Friday, January 29, 2016

Books, Chocolate and Wine with Red L. Jameson

Three tips for finding a writer’s voice

A writer’s voice is described as the syntax, the diction, the punctuation, and the grammar you choose to string words together. Oh, but it’s so much more!

The definition from above could also describe a writer’s style, which any fiction author can (hopefully) cite is based on the Chicago Manual of Style. But that’s style. So, then, what the heck is voice?

Your voice is you. It is the part of you that is free. It is unrestrained. It doesn’t have rules or guidelines. Sometimes your voice doesn't have civility. Sometimes it is kind beyond measure. It is authentic and a liar, funny and somber, insightful and in denial, humble and having too much hubris. In short, it is the essence of being human.

Beginning writers might have a difficult time figuring out their voice. But often authors who have been writing for years struggle with figuring out when their voice wants to change. So discovering your voice is just another step in this journey to being a writer. And here’s three tips how to find your voice.


Watching a baby learn how to talk is one of the most thrilling things a person can experience. A baby mimics. That's how we all learn how to talk. The baby watches someone else, listens intently, and learns, then copies.

I strongly encourage writers to mimic your top five favorite authors. It may sound counterintuitive when finding your own voice to mimic someone else. But it's while observing others that we learn ourselves best. We watch, analyze, learn, then copy. While we’re mimicking, we learn what we don't like and what we do, what feels most comfortable and what doesn’t.

Sometimes mimicking another writer inspires our creativity. Sometimes, though, it can be annoying because your voice wants so badly to come out and play. And that’s when you let it loose and invite it do it’s own thing.

Listening to Others

I have one friend who I’m probably going to embarrass by mentioning her, but she is by far the best listener. My lovely friend Lana listens and after just a few utterances from me, she knows exactly what I’m talking about. EXACTLY. It’s uncanny because Lana can get to the heart of a matter even if I’m not clear what my problem is. I’m so blessed to have her as a friend!

Listening to your family and friends and even strangers is one of the best ways to discover your voice. Yes, listening helps with diction and dialogue. But truly listening to another, which means putting yourself in their shoes—sympathizing to the point of empathizing, is an art.

Always try to empathize with another. How would you feel if your daughter was recently diagnosed with autism and your family doctor thinks autism is a phony diagnosis? How would you feel if your husband was sexting another man? How would you feel if your best friend died? These are just a few questions where instead of asking, “How would you feel if your friend’s daughter was recently diagnosed…”, I put YOU in the picture. This is the very heart of writing—putting YOU into the scene. Only, it’s not quite you because, as a fiction writer, you’re writing about a beloved character. However, a reader always knows the difference between a writer who can put her own emotions into the scene versus when she’s guessing what emotions a character might feel. Listening and empathy makes the difference between good writing versus fantastic. It also makes the difference between a mediocre friend versus someone you can always count on.

Listen to Yourself

“This above all: To thine own self be true.” —Shakespeare.

Being a woman and having so many friends that are women, I find that listening to ourselves might be just about the hardest thing for a person, let alone a writer, ever do. Actually, I know several men who have problems listening to themselves too. And listening to ourselves can be difficult because sometimes we have a million things running through our heads at the same time, we overthink our own problems, or under-think them, and often we just don’t give ourselves enough time, period.

In order to become a writer, though, you have to find the time to listen to yourself. Yes, bouncing off your problems to a close friend is important. But just as important, perhaps even more so, is learning how to become that great listener to yourself, having compassion for yourself so you can vent and put everything out there. You don’t have to only have a problem to listen to yourself. Becoming a great friend to yourself means you’re also listening when you’re having a great time too. It means being there for yourself during the good times and the bad.

But what does listening to yourself mean? Here’s a story to help clarify: There are two birds on a tree. They are parents, preparing to have their little baby. One is flying around, picking up twigs, figuring out the structure of the nest, if it’s warm enough, if there’s enough food, and generally worrying about the storm that happened last week and if something similar might happen again. Then there is the one sitting on the egg. She’s watching her partner flitter and flap about, proud of her spouse for getting everything done, but she’s just watching, not judging, just watching everything. Within our brains we have the bird who gets things done, and, man-oh-man, do we need to get a million things done in this day and age. But also within our psyche is the observer. She doesn’t judge. She’s there watching, listening, and learning.

Was that too hippy-dippy for you? If it was, just focus on the part where there is an impartial observer within. And that’s who will listen, listen intently, and who we learn from.  

One more thought about finding your voice. You might fail to find it at first. But this is good! A baby struggles with those first words for days, months, and for some even a few years. The cycle for all learning, the best kind of learning, is to fail, try once more, perhaps fail a few more times, then after a period of trying again and again, there is success. I encourage all writers to learn to love failure. It means you’re learning. It means you’re learning something intrinsically valuable. It means you’re learning you. And that’s your voice.

Kidnapping mortals to different eras is such fun. Trickster muse sisters, Clio and Erato, call it a glimpse, but military historian Minerva Ferguson, Erva, is fairly certain she’s gone nuts when she wakes two hundred miles from her apartment. And two hundred years in the past to Brooklyn, 1776. In an unfamiliar manse, during the American Revolutionary War, she’s not too sure how to regain her sanity. Especially when she realizes whose mansion she’s just woken in, the one British general she studied more than anything else, Lord William Hill.
When Will hears Erva’s screams of panic, he breaks down a door to save her, even if he can’t quite remember why she’s visiting. She calms, though, the instant she sees him, as if they’ve known each other for eons. From the second he sees her dressed in a toga made from a bed sheet to later when she’s with his troops, wooing them with her musket skills, he realizes he’s smitten. But he’s a weary soldier, shrouded in grief, while she reminds him of a sun goddess. Is she too good for him? Lord, how he wants her to want him.
How could Erva not fall for a guy who accidentally quotes a Cheap Trick song? But now she has to get to the bottom of if Will is really a rake, how to stop one of the most important battles of the war, and lastly how to stop her insane crush on the general. After all, he’s going to die in less than a week.
The muses have to work fast for this glimpse. But that’s when they work best. And as explosions erupt through New York, sometimes it’s not from the artillery. 
"Ms. Jameson has a hit here with her first installment of "The Glimpse Time Traveler" series!" -InD' Tale Magazine
 "Those muses should have their own television show!" -Angela Adams, author of Magic Moment
"LOVED this book from the first word. It was suspenseful, romantic, historical, funny....." -Cat, from Amazon Reviews
 "This is a great time travel book! It's creative plot includes interfering muses, the imminent death of the hero, and the revolutionary war. Will a great love influence history for better or worse? With a surprising ending (which I won't give away) I think you'll really enjoy this book!" -Amazon  Customer "SG"
 "LOVED this book!! This book will give all the ladies a case of 'Red Coat Fever.'" -Rebecca Bird, from Amazon Reviews
“Why are you—” She stopped herself again. This time she bit her lush bottom lip and looked away.
“Why am I what?” He should have let her question falter, but he had to know for himself if she were a spy or not. The more questions she asked, the more she would reveal herself.
The anomalous thought flittered through his mind though that he wasn’t too sure if he cared if she were a spy.
She glanced back up at him, her eyes wide and timid. “Why are you here?”
That, he hadn’t expected. A spy would wonder about his men, his drills, his arms, anything else that mattered to the war. Not a philosophical question about why he was here. But even the reason why he was here could be used against him, if court martialed. He hadn’t realized that thus far. Then again, he’d thought he wouldn’t have survived this long in the war. In his mind, he would have no reason to be court martialed. He wouldn’t be alive for it.
She licked her lips and slightly shook her head. “I mean, you didn’t vote for any of the acts the Americans protested. The newspapers said that you didn’t support any kind of action against the Americans. You don’t support this war, yet here you are. Why?”
“Why not?” He tried to deflect the conversation.
She narrowed her eyes, no longer looking sheepish but challenging, ruthless, and so lovely. He liked her best like this, shooting faster than most of his men, speaking of sedition to his superiors, the Howe brothers. Lord, how he liked it when her eyes caught fire and turned back into dark red-brown honey. His veins pumped his too hot blood through his body.
“Why not, hmm?” She gave him a wicked smile. “Why not, indeed. I think you don’t want to be here.”
“On the contrary, there is no other place I’d rather be.”
She blinked, then caught his meaning that standing so close to her was exactly where he’d love to be. Arching a blonde brow, she said, “You know what I mean, obtuse man.”
He silently chuckled at his new name.
“I think you don’t want to be in this war.”
He felt his own mirth leave his face. “You might be right.”
“Then why are you here? Why do you fight? Especially so efficiently?”
“Do I?”
She growled, making Will grin again. “Quit evading the questions with your own.”
“Why? This is fun.”
She smacked one of his shoulders, then he caught her small hand in his.
“Is this fun for you too?” he asked, carefully gauging her reaction as he twined his fingers through hers.
She didn’t look at their hands. Instead, her gaze was focused on his chest. He especially enjoyed that, as if she found him desirable. Lord, he hoped so, that he wasn’t making a fool of himself.
She never answered, but looked up at him, her long lashes batting. He took hold of her candle and set it on a nearby table. In so doing he’d gotten that much closer to her, and just as he was thinking of holding her other hand, she reached up, probably on her toes, and kissed him.
This time he reacted immediately. His lips melded with hers. She tasted strongly of mint, and he licked the seam of her lips to enjoy. She opened for him, and he dove his tongue into her mouth. God, she was sweet. Her arms wrapped around his neck, and he pulled her closer by holding onto her not-corseted waist. Next her tongue was inside his mouth, and he couldn’t help but pull her even closer, her stomach against his, her breasts crushed against his chest.
Will felt Erva fiddle with the ribbon at the nape of his neck, and his hair was released from its hold. Instantly, her hands raked through his mane. It gave him silent permission to finally take hold of her tresses with one of his hands. Pure silk ran through his fingers. He loved her long hair, so wild and free this moment. Like the color of corn silk, Erva’s locks were close to white with a light dandelion sheen. He fisted what he held, which tilted her head back, all the better to deepen the kiss. She moaned into his mouth. All his blood rushed south. That little noise was his undoing. 

Red L. Jameson is an award-winning and multi-published author. She writes in many genres. Her pen name, L. B. Joramo, includes the odd combination of historical and paranormal for the Immortal American Series. However, it is under her “Red” name, her nickname too, where all her stories are strongly laced with love, including contemporary, historical, time-travel, paranormal, and erotic romance. Red lives in the wilds of Montana with her family and a few too many animals, and is currently working on her next novel that she hopes will make her readers laugh, cry, think, and fall in love.

Social Media Links:
Amazon Author Page:
Twitter: @RedLJameson

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Wednesday Selfie ~ Let It Snow

Some people love the warmth of the summer while others love the cold of the winter. Me? I love the blooming flowers and trees of spring, coming out of hibernation. I love the long days of the summer, eating outside and family vacations. I love the colors of the fall. My anniversary’s in the fall. I love th holidays in winter, hot chocolate and carbohydrate binges. I love snow—in moderation.

We were prepared for the blizzard. We stocked up on food. I made a stew and meatloaf in advance. They’re always better a day or two after they’re made. The house smelled warm and inviting.
We dug out the hats, scarves and gloves. Paul, my DH, started up the snow blower and made sure we had fuel.

Have you ever noticed how quiet it is when it snows? How clean and bright things look? It’s almost like a fairy land.  We went to bed Friday night to flurries and woke up Saturday and watched it fall, and fall, and fall. The snow stopped about 9pm and Paul made a small path to the door. He took the picture to send to our kids.

On Sunday we (mostly Paul) spent seven hours shoveling (you can’t see the double car driveway to the right). We had nearly twenty inches of snow.

Paul, my DH, did the heavy lifting. He is my hero, love of my life, and the man of my dreams. Next to cleaning off the cars he was most appreciative of the hot cocoa (with whipped cream) I brought him and the aspirin I handed him when he came inside.  We decided we’re ready for spring. Hmmm… Warm weather.

So, let it snow. We leave for California on Thursday!

Monday, January 25, 2016

Medieval Monday with Ashley York

Welcome to Medieval Monday. Here you'll find Vikings, Pirates, Knights, Magicians, you can fall in love with. Each week a different author will be featured here with a “themed excerpt.” This month, all the excerpts will be about the hero and heroine's first kiss. Today’s guest is Ashley York. Her story is about a celibate knight escorting a lady to the nunnery. Both are fated to live a solitary life. Will they find love on their journey and instead make their vows to one another? This first kiss will be sacred! Enjoy!

"What. Will. It. Be?" He leaned in closer, whispering each word.
"Whatever you think best?" She spoke as calmly as she could but the room was getting very hot.
He glanced up as if trying to read an unclear sign but then that assured smile returned.
A tiny quiver rippled through her. Before she could speak again, he was closing in on her, his body up against hers.
"Whatever I think best?"
She wavered for a moment, unsure why he answered her with that tone. She wanted nothing more than to melt against him, envelope herself in his heat. This was just like in her dream. Hot and heady.
Then his firm lips were on hers. His hard length pressing her into the table, as if trying to meld them together. Her body would gladly have done just that if only it could have turned to pure liquid instead of just a growing warmth where his hips grinded into her.
He pulled his head back enough to search her face. He was breathing hard. He looked bewildered. "Is this what you want then?"
Her body arched towards his where the pressure had eased. "I…I'm not sure." She should not be feeling this way. "Please."
The answering sound from deep in his throat surprised her but then she got what she craved. His lips on hers again, then trailing across her cheek and down her jaw. An intense ripple of pleasure shot straight to her core. His hips undulated against hers, the heat, the dampness. She moaned.
He suddenly stopped, his head still dipped into the crook of her neck. She didn't dare breathe.
"I do not believe your protector will be happy with the outcome if we continue." His voice was husky, his breath warm against her skin. He shifted away.
Her body immediately missed his. Her eyes closed, she took a slow, steadying breath.

A medieval soldier returns home to find his lover died in childbirth just as his own mother had. Believing he is cursed, Peter of Normandy turns from love. When he must give escort to an Irish princess more noble than many knights, he struggles with his decision to live a solitary life. Can he take the chance that his love won't be a death sentence and possibly make them stronger?
Padraig MacNaughton's death bed decree rips his daughter, Brighit, from the shelter of her protective clan in Ireland. Forced to take vows at a Priory in England, she finds herself in the hands of lecherous mercenaries with their own political agendas. Dare she trust the Norman knight to see her safely to her new life as a nun? Even when she finds in him the fulfillment of all she's ever wanted?
Or will honor and duty eclipse their one chance for happiness?

BUY LINKS: Apple    Kobo    Amazon    Barnes and Noble

Friday, January 22, 2016

Books, Chocolate and Wine with Elf Ahearn

Today’s guest at Books, Chocolate and Wine is Elf Ahearn. Elf and I are Hudson Valley Romance Writer’s members. Her stories are about family relationships and more often than not, are filled with magic. She's answered some questions for use that I know you'll find interesting. She has a cheeky way with words and her romance is… read the reviews. They say it all.

Books, Chocolate and Wine with Lita Harris

Today’s guest at Books, Chocolate and Wine is Lita Harris. Lita and I are New Jersey Romance Writer’s members. Her stories are about family relationships and more often than not, are filled with magic. She's answered some questions for you that I know you'll find interesting. Lita is one of the Timeless Scribes. 

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Wednesday Selfie ~ Birthday Bash

I remember when I was young, I couldn’t wait for my birthday. I got presents from the family. Dinner was my favorite meal and always finished with a birthday cake. I know I had parties with my friends, but it was the family celebration that I looked forward to the most.

At Margaritaville at The Resorts Casino
This is a significant birthday for me. My husband and children asked me what I wanted, not what I thought I wanted but what would make me happy. They suggested an exotic trip somewhere, a shopping spree, dinner and the theater? These are all great suggestions and what a luxury to be given a choice.

My answer was easy. I wanted all of them around me without any interruptions or distractions. My daughter Cori came up with a great suggestion. We all enjoy eating together so why not cook together. They booked a private event at a cooking school.

At the Viking Cooking School at Harrah's
This past weekend, my family took me to the Viking Cooking School at Harrah’s in Atlantic City. My brother Alan and his wife Eloise from San Diego and my good friend Rosanne from Atlanta came into New Jersey to celebrate with me. You can see almost all of them in this picture: Kaitlyn, Ari, Staci, me, Cori, Eloise, Paul, Chris and Alan. Rosanne was our official photographer and is missing in this picture but can be seen above, second on the right.

We had dinner at Margaritaville on Saturday night. On Sunday we played the slots and took over an entire black jack table during the day and had our private event at the Viking Cooking School at night—then more slots and black jack. It wasn’t the gambling. We cheered each other on, hugged and had a wonderful time.

The weekend ended all too soon. I’m catching up on my email and far behind on the number of words I need to finish for my editor but I’m renewed and oh so happy and content.

This is an open thank you to my family for their love, support and making this the best birthday EVER.

Monday, January 18, 2016

Medieval Monday with Lane McFarland

Welcome to Medieval Monday. Here you'll find Vikings, Pirates, Knights, Magicians, you can fall in love with. Each week a different author will be featured here with a “themed excerpt.” This month, all the excerpts will be about the hero and heroine's first kiss. Today’s guest is Lane McFarland and her story is all about feuding Highlanders and an abducted daughter. This kiss will be searing! Enjoy!
Excerpt from CAMERON
Robert gently set Cameron on the ground, and she turned to face him. A bit dazed, she ran trembling fingers down the front of her gown. His hands lingered at her waist, and when he didn’t step back, she looked up to find him smiling.
“I believe ye owe me yer thanks, Mistress Cameron.”
At his mention of her name, she searched his face. “How do ye know me?”
He chuckled, his deep voice rumbling throughout his thick chest. “I make it my business to know all the bonnie lasses in the area.”
The men behind him laughed.
Her stomach tightened. She was no beauty. He obviously mocked her—in front of his men. Prickly heat tingled across her cheeks.
“I’ll catch up to ye,” Robert called over his shoulder.
“Oh, aye. Once ye’ve taken care of business,” one man asserted.
“Important business to be sure,” the other bantered.
The men chuckled as they nudged their mounts, then trotted down the path and out of sight.
Robert’s gaze lingered on her mouth before he raised it to her eyes. “I believe it’s customary to thank someone when they’ve helped ye.”
Cameron cleared her throat. “Aye, I do thank ye.”
He studied her lips again. “I had something more in mind. Ye know ye’d still be stuck in that tree if I hadn’t come along, so ye owe me.”
His warm breath caressed her face. He bent and placed his mouth on hers. His arms pulled her close, his muscular frame molding her body against his. Stubble scratched her skin, and she inhaled his male scent of leather, and aye, of horse.
She should be horrified at his advances. What was she thinking, allowing a Graham to kiss her so…so wickedly and deliciously? She should push him away and demand he step back, but somehow, she loathed the idea. Indeed, she reveled in the feel of his hard body pressed against hers.
Back Cover Copy:
Determined to band Scots together against English tyranny, Laird Robert Graham seals a truce with his feuding neighbor, the MacDougalls. But after his brother is nearly killed in a treacherous attack, Graham kidnaps the laird’s daughter in an act of revenge.
Cameron MacDougall has devoted her life to the healing arts. She’s long rebelled against her father’s feuding ways, but when Robert Graham abducts her, she’s finds herself at the center of the dispute between their families. She expects the anger she feels, not the simmering attraction to the powerful warrior, or the love she develops for his clan.
Can she stop further violence between the clans with her escape? Or will she find her surrender leads to a lasting peace and her own heart’s desire?

Buy Link: Amazon

Friday, January 15, 2016

Books, Chocolate and Wine with Nicole S. Patrick

Today’s guest at Books, Chocolate and Wine is Nicole S. Patrick. Nicole and I are New Jersey Romance Writer’s members. She’s one of the most organized people I know. Nicole chaired the 2013 NJRW Conference. She ran a well-oiled machine and had a successful conference. Nicole is one of the Timeless Scribes.

Ready, Set… Organize???

Books, Chocolate and Wine with Emma Kaye

Today’s guest at Books, Chocolate and Wine is Emma Kaye. Emma and I met at our first New Jersey Romance Writer’s conference. As nervous newbies we stuck together and found we had a lot in common. Even our genre. So much for thinking we were unique, right! While I’m more the medieval time travel buff, her expertise is with Regency and contemporary times. We’ve stayed close serving on the NJRW board together and even writing short stories together. She sat down and discussed all sorts of things. I hope you get to know her. I know you’ll enjoy her new story for The Wild Rose Press.

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Simplicity, Harmony, Opportunity

"Three Rules of Work:
Out of clutter find simplicity;
From discord find harmony;
In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity." 

Albert Einstein 

I’ve always been suspect of a person who has nothing on their desk. I remember sitting with an operations manager whose desk had a phone and desk blotter, nothing else, nada.
Not my desk. I have a blotter but that’s where the similarity ends. Being an empty nester, I waited about a year before I commandeered my daughter’s room, cleared out the last remains of her childhood, and made the room my own. It was fun to decorate just to please me. My design was simple, books. I surrounded myself with them, floor to ceiling. I did put in some necessities, a corner desk for the computer, printer, and a phone. I decided on a large library table, sitting catty corner, would be my work area. It seemed fitting with all the research and resource books I usually had stacked or scattered about.

My desk is usually covered with a small stack (or two or three) of paper/files for my different projects, research books (the ones I’m reading for pleasure are in a pile next to the sofa), a lamp (I hate using the overhead), pictures of the family, my favorite picture from the mound at Warwick Castle (for inspiration), and a bud vase with some tired lavender one of the kids brought back from a class trip (I did mention I’m an empty nester, a sentimental one). Then there’s the odd stuff that seems to magically appear, a news article my husband has left for me to read, a stress ball in the shape of a heart and my gold star paper weight for my first sale. It’s really a comfortable room.

Things seem to gather on my desk. Eventually I take time to sift through the piles and put things in their proper place whether that’s filing, rearranging, or tossing. Sort of like my writing.

I used to have a ‘clean as you go’ theory. Clean as in edits that is. Whenever I picked up my writing I would read the story from the beginning, no matter how far along I was. I’d look for the weak words, layer in the five senses, etc. I always found something to edit. One day I laughed out loud. I had over 125 pages written, if I started from the beginning each time I picked up the project I’d spend more time reading than writing. Geez, I’d never finish the story.

Now I use my cluttered desk theory. Put it all down, then tackle the edits and rewrite.  I’m organized, to a point, but find myself working to get the story written and not really worrying about overused/weak words or verbs, using the five senses, tightening up sentences, making certain all the hooks are in place, reviewing and editing the Point-Of-View, combing through for show vs. tell, well the list goes on.

In essence, I’ve de-cluttered my desk as well as my writing. What does your desk look like? Guess whose desk is in the picture. I'll give you a hint. It's not mine (I don't smoke a pipe). But after looking at it I think I'm in pretty good company! 

Monday, January 11, 2016

Medieval Monday with Bambi Lynn

Welcome to Medieval Monday. Here you'll find Vikings, Pirates, Knights, Magicians, you can fall in love with. Each week a different author will be featured here with a “themed excerpt.” This month, all the excerpts will be about the hero and heroine's first kiss. Today’s guest is Bambi Lynn. You’re going to love this excerpt. Enjoy!
Excerpt from Tanis – God of the Highlands
He stopped abruptly when she appeared. His demeanor changing quickly from one of surprise to that of hungry predator. She smirked. He would soon see which of them was prey. She pressed him back into the room with a strength belied by the dainty hand on his immense chest. She kicked the door shut with her foot as they entered.
With one beefy arm around her waist, Tanis gathered her up against him. Fighting the urge to squeal with delight, Kiah wrapped both legs around him. He was massive. And hard.
She wore nothing beneath the fur around her waist that left her legs bare to her thighs and drove men wild. The ridges of his stomach teased her through the fabric of his shirt, but Kiah savored the anticipation of feeling his skin against her almost as much as the contact itself. It would be difficult to say which gave her more pleasure.
A choice she was glad she did not have to make.
Winding her arms around his neck, she captured his mouth with hers. She was hit with the most mind-numbing kiss she had known in all the ages. A groan of sheer ecstasy bubbled up in her throat. What elements caused such a reaction? Why did she not feel it with all men?
Why did it not last more than a few days?
She felt like she could fly, something she had done every day since her creation, one of few gifts withheld from man. But in human form, the sensation of flying was far greater than the reality. It was not fair.
Emotions combined with her human sensations, roiling through her in a tangled mess that left her bereft of coherent thought. She kissed him fiercely, inhaling his essence as her tongue danced with his. He smelled of male and sex, tempting her to vanquish their clothes and feel his naked skin against hers. His body was sculpted muscle, hard and strong, beckoning her to meld her own warrior’s body against it, to stroke it, to lick it, to conquer it.
Tanis kissed her back, with equal enthusiasm, alternately teasing her and devouring her. She tasted his humanity and for once was not revolted by it. His passion enflamed her own, leaving her drunk with lust. He tangled his fists in the fur at the small of her back. In many other parts of the world, her attire would be scandalous. It certainly was not acceptable here in Alba, but in the wilds of the Highlands, she found it a simple matter to ensure her existence went unnoticed, even in human form.
Woven within his humanity was the hint of pagan blood. Its impurity laced the delectable flavor of the man. She recoiled from the foulness of it, only because she reminded herself she should, before it was too late.
Back Cover Copy:
Tanis Cleary, laird of a small Highland clan, wants to protect what’s left of his family from the pagan god who hunts them. But even with his colossal strength, fed by the unholy blood in his veins, he cannot do it alone. His only ally is an insatiable angel with a chip on her shoulder. Will he desert his clan to follow the only woman who can save him from eternal damnation?
Kiah is an angel of God, tasked with guarding one of His most sacred vessels. Like any woman desperate to win her Father’s approval, Kiah will stop at nothing to succeed in her mission. Distracted by the lure of a man more compelling than any other, Kiah soon finds herself battling the fires of hell, her very existence in jeopardy.
Buy Link: Amazon

Friday, January 8, 2016

Books, Chocolate and Wine with Julie Rowe

Hi. I'm glad you popped in. Please grab a glass of wine and a handful of kisses, find a comfy seat and get settled.

This is Books, Chocolate and Wine where I host guest authors. I'd like to introduce you to my good friend, Julie Rowe. Julie and I have been friends for some time. We each published our first book with Carina Press and met at the Carina Press author's party at the 2011 National Conference in New York. When we realized our books were to release on the same day we declared ourselves book-twins. We've stayed close even though Julie is from Alberta, Canada and I live in New Jersey. I know you'll enjoy her post as well as her books.
Inspiration or Insanity?

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Wednesday Selfie ~ May The Force Be With You

During a quick visit from our son and his girlfriend (they live in Boston) at Halloween the family was together before the parties began. We talked about the upcoming Star Wars movie. I’ve enjoyed all the Star Wars movies, many times over, and the merchandising. But this time the movie merchandising was everywhere, car, bank, even yogurt commercials. There was so much hype that I was sure the movie would be a disappointment

We decided we would see the movie when everyone was together for the Chanukah. Our three children are grown and in their own houses. But at every holiday they all move back home. Everyone was excited about the movie, even our grandchildren. We all talked about our favorite parts. I asked my son’s girlfriend which Star Wars movie she liked best. After a pause she said she hadn’t seen any of the Star Wars movies.

The room went silent. The astounded look on my son’s face was priceless. He followed it up with quotes from the different films. He became a man on a mission. He put together a plan, a Star Wars marathon so she could catch up before they came back to New Jersey for the holidays. She was a great sport. 

Minions and Wookies for Halloween
Over the weeks between visits they watched each movie. We had a Chanukah dinner. We enjoyed opening our gifts. This year my daughters left early. I wondered if we would still get to the movies. After a quick Sunday breakfast we went to the theater and saw The Force Awakens in 3D. The movie was great. I had worried for nothing.

There’s been so much written about the Star Wars movies. It’s long been a wonderful example of Joseph Campbell’s The Heroes Journey, an average man who goes and achieved great deeds on behalf of the group through a series of adventures.  It’s a little David versus Goliath, redemption, faith in a bigger power and good winning over evil after overcoming great odds and sacrifices. Add to that the great gadgets, space ships and cool weapons and I’m hooked.

Why had my son (who is 30) been taken by this movie all those years ago? Was it the light saber he got after seeing The Return of the Jedi or sitting with his Dad and watching the other Star War movies? The lure of the story isn’t something that fades as you grow older. Watching the movies when you’re older you see it from an adult’s perspective on politics and relationships.

Our grandson has already asked for his uncle's jacket. Wait until he finds the light saber. It's still in my son's closet.

Did you see Star Wars? What did you like/not like about it?

Monday, January 4, 2016

Medieval Monday - Snow in July by Kim Iverson Headlee

Glad the holidays are over? Now you can relax and read another Medieval Romance! This is the same Medieval Monday that features some of the best romance out there but now it’s with a twist. Each week a different author will be featured here with a “themed excerpt.” This month, all the excerpts will be about a celebration for the holidays. Today’s guest is Kim Iverson Headlee. You’re going to love this excerpt. Enjoy!

Back Cover Copy
Sir Robert Alain de Bellencombre has been granted what every man wants: a rich English estate in exchange for his valiant service at the Battle of Hastings. To claim this reward, the Norman knight must wed the estate's Saxon heiress. Most men would leap at such an opportunity, but for Alain, who broke his vow to his dying mother by failing to protect his youngest brother in battle, it means facing more easily broken vows. But when rumors of rampant thievery, dangerous beasts, and sorcery plaguing a neighboring estate reach his ears, nothing will make him shirk duty to king and country when people's lives stand at risk. He assumes the guise of a squire to scout the land, its problems, and its lady.
Lady Kendra of Edgarburh has been granted what no woman wants: a forced marriage to an enemy who may be kith or kin to the man who murdered her beloved brother. Compounding her anguish is her failure to awaken the miraculous healing gift bequeathed by their late mother in time to save his life. Although with his dying breath, he made her promise to seek happiness above all, Kendra vows that she shall find neither comfort nor love in the arms of a Norman…unless it snows in July.
Alain is smitten by Lady Kendra from the first moment of their meeting; Kendra feels the forbidden allure of the handsome and courtly Norman "squire." But a growing evil overshadows everyone, invoking dark forces and ensnaring Kendra in a plot to overthrow the king Alain is oath-bound to serve. Kendra and Alain face a battle unlike any other as their honor, their love, their lives, and even their very souls lie in the balance.

Worldwide Amazon Kindle link –
Worldwide Amazon Paperback link –

The pewter goblet hit the trencher with an ungodly clatter. Bloodred wine seeped across the white table linens, reminding Kendra of what Del’s blood must have done the night he was ambushed.
As a servant rushed to right her goblet and blot the stain, she leaned against her carved, tall-backed chair on the dais of Edgarburh’s feast hall, certain she had imagined the voice that had startled her.
She wished Del’s condition could be righted as easily.
Her seat gave her the best view of the Cristes-mæsse festivities, which at present consisted of a muzzled, scruffy bear being goaded through its awkward paces by an equally scruffy man to the raucous amusement of the crowd.
Kendra couldn’t share in the laughter.
With the tip of her dagger, she chased slices of stewed apples around her trencher, racking her brains for something—anything—she hadn’t yet tried to help her brother, either to heal his wound or cure the fever and cough invading his lungs.
Invasion. She gave a soft snort. Not three months earlier, Del had risked his life in the service of King Harold against the invading William of Normandy. Del had been one of the lucky few to survive the battle, only to be cut down on their father’s lands by one of William the Bastard’s knights. The enormity of the outrage still blazed within her heart.
Even greater kindled her wrath over the decree accompanying the coronation announcement: she must wed one of these ruthless Norman warriors.
This very day, her father was paying court upon the new king, offering his—though not his daughter’s—acquiescence to the betrothal in hopes of currying favor enough to present his complaint about Del’s attacker. He possessed the knight’s shield, though the coward had eluded capture. Waldron kept the shield locked in his quarters, for he couldn’t risk losing his one tangible link to the Norman swine.
Kendra’s heart had screamed the truth, although her father had refused to hear it: Sir Delwin Waldronson had fought for King Harold, his attacker was one of William the Bastard’s retainers, and justice would be denied.

Note: Cristes-mæsse is the ancient Saxon word for Christmas.

Friday, January 1, 2016

62% of American's Do It

...Make New Year's Resolutions

Happy New Year! The champagne is finished as well as the party food. I watched the ball drop at Times Square, via television, and welcomed in the new year with those I love. I’ve thought about the past year, what I accomplished and what has been left undone and even ignored. It’s time to look ahead and for me, plan what I want to accomplish for myself and my writing. It’s time for New Year’s resolutions.

New Year’s resolutions, we’ve all made them. While they’re most common in the Western Hemisphere, resolutions, the promise to yourself to do something nice for yourself or others, are made world-wide. Since the resolution implies a new beginning, what better time to make them than the beginning of the year.

Who started this ritual? At the start of each year, the ancient Babylonians promised their gods they would return borrowed items and pay their debts. Romans made promises to the god Janus, yes that Janus, for whom January is named. Janus is the god of beginnings and traditions. Knight in the medieval era took the “peacock vow” at the end of the Christmas season to re-affirm their commitment to chivalry. Christian prepared for the new year at the watchnight services by praying and making resolutions.

Other religious groups have parallels to this tradition: Jewish people reflect upon their wrongdoings during their High Holiday season and resolve to be better. The concept, regardless of your background, is to examine ways to improve yourself.
The ten most popular resolutions include:
  1. Spend more time with family and friends 
  2. Get fit 
  3. Lose weight
  4. Get organized  
  5. Help other people 
  6. Quit smoking 
  7. Enjoy life more 
  8. Quit drinking 
  9. Get out of debt 
  10. Learn something new
These are wonderful resolutions and the top five are definitely on my list but I also have my writing resolutions.
  1.  I will write everyday 
  2. I will write everyday even when I don’t feel like it 
  3. I will write from the heart and dig deep so my readers will feel it 
  4. I will read widely 
  5. I will focus on writing rather than social media 
  6. I will experiment with my writing style and voice 
  7. I will create and stick to a timetable 
  8. I will write two novels and two short stories this year 
  9. I will learn how to market my work 
  10. I will give something back to other writers – they have supported me in all I do and I will pay it forward
I have one other resolution...
        I resolve to post a blog once every two weeks
What are your New Year’s Resolutions?