Start the week with ANN YOST

Monday, November 29, 2010
The waiting room was in shadows but Baz noticed the small fir tree decorated with dog biscuits. It was thin and scraggly, a “Charlie Brown” tree like the one she’d insisted they buy last Christmas. They’d strung popcorn on the branches then made love like hounds in season.

The memory made him hard.

The door to the treatment room was propped open. Baz barely noticed the paw-print wallpaper or the lifecycle-of-a-heartworm poster. He was mesmerized by her shapely silhouette and the way her brown-sugar-colored curls framed her face. He’d forgotten how small she was. He hadn’t forgotten her ability to concentrate.

Baz drew in a deep breath and the smell of peaches and wildflowers washed over him. His heart lurched. Such a familiar scent. Such a beloved scent. He wanted to put his hand on the warm skin of her neck. He wanted to rub his raging erection against her round bottom.

Hallie.

He didn’t realize he’d spoken her name out loud until she turned. “Baz. What’re you doing here?”

The husky voice triggered another surge of lust. He fisted his hands to keep from touching her. “I wanted to talk to you.” He cleared his throat.

She turned back to the table. “It’s not a good time. I’m working.”

He moved closer and peered at the creature under her gloved hands. “That’s a bat.”

“He’s just a baby. He broke a bone in his wing so I’ve splinted and taped it.” She spoke as if veterinarians treated disease-infested rodents every day of the week.

“Are you out of your mind?”

“Don’t raise your voice to me Baz.” She turned back to her work. “The family lives in my attic. He must have flown into something in the dark.”

“Bats are supposed to be able to see at night.”

“Maybe he didn’t read the fine print in his contract.”
He smiled. He placed his hands on either side of her rib cage.

“Don’t,” she said. He knew she meant it. She was still mad. Well, hell, what had he expected? She was entitled to a little payback. Make that a lot of payback. He just hoped it wouldn’t take too long. His lower body throbbed.

“That creature’s probably loaded with rabies.”

She twisted to look at him and he lost himself in her golden eyes. “He was hurt,” she said.

Tenderness caught him in the chest and he could barely breathe. He couldn’t believe he’d let her go, that he’d waited a year to reclaim her. He damned himself for hurting her. He couldn’t resist slipping a hand under the curls. Christ, her skin was soft. He felt her shiver and relief washed through him. At least he could still make her want him.

“I need to give him a rabies shot.”

A rabies shot? Oh. The bat. He frowned. “This isn’t a good idea.”

“I like saving creatures.”

The way she’d saved him last year right before he’d failed her.

********************
You just read an excerpt from:
ABOUT A BABY
by
ANN YOST
Te Wild Rose Press
********************

Today, we’re here with published author, Ann Yost.

Linda Kage: Hi Ann! Tell us a little about you and what you write please.

Ann Yost: Hi Linda. I am honored to be a guest on your blog in company with other fine writers whose names I recognize from my far-flung reading.

Long before I wrote a word of fiction, or anything else, I believed I was destined to become a writer because my father was city editor of our local newspaper and when he arrived home each evening with a fragrant, freshly printed copy of the Ann Arbor (Mich.) News, I assumed it was named in my honor. The town, too.

I majored in English lit at the University of Michigan then worked as a reporter and copy editor for ten years on daily papers then as a freelance writer for my current local paper, the Washington Post. (I never thought that publication was named after me.) I have worked for foundations and state government programs in the fields of neighborhood redevelopment, after school and early childhood initiatives. I’ve got a newsman husband (Associated Press) and three fantastic children, a wonderful daughter-in-law and a brand, new fabulous son-in-law. And an aged golden retriever.

I’d always planned to write mysteries but ten years ago when I picked up my first romantic suspense novel I was seduced by the sex. And, of course, the love story.

My naturally indecisive nature has led me to bounce around between pure romance, romantic suspense, romance/cosy mysteries and historical. I like to include a mystery.
Humor, quirky characters and a small-town atmosphere. Many of my stories are set at Christmas time.

My one attempt to use a pen name failed. It felt all wrong. I just use my own name which is only seven letters and fits easily on a cover!



Kage: What happened to the first book you ever wrote?



Ann Yost: The first book I wrote was a 100,000-word Regency romance. The heroine’s name was Elphine. The manuscript is languishing in one of the many piles in my office.


Kage:What’s your backlist and coming soon bookshelf look like?



Ann Yost: My list is the soul of brevity.

THAT VOODOO THAT YOU DO, 2009, The Wild Rose Press
ABOUT A BABY, 2010, The Wild Rose Press
FOR BETTER OR HEARSE, the Wild Rose Press, part of the Jewels of the Night series, coming soon.


Kage: So, what story are we going to talk about today?



Ann Yost: ABOUT A BABY, released in August by the Wild Rose Press, is story based on the premise that timing is everything. Taciturn veterinarian Baz Outlaw cares for co-worker Hallie Scott but he instinctively rejects the commitment she requests. By the time he comes to his senses and crosses the country to find her on Christmas Eve, a year has passed along with the remnants of Hallie’s fertility. She has to decide whether she can forgive Baz for costing her the family she’d wanted more than anything, especially when she discovers that Baz harbors a baby secret of his own.


********************BLURB********************
ABOUT A BABY
by
ANN YOST
Timing is everything…

Small-town veterinarian Hallie Scott loves all creatures great and small except for boa constrictors and Basil Outlaw, the man whose Christmas eve rejection slammed the door on her last chance to have a baby of her own.

Baz Outlaw doesn't believe in love or family but his life is empty without Hallie. A year later he shows up under her tree prepared to give her everything but he's too late. Motherhood is out, Hallie's started a new life and Baz is harboring a small secret that could break her heart all over again.

Will the their sizzling chemistry and Hallie's warm heart be enough to overcome the timing and make this Christmas all about love?
*********************************************

Kage: What would the story be rated if it were a movie?



Ann Yost: Probably R. It is a sweet story but the sex is pretty graphic..


Kage: If you HAD to fit this story into a cliché, which one would it be?



Ann Yost: Maybe “second chances” with a “secret baby” twist.


Kage:Okay, now that we have a general idea which class to fit ABOUT A BABY under, what makes this book so unique from every other book out there?



Ann Yost: ABOUT A BABY is the first of three books about the Outlaw family. The second, HE LOVES LUCY, centers on Baz’s baby sister and her infatuation with the sheriff, a single father who is a dozen years her senior. The third, EYE OF THE TIGER LILY, is about Baz’s brother, Cameron and Molly Whitecloud from the nearby Blackbird Reservation, and it includes two baby secrets.

All this is to explain that what’s unique about the series is the setting in Western Maine, where economic struggles both in town and on the reservation interfere with affairs of the heart but, ultimately, can’t quench the spirit of community…and love.



Kage:What was the easiest part to write?



Ann Yost: I always love to write about the characters, their inner thoughts and the impact of setbacks on them. I also love to write the sex scenes but I’ll admit I loved it more before people began to read them. (But that’s a story for another time!) I love to create a little town in my mind, complete with a town square or green, a Christmas pageant, shop owners, and those fabulous quirky characters. In THAT VOODOO THAT YOU DO, there is a trio of old ladies who’ve left their canasta-playing behind to pursue witchcraft.


Kage:What do you like most about the main character(s) and what do you like least? Did you learn anything from them?



Ann Yost: I love Hallie’s resiliency, probably because I always wonder whether I’d have the moral fortitude to be optimistic in the face of a major disappointment – like infertility. An orphan she has always yearned for the Norman Rockwell ideal but when it’s denied, she finds a way to fill the void with an unconventional family.

Baz I like for his flaws and the way that, despite his pride and natural reserve, he flounders to do what is right. Again, I always hope that I’ll do what is right in any given situation, but I’m never sure.


Kage:Ann, Thank you so much for stopping by today and gracing us with your presence. Before we go, is there anything else you’d like to say to wrap things up?



Ann Yost: Only that ABOUT A BABY is about disappointment and rising above it and, I think, provides a heartwarming story that is perfect for Christmas time.



Now that Ann has totally made us want to buy ABOUT A BABY, here is a buy link : eBook or Paperback

If you're still curious about Ann, here is a link to her Website: http://www.annyost.com/

End the Week with VICTORIA RODER

Friday, November 26, 2010
Out of my collection of weapons that I have stashed around my apartment, I choose my Browning A-Bolt Stainless Stalker rifle from behind the mop in the broom closet. I headed in the direction of the enclosed storage area. Flipping on the porch light in hopes of frightening an intruder, I exited my front door. As I reached the bottom of the wooden steps, I could detect an outline of a person in front of the shadowed storage area door. Male-at least six feet tall.

Cocking the rifle, I warned, “Stop. I have a rifle.”

“Calm down, Bolt. It’s just me.” Lance Kestler ran his hand through his thick black hair as he stepped from the shadows into the glow of the porch light.

“Oh for crying out loud. What the hell are you doing here?” I released the trigger. “Did you just come out of my storage area?”

“No, I got out of my car and walked toward your door.” Kestler placed his hands on his slim hips. “How come you never wear your hair down during the day?”

I ignored the question. “I heard a door close.”

Kestler shrugged his broad, black Fieora-clothed shoulders, and wobbled on his feet. “Must’a heard my car door.”

Headlights from a passing car shined toward me and I slid the rifle behind my back. “Whatever. It’s like midnight— what the hell do you want?”

“Well, I remembered you don’t sleep much at night so I assumed you’d still be up. Or maybe you just didn’t sleep at night because I kept you up—or should I say you kept me up?” Kestler took a stumbling step forward.

I blew out a breath in frustration. How did I ever get involved with this guy in the first place? “Get off it, Kestler. You’ve been drinking. What do you want?”

“Aren’t you gonna invite me in?” He winked in his typical cocky manner. “It’s been a long time since I’ve had your firm body under mine.”

I couldn’t help but roll my eyes and shake my head. “Are you kidding me?”

“Look, I just want to apologize for how things have been going between us lately.” Lance stumbled and dragged his hand across the side of the duplex to stabilize himself.

“Apologize?” The rifle dug into my hand as I tightened my grip on it. “You can’t even talk in complete sentences. How come you only show up and want to talk after you’ve been drinking?”

Kestler advanced two steps toward me. “What’s wrong with you? I’m trying to rekindle a civil relationship between us, and you show up acting like Annie Oakley the sharpshooter.”

“You don’t do apologies, or favors without an ulterior motive.” I pointed the rifle towards him. “What the hell do you want? Why don’t you just go home?”

“What? You’re gonna shoot me? ” Lance threw up his hands, pretending to surrender, and laughed.

His humor was lost on me. I wanted Kestler off my property and wanted him to know I meant business. Not that really would have shot him. Probably. “You’ve been drinking, and you’re trespassing. I believed you were an intruder and I had to defend myself.” I shrugged my shoulders. “Sounds convincing. I might be able to get someone to buy that.”

“You’d miss.”

My finger itched to pull the trigger. “Don’t you remember my target scores where always better than yours?”

Lance winked at me. “That’s because I was distracted by your cute ass.”

I rolled my eyes. “You are an ass.”

“I’m done with trying to be nice to you.”

“When did you start?”

“Screw you.” He turned to stomp back toward his car.

I lowered the rifle and called out, “Kestler, you’ve been drinking. Should I call you a cab?”

I heard him open his car door. As I walked backward up the three steps to the front door, it didn’t take detective skills to realize he didn’t have the ability nor the courtesy to answer me. Kestler was six feet tall—could he have consumed more then two drinks an hour? I ran back down the steps to offer him a ride.

“Kestler!” I pounded on the hood of the car. “Kestler, wait!”

He jammed the car in reverse, spun it around and squealed his tires on the usually quiet street. I watched him drive off and prayed he wouldn’t hit someone on his way home. Retreating inside my apartment, I locked and dead-bolted the front door. I returned the A-Bolt rifle to its spot behind the mop in my closet, and headed for the phone to call in a tip about a drunk driver. If he was lucky, he’d be stopped by a friendly cop. If not—if he had to spend the night in the drunk tank—at least he wouldn’t kill himself or anyone else. My infuriation with Lance Kestler made my hands jitter as if I had guzzled three pots of coffee.

********************
You just read an excerpt from:
Bolt Action
by
Victoria Roder
Availalbe in paperback from Champagne Books
********************



Linda Kage: Tell us a little about you and what you write please.

Victoria: I write paranormal, murder mystery, and children's picture books and mysteries. I always enjoyed writing, but never considered becoming an author. I began having recurring dreams about a house that my birth family lived in for a brief period of time when I was a child. Even with the passage of time, in the dreams I remained a young girl. Each time I woke up I knew that I had experienced the dream before. The dream began to trouble me, so I discussed it with my sister Tammy. She suggested I write it down, in the hope that it wouldn’t bother me anymore.

I began recording the details of the dream and then instead of it not bothering me, it consumed me. I continued to dream about the house, but now the dreams began to evolve and take on a life of their own. It became a movie in my imagination; the characters developed and demanded screen time. I placed a notebook, flashlight, and pen beside the bed. My husband would wake up to find me holding the flashlight and frantically scribbling in the notebook. Those dreams became the premise for my paranormal romance novel The Dream House Visions and Nightmares.


Kage: What happened to the first book you ever wrote?


Victoria: My first novel was The Dream House Visions and Nightmares. The first book I wrote was a children's mystery. I have just recently pulled it out and began editing. I haven't decided if there is hope for the story.

Kage:What’s your backlist and coming soon bookshelf look like?


Victoria: My Paranormal Romance, The Dream House Visions and Nightmares is a murder mystery wrapped in a ghost story, Asylett Press 2009. Coming Soon is children's picture book, What if a Zebra had Triangles? From Vinspire Publishing and a children's chapter book, The Curse of King Ramesse II from Wild Child Publishing.

Kage: So, what story are we going to talk about today?


Victoria: Action Thriller, Bolt Action was release from Champagne Books in April 2010.

********************BLURB********************
Bolt Action
by
Victoria Roder

With a Ruger Blackhawk .357 under her pillow, a Browning A-Bolt Stainless Stalker rifle in her broom closet, and a Saturday Night Special in her road-hog cookie jar, Detective Leslie Bolt’s sarcastic attitude and inability to trust, alienates her from most people, including her sister. In the mystery/suspense, Bolt Action, The “State Quarter Killer” is selecting victims that appear to have nothing in common except for the State Quarter placed under their lifeless bodies, when her sister goes missing Detective Bolt must conquer her own past to capture the serial killer before her sister is the next victim.
*********************************************

Kage: What would the story be rated if it were a movie?


Victoria: Bolt Action would be rated R.

Kage: If you HAD to fit this story into a cliché, which one would it be?


Victoria: Bolt Action is definitely a whodunit. Check out the Book Video:


Kage:Okay, now that we have a general idea which class to fit Bolt Action under, what makes this book so unique from every other book out there?


Victoria: I have five sisters and I based Detective Leslie Bolt on one of them. If you watch the video, the girl on the motorcycle even looks like my sister.

Kage:What was the easiest part to write?


Victoria: The easiest part of Bolt Action was developing the characters of Leslie and Tasha Bolt. I was thrilled to have my personal story of adoption published in the anthology entitled A Cup of Comfort for Adoptive Families, Adams Media 2009. My story entitled Why I Believe in Angels is the account of how I came to live with my current family at the age of seven. With their acceptance and support, they helped me become who I am today.

That publication has inspired many people to share their own stories of adoption with me. Heartfelt tales told through the eyes of parents and also from the children that were adopted. I am sorry to report I also heard a few troubled stories of adoption, and one comment remained in my thoughts and stalked me. That sole comment became the disposition for two of my characters in my novel, Bolt Action. Sarcastic, gun hording, motorcycle riding Detective Leslie Bolt and her superficial, live for the moment sister Tasha. Both sister's grew up in the same adoptive home, but view their experience in opposite spectrums.

Kage:What do you like most about the main character(s) and what do you like least? Did you learn anything from them?



Victoria: The answer to what I like most and what I like least about Detective Leslie Bolt is the same. It is her sarcasm. I am naturally sarcastic and sometimes I wish I could retort with the thoughts that cross my mind, but then I worry about hurting someone's feelings. So, I like Leslie's sarcasm, but I'm sure she hurts other people's feeling when she speaks the first thing that crosses her mind.

What I learned from my characters Leslie and Tasha Bolt, is that we can't always control our circumstances, but we can choose our reaction and attitude about them. My life motto is, You can't change your past, but you can chose your future.

Kage:Victoria, Thank you so much for stopping by today and gracing us with your presence. Before we go, is there anything else you’d like to say to wrap things up?



Victoria: I hope everyone had a blessed Thanksgiving. I enjoy hearing from readers and can be reached through my website. Thanks for hosting me on your site, Linda.



Now that Victoria has totally made us want to buy her book, here's buy link to Bolt Action: at CHAMPAGNE BOOKS

And here are other places to meet Victoria online:
Website: http://www.victoriaroder.com/

Facebook

Goodreads

Amazon

Crimespace

Booktown

Publisher’s Author Page: For The Dream House

Amazon's Author Central

Wednesday, November 24, 2010
I never feel like I can offer anyone interesting tidbits of information to assist them along in their writing path. But when someone asked me, "Hey, how'd you get an author page on Amazon.com," I gasped. Wow, maybe I do know something to help others self-promote.

So, in case you don't already know...

If you go onto Amazon.com and type in the name of one of your favorite authors (ahem, may I suggest Linda Kage perhaps!), you might find a picture of that author with a link that says Amazon's That-Author's-Name Page along with a listing of all their books.

Any author with a book that sells on Amazon can sign up for an author page on Amazon's Author Central. Just go to the website: https://authorcentral.amazon.com/gp/landing?ie=UTF8&%2AVersion%2A=1&%2Aentries%2A=0 and click on the "join author central" button.

Once you fill out all the required information, it takes a few weeks (though they told me it's be a few days) for Amazon to process and air your author page. Then once you're up, you can link to all your books, put up an author picture, add a bio, a book trailer video, and even feed your own blog into the page (If you have Blogger, make sure the RSS feed address isn't the address of your blog but rather http:// [YourBlogAddress] .blogspot.com/feeds/posts/default?alt=rss).

To make changes once your page is up, you click back into the Join Author Central button that you pushed to initially sign up and type in your amazon account sign-in information. From there, it'll take you to the page where you can add and edit.

So, maybe, hopefully, there was someone out there today that actually learned something from little ol' me. Here are a couple Amazon author pages I recommend you check out. All the following women are very lovely, talented romance authors...(well, except for that stinker at the top of the list).

Linda Kage
Molly Daniels
Claire Ashgrove
Nancy J. Parra
Jennifer Shirk
Jody Hedlund
*********************************
Happy Thanksgiving!!

Start the week with CLAIRE ASHGROVE

Monday, November 22, 2010
“You’d like him, Ethan. He was a lot of fun when we were younger.

“Uh huh.” Noncommittal, he answered in a flat tone.

Jesse lapsed into silence, sensing she walked a thin line. Still, she couldn’t let the subject rest. There had to be a way to convince Ethan that Clint wasn’t a threat to his stability. Until she achieved that, she couldn’t just let go and let him harbor hate. Clint didn’t deserve it. Cautiously, she ventured, “Horses could be a lot of fun.”

Ethan snorted.

“You might give it a try. Something new and different. It can’t hurt, at any rate. If you don’t like Angel, well, then you’ve at least given it a shot.”

He tossed his controller in front of him, his interest in the game lost. She braced herself for the inevitable, knowing full well, whatever came out of his mouth next would hurt.

“Give it up, would you? I don’t want to know him. I don’t have to like your friends.”

“But Ethan-”

He scooted away like she’d cracked a whip in his face. “Enough! Don’t you get it? I don’t give a fuck about him.”

“Ethan Scott!”

“What? Too crude for you, Jesse?”

She flinched, drew in a deep breath and held it. Jesse. He hadn’t called her by her first name for over a year. Exhaling slowly, she set her controller down and slid off his bed. Though she knew in her heart, too many years of pain drove his emotions, the barb stung. On the same hand, she’d pushed. Ethan couldn’t tolerate pushing. He had to come to things on his own time.

Foregoing the lecture, she crossed to the door. “Goodnight, Ethan.”

He said nothing. Merely picked up his controller and set the options back to one-player.On a heavy sigh, Jesse left his room.

Inside hers, she clicked on the lamp by her bedside and reclined against her pillows. Tears brimmed in her eyes. She closed them to keep the salty flow at bay and curled her fingers into the sheets. In a thousand years, she never would have imagined that the only man she’d ever truly wanted would be Clint. In his arms, she felt safe. Protected. Undefeatable. He lit her up in ways she had only begun to comprehend, and it seemed as if fate determined to work against her.

If she weren’t careful, she’d lose Ethan. Every agonizing step she’d made would crumble under the weight of his fears. He’d close up, inevitably turn back to the life he’d known before he entered hers, and she couldn’t stomach the thought of where that would lead him. Jail, if he were lucky. Dead, if he wasn’t.

Yet, shouldn’t she be allowed some personal happiness as well? There were so many unwritten rules to parenthood – sacrifice for the children, put all personal goals aside, give up everything to see to their happiness. She’d exchange her life for Ethan’s in a heartbeat, but Clint offered something no child could. Even if it was only temporary, and this giddy feeling that brimmed in her soul would end when he left, he promised fulfillment of a need that ran so deep she couldn’t name it.

A tear slipped between her eyelashes and trickled down her cheek. She sniffled to hold the rest in check. She never should have let him kiss her a second time tonight. The first had been catastrophic enough. The second…

She wouldn’t be satisfied with anything but all of him after that second kiss. Instinct demanded she leap at what lay in front of her. Hang on to it until it burned itself out with his inevitable departure. Logic, on the other hand, warned her that if she did, she’d lose the one thing that mattered most – her son.

********************
You just read an excerpt from:
A CHRISTMAS TO BELIVE IN
by
CLAIRE ASHGROVE
http://www.thewildrosepress.com/
********************

Today, we’re here with published author, Claire Ashgrove.

Linda Kage: Hi, Claire! Tell us a little about you and what you write please.

Claire:Thanks for having me, Linda! I’m Claire, and I’m published in contemporary romance through The Wild Rose Press. I’ve also recently sold to Tor for a Paranormal series, and will be making my debut in that genre in 2011. For info on the paranormal, you can check out my website, and the PARANORMAL link there!



Kage: What happened to the first book you ever wrote?



Claire:Hee! Linda critiqued it and I shelved it. No… seriously… After extensive work on the title, I realized it had too many flaws to be successful. It did take third place in the 2008 SOLA Contest, and I was quite proud of that. It also went on to become the first book that was requested by an agent in partial format. By the time I sent it off, however, I knew it wouldn’t work, and when the agent returned with the remarks, “Your hero is naive and immature,” I was able to laugh and agree. The book is now stuffed under a corner of my bed, where it will remain


Kage:What’s your backlist and coming soon bookshelf look like?



Claire:Currently available titles:
- Seduction’s Stakes – 2009
- All I Want For Christmas… Is Big Blue Eyes – 2009
- Timeless Valentine – 2010
COMING TITLES:
- A Christmas To Believe In – The Three Kings, Book III, November 24, 2010
- Waiting For Yes – coming 2011 from The Wild Rose Press
- Paranormal Series – coming 2011 from Tor Romance



Kage: So, what story are we going to talk about today?



Claire: I’m here to plug the Trilogy that I wrote with fellow authors, Dyann Love Barr and Alicia M. Dean. My book, A Christmas To Believe In, is the third book in The Three Kings series, which is about three brothers returning home for a Kansas City Christmas. In A Christmas To Believe In, struggling Thoroughbred breeder, Clint King, returns to discover there’s more than he ever realized about his childhood best friend, tomboy Jesse Saurs. But Clint has ghosts from his upbringing he must overcome, and Jesse has a soon-to-be son, who isn’t ready to share his “mom”.



********************BLURB********************
A CHRISTMAS TO BELIEVE IN : Book 3 in The Three Kings trilogy
by
CLAIRE ASHGROVE
When a man's dreams are in ruin,
All he needs is someone to believe...


Struggling Thoroughbred breeder, Clint King, hasn’t been home for Christmas in five years. Like his brothers, Alex and Heath, life has kept him away. Clint’s farm is barely hanging on. His prize mare's due to foal any day, and in the wake of his father’s death, Clint can’t stand the idea of returning. The memories are too much, let alone his father’s imposing shadow. Except, Alex is getting married on Christmas Eve, and their mother’s put her foot down. She’ll have her boys at home. With his mare in tow behind him, Clint prepares to meet a sister he’s never known and Alex’s unexpected triplets. The one salvation he looks forward to is childhood companion, tomboy Jesse Saurs. Yet when he reunites with Jesse, he uncomfortably discovers she’s become all woman.

Jesse Saurs has everything she needs – financial security, a home, and a foster child who’s about to become her son. She’s spent two years breaking down Ethan’s emotional barriers, and with the final hearing scheduled just before Christmas, this year promises to make his dreams come true. When she learns Clint and his brothers are returning, she anticipates a holiday reunion that’s sure to entertain Ethan. But on the night of Clint’s return, the ‘brother’ she expected leaves her trembling after just a single hug. Even worse, Ethan makes it clear Clint's not welcome.

Will this Christmas destroy what's left of hopes and dreams, or will it give the three the gift they've all been longing for
*********************************************

Kage: What would the story be rated if it were a movie?



Claire: R – nudity, graphic language. I think those are the tags that would fit..


Kage: If you HAD to fit this story into a cliché, which one would it be?



Claire: Gosh, this is kind of hard. It’s a “Best Friends” love story, but has a Hallmarky twist with a bit of “Broken home” issues.


Kage:Okay, now that we have a general idea which class to fit A CHRISTMAS TO BELIEVE IN under, what makes this book so unique from every other book out there?



Claire: Linda – you ask hard questions! There’s lots of things I could tell you, but most of them would ruin the story in one way or the other. So I will stick with this: Clint has to deal with some pretty tough Thoroughbred breeding issues in the story. He’s trying to realize his dreams, in the midst of set-back after set-back. And for anyone who’s read Seduction’s Stakes, you will find an embedded link to dear old Riley and Maddie. (I couldn’t resist!).



Kage:What was the easiest part to write?



Claire: Nothing about this book was terribly easy to write. Namely because I was working with two other authors, who were crafting parallel stories occurring at the same point in time – not sequentially. So cross-over scenes had to be nit-picked, dialogue had to match. In some cases we had to cut and adjust total time-lines and scenes to make it fit with what everyone else was doing. And as you’ll note, we still can’t separate – good thing I like those gals, eh? (Very Big Grin!)

I would have to say, given that, the easiest part of crafting this story was the characterization. What went on inside each of my character’s heads was, pretty much, all mine to do as I wanted to do with, and unrelated to anyone else’s plan.

All that said, this was probably one of the most enjoyable projects I’ve done, and would love to do another trilogy sometime like it.


Kage:What do you like most about the main character(s) and what do you like least? Did you learn anything from them?



Claire: I like Clint’s vulnerabilities the most. He’s very genuine beneath the surface. Facing things a lot of men and oldest children face, but never own up to. That he can (eventually) admit his fears, touches me a lot. Jesse on the other hand is very strong. Her choices are hard. And I admire the way she handles them.


Kage:Claire, Thank you so much for stopping by today and gracing us with your presence. Before we go, is there anything else you’d like to say to wrap things up?



Claire:Yes! Please come on over and take a peek at the trailer for A Christmas To Believe In. While you’re there, take a look around, check out my reviews, and sign up for my newsletter. I’m very excited about what’s coming down the pipe, both with TWRP and Tor, and will be updating in my newsletter. I’m also going to be running some give-away promos as soon as I have more concrete information on my Paranormal series, which will also include some tidbits from the contemporary department!



Now that Claire has totally made us want to buy her book, she was kind enough to provide us with a a buy link to :

If you're still curious about Claire, here are other places to find her on the web:

Website: http://www.blogger.com/www.claireashgrove.com

Blogs:
- From the Muse
- Romance Books R Us
- Cascade Literary Agency

Facebook: Claire Ashgrove

Twitter: Claire Ashgrove




Friday Forwards - #15

Friday, November 19, 2010
I know it's been eons since I last had a Friday Forwards post, so I suppose it's past time. Thus, here I go again, sharing funny emails I get forwarded to me with you.

If anyone ever finds out where these forwards originate, let me know so I can credit the source. Also, if you have some great jokes you receive on your emails, please feel free to forward them to me at Linda(at)Linda Kage(dot)com and I'll make sure they get posted.


Mothers Know All

John invited his mother over for dinner. During the meal, Mom couldn't help noticing how attractive the housekeeper was. She wondered if there was more going on than met the eye.

John told her, "I know what you must be thinking, Mom, but I assure you, my housekeeper is purely professional."

A few weeks later, the housekeeper told John, "Ever since your mother came to dinner, I've been unable to find the beautiful silver gravy ladle. You don't suppose she took it, do you?"

So John sent his mother a letter that read:
Dear Mother, I'm not saying you did take a gravy ladle, and I'm not saying you didn't, but the fact remains that one has been missing ever since you were here for dinner.

Several days later, John received a letter from his mother that said: Dear Son. I'm not saying you sleep with your housekeeper, nor am I saying you don't. But the fact remains that if she were sleeping in her own bed, she would have found the gravy ladle by now. Love Mom.


================


In other news, my baby can take steps by herself!!!! HERE is a video clip we caught of it.


and I was interviewed by my local newspaper, The Pittsburg Morning Sun. HERE is the link to that.


Have a great weekend.

Linda Kage, Boat Rocker

Wednesday, November 17, 2010
Today, I'm guest blogging about writing TABOO TOPICS over at




So, hop over and tell me I'm not insane for rocking the boat.

Thanks so much!

Start the Week with KAREN M. NUTT

Monday, November 15, 2010
Today, we’re here with paranormal romance author, Karen M. Nutt. Karen writes about "time travel, magic and otherworldly tales." Her stories are published by the houses Tease Publishing LLC, The Wild Rose Press, Highland Press and Victory Tales Press. But I'll pause here and let her talk for herself!!


Linda Kage: So Karen, tell us a little about you and what you write please.

Karen: Paranormal romance is the genre for me. I’m drawn to the preternatural world and enjoy exploring different realms. Fallen Angels, vampires and shape shifters embrace my darker side where their worlds intertwine with ours.

Time travel is another passion of mine. It’s wonderful to be swept away into another century where rugged cowboys take down the bad guy and win the girl and where knights save the damsel in distress or the other way around is fine, too. (wink)

I share my life with a wonderful man of twenty-five years, three lovely children and house full of pets that have us all trained to give them treats on command.


Kage: Twenty-five years!! Why, that's practically a quarter of a century. Oh, wait, it is a quarter of a century. So you've been well acquainted with romance for a while now. Which makes me wonder, What happened to the first book you ever wrote?


Karen: It was a western tale with outlaws and kids as the heroes. I wrote it when I was about twelve or thirteen when cowboys where a big deal to me. Even then it had a light paranormal theme laced throughout the tale. I hand wrote the story in a hard cover notebook. I still have it and no, I never submitted it anywhere. lol

Kage:I never submitted my first book anywhere either. But obviously you have submitted some since you're published now. Tell us a little about those books. What’s your backlist and coming soon bookshelf look like?


Karen: Time Travel: Creighton Manor (1870 Natchez); A Twist of Fate (War of 1812); At the Stroke of Midnight (1970s Hollywood star); Lost in the Mist of Time (16th century Ireland)

OtherWorldly Romances: Destiny’s Prerogative (were-jaguar); Autumn Moon (Vampire); Moon Shifter (werewolf); Eli: Warriors for the Light (Fallen Angel)

Kage: So, what story are we going to talk about today?


Karen: My new release is a short story, “Wanted” in the anthology: A Christmas Collection (stimulating) from Victory Tales Press. It just so happens to be about an outlaw and a sheriff. I do enjoy the forbidden romances. Here’s a blurb:

********************BLURB********************
A Christmas Collection Anthology : Stimulating
by
Stephanie Burkhart, Gerald Costlow, Rita Hestand, Karen Michelle Nutt
From Victory Tales Press

Sheriff Jace Kelly’s wife died giving birth to his remarkable daughter, Emma. She inherited the families’ seer abilities, but being only six-years old, she has the tendency not to know the difference between a vision and just an ordinary dream. So Jace doesn’t put too much faith in Emma’s recent premonition: marriage for him and a new mother for her, all because she wished upon a Christmas star.

When JoBeth Riley arrives in town, Emma is convinced this is the woman she dreamed about: dark hair, green eyes and shamrocks in her pocket. Only there’s one problem, she’s the notorious outlaw, Baby Face Jo.

JoBeth’s stay in the lumber town is meant to keep Shane Maverick, the leader of the outlaw gang from finding her and breaking her out of jail before the authorities have time to devise a plan to capture him.

JoBeth finds the Kellys a strange lot. A little girl, who believes her dreams are tales of the future and the rugged sheriff whose kindness proves a distraction. She’s an outlaw for heaven’s sake, but Jace is bound and determined to steal her heart.
*********************************************

Kage: What would the story be rated if it were a movie?


Karen: PG-13.

Kage: Okay, cool. Now, if you HAD to fit this story into a cliché, which one would it be?


Karen:Forbidden Love.

Kage:Ooh! I love forbidden Love stories. There's just something about secret meetings and defying all odds to be together that gets my juices flowing. So what makes this book so unique from every other Forbidden Romance out there?


Karen: The town is not the typical silver and gold town of the late 1800s Arizona towns. The town’s primary income is lumber. I found it fascinating that in 1884, the Riordan family ran a lumber company in Flagstaff. The family developed a beautiful homestead and actually brought culture to the Wild West. The Riordan Mansion is something to see.

Kage:Wow. It's even neater that you implement so much truth with your story. What was the easiest part to write?


Karen: Characters and dialog are the easiest for me. I usually have a good idea of who my characters are, though there have been times they’ve surprised me. The setting takes research. In Wanted, it was set around Christmas time. I had chosen Arizona for the setting. If you aren’t familiar with the state, there is a lot of barren, rocky desert like areas, but up North there’s the San Francisco Peaks and they actually have snow around Christmas time. It was perfect for my story.

Kage:Give us the 411 on these main characters.


Karen: Jace, the sheriff may be able to take down a harden criminal if he had to, but he also has a heart of gold. He’s a widower and is raising his six-year old daughter alone. He treats everyone with respect—even an outlaw. What I don’t like about him? His daughter has a gift of sight, but he tends to dismiss the visions because she’s only six. As kind and helpful as he is, he neglects himself. He’s so worried about everyone else, he hasn’t moved on from his wife’s death.

JoBeth didn’t choose her life on the run. She was young and naïve when she ran away with the handsome outlaw, Shane Maverick. She didn’t know he was a wanted man, but by the time she found out it was too late to go home. She’s a strong woman and deals with her life the best she can without letting it destroy her heart. Shane may be a despicable character, but there is more to the outlaw than most know and JoBeth sees it. What do I dislike about her? She stays with Shane because a part of her feels sorry for him and has this need to keep him safe from the demons that haunt him.

Kage: Karen, Thank you so much for stopping by today and gracing us with your presence. Before we go, is there anything else you’d like to say to wrap things up?


Karen: If you’re interested in knowing more about my time travel and otherworldly tales, please visit my website at: http://www.kmnbooks.com/

Linda, thank you so much for having me here today.


Now that Karen has totally made us want to buy her book, she was kind enough to provide us with a a buy link to A Christmas Collection Anthology: Amazon Link

If you're still curious about Karen, here are other places to find her on the web:

Website: http://www.kmnbooks.com/

Blog: http://kmnbooks.blogspot.com/

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/karenmichellenutt

Twitter: http://twitter.com/KMNbooks

MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/karenmichellenutt

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/karenmichellenutt

Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/Karen-Michelle-Nutt/e/B002BLLBPE/ref=ntt_athr_dp_pel_1

End the week with AMY CORWIN

Friday, November 12, 2010
“If he touches you—tastes one drop of your blood…” Theresa paused dramatically to allow Gwen’s mind to fill in the blanks.

“I know. You don’t have to beat me over the head with the obvious. If he drinks my blood, we both die. Spectacularly.” Gwen laughed. “Maybe that’s my destiny. To take out a vampire by spontaneous combustion.”

“Don’t be melodramatic. I—”

“You also told me my memories would return. And they haven’t.” Gwen’s calm tone made the words sound harsher and more brutal than intended. “You said all of this was for a purpose—what purpose? I lived through hell, and I only remember a few random moments! Vague shadows and the feeling that I’ve forgotten something—something important. I have to know what happened to me that night—not just what you told me. Did I want to become a vampire at thirteen? Did I let them in to slaughter my family and change me? Was it my fault?”

“I doubt it,” Theresa answered carefully. “You’re a good person—”

“So you say…”

********************
You just read an excerpt from:
Vampire Protector
by
Amy Corwin
from The Wild Rose Press
********************

Today, we’re here with published author, Amy Corwin.
Linda Kage: Hello, Amy! Please tell us a little about you and what you write.

Amy: So far, I’ve written exclusively under the pen name of Amy Corwin. I write in three basic genres: historical romance/mystery; contemporary mystery; and paranormal. My editors have graciously allowed me to keep the same pseudonym for all my books. Most readers are very savvy and are more than capable of selecting the books in their favorite genres, even if an author they like has other books in other genres. I’m not a big fan of obfuscation, or the idea that I have to create a different identify for each genre because readers will get confused if I don’t. LOL I hope these don’t turn out to be “famous last words.”

Of course if a future publisher insists, my list of other names may grow, but I’m hoping it won’t.


Kage: What happened to the first book you ever wrote?


Amy: The very first book? LOL Some might consider that to be the story about the trials and tribulations of a germ traveling through a little girl’s stomach that I wrote in the first grade. We did it as part of a project on the creation of books, so it was bound with a nice cloth cover and everything.

My second book, a romantic mystery written a few years back, is thankfully non-existent. It once lived on my computer’s hard drive, but I’ve since gone through two computer model upgrades and have managed to successfully lose that manuscript along the way. It’s a real mercy, believe me. It was an exercise in how not to write a novel.

Kage:What’s your backlist and coming soon bookshelf look like?

Amy:

Coming Soon
~The Necklace ~~ (Nov or Dec, 2010) a historical romantic mystery featuring members of the infamous Archer family. Readers who have picked up my other books will be very familiar with this family, and I hope to add more books to the list. This book is actually the “pre-quel” to I Bid One American.


Out Now
~Vampire Protector ~~ (Nov 2010) a contemporary paranormal romance. Gwen must accept the help of a vampire to uncover a secret from the past that others are willing to kill for.
~The Bricklayer’s Helper ~~ (Aug 2010) a historical romantic mystery. Book two in the Archer series, featuring a woman searching for the truth behind a fire ten years ago that left her orphaned and may be the reason behind recent attempts on her life.


Backlist
~I Bid One American ~~ (2008) a historical romantic mystery. Book one in the Archer series, including an American heiress, a duke, and a few murders…
~Smuggled Rose ~~ (2007) a traditional Regency romance about a lady who smuggles roses from France and the earl who falls in love with her.


Kage: So, what story are we going to talk about today?


Amy: Vampire Protector ~~ This is now out as of Nov 12, 2010 from The Wild Rose Press (http://www.thewildrosepress.com/) and it’s my first contemporary paranormal. I wrote the story, in part, as therapy during my grieving process after my parents passed away, so it is very special to me. As you might expect, the heroine has a strong desire to reconnect and remember her past, and as part of that stumbles over an old family secret that puts her in danger. To survive, she puts her trust—and faith—in “the vampire next door” who unbeknownst to her, has been guarding her family for several centuries.

There is mystery, romance, and even a spooky old house, so I’m hoping fans of the paranormal will find it enjoyable.


********************BLURB********************
Vampire Protector
by
Amy Corwin
Exploring Gwen's deliciously spooky and long abandoned childhood home in the company of her handsome neighbor sounds like a brilliant way to break her dating dry spell and find a few missing memories. Unfortunately, she soon discovers her mistake. John, her date, is a vampire and her house is not exactly empty. Secrets—and the dead—don’t always stay buried, and John’s extraordinary strength and determination may be all that can withstand what awaits them.

Gwen must unlock her memories and survive the devastating company of her Vampire Protector if she hopes to prevent the past from destroying her future.
*********************************************

Kage: What would the story be rated if it were a movie?


Amy: That’s a really good question. PG for language, but probably R for nudity, LOL. Unlike my historical books, there is a fully realized love scene, so my readers should be aware of that..

Kage: If you HAD to fit this story into a cliché, which one would it be?


Amy: What a great question. I tend to write tales of redemption because we all need to believe that we can change and things can get better. In a way, Beauty and the Beast is very similar because it is also about redemption and seeing the truth behind the appearance. Those themes are very compelling to me, as a writer, and almost all of my books include them, but they are especially strong in Vampire Protector.

Kage:Okay, now that we have a general idea which class to fit Vampire Protector under, what makes this book so unique from every other book out there?



Amy: As you might guess from my list of books, I’m fascinated by history. Even my contemporary books include history, even if it’s just a minor detail. But history plays a major role in Vampire Protector and is critical to the plot. So critical that I can't talk about it without spoiling the plot. LOL But I think the sense of history—specifically American history—does make this story unique, because it’s not just background. It’s pivotal to the plot.

Here’s a fun fact I can reveal, however. The location is actually one I created from the Great Falls location in Virginia where I spent a lot of time bird watching a few years ago. Although the town is fictional, the area is very, very similar. :)

Kage:What was the easiest part to write?


Amy: Dialogue is without a doubt easiest for me. But even that gets difficult when you have to factor in individual character quirks, common expressions, and what a person with a given background would or would not say. Really, nothing is easy, but dialogue is the most fun. I always write that first and then have to go back on the second draft to add in setting details, descriptions, etc.

Kage:What do you like most about the main characters and what do you like least? Did you learn anything from them?



Amy: That’s a really hard question. With Gwen, I personally thought she was too willing to play with fire (the vampire, John) knowing that she could get badly burned. It always annoys me with people do dangerous things and then wonder why they get hurt. But that’s also a strength that I’ve tried my whole life to learn, i.e. that unless you’re willing to take chances, you’ll never grow as a person. You have to take risks. So that trait is both the best thing and most annoying thing about her.

Ironically, John was more like me, which is not good. He’s less willing to take emotional risks, although he’s more than happy to fall on his sword if duty demands it. Gwen forces him to take emotional risks he’d rather not take. I love his devotion to duty and admire his drive to sacrifice his life for others and in my mind, that helps overcome his unwillingness to take emotional risks.

You can see that in both cases, it’s the attitude toward “risky behavior” that is both the best and worst character trait.

Kage:Amy, Thank you so much for stopping by today and gracing us with your presence. Before we go, is there anything else you’d like to say to wrap things up?



Amy: I wanted to mention that if folks would like a free taste of my writing, The Wild Rose Press is offering a free short story called Rose Wars. It’s a painless way to see if you can stomach my historicals. And as for contemporary paranormals, I have a free ghost story on my web site called Silence is Concurrence. I wrote it Halloween afternoon, specifically for Halloween and although it’s not a romance, it may give folks an idea of what my writing is like for my contemporary paranormal stories.

I really appreciate this opportunity to talk about my work. There’s nothing I like better than to ramble on about it.

Thank you!

Now that Amy has totally made us want to buy her book, here's a handy little buy link to Vampire Protector at : The Wild Rose Press


If you're still curious about Amy, here are other places to find her on the web:

Website: http://www.amycorwin.com/

Blog: http://amycorwin.blogspot.com/

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/AmyCorwinAuthor

Twitter: http://twitter.com/amycorwin

MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/amycorwin

Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B002BLY7MI



======================


PS: Don't forget it's the twelfth, so I am guest posting today at :

Romance Books "R" Us

and

Climbing Roses of the Wild Rose Press

Blog Awards

Wednesday, November 10, 2010
Carol Kilgore over at Under the Tiki Hut has bestowed the "Life with The Cherry on Top" Award upon me. In order to accept this great honor, I must journey into the far reaches of my mind and seek ye the answer of one question (too dramatic?):

The question:

If I had the chance to go back and change one thing in my life, would I, and what would it be?

My answer:

No, I don't think I'd change anything. There were plenty of mistakes I made, things I wish I would've done better, chances I let pass, and so on. But all those highs and lows of my life brought me to where I am today. I love my family. And my life ain't perfect by any means, but I know it's more than I deserve. And I can't help but worry if I changed something earlier, it would keep me from having all that I have now. So, nope, wouldn't change.

Thanks for this award, Carol. You're too sweet.

Now I hereby grant the honor of the "Life with The Cherry on Top" Award to:

1. Diane Estrella at DIANE ESTRELLA

2. Jennifer Shirk at ME, MY MUSE, AND I

3. Katie Holderread at KATIE'S RANT

4. Kenzie Michaels at KENZIE MICHAEL'S BLOG

5. Nancy J. Parra at THIS WRITER'S LIFE


***BUT I'M NOT DONE YET**


Nancy Parra over at A Room with a View gave me the "Go away I'm writing" Blog Award. Thank you so much, Nance! You're too sweet too.

I'm forwarding this award to:

1. Amber Skyze at AMBER SKYZE

2. Lydia Kang at THE WORD IS MY OYSTER

3. Carol Kilgore at UNDER THE TIKI HUT

4. Rosemary Gemmell at ROMY'S REGENCY ROMANCE

5. Jessica Nelson at BOOKING-IT (and congrats to Jessica for just getting her first offer for representation from an agent. Woohoo!!!)


***Okay, I'm Done**


Now, go away. I'm writing!!


But have a great day.

Start the week with MARY M. RICKSEN

Monday, November 8, 2010
He put his hand out to her, palm up, not saying a word. Keealyn pulled the ring off her finger and placed it in his hand. She looked down at herself, all but naked in her underwear beneath sheets and a colorful, handmade quilt. Shocked, she pulled the sheet covering her higher.

“Where are my clothes, did you undress me, how did I get here?” The questions flew from her lips as fast as they hit her mind. “How dare you take my clothes off? You creep.” She started to tear up.

Oh God, I hope he didn’t touch me, she thought. No man had ever touched her that way.

“That’s funny.” He chuckled a bit unnervingly as he spoke, “You owe me an explanation. I bring you into my home; put you into a warm bed and you call me a creep? By the way, what is a creep? It doesn’t sound like any word I care to be called”

She looked around her, confused. “Where am I, what…?” Her trend of thought vanished for a moment, while she lowered her head into her hands.

Anxious, she looked up at him, “My name is Keealyn McCalley, and I’m confused. Who are you? What am I doing here? I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to cause you any trouble. Please don’t be angry.”

“I am Ryan O’Hartigan Wolf, son of Blair O’Hartigan Wolf and Charles Lone Wolf, both deceased. I want nothing from you, I found you passed out on the shore and brought you here. I will not hurt you. I am an honorable man.


********************
You just read an excerpt from:
Tripping Through Time
by
Mary M. Ricksen
From The Wild Rose Press
********************


Romantic

While Karen M. Nutt is inteviewing me on her blog today, I'm here interviewing published author, Mary M. Ricksen.

Linda Kage: Hi, MARY!!! Tell us a little about you and what you write please.

Mary : I write romance. My first book is about time travel. Hopefully the series of three will make it to publication. My editor left the line I was in and that is that. But I have every intention of finding a new one!

Maybe I’ll self publish a short on Amazon. The possibilities are endless.


Romantic

Kage: Good luck with the next two books in the series. I hope they find a home. Was Tripping Through Time the first book you wrote? If not, what happened to the first book you ever wrote?


Mary : I threw it away. Never thought I had any ability. It was a scifi about the last people left in the world after some horrific incident. A cast of about eight regulars travel the US looking for a place to call home. I used to be addicted to science fiction. Now it’s romance. Maybe someday I’ll put the two together!

Kage: Hey a Sci-Fi Romance sounds great to me. What’s your backlist and coming soon bookshelf look like? Any Sci-Fi's on your list?


Mary : My only book is Tripping Through Time. It was released in 2009, but I still find a lot of interest in it. That makes me very, very, happy.

Kage: So, let's talk about Tripping Through Time.


********************BLURB********************
Tripping Through Time
by
Mary M. Ricksen
For years Keealyn McCalley has been under her father's commanding thumb. After a young child dies in her arms, Keealyn leaves nursing school despite his disapproval. She ends up staying at a camp on Lake Champlain, in Vermont.

Depressed and overwhelmed she takes her first drink and before she knows it she is stoned. Hungover and not thinking clearly she jumps into the lake. Her misguided act leads her to find an ancient Celtic ring with a spell on it. Putting it on sends her back to the year 1869. Found on the shore by Ryan Wolf, she is immediately attracted to his misty green eyes, hard body, and compassionate nature.

She must learn to trust him not to abuse her, save her heart, and teach her the powerful healing power of unconditional love.

*********************************************

Kage: What would the story be rated if it were a movie?


Mary : Since there is some sex in it, I guess R, but not Erotic. .

Romantic

Kage: Yum. I love a good steamy story. Now...If you HAD to fit this story into a cliché, which one would it be?


Mary : Finding ones destiny and overcoming obstacles. Little house on the prairie on steroids.

With a touch of paranormal… I need to get wilder in my writing. I think I will!

Kage: Wilder than a Little House on the Prairie on Steroids? Wow, I can't wait to read that one!! Anyhew, now that we have a general idea which class to fit Tripping Through Time under, what makes this book so unique from every other book out there?


Mary : One bit of information. There was a scene that was cut at the last minute. I think it affected the story a lot. It disappointed me and made me look bad when the wrong blurb was inadvertently posted. I wish I’d had more time to fix it!

Kage: I know exactly how you feel about wishing you could go back to fix something already published. I'm still too afraid to go back to my published work and read it; I know I'll see something I want to change. Ugg. Maybe you could put that deleted scene on your website as an outtake excerpt! But until then, on with the interview. What was the easiest part of your story to write?

Mary : The first draft. I wrote without total knowledge and it just flowed out. The edits are the hardest part.

Kage: Ahhh. I love it when the muse hits and the words flow without reservation. Which makes me think of the characters you wrote. What do you like most about hero and heroine?

Mary : I like that she is willing to do what has to be done. She jumps in to help and has a good heart. He is strong and protective of his family. He has great pride and works hard. Plus he is hot!

Kage: Hot men are a MUST in the books I read!!! Mary, Thank you so much for stopping by today and gracing us with your presence. Before we go, is there anything else you’d like to say to wrap things up?

Mary : I thought I'd talk a bit about how networking helped me.

Authors are the best people in the world. They are caring and many are willing to help a fellow author.

They all love to tell you how to write, and they all are driven and dedicated to their goal. To write and publish books. People buying them would be nice too!

When I finished my first book, I had no clue what to do. So I found the president of my local chapter at the time, Traci Hall. She dragged my scared, introverted, butt to my first meeting. In past experiences, I have not had the greatest times with groups of people. I tended to have one or two very close friends, but the thought of going to some meeting with a bunch of people I didn’t know scared me to death.

I started to attend meetings and sweet Traci even drove with me to get down to Ft. Lauderdale...a good hour away. Every time I met nice people, I started to think maybe there are good, kind people in this world. You just have to find them.

One day, I met an editor at one of the meetings. I asked her, and she read my first three chapters. She helped me to make my story better, and then sent me in the right direction with another editor. That editor contracted my book. So if I hadn’t taken that chance, I never would have made it here. Writing is a solitary thing that one hopes will make it to be shared by many others. If I never publish another book again, I will never forget the help I got from these wonderful people. I will never forget the feeling of pride and accomplishment I felt when I held that book in my hands the first time. I was probably still hoarse from the screaming I did when I first was sold. Tell me that it isn’t all worth that one moment. No matter what, no one can take that away from me. No one can make me more confident than this makes me feel. And people buy it too!

Thank you fellow, authors! Thanks for being the kind and good people that you are. Thank you, gentle readers, you make my day! I got to share in something so important. Maybe someday, years from now, someone will pick up a copy of my book and I will be remembered for something important long after I’m gone.

Ain’t that fantastic!

As a writer, I feel strongly that I should share.
If I can help you, let me know! Authors should pass along a bit of the help they got.
It all comes back to you when you do!

Now that Mary has totally inspired us to buy her book, I'm providing us with a a buy link to Tripping Through Time: Ebook , PRINT

And if you you'd like Mary to help you along in your writing adventure, here are other places to find her on the web:

TWRP authors loop,
The Pink Fuzzy Slipper Writers,
The Author Roast and Toast,
I am a member of RWA, and FRW.
I spend some time on facebook, my space, and other author sites.


Website: Website:http://maryricksen.com

Blog: http://maryricksen.blogspot.com/

Facebook: Mary M. Ricksen

Twitter: MaryRicksen

MySpace: Mary M. Ricksen

Goodreads: Mary M. Ricksen

Amazon Author Page: Mary M. Ricksen

Publisher’s Author Page: The Wild Rose Press

Good Day
Okay, now don't forget to stop by KMN Books Blogspot and tell me hi before you leave!! Thanks.

End the Week with CAROL MCPHEE

Friday, November 5, 2010
An amnesia victim seeks to regain her memory, but an unsavory stranger holds the key.

One

A series of stills flashes before Maddie’s eyes. The face of the beast bearing down on her is grotesque with its bared teeth and snarling fury. Free-flowing moisture drips from her hands’ protective shield onto her new T-shirt. Strange she should think of her recent purchase when her legs are crumpling beneath her.

Maddie shivered in fear and peered through slitted eyes. Surprised by her narrowed vision, she struggled to clear her senses and escape the mist blocking coherent thought. Frantic, she looked around, raising her hand to examine the item pinching her left index finger. The task proved beyond her capability. She glanced down to check the cause and noted to her dismay, both wrists were strapped to the steel side rails of a bed. Her hands swaddled in bandaging, only her left thumb and index finger remained free. Recognizing the pulse oximeter and its function to measure blood oxygen levels, she didn’t know why she lay helpless in some kind of medical facility. She trembled.
Where am I?


Partially open white-and-green curtains hung from a curved overhead rod and circumscribed the area in which she lay. A cacophony of bleeps, buzzers, and moans drilled into her brain. Suddenly a flash of color shot into the draped opening. It stopped with startling agility, backed into full view and entered her room. “Oh, you’re awake. Good.”

Staring down at her stood a fantasy of multi-colored flowers, each bloom seeming to compete for space on the fabric of the scrubs. The long name on the woman’s identification pin wasn’t easy to read in such a hazy state, but
Recovery Room Nurse and the name Annie were strong possibilities.

“You’re in the hospital in Kingston, Ontario, hon. Two days ago, you had an unfortunate mishap and needed surgery. You’ve been in and out of consciousness ever since. Do you remember the incident?”

Maddie tried to think, but thinking hurt. She shook her head with care. “Do you remember your name, hon?”

Tears came to Maddie’s eyes. “No.”

“We think it might be Maddie.”

“Maddie?” The gritty sound of her own voice surprised her.

“That’s the name engraved on the bracelet you wore.” The nurse retrieved a sealed envelope from her breast pocket. “This has been in the floor safe. Want me to open it for you?”

“Please.”

Annie removed the sterling silver jewelry from the packet and dangled an exquisite chain in front of Maddie’s eyes.

Maddie blinked several times, pleased to see her vision clear. The nurse let her examine the intricate scroll on the small bar, then flipped it over to the backside. The initials, C.M. meant nothing, either.

“Don’t you recognize this?” Annie asked.

“No.”

“Since the bracelet must be yours, why don’t I fasten it on your wrist, the one that doesn’t carry our hospital identification tag?”

Maddie nodded.

After the nurse closed the clasp to secure it, she touched the right wrist’s Velcro strap. “You’re restrained because we didn’t want you to thrash around and hurt yourself.”

An unbidden groan escaped Maddie’s lips. I’m a prisoner.

The image of a prison plowed into her thoughts--gray limestone walls guarded by a large central tower, four corner turrets, and a closed massive front gate. She rolled her eyes off to the side with caution. The mirage had disappeared when she looked back. “What incident?”

“The doctor will explain. Your throat might feel dry and scratchy from the tube inserted for surgery.”

My throat does feel irritated.

“I’ll rub ice chips across your mouth and slide one or two onto your tongue.” The offer flowed with the lyrical resonance of a fairy godmother.

Maddie inched upward the fog-saturated object that used to be her head. Dizzied by the movement, she lowered it back to the pillow. With the compassion of a Mother Teresa protégée, Annie stepped closer to cool and dampen Maddie’s lips. Desperate to rid her mouth of its furry sensation, she sucked on the chips and swallowed.

“The doctor will be in to see you soon.” Annie brushed a lock of hair back off Maddie’s forehead. “Ah, here’s Dr. Whitlow now. He’s the neurosurgeon who operated.”

Neurosurgeon?

A stethoscope dangled around the navy suit collar of the short stocky man entering Maddie’s room. “Hello, young lady. I see you’ve decided to join us.” He plucked a penlight from his vest pocket, snapped it on and peered into her eyes.

Doesn’t a white light appear just before one passes into eternity?

When the doctor exhaled, he filled the confined space with the pleasant scent of wintergreen. Maddie inhaled, preferring the doctor’s breath to the smell of disinfectant in the air. Annie handed him Maddie’s chart from its holder at the end of her bed. Dr. Whitlow scanned the report, and checked the heart monitor and blood pressure reading. “Hmm; 142 over 94 is a little high for blood pressure, but it’s understandable--you’re upset about your situation.”

His words reverberated against the walls of Maddie’s dulled mind. When he released the Velcro restraints, the restriction hampering her freedom vanished. “Thank--” She stopped speaking; speech not only hurt her throat, it slashed at her facial muscles.

A quiet scrape accompanied the doctor’s shift of a chrome chair to her bedside. She squirmed under his scrutiny, then focused back on him. The lines in his face testified to a lifetime of experience. In some shadowed recess of her mind, she believed his seniority would stand her in good stead.

“Let me explain what has happened, my dear. You were brought to Kingston General yesterday morning after an encounter with a vicious dog. A Doberman Pinscher, I believe.” The doctor’s eyes roamed her face. “The police haven’t been able to track down the dog’s owner to see if his shots were up to date. The lab is testing its brain for rabies. The paramedics said there was no froth around his mouth, so that’s promising.”

He’s dead?

Aware facial expression would be painful, even awkward, she guarded against any show of emotion.

“More good news--we were able to treat the animal’s scratches to your face, leaving minimal chance of infection and no scarring stitches.”

This doctor is an optimist.

“The dog knocked you over and, when you fell, your head hit the pavement, causing a concussion.” The doctor’s eyes filled with compassion. His pause allowed her to process the information. He leaned closer, fixated on her face. She tipped her head to show her understanding and silently pleaded for him to continue. She needed his enlightenment, his specialized attention, his warmth.

Dr. Whitlow smiled and reached for her wrists again, holding them up where she could see her hands better. “Your palms and fingers needed sutures from the deep bites you received fighting off the animal. The antibiotics in your IV should prevent infection. At least you have grasping ability on your left hand.”

Maddie concentrated on the taped gauze packages in front of her. This padding would do a boxer proud, but I’m in no shape to get into a ring. Her nonsensical thought amused her. Did she have a sense of humor in her real life?

The doctor lifted his brow. She realized her mouth had curved into a slight smile at her own joke. Maybe he assumed she was still under the effects of anesthesia.

He continued, “The paramedics said if it hadn’t been for a bystander’s intrusion, you might not be alive. The man didn’t stay around to give his name.” Dr. Whitlow paused again, this time frowning. “I see panic in your eyes. Do you recall the attack?”

“No.” Her throat’s rasp startled her.

“Perhaps that’s for the best.”

The tears that threatened from the doctor’s first pronouncement now trickled from her eyes, hiding him behind the blur. She wanted to complain about the dull ache in her head, but she couldn’t find the strength or stability to trust herself not to break down to a mass of self-pity. Why was it so important she maintain decorum?

Perhaps, if she widened her eyes, he would catch on. Her eyelids hardly moved. It now registered: they were puffy and not responding to her command. The damn dog came close to scratching out my eyes.

Annie gently dabbed a tissue at the moisture itching Maddie’s cheeks.

“Do you know if you have any allergies?” Dr. Whitlow’s face didn’t betray concern.

Her mind blanked. “No clue.”

“Who could we contact?” he asked.

Maddie’s heart raced. “I have no idea.”

Dr. Winslow checked the heart monitor, then spoke slowly. “I realize you’re confused, and no doubt frightened, but we’ll take good care of you.”

The word frightened didn’t come close to the panic rocking her insides. She glanced at Annie, appreciating her pleasant smile.


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You just read an excerpt from:
Shadowed Pursuit
by
Carol McPhee

New Release at Champagne Books
********************

Today we’re here with published author, Carol McPhee.

Linda Kage: Hi, Carol! Tell us a little about you and what you write please.

Carol: I live in Nova Scotia, Canada, with my husband of 47 years who has always been a great supporter of my work. With our four children grown and flown, we have time to travel to the settings I use for my contemporary romance and romantic suspense stories.


Kage: What happened to the first book you ever wrote?


Carol: It was published as None So Blind. Rescued and repelled by a less than heaven "scent" hero, blind Kate McTavish rallies and responds to her tragic situation with courage she didn’t know she possessed.

Kage: What’s your backlist and coming soon bookshelf look like?

Carol: Multi-published with Wings ePress and Champagne Books, I am currently working on my fifteenth manuscript. All others have been published. What a joy!!!

Kage: FIFTEEN Books?! That's so amazing. So what story are we going to talk about today?


Carol: My latest novel is Shadowed Pursuit which was released from Champagne Books in October. It is a romantic suspense which features a law enforcement officer with two problems--she has amnesia, and the interfering man in her life is one she had shot and sent to prison.


********************BLURB********************
Shadowed Pursuit
by
Carol McPhee

An amnesia victim is desperate to regain her memory. Should she trust the man with a skull and crossbones tattooed on his shaved head, or should she rely on her instincts to save herself from those trying to kill her?
*********************************************

Kage: What would the story be rated if it were a movie?


Carol: All of my stories are sensual but not graphic. I like to allow the reader to use their own imagination to carry them to the heights they want to reach. I would expect it to be rated PG-13. .

Kage: If you HAD to fit this story into a cliché, which one would it be?


Carol: Definitely the story is in the "whodunit" category, but the romantic element should fit with "forbidden love."

Kage:Okay, now that we have a general idea which class to fit Shadowed Pursuit under, what makes this book so unique from every other book out there?


Carol: The settings I used--the historic city of Kingston, Ontario, Canada, home of one of the country's oldest maximum security prisons and the beautiful Rideau Canal--breathe life into my characters' actions and suspense into my story.


I grew so fond of certain secondary characters in my story that rather than keep them in the background as minor players, I gave them a relationship of their own. I did that in Jeweled Seduction as well. Older characters are fun to write. Wisdom gained through maturity and experience provides reams of material for a writer's use.

Kage:What was the easiest part to write?

Carol: The settings were the easiest to write because I'm familiar with the areas I showed. It's generally best to write what you know.

Kage: Oh, I envy you. Setting seems to be the most difficult part for me to write. What do you like most about the main characters and what do you like least? Did you learn anything from them?


Carol: Good questions and ones I've never been asked before! The thing I like most about the Maddison Murphy is her unfailing determination to discover her past so she could move on to a normal life. The thing I like most about Cade McKinnon is his determination to keep Maddie safe in spite of herself. I learned that sometimes disastrous circumstances call for extraordinary courage and persistence.

Kage:Carol, Thank you so much for stopping by today and gracing us with your presence. Before we go, is there anything else you’d like to say to wrap things up?


Carol: I invite anyone who might be interested in my work to check out my website at http://carolmcphee.webs.com/


Now that Carol has totally made us want to buy her book, here is a link to Shadowed Pursuit: BUY LINK HERE or http://champagnebooks.com/shop/index.php?route=product/product&product_id=241