29 October 2010

Excerpt from The Brat

I make no apologies for being what is termed a 'pantser'.  For those who have not come across the term, it means a writer who does not plot before starting to write their story. On this occasion I'd been stuck on a scene for several days, so decided to open a new page and just write.  From this came a series of short stories, which later found good homes.
Later in the book, I came unstuck again, so I decided to use the 'short story' concept to re-create the errant scene I struggled with.
The excerpt below is the result....

EXCERPT from The Brat

“Thank you for fitting me in at such short notice.” Gina settled in the chair and smiled at her stylist’s image in the mirror.
“You’re welcome. I just had a cancellation two minutes before you called, so it worked out beautifully.” The stylist studied the reflection in front of her while her fingers lifted her hair away from her neck. “One day I’ll persuade you to let me cut it.”
Gina’s stomach jittered. She clenched her teeth and shook her head. One day she might give in.
The door at the front of the salon slapped against the wall, and two smartly dressed women entered. “You should have heard her,” the taller one said to her companion. “I swear she’ll have a heart attack if the man slips through her fingers. She’s not backward at slagging off her opponents, but she surpassed herself this morning. I thought she’d burn my ear off. I swear I heard the phone line crackle.”
The speaker stopped long enough to confirm her appointment and then headed for a chair in the waiting area.
“I don’t know who or what you’re talking about, Jane,” the other one said. “Take a breath now, and start at the beginning.”
Gina smiled at the girl standing behind her.
“Just a shampoo and blow dry, please.”
“Edith! Who do you think I’m talking about? She’s after that Greek tycoon for her daughter.”
The companion snorted. “You don’t mean the girl with a nose like a shrew and a disposition to match? She’s been around for four seasons now and hasn’t taken!”
“Well! It seems Edith asked this Kouvaris guy to her ball last night and he declined.”
“Wise man,” the companion interrupted.
“Said he wouldn’t be in the country.”
“That sounds reasonable.”
“Yes! But he was! And she’s furious because his picture’s splashed all over this morning’s newspapers.”
“Precisely! And according to Edith, her niece, who’s a receptionist at the book company he’s bought, -told her this morning his companion is one of his authors.”
Gina’s stomach lurched into her chest, while her heart jumped into her throat. A knowing look met hers when she looked up and into the mirror.
Someone had photographed her with Ben, last night? She examined her reflection and groaned. On her own, her picture in the papers garnered little more than an odd glance or two, but in the company of the Greek magnate…?
“Cut it!”
Shock widened the stylist’s eyes, then tipped the corners of her mouth up. “Are you sure?”
“Cut it!” she repeated, and heaved in a deep breath. “Do you know of an organization that would take my hair to create wigs for cancer patients? Would my hair make a suitable tersade?”
“I do, and it will, thank you. We joined just such an organization last year. It’s so long, I’m sure they’ll be delighted with your donation.”
Without further hesitation the stylist whipped her scissors from her pocket, drew Gina’s hair into a secured ponytail, braided her hair and cut.
Who’d seen them together and where? When had the photographer taken the picture? Her mind whirled. Gina didn’t like publicity but accepted it as a necessary part of her profession. She abhorred the avid tittle-tattle going on across the room.
“…entering her house together.”
“There’s no crime in that!” the companion said.
“In Edith’s book there is. The man’s supposed to be fawning over her daughter.”
“Does he know that?”
“Won’t make a ha’penny’s difference if he does. He doesn’t need to marry a fortune, so why chain himself to a shrew? She won’t catch him. Mark my words.”
Gina almost jumped out of her chair when the stylist tapped her on the shoulder. “What do you think?”
“What?” She cast a frantic glance at the mirror, nodded and re-tuned in to the two gossiping women.
“No, it’s true. I tell you her niece—you know, the receptionist—well, she said Kouvaris wants his best-selling mystery writer to tour, but he’s refusing. According to this niece, the woman with him last night is a close friend of the mystery writer, I forget his name, and Kouvaris is using her to get to the author.”
Another stylist stood in front of the speaker, and the woman rose. “Come this way.”
“I wouldn’t put it past Edith to ambush the man if he fails to fall in with her plans.”
Gina eagerly co-operated when urged to lean her head over the bowl and let the water soak her newly styled locks. So the flowers were nothing more than a sweetener for information. She wished she hadn’t defended him to her friends.
When they met tonight she’d give him a piece of her mind.

28 October 2010

The Longest 'Piggy-Back Ride Quatrain Poem

Out of a need, perhaps of greed,
A dream of me was born.
With scribbled lines on paper drawn
First came the tiny seed.

These goals became reality
And nations certified
All information classified
In their need for unity.

Across the globe their work began
To have me 'done' in time,
In pristine climates, free of grime
For me to reach Titan.

They put me through all kinds of hell
Assured I wouldn't break.
The heat, the cold, and then the quake,
Before disaster fell.

They shook me till I broke in two
And had to start again.
With figures run to ascertain
Just what they had to do.

They decked me out in glitt'ring 'gold'
To save me from the heat;
With no words spoken of defeat
Within this scheme so bold.

On Cassini I was 'strapped'
And sent beyond the stars.
No journey's end for me, at Mars,
For Titan's still untapped.

For seven years I've had to ride
Upon this 'piggy-back'.
And now's the time to get on track
For fear I may collide.

This atmosphere is quite unknown
That I am going through;
My time's now come to accrue
The data from this zone.

Success is mine, of that I'm sure
I've done what's asked of me;
Transferring knowledge, that's agreed,
They couldn't want for more.

The impact on this moon's unknown
My mission's quickly done;
While work on Earth hast just begun.
In years it will be known

* * * *
Cassini was launched on 15th Oct 1997
Huygen was released on Christmas Day 2004
and landed on Titan on 14th Jan 2005
(Copyright Sharry Gloag 2005)

25 October 2010

Please give a warm welcome to Rachel Brimble today

Rachel, thank you for being with us today. Please tell us a little bit about yourself and your latest book.
I live in the UK with my husband and two young daughters. I work part-time for my husband who is a Financial Adviser but whenever I can, I write. I aim for at least 500 words a day, no matter what. Very often its more, but anything is better than nothing!

My latest book is my first novella-length story, Transatlantic Loving, part of the Class of ’85 series currently building a nice lot of fans over at The Wild Rose Press. It’s an awesome series and I hope to send them another story in the future.

Who, or what has influenced your writing the most?
I adore Nora Roberts’ work but I’m pretty sure she inspired my work rather than influenced it. I hope that I sound like me rather than anyone else, but her stories are a great inspiration to me. It amazes me how she comes up with a fantastic premise and superbly drawn characters over and over again – with little sign of her slowing down!

If you had to describe your current book as a piece of music, how would you describe it?
Good question! The Power of Love by Huey Lewis and The News is the backing track to Transatlantic Loving! It was what I had playing over and over while writing it to get the whole 80s vibe going on.
Transatlantic Loving is part of the Class of ’85 series with The Wild Rose Press – who doesn’t love the ‘80’s?

Are you a plotter or a pantster?
I used to be a huge plotter – I started with a synopsis, then a detailed chapter plan which would result in a twenty page document, but with the last two books I’ve written I’ve found that I don’t need as much planning as I am becoming more and more practiced at my craft.
I always, always write a synopsis first though – that’s my skeleton, my guideline that I refer back to when I need a bit of realignment!

Which, if any, authors, past and present, have influenced your writing, and how?
As I said my main romance inspiration is Nora Roberts but I also love the moral questions Jodi Picoult tackles in her books and try to include some question for the hero and heroine to figure out in their own conscience.
Past writers? Of course, Jane Austen. But I also love Charlotte Bronte’s Jane Eyre but my main love is current writers.
I also adore the spiritual book ‘The New Earth’ which is a massive influence on my character’s spiritual center.

Do you have critique partners or work alone?
I work alone but do belong to the Romantic Novelists Association (British RWA equivalent) and in charge of running my local chapter. We meet every four to six weeks and so ideas and problems are often discussed there and I always come away from the lunch or dinner feeling ready to tackle any difficulties I’m having.
Just goes to show how little I know about our own RNA, then, doesn't it!  I didn't know they, too, have local chapters!  Must look into it :-)

Do you think reviews are important?
Yes – if the authors treats them in the right way. To me, a great review tells me I’m doing something right, if I receive a not so good review, it tells me I need to do better next time.
It is wrong for any writer to be put off doing what they love just because of one person’s opinion – the same goes for a fabulous five star review, a writer should never think they’ve got this whole writing thing sussed. Give each book your eternal devotion and the words will speak for themselves.

How do you respond to a reviewer if it’s not favourable?
Thank them for their time, accept the things I want to consider in the future and disregard the rest.

What is your favourite colour and why? Red – passion, love, fire and vibrancy. Not a bad combination in anything or anyone.

What is the nicest reader comment you've ever received?
Oh, lord, that is a hard question! I have had so many kind and generous comments from readers. Each one gives me a massive thrill and makes me quash the self-doubt that I can actually write whenever it rears its ugly head.
I especially love it when my readers say I made them laugh out loud – or cry. Either one is a huge compliment!

How do you promote your work?
By doing interviews like this, guest blogging and word of mouth. I talk about my books as much as possible, even when its hard. I am not the most extrovert person but I’m learning and gaining confidence with each story I write.
I'm enjoying promoting a little too much though and often need to stop myself and actually get down to the writing!
Hmmm :-) you find time to write in between promoting your books.  I'll have to find out your secret.

Do you set yourself daily writing goals?
Yes – five hundred words at least. EVERY day. It’s very often more but if I’ve write at least five hundred I don’t feel guilty and it keeps me completely connected with my current work in progress.

If you could buy any car of your choice, what would it be?
Oooh, I don’t know! I am not much of a car person, to be honest. I like smaller cars that I can nip around town in so something like a Peugeot 307 convertible would be kind of cool…

What books of yours are currently for sale and where can a reader buy them?Here’s the links for all my novels and very first novella:
Searching For Sophie -

Reluctant Witness –

The Sharp Points of a Triangle –

The Arrival of Lily Curtis –

Transatlantic Loving –

My word you are a prolific writer.  You know I have read The Arrival of Lilly Curtis, so I know what a versatile writer you are.

Please, will you include a blurb and excerpt to share,

This is the blurb and an excerpt from my latest release, Transatlantic Loving…
In a desperate bid to escape the bitter reality of her children accepting her ex-husband’s new – and younger – fiancĂ©e, Lisa Cavendish travels from the UK to accompany her friend to a high school reunion. Forced to dress as Madonna in her hey day, the last thing she expects is to fall in love with the school’s coach, who seems to hold as much regard for his child as her ex did when he walked out…
Aaron Taylor can’t believe his eyes or ears when he is introduced to Lisa – sexy and funny, she has no idea how her accent enhances the heartbreaking wait he endures waiting for his daughter to call him back to the UK. But after spending just three short weeks with Lisa, he sees the answer to his pain in the eyes of the most phenomenal British lady he has ever met…

Tonight she could be an entirely different person. Tonight, she would wear the brashness of Madonna without a hint of the ever-present, self-effacing Lisa Cavendish.
She’d relented to Courtney’s constant badgering to visit her hometown of Summerville along with the promise that this trip was about burying Lisa’s divorce beneath its two year history. The trip would mark the end of bitterness, and the beginning of her acceptance of being on her own and that her kids were entitled to like their father's new friend if they so wished. Even if Lisa still fantasized about pushing both the friend and her ex-husband into a vat of boiling tar…
“Hi there, Madonna. What can I get you?”
Lisa turned, tipped her head back. And took a breath. Holy mother of==
His eyes were the color of the fields at the back of her house in high summer==emerald, dotted with hints of lime. Once her heart kicked back into place, she smiled. “A white wine would be great.”
“Coming right up. And your friend?”
Lisa stared at him. “My . . . ?”
Courtney nudged her in the ribs. “Friend. Me. Remember?”
Lisa snapped her head round to find Courtney staring back at her with eyes alive with mischief. “Did something or someone distract you from remembering I am here?” Smiling, she turned back to the hunk of burning love behind the bar. “I’ll have a glass of white wine too, please.”
His smile revealed perfect teeth except for the slight turn of one that Lisa had the sudden urge to lick. She pulled her shoulders back so fast they clicked in indignation. What the hell was she thinking? Since when did she want to lick men’s teeth? Clearing her throat, she focused on what Courtney was saying.

Please share your website and other links with us.

Rachel, many thanks for sharing your thoughts and experiences with us today.  I wish I'd asked you what you husband and children think of your writing success? :-)  And best wishes with Transatlantic Loving, and future projects. 

17 October 2010

Sandra Cox is my guest today :-)

Hello Sandra :-)   It's a pleasure to welcome you here today. I look forward to learning more about you, so please will you share a little about yourself with us?
Hi Sherry, thanks for having me. I live in North Carolina with my husband a dog and five cats, plus the occasional foster cat. I’m a vegetarian and my passion is both reading and writing.

What is your most treasured possession?
Got to be my computer. How can one survive without it?

If you couldn’t write, what would do instead?
That’s a good question. I’d paint if I had any talent in that direction Since I don’t we’ll have to rule out painting. I’d be an animal behaviorist if I had the patience. But since neither of those will work for me, I write:-)

Who or what influenced your writing the most?
Probably authors I admire: Norah Roberts, Stephenie Myer.

Have you always wanted to write, and if not what was your 1st choice?
Pretty much. Though, for many years I never considered it a serious option. Too many self doubts.
I think readers would be amazed at how many writers wrestle with self-doubt, and I  mean well-known writers!

Which character you have created is your favorite and why?
That’s a tough one. Every time I write a book, that character is my favorite. In Sundial, I like Sarah Miles because she’s both strong and gentle. She’s self reliant and will go to any lengths for those she loves, including traveling through time.

If you could have created any character in literature who/which one would you choose?
Jo in Little Women.

What is your favorite color, and how does it make you feel when you wear it?
I’ve asked myself that for years and I’ve never been able to narrow it down to one color. I love the cheeriness of yellow. I love the brilliance of jewel tones. They make me feel bold and confident. And I love pastels. They make me feel soft and comforted.

To muse or not to muse? Do you have one, and how many arguments do you have if she/he wants you to write things their way? Do you always do what they want?
I definitely have a muse. She pops up at the oddest times. A couple of years ago while I was out walking, I spotted a ceramic fairy on top of a gazing ball. I just stopped and stared at it and my muse whispered, “There’s a story here.” And GROUNDED was born.

I know flowers are an important part of your life, please will you tell us about them and share your favorite flower/plant with us?
Flowers touch us all with their ethereal beauty. How could we survive without them? As you know:-) I’ve written a metaphysical book on flowers called Flower Power. As far as my favorite, it’s like color, impossible for me to decide. I can say with certainty that I lean toward perennials. I love knowing that they are only resting in the winter and will pop up again in the spring. If I absolutely had to choose it would probably be Irises. My daughter got me hooked on them when she painted them in her art classes in high school.
I know what you mean about plants/trees resting during the winter.  It's a beautiful concept we can carry over into our lives, sometimes too.

What do you do to relax?
In spring, summer and fall, my relax time is on the porch that overlooks my gardens. I get a good book and stretch out in the lounge chair. By the way, I’m looking forward to reading The Brat out there:-)
Aw, thanks, hon. 

Why do you write in your chosen genre?
Ooh, there’s another tough one because my genres are all over the boards. Sundial is a time travel romance, Flower Power is a metaphysical and Moon Watchers, coming out in January, is a crossover YA:-0 But the majority of my writing is some form of paranormal fiction. I love fantasy and having the ability to escape into a world of magic.

Please will you share the blurb and an excerpt from your book?
Thanks for asking, Sherry.


Sarah Miles is driving on a busy intersection when a stranger, dressed in clothes of a by-gone era, materializes in front of her car. Unable to stop, she drives straight through him. When she pulls the car to the curb to look for him, he is gone. Later that day, she discovers an ancient Sundial and her incredible journey through time begins.

Excerpt from Sundial:

Without warning, he burst into her senses.
One moment Sarah Miles was driving down a busy street with the top down. The next…a stranger with black hair, dressed in clothes from a bygone era materialized in front of her car, his outline shimmery and insubstantial.
“Oh, my God!” Sarah screamed as fear coursed down her spine. She stomped on the brakes. The tires squealed as steel-belted radials bit into asphalt.
Her cat Monet, riding in the passenger seat, went skidding across the seat and onto the floor.
The tall, sleek stranger stretched his arms towards her.
Saura. The word whispered through her mind, a bastardized version of her name.
I can read his thoughts! Her hands gripped the steering wheel and her body went rigid. She tensed for the impact…that never came.
She felt a mild jolt of electricity as her car passed through him. She closed her eyes then opened them as the car screeched to a stop, throwing her forward. The seat belt bit into her shoulder as it jerked her back from the dash and flung her against the seat.
The driver behind her laid on his horn then swerved his black Blazer across the yellow line, barely getting back in his own lane before an oncoming car whizzed by.
She pulled over to the side. Her dark hair fell forward as she leaned her head against the steering wheel, trembling, hoping the afternoon sun beating down would warm her chilled body.

Where can we buy?
Currently: classactbooks.com, but it will soon be available at amazon.com

Where can we find you?

Any other information you wish to add…please feel free.
Thanks so much for having me, Sherry. And folks please stop by my blog, http://www.sandracox.blogspot.com/. Nov 2, when I’ll be interviewing our hostess.

Also, stop by anytime between now and Nov 14 at 5pm Eastern Time, and leave a comment mentioning Sundial and Sherry, and I’ll enter you in a contest to win: A signed copy of Sundial, a lovely ‘seeing’ necklace and a $10 Starbucks gift card.

*Blog tour hostess’s are welcome to enter the drawing.

Thank you, Sandra, for visiting with us today, it’s been a pleasure having you here.

13 October 2010

Travelling Companions

These silken bars that hold me in
this prison I have made,
like spiders web that I've contrived
make me more afraid.

The mirror's grime no more reflects
my dreams of yesteryear
Is this a choice that I have made

to make me feel so drear?

Tomorrow's arrow pierced my heart
requesting sorrow be denied.
No armour am I given.
With no reasoning supplied.

Faith came in with sister Trust,
companions on my walk.
Self-love and harmony
the subject of their talk.

Along came Hope and Destiny,
their message much the same
"There are some things in life
for which there is no blame."

Fear then tried to muscle in,
voice harsher than the rest
"Don't listen to them my child.
You know I never jest."

I felt him slither down my spine
with his persuasive skill.
He touched my fiercely beating heart

and almost squeezed it still.

Then Grace arrived in nick of time
her voice a soothing balm.
Her breath of life filled me anew
with resonance of calm.

To face my fears, I must admit
I've reached a time of change,
I've turned around, a life renewed.
A very good exchange.
(Copyright Sherry Gloag 2004)

11 October 2010

Please welcome Karen Brees, today.

Please tell us a little bit about yourself and your writing and why WWII era is so important to you?
I started writing almost as soon as I learned to read. My first efforts defied translation but I progressed rapidly, becoming a feature reporter for Roger Sherman School’s 3rd grade newspaper. It was a piece about our field trip to the Peabody Museum in New Haven, Connecticut.
There was a slight lag in my career after that, about 50 years more or less. I kept reading but writing seemed to be something that other people could do. It wasn’t until my children were grown that I decided it was time to give writing another shot. I started attending writers conferences and met my nonfiction agent, Andrea Hurst at a local one. She got me started writing nonfiction. I’ve written and co-written several Complete Idiot’s Guides, learning much in the process.
WOW, I owe you a lot then, as I seem to have an inordinate number of those books! LOL
Writing fiction is more fun for me than writing nonfiction. I like being able to create my own world and people it with my own characters. They take on personalities and lead the plot in interesting directions.
Headwind is set in WWII, an era that defined my growing up. My dad was in the North African Campaign and later was shipped over to Rome and Paris. I grew up watching Victory at Sea on television and studying the hundreds of pictures in his photograph album. It’s a time that continues to fascinate - a time when good and evil were clearly defined and ordinary people did extraordinary things. That became the impetus for Headwind.
The second book in the series, Crosswind, will be out next year. In this book, Katrin takes on Himmler himself.
KK Brees received her master’s degree in history from The Ohio State University and her doctorate in education from the University of Idaho. She’s a freelance editor and the author and co-author of six published nonfiction titles in the health and general interest fields. This is her debut novel.

As you know, I haven't had a chance to read Headwind yet, so wondered whether you are willing to interview your heroine for us today, please?
Thank you, I'd love to introduce you to Katrin Nissen.
Katrin Nissen is my guest today. She’s home on leave while her husband is on assignment in England. And while she’s informed me she’s bound by the Official Secrets Act, she has agreed to talk a bit about non-classified matters.

Question: Katrin, how did you and John meet? That should be safe territory.
Katrin: “I was eighteen. I’d just come to the States from Denmark and had my head buried in a map of New Haven, trying to get my bearings. I walked right into John, who was standing on the curb waiting for the light to change. He yanked the map out of my hands and told me I should be looking at the scenery, not reading about it. He took me by the hand and gave me the tour himself. We married three years later.

Question: You kept your maiden name after you and John married. That’s unusual.
Katrin: It may be unusual now, but I predict it will become more common as time goes by. A woman shouldn’t lose her identity just because she falls in love and marries.

Question: You’re also a professor in addition to being an OSS Agent. That’s got to be complicated.
Katrin: Especially when none of your colleagues know the truth. Fortunately I’m on sabbatical this year, so I have the freedom to travel without having to account for my absences. If the war in Europe continues, it’s going to be difficult.

Question: What’s the most difficult assignment you’ve ever had?
Katrin: That’s classified, but I can say that trying not to get involved in other people’s problems is the hardest part of the job. Do the job and get out – that’s the way it’s supposed to be. It doesn’t always work out that way. At least for me, it doesn’t.

Question: One final question, Katrin. We see a lot of spy movies with daring do and danger at every corner. Have you ever had to kill anyone?
Katrin: Not unless they deserved it.

* * *

The Blurb:
Professor Katrin Nissen is recalled to service in the OSS in the early days of WWII and finds herself Winston Churchill’s last hope to stop the Nazis before they reach Norway. Not your average spy, Katrin enlists the help of family to complete her mission and must survive an encounter with a high-ranking SS Colonel as well as a double agent who's out for nobody but himself.
The eternal struggle of good against evil gets a fresh telling in this inspiring and heartwarming story of courage, determination, and the indomitable triumph of the human spirit.

“KK Brees has combined meticulous research on the Danish Resistance, deft plotting and a winning protagonist to create a novel that’s suspenseful, compelling and hopeful. Highly recommended.” Sheldon Siegel - New York Times Best Selling Author of Judgment Day.

March 1940
New Haven, Connecticut
Our invitation to attend the War, delivered by Western Union shortly after breakfast, lay before us on the kitchen table, awaiting the favor of a reply. To be fair, it wasn’t unexpected, although the timing could have been better. Actually, the timing could have been a great deal better. To be accurate, it wasn’t an invitation but rather an Order to Report. My eyes traveled back and forth from my research notes to the telegram. I sighed and drummed my fingers on the tablecloth as I read the missive for the third time.
“Client wishes to discuss contract renewals.” Stop.
“New York facility ready for your use.” Stop.
“If I leave now, all this,” I gestured to the stacks of three by five index cards filled with data on the desk and the books piled up in odd spots around the room, “won’t mean diddly squat.”
“Diddly squat?” My husband, nose buried in the business section of the New Haven Register, didn’t bother to look up.
“That’s what I said. Diddly squat.” I set my coffee cup down on the saucer with more force than necessary and checked to be sure I hadn’t chipped the Havilland. Damn. There it was. I sighed and ran a finger along the hairline crack that extended smack dab across the saucer from rim to rim. “I’m exchanging one maelstrom for another. Cynthia Lawton is going to pounce like a rabid tigress when I’m out of the picture.” I sighed again at the thought of this bane of my academic existence, and this time John looked up from the news.
“Is this a conversation I’m involved in or just a rant I’d best be left out of?”
“It’s a rant but I’m running out of steam. It’s safe to emerge from cover.”
What an intriguing excerpt, than you for sharing this with us.

Headwind is available in paperback and eBook from Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Chalet Publishers LLC, and your favorite Independent Bookstore.
Crosswind (volume two in the series) will be released next year.

You can find Karen at her Website http://www.karenkbrees.com/

Thank you for joining us today Karen, and best wishes for your debut novel, Headwind.



8 October 2010

Please welcome Michelle Picard today.

Thank you for being with us today. Please tell us a little bit about yourself and your latest book.
Thanks so much for having me at Heart of Romance today. My name is Michelle Picard and I write contemporary fantasy romance. My second book, Surviving Eden, recently released at Crescent Moon Press in both e and print formats. It is the sequel to Ruling Eden and part of my Eden’s Court series with the next installment still in the works. The series premise runs as follows: What if a modern woman suddenly learns she is heir to the throne of a magical realm hidden in our world and is the most powerful magical being on the planet? These stories are full of fantasy and paranormal favorites: vampires, shapeshifters, faeries, angels, demons, witches, dragons, scary goddesses, sentient plant life, and more. The world of Eden’s Court is rich and a nice blend of traditional fantasy and contemporary feel.

Who, or what has influenced your writing the most?
Strangely, I think my childhood made me the writer I am today. I was fairly isolated as a kid and spent a lot of time in my head. I read lots of books, fantasy in particular.  The appreciation for investing in imagination was born then. For examining things from many angles. And for providing my characters with grand adventures and grand love which wasn't available to the real little girl. That was the start of my dream to write and affects the outcomes today most profoundly.

Are you a plotter or a pantster?
A hybrid of the two. I plot a very rough outline that must have a distinct ending, list a sentence or two about chapters that need to happen, and then begin to write from the beginning, changing and adding as I go. The changes are inevitable and the story always develops new twists and turns and scenes as I go. If I need to adjust the end, it makes perfect sense by the time I get there. However, if I didn’t have a vision of the outcome as a starting point I would never be able to write.

Which, if any, authors, past and present, have influenced your writing, and how?
In the far past—Jean Auel, Jennifer Roberson, Peter S. Beagle. Most recently it’s been an eclectic group including Anne Bishop, Charlaine Harris, Kim Harrison, Jacqueline Carey, and so many others I cannot name. These are my favorites and I take very different lessons from each.

Do you have critique partners or work alone?
I have critique partners thank goodness. We call ourselves the Quirky Ladies and even blog together at www.thequirkyladies.com. We are romance writers across a variety of genres and live close enough to one another to go out for frequent sushi dinners and flavored martinis. Of course we’re always focused on the serious business of critiquing (like you believe that one), but slip in time for friendship and laughter. I am blessed to have these ladies in my life.
I love the name of your group :-)

Do you think reviews are important?
Yes. Although there are always folks who won’t like your books, it’s important to know that people are out there reading them, no matter their thoughts. And readers do visit review sites. At times you can pick up a helpful piece of criticism from a review and other times you get to enjoy flying high on praise. The great reviews are the best because you have those little kid moments jumping up and down again and again squealing because somebody liked what you wrote.

How do you respond to a reviewer if it’s not favorable?
I thank them for taking the time to read the book and leave it at that. There is no benefit to defending yourself. People like what they like. I didn’t write it for that one reviewer. I wrote it for myself and the others out there I know it touched positively.

What is your favourite colour and why?
 I’m going to pick two. Brown and red. Colors of the earth. Of course they’re also the best colors for my skin tone, but I love all things rich. Life feels rich to me, full of complexity and simplicity both. These colors make me feel that contradiction. Sounds weird, huh? Maybe.

What is the nicest reader comment you've ever received?
That my story made her critical reading skills go out the window while she found herself so caught up in the story she read straight through. These comments are enough to make you drunk.

How do you promote your work?
I keep it simple. My website, a blogsite, a group blogsite, facebook and twitter. I do bring bookmarks and promo to conferences and occasionally plan a blog tour or guest blog like this one. It’s not natural to me, but I keep trying. My supervisor at my day job keeps saying I need to contact Oprah. I laugh and roll my eyes and tell her I need to hire her as my PR person so she can get to work on that project.

Do you set yourself daily writing goals?
No. The closest I come is to try to write something each day. Even if it’s a sentence. It gives me lots of permission to set my own pace reflecting the complicated reality of my life.

If you could buy any car of your choice, what would it be?
A hybrid. And not something big. I’m a suburban mom, but we’ve resisted anything bigger than a sedan because we’re trying to be environmentally conscious. I kind of liked it during the worst of the gas price hikes.

If you had to describe your current book as a piece of music, how would you describe it?
An angsty modern song with a pace that keeps popping and some foreign undertones.

What books of yours are currently for sale and where can a reader buy them?
Ruling Eden and Surviving Eden are both available in e and print format at my publishers site, http://www.crescentmoonpress.com/ as well as Amazon and Barnes& Noble.

Please, will you include a blurb and excerpt to share, and give us links to where we can find Surviving Eden? 

Blurb for Surviving Eden:
Rachel Rieh wields enough magic to make a goddess jealous, or so she learned three weeks ago when she thought she was an ordinary, reclusive, and short-tempered gal from Boston. In this second story of Eden’s Court, Rachel, now the new ruler of the Kesayim, (angels, demons, dragons, faeries, vampires, shapeshifters and witches–the goddess-created protectors of mortalkind) finds herself faced with the task of stopping vampire hunters from annihilating the vampire race. Her lover, Gabriel, half-angel, half-demon, stands by her side to help if she can escape her obsession with protecting him at all cost.
Earth is already on the verge of destruction within six months because magic is out of balance. The new threat to the vampires destabilizes the situation more. In her race to save the vampires, Rachel meets Lilith, goddess, creator of all Kesayim and humans, and the one with all the answers to Rachel’s problems. But is the cold-hearted goddess intent on changing Rachel into her image the greater threat to Rachel and everyone she loves?

Walking through the lush beauty of the Garden of Eden was meant to be inspiring, stimulating, a damned orgiastic delight for the eyes. This morning it was only annoying. Mostly because I was late for my first official diplomatic visit to the vampire realm, and fuming because the path through the garden refused to cooperate and lead us to the appropriate portal.

But the garden, its exotic sentience plucking at my mind, riffling through my thoughts and twittering its opinions--always a spine-tingling sensation--preferred to shift its dimensions and keep the elusive portal far from me and my companion. I would have questioned its motive, but I doubted it practiced anything but an amusing propensity for stirring trouble.

The Eden I strode through wasn’t anywhere on twenty-first century mortal maps of earth; more like a parallel realm snapped out of normal space, disconnected long ago by the goddess who created us all. Same as the home realms of all of the seven Kesayim peoples. Unfortunately, the garden had never recovered from its upset over the separation and tended to become testy at the oddest times. Oh yeah, PMS had nothing on this paradise when it got in a snit.

And now I had to negotiate its moody walkways and get to my destination or else. Without all the Kesayim races stable, including the vampires, I had no chance of uniting them to prevent the literal destruction of our world.

I walked faster.

What’s a little deterioration of the balance of magic on the planet, Rachel? End game, that’s what. So get your butt in gear and figure out what to do about the vampires. Christian’s counting on you. Or do you want to see him murdered too?

My heart rate skyrocketed with the last thought. I so didn’t have time for the garden right now.

On top of the furious pace I set as I stormed down the dirt-covered pathways winding through forest and meadow, I had Tarn, my fae guardsman, still harping at me about my limited escort. His long legs and graceful stride were more than a match for my own. His waist-length white-gold hair, braided down his back, trailed him as he followed me and left no visual impediment to his hard, toned body. Tarn was of the fae’s warrior caste, and he wore his position with every powerful movement, a counterpoint to the more delicate beauty of his face with its milky complexion and deep blue eyes.

As a rule I loved the irreverent fool, but he damned near pushed his limit today with his uncharacteristic doomsday warning that started from first light, when I’d stepped outside my suite in Eden’s Court. His usual caramel tones had flowed to burnt sugar instead. “My lady, if you will not contact Gabriel and ask him to join us for your own safety as we visit the vampires, at least do so for my welfare,” he repeated yet again. “He will tear me up into countless number of little pieces when he discovers only one guard accompanied you.”

I glared at the fae, his scrollwork-covered sword already drawn with his concern, before continuing down the path. I snarled, “Tarn, if you don’t shut up about Gabriel, I’ll be the one tearing you into countless pieces.”

The morning was not shaping up as I’d hoped and the reminder that my lover no longer held his position by my side as constant companion and protector did nothing to improve my mood. I was irritated with Gabriel anyway. I couldn’t figure out the why of it, I just was. “If you don’t remember, Gabriel’s no longer part of the guard and has no say whatsoever about my choice of escort. Anyway, he’s stuck in another bamboo up the fingernails, walking over hot coals negotiation between the angels and the demons today. He does not need any distractions.” No matter how much I want him here, too, I carefully kept to myself.

We dodged a grouping of new bushes popping up in the middle of our path and diverted down a new lane to our side. The garden cackled.

“But my lady...Rachel, if we just--”

I rounded on him, stopping in place with a sudden movement born of anxiety-edged irritation, causing him to skid to a halt to avoid ramming into me. “You know, this shit really gets to me. I’m supposed to be the Mother Heir, the exalted leader of the seven magical races of the Kesayim, all their powers rolled into one complete package. I’m the ruler of Eden’s Court and half the time I’m read the riot act by my own guard, my court seneschal, and the council of representatives, all of whom are supposed to answer to me. Me, remember? The crazy woman in charge of this nuthouse. I say who goes with me to visit the vampires.”

Buy links: http://crescentmoonpress.com/books/SurvivingEden.html
Amazon print:  http://amzn.to/beTp3D
Amazon Kindle: http://amzn.to/9aoHl4
Barnes& Noble paperback:  http://bit.ly/8Z1nHC

Please share your website and other links with us.
On facebook: http://www.facebook.com/people/Michelle-Picard/100000107670126
On twitter: http://twitter.com/RulingEden
Or email me at michelle@michellepicard.com

5 October 2010

Ruth Hartman is today's Guest

Hi Ruth, Welcome to The Heart of Romance.

1. Please will you tell us three things about yourself that might surprise your reader?
1)I’m left-handed, which only about 15 percent of the population happen to be. 2) I love pajamas! I’d live in them if I could. 3) I’ve live-trapped over a dozen wild cats and had them neutered before releasing them again.

2. Who is your favourite author, and why?
I love Debbie Macomber. You always know you’ll get a happy ending with her books. I love that.

3. What is the best, and the funniest response, you’ve had when your readers realise you’ve set your story within the environs of dental hygiene?
“A romance about the tooth fairy? When I read the title, I thought it was a kid’s book.” (It isn’t!)

4. How long does it take you to write a book?
Usually a few months, give or take. Once I get into the story, it doesn’t seem to take very long.

5. What is your favourite food?
Anything chocolate. I inherited a sweet tooth from both parents. I never had a chance!

6. Do you have a special writing space, if not where do you write?
I have a counter in our workroom. My husband and I hang out in that room all the time. Although usually, I have to fight for counter space with a napping cat or two.

7. If you could travel to any place in the world, where would it be, and why?
I’ve always wanted to see Scotland and Ireland. My heritage includes both. I would love to visit there.

8. Who is the biggest influence in your life?
First, God, then my husband Garry. He’s my best friend.

9. Do you have any other books published and where can we find them?
“My Life in Mental Chains”, a memoir, is available at http://supamasu.co.uk/glos.html

10. Please will you tell us a little bit about what are you working on now?
Right now, I’m working on another dental romance about two competing dentists who fall in love. I’m also in the middle of writing and illustrating my first children’s book.

11. Please will you tell us where to find Pillow Talk and your other published stories?
“Pillow Talk” can be found at http://www.classactbooks.com/Pillow-Talk-by-Ruth-J-Hartman-_p_214.html
“Cat-Fish” will be available in March 2011 from Turquoise Morning Press.
“Flossophy of Grace” will be available from Midnight Showcase Fiction in February 2011.

12. Please will you include a blurb and excerpt of Pillow Talk?
What happens when a tooth fairy and a dentist fall in love? Ruth Hartman's latest novel is not your typical romance! It's a sweet, contemporary romance that features a tooth fairy who creates handmade jewelry during the day and moonlights as a tooth fairy at night. After she chips a tooth, she meets a gorgeous dentist at his office. They have the subject of teeth in common, but she's a tooth fairy, and not only can't she tell him, he'd never believe her anyway.
Here is Chapter 1 of Pillow Talk

Don’t wake up. Please don’t wake up.
She held her breath as she cautiously slid her petite hand from under the dark blue pillowcase. The sleeping powder on her gloves usually did the trick, but occasionally she’d come across a kid who was immune and woke up anyway. Silently, she padded across the carpeted floor to the open window. The evening breeze ruffled her short, layered dark hair. Two minutes later her phone purred softly.
“Where are you?”
She looked up at the upstairs window. “Standing outside Timmy Westfellar’s house.”
“Wait. Weren’t you just there last week?”
“What can I say? He’s prolific. The little guy shoots out teeth like bullets.”
Trixie hated when her supervisor called to check up on her. She was great at her job and he knew it. She snapped her phone shut and closed her eyes. When she opened them, she was standing in her living room.
“Oops. Sorry guys. Didn’t mean to wake you.” Three cats stretched and jumped off the couch. One of them meowed and yawned at the same time.
She looked down at him. “Oh, you me-yawned. I love when that happens.” She laughed and knelt down to stroke the orange tabby’s chin. “Thanks for the chuckle, Oscar. It’s been a rough night.” Oscar bumped his head against her knee, then raised his upper lip to rub his gums along her outstretched hand. “I missed you too.”
“What about you two? Didn’t you miss me?” She stretched out her other hand and the all-black female sauntered toward her, purring loudly. “That’s better, Miss Lucy.” She ruffled the cat’s fluffy head.
She scooted over to her third cat and stroked his striped face. “And what’s going on with you tonight, Sir?” The older gray tomcat sat and stared at her with huge green eyes as if he knew a delicious secret. “Hmmm. You’ve got that look in your eyes tonight, Cuspid. Just what have you been up to, you little furry instigator, you?” He was the only one of her cats to have a tooth-related name. She wouldn’t have minded giving them all a dental theme, but didn’t want to draw too much attention to that part of her life. It was hard enough hiding her other job from the world. A world that simply didn’t understand people like her even existed.
~ * ~
Her alarm went off the next morning at 6:00 a.m. Her body felt as if she’d only slept fourteen and a half minutes. She had difficulty rousting herself out of her warm comfy bed after a night of stealing teeth. Sneaking up on little kids asleep in their beds was exhausting. There was always the chance she’d get caught. That someone would wake up at exactly the wrong moment and shriek. But, that was just part of being what she was. A tooth fairy.
Not the tooth fairy. Just one of many. It was a popular misconception she’d heard many times of one impossibly tiny fairy, with wings no less, who absconded with every lost tooth of every small child in the entire universe. Please! She was good, but nobody could handle all that pressure. Besides, there was no pay involved with being a TF. It was just an ability you were born with, and you either chose to use the gift you were given or it was taken away from you. She’d heard of lazy fairies who wasted their abilities and were rudely thrust back into simple human oblivion.
After getting ready for work, she climbed into her 1989 yellow and rust (not the color) Jeep. She could, of course, be at work with a blink of her brown eyes, but chose instead to go the old-fashioned route. No sense giving the neighboring business people a collective heart attack
when she suddenly just appeared. Now that would make headlines.
The wind tousled her hair as she fumbled with the keys to her shop. She’d opened Necklaces, Bracelets, and Rings, Oh, My! two years earlier. Her overhead was kept low because she created all of the jewelry herself. She had the uncanny ability to look at an ordinary object and create a one of a kind piece of wearable art. From acorns and buttons to small smooth stones and colorful paper clips, nothing was off-limits for Trixie’s imagination. And most people never even realized the necklaces and bracelets were strung together with waxed dental floss. A girl had to use what was at her disposal, didn’t she?
Finally getting the stubborn lock to cooperate, she shouldered the heavy oak door open the rest of the way. A loud whoosh of wind followed her in and scattered the pamphlets she kept on her counter.
“Good morning! Good morning!” squawked a raspy voice.
Trixie shut the door with a loud whump and made her way to her office in the back of the building. “Morning, Benson. I suppose you’re ready for breakfast.”
The large green parrot hopped around inside his tall silver cage. “Yep! Yep! Hungry! Hungry!” His words were interspersed with squeaks and whistles.
“Give me a second. Gotta put down my stuff.” As she unloaded her denim purse, a mauve briefcase and a toaster-sized cardboard box filled with hopefully usable jewelry items, she crossed her office to a pink plastic tub sitting on the end table.
“Here ya go, Benson.” Trixie briefly opened the birdcage to fill the food dish with stinky bird kibble.
“Thank you much! Thank you much!” He flapped his shimmering wings as he bobbed his fluffy head in approval. His open beak looked like a silly grin.
Trixie laughed. Why did her bird always say everything twice? Did he think that would get his message across quicker? Maybe he should have been named Benson Benson. And technically, he wasn’t even her bird. He came with the building when she bought it. The former owners couldn’t take Benson with them when they moved to another state. It was at that moment that Trixie got a crash course in bird care. All she’d ever had were cats. And for obvious reasons, her pets could never get together for a play-date (although her cats might enjoy it.)
Her shop had become her life. That, her best friend and her animals. Ever since high school, she’d longed for romance, but it had eluded her grasp. She knew that there probably wasn’t a man out there who would understand her nightlife, though. If he was out there, how would she ever find him? She doubted if there was an online chat room for “Tooth Fairies R Us”.
She worked steadily on her jewelry and waited on customers until 11:00 when her business partner came in. Julie hated getting up early even more than Trixie did, so Julie started later and closed up every evening at 7:00.
Trixie looked up from the purple and pink button earrings she was making. “Hey, Jules.”
“Morning, Trix. How’s the feathered one today?”
“Good. Loud as ever. I guess if he’s ever quiet we’ll know something’s wrong, huh?”
Julie smiled “Right.” She set her purse on the counter. “Oh, I brought in a couple of those hamburgers you like from Connie’s.”
“Fries, too?”
“Of course, you silly woman.”
Trixie tried to keep a straight face as she said, “You’ll make someone a very good wife someday.” She couldn’t hold in a snicker.
“Hopefully, if my boyfriend ever gets himself in gear and asks me already. Besides, if you thought that’s all it took to get a man, you would have tried that on some cute guy a long time ago.” She giggled and shook her head as she unloaded their lunch from the bright yellow sack.
“Let me wash my hands and I’m all set.”
“You go out last night?” Julie asked as she put ketchup on her fries.
“Oh yeah,” Trixie answered as she dried off her hands with a cat print hand towel.
“You got that right.”
Julie waited for the explanation as she munched on a salty fry.
Trixie sighed. “It was Timmy.”
“Again? Good grief. How many teeth does that kid have, anyway?”
“I’m beginning to wonder if he’s human.”
“Maybe he’s an extraterrestrial.”
Trixie tilted her head. “Do they even have teeth?”
“You’d know better than I would, Miss TF.”
“Maybe he’s Sharkboy.”
“Who? Oh, you mean that weird kid in the movie who grows new sets of teeth every month?”
“Yeah. It could happen.”
Julie just stared at her.
“It’s not that much different than those polydactyl kittens that have extra toes.”
“Mitten kittens?”
“But I’ve seen mitten kittens. Have you ever seen an actual sharkboy?”
“Well, no. But would it be stranger than being a tooth fairy?”
Julie shook her head and laughed. “I see your point.”
Trixie picked up a long French fry and took a bite. Her brown eyes grew large. “Oh no,” she said with her mouth full. She put her hand in front of her mouth as she spoke. “That did not just happen!”
Julie’s eyes opened wide. “What? What?”
Trixie took the half-chewed fry out of her mouth and examined the gooey, mulched remains.
“What?” Julie asked again. She put her food down as she stared at Trixie.
“Don’t mean to gross you out, Jules, but look at this.” In her hand, partially embedded in the French fry was a tiny charred fragment of potato.
Julie leaned closer for a better view. She gasped. “Are you okay?”
Trixie didn’t answer right away. After she ran her tongue over her teeth, she once again reached into her mouth…and came out with a large chunk of pointed tooth in her hand. Her eyes grew large. “I don’t believe this.”
“Of all the people this should not have happened to…”
Trixie groaned. “Just great. Wonderful. Well, hand me the phone book, please. It seems I need to find a dentist.”

Thank you, Ruth, for sharing the first chapter of Pillow Talk with us and for joining me here today, and best wishes for your book

4 October 2010

Please Welcome Caroline Clemmons today.

Hello Caroline. Thank you for joining us here today.

Thank you so much for having me, Sherry.

1. Who or what was the greatest influence in your childhood?
My parents, especially my mom. I was a very puny kid and doctors kept telling my parents I had too many things against me to live. My mom was determined I would survive, and she is the reason I did. Also, my dad moved from a lucrative (for us) job to start over so I’d have a chance. It was very hard on him, and I’m grateful to both my parents for their sacrifices on my behalf.

2. Can you remember the first book you ever read and how it made you feel?
The first thing I remember reading alone was the funny papers. My dad felt schools weren’t teaching enough soon enough and taught me to read. Probably one of the reasons was he tired of reading me the funnies every evening.  We didn’t live where there was a library handy until I was in the fourth grade—and that was bookmobile that came to school twice a month. I started reading Nancy Drew and similar mysteries. The first book I purchased with my allowance was LITTLE WOMEN when I was ten. My dad loved reading and encouraged me. When our town established a sales tax, my dad increased my allowance enough to cover the sales tax so I could buy books. I’ve no idea why he didn’t take me to the library, because by then we were in a town that had one.

3. Why writing? Was there a time when you wanted to do something else?
I’ve wanted to do lots of other things. First I wanted to ride the West with Roy Rogers, be a detective like Nancy Drew, be a reporter like Lois Lane, and then I really did get into journalism in school. I was editor of my school paper and won a couple of awards for that. In my career, though, I’ve worked as a secretary, bookkeeper, newspaper reporter and featured columnist, and assistant to the managing editor of a psychology journal.
That's a very diverse selection of jobs, do you use the experiences gained in those jobs in your books?

4. Which character you’ve written about means the most to you, and why?
Hmm, that’s really hard. I love all my characters. I guess one that means a lot to me is Pearl Parker from THE MOST UNSUITABLE BRIDE. She’s based on an anecdote my grandmother told me about a girl she grew up with. I decided the poor girl needed a happier life, so I wrote her one. My grandmother told me that anecdote not long before she died, so the book and memories of my grandmother are closely bound.
What a lovely legacy to your grandmother. :-)

5. Do you enjoy cooking, and do you have a favourite recipe you’d like to share with us?
Cooking? Me? I used to love cooking, especially for parties and guests. Now I cringe at the idea. Fortunately, my sweet husband cooks most of our meals so I can write. You can see why I call him “Hero,” can’t you? However, here is a recipe that people always go back for seconds for as well as ask for the recipe, and it’s really easy to make. It’s not my original concoction, but is from a woman in our church named Donna Dill.

Corn Salad
2 cans whole kernel corn, drained
1 cup chopped purple onion
1 cup chopped green bell pepper
2 cups grated cheddar cheese
1 ½ cup Hellman’s mayonnaise
1 pkg. Chili cheese Fritos

Mix all ingredients except Fritos and chill. Just before serving, crumble Fritos and mix in. Serves 6.
I punch a tiny hole in the Fritos package to let the air escape and then pound the package. Then I can open the package and add them to the salad. That way, the chips are crumbled with no mess.

6. Do you have a special writing space?
Yes, I use what used to be my youngest daughter’s bedroom as my office. I call it my pink cave because of the wall color and the fact that I tend to hibernate there.
I can empathise with the hubernating bit.

7. Are you able to maintain a structured writing routine?
Until recently. I seem to have run off the rails recently when life interfered, and I had thyroid cancer. I’m getting back in the groove now.
That's a tough interference.  I'm pleased to know you are getting back in the groove again.

8. What is your favourite flower, and why?
My favorite is the pink rose, especially a wild rose. It’s been my favorite as long as I can remember. There used to be an old Avon scent called Wild Rose and my mom used it. The lid was blue with a wild pink rose on it. Near where my paternal grandmother is buried, wild pink roses grow along the roadside. My eldest daughter lives near there and has one of the roses on her property. She brought me one last spring. I hope it lives.
I love the way wild roses grow in abandonment and abundance.

9. Are you a plotter or ‘pantser’? If a plotter, what happens when your characters refuse to co-operate?
I am a definite plotter. My characters must co-operate. I am their creator. Lately it’s me who’s not co-operating. I got side-tracked with promotion and a few health issues.

10. What is it about history that appeals to you so much?
I love most historical eras, but post reconstruction Texas history, especially the 1880’s, is my favorite. My dad used to tell stories about his family coming to Texas from Georgia and the anecdotes fascinated me. His stories made that part of history come alive for me.
What a lovely memory.

11. How much time do you spend researching the period and settings for your novels?
Initially, quite a bit. That’s one nice thing about sticking with one time period and locale. The basic research is completed, and one only has to do the unique aspects of that book. Since I love history, it’s easy to find new details that inspire another book.
Even contemporary novels require research.
I'm not a history buff, but when I read a book that 'seeps' history into me during the story, I find myself hooked.

12. How long does it take you to complete a novel?
From four to six months, depending on life.

13. Please will you tell us a little bit about your latest book THE TEXAN’S IRISH BRIDE?
Please add your web and blog links here and where readers can buy this book, and your backlist.
Thank you for asking. My latest is a western historical, THE TEXAN’S IRISH BRIDE. The heroine and her family were turned off their land in Ireland by their landlord and fell in with Irish Travelers. The hero is half Cherokee/half Scot-Irish and was raised by his McClintock aunt and uncle when his parents were murdered.

The previous release is OUT OF THE BLUE, a time travel in which a woman from 1845 Ireland comes forward to modern day Texas to help a police detective solve the mystery of who’s trying to kill him and why. It has a lot of suspense in it.


Here’s a blurb for THE TEXAN’S IRISH BRIDE:

Cenora Rose O’Neill knows her father somehow arranged the trap for Dallas McClintock, but she agrees to wed the handsome stranger. She’d do anything to protect her family, and she wants to save herself from the bully tom Williams. A fine settled man like Dallas will rid himself of her soon enough, but at least she and her family will be safely away from Tom Williams.

Texas rancher Dallas McClintock has no plans to wed for several years. Right now, he’s trying to establish his reputation as a successful horse breeder and trainer. Severely wounded rescuing Cenora from kidnappers, Dallas is taken to her family’s wagon to be tended. He’s trapped into marrying Cenora, but he is not a man who goes back on his word. Ah, but what is he to do with a wife and her wild Irish family?

14. Please will you include an excerpt of your book?
Here’s a PG excerpt from a few weeks after their forced marriage and the first night in their house on Dallas’ ranch:
Dallas tugged Cenora behind him as he raced up the stairs.
“You’re fair dragging me, man. Show a care o’ me leg bones, will you?”
“I have plans for those lovely, long leg bones,” he promised, but slowed his stride.
“Thank you,” she said, fanning her face with her fingers. Then she tugged on his hand. “Saints preserve us, right now all me thoughts of legs are of winding me own around you.”
“How can you expect me to walk slow when you talk like that?” He blew out the candle and scooped her up.
She nestled against him and her sigh fanned her sweet breath against his neck as he hurried to their room.
When they were inside he kicked the door shut behind them and set her on the bed. He closed the curtains and lit the bedside lamp. Soft light played across her perfect features.
“At last we have privacy without cracks the next morning about our creaking wagon.”
“And tonight when we sleep ‘twill be in a bed that fits yourself with room for me as well.”
“That’s the best part, Cenora, you’ll be beside me.”
He meant it and the thought hit him hard. He’d been plenty mad at their forced union. Still was, in fact, no matter how much he enjoyed their couplings. Considering himself a loner, he hated having a crowd around. But he hadn’t realized how comforting sharing his life with a woman might be.
The right woman, that is. Dang, he hoped Cenora was the right one. Like it or not, and whether or not those vows were legally binding, he was honor-bound stuck with her now. It looked as if he had her family as well.
“I didn’t know to bring me night clothes,” she said with a coquettish glance and slid off the bed to meet him.
After he kicked off his boots and socks, he caught her hands in his. “You won’t need a thing.”
She giggled again and he pulled her to him. His blood boiled when she returned his kiss. He’d been horny as Xavier’s goat since the first minute he thought of Cenora in his bed. No longer a shy miss, she met his tongue with her own. When he thought his head would explode from the skyrockets her mouth ignited, he broke the kiss.
Her rose scent filled him and he thought he would never tire of it. She fumbled with his shirt buttons then pushed it from his shoulders.
“Yours is a very broad chest.”
Her fingers skimmed across him and his need for her magnified. When she traced the whorls of his nipple he thought his knees might give way. He stilled her hand.
“There’s something I want from you, have wanted since we met.”
Fear sprang into her widened emerald eyes and she paled. Dang, he cursed himself for frightening her and her for not trusting him.
Her voice trembled. “Wh--What would you be asking?”
“Dance for me.” He knew it sounded crazy, but he’d imagined this for days.
She looked askance. “Here? But ‘tis your bedroom, and not a note ‘o music playing.”
“Our bedroom, and you can sing or hear the music in your head to keep time.”
“Please? Not for coins or where others can see, but only for me.”
A slow smile spread across her face and she cocked her head to one side. “Aye, I see now. If ‘tis for your pleasure, then ‘twill be mine.”
After she took off her shoes and stockings, she spun away. But not in the regimented dance he’d seen when other women accompanied her. This time she took the red scarf from her waist and used it as an instrument meant to entice a man.
Her man.
She twirled as if to a measured rhythm only she heard. Her green skirt and white petticoats billowed out to reveal long, perfect legs. Legs he wanted around him. She slid the scarf in imitation of a caress along her slender arms. Then she moved the red silk along her body.
Dang, he was hot as a gunslinger’s pistol and just as hard. His manhood strained against his britches until he thought he’d pop through the fabric. He loosened the buttons and stepped from his clothes, never taking his gaze from her. Reaching behind him, he turned back the bed and sat on the sheet.
Before his heat warmed the cool fabric, she pulled him to the middle of the room and circled around him. He pivoted, naked as a newborn, and watched her every move. Dipping, fluttering, and arching her lithe frame, she lured him with each sinuous flow of her body.
Flush with the throbbing pulsating through him, he pictured himself plunging into her again and again as she wound around him. Her erotic gyrations set his already heated blood at a boil, but he stood mesmerized by her and the dance.
Her flaming hair streamed around her in a fiery cloud. She looped the scarf over his head and the red silk left a tingling trail across his shoulders and down his right arm. Then she threaded it around her own shoulders and sawed it while she shrugged first one shoulder up and then the other one. Fabric of her blouse pulled taut against her full breasts and pushed the peaked nipples into view.
Dang, he couldn’t take much more of this or he’d explode like fireworks on the Fourth of July. On and on she whirled and kicked, first coming near to brush against him, then moving back with a captivating smile. Teasing him with the piece of silk as she pulled it across his body, she seared him with her touch and made him part of her beguiling ritual.
When he could stand it no longer, he said, “Come here, let’s dance together in bed.” To his ears, his voice rasped hoarse with the need that burned inside him.
She approached slowly, seductively, with fluid grace. As she moved, she drew off her remaining clothes. Twining the scarf around his wrists, she pulled his arms high until she slid under them, imprisoning him and herself in their circle.
“Now we are truly bound together,” she said, her voice breathy from her exotic dance.
“Am I your prisoner, then?” he asked, amused at her tempting play even as her touch fueled his need.
“Yes, and I am yours.” She met his gaze, but her jewel eyes held uncertainty. “Did I please you then, or was I too forward with meself?”
“You are beautiful and graceful and your dance was even more special than I’d hoped.”
She breathed a big sigh. “Then you approve and will be taking me to bed now?”
“I suppose I must do as you say, since I’m your prisoner.” He nibbled at her neck and she released the scarf binding him. The silk fell from his skin as her arms slid around his shoulders.
Their lips met and he delved his tongue to sample her nectar. She responded with fervor. He rejoiced that if he must be tied to this woman, at least she shared his apparently boundless passion. He pulled her with him across the bed, then scooted her until she lay cushioned in the center of the thick mattress.
“Finally, I can see and taste all of you.”
“I’m hoping ‘tis all right for us to act so heathen.”
He lay propped on an elbow beside her, content for a moment to look his fill of her. “It isn’t heathen for a husband and wife to enjoy one another. Doesn’t it feel right?”
In the golden lamplight, her skin gleamed like ivory.
“Aye, it feels more than right. It’s as if being with you is where I was meant to be.”
He smoothed her auburn hair across the pillow. It looked even more glorious there than he had dreamed. Desire darkened her emerald eyes and the pink of exertion tinged her cheeks.
“No woman will ever be more beautiful than you are right now.”
“If you think that then we’re well matched, for never lived a more handsome man than you are.”
He took her graceful hand in his and brought it to his lips. After he pressed a kiss to her palm, he suckled each fingertip.
She pulled away and put her hands under her. “You’ll be driving me mad with wanting. Hurry.”
He smiled down at her and shook his head. “Nope. I’ve thought about this night since we wed. Reckon we might not get much sleep, for I intend to take my time.”
“But ‘tis torture waiting.” She reached for his manhood.
He twisted away. “Let me give you something to think about, then.” Starting with her beautiful eyes, he rained kisses on her face, her neck, and her shoulders. He cradled one of her ample breasts while his mouth suckled the other.
She moaned and clutched him to her.
In spite of his throbbing need, he restrained his own urgency and slowly trailed kisses down her ribs, her stomach, to her mound of curls. He slid a finger inside her moist heat.
“Now, Dallas, now. I can’t wait another second.”
Desire won and he stretched himself over her. “Nor can I,” he said and slid into her. “Let’s begin our own dance.”

15. If I have omitted anything you’d like to share with the readers, please feel free to add it to the list of questions.

Since I am an eclectic reader, I am an eclectic writer. I’m in edits now for a sweet contemporary, HOME SWEET TEXAS HOME, and have a lovely cover for it, but the release date is yet to be announced.

Thank you,Caroline, for joining us at The Heart of Romance today.

Thank you so much for hosting me, Sherry. It’s been a pleasure being here.

1 October 2010

And the winner is...

The winner, of a paperback edition of The Brat, for commenting on any post on my blog during September is...

Celia Yeary.

Congratulations, Celia. :-) Please let me know where I to send you book to.  If you'd like me to sign it, do you want any particular message?

Thank you to everyone who visited The Heart of Romance this month.  :-) Please keep coming back!