HUNTER — Free 28th, 29th, 30th January 2014 on Amazon


 HUNTER (Magio-Earth Novella)

To love and protect…across worlds.

Nineteen-year-old Lieska Alura, a Dralion warrior from the planet Magio, calls an Australian Outback station her home away from home. Hounded by her skilled hunter senses, she is on a mission to track down one man, her soul-bound mate.

Peacian protector and hunter, Cole Cyrano, is driven by his soul’s demand to find his mated one, a woman he knows is his enemy. Dralion and Peacio are at war, and he ignores his soul’s call. Except Lieska shows up during a fierce training session inside his protectors’ arena, and his soul demands he protect her.

Completely, yet impossibly matched, they decide to renounce their bond, only not all goes as planned when Lieska receives word bushfires rage across her Outback station. She leaves, and now nothing can keep Cole from the hunt. He joins Lieska in driving the station’s cattle toward the mighty river, and the chase is on…against both nature and each other. Can the mated pair find their place together in a world at war?

A Young Adult, New Adult Fantasy Romance


Free 28th, 29th, 30th January 2014
(Tell all your friends to grab a copy)

Free at: Amazon Kindle


Hi, and thank you so much for having me on your blog today, Mae.

HUNTER is a story which will take you deep into the Australian Outback and across those great plains. This is a stand-alone novella within my fast-paced YA/NA fantasy romance line, where across worlds, soul-bound mates battle against both love and land.

I brought my heroine from HUNTER with me today. Lieska’s a warrior hunter from Dralion, and is soul-bound to Cole, a protector from the enemy nation.

Joanne: Hey, Lieska. Thanks so much for taking the time to come and sit with me over here at Mae’s. So, I’ve got to ask. You and Cole? How is it being soul-mated with him?

Lieska: Since he’s a hunter like me, it’s been a blast of who can out-chase the other first. He’s super speedy, but I love every minute of our hunts. Cole’s incredibly smart, funny, caring, sexy— Oh, maybe I shouldn’t have said all that. His hunter senses will be on fire if he catches a whiff of any of this stuff. No one here at Mae’s can whisper a word of what I just said. *smiles nicely at everyone*

Joanne: Gotcha. I’m sure we can all do that. So, looking back at that first day you met Cole inside his protectors’ arena, do you have any regrets about walking in? And what about confronting him?

Lieska: I just wish I could have kicked some protector butt before I met Cole. That would have been fun. And confronting Cole? I’ll never regret that. Heck, he kisses like a—

Cole: *marches in and runs his gaze over Lieska* My ears are burning. I wondered where you’d gotten to.

Lieska: I see you hunted me down again.

Cole: I found something of yours to track you with, and I couldn’t help myself. I love the chase. *pops a kiss on her nose as he sits* So, what are we all up to?

Joanne: We’re just hanging here at Mae’s. She said we could drop by, so we have. Not sure where she’s gotten to though, probably work. You wanna track her down for us, Cole?

Cole: Hah. You just want to get rid of me so you two can keep nattering. Nope, I’m staying. *crosses his arms*

Lieska: Stubborn hunter. *tweaks Cole’s chin*

Joanne: Alrighty then, well if you’re staying, then let me ask you a question, Cole. What’s it like being soul-bound to your sworn enemy?

Cole: It’s agonizing to keep the secrets I have to. Most of my fellow protectors would slice and dice me if they ever found out I’d accepted the mated bond with Lieska, but we’ve got Hope and Silas on our side, and Faith and Davio. They’re mated enemies like us, and it helps they know exactly what we’re going through. And being soul-bound with Lieska is incredible. I can’t give her up, not now, not even with all the problems we’ve still to face.

Joanne: Those guys are great. In the next book in this series they’re right there in the mix with Silvie and Guy as they undertake their journey. Things get pretty heated, but— Um, I probably shouldn’t go on about Enchanter since the third book doesn’t release until the summer. I better zip my lips.

Lieska: Gee, you are such a tease. You’ve gotta tell us what happens.

Joanne: Nope, I’m not spilling another word. Go and hunt down Hope and Faith if you want more goss. They’re in the story. They know it all.

Lieska: Oooh, did you just dare me? We hunters love a dare. *tugs Cole to his feet* Come with me. I’ll need your extra senses to catch them.

Cole: *grinning* See, this is why I love you. Let’s hunt. *they teleport away*

Joanne: Hey, come back here you two. We’re in the middle of an interview. Unbelievable. Oh, well I guess that’s it from us. Thanks for joining in. I hope you race out and grab your FREE copy of HUNTER and track down Lieska and Cole and discover more about their story.

HUNTER is the perfect short story to get you started on the series, and likely hooked. Full-length novels, PROTECTOR and WARRIOR are available, and ENCHANTER (book three) is coming real soon.


Free 28th, 29th, 30th January 2014
(Tell all your friends to grab a copy)

 Free at: Amazon Kindle


Here’s an excerpt from Hunter to tempt you:

Chains cranked, and the solid paneled iron gates at the entrance rolled open. This was what I’d been waiting for. Finally I’d be able to see inside the three-story high open-aired arena. It was a beauty with its ancient circular architecture.

“Wow. Do you see that?” Hope whispered to me from where we hid in a bush.

I shoved the brush farther aside, and we both poked our noses in. The protectors’ arena was close in size to our fighting force’s in Dralion. Their blocked seats were layered back and up and able to hold thousands of spectators. Groups of protectors trained on the central sandy floor with swords and spears and axes, with likely more beyond. Some of the men wore red tunics with leather-flapped skirts, and they lunged and parried, as accurate with their brutally sharp weapons as any warrior would be. The women trained in their battle leathers. So close. This was the chance I’d been waiting for. It had definitely been right to bring Hope. Hopefully she’d be able to help me keep a level head.

“Let’s go.” I gripped Hope’s hand and ’ported us. Everything darkened as I made the short jump through space.

Hope wobbled as we arrived near the wall. “Lieska, what the heck are you doing?”

“You saw the gate open. It’s an invitation I can’t turn down.” I plucked the sides of my hip-hugging black leather pants. “Look at us. I’m dressed no differently to any of the protector women, and you’re completely unassuming in jeans and a t-shirt. Except for this. The Stetson has to go. It screams Earth.” I nabbed it and tossed it behind a flax bush growing beside the wall. “Now no one’s going to suspect we’re from Dralion unless we announce it. We’ll be normal people, not catching a second glance.”

“Geez, I hate how my own words come back to bite me.” She shook her head. “Just make sure you don’t announce our arrival your way. No throwing any daggers at the protectors, because that would be announcing it, in case you weren’t aware.”

“I’m aware, and I’ll try and keep them sheathed, maybe.” I couldn’t stop from rubbing my hands together. Finally I’d have a chance to sort this problem. The hunt was on. I strode in and the breeze lifted my long brown locks and swept strands across my face. Two men battled close by and one of the men’s blade’s struck flesh and bone. Blood spurted in a wide arc. My blood thrummed to join the fight. Oh yeah. I wish I’d been the one to inflict that wound. The injured man grasped his arm, holding the edges closed. His blood ceased running and his skin began to knit together. A fast-healer. Damn. What a shame.

“Ew.” Hope puffed as she caught up. “Are your senses still on fire?”

“Burning bright. So stay close in case I need to ’port us out of here quick.” I followed the safety rail around the perimeter. My senses flared. There. A man in black jeans stretched as if readying himself for training. The denim molded his butt. Mm-mmm.

He selected a two-handed sword from the rack and twirled it in a precise figure eight. Slowly he built up speed, and moved through a series of fluid training moves. He held the battle skills, and only those who had such an affinity for their weapon did.

“Is that him? The one you’re after?” Hope hauled me to a stop.

“Yes, and it appears he needs a battling partner. Wait here.”

“I’ll wait provided you agree not to kill anyone.”

“We’ll see, just don’t draw any attention to yourself.”

“Huh, I can’t believe you’re telling me not to draw attention to myself. Hello. Give yourself your own pep talk.” With a harrumph, she snuck under the railing. She plopped onto the wooden bench and grasped the edge under her knees, squishing her knuckles.

“I would take my own advice, except I don’t think I’m up for listening. That’s why I have you.” She was one of my best friends, even though she’d accepted a protector as her mate. I could deal.

Stroking the hilt of my ever-present side sword, I walked toward the one my senses had flared on.


Look for JOANNE WADSWORTH at the following haunts:
AMAZON PAGE (For books)

Joanne Wadsworth (2)AUTHOR BIO:

Where Romance Meets Fantasy and Adventure…

Reading romance books captivated Joanne Wadsworth as a teenager, particularly when she tucked herself into bed at night and continued to dream those stories as she slept. She’d visualize the direction, taking the hero and heroine on an adventure unparalleled to what she’d read. Today she is devoted to writing romance, bringing her imagination to life within the lines of young adult, contemporary, and historical Highlander.

Born in New Zealand, Joanne works both as a writer and a financial controller, all while keeping up with her four energetic children and dreamy husband.

Visit Joanne Wadsworth at

Guest Blogger, Daisy Banks: Do You Believe in Fairies?

Today I’m pleased to turn my blog over to my friend, Daisy Banks, who has a delightful post about fairies. Not only does she have a fairy-themed release coming from Liquid Silver Books, VALENTINE WISHES, but she just may convince you the fey folk are still flitting about.

She’s also doing a giveaway, so check out the details at the end of the post to see what you can win. In the meantime, grab your beverage of choice, help yourself to the virtual pastry tray, and enjoy the story as Daisy provides a bewitching glimpse into the realm of the wee people.


I do believe in fairies. I do! I do!
by Daisy Banks

Thanks so much for inviting me to the blog today, Mae. It is a pleasure to be here.

Now, it might strike the readers as a little odd a grown woman will say I believe in fairies, but it is true, I do. I grew up in a family who all knew fairies existed, and the little people certainly played a part in my childhood in our family home. I have tried to look up some fairy lore to explain about the fairy habit of ‘borrowing’ items. It seems generally agreed fairies do this, sometimes to the point of great irritation of the mortal owners of the objects they take. Some say fairies will only take things you as a mortal don’t value enough, and other sources say fairies will only take food items. I think I’ll just have to continue to believe if an object vanishes and later reappears it is because some fairy or other had need or desire for it for a time.

During my childhood, and still today, things disappeared in my parents’ house on a regular basis. Not big things like furniture, but small things, pretty things, items fairies might find interesting or useful.  I have a couple of examples of these disappearances I remember well and can share with you. One was a ring of my mother’s, a very dainty item that went missing from its usual storage place in a cranberry glass bowl in a cabinet. My mother hunted high and low but to no avail, until resigned to her loss she announced ‘the fairies have borrowed it’. I’m not sure if when mom spoke those words she influenced the wee folk to return the ring, but eventually they did. The strangest thing was, the ring turned up one day in its usual place in the cranberry glass dish. There is no logical explanation to this at all.

A similar thing happened with one of my dolls, not the doll itself, but one of its shoes vanished. I was quite put out about loss, as I liked the shoes and only had one left for my doll to hop in. My mother consoled me by telling me the fairies had borrowed the shoe and if I was patient, eventually I would get it back. Some time passed, several weeks I believe, until one day my mother went into the front parlour for something, a room we didn’t use every day, and there placed on the arm of a wing backed chair was my doll’s shoe. How the doll’s shoe got into a room I wasn’t allowed to play in, I have no idea, and no explanation springs to mind.  All I can say is I agreed with my mother; the fairies had returned the item to me.

I guess you can understand that with such a background of fairy experiences it’s not surprising I have written a story involving a fairy. My latest story, to be published by Liquid Silver Books on the 10th of February this year is Valentine Wishes. This is a sweet and saucy Valentine story of a fairy who grants a big wish to help her mortals and creates chaos.

Valentine's Wishes-high-resHere is a little snippet from Valentine Wishes:

“There yer are, I knew yer were here. I’ve been waiting for ye all night.”

She spun around at the velvet caress of a voice she remembered so well. “No,” she squeaked.


Not possible.

Her stomach knotted and she wanted to crawl away and hide.

His golden hair glinted in the glow of the colored lights and he smiled wide in greeting. She could hardly keep herself in the air. A wave of heat scorched her face.

“Poppy, ‘tis me, Cedar Heartwood. Yer remember me, don’t ye, darlin’?” He flew a little closer, and she nodded.

Her knees sagged.


I remember you … who couldn’t? You haven’t changed at all.

His eyes still entranced with hazel gleams. She ached to throw her arms around him, and as she steadied herself, she swept her gaze up to his face again. He still had the most enticing lips she’d ever seen.

Oh, by the wind in the leaves. How many hours did I sit among the daisies and wonder what it would be like to kiss him? She shook herself, torn between long held hopes and tonight’s despair. He had to go, at least until later. “I can’t speak with ye now, Cedar. I’m busy.”

Connect with Daisy at the following haunts:
Liquid Silver Books
Twitter: @DaisyBanks12
Facebook Page

Don’t forget! VALENTINE WISHES will be available on February 10th. What better combination than romance and the Fair Folk in a month devoted to romance? 😀

Comment for a chance to win a copy of Daisy’s ghostly romance, YOUR HEART MY SOUL. One lucky commentator will be selected at random.

A Pen Pal Welcome to Christina Cole and Summertime!

bigstock-Stacks-of-old-letters-on-woode-43415203I’m thrilled to turn my blogging pen over to Christina Cole today as she shares her new release SUMMERTIME, along with some amazing memories of summers past. Oh, how I wish I had my very own catalpa tree and could “go down to Frank’s” in Indian Grove!

Please welcome Christina and enjoy these wonderful memories!


Memories of Summertime
by Christina Cole

With the recent release of Summertime, my latest historical romance from Sweet Cravings Publishing, I’ve been talking to readers a lot about their favorite summer memories from childhood. Today, I thought it would be fun to share a few of my own.

First, I have to point out one fact. I’m old. Ancient, is the way my kids put it. I’m old enough to remember when houses were cooled with window fans, and the few stores with air conditioning bragged about it in their advertisements. Oh, how refreshing it was to walk into a “dimestore” that featured that latest, and greatest technology. The unfortunate thing was that you couldn’t stay there forever. Once you’d finished your shopping, you had to step back out into the sweltering heat. Needless to say, shoppers dawdled as long as they could.

Another sweet summer memory was going to the Dari-B. It wasn’t a big, fancy place like today’s Dairy Queens or Baskin-Robbins, just a little wooden building with a sliding window at the front. You stood outside, placed your order, and when the window opened you could feel a rush of cold air from inside. Your only choice was vanilla or chocolate, but those cones sure tasted good on a hot summer’s evening. You had to lick fast though, because a single scoop could melt away in minutes. Going to the Dari-B became even more of a thrill when I was about thirteen and had a gigantic crush on one of the boys who worked there. Nothing came of it, but I sure ate a lot of ice cream cones that summer.

One of my favorite summer places was the old catalpa tree. It was in Dick Moore’s yard, several houses down the street from where I lived. Dick Moore was an oddity in the neighborhood, a single man living among a dozen families with children. He was a lawyer, and I always had the idea that he made a lot of money, but that was all I ever knew about him. I remember how everyone in the neighborhood poked their heads out of their doors to gawk the one time Dick Moore brought a lady home to his house. We probably scared her away!

All the kids loved the old catalpa tree. We climbed it, held club meetings beneath its branches, and we girls used its huge, heart-shaped leaves and fragrant flowers to design fanciful hats and bracelets. Mr. Moore would sometimes come home to find a dozen of us either in the branches, underneath, or scattered about his catalpa tree. He’d wave or nod and go inside. Never once did he ask us to leave.

On really hot days, we’d beg and plead for someone to drive us to Lake Maurer, a public swimming pool and recreational area on the outskirts of town. If all else failed, we’d gather our swimsuits, towels, and suntan lotions, and set off on foot. Usually some kind soul would take pity on us and give us a lift. Back then, there were no strangers, and nobody had ever heard the term “stranger danger”.

We’d swim in the pool all day, splashing and kicking, shrieking and laughing, and when evening came, we’d finally crawl out of the water, exhausted and waterlogged. Next we’d play a round of miniature golf, or ride the Lake Maurer Special, a wooden train that took us around the bend and back.

Farmhouse DrawingThe best memory of all was “going down to Frank’s.” Frank Zungs was my great-uncle, although I hardly knew him. He passed away when I was very young. He’d bought a huge old farmhouse in a little place called Indian Grove. The population of the Grove was about 12, which included Frank, his widowed sister, Nina, and his brother, Mike. My grandfather would take my sister and me “down to Frank’s” every summer. Even after Frank was gone, we still called it “going down to Frank’s.” It was always fun to read the “society pages” of the newspaper from the nearest town, because we were society! Yes, in a little place like Indian Grove, it’s news when somebody sneezes, and having relatives come to visit was worthy of several paragraphs. We really thought we were important!

I have a lifetime of beautiful memories from the summers I spent in Indian Grove, and many of my thoughts and feelings found their way into Summertime.  As I wrote the story, I thought about that old farmhouse, about sitting on the porch in the evenings, about listening to the sounds of the bullfrogs as I fell asleep.

Summer is always a special time. Thanks for letting me share a few of my memories with you.

~ Christina

Beautiful sunset over a field with podsolnuzami

Don’t you just love this gorgeous cover?

About Summertime:
Linn Sparks wanted all life had to offer. Fame, fortune, glamour and excitement. She found it as a star of the stage at the Crown Theater in San Francisco.

For Ed Ferguson, life was far less complicated. All he wanted was Linnie Mae, but she’d left him standing alone at the altar seven years before when she’d run off to pursue her dreams.

Now, Linn has come home to Brookfield, Kansas.

You can find Summertime at the following online booksellers:
Secret Cravings Publishing
All Romance Ebooks

Rocking with London Casey and The Stronger, Safer Kind ~ Mae Clair

Electric guitar and the wallI’ve always had a love for music. Maybe it’s because music is ingrained in my family roots. My grandfather played multiple instruments (guitar, banjo, piano, flute, clarinet, harmonica, and horn), and my brother has been a drummer in various rock bands since he was seventeen.

I dabbled briefly with bass guitar in high school (I had my own Rickenbacker bass and amp), and while it was fun for a time, I never had the drive to pursue it. Unlike writing, I didn’t feel the need to live and breathe it, the way I do with creating stories. I almost wish I did. I admire anyone with musical talent, and am just a little envious of that ability.

As a teen, I dreamed up plenty of stories with guys in rock bands and, even today, I’m a sucker for a good rock romance. That’s why when London Casey contacted me about showcasing her New Adult contemporary rockstar romance series, The Boys of DownCrash, I jumped at the chance to splash it on my blog.

Book One in the series is available now with Book Two scheduled to release soon. London will be returning in June to share more about that, but for now, check out the details of Book One, THE STRONGER, SAFER KIND. I love the cover!


bdc1The Stronger, Safer Kind
(The Boys of DownCrash #1)

All Scarlett wanted to do was thank the sexy stranger who helped her push away a drunk, grabby college boy at a bar. When that stranger identifies himself as Tripp and then takes the stage as the lead singer and guitarist for rock band, DownCrash, everything in Scarlett’s life begins to change.

Her best friend, Andy, confesses his love for her and leaves her with what should be an easy decision to make… yet each time she looks in Andy’s eyes, she can’t help but face her secret, nightmarish past.

The only thing that makes Scarlett feel better is Tripp… but Tripp isn’t just a bad boy rockstar, he’s hurt. He’s in pain. He tries to hide his pain in a bottle, but Scarlett believes that, perhaps, their secrets can help each other.

Friendship and love is suddenly put to the test, and Scarlett is torn… Will she choose an easy, comfortable, happy life or a life clouded with mixed signals, raw emotion, and intense romance?

THE STRONGER, SAFER KIND is available for purchase at

Connect with London Casey at the following Haunts:

Twitter @london_casey

Book Spotlight: JENN’s WOLF by Jane Wakely

I’ve got a treat today, spotlighting Jane Wakely’s new paranormal,/shifter romance, JENN’S WOLF. And you know how much I love shifters, right? 😀

Jane and I originally met through a class we took together on Savvy Authors. I’m delighted to have her on my blog with her hot new release. I love this cover!

Author: Jane Wakely
Genre: Paranormal/Shifter Romance
Publisher: Rebel Ink Press
Release Date: March 17, 2013

Jenn's Wolf CoverBLURB:
Jenn is used to being overlooked by men. She’s short, slim, shy and her past keeps her guarded against others—especially men. It also gets her labeled as having a “good personality.” When she sees Matt for the first time, she realizes he’s the first man she’s willing to take a chance on.

Matt is a wolf shifter worried that he’ll never find his mate. Without a mate, a shifter’s life is incredibly drawn-out and lonely. Willing to try anything, he agrees to a blind date with Jenn and is stunned to find out she’s the one.

A misunderstanding interrupts their first night together and leaves them both miserable. After determining she may have overreacted, Jenn apologizes and they agree to start over. When Matt tells her about his wolf, she has to decide whether to trust her heart or run from the only man she’s ever wanted.

“Okay, Matt, you have to kiss the next girl that walks by.” His friend’s comment pulled him out of his thoughts.

“Huh?” He hadn’t been listening. They wanted him to kiss someone, but why? He didn’t go around kissing women he didn’t know.

“You lose so you have to kiss the next girl that walks by.”

“How did I lose?”

“You didn’t yell ‘not it’ like the rest of us.” They all broke out in laughter again. Oh geez, he needed to get home. Matt looked around and saw a hot blonde walking toward him. She was tall and cute. He could definitely kiss her. What if she was the one? He didn’t want to miss an opportunity, especially since he’d just been thinking about a lonely death.

He turned to face her right before she passed him.

“Can I kiss you?” He asked.

“Sure, handsome.” Her smile was genuine.

Matt stepped forward, wrapped his hands around her waist and gently touched his lips to hers. His friends were unusually silent—probably surprised he actually did it. The girl placed her hands on his shoulders and he licked her lips before sliding his tongue inside her mouth. It was a bold move, but he decided if he was stupid enough to kiss her, he might as well do a thorough job. She didn’t protest and even kissed him back.

It was nice, but the kiss did nothing for him and he broke away quickly.

“Thank you,” he said.

“Anytime, handsome.” She smiled at him again and walked toward the bar.

He smiled and tried not to lose hope. He had a blind date tomorrow night.  While he doubted she’d be the one, he hoped they’d find something to talk about over dinner.

Jane has always been a writer. Even when she took a break from it for a few years, she couldn’t keep the stories from filling her head. As an avid romance reader, she finally decided her stories needed to be free, and she started writing again.

Reading and liking all genres of romance; it makes sense that she would write that way too. Her stories range from sweet to erotic, contemporary to paranormal, and a bunch in-between. She loves all romance genres, and all levels of spice.

Jane lives on the east coast of the United States with her loving husband, daughter and their Miniature Dachshund.

Barnes and Noble
All Romance Ebooks 

Find Jane at the following haunts:



Blog Tour: Christine Warner and Some Like it in Handcuffs

I’m delighted to have Christine Warner on my blog today as she tours with her contemporary romance, SOME LIKE IT IN HANDCUFFS.

Christine and I originally connected back in the days of Six Sentence Sundays, and have  become blogging and social media buddies. She’s always friendly, helpful and supportive of other authors and–hey–she knows how to create a swoon-worthy hero as you’re about to find out.

So, grab a cup of your favorite beverage (I’ll make mine Green Mountain Vermont Country decaf) and enjoy the special treat Christine has prepared for us!


Before I get started I want to thank Mae for letting me take over her awesome blog today! Thanks for making me feel so welcome 🙂

One of my favorite things about sitting down to enjoy some reading time with a good romance is the moment the hero and heroine meet. I love to see what they think of each other in their own words—either by their internals or if they are so bold as to comment aloud. Lol

When I wrote Some Like it in Handcuffs—my light-hearted romantic suspense with humor—I also discovered I liked the process of writing their first impressions. To me, those first impressions show so much about who they really are.

I’d like to share Sunny Kennedy’s first impression of her hero Judson Blackwolf…and I hope when you’re finished reading you have as much of a crush on him as I do 🙂



His large hand combed through his thick overgrown hair before he stopped in annoyance then

swung around on his heel. The mercury light on the pole behind her lit his face as he looked down at her with the most extraordinary pair of gray eyes she’d ever seen. Not solid gray as she summed up in her hasty inspection, but the type of blue-gray color that matched the sky during a spring storm.

Definitely easy on the eyes. The startling realization that this no nonsense detective was quite

a specimen of manhood surprised her. It took her what…all of five minutes to notice. The word handsome didn’t do him justice. His strong, rugged features and dark coloring made his Native American heritage obvious. His height and size made her feel feminine and—she flinched—protected.

Her gaze traveled from the top of his head to the toes of his well-made leather shoes. If she’d paid attention from the start, instead of pouting over her predicament, she’d have noticed all of this sooner. Her lips twitched at her own blatant evaluation of him.

Just the type of guy she was attracted to, too bad he worked law enforcement. All her life she’d been surrounded by men who talked cop day and night. Sunny had sworn off ever actually dating anyone in the profession.

Okay, you’ve learned what weakens my knees at the beginning of a good romance…tell me what weakens yours. 🙂

About Christine Warner
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 arithmetic. 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, Goodreads and her Website.

Barnes and Noble
The Wild Rose Press

Wizards with Words: Calisa Rhose and Risk Factors

bigstock-magic-book-9719930Welcome Word Wizard fans!

Today, I have my friend and Lyrical Press sister, Calisa Rhose dropping by. It’s always a pleasure to feature her on my blog, and I’m happy to have her back with her new release, RISK FACTORS.

She’s on tour through April 11th, so be sure to grab the complete list of stops by clicking the banner below, or the tour schedule link Calisa provides at the end of our interview. For extra fun, she’s doing a giveaway too!

You can check out my 5-star review for RISK FACTORS on Amazon. In the meantime, I invite you to learn more about Calisa, her characters and the heartwarming story she created in this contemporary romance.



Hello again, Mae! How fun this is! I just love your blog! 🙂

Please start by telling us a bit about yourself and how long you’ve been writing.

Calisa Rhose is an Okie, born and bred, through and through, and proud of it. While growing up, when she wasn’t on the back of a horse, she could be found with pen and paper in hand. Her writing career began with poetry in her younger days. Then she discovered Rock-n-Roll and cute musicians. Poetry turned into stories of romance and dreams. These days she lives with the same man who convinced her to take a romantic journey with him almost 30 years ago. After raising three strong daughters she spends her days loving their granddaughters, hoping for a boy someday, and writing. When she’s not writing, you can find Calisa putting on her editor hat and working to help other published and aspiring writers.

She is working on more projects with her favored contemporary cowboys, first responders  and firemen.

b-w profile pic

Find Calisa at her website/blog

Facebook/Calisa Rhose,
and Amazon


Your new contemporary romance, RISK FACTORS, was released on March 4th by Lyrical Press.  I love the cover.  It feels so romantic and breezy.  Tell us about the plot.

I love the cover too, Mae!

Love, like life, is not without risk.

Veterinarian Vivian Dane has purchased her uncle’s practice in the tiny town of Wales, Missouri, where most residents still doubt her ability to treat their pets. But Viv is used to being considered less-worthy than her predecessors. After all, her parents are world-renowned wildlife vets, and most everyone is unimpressed she’s chosen to not follow directly in their footsteps. Now Connor, a patient’s owner, and is hot for Viv, but clearly doesn’t think she’s dating material because he has a daughter…who he believes no woman is good enough for.

Being a perfect dad is EMT paramedic Connor’s life focus. He can’t seem to stay away from sexy Doctor Viv, but attraction is as far as he’ll ever let it go. His mother abandoned him, leaving him to be raised in the foster system, and then his wife abandoned both him and their daughter. He absolutely will not risk bringing another woman into his little girl’s life and having her feel the hurt of being left…again.

Forfeiting is easier than attempting and failing. So why does Viv feel compelled to prove she’s a sure bet for Connor and his daughter? Can Connor trust Viv–and himself–enough to play the possibilities?

CONTENT WARNING: Happy-ever-after mixed with four-legged friends.

A Lyrical Press Contemporary Romance

I love the backgrounds you created for the characters, especially Conner. And a single dad always makes my heart melt. You chose to set it in a small town in Missouri. Any particular reason?

Not really. I didn’t want Oklahoma for this one but I still needed to retain that southern-y country feel and Missouri is such a beautiful state. It sounded perfect. Of course, during edits last year I thought I might change the main city in it, Joplin, because between the writing and sell of RF there was that horrific tornado that wiped out the hospital I modeled mine after in the book. In fact the whole city was damaged so badly I felt bad even having it in the story, but it fit, so I kept it.

Wow, I didn’t realize, but perhaps your book can serve as a tribute. Do you have a favorite scene in the novel? What makes it special for you?

I have a few favorite scenes, Mae. But one is in a hotel room after a bad scene with Viv’s parents. Viv is trying to get through her sad bubble by dancing and…well, I’ll let you read it. LOL

Ooh, it was awesome. I remember that scene! 🙂 Stepping away from the H/h for a moment, who is your favorite secondary character in the book and why?

Definitely Connor’s daughter, Janna! She keeps a ‘few’ pets and they are quite a bunch. She’s a charm and was fun to write, though I do wish I’d given her more in the book.

I loved Janna. She really added to every scene she was in. Now let’s talk technique–Do you have a favorite time of day and/or place to write?

Um, when I can? Lol I never know when things will go in any direction other than productive, but early mornings, after checking emails, if I’m not working on edits. If that’s the case, then I do edits (for others, not mine) in the morning when I’m fresh and able to focus. I usually get my most writing done in the evening after dinner and homework is over.

As writers, we’re often asked if we’re plotters or pansters (or somewhere in between), but I know many authors also differ in how they create scenes. So…do you write in a strictly linear fashion or do you hop around and produce scenes and chapters out of sequence as they come to you?

First, I’m a linear pantser. I write from A-Z in a rough draft and then I go back and layer all the emotion, sensory aspects and such once the first draft is complete. If I happen to think of a scene that would be better in another place in the wip, I’ll write it and put it in a file until I need it.

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

I love my horse and pampering him with a bath, brushing or riding him in warmer weather. I spend time with family watching movies or going places, visiting friends and family.

Please share a few of your favorite authors and book titles.

Oh boy. I hate this question because I have so many and I can never remember the names or titles but one of my favorite is Nora Roberts and her Key Trilogy. I also like Vonnie Davis. Hilariously talented author for WRP and a lovely friend. It really doesn’t matter which of her books you pick up, no matter what genre, you are guaranteed a laugh and often a tear. I’m sure, once I have time to read it, I’ll love Weathering Rock and you’ll become a favorite too! 😉

How sweet! 🙂 What do you have in your cache of WIPs that we can look forward to in the future?

Well, I’ve been trying to pull my fireman through a wip, but that seems to be on hold again. I’m working on a story, tentatively titled Winter’s Song, about Brie Collins, a woman whom life has not been great to but she still tries to maintain a positive attitude, and her one wish is meet the man of her dreams. She has had a tough life and as an adult the challenges seem to keep coming at her, knocking her off balance and threatens to be the end of her. My hero, Zane River, is an orphan with a chunk of pain he wears like body armor. He’s made it to the top of the world through his music, but with a singular goal to beat the one place that mistreated him and made his childhood a living hell. Little does he know he will be put to the test and forced to think of someone other than himself and his goals. Or that he’ll fall in love along the way.

Winter’s Song sounds fantastic, and I love the names of your characters! I’ll cross my fingers the writing goes smoothly and we can look forward to its release in the near future. And now some quickies:

Favorite movie: Hope Floats
Favorite snack item: Anything chocolate
Favorite color: Dark green
Favorite number: 2
Favorite TV show: NCIS or CSI:NY
Dawn or dusk: Dawn
Coffee or tea: Coffee
Dream vacation spot gifted to you by a fairy godmother, all expenses paid: Ireland

That was fun! How about sharing an excerpt from RISK FACTORS?

Risk Factors300dpiEXCEPRT:
It was close to five o’clock and Viv wanted to go home. Winter hadn’t reached the Midwest yet, but from September through October the temperatures often dipped and dove sporadically, before diving for the long winter ahead. There’d been a slight chill in the air that morning and she hoped for a few more weeks of warmth before harsh weather moved in.

She looked forward to a hot soak in the bathtub, but Skittles was due for pick-up first. Connor had assured her he’d pick her up, or have his father get her before five. She glanced at her watch again. Four-fifty-six. She didn’t mind staying late if she needed to; it would be a shame to leave the nervous animal alone another night.

She opened the small closet to put the dust mop away.


With a start, she spun and her hand caught the broom handle on her way around. Gasping, she grabbed uselessly, horrified as the cleaning tool flew sideways from the closet. In slow motion she saw it shoot out against Connor’s shoulder and fall with a sharp snap onto the tile floor.

“Oh! I’m so–so sorry! Are you hurt?” Instant heat rushed up her neck and she bent to reclaim the errant broom to shove into the closet. She slammed the door and leaned against it on a sharp breath.

“I’m fine. You worried your killer broom might attack again? You might consider putting a lock on the door,” he said with a crooked smile.

Puzzled, Viv looked around and realized with total humiliation how it appeared she’d trapped the broom inside the closet–when in actuality, she wanted to climb through the door beside the instrument and hide.

“Of course not. That would be silly. I didn’t expect you right now.”

“It’s two minutes of five. I told you I’d be here for Skittles. Is it too late?”

Right. The skunk. “No. I’m sure she’s more than ready to go home. Do you have the pet carrier to put her in?” She probably didn’t need to ask when Connor stood empty-handed before her.

He lowered his head and she knew he’d forgotten it, fought back a smile at his forgetfulness. “Sorry. I drove straight from work and didn’t think about it.”

“No worry. I have one you can borrow.” Which meant he’d have to see her again. She’d definitely need to see him again.

“Thank you. I’ll bring it back tomorrow.”

“Oh, there’s no rush. I keep a few on hand for emergencies.” She led him back to the cage where the skunk still huddled, and got a carrier while he opened the cage to retrieve his daughter’s pet. As he lifted the black fur ball out, Viv set a pink case next to him.

He hissed under his breath and almost let the animal loose. Viv opened the cage and held it upright for him to lower the skunk down inside and shut the door. Once he stood with the pet taxi, she detected a smear of red on one finger.

“She bit you?” Skunk bite, rabies, germs…

“It’s fine. When she’s scared she tends to nip a warning like a cat.” Connor’s lack of care concerned Viv, however.

“I should clean it with antiseptic before you go.”

“I’ll tend it when I get home.”

“But, it may have germs…get infected.”

“It’s not the first time, and her rabies vaccination is current. Thank you, but it’s not necessary.”

Viv stopped by a cabinet on the way to the front reception area to grab ointment and a Band-Aid.


Lyrical Press, Inc.
Barnes & Noble

That was fun, Mae! Thanks again for having me.

At the end of this tour I’ll be picking one winner to gift either a signature rose rock for a USA winner or a $10 GC of choice (Kindle or Nook) for one overseas or in Canada. Either winner will also get a PDF copy of Risk Factors!

The more you stalk me and comment, the greater your chance to win on April 8th. I’ll announce the winner on the 10th. Thank you for joining me on this fun journey’s end and good luck to all!

As a special bonus, I’ll be pooling all my blog hosts and the one with the most comments on their blog for my post will also win one of the same prizes as the winners! They need your help to win! Please note, this also includes my two hosts before today, so I’d appreciate if you check my official blog tour schedule and give them a chance to win by going to their blogs too.

I’d like to ask your readers what they like to see in a heroine?

Author Spotlight: Cd Brennan and Watershed

I’m pleased to showcase the book of an exciting new author I’ve just discovered. Cd Brennan is a sister author at Lyrical Press whose debut release, WATERSHED, is a pure delight. If you like contemporary romance with a strong hero and a plucky heroine, you’ll love this book pairing an Aussie rancher with an Irish lass who loves adventure. I recently had the pleasure of reading this novel and gave it a five star review on Amazon and Goodreads. The descriptions, especially of the Australian Outback, will steal your breath, and the romance is sweet and touching.

How does Cd Brennan know so much about Austriala and Ireland? Take a look at her bio:

Author Pic2Author Bio
Having traveled and lived all over the world, Cd Brennan now talks with a strange accent, a mix of distant terminology, a blend of culturally cute but confusing euphemisms that leaves everyone looking at her with a blank stare. Luckily, her Australian husband (who she met in Ireland) and her two Aussie/Yankee sons have no problem understanding her – well, except for the word “NO”.

Now settled back “home” in Michigan, she enjoys reliving her glory days by writing about them. She considers the last fifteen years abroad the perfect research for her Love Where You Roam series; matchmaking women and men from different cultures, even different hemispheres, helping them find their true one across oceans of difference.

As destiny plays a hand in all the stories, Cd Brennan truly believes that what is for you, won’t pass you by. She hopes to inspire others to get out there: “Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” [Mark Twain]  And of course, fall in love.

Get in touch with her at

Love Where You Roam – Contemporary Romance Series

Debut Release – Book 1: Watershed –  March 4, 2013

She left home to find herself…and found love along the way.

Maggie isn’t looking for love on her backpacking trip through Australia. She’s got enough man troubles back in Ireland. Australia is her escape, a place of adventure where she can create memories to last a lifetime.

But some memories won’t be left behind.

Gray is ready to quit hiring backpackers to help with the work on his remote Queensland cattle station when Maggie turns up. She’s just passing through, but the connection they forge during the long nights herding cattle won’t be so easily cast aside.

CONTENT WARNING: A strong-willed Irish heroine, a stubborn Australian hero, and oceans of difference to bridge for love.

A Lyrical Press Contemporary Romance

Excerpt :
She couldn’t figure him, and this was the first chance they’d had to be alone since that night. She put on her best teasing smile. “How did a seasoned bushman like you let a bull get the best of ya?”

As soon as it came out of her mouth, she knew it was the wrong thing to say.

His brow furrowed, anger lighting his eyes. “It happens to the best of us.” He ripped another piece of bark from the tree and turned to go.

“Did you have a good time last night?” Maggie hurried on. “I mean, other than the incident with the bull.”

He shrugged. “It was all right. Did you?”

“It was brilliant. I had a fantastic time.”

“Yeah, it looked like you were having a good time with ol’ mate there.”

Maggie raised an eyebrow. “Jason?”

“Yeah, that skeg.”

He had noticed.

“What does that mean? Skeg?”

Gray shook his head. “It’s nothin’, forget it.”

Maggie’s temper flared. “I might not be an Aussie, oi-oi-oi,” she mimicked, “to know that it’s rude.”

Gray shrugged. “Anyway, looked like you guys were getting pretty close. Are you going to stay with him next?”

Now her temper kicked in. She pumped harder on the swing. If he would only step a few feet closer, she’d be able to get him with her legs. That’s what he needed, a kick in the bum.

“Maybe I will.” She raised her chin in defiance. “With Lizzy here, you don’t need my help anymore.”

Gray narrowed his eyes at her. “Who told you that you were any help?”

Her mouth fell open. How rude! He was treating her like he had when she first arrived.

Suddenly, a loud crack sounded, and then snap! The next thing Maggie knew, she was lying on the ground on her back, the rope in her hands.

Gray squatted down over her. “Are you okay?” He appeared genuinely concerned.

She let go of the ropes and let her head fall onto the grass. “I’m grand, just need to catch my breath a moment.” There she was lying on her back again, looking up at him, wondering what the hell had happened. This was twice now. Was it divine intervention? Maggie wasn’t superstitious like most of the Irish, but she was smart enough to know not to push her luck if things looked grim.

He hovered over her, and she could feel the energy building between them like it always did when they were close. He smelled of earthy oats. His eyes were darker in the shade, not the usual golden reflection from the sun. She gazed into them, feeling herself being pulled deeper into everything that was Gray. “Thank you for bringing my journal and phone to me at the hospital.”

His features softened. “No worries.”

She dropped her eyes away to play at the blades of grass, pinching individual stems and running them through her fingers. “You came like you promised.”

He grabbed her hand with both of his, forcing Maggie to return her gaze to him. He gently rubbed the outside of her hand with his thumb. “We ride out early tomorrow. Be saddled up by first light.”

He dropped her hand suddenly and stood to go.

Maggie yanked a bunch of grass from the ground and threw it at his retreating figure, letting her head thump onto the ground. God, was she in love with him.

Buy Links

Look for Cd Brennan at the following haunts

Welcoming Guest Blogger Sara Jayne Townsend

I’m rolling out the red carpet for Sara Jayne Townsend who has dropped my blog today to to share a guest post.  This is a good one *rubs hands together eagerly* and I can’t wait to hear your opinions! So kick back, enjoy and check out what she has to say!

Minority Opinion?
by Sara Jayne Townsend

Sarah Townsend (45) smallLast month was Women in Horror month. For the second year running, I participated in this by running relevant posts on my blog.  Last year, I showcased women horror writers.  This year, I looked at fictional kick-ass role models of horror (specifically Buffy, Alice from ‘Resident Evil’, Ripley from ‘Alien’ and Sarah Connor from the ‘Terminator’ films).

I think this is an important cause, because we need to raise the profile of women in horror.  Women have been writing horror since Mary Shelley penned ‘Frankenstein’.  They read horror.  There are even well-respected women directing horror films.  So why, in the 21st century, is there still a pervading general opinion that women don’t ‘do’ horror?  As a woman horror writer I think about this question a lot.

I think part of the problem is the fact that the media will always encourage majority opinion.  This is most evident when the Xmas ads get rolled out.  If you buy your gifts based on the message the commercials are giving you, you’d assume that the women in your life want make-up kits and romance films, and the men in your life want computer games and science fiction films.    Not that I want to rant about this, but anyone who doesn’t know me well enough to know I’d rather have a zombie PS3 game for Xmas than a make-up kit shouldn’t be buying me a gift at all.

I have lived my life in the minority.  I’m left-handed, and the world is geared for right-handed people.  I live in a country where the two favourite pastimes are eating curry and watching football, and I don’t like either.  I am a woman who reads and writes horror.  I play video games, and D&D.  I don’t have, and have no desire to have, children, and I have little interest in clothes and shoes and hand bags.  I am not alone in any of this.  The majority of my female friends are horror and sci fi fans, and we talk with enthusiasm about the same TV shows.  We also rant collectively about the image of women in the media, and lack of decent female role models.

Things are changing, slowly (hence my recent blog posts about positive fictional female role models in the media), but there’s still a long way to go.  And if the media continues to cater to gender preconceptions, things will never change quickly enough.

But change is always slow, if constant.  There may always be fewer women writing horror than there are men, but that doesn’t make them any less relevant.   The majority opinion isn’t necessarily right – just more popular.  And there is something to be said for being part of the elite minority.  When your voice is smaller, you just have to shout louder.  Eventually people listen.

Sara Jayne Townsend is a UK-based writer of crime and horror.  Her latest book, SOUL SCREAMS is a collection of short horror stories and is available in e-book and print format from Stumar Press (  Learn more about Sara and her writing by visiting her website ( and her blog (

Wizards with Words: Laura Lee Nutt, Red and the Wolf G*I*V*E*A*W*A*Y

A beam of light shines out from an open bookIt’s Wizards with Words time! Today, I’m super excited to welcome my Lyrical Press sister, Laura Lee Nutt. Her debut novel RED AND THE WOLF, a fantasy romance, was released yesterday. Yesterday! How cool is that?

In celebration, Laura is doing a week-long giveaway. You’ll find all the details at the end of this post, but first settle in and help me welcome Laura.

Laura, please share a little bit about yourself and when you first became interested in writing.

Mae, thank you so much for having me today. Honestly, I’ve loved telling stories since I can remember, but I really started writing them down in second grade. I would staple paper into little books and write, rather illegibly I must confess, and illustrate them, usually with horses. I wrote so much in fact that my second grade teacher selected me as her student to meet Mary Brooke Casad, author of the Bluebonnet the Armadillo books. That was an awesome day, and not just because I got to miss school. Since, writing has become as much a part of my life as walking. Storytelling has become a part of my soul.

That’s about the time I started writing too. And strangely enough I wrote about horses–and dogs, LOL. Your new release, RED AND THE WOLF, puts a new spin on the classic fairy-tale, Little Red Riding Hood. I love your tag line—“They said Little Red Riding Hood lived happily ever after. They lied.” How did you come up with the idea for the novel?

I’m glad you like the tag. I’m always a bit paranoid that people won’t like it. Anyway, I honestly don’t recall what my initial inspiration for the book was. I was sick for about two weeks and needed something to distract myself from how awful I felt, so I threw myself into writing the first draft of RED AND THE WOLF.  I recall thinking how strange it was that Little Red Riding Hood could be so content and cheerful after getting swallowed by a wolf. It made no sense to me, so I started theorizing what might have happened had the fairy tale gone a more realistic route, at least as far as Red’s reactions were concerned. Then, since I love romance and werewolves, I wove those inextricably into the tale.

I have a particular passion for romance and werewolves. 😀 I’m going to love this book! Tell us about your characters and what motivates them in the story.

redandthewolf-1Heinrich Jaeger is the hero and huntsman of the original tale. He is also a werewolf; though, he would never confess that to the villagers he protects. Even werewolves can’t survive getting burned at the stake or beheaded. Six years ago during a territory dispute with another werewolf, Blanchette and her grandmother got caught up unwittingly as pawns. Heinrich arrived in time to save them but not in time to prevent the mental and emotional trauma Blanchette suffered. Since, he humbly takes on the duty to watch over Blanchette and her family, no matter how it hurts that Blanchete always shies away. Her fear of all things outside her house is his fault, or so he believes. She has grown into a lovely young woman, one he would dearly love to set free.

Blanchette Krautbrauer still frequently relives the wolf attack six years ago. She almost lost her beloved grandmother and her own life. Since, she dares do nothing to endanger either of them, especially step foot outside her home. Heinrich is the only one outside her family that she trusts. But when a stranger comes to the village to destroy any dangerous elements left over from the old folk tale and targets Heinrich, Blanchette finds that staying hidden isn’t always the best course, especially when the life of someone she loves is at stake. In this story, she has to choose between safety and love, and the two conflicting motivations compel her to do some very brave things by the end.

Lothar is a nix, a freshwater German-style merman, who Heinrich imprisoned in the lake on the village edge to stop him from eating villagers or dragging them down for twisted entertainments in his watery abode. Since, Lothar has craved vengeance. When Heinrich’s attention slips because of Blanchette, Lothar takes his chance and concocts a plan to destroy them both.

Karl Kaismann has a duty to the Holy Roman Emperor to seek out and destroy all unnatural threats to Germany, mainly those associated with these strange tales of wolves dressing in women’s clothes and consuming children. If there is any truth behind the fantasy, he must eliminate it for the greater good. Unfortunately, Blanchette’s sweet disposition and ardent insistence that Heinrich is innocent makes his task much more difficult. When only Lothar will give him facts, what is he to do but act on them?

Wonderful Intricacies! I always loved fairy tales as a child and began reading fantasy as a teen. Having the fantasy/romance genre explode on the scene has been wonderful. What originally attracted you to the genre?

I actually started writing the genre before I began reading it. Well, I had read a couple books with paranormal and romance elements, but I wasn’t serious about digging in then. Mainly, my fantasy and romance were already blending in my own stories because I love both so much. Then I met Jessi Gage, who became my critique partner. We were both on the Write_Workshop chat on Yahoo Groups for a pitch class. Her pitch so intrigued me that I private messaged her about it. It had wolfmen and romance and a whole world at stake. That was the first book of Jessi’s I critiqued, but it showed me how beautifully the two genres could meld. Since, I’ve taken a particular fascination with urban fantasy, which is often like the fantasy heavy side of fantasy romance, and paranormal romance, which tips the scales more toward the romance end. I look back now at some of my earlier stories and realize that I’ve always included a strong romantic thread in my fantasy. I just didn’t know then that there were subgenres to support it.

Do you have a favorite scene in the novel?

Hmm, that’s a tough one. Off the top of my head, I would have to say that it’s probably the scene right after the first love scene where everything starts to really come to a head between Heinrich, Blanchette, and Karl. The emotions, conflict, courage, vulnerability, and everything in that scene I loved writing so much. It’s especially fun when the characters really start acting from their deepest desires.

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

For the longest time growing up, I could never finish a story. I would either keep writing on and on and on until I finally realized I wasn’t going to get to the end, if one even existed, or I would get distracted with writing another story. It took me taking a creative writing class in college where I had a deadline for turning in a finished story. The pressure to get a good grade and an outside force insisting I finish made it possible. Then, once I knew I could finish a story, it became much easier to do it in the future. Learning good plot structure later on made finishing even easier and gave me better results.

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

Beginnings. Definitely beginnings. I find I cannot write a decent middle or end I’m willing to admit has any potential unless I feel my beginning is strong and that I have a good sense for my characters and story. My first five or so chapters always undergo two to three times the number of edits as the rest of the book.

Name three books you’ve read over and over again. If you don’t reread books (I can’t imagine!), name three books that have made a strong impression on you.

The Last Unicorn by Peter S. Beagle, my favorite of all time.

Shadow of the Fox by Ellen Steiber. I used to read this to my brother as a kid. Spooky, romantic, and very cool.

Most of the Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling. I’ve actually read the whole series, but I haven’t read book seven more than once yet.

Some random facts for readers to get to know you better:

Favorite time of day to write: Night, especially with a good moon.

Favorite color: I don’t have one. I can never make up my mind between red, forest green, or blue.

Favorite holiday: Do I have to pick only one? 🙂 Let’s go with 4th of July. It has less commercialism, fireworks, doesn’t stretch the pocketbook, and I do love my country.

Sunset picnic or candlelight dinner: Candlelight dinner. Picnics attract bugs that totally ruin the mood for me. Ick!

Seaside or mountains: Mountains, especially up through Oregon, Washington, Utah, Idaho, and Montana. Gorgeous.

Favorite board game: I’m not allowed to play board games very often. My husband says I’m a sore loser, which I am. If I don’t win, I get grumpy and take it way too hard. If I do win, I feel bad about feeling so thoroughly smug about it. So to answer the question more directly, any game I have a good chance of winning. 🙂

Favorite fairytale (I have to ask :)): Disney’s version of Beauty and the Beast, which is actually quite different from the original tales.

What do you like to do when you’re not writing (or reading)?

Role Play, mainly tabletop roleplaying games. I love the process of creating a character and theatrically playing them out. I enjoy being with a good group where everyone contributes to making an awesome story. For those of you familiar with roleplaying, my favorite games are Changeling: the Dreaming, Dark Ages Werewolf, Fading Suns, Pendragon, and pretty much anything that encourages character based roleplaying.

RED AND THE WOLF is your debut release, but the first in a planned series called Embracing Ever After. Is there a second novel already in the works? If not, do you have another WIP you’d like to share with us before we wrap things up?

Yes, there is a second novel in the works. Currently, it’s titled GRETEL AND HER GHOST. Now grown, Gretel is determined to marry and have a normal life, but nearly getting eaten as a child still haunts her and her brother. Hansel is determined not to lose his little sister and does everything he can to keep her, including driving away all her suitors. When a mysterious man comes to the village begging Gretel’s aid in rescuing more children, she has to make the most difficult decisions of her life, but ones that might ultimately set her free and satisfy her desire for a loving husband.

If all goes according to plan, I hope to have the book to my editor this spring. If she likes it, you’ll see it follow RED AND THE WOLF probably next year. After that, I’ve got partial work done on a Beauty and the Beast and a Sleeping Beauty story.

Six years after the attack at her grandmother’s cottage, Blanchette still hides in her bedroom, unable to hear the wolf’s cry without shivering to her soul. Nor can she scent the pine and spruce rising from the Black Forest surrounding her home without remembering the lunge of a savage beast, the thick aroma of blood, and its tooth pricking her finger. But when Karl, the emperor’s hunter of the fantastic and monstrous, arrives at the village questioning her tale and threatening Heinrich, her huntsman rescuer, Blanchette’s worst fears swarm to the fore. Unless she confronts these fears, embraces her lupine nature, proves her control over her wolf, and accepts the bond of mated love Heinrich offers, Karl will butcher her and Heinrich like the unnatural beasts that they are.

Thick fir and pine scented the cool air, overlaying familiar aromas: animal musk, moss, and the lynx Heinrich skinned. Beneath all, the wind bore sickness’s sour stench.

He lifted his head and inhaled, sifting through flavors on the autumn breeze to define the scent’s origin and character. Northward it drifted, from Ulfheim Village through the woods until it chafed his nostrils, belying the idyllic afternoon’s enfolding shade and lulling birdsong surrounding his cottage.

Instinct pressed a name on his mind: Blanchette, the girl he had saved six years before from his kind’s brutal horrors. He tightened his hold on the skinning knife, ready once more to rush to her defense.

But this scent lacked Blanchette’s fullness and unsoiled maidenhood. Threads of her mingled with it, suggesting she lingered nearby. Only one person smelled so similar yet distinct and remained within Blanchette’s company enough for their scents to blend: Ada Krautbrauer, her grandmother.

He twitched, fighting the impulse to race for the Krautbrauers. To banish recklessness, he shook his head and forced his skinning knife to the forest floor. The beautiful golden lynx lay half finished at his feet. Compared to the urgency lashing his wolf’s mind, it meant nothing. Forgotten.

With a satisfying surge, he shoved up, took two steps, and stopped.

Racing off senseless like an animal might alert suspicion. No decent huntsman arrived at the village panting and purposeless.

He returned to the lynx outspread before his cottage door and retrieved the skinning knife. Survival and protecting his true nature required a strategic approach. The villagers must perceive him as human. His arrival should appear coincidental. Racing off and leaving a partially skinned lynx hardly compared with rational human behavior.

Yet Blanchette had endured anguish enough because of him and his kind. His conscience stabbed him for failing to immediately investigate the scent. What if she needed help?

As he finished the lynx and cleaned up, he disentangled the facts. Blanchette’s grandmother and parents sheltered her well. Though her grandmother could not guard her while ill, Blanchette hardly lacked companionship or assistance. Nevertheless, the slightest wavering in her grandmother’s constitution or countenance sent Blanchette’s precarious disposition reeling. What shattered state must have overcome her already?

Comparatively, what could he offer? A friendly neighbor poking his head in the Krautbrauer apothecary shop for a casual greeting fell woefully short of proper aid. Further, in feigning ignorance and concealing the anxiety the scent stirred within him, his arsenal of comforts, protections, and assurances would whittle to nothing. Even under the best circumstances, Blanchette would probably refuse to make an appearance. Since the incident in her grandmother’s cottage with the other wolf, she avoided the world outside the Krautbrauer residence. Considering all she had suffered and the part Heinrich played in bringing it about, he could not blame her.

While the lynx’s pelt hung to dry, he assembled an excuse, any excuse, to visit the apothecary’s. Firewood was his usual ploy, so he gathered a hefty load of dried logs and hoisted it over one shoulder. He marched toward the village at a forced stroll.

When wet, mossy aromas off the great lake crouching northwest of Ulfheim Village assaulted his nose, he slowed. Along the shore, he prowled and growled toward the dark king who lurked beneath the undulating waters made coppery in the setting sun.

Lothar, the nix he had claimed victory over years before, hissed a defiant spout of water at him. Satisfied, Heinrich turned his back and sauntered down the main path into Ulfheim.

Laura Lee Nutt Author ImageBio:
When the world said that life was little but disappointment, struggle, and pain, Laura chose to still dream upon stars. She believes birthday wishes can come true, that good can triumph over evil, honor and true love really exist, and hope and happiness are worth fighting for. When not living vicariously through her fiction, she seeks to encourage others to aspire to such life-affirming ideals.

Laura has been writing since she could pen sentences and making up stories long before that. She first published a poem, “Glass Eyed Inspiration,” about her admiration of Patrick Hough, a man blinded by a bullet to the head but who still fought for success and a positive attitude, a martial artist who inspired those around him. Later, once she decided to embrace her dream of becoming an author, she published “Entomophobia: An Insect Incident” in A Long Story Short and “War Drums Beat” in Sacred Twilight.

In fiction, Laura continues to build worlds, instigate adventures and romances, spark the fires of vengeance and love, and thread in that ever elusive yet essential hope. Her favorite theme to explore in writing is that, even in the darkest hour, the best of what we are can shine through and amidst calamity something good can take root and blossom.

Currently, she lives in Texas with her equally fiction obsessed husband, her rambunctious boys, and her dog, Shakespeare. Her favorite book is Peter S. Beagle’s The Last Unicorn, which has one of the most heart-wrenching romances she has ever read.

Buy links:

RED AND THE WOLF is also available on Amazon, Barnes and Noble Nook, and the I-Store.

Look for Laura at the following haunts:

Okay, ready for the giveaway details? Here are they are!

Giveaway Details: For Red and the Wolf’s release week, Laura is hosting a giveaway. There are several ways to earn chances to win one of two prizes, an e-copy of Red and the Wolf and an adorable Annette Funicello Collectable Bear Co. Little Red Riding Hood valued at $105. You have from Monday, March 4th, 12 AM central time through Sunday, March 10th, 11:59 PM central time to get as many points as you can. Each point equals an additional time your name gets entered in the drawing for these prizes. Laura will announce the winners on my blog Monday, March 11th. To begin with, you will earn your first point for the drawing by commenting on today’s post. Do you prefer more fantasy or romance in stories? Why? For more ways to earn points see Laura’s blog. Good luck!