Mae Clair: 31 Days of Halloween G*I*VE*A*W*A*Y

It’s here! Halloween has officially arrived.

To celebrate, there is a huge giveaway going on at Brynna Curry’s blog haunt where all manner of goodies are up for grabs. I’m giving away an ebook copy of WEATHERING ROCK among the many offerings that can be tucked into your trick or treat bag.

Hop on over for the complete goodie list and to snatch up a few treats!

Mae Clair: Winners and Travel!

I’m pleased to announce the winners from my Howloween Hop giveaway. I hope everyone had as much fun as I did, and that you’re all safe and dry now that the worst of Superstorm Sandy seems to be behind us. I know many areas are still without power, battling cleanup or buried under snow. Talk about a Halloween Trick!  Wow! At least I can offer some treats:

The winner of my $15.00 gift card to Amazon or Barnes and Noble is:
Shadow

The winner of my novel WEATHERING ROCK for Kindle or Nook is:
throuthehaze

Winners, please be on the lookout for an email from me telling you how to claim your prizes.

At this point, I’d also like to invite you to ride along with me as I hop over to Trish Jackson’s blog haunt, Romance Ramble, where I’ll be blabbing about WEATHERING ROCK, Caleb and Arianna again.

We’ll catch a ride with the hunky, courtly colonel on his horse, Ranger. Who could resist that?  ;-)

For a complete list of all my tour stops visit my WEATHERING ROCK Tour Schedule page. Caleb, Arianna and I have a lot of sharing to do!

Mae Clair’s Mythical Monday with G*I*V*E*A*W*A*Y: A Ghost Story

It’s a Mythical Monday, and also the last day for Howloween Hop. For a list of all participating authors, visit the Blog Hop Howloween event page. There are lots of treats to be had!

I will be giving away two prizes:

A $15.00 gift card to Amazon or Barnes & Noble (winner’s choice)

A copy of my paranormal / time travel release, WEATHERING ROCK in Kindle or Nook format (winner’s choice)

Read through to discover how you can win. I hope you’ll also take a moment to sit back as I share a ghost story in honor of Mythical Monday. Normally, I would delve into legend or a bit of folklore that intrigues me for an MM post, but today I’m going to share something personal.

My father. Burma, India. WWII

Those of you who follow my blog regularly have probably seen one or two posts related to my father. He died of cancer when I was 13. I’m the youngest of four siblings and came as a late-in-life-baby to my parents. My mother was 39 when I was born, my father 40.  There aren’t many people my age who can say their father was a veteran of WWII, but I have several friends who are able to say that about their grandparents.

Growing up, I never really considered how much older my parents were, probably because they supported me in everything I did. When it came to writing, they were my biggest fans.I inherited my gift for words from my dad. He used to dabble with writing when he was young, but his real passion was art.

When WWII ended he left the service and enrolled in art college. His preferred medium was oil paints but, occasionally, he worked with charcoal, pastels and even water colors. After art college, he returned to the service where he stayed for the Korean War. That’s how he met my mom – – teaching at a war barracks. According to my mother, he walked into the restaurant her parents owned, ordered a ham and cheese sandwich, and her mother asked her to take it to his table. The rest, as they say, is history. :)

So what’s with the ghost story?

When my father was in art school, he lived with his older brother, and his brother’s family. My Uncle Ross and Aunt Judy had several young children at the time, who found my father extremely engaging. To indulge his nieces and nephew, he painted a whimsical representation of a flibbertigibbet for them. Sort of a scatterbrained, mischievous imp. Keep in mind he painted this years before he married my mother. No one in my family knew the painting existed (although we do have several others he did after he and my mother married).

Fast-forward to about a year ago when two of my cousins and I hooked up through email. We’ve never met, and they live in a different state. I can’t even remember how we found one another, but we did. Talk about exciting! Then I learned my father had painted something for them when they were kids, and they promised to ship it to me.

There were obstacles along the way, so it took some time, but it finally arrived last week. When I saw the box, I asked my husband to help me open it, saying “I want to see my Dad’s painting.” At that precise moment, there was a crash.

I had no clue what it was, but I remember jumping and asking “What was that?” My husband was coming from the other room and hadn’t heard it. Not seeing anything out of the ordinary, and excited about the painting, I quickly forgot about it.

The next morning as I was coming down the steps, I noticed two of the framed pictures on the drum table in my formal living room were lying face down. I asked my husband about them, and he said “That must have been the crash you heard last night.”

Onyx, the drum table, and the bow window. One of his favorite perches.

I put them back in place and joked, saying it must have been our cat, Onyx, wanting to get in the bow window (we had to put Onyx to sleep last January because of cancer). It wasn’t until I was on my way to work that morning that I mulled it over some more, remembering when the crash occurred – – precisely when I wanted to open the painiting.

When I got home that night, I examined the pictures – – two ordinary family photos – – one of me with my sisters and one with my husband.

Are you familiar with the folding leg behind a frame that holds a picture upright? Fold it in, and the picture falls backward. Gravity will not allow it to fall forward unless it’s pushed or something propels it.

Hmm.

When my cousin shipped the painting to me, she sent an email that said, “Somehow I feel as though I’ve sent it home to where it should be.”

The flibbertigibbet painting, over 60 years old.

Had my father made his presence felt, welcoming home something he’d painted over sixty-odd years in the past? Or was it perhaps my mother (who died this summer), excited to see a work she’d never known about? There is no rational explanation to explain how those photos fell forward, not backward. I usually don’t buy into things like that but, in this case, I can’t chalk it up to coincidence.

Yeah, Dad. I know you were there.

So, for today’s Mythical Monday, and to be entered into the last day of my Howloween Hop gift drawing, leave a comment with your email. Do you have a favorite ghostly story, real or fictional? What gives you shivers?

I’ll be announcing the winner tomorrow on my blog, so check back to see if you’ve won. I also hope you’ll give WEATHERING ROCK a look-see. If you like werewolves, hunky heroes and romance, I think you’ll enjoy what’s in store.

And, finally, although I’m not making it mandatory, I would really LOVE if you’d sign up to follow my blog, and/or give my Facebook Author Page a “Like.” Really, guys, you can’t lose! I talk about some interesting stuff! :D

Happy Howloween!

Mae Clair: It’s Howloween H*O*P Time!

Pumpkin weather is here. Ghost, ghouls and goblins roam the night, and the moon is a bloated orb of crimson and tangerine. It must be Howloween Hop time!

As a new author, this is only the second hop I’ve participated in. I had such a blast the last time, making many new friends, that I’m thrilled to be back and taking part in the latest funfest Drea Becraft has put together.

For a complete list of all participating authors, visit the Howloween Hop Event Page. The Hop runs through Monday 10/29 at midnight. I’ll be announcing the winner of the two prizes I’m giving away on Tuesday, October 30th, so check back to see if you’ve won.

I’LL BE AWARDING:
A $15.00 gift card to Amazon or Barnes & Noble (Winner’s Choice)

A copy of my new PNR/time-travel release WEATHERING ROCK for Kindle or Nook (Winner’s Choice)

So, as long as you’re here, grab some treats from my virtual goodie bag (I’ve got Rice Krispie Jack-o-Lanterns, chocolate spider clusters, peanut butter eyeball cookies, gummy worms, and marshmallow ghosts) and discover how a colonel from the Civil War, rival werewolves, and a modern day history teacher all connect.

I’d like to introduce you to Caleb DeCardian and Arianna Hart, the hero and heroine of WEATHERING ROCK.

As a former colonel for the Union Army during the Civil War, Caleb is used to being in charge and having others respond to his orders without question. Shortly after the Battle of Gettysburg, he’s transported to the 21st Century by a shower of ball lightning.

When WEATHERING ROCK opens, he’s already been living in the present for three years, hunting for the man who doomed him to life as a werewolf. Seth Reilly is his former friend, now a bitter rival, and the man responsible for cursing him with lycanthropy.

For someone who thrives on being in control, Caleb finds himself at the whim of a curse he’s powerless to resist, while facing the challenges of a new and confusing century. He has a highly defined sense of right and wrong; is noble at heart, but conflicted by what he’s become.

Then he meets Arianna Hart, my heroine, and suddenly he’s battling a different set of feelings. Romantic feelings.

Arianna finds Caleb bewildering, yet intriguing: courtly manners, smoldering sensuality and eyes that glow silver at night? When she sees Civil War photographs featuring a Union officer who looks exactly like Caleb, she begins to understand the man she is falling in love with harbors multiple secrets–some of which threaten the possibility of their happiness.

The path to true love and an HEA is never smooth, but these two have enormous odds stacked against them!

WEATHERING ROCK EXCERPT

“Stop it!” Arianna shook off Wyn’s grip, pivoting to face him. “Are you crazy?”

Before he could answer, something slammed against the door. Caleb screamed. The sound knifed through her like the violent jolt of an electrical wire.

“Caleb!” She launched herself at the door, panicked and terrified by the thought of the man she loved in horrific pain.

“Don’t!” Wyn stiff-armed her aside and grabbed the knob, forcibly holding it in place. “Get a chair. Something, anything! We’ve got to keep him locked inside.”

“What are you talking about?”

“Arianna, get a fricking chair. Now!”

There was another crash, and then a bang as something heaved against the door, making it shudder from top to bottom. Arianna heard a snarl that turned her blood to ice. The door rattled in its frame, weakening as something battered against it. Something inhuman locked in the room with Caleb.

A cold fist clamped over her stomach.

“Wyn, what’s going on?”

“Chair!” he spat. “Get me a damn chair.”

The raw urgency of his voice plowed through her confusion. She darted into the dining room, snagged a chair, and dragged it into the hallway. The thing in the parlor was still hammering away, heaving itself against the door in an attempt to burst through. Wyn’s face was white with strain as he struggled to hold the door shut with both hands. He rammed the top of the chair beneath the knob, wedging it securely into place. A blood-thirsty howl exploded from the other side, kicking Arianna’s heartbeat into overdrive.

“My God, Wyn, what’s going on?” She lurched for the door.

“Don’t. You don’t know what you’re doing.” Wyn caught her around the waist and swung her up against the wall.

She tried to squirm free. “I know Caleb’s trapped in there. We have to help him! There’s something in the room. Can’t you hear it?”

He held her wrists, pinning her arms to the wall. “Listen to me!” His eyes were wild, his face inches from hers. With a single frenetic skip of her heart, she realized he was as terrified as she was.

“There’s nothing in the room. Only Caleb. Do you hear me, Arianna? It’s Caleb.”

“No!” She shook her head, unwilling to believe what he told her, but another ear-splitting snarl fanned her fear higher. Nothing made sense. Not the stark fear in Wyn’s eyes, the sweat-slickened grip of his palms crushing her wrists or the chillingly inhuman sounds coming from the parlor. The man she loved could never sound so guttural or barbarous.

“I don’t care!” She ripped free of his hold. “I don’t care if he’s by himself or in there with something else. You have to help him!”

She lunged for the door, but Wyn grappled her around the waist, holding fast. They were still struggling when the sound of shattering glass rang through the narrow center hall of Weathering Rock.

WEATHERING ROCK is available for purchase at:
Amazon

Barnes and Noble

Kobo

Lyrical Press

iBooks

View Book Trailer for WEATHERING ROCK

I hope you’re intrigued!

To be entered into my Howloween Hop gift drawings, leave a comment with your email . . . What’s your favorite part of Halloween?

And, although I’m not making it mandatory, I would really LOVE if you’d sign up to follow my blog, and/or give my Facebook Author Page a Like. Really, guys, you can’t lose! I talk about some interesting stuff! :D

Mae Clair: It’s Howloween H*O*P Time!

Pumpkin weather is here. Ghost, ghouls and goblins roam the night, and the moon is a bloated orb of crimson and tangerine. It must be Howloween Hop time!

As a new author, this is only the second hop I’ve participated in. I had such a blast the last time, making many new friends, that I’m thrilled to be back and taking part in the latest funfest Drea Becraft has put together.

For a complete list of all participating authors, visit the Howloween Hop Event Page. The Hop runs through Monday 10/29 at midnight. I’ll be announcing the winner of the two prizes I’m giving away on Tuesday, October 30th, so check back to see if you’ve won.

I’LL BE AWARDING:
A $15.00 gift card to Amazon or Barnes & Noble (Winner’s Choice)

A copy of my new paranormal / time-travel release WEATHERING ROCK for Kindle or Nook (Winner’s Choice)

So, as long as you’re here, grab some treats from my virtual goodie bag (I’ve got Rice Krispie Jack-o-Lanterns, chocolate spider clusters, peanut butter eyeball cookies, gummy worms, and marshmallow ghosts) and discover how a colonel from the Civil War, rival werewolves, and a modern day history teacher all connect.

I’d like to introduce you to Caleb DeCardian and Arianna Hart, the hero and heroine of WEATHERING ROCK.

As a former colonel for the Union Army during the Civil War, Caleb is used to being in charge and having others respond to his orders without question. Shortly after the Battle of Gettysburg, he’s transported to the 21st Century by a shower of ball lightning.

When WEATHERING ROCK opens, he’s already been living in the present for three years, hunting for the man who doomed him to life as a werewolf. Seth Reilly is his former friend, now a bitter rival, and the man responsible for cursing him with lycanthropy.

For someone who thrives on being in control, Caleb finds himself at the whim of a curse he’s powerless to resist, while facing the challenges of a new and confusing century. He has a highly defined sense of right and wrong; is noble at heart, but conflicted by what he’s become.

Then he meets Arianna Hart, my heroine, and suddenly he’s battling a different set of feelings. Romantic feelings.

Arianna finds Caleb bewildering, yet intriguing: courtly manners, smoldering sensuality and eyes that glow silver at night? When she sees Civil War photographs featuring a Union officer who looks exactly like Caleb, she begins to understand the man she is falling in love with harbors multiple secrets–some of which threaten the possibility of their happiness.

The path to true love and an HEA is never smooth, but these two have enormous odds stacked against them!

WEATHERING ROCK EXCERPT

“Stop it!” Arianna shook off Wyn’s grip, pivoting to face him. “Are you crazy?”

Before he could answer, something slammed against the door. Caleb screamed. The sound knifed through her like the violent jolt of an electrical wire.

“Caleb!” She launched herself at the door, panicked and terrified by the thought of the man she loved in horrific pain.

“Don’t!” Wyn stiff-armed her aside and grabbed the knob, forcibly holding it in place. “Get a chair. Something, anything! We’ve got to keep him locked inside.”

“What are you talking about?”

“Arianna, get a fricking chair. Now!”

There was another crash, and then a bang as something heaved against the door, making it shudder from top to bottom. Arianna heard a snarl that turned her blood to ice. The door rattled in its frame, weakening as something battered against it. Something inhuman locked in the room with Caleb.

A cold fist clamped over her stomach.

“Wyn, what’s going on?”

“Chair!” he spat. “Get me a damn chair.”

The raw urgency of his voice plowed through her confusion. She darted into the dining room, snagged a chair, and dragged it into the hallway. The thing in the parlor was still hammering away, heaving itself against the door in an attempt to burst through. Wyn’s face was white with strain as he struggled to hold the door shut with both hands. He rammed the top of the chair beneath the knob, wedging it securely into place. A blood-thirsty howl exploded from the other side, kicking Arianna’s heartbeat into overdrive.

“My God, Wyn, what’s going on?” She lurched for the door.

“Don’t. You don’t know what you’re doing.” Wyn caught her around the waist and swung her up against the wall.

She tried to squirm free. “I know Caleb’s trapped in there. We have to help him! There’s something in the room. Can’t you hear it?”

He held her wrists, pinning her arms to the wall. “Listen to me!” His eyes were wild, his face inches from hers. With a single frenetic skip of her heart, she realized he was as terrified as she was.

“There’s nothing in the room. Only Caleb. Do you hear me, Arianna? It’s Caleb.”

“No!” She shook her head, unwilling to believe what he told her, but another ear-splitting snarl fanned her fear higher. Nothing made sense. Not the stark fear in Wyn’s eyes, the sweat-slickened grip of his palms crushing her wrists or the chillingly inhuman sounds coming from the parlor. The man she loved could never sound so guttural or barbarous.

“I don’t care!” She ripped free of his hold. “I don’t care if he’s by himself or in there with something else. You have to help him!”

She lunged for the door, but Wyn grappled her around the waist, holding fast. They were still struggling when the sound of shattering glass rang through the narrow center hall of Weathering Rock.

WEATHERING ROCK is available for purchase at:
Amazon

Barnes and Noble
Kobo
Lyrical Press
iBooks

View Book Trailer for WEATHERING ROCK

I hope you’re intrigued!

To be entered into my Howloween Hop gift drawings, leave a comment with your email.

And, although I’m not making it mandatory, I would really LOVE if you’d sign up to follow my blog, and/or give my Facebook Author Page a Like. Really, guys, you can’t lose! I talk about some interesting stuff! :D

Mae Clair: It’s Howloween H*O*P Time!

Pumpkin weather is here. Ghost, ghouls and goblins roam the night, and the moon is a bloated orb of crimson and tangerine. It must be Howloween Hop time!

As a new author, this is only the second hop I’ve participated in. I had such a blast the last time, making many new friends, that I’m thrilled to be back and taking part in the latest funfest Drea Becraft has put together.

For a complete list of all participating authors, visit the Howloween Hop Event Page. The Hop runs through Monday 10/29 at midnight. I’ll be announcing the winner of the two prizes I’m giving away on Tuesday, October 30th, so check back to see if you’ve won.

I’LL BE AWARDING:
A $15.00 gift card to Amazon or Barnes & Noble (Winner’s Choice)

A copy of my new PNR/time-travel release WEATHERING ROCK for Kindle or Nook (Winner’s Choice)

So, as long as you’re here, grab some treats from my virtual goodie bag (I’ve got Rice Krispie Jack-o-Lanterns, chocolate spider clusters, peanut butter eyeball cookies, gummy worms, and marshmallow ghosts) and discover how a colonel from the Civil War, rival werewolves, and a modern day history teacher all connect.

I’d like to introduce you to Caleb DeCardian and Arianna Hart, the hero and heroine of WEATHERING ROCK.

As a former colonel for the Union Army during the Civil War, Caleb is used to being in charge and having others respond to his orders without question. Shortly after the Battle of Gettysburg, he’s transported to the 21st Century by a shower of ball lightning.

When WEATHERING ROCK opens, he’s already been living in the present for three years, hunting for the man who doomed him to life as a werewolf. Seth Reilly is his former friend, now a bitter rival, and the man responsible for cursing him with lycanthropy.

For someone who thrives on being in control, Caleb finds himself at the whim of a curse he’s powerless to resist, while facing the challenges of a new and confusing century. He has a highly defined sense of right and wrong; is noble at heart, but conflicted by what he’s become.

Then he meets Arianna Hart, my heroine, and suddenly he’s battling a different set of feelings. Romantic feelings.

Arianna finds Caleb bewildering, yet intriguing: courtly manners, smoldering sensuality and eyes that glow silver at night? When she sees Civil War photographs featuring a Union officer who looks exactly like Caleb, she begins to understand the man she is falling in love with harbors multiple secrets–some of which threaten the possibility of their happiness.

The path to true love and an HEA is never smooth, but these two have enormous odds stacked against them!

WEATHERING ROCK EXCERPT

“Stop it!” Arianna shook off Wyn’s grip, pivoting to face him. “Are you crazy?”

Before he could answer, something slammed against the door. Caleb screamed. The sound knifed through her like the violent jolt of an electrical wire.

“Caleb!” She launched herself at the door, panicked and terrified by the thought of the man she loved in horrific pain.

“Don’t!” Wyn stiff-armed her aside and grabbed the knob, forcibly holding it in place. “Get a chair. Something, anything! We’ve got to keep him locked inside.”

“What are you talking about?”

“Arianna, get a fricking chair. Now!”

There was another crash, and then a bang as something heaved against the door, making it shudder from top to bottom. Arianna heard a snarl that turned her blood to ice. The door rattled in its frame, weakening as something battered against it. Something inhuman locked in the room with Caleb.

A cold fist clamped over her stomach.

“Wyn, what’s going on?”

“Chair!” he spat. “Get me a damn chair.”

The raw urgency of his voice plowed through her confusion. She darted into the dining room, snagged a chair, and dragged it into the hallway. The thing in the parlor was still hammering away, heaving itself against the door in an attempt to burst through. Wyn’s face was white with strain as he struggled to hold the door shut with both hands. He rammed the top of the chair beneath the knob, wedging it securely into place. A blood-thirsty howl exploded from the other side, kicking Arianna’s heartbeat into overdrive.

“My God, Wyn, what’s going on?” She lurched for the door.

“Don’t. You don’t know what you’re doing.” Wyn caught her around the waist and swung her up against the wall.

She tried to squirm free. “I know Caleb’s trapped in there. We have to help him! There’s something in the room. Can’t you hear it?”

He held her wrists, pinning her arms to the wall. “Listen to me!” His eyes were wild, his face inches from hers. With a single frenetic skip of her heart, she realized he was as terrified as she was.

“There’s nothing in the room. Only Caleb. Do you hear me, Arianna? It’s Caleb.”

“No!” She shook her head, unwilling to believe what he told her, but another ear-splitting snarl fanned her fear higher. Nothing made sense. Not the stark fear in Wyn’s eyes, the sweat-slickened grip of his palms crushing her wrists or the chillingly inhuman sounds coming from the parlor. The man she loved could never sound so guttural or barbarous.

“I don’t care!” She ripped free of his hold. “I don’t care if he’s by himself or in there with something else. You have to help him!”

She lunged for the door, but Wyn grappled her around the waist, holding fast. They were still struggling when the sound of shattering glass rang through the narrow center hall of Weathering Rock.

WEATHERING ROCK is available for purchase:
Amazon

Barnes and Noble
Kobo
Lyrical Press
iBooks

View Book Trailer for WEATHERING ROCK

I hope you’re intrigued!

To be entered into my Howloween Hop gift drawings, leave a comment with your email.

And, although I’m not making it mandatory, I would really LOVE if you’d sign up to follow my blog, and/or give my Facebook Author Page a Like. Really, guys, you can’t lose! I talk about some interesting stuff! :D

Mae Clair’s Wizards with Words: J.M. Stewart

Welcome to Wizards with Words!

Before we get started, I’d like to mention I’m doing guest blogging duties today at Venture Galleries  discussing the use of social media in obtaining TOMA. If you get a moment, please check it out!

Today, I’m delighted to welcome Joanne Stewart as my Wizards with Words featured author. Joanne writes as J.M. Stewart, is a Six Sentence Sunday friend of mine, and a busy author with two new releases – – THE PLAYBOY’S BABY and A SECOND CHANCE AT FOREVER — making huge splashes in the romance world. Please help me in welcoming Joanne to my blog haunt.

Wow, Joanne, it’s hard enough for me to stay on top of things with the release of one novel. How are you managing with two almost back-to-back?

JOANNE: Thanks for having me, Mae! You know, the release of A Second Chance at Forever kind of took me by surprise. It’s apparently a new thing the publisher has started doing, starting with titles due out next year. Right now, the kindle format is only available. It officially releases in January. But honestly? I’m having trouble keeping up. I’d planned my release for A Second Chance in January, so knowing what to do now is a bit tough.

I can certainty understand how you’d have your hands full. You’d planned for THE PLAYBOY’s BABY but the other title came with an early delivery :D  Can you tell us a bit about THE PLAYBOY’S BABY?

JOANNE: The Playboy’s Baby was my take on the wealthy hero and the secret baby theme. It’s very a sweet book. It’s set in a small fictional town in Montana. Emma Stanton has had a run of bad luck. Her sister’s died in an accident, leaving Emma guardian to her six month old niece. Emma’s come back to town to find the baby’s father–who happens to be her sister’s best friend and the one man she can’t forget.

Dillon James is a reformed playboy. When Emma shows up and announces that he has a daughter, all he wants is to be the father his daughter deserves. He’s been used for his name and his money one too many times and he has no desire to get involved again.

But neither one of them can forget the kiss they shared eight years ago. Unfortunately, Dillon and Emma grew up together. Emma still thinks of him as that playboy. Dillon yearns to prove to her that he’s not that stupid kid anymore. The more time he spends with her as she shows him how to care for his daughter, the more he’s realizing maybe it’s time he takes a chance on love. The question is…can he convince Emma to take a chance on him?

Having read the story already, I can vouch what a wonderful read it is. So sweet, heartwarming and romantic. *wistful sigh* How about A SECOND CHANCE AT FOREVER?  I’d love to hear more about that one too.

JOANNE: This one is close to my heart. I really fell for my hero, Alex, in this one. I was told by people who beta read it for me that you might need tissues. I do know that parts of this made me cry writing it.

Angela Lewis is newly divorced. She’s always been the geeky girl. Smart, unpopular. After her husband leaves her for a younger woman, Angela gets a job as a stripper on the Las Vegas Strip as a means of picking her self-esteem up off the floor. In the club, Angela gets to be the sexy vixen she always wanted to be.  This is where she runs into her childhood crush. They haven’t seen each other in years and he doesn’t recognize her. When he takes an interest in her alter ego, Candy, Angela can’t resist. She only wants one night to live in the fantasy.

Alex McKinley’s life has been shattered by tragedy. His wife and four year old daughter were killed in a car accident. He’s in Vegas with coworkers, trying to pick up the pieces of his life and move on. A no strings attached, weekend fling with Candy is exactly what he needs. Little does he know that Candy is actually his best friend’s kid sister. Little Angie’s all grown up and driving him crazy.

It’s only supposed to be a weekend fling. Until Angela discovers she’s pregnant. The more time Alex spends with her, the more he finds himself falling for the woman she’s become. She makes him want to live again. In the end, can he convince Angela to take a chance on him?

Another one for my TBR pile! You seem to really enjoy writing novels where the lead characters reconnect later in life. Both THE PLAYBOY’S BABY and A SECOND CHANCE AT FOREVER (btw, I love that title!) have that theme at their core. Coincidence or a favorite topic to explore?

JOANNE: You know, I have to laugh. Believe it or not, I don’t plan it this way. My characters come to me and tell me their stories. I just write them down. But yeah, I’ve noticed that trend as well. I have three other books with my agent and all except one have the same theme. So, I’m going to take a guess and say I think I’ve found a favorite theme. I haven’t figured out yet if that’s good or bad, though. lol But I will admit it is a topic I’m more likely to pick up in a book I want to read, too. There’s just something a bit more intimate about people who already know each other. I love me a good reunion story. Apparently I love to write them, too. lol

Lucky for those of us who enjoy reading those kind of tales. :) So tell us a bit about Joanne. How long have you been writing? 

JOANNE: All in all, I think around eleven years now. I took a six year hiatus from writing, though. Some personal stuff that cropped up and took over. I finally picked it back up about two and a half, three years ago now.

What is the biggest hurdle you’ve encountered on your path to becoming an author and how did you overcome it?

JOANNE: The biggest hurdle is one I’m still tackling. Self promotion. I’m a horribly shy person. It’s almost a phobia for me. I literally freeze up. It’s a bit easier online, because I can take the time to think about what I want to say. But I’m  having to force myself to step out of my shell. I’m still working on this one. Baby steps. :) 

I can SO relate to that! Most people would never realize it but I’m an extreme introvert in real life. I’m right there with you, pushing myself out of my shell. So much easier to do when behind a keyboard, LOL. 

Which do you find the most difficult to write – – beginning, middle or end?

JOANNE: Beginning, hands down. Everything is so new at that point. My characters are a blank slate. I’m just getting to know them. I get to know them as I write. I can’t do character charts or things like that. It never works for me. Characters reveal themselves in bits and pieces. So it usually takes me until about chapter five or so to really figure the story out and where I’m going. After that, it kind of takes on a life of its own.

When you’re not writing (or reading) what do enjoy doing?

JOANNE: You know, I really am a boring person. lol I’m a homebody. I love to play with my dogs. We have two one year olds, we adopted them as puppies. I also like to watch movies and play computer games. Anything to occupy my mind. I’m a bit ADD. My mind goes in a million different directions all the time, so anything that allows me to completely immerse myself and “shut down” for a while.

I can appreciate that. I’m a homebody too. What are you reading right now, and tell me five books you couldn’t be without.

JOANNE: Not reading anything at the moment. I’m trying to decide what’s next, but yours is on my TBR pile. Now that I’m reminded of it (and the wonderful snippets I’ve read on SSS), I think it just moved to the top of the list! ;)

Five books I couldn’t live without. I don’t have five. I only have three. Being a writer makes me an inherently picky reader. So I’ve read a lot of really good books, but only three so far have made it to my “can’t live without” list.

–Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander.  –I adore historical romances. They’re my first love. I read them long before I started writing. In this one, the author completely enthralls me in this character’s life. And every character and the world around them comes to life for me. The hero, Jamie Fraser? I think he’s the perfect hero. Flawed, he makes mistakes, he’s human, but still worthy of being called a hero, because deep down, he has a good heart. I’ve re-read this at least a dozen times. I never get tired of it.

–I may get a groan on this, but E.L. James’ Fifty Shades of Grey and Fifty Shades Darker (if you ask me, the two need to be read together). And just because I know the hype this book gets, I’m going to expand on why. It was the hero that hooked me. Let’s just say he really touched me. Having come from an abusive childhood myself, I understood him in a very personal way. I AM him to a certain extent, so I cried through most of these books. It was painful for me to read his story, and yet…therapeutic at the same time. It honestly wasn’t about the sex for me. I tolerated the sex to get to the bits of him.

It also spurred me to put more of myself in my writing. To allow those painful bits onto the page. In the last book I wrote, Love’s Healing Touch (currently with my agent), I got a bit dark. Both the hero and heroine have dark pasts, and I didn’t shy away from putting the painful stuff onto the page. We’ll see how I did on that front if and when it ever publishes.

How about some quick glimpse questions and answers?

Favorite movie: I don’t have just one. The Green Mile and The Color Purple top the list, though.

Favorite snack item: Sweet stuff. cookies, brownies, pudding. You know, the bad stuff. lol

Favorite holiday: Halloween. It makes me feel like a kid again.

Favorite color: lavender.

Favorite rainy day activity: This makes me laugh. I live in Seattle, WA. It rains nine months out of the year here. And we’ve just entered the rainy season. So, this is almost every day for me. lol But honestly? Reading. It’s kind of predictable to say that, but it’s true. I’ve been a reader since I discovered those Ramona Quimby books in sixth grade. To get lost in someone else’s world for a while is bliss to me.

LOL. For many years I corresponded with a writer who lived in Seattle. She used to tell me August was the one good month of the year without rain! Joanne, thanks so much for being my guest today. Before we close, do you have any final thoughts you’d like to share?

Joanne: Thanks for having me, Mae! Final thoughts…hmm. This probably sounds like a shameless plug, but I’d love to put out a plea to any readers. If you’ve read my books, I’d be grateful for a review. Good, bad or ugly (and I mean that). I don’t write what’s popular these days. I seem to write a bit off the beaten path and I like knowing how people are receiving my books. Like most writers I suppose. lol

Author Bio:
J.M. writes what she likes to call sweet and spicy contemporary romance. She’s a stay-at-home mom who lives in Seattle Washington, with her husband, two boys and their two very spoiled puppies. She’s been devouring romances for as long as she can remember. Writing them has become her passion.

Look for Joanne at the following haunts:
Website: http://www.authorjmstewart.com
Twitter: https://twitter.com/#!/JMStewartWriter
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Author-JM-Stewart/129990420383155
Blog: http://jm-stewart.blogspot.com
Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/3159044.J_M_Stewart

Buy THE PLAYBOY’S BABY at:
Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/The-Playboys-Baby-ebook/dp/B008RPKBMM
All Romance ebooks: http://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-theplayboy039sbaby-905734-149.html
Barnes and Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-playboys-baby-jm-stewart/1112343120?ean=2940014920773
Kobo: http://www.kobobooks.com/ebook/The-Playboys-Baby/book-soDTJuxisku0s8ff2ehUbw/page1.html?s=jptisVziP0SRQe_T-etngw&r=2
Sony: http://ebookstore.sony.com/ebook/j-m-stewart/the-playboy-s-baby/_/R-400000000000000771117

Buy A SECOND CHANCE AT FOREVER on Amazon Kindle at: http://www.amazon.com/Second-Chance-Forever-ebook/dp/B009KET1SE/ref=sr_1_5?ie=UTF8&qid=1349187804&sr=8-5&keywords=a+second+chance+at+forever
(It will be avaialble in all formats on 1/9/13).