March 20

#TellTaleTuesday with Jennifer Wilck and Five Minutes to Love


Welcome author Jennifer Wilck and her new release Five Minutes to Love for this week’s Tell Tale Tuesday.


When I started to write Five Minutes to Love, I knew I wanted my main characters to meet on a speed date. The concept intrigued me and my characters are the right age for it. The problem was, I’m not. I’ve been married for twenty-three years and speed dating wasn’t a thing back when I was dating. Even if it had been, I met my husband in college, so I never had to deal with dating in the “real world.”

Luckily for me, I had two fortuitous things happen to me.

The first was I got to witness an actual event. Okay, maybe “witness” isn’t the right word. That’s too above-board. In truth, my daughter and I spied on one. You see, we were in New York City with my husband and a friend. After a lovely day walking around, we stopped for dinner at a restaurant our friend recommended. In the back of the restaurant, on the way to the restrooms, was another room with a bar and there was a sign announcing a speed date event. People were already arriving, so I raced back to the table, grabbed my daughter and brought her to the restrooms, where from the door, we could watch the event. I may or may not have recorded the hostess giving instructions.

So now I knew how it worked. But I needed to make it interesting. Well, despite the fact that I’m an old married lady with teenaged daughters, I do have single friends. So I asked them if they had ever tried speed dating, and while none of them had, they put me in touch with someone else who had done it. And wow, did she have stories! Her stories populate the event in my book, brought it to light, and I’m grateful for her experience and humor in sharing with me.



Curious about Five Minutes to Love?
Here’s the blurb

Aviva Shulman has had enough of the dating scene. Her father valued his high-powered career over his wife and family. She wants something more, someone who values her. But her roommates are determined to find her the perfect match.

Jacob Black doesn’t have time for relationships. A third-year law student, he’s focused on studying and getting a high-paying job with a top-notch law firm. But his overbearing mother wants him to find someone and settle down.

Their paths cross at a speed dating event and sparks fly. But is five minutes long enough to determine a future together?


And it wouldn’t be fair of me to tease you about the speed dating fiascos without giving you a little hint, which starts with Jacob, the hero, having been dragged to the event by his roommate:

“So, you ready to find the woman of your dreams?”

“Here? I doubt it.”

“That’s what I love about you, Jake. You’re always the optimist.”

Jacob took a long swallow of his drink. Some of the tension of the day disappeared. “I’m a realist. It’s not possible to find the woman of my dreams in five minutes. Besides, with the Bar exam looming and the long hours we’ll have to put into a job at a law firm, no woman in her right mind will want to get involved with either of us.”

“We don’t need one in her right mind, Jake, just…” Adam molded his hands into an hourglass. Jacob elbowed him in the ribs. “Ow!”

“Grow up.”

The hostess began her instructions, and the chatter died down. “Okay, ladies, you’re going to stay seated while the men move from table to table at five-minute intervals. Make sure to write down the name of each person you meet. Circle the name of anyone you’re interested in. At the end of the evening, turn your program in to me. I’ll provide you with the contact info of anyone for whom there is a mutual interest. That’s it. Have fun. If you have any questions, ask.”

The bell rang. Jacob sat at a table across from a petite blonde.?“Hi, I’m Samantha.”

“Hi, Samantha, I’m Jacob.”

“Nice to meet you, Jacob. I’m a dietician. Do you know how much weight you can gain from alcohol?”

“Uh, no, hadn’t thought about it.” He pushed his glass to the side.

She sipped from her bottle of water. “Most people don’t. That’s why I only drink water. What do you do?”

“I’m a law student at Seton Hall.”

“Oh, student diets are the worst. You should make sure to get lots of fiber and vitamin C in your diet. Potassium, like from bananas, is also important.”

As she continued her list of essential ingredients, Jacob stared blindly into space. Just when he thought he couldn’t stand any more of her advice, the bell rang.

“Well, it was nice to meet you, Jacob.”

Buy Links


Barnes & Noble:

The Wild Rose Press:

Author Bio

Jennifer started telling herself stories as a little girl when she couldn’t fall asleep at night. Pretty soon, her head was filled with these stories and the characters that populated them. Even as an adult, she thinks about the characters and stories at night before she falls asleep or walking the dog. Eventually, she started writing them down. Her favorite stories to write are those with smart, sassy, independent heroines; handsome, strong and slightly vulnerable heroes; and her stories always end with happily ever after.

In the real world, she’s the mother of two amazing daughters and wife of one of the smartest men she knows. When she’s not writing, she loves to laugh with her family and friends, is a pro at finding whatever her kids lost in plain sight, and spends way too much time closing doors that should never have been left open in the first place. She believes humor is the only way to get through the day and does not believe in sharing her chocolate.

She writes contemporary romance, some of which are mainstream and some of which involve Jewish characters. She’s published with The Wild Rose Press and all her books are available through Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

Jennifer’s Online Playground



Facebook Readers Group:




February 13

#TellTaleTuesday with Kay Harris and Don’t Let Him Go


Welcome author Kay Harris with her to-be-released-tomorrow!! novel Don’t Let Him Go for this week’s #TellTaleTuesday.


My sixth contemporary romance novel “Don’t Let Him Go” will be the first one to be published (as opposed to self-published). It comes out on February 14 (how perfect, right!). The journey to having this multicultural romantic comedy published by The Wild Rose Press is an extraordinary one (at least I think so).

Three years ago I was living in the Bay Area. I lived on the island of Alameda in the East Bay and worked in downtown San Francisco. Each morning I took the ferry across the bay, under the Bay Bridge and to the historic ferry building (always sipping on fancy coffee.) Each evening I took the ferry back home (sometimes sipping on red wine from the bar in the back of the boat.) It was a fantastic commute for sure, but it was also the beginning of this story.

“Don’t Let Him Go” is the tale of a conservative-minded corporate lawyer who finds herself stuck working with a bleeding-heart activist. Like the cities that lie on either side of the Bay where this story is set, the couple is multi-faceted. One is straight-laced and well-put-together but with a strong sense of right and wrong held deep inside. The other is raw, exposed, and far more comfortable in his own skin. The bridge stretching between them is the connection they unexpectedly find. And like the Bay Bridge that connects San Francisco to Oakland it is regal, proud, and often overlooked in favor of the shiny red bridge that runs north to south.

Okay, so I’m getting dramatic. But I love this story and I love these characters. They spoke to me each day as I rode that ferry and after I returned home each night I wrote it all out. Last April I was preparing to self-publish “Don’t Let Him Go” as I’d done with five other books before it, when I attended the Las Vegas Writers’ Conference. It was there that I met the amazing ladies of The Wild Rose Press and a new future, a new dream for my characters was born.

So now here I am, prepared to release my baby into the world. I hope you all will love it as much as I do!




The only thing worse than getting stuck with a bad client is falling in love with him. 

Candace Gleason passed the bar, landed a great job, and is making a killer salary–basically, all of her dreams are coming true. Until she’s assigned to keep the boss’s petulant son out of trouble.

Jack Morrison is the rebellious black sheep of a mighty real estate family. He runs a nonprofit whose mission is to save poor people from evil corporations, like the one his own family owns. He is obnoxious, ridiculously charming, and insanely hot. He is the bane of Candace’s very existence.

Sparks fly from the moment they meet.  Candace suddenly has more to worry about than keeping Jack out of jail. She has to keep him out of her heart.


I folded my arms across my chest and glared at Jack as he moseyed into the room. “You ambushed me.”

Jack came to a stop a few feet away and nodded. “I did.”

“That’s it?” I spread my arms out and leaned forward. My voice rose despite my effort to control it. “That’s all you have to say?”

“What do you want me to say? You’re smart. You can see what I did back there. I used you for my own gain.”

“You’re a prick!”

“I’m not surprised you feel that way. But I am sorry you had to get caught in the crossfire.” He moved to the couch and took a seat in the middle of it, purposefully giving me the high ground.

He slung his arms over the back of the couch casually, making him look like an arrogant ass. And that is exactly what I thought of him at that moment. So I called him on his supposed apology. “Are you?”

“Yes, I am. But you’re not innocent, Candie. You put yourself in this position by going to work for Morrison.”

“It’s Candace!” I shouted, on the edge of insanity.

He didn’t respond. He just looked at me with that infuriatingly handsome face and waited, an amused grin dancing on his face.

Buy Links







Author Bio

Kay Harris has had a diverse career with jobs ranging from college professor to park ranger. Now she adds author to her repertoire. Kay writes romance novels that contain a little bit of sweet, a dash of sexy, a touch of heartbreak, and a whole lot of fun!

Kay grew up in the Midwest and has since lived all over the western United States including Montana, Wyoming, Utah, Arizona, Nevada, and California. She loves to hike, is obsessed with museums, and enjoys taking her extremely tall and very handsome husband on adventures.

Kay’s Online Playground







December 5

#TellTaleTuesday with Donna Simonetta and A Sweeter Spot


Welcome Donna Simonetta for this week’s Tell Tale Tuesday.


My husband and I moved to Baltimore nineteen years ago, prior to that I’d never lived in a city. It was a huge adjustment for me. While we live in the city limits, we were able to find a cute house on a small dead-end street of single-family homes, and I’ve come to appreciate Baltimore’s quirky charm. I’ve never adjusted to the driving downtown though!

We moved here to be closer to my mother-in-law, who was having health issues, and frequently had to drive several hours to see her in Virginia. We quickly learned a route that would avoid D.C. traffic, and would drive west toward the mountains, and then wend our way south. We would enter Virginia by crossing the Potomac River at Point of Rocks, Maryland. From there we meandered through green fields, dotted with hay bales and horses. It was a beautiful area, and I always thought, a little wistfully since I wasn’t used to city living yet, it would be a nice place to live.

So when I got the idea for my small-town contemporary romance Rivers Bend trilogy, I knew that part of Virginia was where I wanted it to be set. It was fun to create a fictional town, with its one stoplight, frequently set to flashing since there wasn’t much traffic, and the Town Green, complete with Gazebo. And of course, throughout it all flows the Potomac River.

A Sweeter Spot is the first book in the trilogy, and the main character, Magda, is a little bit of a fish out of water when she moves there from Manhattan. She quickly comes to love Rivers Bend, and wishes it could be her permanent home, rather than a temporary stop, while she helps out her best friend.




Magda knows a 28-year-old shouldn’t run away from home, but Rivers Bend is the ideal escape. Helping out her best friend will get her away from her uber-wealthy, controlling grandmother and duplicitous ex. She doesn’t expect the quirky little town to feel so much like home. Add in hotter-than-the-sun Jeff and his daughter, and leaving seems as unthinkable as it is inevitable.

Raising Sam alone, Jeff knew he wanted her to grow up in his supportive hometown. The arrival of a feisty new tenant sends Jeff’s world spinning. Magda fills a void in his life that he’d like to make permanent.

Will love triumph over the most powerful woman in the country, and can they figure out how to make this happy-for-now in Rivers Bend into their happy-ever-after?


Here’s a brief excerpt that conveys the beauty and peace of the town, and Magda’s longing for a place to set down roots and call home…


She stretched her arms over her head and turned her face to the sky. “Mmm. Yesterday my life was all turmoil, and today, I’m here. I feel so calm—so right. Thanks for bringing me to this lovely spot.”

“Anytime.” Jeff’s voice was a little rough as he watched her breasts strain against her T-shirt as she stretched. She dropped her arms.

“You’re lucky to live here. To be a part of this land.”

“I am. I never really fit in anywhere else I’ve lived. My roots are here. My family.”

“It’s your home.” Her voice sounded wistful.

He dropped to the ground and leaned back on his elbows, his mile-long legs stretched out in front of him. Magda assumed the same position at his side. One of the horses nickered softly behind them, and the river glistened in the sunlight as it flowed in front of them.

“Where’s your home, Maggie?”

She shrugged. “Nowhere. I’m from Connecticut originally. Stratford. But my dad died last year, and I sold our house there when I moved to New York to live with Pierce. Now I guess I’m just a drifter.”

Buy Links



Barnes & Noble:

Amazon UK:


About the Author

My career has been a winding road. I worked in the business world for years, got my MLS and worked in a school library, and am now living my dream as an author. I love to read and write contemporary and fantasy romance. I live in Maryland, with my husband, who is my real-life romance hero. We both enjoy traveling to visit our far-flung family and friends, and spending time on the beach with an umbrella drink and a good book.

Donna’s Online Playground




Amazon Author Page:


October 17

#TellTaleTuesday with Debra St. John and Halloween at The Corral


Author Debra St. John is here to share the story behind her novel Halloween at The Corral.


I’m a big fan of series. Both to read and to write. When I finished my Corral Series, I wasn’t quite ready to let the world I created go. I wanted to stay and visit for a little while longer. So I came up with the idea of doing a spin-off series. I thought about what format I wanted to use and finally decided I would write several holiday stories. The characters in these stories would be characters we first met in the original trilogy. And all of the stories would take place, at least in part, at The Corral, the honky tonk bar I created and which the series revolves around. It’s modeled after the bar where my hubby and I met over twenty years ago.

Dan Jenkins, the hero in Halloween at The Corral, is the first character I purposely put in a book with the intent of using in this spin-off series. We first meet Dan in This Feels Like Home, where he’s helping Jake Hawkins get ready to ride a bull. He gets one mention. That’s it.

All I really knew about Dan when I started his story was he’s a bull rider. When I decided to use his character in my Halloween story, I gave him a background very different than the bull rider he is today. My theme became, ‘You don’t need a costume to hide who you really are.’ Throughout the story, Dan is trying to figure out who he really is.

To help him figure that out, I brought in another minor character from the original series, Kelly. Kelly works at the local dry cleaners, but again, we don’t really know anything else about her. While Kelly tries to figure out who Dan really is, she adds the holiday flavor to the story: jack-o-lanterns, costumes, and holiday parties.

I didn’t purposely plan to pair Kelly and Dan, but it all worked out, and I was able to tell a fun Halloween story AND help Dan figure out who he really is. Along the way, Kelly found a man worthy of her heart.

The cover for this book is one of my favorites. Not only does it evoke everything fall with its brilliant colors, but with Dan’s face hidden by his hat, it really ties in the whole ‘hiding who you really are’ theme. From the moment I first saw it, I knew it was perfect!


Kelly Harper has no interest in egomaniacs like Dan Jenkins. She also has no patience for the entourage of groupies who follow him while he basks in their attention. Her experience with her ex-fiancé has taught her to steer clear of guys like Dan who see women as no more than a pretty face to parade around.

Dan Jenkins is something of a local celebrity. His charm and good looks ensure he never lacks for female company, but truth be told, he finds their attentions shallow and superficial. No one bothers to get to know who he really is. Trouble is, Dan’s not sure he knows either.

Will Kelly be the one to figure out who Dan really is behind the good ol’ boy facade? If so, she just might discover a man she never expected—a man worthy of her heart.


“I enjoyed spending time with you today. I didn’t want it to end. You said I don’t talk to you like I talk to other girls. Well, you don’t talk to me like they talk to me.” He scooted closer across the bench seat. His breath fanned her face. “You don’t bat your eyelashes. Or flip your hair. Or smile like a beauty pageant contestant. You’re real.” His fingers brushed her cheek.

Her body hummed and her head buzzed like a sugar rush after too much Halloween candy.

“You got one thing wrong,” he whispered.

Her scrambled brain struggled to make sense of the words. “What?”

“Only sometimes, not many times, does it turn into more than flirting. And I wasn’t lying earlier. Even if it is more than flirting, I never bring women back to my house. I like my privacy.”

Great. She’d barged in and invaded the man’s personal space all day. “Why didn’t you slam the door in my face this morning?”

He chuckled. Low and intimate. Goosebumps chased down her arms. “I already told you. You’re different.”

His fingers wove through the hair at her nape. His mouth settled over hers and her pulse fluttered. Caught. Raced. Firm, yet soft, lips stroked hers. Even though her limbs went all melty, like the rich caramel center of a chocolate truffle, she wrapped her arms around his neck and sank deeper into the kiss. Which got better and better the longer it went on.

When Dan pulled away, all too soon, her breath was battered. Her heart raced. Every inch of her felt alive and aware. And wanting more.

“Do you want to come up?”

He kissed her again. Once. Softly. “Yes. But I’m not going to tonight.” The shadows hid his eyes, but his voice held the hint of a promise. There would be other nights. “We’ll take this slow. We’re still figuring each other out, remember?”

“Oh, I remember. And I am going to figure out who you really are, Dan Jenkins.”

“Good. Let me know when you do.”


Halloween at The Corral is on sale for 99c this month!

Buy links

The Wild Rose Press / Amazon / Barnes and Noble


The original Corral series, the holiday spin-offs, and the rest of Debra’s bookshelf can also be found at Amazon, B & N, and The Wild Rose Press.

The Wild Rose Press / Amazon / Barnes and Noble

Author Bio

Debra St. John has been reading and writing romance since high school. She always dreamed about publishing a romance novel someday. Her dream came true when she started writing sultry contemporary romance with spunky heroines and sexy heroes for The Wild Rose Press. Although she’s country gal at heart, she lives in a Chicago suburb with her husband, who is her real life hero.

Debra’s Online Playground




October 16

#MondayMorningMusic with Special Guest, Judy Meadows

Please welcome special guest author Judy Meadows for this week’s #MondayMorningMusic

When I asked KJ if she could mention on her blog that Escape from Behruz is on sale for 99¢, she asked, “Is there any music in the story, because I have this Monday morning music thing…” and I said YES.

But it’s not music from any of KJ’s favorite groups; it’s —(drum roll)—

Dotar Music!

The heroine Olivia is an acclaimed violinist back home, but since she didn’t have her violin with her while she lived in Behruz, she studied a traditional instrument of the region, the dotar. Here’s a scene from the book in which she plays the dotar.

First, the Setting

Olivia and the hero (and a baby and a puppy) are traveling through the mountains with a group of nomads. One evening, when everyone is gathered around a communal fire, one of the nomads starts playing his dotar. Olivia hurries to get her own dotar from her tent.


The nomads watched and commented as Olivia expertly adjusted the strings. When she was ready, she had Saddiq ask the musician if she could play with him. The old man smiled a shy, toothless smile and bowed his assent, and someone brought a rug for Olivia. She sat listening for a while and then joined in, harmonizing with the melody and adding little strums of rhythm.

The rest of the camp had joined the circle. Everyone was quiet, even the children. Rashid [the hero] stood spellbound.

No one spoke for a while after the song ended, then they all spoke at once.

“They want you to play an American song,” Saddiq told Olivia.

“All right, I’ll play the first song I learned on the piano when I was a child.” She motioned with her hands for the old man to join her as she began plucking a thin raspy melody. She sang in her sweet, clear voice:

Go tell Aunt Rhody, Go tell Aunt Rhody

Go tell Aunt Rhody

The old grey goose is dead

The nomads whispered questions to each other, and Saddiq said to Rashid, “I’m not sure I understood. What did the song say? Who died?”

Rashid told him it was a goose that died.

“Oh.” Saddiq chuckled. “That’s what I thought she said.” Saddiq translated the verse into Qashami and the nomads all laughed.

“They think it’s funny that Americans have a song about a goose dying,” he said.

Rashid smiled because the song was, indeed, silly and because the nomads’ reaction to it was delightful and because Livie would soon be in his arms again.

After each of the remaining verses, Olivia and the old man strummed softly while Saddiq translated for the others.

She died in the mill pond, died in the mill pond,

She died in the mill pond

Standing on her head

When the song was over, everyone clamored for more.

“Okay,” Olivia said. “This is a song about the freedom of living and riding in open country like this. It’ll probably make more sense to you than the song about a dead goose.” She strummed a more forceful beat and stronger melody and sang Don’t Fence Me In.

She sang all three verses, repeating the chorus after each one and pausing to allow for translation. The twangy sound of the dotar made a perfect accompaniment to the old cowboy song.

Everyone seemed awestruck. “They can’t believe the Americans have a song about them,” Saddiq said.

“More, more, more” everyone cried. Olivia recognized the Qashami word for more without waiting for Saddiq’s translation.

“Okay, one more. This song was written over a hundred years ago, and it’s still popular at weddings today.” The title is Let Me Call You Sweetheart. She started with a fast, cheerful beat, belying the message and not stopping for translation, but when she sang the chorus for the last time she slowed the pace. She sang to Rashid, twisting his heart with the promise of the words. The nomads were quiet, listening and watching the emotions flow between Rashid and Olivia.

Let me call you “Sweetheart,” I’m in love with you.

Let me hear you whisper that you love me too.

Keep the love-light glowing in your eyes so true.

Let me call you “Sweetheart,” I’m in love with you.

“I’m sorry you didn’t get a chance to translate,” he told Saddiq when the song ended. “You can just tell them it’s a song about love.”

Saddiq laughed. “I think they could tell.”


Did I mention?

Escape from Behruz (a spicy Contemporary Romance, is on sale for 99¢!!!

And if you want to hear original versions of the songs mentioned in the excerpt:

Go Tell Aunt Rhody  (Burl Ives)

Don’t Fence Me In   (Bing Crosby) 

Let Me Call You Sweetheart  (Pat and Shirley Boone) 



September 28

#ThirteenforThursday with Rachel Brimble


Welcome author Rachel Brimble for this week’s #ThirteenforThursday


What is the best book to movie adaptation?

Forrest Gump by Winston Groom – it is one of my favourite all time movies, starring one of my all time favourite actors, Tom Hanks. I have lost count how many times I’ve watched this movie – I absolutely love it.

What is one fun fact about yourself very few people know?

I haven’t had my hair professionally cut since my wedding day in 1998 – my hair is so curly, I can get away with my daughter giving it a quick trim with the kitchen scissors every now and then, lol!

[KJ here – color me jealous! I’ve always wanted curly hair! Yours is *gorgeous*!]

If you could be the opposite sex for the day, what would you do?

Bask in the ability to not get so emotionally caught up in day to day life! I am a real worrier and because I write, I’m sure I see the most dramatic possible outcome in every situation. Based on the men I know and love, most have a way of taking a step back and analyzing a situation logically. I am terribly irrational sometimes.

What is your favorite smell and why?

Mulberry – I have an endless supply of candles in this scent because it reminds me of cold winter nights, lounging in front of the fire with a good TV show or movie or a great book. I find mulberry very relaxing.

What is the best thing that is also the worst thing?

Writing! I absolutely love my job, it’s my joy, my happiness, my spirit BUT it can also be painful. The waiting for publisher responses can be a killer, sometimes taking months at a time and, even then, a rejection could be received. No matter how many times I think I’m giving it up…it pulls me back in. Writing, for me, is a compulsion!

What was your favorite toy as a kid?

It wasn’t a toy as such, but the best gift I ever received – my dad brought me an electric typewriter when I was around twelve or thirteen. I absolutely adored it and that’s when I started to believe I would one day be a writer.

What is the one skill you don’t have, but wish you did?

I wish I could paint! I admire art so much and would love to spend hours in the countryside painting landscapes. Maybe when I have more time, I’ll join a class but for now it’s just fantasy. I can write and knit, but that is about it for my creative output, unfortunately.

If you won the lottery, what would you do?

First, I’d take my family, my husband’s family and our closest friends on an extended cruise around the Mediterranean or Caribbean and then I’d start house-hunting for a place in the country…oh, and pay off the mortgages of all the people I love.

How far away do you live from your birthplace?

Not far at all! I was born on the outskirts of Bristol, England and now live near the famous city of Bath. It is a forty-minute drive from my childhood home where my parents still live to where I live with my husband and two teenage daughters today.

Star Wars or Star Trek?

Neither – I am not a sci-fi type of person AT ALL!

What is your favorite time of year and why? Spring, Summer, Autumn, or Winter?

I’m a summer girl through and through – which probably comes from living in the UK where hot, sunny days often feel like a rarity. I love nothing more than taking my laptop into the garden and writing with my beloved chocolate Lab at my feet. Bliss!

[KJ here – I know what you mean! I spent a year in Scotland doing my masters and I swear there was exactly 1 week of summer weather! I miss the UK, though, dreadfully!]

If you could travel anywhere, where would it be and why?

I really want to see more of Italy – I’ve been to Venice and Verona which I loved, but would also like to visit Florence, Rome and Lake Como. I find Italy intensely romantic and peaceful. I would really like to ‘research’ a possible book series there – the ideas are most definitely brewing.

Which famous person have you met, and what is the story behind it?

I met Nora Roberts when she hosted a special, ticket only afternoon tea in the beautiful Ashford Castle in Ireland. She is my favourite romance author and I was desperate to go, but couldn’t justify the cost of the flight/hotel to my husband…and then he surprised me by booking it behind my back. Lord, I love my man! It was an amazing overnight stay and I had a short and sweet conversation with my writing idol. It was a time I’ll never forget.

Bonus Round

Would you rather wear combat boots or heels?

Heels – but I do love my flat, knee-high suede boots too. I have a LOT.

What film or book gave you an intense emotional reaction?

I think the only book to ever make me cry was The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold – as a mother of two young girls, this book really hit me hard and the tears were flowing. I couldn’t stop hugging my kids after finishing this book. A really emotional read.

Rachel’s Online Playground





Facebook Street Team – Rachel’s Readers

Amazon Author Page:


Author Bio

Rachel lives with her husband and two teenage daughters in a small town near Bath in the UK. After having several novels published by small US presses, she secured agent representation in 2011. Since 2013, she has had seven books published by Harlequin Superromance (Templeton Cove Stories) and an eighth coming in Feb 2018. She also has four Victorian romances with eKensington/Lyrical Press.

Rachel is a member of the Romantic Novelists Association and Romance Writers of America, and was selected to mentor the Superromance finalist of So You Think You Can Write 2014 contest. When she isn’t writing, you’ll find Rachel with her head in a book or walking the beautiful English countryside with her family. Her dream place to live is Bourton-on-the-Water in South West England.

She likes nothing more than connecting and chatting with her readers and fellow romance writers. Rachel would love to hear from you!

September 26

#TellTaleTuesday with Veronica Blake and Superstition


Author Veronica Blake joins us to share the story behind her novel Superstition


After writing eleven historical romances, I was ready to try something different.  I love paranormal as much as I love history, so I knew my next writing venture was going to involve vampires.  Ever since I was a little girl and watched my first Dracula movie with my mom and aunt I’ve been a fan of the Prince of Darkness and everything related.  I imagined my vamps living in a secluded and mysterious locale, so my original plan was to set this book in some exotic place like a Greek island.  But then, I started thinking about all the places I had already studied while doing research for my other books, or the places I had actually visited in the past.

The most extensive research trip that I’ve ever taken was when I was writing my third and fourth books, Savage Dreams and Apache Tigress.  Those books were about the Jicarilla Apache who lived in Eastern Arizona.  I was fortunate at the time to know a wonderful lady who had once been a teacher at the school on The White Mountain Reservation, and she offered to show me around.  She took me to places on the reservation I’m sure most tourists never have a chance to see up close.  We explored everything from remote desert rock formations covered in shiny black stones called ‘Apache Tears’ to ancient ruins that can only be seen from a certain spot on the reservation.   It was an amazing adventure.

During one of our tours, we stopped for lunch at a McDonalds in the town of Apache Junction, about 35 miles from Phoenix.  I was looking out the window when a rugged mountain range caught my attention.  I asked my friend about them and she told me they were the Superstitions.  Even in the midday sun the craggy peaks looked mysterious and menacing to me.  I told myself someday I was going to write a book about those spooky mountains.  I just never imagined it would be over two decades later before I would finally follow through with that plan.

When my friend reminded they were also the location of the Lost Dutchman Goldmine, I was completely captivated.  I’ve always been fascinated with the history of the Old West, so I had definitely heard of the Lost Dutchman Goldmine.  However, I didn’t know a lot of the details regarding the mine.  Even from a distance, though, just looking at those spooky mountains fueled my imagination.   But, at the time I was consumed with writing my two historical Apache romances, which took place on the reservation and in Mexico.

Seven more Historical Romances followed my two book Apache series, and truthfully, I sort of forgot about using the Superstitions as the setting in one of my books.  Occasionally, I would come across an article, or see something on TV about unexplained deaths and disappearances, or someone who believed they had found new evidence leading to the location of the legendary goldmine.  Since the 1880s gold seekers have been trying to decipher the clues left by Jabob Waltz—a gold miner who claimed he had actually found the mine.  He kept the location a secret, but left cryptic clues to its whereabouts.  Whenever I would see or hear about one of these new theories or discoveries, I would remember my plan to write those enigmatic mountains into a story.

When I started working on my first paranormal romance I began to research the Superstitions with renewed interest.  They weren’t in some exotic location, but I remembered how menacing those mountains had seemed to me all those years ago.  Even more intriguing to me was how fact and fiction have woven together numerous eerie accounts of the goldmine or treasure that is supposedly hidden somewhere in those mountains.  Is there a rich cache of gold hidden there by early Spanish conquistadors or is there truly a priceless vein of gold ore concealed somewhere in the stone interior?  The Apaches believe in the mine’s existence.  They are certain anyone who finds it will die.  And, countless lives have been lost in the harsh mountain range.  The exact number is not even known.  Many gold seekers just disappeared without a trace.  Some think the goldmine is haunted by ghosts.  Others think demonic entities protect the entrance to the treasure.   The one thing everyone does agree with—anyone who ventures too close will pay the ultimate price.

So, I started thinking what if it weren’t ghosts or demons guarding the treasure?  What if it’s vampires? That’s when I knew I had found the perfect location and back story for my new book.  Best of all, I was able to combine my love of history with my love of the paranormal. Those scary mountains also provided me with the perfect title…Superstition.

Someday I hope to return to the Superstitions and actually hike on some of the trails I researched for my book.  Of course, I won’t be staying up there overnight.  Once the sun goes down the vampires leave the hidden caves at the top of the mountain and roam around looking for curious gold seekers who might get too close to the vast treasure they have guarded for the past two centuries.


Treasure lies deep in the Superstition Mountains, but is it worth the price…

Mateo Two Moons’ family has guarded dark secrets and unspeakable horrors for centuries. His Apache Blood Clan is dhampyre—half human, half vampire. But he will risk revealing the truth concealed in The Lost Dutchman’s Gold Mine, exposing his entire family, and even his own existence to claim his human mate and change the perilous fate of his clan.

Dawn Malone’s move to Arizona to teach middle school has expanded her horizons. Meeting new people, hiking the desert wilderness, and the lure of gold fever in the old mine is exactly what she needs.  The handsome Apache she encounters seems almost too good to be true.  Mateo’s sexy, dangerous air draws her in, seducing her heart and soul. But her intrigue concerning the secrets he keeps turns to confusion and horror as she begins to realize the man she’s falling for could be something she didn’t even believe existed.

The scene behind the story

“I was really sure we would find something new today. I have those old clues left by Jacob Waltz memorized and I’ve studied that area so carefully; I just don’t know what I could be missing.” Chloe shook her head and added, “Maybe old man Waltz was just a crazy old fart, after all.”

She stood up and stared out toward the distant horizon as she repeated the clues for at least the tenth time today. “You have to crawl through a hole in the rock. From here you can see the Old Military Trail. You can’t see the mine from the trail. If you climb up a short distance you can see Weaver’s Needle. The setting sun shines on the gold in my mine. A rock face looks at my mine.”

Dawn forced herself up from the ground and stood beside Chloe and stared in the same direction where her friend’s attention was focused. Off in the distance the sun was nearly gone from the westerly sky as her gaze settled on the ominous shape of Weaver’s Needle. The protruding column of massive rock glowed in deep shades of orange and was surrounded by a shadowy purplish haze making it appear almost spiritual.

Today, they had been on the most treacherous trails she ever hiked, crawled through a hole in a huge rock shaped like a natural arch in one of the most rugged and remote places Dawn had ever been; Chloe led them to the barely visible path called the Old Military Trail, and they stared at the huge rock formation called Weaver’s Needle from the top of a jagged range of rocks for what seemed hours. But as hard as they tried, they could not find anything resembling a face in any of the surrounding cliffs or rocks.

Chloe continued to gaze off into the distance as frustration and disappointment became evident on her tired face. Dawn felt at a loss for words. She kept thinking about all the research she had done about this area in the past few days, especially the parts about the curse of the Lost Dutchman Mine, and how it was allegedly guarded by unfathomable evil forces that would never allow anyone to live if they should ever find it.

It creeped her out to think of how many lives had been lost in these mountains looking for a goldmine that might be no more than someone’s wild imagination. The exact number of missing or dead was not even known for sure, since many explorers and hopeful gold seekers just disappeared without a trace.

Being here in the heart of these hidden recesses and rugged terrain, however, Dawn could definitely understand how someone might easily become lost or fall into one of the deep caverns and never find their way out of this dangerous rock maze again.

Where To Purchase

Amazon / The Wild Rose Press / Barnes and Noble

Veronica’s Online Playground




Goodreads author page:

Amazon page:

Author Bio

I’ve spent my entire life in a small town in the Colorado Rockies.  Outdoor activities such as hiking, riding my ATV and camping are my favorite things to do.  I’m a proud mother of three gorgeous adults, and grandmother to four amazing grandchildren.  Hopefully, no matter how old I get, I will always consider myself to be a hopeless romantic and a seeker of endless adventure.   Life, family, friends and music are my inspirations.

My published books include: Texas Rose, Desperado Desire, Savage Bite; Apache Tigress, Texas Princess, Cheyenne Temptress, Colorado Passion, Yukon Love Song, Black Horse, White Owl and Superstition.

I’m working on the second book in a Paranormal Romance Series, entitled The Blood Clan. Superstition, the first book in this series was a June 9, 2017 release by The Wild Rose Press.


September 14

#ThirteenforThursday with Jean M. Grant


Welcome author Jean M. Grant for this week’s Thirteen for Thursday


Who was your first book boyfriend/girlfriend?

Wow, well my book husband is Jamie Fraser from Outlander. But since he is shared by many lovely ladies, I would say my first would be Iain from The Secret (Julie Garwood). Garwood’s books drew me into the world of Scots and kilts. ‘Nuff said. Added bonus: I married a man with Scots blood and he wore a kilt at our wedding.

What is the most interesting topic you’ve researched?

For my current work-in-progress, a contemporary women’s fiction set against a natural disaster, I had to research volcanic eruptions. Even though my background is in science, I didn’t study that much geology. My son loves volcanoes, so I already had plenty of books on hand but researching (and traveling to the Yellowstone super volcano region) was quite the adventure! A close second: for my historical romances I had the pleasure of traveling to Scotland a few years back. Also amazing.

[K.J. here – Scotland is one of the most amazing places on the planet!]

What is your favorite book, song, and/or movie guilty pleasure?

I’ll confess that even though I am happily married, I have lots of music boyfriends. I love Maroon 5, Ed Sheeran, and Shawn Mendes. Current favorite song though is “The Fighter” by Gym Class Heroes.

You’re trying to find a brand-new author to read. No recommendations allowed. What’s your decision process?

Are their books available on audiobook (from the library), b) Do they contain some sort of romantic element, c) Do the stories sound interesting (currently I’m reading romance, women’s fiction, mainstream fiction, historical), d) Have I heard of this author, and e) Does the cover art impress me?

What is your non-writing superpower?

Juggling IEPs & fighting the red tape of health insurance (without totally losing my mind), while also brewing a wicked good cup of Joe.

What are your favorite and least favorite words? (in any language…)

Resplendent…and asinine. J Both favorites.

What is your favorite movie quote and why?

“As you wish…” from The Princess Bride. Why? Well, because I am a sucker for true love. Followed by, “Hello, my name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die.”(Pretty much all quotes from that movie are golden)

[K.J. here – I feel the same way about Mel Brook’s History of the World Part I]

Aside from writing, what different types of jobs have you done?

Grocery store clerk (seafood counter, cashier, and trainer), waitress, research scientist, church education director

When you were little, what did you want to be when you grew up?

That depended on my age. In elementary school I loved art, like my mother, and I would follow my art teacher around and help her whenever I could. Then I longed to be a travel photographer and writer. My interests in the tween years expanded to the world of science (sharks at first…oh yes, I wanted to be an Ichthyologist and swim with those magnificent predators), and writing. Ultimately I went to college and grad school and got a handful of –ology degrees, while still writing poems and dabbling in novels. The writing has now come full-circle and is my full-time profession alongside parenting.

White chocolate, milk chocolate, or dark chocolate?

White! And the rare peanut butter chocolate if you can find it.

If you could witness any event past, present or future, what would it be?

Despite the trauma associated with it, the sinking of the Titanic.

What is the first movie you remember seeing?

E.T. in the theater; at home: the original Star Wars trilogies.

What is one motto or philosophy you consistently live by?

God doesn’t give you more than you can handle…I just wish he didn’t trust me so much. (Mother Teresa)


Early to bed, early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise. (Ben Franklin)

Bonus Round

What modern technology would you choose to not use and why?

Two – smart phone and GPS. I was reluctant to get a smart phone nearly 2 years ago. I was actually firmly against it. I did just fine without it. I mourned the loss of my little flip phone that made calls, sent texts, and took photos, that’s it. Refused to touch that new shiny smart phone for a few days. (no joke!) I like simplicity. Sure, a smart phone is fancy and the world is at your fingertips, but I am an old-school gal. I also don’t like GPS and prefer using maps. I love maps and will print them or write directions if I can! So GPS would be the other modern tech I could easily do without!

You have to move somewhere you’ve never been. Where would you choose to go and why?

Australia. Never been there but would love to visit the land down under. And its rugged beauty intrigues me. It’s also not too far from New Zealand, my favorite place on earth.

Jean’s Online Playground


Twitter: @JeanGrant05


Amazon Author Page:

Author Bio

Jean M. Grant is an author, former scientist, and mom. Her niche in fiction is romance and women’s fiction. She also enjoys writing non-fiction articles for family-oriented and travel magazines and is seeking publication of an autism-angle children’s picture book series. Jean spends her free time tending to her flower gardens, tackling the biggest mountains in New England, and advocating for autism awareness when not daydreaming about the next protagonist to write about…


July 27

Somewhere My Lady by Beth Trissel

I’m excited to welcome the lovely Beth Trissel to the blog today, with her newest release Somewhere My Lady, Book 1 in the Ladies in Time series.

I had a chance to read this, and it’s wonderful, full of romance and laughs, and the hero on her cover looks kind of like Benedict Cumberbatch. 😉 (which I wasn’t the first to notice, but still…)

Somewhere My Lady is a fun supernatural romance that will have you slipping in and out of the past and future as if you were a spirit yourself.’’ ~Colleen’s Book Reviews

Somewhere My Lady is available from all major online booksellers. In Kindle at:


White Phlox at Dawn, Photo Courtesy of Beth Trissel


And Here’s Beth…

Thanks for having me on your blog, K.J., (ed. Thanks for being here! ~ K.J.) to share my new release, Somewhere My Lady (Book 1, Ladies in Time). The meld of fantasy, history, and paranormal I include in time travels intrigues me. My fabulous Wild Rose Press editor, Nic D’Arienzo, has given me a free rein, and I enjoyed writing Somewhere My Lady.

Two things that most inspired me were Edith’s Theme, the hauntingly beautiful song from the Crimson Peak soundtrack, and my love of old homes. I’ve lived in them most of my life, and visited plenty. I also love gardening  and have sprawling beds filled with heirloom flowers and herbs. Some plants have been here for ages and our farm-house was built in the 1870’s. Old homes exude an indefinable sense of place, and are never really empty. Perhaps the spirits of those who once dwelt there come back and visit, or leave a part of themselves behind. I don’t know, but I like a good ghost story.

Harrison Hall, the colonial era home in Somewhere My Lady, is loosely based on Shirley Plantation, a magnificent 18th century home, built along the James River in Virginia. In the story, this wonderful manor sized house is a paranormal hot spot, concealing a deadly mystery Hart and Lorna must solve.


Brilliant coreopsis and Queen Ann’s Lace by Elise Trissel, Photo Courtesy of Beth Trissel


Story Blurb

Lorna Randolph is hired for the summer at Harrison Hall in Virginia, where Revolutionary-War reenactors provide guided tours of the elegant old home. She doesn’t expect to receive a note and a kiss from the handsome young man who then vanishes into mist.

Harrison Hall itself has plans for Lorna – and for Hart Harrison, her momentary suitor and its 18th century heir. Past and present are bound by pledges of love, and modern science melds with old skills and history as Harrison Hall takes Lorna and Hart through time in a race to solve a mystery and save Hart’s life before the Midsummer Ball.~


double apricot hollyhock, Photo Courtesy of Beth Trissel



 Something about him held her spellbound…the tilt of his head, arch of his brow, glimpse of his profile… She followed his every move with the fixity of an owl.

He turned blue-gray eyes toward her and sensuous lips curved into a smile on his handsome face. Hands down. No contest. He was the hottest guy ever. Her heart beat a thrilling new rhythm.

He circled closer to where she stood rooted in the foyer, not moving a toe, scarcely drawing breath. Did he truly see her backed tremulously against the wall, or did it only feel that way?

Unlike the others in the ghostly assembly, his eyes didn’t skirt past her. He paused in the dance. Bending at the shoulders, he tipped his hand to her in a genteel flourish.

 He’d freakin’ bowed. Her jaw dropped. He most definitely saw her. And she sure as heck saw him.

A sparking sizzle jumped between them, awakening her as she’d never been roused before. Even more than when the house charged through her at her arrival. It was as if she were plugged in—to him.

How that could be, she had no idea, but when he gazed into her eyes, time seemed to stop. She spiraled into moonless stars, and back again to this dizzying realm. To him. Even if she were dreaming, she’d never forget this moment.~


Bunch of Abraham Darby Rose, Photo Courtesy of Beth Trissel


About the Author

Author Beth Trissel in the old family home place — Chapel Hill, Photo Courtesy of Beth Trissel

Married to my high school sweetheart, I live on a farm in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia surrounded by my human family and furbabies. An avid gardener, my love of herbs and heirloom plants figures into my work. The rich history of Virginia, the Native Americans, and the people who journeyed here from far beyond her borders are at the heart of my inspiration. I’m especially drawn to colonial America and the drama of the American Revolution. And I love a good ghost story. In addition to Young Adult and New Adult fantasy romance, I also write historical, time travel, and paranormal romance, plus nonfiction.

Beth Trissel Online

Her Website, One Writer’s Way

Facebook Beth Trissel

Facebook Author Beth Trissel

Twitter @BethTrissel

Amazon Author Page where all her books reside

March 3

#YoursTruly Release Day is Here! #TWRP Rocks!

Mornin’, y’all.

It’s going to be a normal, busy work day around these parts, but I’m excited release day is *finally* here, thanks to the hard work of my publisher, The Wild Rose Press. They’ve been awesome (shoutout to my editor, Leanne!) helping me get Yours Truly (re)ready for publication.

If you’re so inclined, here’s where you can purchase Yours Truly:

The Wild Rose Press (E-Book) – The ebook is 50% off!
The Wild Rose Press (Print)
Amazon (E-Book)
Amazon (Print)
Bookstrand (E-Book)
Kobo (E-Book)

I have no idea why it’s not at Barnes and Noble, but you can find the epub version at any of the above, except Amazon. Obviously. 😀


Izzie Greene never wanted the limelight. As a caterer for Poe, the top-rated U.S. TV show, she had background player down pat. Her main focus was to spoil the cast and crew and fantasize about her celebrity crush, Scotsman Cardwell Bennett, while navigating the daily chaos.

Izzie’s professional life takes a sharp left turn when her ex-boyfriend unexpectedly arrives on set. Her personal life spirals into Hell when she runs afoul of an unethical paparazzo. Thrust into the public eye, her notoriety is fueled by equal measures of constant scrutiny, speculation, and half-truths. Her rumored romance with Cardwell further stokes the flames.

Held captive by the media, accident-prone Izzie struggles to keep her privacy, secrets, and sanity intact—not to mention her sense of humor. With help from her best friend Delly, her temperamental cat Edgar, and unexpected backup, Izzie might withstand the onslaught. And survive the season.


Not to be deterred, I shoved a pile to the floor, sat in the small space I’d created, and burst into tears. My hand jerked spasmodically, and coffee sloshed onto my lap.

“Jeez, Izzie.” Delly took the cup and the mutilated donut and set them next to the laptop. “Please tell me you’re not wasting any more emotional space on Ritchie.” She threw an armful of the clothes I’d bulldozed to the floor in a box and crammed the top shut, glancing up long enough to see me shake my head. “Then what’s the problem?”

My breath hitched in a succession of gasps. “I knew this would happen.”

The sound of packing tape stopped mid-scritch. “Knew what would happen?”

“That he would finally decide I wasn’t good enough.”

Delly’s eyes narrowed. “You said this wasn’t about Ritchie.”

“It’s not,” I choked out. “This is what always happens. I’ll live the rest of my life single. Alone. With dozens of cats.”

“You only have one.”

“There’s still time. I’m like Typhoid Mary. A carrier of the dysfunctional relationship gene. I. Am. A. Pariah.” More clothes tumbled to the floor, propelled by my kicking feet, before I curled into a ball.

“Oh, no, you don’t.” The tape clattered to the floor. Delly grabbed my arms and pulled until I was back upright. “Your biggest problem isn’t that the men you choose to date don’t think you’re worth the effort. You’re just dumb enough to believe it.”

I threw her my most hateful look. “Screw you!”

Delly stomped her foot. “Damnit, Izzie Greene, you listen to me. You are amazing. You’re smart and beautiful and funny.”

“You’re my best friend. You’re supposed to love me.” My bottom lip jutted out, quivering.

“And you’re an incredible baker.” Her voice rose smugly over my protestations. “Cardwell B. loves your chocolate and cranberry scones.”

“That’s rich.” I snorted my disbelief. “If Ritchie doesn’t think I’m good enough, then Cardwell’s sure as shit not going to.”

“Don’t be stupid. Cardwell is nothing like Ritchie. He’s a nice guy.”

“Riiiiiight.” Nice guy didn’t translate to much in my dictionary. Ritchie had been nice, too…once upon a time.

Delly ignored my sarcasm. “No joke, Izz. He cornered me yesterday while everyone scrambled for that stupid bird, raving about those damn scones.” She shoved a fistful of tissues into my hands. “I know you’re upset, but get your shit together.”

I teared up again and motioned to the clothes-covered futon. “I was trying.”

“Feeling sorry for yourself isn’t trying.” Delly sat next to me and threw her arm around my shoulder. “Let’s finish packing. Then we’ll have girls’ night. Tomorrow morning, we’ll work the gig then head to the shop, and you’re prepping scones to bake first thing on Monday morning. They’ll be freshly made. Hot and steamy. Butter will drip off those scones.”

“Only you could make food sound like porn.” I sniffled and wiped my nose.

“Would porn with Cardwell really be bad?” She jabbed at my bare feet with the toe of her boot, forcing me to tuck them out of harm’s way.

I shot her a death glare.

“What?” Delly pulled her innocent face. “At least he can act.”


In the instance of something I find really cool, I stumbled across the following this morning. Any fans in Japan? 🙂