Wednesday, September 30, 2015

New Season, New Romances

As the days turn cool, this is a great time to curl up with a good book, so we're always on the lookout for new authors and new books to read. And today we've found one as we visit with author Isla Grey.  Did you always way to be a writer?

I remember always writing as a little girl so I guess it’s always been in my blood.  Of course, back then I was writing little rhymes for my grandmother, so it’s definitely changed a bit over the years.
How did you get started in publishing?

I had worked on one project for a couple of years.  I was writing it while I was expecting my daughter.  So, when she came along, that got put on the backburner for a year or so.  Finally, when I had a few extra moments, I dug out the manuscript and dusted it off.  It took some editing and rejection, but I finally found a publisher who wanted it.
Tell us about your latest book and where you got the idea for it.

My latest book is Asylum Harbor.  It tells the story of Devon Brown who moves to the remote Shell Island as the new bartender of the Salty Dog.  She doesn’t want—or need—trouble but she finds plenty of it, especially in the form of the island’s harbormaster, Kerr.
The fun part is that the idea came from an actual visit to Shell Island.  No one lives there, but vacationers like to visit during low tide to grab seashells and sand dollars.

What do you like best about your heroine and hero?
For Devon, I like the fact that she’s trusting and dedicated to the people she holds close.  Kerr is headstrong, no nonsense but he’s very protective of the people closest to him.

How about a blurb?

Trouble is the last thing Devon Brown needs when she leaves the painful memories of her past behind and heads to Shell Island.  As the Salty Dog’s new bartender, she finds herself drawn to Kerr, the Shell Island harbormaster.  But finding her happily-ever-after is difficult when dealing with an obnoxious bootlegger who supplies the bar with illegal liquor and a jealous coworker.

A standoffish loner with damaged emotions, Kerr avoids relationships like the plague.  Things change when Devon catches his eye.  When a simple flirtation grows serious, the coworker and bootlegger quickly become obstacles to any future Kerr and Devon may have together.  As the situation worsens, Devon realizes that even the still waters of Asylum Harbor are no refuge during a storm.
What are you working on now?

I’m currently working on the second book in the Salty Dog Series.  There’s plenty of trouble for the people of Shell Island to get into.

That sounds great and we look forward to seeing what else happens on Shell Island. How can readers buy a copy?


Amazon UK:

All Romance Ebooks:

Barnes & Noble:



How can readers get in touch with you?
Thanks, Isla, for being my guest today in My Writing Corner.  Any comments or questions for Isla? Just click on the comments link.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Making A Trip Back in Time

It is always great to revisit with an author and catch up with what they are doing and learn more about their writing journey.  Joining me today in My Writing Corner is author Andi Downing. Welcome back, Andi. Did you always want to be a writer? 

I think when I was growing up, it was a toss-up between becoming a writer or becoming an actress (as they once called female actors!).  I did a summer course at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts and took part in as many school and college plays as possible.  But I was also writing a lot and taking every creative writing course I could.  Somewhere along the line, I lost my guts for becoming an actor, and writing won out when I got heavily involved with a group of poets while doing my MA in England.

How did you get started in publishing?  I worked for Simon and Schuster for a while, and I also edited a poetry magazine in Britain, so I was all too well aware of the long slog it can take to submit to either an agent or a major publisher.  I gave it a go—I guess one always hopes one will be the exception—but it got ridiculous.  When I heard about The Wild Rose Press, who have won so many awards and have a friendlier approach in their relationship with authors, I decided to try them.  I consider myself lucky to be with the company; they’ve completely lived up to their reputation for professionalism and being truly excellent to deal with.
You write mainly Western romances. What made you fall in love with that genre?  I don’t know that I fell in love with that genre so much as have had an on-going love affair with the west, and those are the stories that come into my head.  Like many people of my generation, I grew up on a diet of television westerns. I also spend as much time as I can on ranches, both ‘dude’ and working cattle.  I love that life.  I love those people.  And the geography, the scenery, the very air I think, feed my creativity.

I was excited to learn that your book Loveland is being re-released and introduced to new readers. Tell us a little about Loveland and where you got the idea for it.   Well, of course I lived in Great Britain for most of my adult life so, when I returned to the USA in 2008, I carried with me certain British sensibilities along with this immense love of the American west.  I happened to read a biography of the Jerome sisters, daughters of a wealthy NY family in the 1800s; Jenny Jerome was Winston Churchill’s mother, and her sister Clara also married a Brit by the name of Morton Frewen.  Frewen was the younger son of very well-connected gentry—loads of friends and acquaintances in the aristocracy—and he ran one of the first cattle companies out in Wyoming in the Powder River basin.  He was pretty hopeless as a manager, actually.  But the idea for Loveland sprang from all that.  The book deals a bit with the British aristocracy living out west:  how they expected, for the most part, to live as they did at home, with servants in grand homes, extensive stables and so on.
What do you like best about your heroine and hero?  I like Lady Alex’s spunkiness.  She literally has taken the reins of her situation and doesn’t suffer fools gladly.  She wants to be independent of the Victorian society idea of men ruling the roost, and so she’s gone about accomplishing just that.  In the process, she discovers quite a bit about herself.  As for Jesse, he doesn’t put up with a lot, either; he has a short temper, although he eventually learns to keep it under control because he knows that’s the one way he can get on with Alex.  She’s so far above him in ‘class’ terms, he doesn’t know how to handle his own love for her until the very end.

How about a blurb?
When Lady Alexandra Calthorpe returns to the Loveland, Colorado, ranch owned by her father, the Duke, she has little idea of how the experience will alter her future. Headstrong and willful, Alex tries to overcome a disastrous marriage in England and be free of the strictures of Victorian society --and become independent of men. That is, until Jesse Makepeace saunters back into her life...

Hot-tempered and hot-blooded cowpuncher Jesse Makepeace can’t seem to accept that the child he once knew is now the ravishing yet determined woman before him. Fighting rustlers proves a whole lot easier than fighting Alex when he’s got to keep more than his temper under control.

Arguments abound as Alex pursues her career as an artist and Jesse faces the prejudice of the English social order. The question is, will Loveland live up to its name?

What is your next project?  I had to take what you might call a sabbatical for health reasons this year, so I count myself lucky that Amazon Encore wanted to re-release this book, keeping me going, so to speak.  But I am about to re-start writing and have a number of ideas in mind.  I’ve got one that I’m aiming for that mixes historical and contemporary with a hint of a paranormal—and I’m not saying anything more than that!

Thanks so much for having me here, Rebecca.  I’ve enjoyed our chat!

Thank you!  How can readers get in touch with you or buy Loveland?

Buy Links for LOVELAND: 
For the eBook, Amazon:
Any questions or comments for Andi?  Just click on the Comments link.

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Pets, Vets & Romance = A Winning New Novel

We're always looking for new books to read and it's always great to find a new book by an author I've enjoyed in the past. Joining me today in My Writing Corner is author Peggy Jaeger who has a new release out. Peggy, please tell us about your latest book.  

FIRST IMPRESSIONS is the third book in my MacQuire Women Series. It tells the story of local veterinarian Padric “Pat” Cleary, and new family practice doctor, Clarissa Rogers. Clarissa has heard quite a bit of “negative press” about her new best friend’s twin brother, and when he shows an interest in her, she shuts him down immediately, telling him she doesn’t want to be the flavor of the month for any man. She believes what she has heard about him, thinking him narcissistic and shallow. But when he helps her through one of the most emotional and heart wrenching days of her life, she starts thinking that everyone who claims to know him doesn’t really know him at all.
What gave you the idea for it and what made you want to write it?
I introduced Pat in book two of the Series, THERE’S NO PLACE LIKE HOME. He was the protagonist, Moira’s twin brother, and I wanted to give him a love interest. Once I fleshed him out, I realized Pat had a lot going for him and just as much against him, so I wanted to explore how he would take rejection when it’s basically never been given to him before. How would he cope? What would he need to do to SHOW Clarissa the man he truly was and not the reputed played she’s heard about from practically everyone who knows him – and several who don’t. Reputation means everything to some people, whether deserved or not – another theme that runs through the book, along with not judging a book by it’s proverbial cover.

How did you come up with your characters for this book?
Since I started writing I’ve wanted to write about twins – not the identical kind, but fraternal because I knew I wanted to create a brother and sister. Pat and Moira are so alike in physical characteristics, but almost diametrically opposite on the personal stuff, that I knew it would be fun to pit them against one another and everyone else, as well. Clarissa Rogers was one of the easiest characters I ever dreamt up. She’s a prodigy – like a girl I personally know, has had to mature emotionally much quicker than her chronological age would dictate, and she needed to be that one person who always remained calm in an emergency situation. Her physical attributes were easy, too, because I’ve always wanted to write about a girl with opposing features: she has deep chocolate colored eyes, but reddish hair – not a common trait pairing at all.
What do you like best about your current hero?
I lovelovelove that this big ( 6’2) gorgeous looking guy, who’s a flirt of the first order, is so gentle, loving and kind  to animals. Several times throughout the book, Clarissa is charmed to see him hold and soothe an animal, sick or not, large or small, and watch that animal totally fall in love with the calm, deep timbre of Pat’s voice and the gentleness of his touch. He has truly been born to be a veterinarian.

What about your heroine?
I adore Clarissa’s sense of outward calm, even though her insides are bouncing like Mexican jumping beans. Due to her young age chronologically, she’s taken a great deal of verbal hits through the years from older physicians and her medical school peers and could have responded in a variety of negative ways which would go hand in hand with her actual age. We all know teenagers and very young adults have impulse control issues, especially when they are upset or riled up. Instead, she sought the council of one of her psych instructors who taught her ways to remain and appear calm when all around her was in chaos or threatening. It’s part of what makes her such a popular doctor in the town, this sense of calm she radiates. On the inside though, she is nervous and anxiety-ridden and I find that dichotomy so fascinating, that I had to write her that way.
How about a blurb?

Family Practice Doctor Clarissa Rogers’ first impression of Padric Cleary is biased and based on gossip. The handsome, charming veterinarian is considered a serial dater and commitment-phobic by his family and most of the town. Relationship shy, Clarissa refuses to lose her heart to a man who can’t pledge himself to her forever.
Pat Cleary, despite his reputation, is actually looking for "The One." When he does give his heart away, he wants it to be for life. With his parent's marriage as his guidebook, he wants a woman who will be his equal and soul mate in every way.

Can Pat convince everyone -- including Clarissa -- she's the only woman for him?  

What are you working on now?
I have just sent the fourth book in the series, THE VOICES OF ANGELS, to my editor for a run-through. This book, and the next one, are actually pre-quels to my first book SKATER’S WALTZ. Book 4 tells the story of fiction writer Carly Lennox and news broadcaster Mike Woodard. Book 5, PASSION’S PALLETE, tells the story of Moria and Pat’s parents, Serena and Seamus Cleary.
How can readers reach you or find you online?
There’s lots of places!! I’m a social media junkie and need hourly fixes!
Amazon author page:
Instagram: mmj122687  ( peggy jaeger)

I love that cover on First Impressions and I know it's another book I'll want to read. Thanks, Peggy!

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Escape into a Suspenseful Romance

Joining me today in My Writing Corner is author G. E. Taylor.  Tell us a little about yourself and your journey to publication.

I became hooked on reading romance novels during my teen years and my attempt at writing began in high school. All of my manuscripts were mailed under my bed. Eventually, I threw out most of them. That was painful especially since I’d hand written them first, then typed them on my old typewriter.

In college I majored in English but ended up with a Master in Social Work and a Master in Education.
Though I had these different career paths, I never gave up my passion for writing. Now I’m much more committed to it and writing full time. I’ve drawn on my years of practicing social work to give my work authenticity and realism. I live in New Jersey with my family.

Your newest book is Desperate Decision.  How about a  blurb?

Allison North's flight to freedom is desperate and dangerous. As she scrambles into the stranger's car she prays this is not her last day on earth. Usually not a gambler, this move is high stakes gambling. Bruised and batter and with no money, she needs a place to hide and heal until she finds work as a pastry chef. When the stranger offers her shelter, she takes it even as fear threatens to choke her. Would she live to regret her decision?
Mason Franklin cannot believe his eyes but, with her urgent cry ringing in his ears, he presses the gas and the car leaps forward. What had possessed her to do such a dangerous act? He intends to find out. But no amount of probing loosened her tongue. Just when he decides to let her go, he accidently sees her bruised body. Angry that someone did that to her made him want to meet the coward. He offers her shelter. Under his roof, he discovers she is the pastry chef who could not only lift his business to the top, but who built up a need in him that only she can satisfy. The wild passion they share can only lead to one conclusion.

You've got my attention. I want more. How about an excerpt?

The cold November air hit Allison hard, chilled her bones, and caused instant goose flesh to rise and cover her skin. She hunched over momentarily trying to ward off the chill. Her eyes scanned the train station as a possible place to hide, but she discarded the idea immediately.  It was too open. The streets across from the apartment were busy and not easy to cross.  Estimating her chance of crossing them before being captured, the odds were against her. She would not have the time or the strength to do it before they caught up with her. Moving as fast as she could, she walked across the courtyard, down the embankment to the sidewalk.
Several cars and other vehicles waited at the stoplight. Making a desperate decision, she stepped up quickly to a car and yanked the handle. The door opened and she scrambled inside, slammed the door shut, and locked it. The light changed from red to green. The driver, startled, pressed the gas. The car leaped forward only to stop abruptly. Several horns blasted behind him instantly.

“What the fuck!”           
 “Drive! Please drive,” she begged.

The sound of her voice carried a desperation that commanded him to obey. The car leaped forward as two people, a man and a woman, dashed into the courtyard. They hurried through the wrought iron gate onto the sidewalk looking up and down the street, peering into cars as they drove by. Allison eased down on the floor of the car until the stranger’s car circled the green and headed toward South Street. Her heart pumped furiously, and she swallowed with difficulty. Lifting her shaky hand, she eased herself upon the seat. She had no idea what she would say to this stranger when he stopped his car. He must think she was insane or had escaped from somewhere. She hadn’t. This was the first time in her life that she’d ever done anything like this.
He pulled into the parking lot at the supermarket, flung his door open, and walked around his car to the back right door. His long strides reached it before Allison got out. As she pushed against the door, he pulled it open.  He was furious with her for not only scaring the living hell out of him, but for doing this unthinkable act. What could have possessed her to do it? She’d better have a damn good reason.

With both feet firmly planted on the blacktop, she was ready to stand, but she could not lift her body. He stood solidly in her path, one arm resting on top of the door effectively cutting off her escape. Dressed in black jeans, cream polo shirt, and light black jacket, his body allowed little room for her to move.
Allison looked up at him and swallowed nervously. He was lean and taller than Douglas, so she would say he was over six foot tall. His face was deeply tanned, his blond hair shaped his head perfectly, and straight brows enhanced his cold blue eyes that were not looking at her in a friendly way. His nose was straight, jaws firm and square, his lips slightly full and sensual. His hard eyes concentrated on her steadily.  A strong current of anger radiated from him. She felt it, and cursed Douglas fervently in her mind. There was a leached control about him that frightened her. Most of all, she needed to be on her way. The quicker she apologized, the faster she could leave, she decided.

“I’m sorry, very sorry, I startled you back there,” she said sincerely.  “Thank you for helping me. Again, I’m truly sorry. I’ll leave you now.”
“Like hell you will! Not so fast,” he stated, not moving an inch as he continued to look at her. Despite the anger that ran through him, the sound of her voice drew his attention. It reminded him of warm honey. He liked it, and he could hear genuine regret in her tone. She was also very nervous, and she should damn well be, for the stunt she just pulled. He wasn’t ready to let her walk away from him. Her skin was light brown, and he wondered what her eyes looked like. The huge dark glasses she stared at him through hid them very well.

His eyes on her were unnerving. She couldn’t help but move restlessly in her seat. If only he would move. Each minute he delayed her was making it easier for Douglas’s friend to find her.
“What made you do such a foolish thing?”

“Under ordinary circumstances, I wouldn’t have done it.” The thought of how close she came to involving him in an accident made her stomach turn.

“Care to describe the circumstance?”
That sounds like a book guaranteed to keep reader's turning the pages. Where can we get a copy?

How can readers get in touch with you?

Thanks for being my guest today.  Any comments or questions for G. E. Taylor?


Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Romance & Intrigue -- Always Great Reading

As the days cool off and we head into Fall, there are still plenty of wonderful books coming out that deserve notice.  Joining me today is author Linda Pennell whose latest work sounds like a wonderful romantic tale from out of the past. Linda, tell us about your latest book.

Casablanca: Appointment at Dawn is set in 1943 during the weeks leading up to the first Allied Conference at the Anfa Hotel in Casablanca.. The title could just as easily have been Unconditional Surrender, since this was the conference at which Roosevelt and Churchill set that policy with regard to the Axis powers. The story centers around two people who have no desire for wartime romance, but are thrown together by circumstances.
What gave you the idea for it and what made you want to write it?
I have always been interested in World War II, so writing a novel set during the war was a natural for me. When I first started this novel, it was entitled Wings and featured a ninety-day-wonder, as Army Air Corps pilots in training were called, and an army nurse. They were stationed at the training facility at Hialeah, Florida, but the story just wasn’t working for me. During communication with another author who also had been a WWII pilot, he happened to mention a fellow pilot who was stationed at Casablanca during the war. A little research led me to the Anfa Conference, the policy of unconditional surrender, and an intercepted Allied communication that could have doomed the conference but for a simple mistake made by a German translator.

My hero became an OSS officer with very unique talents and no desire for romance. My army nurse
got transferred to a Casablanca Army hospital. Nursing a recently broken heart, she stumbles into more trouble than one girl should ever have. Intrigue and danger draw Sarah and Kurt together at first, but their hearts push them where they had no intention of going. Spies, espionage, double agents, Casablanca, and wartime romance make things much more exciting, don’t you think?

You are so right. Add romance and what could be better? What do you like best about your current hero?
Kurt is a hero in the truest sense of the word. He is willing to die to keep his country and the girl he loves safe.

What about your heroine?
Sarah is the best friend a person could possibly have. She is courageous, determined, and caring. She goes above and beyond the call of duty to offer comfort to the young wounded soldiers in her care.

How about a blurb?
Casablanca: Appointment at Dawn By Linda Bennett Pennell
Will seven days be enough time to save the Allied war effort and the girl he loves?
Casablanca, 1943: a viper’s nest of double agents and spies where OSS Officer Kurt Heinz finds his skill in covert operations pushed to the limit. Allied success in North Africa and the fate of the First Allied Conference—perhaps the outcome of the war—hang on Kurt’s next mission. The nature of his work makes relationships impossible. Nonetheless, he is increasingly torn between duty and the beautiful girl who desperately needs his protection and help.

Sarah Barrett, U.S. Army R.N., is finished with wartime romance. Determined to protect her recently broken heart, she throws all of her time and energy into caring for her patients, but when she is given a coded message by a mysterious dying civilian, she is sucked into a vortex of danger and intrigue that threatens her very survival. The one person who can help Sarah is Kurt, a man with too many secrets to be trusted. 
Buy link Casablanca: Appointment at Dawn:  

What are you working on now?
My latest project is entitled Miami Days, Havana Nights and features history professor Liz Reams from my first published work, Al Capone at the Blanche Hotel.  This time, she is on the trail of the mob’s accountant and member of Murder Incorporated, Meyer Lansky.

How can readers reach you or find you online?
Twitter:  @LindaPennell

And how can readers find your other books?
Buy link for Al Capone at the Blanche Hotel:
Buy link for Confederado do Norte:
Buy link for When War Came Home:

Thanks, Linda, for being my guest today!   

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...