Today’s Pen Pal: Sharon Kleve with Love Crazed by Mae Clair

Stack of old letters with ink quill and feather penIt’s Pen Pal time, and my guest today is Sharon Kleve, a writer of paranormal and contemporary romance.  I hope you’ll take a few moments to get to know Sharon, as she shares her writing habits and latest release. 

Sharon, do you have a favorite place and/or time of day to write?

I have a designated office. I have candles, books, and a radio going when I write. I also have three big windows where I can watch the birds play. I love to write all the time. It doesn’t matter what time of day it is.

Your office sounds lovely. Especially those large windows that allow you to watch the birds at play. What attracts you most to your chosen genre?

The Happy-Ever-After. I read for years before I ever thought about writing and if there wasn’t a happy-ever-after I never read the author again. So I stuck to the romance genre.

A girl after my own heart. I’m addicted to HEA’s! :) My favorite part of starting a new novel is coming up with character names. What is yours and how do you go about it?

I have to have the name of the book picked out first. The character names don’t matter until a little later. My husband helps me pick the book title.

Wow, that’s amazing. Titles are generally tough for me. Once in a while I luck out and have the title before I start writing, but usually I’m still scrambling for one when I type “the end.” What is your most current release?

Love Crazed is the fourth book in The Corny Myers Series.

Which character did you enjoy writing the most and why?

Corny Myers is similar to Stephanie Plum in Janet Evanovich’s series. But Corny can talk to animals.

Ooh, I like that idea. When you’re not writing (or reading) what do you do to unwind?

I cook. Cooking relaxes me. I love to bake bread, bagels, and sour dough. But a decadent pasta dinner is my favorite.

Now I know where to go when I’m hungry because I’m a horrible cook, LOL. Please share a few favorites:

Favorite season: Fall because of the colors it brings. WA has the most brilliant transition from summer to fall.

Favorite animal: Cat. I adore my cat Ardy. She rules the household. Everything revolves around Ardy’s schedule–food, water and snacks, and of course, play time.

Favorite social media platform: My blog is fun and easy to maintain. I think whatever an author chooses they need to maintain a regular presence for their readers.

Favorite author: Janet Evanovich. She’s what I started writing. Stephanie Plum made me laugh and want to continue reading her series.

Food you never grow tired of:  Bread. It’s a good thing I like to bake. I love every flavor, sour dough, rye, pumpernickel, and especially bagels.

Mountains or beach: Beach. I love the crashing waves and even the sand when it gets into every crevice of your body.

I love the beach too, although I’m not overly fond of the sand anywhere but on my feet. :) And cats? Oh, I love cats! It sounds like Ardy is a typical phenomenal feline. Thanks so much for being a Pen Pal today, Sharon. I wish you much success and many sales with LOVE CRAZED. And BTW, pumpernickel and rye are my favorite types of bread. You have excellent taste! :)

KlevephotoAUTHOR BIO
Sharon Kleve was born and raised in Washington and currently lives on the Olympic Peninsula with her husband.

Sharon is a writer of paranormal and contemporary romance. She loves romance. She loves reading romance, living romance, and especially loves writing about romance. She gets no greater feeling than watching her characters come alive in each other’s arms. Most of all, she loves giving her characters the happily ever after they deserve—with a few bumps and bruises along the way.

One of her favorite things to do is picking up a new book and sinking into the story, immersing herself in the emotions between the characters. She hopes to inspire her readers the same way her favorite authors have inspired her.

When not writing, she can usually be found either curled up in her recliner with her cat and a good book, or in the kitchen baking sourdough bread or bagels.  

Connect with Sharon at the following haunts: 

Email: sharon.kleve@yahoo.com

Blog: http://authorsharonkleve.blogspot.com/

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/sharonrkleve

Twitter: https://twitter.com/SharonKleve

Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/srkleve/boards/

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5399389.Sharon_Kleve

Linkedin: http://www.linkedin.com/pub/sharon-kleve/56/ab/691/

Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/Sharon-Kleve/e/B006JAH14S

Publisher: http://bookstogonow.com/

Love_CrazedLOVE CRAZED BLURB:

Corny has her work cut out for her in “Love Crazed”, Book Four in The Corny Myers Series.

Corny’s excitement over serving on jury duty is squashed when she hears news of Steve’s ex-girlfriend relocating to Seattle.

Steve’s an aggressive, tough, Seattle narcotics cop who thinks Celeste could do no wrong.

Celeste is back in town and has set her sights on rekindling her relationship with Steve. Being an FBI agent she’s used to getting what she wants, no matter what the cost.

Corny is trying to keep her relationship from falling apart, while rescuing pets, and saving her friend from a loan shark.

Can Pete, Corny’s ferret, learn how to use the phone in time to save the day?

Purchase LOVE CRAZED from Amazon

Welcome Patricia Kiyono with Searching for Lady Luck

Patricia Kiyono has dropped by my blog today to share her new release, SEARCHING FOR LADY LUCK. She’s also doing a giveaway to celebrate, so be sure to check out the details at the end of this post!

She has me fully intrigued by the time period and setting of her novel. I celebrated my high school graduation in Wildwood, New Jersey, and would have loved to take a stroll down the boardwalk when turning back the clock. :)

Book cover Searching for Lady Luck by Patrica KiyonoSEARCHING FOR LADY LUCK
By Patricia Kiyono

Only seven years have passed since Rose Sheffield was a carefree college student, though it seems like a lifetime ago. Her father’s position at a major bank provided her with luxuries she took for granted. Now she works at menial jobs to support herself and her mother, and they live in what used to be their vacation home in Wildwood, New Jersey. Rose’s days are pure drudgery, until she meets Charlie. As luck would have it, she just happens to have the perfect place to display his artwork.

Before the Great Stock market crash of 1929, Charlie Brannigan was hailed as an up and coming artist in Manhattan. But now he’s back at his family home in Wildwood, delivering newspapers in the mornings and selling his paintings on the Boardwalk in the afternoons. He needs some luck in his life, and it seems every time a pretty lady named Rose appears, good things happen.

Searching for Lady Luck can be purchased at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Smashwords, and other ebook outlets.

EXCERPT:
“I didn’t think you’d sell anything out there today,” Connor, younger than Charlie by four years, teased him as they set the table. “I know the Boardwalk has been busier lately, but I figured it was still too chilly for the society ladies to be out strolling.”

“I thought so, too. In fact, I was ready to come home when this lady came and helped me retrieve one of my miniatures that the wind had blown off the crate. I figured I’d have to chase it out onto the beach, so I was glad she caught it for me just before it blew off the Boardwalk. She didn’t buy the painting, but after she set it back, another woman came and bought that very one, as well as the ones on either side of it.”

“Wow, that’s a coincidence,” agreed eighteen-year-old Katie as she entered the dining room. She set a serving bowl of steaming beef stew on the table and went back into the kitchen.

“You must have met your Lady Luck,” said Connor.

“My what?”

“Lady Luck. Remember when Uncle Phineas would go to Atlantic City? He’d talk about the women in the casinos. If one of them happened to be nearby when a gambler hit it big, that woman would be his Lady Luck and he’d keep her by his side the rest of the night.”

“Lady Luck. That’s pretty much how I felt about her. It was as if she put a special spell on those paintings and that’s what made the next person buy them.”

AUTHOR BIO:
Author, Patricia KiyonoPatricia Kiyono’s wide array of experiences tend to show up in her writing. Trained as a musician, certified as an elementary school teacher, and raised as a lifelong learner, she loves to travel, sew, craft, and play Words With Friends. She and her husband live in southwest Michigan, near their children and grandchildren.

Patricia Kiyono can be found at her website, and on Facebook, Twitter, and Goodreads.

FUN FACT AND GIVEAWAY!
Searching for Lady Luck was inspired by a magical vacation to the Wildwood Boardwalk in 2005. Since my kids were old enough to go to the beach on their own, I stayed in the cozy little cottage owned by my sister-in-law’s family and typed out the beginning of what became my first full length novel, The Samurai’s Garden!

To win a $5 Amazon or B&N gift card (your choice), please leave a comment about your favorite vacation destination. I’ll use random.org to choose a random commenter as the winner on Monday morning, May 5, so please include your email address with your answer!

Meet Christina Thompson and CHEMICAL REACTION #Giveaway

Today, I’m happy to share my blog with Christina Thompson, an author who is great at blending thriller-type suspense, mystery, and romance in her novels. I’m currently reading her latest release, CHEMICAL REACTION (isn’t the cover stunning?) and love the swift pacing she employs. It’s great to reconnect with so many of the same characters I loved from CHEMICAL ATTRACTION, her first novel in a series by the same name.

I hope you enjoy her guest post. It’s a wonderful look at attraction and love. Christina will also be awarding a PRINT copy of CHEMICAL ATTRACTION to one commenter, so be sure to include your email address when you comment so she can contact you. I can vouch that you are in for a fabulous read, complete with danger, mystery and…LeSigh!…romance!

Chemical Reaction Cover Art

Thank you, Mae, for hosting me as I promote my romantic thriller Chemical Reaction from The Chemical Attraction Series. I appreciate your support and I’m honored to be your guest blogger today.

Even before I started writing, relationships have fascinated me ─specifically the married ones. I love hearing the “How We Met” stories. Couples enjoy sharing their unique history. Some say, “I knew right away.” Others laugh and say, “I hated him at first.” A husband once told me that he chased after his wife for a year before convincing her he was “the one”. The stories may seem similar, but none are the same.

Whether you’ve just met or you’ve known each other for years, there’s that single defining moment when you realize you’re in love with this person. Your perspective suddenly changes, and you think, “Why didn’t I see that before?” Women have mentioned a small gesture from their one that fills them with pure joy. Warmth washes over you, goose bumps appear from a light touch, or your heart flutters with knowing.

My mom said she “knew” almost fifty years ago when my dad placed his hand at the small of her back as they walked along a busy sidewalk. At a dinner party, Kraig held my hand under the table as we ate … an intimate gesture in a crowded room while reassuring me with his smile and dreamy blue eyes. ((Sigh)) Oh, um, uh, what was I saying? Oh, yeah.

I think it’s one of the reasons romance novels are extremely popular. Who doesn’t want to feel that newness and excitement of meeting “the one”? It gives us hope that the unlimited possibilities are out there just waiting to happen to us.

In The Chemical Attraction Series, I wanted Joe and Madeline to feel an immediate attraction, then work well together from the start ─Them against the World. Joe and Madeline learn throughout the series that their scars make them who they are and what they love about each other. The healing power of Love is incredibly profound.

Matt and Eva Connor, another couple in the series, have been married for ten years and are still crazy about each other. I’ve shared a little of their backstory. Later in the series, I’ll show their unique history of love, sacrifice, and devotion from their beginning.

I truly believe there is nothing ordinary about any relationship. Do you remember that single moment in time that when you “knew” you found your “one”? Care to share? Or are you saving it for your own romance novel?

GIVEAWAY:
One commenter will win a print copy of CHEMICAL ATTRACTION, the first novel in Christina’s series. Be sure to include your email address when commenting so Christina can contact you!

CHEMICAL REACTION BLURB:
In Chemical Reaction, the sequel to Chemical Attraction, FBI Agent Joe Roberts and his fiancée, Dr. Madeline Pierce, must track down a rage-producing nano-drug before it devastates the nation.

Staying in Detroit with the FBI, Madeline works to develop an antidote from the confiscated journals. She clashes with the women from Joe’s past. In West Michigan, Joe hunts for the bio-weapon. With a history as a player, he’s worried his relationship with Madeline is at risk. Working apart, they attempt to focus on the threat.

Before Joe returns, agents are killed, Madeline is abducted, and the deadly nano-drug is put on the market. Without the journals, the mastermind needs Madeline to reproduce the drug.

While she plays a dangerous game of deceit, Joe struggles to put his fears of losing her aside to find the weapon first. Her life, their future, and the nation’s security are in jeopardy. Joe must now choose between his personal desire and his professional integrity. Can he live with the consequences?

Purchase CHEMICAL REACTION From:
Amazon
Barnes & Noble
Kobo

Add CHEMICAL REACTION to your Goodreads List

Christina press photo 2About the Author:
Christina Thompson, a retired acupuncturist, enjoys writing about the physical science, the emotional workings of our mind and heart, and the spiritual energy that taps into our passions. Her degree in biology from Nazareth College in Kalamazoo gave her a love of science and a background into the physical realm of the body. Her diploma in Traditional Chinese acupuncture from Midwest College of Oriental Medicine taught her that the mind and spirit affect the body in powerful ways.

She is the small business co-owner of Divine-ation Creations, which develops holistic products of self-discovery and universal awareness. She continues to teach on many topics including massage therapy, acupuncture, Feng Shui as well as other modalities of Chinese medicine. She currently resides with her husband, Kraig, in West Michigan.

Visit Christina at the following haunts:
Website
Facebook
Twitter
Amazon Author Page
Goodreads Author Page

Cover Reveal: Van Locken’s Witch by Debbie Peterson

Today, I’m delighted to share the absolutely gorgeous cover of my friend Debbie Peterson’s paranormal romance, VAN LOCKEN’S WITCH.  It’s just stunning!

Cover-Title---Van-Lockens-Witch

As always, Debbie weaves the supernatural with romance and history, a combination I love. I’m so looking forward to reading this and have already snatched up my copy from Amazon!

BLURB
Kapitein Rand Van Locken has no idea what awaits him as he boards the Spanish galleon on behalf of the Dutch West India Company, or that the beautiful woman imprisoned within will change his life in ways he never imagined or even desired. Until now…

Lissa Capoen, didn’t plan for the Spaniards to capture her while attempting  to rescue her sister. She didn’t foresee the handsome sea captain coming swiftly to her aid and offering his assistance. Nor did she expect him to steal her heart and claim it as his own.

Yet, as destiny brings them ever closer together, Armando Manera is determined to recapture the witch and present her to the Spanish King. No matter what it takes…

VAN LOCKEN’S WITCH is available from Amazon
Add VAN LOCKEN’S WITCH to your Goodreads list

photoDPAUTHOR BIO
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

Wizards with Words: Tera Shanley and Love In the Time of the Dead

bigstock-magic-book-9719930It’s time for Wizards with Words! Today I’m happy to welcome back my bubbly Lyrical Press sister, Tera Shanley. I recently did a cover reveal for her Omnific zombie romance,  LOVE IN THE TIME OF THE DEAD. I hope you’ll sit back and join us as I toss a series of questions at this perpetually upbeat author who always brings a smile to my face. :)

It’s great to have you here Tera. Let’s start with the basics. Tell us a bit about yourself and how long you’ve been writing.

Righty, all about me. My name is Tera Shanley, but I’m more often called by a nickname. In fact, when people use my real name I usually hunch inwardly like I’m about to get in trouble. Little Lady, Thumbalina, and T-ray top off a long list of (g-rated) names given by my guy buddies and usually have to do with my not even 5 foot stature. I met Mr. Tera the first day of college classes and married him two weeks after I graduated and we have two little kiddies, both of whom are his mini-dopplegangers (which I love). I’m owned by two gray-faced pooches and live in Texas. Relatively new to writing novels, I started just two years ago, but I was writing poetry and songs (I play guitar) for a long time before that.

Those nicknames are adorable! And hey, I have a sister-in-law who is a bundle of energy and always the life of the party at 4’11”, LOL.

My favorite part of starting a new novel is coming up with character names. What’s yours and how do you go about it?

Oh goodness, I always have a running list of names! Like a maniac, I’m forever scribbling names down on random scraps of paper and leaving them all over the house. If I see someone’s name I find interesting in the news or in an article, I keep it and hope for an opportunity for it to fit one of my characters someday. Names come easily; titles I’m rubbish at.

That sounds just like me! Which do you find easier to write and why – description or dialogue?

Description is so fun, it really is, but dialogue comes more naturally to me. It’s likely because my characters are so loud in my head and my story lines usually come from conversation yet unnamed characters have with each other, usually while I’m in dreamland. I’m realizing a lot of authors have that schizophrenic-insomnia that comes with trying to shush your imaginary friends so you can catch some uninterrupted zzz’s.

LTD_coverSo true. I especially have that problem on Sunday nights, after a several hours of concentrated writing. Please tell us about your new/upcoming release.

Love in the Time of the Dead is a modern day, post zombie apocalyptic romance set three years into the outbreak. Laney is finally getting over the heartache of someone she’s lost and is slowly opening up to the possibility that life goes on and that she can find this sort of unexpectedly beautiful existence in ruined surroundings if she just lets herself. She and her team have been nomadic for years but with the realization she is immune to dead bites, they have to figure out who they can trust with the information and pick a colony to settle down in.

The goal is to extract a vaccine out of her, but she has to survive some harrowing adventures if that’s going to come to fruition. And right in the middle of that chaos are two men fighting for her and she has an impossible decision to make. One between her brother’s friend Mitchell, who’s been fighting Deads with her since the outbreak, or colony leader, Sean Daniels, who is dark and mysterious, moody and hunted. It’s a story of self-discovery that tests the bonds and strength of character in a group of unlikely friends. It releases today!

YAY! I love having you here on your release day, and can’t wait to delve into the story. The romantic triangle and the description of the two guys have me really intrigued. How did you choose your title?

I didn’t! The book was originally called Dead Run River, for the colony Laney and the boys land in but the team at Omnific came to me with a name that better fit the guts of the book. They were really cool with how they approached me about it. I’d never want someone to pick up the book expecting straight horror and gore because it’s not. The most important part of the story is the character growth and the love triangle romance. I loved it. I didn’t balk at all because I’d been concerned with the original title already ,so it was an easy ‘yes’ for me.

How fantastic it worked so well. And having “love” in the title does lend itself more to romance in my humble opinion. :) Which character did you enjoy writing the most and why?

Mitchell, hands down. He’s such a smart-ace and finds such in enjoyment out of being a splinter. He was supposed to die off in chapter three but he wiggled his way into my heart and gave Sean a run for his money. Sean’s so collected and confident and I loved the way Mitchell can shake him up when it comes to Laney. I just couldn’t bring myself to kill him!

Now you have me really intrigued! Share one sentence – – yes, only one! – – of dialogue or description you love.

“I breathe for that stupid word on your lips.”

Yum! I have an idea of what that “stupid word” might be but can’t wait to find out. Name 3-5 books you’d horde for a deserted island.

Eeeeew, I like this question. Okay, 1.) Outlander by Diana Gabaldon, B.) Jane Eyre, aaaaaaand, oh geez, this is like choosing a favorite child…okay and 3.) Cry Wolf by Patricia Briggs.

LOL! It’s hard choosing among favorites, isn’t it? Name a book that had a profound effect on you and explain why.

When I was eleven years old, my cousin gifted me a signed copy of Beauty by Bill Wallace. I read it (too many times to count) and that was it for me. It was the first time I remember where I was all in for books. Beauty was the first book in my hoard..eh herm…personal library.

I have a vague memory of reading that too. As a kid, I was in love with any story that involved horses.  If someone gave you a working time machine tomorrow, where would you visit and why?

I’d pull a Claire Randall and Outlander myself straight back to 1700 Scotland and find me a redheaded Scotsman named Jamie. Why? Book boyfriend.

Oh, yum! Book boyfriends are great. I’ve got a few of those guys in my cache, LOL. And now for some quick lightning-round answers:

Favorite season: Autumn (I live in Texas. Summer cooks you.)
Favorite animal: Horse
Food you never grow tired of: Key Lime Pie
Mountains or beach: Mountains

Thanks for being my guest today, Tera, it was a delight to have you. BTW, I have wanted a horse ever since I was a little girl. There is a tradition in my family…on every birthday, before the birthday guy or girl is ready to blow out the candles we all yell “wish for a pony” no matter how old we get. Some things you just never outgrow!

author picAUTHOR BIO
Tera Shanley writes in sub-genres that stretch from Paranormal Romance, to Historic Western Romance, to Apocalyptic (zombie) Romance. The common theme? She loves love! A self-proclaimed bookworm, she was raised in small town Texas and could often be found decorating a table at the local library. She currently lives in Dallas with her husband and two young children and when she isn’t busy running around after her family, she’s writing a new story or devouring a good book. Any spare time is dedicated to chocolate licking, rifle slinging, friend hugging, and the great outdoors.

~ooOOoo~

You can find Tera at the following haunts:

Website
Blog
Twitter
Facebook
Goodreads

BLURB:
Laney Landry has been fighting Deads alongside her brother and friends for three years. But she has a secret. She’s immune to Dead bites and has to find the right people to trust with the information. Her team rallies around her to find a doctor who can extract a vaccine from Laney which could fight the virus that ended the world.

Sean Daniels leads a colony that provides her team with much needed shelter and supplies. He is obviously interested in Laney. The question is whether he’s only intrigued by her as a source for the possible vaccine, or for something more. Tests for the cure might push her body beyond what it can endure, and just as she faces a ghost from her past, her longtime teammate Derek Mitchell hints at an interest in more than just her Dead slaying abilities.

Two honorable and alluring men – one colossal decision to make. Despite historically bad taste in men, can she rise above the chaos of the apocalypse and choose the one who deserves her heart? The right choice could mean the difference between surviving…and living.

LOVE IN THE TIME OF THE DEAD is available from Amazon, Amazon Kindle and Barnes and Noble
Add to your Goodreads list here

Wizards with Words: Julia Gabriel and Falling for the Prodigal Son

bigstock-magic-book-9719930I’m interview happy this week…and happy to interview authors! :D Please say hello to today’s Wizard with Words, Julia Gabriel. I initially connected with Julia on Twitter, was drawn in by her book cover for FALLING FOR THE PRODIGAL SON, then fell in love with the breezy romance. Once I’d finished gobbling it up, I asked Julia to be a guest on my blog.  Let’s get to know her!

~ooOOoo~

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

Well, I’ve been writing stories since I was a kid (back then, I illustrated them too!). My mom was an avid reader, and she passed on her love of books (and romance books) to me. I eventually got a master’s degree in creative writing and now teach business and creative writing at a university in Connecticut. I grew up in south-central Pennsylvania but since then, I’ve lived all over the Washington DC area, in San Francisco and now in New England. I write romance books and literary short stories because I love both.

I’m a Keystoner myself, and I love New England. I can look back and say my passion for reading was a gift from my parents too. You’ve definitely lived in some wonderful places! 

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

I’m definitely someone who invests a lot of time in polishing as I go. I’m a slow and careful writer. I love words and sentences so I enjoy the process of just writing sentences. I might be better off if I wrote faster drafts, but that would take away a lot of what I enjoy most about writing.

It sounds like you have a system that works well for you. I’m a polisher too. When it comes to nuts and bolts, which do you develop first, characters or plot?

I usually start with characters in a certain situation. With Falling for the Prodigal Son, my initial idea was “What happens when your new boss was your teenage crush?” Sometimes—like with my current work in progress—the initial situation gets jettisoned because it no longer fits with the way the story is developing. I just had to toss about a hundred pages of that story because the initial situation wasn’t the best way to tell the story.

Wow! That must have been a hard decision to make. I applaud for doing what worked best for the story. Which do you find easier to write and why—description or dialogue?

I find dialogue really easy to write. I think maybe that’s because I am a quiet person by nature—more of a listener than a speaker so I pay close attention to how people talk.

Sounds like me, although sometimes I do get yackity :) Let’s talk about your book, FALLING FOR THE PRODIGAL SON. Which character did you enjoy writing the most and why?

17557962

Isn’t this cover GORGEOUS?!?!?

I had the most fun with Sterling Matthew. I always had this image of a little boy hiding behind a tree, watching other kids having fun and not being able to join in. I had to make him confront that little boy at some point. I also had fun writing Lucy’s mom. She was a bit character in the story but she turned out to have quite a personality.

You definitely achieved what you set out to do with Sterling. That image of the little boy hiding behind the tree really hit home for me. What was your favorite scene?

My favorite scene in Falling for the Prodigal Son is definitely the one where Lucy and Sterling are in Muir Woods in northern California (the redwood forest). It’s the scene where they finally confront each other as two people with a history together, and not only as boss and employee. It’s also the first kiss scene! I think the first kiss is my favorite scene in every book (not just mine).

I LOVE first kiss scenes. Great choice! Tell us about the setting for the book (I drooled all over it, LOL).

Falling for the Prodigal Son is set on the eastern shore of Maryland, an area I know well and love. I’ve spent a lot of time kayaking in the area. St. Caroline is loosely based on the real town of St. Michael’s, a sailing mecca and a place where many wealthy people from Washington, DC, own summer homes. I liked the contrast between the wealthy people who vacation there and a summer camp for disadvantaged kids.

Interesting you should say that. The Maryland coast is like a second home to me, and the entire time I was reading FALLING FOR THE PRODIGAL SON, I kept picturing St. Michael’s. It’s a great town!

Share one sentence from the book you love:

“Well, maybe I’m only half sorry. But I’m not going to tell you which half.”

That’s a great line! :)  And now, switching gears a bit, when you’re not writing (or reading) what do you do to unwind?

Well, when I’m not writing or reading, I’m usually sitting at my son’s taekwondo practices, grading papers. When I have time, I like to hike and kayak. I also quilt, which I’ve found is a great activity for plotting books. When you hand-quilt, you have to focus on what you’re doing but you don’t really have to think about it. That combination of a focused mind but nothing to think about has given me tons of great plot ideas!

A perfect time to entertain plots and characters! And speaking of plots and characters, share a book that had a profound effect on you and tell us why.

Alice Munro’s “Selected Stories.” She writes literary short stories that have the scope of novels, and her wisdom and insight into the lives of women is breathtaking. Sadly, she recently announced that, at 82, she is done writing.

Oh! It does sound like she’s left a wonderful legacy for readers. And good for her that she kept it up until 82 years of age. What a remarkable author!

Now for some quick personal preference questions: 

Dream vacation: A summer to just travel around Europe
Favorite season: Definitely autumn
Food you never grow tired of: Pizza
Owl or lark: Owl
Mountains or beach: Mountains

Autumn in Connecticut must be beautiful!

Julia, thank you so much for being my guest today. It was a pleasure to have you and I’m delighted to share FALLING FOR THE PRODIGAL SON with my readers. I wish you continued success and am so glad we hooked up on Twitter! :)

Look for Julia at the following Haunts:

Web
Blog
Twitter
: @authorjulia
Facebook
Goodreads

Purchase Falling for the Prodigal Son from Amazon

Blurb:
What could be more embarrassing than having slept with your boss … when you both were teenagers?

All Sterling Matthew wants is to get his family’s inn back on sound financial footing—and then leave sleepy St. Caroline for good. He expected the inn’s staff to resist the business changes he has to make. What he didn’t expect was to find skinny, gawky Lucy Wyndham all grown up.

For years, Lucy wondered whether she’d ever catch another glimpse of the tall, quiet boy she’d crushed on at the Chesapeake Inn’s summer camp. Now he’s her boss—and determined to get rid of the camp to improve the inn’s bottom line. But Lucy is just as determined to save the camp, even if the price is her job … and her heart.

Bio: Julia Gabriel is the author of Cupcakes & Chardonnay, Falling for the Prodigal Son, and Feral. She holds a master’s degree in creative writing and is on the faculty of the Writing Department at a university in New England.

Wizards with Words: D.B. Sieders and Red Shoes for Lab Blues

bigstock-magic-book-9719930Hey, everyone! It’s Wizards with Words time and I’m delighted to introduce you to another new author. D.B. Sieders has dropped by today to chat about her writing routine and her hot new release, RED SHOES FOR LAB BLUES.

D.B. is a sister author at Lyrical Press and a talented storyteller. I quickly devoured RED SHOES FOR LAB BLUES, her debut release, and am eagerly looking forward to seeing more from her. So get comfy, settle in, and please say hello to D.B.

~ooOOoo~

Let’s start with your writing routine. D.B. Do you have a favorite place and/or time of day to write?

As a working mom, I squeeze in my writing time from 8:00-10:00 P.M. at least three nights a week. Along with weekends and the occasional sprint during my lunch break at work, I manage a decent word count :)

Good for you! I often use my lunch break at work for writing too, or catching up with promo. It’s amazing what you can accomplish in a short amount of time when those hours are so precious! Which do you develop first, characters or plot?

For me, the characters come first. I catch a flash of one in action or a snippet of dialogue will run through my mind. That’s how they ‘introduce’ themselves. I’m lucky in that those flashes usually reveal some bit of conflict or character motivation, and then their journey to resolution takes shape as I write the first chapters or scene – so there’s my basic process.

I’m a character-first writer too. I love when they introduce themselves,  then hang around demanding attention. A persistent lot, LOL. Which do you find easier to write and why – description or dialogue?

Definitely dialogue! My characters love to talk, whether to each other or to themselves via internal dialogue. I normally crank out all of the conversation for a scene or chapter and then go back to flesh out the setting. I can normally visualize what my characters are doing as they speak, so the action tags work out pretty well.

Sounds like a good process! Please tell us about your new/debut release.

redshoesforlabbluesRed Shoes for Lab Blues is a contemporary romance novella featuring two dedicated and somewhat competitive biomedical cancer researchers and set against the backdrop of laboratory and pharmaceutical corporate politics, including an act of sabotage that could turn deadly.

I loved the story and your characters, especially Henry :). And the cover is awesome! For those who haven’t read the book, would you care to share how you chose your title?

Ah, now that would be telling… My heroine, Dr. Stacey Jamison, tends to be pretty focused on her work in the laboratory, to the point of sacrificing a social life. As her roommate points out, Stacey really needs to get out more and ‘recalibrate her normal meter.’ Well, during one such outing, complete with several tequila shots, a bar bet, and a pair of sexy red suede pumps, Stacey stumbles (literally) into her secret crush from work, Dr. Henry Chan. With looks, smarts, and more charm and sex appeal than any geek has a right to flaunt, he might just be the cure for her lab blues – if she can trust him.

Share one sentence – – yes, only one! – – of dialogue or description you love.

Her face split into that winning smile he’d come to adore as she replied, “Hmm, in that case, you should know I am capable of appreciating a man with a really big…vocabulary.”

LOL! Do you have any guilty pleasures (i.e., type of food, music, TV show, shoe obsession, silly distraction) you’d like to share?

We spend a lot of time on Animal Planet in my house (kid friendly), and I absolutely love ‘My Cat From Hell’ and ‘Call of the Wildman.’ The latter definitely counts as a guilty pleasure.

I love My Cat from Hell (feline fanatic here) and I admit to the guilty pleasure of Call of the Wildman. Hubs and I had never watched it before, then met someone who was friends with Ernie, the Turtleman, on a recent trip. After that, we had to give it a try. It’s definitely addictive!

Moving from TV to books, name 3-5 books you’d horde for a deserted island.

Oh, only 5?!?! Well, if I absolutely have to choose, I’d pick Stephen King’s The Stand, at least one or two of J.R. Ward’s Black Dagger Brotherhood books (but it would be like choosing between my children), Jeaniene Frost’s Halfway to the Grave (still my favorite out of the series), Thomas Harris’s The Silence of the Lambs, and I’d sneak Jeri Smith-Ready’s Requiem for the Devil in while no one’s looking.

Okay, you can sneak,since I’d have to sneak in more than five too. :) Isn’t it amazing how attached we become to our favorites? Now name a book that had a profound effect on you and explain why.

As per my deserted island reading list, I’d have to go with The Silence of the Lambs. Clarice Starling is one of the toughest heroines I’ve ever encountered in fiction. She has to be – you don’t go toe-to-toe with Hannibal Lecter and Jame Gumb unless you’re a real warrior. She represents the type of heroine I aspire to create in my own work. Harris does such an amazing job showing both her toughness and vulnerability, easy thing for a male writer to do when writing a female character. Hats off to him!

I’ll agree with you there. I’ve read several books by male authors who failed to capture the female mindset. Hmm..I wonder why that is so more glaringly noticeable than a female author who doesn’t capture the male mindset? I’ve seen the movie Silence of the Lambs, but never read the book. It sounds very intense!

Okay, new direction: Pets and writers seem to go together like peas in a pod. If you have pets tell us about them, and whether or not they shadow your writing time and space.

I have two cats, one long-haired Siamese and a short-haired mutt. They’re great mascots, and love to keep me company (and sometimes walk across my keyboard) while I’m typing.

A favorite pastime for cats :)

And now, a couple quick questions on your personal preferences:

Favorite season: Autumn
Favorite time of day: Early evening
Favorite color: Burgundy
Food you never grow tired of: Chocolate
Sunset picnic or night on the town: Oh, definitely sunset picnic – I’m a nature girl!

I love early evening and sunset picnics too. Thanks for being my guest today, D.B. I enjoyed having you, and wish you much success with your fab release, RED SHOES FOR LAB BLUES.

Thanks so much for having me, Mae!

~ooOOoo~

You can Find D.B. at the Following Haunts:
Website
Blog
Twitter: @DBSieders
Facebook
Goodreads

Red Shoes for Lab Blues is available from:
Amazon
Barnes & Noble

iTunes

Blurb:
Dr. Stacey Jamison thinks she’s close to validating PharmEx’s new anti-cancer drug. Her budding independent career, her boss’s tenure, and a ton of research dollars are at stake. She just has to prove Compound Z kills cancer cells.

So far, it doesn’t.

Then along comes Dr. Henry Chan, the department’s new rising star. Henry is smart, handsome, and confident. He’s also captivated by the enigmatic Dr. Jamison, who seems oblivious to her own charms. But will Henry risk his heart when the research project is at stake?

A rival drug company, an insider with a personal grudge, and militant animal rights protestors force everyone’s plans into disarray. Can their love overcome everything being thrown at them?

HeadshotAuthor Bio, D.B. Seiders:
I was born and raised in East Tennessee and spent a great deal of my childhood hiking in the Great Smoky Mountains and wading barefoot in creeks, chasing salamanders, fish, and frogs.  We camped a lot, and we loved to tell stories while sitting around our campfire.

Those days of frog chasing sparked my interest in biology, which I pursued in college and later in graduate school.  I am a working scientist by day, but I never lost my love of sharing stories.  I’ve been an avid reader for as long as I can remember and am thrilled to be working as a writer.

I live in Nashville, Tennessee with my husband, two children, two cats, and my very active imagination.

History, Honor and the Spirit of the Revolution with Debbie Peterson

colonial militiamanIt’s Tuesday and it’s June. These are definite facts. It’s also a fact you’ve seen SPIRIT OF THE REVOLUTION on my blog before, but my friend Debbie Peterson is now enjoying the “official release” of her paranormal romance and I couldn’t let that pass without a tip of the hat for story well told.

Because I’ve shared about the book before, I thought I’d share a bit about Debbie today (although you know the book is ultimately going to make an appearance, right?).

I hooked up with Debbie after reading her earlier release, SPIRIT OF THE REBELLION. That book featured the ghost of a Civil War captain falling in love with a modern day woman. Hello?!?! Civil War hero? Seriously, need I say more?

I was smitten. With the characters, the story, with Debbie.

After getting wrapped up in the star-crossed romance of Tristan Jordhal and Shae Lynn Montgomery, I shot her an email, told her how much I liked her book and invited her to appear on my blog. We’ve pretty much shadowed each other online since then, being supportive of each other’s releases.

Which brings me back to SPIRIT OF THE REVOLULTION. Debbie is currently doing an excerpt tour with a giveaway. You can find all the details and her latest round of tour stops on her blog — Debbie Peterson, Author of Paranormal Romance.

And while we’re speaking of Debbie’s blog, I hope you’ll pop over and give it a good look-see. Debbie researches and shares some of the most goose-bump inspiring paranormal stories I’ve encountered. Haunted battlefields, wandering ghosts, spooky mansions, mythical ships – she’s always digging up some obscure eye-witness account of the strange and the bizarre.

When it comes to her novels, she creates engaging characters with a strong sense of right and wrong. One of the reasons I fell head-over-heels for Mathias McGregor (the hero of SPIRIT OF THE REVOLUTION) was due to his sense of honor. I love a strong honorable hero and Debbie certainly knows how to create them! Take a look at SPIRIT OF THE REVOLUTION:

SpiritOfTheRevolution_w5861_680BLURB
Only divine intervention could have guided Jolena Leigh Michaelsson to the doorstep of a ramshackle manor in Pennsylvania, bringing her face-to-face with the man she has waited her whole life to find. There is just one problem. Mathias McGregor died two centuries ago…

Mathias, Revolutionary War ranger and spy, battles his conscience and his heart when he finds himself falling for the beautiful violinist invading his home. Jolena is mortal and deserves far more than what he as a spirit can offer her.

When Jolena’s family motto leads them to unearth a valuable coded message—the very message Mathias died trying to deliver to General Washington—Jolena vows to unravel the mystery surrounding the cryptic document. But someone else wants the message, and he’ll stop at nothing to get it, not even murder.

Divine intervention brought them together—will it also allow them to find forever?

MY REVIEW
Debbie Peterson has a gift for telling a tale of impossible romance. Part of the delight in her books is sharing the journey and wondering how she’s going to bring about an ending that leaves the reader with a contented sigh. If you’ve read her previous book, SPIRIT OF THE REBELLION, you know she enjoys pairing a hero from the past with a heroine in the present.

In the case of SPIRIT OF THE REVOLUTION, we get Mathias McGregor, leader of a band of Pennsylvania Rangers/spies who support the Patriot cause and are called upon to deliver intelligence to George Washington. Unfortunately, before they can fulfill their assignment, they meet an untimely end at the hands of the Redcoats. Fast forward to the twenty-first century where Jolena Michaelsson, a renowned violinist, has bought the house where Mathias and his rangers linger in ghostly form.

It isn’t’ long before Mathias and `the boys’ introduce themselves. What follows is a mix of romance, mystery, genealogy, history and adventure.

Like Jolena, I fell in love with the boys immediately, especially Mathias and his closest friend, Sam. There’s a particular scene near the end that had me reaching for Kleenex and pleading right along with Jolena. It was late, but I couldn’t put the book down until I finished it and reached that impossible how-did-she-pull-it-off satisfying ending.

I highly recommend SPIRIT OF THE REVOLUTION for anyone who enjoys an engaging read offering a unique blend of romance and history with characters who will steal your heart!

BUY LINKS
Amazon
The Wild Rose Press 

Look for Debbie at the following haunts:
Website
Blog
Twitter
Facebook
Goodreads

 

Cover Reveal: Taking Chances by Loni Flowers

Happy Mother’s Day! If you’re a mom, I hope you’re enjoying your special day, and that everyone is remembering their own mother on this wonderful spring day.

I’m pleased to announce that my friend Loni Flowers is re-releasing her adult contemporary romance, TAKING CHANCES with a brand new stunning cover. I loooved the characters in this book (especially Alex, who made my heart melt *sigh*).

Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000039_00002]

Genre: Adult Contemporary Romance
Date of Publication: March 1st, 2012
ISBN: 978-1468184587
ASIN: B006X6FTJC 
Number of pages: 315
Word Count: 86,000+

BLURB
Turning her back on a life she can no longer deal with, Clair Davidson has been on the streets for six months wandering aimlessly from town to town. But when a hitchhiked car ride lands her back in a familiar town, and a terrifying encounter puts her in the arms of someone too good to be true, Clair almost starts to feel like she could belong somewhere again. Almost.

Alexander Frazier knew what it felt like to live on the streets, up until he received a helping hand from a stranger. After saving Clair from a vicious attack, it’s not long before he realizes she’s a lot like he used to be—lost. Alex soon learns he will risk everything to keep her safe and get her life back on track… even if it means his heart.

But fresh starts are new to Clair and not something she’s certain she’s ready for. Clair’s had her share of people walking out of her life and she doesn’t trust her heart in Alex’s hands. Can his love give her the second chance she never saw coming?

EXCERPT
Alex walked around and opened Clair’s door, helping her out as she jumped down. He followed her as she walked to the far end of the yard and sat in the grass. Lying back, she looked up toward the black sky. Alex laughed as he looked down at her.  “You know, if you’re that tired, I can get my blanket out of the car for you.”

Clair gave a small smile, tapping the grass beside her with her hand. “I miss it, ya know?”

“Miss what?” he asked, sitting beside her.

“I don’t know, the quietness, the stars. It’s just different. I know, it sounds stupid… it’s just, I’ve been on my own for so long without anyone caring. It’s a little overwhelming having someone care about me now; especially when they hardly know me. Everything Roz has done, I mean, who even does that?” 

Alex watched her. She was so animated when she talked. Her face lit up with expressions, her hands waved through the air as if she needed them to help her communicate.  Everything was light and easy going until dinner was over. Since the drive home, Clair seemed sad, but Alex let her ramble, venting whatever was bottled up inside her.

“And you,” she said, looking over at Alex, “if it weren’t for you, I wouldn’t be here.” Clair sat up, crossing her legs up under her. “And this date—I mean, this hanging out we did tonight. It was the best night I’ve had since I left home. Thank you for that.” She picked blades of grass with her fingers, tearing them into tiny pieces. “You didn’t have to take me out, but you did it anyway.”

His eyes traveled up her arms to her neck. Her skin looked so fair and soft under the moonlight, it made him want to run his hands over it.  “You don’t have to thank me. I wanted to take you out tonight. I’m happy you said yes. It’s been quite some time since I’ve been out on date.” Yes, a date. He didn’t want to just “hang out”; no, he wanted to know everything about her. To hold her hand, touch her skin, and taste her lips. But would she want the same things as he? He still didn’t know. 

“Oh, and this,” she said, holding the charm out from around her neck, “you shouldn’t have bought me this. But I do love it. Thank you.”

Alex leaned forward, taking the charm between his fingers. “I’m glad I saw you looking at it. It looks perfect on you.” He laid the charm down against her chest. Lightly, he traced his fingers up the side of her neck, her hair cupped around her face. Alex stared straight into her eyes, dark under the night’s sky. Her lips parted slightly and Alex could feel her breath quicken on his skin. He wanted nothing more than to feel her lips on his. He slipped his hand further up Clair’s neck and heard her breath catch as if she’d stopped breathing. With his face only inches away from her mouth, he whispered, “If you don’t want me to kiss you right now, you’d better tell me.”

BUY FROM
Amazon   
Smashwords

12_21_12AUTHOR BIO
Loni Flowers
lives in Eastern North Carolina with her husband; two wild toddlers, who never slow down for a second; and three couch-potato dogs, who only raise an eye when food’s around. She spends her days working full-time for a well-known bank and when Loni isn’t there, you can find her playing on the internet. Chatting on Twitter and Facebook is her weakness!

She loves to read and write, though can’t see to find time to do them both at the same time! Balance… she has none!

An easy reader, Loni loves most genre, but she’s a definite sucker for a good romance story! Contemporary romance is her writing genre of choice but she’s not opposed to writing something different should an excellent idea strike.

Some of Loni’s favorite authors include: L.J. Kentowski, Stefne Miller, Cassandra Clare, J.K. Rowling, and Karen Marie Moning, Nicholas Sparks, and Jodi Picoult… just to name a few.

Look for Loni at the following haunts:
Blog
Web
Twitter
Facebook
Goodreads

 

Cover Reveal: Bachelor’s Special by Christine Warner

Have you heard? Christine Warner has a new novel releasing this month! I’m thrilled to be able to showcase it today. Check out the gorgeous cover and details below, including Christine’s giveaway for a $10 Amazon gift card!

Bachelor's-Special-CW-1600

Title: Bachelor’s Special
Author: Christine Warner
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: May 2013
Imprint: Indulgence

Jill Adgate wants three things from life: a successful catering business, a family, and the love of an exceptional man. What she has is no job, a mounting pile of bills, and her outspoken best friend—who sets her up on a blind date with the man who inadvertently ruined Jill’s life.

Chet Castle is a businessman who has everything, except the ability to trust. Burned by a money-hungry fiancée, he refuses to get involved in any relationship that has a shelf life longer than a head of lettuce.

Intrigued by her ambition—and determined to get her in bed—Chet offers Jill the chance of a lifetime: work as his live-in chef and he’ll help her get her catering business off the ground. When sparks fly in the kitchen, Jill realizes what’s cooking is a recipe for disaster…

BUY LINKS
Amazon
Barnes & Noble

Christine WarnerAuthor Bio
Christine Warner is living her dream in Michigan along with her husband, three children, one laptop and a much loved assortment of furry friends. 

Besides laughing and a good round of humor, she enjoys spending time with her family, cooking, reading, writing but no arithmitic.  A confessed people watcher, she finds inspiration for her stories in everyday activities.  She loves to read and write about strong heroes and determined, sometimes sassy, heroines.

A girl gone wild, at least where social media is concerned, she enjoys meeting other avid readers and writers on facebook, twitter and her website at christine-warner.com.

My blog/website:  http://christine-warner.com/ 
Twitter under ChristinesWords: https://twitter.com/#!/ChristinesWords 
My Facebook page…stop by and give it a LIKE to stay up to date with the latest: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Christine-Warner/143430882396013 
Goodreads:  http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5763713.Christine_Warner 

I love to hear from readers and other authors :)

Click the Rafflecopter Link to enter a giveaway for a $10 Amazon gift card!