A week ago today we buried my nephew Andrew James Doran.
Many many people came to the wake and funeral to honor him: members of the high school football team he loved to coach; his students and their parents; classmates from high school and college.
And of course his immediate family, my brother Pete and sister-in-law Alice, his sister Suzanne and her husband Kasey, and a raft of cousins.
Through it all the love Andy had for his family, children, students and the community shown like a beacon of the way a good and honorable man conducts his life.
The world is a better place for having had Andy in it. Our family is infinitely better for Andy's humor and imagination.
Hope you're having a blast wherever you are now, pal. Look down on us once in awhile and give us one of your grins.
Monday, December 21, 2015
On a bright, crisp December morning, jewelry store manager, Peridot Keaton-Jones, arrives at work expecting to find her beloved uncle, Marty. Instead, she’s greeted by the muzzle of a gun pressed to her temple. When thugs assault her, threaten her life, and steal thousands of dollars worth of jewelry, Peri can only pray her uncle is late for the first time in his life.
Christopher Lane is a TV news cameraman in the right place at the right time. He witnesses the heist, calls the police, and offers help when Peri needs it most. She can't deny her attraction, but is he really her hero, or is he just after a story?
And with Christmas right around the corner, can Peri and Chris avert a holiday disaster?
To start off Christmas week, Wild Women Authors is pleased to welcome back Jan Elder and Peridot Keaton-Jones from Jan's holiday release, A Semi-Precious Christmas. We'll start with Peri.
Where are you from? I was born and raised in central Maryland and I still live in the same town I grew up in. Why would I want to leave a place that makes me happy?
Tell us a bit about A Semi-Precious Christmas. Now there’s a story! Let me tell you how my day started awhile back. A couple of weeks before Christmas I was opening up the jewelry store where I’m the manager. I was just minding my own business when, suddenly, the cold steel of a gun pressed hard against my temple. Then a gloved hand covered my mouth and said, “Keep your mouth shut and turn off the alarm. We won’t hurt you if you play nice. All we’re after is the jewelry.”
Well, as you can imagine, I was scared out of my mind. It’s not every day your life is threatened. But that’s how I met Chris. So in the end, it was a good thing.
What did you think the first time you saw Chris Lane? My first thought as he stood at the door to the shop in the middle of the robbery was “for goodness sake, man, get down before this psycho shoots you.”
Makes sense to us. And your second thought? Well, he caught my eye because he was really cute, but what I noticed even more was his adorable little girl, Maggie. Chris’s first thought was to get her to safety when he saw the thugs. Men who are good fathers make me misty eyed.
Did you feel it was love at first sight? Not exactly, but there was certainly interest. Still, I couldn’t help but wonder why he was going out of his way to help me. Cynical, huh? I’m working on that.
What do you like most about Chris? It would be hard not to like a guy who swooped in and rescued me. He’s just that kind of guy—the one you can’t help but be aware of because he’s thoughtful, kind, smart, oh yeah, and cute!
How would you describe him? Chris is also the type of guy who endures the embarrassment for wearing a hideous purple tie just to make his five-year-old daughter happy. He laughs a lot and doesn’t take himself too seriously. I like that in a man.
How would Chris describe you? He calls me his honey bunny. Makes me smile.
What made you choose managing a jewelry store as a career? My uncle Marty owns the story. And hey, my name is Peridot, the August birthstone. Where else would I work? It’s a blast selling beautiful things to happy customers.
What is your biggest fear? I’ve always wanted to be a mother and have kids. I guess I’m afraid that’s never going to happen. At least I was. Before Chris. Okay, I’m blushing now.
How do you relax, Peri? With a slammin’ good book, two warm cats, and a hot cup of tea.
Who is your favorite fictional character and why? Ever see the TV special, “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer”? There’s just something about seeing Rudolph mooning over his true-love Clarice that makes me get all squishy inside. Goofy to be romantic over something as simple as that, huh? And the Island of Misfit toys? That’s a Christian message if I ever heard one.
What is the best piece of advice you ever received? God knows what He’s doing so relax and let him take the wheel.
Terrific advice to end this part of the conversation. Thanks, Peri. Now let's talk with Jan about what movies or books have had an impact on her career as a writer and why. When the movie, “My Big Fat Greek Wedding”, did so well at the box office, it reminded me that the world really does love a good romance. When I made my first attempt at writing a book six years ago, romance spilled from my fingertips—ok, the words stuttered and stopped with the occasional gush—so I write what makes me happy.
What event in your private life were you able to bring to this story and how do you feel it impacted the novel? I got the idea for the book from an incident featured on the local news. Right down the street from where my husband and I live, thugs robbed a high-end jewelry store, getting away with thousands of dollars worth of jewelry. We stopped by a few days later and the saleswoman [whom we’re friends with] told us the whole story, including her terror at having a gun pointed at her face.
I got to thinking how I would feel and react if I were in the same situation. I put myself in my friend’s shoes and tried to relive the moment. What thoughts ran through her mind when confronted with her own mortality? What kind of people were the robbers? Had they been in jail before? Had they hurt anyone else? Everyone has good sides and bad sides. I wanted the reader to wonder, was there any good in them?
Tell us a bit about your publisher: how did you hear about them and what influenced your decision to submit to them? A few years ago, I was meeting with a few other ACFW members (American Christian Fiction Writers) and a fellow writer mentioned that Pelican Book Group was searching for authors. When I got home, I found that Pelican/White Rose publishing has a lovely website with a terrific handy-dandy info all about their requirements.
I was fortunate that they decided to publish my first novella, Manila Marriage App, and later, I noticed they also had a Christmas Extravaganza line. I read a few of the holiday books to get a feel for what they were looking for, and sat down to write my own Christmas story. Writing A Semi-Precious Christmas, was lots of fun. And hey, I got to research jewelry. How much fun was that!
As an aside, if you are a writer, Pelican is still taking submissions. You might want to check it out! If you are a reader, check out the whole line of Christmas romances. Good stuff.
What project[s] are you working on now? I’m working on edits with Prism Book Group for my third book, Love, Lies, and Fireflies—release date 9/2/16. LLF is a full-length contemporary Christian romance novel with elements of suspense. I had a fine time writing some of the scarier scenes (but not too scary.) Can’t wait until September!
What's up next for you? I’ve started a new book tentatively titled, A Semi-Sweet Romance, set in a chocolate shop. Speaking of fun research…!
To purchase “A Semi-Precious Christmas”, go to:
To connect with Jan, go to:
Monday, December 14, 2015
This week Wild Women Authors features hot agents on explosive cases in the FBI Heat series, Hunted, Book 1:
Catching bad guys in San Diego’s underworld isn’t just FBI Special Agent Ben Alfren’s job, it’s his life. He doesn’t have time for a serious relationship, doesn’t want one either. So when he meets his sexy new neighbor, Amber Jollett, he has nothing more in mind than unwinding with a glass of wine, a romantic walk on the beach…and maybe a hot fling.
But Amber is more than he bargained for. Hunted by an obsessed ex-boyfriend, the fiercely independent nurse chooses fight over flight for the chance at a future with her hot, blue-eyed neighbor. When she gets caught up in Ben’s plans to rescue five kidnapped women, their lives get entangled and their attraction flares into passion. But they’ll learn that in this dangerous game of cat and mouse, real love can save—or doom—them . . .
Kat and I are pleased to welcome author Marissa Garner and Amber Jollett from Hunted, Marissa's latest release from Grand Central Publishing. First up is Amber.
Where are you from? I grew up on a farm near Topeka, Kansas.
Tell us a bit about Hunted. It’s a sexy, edgy romantic thriller. While I was being hunted by my obsessed ex-boyfriend, my hot neighbor, FBI Special Agent Ben Alfren, was hunting for five women who’d been kidnapped by a drug cartel. When we met at a party, I never imagined that I’d be going undercover with him to find those poor women or that he’d insist on helping me take down my stalker. It was so exciting that I felt like I was in a movie.
What did you think the first time you saw Ben? I felt that “hottie” was an understatement. The guy is definitely GQ material.
Good one. And your second thought? I wondered if he could actually be one of those rare non-creeps. You know, the kind of guy you drool over in romance novels.
Did you feel it was love at first sight? Absolutely not. I’ve been running from my ex-boyfriend, Jeremy Nelson, for so long that the idea of love or even romance seemed pretty foreign.
What do you like most about Ben? He’s passionate about everything he does.
How would you describe him? Ben is smart, caring, brave, and OMG handsome.
That always helps but how would Ben describe you? He thinks I’m really strong and smart for staying one step ahead of Jeremy for two years.
What made you choose nursing for a career? I love helping people.
What is your biggest fear? I was always afraid Jeremy would catch me.
How do you relax? I read romance novels.
Odd, that's how we discovered romance novels—working the night shift in the surgical Intensive Care Unit. A well written Harlequin was a great way to stay awake during those endless hours of watching cardiac monitors. But we digress; who is your favorite fictional character and why? Sorry, too many to name. I also can’t pick one favorite book.
What is the best piece of advice you ever received? What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.
Thanks for this, Amber. It's Marissa's turn now. What movies or books have had an impact on your career as a writer and why? I’ve read dozens of romantic suspense novels by Sandra Brown, Linda Howard, Brenda Novak, Lisa Jackson, Allison Brennan, Anne Stuart, and other fantastic authors. I learned something about writing from every single book.
What event in your private life were you able to bring to this story and how do you feel it impacted the novel? I have a mild phobia about bridges, but I’m not going to reveal how it affected the story. No spoilers!
Tell us a bit about your publisher: how did you hear about them and what influenced your decision to submit to them? My editor at Grand Central Publishing requested the full manuscript of one of my stories when it won first place in a writing contest. After she decided to acquire it, she asked if I had anything else. I was shocked when she also bought the other two books in the series even though they weren’t written yet. I still think I’m dreaming.
What project[s] are you working on now? I’m working on Targeted (Book 2) edits and writing Wanted (Book 3). Targeted is a “ripped from the headlines” story about a female FBI agent who infiltrates a terrorist cell to prevent an urban bombing. In Wanted, an FBI agent teams up with the woman who left him at the altar, and they work together to stop the sabotage of a nuclear power plant.
What's up next for you? After Targeted and Wanted are published in early 2016, it’s going to be hard to decide what to do next. There may be additional books in this FBI Heat series. I sure hope so. And I’d love to publish The Baby Trap, Book 2 in my Hawaiian Heat series. I also have a paranormal romantic suspense that I like to describe as Indiana Jones and Lara Croft join forces with Ghost. So many stories, so little time…
BONUS OFFER: Check out the $25 Amazon e-Gift Card giveaway I’m running on my Facebook page and website. Good luck!
Marissa brought along an excerpt from Hunted:
The man in the gray hoodie was watching her. Amber Jollett couldn’t see his face, but he was the right height and build. Even from the opposite street corner, the intensity of his stare bored into her. She shivered despite the sunny morning.
Her focus never wavered as she slid behind two people. The man’s head turned with her movement.
The traffic light changed, and the crowd surged forward. Amber’s hand dug into her purse until it gripped reassuring metal. Weaving between bodies, she moved to the outside edge to put as much distance as possible between her and the man before the other pedestrians passed on the street. With each step, her heart beat faster.
Halfway across, the man reached up, pulled back the hood…and smiled. Straight black hair. Almond-shaped eyes. Asian features.
Amber’s knees went weak with relief.
Not him. Not this time.
A car horn blared. She jumped and spun around to find a taxi idling a few feet away, its driver gesturing impatiently for her to get out of the way. Waving an apology, she scurried across the street. She found a spot out of the pedestrian flow next to the corner of a building. She needed a moment to quiet her nerves.
She braced her hands on the knees of her pastel pink nurse’s scrubs, inhaled deep breaths, and released them slowly. Fear began to fade as calm returned.
Damn you, Jeremy Nelson. I want my life back.
Amber grimaced and closed her eyes. It was starting all over again. Two years had passed since she’d broken up with her obsessed boyfriend, but he continued to stalk her. Restraining orders and calls to law enforcement had proved useless. Now she alone was responsible for her safety. She’d lived in Coronado, across the bay from San Diego, for only two months. But two or three months was the amount of time it normally took for Jeremy to find her. From now on, she would have to be on constant alert. The worst part was imagining him wearing every hoodie, hiding in every shadow, or following in every vehicle. Usually, she didn’t wait for an actual sighting—that would be too late. No, she couldn’t hesitate. Once her instincts told her he was closing in, she had to move on. She cringed.
How much longer will I be hunted?
This has been an experience and we're so glad Marissa was able to join Wild Women this week.
Veronica Lynch and Kat Doran
To purchase Hunted, go to:
To learn more about Marissa and the stories she creates, go to:
Sunday, December 6, 2015
This week, Wild Women Authors is pleased to welcome Pamela S. Thibodeaux and Carson Alexander from In His Sight a romance, released by the Pelican Book Group. Welcome back Pamela.
First, a bit about In His Sight:
Grade school teacher Carson Alexander has a gift—a gift that has driven a wedge between him and his family. Worse, it’s put him at odds with God. Feeling alone and misunderstood, Carson views God’s gift of prophecy as the worst kind of curse…that is until he meets Lorelei Conner, landscape artist extraordinaire, and perhaps the one person who may need Carson and his gift more than anyone ever has.
Lorelei Connor is a mother on the run. Her abusive ex-husband has followed her all over the country, trying to steal their daughter. Distrusting of men and needing to keep on the move, she’s surprised by her desire to remain close to Carson Alexander. Through her fear and hesitation, she must learn to rely on God to guide her—not an easy task when He’s prompting her to trust a man.
Can their relationship withstand the tragedy lurking on the horizon?
Lorelei Connor is a mother on the run. Her abusive ex-husband has followed her all over the country, trying to steal their daughter. Distrusting of men and needing to keep on the move, she’s surprised by her desire to remain close to Carson Alexander. Through her fear and hesitation, she must learn to rely on God to guide her—not an easy task when He’s prompting her to trust a man.
Can their relationship withstand the tragedy lurking on the horizon?
Carson, what did you think the first time you saw Lorelei Connor?
After the indignation over her attitude toward me, I thought she was exactly the woman I’d been looking for all my life.
Good one. And your second thought? That she was incredibly beautiful.
Did you think it was love at first sight? Maybe…for me anyway. Lorelei had to learn to trust me before she could admit to any real feelings between us though.
What do you like most about her? Her unwavering love and devotion to her daughter Laurel, who is in my sixth grade English class and who happens to sort of be my niece.
How would you describe her? Raven hair, crystal-green eyes like her daughter’s, finely-chiseled features, ivory skin, with a mixture of fire and ice in her veins.
How would Lorelei describe you? I’m an average sort of guy with light brown (she calls it caramel colored) hair and hazel eyes. I’m an avid cyclist so pretty much stay in shape.
What made you choose teaching for a profession? I just love children. Watching them grow and helping them learn is a big thrill for me.
What is your biggest fear, Carson? That I’ll never be truly accepted for who I am or what I know. You see, I have psychic abilities and although I always use them for the Lord, people tend to think I’m a hoax, make fun or shy away when I tell them something. I tried to shut down and deny this ability after my parents died but it all came rushing back the minute I saw Laurel coming to class the first day of school. Now I only hope Lorelei doesn’t freak out or bolt, because I may be the only one to save her and Laurel from the danger fast approaching.
How do you relax? Riding my bike is the best form of relaxation I know.
Who is your favorite fictional character and why? Patrick Jane of the TV series, The Mentalist. He is just so clever at the way he uses his abilities.
What is the best piece of advice you ever received? My sister told me I should stop rejecting my gift as a curse. God has a reason for blessing me with these premonitions, these prophesies…whatever they are. And to stop fighting Him and let Him show you what to do, and how to use them for His glory and my/others’ good.
What an interesting characters! Let's talk with his creator, Pam Thibodeaux. What movies or books have had an impact on your writing? I am an avid reader since early childhood and a hopeless romantic all of my life so suffice it to say many, many books have impacted my life. Nora Roberts is my all-time-favorite author in secular romance while Francine Rivers, Karen Kingsbury and a whole bunch of Pelican Book Group authors impact my writing!
Tell us a bit about your publisher. How did you hear about them? What influenced your decision to submit to them. Tell us a bit about the submission process. How long did it take from query to release?
In His Sight was the first book I completed for Pelican Book Group/White Rose Publishing after my husband’s death in 2009. I had started the story as a contest entry but was unable to finish it due to his illness and death. I had this feeling that if I did not complete that story I may never write again. So I did in early 2010 and it was published later that year.
What book are you currently reading? I recently finished The Horse of My Heart anthology compiled/edited by Callie Smith Grant.
What's up next for you? I am working on a novel which I hope to complete soon and learning/attempting to write screenplays from my books.
Thanks for bringing another multi-layered character to Wild Women, Pam We really enjoyed Carson.
To learn more about Pamela S Thibodeaux and the stories she creates, go to:
Website address: http://www.pamelathibodeaux.com
Face Book: http://facebook.com/pamelasthibodeaux
Twitter: http://twitter.com/psthib @psthib
To purchase In His Sight, go to:
Pelican Book Group http://pelink.us/18aucLC
Friday, November 20, 2015
Today, Wild Women Authors is pleased to welcome Alicia Dean, multi-published author and part of Criminal Christmas presented by USA TODAY Bestselling, National Bestselling & Award-Winning Authors. Christmas isn't all Peace on Earth this Holiday Season in 8 Outstanding Suspense Stories of Murderers, Stalkers, Terrorists, Thieves, and Kidnappers. Criminal Christmas puts the Danger in the season of Mistletoe and Christmas Cookies. Snuggle up by the fire with our books and enjoy Christmas like never before. Over 850 pages of Danger, Mystery, Romance and Suspense for only 99¢!
For a bit about Alicia's entry into Criminal Christmas, The Twelth Day, read on:
As a teen, party girl Sabrina Spencer was the lone survivor of a serial killer’s attack on her family. Her testimony put the killer behind bars, and she spent the following decade carving out a new life and trying to forget.
But someone hasn’t forgotten. Two weeks before Christmas, she begins receiving daily packages containing bizarre gifts and threatening messages with demented references to the Twelve Days of Christmas.
Handyman Josh Cravens is remodeling the lake house she rents each year to escape the painful reminders Christmas brings. While his dimples and blue eyes are hard to resist, he’s the exact kind of player she’s been avoiding since she outgrew her wild days. But the isolated cabin and threatening messages boost her paranoia to fever pitch.
As Christmas draws closer, she’s torn between finding comfort in Josh’s arms, and fear that he might be behind the twisted countdown to the twelfth day.
Let's talk a bit with Sabrina Spencer. Where are you from? Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin.
Tell us a bit about The Twelfth Day. It is a Christmas Romantic Suspense about a woman who avoids holiday reminders by hiding out at a secluded lake cabin. But instead of finding the peace she’s seeking, odd and ominous messages begin arriving, and she worries that the killer who attacked her family a decade ago has resurfaced.
What did you think the first time you saw Josh Cravens? At first, I thought he was a criminal, a murderer perhaps.
And your second thought? That he was sexy, and disturbingly appealing, considering he wasn’t my type at all.
Did you feel it was love at first sight? No, I’d say lust, although it turned into love very quickly.
What do you like most about him? I love that he has a caring heart, even though he doesn’t always let it show.
How would you describe him? When I met him, he was a bit of a womanizer and drank too much. But, beneath his wild, untamed exterior, he is a wonderful person. He cares deeply for people, especially Dustin, Josh’s mentally challenged friend.
How would he describe you? We didn’t exactly hit it off when we first met. He thought I was a prudish nerd. He called me Polly Poindexter.
What made you choose teaching high school science for a career? I have always loved science, well, since I was eighteen, not long after I lost my entire family. Before that, I didn’t care much about anything, other than fun. I think what I love most about science is that there’s an explanation for everything, and it’s an exciting field of discovery. I love the order and logic of it all, no worries about the unknown. And I adore teaching it. When I see a student develop a love for science, to really ‘get’ what I’m explaining, it gives me the warm fuzzies.
What is your biggest fear? I’m terrified of the dark, of being alone.
How do you relax? I love to read and watch television.
Who is your favorite fictional character and why? This is going to sound crazy, but I love the Professor from Gilligan’s Island. I watch old reruns on MeTV, and I find him sexy and intelligent. I guess his scientific mind is a real turn-on.
What is the best piece of advice you ever received? I suppose it would be the advice I received from my mother, but I didn’t follow it until after she was gone. She told me that having fun was fine, but if I didn’t work hard and focus, I would never realize my dreams.
Thanks, Sabrina. This has been terrific. To purchase, Criminal Christmas, go to:
Barnes and Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/criminal-christmas-alexa-grace/1122676723?ean=2940152314052
Now a few questions for our friend, Alicia: What movies or books have had an impact on your career as a writer and why? The books that had an impact on my writing were most of the books I’ve read, especially in my younger days. Mainly, though, Gone with the Wind and Sweet Savage Love. They pulled me in and made me realize what it felt like to get lost in a make-believe world that sometimes felt more real than my own world. I wanted to give other people that same feeling.
Holy cow!! You named the first two historical romances we ever read!!! How odd. What event in your private life were you able to bring to this story and how do you feel it impacted the novel? I didn’t really bring an event from my private life into this story, other than having my heroine make ‘homemade’ hot chocolate like my mom used to make, which she got from the box of Hershey’s cocoa. Fortunately, my family wasn’t murdered. I don’t like science, and I love football, which my heroine does, and does not, so there wasn’t much of ‘me’ at all in this story.
What project[s] are you working on now? I have several projects I need to write, including a new suspense, the third book in the Northland Crime Chronicles, the second book in my Reaper series, and a Peter Pan inspired romantic suspense with paranormal elements. But, my next project is my Martini Club 4 – The 1940’s novella.
What's up next for you? My publisher currently has Liberty Empowered, Book 3 of the Isle of Fangs series, so I’m hoping that will be released in early 2016. And, as I mentioned, working on my MC4 story, which should be released in perhaps February or March.
Want to know more about Alicia? In her own words: I live in Edmond, Oklahoma. I have three grown children and a huge network of supportive friends and family. I write mostly contemporary suspense and paranormal, but have also written in other genres, including a few vintage historicals.
Other than reading and writing, my passions are Elvis Presley, MLB, NFL (I usually work in a mention of one or all three into my stories) and watching my favorite televisions shows like Vampire Diaries, Justified, Sons of Anarchy, Haven, New Girl, The Mindy Project, and Dexter (Yes, I know some have ended, but I will forever be a fan). Some of my favorite authors are Michael Connelly, Dennis Lehane, Lee Child, Lisa Gardner, Sharon Sala, Jordan Dane, Ridley Pearson, Joseph Finder, and Jonathan Kellerman…to name a few.
Ali brought along an excerpt from The Twelth Day for us:
With the expectant stares glued to her, Sabrina felt put on the spot. Reluctantly, she peeled off the wrapping. Hopefully, it wasn’t something sappy and romantic. Mitch had a tendency toward that sort of thing.
She opened the box lid. “The Twelve Days of Christmas” played from one of those little discs like they put into greeting cards. A silver bracelet lay amidst crumpled red tissue paper. And a note. On the third day of Christmas…
She gasped. The box fell from her trembling hands and landed on the table.
“Hey,” Josh’s low voice spoke beside her. He put his hand over hers, and a slight sense of calm stole through her. “You all right?”
All eyes were on her. “I-I thought I saw a spider in the box. I’m fine.”
“You sure?” His gaze captured hers. Doubt lingered in their blue depths.
Sabrina nodded, and everyone went back to eating, but she could barely focus on the remainder of the meal. This wasn’t just a computer glitch. The bracelet was just like the one she wore often, had been wearing when she was rescued. Someone was purposely referencing her past. But why? Was it a sick joke? Everyone knew Samuel Goodman had hummed “Twelve Days of Christmas” over and over while he held her captive. They would know he used duct tape and rope, and would know about the bracelet. She’d been wearing it in the photographs shown on the news. All the information she’d given to the police had made it into the media. So it could be anyone, someone just screwing with her. It couldn’t be Goodman. He was serving a life sentence in a maximum-security prison. Or was he…?
To learn more about Alica Dean and the stories she creates, go to:
Monday, November 16, 2015
Jason is not the kind of guy you would want to take home to Mom. He’s foul tempered, a bit of a womanizer and has a conscience that has been collecting dust for years. All that is shaken up though, when he unearths a package of carefully preserved love letters and a portrait while diving off the coast of Africa. So many unanswered questions, the letters snag something inside of him.
Intrigued despite himself, he begins to unravel the mystery caught up in pages. He finds himself tangled up in the life of a girl he’s never met... a girl who is in desperate trouble.
As Jason sounds like our kind of guy, Wild Women Authors is pleased to welcome the author who created him, Dianne J. Wilson, and Rebecca, the woman who intrigues him in Shackles. As usual, we'll begin with Rebecca.
Where are you from? A few different places in South Africa. I moved a lot!
Please tell us a bit about Shackles. My life was quiet, some would say boring. I’m an orphan, never knew my parents or anything about them. When I was old enough to leave the orphanage, I was employed as a cook on a farm, I liked it there. But one morning the farmer’s son came into my bedroom. He’d been threatening me and when I heard him at the door, I ran. I guess you could say from that moment on, my life was no longer boring! Shackles tells my story.
What did you think the first time you saw Jason? He saved me from drowning, I don’t remember much other than his face and then I blacked out again. I thought he might be an angel! Ha ha! Don’t tell him that.
What was your second thought? I was in hospital and he came in and knew all about me, it was scary yet he seemed kind.
Did you feel it was love at first sight? No, not at all. I was lost and confused. Love means being vulnerable and I was a tightly wound ball of suspicion. Love wasn’t even possible for me at that point.
What do you like most about Jason? That boy is tenacious. He doesn’t give up.
How would you describe him? He pretends to be all tough and hard, but he’s actually a big softy.
How would Jason describe you? Probably frustrating! He was trying to find me and I kept running.
What made you choose catering for a career? I don’t think of myself as a chef, just someone who can throw together a meal for a bunch of people. In the orphanage, I’d hang around the kitchen because it was warm there. The cook taught me all she knew to get me out of under her feet. It seemed like the only thing I knew how to do when I left.
Rebecca, what is your biggest fear? It used to be drowning. Not anymore though!
How do you relax? Strangely, for someone who had an intense fear of water – I like swimming.
What is the best piece of advice you ever received? Jason taught me that God is bigger than I could ever imagine and that the smartest thing for to do is trust Him with every small detail of my life.
This has been terrific, Rebecca. Thank you for giving us a brief glimpse into your life. Now, we'd like to chat with Dianne. What movies or books have had an impact on your career as a writer? Every movie I watch has grown me as a writer. I’m always watching for foreshadowing, character arcs, ways that the script writer ramps up the tension. Even those that aren’t so great are valuable as you can see clearly what doesn’t work.
What event in your private life were you able to bring to this story and how do you feel it impacted the novel? There’s a scene which involves ballroom dancing. I grew up dancing and I drew from what I’d discovered. One of the reviews that Shackles has received mentions this as the reader’s favorite part.
Tell us a bit about your publisher: how did you hear about them and what influenced your decision to submit to them? Shackles was the first novel I wrote and I never managed to find a publishing home for it. I had many ‘we love your writing, but this Shackles just doesn’t fit’. Shackles is the novel that opened the door for me with my current publisher Pelican Book Group / Harbourlight. The editor loved my work even though it didn’t fit with what they were publishing. She gave me clear guidelines as to what they were looking for. I wrote my second novel, Finding Mia, to their specifications and they published it.
I still love the story of Shackles and I’ve made it available as a free download on Smashwords https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/396420, Barnes & Noble http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/shackles-dianne-j-wilson/1118141410?ean=2940045573511 and other ebook distributors.
What project[s] are you working on now? I’m working on a humorous woman’s novel, The Cake List, so much fun. If you want to track progress on this one, sign up on my website www.diannejwilson.com
What's up next for you? Finish The Cake List then get back to book 2 of my YA Spirit Walker series.
Thanks for taking the time to visit with us, Dianne. We wish you much luck with this book and others which are sure to come.
Kat and Veronica
Monday, November 2, 2015
This week, Wild Women Authors is pleased to welcome author Kayden Claremont and Tasha Banner from Timeless Passion, a time-travel erotic romance recently released by the Wild Rose Press.
Kayden, tell us a bit about Timeless Passion. The story is set around a Scottish New Year’s demonstration, Hogmanay, at Barkersville Pioneer Village. Tasha Banner is the director of the museum and did the demonstration that brought Dougal MacBride to the future.
Now we'll speak with Tasha: What did you think the first time you saw Dougal MacBride?
The first thought in my head was what a hunk. He had such a muscular body. Then he started to talk and I loved his brogue. I honestly thought he was a reinactor who had dressed up for the demonstration. He really looked the part and sounded the part. Little did I know he was authentic to the time period we were demonstrating.
Very cool. What was your second thought? That he was crazy. I mean really, he believed the log cabin was his home and ordered us out so he could eat his supper. Not the thoughts of a rational man.
Did you feel it was love at first sight? Certainly not, but he was very attractive. There was a ruggedness about him that was appealing.
What do you like most about Dougal? He is a genuine person. Once I got to know him, he was a truly caring person. He has a great work ethic, and he believes in putting his all into the job. He’s funny and charming. What’s not to like?
How would he describe you? At first a very bossy woman, then he realized that I was only doing my job. It’s funny that we are both workaholics, but that is one reason we get along.
What made you choose to be director of a pioneer village? It chose me. I love history and loved being able to preserve it. My family settled on the farm I live on back in 1824. It is my heritage that I’m teaching every day at the working museum.
What is your biggest fear, Tasha? It takes a lot of money to keep the museum open. The buildings have to be maintained, the taxes on the grounds are high and I can’t tell you how many developers what to buy us out and put in housing development. It’s a struggle every day to keep the village open. If I fail we’ve all lose because our history will be lost.
Who is your favorite fictional character and why? I have so many, but I’ve always loved Rhett Butler from Gone with the Wind. He is a bit of a rogue. I think he always loved Scarlet, but got tired of her nonsense.
What is the best piece of advice you ever received? Take every day as if it was your last and do your best.
Thanks so much, Tasha, for spending time with us. Now it’s time to chat with Kayden. What movies or books have had an impact on your career as a writer? Every romance book written and every romantic movie. I love the concept of falling in love despite all the problems that occur. I’m just a romantic at heart.
What event in your private life were you able to bring to this story and how do you feel it impacted the novel? I’m a history buff so I actually went to a local pioneer village that was doing a demonstration of the Christmas season. When I walked into a log cabin they were doing a Hogmanay demo and I just felt I was living the experience. I hope readers feel the same way when they read Timeless Passion.
Tell us a bit about your publisher: how did you hear about them and what influenced your decision to submit to them? My publisher is The Wild Rose Press and they are wonderful. My critique partner got published with them years ago. She had to stop writing because of family obligation, but I watched what The Wild Rose Press was doing. I really liked what I saw so when I was ready to submit they were the first publisher I send my manuscript to. Luckily for me they bought it.
What projects are you working on now? I have another book coming out January 13, 2016, titled Red Hot. It’s part of the Candy Hearts series and I’m really excited about it. I have another book waiting for their approval and of course I’m writing another. This time it’s a ghost story and I’m excited about that, too.
Thanks for inviting us to be here with you today.
Thank you for coming. This has been fun and we rarely have a time travel story on our blog. We hope you'll return when Red Hot comes out.
Kat and Veronica
Friday, October 30, 2015
Will a prophecy keep a lonely woman from accepting the promise of adventure?
Aleen MacRae blames the lure of the sea for breaking apart first her family then her engagement. When her interest is caught by a man she sees both in person and in a dream, she resists—afraid to believe in her aunt’s prediction that her future is tied to the sea.
Braden Williams is on the hunt for treasure buried centuries earlier by Rhode Island pirates. His search brings him to the property where Aleen lives. Collaboration on genealogy research draws them closer, and Braden steers her toward his true passion--sailing.
Attending a party with Braden’s family lets her glimpse what she’s been missing. An unexpected discovery before her date with Braden at the Halloween Midnight Organ Recital forces a decision. Will Aleen play things safe or accept what this free-spirited man offers?
Today, Wild Women Authors is pleased to welcome Aleen MacRae, protagonist from Linda Carroll-Bradd's latest release Unlocked Treasure, part of an anthology out of the Wild Rose Press, Hauntings in the Garden, Vol. 2. First up is Aleen.
Where are you from? Born in San Diego, CA, youngest in a family that moved a lot because of father’s career in Navy. We settled in Newport, RI when I was 6.
Tell us a bit about Unlocked Treasure. Two people who are both researching their heritages—she’s looking for a link to the Mayflower and he hopes to claim a famous pirate as an ancestor—connect and then make a surprising discovery.
What did you think the first time you saw Braden Williams? I saw him on a motor scooter and thought he was a pirate come to life.
Good one. And your second thought? That he was pushy and obnoxious.
Even better. Did you feel it was love at first sight? Not on your life. The first time we spoke, he opened his mouth and started making demands.
What do you like most about Braden? Now that I know him better, I love his spontaneity.
How would you describe him? Braden is a man on a quest for the next adventure be it on land, sea or air.
How would he describe you? As a person whose feet are too firmly planted on the ground.
What made you choose research librarian as a career? Because I love history and learning about the who of those who came before and created the city, state or country where we live.
Interesting. What is your biggest fear? That the sea will destroy my family even more than it already has. My father’s career caused my parents to divorce and my 2 older brothers have careers tied to being at sea.
How do you relax? I read historical romance and serve as my family’s amateur genealogist.
Who is your favorite fictional character and why? Lizzie Bennett from Pride and Prejudice, because she was ahead of her time in that she wanted more from a marriage than security.
What is the best piece of advice you ever received? I’d always listened to the family prophecy that proclaimed only sadness comes by being connected to the sea. Braden taught me the sea is full of wonders if I just look hard enough.
This has been very intersting, Aleen. Now, we'd like to chat with Linda. What movies or books have had an impact on your career as a writer and why? I’ve read a lot of craft books over my career. Probably 2 most important until this year were Techniques Of A Selling Writer by Dwight Swain and Goal, Motivation, Conflict by Debra Dixon. But this fall I took a class on The Virgin’s Promise by Kim Hudson. This is the hero’s journey from the female perspective and is fantastic for developing a rich, three-dimensional heroine.
What event in your private life were you able to bring to this story and how do you feel it impacted the novel? I’ve always been interested in our family tree and have only dabbled with the research. I believe my earliest tie is to a 1698 ship manifest showing one of my maternal grandmother’s ancestor’s arrival in America. So I wanted Aleen to be looking for a similar fact.
Tell us a bit about your publisher: how did you hear about them and what influenced your decision to submit to them? I’ve been writing stories for The Wild Rose Press for years and have always liked the idea of writing stories with a seasonal theme.
What project[s] are you working on now? I’m writing the last two scenes to a contemporary story titled Anything But Flowers that was supposed to be a short Valentine’s-themed story that has grown in complexity and length.
What's up next for you? I’ll be starting NaNoWriMo on Sunday and will be creating a western historical set in 1886.
To purchase Hauntings In The Garden Vol 2., go to:
The Wild Rose Press http://www.wildrosepublishing.com/maincatalog_v151/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=242_175_133&products_id=6419
Barnes & Noble http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/hauntings-in-the-garden-volume-two-linda-carroll-bradd/1122636866?ean=2940150804845
All Romance ebooks https://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-hauntingsinthegardenvolumetwo-1896041-166.html
To learn more about Linda Carroll-Bradd and the books she's created, go to:
Sunday, October 18, 2015
Wild Women Authors is pleased to welcome one of our own, Nick Forrester, lead character from Caper Magic, a romantic novella, part of the Hauntings in the Garden series, now available in print from the Wild Rose Press.
Where are you from, Nick? Syracuse, New York
Tell us a bit about Caper Magic. Cape Brendan is a small tourist town on Lake Ontario where it empties into the Saint Lawrence River. The town puts on Caper Madness, a month-long event celebrating all things Halloween. My uncle Hank is the chief organizer. I came up to help him out because he's not getting any younger and I needed to . . . spend some time with him before he . . . you know. I met Nunie Doyle shortly after I arrived.
What did you think the first time you saw Nunie Doyle? That she had legs that go on forever and that she ought to think about tying back her hair so that it doesn't blow all over the place or hang like a curtain of black velvet that clutches a woman in all the right—or wrong—places.
What was your second thought? I reminded myself that a few years back she'd stuck her nose into things that didn't concern her and that led to my best friend and partner committing suicide. Needless to say, my thoughts were not exactly friendly.
Did you feel it was love at first sight? As if.
What do you like most about her? She is totally dedicated to whatever assignment she takes on—whether it's advocating for victims of abuse, or helping Hank organize Caper Madness, or running a station on the underground railroad. Nunie is fearless. Absolutely fearless.
How would you describe her? Tall, thin, long black hair that begs for a man's touch. She's got an Irish accent which is normally easy to understand and rather musical. If she's tense or upset, it thickens and she starts talking so fast it's impossible to understand what she's saying.
How would Nunie describe you? She called me a simpering git, which I think is a less than complimentary term. Truth is, I was acting like a complete hemorrhoid so I guess I deserved it.
What made you choose law enforcement as a career? As a child my parents felt boundaries or limits weren't necessary but I needed structure and guidelines. After my parents took off for better pickings, my sister and I were sent to live with Uncle Hank and his wife. They gave us all those things. As an adult I found police work met my needs; I stayed with it for almost 30 years, then joined a big law firm in Syracuse to head their investigation unit. I've been with them for a couple years. It pays the bills.
What is your biggest fear? Mucking up an investigation by taking the easier, softer way out of things and having a client suffer for it.
How do you relax? I like to listen to audio books when I'm driving so any excuse to drive somewhere is always top of my list.
Who is your favorite fictional character and why? Mitch Rapp who is the lead character in a series of political thrillers written by the late Vince Flynn. Mitch is a real piece of work and doesn't hesitate to speak what's on his mind. He lost the on/off switch for tact and discretion a long time ago. I also like Jesse Stone [written by the late Robert B Parker]; Lucas Davenport and Virgil Flowers [John Sandford] and Raylan Givens [the late Elmore Leonard].
What is the best piece of advice you ever received? Do your job to the best of your ability; don't hesitate to ask for help; think before you speak.
Thanks, Nick. What's up next for you and Nunie? She's appearing this Friday at MJ Schiller's blog. I'm sure I'll be mentioned, in vain, quite a lot. That's my Nunie who has become the light in my life.
Will you make an appearance in any future books by Kat or Veronica? I'm considering the invitation to make a cameo appearance in Kat's next book Love Walked In which is set in Cape Brendan and stars Rory McElroy and Druzilla Horvath from Embraceable You.
Monday, October 12, 2015
This is a new genre for us and we couldn't be more excited. Welcome Anne Greene, and Mandy McCabe, from Angel With Steel Wings, a World War II era romance out of Elk Lake Publishing. First up is Mandy.
Where are you from? Hangman’s Hollow, Tennessee.
Tell us a bit about Angel With Steel Wings. It is a story of a woman in a man’s domain, set against the dynamics of World War II it is a can’t-miss scenario. Angels With Steel Wings paints a vivid picture of courageous pilots facing death in the air while struggling with love on the ground, and wraps it up in a unique twist that will challenge all you knew about the “Greatest Generation.” Steeped in history and framed by faith, this is a tale that takes readers into a world now all but forgotten, and lands in a place that touches the heart in a special way. To know how far we have come, we must understand where we started, and Angels With Steel Wings takes us back on a thrilling trip in time that informs as it entertains. I think this is one flight you won’t want to miss.
What did you think the first time you saw Major Harvey Applegate? I was surprised by his anger, then my anger billowed up inside, and regardless of his rank, I let him know exactly what I thought of him.
What was your second thought? He was the most attractive man I’d ever met, but also the most arrogant. I left still angry with [him] and was still angry that night when I met him for a blind date.
Did you feel it was love at first sight? Absolutely not!
What do you like most about Harvey? As an ace pilot myself, I had to admire the way he handled a plane. But he had a lot to learn about handling women.
How would you describe him? The third time I saw him with his motherless son totally wrecked my dislike. He was so tender with his handicapped son, and so thoughtful of me, though he was drained with overwork, lack of sleep, and stress from the war.
That is a touching description. How would Harvey describe you? He thought I was a troublemaker. My assignment was to keep him from closing our WASP program on his base. I discovered he wanted to end our program because his wife had been a WASP and she’d died test-flying a plane. He wanted to protect women. He thought men should fight wars, not women. His motivation was excellent, but he was wrong. I had to prove him wrong.
What made you choose test piloting as a career? The Army Air Corps offered my only escape from Hangman’s Hollow, where the women all married by age sixteen and had mothered three babies by age nineteen. [My] Pop’s junkyard barely made enough money for my three sisters and me to survive. I had no other way to leave the Hollow.
What is your biggest fear, Mandy? I feared the WASP program would close at Camp Davis, North Carolina, and I’d end up back in the Hollow. I have no fear gene, but an overabundance of risk genes. Nothing else scares me. I’ve been called fool-hardy and stubborn, but never fearful.
How do you relax? I enjoy sun bathing with my WASP friends behind the barracks, going to movies, and entertaining the male pilots at the USO Club. We WASPs help keep the male Fly Boys from being homesick and scared just before they deploy to the war zone.
Who is your favorite fictional character and why? Robert Jordan in Ernest Hemingway’s For Whom The Bells Toll. That movie was playing when Harvey took me on our first date to the picture show. I’d seen the movie before and spent my time eying Harvey when he didn’t know I was looking. The man was incredibly attractive. I found it increasingly difficult to keep focused on my mission.
What is the best piece of advice you ever received? You know what you want. Go for it.
Thanks so much, Mandy, for spending time with us. Now it's time to chat with Anne. What movies or books have had an impact on your career as a writer? Probably I’ve seen every WWII movie made. I admire courage and think the Greatest Generation exhibited more courage than any other generation in American history. My dad read every WWII book he could get his hands on while I was growing up. Each book he finished, I read. He never censored my reading.
What event in your private life were you able to bring to this story and how do you feel it impacted the novel? Probably my dad discouraged strongly my joining one of the armed forces. He didn’t think military was a fit career for me. So, I sublimated my desire into writing.
Tell us a bit about your publisher: how did you hear about them and what influenced your decision to submit to them? Elk Lake Publishing is a fairly new company and they do broad distribution. They also do publicity for the writer. I like some of their other authors. All good reason for me to accept them as my publishers.
What projects are you working on now? I just completed two Christmas novellas, A Christmas Belle and A Groom for Christmas which are now on Amazon. I have a novella for Barbour Publishing, The Marriage Broker and The Mortician, which I am completing. When the Barbour book is completed, I will work on the sequel to Angel, Spies Like Her, the second book in my WWII Women of Courage series, and then I’ll work on the second book of my Handcuffed In Texas detective/mystery series, after Holly Garden, PI, Red Is For Rookie.
You can purchase Anne’s books at all on-line book stores such as Amazon.
on Pinterest at The Anne Greene,
on Book Fun Magazine at www.bookfun.org/profileAnneGreene,
and at www.anneswritingupdates.blogspot.com.
Monday, October 5, 2015
This week Wild Women Authors is pleased to welcome back author Debra Doggett as she announces her latest release out of the Wild Rose Press, Bone of My Bones. She's brought a practicing witch with her, Rose DeSalvo. Welcome, Rose and Debra.
First up is Rose. Tell us a bit about Bone of My Bones. It is the story of one of the worst nights of my life, the night I found a surprise buried under my rose bushes: my ex-husband. Since I was pretty sure the local police would look at me first, thanks to some less than kind comments I made about Eddie after the divorce, I took the advice of a friend and sought the help of a necromancer to raise Eddie and find out what happened to him. It turns out to be a very long night as Matthias, the necromancer and the hottest guy I've ever met, and Eddie, my zombie ex-husband who's as much of a pain dead as he was alive, ride along with me as I find out there are a whole lot of things about myself I don't know.
Whoa. What a way to start the day. But . . . what made you choose witchcraft for a career? My grandmother taught me the Craft and after her death, practicing it brought her close to me again.
Works for us—keeping a loved one close, we mean. Knowing what you know now, if you had it to do over again, would you stick with being a witch or do something different? I think I would pick being a librarian. Life would be a lot calmer.
Hah! What is your biggest fear? Before this I would have said snakes. Now snakes don't look half as scary as they did compared to some of the things that are coming out of the woodwork to beat up on me.
Ain't that the truth. Who is your favorite fictional character and why? It's hard to choose just one, but I'd pick Harry Dresden. He's the kind of anti-hero I can understand, even more so now as my own level of craziness rises.
What is the best piece of advice you ever received? If you wanted to help people, you should have gone to nursing school.
Hah! Anytime somebody says they'd like to become a nurse, our immediate response is an offer to lop off their hands. But, we digress. Rose, thanks for stopping by and telling us about this entertaining story.
It's Debra's turn: which writer or character[s], from either books or movies have had a major impact on your writing? I have been reading Laurell K. Hamilton's Anita Blake series for years and I love the way Anita has grown and evolved over that time. That's helped me see how to allow my characters to change and develop.
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 not as deep as for other novels I've written, largely due to the fact that I am a practicing Wiccan. So Rose's spiritual background was easier. I tweaked some things for the sake of upping her magick, of course, as I did with the concept of zombies. Reading about necromancers was probably the most fun, that, and watching humorous zombie movies such as Warm Bodies and Shaun of the Dead.
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? I first heard about The Wild Rose Press from a lady who was in a writing group I was in. She was an editor for them. At the time they had only been around for a couple of years. She loved working for them and encouraged me to submit. I'm really glad I did because they are probably the most author-friendly publisher around. And they really have their act together. They work hard to remain profitable in the industry and to be a stable company. As they've grown, their turn-around time has gotten a bit longer thanks to the number of manuscripts they now have in edits. But it's probably around six months.
What are you reading right now? Dead Ice by Laurell K. Hamilton
What's next for you? My current project is a new field for me. I've written a historical romance set in Renaissance Italy titled Training Tessa.
Thanks so much for visiting with us this week, Debra. Much luck with this fun story and those to come.
Kat and Veronica
To learn more about Debra Doggett and the stories she creates go to: