Monday, November 4, 2013

Timeless Keepsakes - A Collection of Christmas Stories

The magic of Christmas is in the memories we hold dear and those precious treasures that remind us of the past. Join us as our Timeless Keepsakes take us on five remarkable journeys that heal old wounds, remind us of days gone by, play matchmaker, sweep us back in time and prove that love can conquer all.
Introduction ~ Sharon Sala

Mistletoe and Magick ~ Ruth A. Casie
She would give her last breath for him. He would give up everything to guard her well and love her more.
Christmas Spirits ~ Lita Harris
A widow's everlasting love is renewed by the memories of the holiday season.
Granting Her Wish ~ Emma Kaye
She doesn't belong in his time and he doesn't belong back home. Could they belong to each other?
Letter from St. Nick ~ Nicole S. Patrick
She’s trying to save her home and he’s never had one until now. Can an unexpected gift lead their hearts to the same place?
Secret Santa ~ Julie Rowe
A nurse grieving the death of her twin brother receives an unusual gift at the staff Secret Santa party: the bullet that killed him along with a message of hope and love.
Amazon    B&N

Romance and Time Travel

I was doing research for this week’s blog on time travel and found a wonder post from Jody Beck’s Women’s Forum. I was excited to see authors that I know and admire on Jodi’s lists.
 Here is her post. I've added it here below for your convenience.
timepiece Time travel romance novels writers have carved out their very own genre of romance novels. These splendid stories are romance at the core and they appeal to a wide variety of people because they carry aspects of a few other beloved genres. Some people think of time travel romances as historical romances because time travel means going back in time.  In reality they are far more variegated than that.  Time travel romance novels are one of the more exciting genres within the romance genre. Time travel books can also be part of another genre such as futuristic, science fiction, Dungeons & Dragons, or paranormal romance. Women who like other aspects of romance novels beyond just the romance typically love time travel romance novels.  You'll be hooked before you know it.  The following novels come highly recommended for a "far out and away" trip to anywhere. The following novels come highly recommended for a "far out and away" trip to anywhere.
Time for Love - Emma KayeTake a little trip, the options are many... But before you do I must tell you about a new time travel romance, Time for Love, by debut author, Emma Kaye.
Alexandra Turner will do anything to save her twin sister. Even when she's transported back in time to Regency England. Rescuing her sister and finding her way back to her own time will take all her concentration. Falling in love is not an option. With the death of his brother, Nicholas Somerville became the ninth Marquess of Oakleigh and must return to England to take his place in society. Part of his responsibility will be to find a wife. It never occurs to him he might actually discover a woman he could love--until he meets Alex on his voyage home. Can Alex and Nicholas find a way to bridge the gap of time and circumstance? Can they overcome their fears to realize that true love transcends time? Or will a dark secret from Alex's past rear up to separate them forever? 
 Books That Time Travel to Old England
There are many time travel books that take either the male or female character back in time. It seems that traveling back to England in the 15th century or later is the most common location of time travel romances. A few of these books are listed below.
 Books Within a Series With Time Travel
Some book series have characters that time travel in only a couple of books. This is perfect for the reader who is wondering if they would enjoy time travel romance novels. A couple of different series and the time travel books within them are listed below.  From the Dark-Hunter series:
  •  Dragonswan by Sherrilyn Kenyon
  • Night Play by Sherrilyn Kenyon
  • Unleash the Night by Sherrilyn Kenyon
 From the Viking series:
  • The Reluctant Viking by Sandra Hill
  • The Outlaw Viking by Sandra Hill
Time Travel Series
There are also full series of books that are considered time travel romance series. These books are for people who love the time travel romance genre. The nice thing about reading a time travel series is that the author is familiar with switching time periods and it is often easier to read than authors who write a time travel novel once. A few different time travel book series are listed below.
 Time Travel to Modern Times
Although time travel romance novels typically travel backwards, some of them bring a character forward in time. These books are set in today's world but one of the main characters will have to learn to deal with things like cars, TVs, and other modern inventions. The fun thing about these books is that the time traveling characters have to deal things that they never even imagined could be invented. A few different romance novels that bring characters ahead in time are listed below.
 Futuristic Time Travel
Futuristic time travel books take the reader to new worlds that are created completely from the author's imagination. These books are exciting because the reader gets to learn about the characters as well as the new world. Some futuristic time travel romance novels are listed below.
What’s your favorite time travel story?

Sunday, September 1, 2013

A Short Story for the Last Weekend of Summer

Happy Labor Day! I hope your summer has been everything you've hoped for. Today's post is my short story. This was my contribution to a writing prompt with a group of great authors on the Here Be Magic blog. I hope you enjoy it.
The Rocking Chair
The berries Olivia had gathered tumbled forgotten from her hands. A tremor touched her lips while the vision slammed behind her eyes. She didn’t doubt the vision’s truth. Sometimes a bright light, warm and comforting, accompanied the vision; other times the wind howled, cold and disturbing. Today, panic clearly filled the air.
She spun around trying to pinpoint a direction and abruptly stopped. Facing east, she licked her lips nervously and tasted the sweetness of the river. Her head snapped west and she watched the sun begin to dip behind the mountain and she ran. As she careened down the narrow trail, the outstretched branches tugged at her dress, pulled off her shawl and clawed at her face and arms. She took no notice. The cadence of her footfalls beat out a mantra, not yet, not yet, not yet. She rushed on faster, mumbling enchanted words under her breath.
She exploded out of the forest and stood on the wide riverbank. She scanned the area closely looking for signs. The old chair was under the canopy of trees, the boundary of her clan’s territory. She had dragged the chair there the day Colin left. How many days, weeks, months, ah yes, years ago? She came every evening and sat in the rocking chair to watch for him, to pray for him, to cry herself to sleep for him.
“Thank goodness,” she murmured and let loose a heavy sigh. She strained to make out the shadows in the darkening forest. She relaxed against the pine tree hugging her shawl around her and she once again watched the last red gold rays of sun slip behind the mountain. “Oh, Colin, you promised you’d come back to me in the red gold of sunset. How you promised to come back to me.” She gathered her strength and closed her eyes to the tears. “How I love you,” she whispered.
“Aye Lass, that you did and I didna’ tell you a tale.” Colin got up from the chair and turned toward her.
She looked at the warrior who was gone these two score years. “Colin?”
He said not a word only looked deeply into her eyes with a passion that made her heart skip a beat.
“I’ve waited Colin,” her eyes misted over.
“Yes, Livy. Come to me my love,” his hand reached for her.
She looked up the rise to the house noisy with family. A moment of fear ran through her and she quickly turned back to Colin relieved to see him still there. Her eyes slowly traced from his outstretched arm, up his broad strong chest but it was his eyes. “Oh,” she signed. She closed her eyes, how she loved those piercing gray eyes, how she had longed to see them again.
She took tentative steps towards him and suddenly turned and rushed back to the planted flowerbed in front of the rocking chair. On her knees she dug until she pulled out a small package wrapped in a swatch of tartan. She got up, sat in the rocking chair, and fumbled to remove the contents. At last a gold band spilt into her lap. She slipped it onto her withered finger. “Forever with you, my love,” she whispered seeing the passion in his eyes.
“Come to me, Livy.” His arms were opened wide.
She went willingly into his arms feeling light and young again.

“For eternity,” he whispered in the wind.

Monday, August 19, 2013

Gambling at Love: To win her heart he has to risk his secrets. . .

From New York Times and USA Today best selling author Caridad Pineiro

To Catch a Princess

“From the first page, the pacing is strong, the action plentiful and the characters interesting enough to hook you in.” ~ 4 stars Romantic Times 
Untold wealth, a loving family, a solid career in America: the only thing Princess Tatiana lacks is the one thing she really doesn’t want—a husband. Unfortunately, her parents have just arranged her marriage to a royal from the old country. Are they kidding? It’s the twenty-first century!
Police Detective Peter Roman is a royal living incognito … and escaping a secret that has haunted his family for years. He’s been quietly in love with his best friend Prince Alexander’s sister for as long as he can remember. Little does she know that he is secretly the Grand Duke to whom she is unwillingly betrothed…

When a series of high-end jewelry heists threatens Tatiana’s exclusive charity exhibition in glamorous Monaco, the two must trap the clever jewel thief before he strikes again. In a fight for their lives, Peter’s secret identity is revealed. With danger and passion increasing to the breaking point, she must decide: catch a thief...or trust the heart of her true love.

Sunday, July 28, 2013

With this ring, I thee change ~ a post by Lynn Kellan

With this ring, I thee change

He was six and a half feet of burly muscle when I met him in college. The strong, silent type…and very smart. Irresistible. I made him laugh, he made me feel pretty—a perfect combination, but I saw problems looming in our future. He grew up on a farm. I grew up in the suburbs. Every time we visited his family, I had to deal with the horses. 
From a distance, horses are beautiful creatures. Up close, they’re huge. They have large, heavy hooves and massive teeth. The first time my brawny boyfriend hoisted me into a saddle, I had a startling revelation: horses have opinions. A thousand pound animal with an opinion isn’t a good thing, particularly when it’s between your legs. During that first horse ride, my hunky guy steered his horse left and mine went right, no matter how hard I sawed on the reins. 
Pleading didn’t work. Muttering equine insults didn’t work. Breaking into a flop sweat didn’t work. My guy spurred his horse our way, and took the reins. I thanked him, slid off the horse, and walked home. 
He married me anyway. Perhaps he took the chance because I’m an optimist. I keep thinking the next time I mount a horse, things will be different. Indeed, after twenty-four years, I finally stayed on a horse for an hour’s ride on vacation…and only broke into a flop sweat once. 
How has your significant other changed you? 

Guest poster Lynn Kellan writes contemporary romance for The Wild Rose Press. Her latest novella, Anything You Ask, is available now.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Interview with Author Reese Ryan

We have a real treat today, we are part of the release day happenings we have an interview (with a giveaway) with fellow Carina Press author Reese Ryan. Her book, Making the First Move, releases today, July 22.

Tell us about Making the First Move.
It’s a friends-to-lovers contemporary romance about two people struggling with the past in a way that jeopardizes their futures—as individuals and as a couple. Melanie Gordon has spent the past several years throwing herself into her work after the death of her father and a devastating  breakup.  As a result, she excels in her career, but her romantic life and her family relationships suffer. Raine Mason is a sexy, selfless philanthropist with a passion for his cause. But the dark secret he’s harboring threatens to destroy his chance of finding happiness with Melanie.
Tell us how you build your characters? Do you write character bios? Cast the characters?
The situation that forms a loose plot usually comes to me first. Then I start to envision the kind of character who would be in this situation. Ideally I’d like to do a character sketch first, but I never do. I need to begin writing the story so I get to know the character a little. For this book I then went on to create a detailed character chart for Raine and Melanie. It helped me understand who they were and how they’d react in a given situation. However, for the related book which will be released in December I followed Cherry Adair’s advice about picking a birthday for the character and then creating a personality chart based on it. That worked really well and I plan to use that method going forward.
Are you a plotter or a panster?
I once thought I was a pure pantser. But after listening to an interview with author Kimberla Lawson Roby I decided to give outlining a try. I’ve discovered that I’m a little plotter, a little pantser. I need the structure of a loose outline or synopsis, but the freedom to break the rules whenever I—or the characters—see fit. The hybrid approach works best for me.
What attracted you to writing contemporary romance? 
I write romantic fiction because I’m a hopeless romantic and I enjoy going along for the journey as two characters fall in love. I write contemporary fiction because if I started researching clothing, food, and furniture from past centuries or imagining future worlds I’d probably never get around to actually writing the story.
What are your favorite scenes to write?
I enjoy writing the witty banter between the hero and heroine. As a reader, I need to feel the attraction before I can buy into it. So I enjoy creating the slow seduction.  As a fan of Jane Austen and Louisa May Alcott, I also really enjoy creating crazy family dynamics.
What do you want your readers to take away with them after reading the story?
Two things. First, don’t be afraid to re-examine your goals to see if they are really what you want, rather than what you think you should. Second, forgiveness is powerful salve which we often deny ourselves. Don’t. Without it we can’t truly move forward. Learn the lessons of the past. Make amends. Allow that knowledge to guide future actions.
Do you have any words of advice or encouragement for aspiring authors?
Despite all of the changes in publishing, this is a time of tremendous opportunity for authors. But no matter which route you decide to take—traditional, e-first, self-publishing—learn as much as you can. Continue to improve your craft. Put out the best possible product.
What are you working on next?
I just completed a related book featuring the best friend character in Making the First Move—Jamie Charles. Both books are standalones, but Jamie’s story—tentatively titled Love Me Not—actually takes place prior to this one. We get to watch her and her love interest—Miles Copeland—fall in love and we delve more deeply into her troubled past.  Jamie is a much different character. Darker, grittier. So it’s a much edgier book though it’s also funny and the romance between them is touching. It was wonderful getting into her and Miles’s heads and helping them reach their happy ending.
Do you have an ebook reader? If so, which one?
I was originally one of those diehards that proclaimed I’d never own an e-reader. But then I got an Android phone and started using the Kindle app. I was hooked. This past Christmas I received a Kindle Fire HD and the number of books I’ve read since then has increased dramatically. I LOVE my Kindle.
Tell us a little about the state/country you live in.
I’m a native Ohioan, but four years ago my family moved to Central North Carolina. We absolutely love living here and enjoy the friendly folks and lush greenery. We spend a lot of time lounging by the pool, walking or biking the greenways, or kayaking. But Cleveland is still definitely home and most of my stories are set there. However, expect to see a few stories in the near future set here in North Carolina.
What are you reading now?
Sexcapades by fellow Carina Press author, Christine d’Abo and The Man in 3B by Carl Weber—which is the first print book I’ve read in a while.
What is your favorite quote?
There are two quotes I really love. “Be the change you want to see in the world.” – Mahatma Gandhi.

“Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can.” – Arthur Ashe.
Where can you find Making the First Move
Making the First Move is available at Carina Press, Amazon, Barnes&Nobel, and Audible
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Reese Ryan writes sexy, contemporary romance featuring a multicultural cast of flawed, but lovable characters. She secretly enjoys torturing her heroines with family and career drama, reformed bad boys, revealed secrets, and the occasional identity crisis, but always rewards them with supportive girlfriends and a happily ever after.
An avid reader, Reese's to-be-read stack resembles a small skyscraper. She adores brilliant singer/songwriters, and has an incurable addiction to musicals and movie soundtracks. A native Ohioan, she currently resides in Central North Carolina with her husband and young adult son who tolerate her propensity to sing and dance badly. Visit Reese online at Reese's BlogTwitter, Facebook, and Goodreads

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

NYTime Best Selling Author Charity Pineiro Cover Reveal

South Beach sizzles as two determined and courageous sisters explore their attraction to two very handsome and successful men. Join Connie and Carmen on their sexy, emotional, and humorous journey to find love and reach for their dreams.

Romantic Times: 4 Stars - Pineiro "ignites her own brand of Miami heat in this sexy and humorous romance."

Connie Gonzalez is a driven, ambitious woman who is one of the FBI’s best agents and determined to prove herself in a man’s world. Assigned to the Miami Bureau, Connie soon finds herself going undercover in Miami's glamorous South Beach area. An injury throws her together with the very rich and tempting Dr. Victor Cienfuegos. Victor is everything Connie should avoid, but despite the risks of her work and allowing any distractions, Connie cannot deny the attraction between herself and the sexy physician. Will danger keep them apart or is their love strong enough to survive for now and always?

Read an Excerpt 
Buy the E-Book
Buy the Paperback 

Affaire de Coeur: Pineiro "pens a truly charming . . . romance . . . Her lively writing style makes this . . . romance a page-turner. "

Paul Stone accepts Connie Gonzalez’s invitation to join her for a traditional and fun-filled Christmas Eve dinner. Paul is instantly captivated by her intriguing kid sister. Carmen Gonzalez is leery of the self-assured FBI agent whose upscale upbringing provided him with all he ever needed. . .except love. After a fast-paced courtship, Paul and Carmen are ready to walk down the aisle, blissfully unaware that fate – and their own secret fears – will test their fragile commitment long before they make it to the altar . . . .

Read an Excerpt
Buy the E-Book
Buy the Paperback

Thank You!

Need I say more! 

I am one tired puppy! It's been an exciting four week Book Tour. Just look where I've been! I want to thank all the bloggers who provided a place for me to post. If you missed any of the posts and want to catch up, you will links to them on the sidebar on my blog. I've updated the links so you can see the posts.  

And the Winners Are!
I have one last thing to do, announce the winners of the tourwide giveaway - 

$50 Amazon or Barnes&Nobel Gift Card - 
The Guardian's Witch ebook -
Knight of Runes print copy
Signed Post Cards and Swag for both books - 

I'm going to rest for a bit but not too long. I leave later today for Atlanta and #RWA14  If you see me there, please stop me and say hello. You'll know me by my handbag.
Thanks again!

Monday, July 8, 2013

Tasty Summer Reads Blog Hop

Welcome to the Tasty Summer Reads Blog Hop. We've gotten together to introduce readers to great new summer reads! Each of us has invited five authors to answer questions and talk about their current summer release or work-in-progress. The bonus- we've each included a tasty recipe. 
My offering is an excerpt from my new release, The Guardian's Witch. It takes place on the English-Scottish border in 1290. In order to save the man she loves from being executed for treason and prevent being married off to another, Lady Lisbeth Reynolds, must make a crucial decision. Dare she rely on her knight, Lord Alex Stelton, to find a way to save them both or does she trust her magic and risk exposure as a witch?
The excerpt
    Her breathing became shallow and her heart raced as if she had run across the meadow. Her eyelids slid closed and her body thrummed with anticipation. Her vision took a sudden turn. Fear was replaced with safety. Need was replaced with passion.
    She felt the warmth of his lips on hers and brought her trembling hand to her mouth, but his lips weren’t there. She fell back onto her bed. She had to fight this overwhelming desire for him. The thought of him sent her to places she could only find in her dream. Mine. She heard his clear and emphatic voice in her head. The mist swelled along the floor. She felt his arms around her. The mist crept up the bed and cradled her. She waited with eager anticipation.
    Her eyes fluttered open. She stood at the lodge door. He emerged out of the low heavy mist and stepped toward her. His stride was sure and strong. His gray eyes sparkled like lightning. He drew closer, never taking his eyes from hers. Closer. She could see his strong soft lips. Closer. She reached out—needing to touch him.
The questions
  1. When writing are you a snacker? If so, sweet or salty?
         Chocolate! That says it all.
  2. Are you an outliner or someone who flies by the seat of their pants? Are they real pants of jammies?
         I'm a combination outliner-panster and prefer jammies!
  3. When cooking or baking, do you follow the recipe exactly or wing it?
        I follow the recipe the first time but make it my own the next.
  4. What is next for you after this book?
        I have a Christmas short story I'm indie-pubbing in an anthology with my critique partners and I'm drafting my next book, a follow up to Knight of Runes.
  5. On a level of one being slightly naughty to ten being whoo whoo steamy, where does your book land?
        My books would be a warm five. 
The recipe
Wheww ... I think I need a tall cool lemonade after that excerpt. Something with a little kick and really simple.

"Fortified" Lemonade
1 25 oz bottle of gin or vodka (lemon vodka would be great)
5 cups of lemonade 
2 cups cranberry juice
3 cups ginger ale
Thin lemon slices

Stir it all together and serve with thin lemon slices as a garnish.

Now hop over to these authors to see their Tasty Summer Read! and

Saturday, June 15, 2013

It's a Book Tour for The Guardian's Witch

I'll be here, there, and everywhere talking about The Guardian's Witch. You can read a character interview, an excerpt, and even some great questions they forced asked me to answer. 

Book Cover Contest at Book Boost: Just leave a comment to vote for The Guardian's Witch.

We are among the winners! 
Several winners were selected. Thank you all for voting for The Guardian's Witch cover. 

Tour Wide Giveaway

Grand Prize: $50 Gift Card to Amazon or Barnes & Noble (winner's choice)
2nd Prize: eBook The Guardian's Witch
2nd Prize: US Only - print copy of Knight of Runes
3rd Prize: Signed post cards and swag for The Guardian's Witch and Knight of Runes

Look at the side bar to see where we're traveling ...

And enjoy the video!

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

New Beginnings

I had to write a business letter this past week that was very difficult. I had the assignment for a few months and kept putting it off but I learned a long time ago procrastinating would not make the requirement go away, just shorten the deadline.

I finally got it done at the eleventh hour. I had decided to keep it short and the tone pleasant.

Hi –
For someone who has started a writing career, starting this message has been somewhat difficult. I almost didn’t write it at all. I thought I would turn in my ID, computer, and simply go home. Those who knew my plan threatened to write my good-bye for me so rather than be at their mercy I decided to do it myself.

This Saturday will be my first day as a retiree. How do I thank each of you? My responsibilities have been diverse and you, my colleagues and friends, have always been close. Even when we haven’t spoken for a while, a quick call is all it takes to get back into that comfortable place. We’ve talked about our plans, our kids, our travels and yes, even work.

Over the last few years I’ve been writing historical fantasy stories -- well, historical fantasy romance to be exact. I write stories filled with adventure and romance about women awakening into their power and the men that deserve them. My first book was published November, 2011 and did well. My next book will release this July 1. My publisher, Harlequin’s digital imprint, Carina Press, has requested follow up stories to both books. More projects and more deadlines! It is an exciting time with new goals and so many things to learn.

My writing friends gave me a license plate cover that says NY Times Best Selling Author in Training. I hope to make that a reality rather than just a dream!

Please keep in touch even if it is only the occasional hello. You can reach me at or at my website

I sent the message out late Wednesday night to almost 100 friends and colleagues at JPMorganChase where I've worked for over 25 years. I was astonished that I spent all day Thursday answering emails and phone calls. They said if I put half the passion into my writing that I did into my work at JPMC I had to be a success.

I loved my job but it was time to leave. Its a wonderful feeling knowing that I'm not retiring from, but rather retiring to a new beginning.

Monday, May 27, 2013

Memorial Day History

Memorial Day is an American holiday that is celebrated the last Monday of May. It honors men and women who died in service in the U.S. military. It was initially called Decoration Day and began in the years following the Civil War. It became an official holiday in 1971.

The Civil War took more lives than any other conflict in U.S. history and required the establishment of the country'e first national cemetery. By the late 1860's many towns and cities throughout America held springtime tributes to their fallen soldiers, decorating their graves with flowers and saying prayers.

While it is difficult to attribute who originated the tradition in 1966, the federal government declared Waterloo, New York the official birthplace of Memorial Day. Waterloo was chosen because it was the first to hold community-wide events during which businesses closed and everyone participated in decorating the graves of soldiers.

In 1862, General John A. Logan, called for a national day of decorating the graves of those who fell during the Civil War since almost every city, village and hamlet churchyard claimed Civil War soldiers. In 1868, he requested May 30 as the date specifically because it wasn't the anniversary of any particular battle.

The first Decoration Day ceremony was held at Arlington National Cemetery. 5,000 participants decorated the graves of 20,000 Union and Confederate soldiers buried there. Many Northern states held similar ceremonies and continued the new tradition each year. By 1890 Decoration Day was an official state holiday in almost every Northern state. Many Southern states continued to honor their dead on a separate date until World War 1 when the commemoration evolved into honoring all U.S. personnel who died in wars and Decoration Day became Memorial Day.

In 1915, inspired by the poem "InFlanders Fields," Moina Michael replied with her own poem: 
We cherish too, the Poppy red
That grows on fields where valor led,
It seems to signal to the skies
That blood of heroes never dies.

She originated the idea of wearing red poppies on Memorial day in honor of those who died serving the nation during war. She was the first to wear one, and sold poppies to her friends and co-workers with the money going to benefit servicemen in need. Later Madam Anna Guerin from France was visiting the United States and learned of this new custom started by Ms.Michael and when she returned to France, made artificial red poppies to raise money for war orphaned children and widowed women. This tradition spread to other countries. 

In 1921, the Franco-American Children's League sold poppies nationally to benefit war orphans of France and Belgium. The League disbanded a year later and Madam Guerin approached the VFW for help. Shortly before Memorial Day in 1922 the VFW became the first veterans' organization to nationally sell poppies. Two years later their "Buddy" Poppy program was selling artificial poppies made by disabled veterans. In 1948 the US Post Office honored Ms Michael for her role in founding the National Poppy movement by issuing a red 3 cent postage stamp with her likeness on it.

Copyright: Jemal Countess/Redux
Since the late 1950's on the Thursday before Memorial Day, the 1,200 soldiers of the 3d U.S. Infantry place small American flags at each of the more than 260,000 gravestones at Arlington National Cemetery. They then patrol 24 hours a day during the weekend to ensure that each flag remains standing. In 1951, the Boy Scouts and Cub Scouts of St. Louis began placing flags on the 150,000 graves at Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery, a practice that continues to this day. More recently, beginning in 1998, on the Saturday before Memorial Day, the Boys Scouts and Girl Scouts place a candle at each of approximately 15,300 grave sites of soldiers buried at Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania National Military Park on Marye's Heights.
Today, cities and towns across the country commemorate the day. On a less somber note, the holiday weekend has become synonymous with parties, backyard barbeques, beach openings, and the unofficial beginning of summer.
Our town had a short remembrance at town hall and a parade where many of our town's soldiers and political officials proudly marched. There was lots of flag waving and an overwhelming feeling of pride. later today our main street will be closed for an outdoor fair. With the kids all doing their own thing this weekend, Paul and I are spending some quiet time at home. I'd like to sit on the deck (it is suppose to be 80 degrees here today) and catch up on my reading. How are you spending your Memorial Day?

Sunday, May 19, 2013

My Top 10 Things to Do This Summer

It's only a week until Memorial Day, the start of summer, and I'm ready to plan things to do. Here are the things that are on my list, so far:
1. Take a day trip. Go someplace nearby and cycle, hike, or just chill out and eat with friends. Hmm, maybe the Cloisters.
Or, if you’re more adventurous, dash through a forest or go for a run or walk in the rain. As you enter the cool shade of a nature park or hiking trail, where the sunlight slants through the green leaves, pick up your pace until you’re going at a clip. Enjoy the scenery and the exercise.
2. Catch a performance. Whether it’s a musical, recital, concert, or a play, nothing beats the felling that comes from being at close range with being people who are giving their all in expression and emotion and hopefully, with heart.
3. Tackle your ‘To Be Read’ pile while you’re at the beach, resting in the backyard, or sitting on the porch. Okay, if it’s too hot, in a cool air conditioned room works too. If you haven’t got a TBR pile, go to your local library, browse, and make a list of the books you want to read.
4. Breakfast and catch up with a friend, or group of friends, you don’t see often.
5. Throw away stuff. Start with one room, a small room. If that’s too fear provoking, start with a closet.
6. Reconnect. Send an email, text, or instant message to someone you lost touch with. Look at number 4. Actually, I'm planning to go to the RWA National Conference in Atlanta and have planned to see my friend Rosanne. We haven't seen each other in ages.
7. Take a road trip with the girls! The word ‘summer’ and ‘road trip’ go together like ‘hotdog’ and ‘mustard.’ In college, road trips were ways to burn weekends, which, of course, started on Friday. The key is to keep the vacation short and inexpensive.
8. Think of something you used to do all by yourself when you were younger/ unattached, when time was all you ever had, all you ever needed. If it is at all possible, wrangle half a day and spend it exactly as you did. Then write about it and post it in the comments here.
9. Okay, so I've listed day trips and road trips but for me there is nothing like getting the entire family together for some quality time together. It's a bit difficult to get everyone's schedule synchronized but we're working at a week at the beach.

10. I plan to write one book over the summer and plan out a second.

How do you plan to spend the summer?

Monday, May 13, 2013

Guest Author ~ Shona Husk

Today, guest author Shona Rusk is with us. Her new book, Ruby’s Ghost by Samhain Publishing, releases tomorrow, May 14. It is a Paranormal Romance, the kind I love! 
Shona, tell us a little about Ruby’s Ghost.
Ruby’s Ghost came out of a conversation I had about my little niece who was convinced the ghost of a motorcyclist was visiting her bedroom. Being a romance writer I thought he’d make an interesting hero…especially if he weren’t totally dead just dislocated from his body. It’s a story about choices, right from the start when Tate is looking at his life and girlfriend and realizing he’s moved on while she hasn’t. Of course he doesn’t realize then just how hard Ruby will try to keep him.
I have a few questions that Shona has graciously agreed to answer.
1.     How long did it take you to write Ruby’s Ghost?
I’d actually written it a while ago and had left it sitting because I didn’t have time to go back and clean it up. When I went to the US last year I decided that since I wasn’t going to be doing any actual writing while on holiday I’d take it with me to revise and polish, so when I was on long car trips or on planes I was working on Ruby’s Ghost. Time wise it feels like it took me a very long time to pull it together but I think that’s just because it was so spread out.
2.     Why did you decide to write paranormal romance?
I actually grew up reading fantasy and discovered paranormal romance in my mid-twenties. Paranormal romance seems the perfect blend between fantasy and reality with a HEA as an added bonus. Do you know how many romances fail in traditional fantasy novels? In discovering paranormal romance I was able to have all the fun of new worlds plus romance. Writing it and making up my own worlds is even more fun J
3.     Do you write multiple drafts or barely need revisions when typing, The End?
Multiple drafts. I plot, then I write out what I call a scene guide, so 1 paragraph per scene. At this stage I’m busy moving bits around, and making sure the story works. Then I start writing. It gets read by my crit partners, I edit. I edit once more and then I hit send.
4.     What advice do you have for other writers?
Read lots, and read widely.
5.     What was the most exciting thing that happened to you after you signed your contract – besides receiving your first check as a published author?
Being at events like RT and ARRC in Australia and having people say how much they love my books. On the inside I’m always ‘OMG they’ve read my book!’
6.     What was the defining moment that you considered yourself an author?
I was made redundant during the GFC and in the time I was unemployed I started really working on my writing and treating like a job, I then started selling. I think that first sale cemented in my mind that I could do this.
7.     With so many changes in publishing over the past year, where do you see the future of publishing going?
I don’t know where it’s going, but as long as readers keep wanting books to read then there will still be a publishing industry.
8.     What makes a man attractive to you?
Nice smile and eyes, honesty, good attitude.
Ruby's Ghost -- Breaking up is hard to survive.
One moment, Tate Cooper is giving his ex-girlfriend a lift home on his motorcycle. The next, his soul is suspended between life and death, wandering in confusion between the accident scene and the house he grew up in.
Except it’s not his home anymore. In his old bedroom sleeps a beautiful young woman, the only person who can see him. And the only person who can keep him from succumbing to the temptation to escape the horrific pain awaiting him in his mortal body.
Eloise Jones should be studying for her college exams, but it’s tough to stay focused when a lost soul keeps appearing in her room. She figures it must have something to do with sirens she heard screaming in the night, but she’s helpless to assist—and helpless to resist.
As Eloise tries to help Tate unravel the tangled facts surrounding the accident, longing and desire grow into an almost tangible bond between them. But then a second spirit appears, one with a darker intent that could separate them before love draws its first breath…
Warning: Contains a vengeful ex and a romance that crosses the boundary between life and death.
Shona’s Bio:

Three time ARRA finalist Shona Husk lives in Western Australia at the edge of the Indian Ocean. Blessed with a lively imagination she spent most of her childhood making up stories. As an adult she discovered romance novels and hasn’t looked back. Drawing on history and myth, she weaves new worlds and writes heroes who aren’t afraid to get hurt while falling in love.
With stories ranging from sensual to scorching, she is published with Carina Press, Ellora’s Cave, Samhain Publishing and Sourcebooks. You can find out more at 
Shona loves to hear from readers so drop her a line at