Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Cold Hearted Vampire

An icy she-vamp and a red-hot human detective make for an explosive combination.

The fourth book and climatic ending of the Blautsauger's of Amber Heights Series is coming out soon. To lead up to the actual release date (still to be determined) I thought I'd start by sharing a few teasers.

Dr. Michaela Blautsauger, a Nosferatu vampire, is considered an expert in her field of work. However, her skills when it comes to dealing with others and showing emotion is almost non-existent. When Detective Seth Whitehead barges into her lab, she discovers the human is just as interesting as the blood formula she is working on.
Seth's tenacity to find who is committing crimes in Amber Heights pits him against vampire aristocracy as well as Toltec vamps who are nasty to say the least. When the she-vamp he is falling heart over fangs for leaves the country to find the blood plant she needs, he follows and discovers his cold hearted vamp truly has a heart.

When they both fall into Toltec hands, Seth knows he will do anything he has to do to keep Michaela from suffering harm. But will he be able to keep his own life in the process?

Bonus for reading my books. Win some swag.
Correctly answer the question below, and it will put your name into a drawing. The prize is a set of 4 coffee mugs featuring the cover art from all the books in the Blautsauger's of Amber Height Series.

Why did Andris Blautsauger name his four children
Gabe, Michaela, Metta, and Rafe?
A) they were named after Priests at the seminary he attended
B) they were named for the angels of prayer
C) he hoped giving his children religious names would save his soul.
D) to spite their mother for turning him into a vampire without his consent.

Answer this next question for a set of coasters featuring my book covers:

What does it mean to be stunted?

A) have a practical joke played on you
B) the runt of a litter
C) left partially turned from human to vampire
D) vampire born without normal vampire traits such as speed, strength, acute vision and hearing

The last question is for a tote bag featuring the cover art from the soon to be released Cold Hearted Vampire.

What kind of vampire is Vincent Sabriento?
A) Toltec vampire
B) Nosferatu vampire
C) Sol Vampire
D) Ch'ich pak' vampire

Put your answers and e-mail in the comment section. I'll draw 3 names on the 6/25. That gives everyone 5 days to join the fun.
Best of luck
author of vampire/romance
Connect with me or find buy links for my books at

Monday, June 05, 2017

Romantic Landscape

Although this charcoal pastel I created is a snowscape, the moonlight gives it a warm, romantic feeling. While I create with pastels my mind wanders. Perhaps there is a couple inside the cabin having a romantic weekend. Perhaps they have strolled along the stream. My newest written creation is Give Love a Chance, a romantic suspense. Kim finds herself pregnant after being enticed into Evan's bed. Evan is vying for a state senate seat and an illegitimate child would ruin his chances of winning the race. Yet when a secret admirer's advances turn into dangerous threats, he has to protect Kim. Will her pride and his senate race prevail over their unspoken love or will they give love a chance?

Author of Give Love A Chance
Darla Jones

Monday, May 29, 2017

Review: Too Many Women in the Room by Joanne Guidoccio

When Gilda Greco invests in an up and coming Greek restaurant, she expects the food to be delicious and the restaurant to be a success. What she doesn't expect is a murder involving the restaurant owners right before the big opening.

Gilda Greco ( A Season for Killing Blondes) returns in Ms. Guidoccio's latest mystery involving the Canadian lottery winner. After investing in David and Susan Korba's restaurant, Gilda is excited to be a silent partner in a venture that she thinks will be a huge success. When David invites a local photographer to a soft opening though, an opening that’s filled with many of Gilda's closest female friends, what promises to be an evening filled with good food turns into an acrimonious disaster with the photographer - a glorious wretch who slept with half the women at the dinner - being murdered.
The suspect pool Gilda's on again/off again lover, Det. Carlo Fantini has to choose from comprise all the women present at the dinner, the wait staff and even the chef.

Once again, Joanne Guidoccio has given her readers a plumb good mystery. I can usually figure out who the killer is in most mysteries, but this one had me guessing and guessing again until the killer was revealed. I love that! I love that an author could stump me. Kudos and Brava!
Oh, and did I mention the food? Gilda is every Italian mother's dream child - complete with aunts, cousins, and a mother who loves nothing more than to cook for her. As a wonderful added gift, there are several recipes from Joanne's and Gilda's recipe files at the back of the book that I will be making for sure!
I highly recommend this good book. 5 well deserved stars from me!
 Peggy Jaeger Writing about strong women, the families who support them, and the men who can't live without them.PeggyJaeger.com

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Magical and Mysterious Cenotes

What is a cenote?

First things first, let’s learn how to pronounce it correctly. The word Cenote is pronounced “say-no-tay.” It is not pronounced “see-note.” It is a flowing three syllable word, much like the wonder of nature it describes.

Okay now that we know how to pronounce it, do you know what a cenote is?

Cenote’s are magical underground caves that exist in the Yucat√°n Peninsula… Deep holes under the earth filled with crystal clear fresh water containing minerals found nowhere else in the world. A beautiful sinkhole. The Maya discovered them centuries ago, calling them “dzonot,” translated by the Spaniards to the word “cenote” meaning in Spanish “a deep thing.”

When one steps up to this hole in the ground, it might appear surreal. Gazing at the iridescent clear blue water, one might think, they discovered a secret water hole in a fantasy novel. That's what happened to me when I first discovered cenotes in the Riviera Maya in Mexico. You can swim in them, snorkel and dive, although most are on private land and off limits to tourists.

My first thought: why have I never heard of them? I lived in Northern Mexico on the Sea of Cortez, for two years in a small charming seaside town, called Puerto Penasco (nicknamed Rocky Point ) where there are no cenotes. But, no one ever mentioned these wonders of nature to me before.

Mexico’s Yucatan peninsula does not have many streams or rivers on the surface. But, underneath this flat land are the three longest underground water systems in the world. Thousands of these fresh underwater caves exist in the Yucatan, some not even mapped as of 2017. They are underground, and some Maya thought they were the entrance to the underworld.

Go Pro has an excellent YouTube video series called “Place of Fear: Searching the Maya Underworld." Go Pro writes this description on YouTube, "On their mission to discover the world's biggest cave, veteran cave explorer Robbie Schmittner and his partner Toddy Waelde pledge to protect this Mecca of diving beneath the Yucatan. Robbie warns against the destructive forces affecting this area. Toddy discovers an unbroken Maya pot that could be thousands of years old." The video was posted on November 29, 2016, and has three parts. I hope there are many more to come-- the filming is amazing.

My debut suspense novel, A Deep Thing, was born in the Yucatan jungle. The setting of A Deep Thing, will lead you underwater to cenotes in the Yucatan and through the woods of Camp David. It is a suspense novel that will take you on a journey.

If you want to see it, feel it and touch it, get scuba certified (I recommend cave or cavern certification) and plan a vacation to Tulum or Playa Del Carmen. Schedule an epic cave dive in a cenote (my choice Dos Ojos) and contact one of the many dive shops. On my cave dive, I used Diving Cenotes Tulum, Paulo is the owner and was my guide.

Watch this YouTube video before you read the suspense novel, A Deep Thing. (If you can, view it on your television or the largest screen possible!)

If you've never heard of a cenote, this one's for you.

A Deep Thing by A. K Smith:

Dive into A Deep Thing
A Deep Thing by A.K. Smith is a high concept thriller--think The Da Vinci Code of the deep--that grabs you from the beginning and doesn't let go. A roller coaster ride of romance, suspense, mystery and intrigue, this page-turner surprises at every turn and offers a stunning ending you'll never suspect. M. Baron- Author of Stumble Stones: A novel

What was her husband hiding in the jungles of Mexico?
Take the trip--Join the journey. A Deep Thing, a debut suspense thriller by A. K. Smith is available in print and e-book from The Wild Rose Press. Available on Amazon. Readers Favorite 5-star Review.


Saturday, May 20, 2017

Interview with John Anniscote, Duke of Guysbridge

Q: Today we’re speaking with the new Duke of Guysbridge. Congratulations on your recent elevation, your grace. How did you feel when you received the news of your brother’s death?
A. I confess ‘twas a surprise, though it should not have been, considering his habits.

Q. What are your plans for the future, sir?
A. I hardly know. I must undo years of neglect of the family properties and I suppose I must marry and beget an heir.

Q. Do you have any young lady in mind?
A. My dear fellow, until my brother broke his neck, no hostess in England would introduce me to any unmarried lady.

Q. And yet the ladies are fascinated by you, though your dress is almost Puritan in its simplicity. You seldom wear an embroidered or brocade waistcoat, your coats are of the plainest and always in dark colors—
A. (Laughs somewhat derisively) When I was 18, my dear papa gave me a living allowance of £25 per quarter. He intended to buy me a commission—probably in a line regiment, that being less costly than cavalry—and thought to starve me into accepting. Try living in London on that amount, with lodgings at £7 the quarter, and silk stockings at 17 shillings. Dark fabric shows wear less than light colors.

Q How could you possibly live like a gentleman on such a pittance, your grace?
A I had clothing and I was careful with it. When I needed a garment I bought it from a Monmouth Street bow-wow shop—a seller of used clothing. Valets and maids, you know, are often given their employers’ castoffs, and sell them to dealers. I avoided expensive entertainments. And I supplemented my income by gambling, for I played cards with my grandsire as a boy, and learned to be very good at it.

Q: Do you have any advice for young people, sir?
A. Study. Read. Always behave with perfect courtesy—unless you intend to be rude. Learn to dance. For boys, I recommend fencing lessons.

Q. But not for girls?
A. Ah … I believe a lady’s hoop and profusion of petticoats would prove a bar to fencing. However, a dainty pocket pistol, of no more than seven inches or so in length, can be carried in her muff. A stout hairpin is also useful in discouraging unwanted attentions. Now if you will excuse me, I am due to meet with my second to arrange an affair of honor.

Kathleen Buckley

Friday, May 19, 2017

Is Anyone Safe from Crazy People?

When they said "Write what you know" I took it to heart and wrote a book about an internationally-loved rock singer with a deadly stalker.

Okay, I took some poetic license to embellish what I know. I created a stunningly gorgeous, rock goddess with heart, beloved and supremely talented as a singer/songwriter/dancer, but in my younger life, I sang with a rock band. That part I knew. Years later, as a singer in a show on Maui, I did have what is now called a stalker. I was one of the lucky stalker victims in the world in that he didn't follow me. Instead, I was pursued by letters and threats that got more twisted and threatening as the weeks passed until finally he wrote a letter to the producer of a show he'd seen me in to say we'd had inappropriate relations in the parking lot while I was still in costume and I'd promised him inappropriate things. My stalker suggested I be fired. The producer was like a big brother to me and knew none of this would be true. All this happened because I sang to him as part of the evening's entertainment, in character.
Picture a warm Hawaiian evening with the scent of plumeria in the air as the lights go up at the historically charming Lahaina Towne hotel, The Pioneer Inn. The Thursday show in the private courtyard was called The Whaling Party, a dinner and two hours of entertainment re-enacting the days when Lahaina was a stop over for raunchy whalers. The show involved a lively group of actors playing whalers, Can Can dancers, missionaries, a pirate-style MC and musicians. The band dressed as pirate/whalers and the singer dressed in a colorful, ruffled floor-length skirt, slit to her thigh and a lingerie-style bodice decorated in ribbons and feathers.
I was the singer.
Every Thursday was the same show. Every week, when I went into the audience to sing to one lucky man at a front table, I would twirl his hair in my fingers, sing provocatively to him with the spotlight highlighting the tongue-in-cheek, amusingly embarrassing moment for my victim. It was always met with giggles from the audience.
One such night, we were doing a special performance for a group who arrived in handicap-worthy vans and I chose a sixty-ish, grey-haired gentleman in a wheelchair in the front row. He was a good sport and as a seasoned performer and actress, I thought nothing more than usual about the evening's performance.
Then the letters began to arrive at the Pioneer Inn, addressed to Over the Rainbow, the singer in the Whaling Show. He didn't know my real name, but said when I sang Somewhere Over the Rainbow, it was a heavenly moment for him. Then he went on to describe how heavenly, using lewd descriptions of his pleasure in remembering me. Let's just say, the experience of receiving these letters was surreal. In my performing career, I'd had men ask for my autograph, a date, a moment to talk, but I'd never had threatening fan letters. In the first one, he wrote me a love poem, telling me that he was smitten. I didn't contact him. For one reason, I wasn't interested and it would be extremely weird (and unprofessional). Also, I was married, something I'm sure he didn't know. Another thing he didn't take into account as he mailed letters that became increasingly threatening, was that I was playing a part in that Whaling Party show. As an actress, I wore a designated costume that happened to be flouncy and sexy, and I was following a script that told me to go into the audience, find a man to sing to and flirt with him.
I still have the letters, although I haven't read them in twenty-five years, but I remember how horrifying it was to know that someone out there was fantasizing about me and imagining doing things to me. I felt lucky in some ways that my stalker was confined to a wheel chair. The last letter was to my friend, the producer asking that I be fired for taking advantage of a man in a wheelchair in the parking lot. The producer wrote him back, telling him that he was glad my fan enjoyed the show but if he persisted in writing these letters, he'd report the man to the police.
Only one other time in my singing career did I encounter a threat that left me frightened for my safety and this man was angry at my husband. He threatened to cut out my tongue with a broken Coke bottle so I would never sing again, in retaliation to my husband firing him. That got him on the RCMP watch list. (We lived in Canada at the time.) They reported that he moved to Arizona after that.
Being stalked is a feeling of horrifying helplessness, reducing someone to a fear that dogs them every waking moment. Are they watching me now, waiting to attack? What did I ever do to them to make them target me?
It was with those memories that I wrote my novel Necessary Detour, the story of a world-famous rock star very familiar with adoring fans and even stalkers. But when the threatening letters get increasingly more heinous, she escapes to her remote lake house in northern Washington to hide. The story is part Bodyguard (the movie with Whitney Houston) and part Rear Window (Hitchcock's movie about spying on neighbors.) For Goldy, staying safe in the lonely forest of Louisa Lake is two-fold. She's just found that she's pregnant.

Writing about the fear of the unknown is a theme that speaks to me and I hope you find Goldy's quest for safety and normalcy after the life of a rock goddess, an interesting and chilling reminder that no one is completely safe from the crazy people out there. Especially rock goddesses in skimpy clothing singing about hot love on stage.

NECESSARY DETOUR has enjoyed great success, including being ranked #1 in Romantic Suspense on Amazon

Happy Reading!
Kim Hornsby
Bestselling Romantic Suspense Author

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Finding Magic and Myths in Scotland

Thistles and heather. Kilts. Castles. Ruins. Craggy mountains. Rain. Sheep.

Magic. Mystery.

My trip to Scotland fulfilled a bucket list goal and fed my imagination for writing about this windswept, mystical place. When I finally made it there in 2008 (after living in the fictional world of Scotland courtesy of my favorite authors), Scotland upheld its reputation. It rained. A lot. Many of our supposedly breathtaking sights were shrouded in a gray cloud of heavy precipitation. Aside from our mishaps, Scotland fulfilled my preconceived notions, with my own Scottish knight by my side to escort me through the perils of winding highland roads, haunting castle ruins, and dark alleyways.

Lone sheep wandered down the middle of a meandering country road. Windswept moors, heather fields, and green rolling hills flanked our drives. Wild rocky trails and impressive mountains greeted us on our hikes. Blue lochs were aplenty (yes, Loch Ness is a deep beautiful loch and no, we didn’t see Nessie – but we did see the ghostly remains of Urquhart castle) on our two-week trip in this geological gem of a country. I think I gasped on the tarmac when I emerged from the plane in Glasgow.

My husband and I jam-packed our itinerary because when we go tramping, we set the bar high and want to soak in all the sites! What can a couple do in less than two weeks? Well…

• Visit a dozen castles and palaces (Threave castle required a rowboat across an overflowed River Dee)
• Kayak on the astutely named Loch Awe to the ruins of Kilchurn Castle
• Hike through Highlands and mountains
• Watch a Highland game
• Partake in culinary delights such as haggis and fish and chips
• Carry on conversations with locals (about the upcoming American presidential election)
• Drive over sketchy bridges to reach Rua Reidh, a lighthouse hostel on the North Minch of Wester Ross (no, not the Westeros of Game of Thrones fame, but I saw the striking similarities)
• Expand our navigation skills on double-roundabouts (like a figure 8), one lane roads, and left-side driving
• Meander through abbey and church ruins
• Take a moment of reflection at the remains of Culloden battlefield
• Stay at the haunted 14th century tower keep Borthwick Castle

Oh, certainly there were lows…blowing out a car tire on a rock, getting a manual car instead of an automatic, while driving on the opposite side of the road (it is the UK, after all) – oops!, castles closing before we got there, getting lost on city roads, not finding our hostel while plodding trough the deluging rain), and hiking a washed out trail through Glencoe, while hundreds of midges made a home in my hair…. Nonetheless, I left Scotland feeling rejuvenated and inspired and ready to take on the next big novel!

The setting in A Hundred Kisses takes my hero and heroine on a journey across Skye and to the isles. Their journey begins at a signature castle, Eilean Donan, and remarkably, we were gifted with sunshine and a rainbow during our visit! This castle is as resplendent and utterly romantic as all the pictures portray. Loch Ness (another sunny day) was unfathomable and mystical. Walks among ruined castles and abbeys, reflective and inspiring.

So, thistles and heather – check! Kilts, castles, ruins, craggy mountains, lots of rain, sheep – check!

Magic. Mystery.


Jean M. Grant

Author of A Hundred Kisses
Writing where my heart takes me…from castles to craters to crags of all kinds