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Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Coming Soon from The Wild Rose Press....

Not even captivity can sway Southern widow Josette Beaumont from spying for the Confederacy. Under the nose of the Union army, she willingly risks her life to pass information to her sources. Until a stranger appears in her bedroom one day with a cryptic message: stop spying or you’ll die. She has no reason to believe his warnings about the future, but his company is the only solace in her long days of imprisonment and his friendship quickly comes to mean so much more. If only she could make the sacrifice he asks of her…

To hell with history, real estate mogul Jamie D’Alessandro has no intention of saving the historic mansion he’s purchased, even if it is the home of a famous Confederate spy. But when he steps into an upstairs bedroom of the old house, time suddenly shifts, bringing him face to face with a very beautiful and irate Southern lady. Against his will he’s drawn into her cause—to save the Confederacy. But Jamie has a cause of his own. According to his research the lady spy has only days to live. Should he change history to save the woman he loves—or sacrifice life in his own century to be with her for This Moment in Time?

Excerpt: (Jamie's first night in the old house is interrupted by unexplained noises from upstairs. An investigation into the source leads him to an upstairs bedroom. )

He took another deep breath to slow his heart rate. While he was out gathering tools tomorrow, he’d have to get something to put over the window. He’d never get any rest with that door thumping all night long, and the air blowing inside would only make the house colder.
Chuckling at his own ridiculous fear, he started to turn. A voice—not the howling of the wind this time— and the sudden sensation of warmth at his back stilled him.
“Honestly, Sebastian, he can’t keep me locked up here much longer. I’ll go mad.”
A woman? She sounded calm, perhaps a little angry.
“Drat it, now I’ve lost count.” A heavy sigh followed. “The last I remember was twenty strokes, I’ll have to start over from there.”
Heart back in his throat, he turned just enough to glance over his shoulder. The first thing to greet him were the windows—the very same windows he’d admired moments ago. Only they were now adorned with white lacy fabric. To the left, a warm fire crackled in the fireplace, casting a golden glow across the gleaming hardwood floor. And directly in front of him, a dark gray cat lay sprawled across an ornate canopied bed, calmly grooming itself. It paused, tongue in mid stroke and stared up at him with curious green eyes.
“Twenty one. Twenty two. Twenty…”
Swallowing, he forced his gaze from the cat to the source of the voice. A woman sat at a vanity, tugging a brush through long, dark hair. In the mirror, he watched as her gaze moved from her reflection. To him. She let out a gasp. The brush fell from her hand. She whirled on her seat to face him.
“Wh—who are you?”
She could see him!

Friday, October 9, 2009

Friday Friend: Meet Debra St. John!

Tell us a bit about yourself and why you write the genre you do.

Hi everyone! Thanks so much to Nicole for having me today.

I live in a suburb of Chicago with my very wonderful husband. We've been renovating/restoring an old 1920's bungalow for the past 8 years and it's been a labor of love with a lot of blood, sweat and tears involved. One of my favorite parts of the restoration was removing the storm windows the previous owner had installed to enclose the front porch. Now I have a wide open front porch, which when the weather is nice acts almost as an outdoor living room for us. In my free time you'll find me curled up in one of the rockers or on the love-seat bench with a good book. My favorite genre is romance, mostly contemporary, which is why I write what I do.

How long have you been writing?

I've been writing romance since high school, although I have to admit, I'd be pretty embarrassed to have one of those stories make its presence known. Let's just say I've learned a lot about writing in the last 20 years!

Where do you get your ideas?

I love country music and often a certain lyric will bring to mind an idea. I also try to include places I've actually visited in my books, so traveling can be very inspirational as well. Sometimes ideas just pop into my head out of the blue. You never know. I keep a pad of paper and a pencil in my nightstand in case inspiration strikes suddenly in the middle of the night. I actually scribbled notes for my free read on my checkbook register while I was waiting in line at the pharmacy one day. When the idea came to me, I didn't want to lose it. (And, no, the story doesn't have anything to do with pharmaceuticals!)

Describe your typical writing day

I wish I had a typical writing day. (LOL) I have a full-time job that I love, and writing is something I do on the side. When I am fortunate enough to have an entire day to devote to writing (weekends, holidays) I find that changing locations helps the muse to flow. I'll start in the living room on my laptop, move to the front or back porch or even outside on the patio (weather permitting, of course), then finish up back in the living room or even upstairs in bed. The best investment I ever made was my laptop. Usually I'll take a few minutes to review what I've written previously, then get to it. Often I'll have handwritten notes with ideas or scenes that I scribbled down when my computer wasn't near, and I start with those.

Tell me your best cure for writer’s block?

Music helps a lot. But I also find it helps to take a notebook outside and just start scribbling by hand. For some reason a blank piece of paper seems less daunting to me than a blank computer screen.

Tell us a little bit about your latest work.

I have a new book, called "Wild Wedding Weekend", coming out in May 2010 from The Wild Rose Press. Last week I sent my editor my latest manuscript, "This Can't Be Love" which is a spin-off of "This Time for Always", my debut release. This was a really fun book to write, since I got to bring one of my secondary characters to the forefront as the hero. Here's Zach and Jessica's first kiss:

They laughed together, then fell silent. Crickets chirped in the darkness. The scent of Zach’s aftershave drifted to her on the light breeze.

After a while, he turned toward her. “Do you?”

“Do I what? Like apple pie and ice cream?”

“No,” he said softly. His gaze dropped to her lips. “Do you kiss and tell?”

Jessica’s heart kicked into a fast rhythm and she caught her breath. “I…”

“Shhhh.” He leaned closer. “I won’t tell if you won’t,” he whispered before his mouth claimed hers.

His lips stroked over hers, not aggressively, but softly, tenderly. He didn’t touch her anywhere else, but brushed her mouth with gentle intent.

Her first instinct was to pull back, but something stirred deep inside her.. A feeling she’d nearly forgotten. Whispery shivers danced along her nerve endings and fluttered in her stomach. Without meaning to, the action was purely a reflex, she opened to him.

The kiss deepened. Their breath mingled. Her palm slid up his chest, feeling the play of muscle beneath his shirt. She fisted the flannel of his open collar in her hand.

His knuckles grazed the sides of her face.

Her body tingled with awareness. Scattered thoughts flitted through her mind, but she couldn’t hold onto any of them. Not while Zach kissed her. Not when his mouth fitted so perfectly against hers. Not when the pulse racing at the base of his throat matched the cadence of her heartbeat.

She couldn’t remember the last time she’d felt like this. Had felt anything.

Should she be feeling this way about Zach?

Almost as if sensing her conflicting emotions, he softened the kiss, tenderly brushing his mouth over hers one last time.

She waged a silent war within, trying to calm her racing heart.

She still clutched his shirt. She relaxed her fingers one at a time, releasing the twisted fabric from her grasp. Finally she drew in a deep breath, then slowly let it out.

Her eyes found his.

Zach’s gaze searched hers, then he smiled. A smile as soft and tender as his kiss. He touched his finger to her lips, then rose. “Good night, Jess.”

Anything else in the works you can share with us?

Right now I've dredged up an old manuscript from the deep depths of my computer's memory. I'm hoping to revamp it a bit and submit it to The Wild Rose Press in the near future. My first step will be to bring it to my local RWA group for a critique session. The fabulous ladies of Chicago-North always get me off to the right start on any project.

Feel free to visit me at

or at where I'm the Sunday blogger.

Thanks, again, Nicole, for having me today!

Thanks for coming, Debra, and best of luck with getting that MS polished up and sent out! Keep us posted on what comes of it!

Friday, October 2, 2009

Friday Friends... meet Ilona Fridl

Friday Friends returns today with special guest author Ilona Fridl. I had a little trouble on my end (my fault, not Ilonas!) with the post, she's here now so let's get started! (And thanks, Ilona, for putting up with this scatter brained author!)

Tell us a bit about yourself and why you write the genre you do.

I'm originally from Southern California and when I was twenty-two, moved to Wisconsin, which was a shock to the system! Seriously, I fell on ice and cracked the bone in my elbow the second month I was here. Not a winter fan, but I'm still in Wisconsin, since I met my husband, Mark, here. Took up writing when we got our computer in the 90's and started a novel in 2000.

I enjoy writing about the twentieth century, because there was so much happening at that time. The last half of it, I don't have to to a whole lot of research, because I was around then.

How long have you been writing?

In a way, all my life. I used to make children's picture books for myself when I was little. I loved creative writing in school and doing research for reports in high school. Occasionally, I would sell a story or article to a magazine, but that's as far as it got. When we bought a computer, I really took to it. You see, I was terrible at typewriters. I made more mistakes than there was paper, now the computer corrects all my boo-boos.

Where do you get your ideas?

A lot of them come from a “what if” game I play with myself. Silver Screen Heroes came from a “what if a crime family bought a movie studio for making and distributing liquor in the 20's?” (ooooh, pardon me for interrupting, but that sounds sooo fun! Definitely just landed near the top of my TBR pile! -Nic) Others come from songs, poetry, pictures, etc.

Describe your typical writing day

Usually, I start after breakfast checking email, and taking care of any business I need to online. Then the rest of the morning I work on edits or on my work in progress. After lunch, I put in two more hours on writing. I average about four hours a day of actual work on manuscripts. The rest of the time is for any of the household chores I need to do. Although, I find I'm always working on the story in my head.

What was your “Aha!” moment—when you knew you had to be a writer?

I think I've always kicked that around, but I never acted on it. When I sold a couple of short stories to magazines, I guess that was an “Aha!” moment for me. I found an editor that thought I could write well.

If you weren’t a writer, what would you be?

If I was able to continue with my college education, I probably would have made a good teacher. I enjoy being around children. I got to do some of that when I worked at Old World Wisconsin as a costumed interpreter. It's a living history museum and we had many school tours.

Tell me your best cure for writer’s block?

This may sound silly, but I play some solitaire on the computer and my mind stays active about the story. Or I just get away for a day or so and a scene that was bothering me seems to work itself out.

Tell us a little bit about Silver Screen Heroes.

My first book of the Dangerous Times series, “Silver Screen Heroes,” was released July 31st. I'm working on the edits for book number two, “Golden North,” and writing number three, “Bronze Skies.”

I'll share an excerpt of Silver Screen Heroes:

Addy couldn’t shake the dread she felt for Muriel. When she hugged her, Addy said in a low voice, “If you ever need me, you know where to find me.”

Muriel smiled. “I’m all right. You take care of yourself.”

I really wish I had more time to talk to you.”

We’ll get together at work. Goodnight, Addy.”

Addy took hold of Zeke’s hand when they were well on their way back. “I don’t know what it was, but—”

Zeke touched her lips with his fingers. “Not now.” And he nodded toward the chauffeur.

They were silent for the rest of the way, for fear the chauffeur would hear them. Muriel, what have you gotten yourself into? Yes, Tony has money, but how did his family get it? Are you in danger now?

When the chauffeur let them off, Zeke offered a tip, but the man waved him away. The auto disappeared down the street while Addy walked with Zeke to his Model T.

I was going to say I didn’t feel comfortable with Tony’s family. They were kind to us, but something about Joe Giovanni was menacing. I don’t mean his eye patch, although it looks like he got that in a fight.”

Zeke nodded. “I got that impression, too. They’ve bought into the studio. I wonder whether that’s going to be a good thing. I don’t trust that man.”

They held each other in a brief embrace. Addy felt so safe in his arms that she didn’t want it to end. All the bad things of the world seemed to go away when she was with Zeke. She put her face next to his shirt and breathed in the warm scent of him, a scent that was becoming very familiar to her.

He pulled back and kissed her. “Let me walk you to the door.”

She put her hand on his cheek. “That’s all right. I can find my way.”

Goodnight, Addy, I love you.”

She smiled. “I love you, too.”

Zeke set off in his auto, and Addy had started toward the building when she heard a scuffling sound coming from the wall. “Addy!” she heard a voice call in a harsh whisper she thought she recognized.

Roxie! Is that you?” She saw two crouched figures. “Beth, is that you, too?”

Yes! We’ve run away from Mr. Rudd. He and one of his goons—” Roxie got no farther before an auto came squealing up the drive.

Stop, you!”yelled a man from the auto.

Addy grabbed both girls by the arm. “We’ve got to run inside!” She dragged the exhausted girls as she flew along the walkway. They had gotten to the corner of the building when she heard a bullet whiz past her head. Another hit Beth, who cried out, and then Mrs. Hutton was at the door, pulling them all in and locking the door behind them.

Roxie, Beth, go into the parlor! Addy, call the police. I’ll be right back!” Mrs. Hutton charged to the back room.

Addy jiggled the cradle of the phone in the lobby. “Operator! Get me the police!” When the station answered, she said, “I’m Adeline Garcia at Dormitory Number Three at Majestic Studios. There are two men with guns trying…” Suddenly, the line went dead.

Anything else in the works you can share with us?

After this series, I'm going to rework my first manuscript set in the 1960's in Los Angeles and San Francisco

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Visit me at Liana's Place

I'm guest blogging on Liana Laverentz' blog today about mom stuff, writing stuff and just finding the time stuff.

Stop on by for a visit!


Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Guest Blogging re: Remembering Patrick

If, like me, your memories of Patrick Swayze are a little removed from his roles in Dirty Dancing or Roadhouse, pop on over to the American Civil War: Beyond Scarlett and Rhett blog today where I'm remembering Patrick in a very different role.

Friday, September 11, 2009

When buildings fell, hereos rose...

Friday Friends will be back next week, I took a little break for Labor Day weekend and it just didn't seem appropriate for today.

Instead, let's take a moment to remember those who lost their lives eight years ago today.

My nephew (below) is in Iraq right now fighting for our freedom. God willing, he'll be home safe and sound this time next month. But this is one of his favorite songs so I thought I'd share it with you. Here's hoping this American Soldier knows how much his auntie loves and misses him! And in case he stumbles across this blog... I've already bought the ingredients for the homecoming cheesecake!

Monday, August 31, 2009

And the Winner is....

The winner of a PDF of Isabel Roman's latest release is....

Gayle! (

Please contact Isabel Roman at

Congratulations, Gayle!

Friday, August 28, 2009

Friday Friend: Meet Isabel Roman

Wow, did you see that cover? As if August wasn't hot enough already!

Today's Friday Friend is someone I've had the pleasure of getting to know over the past several years, fellow Scandalous Victorian, Isabel Roman. Isabel has promised to give away a free .pdf of her latest release (I'm still drooling over that cover!) if we have ten or more commenters.

Welcome, Isabel, and thanks for spending your Friday here with us!

How long have you been writing?
Serious writing? Maybe 7 years. Seriously serious writing? Where I realized there were rules and reasons and that things were done certain ways in romance that weren’t done elsewhere? About 4 years. Takes a lot to learn the craft…especially now that I know there is a craft to learn!

Where do you get your ideas?
Everywhere. A twist on an old story I’ve read. Something I see on the news and think, oh, how can I work that in? Or better, take a modern day something and make it historical? Staring blankly outside a window works, too.

Describe your typical writing day.
I have two: One where I have the entire day, one where I work all day then write. The first involves copious amounts of red licorice and chocolate, pizza (fast and easy to heat and reheat) soda and V8 Splash/iced tea/water. Then I write (or plot the story) with minimal interruption for close to 12 hours. I then crash. The second involves me deliberately shutting off NCIS reruns and forcing myself not to turn the TV back on as I usually work on dialog or edit. This mostly happens during work days.

What was your “Aha!” moment—when you knew you had to be a writer?
I don’t know. I pretty much always knew, I think. I’m not sure it was one of those moments I can remember rather than something that’s always been with me.

If you weren’t a writer, what would you be?
I AM a librarian and business woman, lol. One day, maybe, with planning and work, my only paying profession will be writing, but that isn’t happening. YET.

Tell me your best cure for writer’s block?
NCIS reruns, sleep, cleaning if I’m desperate. (Cleaning lets the mind wander.)

Tell us a little bit about Kiss of Scandal.

It came about when my publisher, Ravenous Romance, asked if I could do something non-paranormal historical. Hmm, sure. I always have ideas bobbing along in my head. I decided on Russia during the Crimean War. Not a time or country often done, so the research was difficult but very enlightening, and ultimately very fun.

In the wreckage of a friend's death, Countess Katria Markova finds her perfectly ordered life, irrevocably altered. Russian politics proves more dangerous than the front lines of war, and when her fiancĂ©’s future is threatened by rumors of treason, their cat-and-mouse game ends. In its place, a political game, where their very lives are at stake, begins.
Count Nikolai Orlov will do anything to clear his brother’s name. Anything except put Katria in harm’s way. Attracted to her from the moment they met, he’s spent their time together breaking the wall that surrounds her heart. He wants the passionate woman beneath, wants to shatter her cool exterior.
With her life in danger, Nikolai’s only course of action is to exact revenge. From the snowy streets of St. Petersburg to the River Neva’s icy depths, they search for the answers to clear Nikolai. But in their search, will they lose each other?
“I expect venom to spew forth momentarily.” The deep voice rumbled from behind her.
She could feel his hot breath tickling her shoulder, skin tingling with awareness. His lips brushed the base of her neck, there and gone in a heartbeat. Scandalous in so public a setting. Heart racing, she forced herself to turn slowly, arching an eyebrow as Count Nikolai Andreiovitch Orlov joined her and Anatoli in front of the Jordan Staircase.
Her need to rush up to the state rooms vanished.
Drinking in his appearance, Katria kicked the hem of her heavy skirt as she faced him. Her focus left his eyes to graze down his tall, muscular frame. As tall as Anatoli, Nikolai towered over her. It was the look, however, the one she now knew he reserved for her, that aroused sinful thoughts whenever they met. She smiled.
“Count Orlov.” She extended her hand, but instead of delicately kissing the back of it, Nikolai raised his dark eyes to meet hers and kissed her gloved palm. Katria tilted her head and offered a cordial nod for the benefit of any who may be watching.
“Countess.” Nikolai offered his arm and they started up the stairs. Closing his other hand over hers, keeping her close by his side. Katria couldn’t say she minded. “The vipers are restless, slithering about the rooms in search of prey.”
The way he’d said prey, the hungry look he slanted in her direction, made her shiver. Her fingers tightened on his arm, and Katria was certain he noticed. Then again, everything about Nikolai elicited a reaction, the strength of his arm, the power in his smooth, deep voice. Now, as they climbed the stairs, his fingers brushed over her wrist, teasing the bare inch of skin between glove and dress.
“I’ve missed you,” Nikolai said. The words were so low, for a moment she wasn’t certain she’d heard them. Then he chuckled, and the sultry sound went straight through her.
Anything else in the works you can share with us?
Oh, lots! So many stories, so little writing time…

I just submitted a zombie romance story to Ravenous…no worries, this isn’t a romance between zombies, but between those killing the zombies. Kick ass all the way! OK, more like Night of the Living Dead meets Scooby Doo.

Currently, I’m working on an 1807 England-set story involving deception, treasure hunting, and mistaken identity. A little suspense with your historical romance and a lot of fun.

I’m also in the midst of plotting a series of stories for The Wild Rose Press that take place at the tail end of World War I. These are short stories with a romantic overall arc that plays out over the 4 (so far) planned shorts. Lots of tension, lots of romance, lots of dead people and deception. I’m picturing it almost like The Thin Man, but with spice.

Thanks for stopping by today! And thank you so much, Nicole, for having me!

You sound like one busy lady! Thanks for spending some time with us today.

To purchase Kiss of Scandal, or any of Isabel's other works, click here.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

And the winner is....

The winner of the drawing for a PDF of one of Rebecca's books is....


Martha, since you've already read Rebecca's books, she has kindly arranged for you to receive a free read from Class Acts books instead. (Talk about a Class Act!)

In order to give away one of her books, Rebecca did another drawing and this time the winner is....

EA, or Evie Alexis! Please contact Rebecca at to claim your prize!

Congratulations winners, and Rebecca, thanks again for spending time with us yesterday!


Friday, August 21, 2009

Friday Friend: Meet Rebecca J. Vickery!

Welcome, Rebecca, and thanks for sharing your Friday with me! Good news, if we have ten or more commenters today, Rebecca will be drawing names for a giveaway of one of her books! Please let it be me!! Oh, wait, I don't count, do I? :o(

Rebecca, tell us a bit about yourself and why you write the genre you do.

Hi Everyone. Hope you are having a great day. I’m Rebecca J. Vickery; a wife, mother, grandmother, and an author who loves to write happy ever after romances with a twist of the paranormal, adventure, or suspense along the way. I write HEA romances because I truly believe in them, but I am too adventuresome to settle for just a romance. There has to be some excitement, an element of danger, or an unexpected twist because that is life. You can see some photos and learn more about me at my website:

How long have you been writing?
My serious fictional writing began in 1998 when my sister kept pushing and nudging for me to put my bits of stories and notes onto my computer. Once I finished, with some editing and polish, I actually had a romance novel.

Where do you get your ideas?
I get ideas from the world around me, people I meet, television news, and even my dreams. My debut novel, Surviving With Love, was born from two separate snippets heard on the news. My next book, Looking Through The Mist, was hastily written down after a very realistic dream, and the third one, Following Destiny (coming in October) came from a photo I saw and my vivid imagination. One of my current WIPs came from a few second radio spot I heard in the car on the way to Myrtle Beach. So anything and everything inspires me.

Describe your typical writing day.
My typical writing day actually begins after everyone else is asleep. When the house is quiet and it is just my MUSE and I, the words seem to flow and I can feel the characters telling me their stories. I can’t type fast enough to keep up most times. Soon after dawn, my 3 year-old granddaughter Taylor, who stays with us, hits the floor running. Forget writing after that. My MUSE runs and hides. My husband and my mother watch her for several hours in the morning so I can sleep. Once I’m up I check emails, do promos, visit my groups, and take care of any business with my publisher. I usually do this and edit between helping to entertain Taylor and required household chores. Late evening is supper, bath-time, and bed and then I can finally return to my writing. (ummm....anyone else wondering when she sleeps??? Gosh I envy people who can get by on little to no sleep...)

What was your “Aha!” moment—when you knew you had to be a writer?
I’ve always wanted to write and had a poem published in a children’s magazine when I was in elementary school. I have always written in one fashion or another. Reading Celia Garth while a pre-teen got me hooked on romances for life. But my AHA moment for romance writing was probably when I finally gave in to my sister and put all my notes on the computer. When I saw what resulted, I knew I wanted to be published. I had to share my stories with others and pay back some of the great feelings I’ve enjoyed over the years from my reading.

If you weren’t a writer, what would you be?
SAD. Sincerely, if I couldn’t share my stories and write, I would be one of the unhappiest people on earth. But I would still be a researcher and a technical writer, if not a fictional author.

Tell me your best cure for writer’s block?
My very favorite cure for writer’s block is a long walk on the beach. The sound of the waves and the ocean air always un-block me. But, failing that, doing something physical like chasing grandchildren or my toy poodle usually helps. Also editing the last few chapters will sometimes help me get my characters going through my mind again and wake my MUSE.

Tell us a little bit about your current release.
My current release is Looking Through The Mist and is available from Class Act Books at It is a full length paranormal romance novel. Please visit the site to read the first chapter free.

Rebecca J. Vickery

Psychic Jessica Wilder was a consultant for the FBI until she suffered burnout. The visions leave her alone for several months and she starts to make a peaceful life for herself. Then suddenly, they come back with a vengeance visions of children being kidnapped. How could she not try to save the children?
Detective Jonathon Lansing doesn't believe in psychics, but the young woman in front of him is very convincing. Can she truly help him track down a kidnapper? Or is she involved in the crime?
Another child is taken right from under their noses. As they follow her turbulent visions through several states and into Canada, Jessie and Johnny begin to discover they want more than a working relationship. But will it distract them from finding the children in time?
ISBN 978-1-935048-18-3 1-935048-18-X
Word Count: 84,177
Paranormal Romance

Anything else in the works you can share with us? I have my third novel, Following Destiny, being released by Class Act Books in October. I really enjoyed working on it. A down-on-her-luck young woman inherits a house in Texas and all her grandmother’s possessions including a very special antique ring. There is a handsome sheriff, an extremely large dog, and a serial killer tossed into the mix to make her life interesting. I’m also working on a contemporary western titled Seeking Shelter with a bit of an inspirational twist to it along with a rogue stallion and some bad guys. I hope to have it ready for a New Year’s release. Then another paranormal romance, Healing Rain, about a young woman who has the gift of healing is in the works for release in March of 2010. These will also be with Class Act Books.

I have a video showcasing my 2009 releases for anyone interested at:

And I blog at:

Please drop by and visit anytime. I love company and Taylor and I enjoy reading the comments.
Thanks so much for having me here today, Nicole. It’s been fun.

Thanks for coming, Rebecca and sharing your love of writing with us!

Friday, August 14, 2009

Friday Friend Malfunction!

Today's scheduled Friday Friend had a computer problem and wasn't able to return her interview in time. I considered moving up next week's Friend but didn't want to do that to her last minute.

So instead, you're stuck with me. *G*

In true keeping with summer vacation mode, I can think of nothing to blog about. So I leave you with one of the funniest videos I've seen in a long time (maybe I'm just easily amused?) *G*

Hope you enjoy it!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Blogging with the Victorians today...

Hope you're enjoying the summer!

Take some time today to stop by the Slip into Something Victorian blog and read my post on the Confederate Prisoner of War Camp called The Elmira Hellhole.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Friday Friends: Meet Kat Henry Doran

Nic—thanks so much for inviting me to your blog. It's always a treat to talk with you!

LOL Kat, you're my best bud, I love hanging out with you!

Tell us a bit about yourself and why you write the genre you do.

I am a wife, mother, and grandmother, semi-retired nurse-paralegal, and former victim advocate and sexual assault nurse examiner. Over the years, I've been honored to work in several different areas of nursing [though at the time I didn't always consider the 'honors' side of things] which sparked my imagination, forced me to use my brain, and has left me very grateful for the opportunities I've been given.

My husband and I recently celebrated our fortieth wedding anniversary—and haven't killed each other! Our youngest child turned 30a the other day. I spent the day feeling quite sorry for myself because, of course, I'm not much older than that myself [at least in spirit] so how did that ugly reality of life rear it's ugly head? It's been an adventure, sometimes quite rocky, staying married and raising three terrific kids. I admit I had help along the way from my mother-in-law and her son.

Now, how many women can say that with a straight face and uncrossed fingers?

Why do you write the genre you do?

I write romantic suspense because it turns me on and it's fun. At this stage of my life, if it ain't fun, I can't be bothered. Since I am basically lazy, I don't have the drive to research historical figures, crucial dates, or modes of dress like you, my friend. I'd much rather slap a pair of tight jeans and a golf shirt on some guy than worry about if zippers or snaps had been invented yet. I also like to curse, so of course my characters do, too. I don't want to worry if a certain phrase was in use at the time of the story. And don't get me going on historical medical practices. It's amazing that people survived even though most didn't wash their hands often, had no refrigeration or indoor plumbing, antibiotics or immunizations. Yech!!!

That doesn't mean I don't do research for my books. I once spent the day making rounds with an equine veterinarian, an afternoon at the Mounted Patrol barn of the local police department, interviewed [read: interrogated] a physician who'd spent months in Central America, working for Doctors Without Borders. Years ago, I spent the entire summer reading every book in my local library branch about the Rom [Gypsies], a much-maligned, often misunderstood culture.

My byline is “romance takes a bite out of social injustice”. So whatever I write, no matter the length, feature at least one medical professional, one from the criminal justice system, and someone[s] who have been abused or misused by the system. Write what you know. I do.

How long have you been writing?

26 years.

Where do you get your ideas?

Often a newspaper or magazine article will stir my imagination. Occasionally song lyrics do it for me. George Gershwin and Cole Porter are particular faves. Recently, while traversing the yellow pages looking for one thing, I came across pages of ads for escort services and the “services” they offer. What an eye-opening experience that was. With that, the idea for a story was conceived. I pattern how my heroes look from movie stars. The escort story features a Daniel Craig look-alike. He's the newest James Bond with the great bod and a fabulous lived-in face. I honestly don't know who I pattern my heroines after.

Describe your typical writing day.

It depends on the time of year. From September 1st through June 30th, I provide child care for my three [soon to be four] grandchildren. Right now I'm on “summer vacation” and have not suffered one second of withdrawal. So . . . after inhaling my usual pot of coffee while ESPN's Mike and Mike in the Morning debate the latest in sports happenings on ESPN, I complete the two cross-word puzzles from the morning paper. Then, I either head to my sewing room to create the next in a long line of made-to-order tote bags which are masterpieces [not!].

Sewing for long periods of time is not good for people with tricky backs so I don't sew every day. I spend as little time as possible with emails; and admit I don't blog as often as I should. I loathe writers' loops, though I do read the digest titles and will zone in on something that interests me. As a result, I am so far out of the loop, it's pathetic. I had no idea a schism occurred recently within RWA. Whoa!!! Treason, insurrection, and heresy all rolled into one. If someone would email me privately and give me the scoop, I'll make you a tote bag!!

I tend to write at night and on weekends. When September 1st hits, beats me when I'll have time, or the strength, to do anything beyond breathing.

What was your “Aha!” moment—when you knew you had to be a writer?

It was 1983; I received a card from someone I'd worked with in the Operating Room. We'd not seen or talked in probably 5 years. I sat down at the dining room table to catch her up on what I'd been doing with my life. After a while I robbed my kids' school supplies for ruled paper. Before I knew it, I had twenty pages written. I couldn't believe it!! And I knew I had to be a writer.

If you weren’t a writer, what would you be?

A baseball groupie or a nun.

Tell me your best cure for writer’s block?

I review what I last wrote, even if it's 50-100 pages. Never fails for me.

Tell us a little bit about your latest release.

Try Just Once More will be out in re-release through the Wild Rose Press in May of 2010, one of the Last Rose of Summer line. It's a contemporary romantic suspense, set in the Adirondack Mountains of Northern New York State.

After being cleared of murder charges, Maggie McGuire escaped back to her childhood home to rebuild her shattered life. Now, three years later, the past has returned with a vengeance and it's aimed directly at her kids.

The nosy Chief of Police is relentless about uncovering her sordid past in order to deal with the present. She once paid a very high price for trusting a cop. Is Michael Brandt for real—or another uniformed bully disguised as a smooth-talking hunk? He'll have to walk a very long road before Maggie puts the lives of her precious children in his hands.

No innocent when it comes to personal betrayal, Mike will have to put aside personal resentments in order to convince Maggie to try just once more.

Anything else in the works you can share with us?

I'm in the process of strengthening the goals, motivation and conflict[s] for the male escort story I mentioned before. The “escort” is a cop [what a new and interesting concept for me!] on the trail of tag team serial killers and an investigative reporter or photojournalist with one Pulitzer Prize under her belt and is a nominee for a second for her work in the Middle East on behalf of the plight of women in a misogynist culture. She is in town to attend an important gala where she is to receive a humanitarian award, but needs a date. Guess who's the date? Sparks fly immediately, not all are positive. Her acceptance speech blows him out of the water—and forces him to take a second look at her and all those “bleeding heart liberals” willing to risk their lives to right a wrong.

Wow. Kat, thanks so much for hanging out with me today! It was fun!

Friday, July 31, 2009

Friday Friends: Meet Sarah Simas

Today's Friday Friend is someone I've known only a short while, but somehow, she felt like an old friend right from the start. Her enthusiasm and drive reminds this jaded "been there, done that" author just why I got into this business in the first place. Cause I love it! I'd forgotten that.

Sarah, tell us about The Lovestruck Novice, and why you chose to gear your blog toward the beginning writer.

I'd only been writing a short time when I started having words like POV and Active Writing thrown at me like darts and had no clue what they meant. So, I started asking questions and did my homework. Luckily, I have a great group of experienced writers who were more than willing to let me pick their brains. As I started growing as a writer, I knew I had to pay it forward and help other newbies. So, I started The Lovestruck Novice.

It’s been a long time since I started out in this business. What challenges do you find as a writer just starting out?

When I started writing, I had no idea about the current industry standards. I formatted my pages like I would an essay from college. Double spaces after a period, spaces between paragraphs, and a list of other editorial nightmares.

I only knew what I read. Johanna Lindsey, Julie Garwood, and Jude Deveraux lined my bookshelves. Fine and dandy, right? Sure for reading purposes, but not so much for writing. My first draft had so many -ly's and -ing's!! I remember wondering if I was leaving a trail of red ink out the door when I left my first critique session. Books from the 80's and 90's are wonderful! Just not great examples of current writing practices. LOL

I think anyone trying to break into writing needs to research their genre. Looking for support, I joined some writer's Yahoo groups and started lurking. There is a lot of good information that gets passed around on loops. *heehee* It's where I find the authors to interview and tidbits for my other blog.

I call "lurking" research and my hubby calls it stalking. LOL I find I learn more when I listen and observe. I also follow links. If someone has a link in their siggy line, I'll follow it. You never know what information, tips or sites they list. I've met quite a few of the authors I've interviewed that way.

Tell us a bit about yourself and why you write the genre you do.

I'm a huge fan of romance novels. I snitched my mom's copy of Silver Angel in Jr. High to take with me to camp and was hooked. I cut my teeth on some of the greatest names in romance. After I'd read a book, I'd find myself wondering why an author didn't have a character do this or do that. By my senior year, I'd already tried to write my own novel. LOL I still remember the beginning scene. Merciful heavens, I hope I've progressed!

When I'm not writing, I'm a stay at home mom. If not submerged in housework, I'm chasing around two toddlers. I have a 3 y.o daughter and a 2 y.o son. This fall, I'm so happy that my girl is starting preschool. I like imagining that I'll have a lot more free time, but I know I'll be just as busy! Before I was a mom and a writer, I was a foreman in a quality control lab for one of the world's leading mozzarella cheese makers. There are some juicy stories I have tucked a way from that blip of my life! *sheesh*

How long have you been writing?

I've been writing for almost a year. Right after I had my son, an idea hit me for a prologue. I tried to write the scene out but kept getting lost. I had no idea of what I was doing! LOL Life got busier when I started watching my nephew. I had two 2 y.olds and an infant all day- everyday. I often felt my mind was leaking out of my ears! So, I put the story on hold until last summer when the scene just wouldn't leave me alone. I had to write the story or go crazy!

Where do you get your ideas?

I get my ideas from words, songs, conversations, etc. Anything is fodder for my imagination. For my current WIP, I think I had been watching a movie about a serial killer and that sparked a vision of a scene in my mind. I took the idea and ran with it. I'm constantly scribbling away when I hear something funny or think up a scene. Usually, my best ideas come to me either when I'm doing dishes or just before I fall asleep.

Describe your typical writing day.

I think one of the good things milking cows and feeding calves through college taught me was the benefit of being up early. I'm usually up at 5:15am or so to write before my kids awake up. After that, it's all down hill until naps. Writing during the evening and night is difficult. So, I have to be very organized and as productive as possible! Someday's, I'm lucky to write at all!

What was your “Aha!” moment—when you knew you had to be a writer?

Probably when my story idea wouldn't go away. The devious killer (who oddly I've come to love writing the most) wanted his story told. And we all know that once unleashed, sometimes characters just won't shut the heck up!

If you weren’t a writer, what would you be?

CRAZY! Writing gives me time just for me. Plus, I get out of the house every Friday night for my critique group. *score!*

Tell me your best cure for writer’s block?

I'm still trying to master writer's block! Usually, I'll go back and work on edits. I find this helps me get refocused on where I'm heading.

Tell us a little bit about your current WIP, In Pursuit of Love

IN PURSUIT OF LOVE is my current WIP. It's set in England during the Regency Era. I've had a lot of fun putting my heroine, Melanie, through the ringer. Here is my newbie attempt at a blurb:

Orphan Melanie Wainscott returns to London to reclaim her birthright and unlock the secrets of her past. When her quest for the truth attracts the attention of a killer with a score to settle, Melanie must fight for her life and chance for true love.

EXCERPT: - In this scene Melanie is locked in the boudoir of a brothel where she is about to be sold to the highest bidder. All her attempts at escape have been futile and panic is gripping her hard and fast. Bradford stumbles upon the girl he nearly seduced by a pond but days before while searching for his father's missing ward.

Melanie’s knees threatened to buckle. Her skin tingled with awareness. His magnetism was palpable. She felt as drawn to him as the tide to the shore.
He stood paces away, but his heated gaze scorched Melanie’s skin. A bevy of emotions overwhelmed her when he stepped into the room and shut the door quietly behind him.
The time for the auction was close at hand and her nerves were as frayed as an old rope. His presence soothed her better than a dram of outlawed whisky.
Elated by his arrival, she threw decorum to the wind and ran to Bradford with open arms.
Melanie met with a wall of warm flesh. The heady scent of sandalwood and leat her hit her senses like a storm. She sighed when he wrapped his arms around her. The cut of her gown left a ribbon of delicate skin exposed down her back. His gentle caress sent shivers of delight down her spine.
Being held within Bradford’sl embrace filled Melanie with renewed hope. She squeezed her arms tighter around his waist. She was safe.
“Look at me.”
His voice was thick and weighted with promise. Melanie’s stomach fluttered. She longed to know if Bradford felt the same fire upon his skin when she touched him. Unable to deny him, she lifted her eyes to meet his smoldering stare. In an instant, Bradford lowered his head and captured her lips for a long, hot kiss.
Over and over, he plundered her mouth while his hands ran the length of her body. She rose up on her tip-toes and settled shaky arms around his neck. The delicious feel of his body pressed against hers was intoxicating. She felt the fevered clip of his pulse beneath her fingertips. Lightly, she stroked the back of his neck.
When he broke off the kiss, Melanie felt robbed. Warm hands cupped her bottom and pulled her closer. His breath whispered across her shoulder and Melanie trembled. She opened her mouth to speak, but words failed to form.
He nuzzled the base of her neck. “Let me take you away from here.” He place a soft kiss on her shoulder. “Be mine.”

Wow--did she say she's only been writing a year????

Anything else in the works you can share with us?
I'm always busy looking for authors to put in the Hot Seat for TLN. I've also got some ideas going for a Depression Era romance and a Contemporary Romantic Suspense.

I'd like to thank Nicole for turning the tables on me! It was fun seeing what being in the Hot Seat feels like. I guess I should have remembered the saying- Turn about is Fair Play! LOL

LOL. Thanks for stopping by, Sarah!

Monday, July 27, 2009

Words for Women to Live By

The busy month of July continues... so with no time to post a "real" blog today, I thought I'd share this.

1. Aspire to be Barbie - the bitch has everything.

2. If the shoe fits - buy them in every color.

3. Take life with a pinch of salt... A wedge of lime, and a shot of tequila.

4. In need of a support group? - Cocktail hour with the girls!

5. Go on the 30 day diet. (I'm on it and so far I've lost 15 days).

6. When life gets you down - just put on your big girl panties and deal with it.

7. Let your greatest fear be that there is no PMS and this is just your personality.

8. I know I'm in my own little world, but it's ok. They know me here.

9. Lead me not into temptation, I can find it myself.

10. Don't get your knickers in a knot; it solves nothing and makes you walk funny.

11. When life gives you lemons turn it into lemonade, then mix it with vodka.

12. Remember wherever there is a good looking, sweet, single or married man, there is some woman tired of his bullshit!

13. Keep your chin up, only the first 40 years of parenthood are the hardest.

14. If it has tires or testicles it's gonna give you trouble.

15. By the time a woman realizes her mother was right, she has a daughter who thinks she's wrong..

Have a great week!

Friday, July 24, 2009

Friday Friends: Meet Paisley Kirkpatrick

This week I'm joined by another Scandalous Victorian, the lovely Paisley Kirkpatrick. Adopted mother, loving aunt, gracious cheerleader--that's the role Paisley plays for everyone she meets. Her writing journey is an inspirational one, and I'm delighted to have her here today as a Friday Friend. The fact that she's a fellow Western fan and writer just makes me love her more. *G* Oh, and I'll let Paisley tell you why I chose a pic of Gerry Butler to post here today.

How long have you been writing?
I started writing in 1989, but didn’t join RWA and learn the proper way to construct a story until Fall of 1999. I’d been reading a lot of the ancient Harlequins and had no idea what POV was or any of the craft rules we live by. In fact, when someone read my first story, she gave it back to me after reading only a few pages. Told me to learn what POV is. My claim to fame is: In one paragraph with five sentences I had four different points of view and one of them belonged to the rock.

Where do you get your ideas?
I have often wondered where my ideas come from. I really don’t know. Plots just appear in my head and the characters start telling me their stories. I don’t know how many stories there are, but if I don’t write them as the characters want, they stop talking to me.

Describe your typical writing day.
I use the morning hours to edit what I have written the night before. For some reason I like writing late afternoon and into the night. Early morning I feel stiff mentally and need to experience part of the day until the writing juices start to flow. Since I now have a laptop along with my main computer, I can write as late as I like. The length of time depends on my hands as I have carpel tunnel syndrome that slows me down if I push too hard.

What was your "Aha!" moment—when you knew you had to be a writer?
My dream was to write a book. I’d always told my children to dream big if you are going to dream and never stop until you achieve that dream. I’ve finished three stories and am into my fourth. So, actually, my dream has already come true even though I am not yet published. I’ve loved the journey, the learning, the friends, the thrill of putting together plots and having feedback from people who’ve read my chapters.

If you weren't a writer, what would you be?
A secretary – which is what I did for years in the accounting business and in property management.

Tell me your best cure for writer's block?
People always raise their eyebrows at me when I confess my cure – I listened to the music to Phantom of the Opera or watch the movie with Gerard Butler as the Phantom. The music, or maybe the Scot, always seem to break through the muse that is blocked and ideas flow like crazy. So far, this method has never failed to work for me.

Tell us a little bit about your current WIP.

Prey of the Huntress is my current WIP. It takes place in 1853 in the mountain community of Paradise Pines, located in the Sierra Mountains of California. The setting is a few years after the gold rush of 1849. Rebecca Ryder arrives to accept her inheritance only to find it is not what she expected – a rundown shack and the ownership of the local newspaper. She knows there is a gold mine somewhere and to keep her property she must discover its location to pay the property taxes. The hero , Trevin MacGregor, owns the property around her inheritance and he and his brothers run a cattle ranch. They need the property she now owns to be able to move their cattle. Her grandfather had promised them the “gate” they need to safely move their livestock through the mountains, but changed his mind and leaves it to Rebecca. The MacGregors try to take her land by paying the back taxes, but she is able to take care of business first and saves her land temporarily. Now the next property tax payment is due in six weeks. She must find the gold mine entrance or the cattlemen will take her land.


A tremor shook the shack a good ten seconds. Her hands flailed. He grabbed her arms and held tight when she lost her balance. They rolled down the side of the roof and over the edge, landing with her on top of him.

“Are you all right?” she cried, running her hands over him.

Stunned, he couldn’t move, couldn’t catch his breath.

She laid her ear against his chest. “Your heart’s still beating.”

He moaned, opening one eye a crack and then the other. “You’re dangerous, lady. What kind of power do you have to knock me breathless every time we meet?”

“You’re a monster for scaring me like that.” She got to her feet and brushed off her skirt.

He rolled onto his side enjoying every moment of her scolding. God, but she was even more beautiful than he remembered.

“What happened? Did the cabin move or was it my imagination?”

“The cabin definitely moved. We’ve experience several earthquakes over the past few days.” He got to his feet, wincing and rubbing his aching backbone. “I need to talk to Garland’s granddaughter. Where is she?”

“I’m Garland Boone’s granddaughter and new owner of this grand place. My name’s Rebecca Ryder.”

“But,” he stopped, shaking his head at the discovery, “Garland led me to believe you were much younger.”

She snickered. “I’m not a bit surprised. Grandpa always referred to me as his little rebel. Guess he forgot I grew up.”

He limped to an overturned crate. Sitting, he rested his head in his hands. Good God! What an impossible position. He glanced at his huntress and saw more trouble than he wanted to deal with. His brothers wanted Miss Ryder gone but he couldn’t - wouldn’t - let her go.

“Are you sure you’re all right?”

“No, I’m not all right. Your grandfather promised me rights to the passageway through the Black Gate. He reneged and my brothers are ready to skin you alive.”

She stepped away from him. “Are those your sentiments as well?”

He glanced up. “No. I’d like to think I’m the mature MacGregor.”

“You have a strange way of showing your maturity, Mr. MacGregor.”

“What’s that supposed to mean. You don’t know me well enough to make a judgment like that.”

“No? Let me see. Does ‘that harebrained female is not keeping us from running our livestock through the Black Gate,’ sound familiar? Or, my favorite, ‘A woman’s place is in front of a stove or warming a man’s bed.’”

Good Lord, she heard the twins’ outburst in the lawyer’s office? He jumped to his feet. His head started spinning. He reached out and she wrapped her arms around him.

“You’re not all right.” She led him to the cabin’s front door. “Come inside and rest before you collapse. What were you thinking dragging me off the roof with you?”

He dropped his arm over her shoulder and let her help him along the narrow space to Garland’s rocker. “I thought I was saving your life.”

He sank onto the chair with a deep moan. Garland has some whisky in that cabinet over there, I could use a drink.” He nodded toward the bottom of a stand.

“You shouldn’t have alcohol, Mr. MacGregor. You might have a concussion.”

“I didn’t hit my head. I landed on my back with you on top of me, remember?”

“Aren’t you the grumpy one?”

He glanced at her tapping toe. “I’m sorry. I’m miffed at my brothers for speaking out of turn at your expense. I should have cuffed them when they poke ill at your expense. They’ve been a handful since our parents died and my other two brothers and I’ve taken on raising them. I’ll see they apologize appropriately to you.”

“Thank you, but it’s not necessary.”

He nodded at the cabinet again.

She grunted and knelt before the opened cupboard. “There’s only a couple bottles of Scotch in here. Will that do?”

“It’s only the finest whisky made.” Jesus did he need some of the drink.

A huge rat bolted from between the bottles plowing against her chest, knocking Rebecca on her buttocks. Her frantic glance up at him came with a loud shriek. In a quick moment she moved onto his lap, pulled her feet high off the floor and buried her face against his chest. “Is that horrid thing gone?”

This was more than he could ever have hoped for. She was right where he wanted her, in his arms.

Anything else in the works you can share with us?

I have a trilogy of three sisters who travel west, each traveling in a different way and they all end up in Paradise Pines. Have started sending the stories to contests.

Thanks, Paisley, for stopping by and visiting with us today! Be sure to stop by and visit her gorgeous website!

Friday, July 17, 2009

Friday Friends: Meet Susan Macatee

I think it's rather fitting that my first guest blogger for my new Friday Friends series is Susan Macatee. I've known Susan for about five years now and her journey from unpublished to multi-published author, whose first full length release is out today from The Wild Rose Press is particularly inspiring.

Tell us a bit about yourself and why you write the genre you do.

I’m Susan Macatee and I live with my husband and three grown sons in Philadelphia. Along with my husband, I’m also a Civil War reenactor.

I write romance, primarily in the historical and historical/paranormal genres, set in the Civil War era. My love and knowledge of the Civil War period in American history compelled me to set my stories in that time period.

How long have you been writing?

Basically, I’ve been dabbling since grade school, but I started writing toward publication when my youngest son, now in college, started kindergarten. So, about 14 years.

Where do you get your ideas?

Facts about the Civil War and historical biographies inspired a lot of my stories, but I also get ideas from reading other novels, movies and television shows.

Describe your writing day

I do my best writing during the early afternoon hours, so after spending my mornings working out, running errands, taking care of household tasks, and checking email—after my half-hour lunch break—I settle down to my computer to work on my primary writing project. After an hour and a half, I take a short break, then usually switch to another project. I always have more than one writing project in the works.

What was your “Aha!” moment—when you knew you had to be a writer?

I’d always entertained the thought of writing, but it wasn’t until—after spending about nine years as a stay-at-home mom for my three boys—my youngest was starting school, that I decided I needed something of my own to do. I signed up for a writing course and never looked back.

If you weren’t a writer, what would you be?

I loved to draw as a kid and always thought I’d go into a field like design or illustration. And in college, I really liked the psychology and sociology courses I was required to take as part of my English major. I took a few courses beyond the basics as electives and considered majoring in one or the other for a time. So, I could have ended up as a designer, illustrator, therapist or counselor, if I wasn’t a writer.

Tell me your best cure for writer’s block?

Actually, I don’t get writer’s block, because I always work on multiple projects. If I get stuck or feel my enthusiasm ebbing on one project, I just jump to another and before long, I’m itching to get back to the first one newly inspired.

Tell us a little bit about Erin’s Rebel.

Erin’s Rebel is my first full-length romance. The story is a time travel, where my heroine, a modern-day reporter, travels to the year 1863. There she meets the hero, a Confederate army captain and the romance begins.

Blurb: Philadelphia newspaper reporter, Erin Branigan, is engaged to marry an up-and-coming lawyer, but dreams of a man from the past change those plans and start her on a journey beyond time. After a car accident, Erin wakes to find herself living in the 1860s in a Confederate army camp.

Captain Will Montgomery, the man of her dreams, is now a flesh and blood Rebel soldier who sets her soul aflame. But the Irish beauty holds a secret he needs to unravel before he can place his trust in her.

Can she correct a mistake made long ago that caused his death and denied her the love she was meant to have? Or is she doomed to live out her life with nothing but regret?

The sound of her name on his lips made her skin tingle. She tore the paper off the package. At the sight of the brooch, her breath caught.

"Do you like it?" he asked anxiously. "I had it made just for you."

Eyeing him, she had a hard time finding her voice. This was Erin O'Connell's brooch, the very one that had sent her back in time. It shone in her hands, new and unworn from time and wear.

What did this mean? She must be following Erin O'Connell's footsteps. As far as she knew her being here hadn't changed anything. Will was still destined to die this year.

"I didn't mean to upset you, Erin. If you don’t want the brooch--"

"No." She clasped the pin against her chest as the meaning of his gift sank in. "It just means so much to me."

His look of concern softened into a lopsided grin. "I'm happy you feel that way."

"Thank you, Will." She slipped the brooch into the pocket of her wrapper, then stood on her toes, lifting her arms to circle his neck. She kissed his cheek, inhaling his musky scent.

His mouth was on hers, hot and urgent. The softness of his moustache and chin beard tickled her lips. She opened to him, her tongue slipping inside to taste him thoroughly. He groaned, pressing the length of his body against her.

Anything else in the works you can share with us?

Besides Erin’s Rebel, I’ve got four releases coming out with The Wild Rose Press this year. The first is a short story, Angel of My Dreams, part of the Civil War romance anthology, Northern Roses and Southern Belles; another full-length Civil War romance, Confederate Rose; a stand-alone short vampire story, Sweet Redemption, that will be released as a e-book and a short Christmas story, The Christmas Ball, that will be part of a TWRP Christmas anthology, An American Rose Christmas.

Besides those, I’m working on two new full-length projects. One is a post-Civil War romance that’s a sequel to an earlier novel now out-of-print, the other is my first ever science fiction romance.

For more about me and my books, visit my website:

Thanks for stopping by, Susan! And congratulations on the release today!

The Struggle is Real Week 8: When Life Hits Back

  It’s been nearly two weeks since my last post. Did anyone notice I was missing?   But I have good news/bad news.   The good news. I wr...