Author Archives: Calisa Rhose
Welcome one and all! Grab a beverage of choice, something sweet and sinful. No-no, not the men or women. What’s the matter with you? You know the hands-on rules… The guest gets first pick! For today’s guest, I’ve invited some special lovelies to join us. ;) Take a comfy seat for another, or a first, spin in the Round Pen.
Please show J.J. some real Ranch love!
Please, tell us a bit about you. What made you decide to write romantic fiction and do you find it difficult as a man in a woman’s world so-to-speak?
Honestly, this was just the story that came to me. The Dream Series began as a mystery idea, and the romance just developed as the first book went along.
I haven’t had any difficulty as a man in a woman’s world. It might seem weird, but it’s been easy for me to write in Sara (my heroine)’s voice. The books are all in first person, so we’re in her head the whole time, and I’ve found writing her to be very natural.
That’s great, J.J. Okay, I’ll begin with five questions, then follow with three more, and end with four final ones. My writing area at the moment a recliner in my living room. What does your writing space look like?
A computer desk in my bedroom, sometimes also occupied by our cat!
The remodel of my office/craft room is almost finished after four years without. I can’t wait! For a lot of writers it’s a life-altering event coming up with titles and character names. Others it comes as naturally as breathing. Which is it for you?
The character names were easy. That’s just who they were – for the most part, the names just came to me along with the idea of who they were. Titles were harder. I didn’t come up with the title for the first book of the series (DREAM STUDENT) until the second book was halfway finished!
What advice would you offer aspiring and new writers?
The work doesn’t end when you get to “the end”. That’s when it starts. Selling your books (whether as a self-published author, or to an agent/publisher) is insanely hard, and it never ends.
The constant shift of the industry makes me often scratch my head and ask ‘what next?’ So, what do you think it takes to be a successful author at the moment?
Adaptability. Things are changing so fast, I think of it like surfing (not that I’ve ever surfed myself!). You have to catch the wave at the right moment, ride it as long as you can, and then you have to find the next one. Over and over again.
Who would you like to meet in the publishing industry- dead or alive- and why?
It’s a tough question. Maybe Frank Herbert, so I could ask him what he really intended for the end of the Dune chronicles, because I refuse to believe that what his son wrote is what Frank was going to do had he lived to finish the books.
It’s time for 3 in 1! I’ll ask the questions and you answer them in one word. :lol:
Favorite animal? Cat
Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter? Winter!
Favorite food? Fondue
Well done! Fondue…really? Interesting, I’ve never tried it. :)
Okay, Flash four. Ready? What are you working on now?
An adventure/romance story following an archaeology student who finds herself way out of her depth. The working title at the moment is “Queen of the Idiots” (a title the heroine gives herself at one point in the story) but that’ll probably change.
What are you sharing today?
I’ve got an excerpt from DREAM WEDDING, book ten of the Dream Series. Our heroine has a visitor – her daughter’s boyfriend…
Seth Taylor is a senior at Crewe University, and he lives in the building next to her, just a few hundred feet away. He’s also been her on-and-off boyfriend for most of her three and a half years at college, and to hear Lizzie tell it it’s been a lot more on than off since their senior year began in September. If he weren’t smiling – although the smile is becoming more nervous with each passing second – I’d wonder if he was here to deliver bad news about my daughter.
“No, Dr. Alderson. She doesn’t know I’m here. It’s – it’s a surprise.” Yes, it is. Especially because Lizzie isn’t flying home until Wednesday, two days from now.
I let that pass. I also let it pass that it’s a little bit presumptuous to show up unannounced on our doorstep and expect me to find a spare bed for him for two nights. Not that I have any problem with him visiting, or sleeping in Ben’s room for a couple of nights. He’s done it enough times the last four years he’s known Lizzie, after all. Still, I don’t think it’s unreasonable to expect some advance notice.
I put all that aside. “It’s Sara. Please. How many times do I have to tell you that?” I gesture for him to sit, and he does, but he can’t quite meet my eyes.
“I’m sorry I didn’t call ahead, Doctor.” I’ve never known him to be this nervous. Granted, I don’t know him that well, but he’s always struck me as a very confident young man. “I didn’t want – I mean, it’s not the kind of thing you do over the phone. And I didn’t want her sister to find out and tell her. I want it to be a surprise.”
I have no idea what he’s…
Yes, I do. What was I just saying to myself? More on than off? I think he’s about to tell me that it’s about as “on” as you can get.
“Oh! You’re – Seth, you knew perfectly well that Lizzie won’t be here until Wednesday, don’t you?” He nods. “You expected to catch me alone. You probably went to the hospital first, didn’t you?” Another nod. “You came here to ask me…” I can’t say the words out loud, but he nods just the same.
How is this possible? She’s not even twenty-one yet! She doesn’t graduate for another six months, and then she’ll be going on to medical school. How can he possibly think that I would approve…
Where can we find you and your books?
My website – http://www.writingdreams.net
My Facebook page – https://www.facebook.com/DreamSeriesBooks
My Amazon author page – http://viewAuthor.at/JJDiBenedetto
Twitter – https://twitter.com/JJDiBenedetto
Where will you be next?
I’m always at my website – you can follow me there anytime!
Thank you so much for playing along J.J! Wishing you much luck with your book and writing. I hope you’ll come visit again one day.
Due to a family emergency, I’m out of town this weekend so, my apologies that UnCover Monday will be a few days late to post this month. I forgot to take my list with me, but I will get it all done as soon as I get home this week.
I’d also like to thank you all for your continued support and submissions these last four years! Please continue to send your covers to me for future editions! You can use the Say Hey page here to contact me.
AND THE WINNER IS……… SANDY BRUNY! CONGRATS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Send me a message and I’ll get your prize to you Wednesday. :)
I super appreciate everyone who joined in the Blog Hop fun this year!
Welcome to this years’ spook-a-licious Snarkology Halloween blog hop running from October 26-31 with lots of prizes to be won from participating authors! Just click to follow this Linky to find all the participating blogs and fun. Be sure to join our Grand Prize Drawing for a chance to win one of FOUR grand prizes! Read to the bottom for my special giveaway right here on the Ranch. :D
Dust covered everything and her nose itched with the musty scent of age. Silence, eerie, but for the creaking shift of the wood and foundation. Winter-bare branches of the oak trees scratched against grimy windows from somewhere outside, echoing through the abandoned mansion. Elise Crane’s underactive imagination went into sudden overdrive and envisioned a witch’s needle sharp claws screeching against the cold glass. Coming for her. The intruder.
This was a stupid idea. She knew haunted houses were a figment of imagination derived from situations just like this. Spooky house. According to stories she’d heard during interviews with townsfolk before she got to the house, no one entered Bramm House uninvited. Apparently, no one lived to share their story if they did. Not even other Bramms. Look what happened to the latest Bramm to perish. So young, so dead, while walking around in this very house two years ago.
Elise craned her neck, swiveled and double-stepped to regain lost balance the awkward spin caused, then aimed her light to gawk at the upper level. It was open from the ground floor view with nothing but spindly rails as protection to anyone on the other side. What had the news story said? He’d fallen, Brandon Bramm had…from up there…
One rumor suggested he might have been pushed to his death. Had he? By whom? Everyone thought the house was haunted by the many Bramms who’d died there. Others believed those restless spirits resented the living and forced all away who dared enter.
“Well, I don’t even believe in you—ghosts. I’m not afraid.” Creeped out a little, maybe. Okay, a lot. She added an audible “hrumph” as punctuation to the bravely murmured declaration. “The only reason I’m here is because my twittle-brained boss is hell bent on a “real” ghost story to publish for Halloween.” Air quotes emphasized her non-belief of apparitions, paranormal, supernatural, or any other name slapped on them. She guessed that was why Rick had chosen her for this assignment. Insurance of a story with a no nonsense approach to add credibility. And possibly for Elise’s degree in psychological disorders, also deemed by her boss as devious mind digging. He probably expected her to do a session on one of the ghosts reportedly living here. Her lungs resisted the hard dusty breath, she coughed and sighed. She desperately needed a new job.
A cold breeze crept over her left arm—only—as if in challenge, and she flicked the tiny flashlight around. Nothing. Of course. Just the stale, chill air of the mausoleum-like building that she’d disturbed.
A sharp crack sounded from behind her. In the next instant she felt her blood cease to flow, or maybe her brain was just stalling in her fear. Whirling around the opposite direction, the light wobbling in her shaky hand, she fought for breath. It was more difficult to explain the tall door swinging open stiffly across the foyer. An invitation to enter? Or some…one—thing—coming out?
A dark leg stepped through the opening, and a masculine hand wrapped on the jamb. Elise backed a step and screamed…before all went dark.
Mason Deen scrubbed his hand through already unruly hair and stared at the young woman he’d laid on the dusty-sheet covered sofa. Who was she? More importantly, what was the tiny blonde doing inside Bramm House? She was brave going in alone, if rumors were true, and she was alone. A quick search of the area had assured him of that, no footprints beside hers and his on the dusty floor.
Rome wouldn’t be happy when he learned the location had been contaminated. Damn it.
A soft moan carried in the still room, lit only by the halogen lamps he’d set up in the library, which would be base during PRU’s investigation during the next forty-eight hours. According to Paul Bramm, current and sole owner, it was the only room that had very little, if any, activity.
Go figure. Even ghosts didn’t want to hang out in a dreary book room. Mason returned to the couch to check on the new complication lying in the sepia shadows behind the lights. What was he supposed to do about her?
Mason was still unsure why Paul had allowed the team go into his family home at last. He’d said he wanted to sell the old place to the city to turn into a museum and be done with it. But just when they’d almost given up gaining entry, he’d said yes. Rome had been trying for a year to get inside, with no luck. Until now, on the verge of its eminent sale to a city who’d already said there would be no “ghost hunts” once it sold. Their fear being that it would make a mockery of their town’s history, instead of embracing the paranormal explosion most towns would jump at.
Pulling the covered wing-back chair near the sofa, Mason sat, elbows propped on knees and studied the woman. He chuckled softly. She’d fainted. He must have really scared her to pass out like that. Served her right for illegally trespassing. Ah well, he supposed he should try to wake her and get her out of location ASAP, then see what damage she might have done before Rome and the team arrived in, he flicked a glance at his watch, an hour. Damn it all, he hadn’t even gotten things set up yet and time was running low.
He touched her shoulder. “Hey, Sleeping Beauty, wakey-wakey.” Nothing but a shrug from her. “Come on, now, it’s time to get up and out of here.”
A small hand flung to her head and she groaned. He knew she hadn’t hit hard since he’d leaped the distance between them and caught her just as she slumped to the wood floor. The hand dragged restlessly over her face as her eyes opened and met his. Coal black. Her eyes looked black as a demon’s in the dim room, relieved only by the whites as her gaze grew huge. Then she was sitting up. Not really sitting, he corrected, but on all fours scooching along the couch seat like a crayfish.
“Wh-what are you?”
What was—? “What do you think I am? I’m Mason Deen, equipment technician for PRU. Who are you?” He bit his cheek until he tasted blood, his belly ached with barely contained laughter.
“What are you doing here? I was told nobody is allowed here.” Her accusatory tone raised his hackles.
“Exactly, so how did you get in?” Tit for tat.
Ah. He stood to go open the door and glanced around the exterior wall with a flashlight and nodded in understanding before taking his seat once more. “You found the broken window and snuck in. Now I know the how, why don’t you tell me the who?”
Elise nibbled her lip until it hurt. He had already revealed himself, turnabout was only fair. “Elise Crane, journalist for Unnatural E’zine. I’m here for a story. What is RUP?” She crawled forward, still at a safe distance, and faced Mason.
“P.R.U, Paranormal Research Unit. We have permission to be here. Do you?”
His tone said he knew she didn’t, so no sense lying when she was no good at it anyway. “Not so much, um… No.”
“Right.” He’d heard of journalists who did whatever it took to get their story. Sorry, sister, not this time. “You have to go before Rome gets here or he’ll toss you out on that cute ass.”
He considered her butt cute? Well, well. She could use that little crumb. “I’m not leaving. I can’t or…I’ll lose my job.” Not that she wanted it, but she did need it, no matter how crummy Rick treated her.
“You can’t stay. This is an investigation site for the next two days. But, after we’re done you can come back and—”
Two days? “I have to be home in two days with a story for the ’zine, or I’m out of a job.” Then his previous words struck her. “Wait…you’re part of a paranormal group. Maybe we can help each other. Look, you investigate, what, ghosts? I need a “real” ghost story for our Halloween issue to make my boss happy. What if you do your thing, I’ll stay out of your way and get my story?”
Her train of thought shifted fast enough to cause whiplash, but Mason seemed to go on high alert just as quickly. “I don’t think so. Rome doesn’t allow any interference on his sites, and you are definitely a distraction.” One Mason clearly didn’t want either.
“‘Unnatural’ has a mega-reach with thousands of readers. I’ll spotlight your team in my story, you get widespread publicity and I get to keep my job at the end of the day.”
He dragged air into his lungs and puffed out his already-impressive chest and began to shake his head slowly.
“It’s a win-win. You can’t say no.” Or she hoped he couldn’t.
With a final shake, he stood and turned as if to leave but, instead, tugged a cell phone from a noticeably tight back pocket and punched buttons. He walked across the room to speak softly for several minutes, then his taut shoulders visibly gave, as if he’d lost a battle. Mason disconnected the call and returned stare at her.
“Rome’ll speak to you when he gets here. No promises, other than he’ll tell Paul you’re with us if he asks so you don’t get in trouble for trespassing. That does not mean you get to stay. Only that he’ll talk to you.” Mason swung away and began unpacking electronics as she watched from a distance, itching to ask questions.
Two hours into the investigation, in which very little had happened, her obvious curiosity finally won out. Elise peered over Mason’s shoulder as he studied the monitors in front of him and Kevin, the secondary tech and team historian.
“So…do you really believe in ghosts? Spirits? Apparitions, whatever you call them?”
Her body heat warmed his shoulder and her sweet scent surrounded him. He stiffened his resolve, then shot a glance at her and shrugged. “If you’ve seen the things I have, you learn to have an open mind about a lot of things.”
“What, you’ve seen ghosts? Really?”
“Really.” Not necessarily since he’d joined PRU, but definitely when he was younger. Yes, he’d seen things. Those combined experiences were the reason he was here now. “Hear that, Kev?” Mason leaned close and stared into the screen then lifted a walkie-talkie to his face. “Rome, I’m hearing sounds near you.”
The voice crackled back and Elise sat beside Mason to listen and take notes in a small pad she seemed to carry everywhere. She studied the images on the screen and no doubt heard what sounded like someone approaching the area where his boss stood.
“Someone else is there. Maybe they heard the noise,” Elise whispered, pressing closer against his arm.
“Footsteps. Is Jule there? Maybe she heard it.”
The image in the monitor walked to the doorway. “I’m alone.”
“I just heard what sounded like someone walking close to your room.” He glanced at Elise and Kevin, both nodded. “Elise and Kev heard it too.”
“Ohmygurdohmygurd— Oh. My. Gurdle!”
When Elise whispered the phrase in an odd voice Mason jerked his gaze to her. She pointed above the monitors at the closed door directly in front of them. “Wha-what is that? Is that some kind of trick?”
Mason followed the direction she was pointing. Just that quick the air he breathed became paste. The room grew narrow and out of proportion, and very cold. A light mist grew before their eyes, quickly gaining opacity and form.
His feet wouldn’t obey the command to get out, or to go anywhere. Something he couldn’t begin to name creeped up his spine and he had a sudden mental image of a hundred tiny teeth about to snack on his back bone. Too many damn alien movies as a kid. His eyes ached and he struggled to breathe, as if the air in the room had thickened to sludge. He couldn’t speak.
But he had to.
He huffed air in and keyed the walkie, then spoke slow and low for all to hear. “Lady and gents, we have one…in here…with us.”
At that precise moment all electronics lost power.
Total darkness and silence ensued…
Chances Are– You’re never alone…
What are the chances of finding love on another plane? Go on a spirit walk with Romeo and Juliet.
It’s not your mother’s ghost story.
And remember to hop in for more fun at www.thesnarkology.com/snarkology-halloween-hop-oct-26-31st/ and enter: http://goo.gl/forms/e1BlpY69bj for a chance to win:
(1) $100 Amazon or B&N Gift Card or
(1) $50 Amazon or B&N Gift Card or
(1) $50 Amazon or B&N Gift Card or
(1) $50 Amazon or B&N Gift Card
Winners to be drawn Nov. 1.
Did you enjoy this sneak peek into the prequel for my Chances Are duet (in progress)? Let me know in comments! I’m gifting a $5 Amazon gift card to one lucky commenter, to be chosen and contacted** November 1. Since I’ll be traveling the 3-4th I’ll announce/award the winner on the 5th. All you have to do to enter is, sometime during the hop (Oct. 26-31), tell me what you think happens next to sassy nay-sayer, Elise Crane. Do you think she will become a believer, or will her logical mind win?
And for fun; do you think Elise and Mason would make a good couple, or should each get their own story (btw- Mason is a sexy Irishman!)?
Be sure to leave your email in a comment so I can contact the winner, or check back** to see if you’ve won.
Also available from:
Love, like life, is not without risk.
Veterinarian Vivian Dane has purchased her uncle’s practice in the tiny town of Wales, Missouri, where most residents still doubt her ability to treat their pets. But Viv is used to being considered less-worthy than her predecessors. After all, her parents are world-renowned wildlife vets, and most everyone is unimpressed she’s chosen to not follow directly in their footsteps.
Now Connor, a patient’s owner, is hot for Viv, but clearly doesn’t think she’s dating material because he has a daughter…whom he believes no woman is good enough for. Being a perfect dad is EMT paramedic Connor’s life focus. He can’t seem to stay away from sexy Doctor Viv, but attraction is as far as he’ll ever let it go. His mother abandoned him, leaving him to be raised in the foster system, and then his wife abandoned both him and their daughter. He absolutely will not risk bringing another woman into his little girl’s life and having her feel the hurt of being left…again.
Forfeiting is easier than attempting and failing. So why does Viv feel compelled to prove she’s a sure bet for Connor and his daughter? Can Connor trust Viv–and himself–enough to play the possibilities?
Happy Halloween! Thank you for stopping by to read my contribution in the Snarkology Halloween Blog Hop 2015! Many thanks to Melissa Snark for putting this Hop together. Remember to leave your email and a comment for a chance to win this week!
** Winner will have 48 hrs to claim your prize- CHECK BACK HERE if you don’t leave an email for me to contact you, or RESPOND BACK to my prize alert email when I contact you. After 48 hrs I’ll draw a new winner with RANDOM.org.
Writing is a uniquely difficult profession for more than a number of reasons. There are a lot of things we could have chosen to do that would have been easier. For instance, discovering life on Mars, developing telepathy, or inventing gluten-free dairy-free calorie-free carb-free pizza that smooths wrinkles the more slices you eat.
There are days that even I go. Really, Kristen? You HAD to be a writer? You could have been a brain surgeon by now.
Then my muse comes back and says, “What? And take the EASY way out?”
This is a tough tough job and I am here to let you know…
It never gets easier.
It’s like Space Invaders. It just gets faster and faster and harder and harder…until you DIE.
Or give up.
This is why we…
View original post 1,680 more words
Aside from today being my brother’s birthday (Happy Birthday Little Bro!), I present a special Friday post. Please, welcome my guest, M.S. Kaye! This paranormal author is on a Haunted Blog Tour for her:
Born from Death series
Ghost stories—what better inspiration for character names can there be? Follow this tour to find the background for the character names of the Born from Death series.
Former “friend” of Archer Lane, Marwell is now the leader of Archer’s gang. With inspiration from Soll, a sadistic spirit, Marwell gave the gang the name Phasmatis Nex (ghost of death). After killing an innocent in book 1, Marwell manages to survive. Will he live to the end of book 2?
The inspiration of the name:
“Marwell Hall was built in the early 14th century (around 1320) by Walter Woodlock, a relative of the Bishop of Winchester. Over the centuries many alterations have been made, but the original medieval hall remains as the core of the building.
“In the mid 1500s ownership passed to the Seymour family. Henry VIII is said to have been a frequent visitor. Local legend likes us to believe that he and his third wife, Jane Seymour, were married here.
“When we investigate Marwell Hall Ghosts, there are many stories of ghostly happenings in and around the Hall. Probably the most famous is the story of the ‘Mistletoe Bride’. On her wedding day, while playing hide and seek with her groom and guests, the bride hid in an oak chest in a remote corner of the hall. She was unable to get out of the self-locking chest. The groom and guests searched high and low, but her cries were not heard and her remains were found many years later. It is the wedding guests who can be heard frantically rushing around the corridors searching for the missing bride.” ~www.frightnights.co.uk
Book 2 of the Born from Death series
The only emotion Ilona can muster is anger for the death of her mother. Barely engaged in life, she focuses all of her energy on finding and punishing her mother’s killer.
Since Ilona can see ghosts, Archer has to find unique ways to hide while watching over her. When Ilona is in danger of being mauled by a dog, he desperately tries something that shouldn’t be possible. And yet he succeeds. This is just the beginning of his discovery of who—what—he truly is.
Lettie continues to interact with Ilona, her one friend, even when a Messenger warns her. Eventually, Lettie remembers the ancient connection Archer and Ilona share, as well as her part in the punishment Archer bore as a result of that connection.
Awaken from Death
Sneak Peek at Awaken from Death:
The blond boy didn’t walk up to a urinal or into one of the stalls, or even up to the mirror. He stood in the middle of the room.
Invisible, Lettie watched curiously.
Something moved backward away from him. Out of him.
She recognized Archer’s shiny black hair and strong frame even before she could see his face.
She gasped. But ghosts can’t inhabit people.
The blond boy shook his head and looked around. “Fuck.”
“I’m sorry,” Archer murmured so the boy wouldn’t hear.
Lettie stared at both of them.
The blond boy turned, leaned his hands on the counter, and looked at himself in the mirror…not the way people usually looked at themselves. It was more like he was trying to see something more than was in the reflection.
Archer watched him, as if waiting for him to see something.
Then Lettie understood. Archer hadn’t merely inhabited the boy—he’d possessed him. But there were only a couple ways that’d be possible—if he were half ghost, or if he…
A memory struck Lettie like a horse galloping across a battlefield. An ancient memory. Lettie had been around since the beginning of time on Earth, but most of those thousands of years she let slink around the crevices of her mind. It was mostly just walking the bridge with the newly deceased. There were a few memories, though, that burned into her every time she let herself pull them forward. And burned was precisely the right word.
She knew—or rather, remembered—why Archer would never leave Ilona.
Strong as Death
Ilona runs from her sheltering mother in order to find the truth, why she’s seeing people who are invisible to everyone else. A mysterious boy named Archer guides her through Brooklyn and introduces her to Hendrick, the man who claims to be her father—though he died in 1890. Ilona must discover not only what she must do to rid the city of Soll, a sadistic and powerful spirit, but also what it means to be half ghost. She proves what her mother told her—love is stronger than death.
M.S. Kaye has several published books under her black belt. A transplant from Ohio, she resides with her husband Corey in Jacksonville, Florida, where she tries not to melt in the sun. Find suspense and the unusual at www.BooksByMSK.com.
What a thrilling series this sounds like, M.S! Thanks for being my special guest today. I wish you tons of sales and much luck with this series. I hope you–my visitors–will have a blast checking out some of these other authors’ links where M.S. is hopping to and from. :) Thank you for your friendly support!
10/1/15 – Anna Durand – haunted blog tour Hendrick
10/5/15 – Colleen Laughlin – haunted blog tour Estes
10/6/15 – JM Maurer – haunted blog tour Mary
10/8/15 – Judy Reynolds – haunted blog tour
10/9/15 – Calisa Selfridge – haunted blog tour Marwell Hall
10/14/15 – Rachael Kosinski – haunted blog tour Balete
10/16/15 – Jessica Cale – haunted blog tour Casper
10/19/15 – James DiBenedetto – haunted blog tour Turner Ingersoll
10/22/15 – Kimbra Kasch – haunted blog tour Kate Morgan
10/24/15 – Angela Scavone – haunted blog tour Dorothy Walpole
10/27/15 – Helena Fairfax – haunted blog tour Archer Lane
10/29/16 – Alisha Robinson – haunted blog tour Mr. Clifton
10/30/15 Tina Gayle – haunted blog tour non-ghost
10/31/15 – Rosanna Leo – haunted blog tour Ilona Raynham
While checking email today I came across a very inspiring and awesome post about writers writing, and why she thinks we (women) write the way we do.
Kristen Lamb says it all in her post about Good Girls vs. Bad Girls. Trust me, it’s not what you think.
Miranda Lambert’s song Mama’s Broken Heart comes to mind for me (but then, I relate all sorts of life’s moments to country songs :lol: ), and the differences in life between ‘back then’ and now and how it all relates to writing.
Check it out. I promise you’ll nod and smile. :D
And just for fun:
Editor Alicia does it again! Learn the difference between two writing styles.
Got two minutes? Then check out this week’s quick tip:
Hello and welcome…I am a freelance editor and an editor for The Wild Rose Press, as well as an author. I often struggle with my own writing, and I have found that sometimes, a little reminder of ways to improve the process can be helpful, so, I like to share these moments of brilliance with others :). But, in this busy world of ours, who has time for pages and pages of writing tips? That’s why I’ve condensed mine down to quick flashes you can read in (approximately) two minutes. Enjoy…
Disclaimer: All of my tips are suggestions, and are only my opinion. And, for the most part, there are exceptions when going against my advice will make your story read better. Take what works, leave the rest.
This question was posed to me recently, so I thought I would share…
View original post 1,258 more words
UnCover Mondays on The Ranch!!!
It’s that time again, time for gorgeous covers to take the spotlight in the round pen here on the Ranch! Enjoy awesome cover art and the super authors, publishers and artists who made them possible for you to gaze upon this month and each month. It would be great if you leave a comment letting everyone know what you think about them and maybe even check out a few author links to meet those behind the books. Or just say hi. Don’t forget to tell your friends to stop by so they can appreciate some greatness, or get in on the fun, too!
This feature is only to highlight the authors and artists (though if you see one you want to buy I’m sure the authors won’t mind :lol: ). Enjoy this months’ covers to ogle and explore. If there is one provided, you can follow the artist links by clicking on the name, if there’s an artist link provided, to learn more about the amazing creators of these beautiful covers. If I have it, I link the cover to the artist, otherwise, it’s linked to the author. I think they deserve fair mention since they helped create the book!
There’s a heat level rating for covers, one through five scale, for your benefit. You should never see a *5* rating on the Ranch. If there’s anything else you’d like to know about covers being revealed here, please don’t hesitate to let me know. You can leave it either in a comment or by my contact page http://calisarhose.com/say-hey/. :)
♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥
His Girl Next Door, #2
Author: Babette James
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Heat Level: 4- hot- sex
Publisher: Chara Press
Cover artist: Jamie Banta
Release date: January 13, 2015
Sometimes love is just around the corner
When Cami Alexander moves next door, it’s time for Jack O’Malley to concede the sweet and sexy fellow teacher is more than a long-time friend—she’s the one he’s been looking for in all the wrong places. He’s ready to put his footloose bachelor days behind him, but between his past, Cami’s doubts, her overprotective family, and well-meaning blind date offers from friends, convincing Cami they’re meant to be together is going to get complicated. Good thing Jack likes a challenge.
Cami’s always had a little crush on the dashing, blue-eyed Jack, but when the heat in a spontaneous kiss surprises them both, she’s afraid to risk their friendship over mere desire. Passion proves irresistible, and one explosive night ups the ante on their dilemmas. Jack vows his love and to stand by her through every trouble, but she’s been burned by promises before, and this time more than her heart’s at stake.
♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥
Book 1.5 Legends of Oblivion series
Author: Andrea R. Cooper
Genre: Fantasy/ Paranormal Romance
Heat Level: 3
Publisher: Andrea R. Cooper
Cover artist: LM Creations
Release date: April 1, 2014 (new cover 3/2015)
After defeating the Warloc, Brock, the Elvin Vampyre, takes Celeste to Tamlon to search the prophecies of the four and the Son of Dragons. However, the Elvin city is not safe, even for his witch.
The Warloc’s protégé is bent on his physical return to the living. Her necromancy brings forth Brock’s first victim and more.
Brock and Celeste must defeat prejudice and power to continue their journey and find Brock’s twin sister, Mirhana.
♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥
#3-MacQuire Women Series
Author: Peggy Jaeger
Genre: Contemporary romance
Heat Level: 4-hot
Publisher: Wild Rose Press
Cover artist: Rae Monet
Release date: September 23, 2015
Family Practice Doctor Clarissa Rogers’ first impression of Padric Cleary is biased and based on gossip. The handsome, charming veterinarian is considered a serial dater and commitment-phobic by his family and most of the town. Relationship shy, Clarissa refuses to lose her heart to a man who can’t pledge himself to her forever.
Pat Cleary, despite his reputation, is actually looking for “The One.” When he does give his heart away, he wants it to be for life. With his parent’s marriage as his guidebook, he wants a woman who will be his equal and soul mate in every way.
Can Pat convince everyone – including Clarissa – she’s the only woman for him?
♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥
Author: David J. O’Brien
Heat Level: 2
Publisher: Tirgearr Publishing
Cover artist: Amanda Stephanie
Release date: September 2014
A startling revelation – the long-time friend you never viewed romantically is actually the person with whom you want to spend the rest of your life.
But what do you do about it?
For Derek, a laid-back graduate camping with college friends on Ireland’s west coast in the summer of 1996, the answer is … absolutely nothing.
Never the proactive one of the group – he’s more than happy to watch his friends surf, canoe and scuba-dive from the shore – Derek adopts a wait and see attitude. Acting on his emotional discovery is further hindered by the fact he’s currently seeing someone else – and she’s coming to join him for the weekend.
As their five days on the beach pass, and there are more revelations, Derek soon realises that to get what he desires, he’ll have to take it. Events conspire to push him to the forefront of the group, and, as unexpected sorrow begins to surround him and his friends, Derek grasps his chance at happiness. After all, isn’t life too short to just wait and see?
10% of the author’s royalties will be donated to WWF,
the World Wildlife Fund.
♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥
Storybook Valley, #1
Author: Stacy Juba
Heat Level: 1- sweet
Publisher: Thunder Horse Press
Cover artist: Mark Juba
Release date: November 6, 2015
What happens when the glass slippers pinch Cinderella’s toes?
When Jaine Andersen proposes a new marketing role to the local amusement park, general manager Dylan Callahan charms her into filling Cinderella’s glass slippers for the summer. Her reign transforms Jaine’s ordinary life into chaos that would bewilder a fairy godmother. Secretly dating her bad boy boss, running wedding errands for her ungrateful sisters, and defending herself from the park’s resident villain means Jaine needs lots more than a comfy pair of shoes to restore order in her kingdom.
First in the Storybook Valley series, a blend of sweet romance, chick lit, and fairy tale fun.
♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥
Author: Ruth A. Casie
Genre: Historical Fantasy
Heat Level: 3
Publisher: Timeless Scribes Publishing
Cover artist: Kerri Knutson
Release date: March 30, 2015
He crossed the centuries to find her…
For months Lord Arik has been trying to find the right combination of runes to create the precise spell to rescue his wife, Rebeka, but the druid knight will soon discover that reaching her four hundred years in the future is only the beginning of his quest. He arrives in the 21st century to find her memory of him erased, his legacy on the brink of destruction, and traces of dark magick at every turn.
A threat has followed…
Bran, the dark druid, is more determined than ever to get his revenge. His evil has spread across the centuries. Arik will lose all. Time is his weapon, and he’s made sure his plan leaves no one dear to Arik, in past or present, safe from the destruction.
But their enemy has overlooked the strongest magick of all…
Professor Rebeka Tyler is dealing with more than just a faulty memory. Ownership of Fayne Manor, her home, has been called into question. Convenient accidents begin happening putting those she cares for in the line of fire. And then there’s the unexpected arrival of a strange man dressed like he belonged in a medieval fair—a man who somehow is always around when needed, and always on her mind. She doesn’t know who to trust. But one thing is certain. Her family line and manor have survived for over eleven centuries. She won’t let them fall, not on her watch… in any century.
♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥
Author: Gwen Kirkwood
Genre: Family saga
Heat Level: 1 to 2
Publisher: Robert Hale Ltd
Cover artist: Robert Hale Ltd
Release date: July 30, 2015
It is 1895. Railways and factories are springing up everywhere. Fourteen year old Emma Grieg doesn’t want to leave the village and her loving family but she must earn a living. Her father thinks she will be healthier working as maid for the Sinclairs at Bonnybrae Farm, although Mistress Sinclair is stern, haughty and demanding. Maggie, the eldest daughter, takes Emma under her wing. She works hard, is quick to learn and loves the animals. Eldest son Jim will take over the tenancy, but William, the youngest Sinclair wants a farm of his own. They both tease Emma for her youthful innocence as she develops into a pretty sixteen year old.
William takes Emma to gather sheep from the hill but they are forced to spend the night together when a thick mist comes down. Months later Emma discovers she is pregnant. Mrs Sinclair dismisses her instantly. Her father sends her to stay with relatives to hide her shame. Her Aunt is mean and spiteful and tells her the baby must go to an orphanage. Emma is desperately unhappy.
When William claims he is the baby’s father his mother is furious. He is banished to Yorkshire. He earns respect for his diligence and cleanliness but he has to share a stable loft for sleeping. When he is offered a derelict farm to rent he writes to Emma asking her to marry him but her baby son has been born early after she falls from a ladder. After her wretched experiences can William persuade her to live so far away when all he can offer is a neglected farm and little money?
♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥
Author: Sue Barnard
Genre: Romantic intrigue
Heat Level: 2-sensual
Publisher: Crooked Cat Publishing
Cover artist: Crooked Cat Publishing
Release date: 8 July 2014
Who knows what secrets lie hidden in your family’s past?
Southern England, 1982.
At 25, single, and under threat of redundancy from her job in a local library, Emily feels as though her life is going nowhere – until the day when Carl comes into the library asking for books about tracing family history.
Carl is baffled by a mystery about his late grandfather: why is the name by which Carl had always known him different from the name on his old passport?
Fascinated as much by Carl himself as by the puzzle he wants to solve, Emily tries to help him find the answers. As their relationship develops, their quest for the truth takes them along a complicated paper-trail which leads, eventually, to the battlefields of the Great War.
In the meantime, Emily discovers that her own family also has its fair share of secrets and lies. And old sins can still cast long shadows…
Can Emily finally lay the ghosts of the past to rest and look forward to a brighter future?
A tale of discovery, love and fate.
♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥
Author: Renee Charles
Genre: Romance Urban Fantasy
Heat Level: 4-Hot
Publisher: The Wild Rose Press
Cover artist: RJ Morris
Release date: September 22, 2015 –Re-release with new cover
Amidst an epidemic ravaging the world, all Megan Fletcher’s hopes for the future lie in getting to Las Vegas where newscasts reported scientists were gathering to search for a cure for the modern plague. After rescuing her from a rooftop surrounded by Zombies, Sam Woods appoints himself her escort. While he knows she is determined to get to Vegas no matter the cost, he doesn’t know her secret. And with his hatred of all things Zombie, she doesn’t dare tell him the truth. The more he kisses her, the harder it is for Megan to hide her growing feelings…and the bite-shaped scar.
But Vegas is not the haven it was promised to be, and when Megan’s immunity to the disease is discovered, she realizes her future and her heart belong to Sam, if he will trust her. An idealistic school teacher and ex-corporate mogul manage to find love despite a looming worldwide catastrophe. Can their love survive while everything around them is dying? Will they learn that when facing the end of the world, Only Love Survives.
♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥
A Flagman’s Folly Book
Author: Barbara White Daille
Heat Level: 3-steamy
Cover artist: N/A
Release date: January 2014
A Fresh Start
After the loss of his family in a tragic accident, Ryan Malloy has been given one last chance to change his life. His boss sends him to Flagman’s Folly, New Mexico, to run his ranch, but unfortunately, Ryan’s troubled attitude lands him in hot water with the locals, especially the ranch’s manager, Lianne Ward.
Deaf since birth, Lianne has never let her disability define who she is. But, she’s yet to meet a man who treats her as an equal. Ryan seems different…that is, when they’re not butting heads over the ranch’s new school for disadvantaged boys.
Forced to work together, Lianne and Ryan discover an unexpected attraction beneath their quarreling. But will Ryan’s painful past drive them apart…permanently?
♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥
I want to thank all the authors who submit and make this a special place to share their work!
To see YOUR cover here visit my UnCover Monday page for detailed instructions.
♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥
AND THE WINNER IS!!! ~ Calisa Rhose and Tuesday RoundUp welcomes ~ Starr Gardinier #mfrwauthor #winner
Congratulations Mae Clair!!!!!! WOOT!!!!!! You’ll be contacted shortly by Starr ti deliver your copy of The Other Side- Melinda’s Story!
We thank everyone who visited and commented! :D
Welcome one and all! Grab a beverage of choice and something sweet and sinful. No-no, not the men. What’s the matter with you? You know the hands-on rules… The guest gets first pick! ;) Take a comfy seat for another, or a first, spin in the Round Pen.
I’m thrilled to welcome my wonderfully talented guest today, Starr Gardinier, who is sharing their book, The Other Side: Melinda’s Story with us!
Please show Starr some real Ranch love!
Before I get to the nosy 5-3-4 part of this interview, tell us a bit about you.
A paralegal by day, she’s an author by night. Apart from being an award winning author for her short story “Cut,” Starr Gardinier has appeared in a blaze and made her mark on the literary world with her Ivanovich series and now her Other Side series.
Having studied and obtained her Bachelor’s Degree in Literature/Creative Writing, she has found her unique style and is known for her works’ distinctive voice, making every character stand out.
She’s the founder and owner of Editing by Starr. She’s also the former executive editor for Suspense Magazine. She has been interviewed in the newspaper and on the radio with relation to her fiction work. She has been a co-host on Suspense Radio.
Starr is a member of International Thriller Writers (ITW) and of Sisters in Crime, Los Angeles Chapter and nationally. She has won three Best Speaker awards as well as Best Evaluator at the Voice Ambassadors chapter of Toastmasters. She has always been active in events. As co-chair and main coordinator for the West Coast Author Premiere, she arranged weekend-long events to help authors from all over network, learn and share their work with the public. Starr has also been instrumental in compiling authors and planning a local author event at Barnes and Noble in Ventura, California along with the store’s event manager.
Okay, I’ll begin with five questions, then follow with three more, and end with four final ones.
My writing area at the moment is a corner of the couch in my living room. What does your writing space look like? Wow. Most of the time, pretty much the same place. On the chaise part of our sofa with my dog next to me (or on top of my keyboard). I actually do have an office, but rarely use it.
I have an office, too, but it’s not set up yet. Don’t you love-hate remodeling? :lol: For a lot of writers it’s a life-altering event coming up with titles and character names. Others it comes as naturally as breathing. Which is it for you? Titles for me aren’t a problem. Names however, are. In my newest release, the protagonist is Melinda James and her supporting character is Trent Miller. I look at the names now and think, ‘My gosh, I could have done better than that!’
I like those names and I’m sure readers will too. What advice would you offer aspiring and new writers? Never, ever give up. If writing is your passion, then keep doing it. Don’t let anyone tell you to give up.
Popular advice and I agree with you. The constant shift of the industry makes me often scratch my head and ask ‘what next?’ So, what do you think it takes to be a successful author at the moment? At the moment? I’d say it’s the same for any moment. And that is, write what you feel. The industry has a tendency to rock one way or the other as to what genres readers are after. But it all circles back around. Let’s say, romance is in. By the time you start your novel and it gets published, readers have changed their minds and now it’s fantasy. Again, I say, write what you feel.
Great advice. Who would you like to meet in the publishing industry- dead or alive- and why? Tough question. There are many. Edgar Allen Poe because I’d love to know what drove him, what in his life called out to him to be a poet. Another is Stephen King; I’d like to know what honest impact his major accident had on his writing career.
Interesting choice and I actually saw an interview years ago where he answered that question. Sorry, I don’t remember who interviewed him or his answer. ;). Okay, it’s time for 3 in 1! I’ll ask the questions and you answer them in one word. :lol:
Favorite animal? Dog
Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter? Fall
Favorite food? Pizza
Well done! :) I’m a dog person too. Okay, Flash four. Ready? What are you working on now? The third in the Other Side series: Ben’s Story. The first, Melinda’s Story is out on September 18, 2015 and the second, Trent’s Story is done and with the copy editor.
Congrats on the second contract! What are you sharing today? The Other Side: Melinda’s Story
Melinda’s family is dead, killed for information that is hidden deep within her mind. Her father tries to warn her from the ‘Other Side’ that she is in danger from the killers who want what only she can give them. Committed to Skyview Haven, she must determine if the ‘Other Side’ truly exists or if it is a trick of her heart and mind. With time running out Melinda must determine who she can trust. Is it the ghosts of her family, a boy who may not be who he appears to be, or the doctor who is determined to cure her? Can she figure out the truth before it is too late?
I walked to my window and just as I’d done so many times in the past, looked down, hoping to spot Beth. And suddenly, she was there. She was waving up at me to come down. I could see her forming the words, Come on. I smiled like I haven’t smiled in a long time. I knew it. I knew she was alive. I put my index finger up to tell her I’d be there in a minute. I quickly stuck my feet into some shoes and grabbed a jacket. I tiptoed all the way downstairs and through the kitchen to the back door. I looked out the window first to make sure I wasn’t seeing things. Nope. She was there! Right there at the foot of our path. I smiled again, quietly opened the door, and slipped out. I hugged her hard and she pulled away.
“What are you doing?” she asked.
“What do you mean? I’ve missed you. Where the hell have you been? They said you were dead. I didn’t believe them,” it all came out in a rush, in one long sentence, hardly a breath in between words.
“I’m right here. Remember? We promised to be in each other’s lives for always.”
“I know, but…”
“Ssshhh,” she cautioned. “We have to be quiet. Come on,” she tugged at my arm.
We walked a short way down the path. Before we got to her backyard, she suddenly stopped and I ran smack into the back end of her.
“What the hell?”
“Shit! I can’t…”
She looked at me with a frown on her face then smiled. “Let’s go to our place!”
“Okay, but you do know it’s the middle of the night. We’ll get into trouble if they know we’re out here.”
“Everyone’s sleeping. They won’t know.”
She grabbed my arm and tugged at me when I hesitated.
I smiled and said, “Nothing. Let’s go!”
I was happy and nothing was going to spoil it for me. I knew Beth wasn’t dead. I knew it!
‘Our place’ was a fort that we constructed in the woods. Well, not a real fort. We found some wood and leaned them all around a tree, sort of forming a teepee. Then I brought some old curtains my mom didn’t use anymore and we draped it over top of the wood. The inside was small, but it was ours. We sat huddled under old blankets she brought from her house a while ago. It was dark in our fort, but we had a flashlight if we needed it.
We chatted for a while. I told her all about how everyone thinks she’s dead, that she’d drowned. After I told her they had a funeral for her and everything, she giggled.
“Why are you laughing?”
“Because it’s funny. I’m not dead, I’m right here.”
She laughed again as she pinched my arm.
“Ow! Damn it!”
“If I was dead, I couldn’t do that, could I?”
I laughed with her, but it felt wrong. Something was not right. Then it hit me. If Beth was alive, that meant my dad was dead.
“Beth, you’re alive.”
“Yes, silly, I know that.”
“But then what about my dad?”
“What about him?”
“Beth, I think he’s dead.”
Tears started trickling down my face again.
“What are you talking about? You’re dad’s fine. I saw him earlier today.”
I knew the answer. Deep inside, I knew the answer and I can’t tell you how I knew.
“I saw him on the bridge. At least I think it was him. It was raining pretty hard. But I know it was your car. Hey! Where are you going?”
As she talked, I got up and left the fort. It started raining, but I didn’t care. Beth was here, which meant Dad was dead. The little pleasure I got seeing Beth again didn’t last long. I couldn’t win. I felt like I had to choose between Beth and my dad. It wasn’t fair.
“Melinda, what’s wrong?” she pleaded. “Aren’t you happy we’re together?”
“Yes, but my dad…” I said, standing there in the rain.
“He’s fine. Can we go back under now? I’m getting freakin’ soaked.”
“I have to go.”
I turned abruptly and began running back home. The rain made everything slick and I fell a few times, getting branches stuck in my hair and plastered with mud. In my backyard, I stopped and looked at our house. Every light seemed to be on. I saw Kyle pass by the kitchen window. I stood rooted to the spot. Do I go back to Beth? Somehow knowing if I did, it meant my dad would be dead. Or do I go in the house and accept the fact Beth was gone?
Chilling excerpt, Starr! I love the cover, too. Where can we find your book?
Where will you be next? I have several blogs who are hosting me. Here is the information:
9-14-2015 – Alicia Dean’s blog
9-17-2015 – QueenWriter blog – CHARACTER INTERVIEW
9-18-2015 – L.A. Kelley’s blog
9-19-2015 – Peggy Jaeger’s blog
9-21-2015 – Marie Tuhart’s blog
9-22-2015 – Abigail Owen’s blog
9-23-2015 – Debra Doggett’s blog
9-24-2015 – Sandra Dailey’s blog
9-25-2015 – Judy Reynold’s blog
9-28-2015 – Isla Grey’s blog
9-29-2015 – Calisa Rhose’s blog That’s today! Thanks for visiting!!!
10-6-2015 – Mary Morgan’s blog
Feel free to go back and check out any you missed. Plus, on October 3, 2015, along with several other authors, I am hosting and participating in a FB Launch Party. Here’s the link: https://www.facebook.com/events/1204016436282600/. I hope to see you all there! Authors are offering FREEBIES!
That’s a great lineup, Starr. I’ll be sure to try to stop by the FB Party!
I hope to see you all there! Today I’ll gift one copy of the digital version of The Other Side: Melinda’s Story to the 1st person who can answer this question [hint: you can find the answer on my website at www.QueenWriter.com] What is the name of the other series I’ve written in the past and what genre is it?
I know!! I went to find out, but I’ll let others guess. It’s just a click away, so go get your answer.
Thank you so much for playing along Starr! Wishing you much luck with your book and writing. I hope you’ll come visit again one day.
It was great being here, Calisa, and I would love to return. Thank you for the fun day on your Ranch!
Visitors- Don’t forget!!! Leave your email address in a comment so we can contact the winner of Starr’s ebook. :)
Kristen Lamb hits the nail on the head with branding! I’m buying a new book this payday. :)
For the past few months I’ve been focused on writing and not on social media. Hey, even the Social Media Jedi can get burnout ;) . But now we’re going to shift gears because, aside from writing the actual book, social media (branding) is the biggest part of our job. And I can hear the moaning and gnashing of teeth already.
Here’s the thing. We don’t have to do social media. No one will take us to writer jail if we don’t. So I will narrow this down. If you simply love the art of writing and don’t necessarily long to be paid for writing, social media is not that big of a priority. Social media is only important for those of us who like money.
Thus, for those of us who want to make a living as a professional author…
View original post 1,566 more words