Saturday, April 5, 2014

CATHY TULLY ~ TRAINING TRAVIS




Welcome to the beach, Cathy! I’ve heard how chilly it is in New Jersey, so I’m glad I can share some of our sunshine. Take off your jacket and relax.

Thanks, Sandy. I think I will. I love the warm weather :)

If you’d like to have a beach party of your own I’d be glad to share my beach. The first people on your guest list should be the three people who’ve inspired you most, (dead or alive). Who would they be?


  1. Nora Ephron.  I love her movies and think she was a talented writer.
  2. Kathy Bates, who started acting much later in life. Look how far she’s come. I didn’t start writing until I was forty and didn’t publish until twelve years later. Perseverance pays off :) 
  3. Nora Roberts, so I can pick her brain as to how she writes so many books so fast :)
They sound interesting. What would be the three most delicious items on your menu?

BBQ Spareribs, baked beans, and lobster tails.

That sounds delicious! If I were to meet your characters, Travis and Rebecca, at this party, what celebrities would they remind me of?

Bill Pullman/or Tom Hanks and Julianne Moore.

Great couple! Everyone is dying to hear what advice you’d give about writing. Give us your biggest DO and biggest DON’T.

DO: Learn to write fast. Content is king.  DON’T: Edit while writing. Wastes too much time. Write the first draft and then go back.

Great advice. The natives seem to be getting restless. They want to hear about TRAINING TRAVIS.

Two professionals with a past they thought forgotten--can they keep their relationship strictly business when the passion reignites? 

After the death of his ex-wife, Travis McGill becomes sole parent to his fifteen-year-old daughter. Determined to do what's best for her--even if it means reopening old wounds--Travis moves back to his Pennsylvania hometown. 

Rebecca Evans never forgave Travis for the way he dumped her. Not only did he break her heart sixteen years ago, but he and his daughter are a reminder of the family she lost. But when Travis asks her to redecorate his Victorian house, she can't turn her back on him or his angry, grieving daughter. 

Getting Rebecca back in his life might not be the easiest task, but Travis is determined to try. Can he earn the trust of the two most important women in his life? Or will he need on-the-job training?

I love a reunion romance! We’ll need a taste of what we can expect.

Winning Rebecca back isn’t going to be as easy as Travis thinks. She isn’t the same na├»ve eighteen year old.

It sounds like a great read in any season. Where can our guests get a copy?



Our guests are enthralled. Everyone wants to get to know you better.



Cathy Tully writes Sweet Romance, Contemporary Romance and Women's Fiction. Prior to romance, she wrote a children's non-fiction book titled, NEBRASKA for Kidhaven Press in 2004. Her first Sweet Romance, ALL YOU NEED IS LOVE, is available through Astraea Press, and her first novella, MARRYING MR. RIGHT is available through, The Wild Rose Press. Her short story, BEAUTY AND THE CURSE is available through Amazon.com.
A Member of Romance Writer's Of America, The Liberty States Fiction Writer's, and The Society of Children's Book Writer's and Illustrators, Cathy is a firm believer in continually honing her craft. A brown belt in Isshinryu Karate, she loves the feeling of strength and independence it allows her. Cathy can be found on Facebook, and at www.cathytully.com. A born and bred Jersey girl, Cathy lives in central New Jersey with her husband, Joe, and their two daughters.




 Be sure to look for Cathy's other great books as well!!!









You’ve been a terrific guest, Cathy, and TRAINING TRAVIS sounds fantastic. I hope you’ll come back for more parties in the future.

 I would love to Sandy :)  Thanks for having me!


Before everyone runs off, feel free to ask Cathy questions or give a comment below. Thanks for coming to the party!

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

MARIAH LYNNE ~ THE DUCHESS’ NECKLACE




Welcome to the beach, Mariah! I know how beautiful it is in your area, so I’m honored to have you here at the opposite corner of the state. We’ll take a walk along the water’s edge while we wait for our guests.
Thank you for the visit Sandy. The sea air is always so refreshing and invigorating. If we‘re lucky we may see a couple of playful dolphins on our walk and certainly beautiful blue herons and snowy white egrets. I love living on the water and always include the Gulf coast area in everything I write. Ft. Myers proper was the setting for the Love Gypsy, while Duchess Amelia visits Ft. Myers as well as Sanibel Island.

I’ve never had a time-travel author on the beach. It’s a fascinating trope. What first drew you to write about time travel?
I always fancied the idea of traveling through time. As a little girl, I loved Peter Pan, marveled at how he could fly to another world and take Wendy and the boys with him. Sherman and Peabody were favorites on TV. Later on, much later, I loved “Back To The Future” on the big screen as well as The Time Traveler’s Wife on my bookshelf just to name a few. It’s a fun way to learn about different periods in history while still being able to have all the modern conveniences like a microwave, a dishwasher, a computer, and a big screen TV just to name a few. If there were a real “Time Machine”, I’d love to take it for a test drive!

If you were to travel in time, where would you like to go and who would you like to meet?
In this instance, I would not go too far back in time. I guess to the late 1940’s early 50’s. It’s more about whom I’d like to meet. (Sounds a bit like the Woody Allen film “Midnight in Paris” doesn’t it?) Anyway, I would love to have tea with Dame Agatha Christie. Of course we would talk about her writing, especially Miss Marple and Hercule Poirot, what triggered the inner detective in her, what inspired these two amazing characters, and how she intellectually constructed her “murders.”

When Amelia, (from THE DUCHESS’ NECKLACE), travels to the future, what does she find most unusual?
She is puzzled by our style of dress, short in the skirt and higher in the neckline, as opposed to long skirts and plunging necklines. The idioms of our English confuse her a bit as do the modern conveniences of a car rather than a carriage (she calls them horseless carriages) while the telephone amazes her not to mention her understandable fear of using an elevator.


What’s the one thing Ryan, (in the future), finds most unusual about her?
She keeps trying to tell him that she is from another time, but being a man influenced by science and math, he finds that difficult to swallow. He is so attracted to her good qualities, her sense of humor, her love of animals, her kindness that he lets her idiosyncrasies about modern conveniences and discussion of a different time slide.

Everyone is dying to hear what advice you’d give about writing. Give us your biggest DO and biggest DON’T.
Do keep writing and trying to learn as much as you can about your craft. Go to conferences, get advice from multi-published authors, join a writing group like a local chapter of RWA. Don’t give up even if you receive a rejection. You have to believe that you can improve your story enough to get it published. Don’t rush through your work. Take your time and make sure that you are happy with the finished project.

People are starting to gather, curious about THE DUCHESS’ NECKLACE. I guess we’d better let them in on what it’s about.

Amelia Augusta Ethrington, eighteenth century Duchess of Abbington and fourth in line to the English throne, is considered by society an old maid at thirty-two. She refuses to marry and relinquish her authority to a husband. Instead, she finds romance in trysts with strangers. Amelia’s claim to her duchy is embodied in the form of an intricate and valuable necklace, The Abbington Jewels. But an unscrupulous time Traveler wishing to steal the jewels and sell them at future prices seduces her, catching her off guard, and snatches the necklace.

Amelia must risk everything to Travel with the aid of a gypsy seer to find the scoundrel, kill him, and retrieve her necklace before her jealous male cousins lay claim to her duchy. Complications arise after she meets Ryan Redstone, a museum appraiser sent to acquire the jewels. Amelia finally falls in love but knows she must focus on her quest to regain both her necklace and title. The Duchess is faced with the most difficult decision of her life. Love in the present? Or defending her honor in the past?

I love the intrigue! Give us a little sample.

It didn’t take long for his carriage to reach the riverfront. We stopped. Ryan leaned over and kissed my cheek whispering in my ear.
“Let’s go back to my room. It’s just upstairs. You can tell me what your secret is in private. I trust you and hope you trust me.”
Ryan helped me out of his carriage. We climbed the one flight of steps up to his room. Once inside, I sat down on the bed and stared out the window before giving him a serious look.
“This is not how I planned to tell you. I hoped to wait until we saw if the necklace was genuine. You must listen to me before passing judgment. I hope that you will still want to keep me in your heart afterward. ”
Ryan closed the drapes before sitting down next to me.
“Amy, how could I help but keep you in my heart no matter what your secret is?”
He squeezed my hand as I touched his lips with the gentlest kiss. Ryan filled me with a deep passion. I was ready to reveal my desire for him. I hoped he felt the same way.
I knew what I wanted and decided to show him how I felt in a special manner. Standing up, I slowly removed Starr’s silk floral sash and placed it around his neck. I stepped back to dance the seductive dance of the gypsy women who camped outside my childhood manor house grounds. They had always looked graceful, bracelets jingling, ribbon colored skirts twirling as they turned and twisted by their campfire in the moonlight. They seduced traveling knights and lesser royals hoping for romantic trysts out of their coin. *I had heard the gypsies’ haunting songs and desired to get a better look. I became quite good at sneaking out night after night, hoping not to get caught. I watched them dance, hiding in some nearby bushes. One night, a beautiful gypsy spotted my hiding place and grabbed me. To my surprise, she had me stand and taught me their dance.
I wanted my necklace but strange as it sounds, I wanted Ryan more. I removed my blouse first, touching his face with its soft perfumed cotton. I *swirled, kicking off my shoes and stepping out of my skirt. I seduced him, taking off each undergarment until I stripped myself bare. His face flushed with reluctance but finally gave in. He stared at my naked body, his eyes intoxicated with passion. I have been with enough men to know he liked what he saw. Holding onto my hand, I pulled him up and helped him disrobe. His body was as muscular as a bull’s. We lay down together. His touch was gentle, making my body desire him more. We made sweet love until we became so tired, we both fell asleep. Our nap was all too brief. Ryan was the first to wake up. He whispered my name, “Amy, wake up sweetheart.”
I stretched remembering where I was and what I needed to tell him. My feelings for him now made it complicated.
It sounds like a great read in any season. Our guests can find it by going to

BUY LINK TO PUBLISHER:
BUY LINK TO AMAZON:
BUY LINK TO BARNES AND NOBLE:

We’re all fascinated. Everyone wants to get to know you better.

Ever dream of traveling through time? Mariah Lynne does. She writes stories that take her readers along on exciting journeys. Travel to distant times and beautiful places with strong-willed independent heroines whose memorable tales will entertain with twisted plots that dabble in the paranormal.  Both of her novellas, THE LOVE GYPSY and THE DUCHESS’ NECKLACE, fit that description to a T.
A Graduate of Syracuse University, Mariah lives on a beautiful Gulf Coast Island in Florida. She is a member of The Southwest Florida Romance Writers and Romance Writers of America. When she is not writing, she enjoys swimming, traveling and spending time with her husband and dolphin hunting dog, Max.
http Website: www.MariahLynne.com
Twitter:@MariahLynne1

You’ve been a terrific guest, Mariah, and THE DUCHESS’ NECKLACE sounds fascinating. I hope you’ll come back for more parties in the future.
Thank you inviting me. I enjoyed our visit on the beach today. I know Her Grace Duchess Amelia enjoyed her visit to Sanibel Island as well. (Say what you like here)

Before everyone runs off, feel free to ask Mariah questions or give a comment below. Thanks for coming to the party!


Saturday, March 22, 2014

RUBY BASSETT ~ IDOL URGES

Although IDOL URGES is an erotic-romance, this post is PG. 


Welcome to the beach, Ruby! We’ve set the party up just for you. We have tiki torches and of course – a tiki bar. We’re counting on you to supply the tiki idol. Hopefully it’ll be the one from your new erotic-romance IDOL URGES.

I have to say I wish I had a magic tiki idol, but seeing that sometimes magic can backfire, maybe it’s a good thing I don’t. Besides, we each have a bit of magic in us. We shouldn’t rely on an outside force to bring out our inner selves. That’s the point of all my stories. Each woman has the power to express herself and follow her dreams. By the way, I love this mojito, thanks.

I have to ask, Ruby, what inspired such a unique story?

Honestly, I started with Wendy. Most often, characters pop in my head and they tell me their stories. But I think I had that Brady Bunch episode where they go to Hawaii stuck in the back of my brain, that obviously had some influence. Only their tiki brought only bad luck. My tiki idol brings about some very nice experiences.

How would you describe your female character, Wendy?

Wendy wants what’s best for herself and her mother. She’s confused herself into thinking that she needs to shut off her true emotions and desires to reach her goals. But she discovers that it is only by embracing the whole of ourselves that we can attain what we want.

How would Wendy describe her male counterpart, Franco?

Franco is confident, where Wendy is unsure. He has goals, as Wendy does, but he takes his drive down a notch. He stops to smell the hibiscus and understands balance. But of course, he seems too good to be true to Wendy. Then, she finds out that his hidden wild side is the perfect complement to hers.

I’m a contemporary romance writer, but we all have a naughty side. What advice would you give someone like me about crossing over to the erotic-romance genre?

The difference between a steamy romance and erotica is that in a steamy romance the sex enhances the story and advances the plot, like a car chase in an action movie. But in erotica the sex is the story. Somehow your characters need to go on a sensual journey that is the central plot. I find humor in the humanity of our sensual side. Nothing is funnier than sex. So there’s a lot of silly parts in my book. Sex, magic and human foibles are ingredients for a great story that combines the serious journey of the heroine, hot steamy scenes and some good chuckles.

Our guests are crowding closer. They want to hear about IDOL URGES.

There’s plenty of room around the bonfire.  Here’s the blurb:

Determined to graduate college and save her mother from poverty, Wendy Johnson commits to keeping her nose to the grindstone and her head out of the clouds. Unfortunately, the mysterious old woman who gave her a magic tiki idol has other plans. Every time Wendy touches the thing, her sexual frustration nearly implodes. She can't think straight. To complicate matters, the dark-haired, debonair Franco refuses to leave her alone. So what if he's gorgeous and has the perfect body?
Yet, with the help of the tiki treasure, Wendy discovers her desires for success are a perfect match for her Idol Urges.

Like I said before, it’s a unique story. We’ll need a taste of what we can expect.

Here's an excerpt:

"Wendy! Wendy, over here." Franco, jogged over to her, waving his hand. His olive skin and lean arms reflected the sunset. His aquiline nose fit his Mediterranean features, and she got caught in his chocolate brown eyes.
Her chest tightened and her heart raced. Damn, I hate how he affects me.
Everybody at the resort loved Franco. He always had a kind word, time for a joke and helped out others when the kitchen got too busy. Yet, she never said yes to any of times he had asked her out. She wouldn't lose herself and her goals for a man. And it would be too easy to lose herself in Franco.
"Do you need a ride?" The corner of his full mouth turned up in a rakish smirk.
"No, I'm fine. I'll grab the bus."
"The bus? Where's your boyfriend?"
"Oh, we broke up." Crap, I shouldn't have said that. Now she had no excuse for turning him down.
A grin spread wide across his mouth. He took a step toward her, masculinity oozing from him. His eyelids lowered, he gazed at her with a wicked confidence. "Does that mean you're free to get together again sometime?"
Yes. The word sat on the edge of her lips. Franco, the dishwasher, was everything Jeremy, the dentist, was not. Carefree, fun-loving, and a risk taker. With Jeremy it was easy for her to control her urges. He was safe, stable, predictable. But Franco got her thinking dangerous thoughts— letting go, giving in, having sex nonstop and never cracking a textbook again.
"I need to go," she said quickly before he could say anything.

It sounds like a fun, hot read. Our visitors can find it by going to Amazon:



Our visitors are hanging on to every word. They want to know more about you.



I’m usually working away on my laptop, but when I take a break, you can find me on a beach chair, like this one, in the Hamptons or hopping around European cities. Last year Dublin, this year, Paris. I’m a born and bred New Yorker, Manhattan is my playground so I’m always checking out the latest off-Broadway shows.Visit me at:

@RubyBAuthor

You’ve been a fascinating guest, Ruby, and IDOL URGES sounds incredible. I hope you’ll come back for more parties in the future.

Absolutely, the view from this veranda is amazing. I hope to come back to talk about Idol Wishes, which will be out this summer. It tells the story of Wendy’s mother, Samantha, who of course finds the idol. The tiki brings about whatever change the possessor needs, kind of like the room of requirements in the Harry Potter books. If you read Idol Urges, maybe you can guess what it is Samantha might gain from the idol.


Before everyone runs off, feel free to ask Ruby questions or give a comment below. Thanks for coming to the party!

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

CHRYS FEY ~ HURRICANE CRIMES



Welcome to my beach, Chrys! I know your no stranger to the Florida beach scene, so make yourself comfortable with a cold drink and lounge chair.

Don’t mind if I do! I’ll just slip on my shades and kick off my flip-flops. So where are the cute lifeguards? Oh, there we go. *grins* Now I’m ready.

When I read HURRICANE CRIMES I loved the way you made Sabrina a character in the story. We Floridians are on a first name basis with our storms. What real-life hurricane do you remember most and why?

Hurricane Frances from 2004 was the storm that influenced Sabrina. She was only a category four storm, but she caused a large sinkhole to open under Interstate 95 and even closed theme parks. She tore apart the roof above my porch, crumbled my garage door, flattened my neighbor’s fence, and left me to live without electricity for about a week.

It’s my guess your characters, Beth and Donovan, will weather the next storm together as a couple. What three things will they be sure to have in supply that they didn’t have during Sabrina?

1. A generator!
2. Rain gear (pants and boots).
3. Plenty of birth control. *coughs* *winks*

Give our guests three words to describe Donovan.

Athletic, passionate, and dangerous.

What three words would he use to describe Beth?

Fierce, witty, and beautiful.

Now that you’ve been through the publishing process and have another story on the way, what advice would you give a first time writer? Give us your biggest DO and biggest DON’T.

Do your research! You have to know how to edit a manuscript, build your platform, write a query letter and synopsis, and where to find possible agents/editors who take stories like the one you created.
Don’t ever give up! You’ll run into roadblocks. You’ll receive handfuls of rejections. You’ll even feel as though you’ll never get published, but whatever you do, don’t give up! Move around the roadblocks, brush off the rejections, and keep the faith that you will make it!

The crowd is buzzing. They want to hear about HURRICANE CRIMES.

Blurb:

*Hurricane Crimes is a short story.*

After her car breaks down, Beth Kennedy is forced to stay in Florida, the target of Hurricane Sabrina. She stocks up supplies, boards up windows, and hunkers down to wait out the storm, but her plan unravels when she witnesses a car accident. Risking her life, she braves the winds to save the driver. Just when she believes they are safe, she finds out the man she saved could possibly be more dangerous than the severe weather.

Donovan Goldwyn only wanted to hide from the police, but the hurricane shoved his car into a tree. Now he's trapped with a beautiful woman while the evidence that can prove his innocence to a brutal crime is out there for anyone to find.

As Hurricane Sabrina wreaks havoc, Beth has no other choice but to trust Donovan to stay alive. But will she survive, or will she become another hurricane crime?

I’ve already enjoyed this great story, (and written my review on Amazon), but we should give our guests a peak of what’s inside.

Excerpt:

On the television set, which was fighting to stay alive, was breaking news. She caught bits and pieces of it as she emptied the bowl of blood-tainted water and threw out the cloth. It was about a high-speed chase that had occurred about a half-hour ago. Beth shook her head. Apparently, Donovan wasn’t the only idiot driving around during a hurricane.

She went back into the living room and began replacing all the medical supplies into the first-aid kit. Behind her, a reporter was explaining that the driver of the car was believed to be a murder suspect.

“The name of the—”

The lights flashed, prompting Beth to snatch up her flashlight.

“Donovan Goldwyn.”

Her fingers went cold around the plastic tube as ice frosted her veins. She straightened her spine and turned stiffly to the television, her heart wasn’t beating in her chest. On the screen was the picture of the man who was right now changing in her bedroom. Above it was a caption in bold letters that read—SUSPECT.

She gripped the flashlight in her frozen fingers. Her heart thudded fearfully. She stared into the immobilized violet eyes through the glass.
           
“Oh my god,” she gasped.

She had brought a murderer into her home!

Our guests can find HURRICANE CRIMES by going to:

You’re such a fun person to hang-out with. Everyone wants to get to know you better.



Chrys Fey’s debut, Hurricane Crimes, was published by The Wild Rose Press. Mid 2014, she will be coming out with her second romantic-suspense eBook, 30 Seconds. She created the blog Write with Fey to offer aspiring writers advice and inspiration. She lives in Florida where she is ready to battle the next hurricane that comes her way.

Author Links:
   
You’ve been a terrific guest, Chrys, and HURRICANE CRIMES has my endorsement. I hope you’ll come back for more parties in the future.

Thank you for inviting me to your beach, Sandra! The sun is brighter here, the water clearer, the sand softer. I will definitely be coming again!

Before everyone runs off, feel free to ask Chrys questions or give a comment below. Thanks for coming to the party!


Saturday, March 1, 2014

LINDA CARROLL-BRADD ~ WHEN LONELY HEARTS MEET

Even on the beach we love our cowboys. This one is straight out of the shoot, only published days ago. Check out Linda Carroll-Bradd's new masterpiece, 
WHEN LONELY HEARTS MEET.


Blurb:
Clover Damone travels to Dorado, Texas to handle a family member’s estate. A trip to the Sugar & Spice Bakery involves a mysterious gift—a cowboy gingerbread man cookie. The farmhouse is filled with items that display her aunt & uncle’s enduring love. If only she could find a love like that…

Rancher Wade Pallaton comes to the rescue of an attractive woman in distress…in the paint aisle of a home improvement store. One look sparks his interest, one he thought had died a decade earlier. Divorce made them gun shy about relationships but can Lasso-A-Heart online dating emails entice them to reveal the secrets of their lonely hearts?



Excerpt:
The older woman’s voice was pitched low but the throaty tone carried. What caught his eye was the sight of shapely calves encased in skinny jeans. The trio of brass bracelets and the long sweater that almost reached her knees clued him in that the lady was new in town. Not normal attire for this rural Texas town. He’d automatically registered that her left hand was ring-free.
The sight of the key making station meant he’d walked halfway down the aisle in his perusal of the interesting stranger. Wade glanced up and jerked when he spotted a narrowed gaze shooting daggers from the thin face of a woman close to his younger son’s age. Busted.
“Eavesdrop much?” The younger woman jammed a hand onto her angled hip.
Tread lightly around this suspicious one. “Beg pardon, miss.” Wade tipped a forefinger against the brim of his Stetson as he dipped his chin. “Ma’am, I heard the call for assistance and thought I’d see if I could answer a question.”
“You work here?” Eyebrow raised, she gave him the once-over. “Dressed like that?”
“Hayley.” The older woman gave a sharp wave, glanced at his length then stepped closer. “Do you know about paints?”
“Done my share of painting. And I’m a fair-to-middlin’ handyman.” He gazed at her, recording the details of her easy smile, her hazel eyes, and the waves of light brown hair framing her face. The combination piqued his interest, something that hadn’t happened in a very long time. “I’m not an employee here…” he shifted his gaze to the young lady and again, dipped his chin, “but I can be neighborly and try to answer your questions.”
“I’m clearing out my great-aunt’s house and it needs a bit of work.”
Just visiting. A niggle of disappointment ran through him. But he still intended to see if he could offer assistance, and maybe even volunteer to help. “First things first. Name’s Wade Pallaton, ma’am.” He extended his hand in a friendly greeting.
A moment passed as she glanced at his hand and then back at his face before sliding hers into his. The edges of her lips flashed a brief smile. “Of course, I’m sorry.”
Warmth built between their palms and he tightened his fingers. Ten years had passed since his divorce, and this was the first honest-to-goodness spark of attraction he’d felt. Her skin was soft and her bones delicate within his grasp.
“I-I’m Clover Damone.” She stared down at their clasped hands, sucked in her lower lip and then jerked her gaze back to his, eyes widening.
A raspy throat clearing sounded from just a few feet away.
“Oh.” Clover broke the connection, wiggled her fingers and then pointed over her shoulder. “And this is my daughter, Hayley.”
“Do you live around here?” Hayley tilted her head and a ponytail a shade darker than her mother’s hair swung to the side.
“Sure do. Got a ranch twenty miles outside of Dorado.”
“So, you’d know if mold is a problem in ancient houses. Cuz the smell that rolled out of that old farmhouse made me wonder about that ugly black stuff.” She shuddered and moved her hands through the air as she talked. “Like maybe we’ll get sick if we stay there.”
Shaking her head, Clover frowned and pressed her lips into a straight line. “I told you, the house just needs airing. We’re staying.”
“Fine.” Hayley jerked her head and pushed an ear bud into each ear, tapping the screen of her phone. “Pick me up in the magazine section when you’re done.” She flashed a glare his way, then spun and headed toward the front of the store.
Unsure of the conversation’s undercurrent, Wade just waited, giving him a few more moments to enjoy the sight of this intriguing woman. Not having raised a daughter, he’d always admired people who maintained a rational tone around sassy attitudes.
“I apologize. She’s really not a rude person. Hayley’s between terms at college, at least I hope she is, and I convinced her this Texas trip would be a fun getaway.” Clover braced her hands on her hips and stared at the floor for a second before meeting his gaze again and crinkling her nose. “I might have exaggerated the “fun” part of packing up family heirlooms, especially to my ultra-modern, social media-fixated child.” She let out a sigh then ran a hand through her hair. “And I have no idea why I’m revealing all this to a complete stranger. This is twice I’ve acted like this in two days. Just ignore me.”
Impossible. Seemed that from the moment he heard her voice, Wade wanted to hear everything she could tell him. He let his gaze follow the flow of her wheat-colored hair as it spilled between her splayed fingers. “Don’t know that I’ve heard the name Damone in these parts.”

Purchase Links:

Link for When Lonely Hearts Meet on Goodreads:


Meet the Author:
As a young girl, Linda was often found lying on her bed reading about fascinating characters having exciting adventures in places far away and in other time periods. In later years, she read and then started writing romances and achieved her first publication--a confession story. Married with 4 adult children and 2 granddaughters, Linda now writes heartwarming contemporary and historical stories with a touch of humor from her home in the southern California mountains.
Linda’s Links:

This sounds like a book I could get lost in. What do you think?  Comments are welcome ~

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Fighting, Surviving, and Romance Writing ~ Heather McCollum

I'm turning my blog over today to a real-life heroine, Heather McCollum. Read how she fought for her hero and their three children. It's a post that may change your life or the life of someone you love...




The Day the Words Stopped

As a writer, my days are filled with words. They describe who I am. Mommy, wife, girlfriend, author, daughter, dog-lover. In 2011 words swirled daily: 40-year-old, soccer player, pancake flipper, Maine vacationer, runner, cancer... my world and its words stopped.

April 4th will never be just a day to me, for in 2011 it was the day I learned I had ovarian cancer. I woke up after surgery, and “it’s cancer,” stopped everything. I stood on a precipice afraid to look over, because I knew once I did, the ground would rush up to shatter me. The doctors had lots of words then, while I just tried to breathe. The wind blew and I fell over the edge.
Major surgery, clinical trial, fifteen months of chemo, six months of recovery, a 70% chance of living.

“I’m selling sea glass necklaces to give money to ovarian cancer research, mom,” my 12-year-old daughter said and showed me her newly painted teal toenails.

“Promise me you won’t die. Just promise,” my 10-year-old son begged.

“Mommy,” my 4-year-old baby girl asked, “who will you play with in Heaven if I’m not there?”

So after a few initial weeks of total, cry-your-heart-out panic, I put on my big girl panties and became Xena, Teal Warrior Princess, slashing the beast during each six-hour session of chemo each week for five months and then every three weeks for ten more months.
I lost lots of things: hair, eyelashes, taste buds, GI health, toenails, strength, my runner’s body...and my words. As an author, writing is as essential to me as loving. And yet I couldn’t write a word of fiction. The word “cancer” had slashed through my belief in happy endings, and a romance writer who doesn’t believe in happy endings is not a romance writer.

My husband, who is my own Highland hero, held me up so I could fight (sometimes literally). I wrote about him and his strength in an anthology that just came out for Valentine’s Day. All proceeds from the sale of the book goes to a women’s domestic violence shelter. It’s called Scribbling Women: The Real-Life Romance Heroes Who Love Them. My chapter in the book is called For Better or Worse. Anyway – my guy realized pretty quickly how much worse I seemed when I wasn’t writing.

Him: “Write something.” (those Highland heroes like issuing orders)
Me: “I can’t write my stories. It’s too hard.”
Him: “Then write what you know, right now, what you’re going through.” (brings me my laptop on the back porch)

So I started blogging about my everyday life. I have about a hundred entries and developed quite an amazing following. I wrote about the fear, pain, and the anger I felt. I wrote about the love poured out on me by friends and even strangers. I wrote about the things I was learning as I fought and sat and watched the world around me.
And as I wrote, I noticed a change. More and more I wrote about how we (because I started to include my readers) could move forward and how moving forward was the goal, that moving forward was winning no matter what the lab tests showed. My husband brought me this quote and it became my mantra: Winston Churchill – “When you are going through Hell, KEEP GOING!”
Some days KEEP GOING meant doing yoga. Some days it just meant getting out of bed. But I refocused my emotional and physical energies on health instead of fear. During that time, something wonderful happened.
My fabulous agent, Kevan Lyon, who had said that she knew I’d win the battle for life, sold CAPTURED HEART, my 16th century Scottish romance with paranormal elements, to Liz Pelletier at Entangled Publishing. Liz then also bought the sequel, TANGLED HEARTS, which just came out at the end of January.
My editor, Libby Murphy, Liz and I came up with time lines that gave me lots of room for recovery. I began reading my first draft, editing. Editing takes much less mental energy than creating new words. Between the blogging and rereading my story of love and hope and never giving up, I started to believe in happy endings again.
Ironically most of the heroines in the Highland Hearts series are healers. They conjure a magical blue light which can be used to heal wounds and cure illnesses. Since my diagnosis, I’ve envisioned it as a teal blue light. Teal is the color for ovarian cancer.
So I dedicated CAPTURED HEART to all the teal warriors out there fighting against ovarian cancer. And to my amazing teal army for helping me believe that I can win this battle. The symptoms of ovarian cancer are so quiet that most women don’t hear them until it’s too late. I now list them in the back of all my Highlander books.


  • Bloating,
  • Eating less and feeling fuller,
  • Abdominal pain,
  • Trouble with your bladder.
  • Other symptoms may include, fatigue, constipation, menstrual irregularities, back pain, pain with intercourse, and indigestion.

If symptoms persist almost every day for three weeks, get a pelvic exam. Don’t put it off. My tumor grew and spread in only five months. Yep – from normal feeling ovaries to a 12cm diameter mass in five months, and it was spreading already. If anything feels abnormal during the pelvic exam, your doctor should send you for a trans-vaginal ultrasound and have a CA-125 blood test performed. Please also know that breast cancer and ovarian cancer are linked, so if you have a relative with breast cancer, you have a higher risk of ovarian cancer as well. Also, PAP Smears do NOT detect ovarian cancer (that’s cervical cancer), so a pelvic exam should be performed.
Almost three years later, I’m finished with chemo and in remission. My digestive system and nerves are healing. My hair has grown back and I’ve started taking kickboxing. My baby barely remembers the time when I was too weak to hold her. My two older kids once again expect me to do everything a non-sick mom does. I don’t look like a cancer warrior on the outside anymore (except for some battle scars), but I will always carry the lessons I learned on the inside. Those lessons of the heart and soul will forever be part of my author’s voice, for now that my own happy ending seems possible, I’ve found my words again.


For more information about Heather McCollum, her books and her ovarian cancer journey, check out her web site at www.HeatherMcCollum.com . She can be found on Twitter at @HMcCollumAuthor and on Facebook under HeatherMcCollumAuthor.





TANGLED HEARTS
Growing up on a pirate ship, every day was full of adventure for Pandora Wyatt. It was also the perfect place for her to use her magic without persecution. But after her surrogate father is imprisoned in the Tower of London, Pandora leaves the safety of the vessel to rescue him before he’s executed. She expects her mission to be difficult, but what she doesn’t expect is to have her life saved by the sexiest man she’s ever met.
Highland warrior Ewan Brody always wanted a sweet, uncomplicated woman by his side, but he can’t fight his attraction to the beautiful enchantress who’s stumbled into his life.  He quickly learns, though, that Pandora is not only a witch, but also a pirate and possibly a traitor’s daughter—and though she’s tricked him into playing her husband at King Henry’s court, he’s falling hard.
Soon, they begin to discover dark secrets leading to the real traitor of the Tudor court, the one Ewan was hired to capture. Now, Ewan and Pandora must uncover the truth before they lose more than just their hearts.

A note to my guests: Heather and I welcome your comments and questions, however, Heather will not be able to respond to them until later this evening or morning. She'll be indisposed for a diagnostic procedure. Join me in wishing her great results.