Thursday, January 30, 2014

Want To Be Compromised? Well, read on...

With a title like Compromising Miss Tisdale, I can only imagine how much fun this Regency romance is going to be. Let's find out more about it, shall we?

Title: Compromising Miss Tisdale
Author: Jessica Jefferson
Genre: Historical Romance, Regency
Heal Level: Sensual

Ambrosia Tisdale is the very picture of propriety and the epitome of what a respectable young lady should be.  Haunted by a memory and compelled by her family, she pursues perfection to a fault.

The Earl of Bristol, Duncan Maddox, has returned to London after years of familial imposed exile.  As the second son, he has led a life filled with frivolity, leisure, and a healthy dose of debauchery.  Now his older brother has died, leaving the family’s flailing legacy in Duncan’s unwilling arms.

At the behest of his uncle, Duncan is advised to do the one thing that could provide instant fortune and respectability—he must marry.  But there is only one prospect who meets the unique requirements to solve all the Earl’s problems—the lovely Miss Ambrosia Tisdale.  But securing the prudent daughter of a Viscount’s hand proves to be more challenging than this scandal-ridden second son of an Earl has bargained for.

With scandal, extortion, treachery, and even love itself threatening to keep him from his goal, will Duncan succeed or find himself compromised by Miss Tisdale?

She had stumbled upon the library.  A fire in the hearth threw a faint glow over leather lined volumes that filled floor to ceiling book shelves.   Lavishly upholstered plush arm chairs sat upon Aubusson rugs scattered throughout the room.  A settee was positioned across from a giant stone faced fireplace where a shirtless man sat warming his hands.
Shirtless man?
Ambrosia blinked.
 Certainly, her eyes were playing tricks on her. 
Then the shirtless man turned his head, his eyes meeting hers.  
It wasn’t a hallucination-he was real.   She hadn’t been expecting to find a partially dressed man, and he obviously wasn’t expecting to be found.   It was but a moment before the man’s expression began to soften and a wicked smile slowly crept across his lips. 
 A smile that stole the breath right from out of her. 
 Every gently bred fiber in her body screamed to turn around and run straight out the door.  Hundreds of years of proper English rearing had produced a base instinct to flee when in the presence of an unknown male (especially one with so little clothing).  But then he stood up, cautiously, the way one does as if not to startle a deer.  Standing, he was clad in nothing but buckskin breeches, the dim light from the flames playing over the sculpted muscles and sinew of his shoulders and chest. 
Breeding be damned, her feet simply refused to budge.

Author Bio and Links:
Jessica Jefferson makes her home in northern Indiana, or as she likes to think of it – almost Chicago. Jess is heavily inspired by classic sweeping, historical romance novels, but aims to take those key emotional elements and inject a fresh blend of quick dialogue and comedy.  She invites you to visit her at and read more of her random romance musings.
Fall in love with romance again . . .

Like me at
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Add to your Goodreads shelf at

Compromising Miss Tisdale available now on Amazon!  Taming Miss Tisdale coming Spring 2014 from Soul Mate Publishing!

Sunday, January 26, 2014

K. M. Jackson is Bouncing Into The Blog!

 I'm pleased to have Kwana Jackson back on the blog. This busy lady has a new self-published book out, called Bounce. And, if that's not enough, her next Crimson book will be released in February. I'm so grateful she took the time to answer some of my questions. She's even giving away a prize, so be sure to click on her Rafflecopter link below to register. Here's Kwana!

  1. What is your current project about? In my latest novel, BOUNCE, readers get to meet Sabrina Jacobs a working wife and mother who seems to have it all but who’s seemingly perfect life is spinning out of control. I really enjoyed writing Sabrina and exploring her world because who hasn’t felt that, “can I stop the world and get off?” moment from time to time? I know I sure have. Here is a little bit about BOUNCE:

Bounce Blurb:
Growing up as a young girl, Sabrina Jacobs could only dream her life would be this good. She
has a successful career, a famous sexy husband, two children, a house in an affluent Westchester suburb and a shoe collection worthy of a magazine spread. Too bad it’s all a façade.
It has been almost a year since her husband admitted he had an affair with a younger and bouncier coworker. Follow Sabrina as she tries to rein in her out-of-control life by kicking her husband out on his rear, chucking her career and even firing her too-cute-for-the-job nanny. But how will she survive as a stay-at-home mom in the land of designer clothes, designer kids’ parties and designer babies? Hmm… maybe the hunky young French teacher, who has been flirting shamelessly with Sabrina, is just what she needs to take her mind off her problems. Well, not if her husband has something to say about it. Will Sabrina be able to forgive and still be true to herself?

  1. What’s your favorite part about writing? Least favorite?  My favorite part of writing is the coming of with the original idea. There is so much excitement to that and the door is wide open with the promise of anything is possible. Right after that is the dreaded feeling of, “oh my goodness anything is possible!” and a wee bit of writerly panic sets in as I’m about of get of the roller coaster and start the ride again. Now my least favorite is the middle push where you see the end in the oh so far off distance. It’s what I call the “Why did I start cleaning this closet?” moment. You know when you’ve already pulled all your mess out and it’s all over you bed so you can’t quit and you’re stuck with finishing the darned job. Yeah, writing is just that glamorous. LOL.

  1. Have you ever written a character based on someone you know? Now there is no way I’d ever admit to that. Ever! But really the answer to this is no. All my characters are fiction. As writers of course we’re influenced by the world around us, people we meet and those we just so happen to meet in passing. We’re also influenced by television,  magazines, pop culture, songs, just anything and our own imaginations so the characters can come from anywhere.

  1. Would you rather vacation at the beach or the mountains? The beach for sure. I think the ocean is just magical. I love the sound of the waves hitting the shore and the image of the sun setting on the water. There is nothing better to me.

  1. What’s next for your readers? Next up I’m excited to say I have the final book in my Crimson Romance self-titled Creative Hearts series called: THREADS OF DESIRE due out
    February 10th. It’s the story of a sexy and curvy fashion designer trying to find love and acceptance in the exclusive fashion world. I can’t wait for readers to meet Gabby and Nick the man who gives her a run for a money and who she gives a run right back.
Thanks so much for having me here today Becky. It’s been a real treat!

K.M. Jackson’s Bio:
A native New Yorker, K.M. Jackson spent ten years designing for various fashion houses before pursuing her dream of being a writer. She currently lives in a suburb of New York with her husband, twins, and a precocious terrier named Jack that keeps her on her toes. 

Places to keep up with K.M. Jackson:
K.M. can be found on her site at

Bounce Buy links:
Barnes and Noble:

Bounce book Trailer:

My Rafflecopter giveaway, which runs through Feb 6th, is available on my own blog:

Thursday, January 23, 2014

What? A hero who's really a god? Take me away, Calgon!

In the mood for some paranormal romance? Today's selection will certainly satisfy your craving. We've got a man who is a god--really! And a 21st century female who is trying to sort it all out. Steve Mitchell serves up a great one in Son of Thunder. Here's a taste:

Title: Son of Thunder
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Heat: Sizzling

The son of the Thunder God, Thor, has a lot to live up to...and no time for love.

The man looked like a god. Then again, he was one. . .

Jord Thorson was a god– the son of Thor, the Norse God of Thunder. In his search to find his missing father, Jord seeks out the mortal, Meghan Larson, who is in possession of his only clue–Megingjörð, Thor’s magical belt of power.

 But when the belt decides to take matters into its own hands, locking itself around Meghan’s waist, Jord and Meghan are plunged into the middle of a massive conflict that rages across the heavens.

 Giants, magical artifacts, and a golden city in the clouds weren’t exactly what Meghan Larson expected when that amazing belt arrived at her museum. Now Megingjörð is stuck around her waist and talking to her in her head. She’s got to be dreaming, but with the wonders around her and hunky Jord Thorson at her side, Meghan’s not sure she wants to wake up.

The rainbow ended on a street that appeared to be paved with silver stones. Jord pulled up to the first building, a tall tower of a structure. As he turned off the cycle Meghan jumped from the seat and swatted his shoulder.
“You might have warned me a bit, about what to expect.” Her heart was still racing, but now that her feet appeared to be on solid ground again she felt herself calming down.
“Be honest.” He smiled at her. “Would you have believed me if I’d told you?”
Had anything that had happened to her lately been believable?
“No,” she admitted.
“Jord!” A husky voice called from the doorway of the building. “Welcome home.”
A large man in blue jeans and a black t-shirt with an ornate sword belt strapped around his waist leaned on the doorpost of the tower entrance. He had short blond hair and a very full beard. The sword at his side had to be almost four feet long. He was smiling and waving.
“Heimie.” Jord went to take his outstretched hand. “Any news of my father?”
“None that I’ve heard,” Heimie replied. “Your grandfather has been looking for you though. Maybe he has some news I haven’t heard.”
“There isn’t anything you haven’t heard, Heimie.” He patted the man on the shoulder.
The man then looked a Meghan, raising one of his eyebrows. “And what do we have here?”
Jord turned to her. “Heimie, meet Meghan Larson. Meghan this is Heimdall, guardian of Bifrost, the Rainbow Bridge. He’s kind of like the TSA at airports.”
“Welcome, Meghan Larson,” Heimdall said. “Welcome to Asgaard.”

You can purchase Son of Thunder at:
Amazon Author Page:

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Where Does Your Inspiration Come From?

I'm so pleased to have as my guest today, MK Schiller! I asked her to write about anything relating to writing, and she picked one of my favorite topics--Where Do You Get Your Inspiration? Here's what she has to say:

I want to thank Becky for welcoming me to her lovely site.  I’m often asked where I get my inspiration.  Ideas – where do they come from?  For me, a finished story is like a tapestry. It contains threads and strings woven together in a unique pattern.  The raw materials come from real-life experiences, snippets of overheard conversations, or that funny tale you hear at a party that remains interesting long after the cocktails have worn off.  I change the sequence of events and characterizations to suit my plot, but the best stories are the ones with an element of truth. 

My first novel, The Other C-Word, starts with what I hope is a humorous airport mix up.  I took this story from my own life. My dear sweet dad agreed to pick up a friend’s son from the airport.  I didn’t like the idea of him driving such a great distance alone so I insisted on accompanying him, but this is not something you can just voice to a stubborn man like my father. I deceived him by feigning a newfound interest in basketball and suggesting we could discuss it.  I don’t like or watch basketball, so in hindsight this wasn’t the brightest strategy. 

We were about ten minutes into the drive when my dad gets frustrated and calls out my sham, explaining that it’s apparent I don’t know the difference between a Quarter Back and a Point Guard (FYI, these are different sports).  This resulted in a not so pleasant conversation about his penchant for doing favors and my concern about his driving habits.  By the time we reached the airport, we were in raised voice mode – neither one wanting to give an inch, but horde a mile at the same time. 
Now, I should explain my father had never met the man we’re supposed to pick up.  We knew his age and his ethnicity only.  My dad takes out his cell to call Mr. Late Night Airport Pick Up.  My dad introduces himself and explains we are parked at the Delta arrivals terminal. Mr. Airport Pick up tells dad he’s outside waiting for us. ‘I see him,’ I say, pointing to a young man on his cell phone a few feet from our car.  We wave at him. He waves back.  I get out of the minivan my dad insists on driving even though his minivan years are behind him.  I open up the hatch and the man places his bags in the trunk and off we go.

“So, how was your flight?” dad asks.

“Not bad. Thank you for picking me up on such short notice.” he answers.  At least he’s polite.

“Not a problem.”  Yes, it was a problem, but I kept quiet about it, and we continued to make small talk as we headed to the loop that led to the expressway on-ramp.

“Do you like living in California?” dad asks.

There’s a noticeable pause and then he finally says, “I live in Montana.”

Realization dawns in the dark interior of the vehicle as we all do a rapid double-take.  Yep…we picked up the wrong man!

A big loop around the interstate, which must have depleted at least a gallon of gas, and we’re back where we started.  It turns out Mr. Wrong guy was on his cell at the same time as my dad, but they weren’t talking to each other. In fact, Mr. Wrong guy was talking to his ride who he’d never met either.  Mr. Right guy, meanwhile was still standing outside the gate, freezing his butt off wondering where the hell we were.
Dad and I were so mad at each other at the time, but that incident cracked us up so much that Mr. Right guy had reservations about getting in the car with two laughing loons.  Eventually, dad and I had a real conversation about my fears.  Even now, when I think about what my family refers to as the airport debacle of 2001, I giggle.  Humor has an amazing way of opening up conversations and creating comfort where none exists. 

Although the scene is much different, this was the inspiration for Marley and Rick’s first meeting.  My daughter always says, ‘be careful what you say around mom, it might end up in a book.’  That’s true.  The best stories are the ones that feel real.  My new novel, A Girl By Any Other Name, is available for sale now.  Although it deals with serious subjects, humor is a prominent thread in Cal and Sylvie’s story.  Thank you for reading, and feel free to drop me a line. I’m always up for a funny story!

Author’s Website

Amazon Author page
Publisher’s site girl by any other name
Goodreads page

Author Bio
MK Schiller is a hopeless romantic in a hopelessly pragmatic world. Writing is her passion, but with a full time life and two busy teenagers, it proves difficult. But in the quiet dark of night, she sits by the warm glow of a computer monitor, and attempt to conjure up passionate heartwarming stories with plenty of humor.

She started imagining stories in her head at a very young age. In fact, friends started making requests for stories where they were featured as the heroine and the object of their affection was the hero. You've heard of fan fiction... this was friend fiction.

Even with that, it took many years to realize her dream. She hopes you enjoy my stories and always find The Happily Ever After in every endeavor.

Blurb –
Everyone tells him he needs to move on, but how can a man function without his heart?

Ten-year-old Caleb Tanner wants nothing to do with Sylvie Cranston, the annoying weird girl who moves next door to him and gets him in trouble for swearing. But at twelve, they become friends when he teaches her how to hook a fishing line and she shows him the value of a selfless act. At fourteen, he falls in love with her.

At sixteen, she dies.

Or so he’s told. But Cal never believes it. Sylvie has become part of his soul. He knows her like the steady beating of his own heart. He’d know if she was dead. Cal looks for her, prays for her and finally he just waits for her.

Nine years later, she walks into the community college English class Cal is teaching. Only this girl claims her name is Sophie Becker and she doesn’t know him. Cal knows better. He’s determined to get the girl he loves back—and protect her from the danger that took her away all those years ago.

EXCERPT Cal and Sylvie age 12

She put her hand on my arm. Her voice wavered, shifting into a soft whisper. “I can’t sleep at night and it helps me. Sometimes I get so scared that it actually hurts. I feel it in my bones, like they might crack open any minute, breaking my insides apart.”
I shifted my pole and reached for her hand. I hadn’t quite comprehended the value of hugging. “Maybe you should pray on it. Pastor Morrison says that prayer can solve a lot of problems.”
“You really think that will work?” she asked dubiously.
I shrugged. “I wouldn’t know for sure. I don’t pray right myself.”
She frowned, wrinkling her nose. “How can you pray wrong?”
“Momma says I do it wrong all the time.”
“I don’t get it.”
I sighed, staring up at the blue sky. “She always asks me what I prayed for. The first time she asked, I told her it was for a new bike and football cleats. She got real mad and said ‘Son, you are praying to God, not Santa Claus’.” I used my best Amelia Tanner impression, and the edges of Sylvie’s mouth curved upward.
“That sounds like your momma.”
“Yeah, but I guess I didn’t learn my lesson because I asked her what I should pray for then. She said I should pray to be a better person.”
“That’s a good idea.”
“That’s what I thought too. I started praying that I could throw the football longer and run faster so I could make the team in high school.”
Sylvie cupped her hand to her mouth to cover her laugh. I didn’t care. I wanted to make her laugh, even if it was at my expense. “What did she say?”
“She got pretty mad and said that’s not what she meant. She told me I was being selfish and since I couldn’t pray for myself correctly, I should pray for someone else.”
“Who did you pray for?”
I stared down at the lake. “I prayed for Mandy.”
“That’s so sweet.”
“Yeah, I asked God to make her less annoying.”
Sylvie cracked up so much I was sure she’d run all the fish away, but I didn’t care. It was one of the best feelings in the world to make this girl laugh. “You didn’t.”
“I did, but at least now I know what I need to pray on.”
“What’s that, Cal?”
I squeezed her hand, noticing how hypnotic her eyes were. “I’ll pray that you’re not scared anymore, Sylvie.”

Friday, January 17, 2014

Blinded By Grace cover reveal!

It's official, and I can now reveal the cover of my latest historical romance. Blinded By Grace will be released March 3. Here's a little sampling of what the book is about:

In 1858 New York City, Halwyn Fitzpatrick thinks he's off the hook for attendance at the annual Cotillion Ball. He has no sister to shepherd down the grand staircase this year and no real desire to go through the rituals of courtship and betrothal himself. Besides, he'll know the right girl when he sees her, especially now that he has new spectacles. But his mother has other plans for him. At 27 years of age, her son is in dire need of a wife.

Grace Wagner needs a husband by July, in order to inherit the trust her father has left for her. Her stepfather, though, has plans for the money that don't include Grace, and the last thing he wants is for her to find a husband before she turns 21, thereby fulfilling the terms of the trust. She's been in love with Halwyn since she was thirteen, but he hasn't noticed her at any of the balls they've attended over the years. With the aid of his new spectacles, he spies Grace from across the room and they share a dance. Grace decides to present him with a business proposition that will satisfy them both. But, can a clueless knight in shining armor and a desperate damsel in distress find a way to turn a marriage of convenience into something more? 

What do you think of the cover?

Thursday, January 16, 2014

It's Tina Susedik's turn today, to share with you a snippet of her mystery, Riding For Love. Horses and shirtless men, oh, my!

Title: Riding for Love
Genre: Contemporary Mystery
One Line Hook: Can a man who is afraid of horses learn to ride to re-establish a relationship with an old flame? Love, Loss, Redemption
Heat: Sizzling

Excerpt:  “Hi, sweetheart,” Rose said, ruffling his hair before going to the refrigerator for a glass of lemonade.
He jumped and slapped a hand to his chest. “Geez, Mom, you scared the daylights out of me.” He set the brochure down and picked up an envelope. “What are you doing home? I thought you were going out with friends tonight.”
Rose sat down on the opposite her son. “I did, but Tom had to get back early and the others had family obligations. Tonight is the last night at the ranch for a youth group from Milwaukee.” She reached over and slid the brochure across the table. “It’s a group of teenagers learning to ride and care for horses to teach them alternative ways to channel anger. Eve developed the program this year.”

“Wow, I’m impressed.”
“You should be,” Rose commented, flipping through the pamphlet filled with photos of the cabins, lodge, barn, and horses on trail rides. “Eve’s worked very hard to make the ranch a success. Every year she comes up with another way to help others relax and have fun. Last year was the first year for winter activities.” She folded the brochure and pressed it smooth. “Have you been out there yet?”
Denton opened the envelope and slipped out a sheet of paper. “No, I’ve been too busy at work. Besides, I don’t think Eve would appreciate me just showing up.”
“Why? She’s so proud of what she’s accomplished.” Rose peered at her son. “You never did tell me what happened when you went to dinner with her. Is she still mad?”
Running a hand over his face, he huffed out a breath. “I guess that would be a good way of putting it, although mad seems too light a word. I explained about Marie, and she seemed to understand what happened, but, after all these years, she’s still angry with me.”
“There could be a good reason.”
“Yeah, like what?”
Rose reached across the table to stop his shredding the sheet of paper he was holding. “Could be she still has feelings for you. Do you still care for her?”
“What’s that got to do with anything?”
“Just answer your mother, Denton Johansen.”
“I never lost my feelings for her.” He pushed the paper away and tapped his fingers on the table. “She said she never had closure. Well, neither did I. One week, I’m home enjoying time with her and next, I’m married to someone else.” He raked his fingers through his hair again. “Now she’s ignoring me. I’m probably beating my head against the wall. I’ve called, written, sent flowers.”
“Hmm . . .”
Lord, he hated it when his mother got that tone in her voice. She didn’t have to say one word, just utter “hmm” like she knew something he didn’t and he would ultimately pay for it. “Hmm, what?”
“What happened when you went to dinner with Eve?”
“We met, had a drink, talked about old times, etc., etc.”
Rose chuckled. “Oh, I’m sure much more than that happened for you to be this upset.” She held up a hand to stop a reply. “Don’t say you’re concerned about the lawsuit. I’m your mother. You’re a problem solver and taking care of the embezzlement was more than work for you.” Rose rested her chin in her hand and stared at her son. “It’s solving the problem of Eve making you discombobulated.”
Denton pushed the piece of paper toward his mother.
“What’s this?”
He smiled nervously, stood, and paced the length of the kitchen, stove to refrigerator and back again. “Part of a plan to get close to Eve.” He finally settled his backside against the stove, folding his arms over his chest in defiance.
Rose dropped the paper on the table. “Are you crazy? You can’t possibly do this.”
“Desperate times call for desperate measures.”
Rose stood and placed a hand on his cheek. “But this is a little drastic, isn’t it? Are you so keen on getting her back you’d go this far?”
“Mom, I need to find out if what we had as teenagers can be resurrected.” Denton wrapped his arms around his mother and held her close so she wouldn’t notice the tears in his eyes. “I’ve missed Eve for ten years and will do anything to win her back. Anything.”
“But, dear, how are you going to be able to get through two weeks of riding lessons? Aren’t you still afraid of horses?”
He laughed, hoping to ease the trip in his heart at the thought of spending fourteen days on the back of one of those giant creatures. But fourteen days spent in Eve’s company sent his heart tripping faster. “Nope.”
Rose leaned back. She squinted at him.
“Nope, not afraid.” His Adam’s apple bobbed up and down, and he refrained from wiping sweat from his upper lip. “More like petrified, horrified, scared stiff.”
“Well, you should be, considering what happened the last time you rode one,” Rose said, leaving Denton’s arms and picking up the confirmation for his stay at the ranch.
“Mom, that was twenty years ago. I need to overcome my fear of horses to spend some time with her, hopefully break through the wall she’s built against me,” Denton replied, trying to convince himself as much as his mother.
Rose shook her head and patted her son on the shoulder. “Well, you have only three weeks to convince that to your shaking hands, my dear boy.”

You can purchase "Riding for Love" at:
Twitter: @tina susedik
Facebook: Tina Susedik, Author

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Covers Are Everything

My last few days have been taken up by attempting to find an appropriate cover for my newest historical, due to release in March. While I know the best measure for a book's success is to write a really good one, let's face facts here. Most novels these days are sold through the internet. There are none of the tactile sensations that come from standing in a bookstore with the scent of Starbucks hanging in the air while you pick a book from the shelf and crack it open. Perhaps it was the author's name that first attracted you, but my guess is it was the cover art that caught your eye, even in a bookstore.  It's of utmost importance these days to be able to grab a reader's attention with a cover the size of a postage stamp.

While I love the cover for my upcoming contemporary, The Road To Comfort, finding just the right art for my next historical, Blinded By Grace, was a bit more difficult. What am I saying? It was a lot more difficult. Choices are more limited for historical covers, since most cover art is purchased through stock photo houses, and there just aren't that many historical reenactors out there. My publisher's first attempt failed because we discovered we had used the same model for one of my other books. The second attempt was a woman in a wedding gown alighting from a carriage. The carriage part of the picture was spot-on, but the dress was an obvious 21st century creation. I would have been laughed out of the Historical Hearts chapter of RWA if that one had gotten through.

So, the publisher and I both pored over images, searching for just the right one. Finally, three concepts were created, one of them a photo I had picked and thought was perfect. But, it takes a trained eye to understand that a stand-alone image looks different when you layer type over it. And type is needed on the cover for a few important things. Like your name. And the book's name. And the publisher's name, since they went through all this gnashing of teeth with you.

Ultimately, the best cover was the product of the art department, who knows what works. But it was a struggle. I hope, when I do get to reveal it to the general public, you'll approve.

In the meantime, I'm happy to share the cover of my contemporary, which is going to be released in March. The hero in the book is a man named Cyclone Kelley. This gentleman certainly stirs me up, so I think the cover is genius. Do you agree?

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Thursday Threads--Sandra Harris

Are you ready for some Sci-Fi?
Complete with aliens, moon dust and sizzling sex? 

Well then, meet Sandra Harris as she discusses her novel, Alien, Mine.

Title: Alien, Mine by Sandra Harris
Genre: Science Fiction Romance
Heat Level: Sizzling


Torn from modern day Earth and stranded on the far side of the Galaxy, Sandrea Fairbairn must use every particle of courage she possesses to adjust to her new life and live for tomorrow.

Eugen Mhartak, a general in the Tri-Race Alliance Army, refuses to bow to the merciless Bluthen.
Haunted by the loss of far too many innocent lives he has vowed to drive the ruthless invaders from Alliance space.

The strength and valour of Eugen Mhartak attracts Sandrea as no man ever has, but she struggles to read the enigmatic general’s heart. Determined to help him triumph over the Bluthen she uncovers a diabolical plot against the Alliance.

Drawn by the courage and exotic beauty of Sandrea, Mhartak battles to overcome the barriers of cross-cultural differences that separate them and claim her ardent interest. He must conquer his deepest fears to be the man she needs. When his principles are betrayed by his own government and he is faced with the impossible prospect of taking Sandrea’s life in order to save his home planet, Mhartak desperately searches for a way to keep safe both his world and the magnificent woman who has stolen his heart.


“I’m sure Miss Sandrea is safe, Sir.” Sergeant Kulluk’s voice interrupted Mhartak’s sombre contemplation of his moon-speckled boots.
He shifted his back against the rock he leaned against and stretched his legs before him. Trying to get comfortable while wearing body armour was still an art he had yet to master, even after all these years. The subdued murmurs of Corporal Shrenkner and Privates Ragnon and Dovzshak drifted from the dark behind him. Their quiet discussion on the aptitude of the Magran villagers and their resolve to defend their settlement with the weapons reaped from the fallen Bluthen heartened him.
Pride in his team warmed him as no fire could. They’d routed the Bluthen despite being outnumbered five to one. Cold and weary, with nothing but combat rations to satisfy hunger, they nevertheless followed covert procedure without murmur. He hadn’t even had to issue an order to prohibit fires. They were no keener to advertise their position than he.
 “Your brother is a good man,” Kulluk continued. “He’ll ensure nothing harmful befalls our little human.”
A bristling sense of possessive anger flared through Mhartak’s gut. The only ‘our’ Sandrea belonged to was him and her, even if he was yet to convince her of that.
“He’ll protect her,” Kulluk offered.
Yes, T’Hargen’s protective instincts ran deep—too deep for his own good.
“And she’ll feel safe. He always was a charming . . . person.”
That, Sergeant, is what concerns me.




Sunday, January 5, 2014

Finding The Setting

 I'm so pleased to have as my guest today Babette James, who writes contemporary romances. She's talking today about how the setting for your book is as important as the characters, regardless of the genre in which you are writing. So, without further ado, I'm turning the floor over to Babette. 

When I wrote Clear As Day, the first book in my River series, I used a real location for the setting that I had loved visiting and that was very vivid to me, Lake Mohave.  In fact, I had written pages of setting description as an exercise featuring the summer heat and cool waters of Lake Mohave before Kay and Nate ever appeared in that first scene and the little story was born that would eventually grow into Clear As Day. The other stories I have in the works for my River series also grew out of that scenic desert setting.
Summertime Dream began with a setting, as well, but in a very different way. I’ve never been to Falk’s Bend. The town and Falk House can’t be found on any map outside of my imagination. Originally, I planned to write a short story around a Fourth of July picnic, something very sentimental and traditional, and a story that had absolutely nothing to do with Lake Mohave or my River series. I didn’t even know in which state I was building my fictional town. I simply had in mind a very green, steamy hot July 4th day at a picnic ground in a town park.
This time, there was no wandering off into pages of simple setting. The viewpoint of the heroine that would be Margie was already in the scene, frustrated and yearning for change, yet loving her small town traditions. Then my hero walked into the scene and I discovered that he was in town because he’d unexpectedly inherited a house. At that stage, my hero and I both were thinking some sort of old, but ordinary house.
Ordinary was not the word for the house my imagination concocted: a grandly decrepit old white elephant of a mansion. After the real locations I used in Clear As Day, drafting away in a fictional setting was unsettling. A confusing feeling, considering all the world building I’ve been doing for my fantasy stories, where crafting fictional places was perfectly normal. Stuck on the need for “realness” I began to research. Looking for visuals of the house led me to the lovely old Second Empire style Heck-Anderson house in Raleigh, South Carolina, which is very close to the house I first imagined.

From that point on, the details of Falk’s Bend became easier. I finally settled my little town in the state of Missouri because of its many rivers, a great location for a hero with a hobby of fishing, and because its rural areas and history felt so opposite of Christopher’s life in Los Angeles.  Also, while most Swedish emigrants settled in the upper Midwest, Missouri felt like a place where Christopher’s enterprising ancestor might choose to build a community and his fortunes. I ended up having a wonderful time writing the settings in Summertime Dream, and the house became almost as much a character in the story as my hero and heroine.
If you are a writer, how do you go about choosing a setting for your stories? If you are a reader, do you prefer settings that you could actually visit or places of the imagination?


The Fourth of July is over, but for these summer lovers the fireworks have just begun.

An unexpected inheritance brings business consultant Christopher Gordon from Los Angeles to quaint Falk’s Bend. He’s carved a week from his demanding schedule to list his great-grandparents’ house for sale and explore his roots. However, disturbing family secrets and the sweet temptation of writer Margie Olsson derail his plans, challenging him to seize the elusive dream missing from his hectic life— love.

A recent brush with death shook Margie’s life, but not her dreams and she’s ready to move forward. Only, standing up to her loving, over-protective family isn’t easy. Helping Christopher explore the derelict mansion and unravel his grandmother’s mysterious past should be a harmless fun taste of independence. But when her experimental summer fling ignites into unexpected love, how can her small town dreams work with his big city life?


Margie touched his shoulder and had him turn away from the mess to focus on the view toward the river.
Here the picturesque natural beauty of the property began: the land sloped gently down past the ancient summer house and purple martin houses to the reedy pond where a duck flew in and landed with a quack, and stretched on through weedy tangles of wild blackberry and rogue saplings to the ancient apple and plum trees sagging with unripe fruit, and beyond to the river invisible in the distance, marking where the Engberg’s farm began on the far bank.
Appreciation softened his tense face.
“Beautiful, isn’t it? I fell so in love with this place when I was little and dreamed I’d live in a house like this someday.” Margie laughed. “Of course, in my dreams it was a bit less rundown.”
“I’d imagine so. Interested in buying?”
“Oh, if only I could, I would in an instant. I’m sure the property alone is worth far more than I can afford. It’s a huge piece of land. And the repairs and restoration...” Longing swelled. She sighed. Someone else would buy and live in her dream home.
Quiet fell between them for a while. Bees buzzed in the clover. Birds sang, chirped, and flitted. A hummingbird whizzed past. Two more ducks joined the first amid quiet bickering quacks. Dandelion fluff drifted by on an unfelt breeze.
A truck rattled down the lane, breaking the moment.
“Suppose we ought to head back...” Christopher turned, so close their arms brushed, but instead of retreating, he hesitated. Their eyes locked. Where dismay and frustration had filled his green eyes, want simmered. The heavy air electrified.
You need a change.
On a surge of bewildering crazy courage, she stretched up and kissed him. The brief brush of lips to lips left her shaken and her heart pounding, like she had just come up for air.
His eyes widened in his serious, craggy face.
No, oh, no. Blowing out a unsteady breath, she pressed a hand to her stomach. She’d carried her day’s adventure one impetuous step too far. Her heroines were the daring part of her. She’d never even kissed on a first date before, and this wasn’t even a date.
Before the apology fluttering in her mind could break free, he cupped her cheek and touched his mouth down on hers.
Thinking faded as feeling soared. His gentle touch sweet and fascinating, his lips warm and firm played over hers, unhurried in his caresses and enticing brushes. He laced his fingers into her hair, cradling her head in his hand. He tenderly nipped her lip and licked at her mouth, inviting her rather than taking.
She sighed, delighting in this lovely, reckless rush. Yes. Yes. Yes. Forget that they had just met. She could want again.
Gripping his shoulder, she accepted the heady invitation, and the kiss deepened into perfect.

Come fall in love at the river:

Summertime Dream is available on Amazon:

“Summertime Dream is a perfect glass of Lemonade on a hot day. Simple, elegant and beautifully written. I enjoyed each scene. Loved the chemistry between the characters and the house. Great story!” ~ Deborah Diez

Clear As Day, (★★★★½ RT Book Reviews, ★★★★★ Top Pick The Romance Reviews) is available at:


And at all other eBook retailers

About the Author:
Babette James writes sweetly scorching contemporary romance and loves reading nail-biting tales with a satisfying happily ever after. When not dreaming up stories, she enjoys playing with new bread recipes and dabbling with paints. As a teacher, she loves encouraging new readers and writers as they discover their growing abilities. Her class cheers when it’s time for their spelling test! Born in New Jersey and raised in Southern California, she’s had a life-long love of the desert and going down the shore. Babette now lives in New Jersey with her wonderfully patient husband and extremely spoiled cats.

You can find Babette at:

Amazon Author Page:

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Thursday Threads--It's Regency Romance author Wareeze Woodson!

Conduct Unbecoming of a Gentleman by Wareeze Woodson
Genre: Regency Romance
Heat Level: Sensual

Recently widowed Lady Laurel Laningham flees Landings to escape her untenable position. Alone now and at the mercy of her sister-in-law, she decides to nestle under her aunt’s wings for a spell. To add to her burdens, her young son’s new guardian, Lord Adron Gladrey, has announced his intentions to take complete charge of his ward. The killer is stalking her and a devious jewel thief is stealing the family jewels. Can she convince her son’s guardian she is not a dangerous lunatic and is perfectly capable of raising her son or will he always consider her untrustworthy as a mother to his ward? Will his stubborn blindness send her straight into the path of the murderer, or will he relent in time to save her from following her husband into the grave?

Freedom. Freedom. Freedom. Each rotation of the hired coach’s wheels whispered the word. Laurel cradled her sleeping two-year-old son, the new Lord Laningham, as a heady sense of satisfaction curved her lips. She didn’t even mind the slight musty odor pervading the vehicle, although she leaned over and raised the window cover for a breath of fresh air. With a sigh she settled back against the seat. At least for a while, Rhonda’s constant complaints would no longer ring in her ears and for that she was devoutly thankful.
Out of nowhere, a rider flashed by the coach window and her startled gaze locked with his brief glance. Although she’d caught only a glimpse of the stranger, in that instant his intense, deep-brown eyes mocked her and unease shivered down her spine. She stared after him for a second before instinctively gathering her child closer. Laurel planted a kiss on his blonde curls, drawing reassurance from the nearness of his warm little body. As long as she had Jamie nothing else mattered. Her son must remain safe.
Everything happened at once. The coach lunged to the right and scraped against the bushes beside the road, sending a shower of droplets splashing inside the window. Her book and Jamie’s wooden horse thumped to the floor. The racket of brakes screeching shrilled in her ears as the vehicle rattled and lurched out of control.
“Jamie,” she cried.
The horses’ screams echoed through her head and the sudden jerk of the coach as the team broke away from the trace chains added to her fear. When the doomed coach started to roll onto its side, she braced her feet against the opposite bench and clutched her son tightly against her chest. Tumbling against the seat, she scraped her elbows and banged her head. The sensation of falling forever tensed every muscle in her body before the force of the impact threatened to tear Jamie from her arms. She landed between the banquettes against the door, her howling child clutched in her arms. The carriage lantern, suspended from a hook on the wall, swayed overhead scraping metal against metal and briefly caught her attention.
Laurel struggled to a sitting position, gulped a deep breath and wiped dirt from Jamie’s face. With her heart in her throat, she examined a tiny trickle of blood at his hairline. Thankful his injury appeared minor she clutched him to her bosom and kissed his cheek, comforting his cries as her pulse slowed to normal.
The accident left her shaken. Frightened, she felt more alone than ever. If only Robert were still alive. She stifled that thought immediately—nothing could be accomplished by wishing for the impossible.
Laurel drew a shaky breath and tilted her head back in order to peer at the window above. Panic overwhelmed her and her breath came in short gasps. The banquettes seemed to close in on her. She fought to escape her trapped position in the overturned coach. Holding Jamie with one arm, she grasped the seat with her other hand and struggled to her feet. Her head whirled for a second before settling back into a deep pounding pain, while her knee and elbow throbbed in rhythm.
Ignoring her discomfort, she glanced around. As she studied the problem, she heard the murmur of voices and listened intently. With a sigh of relief, she recognized the driver’s voice however the other deep tone was unfamiliar.
“Help me,” She cried, “I’m in here.”
Only silence echoed back and the sound of voices moved off. For a second, panic clenched her stomach and her head pounded even harder.
“Stay calm,” she whispered, and the words spoken aloud steadied her. She listened for several long minutes before someone climbed atop the overturned coach. The door was yanked open with considerable force and she breathed a sigh of relief. Gray clouds added gloom to the inside of the carriage and a dark figure blocked out what little light was available. She couldn’t see his face clearly, but his broad shoulders and the arrogant slant of his head were a shadowy outline against the stormy sky.
His voice floated down to her. “Are you or the child injured?”
“I think several scrapes and bruises at most.” Laurel trembled and brushed her bonnet out of her face. She heard his quick intake of breath.
“You’re positive? You must have taken quite a tumble when the coach overturned. Possibly you’re more injured than you know.”
“Only a little shaken.” She took a deep, calming breath then continued with more force. “I’m certain we’re both fine.”
He hesitated and exhaled deeply. “A damsel in distress then. Do you perhaps have a name?”
Authority rang in his voice. She clutched Jamie a little tighter and offered him a tremulous smile. “Laurel Jane Laningham. Thank you for coming to our rescue.” She shaded her eyes with one hand, waiting for him to return the introduction.
“Let’s get you out of there. Hand me the boy first.”
He reached down into the overturned coach and Laurel lifted Jamie above her head into the waiting arms of the stranger. Her rescuer leapt to the ground with her son. A chill of foreboding curled around her. He’d said the boy. An unknown man shouldn’t know the child was a male. With every one of her senses alert, she listened intently for the stranger to return. Saddle leather squeaked and the thunder of hooves struck the ground in retreat.
Laurel screamed, “Bring my son back. I’ll see you hanged for this, you blackguard. Come back here. Help. Driver, help me.”