Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Paranormal Romance in Paradise

To me the search for new books and new authors never ends. Just when I think I've fallen in love with one genre, I'll find something else that really intrigues me and before long I'm engrossed in a new book and enjoying learning about a new author. That was the case when I saw the cover for author Jeny Heckman's newest book, The Sea Archer.  Jeny is the guest today in My Writing Corner and her newest book is a paranormal fantasy romance that mixes mythology with romance in an engaging tale.   

Jeny lives in Stanwood, Washington, with her husband of twenty five years, and she keeps busy with him and on her writing and photography.  She  says she loves romance as an author. She especially loves writing romance with a paranormal and/or historical twist. She was educated as an artist but she has also gained experience as a banker, sales clerk, draftsman, charity fundraiser, jewelry maker, nursing student, hospice volunteer, photographer, mother, and wife. 

But writing has long been a calling, so she finally turned her attention to it. 

Raven Hunter, a musical prodigy, flees to the Hawaiian Islands to pick up the pieces after her marriage to her manager collapses. Instead, she experiences extraordinary and unsettling events that are beyond her understanding. 

Living in paradise, marine biologist, Finn Taylor has the unconscious but effortless ability to understand the needs of the animals he cares for. His playboy lifestyle is most men's fantasy. That is, until the night he meets the shy and elusive new island resident. Suddenly his life no longer feels like his own. The attraction is undeniable. However, vastly contrasting lives, peculiar dreams, and an unbelievable proclamation that they could be the direct descendants of Poseidon and Apollo threaten to divide them forever. Will they accept their destiny and begin the quest of a lifetime or will they remain in their comfortable yet separate existence?

Why did you choose this genre?
I love the paranormal romance genre. It’s fun and it’s interesting. I have never written in this genre though and that was a little different. I changed from being a pantser to a plotter but all in all I loved the process. It was really fun implying the “fantasy” world within the real one. Where you get that reasonable doubt that the fantasy may be possible.  

What do you think is the most difficult thing about writing a book?
By far, the most difficult thing about writing a book for me is having a head full of ideas and unable to write them down because I’m busy or the day is packed full of other events or people. It’s by far the hardest part. When I write, I don’t really like to stop. I definitely lose track of time. So, invariably I need a lot of undemanding time or I’ve been known to get a little grumpy when I get interrupted.

What book have you read that you wish you had written?
Well, of course the gold star would be Outlander by Diana Gabaldon. I truly love the way she weaves realism with fiction, with history, then back to the fantastic. She truly is a very gifted story-teller.

If writing is your first passion, what is your second?

Writing is absolutely my first passion and then a very close second is photography. Two very creative fields I know. I love capturing moments whether in life or in my mind and showing it to people. To stand in the Scottish Highlands alone but able to show it to people like they’re standing there too, is exciting. Primarily, I shoot portraits and weddings but recently I’ve really gotten into scenery and epic landscapes. I love capturing moments, expressions and small windows of time that reveal more than what you expect.

How much of the book is realistic?
I think the modern day story is very realistic, especially the emotions and awkwardness. I’ve seen or experienced many of the scenes in the book. Some made me actually laugh and some made me cry.

What do you like best about your hero?
Oh Finn, what is there not to like about Finn! He is perfectly flawed, as most men are. I love men, so I love writing about them and Finn is the epitome of male beauty but doesn’t always get that isn’t enough. I like his turmoil in how he handles this tsunami that’s entered his life. Just a side note. When I write, I have to have a visual on my desktop of the character and when I wrote Finn’s scenes, his visual counterpart is Ben Dahlhaus (with the short beard). So, if you are wondering my vision of him, Ben was it. Go look him up now and you’re welcome!

What do you like best about your heroine? 
I love…LOVE Raven! She was such a loud voice and presence in my head. I love that we have an idea about what a celebrity might be like. We think we understand their lives, their intellect, their beliefs, when we don’t know them at all and many times they are nothing like the people you fall in love with on the stage or screen. Raven is two separate people and everyone thinks the one on the stage is the real one. However, she is just as insecure as everyone else. She doesn’t know any more or less than anyone else. Her life is primarily the same just with extra wrapping paper. Second side note, Jennifer Anistan was the visual que for Raven. The best thing is Jennifer has played many roles and I was able to get the performer and every day woman characters of Raven from Jennifer too.

How can readers get your book and get in touch with you?


Links for Purchase:


Thank you, Jeny, for introducing us to The Sea Archer.  Any comments or questions for Jeny? 

Wednesday, November 21, 2018

Escape to a New World

With the holidays right around the corner, this is the time of year for not only looking for good books to read on those long, cold winter evenings, but it's also time to start looking for gifts for my reader friends who love new authors and unique stories. Today's guest in My Writing Corner, Mona Sedrak,  has a new book out that immediately caught my interest.  

Mona lives in Cincinnati, Ohio, where she works as a university administrator and professor. Although she has co-published two academic books, she has joined the world of fiction writing and is now published in mainstream fiction and women's fiction. She says she is an avid reader and that she is probably Audible's best customer.

Like so many writers, she says writing and reading fiction provide her escape from reality, and we can certainly understand why that might be possible.

Mona lives with her husband of 31 years, and she says they shared their space with a geriatric maltipoo, and an Amazon Parrot named Pretzel. Mona tells us she is an avid TV watcher and binge watches too many shows to count. She also says she loves fine brandy. 

Her new books is Six Months:

For twenty years, Mikala Jacobson had it all: loyal friends, a precious little girl, and a man who adores her. Then double tragedy
strikes and her perfect world shatters. 

Good friends, Rena and Jake are instantly by her side, protecting her from her husband David’s sordid secret life and his final drunken confession.

With their help, Mikala finds strength to rebuild and redefine her life. As her spirit and heart heal, she not only finds closure, but the beauty of a new love built upon an old friendship.

With their help, Mikala finds strength to rebuild and redefine her life. As her spirit and heart heal, she not only finds closure, but the beauty of a new love built upon an old friendship.

Let's get an excerpt:

Wandering from room to room, she memorized every detail of the life she and David built––the family photos lining the mantel, the hand-carved jewelry box David bought her on their honeymoon in Salzburg, and Molly’s tea set arranged on the coffee table for evening tea. A cold, hollow ache took residence in her belly where the knot of dread made its appearance that morning. The sensation expanded with alarming speed, dug in deep, and planted roots. Like an unwanted guest appearing without warning and bringing too many bags for just a brief visit, sorrow moved in, shifted, and stretched then got comfortable for the long haul.
When the house line rang, Mikala froze, and her gaze darted to the cordless on the couch. Her breath stuttered. Her heart seized. Clarity forced its way past the tentacles of sheer terror strangling, dominating, and paralyzing her. She shook her head and took a step forward, only to be hit by a wave of dizziness and nausea so tremendous, she doubled over wrapping her arms around her womb. Mikala’s entire being, inside and out, shook as her heart tumbled about in her chest without a set time, tempo, or rhythm. Her breaths grew shallow and choppy, and her legs turned to rubber. The cord tethering Molly to her and this world had been severed.
The telephone rang four times before Mikala forced her body to cooperate. God, she hadn’t wanted to answer. She hadn’t wanted to know. She’d even considered not answering, protecting herself and her beautiful family from the annihilation of their world.
People said she was strong––the strongest woman they knew. They said in time she would heal. She would build another life. And God didn’t give you more than you could handle. People were idiots. They had no idea how in her head she raged. She howled, and shrieked, and wailed...and begged, and pleaded for mercy. All day. All night. Every day. Every night.

If you would like to read more here's the information for Mona: 

Thank you Mona, for being my guest today and letting us escape into your world. Any questions or comments for Mona?

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

A Special Holiday Romance from the Past

It is time to start thinking about those books you might like to buy for friends and loved ones for the holidays and to start looking for great new holiday stories to read. I always have a few I love to re-read around this time of the year but I  am always searching for new books and stories to enjoy during the holiday season. They get me into a festive mood and always make the holidays seem brighter.

My guest today in My Writing Corner, Kathy Otten, has a wonderful new offering and I was curious about it and about her writing career.

Kathy, did you always want to be a writer? 

I suppose I’ve always wanted to write. As a kid I made up stories in my head at night when I couldn’t sleep. I wrote them down and made books with crayon pictures tied together with yarn. Over the years, my stories grew longer and I filled several notebooks. But it wasn’t until my kids grew up that I joined Pennwriters Inc., and seriously pursued the craft of writing.

Tell us about your new book and where got the idea for it. 

A Christmas Smile isn’t a new book, but as it is a holiday novella, I thought it would be fun to talk about it. Rather than an idea, many times my characters come to me first, lurking in the periphery of my mind. In this case I saw Tom, the hero, returning home from the Civil War, eager to finally see the only woman he ever loved.

How did you come up with your characters for the book?  

After the characters come to me, I start asking them questions. In Tom’s case I asked him things like: Where are you going? What are you looking for? Why? What will you do if she isn’t waiting for you?

What do you like best about your current hero? 

Tom is so beaten down by war at the beginning of the story, he makes a terrible mistake. Once he understands what happened, rather than concede defeat he tries to win the heroine’s forgiveness. I guess I like the fact that in the end if she no longer loves him, that he’s willing to walk away.

What about your heroine? 
Beth also suffered hardship during the war and it transformed her from a girl into a self-sufficient woman. I like the fact that she didn’t easily forgive Tom. She needed him to understand how his mistake had hurt her and changed her.

How do you normally come up with characters? 

I see them in my mind, in that half awake, half asleep stage in the early morning. Usually they are dressed in clothes of their period and they are doing something or saying something. In this story I saw Tom, in a battered Confederate uniform, a crutch under each arm as he hobbled up a narrow lane.

What a great idea! You put them in a story immediately! How about a blurb?

After years in a Yankee prison camp, Tom Montgomery returned to Virginia to discover the wife who said she'd love him forever had mistakenly been informed of his death and married another man. Seven years later, Tom returns to Montgomery, Texas to discover Elizabeth has been living at his grandfather's ranch. Can a Christmas miracle heal the pain of betrayal and bring their two hearts together again?

What are you working on now?

I’m in between projects. My Civil War novel, A Place In Your Heart, is out now from The Wild Rose Press. I finished writing a contemporary young adult novel for which I am currently querying agents. My NaNoWriMo goal is to write the rough draft for the second book for that same cast of characters. And I’m playing around with an idea for a short story set during WWI.

How can readers reach you or find you online?

I can be contacted at  

Thank you, Kathy, for being my guest. Any comments or questions for Kathy?

Wednesday, November 7, 2018

A Magical Romantic Touch

With the first snow upon us, it is always good to find a new series to dive into or a new author to read. This year I've been discovering a lot of new favorites and the best thing is that many of them I can read or sit and listen to as audio books. Either way I come out a winner. But this week I discovered another wonderful author with what sounds like a perfect book for a cold winter's day or evening. 
Author Debby Grahl is the guest today in My Writing Corner, bringing us her latest book. Debby lives in South Carolina. She tells us she has long been a history buff and it shows in her writing. She also says she loves reading mystery novels, romance and books featuring time travel. She takes that love of those genres into the books she writes as well. Besides writing, she says she loves walking on the beach, and biking. Her favorite places to visit include New Orleans, New York City, Captiva Island in Florida and the Cotswolds of England.  
Her first book, The Silver Crescent, won the Paranormal Romance Guild Reviewers/ Choice Award. 

Her newest book is His Magic Touch:

The night before Jared Dupre’s wedding, a spectre warns him that the demonic witch, Adam Montief, has kidnapped his brother, threatening  to kill both him and Jared’s fiancĂ©e, Kendra O'Connell, in a centuries-old vendetta Jared knows nothing about. A powerful witch himself, Jared tracks Adam from New Orleans to a remote island off the coast of Connecticut. A sword fight ensues where a final thrust of Jared's blade sends Adam over the cliff into the sea below.
But when Jared returns to New Orleans, he finds a triumphant Adam alive and intent on seducing Kendra. Kendra, not knowing Jared was forced to break off their engagement to save her life, has turned to a new man, unaware he’s Adam who has vowed to kill the man she truly loves.
             With help from his grandmother's spirit, Jared discovers the motive behind the Montiefs' vengeance, while fighting to win back Kendra before she is drawn into Adam's world of sadistic evil and assure Adam's final destruction.

Want more? Here's an excerpt:

In the stifling heat, Angelique Montief flicked her wrist and set the bamboo ceiling fan spinning. Kneeling on a woven mat with sweat coating her body, she lifted a small wooden brass-bound casket from the bottom of a large trunk, inserted a gold key, and opened the lid. Inside two objects lay wrapped in thick cloth. She carefully unwrapped the smaller bundle to reveal a pentagonal mirror, a gift handed down to her by her grandmother, its ancient oak frame carved with tiny pentacles.
She glanced over her shoulder at her locked bedroom door, then stared into the mirror and whispered, “Show him to me.”When the glass remained blank, fear clutched at her chest. Again, she said the words, and the image of a plantation house engulfed in flames appeared. “No, please, he can’t be dead. ”Tears blurred her vision. The fiery image changed to reveal a human form lying beneath flowering bougainvillea. “Show me his face.”
She saw his indigo blue eyes blink open.
“I’m coming, my love.”
She rewrapped the mirror and placed it into the smaller casket among cloth bags of herbs and potion-filled vials. Relocking the lid, she hung the key on a chain around her neck, dropped a jeweled dagger into her pocket, and tucked the casket under her arm.
Augustus had locked her in, placing what he thought would be an impenetrable shield across both doors. Her husband’s biggest mistake was underestimating her.

If you would like to read on, here is the Amazon buy link:

Here is the information for Debby :

Thank you, Debby, for bringing us another great book to read! Any comments or questions?

Characters Lead the Way

We're in the heart of the summer and it is time to relax and enjoy a few good books by the beach or in some secluded mountain cabin. To...