Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Asylum Harbor ~ by Isla Grey

“Still Waters Run Deep”

Publisher’s Info.
Publisher:  The Wild Rose Press
Title:  Asylum Harbor
Series Name:  The Salty Dog Series, Book One
SubGenre(s):  Contemporary, Suspense
Imprint:  Champagne
Length:  Rosebud
Rating:  Spicy (PG-13)
Page Count:  198
Word Count:  45,430

Welcome to my beach, Isla. We’re so glad to meet you. Grab a cold drink and have a seat.

Hi Sandra!  Thanks so much for letting me drop by today.  I love Life’s A Beach, so I’m really excited to be here.  I’ll have a sweet iced tea, please! J

I love the cover of your book. I’ve always said The Wild Rose Press has fantastic artists. How did you find your way into the Wild Rose Press garden?

I feel so fortunate to be part of this amazing team.  I had heard so many good things about The Wild Rose Press over the past few years, so when I felt “Asylum Harbor” was as good as I could get it, they were the first and only ones I sent it to.  I had an incredible editor who pushed me to make the story better and, I think, in the long run, a better writer.  The cover artists are wonderful and my fellow “Roses” have been supportive as well.

I’m sure everyone is curious about you. One thing we always like to know – what is your writing space like? Do you have a home office, travel around the house with your laptop, or spend time in public places?

Oh my goodness!  I have a desk that’s cluttered with pens, candy wrappers and an assortment of colored paper clips, that I never sit down to write at.  (Daryl, our cat, uses the desk chair as a place to take his afternoon nap.)  My laptop usually follows me into the living room or on the front porch but doesn’t venture out the house much.  The first draft of the stories I write are handwritten so the notebook I use stays with me when I’m out and about.  You never know when you’re going to have a free moment.  A lot of “Asylum Harbor” was written in my car while waiting in the carpool lane at my daughter’s school.  I’d get there an hour early to beat traffic and to write.

What are the favorite tools of your trade? Do you prefer a desktop, laptop, or pen and paper?

I’m a hoarder of pens, paper, post-it notes, you name it.  I know I don’t need to buy anymore, but I’m compelled to at least look down the aisles when I go to the store.  But give me a pad of paper and a pencil and we’re good to go.

Do you have anything special close by; music, a pet, a lucky charm?

I’m obsessed with music but I can’t have it playing when I’m writing—the quieter the better or I’ll get distracted.  Pets are a completely different story.  We have three cats:  Tori, Daryl and Loki.  Loki is the one who likes to curl up on my lap when I’m working while Daryl likes to get behind the laptop and watch what I’m doing.  Since Tori is the oldest, and the self-proclaimed Queen Bee, she tries to sit on the laptop while I’m typing.

Let’s have a look at your blub ~

Trouble is the last thing Devon Brown needs when she leaves the painful memories of her past behind and heads to Shell Island.  As the Salty Dog’s new bartender, she finds herself drawn to Kerr, the Shell Island harbormaster.  But finding her happily-ever-after is difficult when dealing with an obnoxious bootlegger who supplies the bar with illegal liquor and a jealous coworker.
A standoffish loner with damaged emotions, Kerr avoids relationships like the plague.  Things change when Devon catches his eye.  As a simple flirtation grows serious, the coworker and bootlegger quickly become obstacles to any future Kerr and Devon may have together.  As the situation worsens, Devon realizes that even the still waters of Asylum Harbor are no refuge during a storm.

It sounds like your hero and heroine both have an intriguing past. What three words would you use to describe Devon?


Now, give us three words for Kerr.


What were their first impressions of each other?

They are pretty dismissive of each other.  Devon and Kerr meet briefly on the ferry headed to Shell Island.  She’s already uncomfortable being on the open water so when she bumps into him and he’s rude to her, she’s hoping she doesn’t have to deal with him again.  He’s thinking she’s just another out of place visitor to the island.

I think we sound take a peek at an excerpt ~

“You already got dibs on this one Kerr?”
Porter shot an evil glare at the opposite end of the bar and looked back toward her.  “I’ll see you tonight.”  He flicked his tongue.  “After work.”  He raised his glass in a mock toast and chugged it in one gulp.
            The lights dimmed for Victoria’s dance of the night.  Devon watched Kerr, who was usually headed for the exit by now, and breathed a sigh of relief when he remained glued to his seat with his back to the stage.  He wasn’t staying for Victoria’s peep show.  There must have been something about this Porter character that got under his skin in a bad way.
            Devon was eager for the quick break.  She hustled to the back as the chords to “Simply Irresistible” began to pelt over the speakers and ran some cold water over her forearm.  A red welt was beginning to show where Porter had held onto it.  She hoped he would be gone by the time she got back.
            Making it out before mid-song, Devon rounded the bar when someone snagged her wrist and thrust her hard against the bar, knocking the wind out of her.  She could smell Porter’s alcohol-laced breath as his weight pinned her under him.  One of his grubby hands shot under her shirt while the other wrestled with the button on her pants.  “Let’s give them a real show.”
            She struggled to reach the Equalizer, but it remained hidden, out of her grasp.  Devon hoisted her knee toward his crotch, but Porter lost his balance and fell backward before she could make contact.
            Kerr towered over him.  “Get your hands off her.”

It sounds like the Salty Dog is a pretty rough place. Sense the series is named after it; I assume it will be a regular watering hole for your readers. Perhaps you should prepare us by telling us a little about it and how the idea for the place came to you.

Ha, ha!  Not that I frequent seedy bars, but the Salty Dog—the way it’s described—is a mix of a couple of places and believe it or not, both are family restaurants.  (There is a stage in one restaurant, but, I promise, no stripper pole.)  The Salty Dog is the only bar on Shell Island.  It’s a place where the locals can get a drink, get a little rowdy and the waitresses provide live entertainment.  So, as long as we keep visiting Shell Island, the Salty Dog will be there.
I first came up with the idea of the story while on a trip to Shell Island.  The island does exist, but it’s uninhabited.  Visitors make trips there during low tide to collect sand dollars.  I knew right off that Devon was going to be a bartender and could picture this bar in the middle of nowhere.  The hardest part was the title.  It was the last thing I came up with after the book was completely finished.

And now that we know Asylum Harbor is the first book of a series, can you give us a hint about how many stories you expect the series to be?

Right now, “Asylum Harbor” is the first book of three.  I’m working on the second one with the idea for the third.  I have titles for both of them so I’m already a step ahead.  There could be a fourth with one of the other characters in the forefront.

Will we meet the characters for the next book in Asylum Harbor? And, will Devon and Kerr show up in book two?

Devon and Kerr will be back in the second book along with the others.  I really love these two so I’m not ready to let them go yet.  There’s still plenty of havoc to cause. J

Before you leave, we’d like to know more about you ~

Isla Grey is from Central Virginia and still lives in the same small town she grew up in. She developed a love of writing at an early age and over the years has tried her hand at penning poetry (some good, some not so good), screenwriting, newspaper articles and historical stories. She’s “old school” when it comes to writing and is a hoarder of more pens, post-it notes and writing journals than she’ll ever need. Isla likes to write different types of stories from romance to mystery and anything in between and loves a “happy for now but there could be some bad things coming” feel. When Isla’s not writing, she spends her time being called “Mom, Mama, Mommy” (well, you get the picture) by her daughter who is forever active, even in her sleep. She considers herself an unofficial “cat whisperer” and is a pet human to a plethora of cats that have taken up residence at her home over the years. Isla also enjoys reading a good biography or ghost story, traveling even though “there’s no place like home”, good music played loud and walking.
Isla loves movies and is the movie mistakes editor at where she talks about…well…movies.
You can connect Isla at:

Thanks so much for joining us on the beach today, Isla. Asylum Harbor sounds like a great the-kids-are-back-to-school book. Good luck with it and the stories to follow.

Thank you so much for letting me visit the beach today!  I’ve had a great time and hope everyone enjoys “Asylum Harbor”.

Question for our visitors ~

Have you ever encountered someone in your workplace that made you uncomfortable? Tell us about it. If not, comment anyway. We’d love to know you were here.

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Amazon Encores for October 6th

We're bringing in the Fall with a few more fantastic re-releases for Amazon Encore. You're only a click away from your next fabulous story.

Silverhawk by Barbara Bettis

To avenge his mother's honor, Sir Giles of Cambrai has come to England to kill his father. First, however, he'll take sweet revenge by kidnapping his sire's new betrothed. But when Giles uncovers a plot against King Richard, he faces a dilemma: take the lady or track the traitors. What's a good mercenary to do? Both, of course.
Abandoned in a convent by her brother, Lady Emelin finally has the chance for home and family. Yet now she's been abducted. Her kidnapper may be the image of her dream knight, but she won't allow him to spoil this betrothal. Her only solution: escape.
Rescuing the intrepid lady--while hunting the traitors--is a challenge Giles couldn't anticipate. But the greatest challenge to both Giles and Emelin is the fire blazing between them. For he's everything a proper lady should never want, and she's everything a bastard mercenary can never have.

Apocalyptic Moon (After the Bane Series Book 1) by Eva Gordon

Dr. Dora Adler's life has been in disarray since the beginning of the zombie apocalypse, but when she gets bitten by one of the undead, her whole world is turned upside down. Held captive in a secret underground lab, the tall, muscular hunk in the next cell is her only hope for salvation. Unfortunately, he claims to be a werewolf. Yeah, and she's supposedly a witch.
Dirk Gunderson is an alpha Arbor pack werewolf. Captured and collared, he's sold to the zombie lab in hopes his blood serum can create a vaccine. He needs to escape, but not without the hot little brunette witch.
In the midst of enemy werewolves and the hordes of undead, Dirk and Dora's sexual tension ignites a blaze hotter than the desert highway. Along their journey, they battle the inevitable: a werewolf must never take a witch as a mate.

Raven Moon (After the Bane Series Book 2) by Eva Gordon

In a world ravished by zombies, animal shifters vow to save human survivors and combat zombie hordes. Ravenna, princess of the northern raven conclave, joins forces with witch Dora Adler and the Fenrir werewolf pack. On a mission for a vaccine against Z-phage, Rave and her team fly to a remote biological research facility. They battle a new breed of zombie, faster and stronger than the human variety, and with an appetite for shifters.
Benandanti Templar Maddox seeks revenge against the Kindred leader who killed his team. He rescues a trapped woman, Ravenna destroyer of the Benandanti bloodstone. His wolf longs to claim and protect the sexy raven shifter. His Benandanti faith commands she stand trial.
While facing zombies, merciless tankers, and zealous Benandanti werewolves, Rave and Maddox struggle against their forbidden passion. They must set aside their conflicts and strike at the new zombie threat before the new virus spreads.

Let's show these excellent authors our support and best wishes!

Monday, October 5, 2015

!!! I’m upset and I want everyone to know why !!!

Like most authors, I have ‘Google Alerts’ on my book titles to see when something comes up about them on the internet. Many times we get alerts on articles that use those words, but are unrelated to us. We expect it, it’s no big deal. One of my titles is also the title of a new erotica book. I just ignore those alerts. However, I had one this morning that really disturbed me.

I had just woken up, put the dog out, and grabbed my first cup of coffee. The first email in my inbox was a Google Alert. I’d rather not say which title it was for and if anyone asks for the website it took me to, I’ll never speak to you again.

The link took me to a site that advertises porn videos to purchase and download. This isn’t surprising, it happens a lot. I usually hit delete and move on. Today, some of the images on the advertisements caught my eye. They pictured very young, naked girls, (between the ages of 10-13 years-old), physically engaging with naked grown men.

I called my local sheriff’s department to find out how to report the site. They were concerned, but said the FBI handled these type cases. My next call was to my local FBI branch.

The agent that took my call took my name, phone number, and address. Next, he asked me to describe exactly what was pictured on the advertisements. I told him, but added that I hadn’t and wouldn’t open any of the videos to see what those showed. The pictures I’d seen were bad enough. Obviously, though, they were not bad enough for the FBI. They didn’t even ask the name of the website.

It seems you can show pictures of children being sexually exploited, as long as it doesn’t include actual sexual penetration. This is not an exaggeration. This is what I was told. I even asked for clarification.

I don’t know what is making my head hurt worse, the images of those children or my disappointment with the FBI.

So, to close I’d just like to say – Be vigilant parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, and older siblings. We are all that stands between our children and some very sick people.

Missing and Exploited Children 1-800-843-5678

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Amazon Encores for September 29th

Let's celebrate all the Amazon Encores being re-released today because...well, they were just that awesome.

A Rose in No-Man's Land by Margaret Tanner

Sister Amy Smithfield is carrying on her family's military tradition in the only way she can, as an Australian Army nurse. Dedicated to her calling, she has sworn off interest in men for the duration of the Great War in Europe. When she literally runs into Mark Tremayne, an English captain in the Australian army, her real struggle begins. Mark has his own reasons for keeping any relationship with the opposite sex in the casual mode, and he fights to deny his attraction to the petite blonde nurse who stirs his senses beyond the ordinary. Their battle against love continues from Australia to the Mediterranean to France. When Amy is captured by German soldiers, Mark realizes how much she means to him -- but can he overcome pride and find Amy after his jealous anger pushes her away?

Daughter of Sherwood (The Guardians of Sherwood Series Book 1) by Laura Strickland

Raised in the kitchens of Nottingham Castle, Wren has no idea she is the daughter of the legendary Robin Hood until she is summoned to Sherwood Forest. Since Robin's death many years before, the resistance against Norman tyranny has been upheld by a magical triad, but now one of the guardians has died. With two young men, Sparrow and Martin, Wren must form a new triad with a bond strong enough to defend Sherwood's magic. To one of them, she will also give her heart. From the moment Wren bursts into his life, Sparrow loves her. But he knows she may choose his lifelong rival, Martin, as her mate. Martin wants Wren also, but Sparrow fears Martin is driven not by love but by ambition. When Martin is captured and held at Nottingham Castle, will the conflict between love and duty destroy the triad?

Dawn of a Dark Knight by Zoe Forward 

In the shadows of our world, a secret band of warriors fights to protect us. They are the last line of defense against an evil no human can stop. An ancient nemesis has resurfaced. Duty demands that Ashor Vlahos, Scimitar Magi commander, recruit a magical healer to fortify the remaining eight magi. The gods' choice is the woman who helped him escape torture a decade ago. Ashor couldn't have imagined a better punishment for his vow-breaker homicidal incidents than for the gods to bind him irrevocably to the only woman in the universe he cannot have. The soul-searing desire she ignites in him is strictly forbidden. Kira Hardy, M.D. is a brilliant, hardworking internal med resident with big secrets. But when Ashor asks for aid after a brutal daemon attack, she is sucked into his dangerous, secret world. Enslavement to the magi, no matter how hot they are, may be an unattractive life plan, but being targeted for death by their enemies is less tolerable. She must trust the sexy, tormented Ashor to keep her safe while he must deny his ultimate desire and keep Kira at arm's length lest he bring destruction down on them both. As a centuries-old evil catches up to them, they face a crucial decision--follow the gods' rules or follow their hearts.

Death Stretch by Ashantay Peters

She's leery of overprotective men--he's sworn to protect and serve. When Katie Sheridan's best friend is blackmailed over an affair with a yoga instructor, Katie stuffs herself into workout togs to help identify suspects. Instead of getting fit, she learns yoga can be a killer when the instructor winds up dead. Worse, Katie is a suspect, and finds herself tangling with the sexy, commanding cop investigating the case. Detective Dirk Johnson knows getting involved with a material witness--especially one as reckless as Katie--means trouble, but his heart and protective instincts aren't logical. More than once, she rescues herself just before he arrives to save the day. Dirk's not sure he can keep up with her, but he'll go down trying. Blackmail, murder, and adultery teach Katie and Dirk that love obeys its own laws. With passion as the final reward, they find fighting temptation is highly overrated.

Forgotten in Darkness (Scimitar Magi Series Book 2) by Zoe Forward

After an unjustified two-century stint in purgatory, Scimitar Magus Dakar returns to the human realm, renewing his eons-old curse. Either he or the woman he loves must murder the other within days of meeting in each new lifetime. To break the vicious cycle, he must kill her before she strikes her deathblow, something he's never done in the past. Archaeology grad student Shay McGinnis suffers a near-death attack in pursuit of a piece of Scimitar Magi lore. But did the magnificent warrior who pinned her to the wall injure her or the daemon he fought? In her search for answers, she draws the attention of both an ancient evil sorcerer and the warrior Dakar. The attraction between her and Dakar is instant, and for Shay confusing. She wants to be with him, but intuition equates him with death. Not random death. Hers. Will this be the lifetime they break the curse before they are murdered by an age-old enemy or worse kill each other yet again?

Framed by Nikki Andrews

When a long-lost painting turns up at Brush & Bevel, a decade-old mystery is reawakened. What really happened to artist Jerry Berger and his model Abby Bingham? Was it a murder-suicide, as the police proclaim, or was it something far more sinister? Gallery owner Ginny Brent and her loyal staffers, Sue Bradley and Elsie Kimball, each take a different path to unravel the mystery. Together, their discoveries start to form a cohesive whole. But as they get closer to the solution, they discover to their horror that art is not the only thing that can be framed.

Heat Flash by Taylor Anne

When FBI agent Mason Black left Kendall Reed without warning, it devastated her, but she managed to bounce back. Now on the run from a maniacal stalker, she must learn to trust the man who betrayed her in the past. Dealing with his own insecurities and secrets, Mason will do anything to protect Kendall from the dangerous lunatic terrorizing her. But the bigger threat may be the one Kendall poses to his heart. Scared of Kendall's reaction if she learns the truth about him, Mason puts his own problems and emotions on hold to find her stalker. But when Kendall's life is threatened, he has no choice but to risk body and soul--and even his heart--to save her.

Congratulations, authors! You're all winners!

Thursday, September 24, 2015

The Other Side – Starr Gardinier

It may be fall but its still hot on the beach and we're still looking for great books to relax with. My guest today is talking about her new book and it sounds like one that will keep us reading all day, and maybe keeping us awake all night.

Welcome to my beach, Starr. Make yourself comfortable while we talk about your new release, The Other Side, Melinda’s Story.

It’s great to be here. Okay, I’m ready. I have my little umbrella drink and lounge chair.

I understand that Melinda’s Story is part of a new series, Other Side. There’s nothing I love more than a good ghost story. Will all your Other Side books follow some of the same characters, or will we find ourselves in a new place each time?

They will have the same main characters (Melinda, Trent and _____) with added new ones here and there. I left that blank on purpose. If I divulge that name, it will ruin Trent’s story and I don’t want to do that.

How many stories are in some stage of progress for this series as we speak?

The 2nd book in the Other Side series is with the copyeditor at Wild Rose Press as we speak. I anticipate a release of “Trent’s Story” early 2016. The third is still being written.

Where did your inspiration for Melinda’s story come from?

I simply had an idea to have my protagonist tell her story by relaying events to her psychiatrist. I love the paranormal, so putting the two together worked well. A doctor, teenagers, creepy events… Sounded fun to me and the result is “Melinda’s Story.”

Let’s have a look at the blurb ~

Melinda's family is dead, killed for information that is hidden deep within her mind. Her father tries to warn her from the 'Other Side' that she is in danger from the killers who want what only she can give them. Committed to Skyview Haven, she must determine if the 'Other Side' truly exists or if it is a trick of her heart and mind. With time running out Melinda must determine who she can trust. Is it the ghosts of her family, a boy who may not be who he appears to be, or the doctor who is determined to cure her? Can she figure out the truth before it is too late?

Melinda sounds like a very complex character. What three words would you use to describe her?

Persistent, strong, open-minded

If The Other Side, Melinda’s Story was made into a movie, what would it be rated and what age group would mostly make up the line for tickets?

First, that would be awesome! It’s a young adult novel, so pg rating and the age group would honestly be anyone from 16 to 65. It’s something adults can enjoy as well.

What actress would you most like to see playing Melinda’s part?

I can absolutely see Emma Watson playing Melinda telling the story. Emma has the look that I imagine Melinda to have; that ‘wholesome’ look, but also a character that is determined.

Let’s sample your voice with an excerpt ~

“The entire time was weird. It was June 2005 when they finally had a funeral for Beth. I stood there next to what they said was her grave, but I knew she wasn’t in it. I didn’t know what was going on and no one would believe me. They all thought I was in denial. They were the ones in denial.
“For a while after, I had to see a shrink. I thought maybe if someone like a doctor believed me, then my family would. But I overhead Dr. Raspin tell my mom and dad that I was more out of tune than she realized. Those were the words she used, ‘out of tune’. What was that supposed to mean? It didn’t matter. I knew then I was alone.
“I went back to school and still no Beth. All my friends stopped me in the hallway to say how sorry they were. Were they? Didn’t they know Beth was alive? Why was I the only one who knew the truth? Even Beth’s mother was always crying. Mom and I went to visit her a few times after the funeral. Each time, she and Howard, Beth’s dad, were either crying or you could tell they had been.
“After a while, I began to think maybe I was nuts after all, especially after seeing my dad alive day in and day out after I was just at his funeral. He wasn’t in my head any longer, but there, right in front of me. So, if my dad was in my head when he was dead, why isn’t Beth in my head if she’s dead? None of it made sense.
“I was just about convinced I really was in shock, that Dad was alive the whole time and Beth was really the one who was dead until...”

That certainly set the mood. I can’t imagine anyone not jumping to the buy links now, so here they are ~

Now, we’d love to hear more about you ~

Bio: A paralegal by day, she’s an author by night. Apart from being an award winning author for her short story “Cut,” Starr has appeared in a blaze and made her mark on the literary world with her Ivanovich series and now her Other Side series.

Having studied and obtained her Bachelor’s Degree in Literature/Creative Writing, she has found her unique style and is known for her works' distinctive voice, making every character stand out.

She’s the founder and owner of Editing by Starr. She’s also the former executive editor for Suspense Magazine. She has been interviewed in the newspaper and on the radio with relation to her fiction work. She has been a co-host on Suspense Radio.

Starr is a member of International Thriller Writers (ITW) and of Sisters in Crime, Los Angeles Chapter and nationally. She has won three Best Speaker awards as well as Best Evaluator at the Voice Ambassadors chapter of Toastmasters. She has always been active in events. As co-chair and main coordinator for the West Coast Author Premiere, she arranged weekend-long events to help authors from all over network, learn and share their work with the public. Starr has also been instrumental in compiling authors and planning a local author event at Barnes and Noble in Ventura, California along with the store’s event manager.

Please see more on her editing service at, read more about her at, and/or visit her blog at

How can our guests reach you on social media?

twitter: @StarrGardinier

It was wonderful meeting you, Starr. I wish you tons of luck with The Other Side, Melinda’s Story and all the books to follow.

Thank you, Sandra for hosting me. And a huge thanks to my readers. Without you all, Melinda James just wouldn’t ‘exist.’ And without Melinda, I wouldn’t be able to tell you Trent’s story, which is the 2nd book in the Other Side series. Happy reading, everyone! It was great being here.

Question for our guests: Have you ever had a paranormal experience or know someone who has? Tell us about it in a comment below or just say hello.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Bayou Born Feature

Today's feature!

With broken vows and betrayal as pages from their past, can Branna and James hope for true love? 

Bayou Born is the first book the in the Fleur de Lis series from award-winning author Linda Joyce, and it’s a RONE Award Finalist. Bayou Bound and Bayou Beckons of the series are available. Linda is finishing the much-anticipated Bayou Brides. She also has a second series—The Sunflower Series. Book one, Her Heart’s Desire launched last month.

In Bayou Born, you’ll meet Branna Lind and James Newbern in fictional Lakeview. There is a canine character, General Beauregard, who is very real. He is one of the three dogs in my family. He is very much a general—takes charge and full steam ahead.

I hope you’ll enjoy the story of Branna and James:

Branna Lind's self-esteem rests at the bottom of the Mississippi River. She’s canceled her "wedding of the decade" and refuses to say why. She wants life on her own terms—no ready-made job in the family business, no safety net of close-knit kin, and no more betrayal. Men are purely optional.

College professor James Newbern prizes his bachelorhood. He knows beautiful women are high-maintenance trouble, and Branna fits that “type.” He is happy to avoid her until the college vice president assigns him to mentor the newest hire—Branna.

Branna is on her way to a new life, but will the scars of the past send her running from love? Even if she faces the truth, will she ever convince James she truly is his "type"?

 Linda loves to hear from readers. Please connect with her on
Twitter @LJWriter
Get your copy here:

Anyone can read a Kindle eBook with a free app for any device.

Tags: #southerncharm #smalltown #contemporary #romance