Category Archives: Friday Fanfare

Calisa Rhose~Tuesday Roundup Features Leanna Sain #mfrwauthors #magicalsuspense

Friday Fanfare Welcomes:

Leanna Sain  – Half-Moon Lake

How did the writer’s journey begin for you?

My novel writing journey began at a Halloween party where I saw the “Gate to Nowhere” (the title of my first novel) and the stories just keep coming. My “Gate” books have stacked up numerous awards, from Foreword Magazine’s Book-of-the-Year to the Clark Cox Historical Fiction Award from the North Carolina Society of Historians. My fourth novel, WISH, is a stand-alone, YA crossover.

My Southern romantic suspense or “GRIT-lit,” showcases my plot-driven method of writing that successfully rolls the styles of best-selling authors Mary Kay Andrews, Nicholas Sparks, and Jan Karon into a delightfully hybrid style that is all my own. Regional fiction lovers and readers who enjoy suspense with a magical twist will want my books.

Tell us three things about you-the writer-readers wouldn’t typically know.

  1. I’m one of the fastest goat-milkers I know.
  2. I’m terrified of heights
  3. Wasp/Hornet spray stuns a rattlesnake so you can kill it (voice of experience talking here), but you have to unload the whole can on it.

Well, I know what I’m reaching for next time I see a rattler! LOL

It all began when…

It all began when my husband and I were doing a furniture delivery down in the Nantahalla Valley. The kudzu inspired it.

Where did you get the premise for this book?

I was on a ‘twins’ kick. I wondered about something bad happening to one twin that resulted in their death and the psychological trauma causing amnesia in the remaining twin.

Interesting. What stands out about this story that made writing it different for you?

It was my first book written in 1st person. I actually wrote this one before Red Curtains (the first book in my GRITS series). Everything is in Kate’s POV. It was so much fun I decided to do all the GRITS books in 1st person too.

Were there any difficult challenges or special subject matter you came across while writing this book?

No difficult challenges, but since kudzu plays an important part in the story, I had to do a lot of research about the plant. I wove what I learned into the story. There’s more to it than just an invasive vine.

I thought that said invasive wine. I was about to grab my glass! 😆

What about this book would make us want to read it more than others of similar taste?

I think my characters are just more believable and although it’s a suspense/mystery, it’s a FUN read. I made myself laugh…out loud. Plus Levi is just plain HOT!

LOL!

What do you want readers to take away from this book?

I want them to love the book so much that they can’t wait to go out and get all my other books.

Tell us about the finished book. Is there anything special we might not know after reading it?

When Kathryn Dorne is summoned to Half-Moon Lake for the reading of her father’s will, she discovers a shocking truth: everything in her life—including her name—is a lie.

Learning that her name is Katelyn Eubanks is only the first surprise. Second, she had an identical twin sister who drowned at the age of nine. Since Katelyn can’t remember anything prior to that age, it seems more than mere coincidence. The biggest surprise is that her father, a man she never knew existed, left his entire estate to her, enraging other would-be heirs.

With her unremembered, but closest childhood friend, Levi, as well as help from the estate’s deaf-mute gardener, and the outspoken cook, Katelyn searches for answers to questions that have plagued her all her life, but doing so, opens the proverbial Pandora’s box.  As her memories return, so does the terrible danger she escaped fifteen years earlier.

I hope readers get their curiosity piqued when the story mentions Half Moon, the Cherokee Indian medicine woman, and the MacKinlay family (see the Gate to Nowhere Trilogy).

Where can readers find you and your books?

https://catalog.thewildrosepress.com/search?controller=search&orderby=position&orderway=desc&search_query=half-moon+lake&submit_search=

https://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=half-moon+lake+leanna+sain 

https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/half-moon-lake/id1241572035?mt=11

https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/half-moon-lake-leanna-sain/1126450434?ean=2940157456566

https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/half-moon-lake-1

Is there anything else you want to share or add?

I love talking to book clubs or women’s groups. If your group is within an hour or two of western NC, I’d love to come see you. Contact me at http://www.LeannaSain.com

I wish I lived closer! Thanks for visiting Leanna!

K folks, it’s a nasty, rainy day here in Oklahoma, and I don’t have a fireplace. So, I’ll gift one commenter with a copy of my ebook Risk Factors if you share this post on FB and Twitter then post both direct links in comments. I’ll draw the winner Sunday night.

Dodadaghovi~

Calisa Rhose presents ~ Gambler’s Choice by Linda Nightingale #mfrwauthor #abouthorsepeopleforhorsepeople

Osiyo~

Today I have a special guest who is a new and very dear friend and fellow horsewoman who has been instrumental in helping me through an, at-times, unbearably intolerable week. Please welcome the multi-talented and lovely Linda Nightingale to the Ranch! She’s brought her new book to share. I absolutely LOVE this cover and can’t wait to read my copy of the book. Here’s Linda to share about the book.

Gambler’s Choice

By Linda Nightingale

A novel about people who love horses…

From The Wild Rose Press

Cover Artist: Debbie Taylor

Editor: Mary Harmony

Tagline:   An English aristocrat and a Virginia socialite go head-to-head—and feet-to-feet—in a battle over ownership of a very special horse.

Rating: Spicy

Digital Price: $4.99

Print Price: $16.99

Here’s a video trailer to enjoy in lieu of a blurb. 😀

Gambler’s Choice:

GamblersChoice_w9208_750

Rebecca McQuaid was in England for one reason.

To find the perfect match.

Size was important. Becca was a tall girl. Money was of no consequence whatsoever. Becca was a wealthy girl. Heart mattered most. He must have the heart to go the distance. She dreamed of a partnership that would last a lifetime. But looks did rank quite high on her list of priorities.

“I simply can’t ride an ugly horse. That would be like dating an ugly man.” Tossing her long blonde hair over her shoulder, she laughed and winked at her friend.

Meg shot her a frown, her tone accusing Becca of being an uncivilized colonist. “Rebecca McQuaid, you say the damnedest things.”

An appreciative chuckle turned her around to squint into the sun. A tall, elegant, dark figure of a man on a magnificent horse caught her imagination mid-stride. She couldn’t see the rider’s face, but she knew he’d overheard the exchange with her friend. He saluted her with a tap of his whip to the brim of his hat as he rode past. Excitement capered over her, and she smiled. The horse’s muscled, blood bay rump glistened. The stallion was sixteen-two hands, fit and impeccably groomed.

“Nice buns. That one’s good-looking enough for me.” She elbowed her friend. “Who is it?”

Meg shaded her eyes. “Gambler’s Choice and Austen Heath. Both horse and rider satisfy your criteria, my dear girl.”

“The horse is handsome.” She wished she had gotten a better look at the bay, but he was a mahogany blaze in the morning sun. “Are you telling me the rider is?”

“That’s the general consensus, but Austen hides in that rambling, dark mansion of his.” Meg studied the pair picking up a trot along the arena. “Fierce competitors. Hard to beat at Intermediate. We’ll see how they handle Advanced.”

“An Advanced horse?” Becca wriggled her shoulders. “I’m in the market.”

“Look elsewhere.” Meg’s finger jutted at Becca’s nose. “Austen won’t sell Gambler for love or money. Guaranteed. Not even for the kind of money you’re willing to spend.”

“Meggie.” She linked arms with her friend. “Everything has a price.”

Meg balked like a donkey. “You’re in a different world, princess.”

“Well, not everything. Love doesn’t have a price.” Pain wrenched her heart as a memory of the breakup with Daniel flashed through her mind. The hurt was too fresh to even think of another man. “But I’m not in the market for love.”

Becca had found that the best way to protect her heart was to play spoiled little rich girl. She had that part down pat, and, as Winston Churchill had said, There is something about the outside of a horse that is good for the inside of a man. She was looking for a horse to fall in love with and help mend her broken heart.

*****

Linda and Bonito perform a Musical Freestyle to Phantom of the Opera

Linda and Bonito perform a Musical Freestyle to Phantom of the Opera

From the time I was born, I was in love with horses. Every Christmas, I’d rush to the window to see if there was a pony tied to a tree. Sadly, there never was until my parents moved to a small farm near where we’d formerly lived. Then they bought me a black paint gelding I named First Fling. I was thirteen at the time. From that beginning, after I married, I went on to breed Egyptian Arabians and later the magnificent Andalusian horse. My stallion Bonito was three times National Champion.

So, it was predestined that at some time I would write a book about horses and the people who love them. I can testify that this love can be one to distraction! I had never participated in 3-Day Eventing, a very demanding and dangerous sport, but my friend in Florida was an eventer. If I ran into a problem with the technical information, I called Helen. She’d walk me through the event. I didn’t ramble off into too much detail because I didn’t want to bore the non-horsey reader. The techniques of the half-pass, the shoulder-in, and the canter pirouette are probably not familiar to most people outside the horse aficionado.

LindaNightingaleGambler’s Choice is the name of a jumping class in a horse show. I think that name and the excitement of that race against the clock inspired the book. In this class, each team (horse and rider) that makes a clean round goes on to the next. The fences are raised, and again they must beat the best time of other entries. A sit-on-the-edge-of-your-seat kind of experience.

I named the equine star after the class. Though the book is a romantic suspense, the story is really about two people who love one horse. Becca is willing to pay any amount for Gambler’s Choice. Austen is not going to sell his best friend for any price. Perhaps, a horse person is the only one who’d understand how dramatic this conflict is.

I love to chat with readers so come see me at these locations around cyberland.

Twitter: https://twitter.com/LNightingale

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/LindaNightingaleAuthor

Buy Link: print http://ow.ly/YaLsh or digital http://ow.ly/YaLFD

Web Site: http://www.lindanightingale.com – Visit and look around. There’s a free continuing vampire story.

Blog: https://lindanightingale.wordpress.com/ – Lots of interesting guests & prizes

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4839311.Linda_Nightingale

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/lbnightingale1/

Book Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=03972_A_5-Y

Thank you for visiting and sharing GC with my readers today, Linda. I can’t wait for news on future projects!

Dodadagohvi~

Friday Fanfare welcomes J.J. DiBenedetto #DreamWedding #MFRWauthor

DreamWeddingInvitationimgJDB11.13.15Osiyo~

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.

coloreditI’m thrilled to welcome my guest today, J.J. DiBenedetto. James is a prolific and wonderfully talented indie artist and sharing his latest book, DREAM WEDDING with us!

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. 😆

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…

DreamWeddingJDB11.13.15

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.

Dodadagohvi~

In lieu of Friday Fanfare ~ Marwell Hall #MSKaye #mfrwauthor

Osiyo~

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.

Marwell Hall

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:

Haunted blog tour_Marwell Hall_MSKaye

“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

AwakenFromDeath_MSKaye

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.

***

Amazon   ~   Barnes&Noble   ~   Publisher (all formats) ~ Smashwords   ~   Goodreads

Strong as Death

StrongAsDeathMSKayeBook 1 in the Born from Death Series

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.

Publisher (all formats) ~ Amazon ~ Barnes and Noble ~ Smashwords

Author Bio:

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.

Facebook  ~  Twitter  ~  Google+  ~  Goodreads  ~  Amazon  ~  TSU  ~  Pinterest  ~  LinkedIn

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 

Dodadagohvi~

Calisa Rhose welcomes Alicia Dean on Friday FanFare! #mfrwauthor #fridayfanfare #ruined

Friday Fanfare Welcomes:

Alicia Dean – Ruined: Martini Club 4 – The 1920s

How did the writer’s journey begin for you?

I’ve wanted to write all my life, and I wrote my first romance at age 11. I put writing aside when I married and raised my three children, but in 2001, I took a writing class with Mel Odom, and my inspiration and drive was renewed. I published my first novel in 2007, and I now have 24 published works.

Alicia DeanBIO

Award-winning, multi-published author Alicia Dean began writing stories as a child. At age 11, she wrote her first ever romance (featuring a hero who looked just like Elvis Presley, and who happened to share the name of Elvis’ character in the movie, Tickle Me), and she still has the tattered, pencil-written copy. Alicia is from Moore, Oklahoma and now lives in Edmond. She has three grown children and a huge network of supportive friends and family. She writes mostly contemporary suspense and paranormal, but has also written in other genres, including a few vintage historicals. She is a freelance editor in addition to being an editor for The Wild Rose Press.

Other than reading and writing, her passions are Elvis Presley, MLB, NFL (she usually works in a mention of one or all three into her stories) and watching her favorite televisions shows like Vampire Diaries, Justified, Sons of Anarchy, Haven, New Girl, The Mindy Project, and Dexter (even though it has sadly ended, she will forever be a fan). Some of her favorite authors are Michael Connelly, Dennis Lehane, Lee Child, Lisa Gardner, Sharon Sala, Jordan Dane, Ridley Pearson, Joseph Finder, and Jonathan Kellerman…to name a few.

Tell us three things about you-the writer-readers wouldn’t typically know.

  1. I always use celebrities as the model/inspiration on which to base my main characters.
  2. My first few drafts are always a hellacious mess, and it takes several passes to polish my work before it’s ready to share.
  3. Each time I begin a story, and several times while I’m writing it, I am racked with self-doubt and I often struggle to get even a sentence down, let alone an entire scene.

It all began when…

When my three writer friends and I, who gather each week at the Martini Lounge in Edmond, Oklahoma, decided to write stories centered around a place like the ML.

Where did you get the premise for this book?

I knew that each of our heroines were running from something in England, and I decided my girl was running from a lecherous Earl. My mind went to the irony of her escaping his lechery, only to end up a prostitute.

What stands out about this story that made writing it different for you?

Mainly that it was in the 1920s. I had never written anything other than contemporary (well, about the same time, I wrote a 1957 short story, but other than that, all my books are contemporary). I really had a blast researching the time period. I love the colorful terminology, the spirit of independence and change, and the creative ways people managed to skirt the whole prohibition thing.

Were there any difficult challenges or special subject matter you came across while writing this book?

It was difficult to not only write my heroine as British, but to keep the 1920s feel and accuracy. I ran across some fascinating stories during my research, a few of them ended up in the book.

What about this book would make us want to read it more than others of similar taste?

I think the uniqueness of my heroine being a prostitute would be compelling. But, also, the fact that I wrote this as part of a series with my three writer friend, and it’s fun to see how our stories are separate, yet interconnect from time to time.

What do you want readers to take away from this book?

I want them to feel as though they stepped back in time and were thoroughly entertained.

Tell us about the finished book. Is there anything special we might not know after reading it?

I used Robert Redford as my inspiration for Vince Taggart, and I used an actress unknown to me, Jamie Alexander, who seemed perfect for Eliza. When I finished the story, I was kind of sad it ended. I really loved visiting that time period, and I wanted to do more.

Blurb:

She vowed she’d be no man’s doxy, but fate had other plans… 

After the Earl of Goodwin attempts to force himself on her, housemaid Eliza Gilbert flees England for New York, hoping to build a better life. But the land of opportunity proves as harsh as the London docks, and she finds herself in a situation more dreadful than the one she escaped. 

When Vince Taggart ’s childhood friend disappears, he heads to New York in search of her and meets Eliza, a woman with a less than honorable reputation. Inexplicably captivated, Vince can’t force himself to stay away, especially when he learns Eliza may be the key to finding his missing friend. 

Ruined_MC4_AliciaDean04.06.15Ruined Excerpt:

The ballroom was magnificent. Sparkling chandeliers hung from the ceiling like diamonds dripping from the sky. Grecian columns with golden draperies strung between them bordered the entire room. Paul Whiteman’s orchestra was performing on a platform stage set within a rectangular alcove at the western end of the room. Meggie would be joining them soon. What a fabulous opportunity for her. All her dreams were coming true.

Why her, and not me? Why can’t my dreams come true?

She nearly gasped in horror at the unbidden thought. Her cheeks warmed with shame. How could she be envious of Meggie? She deserved every happiness in the world. Just because Eliza had made poor decisions and ruined her life, it didn’t mean she couldn’t be happy for her friends. She blinked back tears. She was happy for her friends. Really, she was.

She clutched a champagne flute in her damp palms, praying she could get through the evening without being forced on a ‘date.’ Across the enormous dance floor, Oscar stood conversing with two men. Please don’t let either of them choose me…

***

Where can readers find you and your books?

Website: www.aliciadean.com/

Blog: www.aliciadean.com/alicias-blog/

Facebook: www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100008364070487

Twitter: www.twitter.com/Alicia_Dean_

Pinterest: www.pinterest.com/aliciamdean/

Goodreads: www.goodreads.com/author/show/468339.Alicia_Dean

Is there anything else you want to share or add?

The four of us have a fun blog where we post every Sunday, and all four books are currently on sale for 99 cents. You can find the blog and the books on Amazon here:

www.martiniclub4.wordpress.com/

Please check out and ‘like’ our Facebook page:

www.facebook.com/martiniclub4

The entire series can be found at this link on Amazon:

www.amazon.com/s/ref=series_rw_dp_labf?_encoding=UTF8&field-keywords=Martini%20Club%204%20Series%20-%20The%201920s&url=search-alias%3Ddigital-text

There you have it. Check out Ruined by Alicia Dean!

Thank you for visiting the Ranch.

Calisa Rhose and Friday Fanfare with Mackenzie Crowne and A Case For Calamity #MFRWAuthor #12BridesofChristmas

Friday Fanfare presents:

A Case for Calamity by Mackenzie CrowneACaseForCalamity_MC11.14.14

Today I’m proud to have my lovely friend Mackenzie Crown on the Ranch. If you’d like to connect with her street team that link will also be included with the usual ones at the end. I’m in it, and it’s an awesome and really fun community to know!

We’ll jump right in and get to know her better. 🙂

How did the writer’s journey begin for you?

Tell us three things about you-the writer-readers wouldn’t typically know.

  1. I’m a total pantser, which can be a frustrating writing process, but fun too. I love when my characters reveal themselves in an unexpected way.
  2. It’s hard to type with one hand twirling my hair, but I manage to pull it off.
  3. I’m lucky enough to have a private office, but do most of my writing on the living room couch.

A fellow pantser. Yes, we are brave to take on a couple of characters with nothing more than a name oftimes. I have a private office too, but it’s outside the house in a cabin and too far away for my father in-law to reach me in an emergency so I, too, reside in the living room. Lol It all began when…

I signed up for NANO a couple years ago. I cringe just thinking about that horrific month. I made it to 37k words, far ahead of schedule, and was so crazy I quit. I didn’t look at the story again until I got a request from my editor to write a story for the Twelve Brides of Christmas. A change here, a shift there, and A Case for Calamity was born.

Where did you get the premise for this book?

The heroine’s best friend, Shae, is based loosely on my bestie from high school. She was and is a lot of fun, but got me into trouble occasionally with her larks.

What stands out about this story that made writing it different for you?

I’ve never written a novella before and probably won’t again. At least not right away. I prefer having the time and word count to dig deeper into my characters.

Writing novellas is definitely not for the faint of heart, is it? I think my first one tortured me more than I tortured the h/H. Were there any difficult challenges or special subject matter you came across while writing this book?

Other than the word count, I struggled with Jane’s relationship with her parents. My parents were incredible, so the concept of selfish, self-centered parents was one I had no experience in.

What about this book would make us want to read it more than others of similar taste?

It’s a Christmas story, but instead of the usual chaos of the season, Jane and Gabe are caught up in the consequences of a one night stand, and with the hope what they saw in each other that night will bring a lasting love.

I love that these characters have ordinary, plain-Jane, names. Pun intended. 🙂 What do you want readers to take away from this book?

I write lighthearted romance. I hope they walk away with a happy sigh and a smile.

Tell us about the finished book. Is there anything special we might not know after reading it?

Well, you might not know I named Jane’s best friend after my granddaughter, Shae. She loves that!

What a neat thing for her! Tell us about the book, please.

For Jane Whitmore, agreeing to switch identities with her best friend seems like innocent fun, but spending a romantic night in Paris with a man who doesn’t know her real name turns out to be a lark gone bad. When their one night of passion proves to have lasting results, tracking down Gabe Sutton and telling him he’s about to be the father of her child is just another calamity Jane would rather avoid. After years of avoiding long-term romantic entanglements, Gabe has found a woman he might just be able to build a life with, only to have her disappear. When he finally finds her, his belief in happily-ever-after staggers under the weight of deception, and looming fatherhood leaves him with two choices: fight her for custody of his future child or cling to the promise of true love.

Let’s look at the beautiful trailer Mac brought along. 🙂

Excerpt:

“Michael said you were lovely. He didn’t do you justice.”

Chaos erupted in her belly as if thousands of butterflies had suddenly taken flight. Setting down her glass, she dismissed the manic fluttering and dragged in a calming breath. The dark-haired devil sitting across from her with intent green eyes and a come-to-me-baby drawl would fluster any woman with a pulse, even one with a natural cynicism for situations like this. She might be a round plug in a family of square holes, but she’d been raised in the world of corporate finance and recognized his words for what they were. Gabe Sutton thought he was flattering the daughter of a very powerful business associate. As the only daughter of Thomas Whitmore, CEO of Whitmore Financial Industries, Jane had been on the receiving end of similar praises over the years…for exactly the same purpose.

A wry smile curved her lips. “That’s kind of you, but, about…my father. I’m sorry he roped you into including me tonight. He means well, but he can be pushy.”

A trace of humor flashed in his eyes. “He isn’t exactly subtle, is he?”

“No, he isn’t.” She shrugged. “We’ve met, which is what he was after. Once he learns his plan didn’t work out, he’ll move on to the next…candidate.”

He sprawled back and his thickly lashed eyes narrowed as they roamed her face. “Candidate? This isn’t the first time your father has set you up like this, I take it?”

***

Where can readers find you and your books?

Find me here:

Website

Facebook, FB Street Team

Pinterest

Amazon

Goodreads

Twitter

Buy links:

The Wild Rose Press

Amazon

Kobo

Barnes & Noble

Is there anything else you want to share or add?

The Wild Rose Press is offering A Case for Calamity for $1.50 today and tomorrow.

I know! I got my copy already. 🙂

I’m so thrilled to help you share A Case For Calamity, Mac. Thank you!

For our readers, thank you for taking time from your busy schedules to join us. Ask questions, leave a comment and I’ll personally contribute a copy of this ebook or a gift certificate for one commenter to the Wild Rose Press so you can get Mac’s book (or another if you already have it).

So, readers, what was the most trouble you and your besties caused or got into as young, brave souls? We’re listening!

*edited to include an ebook in the offer

Calisa Rhose and Friday Fanfare Welcomes: Cd Brennan with A World Apart #MFRWAuthor #CdBrennan

I am thrilled to have Cd Brennan on the Ranch today talking about book two in her Love Where You Roam series! If you haven’t read book one, now’s your chance to rush out and get Watershed for just .99! Here’s a link to make it easy for you to check out.WATERSHED_JulySaleBannerAnd then, why not get A World Apart while you’re there so you can keep reading? ;) G’head, click the awesome banner. I’ll wait.

Are you back? Good, let’s find out more about Cd and her book.

How did the writer’s journey begin for you?

Having traveled and lived all over the world, Cd Brennan now talks with a strange accent, a mix of distant terminology, a blend of culturally cute but confusing euphemisms that leaves everyone looking at her with a blank stare. Luckily, her Australian husband (who she met in Ireland) and her two Aussie/Yankee sons have no problem understanding her – well, except for the word NO.

Now settled back “home” in Michigan, she enjoys reliving her glory days by writing about them. She considers the last fifteen years abroad the perfect research for her Love Where You Roam series; matchmaking women and men from different cultures, even different hemispheres, helping them find their true one across oceans of difference.

As destiny plays a hand in all the stories, Cd Brennan truly believes that what is for you, won’t pass you by. She hopes to inspire others to get out there: “Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” [Mark Twain] And of course, fall in love.

Get in touch with her at www.cdbrennan.com

Tell us three things about you-the writer-readers wouldn’t typically know.

1. I hold both an American and Australian passport, but have lived and traveled all over the world.

2. I used to race yachts when I lived in Dublin, Ireland. A 38 Sigma called “Joker.”

3. I always dreamed of being a helicopter pilot.

It all began when…

I was working as a freelance editor and one of my author’s challenged me to write a book. She was going to submit her story to a competition, and she challenged me to do the same. So we had to write a chapter a week, then exchange and discuss each Sunday. We’d have a cuppa tea and talk about our stories, what was good, what was god-awful. LOL

I never really thought of myself as a writer, always an editor first, but it was an opportunity to delve into the “other side” and I’m a better editor now for it, to understand how much effort and heart goes into a story.

Writing and editing are different disciplines. One uses the right side of the brain; one uses the left. As an editor, I work with parameters and rules, including grammar and construction. I work within the laws of the language and guidelines set by my house. I evaluate a book’s development as if it were a puzzle, rearrange content, if needed, for it all to fit.

As an author, I develop settings and plot lines, create loveable, iconic characters, and devise witty, realistic dialogue. From nothing. From thin air. Poof! Okay, maybe with help from a glass of wine and 80s love songs. Everyone has their muse.

Differing and sorting your two brains is tough, isn’t it? LOL

I’m a huge fan of 80s music too! Where did you get the premise for this book?

I totally believe in writing what you know. Because without that intimate experience, I couldn’t portray the environment and setting in an accurate or dramatic way. And the setting is so important to the books, used to propel the conflict forward. If I hadn’t lived in those places, the vivid imagery – the smells, the sounds, the culture – all the description that I believe adds to the voice of the narratives would be lacking.

I lived in Scotland for two years when I got my MPHIL in Publishing Studies from the University of Stirling. A World Apart is set in Bridge of Allan where I lived, like Lizzy, in the Queen’s Hotel, working for reduced rates on my rent.

What stands out about this story that made writing it different for you?

I wrote Watershed, the first book in the Love Where You Roam series while I was living in Australia. The book is set in the Australian outback, and since I was living there myself, it was easier to draw on my own setting and people around me for character and plot building. A World Apart is set in Scotland, and I had lived there so long ago, I really had to tug at some memory strings to get things going, and then was constantly asking my mates there questions to help me remember!

Were there any difficult challenges or special subject matter you came across while writing this book?

A Scottish mate of mine was my SME (Subject Matter Expert) because I know little about architecture. My hero Hamish is not only an architect in a firm in Edinburgh but aspires to teach Environmental Architecture at the Glasgow School of Art. Hamish is a very driven man. J My friend, who is an architect, also helped me with the Scottish slang that is used in the story. Actually, he helped with loads! Thanks Ron Cameron! xo

What about this book would make us want to read it more than others of similar taste?

It’s New Adult, so it’s in the “new” genre out there, one that is still finding its feet and readership. NA is becoming more popular for its first mature love combined with youthful fantasy and silly mistakes. Young adults face profound life choices and powerful emotion. Parfait them with great sexual content, and you can’t help but have a winner. Originally, the Love Where You Roam series was slotted under Contemporary romance, but the stories definitely have a younger feel to them with backpackers going out into the world. The series is better suited in NA. They aren’t long stories, around 50K and would be great for a beach read or sipping a glass of wine on the front porch.

What do you want readers to take away from this book?

Mostly, I just hope they enjoy it! But, like my Bio says, if it inspires others to go travel, to get out there, to travel and step out into the unknown, then all the better. Because there is a world out there, so much to see and do. No time like the present, because if we keep saying we’ll do it next year, all of a sudden, the years have gone by.

Tell us about the finished book. Is there anything special we might not know after reading it?

The Queen’s Hotel was actually a hotel where I worked and lived from 2000-2002. It was an old shabby thing then, but just shortly before I left Scotland, new owners renovated the hotel, bar and restaurant. It’s gorgeous, but I’m sure it is still haunted by The Green Lady J She pops in and out of there and Stirling Castle just down the road. LOL

http://www.visitscotland.com/en-us/info/accommodation/the-queens-hotel-bridge-of-allan-p926651

AWorldApart_CdBrennan07.25Blurb:

She left home to find herself…and found love along the way.

Lizzy travels to Scotland to track down her roots, hoping where she comes from will help her figure out where she needs to go. An Aussie girl through and through, tough as nuts and a bit wild, she believes there’s nothing so wonderful as a world seen through wine-tinted glasses…

…until she meets Hottie Hamish, Bridge of Allan’s most eligible bachelor.

Hamish is Lizzy’s polar opposite in every way. He’s serious, driven, and motivated, focused on becoming the youngest associate professor at the Glasgow School of Art. But he’s hiding a social phobia behind his gruff exterior that makes it almost impossible to connect with people…

…until he meets Lost Lizzy, all sunshine and lightness, an Australian beauty with the proverbial heart of gold.

Where they come from may be worlds apart, but atop a Scottish Munro, they begin to realize where they’re going is best traveled side by side.

 CONTENT WARNING: Graphic descriptions of haggis ingredients.

 A Lyrical Press New Adult Romance

Where can readers find you and your books?

AMAZON   AMAZON UK   AMAZON AUSTRALIA  iTUNES   B&N   KOBO  BOOKWIRE

Media Links

www.cdbrennan.com

www.sundaewithnuts.com (blog)

https://www.facebook.com/CdBrennanauthor

www.twitter.com/CdBrennanauthor

www.goodreads.com/CdBrennan

www.pinterest.com/cdbrennan2012

Thank you for sharing your exciting life, Cd! Haunted hotels and castles? I’m so jealous every time I learn more about you and your travels to places I’ve always wished to visit.

Calisa Rhose ~ Friday FanFare presents Summer Settings by Mae Clair #MFRWAuthor

Summer Settings by Mae Clair

I’m thrilled to have my friend Mae Clair back again! I’ll just let her take it away.

Mae ClairHello, it’s great to be back at the ranch once again. Thanks for your awesome hospitality, Calisa! Today, I’d like to ask your readers a question about book settings.

Are you a seasonal reader? Do you enjoy a book set at a particular time of year?

As a reader, I’m pretty much all over the board. I love autumn, can cozy up with a story that unfolds over Christmas or winter, and easily get swept away by the newness of spring and the breezy trappings of summer.

My reading is different than watching movies. I’m loving Christmas in July on the Hallmark channel this month! But my books usually stay with the season when it comes to winter wonderland settings or extreme holiday settings for some unplanned reason. I guess living in Oklahoma where we typically get 100*+ in summer, it’s hard to conjure snow scenes with my face dripping like hot wax in our heavy humidity. LOL

With the release of my fourth novel—Eclipse Lake—a romantic mystery set at a sleepy lake resort in June, something dawned on me. I looked back over my three previous novels and realized they were all set during summer. Not only that, the stories took place from late May into late June.

Hmm. Pattern here?

What is it about June that attracts me? In the case of Eclipse Lake, I was able to draw upon the vibrancy and indulgent impressions of the surroundings—the raucous chorus of tree frogs and the whispering symphony of crickets. The dance of fireflies, the setting sun sinking like cooling lava into a glass-smooth lake, the heady scent of wild honeysuckle and sun-sweetened strawberries.

There’s something about June that whispers of freedom. Maybe it goes back to childhood when June signaled the end of the school year and three months of uninhibited fun. I’m not sure what attracts me about this month, but it obviously works well for my writing style. Interestingly, my next novel (already under contract) is set in October and leads into Halloween. An interesting change of pace given my penchant for wild clover, night blooming jasmine and roadside ice cream stands.

Whatever your favorite season, I think you’ll find the setting of ECLIPSE LAKE able to transport you into early summer. Join me in a tale that is equal parts mystery and romance. A tale of family relationships, past mistakes, forgiveness, and redemption . . .

EclipseLake_MaeClair08.14BLURB

Small towns hold the darkest secrets.

Fifteen years after leaving his criminal past and estranged brother behind, widower Dane Carlisle returns to his hometown on the banks of sleepy Eclipse Lake. Now, a successful businessman, he has kept his troubled past a secret from most everyone, including his seventeen-year-old son.

But memories in small towns are bitter and long.

Ellie Sullivan, a nature photographer for a national magazine, has a habit of ping-ponging across the map. Her latest assignment leads her to Eclipse Lake where she becomes caught up in the enmity between Dane, his brother Jonah, and a vengeful town sheriff. When freshly-discovered skeletal remains are linked to an unsolved murder and Dane’s past, Ellie is left questioning her growing attraction for a man who harbors long-buried secrets.

About Mae Clair:

Mae Clair opened a Pandora’s Box of characters when she was a child and never looked back. Her father, anartist who tinkered with writing, encouraged her to create make-believe worlds by spinning tales of far-off places on summer nights beneath the stars.

Mae loves creating character-driven fiction in settings that vary from contemporary to mythical. Wherever her pen takes her, she flavors her stories with mystery and romance. Married to her high school sweetheart, she lives in Pennsylvania and is passionate about cryptozoology, old photographs, a good Maine lobster tail and cats.

Discover more about Mae on her website and blog at MaeClair.net

You can find Mae Clair at the following haunts:

Website and Blog

Twitter (@MaeClair1)
Google+

Facebook Author Page

Amazon Author Page

Goodreads  

Purchase ECLIPSE LAKE from:
Amazon

Add ECLIPSE LAKE to your Goodreads List

What is your favorite part of a summer setting?

Definitely the fireflies! While living in California for nearly twenty years while raising our three daughters, I missed those mysterious flying bugs and the wonderment of watching my own girls chase them. Now, back in Oklahoma, I delight in being able to see my grandchildren chase and catch them these days.

Thanks Mae! What about all of you, what’s your answer to Mae’s question?

Dodadagohvi~

 

Calisa Rhose presents ~ Top Ten Reasons by Mae Clair #MFRWAuthor #guestpost #SolsticeIsland

Osiyo~

Hey everyone and welcome. I know it’s been a while…ok, over a month, since I’ve had a true guest on the ranch. Let’s just say it’s been closed for remodel. Will that work? 😆

But to make up for the lack of activity, I give you a great summer read by a wonderful writer and friend. Mae Clair branched into self-publishing this year and I’m so dang excited for her! I’ll turn the round pen over to her now and we’ll have some fun.

Welcome back Mae! It’s all yours.

Thank you for letting me take over your blog today, Calisa. It’s always a pleasure to hang out at the ranch! For my visit, I’ve brought a Top Ten list along with my romantic-adventure novella, SOLSTICE ISLAND. It’s summer, so I thought your readers might enjoy a short summery read with a coastal setting. With that in mind, I give you:

Solstice Island_MCThe Top Ten Reasons Why You Should Read Solstice Island by Mae Clair:

  1. You’ll meet a hot charter boat captain trying to live down his family legacy.
  2. You’ll encounter a spunky heroine cryptozoologist, determined hot captain should embrace said family legacy and all the baggage that goes with it.
  3. You’ll be able to impress all your friends with your stunning new knowledge of cryptozoology.
  4. You may find yourself struck by the uncontrollable urge to look up blurry images of strange creatures online or go on a cryptid hunt (think Loch Ness, Big Foot, and the Jersey Devil).
  5. You’ll learn why you should never ignore a craving for mint chocolate chip ice cream.
  6. The next time your boat is attacked by a rampaging sea monster, you’ll know precisely what to do.
  7. You’ll be swept up in a tale of romance, adventure, and folklore.
  8. You’ll uncover buried treasure, thwart a villain, and discover a new use for a boat oar.
  9. As a 72 page novella, SOLSTICE ISLAND makes a quick summertime read.

And the number one reason you should read SOLSTICE ISLAND:

  1. You can buy it on Amazon for just $.99!

SOLSTICE ISLAND Blurb:

Can an ancient leviathan work magic between a practical man and an idealistic woman?

Rylie Carswell is an amateur cryptozoologist in search of a mythical creature, the Sea Goliath. In order to reach Solstice Island, a location the ancient leviathan is rumored to haunt, she’s forced to hire charter boat captain, Daniel Decatur.

Initially, Daniel wants nothing to do with the trip or the fool woman waving double payment in his face. Convinced she’s yet another loony treasure hunter looking for gold on the remote island, he reluctantly agrees. An embittered neighbor wants to have his charter license yanked, so the extra cash will help him stay afloat.

It doesn’t take long for Daniel to realize Rylie is after the same beast his parents were tracking when they mysteriously vanished ten years earlier. He’s avoided all links to cryptozoology ever since, but the smart and sexy cryptid hunter has him second-guessing his oath and wondering what he’s signed on for.

Warning: A family legacy, glowing plankton and rough waters.

About Mae Clair:

Mae Clair has been chasing myth, monsters and folklore through research and reading since she was a kid. As an adult, she stumbled onto the field of cryptozoology and realized there were others like her who loved speculating about weird and wonderful creatures.

Her blog, From the Pen of Mae Clair, features a weekly post each Monday where she examines a different myth or urban legend. In 2013, she journeyed to West Virginia to learn more about the legendary Mothman, a creature who will factor into an upcoming novel.

As a writer, she pens tales of romantic mystery flavored with a twist of myth or folklore. Married to her high school sweetheart, Mae lives in Pennsylvania. Her passions include cats, history and exploring old graveyards. Look for Mae on her website at MaeClair.net

You can find Mae Clair at the following haunts:

Website and Blog

Twitter (@MaeClair1)

Google+

Facebook Author Page

Amazon Author Page

Goodreads  

Purchase SOLSTICE ISLAND from:

Amazon

Add SOLSTICE ISLAND to your Goodreads TBR

Well, that makes me want to explore cryptids! Thanks for sharing your book, Mae. I wish you tons of luck on this one.

Don’t forget to like this post and say hi to Mae!

Dodadagohvi~

Calisa Rhose and Friday Fanfare Welcomes: Ellen Butler with Poplar Place #newrelease #FridayFanFare