Friday, May 31, 2013

Review of cozy mystery A Tine to Live, A Tine to Die by Edith Maxwell

A Tine to Live, A Tine to Die

Cameron Flaherty is a self-professed geek turned gardener. She’s given up a cubical for the outdoors. She prefers her fingers in soil rather than clicking across a keyboard. It’s a new life and a new world for Cameron as she turns her great-uncle’s home into her own.

Taking the plunge from salaried, experienced, corporate employee to self-employed, newbie organic CSA (community supported agriculture) farmer is quite an adjustment. But before Cameron can really start to appreciate the new life she is starting to create for herself, she finds her recently fired employee dead on her property. It’s obviously murder and is not a great way to close out the first day of her share program. The challenges and mysteries don’t stop as Cameron struggles to settle into a routine on her farm, with her share program, or with building her new business.

Maxwell combines personal experience with fiction in this novel featuring a cast of characters who have their own opinions about eating local food. For example, young Ellie is working on a Girl Scout badge and is learning to appreciate home-grown food; Portuguese immigrant Lucinda is determined to eat only locally grown food for an entire year; and Chef Jake prides himself on serving meals with as many local ingredients as possible. Other cast members add the right amount of neighborly conflict, jealousies, and suspicions to make the reader nod her head and think, “I know people like that.”

Although set in fictional Westbury, Massachusetts, the novel includes real locations, such as Newburyport and Gloucester. The novel is a wonderful introduction to farmer’s markets, organic gardening, CSAs, and CSFs (fishing).

This novel is Edith Maxwell’s first and is also the start of her Local Food Mystery Series. Maxwell has published several mystery short stories, and has a traditional mystery, Speaking of Murder, published under the pseudonym Tace Baker.

A Tine to Live, A Tine to Die is comfortable to read, which is appropriate since it’s a cozy, but I call it comfortable because as a reader, I felt like part of the cast and included in the conversations. It has a nice pace and is definitely a page turner. This is a highly recommended read for cozy readers, gardeners, and anyone seeking a pleasurable read.

Title: A Tine to Live, A Tine to Die
Author: Edith Maxwell
Published: June 2013
ISBN: 978-0-7582-8461-7
Publisher: Kensington Publishing

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Interview with romantic suspense author Lynn Crandall

Today I have romantic suspense author Lynn Crandall in the hot seat. She’s doing a virtual book tour for her novel Dancing with Detective Danger, available from Crimson Romance.

Lynn will be giving away a $20 Amazon gift card to a lucky commentor during her tour. To be entered to win, leave a comment below. To increase your odds of winning, visit other tour stops and comment there.

Lynn Crandall lives in the Midwest and writes in the company of her two cats. She has been making up stuff all her life, beginning young when she created stories for her sister that kept them up at night when they were supposed to be sleeping. Her writing background is in journalism, but whether writing a magazine or newspaper story or creating a romance, she loves the power of words. When not writing or reading, Lynn likes to bike, hike, and spend time with family, as well sit down for a good movie on TV.

Welcome, Lynn.
Thank you for having me on your lovely blog today.

My pleasure! Please tell us about your current release.
Dancing with Detective Danger is about two people who have suffered overwhelmingly painful experiences in their pasts. In the present, these people find themselves slammed up against their wounds and facing choices that may or may not bring them love.

A private investigator who works with her sister, heroine Sterling Aegar has never put to rest the trauma of her father's unsolved murder. Though she and Ben enjoyed a passionate and thrilling love affair, two years ago Sterling ran away from it when the wounds of her past demanded she insulate herself from the vulnerability of love and bury herself in her work.

A police officer, Ben has spent the last two years trying to put Sterling out of his heart and mind. But he knows it hasn't worked, and when he runs into her at a crime scene, his desire for her at a physical level is triggered, but more profoundly at an emotional level.

As their mutual case unfolds, Sterling and Ben not only work to solve a murder and locate a missing husband, they confront secrets that set them each free from a painful past.

What inspired you to write this book?
I enjoy stories that illustrate the complexity of being human and the variety of life. Dancing with Detective Danger evolved as a story from a thought about challenging commonly held notions about family relationships. While we all seem to hold dreams of growing up in a happy and supportive family, the boundaries of what is family and what is happy often need to expand to fit reality. I wanted to explore the idea that the family relationship of the characters—two sisters—has suffered through problems and yet remains intact, vital, and growing. Both the heroine and the hero are put into situations that ask them to examine the definition of family and what it means to be happy. I also am fascinated by the workings of solving problems and teasing out information to crack mysteries. So, the story world evolved with two sisters who work together as private investigators, support each other through pain, and become free to find true love.

It’s no use, Sterling fumed. Her brain refused to work. She sorted through the case files at her office, willing her emotions to stop tormenting her as she recuperated from a long, sleepless night. The benign sounds of Michelle keyboarding in the outer office did little to interrupt the mindless emotional turmoil of last night’s restlessness.

In the darkness, thoughts of Ben and how it used to be, what she’d done to him, replayed unrestricted by the distractions of daylight. And now, in the light of day, the thoughts, haughty and determined, challenged her sanity, coaxing her to give them room to do their work.

It troubled her that the warning flags were up again. What were they trying to say? Were they warning her of a big problem with the case? Or were they trying to tell her to beware of involvement with Ben? It could lead to more pain, and she knew it.

Two years ago she’d told him it was over. Loving him had been so easy, but then the fear welled too greatly inside of her. With Nicholas’s death, she’d realized more than ever that a heart open to love was also a heart vulnerable to excruciating pain and insurmountable loss.

Silly girl. You’d actually believed in a happily ever after. The breakup had been difficult, but she’d only done what she needed to survive. And even when Ben had finally accepted that they weren’t going to be together, endorsing her decision to quit police work was quite another matter, something he’d railed against with all his usual unrestrained gusto.

But Sterling knew in time she’d get over Ben. And fortunately she didn’t need his permission to make a life as a private investigator. He didn’t even have to like it.

To make sure no one would get close enough to leave her hurt and broken like her mother, she’d made a life for herself invested in independence. She’d dated a few times, but quickly questioned, what was the point? She had friends and companionship, and she didn’t want anything more. Lacey liked to point out that Sterling’s single-minded devotion to her profession was her own way of building walls against the world. Maybe so. Maybe no one would get in. Especially not Ben Kirby. It didn’t have to make sense to be right for her.

Sterling dropped her forehead into the heels of her hands. If only life hadn’t cruelly smashed them up against each other again. If only Ben would stop forcing her into a corner where she questioned her decisions.

What exciting story are you working on next?
I am presently working on the next book about the sisters, the "Lacey" book. Readers found in Dancing with Detective Danger that Lacey's husband Nicholas was killed while on his job as a police officer, but he is still very present in her life. In the second book, the story explores how this relationship can be sustained and whether Lacey will continue to want Nicholas in her life or move on without him.

When did you first consider yourself a writer?
Officially, I considered myself a writer at the time of publication of my first short story, about 15 years ago. Writing newspaper and magazine articles on regular deadlines also helped to define myself as a writer.

Do you write full-time? If so, what's your work day like? If not, what do you do other than write and how do you find time to write?
I write full time, but not fiction full time. I do a lot of juggling. But as a freelance writer I have a flexible schedule, so that helps, though making time for fiction is still challenging.

What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
It's not that interesting but I often write at my desk with my cat sleeping on my lap. She's my shadow.

As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
That's a fun question! Embarrassingly enough, I dreamed of being Miss America. I even learned a talent – ventriloquism, complete with a dummy named Dandy – and performed my "act" on stage for a local pageant when I was in high school. I think when I got fourth runner-up I realized it wasn't the career for me. I don't know what I was thinking!

Anything additional you want to share with the readers?
How about a brief character interview?

Me: Sterling, what is your favorite thing about working with your sister?

Sterling: (chuckles) The sweets she likes to bring into the office. I especially enjoy watching her cut a cinnamon roll into bite-sized pieces. Just one of her many quirks. But really, it's just very comfortable to work with Lacey. She's got my back and she understands me. (looks down thoughtfully) We've been through a lot and she understands sometimes I'm not my best self, but she doesn't care.

Me: That does sound nice. What about Ben, how do you feel about finding him back in your life?

Sterling: (chews at her bottom lip and shifts her gaze) Ben is…a crazy man. I'm not sure I'd say he's back in my life, but I am running into him a lot lately. I'm not sure yet what I'm going to do about that. He understands I have concerns about his, umm… lifestyle.

Me: What do you mean, concerns about his lifestyle?

Sterling: He lives life on the edge, putting his life in danger. That scares me. I've lost too many people I've loved. I don't want to go through that kind of thing again.

Me: Well, let's bring Ben in on this. Ben, what do you have to say to Sterling about your risk-taking?

Ben: (tightens his cheek muscles, then gazes softly at Sterling) I do take risks, but some risks are worth taking. I know it's a risk for Sterling to let me into her life again. But she's strong and I believe in us. I'd like to think being together is a risk worth taking.

Me: Well, I can see you have things to work out, but thank you for giving us a glimpse into your lives.

Thanks, Lynn. I think that’s the first interview within an interview I’ve had.

Readers, don’t forget about the giveaway. Leave a comment to be entered for a chance to win!

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Interview with new adult contemporary romance author Jessica Lave

Today is a book tour stop for Quiet on the Set. It's a new adult contemporary romance novel by Jessica Lave. She's answered a few questions about herself and her book for us.

Jessica will give a $20 Fandango e-gift card to one randomly drawn commentor during her tour, so to be entered for a chance to win, leave a comment below. And to increase your chances of winning, you can visit other tour stops and leave comments there.

Welcome, Jessica. Please tell us a little bit about yourself.
By day, I work in a cubicle tending to an e-commerce website. By night, I blog, I review television shows and films, and occasionally, I settle down long enough to write a novel. I’ve always had a diverse set of interests, which has led me to study everything from ethics to yoga to film, but the one thing that has stayed consistent is my enthusiasm for writing. Writing is my way of bringing all of my interests together—I may not be able to speak six languages, pick the lock on a door, or cook a five-course meal without a recipe, but I can write about a character who can, and that’s the next best thing!

Please tell us about your current release.
Quiet on the Set is a new adult book, in which the heroine, Rylie Cates, follows her passion for writing all the way to Hollywood. She gets a bit of a leg up at the beginning when her screenplay gets accepted at a film festival, but it’s through new friends and her unwavering dedication to her writing that she is able to get the screenplay read, sold, and produced.

At first, she’s in a new town, a new business, and is a little naïve about how things work, but as the story goes on, she makes friends and learns the ins and outs of the film industry in order to make a name for herself and her screenplays. Throughout the book, Rylie’s friendships help her to overcome all the personal and professional obstacles put in her path, and it’s those characters, her friends, who give the story heart, and a bit of comic relief.

What inspired you to write this book?
I had recently graduated college and had been out of work for several months, and I wanted to write a success story. I felt like I was failing at my first time out in “the real world,” and I wanted to tell a story about a girl who got her dream job. Of course, it evolved into much more than just a story about Rylie’s career, but it was very cathartic for me to tell a story in which the main character was able to accomplish so much in her professional life.

A little background: This scene is from “Chapter Six: Bad Habits.” Rylie has recently had her heart broken and has wandered off to be by herself at a friend’s party when she meets Shane. They’ve already been chatting for a couple minutes in this scene:

‘You new here?’ Shane said.

‘I just moved here in May.’

‘And Wes Kern already broke your heart?’

‘Sad, but true,’ Rylie said.

‘You’ll move on. He’s just a kid having fun being famous.’

‘I hope it’s soon. Heartbreak sucks.’

‘Truer words.’ He told her about a girl who broke his heart, and it was such a sad story, she cried. Maybe for him, and maybe for herself. In five weeks, she hadn’t cried over Wes, and maybe she just was overdue. He held her, comforting her without trying to quiet her.

‘I don’t get why your date would leave you. I sure wouldn’t,’ Rylie said, sniffling.

‘I guess I’m too old.’

‘You’re not old.’

‘Too old for her.’

‘What is she, picky? You seem like a catch to me,’ Rylie said.

‘She’s twenty-five. I’m thirty-four.’

‘By that standard, you’d be too old for me, too.’



‘Wow. Am I too old for you?’

‘Age is irrelevant if you like each other.’

‘I like you. Even watching you cry, you’re beautiful.’

‘You better be careful or I might fall for you, too.’

‘Promise?’ he said. He kissed her then, gently, and she kissed him back. She couldn’t have protested if she wanted to, and she didn’t. The kiss only lasted a moment, until a few boisterous party-goers decided to skinny dip. Shane smiled, sensing their mutual embarrassment at being caught. ‘Can I take you home?’ he said.

Rylie nodded. ‘That’d be great. Thanks.’

What exciting story are you working on next?
I am currently working on an international adventure story, as yet untitled, which is a new experience and a completely new type of story for me. I haven’t traveled outside North America, so setting a book in a country I haven’t visited means a lot more research! It’s also a lot darker than many of my previous projects, and it gets into some ugly situations, ugly sides of the world and humanity that we don’t like to talk about. Tapping into that and experiencing the emotions and fear that my characters have in those situations is a real challenge, but it’s a lot of fun. I love trying new things and testing myself as a writer—I feel that challenges and experiments are the only way to learn and improve.

When did you first consider yourself a writer?
I started writing original stories when I was eleven, but I don’t think I really considered myself a writer until I was about fifteen. I wrote my first “real” novel at that time—real in terms of length and quality—and it felt like the most honest and substantive story I’d written up to that point.

Do you write full-time? If so, what's your work day like? If not, what do you do other than write and how do you find time to write?
I don’t write full-time, but it does take up a lot of my free time! I work part-time three days a week, but as soon as I get home, I’m back on the computer, blogging or working on my next story.

My schedule is sometimes a little erratic on my days off, but I usually take the beginning of the day to do the blogging, marketing, and short, uncomplicated tasks. I’m a night owl, so I’m most productive and most creative in the evening and the wee hours of the morning. I usually save (or put off) my creative writing projects until that time of day, and it usually pays off more in word count than if I were to write when I first woke up.

I technically have plenty of time to write, and when I get going, I can get into a really good grove. But, as so many of us are, I’m addicted to my various technologies, and I have to remind myself to disconnect a little to get back to writing.

What would you say is your most interesting writing quirk?
I don’t know if other writers do this, but I track my stats when I write. Part of it is to ingrain the memory of when and why I started the story, but part of it is just nerdiness combined with some OCD tendencies. I always make notes of the dates (and often times) when I started writing and when I finished, and I keep track of my word count and chapter count throughout my revisions.

It’s kind of fun to watch the story evolve from the first draft through the editing process, because the word counts and chapters never stay the same. The first draft of Quiet on the Set was nine chapters and about 45,000 words, and it wound up printed as a sixteen-chapter book with over 62,000 words!

As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
Like a lot of kids, I wanted to be a vet when I was a kid--until I thought about the additional schooling and more unpleasant parts of the job. I went through an archaeologist phase as well—I have Jurassic Park and Indiana Jones to thank for that. I even wanted to be a lawyer for a while because I enjoyed debates and putting together arguments, but I didn’t want to spend my life doing paperwork, even though I probably would have been good at it. I came back to being a writer shortly after that when I realized that being passionate about what you do is all that matters.

Anything additional you want to share with the readers?
Life is too short not to do what you love. It may not make you wealthy, but it makes you rich in a more meaningful way. Take time for yourself and for your passion. Your fifty-years-from-now self will thank you for it.

Visit me on my website: 

Follow me on Twitter: 

Connect with me on Goodreads: 

Buy the paperback from Amazon: 

Buy the e-book for Kindle: 

Buy the paperback from CreateSpace: 

Thanks, Jessica.
Readers, don’t forget to leave a comment if you’d like a chance to win the e-gift card!

Book blurb blitz for The Perfect Duke by Dawn Ireland

This morning is a book blurb blitz stop for historical romance novelist Dawn Ireland, and her book, The Perfect Duke.

Known as The Marble Duke amongst the Ton, Garret Weston, the Duke of Kendal sets himself apart from his peers. Nothing will hinder his guilt-driven attempt to become a perfect duke. Nothing that is, save the alluring and imaginative betrothed he’d thought dead. His intended believes-of all things-that she is a Vicar’s daughter. The “perfect” duke needs a “perfect” duchess, but how was he to discern her suitability? Employing her as a governess to his niece seemed like an ideal solution. But whose “suitability” is being tested? His betrothed refuses to see he is beyond redemption. And most grievous of all, she stirs his blood, making him forget what’s important.

Cara believes fairy tales really can come true, until she meets the unrelenting and arrogant Duke of Kendal. He looks like a Prince, but acts like a Beast. Why must he challenge her at every turn? Her greatest peril is her attraction to the vulnerable, seductive man behind the title. A match between them would be impossible. But can she show him, without losing her heart, that “perfect” is in the eye of the beholder? 

Garret’s voice stopped Cara before she reached the door. “What of the cut on my chest?”

She turned back, fighting to sound normal. “It didn’t look that bad.”

He picked up the cloth, soaped it, then stalked toward her. Everything about him belied fluid grace as he handed her the fabric, a challenge in his gaze.

With as much indifference as she could muster, she dabbed at the cut on his chest.

“Harder,” he breathed, his dark velvet voice sending shivers down her spine. “You’ll not hurt me.”

She cleansed the cut, admiring the feel of the hard muscle beneath the cloth. Her fingertips extended beyond the material to caress his moisture-slicked skin. She stepped closer, until his chest was the only thing in her vision.

The rag dropped between them. Of their own volition her fingers spread, pressing her hands flat against the hard contours of his body. She began an exploration, noting the fine dusting of curling golden hair that tickled her palms as she moved them upward.

The smell of the ointment clung to him, but it couldn’t block his alluring scent, a mixture of brandy, wood, and spiciness. She inhaled deeply, savoring the heady combination as she ran one fingertip around his nipple, marveling at the pebbling on the outside edge.

Part of her brain acknowledged she shouldn’t be doing this, but she couldn’t seem to stop.

Author information:
“Once Upon a Time” are four of Dawn’s favorite words. Her love of story became a love of romance when she read Georgette Heyer’s, Devil’s Cub. It inspired her to write stories with strong characters that discover love is never easy, but always worthwhile. Dawn’s written several award-winning novels set in Georgian England – an era filled with rules and intrigue. Her characters often defy “Society” as they pursue love, run away, pursue, run away – well, you get the idea.  

Then again, she might write romance in order to do the research. What other profession encourages you to sit in the audience at Harlequin’s Male Model search, and take notes, or just sigh?

Dawn lives in a Victorian home in Upstate New York with her husband and very independent cats. When she’s not writing, she’s singing, gardening, learning to play the harp or wood carving. If you’d like to learn more about Dawn and her novels, go to her website at            


The Perfect Duke

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Interview with women's fiction author J.M. Kelley

J.M. Kelley is here to tell us a bit about her newest novel, Daddy’s Girl.

She's also going to be giving away a gift basket of some of her favorite things, including a $25 Amazon gift card and a signed copy of the Foreign Affairs anthology from Turquoise Morning Press, to a lucky commentor.

So leave a comment below for a chance to win. And if you'd like to increase your chances, visit other tour stops and comment there too.

Three years ago, native Pennsylvanian J.M. Kelley packed her bags and moved south. Now, the wannabe Carolina Girl can’t speak a single sentence without adding the word y’all at the end of it, and regards a blast of snow flurries as a doomsday-level event.  When the day job allows, and when she can pull herself away from George Takei’s Facebook fanpage, she likes to go on writing jaunts to her favorite lake, or a local coffee shop with delicious shakes and questionable Wi-Fi connections.

J.M. Kelley is a proud recipient of a Carrie McCray Memorial Literary award, and is a member of The South Carolina Writers Workshop and Romance Writers of America (PAN).

Welcome, J.M. Please tell us about your current release.
Daddy’s Girl is a work of women’s fiction, published by Turquoise Morning Press.

Sometimes, returning home isn’t about confronting your past; it’s about discovering your future.

Janie McGee, the black sheep of her family, is free-spirited, uninhibited, and never one to stay in the same place for too long. Despite a lifetime of never seeing eye to eye, when Janie learns her father, Joe, is gravely ill, she surprises even herself by returning home to rural Pennsylvania to care for him.

David Harris sports a pocket protector, collects coins, and is addicted to Antiques Roadshow. Everything about the man rubs Janie the wrong way, from his nerdy wardrobe to his enviable friendship with Joe. And to make matters worse, Janie’s father thinks they’re perfect for each other, proof positive of how little Joe knows his own daughter ... or so Janie thinks.

A shared devotion to the elder McGee begins to close the gulf between Janie and David, but a burgeoning romance opens the door to unexpected consequences neither could foresee. Joe, however, remains steadfast in his resolve to show Janie that Daddy knows what’s best for his little girl after all. Can Janie finally open her heart to David while watching the first man she ever truly loved fade away?

What inspired you to write this book?
This book was a way to work out the pain of losing my father, who died of lung cancer in 2007. Joe McGee is a fictional character, but he feels, in some ways, like the ghost of my own Daddy. Janie McGee isn’t really like me, but if we ever sat down to share a couple of beers, we would find a lot of common ground to bond over.

This is the book, I think, that I will always consider a doorway to my heart.

Before he even opened the door, David knew something was off. Late night visitors, in his experience, rarely brought good news. When the visitor turned out to be Janie, his heart leapt into his throat. “Janie,” he said when he threw open the door. “What’s wrong? Is Joe okay?”

“Yeah. He’s fine.” Relief hit him so hard he took a step back and leaned against the doorjamb.

“You scared me.”

“I didn’t mean to.” Janie rubbed her hands up and down her arms and looked over her shoulder. “It’s cold out here. Mind if I come in?”

“Oh. Right.” David gestured for Janie to enter. “Come inside.” He followed when she slid past him and walked into the living room.

“It’s late.” As if she needed to tell him. The atomic clock on the wall, a Christmas gift from his mother, showed the time at almost two in the morning. Janie stood in the middle of the room and focused her gaze on the bookcase in the corner. “I didn’t wake you, did I?”

“I was reading. A little too wired to sleep, I guess.” David moved up behind her and raised a tentative hand to her shoulder. “Are you sure everything’s okay?”

The sound of his voice jolted her out of her thoughts and she jerked her head toward him. Her movements were stunted. Wooden. “Ever have one of those moments when you’re convinced you may float away, and no matter what you do, you can’t keep yourself grounded? And you need to hang on tight to something until the sensation passes?”

Whatever was going on, he thought, she was not in a good place. David gently spun Janie toward him and gazed at her. “Tell me what you need from me.”

Janie closed her eyes and lowered her forehead to David’s shoulder. “Ground me, David,” she whispered and laid her hand on his chest.

What exciting story are you working on next?
My next story will be available in June of 2013. Almost Magic is a paranormal romance from Turquoise Morning Press, and I have a contemporary romance, She Let Herself Go, to be released in May of 2014, also from TMP.

When did you first consider yourself a writer?
When I really, truly got that feeling that I was a real, honest-to-god writer was when my first novel, Drew in Blue, was nominated for Best Contemporary of 2010 by The Romance Reviews. I knew I didn’t have a chance of winning, considering the competition, but the mere fact that my story was remembered and included in the list of nominees was so thrilling. It truly was fantastic just getting that nomination (and losing, rightfully so, to the lovely Nora Roberts).

Do you write full-time? If so, what's your work day like? If not, what do you do other than write and how do you find time to write?
I have a day job. The schedule changes from week to week, day to day, hour to hour. I never know what I’m going to get, and boy, it makes writing hard. But, I have to keep a roof over my head, so I make it work. Usually. A lot of times, I am hurtling towards a deadline with my brain frozen, my body tired, and my fingers unwilling to put together a coherent sentence. In the end, it all works out, though. Let’s hope it continues that way!

What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
Well, I might be the sloppiest writer out there. I will start at the beginning, then pick up at the end, write backwards for a bit, come up with five chapters of mostly dialogue, then decide I need a new ending…is that quirky, or is that just flat-out insane?

As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
I have a long list of oddball careers I wanted to join when I grew up. There was about a month-long period in which I decided I had to be a Ghostbuster. I just had to. Sadly, I found out that there’s no such thing as a Ghostbuster, and I would never, ever get my hands on a proton pack.


Daddy’s Girl purchase links:

Monday, May 27, 2013

Book excerpt tour stop for Spirit of the Revolution by Debbie Peterson

Today is a fun virtual excerpt tour stop for the paranormal romance, Spirit of the Revolution by Debbie Peterson.

Debbie will be awarding a custom-made piece of jewelry to a randomly drawn commentor during the tour (US only). This necklace, called "The Jolena" was designed especially for this giveaway by Shandra Kay. Debbie will also award an e-book copy of Shadow of the Witte Wieven. The winner will have the choice of selecting a Mobi, epub, o PDF copy of the book. To be entered for a chance to win and of these prize, leave a comment below. And to increase your chances of winning, visit other tour stops and comment there.

Only divine intervention could have guided Jolena Leigh Michaelsson to the doorstep of a ramshackle manor in Pennsylvania, bringing her face-to-face with the man she has waited her whole life to find. There is just one problem. Mathias McGregor died two centuries ago…

Mathias, Revolutionary War ranger and spy, battles his conscience and his heart when he finds himself falling for the beautiful violinist invading his home. Jolena is mortal and deserves far more than what he as a spirit can offer her.

When Jolena’s family motto leads them to unearth a valuable coded message—the very message Mathias died trying to deliver to General Washington—Jolena vows to unravel the mystery surrounding the cryptic document. But someone else wants the message, and he’ll stop at nothing to get it, not even murder.

Divine intervention brought them together—will it also allow them to find forever?

A thousand questions swirled around inside her head. Questions like, why did he look so solid, and how could he speak aloud when he had no tangible body and couldn’t breathe air? She could even see the stubble on his finely chiseled chin.

“How are you doing that?” she finally blurted out.

“Doing?” Her ghost appeared puzzled over the question.

“What I mean—” Jo took a deep breath and began again. “I can hear you. I see you as if you’re a living, breathing person. You look solid for heaven’s sake. How can you do that when you have no real body?”

A slight, crooked grin appeared as he shrugged. “Practice, my lady, decade after decade of dedicated practice. I couldn’t always express myself in this manner, I assure you.”

The deep dimples appearing on either side of his cheeks briefly distracted her line of thinking. No, don’t look at that, she silently commanded. She needed to stay focused—

Author Bio and Links:
Debbie has always had a soft spot for fairy tales, the joy of falling in love, and happily ever after endings. Stories of love and make believe filled her head for as long as she can remember. However, it was her beloved husband who encouraged, cajoled and inspired her to take up a pen and write some of them down.

Her journey to published author could fill quite a few pages, but in June of 2010, she submitted her debut novel, Spirit of the Rebellion to her wonderful, patient, editor at The Wild Rose Press. A few short months after Rebellion’s release, her second novel, Shadow of the Witte Wieven was published through InkSpell Publishing. Her third novel, Spirit of the Revolution” releases May 31, 2013 through The Wild Rose Press.

When she’s not busy conjuring her latest novel, Debbie spends time with the members of her very large family. She also pursues her interests in family history, mythology, and all things ancient and historic.

Connect with Debbie:




Don't forget about the giveaways: Debbie will be awarding a custom-made piece of jewelry to a randomly drawn commentor during the tour (US only). This necklace, called "The Jolena" was designed especially for this giveaway by Shandra Kay. Debbie will also award an e-book copy of Shadow of the Witte Wieven. The winner will have the choice of selecting a Mobi, epub, o PDF copy of the book. To be entered for a chance to win and of these prize, leave a comment below. And to increase your chances of winning, visit other tour stops and comment there.

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Live critique chat at The Writer's Chatroom, May 26, 7-9PM EST

Tomorrow, Sunday, May 26, The Writer's Chatroom will have a critique chat. Would you like a crit from the entire chatroom? Then follow the guidelines EXACTLY.

E-mail 200-300 words from your work. Paste your submission into the e-mail.
Copy this list and put it at the beginning of the email, with your answers:

Format (short story, novel, etc):
Section: (beginning, middle, or end of piece):
Name you intend to publish under:
Name you use in the chatroom:

Submissions that follow the guidelines will be used in the order they are received. I don't know how many we will get through, but the queue starts when the first correct submission is received.

Submit polished work! Most of our chatters are aiming for publication. To get there, you have to be able to handle honest critiques. I will not allow personal attacks, but problems in the writing will be openly discussed.

If you are not in attendance, your submission will be skipped. It's a waste of everyone's time to critique something if the author isn't there to hear it.

Fiction, nonfic, essay...doesn't matter. I recommend trying to get an entire scene into 300 words. Full scenes get better crits.

Why only 300 words? More than that will scroll off the screen too quickly. People need to be able to read it, to give a good crit.

Please be on time for this chat. Crosstalk, including greetings, will be kept to a bare minimum. 

Make sure you have floated and enlarged your screen in chat, so you can keep up. Here we go...let's see how many of you have learned to write well and follow submission guidelines. First submission up for crits is...  


Sunday, May 26, 2013
Eastern USA Time.....7 PM

Not sure what time that is wherever in the world you are?


The Writers Chatroom at: 

Scroll down to the Java box. It may take a moment to load. Type in the name you wish to be known by, and click Login. No password needed.

Please note: The chatroom is only open for regularly scheduled chats. 

Don't forget the topic chats on Wednesday nights, 8-10 pm EST!

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Book blast tour stop for The Cracked Slipper by Stephanie Alexander

Today is a super book blast tour stop for The Cracked Slipper by Stephanie Alexander. It's a romantic women's fiction fantasy now available.

Stephanie will be awarding a $10 Amazon gift card to a randomly drawn commenter during the tour. To be entered for a chance to win, leave an e-mail (so you can be contacted) with your comment below. For more chances to win, visit other tour stops and leave comments there. 

When Eleanor Brice unexpectedly wins the heart of Gregory Desmarais, Crown Prince of Cartheigh, she's sure she's found her happily-ever-after. Unfortunately, Prince Charming has a loose grip on his temper, a looser grip on his marriage vows, and a tight grip on the bottle.

Eight years of mistreatment, isolation and clandestine book learning hardly prepare Eleanor for life at Eclatant Palace, where women are seen, not heard. According to Eleanor's eavesdropping parrot, no one at court appreciates her unladylike tendency to voice her opinion. To make matter worse, her royal fiancé spends his last night of bachelorhood on a drunken whoring spree. Before the ink dries on her marriage proclamation Eleanor realizes that she loves her husband's best friend, former soldier Dorian Finley.

Eleanor can't resist Dorian's honesty, or his unusual admiration for her intelligence, and soon both are caught in a dangerous obsession. She drowns her confusion in charitable endeavors, but the people's love can't protect her from her feelings. When a magical crime endangers the bond between unicorns, dragons, and the royal family, a falsely accused Eleanor must clear her own name to save her life. The road toward vindication will force a choice between hard-won security and an impossible love.

The Cracked Slipper is a book club friendly fairytale retelling in the vein of Gregory Maguire, with a dash of romance. Set in a pseudo-renaissance, corset-and-petticoats enchanted kingdom, The Cracked Slipper brings a magical twist to women's fiction.

"Their host, Sir Robert Smithwick, rose and gave a toast to the health of his nephew. Other speeches followed, each more suggestive than the next. She laughed out loud when Dorian subtly mocked Brian’s inability to hold his liquor. Gregory spoke last, and gave a surprisingly thoughtful salute to his cousin. She patted his arm when he sat, and he gave her a tentative smile.

As everyone returned to their venison and cliff shrimp Eleanor's stepmother tapped her goblet. Mother Imogene rose and lifted the cup. “I must ask you to pause for just one more moment,” she said. “I have another announcement.”

“My darling,” she said to Sylvia. “We’ve all so enjoyed your hospitality this summer. But now my daughter must remember herself, and rest, for with the winter will arrive a future duke! Our dear Sylvia is expecting!”

The guests applauded, congratulating Imogene and Sylvia. Sylvia gazed demurely in her lap, as if embarrassed by the association with procreation. As for the expectant father, he was nowhere to be seen. His wife’s entertaining had proved too much for him, and the duke returned to Harveston for some peace.

Eleanor glanced down the table. Anne Iris retched into her cup, but it was Dorian’s calm face that inspired her. She stood and the room quieted. “My dear sister,” she said. “Let me extend my good wishes.”

Sylvia’s simpering went rigid.

“I will say, Sylvia always had a flair for the dramatic when we were children. Who knew you would entertain so many with your widely varied talents? While I have recently been ill, I’ve heard you neglect no one, from the loftiest lord to the most common stable hand. We are so fortunate there is one among us who gives so generously of herself to others. It’s no wonder His Grace, your husband, took his leave. It must be difficult to share you with so many.”

Imogene’s eyes bulged and her nostrils flared, while Sylvia gave an uncertain twitter. Eleanor looked at Dorian again. He winked.

“So I salute you, Your Grace,” she said.“May your child look just like you. Just as lovely.”

The guests applauded, all the while hiding their smirks and chuckles in their goblets and napkins. Eleanor sat down. This time Gregory touched her arm. “Well played,” he said."

Author Bio and Links:
Stephanie Alexander grew up in the suburbs of Washington, DC, the oldest of three children. Drawing, writing stories, and harassing her parents for a pony consumed much of her childhood. After graduating from high school in 1995 she earned a Bachelor of Arts in Communications from the College of Charleston, South Carolina. She returned to Washington, DC, where she followed a long-time fascination with sociopolitical structures and women’s issues to a Master of Arts in Sociology from the American University. She spent several years as a Policy Associate at the International Center for Research on Women, a think-tank focused on women’s health and economic advancement.

Stephanie embraced full-time motherhood after the birth of the first of her three children in 2003. After six wonderful years buried in diapers and picture books she returned to her childhood passion and wrote her own fairytale. Her family put down permanent southern roots in Charleston in 2011. Stephanie is an adjunct professor of Sociology at the College of Charleston.

REMEMBER! Stephanie will be awarding a $10 Amazon gift card to a randomly drawn commenter during the tour. To be entered for a chance to win, leave an e-mail address (so you can be contacted) with your comment below. For more chances to win, visit other tour stops and leave comments there.  

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Book blurb blitz for The Gospel According to Prissy by Barbara Casey

Today is a book blurb blitz tour stop for the inspirational suspense novel The Gospel According to Prissy, by Barbara Casey, published by Strategic Media Books.

Barbara will be awarding a $25 Amazon or gift card to one randomly chosen commenter during her tour. To be entered for a chance to win, leave an e-mail with a comment below so you can be contacted. For more chances to win, visit other tour stops and leave comments there. 

Three Army veteran misfits, a college dropout, an unmotivated high school graduate accused of murder, a controversial warden of a women's prison, and a little girl with the gift of prophesy – these are the people 31-year-old Lara Kruger invites into her life after suffering a miscarriage, a divorce from an abusive husband, and unemployment.

Laramie Larkins Kruger drove up to the hospital emergency door. It was the second time in twice as many weeks. The hand that had been holding a bloody towel against the left side of her face somehow managed to push the car door open. Her other hand rested in her lap, limp and useless. A hospital orderly standing outside by the front entrance saw her. He crushed his half-smoked cigarette into the concrete container of sand provided and quickly located a wheelchair for her.

“Jesus, Ms. Kruger, what have you gone done to yourself now? You been working on that old house again, haven’t ya?”

Lara closed her eyes and let the strong hands of the orderly gently position her into the wheelchair. “Thanks, Ben.”

“I told you to call me next time you needed something done and Mr. Kruger wasn’t around to take care of it. Didn’t I? Didn’t I say that?” He pushed her through the emergency entrance and over to the sign-in window where an elderly woman smiled and handed her a form.

“Back so soon, Mrs. Kruger?”

Lara stared at the piece of paper that had been secured to a clipboard, but her eyes wouldn’t read the print. She couldn’t pick up the pen anyway. Ben took the clipboard from her and began filling in the information next to her name: Age, 31; Time, 1:15 p.m.; Insurance, on file; Nature of Visit, cuts and bruises caused by accident. It was always the same.

Lara and Jake had been remodeling the old Victorian home they bought when they moved to Rocky Mount six months earlier. Everyone knew they were doing it. In a town the size of Rocky Mount, nothing went by unnoticed. Since they were doing a lot of the work themselves, it was easy just to say she slipped off a ladder, a rotten floorboard gave way, something had fallen on her – whatever. No one questioned her answers.

“My, my. Looks like you got scraped up pretty good, Mrs. Kruger.” The elderly volunteer worker smiled sympathetically and took the form Ben had just filled out. “What happened this time?”

Lara tried not to grimace from the pain. It felt like one of her ribs was broken. “I yanked too hard on the door of that old shed in back we’re trying to convert into a garage and it gave way.” The lie came easily.

Author information:
Barbara Casey is president of the Barbara Casey Agency, representing adult fiction and nonfiction for authors throughout the United States, Great Britain, and Japan. She is also the author of numerous articles, poems, and short stories. Her award-winning novels have received national recognition, including the Independent Publishers Book Award, the Dana Award for Best Novel, and the Publisher’s Best Seller Award. Her novel, The House of Kane, released in 2008, was considered for a Pulitzer nomination, and her novel Just Like Family received special recognition by the 7-Eleven Corporation. Her latest young adult novel, The Cadence of Gypsies, was reviewed by the Smithsonian for its list of 2011 Best Books. The Gospel According to Prissy, a contemporary adult novel, was released in the spring of 2013.

In addition to being a frequent guest lecturer at universities and writers’ conferences, Ms. Casey served as judge for the Pathfinder Literary Awards in Palm Beach and Martin Counties, Florida, and was the Florida Regional Advisor for the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators from 1991 through 2003.