Saturday, October 22, 2016

A Bit of Shameless Self Promotion

The other day the official word came down and we're thrilled to share it with you:
     For Keeps, our contribution to the 2016 Candy Hearts series, Vintage Rose line at the Wild Rose Press, took 4th place in the IDA [International Digital Awards] Contest, sponsored by the Oklahoma Romance Writers.  
     This story of my heart features victim advocate Meghan Muldoon and police investigator Keenan Rossi, and is based, in part, on an actual event. 
     All thanks for this honor go to my editor, Nicole D'Arienzo and Kay Frances Mott, critique partner and beta reader extraordinaire. And of course Sgt. Joe Murphy, Rochester Police Department, Ret. 
     You are the best!! 

Veronica Lynch

Thursday, October 20, 2016

A Time Traveling Ghost, who knew?

. . . When Lizzie Adams returns as a ghost to a life she led in the 1800s, she is surprised to find herself on a ranch in Wyoming, but delighted to learn she was married to a handsome and loving man. The reasons for her return become clear when she discovers how she died, yet the unresolved issues surrounding her death leave her unable to either live in the 1800s or return to her present life.
. . . Colby Gates misses the wife he loved, yet a ghost is a poor substitute. Re-married to a woman he doesn’t care for, and with outlaws searching for buried gold on his ranch, the spirit of his wife is a further complication.
. . . But perhaps if the questions surrounding Lizzie’s death can be answered, the two can be together.
. . . For all time.
Wild Women Authors finishes up a glorious run with the fabulous authors and really fun characters from the series, The Good, The Bad and The Ghostly. Our friend, author Andrea Downing, has brought Lizzie Adams, who as you just read, happens to be a ghost, from LONG A GHOST, AND FAR AWAY
First up is Lizzie. First can I say how much I appreciate you having me here today. It’s great to chat! And get a day off work…
We do what we can. Where are you from? St. Louis, Gateway to the West.
Tell us a bit about Long a Ghost, and Far Away. So you see, I live in this life, in 2016, but somehow or other I’ve time travelled back to the 1800s to deal with a very unpleasant situation. Only thing is, turns out I’m a ghost. You can’t believe what it’s like to discover you’re a ghost. Also, to find out what life is like without cell phones! I mean, imagine that!
We tell our grandchildren that all the time. They are not amused. So, tell us what you thought the first time you saw Colby Gates. I thought, wow, that’s some hunk of man. I mean, you gotta see him. And in chaps and a Stetson with the ring of spurs—I dare you not to lose your heart.
A man in tight pants. Works for us, whether it's denim, leather on a cowboy or a MLB power hitter. What was your second thought? Well, I couldn’t believe it when it turned out I’d been married to the guy in my former life. I mean, like, who me?!
Did you feel it was love at first sight? Well, I have no idea when I first saw him. But when I returned to the 1800s it certainly was like—POW! Cupid’s arrow got me right through the heart.
Aw geez. What do you like most about Colby? He’s just really nice. Very kind and considerate. But manly, strong, a do-er. A protector.
You are killing us, Liz. Kill-Ing-Us. How would you describe him? You mean looks? Shaggy brown hair, aquiline nose, lips you love to kiss—or at least I do—pale blue eyes like looking into calm water.
How would Colby describe you? No idea. Oh, wait, yes I do. He called me playful. Is that what you mean? Or do you mean my looks?
What made you choose working in an antique shop for a career? I guess I sort of fell into it. I just always was interested in history and old things. Now I guess I know why.
What is your biggest fear? Not being able to see Colby in my 2016 life.
Hmm. Sticky one for sure. How do you relax? Eating chocolate cake. And having a glass of wine.
Who is your favorite fictional character and why? Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz. She had a harder time than I did at getting home.
What is the best piece of advice you ever received? I don’t take advice; I follow my heart.
If that doesn't prove that our decision to purchase this anthology was spot on, meeting you has done it for us. Thanks so much, Lizzie. This has been great. Now it's Andrea's turn.
What movies or books have had an impact on your career as a writer? All the old westerns that were on TV when I was growing up: Maverick, The High Chaparral, Bonanza, Gunsmoke, certainly The Virginian--you name it, I watched it. They made the West an alternate world to that of NY suburbia. It fascinated me.
What event in your private life were you able to bring to this story and how do you feel it impacted the novel? I visited the town of Buffalo, WY, on a road trip last summer and it seemed like the ideal place to set the story since I so often use Jackson where I have a home. It made a change. The Occidental Hotel in Buffalo has a few ghosts hanging about so it just all came together for me, and the Hole-ion-the-Wall where the outlaws hung out is nearby, so that was an added bonus.
Tell us a bit about your publisher: how did you hear about them and what influenced your decision to submit to them? Our anthology is self-pubbed. I worked on an earlier anthology, Come Love a Cowboy, with Keta Diablo and she asked me to join this one as well. When she told me what she was looking for in the stories, an idea just popped into my head even though I don’t normally write paranormal.
What project[s] are you working on now? My daughter’s wedding! And I’ve started another book.
What's up next for you? I’ve got several ideas floating around but I can only manage one thing at a time. Thanks so much for having Lizzie and me here today. It’s much appreciated.
We loved having you. Good luck with the wedding. Been there, done that, twice. You will get through it. Promise.

Andrea brought along an excerpt for us. We decided to keep the entire thing in because it has such a clever ending hook:

Oh! I do beg your pardon. What year are we pretending this to be now?”
Colby raised a brow in what looked like slight irritation. “It’s 1897.”
Ah! Of course! 1897. That would explain a whole raft of things. No cell phones. In fact, no phones—”
Well, there are phones, but not here.”
I see.” Lizzie shook her head as if she would go along with this whole pretense. “And so I can’t phone a friend to collect me in their car because, of course, there are no cars.”
Well.” Colby hesitated. “I’m afraid I have no idea what a ‘car’ is other than the car of a railroad train but, yes, there aren’t any. Or do you mean automobiles? We have them—”
But not here,” Lizzie finished for him. Unable to help herself, she burst out laughing. Jason had really done a good job, and this Colby fellow was a really good actor. He stayed in his part throughout, gave nothing away. “Okay, listen….” She tried to take in a breath but the corset was really biting into her now. “Is there someplace we can go, is there someplace I can go and get the hell out of this corset or whatever the heck you call it, and then perhaps you can give me a cup of tea or something, and we can sort this out?”
Elizabeth, there is something you should know.” His voice was strained, hesitant.
There’s a lot I should know, Colby Gates, but what specific item have you got in mind?”
I’m married. I re-married.”
Lizzie covered her eyes with her hands and sighed with the weight of the universe on her shoulders. “Okay, listen. Really. I don’t want to intrude on you and your wife, I don’t want to be part of this ridiculous farce any more, and I sure as hell don’t want anything more to do with Jason Beeme. Just let me go home, all right? Let me go home? Please? Pretty please?”
Colby blew out a breath and shook his head. “Elizabeth. Lizzie. I have no idea who Jason Beeme is, and this ‘farce’ as you call it, it puzzles me as well. I don’t know how you are here; I only know what I’ve told you. We were married, happily married—very happily married and then….”
And then? What?”
I died. I’m dead. I see.” Hysteria was now setting in, and Lizzie couldn’t help the small giggle that escaped. “I’m dead, but I’m here, is that it?”
Soooo, like, if I’m dead, but I’m here, I’m a ghost?” This made her laugh out loud.
Colby didn’t answer. It was as if he hadn’t thought that at all, just been confused as much as she by the situation. He seemed to mull this over now.
Am I now a ghost as far as you are concerned?”
His “yes” came out almost as a breath.
Hmm. Well, I’m not a ghost, you’re not a cowboy, and this, for sure, isn’t 1887.”
Ninety-seven,” he corrected her.
She looked him in the eye, nose to nose. “I don’t give a good flying…you-know-what, what year you think it is. I want to go home, and I want to go home now, so just let’s stop playing around with this shit and—”
You never used to use such language.”
Mister! Colby! Please stop! The year is 2016 and I can say whatever the hell I please. Women are liberated. We’re free.”
But…it isn’t lady-like.”
Well, excuse me! ‘Lady-like’! Okay, I’ve had enough now. Take me home, please.” She rubbed her face with exasperation; this whole sham was un-be-lieve-able.
Elizabeth…Lizzie…you are home, you know that. Only now…now—”
You’re married.”
Well, good for you. I’m glad. I hope you’ll both be very happy. So, just take me to my apartment on Washington Avenue in St. Louis.”
She thought he was gagging as he rubbed his forehead.
Lizzie: you’re in Wyoming. We’re on a ranch near Buffalo, Wyoming. You’re miles from St. Louis.”
Lizzie could feel her eyes grow big; she thought they might pop out of her head. “Wyoming? Boy, Jason really did a job on me. Brother, how long was I out?”
Colby shook his head. “I have no idea what you’re talking about. As I said, I don’t know a Jason, I can only tell you it’s 1897, you’re in Wyoming, you’re my wife—or were my wife—before you…you…died.”
Lizzie felt the breath was being pressed out of her, and if she didn’t get out of this barn, and out of the corset soon, she would, indeed, die for real. “Okay,” she said giving in, “I’m dead. But this corset is killing me, so can we go some place and let me take it off. Maybe your wife could help?”
Sylvia is visiting her aunt over in Kelly. She won’t be back for a few days.”
How convenient!” Ha! One less actor to deal with.
I’ll take you in the house and we can sort things out there.” He offered her his hand, which she took, looking up into his pale eyes, and let him lead her out of the barn into chill air. The sun was laying its colors on the horizon and she figured it must be late afternoon, wherever she was.
So, I’m dead,” she said conversationally.
Well, you were. You seem very much alive at the moment, I have to say, but that’s quite impossible.” He stopped.
Lizzie glanced over at what was no doubt the house, a log structure of good proportion, with a lantern lit and glowing through a window. The last rays of the sun elongated their shadows, and for a moment, she tried to breathe in the cool air deeply.
Impossible,” she whispered. “To be here like this.” She turned to him, the attraction so great suddenly she wished this wasn’t all some huge act laid on to fool her. “So, I’m dead,” she repeated once more.
Yes. I think so.” There was a depth of sadness in his voice she couldn’t fathom.
And how did I die, may I ask?”
Colby Gates stood stock still beside her and let her hand go. He turned to her in the fading light, and Lizzie could see him swallow hard as he removed his Stetson and brushed an invisible speck from its brim before replacing it on his head. Then he looked her in the eye.
I shot you.”

Well, gee. If that one doesn't draw a HAH! reponse, nothing will. Here's where you can go to learn more about Andrea Downing and the stories she creates:
Twitter: @andidowning

Long a Ghost, and Far Away is part of the The Good, The Bad, and The Ghostly anthology available at

Monday, October 17, 2016

A Ghost in the Bedroom? Ugh

. . . Life is looking rosy for Abbott Foster when he brings his new bride to his ranch in Arizona. But when he is unable to consummate his marriage due to a malevolent spirit in the bedroom, he is forced to call in Psychic Specters Investigations.
. . .Agent Healy Harrison doesn’t want to accept this case. She has her own demons and likes her quiet life, lived in the anonymity of St. Louis. But Tucson is where she finds herself—with instructions to “Have an adventure! Have a romance!” Things get interesting when she meets handsome Pinkerton detective, Aaron Turrell. Is this the romance she’s meant to have, or when their two cases intersect, will it drive him away?

     For the next few days, Wild Women Authors is pleased to welcome back an old friend: Patti Sherry-Crews. This time she’s part of the creative team responsible for The Good, The Bad and The Ghostly with The Ghost and the Bridegroom and has brought along detective, Healy Harrison. As usual, we'll begin with Healy.
Where are you from? The Show Me State, Missouri, which is ironic because you don’t have to show me anything. I see dead people so you don’t have to convince me ghosts exist.
Tell us a bit about The Ghost and the Bridegroom.  I work for the PSI agency in St. Louis, which handles unwanted paranormal occurrences. Much against my will I’m sent to Tucson, AZ (literally. I’m drugged and kidnapped). The case waiting for me is a rancher who is so haunted in the bedroom, he is unable to consummate his marriage with his new mail-order bride.
What did you think the first time you saw Pinkerton Detective, Aaron Turrell? I thought he was a ghost!
A ghostly detective Hmm. And your second thought? A most attractive man. Sexy you would say.
Okay, now we're in business. Did you feel it was love at first sight? In retrospect, yes. But at the time, I attributed my strange feelings to something else. When I’m in the presence of a ghost my heart hums. Same thing happened with Aaron, only stronger.
Cool. What do you like most about this heart humming man? He’s so manly! And I don’t see dead people when I’m with him.
Which must be a relief at times. How would you describe him? Take charge, brave, a bit rough, and solid--I add the last because he’s not a ghost.
Very nice, but how would Aaron describe you? Exasperating but irresistible.
What made you choose detective work as a career? The career chose me. I’ve always been able to see and talk to ghosts. It was either shut myself away or make my gift work for me.
What is your biggest fear? Going to parties. I’m not comfortable in social situations.
How do you relax? Oh, I never relax! I’m an anxious person. But that was the old me. Aaron has opened up a new life to me and makes me feel grounded. I love riding out into the country and sleeping under the stars--with Aaron, of course. The west is so beautiful. I used to read a lot to escape life. Aaron read a book once. Now we’re too busy living life to read.
Who is your favorite fictional character and why? Nancy Drew. I understand the challenges a young lady detective faces.
What is the best piece of advice you ever received? Go have an adventure. Go have a romance!” That was on the note left for me when the drugs wore off.
This has been great fun, Healy, thanks for coming. Now it's Patti's turn.
What movies or books have had an impact on your career as a writer? Too many books to name. But since he came up in conversation lately, I’m going with Ray Bradbury. He was an early hook in my life as an avid reader. I remember feeling like I was right inside the stories in October Country. He gives great writing advice, too.
What event in your private life were you able to bring to this story and how do you feel it impacted the novel? Something very close to me. I named my agent after my daughter Healy Harrison Crews. When she was born I thought I was being very clever to give her a first and middle name that were surnames from her maternal line. I didn’t foresee she’d have to spend the rest of her life correcting people who call her Kelly, Hailey, Kayleigh, etc. Agent Harrison has the same problem.
Tell us a bit about your publisher: how did you hear about them and what influenced your decision to submit to them? Prairie Rose Publications. When I wrote my first historic western romance I had a chance Twitter encounter with a western writer and blogger. She suggested PRP because they’re good to writers and very creative at marketing. The three women who run it are incredible and so supportive. They not only created a publishing house but a community.
What project[s] are you working on now? Finishing up The Lake House which is contemporary romance. This story is based on an experience a friend had when she and her husband were stranded in a remote location with another couple whose marriage exploded while they were all on vacation together. Only in my story the second couple are strangers to one another--that’s where the romance comes in. I’m also working on my first medieval romance for PRP.
What's up next for you? Once I finish The Lake House I want to spend time trying to sell it in the traditional publishing route. Then I have a few older works in progress I want to get back to.

Patti brought us an excerpt from The Ghost and the Bridegroom:
     The air burned as hot as a fever out here on the porch. The windmill in the yard creaked and creaked. Tumbleweed rolled past, carried on the same breeze turning the windmill. The porch smelled like hot, old wood.
     Healy pinched the bridge of her nose, dislodging her glasses. Over the layer of perspiration covering her face, a fine coating of gritty dust stuck to her skin. She’d gone so parched; she had to work her lips off her teeth—where they were stuck—to utter a word.
     “Yes, we’ve already established that fact, and as I’ve already had this conversation with the ranch hand you sent to fetch me, I’m finding this conversation about my gender rather tedious.”
     He studied her with his gray eyes. “You’re a woman.”
     “Oh, my…now that we’ve ascertained I’m not a man are we going to have to now go through this whole process again, establishing I’m a woman. I suggest we move on from this topic and talk about your problem, Mr. Foster.”
     He ran a hand through his sandy brown hair. “I can’t talk to you about this. I thought you’d be a man. This is a delicate matter.”
     “Mr. Foster, I assure you I’ve seen everything. There isn’t anything you can tell me I haven’t heard before. What is happening to you has happened to many before you.”
     “That’s just it. I’ve heard about it happening to other men, but it’s never happened to me before.”
     “Ah, I see. Well, this too is a common reaction. Many don’t believe in ghosts until they experience the phenomenon themselves. You’re not alone.”
     He looked down. “I’m not talking about ghosts.”
     “What are you talking about?”
     “I can’t talk to a young lady about this.”
     “You can! Nothing you say will shock me.”
     “Are you a…spinster?”
     Healy huffed. “I don’t see how my marital status is relevant, but yes, I am not a married woman.”
     “So you don’t have experience….”
     “Please, I have traveled a long way under the most trying circumstances to help you. You’ve already paid the agency, and here I am!  Let’s just start at the place where you encountered the haunting?”
     Abbott sighed. “In the bedroom.”
     “You’re lucky in that sense. Some ghosts follow people around and make all kinds of mischief.”
     “Naw, you ain’t catching my meaning.”
     “Enlighten me.”
     “Aw, all right.” He took a long pause, studying his boots before he looked up again. “I’m a newlywed….”
     “Yes, but here’s the crux of the matter. The ghost will not allow me to…consummate my marriage.”
     Healy felt her face burn red. “Oh, I see. Well, that is a new one on me. Never heard of that one before. How is it that the ghost has power to stop…the act?” “Ever since I brought Erline—that’s my bride—home, things don’t work right.”
     She put a hand on his arm. “Are you sure you’re consulting the right expert? Have you talked to your doctor?”
     His face went beet red with frustration. “It’s having a ghost in my bedroom gumming up the works.”
     “You have to be more specific. I need details.”
     He shuffled his feet in the dust on the boards of the porch. “I think about Erline all day. She’s so pretty. I can’t wait to go to bed. I get in next to her all cocked and ready to fire—and she’s eager too--I can tell, but then when I put….”
     Healy put up her hand. “I don’t mean those kinds of details. Tell me about the ghost.”

Wow. This one, like all the stories in TGTBTG looks like a winner
To learn more about Patti Sherry-Crews and the stories she creates, go to:

To purchase The Good, The Bad and The Ghostly, go to:

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Along Comes Outlaw Coy Santos

          When a tragic accident claims her husband's life, Jesse Santos must find a way to keep the ranch, the only home her 12-year-old son has ever known. The ranch hands have abandoned her, a gang of cutthroat ranchers want her land and an ancient Yaqui Indian insists a spirit has taken up residence in the house.
          After a fifteen year absence, her husband's brother, Coy, returns to his childhood home. He doesn't plan on staying, and he certainly doesn't intend to settle down with a widow and her son…no matter how pretty she is.
          He's an outlaw, after all, and made a decision to put an end to his gun-slinging days long ago. Will his conscience let him walk away from family, or will his heart overrule his head?
For the next few days, Keta Diablo and Jezebel “Jesse” Santos from Comes An Outlaw are visiting Wild Women Authors and we couldn't be more pleased. First up is Jesse.
Where are you from? Arizona, near the Vulture Mountains.
What did you think the first time you saw Coy Santos?. That's right, we have the same last name even though we've never met before. You see, Coy is my late husband's brother. After a 15 year absence, he came to the ranch to see his parents and his brother. Of course, he didn't know Cain had married while he was gone. And, he didn't know his parents died several years ago, and his brother, Cain, 6 months ago.
What did I think the first time I saw him? I thought he was a gun-for-hire, or possibly a bounty hunter, someone who lived by the gun and would no doubt die by the gun. On a physical level, the man was breathtaking and I felt an immediate draw to him.
What was your second thought? A part of me wanted him to keep right on riding to Utah where he planned to settle down on his own little piece of land. The other part, wanted him to stay for a time. Perhaps his presence, not to mention his shiny pistol, might deter the cutthroat neighbors who wanted my ranch.
Did you feel it was love at first sight? Love….no. Attraction, intrigue, curiosity? Definitely yes.
What do you like most about Coy? That he was full of surprises; not the man I thought rode in one day, but a thoughtful, caring man--garnished with a slice of self-assuredness and courage.
This gets better and better. How would you describe him? Tall, lean, midnight hair, gray eyes and chiseled features.
Oh yeah. How would Coy describe you? You know, for the longest time, I didn't know what he thought about me. He keeps his emotions and feelings quite guarded. But then, one day he told me he liked everything about me, and that's why it would so hard for him to leave.
What made you choose writing as a career? I've always loved reading, grew up with a book in my hand. I suppose my love for the written word led me toward writing. I started out writing a few family-type stories, histories on my ancestors, and from there it blossomed into fiction.
What is your biggest fear? I'm going to assume you mean in life but maybe you mean about writing? Let's take life: I loathe bears, not too fond of heights and worry continuously about the health and safety of my kids. Er…who doesn't these days? Back to the bears…I think in another life, I was attacked by a grizzly. And that's quite a gruesome thing to think about.
How do you relax? Gardening, volunteering at my local animal shelter (no bears there) and reading.
Who is your favorite fictional character and why? Scarlet O'Hara. What a deep, conflicted woman. Second choice: Scout Finch from To Kill A Mockingbird. It's a toss-up who made that book a big hit, Atticus or Scout, but I'm placing my money on Scout. She was tenacious, transparent, and in so many ways a typically innocent young girl with the heart of a lion. I just love her.
What is the best piece of advice you ever received? Make sure the person looking back at you in the mirror likes what they see. (Who else but a mother would say that?)
Thanks for this insight, Jesse. Now it's Keta's turn at bat.
What movies or books have had an impact on your career as a writer and why? See above. Gone With the Wind, To Kill A Mockingbird and I really enjoyed The Windflower.
What event in your private life were you able to bring to this story and how do you feel it impacted the novel? I probably couldn't pinpoint an exact element, but, I think every story we write holds a little piece of us. Whether that's in style of writing, character depiction or plot, a little bit of us is interspersed somewhere. I don't think it's possible for writers to not pass on their personal experience, events in their life through their writing.
What project[s] are you working on now? Finishing the third book in my Sky Series. Sky Tinted Water, Book 1, Sky Dance, Book 2 and now look for Sky Dreams coming to a Kindle near you soon!
Keta brought along an excerpt for us:
          The town of Red Butte sat five miles behind him, which meant his destination should appear around the next bend. He wondered how much had changed since he'd left fifteen years ago. Hell, he wondered if anyone would even recognize him. Guess he'd soon find out.
          The one-story house came into view. Painted buttercup yellow and trimmed in white, with a wrap-around veranda the same color as the trim, it looked the same. At least that hadn't changed. The red barn still stood and to the right of the house, the riotous garden remained. Childhood memories flooded Coy. He could almost smell his mother's Blue Bells and Forget Me Nots, taste her home-grown beans, squash and the mouth-watering ears of corn, fresh off the stalk.
          A dog barked from somewhere near the steps of the porch. As he drew closer he spotted the long-haired cur, part Australian Shepherd and a breed he couldn't identify. The dog trotted up the steps when he brought his horse to a halt, settled in beside a young boy, and then flashed an ominous row of white teeth his way.
          His gaze left the dog and wandered to the boy with a baby screech owl perched on his left shoulder. A brown slouch hat sat atop his head, the chin strap resting on his chest. His hair was long and jet black, his eyes gun-metal gray. A rope-belt held up his baggy wool trousers and the white cotton shirt set off his youthful, tanned face. A face that held a wary expression yet exuded a cocky air.
          "State your business," a female voice called out.
          Too busy taking in his surroundings, the dog and the boy, his tired brain overlooked the woman on the porch. Now that he'd taken a good look, he couldn't imagine how any man with blood running through his veins could fail to notice her. Tall and lean, weathered leather trousers clung to her long legs like second skin. A red flannel shirt hung long and loose on her body but failed to hide her womanly curves. Her hair was thick and straight, falling past her shoulders in a tangle of burnished copper. Watchful and intense, her large, round eyes glistened like liquid pools of blue ice.
          When he brought a knee up to dismount, she cocked the rifle. "You don't hear so good. I asked you to state your business."
          "My business? I was about to ask what you're doing here and follow it up with just who the hell are you?"
          "Don't bother dismounting, and don't even think about going for that sidearm at your hip. Though the buzzards might like it; they haven't had their breakfast yet this morning."
          "Right friendly, aren't ya?"
          "To my friends, yes."
          "Where's the folks that used to live here?"
          She jerked her chin toward a cluster of cottonwoods in the distance. He remembered the trees and the black wrought-iron fence surrounding them, the family graveyard. His heart wrenched for a brief moment. He hadn't considered the possibility his parents might be dead.
          "Where's Cain? He off again on one of his infamous ghost hunts or is he hiding inside with his nose buried in a textbook?"
          Something crossed her eyes for a second…surprise, sorrow? Maybe both. "You know Cain?"
          "I should, he's my brother."
          Definitely shock this time. "Your…your brother?"
          "Now who can't hear so good?"
          "I heard you. He, well, he didn't talk much about a brother."
          "No, don't imagine he did." He put his hands out at his sides. "Look, it's mighty hot out here under the sun, and my horse needs water." Sweating under the sweltering heat, his temper flared. "For the record, never point a rifle at a man unless you intend to use it."
          "I still might."
          He shook his head and blew a puff of air.
          "All right, climb on down but keep your hands where I can see 'em." She eased up on the rifle and turned to the boy. "Grange, grab a bucket of water for his horse."
          The kid scrambled down the steps and headed for the well nearby, the mutt close on his heels and growling as he passed. "Easy, Fetch," the boy said.
          "Fetch? How original."
          "At least he's got a name," the boy muttered under his breath and kept on walking.
          Coy turned back to the woman. "The kid's right. Forgive my manners. Name is Coy…Coy Santos, Cain's younger brother. If he's not here right now, I'm sure he'll vouch for me when he gets back."
          She leaned the rifle against the railing and met his eyes. "I'm Jesse, and that boy watering your horse is my son, Grange."
          He looked toward the cemetery again. "So Ma and Pa are gone, huh? Didn't realize I'd been gone so long."
          "I'm sorry." She tucked a loose strand of hair behind her ear. "Your pa died seven years back, your ma…." She looked off for a minute as if recalling the event. "Must be five years ago now."
          "Well, I guess time slips away without us realizing it." He caught those shimmering blue eyes again. "You didn't tell me your last name."
          "Santos," she said and paused to wait for his reaction. When he didn't offer one, she added, "Cain's wife."
          The merciless sun must have scrambled his brain. She looked too young to be his brother's wife; she couldn't be more than thirty years old. And Cain, well, he was almost twenty years older than him. Above that, she had to be the most handsome woman he'd ever laid eyes on. There had to be more to this story, and he intended to find out how she ended up married to his bookish brother. "Your name is Santos?"
          She nodded. "Yes, Santos, apparently the same as yours."
          "The boy is Cain's son?"
          Another nod as she glanced toward the boy.
          "Guess I missed out on a whole lot of news from home."
          "There's more." She turned on her heels and walked toward the door leading to the house. "Can't very well turn family out. Come inside, breakfast is warming on the stove. I'll let you know what else you missed."

If you're as intrigued by this excerpt as we are, you can find Keta here:
Author home:

To purchase The Good, The Bad and The Ghostly, go to:

Monday, October 10, 2016

Meet Ruby; She Specializes in the Dead

. . . .With everyone she loves in the grave, Ruby specializes in the dead.
. . . .Trip wants to bring her back to the land of the living.
. . . .When Ruby Silver traded in her demon-hunting rifle for a Tremayne Agency badge, she didn't want another partner—losing the last one was too traumatic. But when a new case in the Texas Hill Country pairs her up with the slow-talking, fast-drawing Trip Austin, it will take all their combined skills to combat a plague of poltergeists in this German-settled town.

Today Wild Women Authors welcomes Margo Bond Collins and Ruby Silver, from Wild Wild Ghost, Margo's contribution to The Good, The Bad and The Ghostly. First up is Ruby.
Where are you from? I don't talk about my past much. I've been out West for the most important events of my life, and I don't intend to ever live anywhere else. Let's leave it at that.
Okay. Everyone's entitled to keep their past right there--in the past. Tell us a bit about Wild Wild Ghost. With everyone I love in the grave, I specialize in the dead. I was once a demon hunter, but now I work as an investigator for the Tremayne Psychic Specter Investigations Agency. The last thing I want is another partner, but when I get called to the German town of Rittersburg in the Texas Hill Country to investigate the activities of a poltergeist, the Agency sends Trip Austin, too, and we have to team up to rid the town of its ghostly problem. But Trip presents me with a problem of a completely different kind.
Sounds like we've got a story there. What did you think the first time you saw Trip? I was furious. I did not want another partner. When I took the job with the Tremayne PSI Agency, I told them I worked alone.
Works for us. What was your second thought? "I work alone." It was my third and fourth thought, too. I didn't get around to considering anything else for a while.
Did you feel it was love at first sight? No. It took almost 24 hours.
Is that all? Must be something, this Trip. What's so special about him? He seems to understand that I'm going to need time to get comfortable working with someone new—much less falling in love again.
How would you describe him? Perceptive and kind. Strong. The kind of man you'd want to have your back in a gunfight.
All right. How would he describe you? Haunted. Beautiful. And a talented medium.
What made you choose ghost hunting as a career? I was running away from my last job as a demon hunter.
What is your biggest fear? That my last partner's death was my fault.
Ooh. So how do you relax? I sketch.
Who is your favorite fictional character and why? I rather like all of Jane Austen's characters, but particularly Elizabeth Bennet from Pride and Prejudice. Her life seems so very unrealistic, but charming.
What is the best piece of advice you ever received? Load your gun with silver in case you need it—but walk away from any fight you know you can't win.
Excellent. Now it's Margo's turn. Thanks, Ruby. Good luck.
Margo, what event in your private life were you able to bring to this story and how do you feel it impacted the novel? Right before I began writing this novella, two people I loved very much passed away within days of one another. My own grief seems inextricably intertwined with Ruby's, and writing about her coming to terms with her partner's death was very much influenced by the things I was experiencing in my life. Though Ruby's circumstances were of course fictional, some of the emotional turmoil she feels is definitely a reflection of mine.
What project[s] are you working on now? Sequels! I'm working on sequels to Under Her Skin, Legally Undead, and Waking Up Dead. And I can't seem to help myself—I have an idea for a sequel to Ruby and Trip's story, too.
What's up next for you? I have several novellas coming out in the next few months, and in September, I'm releasing Siren's Curse (you can get a free copy of Siren's Kiss, the prequel, here:

The Good, the Bad, and the Ghostly is available here:

Margo brought along an excerpt for us to enjoy:
Realizing that all the broken glass flying past him had been swept up into the whirlwind of glass around the woman, he dropped Demonio's reins. "Stay here," he instructed. The stallion rolled its eyes at him, but nickered. Trip didn't bother to tether the animal; his horse wasn't going anywhere without him.
If exploding glass didn't startle him, nothing would.
For that matter, neither did various ilk of ghosts and beasts. Bandit was steady, even if he had a tendency to bite strangers.
Was this woman really supposed to be his new partner?
When he'd gotten the telegram from the Tremayne headquarters back in St. Louis, he had laughed aloud. Trip knew there were lady agents—he'd even worked with one a time or two—but they had all been stationed back east. No lone woman in her right mind would want to come out here to work.
Not when there were plenty of ghosts to be exorcised in civilized places.
Safer places.
I guess maybe this one's not in her right mind, then.
Might not be a bad idea to remember that.
He watched the glass-cyclone sweep up the dust around her, the cloud of dirt thickening until he couldn't see the woman at all, and reconsidered.
If she can cause something like that to happen, maybe she's plenty safe out here, after all.
As Trip made his way toward her, the glass-and-dirt devil rose into the air. He stopped to watch it ascend. Then, with a noise like a crack of thunder, it was gone. Trip had the vague impression that it had sped away toward the wilds rather than merely disappearing into nothingness, but he couldn't have pointed to any particular evidence that made him think that.
Smoothing her hands down the sides of the painted horse's face, the woman murmured something soothing in a tone that made Trip realize he had been hearing her voice all along, a soft alto hum rising and falling under the whipping and tinkling sound of the glass tornado, somehow more noticeable now in its absence than it had been during the strange events on the street.
The horse huffed out a breath, and the woman laughed. The sound of it sent an odd shiver up Trip's back—not of anxiety, but of interest.
Don't be stupid, man. You haven't even seen her face yet.
And he couldn't tell anything about her body under that horror of a dress.
Reaching up, she untied the bonnet from under her chin and removed it to shake off the dirt. A silken fall of blond hair cascaded out of it and down her back, and Trip stopped to stare, frozen by the glint of midday Texas sun off its golden sheen.
By the time he moved again, she had begun brushing off her skirt in sharp, efficient motions.
"Ruby Silver?" he asked when he was close enough to speak without shouting.
As she spun around, it occurred to him belatedly that it might not be a good idea to sneak up on a woman who could turn flying glass into a tornado and make it disappear.

Here's a bit about today's guest:

Margo Bond Collins is addicted to coffee and SF/F television, especially Supernatural. She writes paranormal and contemporary romance, urban fantasy, and paranormal mystery. She lives in Texas with her daughter and several spoiled pets. Although she teaches college-level English courses online, writing fiction is her first love. She enjoys reading urban fantasy and paranormal fiction of any genre and spends most of her free time daydreaming about heroes, vampires, ghosts, werewolves, and the women who love (and sometimes fight) them.

You can learn more about her at and follow her on all the usual social media outlets (listed below).

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Twitter: @MargoBondCollin
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Thursday, October 6, 2016

Meet Hattie, the Dancing Ghost Whisperer

          There are ghost stories. And there are ghost legends.
         From orphan to saloon girl to ghost whisperer, Hattie Hart has been and seen a lot of things in her time. Her new job as a detective with the Tremayne Psychic Specters Investigations Agency takes her out to the remote town of Carolina City, Nevada, on a vague assignment to investigate the disappearance of a US Marshal.
         Except, when she arrives, she meets the devilishly handsome Grant Madsen, a US Marshal who is alive and well. Certainly not missing, but certainly the man of her dreams. So why did her boss send her out to this small boom town when there’s nothing for her to investigate?
          She soon discovers that in Carolina City, there are strange happenings from the afterlife that threaten to kill her or worse. She’ll have to race against time to save her life, the town, and the US Marshal she was sent to find—and maybe, if she's lucky, her heart.

For the next few days, we'll have the ghost whispering Hattie visiting Wild Women Authors, along with Erin Hayes, the creator of How the Ghost Was Won. First up is Hattie.
Where are you from? St. Louis, Missouri
Tell us a bit about How the Ghost Was Won. It is the story of my adventure out to Carolina City, Nevada. I was a pretty new investigator for the Tremayne PSI Agency, so I wanted to make sure to impress Nat. Only, I got just half a telegram with my instructions. And I couldn’t understand why I was looking for a missing US marshal when I met one. It’s all strange—but that story will tell you what happened.
What did you think the first time you saw Grant Madsen? That he was handsome, of course!
Of course. And your next thought? That he was a US Marshal—and that I was looking for one! So why would my boss send me out to find someone who clearly wasn’t lost?
Yep, pretty strange. In terms of Grant, did you feel it was love at first sight?
Perhaps, but I’ve been burned by love so many times.
What do you like most about him? Grant treats me like a lady. A lot of people don’t do that because of my past.
How would you describe him? Oh, he fits all those characteristics that a woman looks for: talk, dark, handsome. And mysterious.
Well duh, mysterious is part of the attraction virus, right? How would Grant describe you? I’m sure he would describe me as feisty. I created a lot of trouble for him in Carolina City.
What made you choose so many different careers? My first career was as a saloon girl—I didn’t choose that, the lifestyle chose me. My second career was as an investigator for the Tremayne PSI Agency, and funny enough, I didn’t choose that either. The ghosts chose it for me.
What is your biggest fear? It's that my older sister won’t find peace in her afterlife. I’m a psychic investigator—if I can’t help my sister, how can I dare hope to help others?
How do you relax, Hattie? I wish I could relax. I’m always working.
Who is your favorite fictional character and why? Good question. Probably Odysseus. I know that he was fighting so hard to get home the entire story, which would be nice if I had a home to go back to.
What is the best piece of advice you ever received? “Never fall in love with your work.” I wish I’d listened to that piece of advice.
Great, as we say in the writing biz, ending hook. Thanks, Hattie. Now it's Erin's turn at bat.
Which books or movies have had an impact on your writing? Star Wars, all the way. I first watched the original trilogy when I was eight, and I can remember thinking, “There’s a whole world in these movies. And someone created them.”
What event in your private life were you able to bring to this story and how do you feel it impacted the novel? How the Ghost Was Won is a ghost story. Unfortunately, (or fortunately, depending on your point of view), I’ve never seen a ghost. Yet, I was able to draw upon my own nightmares for what transpires in the novels. There’s something unsettling about the quiet of the night in the desert that makes me imagine so many things…
Tell us a bit about your publisher: how did you hear about them and what influenced your decision to submit to them? I self-publish, as it gives me the freedom to treat the book how I want and to have control over the final outcome. I’ve been proud of every book I put out there.
What project[s] are you working on now? Oh, boy, I have a few. A few top-secret (but I’m super excited about), a science-fiction romance, the conclusion to The Harker Trilogy, and a few contemporary romances. I never sit still for very long, much like Hattie.
What's up next for you? The next book that I’ll release is called, I’m Not Afraid of Wolves. It’s the fourth book in the Cotton Candy Quintet, and I can’t wait to share it.

If you enjoyed meeting Erin Hayes and Hattie, here's where you may learn more about this author:

Buy How the Ghost Was Won as part of The Good, The Bad, and The Ghostly here:

Erin brought an excerpt for us:

In my dream, there’s a man.
I can’t see his face or any other distinguishing features on him other than the fact that he is tall and dark, and I can sense that he is handsome. My dreams don’t allow for me to get close enough to see who he is.
But I know him. He has captivated my heart and welded my soul to his. Something inside me intrinsically calls out to him, aching that he’s not close to me, skin to skin, pulse against pulse.
We’re meant to be together, in this life and in others.
I know this, and he knows this.
In my dream, we’re standing about ten yards apart on a desert landscape, me in my corset and him in his dust jacket and hat that shades his face. I don’t recognize the place, but it feels alien, like nothing could ever survive in these harsh elements.
We’re both dead.
I see the glint of his smile as he looks at me. My heart breaks and I want to help him, but something keeps me rooted to my spot.
“Find me, Hattie,” he says, his voice in my head. “Save me.”
“How?” I ask. “From what?”
But he keeps repeating those two words, echoing on and on in my mind.
“Save me. Save me.