Tuesday, July 19, 2016

A Ghostly Experience

. . . Amidst a blizzard, paranormal debunker Camille Burditt arrives at Devil’s Promenade in Oklahoma to research a supernatural 'spook light' phenomenon for her latest book. There she encounters a ghostly being, which she dismisses as a figment of her imagination. But as the apparition becomes too persistent to deny, Camille realizes the woman’s ghost is quite real—and that her demise was not accidental. 
. . . Declan Rush—the inhospitable, reclusive owner of the inn where Camille is staying—is linked to the deceased woman, but he is less than forthcoming. Despite his unfriendliness, Camille is oddly drawn to him, even though she suspects his connection to the spirit might be that of killer to victim. 
. . .
When another suspicious death occurs, Camille intensifies her investigation. She has precious little time to ferret out the truth. Not only is her book deadline looming—she's desperate to discover if the man she’s falling for is a murderer. 

For the rest of this week, Wild Women Authors is hosting author Alicia Dean and Camille Burditt, protagonist from Ali's latest release, Devil's Promenade. First up is Camille.
Tell us a bit about Devil’s Promenade. I travel to a Bed & Breakfast to gather material on a ‘spook light’ for a book I’m writing that debunks paranormal phenomenon. But I soon encounter a ghostly presence that makes me realize my skepticism is misplaced.
What made you choose writing for a career? It actually chose me. I used to write a blog about the ridiculousness of those who believe in otherworldly happenings. My editor, Jillian, discovered the blog and asked me to write for her publishing company.
Knowing what you know now, if you had it to do over again, would you stick with being a writer or do something different? Well, I’d stick with being a writer. I love doing it, but I would not write the same type of book. I’ve spent so much time trying to disprove paranormal occurrences that I’ve missed an opportunity to learn more about them, especially the really interesting ones. I’d like to start exploring and writing about ‘true’ supernatural phenomenons.
What is your biggest fear, Camille? I would have to say unfriendly spirits. My first interaction with a ghost was frightening, but fortunately, she meant me no harm. I did learn, though, that if she does mean someone harm, they’d better be on guard. If a malevolent spirit had it out for me, I’d be terrified.
Who is your favorite fictional character and why? Jane Eyre, because she was a strong, independent woman and leaps and bounds ahead of her time.
What is the best piece of advice you ever received? My mother always told me, before she passed away, ‘Be true to yourself.’ I’ve found when I apply that, my life seems to go more smoothly. I believe in being kind and trying to make others happy, but I don’t think it works if you try to be someone you’re not.
Thanks, Camille. This has been very interesting. Now it's Alicia's turn.
Which writer or character[s], from either books or movies, [or both] have had a major impact on your writing? I would say that Margaret Mitchell, Rosemary Rogers, Michael Connelly, and Dennis Lehane have all had a huge impact on my writing. Becoming absorbed in their characters and their world made me want to produce the same kind of experience for readers, although there is no way I could attain their level of excellence.
Wow. Rosemary Rogers. That takes us back. And Michael Connelly is one of our faves. But, with regard to research, where did you start for this novel? Did that lead you down different paths, thereby changing the original concept? The research was awesome! When I first decided to write a gothic mystery set in Oklahoma, I googled ‘legends and supernatural events in Oklahoma’ and I ran across the story of a spook light in Quapaw, Oklahoma. I was fascinated by the stories I read, and excited because my sister lives in that area, only a few miles from the light. Two of my writer friends and I took a road trip in March to see my sister and spook light road. It was great, although we didn’t really see the spook light. In my research I came across several legends regarding the spook light and I used many of them in my story. It did change my plot a bit. Originally, I was going to write about a death ON spook light road. Then, when I read about nearby Spring River, and the bridge called Devil’s Promenade, I decided that was where the death took place.
What are you reading right now? Immoral by Brian Freeman
What's next for you? I am currently writing a novella for the Martini Club 4 series titled Pretentious. After that, I will be working on Evil-Eye, a suspense I’m writing after receiving a request from an editor with Amazon’s Thomas & Mercer line.

To purchase Devil's Promenade, go to:  https://amzon.com/B01GNGTU96

Ali brought along an excerpt:

A man stood with his back to me, looking out the floor-to ceiling window into the snowy night. He turned, and my heart gave an odd, unexpected little flutter when I recognized Declan.
I’m sorry. I didn’t know anyone was in here. I wanted to work on my book.”
He gestured with the glass he held toward the sofa. “Please, make yourself at home. I won’t disturb you.”
Hmmm. Not the reaction I expected. “Thank you.” I nodded toward an old-fashioned phonograph where a record played—the source of the music.
Where did you get that? I didn’t think they had been around in decades.”
It belonged to my grandfather.”
It still works. Wow.”
He smiled. “A little scratchy, but I think that’s how these old records were meant to be listened to.”
Who is that?”
Tommy Dorsey.”
I cocked my head. “Mr. Rush, are you sure you’re from this century?”
A grin tugged at his mouth. “Sometimes, I wonder that same thing.”
Listen, I was wondering…” I held the laptop to my chest and approached him. “Could I ask you some questions?”
I’d like to interview you regarding the spook light. For my book.”
He frowned and took a sip from his glass. “I would rather not.”
Why not? It might bring in business for the bed and breakfast.”
His frown turned into a scowl of irritation. “We get quite enough business as it is.”
At dinner, you mentioned that it’s real. I thought that might mean you had stories surrounding it. That you might want to get the word out about it.”
I’m afraid you thought wrong. I was just making conversation.” He finished off the contents in his glass and set it on the bar. “Now, I have work to do. If you’ll excuse me.”
What kind of work?”
I beg your pardon?”
What kind of work do you do? Do you do something other than own the inn?”
I’m an architect. I office out of my home. Will there be anything else?” He moved past me toward the door.
I was determined to get to the bottom of his unreasonable attitude. I blurted, “Why don’t you like me?”
He faced me, his jaw tight. “What makes you think I don’t like you?”
Because, you aren’t friendly to me.”
Has it ever occurred to you that I don’t know you, and I have no reason to be friendly to you? Loretta runs the inn. It’s her job to keep guests happy, not mine. If you have a complaint, see her.”
I grinned. “Do you think she’ll resolve my complaint when I tell her it’s you?”

*** A World of Gothic is a Gothic Mystery Romance Series by authors from all over the world. For information on other titles and for interesting tidbits on mysteries and the authors, check out A World of Gothic Facebook page: 

To learn more about Alicia Dean and the stories she creates go to:

Monday, July 11, 2016

Tarot Reader Meets Hunky Minister. . . ooh la la

Sometimes, all it takes…
Raynebeaux Starr's life is damn near perfect. She has wonderful friends. An interesting career. A man when she wants and none when she doesn't, thank you very much. But when tragedy strikes and she’s named guardian to her six year old niece, her world is turned upside down. She finds herself alone in a new town with a small child, no parenting skills and desperate for guidance. Until she meets Father Jared Sloan. The sexiest minister she's ever seen. He is kind, patient and a literal God-send. If only she could stop having unholy thoughts about him!
is one little lie,
Jared Sloan's love life is a disaster. He has one girlfriend he can't shake, and an ex-fiancée on his doorstep wanting him back. As if things weren't complicated enough, he encounters what must be a fallen angel in a church parking lot. Little does he know when he offers her counseling that she would be unlike anyone he's ever experienced. He wants to be the kind of man she can trust. He also wants to taste her so bad it hurts.
to lead you to the truth.
Can Jared convince Raynie there is such a thing as happily-ever-after? Or will his deceit only confirm her belief that fairy tale endings don't exist in the real world. Especially not in Lubbock, Texas.

Wild Women Authors is pleased to welcome author Ann Everett and Raynebeaux Starr, 'star' of Say You'll Never Love Me. As usual, Raynebeaux is up first.
Where are you from? Austin, Texas. We have a motto there that says…Keep Austin Weird, which makes it the perfect place for me to live. During the 60’s it was a mecca for hippies. My mom and dad never outgrew that.
Tell us a bit about Say You’ll Never Love Me. When my sister and brother-in-law die unexpectedly and leave me as the guardian to their six-year-old daughter, Silbie, I panic. I know nothing about raising a child, and as if that responsibility isn’t enough, I find myself in a new city where the wind always blows and delivers wicked dust storms. One day I walk to a nearby church hoping to find a support group to help me figure out how to be a mother, and meet who I think is an associate minister. Turns out, he isn’t… but that doesn’t get revealed (to me) until much later in the story. By then, I’m hopelessly in love with him but I just can’t see myself living in such an awful place…with a liar. What to do…what to do?
Great hook. Keeps the reader guessing. Good for you. So . . . what did you think the first time you saw Jared Sloan? He wasn’t what I expected. Ministers were supposed to be older, fatter, and balder. This guy was young and gorgeous. Dark hair, brilliant blue eyes, and when he smiled, dimples deepened like sugar down a funnel. Not dressed like a preacher either. He wore jeans and cowboy boots. Silly me. What did I expect from a west Texas town where there was nothing but farmers and cowboys.
Know the type well only we call 'em “Father WhattaWaste”. What was your second thought? There was kindness in his voice. Probably the tone he’d practiced to offer sympathy and understanding to parishioners. I slid my palm into his. Warm and soft. Clearly a man who did little physical labor, but he must work out. What else could explain those broad shoulders or the way his butt filled out those jeans. I gave myself a mental slap. I shouldn’t focus on his body parts or the shape they were in.
Been there, done that. Unfortunately. Real unfortunately. But we digress. Did you feel it was love at first sight? Love, no. Lust…yes.
What do you like most about Jared? I could be myself with him. I told him things I’d never told anyone. And the way he treated my niece. He and Silbie had an instant connection.
How would you describe him? Gorgeous, kind, trustworthy.
How would Jared describe you? Quirky, beautiful, selfless.
What made you choose reading Tarot cards for a career? I have a college degree, but reading the Tarot had always interested me and I’d been doing it since college. It was just a natural fit. Luckily, I could conduct business via the internet, so that was helpful once I had to move to a new city.
Other than 'The Rev's' reaction to your job, what is your biggest fear? Falling in love…knowing there is no such thing as happily-ever-after.
How do you relax? I recently took cooking lessons and now that relaxes me.
Who is your favorite fictional character and why? Synola Harper from You’re Busting My Nuptials…because she is snarky and I love characters like that.
What is the best piece of advice you ever received? When I was explaining to my next door neighbor, Mr. Remmus, why I never wanted get married--my stance on no such thing as happily-ever-after--he replied, 'Just one problem with that. At some point, being single, can turn into being lonely.' How true.

Well, this has been interesting. Starting with the spelling of you name, then to how you met the love of your life and what you thought he did for a living, this one sounds like a winner. We better talk to the creator for a bit.
Hi, Ann. Tell us about the movies or books that have had an impact on your career as a writer and why. I love anything written by Jennifer Cruise or Susan Elizabeth Phillips. Although I will never rise to their level, reading their work inspires me to study more and work harder. As for movies, Jerry Maguire is one of my favorites. I love how he changes from self-centered to hopelessly in love. I strive to have my characters do the same thing.
What event in your private life were you able to bring to this story and how do you feel it impacted the novel? Contrary to what you’d hear from people who know me, my private life is pretty boring. I have no desire to travel. No sense of adventure. I’m not competitive. I’m afraid of water, heights, escalators, elevators, skunks, clowns and a whole truck load of other things. I believe in making only right-hand turns when driving. I never turn around and go back for something I’ve forgotten, because it’s bad luck. I love being alone because I rarely am. My most favorite place in the whole world is home. However, all that boring stuff can be interesting when I give it to a character!
I have readers ask all the time which character I am in my books. My answer is always the same…all of them! Honestly, there is a little of me in each character I write. Usually, a secondary character will be closer to my personality, but someone will always have my fears, my smart mouth, and my good and bad habits.
Tell us a bit about your publisher: how did you hear about them and what influenced your decision to submit to them? It was really just a fluke. I never intended to publish or even try. But I did want to improve my writing skills so I joined an online critique site…where I’m still a member. Anyway, one of my readers on that site suggested I submit to a small press publisher in her area. I did with the attitude I’d never hear from them. Later that night, the phone rang and when I answered, a man asked for Ann. I replied he must have the wrong number. And he said…You’re not Ann Everett the author? I quickly said I was, but I’d never been called that before. Ann Everett is my pen name, but I’d never used it. That relationship was a good one. They published my first two books. But when my three year contract ended, I chose not to renew. I’d learned a lot during that period and decided to strike out on my own as an indie author. Best decision I ever made! But I will always be grateful for the experience.
What project[s] are you working on now? I’m currently about into my new book, which will be another New Adult Romance. Almost all of the characters are in their 20’s. However, I like to think of my romance books as women’s fiction, because I have a multitude of characters and there’s more to my stories than just two people trying to get into bed with each other for 200+ pages. They do get into bed and have steamy sex, but that isn’t what the whole story is about.
My current project involves an ex-con wrongly accused and a young woman running from something. They both end up sharing the same house. Along with that story line, the main female character has two friends with their own plots…and there’s a woman from the past that also comes into play. Throughout the book, there will be 4-6 alternating points of view. Those are the kinds of books I like to read, so naturally they are the kind I like to write.
What's up next for you? I hope to finish my current book by the end of summer. I’m a frequent speaker at workshops, conferences, and book clubs, so I’ll add those dates to the mix. I’m also a top reviewer on http://www.thenextbigwriter.com which takes some of my time. In addition, I’m in the market to join other romance authors in doing a box set of stories, so I’ll be pursuing that.

To purchase Say You'll Never Love Me, go to:

To learn more about our guest, go to:

Monday, July 4, 2016

Leonard "Bones" McCoy Meets Adam Bricker

. . . She saved countless soldiers in the wars … but does she have the weapons to fight an outbreak? . .
     Dr. Emily Shane, veteran of the Sector Wars, is known as “The Angel of Fantalar” for her bravery under fire as a medic. However, the doctor has her own war wounds–severe PTSD and guilt over those she failed to save.
     Persuaded to fill a seemingly frivolous berth as ship’s doctor on the huge and luxurious interstellar cruise liner Nebula Zephyr, she finds the job brings unexpected perks–a luxe beach deck with water imported from Tahumaroa II, and Security Officer Jake Dilon, a fellow veteran who heats her up like a tropical sun.
     However, Emily soon learns she and Jake didn’t leave all peril behind in the war. A mysterious ailment aboard the Zephyr begins to claim victim after victim … and they must race against time and space to find the cause and a cure! Trapped on a ship no spaceport will allow to dock, their efforts are complicated by a temperamental princess and a terrorist–one who won’t hesitate to take down any being in the way of his target.  If anyone’s left when the disease is through with them…

Wild Women Authors is always looking for new and interesting characters to meet and get to know. Author Veronica Scott has brought someone we'd like very much to know better: Dr Emily Shane. We'll let her do the heavy lifting.
Where are you from, Emily? The planet Haliron, in the Sectors; however during my time in the military, I served all over the galaxy.
Tell us a bit about Star Cruise: Outbreak. I accepted a short term job as the Chief Medical Officer on the interstellar cruise ship Nebula Zephyr and early in the cruise we had a passenger death, followed by an epidemic. There are 3000 people on board the ship and I’m responsible for trying to save all of them.
What did you think the first time you saw Jake Dilon? Honestly, that he was sexy – deep voice, strong hand shake, military bearing…but I didn’t want to get involved.
Understood. Knee deep in an epidemic is no time for a relationship. What was your second thought? I had mixed emotions. I’m still suffering from PTSD as a result of my combat experiences so it was nice to meet a fellow veteran who seemed to understand where I was coming from, but on the other hand, he’d met me once before, under the worst circumstances and I really didn’t want to talk about it.
Did you feel it was love at first sight? Definitely not! I was attracted to him, sure, the guy is amazing…but I had a lot of my own emotional things to deal with, so I tried to stay uninvolved. Professional. At arm’s length. I was only supposed to be on the ship for a couple of months.
What do you like most about Jake? He’s extremely capable, like all former Sectors Special Forces soldiers. Efficient, deadly. Keeps his head in a crisis. But he’s also got a sweet, tender side. And a great sense of humor!
How would you describe him? A good guy to have watching your back in a bad situation and the best romantic partner a girl could ask for.
We like the order you listed them in. How would this good guy describe you? Uptight, intense, driven. Excellent doctor. A damn good volleyball player. He seems to appreciate my other physical attributes, too.
What made you choose medicine for a career? My father’s a doctor so ever since I was a little girl I wanted to be like him, and save lives.
What is your biggest fear? Too much downtime. Although now, with Jake around, my hours outside the sickbay are a lot more fun.
How do you relax? With Jake! There are also excellent amenities on the Nebula Zephyr for the crew and the passengers – a beach deck, a gym and more.
Who is your favorite fictional character and why? I’m not much for fiction but I do enjoy a good adventure trideo. Actress Liora Daburkn playing the heroine in “Pirates of the Solar Sails” is one of my favorite stories to rewatch. She was on our cruise, by the way.
What is the best piece of advice you ever received? Actually Jake gives me a lot of good advice about dealing with my PTSD issues, based on his experiences. And our ship’s Artificial Intelligence (AI) had some useful suggestions here and there, although she can be a nuisance at times.
This has been very interesting, Emily and we thank you for taking time out of your busy schedule to talk to us. Now it's Veronica's turn at bat.
What movies or books have had an impact on your career as a writer and why? I started reading science fiction really young, beginning with Andre Norton’s Catseye, so I’ve been a fan of the genre since I was a kid. I just think there needs to be more romance in the books! My favorite movie is “Aliens”, with a strong heroine and her space marine hero, Hicks. I also love all kinds of romance novels!
What event in your private life were you able to bring to this story and how do you feel it impacted the novel? My Dad had cholera as a kid and may have been the only person in the whole state to have it that year, which – as he told the story – set off an intense epidemiological hunt to find the cause. Where and how did he contract it, you know? Anyway, from an early age I was fascinated by the way doctors can do detective work, and how an epidemic can spread. I enjoy stories with that kind of background and I thought it would be interesting to have the outbreak on a star ship. I also built on the way norovirus epidemics happen on modern day cruise ships.
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 nowadays actually. My first two books were released by the Carina Press imprint of Harlequin and I learned so much from them, about the process. The people at Carina were terrific to work with. But I prefer the control of publishing myself. I pick the covers, I hire the editors, I set the date for release and the price, etc.
What project[s] are you working on now? I’m currently working on my 14th novel, which is another science fiction romance but also a variation on the Sleeping Beauty fairytale. I hope to release it in the September time frame.
What's up next for you? Probably another novel in the Star Cruise series. I intend to tell a lot of stories on that ship! But no more about epidemics.

Veronica brought an excerpt Star Cruise: Outbreak along with her:
“The entire crew of the Nebula Zephyr is in your debt, Dr. Shane.” Now he let go of her arm and stepped away.
     Her cheeks warm, knowing she was red with embarrassment, Emily smoothed her hair off her face and stood straighter, trying not to stare at the man sent to fetch her. Taller than she was by at least a foot, the stranger had close-cropped black hair that probably curled a little if left to its own devices and deeply blue eyes set in a tanned face. He was dressed in a pair of black jeans and a formfitting black T-shirt outlining broad, muscular shoulders. The edge of an intriguing tattoo showed below the left sleeve’s hem.
     Realizing she was staring, she took the hand he was offering. His grip was firm, her own tightening in reflex. She felt the stirrings of interest along her nerves but took a deep breath to shake off the sensation. Good to know she could still be affected by an attractive man with a deep voice and a strong handshake, but now wasn’t the time or place to pursue the unexpected sensation.
     “Jake Dilon, ship’s chief security officer, at your service, Dr. Shane. May I say it’s an honor to meet you, ma’am?”
     He hesitated as if he wanted to say more. With a self-deprecating laugh, she said, “Don’t make too much of the experience, you might be disappointed.” 
     She’d had a lot of experience blocking comments about her past since returning home to Harilon. It was almost second nature by now. Running on instinct, she retreated to the small office at the right of the corridor, the man following her. He moved silently. As she glanced over her shoulder, she felt compelled to warn him this berth on his ship wasn’t a done deal. “I haven’t agreed to ship out with you yet, by the way. My father had no right to speak for me and I’m still undecided.” As she sank into her father’s cushioned desk chair, she asked, “Why is this so urgent?”
     He focused on her face with an unnerving intensity. Blue eyes narrowed, he paused for a moment, rocking onto his heels. “Captain Fleming was told you’d said yes.”
     Surprised by his obvious dismay, she unbent a bit. “What happened to your ship’s doctor anyway?”
     “You would ask the question we can’t answer.” Jake’s grin seemed genuinely rueful. “He took shore leave when we arrived at Harilon ten days ago and failed to report back. Your planetary police can’t seem to locate him, and we can’t wait any longer. Even cruise ships have deadlines to meet, and we’re carrying a lot of cargo, which means penalties if we don’t deliver on time.” He spun the old-fashioned globe on the edge of the desk. Head tilted, studying her while she was contemplating him, he said, “I’m no doctor, but I think it’s pretty light duty, ma’am. I don’t recall Dr. Meers ever complaining about being overworked.”
     “I’m not afraid of hard work.” She drew in a deep breath, trying to block a flashback of stretchers full of injured soldiers. Her responsibilities in the past had been staggering and fraught with consequences. “Quite the opposite. I like to stay busy.”

To purchase Star Cruise: Outbreak, go to:
Buy Links:     Amazon     Kobo      Barnes & Noble   Apple iBooks

To learn more about Veronica Scott and the stories she creates, go to:

Monday, June 27, 2016

Look What Gardening Can Do For You

This week Wild Women Authors welcomes mystery author C.T. Collier and Lyssa Pennington from Planted, Collier's latest release out of Asdee Press. First up is Lyssa.
Lyssa, tell us a bit about Planted. The story tells what happened when my spring-break gardening project turned up a loaded revolver buried in the abandoned rose garden in Kyle’s and my backyard. Bad enough the gun discharged, critically injuring our elderly neighbor, but it also threw us into a search for the body we knew must be somewhere. At the start we had no idea who’d been murdered, who’d pulled the trigger and hidden the gun, or even when all that had happened. Searching for the answers put a strain on our marriage and caused both of us to take risks we regretted. Without Kyle’s expertise with technology and mine with money, that murder would never have been solved.
What made you choose teaching economics for a career? Boring, right? My dad was an economics professor at a small Franciscan college. He emphasized values in his teaching—ethics, stewardship, personal responsibility, social responsibility. I admired that about him. I had a head for finance and economics, too, but not in the same way. I saw girls and women around me who had little sense of money—how to make it, spend it, invest it, and manage it—so I focused my career on Financial Literacy for women and youth.
Knowing what you know now, if you had it to do over again, would you stick with being a college professor or do something different? I love teaching college seniors, because it’s easy to get their attention. They’re about to leave college with huge debt, big dreams, and no tools to manage their money. My courses contribute to their success at life. However, before taking the Visiting Professor position at Tompkins College, I did a post-doctoral fellowship in London, and starred in two public television video series for women, The Savvy Spender and The Wise Women Investor. I was devastated when our funding ran out. I’ve since been asked by women in my husband’s region of England, the south west, to develop affordable workshops and consulting for them. Once my grant is finished at Tompkins College, Kyle and I will live full time in Cornwall, and I’ll focus on that work. Who knows where it will lead?
What is your biggest fear? Picking up a drink. Both my parents died of alcoholism. I’ve been sober two years now, but if I were to pick up a drink, I’d be lost to the disease of alcoholism. No more marriage. No more career. That’s not how I want to live.
Who is your favorite fictional character and why? When I was growing up, I read every Nancy Drew book. As a pre-teen, I thought Nancy had it all—cool car, cool boyfriend, interesting friends, lots of mysteries to solve, no one to nag her, no money worries. Even though I’ve grown up, I still think of Nancy Drew when I need a quick escape from pressure. Maybe that’s why I get involved in so many mysteries. Hmm, have to think about that!
What is the best piece of advice you ever received? Two pieces of wisdom—one from my dad, one from my mom. Dad taught me how to live within my means and manage my money. I hated all that advice at the time, but it paid off for me in the long run. I finished college and my doctorate without credit card debt or a big loan to pay off. As for Mom, she told me to marry for love. I did. Kyle’s the best!
Excellent advice, Lyssa. Smart of you to follow both suggestions. We'd now like to speak with C.T. Which writer or character[s], from either books or movies, [or both] have had a major impact on your writing? There are so many authors who’ve influenced me. As a teen I loved those brooding Gothic mysteries and I devoured traditional mysteries. Daphne de Maurier drew me in deep with her attention to the landscape of her settings. As a result, most of my protagonists have a passion for the place they live, and they do their best thinking while they’re immersed in the landscape, whether it’s gazing at the rose garden, hiking on the cliffs, or canoeing on a tranquil lake.
With regard to research, where did you start for this novel? Did that lead you down different paths, thereby changing the original concept? Planted is the first book in the series, The Penningtons Investigate, featuring husband-wife amateur sleuths. The first draft of Planted drew on my experience in higher education and focused mostly on Lyssa Pennington’s motivation for solving the mystery. My editor challenged me to go deeper to show the reader why Kyle Pennington, Lyssa’s husband, was equally invested in solving the mystery, not just supporting his wife’s desire to investigate. As I dug into Kyle’s past as a schoolboy, the theme of bullying came out of my involvement in Teacher Education over the past fifteen years. However, because Kyle grew up in Cornwall and went to an elite school in Somerset, I needed first-hand knowledge of those areas of England, an understanding of British schooling, past and present, and some knowledge of the British think tanks and universities that might have employed young geniuses like Kyle and his classmates. The fabrication of Kyle’s childhood school, Mullett Academy, also draws on my consulting experience with private schools to visualize placement and function of buildings, incorporation of sports, and other subtle details. I wrote many pages over several days to develop the scenario that’s only briefly described in Planted as the catalyst for Kyle’s commitment to finding the missing boys.
Tell us a bit about your publisher. How did you hear about them; what influenced you to submit to them; how is the submission process; what is the turn-around time from date of query to date of release? After publishing a romance series as Katie O’Boyle through Soul Mate Publishing, I found that my readership, including many women of a certain age, is invested in the Nook platform as well as Kindle and has a strong preference for printed books with readable fonts that are easy on older eyes. That led me to self-publish my mystery series, for the flexibility I needed with platform. Even though I have a strong technical background, it was scary to take the plunge into self-publishing. It was up to me to find a great editor (Lourdes Venard of Comma Sense Editing) and a cover artist (Dave Fymbo of Limelight Book Covers). I’ve also invested in a series logo and an imprint logo, and I have someone helping me generate marketing ideas. My confidence is growing with each step, and I’m happy with the decision.
What are you reading right now? I read every academic mystery I can get my hands on, alternating them with cozy mysteries and traditional mysteries. I just finished Debra Goldstein’s Maze in Blue, set on a college campus in the early 1970s. I’m now reading Susannah Hardy’s Olive and Let Die, one of the cozies in her Greek To Me series.
What's next for you? July 29, 2016, is the Launch Party for Planted at my hometown library, Seneca Falls, NY. The party is at the start of my high school reunion. We’re pitching it as an opportunity to support the library, which plays a vital role in our small town, and to meet the new library director who has just taken over after a long tenure by a much-loved local boy. In late October, Planted will expand to additional ebook formats—Nook, iBook, and Kobo. Book two, Stuck, is in the works with a release date of Februrary 2017. There are six titles planned in The Penningtons Investigate. If you’re wondering about the titles, each is a single word, past-tense verb telling the disposition of the murder weapon.

C.T. brought an excerpt from Planted:
Lyssa yanked a pillowcase off the clothesline, tore into it with her teeth, and ripped it into wide strips. “The ambulance is on its way, Mrs. Winkel. I’m going to stop the bleeding the best I can.” When she lifted Mrs. Winkel’s right hand away from her left arm, blood pulsed from the wound.
God, help us. With shaking fingers, she wrapped strip of cloth tight around the wound. Hands slippery with blood, she wiped them on her shirt, then twisted another strip of pillowcase to make a tourniquet and tightened it with a clothespin.
What am I forgetting? “Bree,” she yelled, “I’ve got a tourniquet on the wound, and I can’t let go of it. What else do I need to do?”
“Right beside you.” Bree squatted next to her. “She’ll need her insurance card and doctor’s name, and they want me out front to meet the ambulance.”
“In my purse,” Mrs. Winkel gasped. “Hallway table.”
“I’ll get it.”
“I want to go with her to the hospital,” Lyssa said.
“Then take my car and follow them, but don’t let the police see you, or they’ll make you stay here to answer questions.”
“Evade the police?” Keep it together. “Mrs. Winkel, once the ambulance arrives—”
“Stay with me.” Her neighbor’s voice quavered.
“I will. I promise.”
Mrs. Winkel’s bloodied right hand grabbed at Lyssa’s T-shirt. “Call Mary. My sister.” She groaned, her grip loosened, and her arm dropped heavily.
“I will.”
Mrs. Winkel’s eyelids fluttered and her head rolled to the side.

To purchase Planted, go to:
Amazon Paperback: http://tinyurl.com/glwwzsg

To learn more about C. T. Collier and the stories she creates, go to:
Facebook: Kate Collier
Twitter: @TompkinsFalls

Saturday, June 25, 2016

Meet Rory McElroy

     Award winning photo-journalist Dru Horvath travels the world, documenting human rights abuses, a vocation which helps in avoidance of risking her heart. Everyday working stiff Rory McElroy, a two-time loser when it comes to women, wants nothing to do with another relationship, thank you very much.
     But when Dru comes back into his life, Rory’s not sure which poses the greater threat: protecting her from third world thugs who want to silence her permanently—or allowing the one woman who captured his heart years ago to embrace him forever.

This week Wild Women Authors has featured the men who play a large role in our latest release, Vengeance Is Mine. We've left the best for last, sort of, and introduce Rory McElroy [no, not the golfer] from Embraceable You.
Tell us how you came to attend the 25th reunion of the Class of 1990 at Summerville High. The County Manager called the office and ordered me to provide one-on-one security for the person who would receive this year's Eastman Award who also happened to be a member of the Class of '90. A smart man does not say no to the man who appointed you to your current position.
Always a smart move to keep the big bosses happy. Amen, sister. I may not have voted for him, but he does sign my paychecks. With a kid going off to college next year, I appreciate having money deposited into my checking account on a regular basis.
You have a child? Yep. Molly. Seventeen going on thirty. She's the cause of the premature gray in my hair. Looking at schools in New York City. Wouldn't consider staying home and commuting to the U. Nuh uh not my girl.
You are the Sheriff of Bison County. What made you choose law enforcement for a career? It gave me the opportunity to wear a gun legally and keep the peace. Plus, I like all the paraphernalia we cops have to wear on our belts. Lets us strut our stuff.
Hah! What movies have had an impact on your life? Major League and Bull Durham because I like baseball and I like watching films that make me laugh out loud. While I was waiting for Druzilla to come back to me, I watched The Official Story, a foreign film about the consequences of Argentina's Dirty War. It helped me understand why Dru is so driven to do some of the things she does.
What did you take away from it? Parts of it focused on Las Madres de la Plaza, the mothers and wives of los desaparicidos, ordinary citizens who were taken from their homes or businesses in the middle of the night by a bunch of thugs acting under the direction of the military junta. We're talking religious sisters and priests, activist students, university educators, journalists. Their survivors, women now in their seventies and eighties, still march through the streets of Buenos Aires each week, wearing white scarves and carrying posters with pictures of the missing. The movie shows the power of perseverance, a reminder to those in power that what was done to innocents in the name of political oppression will never be forgotten. Powerful stuff.
What's the best piece of advice you ever received? I was raised in a violent home. After my grandparents rescued me and my sister and brought us to Summerville, they drilled into me the need to stand up for myself and others no matter the personal consequences. Right is might and all that stuff. I guess that's why I became a cop.
What's up next for you? Convincing Dru Horvath to settle down with me in Summerville and keep me from turning into a Helicopter Dad after Molly goes off to college.
Good luck. Thanks. Dru fills that empty spot in my heart.

To purchase Vengeance Is Mine, go to:

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Rafael Archangeli, con man turned mogul

This week Wild Women Authors is featuring the men who play a large role in our latest release, Vengeance Is Mine. We decided to honor them because they support the strong women in their lives while working to improve the quality of life for the disenfranchised.
We now meet Rafe Archangeli from Mad Dog and Archangel.
Tell us how you came to attend the 25th reunion of the Class of 1990 at Summerville High. The reunion was the last place on earth I wanted to be . . . but as it happened, several months before the invitation arrived in the mail, I found myself falling in love with the coordinator of the Eastman Awards banquet. Grace Dunavan promised she'd marry me only if I escorted her to the banquet. Plus, one of my former classmates, Dru Horvath, was the recipient of the Award. I felt the need to be there for her when she accepted the award, stand for her in case a few of the bigots from the class decided to take a few pot shots at her.
You were a con man for many years. I was. It paid the bills and I was able to help a lot of people with the money I fleeced from the rich and shameless.
How did you go from bilking rich society women to heading up a multi-million dollar trust? It was not something I would have chosen for a career change. I only returned to Summerville to attend the funeral of my best friend, Deege Thurgood. Turns out, he left me the Thurgood Trust in his will. I felt totally inadequate but Grace helped me see it as a way to make living amends to him. I took the post, over the objections of many in the community, and I'm very glad I did.
If you were given an opportunity for a 'do-over' would you take it? Certainly I wouldn't have drank and drugged for almost twenty years so yes, I'd do that over. Would I have turned from running scams? I don't know.
What movies have had an impact on your life? “Veronica Guerin” is based on a true story about an investigative reporter who was murdered after digging into a Dublin mobster. That was a pisser. I liked “Miracle” very much for the theme of team building, then again I like almost everything Kurt Russell makes. And “The Stoning of Soraya M.” was very powerful. Goes to show I've been hanging with Dru Horvath; she's rubbing off on me.
What are you reading right now? The Best of Mad Magazine, Volumes 1 through 5. Grace gave it to me for my birthday. Next to Roberto Clemente, Alfred E. Neuman was my hero back in the day.
Other than the drugs and alcohol, do you have any other regrets? I would take back my first reaction to discovering Grace was a nun in a former life. I found out the morning after, if you get my drift. My response was less than. . . mature. I would change the things I said if I could.
What's the best piece of advice you ever received? One day at a time.
What's up next for you? Grace and I are taking a delayed honeymoon to the west of Ireland. She went to school in Galway and has promised to show me the Ring of Kerry and Dingle Peninsula. I can't wait.

To purchase Vengeance Is Mine, go to:









Later this week: Rory McElroy from Embraceable You

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Meet Attorney Mick Dineen

This week Wild Women Authors is featuring the men who play a large role in our latest release, Vengeance Is Mine. We decided to honor them because they support the strong women in their lives while working to improve the quality of life for the disenfranchised.
First up: Mick Dineen from The List.
Tell us how you came to attend the 25th reunion of the Class of 1990 at Summerville High. I had no intention of spending the evening with balding, old, fat people who are still locked into all the adolescent crap from back in the day. Plus, I was ass deep in alligators with a medical malpractice trial and was falling over the edge into crispy fried territory. Part of the hoopla involving the reunion included presenting the Eastman, an award given annually to that person whose work exemplifies the best in the human spirit. I was last year's winner so the organizer put the arm on me to attend. Trust me, no one turns down a former nun named Mad Dog.
How did the trial turn out? We won.
Congratulations. Tell that to the husband and kids of a woman who died because her obstetrician who was too obsessed in making a tee time to pay attention to her symptoms of peritonitis. Sorry. My mood is not the best right now. Anyway, the defense elected to settle before the case went to the jury. They returned with a settlement of three times what we demanded. The head of my firm ordered me to take a month off and start by attending the awards banquet. When it was all said and done, I'm glad I attended because I met Fiona Thorpe again.
You are an attorney. What made you choose working for the underdogs of this world? In a former life, meaning high school, I was a bully, part of a gang known as the Pittsford Road Posse. We, I, hurt a lot of people because it made us feel better. I feel the need to make amends.
If you were given an opportunity for a 'do-over' would you take it? About being a twerp and a jerk? What do you think? About standing up for dead mothers and bullied middle-schoolers? What do you think?
What movies have had an impact on your life? I very much liked “Defiance” with Daniel Craig and Liev Schreiber. Most recently, “Spotlight” knocked my socks off.
What are you reading right now? At the awards banquet, Dru Horvath put me on to Samantha Power's A Problem From Hell: America and the Age of Genocide.
A little light reading to fill up those pesky down times. If you're in the mood for getting pissed off at politicians, it works real well.
What's the best piece of advice you ever received? My mother told me this, right after she kicked my old man out of the house for the last time: “Whatever you give a woman, she's going to multiply. If you give her a house, she'll give you a home. If you give her groceries, she'll give you a meal. If you give her a smile, she'll give you her heart. She multiplies and enlarges what is given to her. But, if you give her crap, you will receive more shit than any one human being can handle.”
Great advice, Mick. What's up next for you? Convincing Fiona Thorpe to make me an honest man.
Good luck. Thanks. She's the best thing in my life.
Here's a blurb from Vengeance Is Mine:
Ever think about going back to study hall to face down the school bully?
The mean girls?
The brainless jocks who made your life a pure misery?
For Dru Horvath, gypsy orphan turned Pulitzer Prize winning photo-journalist; Rafe Archangeli, Scourge of Summerville who now heads a multi-million dollar trust; and Fiona “Fat Aggie” Thorpe who recreated herself into an A-list model with her own A-list agency, the opportunity to exact revenge is too good to pass up.
Will they find the vengeance they crave?
Or something more valuable?

And an excerpt from The List, featuring Mick and Fiona Thorpe:

Frustrated with the holdup, Fee glanced around for points of entry, hoping she'd be able to spot Dru the second she entered the ballroom.
A hand on her arm claimed her attention; Rafe Archangeli leaned close. “Here comes someone you should meet.”
Without taking her eyes off the entry door, she murmured, “Who?”
“Last year's Eastman winner and a helluva of a nice guy.”
“There. Coming toward us.”
One nano-second later all thoughts of revenge left Fee's mind like steam escaping a kettle.
The weathered appearance of his face announced he'd lived ten times over. Thick gold hair flecked with gray grazed the collar of his suit jacket. Broad through the shoulders and chest, narrow at the waist and hips, he had the long legged grace of a broken field runner.
Moving across the parquet floor as if born to a runway, he carried himself with an innate confidence. Without disrupting that fluid stride, he undid his tie before shrugging out of the suit jacket which he slung over one shoulder with the tip of his index finger.
She'd almost given up finding a man so perfect.
This one had The Look.

To purchase Vengeance Is Mine, go to:

Later this week: Rafe Archangeli from Mad Dog and Archangel