Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Go Back in Time for Fun Summer Reading

Today we continue our fun summer reading with a look at author Mary Gillgannon and her new book, Wicked Wager.  She's the author of 15 novels set main in the dark ages, medieval and English Regency time periods.  When not writing or working at the public library, she loves reading, gardening and travel.

I asked Mary about her new book and how she came up with the idea for Wicked Wager.

Although I am boringly feminine now, when I was a kid I was a tomboy. I loved climbing trees, riding bikes, fishing and camping. I also loved animals, and although I had few opportunities to be around horses, I’m sure if I had a chance I would have been “horse mad” like my heroine, Penelope (Penny) Montgomery.

That’s really where the story for Wicked Wager started. I envisioned a grown-up tomboy, who loves to be outside working with horses. Penny has no interest in most “lady-like” pursuits and she’s fiercely independent. Of course, to make it fun, I paired Penny with a man who appears to be her opposite. Marcus Revington lives in London and makes his living as a gamester, spending most of his time in gambling hells and clubs. He’s elegant and well-dressed and what we would consider “debonair”. Quite a contrast to Penny, with her men’s clothing and messy hair!

But even though Penny and Marcus appear to be opposites, they are actually a lot alike. They are both down-to-earth, unpretentious people who work hard and are very loyal to the people they care about. But it takes them a long time to discover the things they have in common. And by the time they do, there are complications that put their “happily ever after” very much jeopardy.

 What do you like best about your hero?

 What I like best about Marcus is that despite being a gamester, and making his living by hiding his emotions, and presenting himself as cold and ruthless, he’s actually a very honest and straightforward person. He doesn’t care about status or social class and accepts people for who they are. He is also very passionate beneath his aloof exterior. When he falls for Penny, he really falls, and he is willing to do almost anything to keep her in his life.

What do you like best about your heroine?

I really enjoyed writing Penny’s story because she is lively and fun.
So enough of this current summer heat. Let's go back in time to another kind of fun heat with Wicked Wager, this week's summer getaway reading:
When hardened gamester Marcus Revington wins Horngate Manor in a card game, he is delighted to finally own property. Even discovering he must marry the heiress of the estate doesn’t deter him. The heiress, Penny Montgomery, is happy with her life raising horses at Horngate and has no desire to wed anyone. When she learns about her guardian’s Wicked Wager, she schemes to convince Marcus she’s unsuitable as a wife so he’ll forget his plan to marry her. Who will win this battle of wits and wills? Or will they both discover the name of the game is love?
Sounds like a perfect book to read by the beach, pool or sitting in the shade while you're out camping or in the evening on the patio. Let's read an excerpt.
           Both men turned at the sound of hoof beats. A huge stallion came barreling down the drive, its rider bent low over the withers. Halfway to the house, the rider reined in the magnificent animal. Blowing and snorting, the beast slowed to a trot and, finally, a walk. As horse and rider approached, Marcus couldn’t help gaping at the young woman controlling the stallion. He'd never seen a female ride like that before!
She halted the stallion, and before either of them could assist her, leapt down and faced them. The woman was dressed in soiled men’s clothing and her brown hair hung down in messy wisps around her face. “So, which one of you is the London bloke I’m supposed to wed?”
James gestured to Marcus. “This is Mr. Revington. I’m James Ludingham, his solicitor.”
The woman extended a grimy hand to Marcus. “Pleased to meet you.”
Marcus stared at her in astonishment “You’re Miss Montgomery?"
"Yes, but you can call me Penny, everyone does. The house is there, see.” She pointed. “Mrs. Foxworthy will offer you something if you knock. I really can’t be bothered with playing hostess. I’ve got to get back to the stables. We’re gelding the colts today and they need me to do the cauterizing. Good meeting you though, Mr. Revington, Mr. Ludingham.”
She turned and mounted the stallion, then cantered back down the lane.
“Hmmm,” James said. “What were you saying about marrying the woman sight unseen?”
Marcus swallowed, trying to get over his shock. “I’ll allow she is a bit eccentric, but that hardly matters. It’s really quite simple. She’ll go her way and I’ll go mine.” His words belied the uneasy feeling in the pit of his stomach. Gads! The chit was an utter hoyden. He'd encountered Covent Garden orange girls who had more polish than Miss Montgomery. But at least she wasn't unattractive. Despite the dirt and her disheveled hair, she had huge blue eyes and pert, pretty features, and the masculine clothing she wore only served to emphasize her leggy but clearly feminine form.
“There is the small matter of the marriage ceremony," James reminded him. "Unless you think to get a clergyman to perform the rites in the barn, you may have a problem.”
“Well, she’s bound to come back to the house sometime. We’ll discuss the details then. Meanwhile, I’m starved. Let’s hope this Mrs. Foxworthy is a bit more hospitable than her mistress.”
Here are the links to buy Wicked Wager.
Thank you, Mary, for being my guest.  Any questions or comments for Mary? 



Wednesday, June 17, 2015

A Fun, New Mystery for the Summer

All this summer I am featuring new summer books for your reading please.  Today we are focusing on Misty Simon and her latest Ivy Morris mystery, Something Old, Something Dead. Misty's slogan is Capturing Hearts with humor and romance, and this title certainly sounds like it lives up to that claim.

Ivy Morris never thought she'd be walking her new stepmother down the aisle to her father. Not a flawless event, because, really, when is anything in Ivy's life flawless? At least she avoids tripping. It's the reception that has the flaw.  The wedding singer nearly chokes to death on a glass of water, and then Ivy's sister finds something unexpected in the parking lot.

And that's not all. Something odd is going on in the sleepy little town of Martha's Point — for some reason, no female under the age of fifty can keep her hands off Ivy's boyfriend. Ivy's little shop enjoys a tremendous increase in business as those women keep running in to buy more new sexy lingerie, but her heart is anything but happy.

What will it take to solve these mysteries? Is Ivy up to it? Well, she's about to find out.

Want more?   Here's an excerpt.
“I wonder what’s up with Shelley.” Bella freshened her lipstick, which looked like it had been chewed off. Had she done that herself, or had her new squeeze, Officer Jared, done it for her? I really envied her freedom to do whatever she wanted whenever the mood struck her.

“It’s like an epidemic today,” I said. “Some woman at the dress shop sewed up most of my dress wrong and I could barely fit into it. When Sarah, the owner, finally got hold of me, she gave it a couple of tugs and, voila, it fit like a dream. I don’t get it.”

“I wouldn’t worry. Let’s get you taken care of as best we can and get back out there. I left Jared with a very strained expression on his face, and I don’t want it to go away before I’m good and ready.”

Bella, the eternal sexpot. I wished I could call myself the kettle.
Instead, we went back out to the table with my hair pulled into a messy but chic ponytail. Thank goodness Bella had a pair of earrings in her purse that hung almost to my shoulder. They made the stubby ponytail look a little less fourth grade and more fancy college co-ed. I hadn’t done anything with the degree I had received other than be an admin assistant, but I could look the part, I guessed.

When we arrived back at the table, Ben rose from his chair and helped me into mine. He could be a gentleman when he wanted to be. Not that he was a complete jerk at other times, but he did have his moments of over-the-top arrogance

Want to read on? Here are the links to get Misty's new book:
 Thanks, Misty, for being a guest and bringing us your book

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

New Summer Reading

Today we are continuing our summer reading fun with romance author G. E. Taylor and her new book, The Lady Mentor. 

Here's a blurb:

When beautiful Joanna Huntington left the law firm of Petersberg, Ryan and Cole, she never dreamed the storm would force her into the path of the car driven by Vaughn Gordon, the man whom she thought she would never see again. Coming face –to- face with Vaughn at the hospital brought back memories of their first encounter when she‘d lived in Chester. How she’d boldly asked Vaughn to kiss her after she’d sensed the attraction between them was mutual. His touch made her forget any cautious teachings she’d heard and his kisses had sent so much heat flowing through her that every cell in her body clamored for his full possession. But now she wanted to hide.
Vaughn had everything he wanted, except the woman of his dreams. Joanna had been marked off limits, not because she was biracial and he was white but because that was demanded of him. He agreed to back off…for a time. But then she disappeared. Now here she was lying before him possibly hurt.

 Fate would not be so cruel to take her from him again just when he found her.
Now that makes me want to
G. E. has been reading romance since her teen years, and like so many of us who started writing romance in high school, her first attempts were handwritten or typed on an old typewriter. She went in a different direction after college. She majored in English but ended up with a Masters in Social Work and in Education. Eventually she became a social worker and gave up writing romance, but now she has more time and has returned to her high school love. She uses her background in her stories, including her latest book.
Let's take a look at an excerpt from The Lady Mentor:

“At last,” said Vaughn’s deep voice.
Joanna was so shocked she flopped down into the nearest chair.

“Are you there, Joanna?”

She cleared her throat. “Yes, I’m here. What can I do for you?” she asked, politely while her heart raced away like an unstoppable train.
“I take it you have fully recovered from the accident?”

“Yes. And it’s not necessary for you to continue to call.”
“It’s not necessary?”

“No. As a matter of fact, I wish you wouldn’t. I think you should forget you ran into me. Forget you saw me.”

“But I can’t do that,” came the husky reply. “We’ve been over this already, Joanna. Please have dinner with me this evening.”
“Now, why would I do that when I just told you−−−?”

“Joanna, I’m picking you up this evening. I’m not playing the waiting game anymore. If you’re not ready when I get there, it will be my pleasure to personally dress you.”
Arrogant bastard! “Why don’t you go harass someone else? I’m sure that banker’s daughter wouldn’t mind. Both of you look like a nice little couple in the papers.”

“I don’t mess around with married women, which she is now. At the time, I was asked to escort her to the function. Besides, I want to be with you, no one else.”
Well, he’d told her he would not waste time, and apparently he’d meant it. He was moving forward with the relationship. Truthfully, she wanted to see him again. They had a lot of unfinished business. Some she couldn’t make go away. Having dinner with him should give her some answers.

“Joanna, is eight okay?”
“Yes, that will be fine. Where are we going?”

“Downtown Newark, to the Neck, to one of the Spanish restaurants. You liked Spanish food, as I recall.”
“You remembered,” she stated quietly, blown away that he would remember such a small thing about her after all this time.

“There’s very little I don’t remember about you, Joanna. Give my regard to your lovely mother, and I’ll see you at eight.”
She replaced the phone in its cradle thoughtfully, a deep frown creasing her brows. There was no going back now. Truth be told, she was excited and was actually looking forward to being with him. There was no denying the fact that nobody else made her heart race with such speed or sing with such joy. The time spent away from him made her body even more responsive to him. She craved his touch and felt so alive when she was with him. She didn’t want to look too deeply into why. She only knew that from the first day they’d met, something special, magical was between them. Apparently that had not changed.

As Katherine entered the apartment, she sensed a change, and she looked at Joanna seated on the chair. “Is everything all right, Joanna?” she asked anxiously.
“Yes. I’m going to dinner with Vaughn tonight.”

“Are you sure this is what you want to do?”
Joanna understood this was no ordinary question.

This looks like a hot summer read. The Lady Mentor is available at and BN.Com and getting great reviews. Here are links to get your copy.


Any questions or comments?

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Supernatural Summer Reading from Abigail Owen

My Writing Corner focuses on summer reading fun for the next couple of months as we look at new releases that can sweep you off into another world.  This week we shine the spotlight on Abigail Owen and her newest shapeshifter book, Sarai's Fortune. It was published in May and is entry number two in her Shadowcat Nation series. This book sounds like another winner and like a great book to spend some time with this summer.

Abigail received high praise for her first Shadowcat book, Andromeda's Fall. Fresh Fiction called the ending "fantastic" and suggested readers map "out time to read because it will not let you put it down." And it sounds like we won't want to put down Sarai's Fortune either once we start to read it.

Zac Montclair’s first priority is to protect his people. With the escalating war between factions of shifters over land and resources, he has agreed to an alliance between his polar bears and the Shadowcat Nation of cougar shifters. But the treaty comes with a condition…he must accept one of their Seers into his Timik and put her under his personal protection.

Sarai Bouchard doesn’t need her supernatural gift to know that Kyle Carstairs’s obsession with controlling her ability will eventually result in her misery and demise. Her power is essential to her people’s survival, so when Kyle goes rogue, she’s sent to Zac Montclair to keep her safe. However, her visions reveal that while staying will lead to their becoming lovers, it also leads to his death. Leaving Zac will result in her own.
If Sarai can’t find a way to change the future, she will be forced to choose…save her lover or save herself.
Abigail Owen is an award winning author who was born in Colorado and raised in Texas. Currently she lives in Northern California. She is a fourth generation graduate of Texas A&M University and has a degree in Technical Writing. Like so many of us who have worked in non-fiction writing related fields, she has found that writing without imagination is not nearly as much fun as writing with it.
Here's an excerpt from Sarai's Fortune: 
“You don’t like being a Seer?”
        Sarai narrowed her eyes. Very few people realized that about her. She shifted in her seat to face him more fully. At the same time, she tried her best not to touch him, but the way he was angled, her entire right thigh was now plastered up against him. She ignored the sensations the contact was causing.

“Why would you ask that?”
       “Your tone of voice right then. Sounds like you resent your gift.”

She gave him a little half smile. “Not at all.”
       “I don’t believe you.”

She turned back to the window, determined to stay that way this time. “I can’t help what you believe.”
       “If you ever want to talk about it—”

“I don’t.”
        After a beat, he said quietly, “—I can be a good listener.”

Eager to end the conversation, she said, “Wouldn’t know it by this conversation. I didn’t take you for such a talker.”

Another long pause. Sarai bit her lip, feeling a little guilty. He was only trying to be kind. She just couldn’t encourage a relationship with this man. Not with the way it was destined to end.

“Believe it or not, I used to talk a lot. My parents called me a chatterbox.”

Suddenly, Sarai was in the middle of a rare look into the past. She didn’t get them often, but it was known to happen. She saw Zac as a little boy, nattering away to his parents, who listened with half-amused, half-exasperated smiles. He was the spitting image of his dad. Suddenly, as she watched, his father tossed his head back and laughed long and loud. A great billowing sound which made Zac and his mother laugh with him.

With a blink she forced herself out of the image. She hadn’t needed that personal look into Zac’s life. She was trying to keep her distance. Zac’s parents were dead now. Killed by the same pack of wolf shifters who’d killed Andie’s mother. She knew that much about him.

“Your father had a great laugh,” she murmured. With great effort, she kept her face turned away.

Her words seemed to drop into a void.

“How would you know that?” He sounded merely curious. “You can see the past?”

Sarai gave a tiny nod. “Sometimes. Just glimpses. Memories, I think. You must’ve been thinking about them.”

“He did have a great laugh,” he said after a moment. Even more softly, he murmured, “I used to laugh more. When they were alive.”

Sarai jerked her head around, turning wide eyes his way, astonished he’d opened up to share something that personal. She felt a sudden, unwanted connection with the lost, lonely boy who’d had to become a man much too fast.

As though he were embarrassed by his statement, Zac laid his head back against his seat and closed his eyes, settling in for a nap and effectively tuning her out.

Sarai watched him for a moment, before she too pulled her gaze away. After a long time, she murmured, “Me too.”

 Buy Links

The Wild Rose Press | Print
Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU | B&N | Apple | Kobo All Romance

 To contact Abigail: Abigail Owen @
Website & Blog | Facebook Twitter Pinterest 

A Writing Quest

With the cold days of winter in the rearview mirror and spring taking a firm hold, it's time to look forward to all the reading we want ...