Thursday, September 16, 2021

Killing Dreams by Donnette Smith

 Wild Women Authors is pleased to welcome author Donnette Smith who is celebrating the release of Killing Dreams, book one in The Spirit Walker Series, a paranormal romantic suspense published by the Wild Rose Press. With Donnette is Jenna Langley who will go first.

Good morning, Jenna. Thanks for taking the time to speak with us. Let’s begin with where you’re from. Farmersville Texas

Tell us a bit about Killing Dreams. It is the story of what happens to me when I came back home to Texas for a business deal at the age of twenty-seven, after being gone for ten years, and discover my psychic abilities have cultivated. I start having visions and out-of-body experiences where I see brutal murders being committed, and it isn’t long before I discover the detective working those homicide cases is none other than my old high school flame, Cole Rainwater. Things ended very badly between us years earlier when his father made headlines for being a notorious serial killer. After that, my parents forced us apart and swept me away to Georgia.  So, you can imagine my surprise to find he was investigating the very murders I was witnessing.     

What did you think the first time you saw Cole Rainwater? I was fifteen the first time I saw Cole standing in line behind me at the rodeo concession stand. He purposely bumped into me. He must have thought he was really something the way he and his buddy snickered when I glanced back at them. I thought he was rude and immature.

Typical teenage male. What was your second thought? God, he was hot. All that dark hair and those piercing gray eyes. I imagined what it would be like to be swept up in the embrace of those strong arms and kissed by those irresistible lips. Of course, I wasn’t about to let him know just how sexy I thought he was. Instead, I called him a jerk. He responded by asking for my number. I ignored him. But he followed me and my best friend around for the rest of the evening, taunting me and asking why I refused to go out with him.     

Again, typical male response, particularly a teenager. Was it love at first sight? Hey, I was seventeen at the time. What does a kid know about love anyhow? As it turned out, a lot. I fell head-over-heels in love with that boy. When my parents tore me away from him two years later, I swore my heart had been stampeded by a herd of bulls, just like the ones we used to watch bursting out of the chutes at the rodeo.  

What do you like most about Cole? The sound of his husky voice when he’d call me just as I was slipping off to sleep at night.  

How would you describe him? Tender, with the heart of a lion. He always put me on a pedestal. I think at the time he believed I could do no wrong. Until I did, and it all fell apart.

How would he describe you? Completely stubborn. Always seeing the good in people, even when there isn’t any good at all.

What made you choose business consulting as a career? After owning a business of my own, and selling it some years later, I couldn’t see myself going back to working for the man. Heck, I was the man, so to speak. So, I took the bull by the horns and decided I could be useful by showing others how to start their own businesses.

What is your biggest fear? Being buried alive. But that’s literally another story. Yes. It actually happens to me in book two of The Spirit Walkers series.

How do you relax? I love to read, but then Cole came along and showed me how much fun it is to ride horses.

Who is your favorite fictional character? I love Anastasia Steele in Fifty Shades of Grey. Why? Because she has such patience for the man she loves. She never gives up on him because her love for him is so deep. Before my parents tore me away from Cole, I felt this same way about him.  

What is the best piece of advice you ever received? Not to let the sins of others become my sins, even if the person or people committing those sins are people we love and trust. I learned this the hard way blaming myself for ten years after my parents ripped me away from the only guy I ever loved.

Thanks for talking with us, Jenna. Now we’d like to chat with Donnette.

What movies or books have had an impact on your career as a writer? I’m a true romantic, always looking for an adventure. The story of Noah and Allie in The Notebook really got me. It was the story of young love that never died and was strong enough to stand the test of time. Even when Allie was at her weakest, suffering from Alzheimer’s disease, Noah read their story to her every day, in hopes of rekindling the love they had for one another. I also loved The Twilight Series. Bella loved Edward so much she was willing to become a vampire so that she could be with him forever. For me it’s stories that showcase such unconditional love between two people that there is no boundary they won’t cross for the one they love.  

What event in your private life were you able to bring to this story and how do you feel it impacted the novel? I met my husband when I was fifteen years old. The same age Cole and Jenna were when they first met. Although Jenna and Cole have their hurdles, in the end, the unconditional love they have for one another will always shine through. I know what it’s like to love someone so much that you are willing to make the biggest sacrifices and are willing to love that person through the most trying times of their lives. I view Cole and Jenna as Allen and I were at that age. Young, and still growing and learning, but doing it together.   

Tell us a bit about your publisher: how did you hear about them and what influenced your decision to submit to them? I had The Wild Rose Press in mind when I wrote Killing Dreams. I’d heard about them after my second novel, Cunja had been published through a different press. And I always knew when I sat down to write another book, TWRP would be the one I’d submit to. A lot of authors had nothing but positive words for them.  

What book[s] currently rest on your TBR pile? I’m not going to lie. I’ve been doing so much writing that reading has become a thing of the past. However, I’m picking reading back up again. I’m in the middle of reading Tangled in Texas by Kari Lynn Dell. So far so good.  

Lastly, what's up next and when can we expect to see it on the shelves? I’ve completed the second book in The Spirit Walkers Series, Buried Alive. And if you thought Jenna and Cole’s nightmares have come to an end, let me assure you they have not. I am hopeful it will be available from TWRP within six to eight months.

Please tell our visitors where they can learn more about you and the stories you create.

Visitors can always reach me by email @

And I love to add friends to my Facebook, where I give constant updates, as well as announcing cool contests and other book information. I can be found on Facebook @ Romance Writer Donnette Smith | Facebook

And I can also be reached via my website:


To purchase Killing Dreams, go to: Killing Dreams (Spirit Walkers Book 1) eBook : Smith, Donnette : Kindle Store

Barnes and Noble: Killing Dreams by Donnette Smith, Paperback | Barnes & Noble® (


Monday, September 13, 2021

In From the Cold by Susan Payne

 After a significant time away, Wild Women Authors is back and ready to roll. Today we feature Susan Payne’s historical romance, In From the Cold, a current release out of the Wild Rose Press. With Susan is former Nebraska rancher turned merchant, miner, and furniture maker Matthew Foster.

Good morning, Matthew. Let’s begin with where you are from. I was born on a small Nebraska ranch and lived there until I felt it best to leave my older brother, Luke, and his new wife, Lorelei, the space they needed. With the rest of my five brothers living at home, it was a little tight.  Newlyweds need their privacy and I felt it time to do something I’d been dreaming about doing – heading to Alaska to make my own future.

Tell us a bit about In From the Cold. I left my family under strained conditions.  I sort of got a crush on my new sister-in-law who I still have special feelings for – just not those kind of feelings. At the time Lorelei tried to explain it to me, but I was restless and feeling as if no one saw me for myself.  Only another pair of hands to work around the ranch.  It didn’t take me long once I left them to figure out how special my family was and how special I was to have such a close family. I appreciate all of them much more than I would have if I had stayed, plus I wouldn’t have found my princess.

What did you think the first time you saw Katarina, your Russian Princess? I didn’t know the frozen pile of rags I found outside my trading post contained a person and once I did, I thought it was a young boy.

What was your second thought? Hmm, can we skip that part?  My mind might have gone to carnal thoughts once I knew she was going to be all right.

Did you feel it was love at first sight? No, certainly not love but you have to remember, I’d been out on my own for a long time. She was the first seemingly available female to come within reach. The fact we were stranded in a blizzard alone didn’t help keep my thoughts purely altruistic.

What do you like most about Katarina? She is so passionate about everything.  Maybe that’s part of her culture…I mean, you ever meet her father? She is also tender hearted and feels we should give back to the serfs and other people living in poverty in her homeland and Alaska where I’ve been so lucky.

How would you describe her? Physically? She’s small. So small, I worried about her doing some of the things she insists on doing – like run her own dog team when we’re in Alaska. She has the most splendid silky dark hair and her eyes – I get lost in her eyes.

How would she describe you? Probably as uneducated and rough around the edges. I know how to wrangle a horse and brand a calf and mend a fence…but she speaks and reads several languages and has more knowledge about history than I ever will. She fences and dances and plays musical instruments. Her father tolerates me because Katarina loves me. If we had met anywhere other than Alaska, we probably would never have been able to be together.

What made you choose mining as a career? It kind of chose me. I sort of had an interest in mining, or rather getting rich quick only so I could get on with doing what I wanted to do which was make furniture. Good furniture that people would be proud of making and proud of owning. Pieces to pass on down in a family. I can do both now although I turned over the mining to others. Spreads the wealth around, you know?

What is your biggest fear? That Lorelei, Luke or one of the boys will get hurt.  I’m with Katarina so I know she’s always safe with me, but the others… There are so many dangers to ranch life.  I wish there was a way for us to remain together, but I need to keep Katarina close to her father. I promised.

How do you relax? I take time to work on a piece every night. Sanding or carving…anything to keep sawdust on my hands. That’s what Katarina says I’m doing. She doesn’t mind and keeps track of all the smaller pieces I’ve been working on.

Who is your favorite fictional character? Lorelei got all of us reading more than we had. She brought me some Jules Verne. So I guess, Captain Nemo because he built what he needed to travel the world. He went from one place to another in record speed.  I sometimes wonder if his ship, The Catalyst, could be really built.  It catches my interest at times.

What is the best piece of advice you ever received? It was from Lorelei, of course. She said something like I may think that I loved her at the time, but I only loved what she and Luke had found together. She encouraged me to become my own man.  Not that she wanted me to leave like I did, but she understood me better than I did myself at the time.

Thank you for taking time out of your busy day to speak with us. Now we’d like to chat with Susan.

What movies or books have had an impact on your career as a writer? I would skip school to stay home so I could watch old black and white movies on TV. I loved seeing all the places and that set the stage, so to speak. I still love old towns and cities. Historical events and in particular, the old west. Alaska became our old west when the western territories were becoming states and getting safer and more respectable.

What event in your private life were you able to bring to this story and how do you feel it impacted the novel? That Matthew came from a loud, messy family mimics my own. That he was open to learning new things and could empathize with so many different types of lifestyles and yet remain true to himself.

Tell us a bit about your publisher. I found The Wild Rose Press through a friend I made on line.  She had a book under contract and I thought to query a few of mine to see if they had an interest. As I studied their web site, I found they would help self-publishers on an ala carte basis which is what I did. I found them very helpful going through the process and allowed me to get my stories to the public in a relatively short time.

What book[s] currently rest on your TBR pile? Too many to list.  I still have a wide taste and interest so I keep adding to my eBooks in my Kindle.

Lastly, what's up next for you and when can we expect to see it on the shelves? For the first time since I began publishing, I don’t have anything under contract although I hope to have my first contemporary novella become part of the One Scoop or Two series for Wild Rose Press.  We’ll have to wait and see since they were complete for this year by the time I sent it in. I am also working on getting a new Regency completed.


Susan brought an excerpt from In From the Cold for us:

        “Katarina, my love, we have discussed this and agreed Alaska is not a place for you. This trading post is not a place for you. Your place is with your father wherever that may be. St. Petersburg sounds like a grand place to me, and you should return to the life you were born to have.”

        Sobs shook her shoulders, and he looked over to the man he hoped would help him say the right things to drive Katarina back to Russia. She would never believe Matthew had changed his mind about loving her. Glancing across the room, Matthew could see the bear of a man surreptitiously wipe a tear from his cheek and realized there would be no more help from that quarter. It would be up to him to convince her to go home.

        “Listen, you know about my early life and I tell you truthfully I would do anything, give-up anything, to spend a little more time with my pa. He died suddenly without any of us being able to tell him a proper goodbye, to thank him for all he gave up for us, to promise him we would work hard and be grateful for what the good Lord provided. I envy you your father. He may be fit and hearty now, but things change, and you still have the time to spend with him doing all those wonderful things he keeps talking about.” He pushed her away from his body so he could stare into her eyes. “You know I love you, but that won’t go away. You have the chance I never had to spend time with your father. Take it, grasp it to your heart, hold on for as long as you can.”

To learn more about Susan Payne and the stories she creates, go to:



To purchase In From the Cold, go to:






Monday, August 23, 2021

Hometown by Wendy Rich Stetson

 When all roads lead home, choosing one is far from simple…

     When Tessa's big-city plans take the A Train to disaster, she lands in her sleepy hometown, smack in the middle of the most unlikely love triangle ever to hit Pennsylvania's Amish Country.

     Hot-shot Dr. Richard Bruce is bound to Green Ridge by loyalty that runs deep. Deeper still is Jonas Rishel's tie to the land and his family's Amish community. Behind the wheel of a 1979 camper van, Tessa idles at a fork in the road. Will she cruise the superhighway to the future? Or take a slow trot to the past and a mysterious society she never dreamed she'd glimpse from the inside?

 Wild Women Authors is pleased to feature author Wendy Rich Stetson who celebrates the release of Hometown a current release for the Sweetheart Rose line out of the Wild Rose Press. Accompanying Wendy is Tessa Meadows who will go first.

Good morning, Tessa. Thanks for joining us. Let’s begin with where you’re from. Green Ridge, PA.  It’s not the end of the world but you can see it from there.

Tell us a bit about Hometown. It is the story of the crazy summer I was fired from a job I didn’t want in the first place, almost moved to New York City, and ended up in my tiny hometown, smack in the middle of a love triangle between a drop-dead gorgeous Amish carpenter and a super-hot, young doctor.

What did you think the first time you saw Jonas Rishel whom we now know is the drop-dead gorgeous carpenter. I didn’t think so much as I swooned.  I met him at his sister’s baked goods stand at the Farmers’ Market in my hometown, whereupon I completely mangled a whoopie pie, muttered something unintelligible, and sort of thought, just for a second, he was checking me out.

Un huh. So . . . what was your second thought? He’s Amish.  I’m not.  What am I going to do?  Ask him out?

Did you feel it was love at first sight?  Not gonna lie.  Yup.  Except for the part where I thought he was probably married.

What do you like most about him? I love how straightforward and uncynical he is.  He says what he means, and he doesn’t play games.  I know I can trust him.

How would you describe him? Jonas is the most upright, dependable guy I’ve ever met.  I’ve never known anyone so loyal and so dedicated to his family. He’s painfully handsome and equally stubborn, with a bossy streak a mile wide.  Despite the fact he was raised Amish, he has a restless spirit and a deep sense of wanderlust.  He says he’s a carpenter, but he’s really an artist.  And he bakes a mean blueberry pie.

How would he describe you? He would say I’m twice as stubborn as he is and three times as short tempered.  I think he likes my curly red hair and how I make him laugh.  He’d say I drive too slowly, and he can’t spend an afternoon with me without getting drenched. I surprise him, and I think he likes that.

What made you choose your current career? Honestly, I’m still trying to figure out what it will be. I got a Masters in English and taught writing to college students for a couple of years before the university closed down.  I had a gardening column in a small, local newspaper for a while, and I really enjoyed that.  I’d like to pursue journalism.

What is your biggest fear? Getting stuck in my hometown.  My second biggest fear is leaving my hometown.

How do you relax? When I was a little girl, I spent hours in the garden with my grandmother.  To this day, I always feel better with my knees in the dirt.

Who is your favorite fictional character? I think every red-haired girl grew up loving Anne of Green Gables.  I’m no exception.

What is the best piece of advice you ever received? On a whim, I took an acting class in college.  My teacher was fond of saying, “Dare to fail gloriously.”  I’d like to learn how to do that.

This has been an awful lot of fun. Thank you, Tessa, for offering us a breath of fresh air. Now we’d like to chat with Wendy.

What movies or books have had an impact on your career as a writer? I love the 1980 movie Somewhere in Time starring Christopher Reeve and Jane Seymour.  I just thought it was the most beautifully romantic story.  Ever since I saw it, I’ve longed to tell a tale about an impossible romance—about people from radically different worlds risking everything to be together.  What’s more romantic than that?

What event in your private life were you able to bring to this story and how do you feel it impacted the novel? I think lots of us who grew up in small towns fear getting trapped.  We worry we’ll never experience life outside the tiny little community we know and that knows us so well.  I grew up in a town very like Green Ridge, and like Tessa, I both longed to leave and was afraid to strike out on my own.  Finding home is a strong theme in the book.  As a farmgirl living in Manhattan, I understand what it means to rebel against your hometown and yet feel it is indelibly a part of who you are. 

Tell us a bit about your publisher: how did you hear about them and what influenced your decision to submit to them? I found The Wild Rose Press through searching boutique romance publishers online.  They do one thing, romance, and they do it well.  I was honored to have them select Hometown for publication.

What book[s] currently rest on your TBR pile? I am just finishing Vanetta Chapman’s beautiful Amish book, “A Wedding for Julia.”  It had me weeping in the orthodontist’s office during my daughter’s appointment today.  I’m getting to know my fellow Wild Rose Press writers through their writing, and I have a number of titles lined up on my kindle including books by Charlotte O’Shay, Sadira Stone, and Hunter J. Skye.  

Lastly, what's up next and when can we expect to see it on the shelves? I’m in the thick of writing Book 2 in the Hearts of the Ridge series.  I’m not ready to give any spoilers yet, but a character from Hometown is going to get her happily ever after in the most unexpected and delightful way.

Wendy brought an excerpt from Hometown for us:

The girl entwined her fingers in her skirt and tugged the fabric tight. “Your hair is the same color as my cat, and she’s the best cat in the world.” In a heartbeat, she fled and buried her face in the man’s lap.

“My goodness.  What a compliment.  Thank you.” She fumbled with the clasp of her wallet, discovering only then she smooshed her thumb deep into the whoopie pie.

The elfin child giggled and bounced on bare toes.

Standing, the man swept her into his arms and smiled down at Tessa. “Rebecca has not seen many women with ginger hair.”

Ginger hair. For years, she was tormented by boneheaded boys shouting, “Carrot Top” and “Flame.” No one ever called her mane ginger. Beneath his candid gaze, her curls heated like embers, warming her from top to toe. Who was this man?

The girl wriggled, knocking askew his straw hat.

He tossed her under one arm like a sack of flour and righted it, loosening a tawny curl that escaped the wide brim and fell over one brow. His gaze passed over Tessa’s face.  

Her unruly hair and short shorts tweaked at her consciousness. What did the Amish call outsiders? English? She was definitely dressed like an English woman. And not one from a Jane Austen novel.

He deposited the giggling girl right-side up on the floor and approached the table. “I’ve rarely seen hair that color myself. Like a copper penny.”

She stared at the mangled whoopie pie and blushed even deeper. For a brief moment, she felt his gaze trail down her body like a caress. Or did she?

To purchase Hometown, go to:


Barnes and Noble;jsessionid=41ADA76CCD67CA8C68861A9F8271F2B3.prodny_store01-atgap13?ean=9781509235643


To learn more about Wendy Rich Stetson go to:





Originally from Central PA, Wendy Rich Stetson is a Broadway & TV actress, audiobook narrator, and now the author of “Hometown,” a sweet and funny, small town Amish romance. @stetsonriches #wrpbks #smalltownromance #sweetromance #amish #romancereaders #romancenovel






Thursday, August 19, 2021

How Everything Turns Away by Steven J. Kolbe

 Wild Women Authors is delighted to feature debut author Steven J. Kolbe who is celebrating the release of his first novel, How Everything Turns Away, a contemporary murder mystery, recently released by the Wild Rose Press. Accompanying Steve is Father Remy Mbombo who will go first.

Good morning, Father Remy. Thank you for taking time away from your duties to join us. First, tell us a bit about How Everything Turns Away. It isn’t my story but Ezra James’. When he came to St. Joseph and Mary he was, like so many people I meet, defeated by life. I thought several times that he would give up, not just on his marriage and his career with the FBI, but on life itself. Then he found Brooklyn Hannigan, twenty-two, beautiful, unconscious in the snow. It was as though God had given him a purpose again.

Having read this story, several times over, how you just described Ezra is so profound and so very true. Thank you. Please tell us what made you choose the priesthood for a career. As a young man [the religious life] it appealed for various reasons, mainly prestige and money, I am ashamed to admit. Then I had an experience that literally shook me to my core. That day I realized what a gift the priesthood was, and how much I could offer my fellow human beings. That day, I became a real priest.

Knowing what you know now, if you had it to do over again, would you stick with being a priest or do something different? Looking back, I see the hand of fate moving me inescapably to where I am. Although, I would’ve made a mean footballer. Soccer player, that is, for you Americans.

What is your biggest fear? That I have been too harsh on one of my parishioners or otherwise led them astray.

Who is your favorite fictional character and why? Le Petit Prince. I read that book so many times as a boy, the spine [on the book] became soft and the pages began to fall out.

What is the best piece of advice you ever received? “Not everything is as sinister as it appears.” That came from my first post in Zaire. Father Khonde never led me astray, though he had plenty of reason to, I found out later.

Thank you for this insight into the religious life—for you—and other things. Now we’d like to chat with Steve.

Which writer or character[s], from either books or movies, [or both] have had a major impact on your writing? I’ve drawn a lot from Agatha Christie and Sir Conan Arthur Doyle as far as how the mystery genre works. More recent crime influences include Denis Lehane, Michael Robotham, and Karen Odden, who is a mentor to me through Mystery Writers of America. More generally, I think I decided to become a writer after first reading Fitzgerald and Salinger as a sixteen/seventeen-year-old. Something about their combination of angst and romanticism struck a nerve with me.

With regard to research, where did you start for this novel? Did that lead you down different paths, thereby changing the original concept? I found out that I know almost nothing about electricity. I had the attack [on the student teacher, early on in the book] involve a power outage but I didn’t understand how it would work exactly. As I learned more, I altered my methods. I also did a fair bit of research about Africa, which was a fun surprise. My priest is of mysterious origins, a fact that I get into more in my next book, but he comes most recently from Senegal, a country in West Africa. As a student at LSU, I lived in the international dorm and my roommate Oumar was from Senegal. He impressed me more than anyone else I met in those days. When I met him, Oumar spoke English, French, Wolof, and Arabic. He’d enrolled in business German just that semester to broaden his career prospects. Fate had started us off in two radically different places and of the two of us, he had to work much harder to end up in that dorm room.

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? When I finished my first major draft, I gave it to my wife, Susan. She read it over the course of a few days and suggested, rightly so, that I take out the entire middle, which was in the victim’s POV and sort of explained everything for the detective and the reader. When I finished the rewrite, I picked up a copy of Writer’s Market from the Finney County library and created a list of agents and publishers. There I made a great discovery: The Wild Rose Press. They were looking for unsolicited mysteries, so I queried. Over the next year, I went back and forth with an editor until we felt the manuscript was strong enough to publish. So about a year from query to acceptance, which had everything to do with the book needing more work. From there the release date was set (about two months after I approved the final proof).

What are you reading right now? I just finished reading the Norton Anthology of Postmodern American Fiction and Strong Poison by Dorothy L. Sayers. (I have a bad habit of reading multiple books at once.) I just started T. J. Klune’s The House in the Cerulean Sea, a humorous fantasy YA novel, and Richard Osman’s The Thursday Murder Club, a runner-up for the Edgar Award this year.

What's next for you? I have a story coming out later this year in Calliope, a literary journal run by Mensa. It is a postmodern spy story that draws heavily on chess notation. So, you know, possibly it’s unreadable. I’m also working on a very readable sequel to HETA. So far we’ve seen into the minds of Ezra James and Lucia Vargas. In the next book, we’re also going to see Fr. Remy’s perspective as the three solve a brand new set of interconnected mysteries and, in the process, find out about Remy’s mysterious past and why he hasn’t shared more about it with Ezra.

 To learn more about Steven J. Kolbe and the stories he creates go to:

Instagram: @StevenJKolbe

Twitter: @KolbeSteven         


To purchase How Everything Turns Around, go to:



Barnes and Noble:


Monday, August 16, 2021

Eat Your Heart Out by Shirley Goldberg

 They’re not ready to go from friends to lovers. Will practice make perfect? 

       When a tyrant in stilettos replaces her beloved boss, and her ex snags her coveted job, teacher Dana Narvana discovers there are worse things than getting dumped on Facebook. Even at her age. Time for the BFF advice squad, starting with Dana's staunchest ally, Alex. Hunky colleague, quipster, and cooking pal extraordinaire. But when the after-hours smooching goes nowhere, she wonders why this grown man won't make up his mind.   

Actor turned teacher Alex Bethany craves a family of his own and his new lifestyle gives him the confidence to try online dating. Meanwhile he’s sending Dana mixed messages in the kissing department. After a surprising event rocks his world, Alex panics, certain he’s blown his chances with his special person. From appetizers to the main course will these two cooking buddies make it to dessert?

 Wild Women Authors features author Shirley Goldberg and Eat Your Heart Out, a contemporary women’s fiction novel, released by the Wild Rose Press. With Shirley is high school English teacher Dana Narvana who will go first.

Good morning, Dana. Let’s start with where you are from. I’m from New Haven, Connecticut. Grew up there. Know where to grab the best pizza on the planet.

Tell us a bit about Eat Your Heart Out. It’s weird to talk about myself since I’m a figment of Shirley’s brain, but here goes. The novel is romantic women’s fiction, which is different from straight romance. Alex Bethany is the other main character and my friend. I’m pretty much struggling at school with my bitchy boss, my crappy love life, and then there’s a few food issues I’m wrestling. I’m a foodie, I’ll admit it.

What did you think the first time you saw Alex? I didn’t recognize him. Not a clue. Can’t tell you why because that’s a spoiler. But we’d worked side-by-side for years.

What was your second thought? He’s hot!

Did you feel it was love at first sight? Quite the opposite. He irritated me. Wanted to collaborate on a project. I thought he had an agenda and was suspicious.

What do you like most about him? He’s there for me when I need him in so many ways, if you catch my drift.

How would you describe him? Funny, playful, loving. A great father. Sexy and a good listener.

How would he describe you? Demanding. Soft on the inside, especially when it comes to Sara, my daughter. And Alex, of course. He’d say I love to laugh, sometimes at inappropriate moments.

What made you choose teaching as a career? I love outwitting smart kids––you know, I’m talking about the whole class management thing–– and I learn something new every day from my students.

What is your biggest fear? That something could hurt my daughter. Or Alex’s son.

How do you relax? A great book. The beach in the off-season. Doing anything with Alex.

Who is your favorite fictional character? Scarlet O’Hara because she’s a real heroine and so tragic at the same time.

What is the best piece of advice you ever received? Do what you’re afraid to do. I use this when writing, too.

Thanks for taking time to speak with us, Dana. Now we’d like to chat with Shirley.

What movies or books have had an impact on your career as a writer? I’ve always loved the old black and white Cary Grant movies. Also, The Apartment with Shirley MacLaine and Jack Lemmon. Now when I watch a movie, I look for the beats since movies and novels follow the three-act structure, from the inciting incident to the dark night of the soul.

What event in your private life were you able to bring to this story and how do you feel it impacted the novel? The characters had issues with food and since I was intimately familiar with those issues, one of my characters had to overcome a serious addiction. Not saying which one.

Tell us a bit about your publisher: how did you hear about them and what influenced your decision to submit to them? I knew my editor personally from our Florida writers group and she encouraged me to consider submitting my first book to The Wild Rose Press.

What book[s] currently rest on your TBR pile? A couple New Yorker magazines. I’m taking a short break from novel reading. It’ll probably last a day.

Lastly, what's up next and when can we expect to see it on the shelves? I’ve finished my third book in the Starting Over series. Now I’m combing through it again for inconsistencies, awkward or boring dialog, and typos. And I have to come up with a title. I’m thinking of calling it Dream On because it’s more angsty than my other books. Amazing that people (my characters) can’t make up their minds about what’s arguably the most important thing in life: choosing your special person.

 Shirley brought along an excerpt from Eat Your Heart Out:  

Bora Bora on Chapel Street was the best after work spot for people watching and enjoying beer on a splendid afternoon. The kiss of the afternoon sun urged me closer to drowsy and relaxed. It had been a while since Alex and I had been out together.

“Look. On the other side.” I gestured with my chin. My students, the Mean Girls, poised to cross the street against the light, a trio of teenettes, primped and pouty and aware of their power. I widened my eyes and slipped down my sunglasses, nudged Alex, who wasn’t paying attention, with my elbow.


“Your ten o’clock.” I could almost smell their perfumed perfection from a block away. “I’ll bet they ignore us. If they come this way.”

The Snotties headed down the street to our left, but I had no doubt we’d been sighted. Mr. Bethany and Ms. Narvana. Together.

“Who cares?”

“You will. When they spread the word. The whole school—”

“Enough shop talk, Ms. Narvana. Don’t be an alarmist.” Alex chin-jabbed in the direction of two twenty-somethings crossing the street. “See that couple there? Well, she hates it when he sneaks a smoke late at night in the kitchen downstairs, wearing nothing but his argyles and tighty-whities.”

I leaned over to whisper into the crook of his arm, breathed in his faint piney scent with a hint of beer breath. “When they’re at her parents’ place, house sitting, they do it in the master bedroom, secretly hoping the parents will come home early and catch them en flagrante.”

Alex made a face that gave him a bedraggled look. “En flagrante, huh? You revised my story. I’ll let it go this time because you added clever details.” Using his radio announcer voice. “And she used foreign words.”


To learn more about Shirley Goldberg and the stories she creates, go to:

 Amazon Author page:

 To purchase Eat Your Heart Out, go to:



Apple Books



Google Books


Thursday, August 12, 2021

An Unexpected Wife by Susan Payne

 Wild Women Authors is pleased to feature Susan Payne and Lorelei Sanders from Susan’s latest release, An Unexpected Wife, published by the Wild Rose Press. As usual, Lorelei will go first.

 Good morning, Lorelei. Tell us where you’re from. I was born in Ohio and travelled to Nebraska to get my first job as librarian to the town of Whitewater Rapids where I make my home now.

Tell us a bit about An Unexpected Wife.  As I said, I was in Nebraska to start my employment with the city in their very lovely library when the whole thing went up in smoke. The library, I mean. The town’s men tried to save it, but it was a complete loss.  I was stranded on the street and couldn’t find a way to remain in town and didn’t have the funds to leave. The mayor felt just awful, but what could he do?  There wasn’t any reason to keep me on. He did have one idea…

What did you think the first time you saw Luke Foster, your “unexpected husband”?  Well, I was in shock after watching the fire take down the library and realizing that my chance to manage my first library was gone along with all my plans. He was covered with soot and ash and looked like he’d been sliding down a chimney.

What was your second thought? That he was attractive and nice.  I was crying for all that I thought I’d lost and then he was there offering me help. Somehow, he made me feel better by simply talking to him.

Did you feel it was love at first sight? Certainly not love but I realized that he could be someone special. I may have felt desperate, but I knew I could trust him.

What do you like most about him? The way he cares so much about his family.  How hard he works to make the ranch a success and give his brothers a place to feel at home. His love for his parents is still so strong.  Of course. I know that caring turned to love with me and I thank the day we met.  I could have wasted my life in a library surrounded by books instead of the loving family I have.

How would you describe Luke? Physically, he’s tall and slender. More of a whipcord strength.  You need to be to work a cattle and horse ranch full time. Blond hair with the bluest eyes.  Reminds me of the Nebraska sky in summer.  And protective – too protective to my way of thinking.

How would he describe you? Probably as the most unexpected thing he’d ever done in his life. I think I’ve surprised him more than once turning into a mother bear to fight for one of the younger boys. I think he sees me as proper and refined, but I have grit, too. I’ll fight for anyone who has been put in a poor position through no fault of their own.

What made you choose to become a librarian? My mother died when I was an infant which left only my father to care for me.  He worked in the university library and took me with him.  All the ladies in the department would take turns with me.  When I got old enough to walk, I was allowed to ‘help’.  They all taught me to love books and to treat them tenderly.  Watching so many books burn in that fire tore at my heart in more ways than one.

What is your biggest fear? That Luke or one of the boys will get hurt.  Or something could tear the family apart. Something I hadn’t realized was happening.

How do you relax? I take time to read at the end of each day.  Sometimes to the boys and other times for my own pleasure.  I order some favorites when I have the extra cash or read one of the several books, I brought with me.  

Who is your favorite fictional character? Probably Kate in Shakespeare’s play, The Taming of the Shrew.  I think she put up a wall to hide behind but fought for those she loved.  I’d like to think I’m a little like that.  Passionate about those I care about.

What is the best piece of advice you ever received? To make the best of what you have been given. It may not have been what you planned, but higher forces sometimes intercede when we least know what to do for ourselves.

Lorelei, thank you for taking time out of your day to speak with us. Now we’d like to chat with Susan.  

What movies or books have had an impact on your career as a writer? So many since I read everything, I could lay my hands on since I was eight years old.  Many of them were above my comprehension level but I remember them.  Pearl S Buck was one author I remember clearly.

What event in your private life were you able to bring to this story and how do you feel it impacted the novel?  My family is fairly large and noisy and busy which means someone has to be the mast they can depend on to be there when they need a steadfast point.  I feel Luke was that and then Lorelei. She could see what the brothers were too close to see and keep them from fighting.     

Tell us a bit about your publisher. I found The Wild Rose Press through a friend I made on line.  She had a book under contract and I thought to query a few of mine to see if they had an interest. As I studied their web site, I found they would help self-publishers on an ala carte basis which is what I did. I found them very helpful going through the process and allowed me to get my stories to the public in a relatively short time.

What book[s] currently rest on your TBR pile? So many right now – mostly historical romance.  I love anything by Gina Conkle – her stories are so riveting and passionate.  I only read thirty to fifty books a year now that I’m publishing.  I still write a novel a month so most of my time goes there.

Lastly, what's up next and when can we expect to see it on the shelves? I have one more book to be released in September, 2021. In From the Cold is about Luke’s brother, Matthew, in Alaska.  I have a short contemporary beach-read and plan to release a few of my London Regency novels in the next few months.

You can keep up with my books by checking my web site or send me questions at –





Monday, August 9, 2021

Genuine Fake

           Devlin Security operative Boyd Kirby guards only art and artifacts. Memories of leading his Army Ranger team into a deathtrap haunt him, so he swears never to protect people. But when the woman who once stole his heart asks for help, he can’t refuse. The search for Gemma Bellini’s missing friend leads to a complex case of art forgery and murder attempts on her life. Sweating bullets, Boyd vows not to be distracted by her warmth and his desire. He damn well will protect her… with his life.

         When sparks between them ignite to flames, the danger escalates—to their lives and their hearts.

 Wild Women Authors is pleased to welcome back multi-published author Susan Vaughan as she celebrates the release of Genuine Fake, the latest in her Devlin Security series. With Susan is Boyd Kirby who will go first.

Good morning, Kirby. Thanks for taking time away from the agency to speak with us. Let’s start with where you’re from. Boston. My accent’s usually a dead giveaway. My dad was a Boston PD sergeant. After he was killed in the line of duty, I enlisted. Made Army Rangers and worked my way up to First Sergeant. Now I work for Devlin Security in Virginia.

Tell us a bit about Genuine Fake. Sure. Gemma texted me for help about her missing friend Troy. I soon figured out a lot more was going on and she was in deep sh—, sorry, deep trouble. Her grandfather was a famous artist who left her in charge of his estate. A tall order that set her up for trouble with art forgers who wanted her dead. While other operatives investigated, my job was protecting her. The last thing I wanted. Nobody should trust me to protect them. Plus, maintaining professional distance from her was a tough call. As it turned out, impossible.

What did you think the first time you saw Gemma Bellini? I immediately crushed on her. What red-blooded male wouldn’t? Gorgeous and full of life, and those dimples.

Works for us. And your second thought was . . .? Man, way out of my league.

Was it love at first sight? Lust at first sight, for sure. And like. Gemma’s easy to like. Friendly, fun-loving, and generous.

How would Gemma describe you? Hmm, she’d say I have protector in my DNA. But sometimes I’m too grim. And relentless.

What is your biggest fear? I wish you hadn’t asked that, but here goes. I didn’t keep my men safe in Afghanistan, so the possibility of failing again when it really counts—like protecting Gemma—twists a knife in my gut.

What is the best piece of advice you ever received? It’s that saying about being in a hole. I can’t remember who said it. I’d dug myself into a hole, deeper and deeper. It took me a long time—and Gemma—to learn to stop digging.

Thanks for this, Boyd. We know it wasn’t easy. Now we’d like to chat with Susan.

What movies or books have had an impact on your career as a writer? I first wrote a couple of young adult novels, but didn’t feel I had the voice for that age even though I taught middle school. I had been reading mysteries, and still love them. But then a friend lent me Hummingbird by Lavyrle Spencer, and reading it was a revelation. I began devouring romance novels and knew finally what I wanted to write. A movie that influenced me was Romancing the Stone. The first book in the Devlin Security Force series, On Deadly Ground, about returning a Mayan artifact to its temple, is a tip of my hat to that film.

Tell us a bit about your publisher: how did you hear about them and what influenced your decision to submit to them? I was first published by Harlequin. I enjoyed most their Silhouette Intimate Moments (sadly, now defunct). The length and the mix of suspense and romance were what influenced me to submit there. Now, I’m happily published independently.

What book[s] currently rest on your TBR pile? I have Immortal Heart by Julie Miller, one of my favorite romantic suspense authors, and Taking Care of Business in Judith Arnold’s Magic Juke Box series (love the whole series). I’ve just begun reading While Justice Sleeps by Stacy Abrams, definitely intrigue and suspense but not romance, although Abrams has published romance novels.

 Would you give us a snippet of Genuine Fake? I’ve chosen this section at the beginning where the couple first meet. The local police have just finished at Gemma’s missing friend’s apartment when Boyd arrives.

      The sound of footsteps pounding up the stairs turned everyone toward the half-open door. Long placed a hand on the butt of the pistol at her side.

Gemma’s heart fluttered against her ribs. Could it be? There’d been so much noise on Boyd’s end of his call—voices talking over each other, laughter—she wasn’t sure what he’d said after she gave him Troy’s address.

The door swung inward and Boyd Kirby filled the space. His steel-gray gaze mapped the room before landing on her. He swept her head to toe, then nodded, apparently satisfied she was all in one piece.

And oh my, the man did fill out a tuxedo. The jacket molded the muscularity of his wide shoulders. The ends of a bow tie stuck out of his breast pocket, and the blinding-white dress shirt hung open partway, displaying smooth, solid muscle dusted with bronze hairs.

“Gemma, you okay?”

She was, now that he’d arrived, and that he came right away, tonight. Her whole being felt lighter as warmth bloomed in her chest, but apparently her brain had left the building. Finally she managed to say, “Yes, yes, I’m good. As you see.”

She took two steps toward him before she forced herself to halt. Damn, she wanted nothing more but to feel his strong arms around her. And she’d promised herself to keep it all business.

“Who is this?” Long asked, in a tone of feminine appreciation that pulled Gemma’s focus from Boyd.

“Oh, it’s—” she began.

“Boyd Kirby, Sergeant. A friend. Gemma called me.” He strode to Gemma’s side and shot her a warning glance. About what? He stared unsmiling at the two officers. “You figure out what happened here?”

Back in cop mode, Long picked up her kit and headed to the door, her partner at her heels. “Hard to say so far.” She turned to Gemma with a small smile. “Y’all are in good hands then, ma’am.”

After that bit of good will, they left. Their wide leather equipment belts creaked as they hit the stairs.

“Thanks for coming, Boyd, but you didn’t have to leave a party. You could’ve waited until tomorrow morning.” She couldn’t help it, she had to touch him, to feel his solid presence. She gripped his forearm. Even through the jacket, his tensile strength and heat reassured her.

He shook his head. “Better I look this over tonight, so I can see things the way the ass— burglars left them.”

She huffed as she swept an arm to encompass the mess. “The way they left this place all cattywampus, assholes perfectly describes them.”

At her easy use of the word, a rascal’s crooked grin deepened sexy laugh lines framing his mouth and eyes. Heat flashed low in her body.

“Assholes it is then.” He tilted his head and placed his big hands on her shoulders. “No bruises, nothing broken? You said on the phone they nearly knocked you down the stairs.”

His warmth seeped into her, further easing the tightness. She might have black and blue on her hip. And a nightmare or two. But she firmed her jaw and her stance. She refused to be the weepy damsel in distress, especially if he’d left a date to come to her rescue.

“Nothing. Really.”

“I’d have been here sooner, but I couldn’t leave the shindig Devlin sent me to. And first I had to take home the client. Nearly midnight but traffic on the Beltway was like rush hour.”

Client, so no date then. Not that she was interested.

“Nice tux. Looks made for you.”

“Yeah, thanks. Actually feels comfortable, not like a vise. For security details among the rich and famous, I used to rent, but Mr. Devlin said I needed a suit tailored for my ape shoulders. Well, he didn’t exactly put it that way, but my mom would.”

She wouldn’t call him ape shouldered, but hunk came to mind. And buff. Laughing, she said, “Mr. Devlin was right.”


To purchase Genuine Fake, go to:

Digital & Print on;

short universal link:


To learn more about Susan Vaughan and the stories she creates, go to:



Twitter: @shvaughan or


Amazon Author page Universal Link: 

Goodreads Author page: