Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Dancing into a New Romance

Dancing into My Writing Corner today is romance author, Mariposa Cruz, to tell us about her new book, Package Deal. Did you always want to be a writer?

I’ve been writing stories in spiral bound notebooks since I can remember. My best friend and I spent an entire summer passing a notebook back and forth writing a story about our group of friends. We read the finished story at a Christmas party later that year. I’m happy to report we’re all still on speaking terms with our high school friends.
I wrote articles for my college newspaper and my first short story was published in the college literary magazine and I’ve been balancing fact and fiction ever since.   

Tell us how you got started in publishing your first book.
I felt apprehensive on New Year’s 2009 since I was facing a court date for divorce at the end of January. I sent my manuscript for “Howl” to The Wild Rose Press on New Year’s Day in hopes that maybe some good news would come after the divorce.

A couple of months later I received a response.  The editor liked “Howl”, but it wasn’t ready for publication.  Using her suggestions I re-worked the story.  I spent the next few months going back and forth with the editor and pulling my life back together. After several go rounds with a very patient editor, “Howl” was finally awarded a contract in October of 2009.  I had a much-needed celebration with my kids and a chocolate cream pie.  So even if you’re navigating a difficult time in your life, don’t stop writing!
Tell us about your latest book, Package Deal, and where you got the idea for it.

I enjoy dancing, especially the Latin dances like Bachata and Salsa.  The dance floor is the best place for characters and potential stories. Reno has a vibrant Salsa scene and I couldn’t resist making it the backdrop for” Package Deal”.
What do you like best about your heroine and hero?

Even though Liz and Patrick are in their late forties, established in their careers and were previously married to other people, falling in love for them is still exciting (and terrifying) for them.  I had so much fun with Liz and Patrick that I included them in my short story collection, “Hot Flash”.
What are you working on now?

Each dance genre and setting (nightclub, honky tonk or studio lessons) has its own ambience which will be explored in the Rhythm and Romance series. I’m working on the next story in the series.  “Ladies Man” which tells Liz’s paralegal, Julie’s story and features West Coast Swing.

How about a Blurb for Package Deal?
Widowed attorney, Liz Grant, buries her grief in a deluge of paperwork.  On whim she takes a free dance lesson at the club Eclipse where the mojitos are cold and the Salsa is hot.  She falls for Salsa’s spicy rhythms and Patrick Cavanaugh’s sexy grin.  But can Liz handle the dramatic change of tempo in her well-ordered life? 

Patrick has all the right moves, but struggles to keep his balance as his adult daughter spins out of control.  Will their love survive off the dance floor?
Thanks for being my guest today. To find out more about Package Deal, author interview and classic horror movie review check out:

Any questions or comments for our guest?

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Escape into a Western Romance

As we move deeper into the fall and get ready for winter, I am always looking for a new book to curl up with for a day of reading. That means I am always ready to hear from a new or favorite author about her latest book.  My guest today is romance writer, Danica Favorite.  
I  love to hear stories about getting the road to publication. How did you get started?
I’ve always loved writing, but I never imagined that it would be a career until I was home with my now 15-year-old, who was a baby at the time. I needed an outlet for my creativity and so I looked online for something I could do. I found the online community and discovered that they were looking for authors. Thirteen years later, I sold my first book. I did not take the fast path to success, but it’s been a good journey, and I’ve really enjoyed it.

You’ve taught classes on nourishing the writer’s spirit. Can you tell us more about that?
I’ve seen a lot of friends struggle with burnout, and in, fact, when I finally sold that first book, after working so hard for so long, the strongest emotion I felt was exhaustion. As writers, we pour out so much of ourselves creatively, emotionally, and physically, but we don’t often take the time to fill ourselves up. Many writer friends often feel guilty for doing things to take care of themselves because they’re already taking time away from their families to write. But unless we take care of ourselves and nourish the spirit that makes us such great writers, we’re going to burn out. It makes me sad to think of writing friends who are no longer writing because of it. Writers have been given such a great gift, and I want to help them nurture that gift.

You’re sponsoring a writer’s retreat next month. Can we get the details?

Yes! I’m going to talk about the things I do to nurture myself that have impacted me creatively and helped my productivity, but more importantly, have really made me a lot happier in life in general. It’s going to be very hands-on, so don’t expect to sit and listen to a bunch of theory and stories. We’ll spend time talking about the things we as writers can do to nurture ourselves, and then, everyone is going to go off and put those ideas into practice. My goal is for everyone to go home with their own nurturing plan so that when they’re working on their writing, they have tools for keeping themselves in a good place, fully nourished and able to live their passion so they aren’t depleted.

Please tell us about your latest book.
My latest book is The Lawman’s Redemption, which came out in July. It’s my second book, and it takes place in Leadville, Colorado during the silver mining boom in the 1880’s. To me, it’s a great story about forgiving yourself for your past mistakes and finding redemption in the things gone wrong.

What gave you the idea for it and what made you want to write it?

Originally, when I started thinking about Mary, whose story I knew I wanted to write next, she seemed so perfect. Which got me thinking about other people we think are perfect. So many times, that perfection is a veneer hiding a deep wound or flaw. Because I am a writer, I love knowing secrets, and so I wanted to find out Mary’s. And of course, the hero had to be a man determined to find them out.

How about a blurb?
Lawman on a Mission 

Former deputy Will Lawson is fighting to regain his reputation—and Mary Stone is his only lead to the bandit who framed him. Now that he's tracked Mary to Leadville, Colorado, Will needs the proud beauty to reveal her past. Instead, his efforts spark a mighty inconvenient attraction…

Mary's only real crime is that she once believed an outlaw's lies. Still, she fears disclosing the truth to Will may land her in jail—and leave her young siblings without protection. Now she must choose between honesty and safeguarding her family. And if Will does clear his own name, can he convince the woman he loves to share it?

What are you working on now?
Wow, you caught me just as I finished and turned in one project, Shotgun Marriage, which is Emma Jane’s story, and will be out in April. And the next day, I received a call from my agent saying I’d just sold books four and five, which are Polly’s and Rose’s stories. So I’m not getting much of a break right now! I’m writing Polly’s story right now, and I’m having a lot of fun with it. Basically, it’s her worst nightmare come true.

How can readers reach you or find you online?

How can we sign up for your retreat?

Thank you for being my guest today.  I am really looking forward to the retreat next month!
Any comments or questions for Danica?

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

A Romantic Tale from the 49th State

Today we are heading north in our search for new romance novels to read.  My guest is author Devon McKay, who hails from Alaska. She has many exciting stories to tell about life in the 49th state. She says on several occasions she was chased by a mother moose defending her young and stalked by a bear. She also had to endure temperatures of forty below and once she was even trapped in an avalanche. While that might sound like a tough time, she says she loved every minute of it.

Now, however, she making her home on a small ranch in Ohio along with her husband and teenage son. She says that while farm life in the Midwest is slightly more laid back than the perils of Alaska, she is enjoying the slower pace. The country lifestyle gives her plenty of time to follow her passion for writing. Her first novel was Cowboy on the Run, and her newest book is Staking A Claim, which was set in Alaska.

Here's the blurb:

For most people, seeing Alaska is a dream come true. For Miami Beach resident, Samantha Held, it is merely a job assignment. Creating an advertisement for vacationing in the state gets her one step closer to achieving her career goal—partnership in Kolinsky’s Advertisement Agency. 

Blake Langford is not willing to accept any exploitation of his beloved state, no matter how desirable the striking, southern blonde bombshell with fiery green eyes is, and he’s determined to sabotage Sam’s goal in every way. Falling in love with the enemy, however, was never part of the plan.

That storyline definitely caught my interest and the cover for the book is absolutely outstanding. We wanted more so  Devon has sent us an excerpt:

Fuming, Sam held his gaze as she considered his offer. She couldn’t have asked for a better opportunity to be dropped into her lap. She could learn everything she needed to know about Alaska and have a handsome, but overly protective, guide of the state to show her. Not to mention what his knowledge could do for the brochure.
It would also mean more time in his temperamental company.
Sam considered her options. She had gotten lucky finding Carlton Landing, but what about locating her elusive hotel? As proven last night, it was more than evident she couldn’t even read a map correctly. So, what real choice did she have?
She pictured her new office…the view of the ocean…the partnership. She was willing to take the chance. Besides, she’d never been the kind of girl who shied away from a challenge. Hell, so far, her life had been a series of challenges.
“It’s a deal.” Her voice came off cool and professional despite the quickening of her heart beat. She offered her hand to shake on the agreement. “We haven’t officially met. Samantha Held. I go by Sam.”
“Blake Langford.” He extended his, grasping her hand and repeating the name she already knew by heart. He held onto her grasp for a minute longer than necessary. “I go by Wolf.”
Again, the breathtaking grin resurfaced, and an odd pulsation spiked through Sam, leaving her insides quivering like a bowl of gelatin as she second guessed her decision.
What kind of fool makes a deal with a man called Wolf?
Staking a Claim is available now and here is the info for purchase.
If you want to reach Devon, here is how to get in touch with her:
Thanks, Devon, for being our guest.  Any comments or questions for Devon? Please click on  Comments.

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Hungering for a Good Romantic Novel?

We're always looking for new books to read, and sometimes that means looking back at books we may have missed their first time around.  Our guest today is author Brenda Gayle, whose romance, The Hungry Heart, has just been re-released, and she is doing a contest as part of today's visit.  Tell us, Brenda, Did you always want to be a writer?

It’s cliché, but I can’t remember when I didn’t write. I was the geeky kid in class that was thrilled when the teacher gave us a creative writing assignment. Then, in high school, my girlfriend and I would entertain ourselves by starting with the same sentence and going off to write our own stories. It always amazed me how different they were.

How did you get started?
I have a degree in Journalism and spent 20+ years working in corporate communications so publication was something I did every day. However, at a certain point, I started to feel like my creative muse had abandoned me. I couldn’t blame her. She was probably as tired of annual reports, press releases, and magazine articles as I was. I returned to writing fiction as a way to re-ignite my creative juices. Unfortunately, with family and work responsibilities, writing for me was always last on my to-do list. Then, a friend suggested I take it seriously; treat it as a writing assignment and write for publication. I joined my local writers’ group and never looked back. I completed Soldier for Love, my first full-length contemporary romance, and was thrilled when The Wild Rose Press wanted to publish it.

Tell us about The Hungry Heart and its re-release.  
The Hungry Heart is the first book in my Heart’s Desire series, which chronicles the search for love and belonging for three cousins. The book was originally released in September 2013. I’ve always loved it; its hero, Hunter Graham, is one of my favorite characters, as is his indomitable grandmother, Libby. I was thrilled when The Wild Rose Press informed me that Amazon wanted to relaunch the book as part of its Encore program. Amazon’s Encore Publishing selects successful and well-reviewed small press and self-published books, giving them a second life by improving their exposure. 

What gave you the idea for it and what made you want to write it originally?
The heroine of the book, Nora Cross, is a dedicated association executive, who thinks she has no time for a social life. I’ve spent most of my communications career working for not-for-profit associations and have gotten to know many “Noras.” I thought it would be fun to see what happened if she met a younger man with a carefree attitude. I decided he should be a chef because what’s better than a guy who cooks for you, right?

What have readers said about the book?
It’s very interesting. Everyone loves Hunter. He’s a fun combination of sexy playboy and little boy. There is an innocence and openness about him that’s very appealing. I think of him as a ten-year-old: he doesn’t think about the ramifications of his actions, and is genuinely surprised and remorseful when he discovers he’s hurt someone.

Nora, on the other hand, seems to be a polarizing character. A lot of people don’t like her at all at the beginning of the book. She’s harsh and unbending. Fortunately, before the end, she’s redeemed herself, and everyone is rooting for Hunter and Nora to get together.
How about a blurb?

A burned out association executive spices things up with Santa Fe’s playboy celebrity chef.
Child advocate Nora Cross doesn't have time for the private cooking lesson her sister won at a charity auction. Hunter Graham, the young chef, is the last person she needs telling her she's forgotten how to have fun. So why can't she get the very hot, very eligible man off her mind?

After a stellar debut in New York City, Hunter's back in Santa Fe to open a new restaurant. He lives a charmed life and he knows it. He isn't interested in a workaholic who's glued to her smart phone. So why is he trying to convince Nora to relax and enjoy life—with him?

When Nora's apartment and office are ransacked, Hunter comes to her rescue, surprised to find himself playing knight-in-shining armor to the uptight executive. But when it becomes clear Nora is no random target, Hunter realizes he'll do anything to keep her safe.
What are you working on now?

Last March I took a family trip to Sedona, AZ. It has to be one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever been. The scenery and the mystery of the place was so amazing, I was inspired to write a story set there. The result, Me + You, will be released around Valentine’s day as part of The Wild Rose Press’s Candy Hearts series.
How can readers reach you or find you online?

You can contact me via my website,

BUY LINKS for The Hungry Heart
eBook exclusively on Amazon


Tell us about your contest.

Setting is very important in all my books.The Hungry Heart is set in Santa Fe, NM, a place I'd dearly love to visit. And, as I mentioned, a recent trip to Sedona, AZ, inspired me to write Me+You, my Valentine's novella. Let me know either some place you've always wanted to visit and why, or some place you've been that has inspired you in some way. I'll randomly select one commenter to win a digital copy of The Doubting Heart, the second book in my Heart's Desire series. I'll make the draw the end of the week.
Thanks, Brenda, for being our guest.  Click on Comments to reply to Brenda's contest or to ask her any questions or leave any 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...