Blog Archives

Calisa Rhose presents ~Review and a FREE book~ A Ghost of a Promise by Kelly Moran #MFRWAuthor #review #freebook


See the end for how to get a free copy of A Ghost of a Promise.

A few weeks ago I was honored to receive an ARC (advanced readers copy) of A Ghost of a Promise by Kelly Moran. She’s one of my auto buy authors. I LOVE her work! So when the publisher was sending out copies for review I quickly raised my hand, even though I’m not a fluent or regular reviewer. Sure, I review books I read on Amazon, Goodreads, B&N and other places if possible, but I don’t call myself a “reviewer” by title. I’m a reader who gives back to the community with a small opinion of books I read. I admit I don’t remember to review every story I read and rarely–very rarely–have I put those reviews here on the Ranch. But there are a few I want to start reviewing here on the Ranch. I’m thinking of putting a tab in just for those reviews, but maybe I’ll just blog them. We’ll see.

On to my 5* review of Kelly’s latest release!


2013 in review ~ and a fun new contest


HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

It’s time again for WordPress helper monkeys to regale us with the site stats for Pen of the Dreamer for 2013!

These fun monkeys prepared a year-end annual report for my website/blog. I love this feature! And I’m going to send a few gifts out to some special people who helped make this year a success. Read to the end and see if your name is listed. 🙂

Here’s an excerpt:

The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 9,200 times in 2013. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 3 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

For best overall post with responses:

Ally Robertson aka. Alicia Dean– for an excellent editor’s post and great comments in return! 74 comments with a grand total of 181 views and the highest comment count in 2013, which kicked off last January with a bang!

For most comments posted:

Mae Clair– 39

Liza O’Connor– 36

Kelly Moran– 34

Vonnie Davis– 29

Mackenzie Crowne– 25

I need all six of these lovelies to email me at with your snail mail addresses!

I have a special *Thank You* gift for those who promoted the heck out of this blog or hosted awesome posts this past year that helped me get some fabulous results. 🙂

But I want more! 😆

In 2014 I’m going to run a year-long contest. Whoever generates the most commenter response for their guest post, and the top commenters for the whole year will win- beginning NOW. That means if you are a guest blogger or have your cover posted on UnCover Monday you need to rally people to visit and COMMENT! Viewers only will not count because views alone don’t raise the post to popularity, but comments can. You will be expected to promote the post in every venue and comment often on your post. Each post can be promoted for longer than your own day since this is a blog that has permalinks to share, but responses ON your day is what counts, that’s the date WP records. 😀 Plus, the more you comment, the more numbers you rack up toward winning that category too! 😀

You want to beat this years’ winning numbers so that means more visits per contestant. 🙂 I’m putting a minimum of 50 comments per entrant for the year, and it would be awesome sauce if bloggers can beat 74 comments for guest posters on that day. Maybe 100? More? Leave a comment here to get you started. It can be a new year’s resolution to WIN MY CONTEST!!!!!!!!!

Periodically throughout the year I’ll post a contest reminder because I know we all get busy and don’t always take time, or even have time, to visit and comment on a lot of blogs. We forget to keep up when life intervenes. When it’s over, I’ll pick the top two blogging guests and top four commenters. Winners will receive a goody bags or gift cards-not to mention awesome recognition if you are promoting yourself and/or a book. If you are a winner it will be announced on New Years Day 2015 with a link to you in recognition. Later this year I’ll post the prizes to motivate everyone. 🙂

I wish you all have a blessed New Year!


This is a world wide contest.
Void where prohibited by law.
No purchase is necessary.
Participants MUST be 18 years or older and winners may be asked to verify age.
Prizes will only be mailed inside the US, and within 30 days of contest end.
Winners outside the US will receive a GC* within 30 days of contest end.
*Gift card amounts TBA, but will not be valued at less than one prize package.

Calisa Rhose needs to take a Dysfunctional Test!!!

Friday Fanfare with… ~ Calisa Rhose

Kelly Moran…

Welcome to Friday Fanfare!

This is a simple twice-a-month blog feature. Rather than a long interview full of questions everyone asks guests, I’ll get right to the heart of the book with five sections, that aren’t really questions so much as allowing the author to tell you what they want you to know about them and their book. 

Please show Kelly Moran some Ranch love!


It all began when…

A few friends and I decided to visit this secluded house. We used to go to places that were once reportedly haunted. This house is in the middle of dense woods. So it’s dark, we’re walking down this gravel road, almost upon the house now, when the flashlight flies from my hand and lands several feet away. I freeze, feeling like I’m being held in place, as something not human whispers in my ear. Needless to say we booked it outta there, but it gave me the idea for this book.

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

I’d rather live in my imagination than the real world, I wish my heroes were real, and all of my heroines have a strong flaw based off my own personality.

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

This is my first stab at romantic suspense. Though a light mystery, I won’t do it again soon. I’m much more in my niche writing heartfelt or quirky contemporaries.

Tell about any challenges you came across while writing this book or the subject matter.

The heroine has had nightmares and sleepwalking incidents since childhood. Not a lot of books use this premise to solve murders while interlacing a ghost story. It was a struggle to make it all feel and sound believable to the reader. I hope I pulled it off.

Finally- tell us about the finished book. Anything we might not know?3D TDH_KM


In her dreams, a ghost demands to be heard…

Once plagued by mysterious nightmares, Trisha Eaton always chalked them up to childish nuisances–until they return with a vengeance. Something about the Drake house next door haunts her, and now her night terrors and sleepwalking seem to be luring her to something dark. After a series of strange events, Trisha turns to Nick Mackey. As the new deputy in town, Nick wants to forget his traumatic past. His undeniable attraction for Trisha has him wondering if a shot at a normal life is possible. But Trisha has somehow struck a nerve in their small, superstitious town, and a long-buried secret threatens to surface again. A secret that someone will kill to keep veiled. Answers only lead to more questions in a case where nothing makes sense, but one chilling fact remains…some nightmares are all too real.

About Kelly:

Kelly’s been known to say that she gets her ideas from everyone and everything around her, and that there’s always a book playing out in her head. No one who knows her bats an eyelash when she talks to herself.

She began her writing career in the Indie market, becoming the recipient of an Editor’s Choice Award, a Finalist in the 2008 Best Book Awards, and a Finalist in the 2009 Indie Excellence Awards before moving into traditional publishing. Her books not only have honors from the top review sites, but from NY Times bestsellers too. She is a respected reviewer and a Romance Writers of America member.

Kelly’s interests include: sappy movies, MLB, NFL, driving others insane, and sleeping when she can. She is a closet caffeine junkie and chocoholic, but don’t tell anyone. She resides in Wisconsin with her husband, Darren, three sons, Logan, Evan, & Ethan, and her black lab, Willow. Most of her family lives in the Carolinas, so she spends a lot of time there as well.




That’s it for this edition of Friday Fanfare. Now it’s your turn to ask those difficult questions about the book. Things you want to know about it, the author and the writing process of this piece of literary work. Kelly will be giving one lucky commenter a copy of the book, so leave your email!

Until next time!

If you would like a special FanFare for you and your work in the future email me: and put Friday Fanfare Guest in the subject line. In the body, include an approximate date you’d like to appear (Fridays ONLY) and attach the book cover and–if you have them for the book–a banner and video youtube link.

The truth about Bambi: By the man behind the woman


I have a special guest today, so without ado I turn my round pen over to my friend, Kelly Moran, to tell you about an incredible story.

Dear Reader,
Awhile back I got a call from an old friend and colleague asking me some
publishing questions. As I’ve always wanted to be a writer, and I spent the better part of
ten years researching the industry, this wasn’t unusual. Imagine my surprise when she
tells me it’s about writing a book for Dominic Gugliatto!
I was four years old at the time of Christine Schultz’s murder, five when
Lawrencia Bembenek was found guilty, and thirteen when Dominic helped Lawrencia
escape prison. Though I was young, I remember Wisconsin’s outcry and the media blitz,
and the eventual world-wide pandemonium this case created. Ergo, I was interested in
talking about a book with Dominic.
In saying that, I’m also a romance and children’s book writer. I deal with fiction
and happily ever afters, not dates and facts and figures. So I was reluctant, as I didn’t
know if I could give Dominic the book he deserved. I was also concerned about the possible emotional toll that writing a book like this might have on my family. So over dinner one night with my husband and then three-year-old twin boys, I discussed the
project. Well, the twins discussed Toy Story, my husband, Darren and I discussed the book. Halfway through my spiel, my husband lifts his hand to stop me and says, “Do it.” 
My response was somewhere along the lines of, “Huh?” He said, “Do it. It’s a great opportunity and it can help your career.”
Now that really got my brain churning. It could help my writing career, open doors, and challenge me. After getting back on the phone with Dominic however, I knew this book and my agreement to write it would never solely be about my career. There
were many reasons for me to do and not to do this, and one why I should– It was the right thing to do. It’s about telling his story, the one no one’s ever truly heard, and giving him some closure. For weeks we met in person and over the phone. I watched this guy
sitting on my couch, torn and upset even after all these years, and I saw what was inside the man behind the media craze. He’s loyal, compassionate, forgiving, and strong beyond any means I can literate.
I stayed objective, pouring over information to make sure we got this right the first time. Dominic and his family kept nearly every document, letter, and article ever written about this case. And he kept it in an old luggage case I now refer to as “The Suitcase From Hell.” It took me weeks to go through all of it. Once I had the facts, I added Dominic’s story. 

Here’s a little blurb on the book…

It was one of the most sensational murder cases in U.S. history. Lawrencia “Bambi” Bembenek, a former Playboy waitress and ex-Milwaukee police officer, was arguably railroaded and convicted of murder. When all hope of proving her innocence seemed lost, she planned a daring escape from prison with her boyfriend, and together the lovers slipped into Canada under assumed names. Now, nearly twenty years after the escape, Dominic Gugliatto wants to set the record straight.  The man who laid it all on the line tells a different tale — one of deception and betrayal. For the first time, Gugliatto speaks out about the lies and secrets long buried. That Bembenek knew more about the murder than she professed, and that the prison escape involved co-conspirators, including a retired Milwaukee police officer.  The truth is coming, told by the only man who knows it all. 

Feel free to ask any questions you have for me.

Like us on Facebook

Visit Kelly’s site

See the booktrailer

And what a story it is.
I’m glad we became friends through this process, Dominic and I. And I honestly can say I’m a better person for having known and met him. I can only wish the same for those reading this book, but then again, I feel that’s pretty much a given.
Kelly Moran