Friday, January 31, 2014

Untangle My Heart

Untangle My Heart
by Maria K. Alexander


When her marriage ended in tragedy, Kate DiFrancesco rebuilt her life, but has never gotten over the pain of what she lost. Seeking the help of an ex-lover ignites feelings she’s promised never to have again. She’ll need to untangle herself from dangers in her past in order to break the hard shell around her heart.

Edward Weston has a lot to prove, both to his stuffy upper-crust British family, and to himself. Working alongside Kate, a woman he had a casual relationship with, stirs unexpected feelings. Helping her family makes him realize what he's missing. For the first time, he wants more than a one-night stand.

When Kate is threatened, Edward must overcome feeling unworthy to protect the woman he loves and fight for the family he never thought he’d have.


“Good morning,” he said. “Ready to go?”

“I’m all set.” She swung her laptop bag over one shoulder and grabbed the handle of her suitcase with her opposite hand.

“I’ll take that,” Edward said, reaching for the suitcase.

“I have it,” she snapped and held firmly onto the handle. His old-fashioned ways sometimes annoyed her and today was one of those days. Why was he always trying to be nice to her? It would be easier to maintain her distance if he wasn’t so damned considerate. Damned British manners. “I don’t need your help.”

He raised an eyebrow at her outburst but let go of his hold on the suitcase. “Fine. I see someone didn’t get her coffee this morning.”

“Wrong. I had two cups.” And a restless night of sleep with alternating dreams of Edward and Lucas. Frustrated from tossing and turning all night, she’d gotten up at four and started baking.

“I made biscotti if you’d like some.” She handed him a white bakery bag, hoping her offering of food would compensate for her irritable mood.

He opened the bag and pulled one out. “Are they safe to eat or did you use arsenic instead of sugar?”

Rather than dignify him with an answer, she leaned forward and took a bite. It was still warm and the chocolate chips melted in her mouth. Edward’s gaze studied her mouth as she chewed and for a minute Kate thought he may take a nibble out of her.

“Perfectly safe. I swear,” she said after swallowing.

He popped the other half in his mouth. “Not bad.”

“Not bad, my ass,” Kate said.

“That’s pretty fine, too.”

AUTHOR Bio and Links:

A romantic at heart, Maria K. Alexander spent hours as a young girl getting lost in and wishing to be one of the heroines in the stories she read. Books gave her the ability to go to another world where she loved meeting new characters, learning about their problems, and watching them fall in love.

Maria blogs and shares her writing journey with her critique partners at:

When not writing, Maria loves to read, bake, downhill ski, visit the beach, and watch romantic comedies. Maria lives in New Jersey with her husband and children, and writes in her “spare” time between juggling a full-time job and her kids’ busy schedules.

You can keep in touch with her at:
Web Links
The Violet Femmes Blog: ,br> Twitter: Facebook: Goodreads: Amazon Buy Link:

Maria will award a $25 Amazon GC to a randomly drawn commenter during the tour.
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Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Ladd Springs

Crouched in the Tennessee mountain brush, Delaney Wilkins pushed up from her knees and moved farther into the thicket for a better view. Beneath the canopy of laurel and oaks, the scent of wet earth and decomposing leaves rose thick in the air around her. She craned her head to look between the trees. Some blackened, others gray, trunks stood in varying stages of decay, victims to the slew of storms that ripped through the area several years back. And among them, two strangers. By the outline of their build, the rough jerk to their movements, they appeared to be men. But gender didn’t matter. Trespassers were trespassers and they were on her land.

Delaney held her breath, suppressing all thought but one. No one was supposed to be in her part of the woods. Did they venture too far off the USFS trail and get lost?

Her instincts hummed. The USFS was public land. It was possible. But these two seemed too intent on whatever it was they were doing to be lost hikers. She could hear their voices but was unable to make out the details of their conversation, or what—exactly—they were doing. Damn it, she had to get closer.

A quick survey of her surroundings told her the answer wasn’t here. Not unless she wanted to take up cliff diving down the slope before her, causing a ruckus that would obviously reveal her presence. Delaney scanned the upper ridge beyond the men. The trail behind her would take her to the top, but it was a twenty minute hike at a good clip. But they could be gone by then. She dropped her focus back to the strangers. There was one other way. She spied the narrow trail leading off to her left. It was a footpath she had forged years ago, one created as her secret weapon in games of “hide and seek” played with her cousin, Jeremiah Ladd. At one time, she had used the trail to kick his butt. At the moment, it would serve to get her thirty feet closer. Unfortunately, the pace she’d have to travel to remain undetected would have to be excruciatingly slow.

Delaney considered her options. Her Palomino, Sadie, was tied to a post at the base, the landmark her family had built to mark the opening for this trail. If she had to get anywhere fast, she knew Sadie would take her. Physical confrontation didn’t concern her—not with a pistol holstered snug in her boot.

Gravel and sticks crunched behind her. A thunderbolt of fear slammed into her. Shooting hand to boot, she whirled, ready to pounce.

“Hi,” came the hushed greeting.

With a sharp intake of breath, Delaney recovered from the initial shock and took in the unexpected sight of Nick Harris, the real estate developer determined to buy her family’s property—but what the hell was he doing here?

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

An Interview with Jo Graford

1. When did you know you wanted to be a writer?

According to my parents, I’ve been telling whoppers since I was born.

2. How long have you been writing?

Ever since I could hold my first crayon!

3. How did you pick the genre you write in?

Researching the Lost Colonists of Roanoke Island has been a passion of mine for over a decade. Their story just happens to begin in May of 1587, so narrating the “rest of their story” naturally turned me into a historical romance author.

4. Do you plot or do you write by the seat of your pants?

I plot, outline, ponder, and then tweak my outlines.

5. What drew you to the subject of Breaking Ties?

I first became fascinated with the fate of the Lost Colonists as an elementary school student. These brave pioneers generally receive a one-paragraph mention in school history books for their tragic attempt at colonizing – summarized with a one-sentence eulogy for the poor souls who were most likely slaughtered en masse by hostile natives. It never made sense to end such an amazing colonial venture on such a cruelly sad note, especially since no graves and no bodies were ever found. Nowadays, we’d call it a Missing Persons Report of gargantuan proportions and send out eleven amber alerts for the children.

6. Did you encounter any obstacles in researching it?

Of course. Their disappearance occurred over 400 years ago. The crime scene has not only been severely compromised, it’s about to erode and wash away entirely. I relied heavily on extensive reading of ship manifests, sailing journals, church registries, and other archives. Modern laser imagery is also proving very useful in providing new clues to one of the world’s most intriguing unsolved mysteries.

7. What was the name of the first novel you wrote? Did you try to publish it?

I don’t remember the title. I hand-wrote it as a teenager in pencil in a spiral bound notebook. The main characters were twin girls named Jeannette and Josephine (written in the style of Nancy Drew and Trixie Belden) who discovered a castle buried beneath an avalanche and gumshoed their way through a not-too-well-developed mysterious plot. I was so disappointed at how little it sounded like a real Nancy Drew novel that I burnt it in a backyard bonfire. What a tragedy! I truly wish I had kept it.

8. What do you know now that you are published that you didn’t know pre-published that you wish you knew?

I no longer wait for the perfect inspiration or the perfect moment to write. I maintain a disciplined, daily writing schedule now. I’ve learned the inspiration will come when I park my rear in the chair and start typing.

9. How many rejections have you received?

Five or six. Most were email form letters. One or two places never responded at all, making me realize there was a whole new mountain to climb – I needed to tackle and learn how to carry myself in the new and foreign world of publication. Then my husband had a brilliant idea. He suggested I nagivate around the slush pile and attend a writing conference to meet live agents and publishers. Every agent and publisher I pitched my book to at the RT Booklovers Convention in 2013 asked to see the manuscript. A few weeks later, I signed a contract with Astraea Press.

10. What was the best writing advice someone gave you?

Write, write, and then write some more. The only way to get better is to write often and write a lot. Write even when you don’t feel like it.

Author Bio

Jo Grafford is from St. Louis, Missouri. An award-winning author at Astraea Press, Jo writes historical romance and YA fantasy. She published her first poem in junior high, edited her high school newspaper while typesetting for a local news journal, and has been writing ever since. She holds an M.B.A. and has served as a banker, a college finance instructor, and a high school business teacher.

She is a PRO member of Romance Writers of America and From the Heart Romance Writers RWA Chapter. The mother of three children and the wife of a soldier, she serves as a literacy volunteer for elementary school students.

Book Blurb

Rose Payne's world is shattered after a secret betrothal to the duke’s son gets her fired. Desperate for work, she signs up for a risky overseas venture and sails for the New World and a fresh start, vowing to never again fall for a wealthy gentleman.

Returning from a diplomatic tour in London, Chief Manteo is bewitched by the fiery-haired ship’s clerk. He contrives a daring plan to win her heart – one that forces her, honor bound, to serve as a slave to his tribe – a plan he prays will protect her from a chilling conspiracy involving murder, blood money, and a betrayal of their fledgling colony so terrifying it can only be revealed in Breaking Ties.

Friday, January 24, 2014



The beginning of the end. The Apocalypse.

A nuclear fallout wiped out every living thing on the planet, except for a few thousand of us who took shelter in underground bunkers across the globe. Now, after thirteen long years, we were finally able to return to the topside to begin to rebuild.

We thought we were alone. We were never more wrong.

Before the fallout, scientists had worked on creating an anti-radiation vaccine (ARV). The first two attempts failed, but despite the incomplete tests and results, the government approved and distributed the third serum to the masses in an effort to aid those who had no shelter.

It worked, keeping those who remained on the topside alive, but it also altered and mutated them. This new and infectious threat had completely outnumbered us. Now, we not only had to rebuild our planet. We would have to fight for it.

My name is Abigail Park. I'm seventeen, and this is my story.


Cameo Renae was born in San Francisco, CA, raised in Maui, Hawaii, and recently moved with her husband and children to Alaska.

She loved reading from as long as she can remember, and it was C.S. Lewis' - Chronicles of Narnia - which sparked a fire in her soul and made her want to create her own wondrous, magical worlds and awesome characters to go on adventures with.

In My Dreams & Hidden Wings were both recently published through Crushing Hearts and Black Butterfly Publishing earlier this year. Descent (A Hidden Wings novella) was released May 15, 2013, and Broken Wings (Book 2 in the Hidden Wings Series) was released June 1, 2013.

Her most recent release is ARV-3. A YA Post-Apocalyptic, Dystopian novel with a new twist on zombies.

She is currently working on the next Hidden Wings Series book titled: Tethered Wings. No release date yet. :)

One day she hopes to find her own magic wardrobe, and ride away on her magical unicorn... Until then... she'll keep writing!

ONLINE LINKS: Website: Blog: Facebook: Twitter: Goodreads: BUY NOW LINK:Amazon Giveaway: A print copy of ARV-3 with an ARV-3 Swag Pack.
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Wednesday, January 22, 2014

The Marriage Pact

The Marriage Pact (2011), Regrets Only (2012), and Baggage Check (2013)
M.J. Pullen

Author Bio:
M.J. (Manda) Pullen studied English Literature and Business at the University of Georgia in Athens, and later Professional Counseling at Georgia State University in Atlanta. She practiced psychotherapy for five years before taking time off for writing and raising her two young boys. Since high school, she has also been an executive assistant, cashier, telemarketer, professional fundraiser, marketing guru, magazine writer, grant-writer, waitress, box-packer, HR person, and casual drifter.
She reads and writes across many genres, and learns something from everything she does. No matter what she’s writing, M.J. believes that love is the greatest adventure there is, and that hopeless romantics are never really hopeless.
She loves to hear from readers and other writers – so drop her a line!

Author Links - 

Twitter: @MJPullen

Giveaway -

One set of autographed paperback copies of the Marriage Pact trilogy (winner can choose a custom inscription for the first book). US Only, Ebook International

The Marriage Pact

Book Genre: Contemporary Romance
Publisher: Flourish Publications (Self)
Release Date: June 2011
Buy Link(s):
Book Description:

Marci Thompson always knew what life would be like by her 30th birthday. A large but cozy suburban home shared with a charming husband and two brilliant children. A celebrated career as an established writer, complete with wall-to-wall mahogany shelves and a summer book tour. A life full of adventure with her friends and family by her side.

Instead, Marci lives alone in 480 square feet of converted motel space next to a punk rock band, hundreds of miles from her friends and family. She works in a temporary accounting assignment that has somehow stretched from two weeks into nine months. And the only bright spot in her life, not to mention the only sex she’s had in two years, is an illicit affair with her married boss, Doug. Thirty is not at all what it is cracked up to be.

Then the reappearance of a cocktail napkin she hasn’t seen in a decade opens a long-forgotten door, and Marci’s life gets complicated, fast. The lines between right and wrong, fantasy and reality, heartache and happiness are all about to get very blurry, as Marci faces the most difficult choices of her life.

Excerpt One:

In her mind, she had ended it a thousand times. She would spend hours rehearsing three versions of the parting speech:
Doug, I can’t do this anymore. Neither of us intended this to happen, but it has to stop. I love you [should she say that?], but I can’t be responsible for breaking up a marriage, however unhappy it might be. I deserve better than this. I need someone free to make a life with me, and you are not. I know in my heart that part of you still loves Cathy, and I think you should return to her and really invest in your marriage.”
Magnanimous and melodramatic:
Listen, Doug. This has been wonderful; it really has. But it’s wrong and it’s been wrong from the start. It’s tearing me apart. I am not an adulteress; I deserve to be more than ‘the other woman.’ I can’t live with myself for another day this way, and I can’t let you do it, either. Go back to your wife, your home, the life that you chose all those years ago. I will treasure our time together and you have my word that I will never tell anyone about us.”
Jealous and generally pissed off:
Doug, your little weekend getaway with your wife gave me time to get clarity and realize that I am better than this situation, and better than you. If you loved me, you would no longer be married. If you loved your wife, you would not be with me. You act like this is torture for you, but really you’re just a typical cheating sleazebag who wants to have his cake and eat it, too. I want you out of my life forever. If you try to speak to me again, I will call Cathy and tell her everything. Get out.”
This last version was the most emotionally satisfying. She would march into work armed with these words, confident, resolute and ready to take back her life.
Until she saw him. She’d find a sticky note on her keyboard: “It was awful. I missed you.” Or he would pick her up at lunch, and instead of going back to her place, they would drive to the top of Mount Bonnell and look over the Texas hill country and talk. She would feebly threaten to end it, crying pathetically and remembering none of her kickass speeches.

So they limped along in a relationship netherworld—not together, not apart, each day full of the twin possibilities of limitless passion or goodbye forever. With stacks of invoices and mindless tasks in front of her each day, Marci had entirely too much time to contemplate both ends of the spectrum.
Today was no different, except for the fact that she was officially no longer wasting her late twenties in a hopeless relationship. Thirty had arrived, and a new decade was waiting. And there was an e-mail from Jake.

Regrets Only

Book Genre: Women’s Fiction/Contemporary Romance
Publisher: Flourish Publications (Self)
Release Date: July 2012
Buy Link(s):
  • Amazon Paperback:
  • Amazon Kindle:
  • Nook:
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  • Kobo:

Book Description:

At thirty-three, Suzanne Hamilton has it all.  A successful party-planning business with an elite client list.  A swank condo in a hot Atlanta neighborhood and a close group of friends – especially her longtime best friend Marci. A list of men a mile long who have tried to win her heart and failed. Plus, she’s just landed the event that will take her career and social status to the next level. What could she possibly have to regret?

Then a freak accident changes everything, and Suzanne discovers that her near-perfect life is just a few steps away from total disaster. She is humiliated and at risk of losing it all… except the surprising support of her newest celebrity client. With nothing else to go on, Suzanne follows him into an unexpected job and unfamiliar territory. Soon she will question everything – her career, her past, her friendships, and even her own dating rules.

But when her catalog of past relationships turns into a list of criminal suspects, she is faced with the horrifying possibility that she may not live to regret any of it…

Excerpt One:

She smiled broadly at him, remembering to show her teeth the way she’d been instructed before beauty pageants as a child. She could almost taste the Vaseline her mother made her rub on her top teeth to ensure they didn’t get smudged with lipstick. Smile. Be open.
Rick returned the smile with warmth. He also seemed to notice he’d been talking about himself for too long. “So tell me how you got started in the party planning business.”
Suzanne recounted briefly how she had been an art history major at the University of Georgia, desperately wanted to work as a museum curator, and how she’d taken the job on the event staff at the High Museum right after college. “Originally, I hoped the foot in the door at the museum would land me a job in procurement or something, but it never happened.”
Oh, I’m sorry,” Rick said sympathetically.
Suzanne shrugged. It turned out she had a knack for event planning. Something about the combination of creativity and crisis response. After a couple of years at the High, she had been hired away by a large event planning agency. She stayed there for a few years before creating her own boutique agency. Now she had one of the most successful, prestigious agencies in the city. People were often shocked to discover she and Chad were the only permanent staff. “We actually won an award last year,” she told Rick.
Sounds like you are quite the little rock star in the event planning world,” he said. “Or do you just plan events for rock stars?”
Normally very discreet about her clients, Suzanne couldn’t resist the opportunity to brag a little. “Actually, I am doing a benefit in a couple of weeks for Dylan Burke. Of course, he’s more a country star…”
Seriously? I was kidding about the whole rock star thing.”
A Southern lady is always modest, her mother’s voice chided her. “Well, it’s not that big of a deal,” Suzanne hedged. “It’s at my old stomping grounds at the High, which is probably why I got the job.”
Don’t sell yourself short,” Rick countered enthusiastically. “That’s awesome. He’s totally famous.”
She waved away the words with a manicured hand, but Rick was undeterred. “Seriously, you should be really proud of yourself. That’s a huge deal. Obviously you’ve earned quite a reputation for someone like Dylan Burke to choose you.”
His eyes held hers sincerely. Okay, Rick, ease up. We’ve already slept together. You can dial it down a tad.
Really, his manager chose me. I haven’t actually met him yet. We’ll see how it turns out,” she said, and pretended to be engrossed in the highlights of spring training on the TV over the bar. “How do you think the Braves will do this year?”

Baggage Check

Book Genre: Women’s Fiction/Romance
Publisher: Flourish Publications (Self)
Release Date: November 2013
Buy Link(s):
  • Amazon Paperback:
  • Amazon Kindle:
  • Nook:
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Book Description:

At thirty-five, Rebecca Williamson is surrounded by happy endings. Her friends Suzanne and Marci are living out their own personal fairy tales in Atlanta, Georgia. But despite Rebecca’s best efforts four years ago, her adorable college friend Jake Stillwell has officially slipped through her fingers and broken her heart. Even though her job as a flight attendant fits perfectly with her orderly nature, and brings her into contact with lots of eligible men, she can’t seem to find a man who is Jake’s equal.

Then a frantic phone call from her mother in Oreville, Alabama turns Rebecca’s structured life on its ear. She will find herself back in the tiny town she worked so hard to leave behind, and thrown together with Deputy Alex Chen, a face from the past who’s made it clear he thinks of Rebecca as more than just an old friend’s kid sister.

But Alex is nothing like what Rebecca had in mind; and in the meantime, she has other battles to fight, including her painful family history. Can she navigate the chaos and get her life back to normal? Will Alex prove himself to be the friend she's always needed? Or will she discover that the door to Jake is not as tightly closed as she thought?

Excerpt Two 

Rebecca Williamson picked up a smooth, rust-colored clay bowl for the fifth time in as many minutes. She ran her hand along the sloping curve from the base to the rim, and then bounced it lightly in her arms for heft. It was two pounds, she decided. Maybe two and a half once they had wrapped it for the plane. She put it down again and stepped back to look at the rest of the artist’s display, dusting her hands together.
Oh, just buy it already!” Valerie said from a few feet away. “I’ve gotten married after shorter courtships than you’re having with that bowl.”
I don’t need it,” Rebecca said.
It would look nice on your kitchen table. You never buy anything, Becky.” Valerie had been calling her “Becky” since she joined the airline three years before. For the first several months, Rebecca had corrected her. Now she just accepted it.
What would I do with it?” Rebecca said. “I mean, you can’t serve food in it, not that I ever cook anyway. I don’t have anything to store in it. And I’m never home to look at how my apartment is decorated. How is a red clay bowl necessary?”
Valerie rolled her eyes and patted Rebecca’s shoulder with a veined hand. “Life needs beauty, doll. Every girl should have something beautiful and useless in her life. Like my first husband, for example. That man was pure eye candy, but the poor idiot couldn’t change a light bulb.”
Rebecca laughed. She had never asked outright how many husbands Valerie had been through, but her current guess was four, and at least two of them had been pilots. Valerie was in her late sixties, ancient by flight attendant standards, and a legend among all the younger women they worked with. Rebecca had been paired with her during the first week of training and they had flown together more often than not since then. At first, Rebecca had resisted becoming Valerie’s protégé, but through sheer force of will and nonstop chatter, Valerie had become Rebecca’s only real friend at work. Tonight, they were in an artists’ co-op in New Mexico, killing time during an overnight layover.
Are you ready to go to the bar?” Rebecca asked her.
What’s your hurry?” Valerie said. “You never take anything home from there, either.”
Don’t start with that.”
What? Come on, you know I’m right. And don’t use me for an excuse, either. I may be an old lady but I know how to make myself scarce when I see a brassiere on the doorknob.”
An aproned woman behind the counter looked up, smirking.
Shh...” Rebecca hushed. But even she could not help but smile at the way Valerie said “brassiere on the doorknob” in her New York accent. Rebecca herself had never used this signal, but it had been a frequent sight in the sorority house at the University of Georgia. She tried to imagine finding one of Valerie’s big beige contraptions hanging on their hotel room door and shuddered.
Ready to go?” she asked again.
Oh, alright,” Valerie said. “Just let me add this to my collection.” She held up a blue-glazed mug that had been formed to look like the squished-down face of an old man.
Several of Rebecca’s coworkers kept little collections from places they visited—postcards, spoons, shot glasses, snow globes, you name it. There was a sort of unspoken code that it was only acceptable to collect items from cities you had truly visited, meaning you had to leave the airport for more than a couple of hours. Even so, Rebecca could not understand this tradition. Yes, it was cute in the moment, but they went so many places. What did you do with all that crap? Put it in a box so you could re-live your glory days of passing out peanuts? Have it gather dust on the shelves while other people pretended to be interested at parties?
Once or twice, something had caught Rebecca’s eye, particularly when they flew to exotic locations. A tiny but exquisite crystal vase from Waterford in Ireland. Hand-carved candlesticks painted black and inlaid with gold in Toledo, Spain. A set of Russian dolls in Moscow. Each time, she had stood paralyzed in the gift shop, debating why she needed this thing and where she would put it and how often she would really look at it. Then she would sigh, and to the dismay of each patient shop owner, return the item to the shelf and walk out. Except for an irresistible silk scarf from Milan and an emergency t-shirt she’d been forced to buy in New York, Rebecca had not bought souvenirs anywhere. Once in a while she regretted this, but never for long. She would deposit the amount of the foregone purchase into her savings account with satisfaction and move on. Always move on.

Follow The Tour Here

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

A Talk with J.J. (James) DiBenedetto

1. Do you plot or do you write by the seat of your pants?

I’d say I’m somewhere in the middle. I have a general idea of the plot and usually a very clear idea of what the ending will be, and some scenes I know I want to include, but I don’t have a strict outline, and in every book, some subplots and secondary characters end up surprising me.

2. What do you know now that you are published that you didn’t know pre-published that you wish you knew?

How hard the marketing and selling process is. It’s MUCH harder than actually writing the books!

3. Describe your book.

DREAM REUNION is the sixth book in my Dream Series. The books follow Sara, a woman with the ability to see into other people’s dreams. In this novel, Sara is going back for her ten-year college reunion, and she begins seeing the dreams of someone – one of her old classmates – whose life is going down the tubes, and she can help – if she can only figure out who it is, and what to actually do!

4. What place that you haven’t visited would you like to go?

I’d like to see Rome properly. I was only there for an afternoon – I had to cut short a visit that was supposed to be three days. Both because it’s a beautiful city, full of history; but also because it’s my roots, and I still have family there who I’ve never met.

5. What’s your favorite thing about your book?

I really think I’ve found a good balance between romance, suspense and the everyday challenges of life, and it makes the book feel very real and relatable.

6. What is the one thing your hero would do that you wouldn’t?

It’s not just one thing! She’s a LOT braver than I am, and she’s not afraid to look silly while doing what she wants (or needs) to do.

7. What did you enjoy most about writing this book?

Reconnecting with old friends from college. The very first book in the series, DREAM STUDENT, is set at a (very) thinly veiled version of the college I actually attended, and it’s set when I was there, in 1989-90. So in this book, when Sara goes back for her reunion, I reached out to people from my class to see what they remembered about their ten-year reunion (sadly, I didn’t go myself) and what they were doing at the time, and I incorporated some of that into the book.

8. What was the hardest scene to write?

The hardest scene in the entire series was the chapter in the fourth book, DREAM FAMILY, when Sara is arrested, and horribly mistreated during her brief stay in jail. It kept me up nights, hating myself for what I was doing to her.

9. What was your favorite scene to write?

That’s hard to say. Probably the first time we properly meet Lizzie, Sara’s daughter, in the third book, DREAM CHILD. She’s such a fun character to write for, especially the four-year-old, frighteningly precocious version of her.

10. What are your five favorite books, and why?

WINTER’S TALE by Mark Helprin. It’s simply the best book I’ve ever read, with the most beautiful language. Just amazing. MORDANT’S NEED by Stephen R. Donaldson. I’ve been a huge fan of his since I was 12 or 13, and I love all his work, but this is his “lightest” and most accessible series, and also the most fun. THE VENETIAN’S WIFE by Nick Bantock. I like all his work, especially the visual and tactile creativity of his books. But something about this story in particular really speaks to me. HOGFATHER by Terry Pratchett. It’s the ultimate Christmas story, isn’t it? You’ve got assassins, wizards, death, Death, strange rituals involving children’s teeth and wild boars. What more could you ask for? E by Matt Beaumont. I love the way the story is told entirely through emails, and it’s the most honest view of a modern workplace I’ve ever seen.

Author Bio

J.J. (James) DiBenedetto was born in Yonkers, New York. He attended Case Western Reserve University, where as his classmates can attest, he was a complete nerd. Very little has changed since then.

He currently lives in Arlington, Virginia with his beautiful wife and their cat (who has thoroughly trained them both). When he's not writing, James works in the direct marketing field, enjoys the opera, photography and the New York Giants, among other interests.

The "Dreams" series is James' first published work.

Book Blurb

"I wish someone - my mother, my husband, anybody - would really let me have it, instead of telling me everything's not my fault when it obviously is..."

Sara's seen the cost of interfering in other people's dreams firsthand; it's measured in ruined lives and cemetery plots.

When her supernatural dreams start up again, Sara is faced with problem after problem. And the only solution she can see is the one she's sworn never to attempt - changing the minds of the dreamers from the inside-out.

Sara thought that fighting against serial killers, mobsters and crooked politicians was difficult, but she's about to come up against the most difficult foe she's ever faced: her own conscience.

Dream Reunion is the emotional sixth book in the Dream Series.

Monday, January 20, 2014


by Shaunna Wolf


Malachi Blackfeather has spent twenty years in the Army. Two of those years as a Vietnam POW. Now that he's out, all he wants is some peace and quiet to figure out what to do with the rest of his life. Between the flashbacks, and an over interest in sex that is now being called sex addiction, finding his path isn't easy.

Kat is trying to escape an abusive marriage. Her soon to be ex is a master at manipulating the system, and her family thinks she should stay with him, "because no other man will want her". She's looking for escape in any form she can get it.

When they meet, sparks fly. Trapped by a blizzard, can two damaged people, who think there is no chance of love in the world for them, find each other, and survive an unforeseen circumstance that puts both of them in danger?

Mystery, romance, and danger, fill this novel, with a story that will draw you in and not let go.


The inside of the room wasn’t much warmer than outside, an absence of wind the only difference. Kat sat at the table with a blanket around her shoulders and one around her legs. She’d found a deck of cards and had a game of solitaire laid out.

“Restaurant’s got generators,” I said.

She moved a card, then another, in the light of the lantern Johnny’d left behind for us. Acted as if I wasn’t there.

“Hot food, maybe catch some sleep without freezing to death?”

“Not fucking going over there,” she said and moved another card.

“You want to freeze to death?”

“Not any more than you do. All the people from the rooms are going to be over there, all the mother-fucking, stranded-truckers are going to be over there.”

“And that’s where we should be, until the power comes back up.”

In a sudden move, she shoved the cards off the table and fled to the corner of the room. Sank down to the floor. She pulled the blankets up over her head. “Not going. Get away from me, you don’t understand.”

I stared at her, thought she was crying under those blankets. “Kat, Jake’s not coming back.”

Her laughter came. “I know that, asshole. Get away from me.”

Completely baffled, I sat on the floor in front of her. Sat in silence, while my hands grew colder. “Explain to me why you want to sit in this frozen room, versus a nice warm dining room with some hot coffee and some food?”

“You’re the same thing I am,” she said.

“What?” We were Indian? I needed to see her face to know what was going on.

“You going over there to hunt?”

Hunt? Hunt? What was she talking about?

“Going to bring her back here? Hope she has a room, find a storeroom, the bathrooms, share her with me?”

Understanding dawned. What I called my soul’s demon, she saw as hunting. I clearly knew I wouldn’t be having her again, not to get to finish what I started, not to find out if this strange woman could make me feel more than once. Her hunter didn’t want me anymore. Why that disappointed me, I didn’t know, my demon should have been done with her--only mine wasn’t, it hadn’t gotten its release, her hunter had.

“If I start the car, will you sit out there?”

“I really want to be alone, I don’t, but I have to be right now.”

“I’m going to leave the keys,” I said. I didn’t tell her how to start the standard, her RT was a standard as well. “It gets too cold in here, go sit in the car.”

“Are you going?”

“Yes,” I said quietly.

“Thank you,” she said.

“For what?”

“Not hunting me tonight, saving me, helping me. I’m not worth it, you know.”

“Everybody has worth, Kat. Everyone. Even people like us.”

“Only we aren’t quite human are we?”

I set the keys on the table and left the room.

AUTHOR Bio and Links:

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Friday, January 17, 2014

Charred Heart


A modern day retelling of “Beauty and the Beast”

***Recommended for ages 18+ due to multiple, creative, detailed, steamy, sexy-time adult situations.***

For a thousand years, Chace has searched for a way to break the curse placed on him by a jilted lover. He’s a dragon shifter, one who can’t control when the magic will force him into a different form. He’s already lost everyone he ever cared about a few times over and doesn’t know how much longer he’s meant to suffer.

At his wit’s end, he makes a deal with a mysterious figure that offers him what he wants most – an end to his misery – in exchange for everything that’s his: His life, his power. His heart.

The next day, he meets Skylar, a modern day dragon slayer whose mission is to cage him – or kill him. Sexy, witty and brave, she is the yin to his yang, the woman destined to break the curse, balance his magic and make his broken heart whole.

Except it’s too late. Not only has he sealed his fate, but an innocent one-night-stand with Skylar has dragged her into the middle of a deal with the devil, one she won’t escape, if he can’t convince her that dragon shifters aren’t her enemies.

Chapter One


“You ate your pizza, which means you can’t be too sick to drink your beer,” Gunner observed.



“Yeah,” Chace replied. “I talked to him.”




“He’ll give me what I want,” Chace replied. “Doesn’t seem to be any strings attached. Just wants me and everything I own, which is basically just my bike at this point.”



“You remember Steven?” he asked.




“Last week. I got an email from his son. He left me spare parts in his will.” Chace chuckled. “Think he liked the bike more than me, but he was …”



Lizzy Ford is the author of over twenty books written for young adult and adult paranormal romance readers, to include the internationally bestselling “Rhyn Trilogy,” “Witchling Series” and the “War of Gods” series. Considered a freak of nature by her peers for the ability to write and release a commercial quality novel in under a month, Lizzy has focused on keeping her readers happy by producing brilliant, gritty romances that remind people why true love is a trial worth enduring.

Lizzy’s books can be found on every major ereader library, to include: Amazon, Barnes and Noble, iBooks, Kobo, Sony and Smashwords. She lives in southern Arizona with her husband, three dogs and a cat.

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Wednesday, January 15, 2014

A Visit with Diane Burton

1. How long have you been writing?

I’ve been writing (for publication) since 1993. Switched, a science fiction romance, was released in 2001. For various reasons, my next book wasn’t published until 2011. Since then, I have four science fiction romances published and my first romantic suspense, One Red Shoe.

2. How did you pick the genre you write in?

I’m a science fiction movie buff, but found few sf books with a good romance so I wrote my own. Since my first book, I’ve found many sf romances. I also like a good suspense story, which my sf rom books have. In between those books, I wrote several romantic suspenses. One Red Shoe is my first to find a good home at The Wild Rose Press.

3. Do you plot or do you write by the seat of your pants?

Definitely seat of the pants. My Muse sends the first sentence zinging into my brain and my imagination takes off. She’s not always happy when I don’t keep that sentence as the first. LOL Usually around chapter eight, though, I have to plot. Otherwise, the story goes off on tangents.

4. Tell me one thing about yourself that very few people know?

I watch Disney movies, even without my grandkiddies. Mulan and Brave are my favorites.

5. Describe your book.

One Red Shoe is a road trip book. In New York City for a writers’ conference, my heroine runs into a wounded spy in the ladies’ restroom. Always a soft touch when it comes to the wounded, she gets him away from the guys who want to kill him.

6. What three things would you want with you on a desert island?

My Kindle and a solar charger. Not sure if there is such a thing, but I’d need it. I know you said “things”, but I’d have to want my husband, too. Besides the company, he can build anything.

7. What place that you haven’t visited would you like to go?

Alaska. I planned an Alaskan cruise for our 25th wedding anniversary. Unfortunately, my husband was downsized. We just celebrated our 41st and still haven’t made it. We will, one of these days.

8. What is the one thing your heroine would do that you wouldn’t?

Rescuing a wounded stranger. I’d call 911 then beat it out of there.

9. Where do you write?

On my laptop in the living room. Never mind I have a lovely desk that Hubs made. We just moved into a new house and as soon as he finishes off the basement, I’ll have an office where I can write at that beautiful desk.

10. Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?

Good question, one I’ve never been asked before. I grew up in a semi-rural area with no kids my age close by. When I wasn’t weeding the garden or helping Mom with my younger brothers and sisters, I read. Books were my escape. It seems natural to carry that further into writing my own stories.

Author Bio

Diane Burton combines her love of mystery, adventure, science fiction and romance into writing romantic fiction. Besides the science fiction romance Switched series, she is the author of The Pilot, the first book in a series about strong women on the frontier of space. One Red Shoe is her first romantic suspense. She is also a contributor to the anthology How I Met My Husband. Diane and her husband live in Michigan.

They have two children and two grandchildren. For more info and excerpts from her books, visit Diane’s website:

Book Blurb:

Daria’s life is too predictable. Nothing ever happens in her small Iowa town. But when she travels to NYC looking for a little excitement, she never expects to find a wounded spy. For Sam, nothing is worse than getting shot in the butt—except accepting help from a tourist. As they flee cross country with assassins right behind them, she wants to believe they belong together while he’s convinced she’s better off without him.

One Red Shoe is available at:
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And wherever ebooks are sold.

Diane is giving away $20 eGift Card from Amazon or Barnes & Noble.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Hurricane Crimes

Chrys Fey
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After her car breaks down, Beth Kennedy is forced to stay in Florida, the target of Hurricane Sabrina. She stocks up supplies, boards up windows, and hunkers down to wait out the storm, but her plan unravels when she witnesses a car accident. Risking her life, she braves the winds to save the driver. Just when she believes they are safe, she finds out the man she saved could possibly be more dangerous than the severe weather.

Donovan Goldwyn only wanted to hide from the police, but the hurricane shoved his car into a tree. Now he's trapped with a beautiful woman while the evidence that can prove his innocence to a brutal crime is out there for anyone to find.

As Hurricane Sabrina wreaks havoc, Beth has no other choice but to trust Donovan to stay alive. But will she survive, or will she become another hurricane crime?


On the television set, which was fighting to stay alive, was breaking news. She caught bits and pieces of it as she emptied the bowl of blood-tainted water and threw out the cloth. It was about a high-speed chase that had occurred about a half-hour ago. Beth shook her head. Apparently, Donovan wasn’t the only idiot driving around during a hurricane.

She went back into the living room and began replacing all the medical supplies into the first-aid kit. Behind her, a reporter was explaining that the driver of the car was believed to be a murder suspect.

“The name of the—”

The lights flashed, prompting Beth to snatch up her flashlight.

“Donovan Goldwyn.”

Her fingers went cold around the plastic tube as ice frosted her veins. She straightened her spine and turned stiffly to the television, her heart wasn’t beating in her chest. On the screen was the picture of the man who was right now changing in her bedroom. Above it was a caption in bold letters that read—SUSPECT.

She gripped the flashlight in her frozen fingers. Her heart thudded fearfully. She stared into the immobilized violet eyes through the glass.

“Oh my god,” she gasped.

She had brought a murderer into her home!


Chrys Fey is the author of the short stories—The Summer Bride and Fallen. She created the blog Write with Fey to offer aspiring writers advice and inspiration. She lives in Florida where she is ready to battle the next hurricane that comes her way. /

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Monday, January 13, 2014

Always and Forever Love

by Lynn Crandall

The presence of a ghost in her life doesn't alarm Lacey Aegar, in fact it makes her happy. Two and a half years ago when her dead husband Nicholas reappeared in her life as a full-bodied spirit, she questioned her sanity. But with Nicholas' explanation that there are things about life that are not as she's always believed, she settled into a pleasant routine of working with her sister at their private investigation business and enjoying home life with her now 10-year-old son – with Nicholas never very far away.

Lacey's complacency and sense of stability is sent topsy-turvy when she runs into Jackson Carter, the son of powerful and influential business tycoon, William Carter. Typical of the Carter reputation, Jackson's slick new private investigating business is siphoning off clients from the Aegar sisters' business, creating financial difficulty. It's a recurring nightmare for Lacey, who has already seen damage done by the Carter family, and when she encounters Jackson, she wants nothing to do with him.

But things are not what they seem when it comes to Jackson Carter, either. Unbeknownst to Lacey and her sister, Jackson is fighting a battle to preserve his business, too, and his integrity. For him, it's a fight for his soul, and he enlists Lacey's help because of her unique investigative skills and open heart. When she uncovers a mole in his business, she also discovers that one of his clients' drug trials has been given the green light to go to the next phase based on falsified data. As they work together to save both their businesses, Jackson and Lacey not only face death, they come to grips with their feelings about love and life. With Nicholas's help, Lacey comes to understand that love is always and forever, but in choosing Jackson, she chooses a full life, a life worth living.


Lacey Aegar's husband was killed, but he had stayed around as a ghost to comfort her. She and her sister run a private investigating agency when a new bigger agency comes into town. This agency is run by the son of a man who has left a scorched earth in his wake so Lacy already doesn't like the son.

This romance was sweet and short and I really enjoyed it. I call it a palate cleanser. When you are eating a multi-course dinner, sometimes you are served something like champagne sorbet to get your taste buds ready for the next course. It clears your palate of the taste of the last course. As in the champagne sorbet, it is useful and flavorful at the same time.



Noting that the receptionist’s desk was empty, Lacey glanced at the wall clock and casually wondered why Michelle wasn’t at her desk by 10:30 a.m. But the thought was quickly forgotten when sounds of anguish spilled out from behind the door of the private office she shared with Sterling.

“I can’t believe it!” Sterling fumed.

“Can’t believe what?” Lacey walked to her desk and tossed her purse in a nearby chair, slightly alarmed by her sister’s dismay.

“Oh, when it rains it pours, I guess.” Sterling’s sleek, chestnut hair fell over her face as she leaned her head on her hands.

“If it weren’t for bad luck we’d have no luck at all?”

“We’re between a rock and a hard place,” Sterling came back with from under her hair.

“Well, what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.” It was a common game for the sisters, something to test their edge and sometimes to relieve stress. But Lacey knew this time something was serious. “Wanna tell me what’s up?”

Sterling lifted her head but didn’t meet Lacey’s eyes. “I just got off the phone with my husband. Ben said the word from the higher-ups is keep the overtime down.”

“I see. Well, that will give you more time together. He’s been working an awful lot of hours lately. Homicide work can be very taxing. It’ll be good for him to have more time with you and the family.”

Sterling sighed, shifting back into her seat, before turning a sad face to her. “Always looking on the bright side, aren’t you, sis. Well, there’s more. The city is negotiating with the police union, but so far it looks like the cost of health insurance is going to go way up.”

“Oh, more out-of-pocket expenses.” Lacey knew that Sterling and Ben wouldn’t scrimp on health care for one-year-old Joshua—the namesake of Sterling and Lacey’s father—but with the agency’s dwindling income, the couple had alrea

dy tightened their belt. “A few more macaroni-and-cheese dinners?” she offered halfheartedly.

Then Sterling delivered the final blow. “Lacey, this building’s being sold and the new owners are announcing a raise in the rent.” She grabbed the rental agreement papers from her desk and shook them in the air. “It’s the curse, all over again.”

Lacey knew exactly what her sister was talking about. It was something they jokingly attributed life’s challenges to—the Aegar Curse. It had been haunting them since their father’s death when they were young girls. In moments of lightheartedness or when no other explanations made sense of things, they joked that the curse was handed down from their mother’s side. A great-great-great-grandfather spit on somebody’s grave and— voila! The Aegar curse was born and now signified the sisters’ only inheritance from their maternal side.

She knew that neither one seriously believed in a family curse. Their father had been a cop and it was a criminal who took his life. When their mother had become clinically depressed, it was the loss of her husband that was to blame, not a curse. And when Lacey’s husband was killed by the same crime family that stole their father’s life, it was a perverted mind that pulled the trigger. Still, in the deepest parts of her heart, sad questions remained, stabbing her like hot steel and wondering, why?

“I don’t know what to do, sis.” Sterling shook her head and slumped into the couch that stood against the far wall of the office. “I love what we do. I love this office. I love this couch, the file cabinet. But we’ve lost too many clients to Carter, Inc. He’s like a vacuum sweeper, sucking up all the work. He’s the shiny new thing in town so he’s attractive, but it’s not fair. We’ve worked hard for what we’ve built and we are good at what we do.”

“Hello?” Lacey’s heart leapt into her throat as speak-of-the-devil Jackson Carter poked his head through their office door.

“Can I help you?” Sterling stood and walked toward the man.

“I didn’t see anyone at the front desk and I heard someone was looking for a vacuum sweeper.” Jackson’s eyes sparkled mischievously.

Lacey blinked hard. Words stuck in her mouth. This ubiquitous devil was starting to make a habit of taking her off guard. Deliberately, she turned to her sister. “Sterling, this is Jackson Carter. Mr. Carter, this is my sister and partner, Sterling.”

“Aka, vacuum sweeper.” Jackson stepped forward, his eyes a little too merry, and offered his hand.

As Sterling, looking more than a little awkward, stuck out her hand to the wise guy and acknowledged the introduction, Lacey heard the outer door open and close. Why didn’t I hear that a minute ago? A little warning would have been nice? Where are those keen PI skills when I need them?

AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Bio: Lynn Crandall lives in the Midwest and writes in the company of her two cats. She has been a reader and a writer all her life. Her background is in journalism, but whether writing a magazine or newspaper story or creating a romance, she loves the power stories hold to transport, inspire, and uplift. In her romances, she focuses on vulnerable, embraceable characters who don't back down. She hopes that readers discover, over and over, stories of ordinary people who face ordinary life challenges and are transformed by extraordinary love.


Saturday, January 11, 2014


After listening to some great marketing advice today, I've decided to make some changes to this blog.

I started out 2014 knowing that this would be a year of changes. I've decided to be proactive and make some on my own.

Fewer guest blogs, more of my posts.

What will I talk about? Probably a little bit about writing. Some about other passions such as cars, animals and being an EMT which I have a chance to be again this year. Though I probably won't be doing it in a clinical setting.

I'm excited and nervous for these changes, but I hope you all as my readers look forward to them.

I have a few more guest posts until the end of January and I plan on putting mine up also.

We'll see how it goes.