Wednesday, December 30, 2015

My Research into ESP: ATHENA'S SECRETS by Donna Del Oro


My Personal Research into ESP Phenomena
By Donna Del Oro

It started with my cousin. She was a full-time, practicing psychic. People came from all over California for her “readings”, at which she claimed an approximately 85% accuracy. She even got involved with the local police and guided one city’s homicide detectives in solving murder cases.
One day, while in my 40’s, I decided to get a reading from her. Extremely skeptical—although I’d known her all my life and knew she wasn’t a con artist—I arrived, fully expecting a lot of lucky guesses on her part. An hour later, I left dazed and confused. How did she know that my husband and I were deliberating over which of two investment opportunities to take. We hadn’t mentioned this to anyone, not even anyone in my family or my husband’s. The one my cousin advised against—and which we didn’t take, fortunately—ended up in bankruptcy a year later. There were other revelations that day that proved true in the months to come.

And so, I became intrigued by this strange phenomena known as ESP, or sometimes psi. Whatever you called it, it was known as “extrasensory perception”. My cousin claimed to be a “clairvoyant”, or able to “see” what most humans cannot see. Her insights into people, their health, and other personal facts were amazing to me. People in my family both welcomed and dreaded her phone calls. It was often: “You’ve got diabetes,” “You have a cancerous tumor in your bladder. See a doctor immediately”, “Your appendix is infected. Get yourself to a hospital now!” One close friend of the family received one of her calls. She told her that her brother was dying of cancer and that this friend should call him as soon as possible. The friend insisted that her thirty-five year-old brother was perfectly healthy and they’d just spoken days before. However, my cousin persisted and prevailed, even over objections of the friend’s brother. Two weeks later, the friend’s brother called back. He’d seen a doctor, had gotten a series of tests, and his prognosis was grim. He died a year later after a valiant battle against cancer.

The experience with my cousin prompted me to open my mind and begin a thirty-year exploration into ESP. I took an ESP Workshop at Foothill College from a Czech physicist who had once worked for the Moscow Institute for Psychic Research. I read books about the CIA’s Stargate program, only some of which has been declassified. Other books, including those about “Near-Death Experiences” and my own personal, “clairvoyant” experiences, have also been catalysts for further investigation.
What I’ve learned has convinced me that clairvoyance does exist, and that perhaps to some extent, precognition. Many people have incredible, intuitive abilities and many share this gift with others, at no intent of monetary gain but simply a desire to help others. A poll cited in the Journal of Parapsychology showed that at least sixty percent of Americans believe that they have had at least one psychic experience in their lives.

The difference between a true psychic and a charlatan, or someone who uses trickery and seeks profit or notoriety? Only one does it for monetary gain. True psychics, as do the psychic women in ATHENA’S SECRETS (Book One, THE DELPHI BLOODLINE Series) share their gifts quietly and gratuitously with others and with law enforcement officials who are open to their help. My heroine, Athena Butler—a clairvoyant and artist—finds herself reluctant at first but, encouraged by her mother, offers her insights to a team of Metro homicide detectives in D.C. and to British Intelligence officers in charge of protecting the British Ambassador and his Embassy staff. Doing this, of course, puts her in the crosshairs of a serial killer and a terrorist cell.

Like my cousin, Athena aims to share her gift with others…quietly and with no intention of gaining fame or fortune.

Click here to purchase from Wild Rose Press, Nook or Amazon

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

A First Line Whose Time Has Come by Phil Fragasso

"The first time I saw her it was raining.”

That’s the opening line of my novel, Still Counting. It’s a line that’s been rattling around in my head for about 20 years, but I’d never found the right place to use it – until I began writing my first romance. I had an idea to write an Erich Segal-like Love Story for the 21st century. I wanted the characters to deal with contemporary issues on top of the usual complications of young love, and I wanted them to be thrown together at a moment of deep emotion.

So what’s that have to do with rain? I envisioned Adam, the male lead, leaning against his Jeep grieving the loss of his beloved chocolate Lab. I included rain partly to add ambience to the scene; but also to signal Nina, the female lead, that this young man was clearly in pain. Think about it this way – a guy leaning against his car in bright sunshine might just be soaking up the rays or waiting for someone. The same guy doing the same thing in the rain tells a whole different story.

So this was a classic case of killing three birds with one stone (not that I would ever kill a bird or any other non-insect being). I introduced Adam’s loss, established Nina’s generous and empathetic nature, and got to use the opening line that’s waited two decades to be released onto the world.
Phil Fragasso

Monday, December 28, 2015

Review: SECRET ADMIRER ( A Candy Hearts Romance) By Ally Hayes

 SECRET ADMIRER ( A Candy Hearts Romance) By Ally Hayes
Review by: Peggy Jaeger
5 stars!

            A fresh start in a new town and at a new job are just what almost-30 Andi needs. And flirting with the hot guy she sees in her new favorite coffee shop each morning is a welcome bonus. If she could only discover what his name is without seeming too aggressively flirty.

            Combined with the new job are new office friends, and when Andi takes the plunge to meet an even wider circle of  “friends of new-friends,” she discovers a texting soul mate in a guy named Garret, who sounds almost too good to be true. Through a series of missed how-do-you-do-meetings and family obligations, they are prevented from a face-to-face encounter, but the texting relationship grows more intense with each new missive they send.

            Coffee shop guy looks better every time Andi sees him, and when she finally discovers his name, she starts to devise a way to get to know him over more than just their morning caffeine shot.

            Andi now knows the name of one hot guy, but not the other, and both are making her girly parts go zing! What’s a girl to do?

            SECRET ADMIRER is a quick, cute and thoroughly enjoyable, satisfying read. Ally Hayes has that rare ability to draw you straight into the lives of her characters as a reader, and right into Andi’s life and dating dilemmas.  I highly recommend you add SECRET ADMIRER to your Valentine day reading list.

Available for Pre-order on Amazon

Saturday, December 26, 2015

That Magical Space Where I Write

I think one of our tools, as a writer, should be a special work space.  Do you have an extra room? Even, if its all you have, a large closet will serve.  Somewhere you can call you own, a space that will, I promise you, become a creative oasis. Where no one enters except  by invitation.
And it can change from day to day. I have interviewed many authors and they write on the beach, a coffee shop, on the train, in a lonely cabin in the mountains.

I've always had the luxury of a spare room to call my studio.  On my walls I am surrounded by my own water color work, framed letters from my publisher, photos of theatre productions. In one corner is my desk and a comfortable chair.  My desktop computer has the place of honor as I do all my writing there.  I simply can't write long hand as I cannot write fast enough when the spirit is on me!  I type seventy five words a minute and sometimes that's too slow….
I tend to write in my head, until it threatens to explode, then move to my keyboard
More from my twice weekly blog>>
Trisha Sugarek, AuthorPlaywright, Poet, & Blogger
'The Taste of Murder', Book 5: The World of Murder 
NOW AVAILABLE!!  The Creative Writer's Journal


Wednesday, December 23, 2015


Hello Writers and Readers:

I’ve been blogging about inspiration pieces, and a number of years back, I came across the framed prints below in a catalog and was intrigued. I cut them out and pasted them on index stock and it occurred to me that I wanted to target my plot based on these images.

The Lady and the Telescope called to me. She was obviously searching for someone or something on the horizon. I loved her clothing and adapted it somewhat for a description in my Regency novel MY DIVINELY DECADENT DUKE writing as Sandra Masters.

Long blonde hair, blue eyes, an attractive woman, and the ocean, what a picture it represented. Was she looking at a ship in the distance? Was she searching for something? Or was she waiting for Neptune, the ocean god to come to claim her and fulfill her dreams? She had been to a gypsy fortune teller who advised her that a handsome prince would soon come to her, but nothing happened….until she turned from the telescope and walking toward her was the Duke of Althorn, whom she had met briefly when they’d attended a ball. On that awful night, her fiancé had broken his engagement to her. They were to be married in ten days. Her reputation would be ruined.

Who came to her rescue? Of course, the Duke of Althorn, an acknowledged rake, who overheard the dastardly conversation while reclining in a high wing back chair in a drawing room, seemingly out of sight. Her fiancé, the blighter, left the room. The Duke made his presence known, and we have the introduction of two people who will have a whirlwind relationship fraught with romance, passion, intrigue, deception and redemption. We also have the start of my second novel for The White Rose Press.

The picture of the children spoke to me—a pretty blonde haired child in a pinafore and a tow- headed young boy in a suit and I imagined them a little bit older. The girl was eight and the legal ward of her brother, the Earl, but it was Cassandra to whom she belonged. The daughter of a best friend who died in childbirth who begged the young eighteen year old schoolmate to raise her child.  How could Cassandra refuse? The little boy was the son of her brother’s late wife, four years old, and a threat to the Earl’s new wife who despised Cassandra and the children.

And therein lies the conflict for Cassandra, who now finds herself without a future husband, an evil sister-in-law who has made it plain she wants them out of her sight, and our heroine who seeks security and safety for herself and her ward.

The last thing our duke wants is a future wife. He has a past but he is now the respectable, if not renowned Duke of Althorn, a dukedom he inherited when his father and the elder brother died. As a second son he had no responsibilities, but now he has them all and he is content with his life.

His mother, the dowager duchess, had an injury to her brain, and lost her speech. Her caregivers were found lacking.

So we have the juxtaposition of two people with a dire need: Security and safety for Cassandra and her ward, Alicia…the duke with a need for a compassionate, able caretaker for his mother. Desperation leads Cassandra to offer a marriage of convenience to the duke. At first he is outraged at her arrogance and refuses, but the latest caretaker has been dismissed for her callous care of his adored mother.

In a fertile mind, these are the situations which ferment and cause a novel to be written. The last picture is the cover of the duke, with his lion clan tattoo, and the blonde woman in the background.

Where and why did he get a tattoo, most unusual for an aristocratic second son and most importantly, who inked him? What is the secret he harbors? What other startling revelations will he learn?

And what does Cassandra mean to him? Does he marry her? What else has fate planned for the two of them?  Find out when the book is released on January 29, 2016. Available in digital and print versions.

Sandra Masters

From a humble beginning in Newark, NJ, a short stay at a convent in Morristown, NJ, to the board rooms of NYC to the ballrooms of the Regency period, to the rural foothills of the Sierras of Yosemite National Park, Sandra Masters has always traveled with pen and notebook. She left her corporate world behind and never looked back. Writer of sizzling Regency romance.  Spicy Sensual Seduction with Swagger.

Monday, December 21, 2015

Feliz año Nuevo from Peru

Christmas in the southern hemisphere is not one for singing “White Christmas.” Jill, in Peril, Passion, Peru, imagines Santa in an old-fashioned two-piece red and white striped bathing suit, the top pulling up as he slides down the chimney, exposing his belly button that glows like Rudolph’s nose. I was home with family on Christmas day but flew to Peru on the 26th (my birthday) and was there for New Year’s Eve and lots of confetti drifting down at midnight to sprinkle Lima’s streets. I was up early the next morning. Not many people were on the streets, but there were lots of policemen, and I greeted all I passed with “Feliz año Nuevo.” Everyone smiled back and repeated the greeting, so I’ll pass it along here to friends and fans. Feliz año Nuevo and Happy New Year!

Eve Dew Crook
Taking the Tumble
Peril, Passion, Peru

Friday, December 18, 2015

Kimberly Keyes, Romance Author and Friendly Tour Guide

One of the things I enjoy in writing a new book is learning about the locale where my story takes place, then offering my readers a taste. For instance, I’m working on a contemporary series right now set in Copper Mountain, Colorado, a great little ski town I’ve visited many times. You better believe I’ll be describing some of the local hangouts, the après ski joints, and the mountain itself. I want it to feel like you’ve seen the place by the time you’ve finished reading one of my books.

LOVER’S LEAP, my recent contemporary release, takes place in Lake Tahoe and the surrounding area. I’ve been to Tahoe to ski, but have never spent a summer in the area, so I had to do some major research.

A couple of facts you may or may not know are, Tahoe is mostly located in Cali, but when flying there, you use the Reno International Airport in Nevada. Like I mentioned, most of Tahoe is in California. Some is in Nevada, and many people who go there to vacation choose the area in order to enjoy the Nevada’s casinos. And did you know certain parts of Tahoe are just a drive away from other major California cities, like San Fransisco?

Summers at the lake are very cool, even just cruising around in your rent-a-car (or Aston Martin, if you’re Logan Shaw, LOVER’S LEAP’s hero). There’s a cool scenic road, around 72 miles in diameter, that encompasses the lake, that’s a tourist attraction all on its own.

One of my favorite discoveries was the little California town called Truckee, driving distance from Tahoe. The area was once inhabited by Native Americans mainly of the Washoe Tribe. Truckee is named for one Washoe Indian mistakenly thought to be called “Tro-kay.” (It turns out, that was something the Native American often said. It means “all is well.” People thought he was trying to introduce himself, however, and were attempting to name the town after him.)

The town built up around a habitable section of the eastern pass over the Sierra Nevadas to California currently known as the Donner Pass. It’s ripe with colorful history, like the account of one group of travelers (the Donner party) who got stuck in Truckee trying to make the pass one brutal winter. As the story goes, the party was reduced to cannibalism to survive. There’s a Donner museum in Truckee if you want to learn more.

I mention an actual coffee shop, name changed slightly, in LOVER’s LEAP. Wild Cherries Coffee is on my bucket list next time I make it to Tahoe!

The best find was when I read the story of Chief No-name and the Legend of Lover’s Leap. Yep, that’s what sparked the inspiration for the name of my book. Lover’s Leap is the name of an actual cliff in California. It’s supposed to be Chief No-name himself, having turned to stone after causing the death of his beloved daughter. Want more details? Then you’ll have to either consult Dr Google or better yet, read LOVER’S LEAP because I think you’ll vastly prefer to experience Logan’s rendition when he tells Candace (my heroine) the story one starry night in Tahoe.

Kimberly Keyes
author of LOVER’S LEAP, a contemporary romance
and on Facebook

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Gambling on a Riverboat by DeeDee Lane

Five Fun Things!
When I write our Christmas letter, which frankly speaking is sometimes a “Valentine’s Day letter,” or a “Never” letter, I include a list of five fun things we did during the year just past. So this is a list of five fun things about being on a gambling riverboat. Unlike my heroine in, My Gambling Man, I cannot time slip to 1835, and board a gambling riverboat traveling down the Mississippi River. Although, I do think I’d look quite dashing in a tall stovepipe hat worn by gambling men of the time! So I am sharing these thoughts from my experience aboard the Emerald Queen a stationary paddlewheel riverboat casino run by the Puyallup Tribe of Washington state from 1996 to 2004.

1) The creak and groan and bobbing movement of being on board a riverboat with a large paddlewheel. Even though we were not moving it was wonderful to lean out over the gold plated railings on deck and feel the flow of water beneath.
2) The buffet where I learned that prime rib is the PERFECT delivery device for horseradish. And that made me learn the joy of clutching the table with eyes tearing after chewing a perfectly dosed bite of meaty horserasdishy goodness.
3) Mystery shows where I could set up my friends as suspects, rat people out with abandon, make up lies, create other personas and generally have a great time that always ended with SOMEONE in handcuffs.
4) The slots of course! I’ve never been a big fan of table games, at least the ones where I have to bet money on the draw of the cards. However, I am definitely willing to double my twenty dollars on the penny taking “Copper Droppers.”
5) The moonlight reflected on the water was a beautiful sight to see. For me it was especially mesmerizing in the romantic ambience of a riverboat.
The Emerald Queen, at least the riverboat casino part, is no longer in use and at last report sits empty in its same berth at the Port of Tacoma. The Puyallup Tribe Emerald Queen Casino digs have moved closer to I-5 (The major North/South highway through Washington State) to two locations in Fife and Tacoma. And the legacy of the boat still remains during “The Battle at the Boat” fighting bouts which started at the riverboat, retained the name, but changed their locale to the I-5 Tacoma showroom.
Needless to say I am still looking forward to the time I am on a riverboat that is actually traveling down the Mississippi River. While researching my novella I did find several examples currently running, including the American Queen which cruises from Memphis, TN south to New Orleans, LA. So I guess I need to include the other “list of five things” I write for our Christmas letters… “Five things we’re looking forward to in the coming year.”

DeeDee Lane, My Gambling Man
Click HERE to read more and to purchase

Monday, December 14, 2015

A visit with Sandra Masters

Hello Everyone:

Just a small blog to acquaint you with my writing and background.
Once Upon A Duke was conceived in 2007, reviewed in 2010 and rested in a drawer for a long time. When I decided that before I left the planet I wanted to be published, I made a determination I would hone my craft and not just write for the pleasure. That took about three years of attending seminars, webinars, conferences, joining Author organizations, more online classes than I could imagine, a local critique group, to name a few to become the proverbial sponge that sopped up everything.

My debut novel, Book One of the Duke Series went through a naming process and as I reviewed the cases of edits, I would change the title. One night I woke up and there was this vision of the book and the title, Once Upon A Duke, in color I might add. I am a visual person and I need my props around my desk, computer, on the walls of my office. I discovered that Vistaprint offered posters and I uploaded my graphics and depended on them to help me when I got stuck. I got the large size and my husband made me easels to fit.

When I joined the Yosemite Romance Writers, a RWA Chapter in Fresno, California, I was in awe of the talented members, some of whom were already published and some who were almost there. I felt like a bumpkin and took note of everything. This group had a generosity of spirit and went out of their way to answer a question for me.

I’m also fortunate that my husband who used to read only mystery, thrillers, and the like for many years would not read what I wrote. When he saw my dedication, he asked how he could help me. I informed him that he’d have to start reading Romance books. The expression on his face with a priceless moment—as if I asked him to go take a dip in the cold Polar ocean. However, I did give him books, Nora Roberts and as J.D. Robb, Mary Balogh, Julia Quinn, Sarah MacLean, to mention just a very few. Gone were the thrillers and now he reads voraciously. He encouraged me along the way when a rejection would come in, and I’m fortunate that when I felt my novel was ready, I submitted it. Got two rejections and both houses were constructive in their observations.  One editor encouraged me with her comments, and so I resubmitted, got rejected with merits, and the third time was a charm.

For those of you who remember what it is to get the notice that you’re being offered a contract, the euphoria is unexplainable. I was at the computer, two dogs at my side, writing. Stopped to read an e mail and I screamed. The dogs got upset because they didn’t know what was going on. I jumped up and down, twirled, ran through the house like a banshee. The editor was Cindy Davis to whom I’ll always be grateful for seeing a spark in my writing.

As of the moment, Once Upon A Duke, was released in July 2015. My Divinely Decadent Duke, Book Two, will be released January 29, 2016, and the Rosette mini novella prequel Book Three, Thorn, Son of a Duke, is scheduled for March 9, 2016. The fourth book has not as yet been contracted since I’m rushing to finish it, Book Four, The Duke’s Magnificent Bastard. Book Five has a long story about it, entitled One Night With A Duke.

While Regency Historicals are my love, I also have contemporary works completed waiting for my polishing.

One of the awesome side effects of getting published was that my husband and I discuss characterization, plots, turns, twists, and sometimes the discussions are hot and heavy, but it has enriched our long marriage in ways we couldn’t have imagined.

We were shopping, not looking for anything in particular, and he came across a picture, on sale, and he mentioned the woman’s dress reminded him of the Regency Period. He bought it for me and viola….our master bedroom which was originally Greco-Roman was transformed into a Regency. Take a peek at the pictures. I hope you enjoy them. Our lives have been changed  and the standard joke is:  Write, Write, Write, but quit at four o’clock so we can talk and have our gin and tonics together. If ever you’re in the foothills of the Sierras, give us a jingle and come on over.

My next blog will be about tattoos and all you’ll never need to know again.

From a humble beginning in Newark, NJ, a short stay at a convent in Morristown, NJ, to the board rooms of NYC to the ballrooms of the Regency period, to the rural foothills of the Sierras of Yosemite National Park, Sandra Masters has always traveled with pen and notebook. She left her corporate world behind and never looked back. Writer of sizzling Regency romance.  Spicy Sensual Seduction with Swagger.
Nothing she expected, but everything she dreamed.


Saturday, December 12, 2015

My Great Grandparents Married 100 Years Ago--My Heroine Vita

My great grandparents, James and Josephine Arnone, were married on December 4, 1915. My New York historical romance, FROM HERE TO FOURTEENTH STREET, has been released with The Wild Rose Press, and my heroine Vita is based on her--a woman way ahead of her time. She left grade school to become a successful real estate investor as she married and raised 4 children.

FROM HERE TO FOURTEENTH STREET is Book One of the New York Saga.

It's 1894 on New York's Lower East Side. Irish cop Tom McGlory and Italian immigrant Vita Caputo fall in love despite their different upbringings. Vita goes from sweatshop laborer to respected bank clerk to reformer, helping elect a mayor to beat the Tammany machine. While Tom works undercover to help Ted Roosevelt purge police corruption, Vita's father arranges a marriage between her and a man she despises. When Tom’s cousin is murdered, Vita’s father and brother languish in jail, charged with the crime. Can Vita and Tom’s love survive poverty, hatred, and corruption?

On her way up the stairs, she glanced down the hall and noticed the closed parlor door. Maybe one of the other boarders was in there with a beau. She smiled in the dark. Let them enjoy themselves. All the girls here had beaux, and they needed privacy without chaperones breathing down their necks during every stage of courting.
As she gathered her soap and towel, Madame Branchard tapped on her door. “You have a gentleman caller, Vita. A policeman.”
“Tom?” His name lingered on her lips as she repeated it. She dropped her things and crossed the room.
“No, hon, not him. Another policeman. Theodore something, I think he said.”
No. There can’t be anything wrong. “Thanks,” she whispered, gently nudging Madame Branchard aside. She descended the steps, gripping the banister to support her wobbly legs. Stay calm! she warned herself. But of course it was no use; staying calm just wasn’t her nature.
“Theodore something” stood before the closed parlor door. He’s a policeman? Curious, she looked him up and down. Tall and hefty, a bold pink shirt peeking out of a buttoned waistcoat and fitted jacket, he looked way out of place against the dainty patterned wallpaper.
He removed his hat. “Miss Caputo.” He strained to keep his voice soft as he held out a piece of paper.
“Yes?” Her voice shook.
“I’m Theodore Roosevelt. I have a summons for you, Miss Caputo.” He held it out to her. But she stood rooted to that spot.
He stepped closer, and she took it from him, unfolding it with icy fingers. Why would she be served with a summons? Was someone arresting her now for something she didn’t do?
A shot of anger tore through her at this system, at everything she wanted to change. It eclipsed her fear, made her blood boil. She flipped it open and saw the word “Summons” in fancy script at the top. Her eyes widened with each sentence as she read. “I can’t believe what I’m seeing.”

Diana Rubino
Click HERE to read more and to purchase

Monday, December 07, 2015

December 7 by Gail Kittleson

Seventy-four years ago, Americans woke to the horrible news of the Pearl Harbor attacks. I can’t let December seventh go by without calling attention to this significant event in our nation’s history.

Many young men went to war during the next months. My grandparents sent their two older sons to the fight, one still in his senior year of high school. The army drafted my dad, too, and my father-in-law. They all came home, but so many others didn’t.

Fifteen years ago, our family visited Normandy and stood in an actual Nazi bunker from which soldiers rained fire on the D-Day invaders. And we spent some time in Dachau, recalling what motivated the Allies.

Much of my writing research involves besieged London, southern France, where the Resistance risked everything to thwart the Nazis, and stateside. Everywhere, people sacrificed for the cause of freedom.

Today, I’d like to honor my father, my father-in-law, my uncles, and so many who waited at home (like my grandparents and my mother.) In This Together, my debut novel, honors them through the heroine’s loss of her son during the war, and her neighbor Al’s continuing challenges from his World War I service.

The story of the long-range effects of the war on a regular, down-to-earth rural Iowa Gold Star mother takes us back in time. Hopefully, readers will resonate to Dottie’s sacrifice.

Originally Posted at

Friday, December 04, 2015

Double the Fun - 2 Books on Sale!

From December 5 to 17, 2015, my two World War Two novellas from The Wild Rose Press will be on sale for .99 cents each in various ebook formats. These stories are close to my heart and I’m excited to share them with readers at this amazing price! Here’s a look at the stories:

France, 1942.  The world is at war. The Nazis have stolen the infamous blue diamond, Le Coeur Bleu, intending to barter it for weapons that will destroy the Allies. Jewel thief Hunter Smith is given a choice; help the French Resistance steal back the diamond and avenge the death of his best friend, or stay locked up in an English prison. He chooses revenge.

Resistance fighter Madeleine Bertrand’s husband died when he was betrayed by Hunter Smith. How can she now pretend to be married to the arrogant American? How can she betray Jean Philippe’s memory by her passionate response to Hunter’s kisses? Neither is prepared for the maelstrom of attraction that erupts between them. To survive they must uncover the mysteries of the past and conquer the dangers of the present. But first Madeleine must decide if her loyalties lie with her dead husband and the Resistance or with the greatest love of her life.

Anne Wakefield travels halfway around the world for love. But when she arrives in Canada from England at the end of World War Two, she discovers the handsome Canadian pilot she’d fallen in love with has married someone else. Heartbroken, she prepares to return to London, though she has nothing left there to return to. Her former fiancé’s mother makes a suggestion: marriage to her other son.

Badly wounded and scarred during the war, Erik Gustafson thinks he’s a poor substitute for his brother. Although he loves Anne almost from the first time he sees her, he cannot believe she would ever be able to love him as he is – especially as he might be after another operation on his bad leg.  Anne sees the beauty of his heart. The cold prairie winter may test her courage, but can she prove to Erik that her love for him is real?

I love hearing from readers! Contact me at 

Monday, November 30, 2015

GO With What You Know

My name is Linda Tillis and I am giddy with excitement. The Wild Rose Press has accepted my manuscript, A Heart Made For Love.

This story is a reflection of my work history of forty years. Whew! I forget sometimes just how old I
am. But to be fair, I started my working days at the age of seventeen. It was the month of June, I had just graduated high school, and you had to be eighteen to apply for the job. I lied. My birthday was in August; I lived in fear for two months that I would be caught, and fired.

That lie was the beginning of an eighteen year career in the fashion industry. For nine years, I worked on a high speed sewing machine, churning out high end dresses that were sold in New York City. We created items for labels like Manhattan Dress, Schrader Sport, and Lord & Taylor’s.

After nine years, my supervisor submitted my name for a new position being created. I became the assistant to the Production Manager. I began to work with designers and suppliers, from New York to Miami, and I loved every minute of my job. I got to see the “it” fashions before they even hit the runways. I soaked up the color and textures everyday.

Near the end of the eighteen year run, it became apparent the garment industry was in decline in the United States. We were one of the last large manufacturers located in Central Florida. I saw the handwriting on the wall, and decided to change professions. (the plant closed a year later)

Talk about a change in profession, I went to work in Law Enforcement. I spent almost a year in dispatch, then moved up to Crime Scene Investigator. It was civilian position, meaning I was not in direct danger, which was okay with me. I spent the rest of my twenty years looking at the bleak side of humanity. The only colors I could soak up were blood-red and black and blue bruises. I learned more about domestic violence than the average citizen can imagine.

My husband sat me down one day. He said, “This job is killing you, slowly, and you need to get out.” I realized he was absolutely correct. So I got out.

It took me a year to actually “see” the average world again. He bought me a camera, and I began to photograph living things. I began to thirst for color again. I knew how to sew, but I needed a challenge.

So I became a milliner. In the late 1800’s and early 1900’s a woman could make a living creating beautiful, feminine gowns, and matching hats. After creating, and photographing lovely hats, I decided to write about them.

I sat down one day, and the next thing I knew, a story was pouring out of me. The story of a young woman who was sexually assaulted by strangers. A story of triumph over fear, of perseverance and faith. With a little murder and revenge thrown in. And of course, a milliner.

It is a story for all women; because if you’ve never been personally abused, you know a woman or child, who has. And if you know one who has survived, and managed to get past it, you know what an emotional battle she fought. Such is the story of 'A Heart Made For Love'.

Please go to my website and sign up for the newsletter. There will be give aways for the Cover Reveal and you don’t want to miss your chance. In the meantime, enjoy the photos of some of the hats I've made.

Linda Tillis

Monday, November 23, 2015

Writing Historical Fiction

I am first a historian (TWRP convention rather than an historian) with a passion for the past. I came across a story that was the foundation for my first novel and a series here at TWRP. The problem was the details were both sketchy and contradictory. Two of my ancestors were murdered in a disagreement over the ownership of slaves. There is a little information in the official record, the court order book, and the first historical account was penned 60 years later from oral tradition. Needless to say, there was much possibility of error. Other accounts contradicted the first.

How to tell the story? I've always been a fan of historical novels. These take several forms such as alternative history (Lee prevails at Gettysburg), a fictional character in real events (the Flashman series by George MacDonald Fraser), and getting inside the heads of real people (The Killer Angels). In the case of fiction it is less important to have absolute historical accuracy than to have the story and the scene to be authentic. An author can jigger around events to make the story more manageable (Fraser does this). The important thing is to leave the reader with a good sense of the time and the events and even educate the reader about real personages.

In the case of my first book, Down The River

 I had a list of the known players, only the barest details of events. The rest was all mine. I decided to tell the story of the murders and the times from the point of view of Phyllis (real person) the only eyewitness to the crimes. I needed to learn about the location Eastern Kentucky and its history, the history and legal structure of slavery, and concurrent events (War of 1812) that might influence the characters' actions. Research began in every book at the library, even the Library of Congress, dealing with local history. I even got books on the natural history of the region. I visited Colonial Williamsburg o see how houses were built, how ox carts operated, and what people made and ate.

More to follow

David Wilma

Saturday, November 21, 2015

My Apocalypse Survival Kit by Trish Arcangelo

Since my new release, BREAKOUT, has a post-apocalyptic setting, it got me to thinking about how I would fare in the apocalypse. What I would have in my survival kit? I’m not really what one would call…er…tough. I doubt I would make it very far with my meager skill set. Therefore I will leave the more legitimate list of survival supplies (matches, knife, compass, etc) to someone with more business using them. Instead I’ve come up with something a bit lighter. My list has more to do with comfort. If I did make it, I would have a lot of hours in each day to fill. No TV, no internet, no phone. The horror! So here’s what I’d have in my backpack to keep myself comfortable, happy, and to stave off any post-apocalyptic boredom:

1) A few of my favorite romance novels, the ones I can re-read a hundred times and never get sick of. I have a list of some of my favorites on my website if you want to check them out.
2) A plastic wine goblet. Assuming I’m lucky like Monarch, the heroine in Breakout, and end up near a store with a fully stocked wine selection, I will want to make sure I have a way to drink it. I’d rather not have to use my hands. I’m not above it, but……
3) A corkscrew (see number 2)
4) Baby wipes. Since opportunities to bathe might be few and far between, I would want a way to clean up a bit. Smelling nice is high on my list.
5) Lotion. (see number 4, smelling nice can’t be overstated).
6) A notebook and pen. A writer still writes, even when the world ends!
7) A small lantern and extra batteries. I’m not a big fan of the dark.
8) A book of crossword puzzles.
9) A hoody. I get cold easily and sometimes there’s nothing better than a comfy hoody.
10) Chocolate bars.

What would you have in your backpack?

BREAKOUT released November 18th
Trish Arcangelo

Friday, November 20, 2015

Easy Ways to Birth and Shape Your Paranormal Romance Hero

Crafting a quality, captivating story takes a lot of time. The entire writing process, from beginning to end, is usually exhaustingly time consuming. Every writer I know well has a different issue with plotting a story - mine is character creation and shaping (or "fleshing her/him out").
It's taken me years to progress from dreading this part of writing to embracing it as a direct challenge and making it an opportunity to grow and blossom as an author.

So, let's talk birthing and shaping your paranormally hot hero. This may not be the time to pants it and just dive into writing, thinking he'll materialize easily from your imagination to the blank page. This is unsuccessful draft #3 - time to try something new...

1. Think of the hottest guy you remember seeing. See how that face just came to mind? You're remembering a real guy, not one with fuzzy features that you tried to make real. Keep that guy's face in your mind for a few of your writing projects. Hair color, height - these can all be changed, but keep the face. If you found your hot guy so memorably fine, chances are that most of your readers will, too.

2. Congratulations! You just birthed a strapping hero hottie. He needs a name - but not from an outdated baby book from 1972 and, unless you have a specific purpose in doing so, not from you inner circle of guy friends. (What about your sex scenes if your hero bears your male bff's name? Awkward.)

Try using one of the many character name generators or using the Social Security Name Index. Avoid predictability, with overly common hot guy names, but keep in mind that some male names are simply un-sexy.

3. Give him a liberal studies degree. Huh?! lol I'll explain: liberal arts degree programs are generally considered to shape students into well- rounded people, focusing on a little bit of every subject. Consider shaping your hero into a more educated guy, coupled with life experience. If he hunts demons or vampires, have him show off his knowledge of their pack history and his expertise with weapons. Have him cook a gourmet meal in the evening after tango class.

4. Where is the love? Lastly, explore his deepest feelings for your heroine. See her inner and outer beauty through his eyes and have him reflect on all the reasons he loves her.
I have a thrilling and important announcement about my new "Hell on Heels" trilogy coming soon... : )
Happy 5k Writing Days to you all!
Tamela Miles

Sunday, November 08, 2015

Christmas is Coming by Katherine McDermott

I recently boosted sales of the paperback version of my suspense romance Hiding by selling them
at an arts and crafts sale and providing Christmas wrapping. This was easy to do. Last year after
Christmas I bought rolls of papers at very low prices. I cut the paper with pinking shears about and
2 inches wider and taller than my book. Then I glued the backsides with rubber cement. Many different charitable organizations have sent me adhesive gift tags so I put them on my sacks as well. All purchasers have to do is slide the book inside, fold down the top and seal it with tape. They might want to add a bow.
Also, with Christmas in mind, I think we should all support each other and our wonderful publishers by giving books from TWRP to our friends and family for the holiday. So Merry Christmas and I plan to do my shopping at The Wild Rose Press website.

A space opera?...Me?

I have a confession to make. I'm not much of a sci-fi fan.

Unlike my hubby who grew up on E.E. "Doc" Smith, Dune, and Ring World, I never had much interest in the genre. But, my guy loved those books so during that mushy part of our early courtship, I tried to give them a shot. I'd get through a dozen pages and quietly put the books down...hoping never to pick them up again.

Flash forward to movies and TV: He loved Star Trek (each and every version) and we'd record them on the VCR (so we didn't miss any). When it came to Star Wars, I let him drag me to each movie. I was a good girlfriend and later a good wife.

Then something weird and unexpected happened. I started to like them! I got excited when Star Trek: Voyager premiered and the captain was a woman. I liked all the not-quite human Star Trek characters who were searching for their humanity (Spock, Data, 7 of 9 and The Doctor.) And, it was a lot of fun visiting a different world where the rules went in a million different directions.

One day after I'd discovered the wonderful world of sexy online romances, I read a sci-fi romance about a character that goes into heat. It was fascinating. Strong alpha male brought to his knees with a primal need to mate. Talk about putting characters in strange and uncomfortable situations. One minute they are totally focused on one thing and then all they can think about is sex--right now. I think we really learn about our characters when they're naked and vulnerable, and what's more vulnerable than really needing sex.

When I was looking for a story idea for my erotic sci-fi romance, I came up with my own twist on a character battling the challenges of heat. He's a hot alpha male who is gorgeous and honorable--and he's in the business of saving women not compromising them. He's not happy when his body demands sex, but he can't ignore what he needs.

If you want to know more, read my book CAPTIVE HEAT! It was released from The Wild Rose Press on October 9.

So, after all these years I've come to the conclusion that I really am a sci-fi fan. Please don't tell my husband. I think he still has those E.E. "Doc" Smith books somewhere in the house.

Sexy romances that heat up the page and warm your heart
Susanna Eastman

Friday, November 06, 2015

Interview of Dougal MacBride from Timeless Passion

Today I’m interviewing Dougal MacBride from Timeless Passion a time travel erotic romance avail November 13.
“Dougal thanks for letting me interview you today.”
“Thank ye for having me.”
“Would you tell us a little about yourself?”
“I be the blacksmith at the Barkerville Pioneer Village.”
“How did you become a blacksmith?”
“I served a seven year apprentice with a very good smithy. He taught me everything I know. He even taught me sums.”
“I see. What do you think of Tasha Banner as your boss?”
“She be a good-hearted woman. She’s concerned about the village making enough money to survive.”
“And I hear you had quite a hand in saving the village. Would you like to tell us how?”
“I be making nail rings for schools. I be making horseshoes too. And nails, hinges, handles, barrel hoops. Everything that be made of iron I be making. And Tasha be making sure they are in the emporium for all our visitors to buy.”
“Tell me about the boss lady.”
“Tasha be right pretty and smart too. She keeps everything right as rain.”
“And what do you think of her personally?”
“I donna know what ye mean?”
“Do you like her?”
“Aye, she be quite a lass. When she smiles her eyes be lighting up and making me glad I be her man.”
“Do you always get along?”
“She be a feisty one all right, but she be a delight in me arms.”
“Well Dougal, thanks for being here with us today.”
“Thank ye for asking me.”

Kayden Claremont

Monday, November 02, 2015

Grateful by Gail Kittleson

 As November rolls in, it’s natural to think thankful thoughts. Here in the Midwest, the harvest has gone well, winter’s chill is just around the corner, and our hearts turn toward home and hearth. Now, that’s a statement that fits 1946, the year we meet Dottie Kyle, the heroine of my debut novel, In This Together.
The book’s November release adds to my gratitude this year. Being such a late-blooming writer magnifies my sense of satisfaction at the culmination of this labor of love—although I realize Dottie’s journey into the minds and hearts of readers is only beginning.
For me, the best part of the journey has been getting to know Dottie, a down-home woman like many others of the “Greatest Generation.” Dottie bears her losses quietly, even that of her son Bill in World War II and her husband soon after.
Now, the war’s over and she makes do, as always. Her cooking and cleaning job at the local boarding house gives her a reason to wake up in the morning. She walks to work early, unaware that someone watches her pass by his house.
Dottie’s widower neighbor Al observes her progress morning and evening, sunshine and rain, and wonders how he can possibly woo this “peach of a gal” who seems to manage quite well without him. Of course, he can’t know how lonely her house looms when she enters at night, bone-tired, or how much she longs—and fears—to meet her grandbabies out in California.
And Dottie? She has no idea second chances lurk right around the corner. This story, categorized as SUPER SWEET, may offer readers no reason to blush, but contains plenty of personal challenges for Dottie, the kind of heroine you’d want for your best friend.
And thank you, TWRP, for making this release possible.

Friday, October 30, 2015

Into the Sunrise by Carolyn Haley

Into the Sunrise, like most novels, is a made-up story. However, three elements of it are not only drawn from real life but inspired me to write the book.

The first element is Linny’s sunset ride on the beach. When I was a young, my family vacationed on Cape Cod for two weeks every summer. At that time public riding stables were allowed to take horseback groups out on National Seashore land (no longer true). Most trail rides were rather boring hour-long shuffles through the dunes, but one stable offered a two-hour sunset ride on the outer beach near the very tip of the Cape. I rode that trail twice—and the first time was a wild galloping adventure that ranks among the high points of my life. The opportunity never came again, and there was no handsome horseman to fall in love with. So I gave both to Linny, thereby allowing myself, and readers, to live the experience vicariously.

 The second element is Linny’s ride with the hunt on Opening Day in the Hudson Valley region of New York. This, too, is something I did, some twenty years after the sunset beach ride, and it was almost as crazed as presented in the book. A big difference is that I rode with the non-jumpers, on a rented horse I couldn’t handle. Linny got her dream horse, Midnight, who was my dream-come-true horse back when I went to summer camp, again as a teenager.

I knew Midnight for only two weeks. But he, like the beach ride and Opening Day, indelibly impressed themselves on my mind and heart, so I immortalized them in a story.

At that time I was an artist, not yet a writer. The other day I found an unfinished sketch I did at age fourteen, of Linny and Con riding Shark and Klatawah on the Cape Cod shore.


I also unearthed this illustration from the novella (The Island) I wrote between ages ten and twelve that laid the foundation for Sunrise:



And a woodcut I did in junior high art class, of Shark:



There are more drawings deep in my archives, plus a few that are too big to scan. Whenever I dig them out and make electronic images, I will share them with you.


Friday, October 23, 2015

Our Roving Reporter meets the Detective.

Today your roving reporter is at St. Louis Metropolitan Police Headquarters. We’re sharing a cup of coffee with the department’s newest detective, Ms. Maylee Morgan.
I’d like to begin by offering my congratulations on your promotion.

MM: Thank you.

RR: Could you share with our readers when and how you first became interested in police work?

MM: It’s difficult to remember a time when I didn’t enjoy solving puzzles and reading mysteries. When I was in junior high, one of my older brothers started bringing “True Crime” paperbacks into our home and soon I became convinced I wanted to solve real life puzzles.

RR: Could you describe the educational route you took to your current position?

MM: My formal education includes Bachelor of Science in Criminology and Criminal Justice from the University of Missouri St. Louis. It has a nationally ranked program and prepared me well. Of course, the first step after acceptance by the department was attendance at the Police Academy. This combination of classroom and hands on training is vital. And an officer’s education continues with seminars, on-line classes, and workshops sponsored by universities and law enforcement agencies.

RR: Describe some of your off duty interests and hobbies. Where would we be likely to see you on your day off?

MM: The most consistent activity for my down time is a good run in the park. Yes, there are times when weather doesn’t cooperate, but then I visit the department gym for physical training. When I have an entire day off I try to spend part of it with family. My mother lives in South County and two of my four brothers live within the Metro Area. We have a long list of family traditions, some started three or four generations ago, which we continue. All of us are Cardinal fans and are looking forward to a winning season.

RR: Family sounds important to you. Can you see yourself blending career, husband, and family in the future?

MM: It’s going to take a very special person to understand and accept the time and emotional demands of my occupation. I like to believe that he’s out there, but we haven’t crossed paths yet. Oh, and it would be a bonus if he can cook.

RR: Thank you, Detective Morgan. We wish you luck in both career and personal life.

Stare Down, available October 23, 2015, picks up Detective Morgan’s story a few weeks after this interview.

Ellen Parker

Friday, October 16, 2015

Breathing In by K.K. Weil

Even though I wish the weather could be 80 degrees and sunny every single day, there are certain things about fall that make me warm and fuzzy like no other time of year. For me, this season is all about the scents. Sure, I love the mandatory autumn events, like apple and pumpkin picking, hayrides and corn mazes. But after you pick that fruit, what do you do? Come home and bake, of course. And that’s where the smells begin.

So there's the basic, delicious apple pie aroma wafting through the house, and even the roasting of pumpkin seeds. As soon as my kids get wind of those seeds they circle my kitchen like mini-vultures. But that’s just the start of it.

In the fall, I bust out two items that have been put away for the summer. The first things I dust off are my candles. I absolutely love to have candles burning in the house, but for whatever reason, I never think to light them in the warm weather. As soon as the temperature begins to drop, though, out they come. Earthy vanillas and cinnamons are my favorites. When the windows are open and a breeze drifts through, I’m in my happy place.

The second is my slow-cooker. I never owned a slow-cooker until a few years ago, but as soon as I did, it quickly claimed its spot on my counter for the better part of the fall and winter. It’s not even that I love the food prepared in it so much. Some of the meals are very tasty, but it’s more the fact that I throw everything in it in the morning, and then for the rest of the day, the flavors dance around the house. The cooker I have gets plugged in, so I can leave with it on. There’s nothing like coming home from being out for a few hours and smelling that when I walk through the door.

Even the air is different in the fall. It’s evening right now, and I’m sitting by my open sliding doors. (It doesn’t hurt that we’ve also had the most beautiful fall weather in years.) A breeze just came in and I commented about how good it smelled. My husband immediately knew what I meant. No one was barbecuing outside. No one’s fireplace was on. It was just the clean, crisp autumn air.

I think for me, scent is the sense that evokes the most memories. Sometimes, when I’m walking down the street, I’ll stop mid-step because I get a hint of someone’s perfume or shampoo, and I have to take a second to reflect. I might forget someone’s voice over time, and maybe I’ll even lose some of her more subtle facial features. But if I pick up a person’s distinctive scent, it doesn’t matter how much time has passed since I’ve seen her, I’ll think of her. Even smells that wouldn’t necessarily be considered pleasant, like roads being paved or paint drying, bring me back to fond memories.

Interestingly, it’s also the sense that I most readily overlook when I’m writing. Sight and sounds are easy. They come naturally. But I find I really have to concentrate on adding in scents when I’m revising my work. I’m not sure why, because they’re so powerful in my everyday life. And as a reader, I’m easily drawn into a setting where smells are described. So from now on, every so often as I write, I’m going to remind myself to close my eyes, breathe in and just imagine.

K.K. Weil