Monday, August 24, 2015

A Summer Sci-Fi Romance

We are wrapping up our summer reading fun with a delightful sci-fi romance from author Cahterine McLean. Besides being a wife and mother, Catherine has ridden and exhibited Morgan Sport Horses. She's an avid clothing and costume designer, an award-winning amateur photographer, a 4-H leader, and a Red Hatter who loves bling.  She lives on a farm nestled in the foothills of the Allegheny Mountains of Western Pennsylvania. In the quiet of the countryside, she writes fantasy, futuristic, and paranormal stories where a reader can escape to other worlds for adventure and romance. Her short stories have appeared in hard copy and online anthologies and magazines. She's had several novels published and her latest was released this month.  HEARTS AKILTER is a light hearted fantasy/sci-fi/romance.

When a medical robot insists he's having a heart attack, Marlee Evans, a pragmatic
maintenance technician, has every reason to panic.
There's a bomb inside him.  Since Marlee can't risk the bomber discovering she's found the device, her only option is to kidnap Deacon Black, an unflappable bomb expert, and secretly convince him to disarm it.  Things go slightly awry when Deacon sets a trap for someone who is trying to kill him, and inadvertently captures Marlee instead.  Instantly intrigued by her refreshingly forthright and gutsy attitude, he's smitten.  Unfortunately for Deacon, Marlee recently hardened her heart and swore off men, especially handsome ones with boy-next-door grins.  But as Marlee and Deacon attempt to identify and prevent the bomber from detonating the device, they discover that love may be the most explosive force of all.

Now doesn't this sounds like a great book to finish off your summer reading? Here's an excerpt:

              “It’ll blow the station to kingdom come?”
               He nodded.
              “Not to worry.”
              She said that with such nonchalance that he found himselfspeechless. He cleared his throat. “Why not? Did you snatch theportable Bomb Disposal Unit, too?”
              “What’s better than a BDU?”
              “Garbage incinerators.”
              “What?” He glanced out into the darkness beyond the lift.
               Giant machinery stood silhouetted and veiled in shadows. “Whereare we?”
               “Deck forty-three, Ring D zero three. Relax. Don’t panic.They once accidentally incinerated a torpedo in number four, over yonder.”
                She pointed to the left. “Nobody heard or felt itexplode, and there wasn’t even a drail’s worth of damage done tothe incinerator, or anything else.”
            “I don’t believe you.”
            “It happened three years ago. I was there, a deck above.
             "Never mind.”
              Henry manipulated his finger appendage, grabbing and brieflytugging the shirt sleeve of Deacon’s good arm. “Marlee wouldnever lie about anything so important.”
              “Does she lie about unimportant things?” He instantlyregretted his caustic remark.
              “I do not know.” Henry spun sideways, facing Marlee. “Do youlie about unimportant things, Marlee?”
              “I have been known to tell a white lie now and then to sparesomeone’s feelings, but on the whole—” She looked away fromHenry.
               As her blacker than black eyes met his gaze, Deacon felt pinned to the wall.

 Hearts Akilter is available now and here are the buy links if you want to get a copy:

All Romance eBooks:
The Wild Rose Press:

We've told you a little about Catherine, but she also takes time to help other writers by giving writing workshops, both online and in-person. A schedule is posted at:  

If any of you would like to get in touch with Catherine, here is her contact information.

Catherine's website for writers is and she blogs at
Or on social media:
Amazon Author Page:
Thanks, Catherine for being our guest. Any questions or comments for Catherine?


Wednesday, August 19, 2015

An Early Christmas Gift

Today I continue summer reading fun with a look forward at a book that speaks to summertime because it warms the heart.  The book is an early Christmas gift to readers--an anthology of 12 stories titled A Heartwarming Christmas. One of the authors, Cheryl Harper, is blogging in My Writing Corner:

After the Happy Ending

 by Cheryl Harper
Ben and Jen.Blake and Miranda. Can anyone explain to me why I get a little sad when I hear about celebrity couples breaking up? I don’t know them or the circumstances or even their romantic tale, but the evidence that another ‘til-death-do-us-part has crashed is sad. It happens. Marriage is work. Love is work. Writing love and romance and marriage is work, too, but we don’t often have to figure out what happens beyond “I love you.” In “Making up under the Mistletoe,” I have a couple wading through what happens after real life kicks in. Josh and Ivy were high school sweethearts who married at the age where they were certain they had life all figured out. In other words, they were young. Now that Josh knows who he really wants to be, all of Ivy’s plans for his life no longer fit.

But she’s still the only person he wants to see the world with.
Together they have to figure out how to find the way back to forever. That means a little bit of friction, a whole lot of honesty, and the commitment to find a place that works for them both. She’s certain it’s Christmas Town, the place where they grew up. He’s just as convinced that’s the only place that can tear them apart. Sometimes happily-ever-after endings take some monitoring and adjusting. Ivy and Josh understand that real love is what happens after the wedding ceremony and forever happens one day at a time.

Cheryl Harper discovered her love for books and words as a little girl, thanks to a mother who made countless library trips and an introduction to Laura Ingalls Wilder's Little House stories. Now she spends her days searching for the right words while she stares out the window and her dog snoozes beside her.
A Heartwarming Christmas
This holiday season, warm your heart with 12 connected sweet holiday romances set in Christmas Town from 12 Harlequin Heartwarming authors who are USA Today, national bestselling, and award-winning authors.

There are four connected anthologies in A Heartwarming Christmas. That means each set of three novellas shares characters and storylines! This collection of PG-rated holiday romances are all set in Christmas Town, a location introduced in the 2014 Harlequin Heartwarming release Christmas, Actually. A Heartwarming Christmas will bring you laughter, tears, and happily-ever-afters (no cliffhangers), for more than 1200 pages.
Foreword by small town lover and New York Times bestseller Kristan Higgins.

Coming Home to Christmas Town anthology by Melinda Curtis, Anna Adams, & Anna J Stewart: Three adopted siblings gather for the holiday season and closure after their father dies.

The Fisher Brothers Christmas anthology by Carol Ross, Cheryl Harper, & Amy Vastine: Three brothers with a Christmas Eve family tradition in jeopardy until love leads them home.

Gifts of the Heart anthology by Tara Randel, Leigh Riker &Cari Lynn Webb: In the spirit of Christmas, three siblings reconnect to find romance, special gifts - and each other.

The Gingerbread Men anthology by Liz Flaherty, Patricia Bradley &RulaSinara. When two sisters and their widowed mother are reunited for the holidays, falling in love isn't on any of their Christmas wish lists, but sometimes the best gifts are unexpected...
Here is where you can buy A Heartwarming Christmas:

Barnes and Noble:

Thanks, Cheryl, for being my guest and for telling us about A Heartwarming Christmas.  Any questions or comments for the authors?

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Summer Romance Reading

Summer is rapidly coming to a close, but there are still more wonderful books out there to read. Today I am joined by Anne Ashby, whose new books is World's Collide. 
Did you always want to be a writer, Anne?
I don’t remember ever deciding in my younger years that I could be a writer, although I used to scribble little stories, mostly westerns because I cut my reading teeth on my brother’s books. I also remember not understanding my less than top marks for English essays. I mean a ten page story in response to a question asking for 300 words should have been worth an A+, right? All through my Navy career and when I had a young family, I never thought about writing. It was only when my youngest started school I began looking for ‘something’ and a random comment from my daughter (by then at university) began my writing journey.

Where do you get story ideas?
My ideas come from all over the place, TV, movies, books, magazines, songs, newspapers, you name it, and it possibly has provided an idea for me. A visual of something as I drive along the road might be enough to trigger an idea. I keep a box in my office and anything I read that sounds interesting gets thrown into that box. But to date I haven’t ferreted around in there for a new story idea. I think I’m just being careful to accumulate a few possible plots in case my brain runs dry. The idea for the story I’m working on now was sparked by a friend who dreamed of using his farm to build an adventure playground.

Tell us about your writing process. Do you plot carefully or wing it?
I’m a pantser, I’ve given up trying to plan anything. An idea usually comes first, then I develop the characters I need to progress that idea, although once or twice this has happened in reverse. I try to write chronologically but as I get to the sagging middle I sometimes sneak ahead and write a more exciting scene. The problem with not planning is that the editing process probably takes as long as the writing, but I quite enjoy editing, I think because the pressure to finish the story is off, so this process works well for me.
How do you normally come up with characters?

Oh man, I don’t know. They seem to just arrive in my head. While I may pick up a small likeness to people I meet, I don’t use real people to portray my characters. I don’t want anyone ‘recognising’ themselves.
Tell us about your latest book, Worlds Collide, and what made you want to write it?

I was always going to write Justin’s story. He was a secondary character in my first book (Worlds Apart). I even had a chapter laying out the groundwork for this follow-up story, until my mentor explained it shouldn’t be there as it had nothing to do with the romance of Worlds Apart. The plot took a bit of thinking as my hero is wrapped up with a Maori taniwha (mystical entity) and this wasn’t enough conflict for the longer stories I prefer to write. Bringing in social status and money seemed another realistic thorn in his side. 
How did you come up with your characters for this book?

As mentioned, Justin was ‘born’ in Worlds Apart so his character only needed a little massaging to fill a whole book. Nicole was a little more difficult. I needed her rich and arrogant on the outside but with so much doubt and insecurity inside. I think I managed to invent a believable woman.
What do you like best about your current hero?

Personally I’m not enamoured with Alpha males. I’ve known a few and honestly, I don’t like their arrogance so much. So I don’t think any of my heroes can slot into that criteria. Justin appears a friendly, caring, happy-go-lucky type. He’s completely unpretentious, just an ordinary, do-anything-for-a-friend type of guy. But when he gets his back up he’s a force to be reckoned with.
What about your heroine?

Nicole is more of an enigma. Raised in the lap of luxury, she’d been pampered and spoilt rotten. But she’d rebelled against this rarified society and set up her own business only to be cheated out of it. We meet her as she’s looking to pick up the pieces of her life. She’s struggling with knowing how to do this.
How about a blurb?
Although a secret dread lays buried deep inside New Zealand tradesman Justin Titirangi he appears content. He enjoys his life in Washington DC. He never dreamed a casual invitation to attend Thanksgiving with a friend's family would impact his life so disastrously. Previously untouched by social snobbery, he's blasted with both barrels.

Nicole Campbell is ashamed of how she'd treated her brother's friend, but is smarting from the demise of a long term relationship. She never expects to see Justin again anyway. A need to escape her smothering parents but without ready funds, Nicole temporarily moves into her brother's house in DC, unaware Justin also lives there.

Sparks fly when Justin and Nicole come face to face but will they manage to control the blaze before it engulfs them both?

That sounds like a perfect book for reading this summer or any other time of the year!  How can readers get in touch with you or buy the book?

My Publisher – The Wild Rose Press:

Buy Links

Thanks, Anne, for being my guest.  Any questions or comments for Anne?

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

An Immortal Summer Reading Adventure

As we turn toward Fall, there is still time to get in some summer reading that can take you into another world or a new dimension. My guest today is Kelly Lee to tell us about her newest book. Did you always want to be a writer?

Not even close. In fact, after finishing three novels and starting a fourth, it's still hard to consider myself a "writer". Some small part of me is insecure that if I start calling myself a writer, the creative gods out there will smite me for my arrogance.
Where do you get story ideas?

Originally, the story ideas for the Four Realms series started as a result of a trip to Europe, where I toured several countries including Italy & Greece. I joke that the gods – Greek and Roman – decided to tell their stories through me.  For another series I'm writing, I get ideas from what provokes me emotionally as a person. I have been reading a lot about women's rights and the plight of women in other parts of the world where they have no rights. Suddenly, the nugget of an idea for the Honor Bound series was born. I'm currently carrying that one around, and have no idea when it will fully come to term. J
Tell us about your writing process. Do you plot carefully or wing it?

If you consider closing your eyes and just thinking about what might happen in a book plotting, then sure, I plot. I'm trying to become more of a formal plotter… but for now, I'd have to say for the most part I wing it.
How do you normally come up with characters?

I don't come up with them, they usually take me by the throat and say "write me". LOL.
Tell us about your latest book, Murdering Eve, and what made you want to write it?

After the first three books in the Four Realms series, there are still many unanswered questions for the reader about how the Four Realms came into existence, as well as some unresolved relationships. I can't NOT write the story, and in some respects the current draft is a prequel to the other three, telling the story of what came before, specifically the history of Eve's parents –Synrah & Apollo, who are introduced in Murdering Eve long after their affair ended.
What do you like best about your current hero?

He's honorable and strong, and even though he's been wronged in the worst possible way, he knows who she should and shouldn't blame for the mess he's in. Aside from his nature, I love the dichotomy of the fact he's technically a troll, and the strange twist of making him so human-like and believable in a fantasy romance. Believe me, it took a lot of research on Irish culture to spin a web of characteristics to suit this story!
What about your heroine?

Eve is like you and me. She's not over the top powerful. While I love a kick-butt heroine from the first word sometimes, and they do appear in the books for sure, Eve has to grow into herself. She struggles just like anyone else would, and that makes her relatable.
How about a blurb?

Exiled to magic-barren Earth Realm, Whit Blackstone has resigned himself to never seeing his family or clan again. But when a mysterious woman appears, wielding as much power as the goddess who banished him, primal desire and his desperation to return home collide.

Immortal… After twenty-nine years of believing herself human, Eve Moore can’t wrap her brain around the word. But even immortals can’t always cheat death, especially if a bloodthirsty God of War threatens your soul. Betrayed and hunted by a relentless assassin, newly immortal Eve Moore has no choice but to trust the heart-stopping stranger she’s been tasked to find and return to Olympus.

As their chemistry ignites, Eve discovers the depth of her emerging powers, and the inescapable connection she and Whit share.  When the time comes, will Eve hand him over and walk away? Or will the long buried secrets of her past doom both their lives, and their very souls?

How can readers reach you or find you online?
Facebook: Kelly L Lee - Author
Twitter: @kellyleefiction

Buy Links for Murdering Eve:
Allromance e-books:
Bookstrand :

And I understand there are more stories to come?

Battle Heat, Book 2 in the series: Release date SEPTEMBER 4, 2015!
Iron Defiance, Book 3 in the series: Release date TBD – November!
Thanks, Kelly, for being my guest and good luck with your series.  Any questions or comments?

Mysterious Doings

As the  summer begins, it is time to start selecting those books we want to take on vacation or for sitting around the pool or at  the beach...