, a burst of warm light invaded her thoughts as air filled her lungs. Red-hot hands burned her shoulders and ripped her from her icy grave. She breathed life into her body. She coughed, gagging on the change.

Muffled words yelled at her.

Oh, God, so hot. His fingers were like hot pokers. Her head pounded as she slowly returned to the present. Heat radiated from her rescuer. Somebody had pulled her from the water.

“Wh—?”

“Hush, lass. You nearly drowned.”

His voice was as soothing as a warm cup of goat’s milk on a winter’s day. A red-hot glow emanated from his body. Never before had she felt such a strong lifeblood, and it nearly burned her. She struggled in his arms to get free. She blinked, only seeing a blurry form before her. “Release me!”

She splashed and wriggled, and he did as told. She clambered to the shoreline. Numb and shaken, she began to dress. It wasn’t easy as she fumbled with slick fingers to put dry clothes over wet skin. She instantly regretted her naked swim. She pulled on her long-sleeved white chemise first.

She faced the forest, away from her rescuer. He quietly splashed to shore. His lifeblood burned into her back. He wasn’t far behind, but he stopped. She refused to look at him until she was fully clothed, not out of embarrassment of her nudity, but for what had just happened. He released a groan and mumbled under his breath about wet boots. His voice was not one of her father’s soldiers.

When she put the last garment on, her brown wool work kirtle, she squeezed out her sopping hair and swept her hands through the knotty mess. She fastened her belt and tied the lacings up the front of the kirtle. Blood returned to her fingertips, and she regained her composure. Belated awareness struck her, and she leaned down and searched through her bag for her dagger. She spun around.

She gasped as she saw the man sitting on the stone-covered shoreline, his wet boots off. Confusion and the hint of a scowl filled his strong-featured face. She staggered back, caught her heel on a stone, and fell, dropping the dagger. Dirt and pebbles stuck to her wet hands and feet, and she instinctively scrambled away from him.

His glower, iridescent dark blue eyes, and disheveled black hair were not unfamiliar. Staring at her was the man she had seen in her dream—it was the man from the wood.

Buy Links: Amazon // WildRose Press // B&N // Kobo

More about Jean:

Jean is a scientist, part-time education director, and a mom. She currently resides in Massachusetts and draws from her interests in history, science, the outdoors, and her family for inspiration. She enjoys writing non-fiction articles for family-oriented and travel magazines, and aspires to write children’s books while continuing to write novels. In 2008, she visited the land of her daydreams, Scotland, and it was nothing short of breathtaking. Jean enjoys tending to her flower gardens, tackling the biggest mountains in New England with her husband, and playing with her sons, while daydreaming about the next hero to write about…

You can find Jean here:

Website // Twitter // Facebook 

 

I hope you enjoyed meeting Jean as much as I did! Jean- thanks so much for joining me today and much success with A HUNDRED KISSES.

 

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Filed under Author, Characters, Contemporary Romance, Historical Romance, love, Romance, Strong Women, The Wild Rose Press

A visit with #author Claire Marti; #TWRP #Romance

 This is one of my favorite reasons for having a blog: To introduce people who read it to new and fabulous authors. Today, I’m thrilled to introduce you to a new Wild Rose Press sistah, Claire Marti. Claire’s first book was released just this past Friday and she’s given us a sneak peak. But first, she recently “sat” down with me for my in depth author interview. Sit back and get to know this up and coming author. You’ll be glad, trust me.

 

Claire Marti, the Writer:

  1. What drives you to write? I’ve written since I was in elementary school. Letters, journals, stories…you name it. I love to read and believe writing flows from that passion.
  1. What genre(s) of Romance do your write, and why? Contemporary and my next series will be historical. I started with contemporary because I love stories with realistic characters bumbling through life. Now that I’ve grown in my writing, I’m ready to tackle historical research and layer it into my prose.
  1. What genre(s) of Romance do you read, and why? Contemporary, historical, and occasionally paranormal or contemporary with paranormal elements. I love reading realistic contemporary stories and I love history. Historical romance is fun: I love the flirtatiousness and all the societal rules.
  1. What’s your writing schedule? Do you write every day? I write most days. I’m a yoga teacher and my schedule varies daily. On Mondays for example, I only teach one class in the morning and have most of the day free to write. Tuesdays, I teach four classes and I can only get in about an hour. The weekends usually provide me a few longer writing chunks. I enjoy mixing it up.
  1. Give us a glimpse of the surroundings where you write. Separate room? In the kitchen? At the dining room table? I write in our second bedroom/office. I have an amazing desk, but rarely sit at it. I’ve got a comfortable reclining chair and the arms are the perfect height for me to sit with my feet up and my fingers on the laptop. My cat Lola rests on the top of the chair and keeps an eye on me. I can see my desk and my bulletin board, which has a photo of me with Nora Roberts and some other inspirational photos. I also recently acquired a 1950’s pink Royal typewriter and it inspires me to write.
  1. 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 tunnelvisionIt’s funny, when I write non-fiction articles, I blast music. When I’m working on fiction, I need silence.
  1. Do you listen to music while you write, and if so, what kind? If not, why not? I listen to music all the time and use it quite a bit in my yoga classes. I love attending concerts. I blast it and sing in the car. I gain inspiration from the music, but require silence when I write.
  1. How did you come up with the plotline/idea for your current WIP? I’ve got two WIPs right now. I just returned the first round of edits for Book 2 in the Finding Forever in Laguna series to my editor and am tackling a rough draft of Book 3. Book 3 features a hero how has PTSD and needs methods to tackle anxiety and nightmares. I’ve got some yoga teacher friends who teach yoga for veterans, specifically targeted to help them cope. Working with this population triggered the hero, Christian Wolfe’s story.
  1. Which comes first for you – character or plot? And why? Character all the way. I spend time creating their conflicts and issues and figuring out how they’d challenge each other, help each other grow, and ultimately be the perfect mate. Once I’ve spent all that time creating the hero and heroine, I play with them in the setting and create an open three act structure.
  1. What 3 words describe you, the writerPassionate, dedicated, truthful.

Claire,  The Person :

  1. Tell us one unusual thing about yourself – not related to writing! As a child, I lived in Nairobi, Kenya for 2.5 years.
  2. Who was your first love and what age were you? His name was Philippe and I was 19.
  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….Last summer, my husband and I were in L’Ile Rousse, a small village in Corsica where my father was born. I spent many summers there with the French side of my family. I hadn’t returned since I was eighteen years old. So, for my birthday last year, my husband and I went. The perfect day began with an enormous café au lait and fresh croissant at a small café in the Place di Paoli. Then, we walked out to the lighthouse and enjoyed the spectacular views of the Mediterranean. We spent the afternoon on the white sand beach and swam, snorkeled and read. We enjoyed a delicious lunch at yet another quaint café. This lazy day rounded out with watching the sunset and dining on a delicious Margherita pizza.
  4. Do you like a guy in boxers, briefs, or commando? Boxers (Peggy here – a gal after me own heart!!)
  5. If you had to give up one necessary-can’t-live-without-it beauty item, what would it be? Hand moisturizer.
  6. What three words describe you, the person? Passionate, loyal, witty.
  7. If you could sing a song with Jimmy Fallon, what would it be? Guns N’ Roses: Sweet Child of Mine
  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? I’ve mulled over this question for hours. I don’t know if I can narrow it down to one! Jake Barnes from Ernest Hemingway’s The Sun Also Rises because his flaws fascinate me. We’d sit in a café in Paris and drink Pernod until the wee hours of the morning and talk about anything and everything.

Bonus round

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

  1. Favorite sound: Waves crashing on the shore.
  2. Least favorite sound: Dentist drill, especially when it’s near my mouth.
  3. Best song every written: Black by Pearl Jam
  4. Worst song ever written: So many to choose from, but any time I hear True by Spandau Ballet I have to change the radio station.
  5. Favorite actor and actress: Brad Pitt and Cate Blanchett
  6. Who would you want to be for 1 day and why? (It can be anyone living or dead) Jim Morrison. He was a tortured musical genius who loved France. I’d love to be him at one of his earlier concerts. I was supposed to be a rock star and he’s the one I’d like to be for a day.
  7. What turns you on? A gorgeous square-jawed man who loves to read. Also, tortured rock stars. J
  8. What turns you off? Indecisiveness, passivity, narcissism.
  9. Give me the worst 5 words ever heard on a first date ( here’s mine: “Is that your real hair?”) I don’t like to read. (Peggy here:  TOTAL deal breaker!!!)
  10. What’s your version of a perfect day? It always begins with coffee. Then, yoga or another workout. Write for a few hours with my cats and dog keeping me company. Lunch with a girlfriend. Time outside in nature, preferably a walk on the beach. More time to write. A glass of wine while watching the sunset over the Pacific and a delicious dinner with my husband, preferably cooked by somebody else. A concert at a small venue.

 

BLURB:

When Sophie Barnes’s fiancé jilts her at the altar, her carefully planned life implodes. Considering her ex’s betrayal to be a rude wake-up call, she leaves everything she knows in San Diego and flees to Laguna Beach. She vows to transform her life by avoiding men for a year and by fulfilling her dream of writing a wildly successful novel.

Sophie’s new landlord, Nicholas Morgan, is a gorgeous, successful architect with a player reputation. He makes it tough for Sophie to remember that she’s sworn to be single. Nick’s avoided the intimacy of a long-term relationship–until Sophie’s independence, courage, and beauty touch his guarded heart. Both Sophie and Nick are terrified of being hurt again, but can they resist the pull of true love?

 

EXCERPT:

Nick arrived right on time, looking gorgeous in faded jeans and a plain white t-shirt. How did he always manage to start the butterflies fluttering in her stomach? Just by standing there with the setting sun framing him? She was in trouble.

“Hi beautiful, ready to go?” He clasped her face in his hands and planted a soft kiss on her lips.

Returning his kiss, Sophie wound her arms around his neck and deepened it. She couldn’t resist. His strong arms wrapped around her waist, hugging her close to his broad chest.

“Mmmm, feel free to greet me like that every time I come over,” he said, lips curved up into a sweet smile.

Heat washed her cheeks and she returned his smile. “Let’s go. Prepare to be blown away by the movie snack of the century.”

Determined to keep things light and enjoy the movie before “the talk,” Sophie thrust down the lick of panic bubbling in her gut. She’d accomplished next to nothing all afternoon, instead wrestling with whether she needed to tell him about Doug.

The angel on her shoulder whispered to tell him because if they were going to have any kind of relationship, even a friends-with-benefits one, honesty and trust were vital.

The devil urged her to zip it. They’d only known each other a few weeks. What if he lived up to his “Player of Laguna” reputation and expected only a fun fling? Even though he seemed deeper than that. What if she scared him off with a premature talk?

BUY LINKS:  Amazon // WRP // B&N // Kobo // iBooks

Bio

Claire Marti started writing stories as soon as she was old enough to pick up pencil and paper. After graduating from the University of Virginia with a BA in English Literature, Claire was sidetracked by other careers, including practicing law, selling software for legal publishers, and managing a non-profit animal rescue for a Hollywood actress.

Finally, Claire followed her heart and now focuses on two of her true passions: writing romance and teaching yoga. She teaches at studios, online for the international website YogaDownload.com and also has a Yoga for Cancer Recovery DVD. She’s the author of Come Ride with Me Along the Big C, a memoir on how yoga helped her cope with breast cancer.

Her debut novel, Second Chance in Laguna, won best unpublished contemporary romance in the Heart of the Molly and third place in the Maggie. She’s hard at work on the second and third novels in the Finding Forever in Laguna series.

Claire is a member of the Romance Writers of America and the San Diego Romance Writers.

Claire loves to connect with people. You can find her here:

Website //Facebook // Twitter // Goodreads

Peggy here: Claire is was a total pleasure getting to know you! I love how you embrace writing as your passion and I’m looking forward to reading more of your books. Be well and keep writing. PJ

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

#SneakPeek at PASSION’S PALETTE; #comingSoon #TWRP

So my last MACQUIRE WOMEN book will be out soon ( no date yet, but this year!) and I just got my cover and blurb approval, so I, of course, wanted to SHARE SHARE SHARE.

Passion’s Palette, Book5 in the MacQuire Women, tells Serena MacQuire and Seamus Cleary’s story. I’ll be posting excerpts next, but here are the basic:

Blurb:

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?

 

When buy links become available, I’ll post them. For now, remember this cover!!!

When I’m not editing soon to be released books, you can find me here:

Tweet Me//Read Me// Visit Me//Picture Me//Pin Me//Friend Me//Google+Me// Triberr

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

A #visit with #author Anita Kidesu; #WildRosePress

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Last year I was part of a collection of Valentine’s Day novellas for the Wild Rose Press titled THE CANDY HEART ROMANCE SERIES. There were over 40 WRP authors represented in that collection, one of them, ANITA KIDESU, my guest today.  Anita is one of the rare – and for me enviable, writers who have a dual personality – she not only writes in several genres, but she does it under two names ( love that!) She’s got a new Wild Press Release out that’s a sequel to her Candy Heart’s Book, Surprise Me, SURPRISE ME AGAIN. After the interview, there’s a little gift for you all in the form of an exclusive excerpt – and believe me: you’ll want to read the book after the excerpt! Here’s Tina:

Anita Kidesu, The Writer

What drives you to write: I’m not sure, I just know that if I don’t get to write for a while I get antsy. I miss my characters.

What genre(s) of Romance do you write and why? I actually write under two names. As Anita Kidesu I write erotic romance. I’m not sure how that happened, except my characters “told” me what they wanted and I decided they knew best. As Tina Susedik I write romantic suspense/mystery/humor. I know it sounds strange, but my writing is different with both names. As Tina, the erotic part never comes up.

What genre(s) of Romance to you read and why? When I first started reading romance, it was Kathleen Woodiwiss, so that meant historical. Now I read most anything except science fiction, paranormal. I do find I tend to like mystery or suspense in my stories.

What’s your writing schedule? Do you write every day? I try to write every day. In the mornings I take care of bookkeeping, promotion, etc. Unless I have something going on at school (I volunteer at my grandchildren’s school) I write in the afternoon. If I have time, I will write in the morning. I try to write at least 2,000 words a day.

Give us a glimpse of the surroundings where you write. In the winter, ( I live in Northern Wisconsin) I move between the couch in my living room to the couch in the basement. Because of a back and neck injury I can’t sit at my desk for long periods of time, so I prop my laptop on a pillow and write on the couch. In the summer, I love, love, love to write outside. I sit on the deck, or go to a park, or go camping and write. Just to be outside.

Do you listen to music while you write? Yes, I do, but it has to be instrumental. I use it more as background. I have a cd player that holds five cds. I can replay those five cds over and over because I never really listen to them.

How did you come up with the plotline/idea for your current WIP? Last year I was part of the Candy Heart Series with The Wild Rose Press. My candy heart was “Surprise Me.” As I was writing the story, I knew Josie and Carson’s story wasn’t over, so I wrote “Surprise Me Again,” which was released on Feb. 10th. As I was writing, that one, I realized I needed to write a story for their sons. That one is now with my editor and is unnamed right now. As I was writing the boys’ story, a female character popped up, and I realized she needed her own story. I have that one roaming through my head right now.

Which comes first for you – character or plot? I think plot comes first. I always have these ideas popping up in my head and I come up with characters to go with it.

Which three words describe you, the writer? Wow, that’s a tough one. Dedicated, always learning, pantser

Anita/Tina, the Person

Tell us one unusual thing about yourself – not related to writing: Another tough one. I think I’m rather boring, but I love photography – especially nature photography.

Who was your first love and what age were you? Easy-peasy. Duane Strong. Third grade. We shared a kiss on the school bus.

If you could live relive one day, which would it be? It would be a toss up between my wedding day and the birth of my kids, although I do without re-living the pain of childbirth. I would love to relive the total full-out feelings of bursting with love as I looked at my children for the first time.

Do you like guys in boxers, briefs, or commando. All of them

 

If you had to give up one necessary-can’t-live-without-it beauty item, what would it be. Mascara. As a redhead, my eyelashes, while long, can barely be seen. Sometimes all I need is to put on mascara and my whole face shines.

What three words describe you as a person? Caring, smart, loving ( Peggy here: I’m sosososos happy you said, “Smart.” Many women don’t own that word and should. Brava!)

If you could hang out with any literary character from any book penned at any time line, who would it be, why, and what would you do together? I would love to meet LaVyrle Spencer. I love her books. They are so real. Vivid characters. I would love to find out how she created her stories. We would go out to supper, then find someplace to have wine and talk writing and life.

Bonus round – fun stuff!!!

Favorite sound: Rushing water

Least favorite sound: People chewing

Best song ever written: Thank You by Led Zepplin – it’s my husband and my song

Worst song ever written: Too many to mention

Favorite actor and actress: I have to admit I have a crush on Harrison Ford. Actress – I’m not sure.

Who would you want to be for one day and why? The first thing that came to me was a woman traveling on the Oregon Trail. I love history and I recently wrote a book involving the Oregon Trail.

What turns you on? A man’s smile

What turns you off? Arrogance

Give me the worst five words ever heard on a first date? You’re kinda small on top. (Peggy here: I can think of sososo many retorts to that! Hope you gave him several!!)

What’s your version of a perfect day? Camping with my husband. Going for a hike or bike ride. Reading at the campsite, then sitting around the campfire.

Here’s a little sumthin’ sumthin about Anita’s new book, SURPRISE ME, AGAIN

Blurb:

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Charged with trespassing and indecent exposure on Erik Stenson’s private beach, Carson and Josie Sandberg return to South Padre Island to take care of the ticket. However, their reunion with Erik is not what they expected. An invitation for a drink turns into a weekend of passion that fulfills fantasies and leaves all parties wanting to explore a threesome outside the bedroom. Will time, distance, and family issues stand in the way, or will they be surprised again?

Excerpt:

“What about you?” Josie said. “Have you ever been married?”

“I was. Years ago. It didn’t last.”

A flicker of sorrow passed over Josie’s eyes. “Can you tell us what happened?” She frowned into her drink. “That is, if you want to.”

“It’s okay. I married Jessica about…” Hell how long had it been? Where had the time gone? “I guess nearly twenty years ago. Like you, we met in college, fell in love, married. Things were good for a few years.”

Josie leaned to her side, allowing the waiter to place a plate before her. Ignoring her food, she folded her hands under chin and kept her attention on him. “What happened?”

“We wanted children. Jessica ached for children. It became an obsession.” Eric took one of the large shrimp from the platter in the middle of the table and began peeling it with trembling fingers, giving him a chance to get his emotions under control. Lord, how he’d wanted children, but not enough to end his marriage.

“After a few years when we didn’t conceive, we looked for answers. By that time Jessica was convinced she was the problem and fell into a deep depression. Nothing I did helped. She wouldn’t agree to see a counselor. My mother finally convinced us to seek a fertilization doctor.” Eric threw the shrimp on his plate and took a long swallow of beer. “Turns out I was the problem, not her. Seems those mumps I’d had as a kid did a number on my little swimmers. Killed them all.”

“Hell, that’s awful, man,” Carson said while Josie placed her hand on Eric’s.

Their sympathy nearly did him in. He swallowed around the lump in his throat and squeezed his damp eyes.

After all these years, the pain was still buried under his heart only to surface on dark, lonely nights and like now as he recounted the story. They were the first ones he’d opened up to. None of the other people in his threesomes had even cared to ask.

Carson took a sip of his beer. “What happened then?”

“I wanted to adopt. Wanted to create a family with Jessica. It didn’t matter if the children were of our blood or not. The doctors had talked about in-vitro. Turns out Jessica didn’t feel the same way.” He took deep breath and tried to calm his pounding heart. He wiped his palms on his shorts.

“I came home one day with information on adoption and some on in-vitro fertilization only to find her and her stuff gone. She had left me a note, telling me she wanted children from her own body. Wanted to create them naturally. Didn’t want to be married to a man who wasn’t a man.”

“The bitch,” Josie said, her eyes filling with tears. “Oops, sorry. I shouldn’t have called her that.”

“Don’t worry. I’ve called her that and worse.”

“How the hell did you handle it?” Carson asked. “I would have been devastated if Josie had done that to me.”

“I drank and buried myself in my writing. I wrote my first novel during this time.”

“If I recall, that book was rather cutting against women,” Carson said.

Eric shook his head and chuckled. “Yeah. I enjoyed killing off my heroine. Coincidentally, she closely resembled my ex.”

“Did you get in trouble for it?” Josie asked, peeling her third shrimp.

“Since I use a pen name, I don’t think she even knows I write. Besides, she was too busy finding another husband to father her eight children.”

Carson choked on his beer. “Eight?”

“Yeah. She really did want kids, but I’m not sure I would have agreed to that many. I was also told she’s gained about a hundred pounds.” Under Josie’s quiet scrutiny, he dropped his gaze to his plate.

“It still hurts, though, doesn’t it?” Josie asked.

Eric shrugged. “It’s not as bad as it was. I sometimes think about how I could have kids in college or be a grandfather by now.”

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

A little more about Anita:

anita2-28-5

From the time she was a teenager, Anita would sneak her grandmother’s romances and read them until all hours of the night. She never thought about creating one herself, but fell into it with a few friends. On a long road trip, they started talking about their favorite authors and why they like their books. To kill time, they started making up their own characters and plot.

From that point on, Anita had story ideas and characters filling her head. Finally, to shut them up, (or so she thought), she started writing them down, surprised at how erotic her characters wanted to be. Her first book with The Wild Rose Press, “South Seas Seduction,” was published in March, 2015. Her short story, “Surprise Me,” part of the Candy Hearts Series, was published in January, 2016. The continuing story, “Surprise Me Again,” was released on February 10, 2017.

Now, in between being a pharmacist, taking care of her two cats, and spending time with her family and friends, she writes. Her stories are about love and romance on the edge.

ANita loves to here from her readers. You can connect with Anita here: Website // Facebook // Pinterest // Blog // Twitter

 

 

 

 

 

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Filed under Author, Candy Hearts, Characters, Contemporary Romance, love, Romance, Romance Books, Strong Women, The Wild Rose Press, WIld Rose Press AUthor

A visit with #author Stacy Gold; #WildRosePress

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February has been an amazeballs month for me to introduce you all to some fabulous new authors. Today I’m hosting writer Stacy Gold, as she talks about her writing life and gives you a peek into her upcoming release JUST FRIENDS. From a writer who writes about strong women, I can tell you I love a writer who says about herself “I write sassy, steamy, contemporary romance novels,  packed with strong, independent women finding love and adventure in the great outdoors.” LOVE THAT!

Sit back and learn a little about Stacy…

Stacy Gold,  The Writer

  1. What drives you to write? I’ve always enjoyed expressing myself on paper (or screen). As a teen, it was mostly essays and poetry. Until a couple years ago, I made a living as a copywriter, journalist and marketing strategist, so all my writing was non-fiction and most was either promotional or educational. However, I did get to write a number of articles for outdoor sports publications over the years, and loved that. Nowadays I have stories and characters in my head just dying to get out. And I relish having the opportunity to change a reader’s life or perspective for the better.
  1. What genre(s) of Romance do your write, and why?
    I write steamy, outdoorsy, contemporary romance with strong heroines who kick ass at sports and activities like skiing, mountain biking, kayaking and backpacking. Why? Because these are the kind of women I enjoy hanging out with in real life. And because I believe including these sports adds an extra layer of dynamics to a story. Putting people in tough situations in the outdoors shows you who they really are, deep down inside. It lets me test their mettle in interesting ways. It’s what I want to read, and definitely what I want to spend all day writing.
  1. What genre(s) of Romance do you read, and why?
    Steamy contemporary is one of my favorites (go figure), but I also enjoy YA and historical. I’ve read a lot of fantasy and sci-fi over the years, but haven’t dipped into much of it in the romance genre—yet. Basically, if the writing is good, the story interesting, entertaining, or believable, and the characters compelling, I’m in. If it’s got hot sex, even better.
  1. What’s your writing schedule? Do you write every day?
    My hubby works a 9-5, so I do my best to sync my schedule to his. That means I write pretty much every weekday, but take the weekends off so we can get outdoors and play in the mountains together. Much of my inspiration comes when I’m about as far from a keyboard as I can get, so from a certain perspective you could consider even that writing time. The other day, on a hike with my dog, I figured out a plot issue and some dialogue for the short story I’m working on. So I dictated it into my phone and kept hiking.
  1. Give us a glimpse of the surroundings where you write. Separate room? In the kitchen? At the dining room table? I have my own office with high ceilings and tall windows that let in plenty of natural light, and includes three different workspaces: my treadmill walkstation, a sit down desk with a yoga ball, and a folding Ikea couch. Though if the weather is nice I like to sit on my porch to work, or take the dog and head to a coffee shop patio.
  1. 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? At home I generally prefer silence, though sometimes I’ll play music with no lyrics. When I’m in the right mood though, I can get super inspired in a coffee shop with the hum of conversation and music as background. The sound of birds singing and the wind in the trees also works well for me.
  1. Do you listen to music while you write, and if so, what kind? If not, why not?
    For the most part, I find music distracting. Particularly if it has lyrics. My brain just keeps trying to pay attention to what they’re singing because I’m a lyrics-driven music listener. If I do listen to music, it’s most often jazz or Wyndham Hill recordings.
  1. How did you come up with the plotline/idea for your current WIP?
    Like most of my ideas, it popped into my head one day, fairly fully formed. My brain is a bit like one of those old supercomputers—I put data and information and experiences in, and it works in the background for days or weeks. Then, at some random point, it spits out an idea that I like. Sometimes I start writing immediately. Other times I keep turning it and playing with it in my head for a bit until I’m inspired to write the opening scene and outline. Many of my best story ideas come to me while I’m skiing or mountain biking.
  1. Which comes first for you – character or plot? And why? A little of both. When a story idea hits me, it might not be fully formed, but I have a pretty good idea of who my characters are, and who they’re going to become, as well as the major plot points or beats. Usually, the first chapter comes out in one big rush like it’s been stored up behind a dam and I’ve just opened the floodgates.
  2. What 3 words describes you, the writer? Fascinated, dedicated, quirky

Stacy, The Person 

  1. Tell us one unusual thing about yourself – not related to writing! I speak fluent French, and thanks to my Mom hold dual citizenship with Switzerland.
  2. Who was your first love and what age were you? Robbie, when I was 17. He was the man that made me realize I was worth loving and deserved to be treated right.
  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…. Oh my gosh. Seriously? Just one? My hubby and I have been on so many amazing adventures together on rivers and trails and mountains, I have trouble even picking one season or sport, let alone one day. Okay, maybe the day Mt Baker had about six feet of fresh snow, and we drove for five hours (normally a three hour drive, max) to get there because the roads were as bad as they get in the northwest. At the ski area that day, one of the chairlifts was only open if you had an avalanche beacon, shovel and partner. Lo and behold we did, so we got to ski never-ending bottomless powder together all day long, then enjoyed dinner at our favorite Italian restaurant before heading back to our condo for a relaxing evening. Perfection.
  4. Do you like a guy in boxers, briefs, or commando? Boxer-briefs or commando.
  5. If you had to give up one necessary-can’t-live-without-it beauty item, what would it be? My awesome Re-Curl curl cream. It allows me to have perfect, scrunch-and-go hair every day and I never have to spend time with a blow dryer or curling iron. Or rollers. I used to do that full head of rollers every morning back in the eighties, but I definitely don’t prioritize anything to do with hair or makeup, and haven’t in thirty years. The sweet southern women I worked with growing up in Atlanta would be appalled.
  6. What three words describes you, the person? Funny, adventurous, caring
  7. If you could sing a song with Jimmy Fallon, what would it be? Anything by Neil Young. I love his Neil impersonation, and Neil’s songs are generally in a key I can sing without anyone cringing too much.
  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? Galadriel from Lord of the Rings because I have always been fascinated by the elves: their long lives, their wisdom, their willingness to sail away to another land. I’d want a tour of Lothlórien and an extended chat over dinner to hear about all the things she’s seen and done in the course of her long life.

Bonus round

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

  1. Favorite sound – My husband’s voice (Peggy here: awwwwwwwwwwwww!)
  2. Least favorite sound-Siren
  3. Best song every written—Suite Judy Blue Eyes by Crosby, Stills & Nash. Gets me every time.
  4. Worst song ever written—Achy Breaky Heart by Billy Ray Sirus. I was a cocktail waitress in a pool hall when this came out, and it got played way too much on the jukebox.
  5. Favorite actor and actress: Daniel Day Lewis and Meryl Streep
  6. Who would you want to be for 1 day and why? (It can be anyone living or dead)- Honestly, it’s confusing and difficult enough just being myself, without spending a day as someone else. If I had to pick, I guess I’d choose Misty Copeland. I danced for years but never on pointe, and she makes it look so beautiful and easy.
  7. What turns you on? Laughter
  8. What turns you off? Negativity
  9. Give me the worst 5 words ever heard on a first date ( here’s mine: “Is that your real hair?”) “Are you my brown-eyed girl?” Nope. My eyes are green.
  10. What’s your version of a perfect day? Sleep in until eight or eight thirty, have a morning quickie, enjoy a delicious breakfast of grits and eggs courtesy of my hubby, then, depending on the season, ski two feet of untracked powder or go paddling or mountain biking, followed by a nice soak in a natural hot spring, love making, dinner al fresco and dancing. Yep. That would be perfect.

 

Stacy’s newest release, JUST FRIENDS  is Available for Pre-Order Now (Release Date March 3rd, 2017)

Blurb

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Taya Monroe is trying to pick up the pieces of her failed writing career and broken life after walking out on her cheating fiancé. The last thing she needs is a serious relationship. The last thing she wants is a fling. Then she runs into an old friend and ski partner—the one man she always wanted who never wanted her.

Ski Patroller Jordan Wiley is a single dad with zero time or energy for dating. When he reconnects with Taya, his attraction to her is even stronger than before she left him behind for a career in the city. But with a young son to think about, he’s determined to ignore his feelings. Again.

After a magical day on the slopes, a snow storm traps them in an avalanche of chemistry neither can deny. Will their friendship survive the weight of their passion or will they surface as more than friends?

Excerpt:

My eyes followed the curve of his lips. They weren’t thin, and they weren’t full either. But they had a kissable shape that begged me to trace their subtle contours with the tip of my tongue. To nip. To explore and taste.

Not that it would ever happen. Not again. I had proof of that.

We’d kissed once, on a drunken night years ago, right after he’d split with his long-term girlfriend. It started out toe-curling, but ended when he pulled away and made it clear he wasn’t attracted to me. At least, not in the way I was attracted to him. Mortified, I pretended it was the alcohol and vowed never to let him know how much I wanted him.

A good vow to remember. Especially now, when I needed a friend more than anything else. Definitely more than I needed a romantic distraction.

“It’s great to see you.” His words, and his smile, flowed over me like liquid caramel.

“You too.” The connection between us buzzed in me like high-tension power lines. Same as always. So powerful I couldn’t understand how, or why, he didn’t feel it too.

Our noses were inches apart. I tasted his breath, minty and sweet, and licked my lips in anticipation of a kiss I knew would never come. Some habits die hard. I was determined to choke this one until it gave up the ghost.

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

A little more about Stacy Gold

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Compulsive tea drinker. Outdoor sports junkie. Lover of good (and bad) puns.

Stacy Gold gave up her day job as Communications Director of a nonprofit mountain biking organization to write sassy, steamy, contemporary romance novels. Her stories are packed with strong, independent women, and the men who can’t resist them, finding love and adventure in the great outdoors. When Stacy’s not busy reading or writing, you can find her dancing, laughing or playing hard in the mountains with her wonderful hubby and happy dog.

 

After a magical day on the slopes, a snow storm traps them in an avalanche of chemistry neither can deny. Will their friendship survive the weight of their passion or will they surface as more than friends?

You can connect with Stacy here:

Facebook // Twitter  // Instagram // Amazon // Goodreads // Website

Special Offer

Enter to Win a $25 REI Gift Card and be the First to Know About Contests, Freebies & Releases by Joining the Gold Club!

http://stacygold.com/goldclub

 

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

A visit with #author DeeDee Lane; #TheWildRosePress

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It’s so much fun for me as a reader – and as a writer – to discover new authors to me, because I can then introduce them to you! Today I’m hosting Seattle-based author DeeDee Lane, one of my Wild Rose Press sistahs. DeeDee writes historical fiction ( love that!), time travel and westerns. Wow! Can you say “prolific?!”  Here’s a gab fest I engaged her in recently. Learn more about this fun writer, and stick around because she’s giving you a little taste of her newest selection, My Traveling Man, which is out TODAY!!

DeeDee Lane, The Writer:

  1. What drives you to write? This changes for me quite often so I’ll answer what is driving me right now. I believe empathy and kindness are a muscle, something each of us has to practice every day. Right now entering someone else’s Point of View is giving me a chance to see the world in a new way, to practice empathy, and how I can be kind to myself, and kind to others. So right now, writing is a pretty selfish past time!
  1. What genre(s) of Romance do you write, and why? The Slip in Time series is historical fiction, time travel, and western. I chose to write in this combo genre because it gave me the chance to research the Old West and explore how a contemporary woman would survive/thrive in the past.
  1. What genre(s) of Romance do you read, and why? Pretty much all. I’ve often been a judge for the RWA Golden Heart contest and I always ask for a different category so I can stay up on what’s going on in the Romance world. I can’t say, “All” because I don’t read erotica which is probably a shame because I know some pretty amazing erotica writers out there!
  1. What’s your writing schedule? Do you write every day? I write best in the morning, by the afternoon I need to switch to things like this blog, updating my web site etc.
  1. Give us a glimpse of the surroundings where you write. Separate room? In the kitchen? At the dining room table? The best thing about where I write is I have a huge L shaped desk; which means room for my computer, a pile of books, notes to myself, a stack of binders, and my office supplies. Also, I am addicted to collecting pens when I go to writing conferences so I have three cups jammed full of pens on my desk table top!
  1. 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? Not quiet but pretty quiet. I just read about some noise canceling head phones a writer I like uses, might give those a try.
  1. Do you listen to music while you write, and if so, what kind? If not, why not? No music, I get too distracted. I often do have a few songs I feel connect to my heroine…something she’d listen too.
  1. How did you come up with the plotline/idea for your current WIP? I’m super suspicious so don’t talk about my current WIP – I know! Weird huh…even my husband and my besty beta reader don’t know what it’s about. Of course my husband can sort of tell by the stack of research on my desk! (Peggy here – not weird at all! I don’t like to talk about my current works either.)
  1. Which comes first for you – character or plot? And why? Ohhhh good one. When I really connect to a character she is most often in the middle of some situation, some problem, some conflict so it really happens simultaneously. I know I’m onto something when I have a hard time not thinking about the character!
  1. What 3 words describes you, the writer? These are the three words I WANT to describe me as a writer: Exciting, emotional, satisfying. (Peggy here: I think you hit the nail on the proverbial head with these words – they DO describe you!)

Dee Dee, The Person:

  1. Tell us one unusual thing about yourself – not related to writing! I have never seen the Giant Tin Foil Rooster but it is on my list of not-to-be-missed-road-side-attractions!
  2. Who was your first love and what age were you? Paul (sigh) I was 8 and we wrote notes to each other that said, “I love you, do you love me? Yes, No, or Maybe – circle one.”
  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….I just watched two Christmas movies that had the same theme and I wouldn’t do it – no way, no way!
  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? Oil of Olay face moisturizer….I’d cry if I had to give it up.
  6. What three words describes you, the person? Thoughtful, funny, scattered
  7. If you could sing a song with Jimmy Fallon, what would it be? “Suddenly Seymour” from the musical Little Shop of Horrors. (Peggy here: OMG! I lovelovelove that musical!!)
  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? Sherlock Holmes of course, we’d smoke a pipe, have a spot of tea with Dr. Watson, welcome a mysterious weeping widow wearing a black half veil and telling an improbable tale, then together we’d crack the case!

Bonus round

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

  1. Favorite sound – Kitchen Timer – Baking is done! (Peggy here: Yummo! I’ll be right over)
  2. Least favorite sound– My mother crying
  3. Best song every written– “Summertime” From Porgy and Bess
  4. Worst song ever written “Who let the Dogs Out” (sorry U of Washington Husky fans)
  5. Favorite actor and actress– Meryl Streep and James Spader
  6. Who would you want to be for 1 day and why? ( It can be anyone living or dead) Barack Obama – I want to know what his world looked like when he was US President. I would want to feel the weight of his responsibilities to our country and the world.
  7. What turns you on? Kind acts done for the sake of kindness
  8. What turns you off? Racial slurs, hate language, hate actions
  9. Give me the worst 5 words ever heard on a first date ( here’s mine: “Is that your real hair?”) “This won’t take long, right?”
  10. What’s your version of a perfect day? Sunny, ocean, my husband, my family coming over for dinner in the evening, singing, sand, lots of laughs.

 

Blurb:

My Traveling Man ( is the fourth installment in the Slip in Time Series)

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Alice Hanstrom prefers books to people, facts over feelings, and in her world, “adventure” is just a word in the dictionary. That is until the night she braves shadowed hallways of the Cowboy and Western Museum in pursuit of a long-lost diary. Her search of an antique covered wagon halts abruptly when the museum slips Alice back in time.

Thomas Bristol is an experienced wagon master. On a daily basis he deals with cholera, exhausted oxen, and river rapids on the treacherous journey to Oregon Territory. But he’s completely flummoxed when a mysterious woman appears in Big Blue River.

On the trail, Alice and Thomas strive to balance his love of roaming adventure and her desire for predictable orderliness. As the wagon train reaches Independence Rock, the sparks between them catch fire. But can such different people become equal partners in love…and can their love survive the slip in time?

Excerpt:

Alice bent her lanky frame forward to squint at the notation scratched in the corner of the diary—scribbled in a different hand, less confident, childish.

I’m hiding Mama’s last diary in our covered wagon’s secret hidey hole ‘til she’s in her right mind.

The wagon mentioned was in the museum’s storage basement, two floors down. Alice’s stomach fluttered and hopped. Every part of her yearned to find the “hidey hole,” be the one to find the diary not just write about it afterwards. Before she could talk herself out it, Alice exited the research library to set off down the darkened corridors of the Cowboy and Western Museum. Her footsteps made soft thwacks on the marble floor. She, Alice Hanstrom, intrepid scaredy-cat, was on an adventure. How thrilling, how positively mind–blowing, how…. Alice flinched away from a creaking noise to her right.

Buy Links: Amazon  // Wild Rose Press //

A word about the author…

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DeeDee Lane is a Seattle author and a member of Romance Writers of America. Her mystery scenarios and characters turn up on boat cruises and many corporate and private events around the Puget Sound. She and her husband love to go on road trips especially if there’s time to check out a tin foil rooster or the largest truck stop in the world. Originally from central Wisconsin, DeeDee was raised on a Century Farm.

DeeDee’s novella MY GAMBLING MAN received third place in the Paranormal Short category of the International Digital Awards (IDA)

Connect with DeeDee here:

Amazon 

Peggy here: This was such a fun interview. DeeDee, it has been such a pleasure getting to know you! Much luck with your continued writing and congrats on release day for My Traveling Man.

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Filed under Author, Characters, Contemporary Romance, Historical Romance, research, Romance, Romance Books, RWA, Strong Women, WIld Rose Press AUthor

A #visit with #author Donna Simonetta

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You all know I lovelovelove introducing you to authors. It’s one of the most fun things about having a blog and a forum for writing. Today I have a real treat. I recently sat down with author Donna Simonetta for a little chat about….stuff. She’s got a new book out TODAY from Wild Rose Press called A SWEETER SPOT, and she graciously allowed me to share a little of it below. SO, sit back and prepare to be dazzled.

Here’s Donna… THE WRITER

  1. What drives you to write?

I have always wanted to write. I remember going to Pequot Library in Southport, Connecticut as a child and looking at the stacks to see where my books would be shelved once I was a published author. However, real life got in the way, and I explored other career options. After a health scare made me evaluate my life, I realized I always wanted to write, and there was no time like the present to try it! So I did. And I love it, in a way I’ve never loved my work before.

  1. What genre(s) of Romance do your write, and why?

I write contemporary romance–some with strong fantasy elements, like in Angels Fly, and some without fantasy, such as A Sweeter Spot.

  1. What genre(s) of Romance do you read, and why?

The earliest romance books I read were historical. To be specific, Georgette Heyer’s Regency romances. Loved them way back in the day, and still enjoy re-reading them now. However, now I also enjoy contemporary romances with a little humor and a little steaminess. Think Jill Shalvis or Rachel Gibson.

  1. What’s your writing schedule? Do you write every day?

I try to do something related to my writing every day, but now that I’ve been published, sometimes it’s more promotional in nature, but there’s nothing I love more than sitting down and writing. I work part-time in a school library, which limits my writing time during the school year, but I do try to set aside time every day to work on something related to my writing.

  1. Give us a glimpse of the surroundings where you write. Separate room? In the kitchen? At the dining room table?

My husband jokingly calls where I write my “Command Center”. I sit in our living room, with everything I need in arms reach. I keep a basket next to me, piled high with papers and notebooks related to my current work-in-progress. Right now, that would be the third book in my Rivers Bend trilogy, which focuses on Jason Braden, the youngest Braden brother. I’m enjoying writing about the woman who can make him leave his playboy ways behind! I’m also working on a ghost story that I’m really excited about!

  1. 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 am not someone who does well in total silence! I like to have some sound in the background. Maybe that comes from my years of being a librarian in a boys middle school library. There is always noise there.

  1. Do you listen to music while you write, and if so, what kind? If not, why not?

I do like to listen to music when I write. However, when I’m working on editing/revisions, I prefer music without lyrics. I find that they distract me from my own words at that point in the writing process.

  1. How did you come up with the plotline/idea for your current WIP?

The kernel of the idea for my ghost story was a house my Aunt Em lived in for a while in Salem, Massachusetts. She was a social worker and the house was an old sea captain’s home, which housed the agency where she worked on the first two floors. She lived on the top floor, and family lore had it that it was haunted. While visiting when I was a child, my mom had an eerie experience there that I’ve knicked for my ghost story. I’ve transplanted it to Richmond, Virginia, but its’ origins are in Aunt Em’s apartment in spooky Salem!

  1. Which comes first for you – character or plot? And why?

The character comes first for me. I start a new notebook for each book, and flesh out my characters right away. I might have an idea for the plot, but I feel that so much of what happens is character-driven, so I like to establish the people first. That way, I know how they’ll respond in any given situation.

  1. What 3 words describes you, the writer?

Happy. Passionate. Organized.

And Donna…the Gal

  1. Tell us one unusual thing about yourself – not related to writing!

I met my husband over the telephone before I met him in person. I was working as an Account Executive and he was my client.

2.Who was your first love and what age were you?

I had LOTS of crushes over the years–ask any of my girlfriends from my teenage years. The first one I remember clearly was in fourth grade. But I have to say that, sappy as it sounds, my first and only love was my husband, and I was thirty-one when I met him.

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….

My husband and I go to St. Pete Beach every year to celebrate the end of the school year. I would happily relive any day there, over and over and over again…white sand beach, tropical cocktails, a good book, my honey?? Who wouldn’t want to relive it every day?

4. Do you like a guy in boxers, briefs, or commando?

Hmm..boxers or briefs…so maybe boxer-briefs! Commando seems like it comes with an inherent risk of harm.

5. If you had to give up one necessary-can’t-live-without-it beauty item, what would it be?

My best friend lives in Ireland and last year she gave me a gift of a monthly beauty box delivery. Through it I discovered Perfectly Perfecting Wonder Balm for my hair, which is kindly described as ‘curly’. A more realistic word would be ‘frizzy’. A little dab of this stuff and it calms that frizz right down! Hard to find in the U.S., but…wow!…is it worth it!

6. What three words describes you, the person?

Funny. Loyal. Hardworking.

7. If you could sing a song with Jimmy Fallon, what would it be?

Elvis Costello, (What’s So Funny ‘ Bout) Peace, Love And Understanding.

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 would solve a mystery together. (Peggy here: that is sososo cool!!!)

Why? I had all the Nancy Drew books–passed down from a cousin, and I treasured them. I read, reread, and reread all of them. Again. And again. To have the chance to drive around in her roadster with Nancy, Bess, and George, while we solved a case, would be a dream come to life for me!

Bonus round

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

  1. Favorite sound

The surf. There’s nothing more soothing than the sound of waves.

  1. Least favorite sound

Alarm clock on a weekday morning.

  1. Best song every written

This is a tough one. There are a lot of songs that I really love. Joni Mitchell is a favorite. Her songs were always like short stories, or poems.

  1. Worst song ever written

The Macarena came on at the spa the last time I was getting my hair cut, and it was even more dreadful than I remembered. And really long. My hair stylist and I couldn’t imagine who would pick it for a spa music rotation. At the first chord, she rolled her eyes and said, “Lucky you. You’re here for Macarena o’clock.”

  1. Favorite actor and actress

These are old school answers, but the truth is Cary Grant and Katharine Hepburn are my faves. ( Peggy here – love them!!!!! Bringing up Baby, The Philadelphia Story – classics!)

  1. Who would you want to be for 1 day and why? ( It can be anyone living or dead)Living or dead? How about imaginary? I would like to be Buffy the Vampire Slayer for one day. Preferably in the Spike years, not Angel. I would love to see how it feels to be so strong, powerful, and totally kick-ass. And a petite blonde.
  2. What turns you on?

As you can probably tell from most of my heroes–I like a man who is intelligent, with a sense of humor. Kind, with a little bit of an Alpha thing happening.

  1. What turns you off?

Arrogance and rudeness.

  1. Give me the worst 5 words ever heard on a first date ( here’s mine: “Is that your real hair?”)

I can’t really think of an answer for this one, but I have to say that I love yours! Too funny! Peggy here – and it’s true!!!

  1. What’s your version of a perfect day?

I have two versions of a perfect day, but in either case it would have to be summer. I am not a winter person. In my vacation version, I would like to be on a beach somewhere, with a gentle trade wind blowing, a good book, no pressures or responsibilities. In my everyday version of a perfect day, I would get up, have a cup of coffee with a hazelnut flavored creamer, put on some music and write! Not so realistic in this version, would be servants taking care of cooking and laundry! Hey, what’s a perfect day without a little fantasy, right?

Blurb:

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Magda knows a 28-year-old shouldn’t run away from home, but Rivers Bend is the ideal escape. Helping out her best friend will get her away from her uber-wealthy, controlling grandmother and duplicitous ex. She doesn’t expect the quirky little town to feel so much like home. Add in hotter-than-the-sun Jeff and his daughter, and leaving seems as unthinkable as it is inevitable.

Raising Sam alone, Jeff knew he wanted her to grow up in his supportive hometown. The arrival of a feisty new tenant sends Jeff’s world spinning. Magda fills a void in his life that he’d like to make permanent.

Will love triumph over the most powerful woman in the country, and can they figure out how to make this happy-for-now in Rivers Bend into their happy-ever-after?

Excerpt:

“Being cheated on is no fun. It happened to me once. Up here,” he tapped his forehead. “You know it’s not your fault. But here,” he tapped his chest over his heart. “You feel like it has to be your fault – like you could’ve done something to prevent it. But you couldn’t have. It’s all on him, Maggie. Not you.”

She picked a dandelion, whose flower had turned into a puffball, and blew on it, scattering the fluff to the wind. “Maybe. Maybe not. But thanks for the support.”

She pushed to her feet and took a couple of steps toward the river. Jeff rose and followed.

How could he be so angry at a man he didn’t even know? How could this Pierce jerk have slept around on a woman like Maggie? And the prick had even made her doubt herself in the process. It was written all over her anguished face.

He stood behind her and gently kneaded her shoulders. He turned her to face him and cupped her face in his big hands.

“This Pierce guy is the biggest fool on earth to go to someone else when he had you at home, Maggie.”

She blinked away tears, and he felt his heart constrict. Before he could think it through and decide it was a really bad idea, Jeff dipped his head and captured Magda’s lips in a gentle kiss.

Buy Links: Amazon //TWRP //B&N //

A little more about Donna:

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After years working in the business world, my love of reading led me to get my MLS, and I currently work part-time in a school library, a job that allows me lots of time to explore my other love – writing 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

 

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Filed under Alpha Hero, Alpha Male, Author, Contemporary Romance, love, Romance, Romance Books, The Wild Rose Press, WIld Rose Press AUthor