Mae Clair’s Pen Pal: Meet Author Amber Daulton with Lightning over Bennett Ranch

An ink quill with feather penIt’s Thursday, and that means it’s time for another Pen Pal visit. Today’s guest is Amber Daulton with LIGHTNING OVER BENNETT RANCH. 

Before we get started don’t forget I’m hanging out with Lorraine Paton today with FIVE FUN FACTS about ECLIPSE LAKE. And the uber supportive Kitt Crescendo is giving Eclipse Lake  the spotlight treatment too!

Now it’s time to meet a lovely new Pen Pal!

Amber, are you a draft writer or someone who invests a lot of time editing and polishing as you write? Why does your method work best for you? 

I edit and polish as I write. If I don’t, I usually become confused and frustrated as to where the story is going. I tend to get a lot of ideas as I write and those ideas usually make more sense than what I originally plotted. I’m also a stickler for details. A scene has to be almost perfect before I move on.

Your method sounds much like mine. It makes the writing process longer, but editing is usually a breeze. My absolute favorite part of starting a new novel is coming up with character names. What is yours and how do you go about it?

Deciding on character names is actually my least favorite part of starting a new novel. The name has to fit with the character I see in my mind perfectly or I can’t use it. I’m very picky (especially with the heroine and hero) and I sometimes spend hours, if not days, just scouring through baby name books and websites for the best names.

What I love most is creating a new world or researching a real town and then twisting it enough to fictionalize it. Research, in my opinion, is more fun than writing at times. I love to learn about new places, cultures and people.  Although I’d rather travel to do hands-on research, in-depth reading is second best.

I agree with you on that. I’ve taken a trip to a specific town a few states away specifically for research. I’m using the location as the setting of an upcoming novel. Of course it’s not always possible to visit the locales we choose to use, so online research and reading is a Godsend! Which do you find easier to write— description or dialogue? 

Both are easy for me. Dialogue is more fun to write, however, because I love drama and emotion-based scenes. I love to put my characters through the ringer! When I find myself tearing up as I write, I know I’m on a roll. I feel more creative, though, when I write description because I love creating new worlds and scenery. I tend to go overboard with detail sometimes and it hurts to cut back and delete as I edit.

When I find myself balking over cutting something I love, I remember Stephen King’s quote “sometimes you have to kill your babies.” But it does hurt, doesn’t it?  And I love emotion-based scenes. Your style sounds wonderful!  

Which brings me to LIGHTNING OVER BENNETT RANCH. Can you share a few details?

Lightning over Bennett Ranch is book 2 of the Montana Ranch Collection published on June 9th, 2014 by Books to Go Now.  There are five individual novellas in the collection, all written by different authors, and are set in the small town of Willow Creek, Montana. Each story intertwines and shares characters from the other books to create a widespread world within a loving, close-knit community.

Lightning over Bennett Ranch

What a great concept. And, strange as it may seem, Montana has always been on my list of places to visit. So much history there! Switching things up a bit, as a reader, name a book that had a a profound effect on you.

I read my first romance books, ‘True Blue’ by Ingrid Weaver, when I was 12. It’s about an ex-convict hero and a schoolteacher heroine. After reading this book, I decided I wanted to write my own stories about two people finding adventure and falling in love. And so I did. I finished my first novel within six months and I’ve revised that book several times over the years (it’s currently not published).

I credit ‘True Blue’ with opening the door into modern romantic literature for me. Without it, I may not be writing today.

So you wrote your first novel at twelve? That’s fantastic—and equally fantastic that a single novel opened the door to a whole new world for you. When you’re creating worlds and characters, do you have pets who shadow your writing space? 

I have five cats and they always disrupt my writing time. They either lay on my lap (which I don’t mind until they pin one of my hands under their tummy), wrestle with and hiss at one another or meow for attention. I love them but they certainly are a handful!

LOL! I ADORE cats, but five definitely sounds like a handful. I can just imagine them camped out with you in your office, demanding attention as only felines can. And now for a few quick questions. What is your: 

Favorite season: Autumn

Favorite color: Purple

Favorite type of music: Hard Rock

Favorite ice cream flavor: Butter Pecan

Casual or dressy: Dressy

I think you’re the first person I’ve interviewed who answered “dressy” to the last question. YAY!  I do enjoy being casual, but I love dressing up, so it’s nice to meet a kindred soul. :) Thanks so much for visiting with me today, Amber. I wish you much success with LIGHTNING OVER BENNETT RANCH. 

If you’d like to know more about Amber Daulton, connect with her at the following haunts:
Blog
Twitter
Facebook
Goodreads
Books to Go Now
Amazon Author Page

Amber  (68)About Amber:
Writing is the fruit to happiness.

Amber Daulton lives her life by that one belief even though she normally isn’t so Zen.

Author of Forever Winter, A Hero’s Heart and Lightning over Bennett Ranch, she published her first book in 2012 and plans to publish countless more in the future. She lives in the beautiful foothills of North Carolina with her punk-rocker husband and their five crazy kitties. Writing takes up most of her time, aside from her day job in the retail industry. As a fan of contemporary, paranormal and historical novels alike, she can’t get enough of feisty heroines and alpha heroes. Her mind is a wonderland of romance and adventure, laughter and awesome ways of kicking a guy when he’s down. She probably wouldn’t be too sane without her computer and notebooks. After all, what’s a girl to do when there are people jabbering away in her head and it’s hard to shut them up? Write! Nothing else works.

Blurb for LIGHTNING OVER BENNETT RANCH:
Melody Bennett’s parents trampled on her teenage romance with a drifter ten years ago. He disappeared without a word of goodbyes on the night they had planned to run away together. Since then, she cast aside her foolish notions of happily ever after and worked hard alongside the hired help to care for the majestic horses on her family’s ranch. She refused to give love another chance and resigned to live her life alone.

Max Fortaine returned with a heart guarded by secrets and a sizable bank account that took blood, prayers and tears to fund. The cowboy disrupted Melody’s peaceful existence with stolen kisses and a promise for more. After a lifetime of running, mistakes and regrets, he vowed to reclaim the only woman he ever loved… if only her overprotective father didn’t stand in his way.

~ooOOoo~

Purchase LIGHTNING OVER BENNETT RANCH from Amazon
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Mae Clair Welcomes Mindy Hardwick with Romance for All the Seasons

There are times when you crave a good holiday romance. Other times, you’re looking for a seasonal romance, and sometimes you just want a collection of themed stories together. Well, Mindy Hardwick has taken care of that craving with her collection ROMANCE FOR ALL THE SEASONS. Please say hello and get to know Mindy!

Mindy, thanks for visiting my blog today. I’d love to know a little bit about your writing style. My favorite part of starting a new novel is coming up with character names. What is yours and how do you go about it? 

My favorite part of starting a new novel is coming up with the setting. I love creating a small town with interesting locations based on real places, such as the Elmheart Hotel in my sweet contemporary novellas.

I love doing that too. Small towns make the best settings for romantic tales. Elmheart Hotel sounds like a place I wouldn’t mind visiting. Tell us about your new release.  

ROMANCE FOR ALL THE SEASONS is s a collection of all six of my sweet contemporary romance stories. The stories are linked by the setting of the Elmheart Hotel in Western New York as well as the characters who are friends with each other.

Book cover of Romance for All the Seasons by Mindy Hardwick showing a couple embracingAs a reader, I enjoy when characters continue from one story to the next and they come to feel like old friends and family. How did you choose your title? 

The stories in ROMANCE FOR ALL THE SEASONS are each set in different seasons with many holiday stories included such as NEW YEAR HEART SONG, LOVE’S CHRISTMAS GIFT, and VINTAGE VALENTINE.

Fabulous! I’m especially intrigued by the New Year’s themed story. It’s a holiday that is often overlooked but is infused magic and the wonder of possibilities. Was there research involved in this novel? If so, what was the most interesting item you discovered? 

Three of the stories in ROMANCE FOR ALL THE SEASONS are set at the Elmheart Hotel. This was a real hotel along the shores of Lake Ontario during the late 1800’s. People took the trolley line from Rochester and enjoyed a day at the shore. In the early 1990’s, a boyfriend took me to see the hotel. By that point, it had fallen into disrepair and was no longer in use, but I fell in love with the possibilities of what had once been a great place for romance. The hotel burned in 1993, but by writing these stories, I hoped to return the Elmheart to all of the romance I once envisioned.

What a fantastic history. I hold a special passion for the romantic trappings of yesteryear. The allure of an old hotel, the trolley, the shore . . . it sounds like you’ve created a wonderful tribute to keep the memory of Elmheart alive.  I can imagine tucking away in a room and writing there too. If you couldn’t be a writer, what else would you choose to do? 

I would run a bed and breakfast in an old hotel!

Great answer! And I’d book a room to write, LOL.  If you could take a trip anywhere you wanted (your personal fairy godmother just bestowed a dream vacation on you) where would you go? 

Two weeks in Hawaii

What is your favorite season?

Fall

Your favorite social media platform?

Blogging

Favorite author?

Susan Wiggs

Mountains or beach?

Beach

Hawaii is on my list too, and I love the beach. I could live at the beach, LOL!  

Mindy, thank you so much for visiting with me today. I love the idea behind ROMANCE FOR ALL SEASONS, especially the setting, and will be adding it to my TBR. Thanks for sharing with my readers.

If you’d like to know more about Mindy Hardwick, connect with her at the following haunts:

Website
Facebook 

Blog 
Twitter 
Goodreads 

Casual photo of author Mindy Hardwick before a fireplaceAuthor Bio
Mindy Hardwick enjoys writing first love and sweet, contemporary romance for all ages and is known for her small-town stories. Mindy enjoys teaching others about writing and she frequently talks to writers groups, book clubs and libraries.When she’s not writing, Mindy can be found art journaling, visiting flea markets dreaming of new ways to repurpose old materials and walking on the Oregon Coast beaches with her dog, Stormy. Mindy believes that a great story can warm the heart, lift the spirit, and heal the soul.

Blurb for ROMANCE FOR ALL THE SEASONS
Bestselling author, Mindy Hardwick’s sweet contemporary Sailor Series and Elmheart Hotel Series are together for the first time in this anthology, ROMANCE FOR ALL SEASONS. These six novellas will delight your heart at Valentine’s Day, sweeten hot summer days, banish Halloween ghosts and goblins and warm your soul during the holidays.

Purchase ROMANCE FOR ALL THE SEASONS from Amazon 

Mae Clair’s Pen Pal: Meet Author Marilyn Conner Miles

Hand writing a letter with a goose featherToday, I‘d like to welcome Pen Pal Marilyn Conner Miles to my blog. Marilyn has dropped by with HOLIDAY HEART (who doesn’t like a bit of Christmas in the summer?) and a glimpse of her upcoming release, PERFECT PAIR. Naturally, before we get to the books, I’ve got a find out a bit about Marilyn. :)

Marilyn, please tell us a bit about yourself and how long you’ve been writing.

I stated writing when I learned to print –first or second grade. I’d write stories and gave them to my family and teachers. My second grade teacher gave one back to a family friend a few years back. Then I showed a story I’d written to the librarian of our grade school and she showed the principal. I illustrated all the stories too, and made “hardbacks” out of them by using the cardboard from my dad’s new white shirt packages. I used wire to attach the story to the “cover.”  

I took creative writing classes in high school and college. But then I worked in advertising, PR and marketing and wrote TV and radio commercials and print ads for newspapers, catalogs and brochures. I kept a journal for years. It wasn’t until I “retired” that I began to think about writing stories. I’ve had two stories published and have one soon-to-be published in the past year.

What a great track record. And–wow!–you were really creative as a child, making hardback copies of your early stories. That’s so clever! I would have loved doing that with mine if I’d thought about it. Now that we know how you wrote as a kid :D please tell us about your upcoming release. 

PERFECT PAIR is the last in the series that began with ACAPULO ADVENTURE, and continued with HOLIDAY HEART. Amber, a workaholic with few real friends, gets laid off from her job with a law firm in downtown Seattle. She has to give up her apartment and hopes to move in temporarily with her parents, but that doesn’t work out. With no job and soon no place to live, she agrees to take a house-and-pet-sitting position for a while. The problem is, she’s never had a pet, and the job is at a mini-farm!

What a great set-up! How did you choose your title?

I always have a hard time coming up with a title and tend to wait till the last minute. It seems to work. I tie it in with the story after I think up an appropriate name. For this last three story series, they have all been two word titles.

They have a great ring to them. I’m frequently still fishing around for a title when I reach the end of a novel too. I don’t know why they have to be so hard (at least for me).

Let’s switch gears and talk about pets for a minute. As an avowed cat lover who always had a feline with me when I was writing, I’m constantly curious if other writers have a furred friend hanging out with them in their work space. 

My cat thinks I’m her mother and follows me everywhere. We share my home office. She sits on her cat tree and talks to the birds outside and then walks over me or across the desk or keyboard. Sometimes she stares at the computer monitor. Half the time she sleeps on my lap with her head on my arm and I have to type with one hand.

LOL! I love it!  It’s so typical of a cat, all about their comfort and timing. You can’t help but love their personalities and how they demand attention.  

And finally, the quick-silver round. Please share your favorite:

Season: Autumn
Type of music: Country-western
Ice cream flavor: Chocolate chip mint
Owl or lark: Owl
Mountains or beach: Mountains—I live next to them

I bet you have a great view. You obviously have great taste in liking chocolate chip mint ice cream. It’s my favorite too, but my husband always says it’s like eating mouthwash. 

Thanks for being my guest today, Marilyn. It was a delight to learn more about you. I wish you much success with PERFECT PAIR and your entire series. 

If you’d like to know more about Marilyn Conner Miles, connect with her at the following haunts:

Blog
Facebook
Goodreads  

photoAuthor Bio
Marilyn began writing as soon as she could print. Her first career was in the transportation industry, working for the airlines. Her second career was in advertising, marketing and promotions. Currently a freelance editor, Marilyn lives with her husband and cat in the foothills of the Cascade Mountains in southwest Washington State, where she watches horses and deer and sometimes owls from her home office window.  

Holiday HEartXHOLIDAY HEART BLURB:
Christmas. It’s that time of the year again and Brenda is alone, as usual. Everyone she knows is paired up except her. And now, she has to go to a wedding and pretend to be happy. But, even worse, her ex-boyfriend will be there. It’s been six years since they broke up and she hasn’t seen or heard from him since. How will she handle seeing him again—especially if he has another woman on his arm?

Purchase HOLIDAY HEART from Amazon
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Mae Clair’s Book Spotlight: Shunned No More by Christina McKnight

One of the earliest author friends I connected with when originally venturing online was Christina McKnight. Naturally, when I heard she had a new release out, I jumped at the chance to showcase it here.

Book cover for Shunned No More by author Christina McKnight depicting a Regency-era woman in a flowing lavender gown looking over her shoulder

Series: A Lady Forsaken, Book 1
Author: Christina McKnight
Genre: Historical Romance, Regency England
Release Date: May 30, 2014
Word Count: 78,000
Cover Artist: LFD Designs for Authors

A Lady Shunned by All… 

Lady Viola Oberbrook only wanted to forget the ill-fated early morning duel that took the lives of two young, wealthy, promising men of the ton and sent her fleeing for her father’s country estate. Eight years later, she has her life in order: a fulfilling business, a few trusted friends, and no plans to return to London society. What she doesn’t expect is to come face to face with her past.

A Lord Betrayed by One… 

Brock Spencer, Earl of Haversham, only wants vengeance. Recently returned from his military service to the King, his plans include repairing his family estate, finding a bride, and destroying the girl responsible for the untimely death of his twin brothers. What he doesn’t anticipate is falling in love with the only woman who should never be part of his future.

An Impossible Match, Destined to Be…

Christina McKnight, authorAbout the Author:

Christina McKnight is a book lover turned writer. From a young age, her mother encouraged her to tell her own stories. She’s been writing ever since. Currently, she focuses on Historical Romance, Urban Fantasy, and Paranormal Romance.

Christina enjoys a quiet life in Northern California with her family, her wine, and lots of coffee. Oh, and her books…don’t forget her books! Most days she can be found writing, reading, or traveling the great state of California.

Follow her on Twitter: @CMcKnightWriter

Keep up to date on her releases: www.christinamcknight.com

Like Christina’s FB Author https://www.facebook.com/ChristinaMcKnightWriter

Add Shunned No More to your Goodreads List: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/16099744-shunned-no-more-a-lady-forsaken

Zelda Benjamin Dishes up Chocolate Bliss by Mae Clair

Today, I’m turning my blog over to guest blogger, Zelda Benjamin, who is sharing a thoroughly yummy post. And I do mean “yummy.” Who doesn’t like chocolate? How clever of Zelda to weave this sweet treat through her series of contemporary romance novels.

Whether you prefer milk, dark (my personal favorite) or white, grab some chocolate and enjoy!

~ooOOoo~

What I Learned From Chocolate

With my 5th and last book in my Love by Chocolate series coming out in June, I took a break and looked back at all the witty and interesting chocolate information I’ve collected. It’s been fun and very informative. Chocolate says a lot. Eating and preparing  chocolate is like any life experience. You have to be creative, daring, and adventurous.

Book cover for Chocolate Sensibility by Zelda Benjamin

Book cover for Chocolate Couture by Zelda BenjaminBook cover for Chocolate Muse by Zelda BenjaminBook cover for Chocolate Magic by Zelda Benjamin

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Book cover for Chocolate Secrets by Zelda Benjamin

 

 

 

 

 

 

My hero in Chocolate Secrets is a NYC firefighter who bakes decadent chocolate cakes. To preserve the honor of his firehouse, he’s searching for the best ingredients for his entry in the annual firefighters bake-off. An old family feud keeps my heroine from sharing a secret frosting recipe with this sexy firefighter.

Searching for the best chocolate cake recipe took some time and a lot of chocolate tasting. I realized that best means something different to everyone. Some bakers had no problem using a prepared cake mix. The frosting, filling, and decorations were what made the cake. Others said it was all about the cake.

While doing research for Chocolate Magic, I learned that chocolate produces the same chemical in the brain that’s released when you’re in love.  Chloe’s specialty hand made chocolate and hot cocoa thrill everyone. Everyone except, Ethan Behar who Chloe believes might be imbalanced for love.

In Chocolate Muse, Maddie is horrified when her signature torta di chocolate gets trashed by a reviewer she nearly poisoned. Out of fear of harming someone else, she backs away from her career and unknowingly into the life of the man responsible for her bad luck. As she regains her confidence, she learns to trust.

Did you know that the chocolate center or the shape of the candy you choose from a box of chocolate can tell a lot about your relationships, your strengths, and your weaknesses?

Rectangle chocolate lovers are loyal. If you prefer a swirl, you’re bursting with energy and attracted to challenges. How about a walnut filling? You’ve got a heart of gold. To find out more about what your chocolate passion means, checkout http://www.amazon.com/Chocolate-Therapy-Discover-Inner-Center/dp/1580081088/ref=sr_1_1_title_0_main?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1401197342&sr=1-1&keywords=chocolate+therapy

In Chocolate Couture hearts melt and emotions sizzle when the Queen of Cakes clashes with the King of Burgers and Fries.

Chocolate speaks a universal language and brings the world together. Sharing chocolate elevates everyone’s mood and can make friends out of rivals.

My research for Chocolate & Sensibility took me in a different direction. Set in a tropical rainforest where all that wonderful chocolate originates, the facts increased my awareness of the delicate balance of the rainforest. It has made me more aware of the origins of the chocolate I eat. I learned the importance of buying sustainable chocolate. For more info go to http://www.rainforest-alliance.org/work/agriculture/cocoa

Did you know it takes 400 cocoa beans to make one pound of chocolate?

Switzerland, Austria, and Ireland are the top 3 consumers of chocolate. The US is #11.

Sadly I have to confess, I am not a from scratch baker. Semi-home made is more my style. I’d like to share one of the simple recipes I discovered. It was originally published in Better Homes and Gardens. To keep it simple, I use a ready mixed yellow cake mix and a 1/3 of a cup (you can use more or add sugar to make it sweeter) of any form of cocoa powder left over from a hot chocolate binge.

Cocoa Ripple Ring

Cocoa ring cakeLayer batter in thirds, alternating with cocoa mixture, into a well greased 12 cup bundt pan. Bake at 350 for 35-45 minutes, till toothpick comes out clean. Cool for 5 minutes in pan then turn out onto a plate,

Enjoy

 

 

7Author Bio
Zelda is an RN, author, and lover of everything chocolate. She writes sweet, but sensual contemporary romance. She loves to travel with her family. No destination is too far. From Brooklyn, NY to Auckland, NZ there are stories everywhere.

For more information about Zelda visit her website www.zeldabenjamin.com

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Mythical Monday: Divining Love by Mae Clair

Young fashionably dressed couple with man in a top hat holding roseAs someone who reads and writes romance, it doesn’t surprise me that from the first glimmer of time, women—especially young girls—have had an insatiable curiosity to learn who their future husband might be. When I was a kid, there was a board game my friends and I used to play called Mystery Date.  I don’t remember much about it other than you collected cards and then spun a dial on a door to find out who your mystery date would be. The guys waiting on the other side ranged from a suave dancer in coat and tie, to a laid back surfer in beach clothing, and a string of others in between. Even then, as ten-year-old girls, we wanted to know the kind of guy we were going to end up with.

Women of the past were no different and often employed tricks of nature and time to catch a glimpse of their future husband. Certain days and seasons worked better than others, with some rituals highly involved, others basic. Of the later variety, a girl might place a two-leafed clover in her right shoe before venturing outside. The first man she encountered would either be her future husband or bear the same name. What a contrast, huh?

To discern the trade of the man she was destined to marry, all a girl had to do was gaze out her window on Valentine’s Day. The first bird she spied told the tale: Blackbirds indicated a cleric, a robin a sailor, a goldfinch a rich man. But woe to the poor maiden who spotted a woodpecker, for it was a certain indication she would never marry.

On Midsummer’s Eve maidens plucked rose blossoms and placed the petals beneath their pillows before falling asleep. On this magical night dreams were given power, allowing the girl to glimpse her future husband as she slept. The image would remain with her when she awoke, allowing her to recognize her true love in the waking world.

Happy groom and bride outdoors

On the eve of St. Agnes, the patron saint of virgins, girls would bake a mixture of flour, water, eggs, and salt, called a “dumb cake.” It had to be prepared in absolute silence and eaten before retiring.  If done correctly, the girl would meet her future husband in her dreams.

Another trick—performed on any night—was to walk around a churchyard twelve times at midnight. And, finally, on Christmas Eve, maidens prepared a feast to attract a husband. Like the dumb cake, the banquet had to be prepared in silence. The girl would set a sumptuous repast on the table then hide nearby. If a man appeared and ate the meal, he would marry her within the year. But the forces of darkness were at their peak in winter, and sometimes brought ill omens rather than favor. Should some foul monster devour the feast instead, it was a sign the poor maiden was doomed to marry a man who would make her miserable.

I’m sure there are many more superstitions related to seeing the future love of your life. I recall one about placing your shoes in the form of a “T” before going to bed, and I know there are several related to May Day. Can you think of any others? Have you ever tried any? I remember doing the shoe trick as a tween, but why I would have been thinking about a husband then, escapes me now.

Maybe I’ve just always been a diehard romantic. In any event, I met the right man. Dream or no dream, it’s beautiful magic.

Mae Clair’s Pen Pal: Author Pamela Moran with Blind Sight

Hand writing a letter with a goose feather

My Pen Pal guest today is Pamela Moran who writes an intriguing paranormal series about PSI Sentinels.

I originally “met” Pamela when I won the first book in her series in an online contest and quickly became a fan. Not only are the stories unique and engaging but her covers are fabulous. Look them up, as you’re in for a treat!

In the meantime, please say hello to Pam who has just released BLIND SIGHT, Book two of the PSI SENTINELS: GUARDIANS OF THE PSYCHIC REALM.

I know release time is always crazed, Pam. Thanks for swinging by for a visit. I’d love to hear all the deets about BLIND SIGHT. Can you tell us what the story is about?

Death haunts Gabe Nicholetti’s sleep with visions of dead people. People he doesn’t know, people whose murders he can’t prevent. But there’s always a connection to someone Gabe knows, a connection from Gabe to that someone who cares about the person in Gabe’s vision. He has to find it, and won’t rest until he does.

Justice is all he can offer those he sees in his visions, and one thing Gabe is good at is finding murderers.

Among the other PSI agents, Gabe Nicholetti is known as the Harbinger of Death. Even his boss, isn’t immune to that initial gut tightening reaction when he sees Gabe in his office, sitting and waiting.

Who’s going to die?

Rily Carrigan, small town cop from Eagle’s Crest, Oregon, has no patience with what she calls the woo-woo and she’s not about to bow to fate and let it run right over her, no matter what Gabe Nicholetti believes. She has the murder of a one-time friend to solve and isn’t about to let a PSI agent get in her way.

In spite of trying to keep his distance, something about Rily Carrigan gets to Gabe, makes the vision personal. He’s never been able to save a victim before, but this fight has now become one he needs to win.

Book cover for Blind Sight by Pamela Moran depicting a young attractive man and woman with trees in the backgroundHow did you choose your title?

Gabe Nicholetti has the Sight, but is Blind to who the person is, to how they die and to who kills them. But he always finds out because he won’t rest until he does. In a very real way, the dead people in his visions are his and remain so, even after he’s solved their murder.

Fascinating!  Which character did you enjoy writing the most and why?

Rily Carrigan.

She’s a cop from a family of cops, and that family means everything to her. She’s up front, honest and authentic. She’s not afraid to let you know how she feels and she’s not afraid to show her emotions.

At least on the surface.

It’s not until you get to know her that you realize she isn’t sharing the real depths of herself, that she keeps her true fears contained and shoved into a box marked private, open at own risk.

She’s truly a complex and deep character with a fiery spirit.

How did you choose your setting?

Eagle Crest, Oregon doesn’t exist except in my mind, but is loosely based on the area around Astoria, Oregon. I been through and around there several times and the place managed to wedge itself deep inside my soul. What better place to set a story than one I love and want to visit again and again? Travel with a purpose and a definite reason to go back!

I agree with you! Share one sentence – - yes, only one! – - of dialogue or description you love.

The beautiful blonde stretched out at the edge of some forest floor, her lifeless green eyes staring at him, through him.

If you couldn’t be a writer, what else would you choose to do?

Travel Photographer. The landscape photos in some of the FaceBook teasers I’ve posted are from my photos. The trees in the background of the cover for BLIND SIGHT are from a photo I took near Young’s River outside of Astoria one December a few years back (while researching for STOLEN SPIRIT and BLIND SIGHT).

How wonderful you were able to use that shot. Travel photographer always appealed to me as well (though I’m hardly a good photographer, LOL). The heroine in my June release, ECLIPSE LAKE is a travel/nature photographer for a renowned magazine. I guess I always imagined it an equally adventuresome and glamorous occupation.

And now for a few questions allowing my readers to learn more about you.

What is your dream vacation gifted to you by a fairy godmother?

An RV and several months to explore wherever the whim takes me! I’ve always had a serious case of wanderlust when it comes to travel. Doesn’t matter if it’s close by or far away, I’m always the first to say yes, let’s go – that’s if I’m not the one who came up with the trip in the first place. Have camera, will travel has been my motto for a long time.

Yes, you would definitely make a good travel photographer! :) What is your favorite season?

That transition time between seasons is my favorite. The air is charged with a sense of impending transformation, all my senses are stirred and it’s like a sweet promise of change; when new leaves are just beginning to bud yet Winter hasn’t quite lost its grip; when the days are getting longer and warmer but the nights still have that hint of Spring chilliness; those last days of Summer just as leaves begin to change; those same leaves, fallen from now bare trees, laying scattered across the ground while Autumn attempts to keep the cold at bay.

And the snow. There’s something magical about that first snowfall.

Oh my! I never met anyone else who related to the transitional change between seasons like that. I LOVE THOSE TIMES! I’ve done a number of blog posts in the past relating to what I call “transitional moments” that embrace more than just season change. Switching gears again, who is your favorite musical group or singer?

Although most of BLIND SIGHT is set in Oregon, the story opens with Gabe on his sailboat in the British Virgin Islands. Kenny Chesney, especially his island music, helped set the tone of the story for me. SOUL OF A SAILOR, SPIRIT OF A STORM, FRENCH KISSING LIFE, SOMEWHERE IN THE SUN, SOMETHING SEXY ABOUT THE RAIN … all of these are part of a play list I put together while writing BLIND SIGHT.  I’d put the music on shuffle and let it play low in the background.

Owl or lark?

My husband waved me outside one evening a few years ago, just as dusk was falling. His finger to his lips, he had me look upwards. There, in our massive oak tree, on a curved branch, sat four baby owls, each no more than a few inches tall. They were all watching him with avid curiosity. Three were groomed and settled, looking like well-behaved triplets. One was ruffled and a bit scruffy (he was our favorite). Mama owl, who was only a few inches taller herself, made a few agitated flybys, but must have decided we were no threat and flew off to do whatever mama owls do while her babies perch on tree branches. We haven’t seen the owls posing like that since, although we do still hear them occasionally.

I would have loved to have witnessed that sight. Owls fascinate me. One of my earliest novels (now languishing in a drawer somewhere) involved a magical owl. Mountains or beach?

Home, at nearly 6,000 feet, is the mountain region of Southern California, and there aren’t many places I’d rather live. Oak trees, five different kinds of pine, manzanita, cool air in the summer when it’s over 100 in the valley, a small creek nearby. A different version of paradise that I love.

I’m a beach person, but I’ve been as far north as Lake Tahoe and loved it. I would really like to see Oregon someday. Thanks for sharing those lovely images…and for being by guest today! :) 

If you’d like to connect with Pamela Moran you can find her at the following haunts:
Website
Twitter
Facebook
Goodreads

Author Pamela Moran in a pensive pose with and to chinAuthor Bio
Whether painting, out on a photo shoot or writing, Pam has always had a bend toward the creative side of life. Her favorite is when she can combine any of those with travel. Places get into her blood and she loves to explore the possibilities, always with characters and a story in mind.

An astrologer for most of her adult life, Pam has been known to see auras and the occasional ghost. Considering she lives in a haunted house in the mountains of Southern California, this keeps life interesting.

BLURB for BLIND SIGHT:

Death plagues Gabe Nicholetti’s dreams, but he can’t save the people in his visions. The most he can do is bring their killers to justice. But this time, this victim makes it all personal.

Rily Carrigan is a dead woman, or she will be in a matter of days as her past rushes forward to shatter her carefully constructed world. But Rily doesn’t believe fate is absolute. How is she going to convince the man who’s seen too many die that it’s possible to save her life?

Just outside a small, Oregon town, something malevolent lurks, waiting to seize what was once promised then stolen. Together, Gabe and Rily need to find a way to deny fate and keep Rily alive.

Purchase BLIND SIGHT from:
Amazon

AmazonUK 
B&N 
Kobo

Welcome Elise Cyr with Siege of the Heart

Lately, I’ve had a taste for historical novels, so I’m super excited to have Kensington Book author Elise Cyr on my blog today, with her new release, SIEGE OF THE HEART. 

Elise, please share a bit about yourself and how long you’ve been writing.

I’ve been writing since my teen years, but was always afraid to admit I wanted to be a writer. So let’s just say there were a lot of secret notebooks in my room. I majored in English in college, went to grad school, and even worked in academia for a few years. But none of that made me happy. So I pulled out an old story, reread it, and realized it wasn’t that bad. Looking back it seems so naive. But I rewrote and revised and workshopped that story and many others over the next few years, and here I am.

Good for you! As writers we encounter many obstacles along the way. I’m glad you found the dedication to stick with something you love. Now for a technique question: which do you find easier to write and why – description or dialogue?

Dialogue. When I read novels, I tend to skip over long passages of description to get to the action sooner, and I do that when I’m writing too. I also took a screenwriting class in college, and that format requires you to leave the visuals up to the director, so your real focus is primarily the dialogue. That experience really helped me learn that aspect of the craft. I also tend to underwrite, so in subsequent passes, I’m usually expanding my description and adding character blocking to round out the story.

I really enjoy writing dialogue, but description has always been my first love. When I do rewrites, I’m normally reworking my dialogue, LOL. And now, I’d love to hear more about SIEGE OF THE HEART.

It’s a medieval romance from Kensington Books, set during the Norman Conquest of England, with a knight seeking his place in the world and a noblewoman struggling to hold on to all she holds dear. It’s the first novel I ever got to “The End” on. It has taught me so much about writing and myself, and I’m so glad to share it with the world.

siegeoftheheart_Final

You must have a fantastic sense of accomplishment, and I can’t imagine the research that must have gone into the book. Please share one sentence – - yes, only one! – - of dialogue or description you love.

“They stood there like hunter and prey, but she would be no man’s quarry.”

Ooh, great choice! It says a lot about her character in so few words–and his.
When you’re not writing (or reading) what do you do to unwind?

I play shoot-em-up video games. It’s a great stress reliever and gives my brain a break after a day full of writing. I also try to stay active. My husband and I ride bikes or go hiking on the weekend, and every day, I walk my dog in the foothills.

Speaking of pets, furred friends and writers seem to go together like peas in a pod. Tell us about yours.

My dog Sienna is an adorable border collie/Australian shepherd mix. She doesn’t let me sleep in, which is great for my writing schedule, and usually hangs out by my feet when I’m typing away in the office. She’s very affectionate, so she’s always ready for a tummy rub when I get up to take a break.

She sounds adorable. And tummy rubs are a perfect break during any author’s schedule. :)  Now for a few personal likes and dislikes. What’s your favorite season?

Summer. I’m happiest when I can wear sandals.

Favorite color: I’ve never found a shade of blue I didn’t like.

Casual or dressy: Casual. I’m the girl who hates getting dressed up.

Mountains or beach: Since I live in the mountain foothills these days, I’d have to say beach.

Fruit or veggies: Veggies. I’m not a vegetarian, but I love them. Broccoli and brussels sprouts are my favorite.

OMG, they’re my favorite too! I rarely meet anyone who likes one of them, let alone both. I’m not a vegetarian either, but like you, I love veggies. I was one of those weird kids whose parents never had to say “eat your vegetables.” Now when it came to beef, that’s an entirely different story :D

Elise, it’s been a delight to have you here today and I wish you much success with SIEGE OF THE HEART.

file0001492858701 (2)AUTHOR BIO
I’ve always loved adventure, romance, and happy endings. I write primarily in the medieval period. Because there’s still so much we don’t know about that time in history, the writer’s imagination is essential for fleshing out the research and making it come to life on the page. Plus swords and castles are just plain fun.

I live in New Mexico with my husband and the sweetest dog ever. When I’m not writing, I hike, bike, cook, and (of course) read. Siege of the Heart is my debut medieval romance. You can follow me on Twitter, Pinterest, Goodreads, or check out my blog.

(Image courtesy of Clarita of Morgue File)

About Siege of the Heart:

He fought for king and country, but that battle was nothing compared to the one he’ll wage for a woman’s heart.

Still reeling from the news of her father’s death during the Norman Conquest, Isabel Dumont is unprepared when trouble arrives at the castle gates. Alexandre d’Évreux, a Norman knight with close ties to England’s new king, has arrived to secure the land and the loyalties of the Dumont family. Desperate to protect her people, Isabel strives to keep the confounding knight at arm’s length and hide the truth about her father’s death.

For Alexandre, the spoils of war come with more than just a generous gift of land. They come with Isabel Dumont. Vowing to marry only for love, Alexandre finds himself in a difficult situation as a conqueror granted dominion over the land and its people. Isabel is the one person capable of helping him win the regard of those living in the war-torn country…if he chooses to accept her.

Just when Alexandre finds a spark of hope that he and Isabel have a chance at love, she vanishes. His quest to find her plunges him deeper into the conquest’s fallout. Was she taken? Or did she leave?

CONTENT WARNING: Entering into this novel may cause extreme affection toward knights of old, admiration for strong-willed women, and the overwhelming belief that love really can conquer all.

SIEGE OF THE HEART IS AVAILABLE FROM:
Amazon 

Barnes and Noble 
Kensington Books 

Book Promo: An Ecstatic Rendezvous by David Russell

Well, this is a first for me. I think it’s pretty cool that a guy would write a romance novel, so when David Russell approached me about doing a promo for his new release, I had to take him up on it. So, ladies (and any gents out there), here’s your chance to scoop up a romance novel from a male author. Unique to say the least!

Book cover for an Ecstatic Rendezvous by David Russell

Blurb/Review:
This is a short story, told in first person, about a shy man who is inexperienced with women, yet a self-proclaimed narcissist, and he is seeking a sexual encounter with the woman of his dreams. The narrating voice is quirky and comical, at times, making it a fun read as this man takes you through his rendezvous, an experience he has clearly thought about at length beforehand and meticulously planned. Great read and I look forward to reading other stories by this author! This story has a sequel entitled Darlene.

~ooOOoo~

Buy Links:
An Ecstatic Rendezvous eBook: David Russell: Amazon.co.uk 

http://www.amazon.co.uk › Books › Romance › Contemporary

Author Bio: b. 1940. Resident in the UK. Writer of poetry, literary criticism, speculative fiction and romance. Main poetry collection Prickling Counterpoints (1998); poems published in online International Times. Main speculative works High Wired On (2002); Rock Bottom (2005). Translation of Spanish epic La Araucana, Amazon 2013. Romances: Self’s BlossomExplorationsFurther ExplorationsTherapy RaptureDarlene, An Ecstatic Rendezvous (all pub Extasy (Devine Destinies). Singer-songwriter/guitarist. Main CD albums Bacteria Shrapnel and Kaleidoscope Concentrate. Many tracks on You Tube, under ‘Dave Russell’

Contact Links: www.davidrussell-author.blogspot.co.uk

 

Debbie Peterson Visits the Ghosts of Berry Pomeroy Castle

I’ve got a special Pen Pal on my blog today–Debbie Peterson, whose novels I love. I’ve read them all, and each time I think she can’t out do herself, she does. I’m currently deeply engrossed in her latest release, SPIRIT OF THE KNIGHT, and think it’s my favorite to date. A Scottish Castle, romance, ghosts, mystery . . . what’s not to love?

Today, Debbie has dropped by to share a few eerie legends about Berry Pomeroy Castle, rumored to be one of the most haunted sites in the British Isles. What better way to usher in her ghostly romance, SPIRIT OF THE KNIGHT, than to set the tone with this thoroughly spooky guest post:

~ooOOoo~

Hello Mae! I’m so excited to be here and share some blog space with you today while I celebrate the early Kindle release of “Spirit of the Knight . . .”

Mariah Jennings, the heroine of “Spirit of the Knight,” believes in ghosts. After all, she has seen her fair share of them since taking on the task of painting castles for “The Gallery of Castles Project.” For instance, shortly after arriving at her first assignment in South Devon, England, she discovered firsthand the wild tales concerning Berry Pomeroy Castle were, in fact, quite true.

The mysterious castle ruins, nestled deep in a wooded valley, charmed Mariah at first glance. She easily imagined William the Conqueror gifting the lands to Ralph de Pomeroy in appreciation of his support during the Norman invasion and all the way through the battle of Hastings in the year 1066. Yet, the lovely fortification wouldn’t grace the area until 1305.

Berry Pomeroy Castle

Berry Pomeroy Castle
Courtesy of Wikimedia, Image in Public Domain

Her research also revealed that two centuries later, Sir Edward Seymour, brother-in-law of King Henry VIII and Lord Protector of England, acquired Berry Pomeroy in the 1540’s. During his tenure as Lord Protector, Sir Edward made a host of enemies. Therefore, it didn’t surprise a soul that in October of 1549, the Earl of Warwick managed to oust and imprison him in the Tower of London. His subsequent conviction on twenty-nine different charges resulted in a death sentence. Edward’s enemies saw him executed on the 22nd day of January, in the year 1552. His death notwithstanding, the Seymour family inhabited the castle until 1668 and retains guardianship to this very day.

Now, the day Mariah arrived at Pomeroy, the locals regaled her with stories of ghostly apparitions and strange phenomena. They spoke of lights without source, disembodied voices, cold spots, and sudden, freak winds. She could testify to all of that and within the first few days of her stay. Those particular events didn’t pose a problem for Mariah. However, becoming a witness to the legendary, full-bodied apparitions took far more courage.

While inspecting the shadowy dungeon, she came face to face with the “White Lady.” This particular ghost haunts the castle prison, and rises up from the tower known as St. Margaret’s, to the castle ramparts. She is the spirit of Margaret Pomeroy, imprisoned by her sister Eleanor, after Lord Pomeroy left for the crusades. Unfortunately, their father left Eleanor in charge. According to legend, jealousy of Margaret’s beauty and her love for the man she too desired, Eleanor slowly starved Margaret to death, following a two-decade incarceration.

Berry Pomeroy Castle

Berry Pomeroy Castle
Courtesy of Wikimedia, Image in Public Domain

Shortly after the shock of seeing the ghost wore off, an apparition dressed in a long blue cape and hood appeared in the doorway as Mariah worked on her first painting of the castle.  Known as the “Blue Lady,” this ominous spirit enjoys luring men into the most dangerous, unstable portions of the castle in hopes of facilitating their death. Why would she do such a dastardly thing? Well, tradition maintains this spirit is the daughter of a Norman Lord who once occupied the castle. His vile abuse resulted in the birth of a child. To cover his heinous deed, the man strangled the infant. Another version of the story states that our “Blue Lady” hated the child so much, she strangled it herself. As a result, her troubled spirit will never find rest. Those who’ve seen her say she wrings her hands in anguish and torment. At various times, the cries of the murdered infant can be heard throughout the castle. (I’m not certain I’d want to stick around after that…)

During her stay, Mariah oftentimes heard unexplained screams accompanied by heavy thuds in a vicinity of the castle known as Pomeroy’s Leap. This, the locals said, was easily explained. Besieged at the castle, with defeat imminent, two brothers dressed themselves in full armor. They mounted their horses, rode off the top of the castle ramparts, and fell into the precipice below. An act–considered heroic by some–they apparently replicate to this very day.

Despite the beauty of the castle, Mariah seemed quite relieved the day she packed her belongings and headed to the next castle on her list. I can’t say that I blame her though, do you?

Thanks Mae, I truly enjoy each of my visits with you!

Book cover for Spirit of the KnightBLURB SPIRIT OF THE KNIGHT:
She fell deeply in love with him in the early days of her childhood. And in return, she captured his heart the moment he first cast his gaze upon her…

Renowned artist, Mariah Jennings hired to paint a thirteenth-century Scottish castle, gets the shock of her life when she encounters the handsome knight who has dominated a lifetime of portraits and sketchbooks.

But Sir Cailen Braithnoch is no ordinary ghost, nor did he suffer an ordinary death. Magic of the blackest kind cast a pall over the knights centuries ago. As the ghost and his lady seek to unravel the paradox surrounding his death, black arts, otherworldly forces, and a jealous rival conspire against them.

Will those forces tear them apart, or is their love destined to last throughout the ages?

ABOUT THE AUTHORDebbie Peterson, Author Debbie has always had a soft spot for fairy tales, the joy of falling in love, and happily ever after endings. Stories of love and make believe filled her head for as long as she can remember. However, it was her beloved husband who encouraged, cajoled and inspired her to take up a pen and write some of them down. Her journey to published author could fill quite a few pages, but in June of 2010, she submitted her debut novel, “Spirit of the Rebellion” to her wonderful, patient, editor at The Wild Rose Press. A few short months after Rebellion’s release, her second novel, “Shadow of the Witte Wieven” was published through InkSpell Publishing. Her third novel, “Spirit of the Revolution” was released in 2013, through The Wild Rose Press.

When she is not busy conjuring her latest novel, Debbie spends time with the members of her very large family. She also pursues her interests in family history, mythology, and all things ancient and historic.

You can find Debbie at the following haunts:
Website
Blog
Twitter
Facebook
Goodreads

SPIRIT OF THE KNIGHT is currently available in early release for purchase on Amazon