Monday, March 30, 2020

Tender Misdemeanors by Alana Lorens

     Caryn Orlane has law enforcement in her blood; her father was a cop, and his father, too. She's a federal agent in northwest Montana, protecting the old forests and keeping the peace.
     Levi Bradshaw also believes in protecting the forests, but has a very different MO. He's the leader of a group of eco-warriors, determined to save the trees of the Bitterroot by legal—and illegal—means.
     When they meet in the woods at gunpoint, their encounter ignites a spark of interest, despite operating on opposite sides of the law. When their worlds turn on them, they only grow closer. If they don’t work together, can either survive?

Wild Women Authors welcomes Alana Lorens who is celebrating the recent release of Tender Misdemeanors, a mainstream thriller out of the Wild Rose Press. She's here with hero Levi Bradshaw who, as usual, will go first.

Where are you from? Grew up in northwest Montana, where I still live, in my parents’ big old house. My mom always wanted to make it a bed and breakfast, for the winter skiing crowd, but my dad got sick, and it just never happened.
Tell us a bit about Tender Misdemeanors. I would, if I could ever catch my breath! I start out as an environmental consultant, who has a small hobby of ecotage—spiking trees—on the side, trying to save the old forests. Somehow my little rebel group gets mixed up with the white supremacist communities in Montana, and everything kinda goes to hell from there. Well, everything except Caryn. Caryn Orlane, she’s with the Bureau of Land Management. First she wants to shoot me, then she just wants to arrest me, and then she wants to make love to me. I’d be happy to, if we were ever safe for more than ten minutes at a time. The world is a dangerous place.
What did you think the first time you saw Caryn? Ha! She had her gun trained right on me, and I thought I was a dead man. If it wasn’t for my dog, Rosenkrantz, jumping on her, she might have pulled the trigger.
Works for us. And your second thought? That she was a smart, beautiful woman.
Was it love at first sight? It was definitely heavy like, for sure.
What do you like most about her? That she can be strong as a steel girder, but also vulnerable.
How would you describe her? Blonde, beautiful—and those green eyes. Wow. She wants respect from the people she works with, and they don’t always give it to her. It’s a hard job, and I suppose lawbreakers like me don’t make it any easier.
How would she describe you? She’d probably say I was a troublemaker and a dreamer, doing the wrong thing for the right reasons. I hope she’d say I was devastatingly handsome. Oh, and stubborn. I’m definitely that.
What made you choose environmental studies and protection as a career? Growing up here in the Bitterroot Mountains, I learned a deep respect for nature and I breathe in its beauty every day. Especially in today’s greedy-corporation climate, we have to protect our natural resources before they’re gone.
What is your biggest fear? Now? Being without Caryn, or having something happen to her. These people who’ve joined my group, they don’t mess around, and they’ve killed already.
How do you relax? I like to light up a fire in the den and read, with the dogs there as company. Or taking them on a walk—Rhodesian Ridgebacks need a lot of space to run, and my pointer, Ophelia, tags along more slowly. I rescued her and nursed her back to health after she was hit by a car. We’ve spent many companionable evenings in front of that fireplace.
Who is your favorite fictional character? Probably Jack Ryan from the Tom Clancy books. He’s a hero in every sense of the word, and I guess I like to think I’ve got some of his ingenuity in what I do.
What is the best piece of advice you ever received? The county sheriff told me when I was a kid resenting my arrogant big brother Zane, that he was too big for his britches, and I should stand on my own. I didn’t need his approval.
Levi, thanks for spending time with us. We'd like to chat with Alana now.
What movies or books have had an impact on your career as a writer? Stephen King’s fiction and non-fiction—On Writing was great. Also Techniques of the Selling Writer, by Dwight Swain, was a tough dry read but had solid advice.
What event in your private life were you able to bring to this story and how do you feel it impacted the novel? Caryn’s trip to the top of the Rocky Mountains was a trip I made as well in 2010. It’s amazing territory. I also got to write some of my dear friends in as characters, which really made the story “homey” to me.
Tell us about your publisher, how you came to learn about them; what made you decide to submit; why have you stayed? I had written several manuscripts, and someone in my critique group said another member of our group, Kathy Otten, had enjoyed success with the Wild Rose Press. So I sent a book along, and we’ve had a nice collaboration. Tender Misdemeanors will be my fifth book with them.
What book[s] currently rest on your TBR pile? The Game of Throne books. I finished the first one, and I’ve started A Clash of Kings.
Lastly, what's up next and when can we expect to see it on the shelves? Adversaries, the third book in my YA post apocalyptic trilogy, (writing as Lyndi Alexander) should be out this summer. I’m currently working on another book in my Horizon Crossover world which will be a science fiction romance/ménage, with a gender-shifting alien.

For more information about Alana Lorens and her work, go to: and

To purchase Tender Misdemeanors, go to:

Alana brought along an excerpt from this fascinating thriller:
     He peeked around the corner into the kitchen and found Caryn hunkered down on the floor, playing with the dogs. She wore yesterday’s jeans and one of his long-sleeved shirts, the cuffs rolled up to fit. Her hair was loosely tied back, framing her face in softness. Several pans steamed on the stove. He got a little heated just looking at her, remembering their earlier encounter, but she was fully engaged in her current activities. Too bad. I could have done with a repeat. Once my arms quit burning. 
     “You can come in now instead of spying on me,” she said, without looking up. “You walk as lightly as a grizzly bear.”
     Embarrassed, he stumped in. His eyes felt like they had sand in them. He frowned at the eye drops, but knew they’d help. He took another round of pain medication, too. “Thought you’d left.”
     “I hope you don’t mind that I made myself at home. I wanted to make sure you had breakfast, at least.”
     “I don’t mind at all. Wish you’d stay longer.”
     Her wistful smile tugged at his heart strings. “Wish  I could. But I’ve got pet responsibilities of my own.”
     “Oh? I thought you said…” Confused and still a little woozy, he replayed what she’d said about her dogs. No, they had been her father’s dogs. “Not dogs, then.”
     “No. Not dogs.” She grinned and scratched behind Rosie’s ears. “I don’t live in a…house, exactly.”
     “Your apartment doesn’t allow animals?”
     “It’s not exactly an apartment, either.”
     He hesitated, cocking his head curiously. What wasn’t a house or an apartment? 
     “I live out at the Hungry Horse campground in a motor home.” 
     Well, that was a new one. “Really? Year round?” 
     “Suits my lifestyle.” She shrugged and looked away. 
     “So what kind of pet do you have then? A cat? A hamster?”
     “An iguana. She’s about four months old.” She left the dogs and rinsed her hands, then tended to whatever was cooking.
guana? Northern Montana was hardly tropical— weren’t lizards tropical? 
     Levi shuffled to the coffeepot and poured himself a  cup. She already had one near the stove, so he didn’t offer. “You know, lady, nothing about you ever turns out like I’d expect.”

Thursday, March 26, 2020

Pursue Your Dreams

..Some secrets are deadly, and ghost-blogger Jillian Winchester and her photographer boyfriend discover it's true when they set out to investigate an Australian family who disappeared without a trace in the 1880s. 
..An abandoned sheep station rumored to be haunted by the long-dead Kinsley family is one challenge. The other is the beautiful but deadly Outback.
..As Jillian probes deeper into the mystery, one thing becomes clear: She might not make it out of this quest alive.

Wild Women Authors is thrilled to have Julie Howard with us this weekend. Her novella, House of Seven Spirits, part of the Australian relief project out of the Wild Rose Press, was released on March 25, 2020, and we couldn't be happier for her. She's with us today to chat about a most timely matter: Life is uncertain; don’t wait too long to pursue your dreams.

     I’ve always had a bit of wanderlust. Career, family and building a retirement fund meant that for years my desire to travel the world stayed on hold. Although we never went without, we were frugal savers. We traveled a bit when our kids were young but these trips consisted of tent camping, staying in budget motels, and we didn’t travel far. This isn’t a complaint, because our trips to forests and beaches were great fun. In contrast, I felt very fortunate indeed.
     By the time our kids entered high school, though, I grew tired of saving so stringently. How much was enough? What was I sacrificing to see my bank account grow larger? My dreams of travel hadn’t diminished with the years; I began to worry that we would put this idea on hold and save forever. Then the recession hit us all hard. Our retirement accounts plummeted in value. I threw up my hands and said enough. Time to value my dreams.
     Now, I say thank goodness! We’ve traveled to Spain, Italy and Turkey – three places that will be closed off for a while. We went to England and Ireland, Mexico and Canada, Greece and Monaco. Last February, we flew to Australia – a journey which inspired my current book – and from there cruised to Tasmania and New Zealand. All these wonderful places on Earth, recorded in photos and memories, are now off limits as the world focuses on battling a pandemic.
     Of course, traveling abroad is expensive and we weren’t able to save as aggressively in our retirement accounts – these accounts are sharply down again as the stock market tumbles more each week. But the joy of having sated a bit of wanderlust will last forever. I have no doubt that the economy will recover and the travel industry will snap back with gusto. Toilet paper and fresh chicken will be available in abundance, and we can finally have a conversation that doesn’t launch with the latest Covid-19 news.
     The lesson I’ve learned is to not put off one’s dreams forever. We don’t know what troubles will come our way in the future. If I had waited, current events would have made my travel dreams impossible. I would have some pretty big regrets right now.
We continue to be frugal savers and so there’s a balance to our lives and bank accounts. But I finally realized my spirit and soul can be put off only so long.
A dream doesn’t have to be big to be important. It doesn’t need to have significance to anyone else but you. If it matters, jump in, don’t wait too long. In these strange times, this is especially crucial.

Julie brought along an excerpt from House of Seven Spirits:

“Don’t go up there,” Mason warned. “The wood’s apt to be rotted in places. The floor may not be safe.”
She glanced over her shoulder at him and hesitated. Her California beach home was eight thousand miles away—a fifteen-hour flight plus a day’s drive along bumpy bleak roads. She hadn’t come this far to only examine the structure’s exterior. Her work required total immersion.
She put a foot on the first step and tested it with her weight. Mason strode around the car and halted just below the porch with arms crossed. “Jillian.”
The last thing she needed was someone hovering, directing her on what she could and couldn’t do. When she worked, the “real” world faded in importance. His uneasy energy interrupted her focus. “I’m fine.”
The stair was solid, at least. Not even a creak greeted her as she advanced onto the veranda. He cleared his throat as she took another step, but said nothing.
Despite the heat, a sudden chill rippled up her bare arms, sending prickles all the way to her neck. For a split second, her world tilted and her senses were overwhelmed. The musty odor of freshly shorn sheep wool, clothes flapping on a line, young voices chattering, the sharp tang of blood. Just as quick, the images dissolved and all was still, dry and lifeless once more. She let go of a deep breath, and a feeling of exhilaration swept through her.
Someone’s here.

Bio: Julie Howard is the author of the Wild Crime and Spirited Quest series. She is a former journalist and editor who has covered topics ranging from crime to cowboy poetry. Now she edits an online anthology, Potato Soup Journal.

Author Links:

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Monday, March 23, 2020

Heart Storms by N. Christine Samuelson

Heart Storms:
Three people’s lives collide in a perfect storm of heartbreak and ruin, betrayal and love. One woman and two men are drawn to coastal South Carolina to an oceanfront Victorian B & B inn. With losses from lies, secrets, cheating spouses, racism, divorce and abandonment, the last thing all three characters want is love or relationship. However, as they move into and through the emotional storm of their lives, destiny brings them together in an extraordinary way. But will they be destroyed or transformed by their fates?
     An enchanting seaside inn with mystical elements inspires the characters’ lives and helps them on their journeys. Their passionate triangle must be broken for them to move on, but who ends up with whom, or do they, and when?

Wild Women Authors welcomes N. Christine Samuelson as she celebrates the release of Heart Storms with BookBaby Press. At Christine's side is Jade Armstrong who will go first.
Where are you from? Santa Barbara, California, but relocated to Golden Shores in coastal South Carolina.
Tell us a bit about Heart Storms. It delves into the lives and relationships of myself and two men who vow to never get involved in a love relationship again because of our life-changing losses and broken hearts. We are drawn to an oceanfront inn in SC where a triangle forms—of heartbreak, lies, secrets, cheating, revenge, but also friendship, work, and love. Our pasts affect our present actions and emotions, bringing turmoil and the storm of our lives. Even the three of us cannot predict how things will shake out or what fate has in store for us until the very end.
What did you think the first time you saw Gabriel Montoro? With his handsome, dark features, the blue of his eyes was a surprise. He was tall, trim and muscular. But our initial meeting was contentious with name-calling and anger. Physically I was attracted to him, but I was turned off by his personality. 
And your second thought? He was obnoxious, arrogant and rude.
Works for us. So it wasn't love at first sight? Absolutely not.
Now that you know him better, what do you like most about him? His ability to look at his flaws and work on changing for the better.
How would you describe Gabriel? A broken man trying to reconcile the mistakes and pain of his past to rebuild his life.
How would he describe you? A gorgeous woman who attracts him sexually but rubs him the wrong way emotionally, triggering his worst traits.
What made you choose hotel management as a career? I went to school and trained for it, having worked in the industry part-time summers as a student. I love the constant change, the wide variety of people I meet and making sure they have a fabulous, comfortable stay in the inn I manage.
What is your biggest fear? Having my heart broken and my life ripped apart again.
How do you relax? I go for a run on the beach and listen to the ocean. After work, I unwind with a glass of wine in front of the fire.
Who is your favorite fictional character? I have so many, but tops would be Vivian in Pretty Woman, Cathy in Wuthering Heights, Karen Blixen in Out of Africa.
What is the best piece of advice you ever received? From my mother, Maggie: About six months after my divorce, she told me she was horrified with the change in me from her loving, good-natured daughter to a hate-filled, angry person consumed with revenge. I had no idea how much she hurt for me. She said, “The best advice I can give is that pain and loss are inevitable, but suffering is a choice. If you want to move on, you must stop being so consumed with suffering and revenge.” She assured me that my ex’s bad deeds would come back to him tenfold.

We can attest they do—and when they did, we stood up and cheered!! Thanks for spending time with us, Jade. Now it's time to chat with Christine.
What movies or books have had an impact on your career as a writer? On Writing by Stephen King, Writing Down the Bones by Natalie Goldberg; The Artists Way by Julia Cameron.
What event in your private life were you able to bring to this story and how do you feel it impacted the novel? A broken marriage, upheaval of life, relocating and the hesitancy to be involved in a new relationship. My own experience makes for a very realistic storyline, characters and their dialog; the situations they face along with overcoming obstacles to love and live fully again.
Tell us a bit about your publisher: how did you hear about them and what influenced your decision to submit to them? My first traditional publisher two years ago was The Wild Rose Press. I heard of them through an author’s website listing publishers who accepted un-agented manuscripts. I was impressed with their reputation in the business and their very hands-on approach in working with authors. Heart Storms is independently published by BookBaby Press. I like that they are full service, and you can pick and choose which services you need. They take care of all accounting with retailers and take no commission or royalty. I’ve used them for two books now and am very happy with them.
What book[s] currently rest on your TBR pile? Seeing Red by Sandra Brown, Into the Water by Paula Hawkins, The Secret of the Irish Castle by Santa Montefiore, The Secret to Southern Charm by Kristy Woodson Harvey.
Lastly, what's up next and when can we expect to see it on the shelves? My work in progress is tentatively titled Destiny and will be released hopefully toward the end of 2020. It’s Women’s Fiction with romantic and family elements, and strong theme of spirituality and mysticism, the afterlife.

As an extra treat, Christine brought us an excerpt from Heart Storms:

It had been a very long time since Gabriel shared details of his life with anyone, let alone a woman. But it felt right with Jade. Even more so, as thunder shook the heavens outside and lightning blazed over the ocean, Gabe felt his insides rattle, his dark places illuminate, and his soul churning until his secrets strained to be let out to someone he could trust.
Now the devil’s and the angel’s voices on both shoulders rang out in unison, each trying to drown the other out. But Gabe heard them equally. The angel’s voice urged him to be genuine, caring and honest—because with telling the truth he’d never be sorry. The devil’s voice told him to lie to look good, then seduce and lust after her, then let her go and if he didn’t, he’d be sorry. But with the devil’s words came the glare of lightning and thunder growled over the bar shaking Gabe to his core.
Rain poured down in sheets and Gabe knew he didn’t want his life to be an eternal storm, forever threatened with disaster. He wanted his life to be the way he felt inside this room—safe and warm with a beautiful, caring woman to share it with. It was time to listen to the good angel, and so the story of Gabriel Montoro poured out of him as profusely as the rain from above.

Heart Storms can be purchased at:

Readers can find me at:

Friday, March 20, 2020

For The Love of You

Wild Women Authors is pleased to welcome back author Claire Marti who is celebrating the release of For The Love of You, Book 3 in her Pacific Vista Ranch series. With Claire is international soccer/football star, Gabriel DuVernay who will go first.
Where are you from? Sablet, France. It’s a small town in Provence.
Tell us a bit about For The Love of You. This book is about love, passion, and learning how to run toward what you want in life, instead of away from what you don’t. Add in a fake engagement and there’s plenty of fireworks.
What did you think the first time you saw Dylan McNeill?She’s the most beautiful woman I’ve ever seen with her fiery hair and enormous chocolate brown eyes. 
What was your second thought? She asked me to dance and her confidence blew me away.
Was it love at first sight? I’m not sure if it was love at first sight, but the moment we touched, electricity sparked through me. Our chemistry was explosive.
What do you like most about her? Her compassionate heart.
How would you describe Dylan? She s a passionate, talented, strong woman.
How would she describe you? She says I’m a Renaissance man with my athlete career, my love of reading philosophy, and my wine-making roots.
What made you choose football or soccer for a career? From the first time I kicked the ball as a little boy, the sport lit my heart on fire. I love the competition, the drive, the speed of the game.
What is your biggest fear? Not being able to choose my own path in life.
How do you relax? Ask Dylan.
Good one. Who is your favorite fictional character? I love mysteries, so the French cop Maigret who is very popular in French detective fiction.
What is the best piece of advice you ever received? To live in the present moment.
Thank you for taking time away from your busy schedule to speak with us. Now, we'd like to chat with Claire.
What movies or books have had an impact on your career as a writer? Ernest Hemingway is my favorite writer and I’ve always wanted to follow in his footsteps. Everything by Nora Roberts inspired me to write romance. In terms of writing craft, I love Stephen King’s On Writing and Anne LaMott’s Bird by Bird.
What event in your private life were you able to bring to this story and how do you feel it impacted the novel? Before my father immigrated to America from France, he played soccer for the French national team. Soccer was always big in our household. I spent most summers in France and loved sharing Gabriel’s French family. Also, my dad’s name is Rene, so Gabriel’s middle name is Rene.
Tell us a bit about your publisher: how did you hear about them and what influenced your decision to submit to them? Pacific Vista Ranch is my first indie series and I’m loving the freedom and control of using cover designers and hiring my own editors and making all the profits!
What book[s] currently rest on your TBR pile? The Bromance Book Club by Lyssa Kay Adams. It’s a story about a bunch of guys in a secret book club to try to save their marriages––they are reading a Regency romance to see what women want.
Lastly, what's up next and when can we expect to see it on the shelves? I’m writing a short story to be part of a Jingle Ball Anthology and it will feature Rafe Cruz, who is the brother of hero Jake Cruz in The Very Thought of You. Next, I’m returning to the manuscript I wrote last year featuring a chef heroine battling breast cancer and a neurosurgery resident hero. This book will be more Women’s Fiction/Mainstream fiction with a central romance. It’s close to the heart because I’m using my own breast cancer journey.

To learn more about Claire Marti and the story she creates, go to:




To purchase For The Love of You, go to:




Monday, March 16, 2020

From Here to Fourteenth Street, by Diana Rubino

It's 1894 on New York's Lower East Side. Irish cop Tom McGlory and Italian immigrant Vita Caputo fall in love despite their different upbringings. Vita goes from sweatshop laborer to respected bank clerk to reformer, helping elect a mayor to beat the Tammany machine.
While Tom works undercover to help Ted Roosevelt purge police corruption, Vita's father arranges a marriage between her and a man she despises. As Vita and Tom work together against time and prejudice to clear her brother and father of a murder they didn't commit, they know their love can survive poverty, hatred, and corruption. 

Wild Women Authors is pleased to welcome back historical author, Diana Rubino to the blog. This week we feature “From Here to Fourteenth Street” Book One in her New York Saga, released by the Wild Rose Press. Accompanying Diana is Vita Caputo, a woman of character and bravery and promise. .
Where are you from? Sassano, Italy, originally, now living on the Lower East Side of Manhattan.
What did you think the first time you saw police officer Tom McGlory. I thought “I am in big trouble” because he nabbed me on the street. I’d tried to stop a pickpocketer from robbing a man, and Tom, a beat cop, thought I was doing the pickpocketing.
Makes sense, considering the rampant bias against immigrants in that era. What was your second thought? As I trembled, my second thought was that he had the sharpest green eyes I’d ever seen.
Good one. Was it love at first sight? Not at all—it was hostility and fear at first sight.
What do you like most about him? His refusal to let the danger of police work stop him, and his aspirations to become Chief of Police.
How would you describe Tom? Honest, sincere, and dedicated to the police force.
How would he describe you? An ambitious hard worker who wants the best for this city. He knows I want to be a Senator or Congresswoman, but I’m happy enough as a committeewoman for now.
What made you choose politics as a career? I want to make a difference in the city that adopted me and gave me a new life and the opportunity to achieve success. I also want to lead my fellow citizens to a better life through my efforts to clean up the corrupt city government and make sure the poor have a better life than they do now.
What is your biggest fear? Flying—I will never set foot in an airplane.
How do you relax? By listening to opera records and attempting to sing the female parts. My favorites are Madama Butterfly by Puccini and The Marriage of Figaro by Mozart.
Who is your favorite fictional character? Anna Karenina—the bravest woman in literature.
Why are we not surprised. What is the best piece of advice you ever received? Be realistic and don’t be shattered if you don’t become president.

Thank you for spending time with us, Vita. We wish you luck with your political career and the new baby. [oops, spoiler alert!] Now, we'd like to chat with Diana.
What movies or books have had an impact on your career as a writer? When I started writing historicals, my greatest influences were Bertrice Small. Her book Blaze Wyndham inspired me to write my first historical. I also like Sharon Kay Penman and Philippa Gregory. Every book of theirs I read inspired me to become the best historical novelist I could be.
What event in your private life were you able to bring to this story and how do you feel it impacted the novel? My great-grandmother, known as Josie Red because of her head of thick red hair, was a successful businesswoman—she owned apartment buildings, a parking garage, did small-time bootlegging during Prohibition, and served as a Committeewoman in Jersey City. I based Vita on her.
How did you come up with the title? When I proposed the story to Wild Rose, I wanted to change the title, since it went through so many revisions. I wanted to express Vita’s desire to escape the Lower East Side and move farther uptown. I considered Crossing 14th Street, but it sounded too much like Crossing Delancey. After a few more hits and misses, the title hit me—as all really fitting titles do.
Tell us a bit about your publisher: how did you hear about them and what influenced your decision to submit to them? I’d read many books by The Wild Rose Press before I submitted to them. My first book with them wasn’t a historical—it’s an urban fantasy, Fakin' It. They published most of my later historicals, and I’ve been very happy with them.
What book[s] currently rest on your TBR pile? I am about to start Young Lincoln of New Salem by Sam Rowlins. I’ve been a huge Lincoln buff since childhood, and Sam posted about it on my Chat & Promote page on Facebook. I bought it immediately. I have about 100 other books on TBR pile, that would take up much too much space!
Lastly, what's up next and when can we expect to see it on the shelves? I’m finishing the first draft of Much Has Been Given Us, about Edith Roosevelt and her husband, Theodore. I haven’t sent it to my agent yet, but I hope it will be released later this year.

Diana brought an excerpt from From Here to Fourteenth Street:
     As Vita gathered her soap and towel, Madame Branchard tapped on her door. "You have a gentleman caller, Vita. A policeman."
     “Tom?" His name lingered on her lips as she repeated it. She dropped her things and crossed the room.
     "No, hon, not him. Another policeman. Theodore something, I think he said."
     No. There can't be anything wrong. "Thanks," she whispered, nudging Madame Branchard aside. She descended the steps, gripping the banister to support her wobbly legs. Stay calm! she warned herself. But of course it was no use; staying calm just wasn't her nature.
     “Theodore something” stood before the closed parlor door. He’s a policeman? Tall and hefty, a bold pink shirt peeking out of a buttoned waistcoat and fitted jacket, he looked way out of place against the dainty patterned wallpaper.
     He removed his hat. "Miss Caputo." He strained to keep his voice soft as he held out a piece of paper. “I’m police commissioner Theodore Roosevelt.”
     "Yes?" Her voice shook.
     "I have a summons for you, Miss Caputo." He held it out to her. But she stood rooted to that spot.
     He stepped closer and she took it from him, unfolding it with icy fingers. Why would she be served with a summons? Was someone arresting her now for something she didn't do?
     A shot of anger tore through her at this system, at everything she wanted to change. She flipped it open and saw the word "Summons" in fancy script at the top. Her eyes widened with each sentence as she read. “I can’t believe what I’m seeing.”
     I hereby order Miss Vita Caputo to enter into holy matrimony with Mr. Thomas McGlory immediately following service of this summons.

For more information on Diana Rubino, go to:
To purchase From Here to Fourteenth Street, go to:

A note from our guest:
     New York City’s history always fascinated me—how it became the most powerful hub in the world from a sprawling wilderness in exchange for $24 with Native Americans by the Dutch in 1626.
     Growing up in Jersey City, I could see the Statue of Liberty from our living room window if I leaned way over (luckily I didn’t lean too far over). As a child model, I spent many an afternoon on job interviews and modeling assignments in the city, and got hooked on Nedick’s, a fast food chain whose orange drinks were every kid’s dream. Even better than the vanilla egg creams. We never drove to the city—we either took the PATH (Port Authority Trans Hudson) train (‘the tube’ in those days) or the bus through the Lincoln Tunnel to the Port Authority Bus Terminal.
     My great grandmother, Josephine Arnone, “Josie Red” to her friends, because of her abundant head of red hair, was way ahead of her time. Born in 1895 (but it could’ve been sooner, as she was known to lie about her age), she left grade school, became a successful businesswoman and a Jersey City committee-woman, as well as a wife and mother of four. She owned apartment buildings, parking garages, a summer home, did a bit of Prohibition-era bootlegging, small-time loan-sharking, and paid cash for everything.
     When I began outlining From Here to Fourteenth Street, I modeled my heroine, Vita Caputo, after her. Although the story is set in New York the year before Grandma was born, I was able to bring Vita to life by calling on the family legends and stories, all word of mouth, for she never kept a journal.
     Vita’s hero Tom McGlory isn’t based on any real person, but I did a lot of reading about Metropolitan Policemen and made sure he was the complete opposite! He’s trustworthy and would never take a bribe or graft. I always liked the name McGlory—then, years after the book first came out, I remembered that was the name of my first car mechanic—Ronnie McGlory.

A Bit of Background—What Was 1894 New York City Like?
     The Metropolitan Police was a hellhole of corruption, and nearly every cop, from the greenest rookie to the Chief himself, was a dynamic part of what made the wheels of this great machine called New York turn.
     The department was in cahoots with the politicians, all the way up to the mayor's office. Whoever wasn't connected enough to become a politician became a cop in this city. They were paid off in pocket-bulging wads of cash to look the other way when it came to building codes, gambling, prostitution, every element it took to keep this machine gleaming and efficient. They oiled the machine and kept it running with split-second precision. The ordinary hardworking, slave-wage earning citizen didn't have a chance around here. Tom McGlory and his father were two of a kind, and two of a sprinkling of cops who were cops for the right reasons.
     They left him alone because he was a very private person; he didn't have any close friends, he confided in no one. He could've made a pocket full of rocks as a stoolie, more than he could by jumping in the fire with the rest of them, but he couldn't enjoy spending it if he'd made it that way. They knew it and grudgingly respected him for it. He was here for one reason--his family was here. If they went, he went. As long as they needed him, here he was. Da would stop grieving for his wife when he stopped breathing. Since Tom knew he was the greatest gift she gave Da, he would never let his father down.

Monday, March 9, 2020

Colleen L. Donnelly on Write What You Know

Wild Women Authors is pleased to have author Colleen L. Donnelly, who writes fiction with heart, and who will share her thoughts on . . .

Writing What You Know so Someone Can Read What They Want to Know

If I pour my heart into writing a book, I want someone to find their heart when they read it. If I take my characters down paths I know too well—betrayal, accusations, lost love, settling for second best, waiting too long to say how you feel, making use of a law that boxed you out, facing an enemy you need to forgive—then for the reader’s sake, I must get them to the end of those struggles with something experienced, something learned, and something gained…because that’s how I did it, wrote it, and why someone read it.

So what did I do and write for someone else to read?

  • Denying passion: Caging a heart – it couldn’t be done. Not a heart in full blossom of passion. Stopping a roaring river would be easier, or harnessing a violent hurricane with bare hands. From “Love on a Train.”

  • Suffering distance even when close: “I miss you too,” I answered, my cheek flat against his chest, my eyes staring across the room at a poster of Cincinnati’s baseball team. I did miss him but not in the way he thought. Even when he was near I still missed him, missed him in the lonely place he should be in my soul. From “Mine to Tell.”

      1. Losing dreams to reality: “You think your dress works good for a bride?” Lana eyed the dress her grandmother was giving her, faded gray fabric with only a hint of white where tiny daisies had once been. “You’re going to be a wife, not a bride…” Grandma muttered around her mouthful of pins, her needle and thread weaving in and out of the gathered waist. “Get silly notions about being a bride out of your head.” From “Asked For.”

  • Having plans go sour: Ben let go of his saddle. “Look, you need more than a business arrangement. You need a real husband. Why settle for some agreement with a stranger when there’s a man here who’d marry you right?” My heart struck up a chorus of eager beats as I stared up into eyes I could tell meant everything the man behind them said. If a cowhand ever proposed to me, that’s exactly how I imagined it would sound. He raised a finger. “I want you married the right way. I’m suggesting you consider Doc for a husband.” Doc. My heart became silent, my chest an empty cavern. From “The Lady’s Arrangement.”

  • Suffering suspicions: Mama believed Grandma resented being with a man who walked a little bit different. I asked Grandma about that and she told me it wasn’t the gimp in a
man’s gait that made him crippled, it was the gimp in his eye. From “Out of Splinters and Ashes.”

  • Learning too late your heart has gone from friendship to love: My skin grew cold, and my gut coiled into a knot. I thought I was going to be sick as it dawned on me what Lane had wanted to say, and why he was skirting our pinkie truce. He asked Gabriella to marry him. From “Sonata Contineo”

When I write what I know, I could be writing your path. So read and enjoy, and when the pages answer what you’ve always wondered, clasp the book to your heart, and say, “Amen.”

A bit more about our guest:
Colleen L Donnelly was born in the Midwestern US where she has returned after several years of living in other places, proving, “There’s no place like home.” A scientist by profession and an outdoors person by passion, she has learned to find and generate stories wherever she’s been and whatever she’s done.

You can find Colleen at:

And, her books can be purchased at :
Asked For –
Mine to Tell –

Love on a Train –

The Lady’s Arrangement –

Sonata Contineo –

Out of Splinters and Ashes –

Monday, March 2, 2020

Macgregor's Mail Order Bride: Emily's Story

Susan Payne returns to Wild Women Authors with Emily Johnston from Macgregor's Mail Order Bride, Book 2 in the Sweetwater series.

Where are you from? Chicago. Chicago, Illinois. Both my friend, Mavis Miller, and I came together out west. It was a difficult decision to make.
We're sure it was. Tell us a bit about Macgregor’s Mail Order Bride. Mavis was a widow and had finally come to grips with that loss. We both decided it was time to move forward and marry so we posted an advertisement for men interested in getting wives. Mavis thought the letter from Mr. Macgregor, Mac, was interesting so we, um, she, composed a letter in return. They seemed to hit it off right away and soon he sent us funds to travel by train to Sweetwater, Kansas. He agreed that our idea of having both of us travel together for safety was smart. Even sent enough to buy the tickets back to Chicago if we thought things weren’t turning out well. He was very accommodating in that way and expected me to stay until after the wedding. The plan was to get Mavis married and then for me to move into town until I found a husband as well. We had been told there were more men needing wives than women out west to fill the need.
What did you think the first time you saw Mr. Macgregor? He was a little intimidating. Large, huge, really – all over and the reddest head of hair I’ve every seen on a man. Bushy as his beard which was almost iridescent in its brightness the day he picked us up from the train station. But his eyes were breathtaking. So green you felt like drowning in them.

What was your second thought? That there was more to him then brawn. His eyes were expressive and I found an uncertainty about him that was somewhat charming. He was shy and tried to please but somehow Mavis was frightened of him. Of his size, his gruffness when he spoke, of his bigger-than-life personality.  

Was it love at first sight? No, although I was attracted to him. He wasn’t like anyone I had ever known but from the beginning I felt safe and calm around him. I never was able to put my finger on just what it was about him but I knew he would end up being more than my friend’s husband. Of course, I liked his brother, Jamie, right off, as well. He’s a whole lot less frightening.
What do you like most about Mac? His honesty. He never tried to be what he wasn’t – and had no remorse for being what he was. Not when it came right down to things. His brothers had told him it was time to marry so they could feel he hadn’t given up everything to see them through school and he agreed. Having a family was very important to him. Almost more important than seeking the wife he should have.
How would you describe him? Most people would mention his physical size and strength but that’s simply a part of who he is. Mac is actually very sensitive. He has always put others before himself. When his mother died, his father fell apart and it was Mac who made sure the boys were cared for and the ranch continued to prosper. After his father passed, Mac raised the three younger boys, sent them to school and then university while he continued to make sure the ranch remained profitable. A place for them to return to if they wanted. That’s what I see in Mac more than anything. His sense of responsibility, his duty over-riding personal wants or needs.
How would Mac describe you? Pragmatic, I’m sure. I was the one who Mavis turned to when she was having doubts. The one who kept the meals on time and that Mavis’s nerves were under control. Oh, he liked me, of course, as his fiancée’s friend but he was single minded in his courtship of Mavis.
What made you choose housekeeping for a career? It wasn’t so much a career than it was a livelihood. After the Great Fire, I lost everything including my father who was my only means of a home. I was on the streets and eating from trash cans when I met Mavis. She had lost her family earlier to disease, both her young husband and three-year-old son. She was devastated and standing on a bridge trying to decide which side to jump off from when she saw me. Said something about me looking worse off than her and ended up taking me home with her. We have been best friends ever since. She made me want to live again and all I could do was keep house and cook. I owed Mavis. It’s why I came west with her to make sure she found the happiness she should have.
What is your biggest fear? That I will lose the people I love again. It can happen so quickly and I relive those days in Chicago. Worry about Mac and all the others I’ve grown so fond of. I know it’s a foolish fear. I have so many who I care about and who care about me. And there will always be the ranch and Sweetwater. People of Sweetwater take care of their own.
How do you relax? I love to do needlework, patch-work quilts specifically and listen to my husband play beautiful music on the piano. Very comforting.
Who is your favorite fictional character? It would depend on the day but probably Ishmael since he focused on what he needed to do. Even though he never conquered his nemesis, he didn’t give up either. He knew what he wanted and went after it.
What is the best piece of advice you ever received? Live for the day. One minute, then one hour, then one day at a time. Don’t try to take too big of bites of life until your ready. Find someone in worse shape and help them do the same. It takes only one person to find your way home.”

Emily, thank you so much for speaking with us. Now we'd like to chat with Susan. What movies or books have had an impact on your career as a writer? Lots of movies but I place my love for the U. S. western states on the movies of the 1940s and later. They were often romances or at least had romantic elements. Strong men, of course, but I remember the women as being strong as well. Women owning and running their own businesses even if it was a bordello. It was a career choice at the time. But they also showed them as store owners, school teachers, ranch owners and good at what they were doing. Standing alone but searching for the man that would become a partner not merely a husband. I write about those women and the men who attracted them.
What event in your private life were you able to bring to this story and how do you feel it impacted the novel? Having a close friend, one you trusted your life with has always been a desire for me. I found it in my husband but others aren’t that lucky. I feel we all need that one person who will stand by us, take our side even if they think were wrong merely because they know we need someone to.
Tell us a bit about your publisher: The Wild Rose Press was brought to my attention by an author I met on the internet. Their ala carte menu was one I couldn’t ignore since it would allow me to keep costs lower and publish very quickly. I was fulfilling a bucket list for my husband. He wanted to see me published sooner rather than later.
What book[s] currently rest on your TBR pile? Several of Rosanne Bitner’s books are coming out by Sourcebooks and Amazon. She has 72 published so far. She is an inspiration and writes only historical western romance fiction. Always a great read and difficult to put down until the last page is read.
Lastly, what's up next and when can we expect to see it on the shelves? I will continue to self-publish the Sweetwater series with the last three books. Then I have a book coming out through Literary Wanderlust by the end of 2020. Montana Lineman is another mail order bride story. Both people involved need to change to ensure the marriage survives and learn how to be a loving, giving couple.

Macgregor's Mail Order Bride is available in paperback and e-book through most online book sellers.
Amazon link:

To learn more about Susan Payne and the books she creates, look for her at: