Linda Gondosch


Today’s guest is Linda Gondosch. Linda and I have been friends for…hmmm…a LOT of years. We were unpublished when we met and attended many writers groups and programs together. Linda has now published several children’s books. I am always amazed at how well she can get into the head of a child and write her stories from their point of view. She has had a lot of success with her fiction, and enjoys doing school visits to interact with kids. She has also written some non-fiction books for children, including, Where Did Sacagawea Join the Corps of Discovery?: And Other Questions about the Lewis and Clark Expedition. She wrote one about Junipero Serra, too, and that one has just been published. Here’s what Linda has to say about her new book:

Junípero Serra: Founder of the California Missions

Michele, thanks to you and Ron for telling me about the September 23 canonization of Junipero Serra during Pope Francis’s visit to the United States. As a result of your urging, I submitted the manuscript to Ignatius Press and they published it on October 15, 2015. A great big thank you!

Junípero Serra: Founder of the California Missions is a biography for ages 9 and up about the intrepid Franciscan friar who founded the first nine missions along the California coast in the 1700s, opening the area to European settlement. He was born Miguel José Serra on the poverty ridden Spanish island of Majorca in the Mediterranean Sea. Although small and frail, his mind was strong, and he possessed a beautiful singing voice. He was sent to a Franciscan school and eventually obtained a prestigious teaching position at the Convent of San Francisco in Palma.
But Serra had a dream. He wished above all to become a missionary to the New World and serve where no Christian had ever been. At age thirty-five he journeyed across the ocean, surviving a hurricane, and landed in Mexico in 1749. Although he suffered from a painful, ulcerated leg most of his life, as well as asthma, Serra still managed to cover great distances as he journeyed through Mexico, working among the Native Americans.
At age fifty-five Serra jumped at the chance to join the “Sacred Expedition,” a group of Spanish soldiers, Christian Indians, and Franciscan friars who traveled north to the area known today as California. It was there that Saint JuníperoSerra opened the first nine of an eventual twenty-one missions, preached his Catholic faith, and taught natives the Spanish language and life skills. By his death at age seventy, nine missions had been opened that eventually grew into the coastal towns and cities of California. Saint Serra, the first Hispanic saint in the United States, had a huge impact on the settling of the American West.
“Always forward. Never turn back,” is a motto that Serra lived by his whole life. When Californians chose the “most important people” from their state, they chose JuníperoSerra to have his statue placed in Statuary Hall in the Capitol in Washington, DC.Pope Francis considered him a man unafraid to venture to the ends of the earth in order to spread the Gospel message. According to the pontiff, “He was the evangelizer of the West in the United States.”
Large full color illustrations were done by the renowned French illustrator, Emmanuel Beaudesson. Bibliography, timeline, and a homily by Pope Francis are included.

To find out more about Linda Gondosch, visit her website.


Buy Links:


Ignatius Press:ípero-serra.aspx


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Dana Wright

If you like paranormal romance, Texas Twister, by Dana Wright, might just be the book for you.



Texas Twister (Blue Moon Chronicles) by Dana Wright – Romance>Fantasy

Sometimes love finds you in the darkest places.

Magdalay Rousseau is having a bad day. She can’t find the charging cable to her laptop, and when she goes into her husband’s office to look for it, she discovers he’s been cheating on her. She decides to hire a private investigator to dig into her husband’s secrets, but what the detective discovers about her turns her world upside-down.

Carter Zusak is a private detective–and a cat shifter. When a new client shows up, he’s almost certain she’s a flake. What kind of woman writes romance novels and owns a shop selling supplies for witches? He’s sure she’s got a bat or two loose in her belfry–until he delves deeper into her case. No one in her life is what they seem, and Magdalay has just put herself in danger more insidious than he ever imagined. Something about this witch sets his heart on fire. But he’ll have to figure out a way to save her before they both get burned…

Buy links:

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Published By: Etopia Press

Published: Oct 27, 2015

ISBN # 9781944138158

Pages: 99


blue moon chronicles, cat shifter, cisgender, dana wright, etopia press, fantasy romance, ghost, heterosexual, magic, male / female, paranormal, paranormal / horror, paranormal romance, private detective, private investigator, shapeshifter, shifters, shifters / cats, shifters / felines, supernatural, witch, wizard / witch / mystic



Magdalay Rousseau stared at her lifeless laptop and groaned. It wouldn’t turn on. Again.So much for a lasting battery. Already irritated from lack of sleep, she pressed the on button one more time and tried to recall where she’d left the charger. It should be in the little plastic bag she usually kept next to her laptop, but it wasn’t.

“Great. I can’t believe this. I ought to just spell you and be done with it.”

She growled and pushed herself up from the small space at the kitchen table. Perhaps it was in her work bag in the foyer. She hated resorting to magic when real world solutions worked just fine. It had been a point of contention with her mother for years. Besides, she wasn’t very good at it. Wish for rain and get a flood in her kitchen. That was her life right now.

Magdalay peered into the bag.

“Oh. This is just getting better and better.”

Magdalay spun on her heel and considered her next move. She had a deadline for her publisher, and today would be her only day off with no distractions until next week. Not that she could focus anyway. Not with the antics Russ was pulling lately. Her mind kept circling him like a dog with a bone.

He’d been out with the boys from the club, but something in the back of her mind kept digging at her. Their poker games didn’t last that long. Neither did their dinners at the club, which she now refused to attend. Not after the last time with his uppity friends and their equally unpleasant wives. She didn’t fit in with the country club scene, and that was more than all right with her.

Russ hadn’t come home—again—by the time her head hit the pillow last night at midnight. It was becoming par for the course. Magdalay couldn’t concentrate on anything and that included leaving her damn charging cable someplace. She could swear it was next to her workstation last night when she went to bed, but she could have been dreaming. She couldn’t remember, and that just pissed her off, making her already foul mood even more noxious.

“Did you wash my pants?” Russ called out from the bedroom, his voice lacking any of the warmth she used to receive from him.

“Yes,” she ground out, barely containing her urge to demand where the hell he’d been all damned night. It didn’t do any good. He never answered her anyway. “They’re folded on the dryer.”

Her husband, Russ, clad in a blue pullover shirt and tighty-whities bolted from their bedroom down the short hall toward the laundry room. The door opened and shut, and she caught a streak of blue out of the corner of her eye but no acknowledgement or thank you.

Next time she ought to let his clothes just pile up and see what happened. Well…she took that back. A week ago, she’d been too busy to keep up with the laundry and he’d shaken her awake after a long day at the shop and writing, demanding to know when she would get around to it. The icy stare was enough to motivate her into preemptive action. She’d never been afraid of her husband before that night, but things had changed between them at an alarming rate.

She poured the water into the coffeepot and flipped on the switch, sighing as the rich aroma of the Columbian blend pervaded the kitchen. It was still early, and she’d spent a sleepless night tossing and turning and imagining his car wrapped around a pole or worse. The man hadn’t come home until after two. At least that was the last time she recalled on the blinking clock on the nightstand. Russ hadn’t even had the decency to let her know where he was or if he was OK. Magdalay didn’t remember him sneaking in. She’d tried to stay awake so she could talk to him or at least give him a piece of her mind, but she must have drifted off in a wave of jittery exhaustion.

Last night had just been the latest in a long line of whatever was happening in their marriage and fixing it was becoming a pipe dream. He’d grown more and more distant over the past three months and she didn’t know what had gone wrong. Well…except for her working. He hated the hours she spent away from home, but with her mother’s passing, Broomstix had become hers. The irony wasn’t lost on her. A witch who didn’t want to be, or worse yet, was terrible at it.

She thought back to her mother’s last days and the love she had for her trusty cat, Jules. They’d been inseparable.

“You need a familiar, love. Sometimes having someone at your back and by your side is the most powerful magic in the world.”

Magdalay’s lips twisted and she sighed. It wasn’t like she hadn’t tried. Every cat she’d gotten went missing in a matter of days. When she’d gone to Russ about the missing animals, he’d had nothing to say. Frustrating wasn’t even half the word for it. Perhaps she wasn’t cut out for animals. Then she thought all she needed was her soul mate. That would have to be enough. She’d always thought Russ was that person, but more and more, she sensed a tremendous gulf between them, and it left her hollow inside.

Last month she’d been at the stitching circle and each of the ladies was practicing poppet magic. The little cloth dolls danced and frolicked in anticipation of whatever task they were intended for. Hers lay there, looking still and unresponsive. It was to be a creative muse for her magic. She figured if she could cast a spell and have a poppet work on some of her overdue plot lines and synopses, she’d be ahead of the game. No such luck.

The stitching circle, full of her mother’s old friends, thought it was hilarious. Now on top of her writing schedule, it was her responsibility to keep Broomstix going. People depended on her, and she was trying to learn as much as she could. Gaining the knowledge she needed wasn’t going as smooth as she’d like.

Her gaze raked the cluttered counter where her husband paid bills and recoiled. No way was she touching that. “Not a chance.” Then she remembered Russ had the same model laptop she did. She could borrow his charger and pick hers up tomorrow when she went back into work. Problem solved.

“I’m out. See you tonight,” came the clipped response from the front hallway followed by the slamming of the decorative lead glass door. He hadn’t even come into the kitchen. Not even for coffee.

“Wow.” Now she knew he was avoiding her and likely hiding something. Magdalay shook her head, the bitterness of her new reality sliding down her stomach like a Ping Pong ball. His behavior stung, and she didn’t know what to make of it. She moved down the hall, her linen nightgown floating around her legs. In the Texas heat, it helped to have something comfortable and the Eileen West nightgowns were her guilty pleasure. Goddess knew she needed something.

She paused in the doorway to his office and sighed. Goddess, she hated invading his space. Maybe the charger was right out in the open and she could snap it up and be out before she disturbed anything of importance. Then she saw it. Propped on a pile of paperwork next to his computer was her small, holiday design-covered Ziploc bag with her cord dangling off the desk over the top of it.

“What the heck?” Her lips slid into a frown and she unclenched her hands. He took it. Probably to do the same thing she’d been about to do, but at least she would have replaced his where she found it as soon as she was done. She reached down to pick up the bag and wind up the charging cord, and her hand brushed the mouse on his desk, the darkened screen erupting to life. His e-mail was up. She wouldn’t have stopped save for the name on the screen.


Slowly, Magdalay lowered herself into the chair and began to read. She hadn’t meant to intrude on his privacy. They’d always respected each other enough to be honest. At least she’d always thought so. But with every line she read, the trust she believed her marriage was based on was revealed to be nothing more than a lie.

She hated wives who resorted to sneaking into their husband’s phone records and all of those things to find out what they’d been up to. Now, here she was, and she didn’t have a clue what to do about it. What was done was done and couldn’t be taken back. One e-mail turned into two. Two turned into a dozen, and at that point she had to stop, the contents of her stomach churning like wildfire in her gut.

Fuck me. Fuck me like you did in your office.

I want it all.

You motherfucker.

Tears stung her eyes. There was no other explanation was there? It was all laid out in black and white. The only thing missing was a frigging video of them fornicating. Her stomach lurched.

The lump in her throat threatened to overtake her, and she had to pause and take a deep breath. Her mother’s absence was a raw and gaping wound. Eleanor would have known what to do, but Magdalay was frozen with indecision. Her thoughts turned to the ladies in her stitching circle. They met once a month but it wasn’t scheduled until next week. Goddess, but she sure could use some comfort now. Or at least, a sounding board for her fury. Her fingertips itched to zot the fucker but no…not yet. Not that she was fully capable, but her circle was. She’d seen it time and again.

But the emails…she read the last line again.

I want to run my fingers down your long, long legs and part your… She had to stop. Nausea threatened to overwhelm her once again.

“You cheating bastard,” she whispered.She had to be sure. It was possible it was only emails. In her heart, she knew that was a lie. Magdalay stood, her knees shaking and made her way out of Russ’s office to her work space in the kitchen. She hooked up the laptop to the charger and shoved the plug into the wall.

Magdalay considered her options. She could wait and confront him when he got home. Whenever that would be.

Or she could hex him where he stood and watch as his dick shriveled up and fell off. A tiny smile twitched at the corner of her lips at the idea. If only. With her luck, she’d turn him into an overlarge piece of beef jerky and have to explain that one to the police.

Not a good idea. Her magic was unpredictable at best. She’d hid it from him, not wanting to go there. It wasn’t her fault she was born a witch. It was her choice whether or not to use it. If something needing a spell came up, she waited until her hubby was off doing engineer things or sleeping in front of the television. Proof. She needed more proof. The laptop whirled to life and she pulled up her search engine.

What about a private detective? She had a little mad money put aside for the dress she wanted for the romance writer’s convention in a few months. Magdalay had no idea what the detective would cost, but she had to know. With unblinking eyes she typed, private investigator Spinnaker, Texas then she closed her eyes, rolled the mouse, and clicked on the Blue Moon Detective Agency.

About the author:

Dana Wright has always had a fascination with things that go bump in the night. She is often found playing at local bookstores, trying not to maim herself with crochet hooks or knitting needles, watching monster movies with her husband and furry kids or blogging about books. More commonly, she is chained to her computers, writing like a woman possessed. She is currently working on several children’s stories, young adult fiction, romantic suspense, short stories and is trying her hand at poetry. She is a contributing author to Ghost Sniffer’s CYOA, Siren’s Call E-zine in their “Women in Horror” issue in February 2013 and “Revenge” in October 2013, a contributing author to Potatoes!, Fossil Lake, Of Dragons and Magic: Tales of the Lost Worlds, Undead in Pictures, Potnia, Shadows and Light, Dark Corners (upcoming), Wonderstruck, Shifters: A Charity Anthology, Dead Harvest, Monster Diaries, Holiday Horrors and the Roms, Bombs and Zoms Anthology from Evil Girlfriend Media. She is the author of Asylum, The Invitation and Texas Twister.   Dana has also reviewed music for specializing in New Age and alternative music and has been a contributing writer to Eternal Haunted Summer, Massacre Magazine, Metaphor Magazine, The Were Traveler October 2013 edition: The Little Magazine of Magnificent Monsters, the December 2013 issue The Day the Zombies Ruled the Earth. She currently reviews music at New Age Music Reviews and Write a Music Review.

Follow Dana’s reviews:

Twitter: @danawrite

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Shelli Rosewarne

I’m not much of a fan of Zombies, but Shelli’s book sounds intriguing! This one could change my mind!

Promo 4

Hi Michele, and thanks so much for having me over to visit. I’m really excited about my new release, Love Reawakened, which is … wait for… zombie themed. I know, right? You think zombies and it’s more ick than mmmmh, especially when it comes to a romance. Well, thankfully, the story doesn’t have a zombie love interest, but a cute, sassy witch and a rather drool-worthy necromancer, and while I’m normally a complete and utter horror wuss then when these characters came to me I knew I just had to write their story. (Or maybe it was the fact they gave me no peace until I did, one of the two lol). Some of my favourite reviews from it so far are those that start with, ‘I’m not normally into zombies, but…’ – I would like to think it’s a zombie story for people like me, who hide behind the couch at horror movies.

It’s got magic, action, romance and a zombie cat called Mittens (hey, he doesn’t shed, maybe it’ll catch on), so something for everyone. I really hope you check it out.

Cemetery in a foggy full moon night


For Emma Strachan, raising zombies is all in a day’s work. A girl has to pay the bills somehow! But when what should be a simple raising goes horribly wrong, Emma is forced to ask for help from the one man she swore never to see again.

Garret is used to being a loner, as a necromancer he works best that way and frankly, with the dangers he faces every day, it’s easier not to have to look out for anyone else. When Emma shows up on his doorstep desperate for help, he vows to ignore the raging attraction between them – after all a pretty, fun-loving witch has no place in his world.

Can Emma and Garret put aside old resentments in order to try and defeat a zombie unlike anything they have seen before? When the dust settles, can they count on any future between them?


“Why?” he muttered. “Really, you couldn’t think of anyone else?” He opened his eyes to Emma standing over him, hands on hips and glaring.

“Oh, silly me! When you were lying on the ground unconscious and covered in blood with a life-threatening zombie bite, I should have scrolled through my address book to find someone you would approve of! Next time I’ll goddamn leave you there!”

Tears glistened in her eyes, and the guilt reared up again. Damn, he could be a real arse sometimes. He reached out for her hand, tugging lightly so she sat down on the edge of the bed, albeit with bad grace.

“I’m sorry, honey. I know you only did what you thought was right at the time. It’s just a bit of a shock seeing him again.”

Her gaze softened a little. “He does love you, you know. Why else would he drop everything to come and save your sorry ass?”

“So he could hold it over me for evermore?” he suggested glumly.

She sighed. “I’m sure that’s not the case, but either way, you’re alive. So surely it’s worth it?”

He supposed it had to be. He stroked his thumb over the back of her hand, the softness and warmth of her skin soothing him.

She smiled down at him. “Besides, if you’re talking about owing people, don’t I get anything for helping keep you alive back there?”

He grinned at her. “Nice try, honey. If I remember rightly, I got injured by your zombie, while saving your arse. So if anything, you should owe me.”

She leaned forwards, a wicked glint in her eyes that sent blood pooling to certain areas.

“Is that so?” she whispered, her lips a breath away from his. “I kinda liked the idea of you owing me.”

He swallowed. “Oh yeah? And what would you want in payment?”

She closed the distance between them, crushing her lips to his, and he groaned as the world dropped away.

Buy Links:

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I’d also love for you to stay in touch, you can find me on social media at the following links:

Facebook –

Twitter – @shellirosewarne

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Sheri Velarde

Today I have Sheri Velarde as my guest talking about her new book, Code Black. Here’s what she has to say about why she wrote a zombie book.


Zombies. We all know about them and we all fear them to some degree. The big debate is usually what is more fearsome, intelligent zombies or mindless horde zombies? For me it is a mixture of both, but I chose more of the hordes of zombies for Code Black. Why? Because of how they turn into zombies, how they are infected. I based this all on one of my real fears, losing myself to a disease. To get a bit personal, I have multiple sclerosis, a neurological disease and my greatest fear is someday not being me. That is the starting point for my zombies, though of course I combined it with something completely different. It’s scarier if anyone at any time can become infected and lose themselves don’t you think? Because seriously, who wants to continue to live if all sense of self is gone, if you are a mindless monster? To me losing that sense of self is what is really terrifying about zombies, though eating people doesn’t sound too pleasant either! lol


A disease that can destroy the entire fabric of society, how can one face down such odds?

Sara lives on Key Largo, a place she knows she should have left after the last hurricane, but she can’t quite walk away from it. When warning sirens go off, she fears for the safety of her home more than anything else. That is, until she realizes that something much more than severe weather is heading her way.

When her own government blows up the only escape to the mainland and her neighbors begin to attack one another, Sara learns she can only depend on herself. With the aid of her uncle and Cameron, a National Guard soldier helping her along the way, she is on the run for her life. Harsh realities she never thought she would have to face are now part of her life. Can she do what it takes to survive, or will she always be on the run and wondering what might have been?


“What the hell do you mean ‘the bridge is closed’? Something odd is going on here. We’ve never had the National Guard here for an evacuation, and you are telling me that you just expect us to wait it out here on the island and not ask questions? I heard the warning sirens. We are supposed to be evacuating! Let us through!” Sara demanded, trying to push past the mass of muscle in a National Guard uniform blocking her way.

“I’m sorry, ma’am. We have orders that no one is to cross the bridge. No one is allowed to enter Miami,” the officer said, not budging an inch.

“I just told you that the evacuation sounded, e-v-a-c-u-a-t-i-o-n, and you’re telling me that we can’t leave? It’s probably a late hurricane, and you expect us all just to hope we make it through that here in the Keys? We need to get to the mainland!” Sara threw up her hands in frustration. The memory of the last hurricane which destroyed her family home remained clear in her mind. She should have moved after her family had lost almost everything, but something held her in Key Largo.

“It is not a hurricane warning, ma’am. Please go back to your home and you will be fine.”

Just then, the officer’s walkie-talkie went off. “Miami has been lost. Move everyone away from the bridge. We must prevent the spread and contamination. This is a Code Black. Repeat, this is a Code Black. All civilians must be moved a safe distance from the bridge. You have five minutes.”

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Blog address:


Twitter handle: Sher_V



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The Scandalous Proposal of Lord Bennett

My guest today is Raven McAllan. She is letting us all know about her new book, The Scandalous Proposal of Lord Bennett!

Raven photo smaller pic May 15 copyHi everyone. It’s great to be here and talking about my latest book, The Scandalous Proposal of Lord Bennett.
It’s my debut novel with Carina, out on 22nd of September on Amazon and Kobo, and up for pre-order before then. I’m more than a little excited. As every publishing house works in different ways, it’s been a steep, and thrilling learning curve. I’m enjoying every second of it.
I fell into writing Regency romance almost by accident. I’ve always been fascinated by that era, by the undercurrents and the secrets that filled the ton and the way people behaved, and decided I’d like to see if I could put some of the machinations and romance into words.
Let’s hope I’ve succeeded.


To have and to hold?
Reluctant debutante Lady Clarissa Macpherson has never forgotten the forbidden kiss she shared with notorious rake, Lord Theodore ‘Ben’ Bennett, all those years ago. Even now, he’s the one man who sets Clarissa’s pulse racing and her skin tingling – no matter how hard she tries to ignore it!
Yet, when Ben rescues her from the unwanted advances of a drunken Lord at a society ball, she finds herself in a most scandalous predicament – engaged, to the most eligible bachelor in London!
Wedded? It appears so, but bedded? Clarissa demands more from her marriage than simply surrendering to her new husband’s sexual desires, especially when she realizes she’s falling deeper in love with him every single day. Ben must prove that she’s the only woman for him – and surrender his heart!
Yet resisting her new husband’s delicious seduction may prove the hardest thing Clarissa has ever done…
A wee tease…
‘All the gardens were my mama’s favourites when she was alive.’ Stupid. After all, how could they be if she were dead? ‘She would have said exactly the same with regard to the staff. I’ll make a note to let them know.’ He experienced the usual sharp pang of loss that hit him whenever he thought of his long-gone mama. She had passed when he was at Eton, and Ben still experienced the loss, as if it were the day before. ‘I feel they may be neglected somewhat. I’m sure she – I – would be happy for your input.’
Her sigh stirred the hairs on his neck.
‘You don’t like the idea?’ He’d thought she’d be pleased. Truly the way a woman’s mind worked could be a mystery. For one fleeting moment Ben had a vision of his last mistress. Her mind worked in one way only – calculating what was in it for her. He had parted company with the fair lady when her demands began to be inappropriate. Right from the start he’d told her it was a temporary liaison and, whatever she’d thought, he’d had no intention of altering the status quo. And now he was married? Ben had an uneasy feeling life might not be the same, even though he thought he and his wife had come to an understanding.
‘The gardens?’ he prompted Clarissa when it seemed she wasn’t going to answer.
‘Oh yes, the gardens. Perhaps.’ Her offhand, indifferent tone of voice irritated him. The knock on the door came as a welcome relief. Ben was out of his depth, and he didn’t like the sensation.
He liked the news even less.
‘What do you mean, some idiot’s driven into my coach?’ He roared the words, and blinked rapidly, as if the gesture would change the declaration uttered by the harried footman in front of him. ‘How the hades did you let that happen?’
Clarissa placed her hand on Ben’s arm. How he stopped himself from shaking it off, he had no idea. He glanced at her impatiently. She stood her ground and returned his perusal.
‘My lord, have you never heard the expression do not shoot the messenger? Scraptoft here is only relaying what’s happened. He is neither responsible for it, nor able to alter the chain of events. He’s told you about the accident, and you need to go and see for yourself what’s to be done.’
The footman flashed a grateful glance in her direction and Ben gritted his teeth. She was right, of course, but he didn’t like to be reminded of it in such a fashion.
‘Of course, my dear, you are, as ever, correct.’ He cursed the defensive tone.
‘I accept your apologies and acknowledgement, my lord.’ The words and intonation were dulcet, the look in her eyes not so. ‘I will arrange for our food to be delayed until your return.’
Ben nodded curtly. ‘Thank you.My apologies, Scraptoft. It is, of course, not your doing. Forgive me – I was somewhat perturbed.’ He gestured to the man to precede him, and turned back to his wife once the other man had left the room.
‘I trust you can entertain yourself while I’m away?’
Her eyes filled with mischief, and he could have sworn she choked back a laugh.
‘Of course, sir. I have a book.’

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Madeline Martin

Madeline Martin is my guest today! Her new Highland book, Possession of a Highlander, is the second in a series of three books.


1. What is your educational background? I went to Flagler College in St. Augustine, FL and majored in Business Administration with minors in Economics, Political Science and Accounting. For my day job, I run reports and work with SQL. Writing is my passion :)

2.  Looking at your website, you seem to be very active. What are your goals for biking, running, etc? Aw, thank you :) I really just love to work out. I’m addicted to that post-workout rush. I guess, if anything, my goal would be for my daughters (AKA the minions) to see how much I enjoy working out and want to follow my example and get joy from being healthy and active as well.

3. Why have you decided to concentrate on Scottish Highlands romances? I started reading Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander series when I was on maternity leave. Suddenly all those stories roiling around in my head took on a Scottish slant. So when I started really sitting down to write a full novel, that’s what came out.

4. How many books do you plan to write in this series? How are the books related? Do each of the books stand alone, or do they need to be read in sequence? There are three books in this series: Deception of a Highlander, Possession of a Highlander and Enchantment of a Highlander - the last one is the only one not available yet. They’re linked through the heroes, but very loosely so and can all be read as stand alone without issue.

5. When can we expect book 3, and what will it be about? Enchantment of a Highlander is Alec’s story (he’s my super alpha male and I LOVE this story so much) comes out January 19th. I’m including the Goodreads link if anyone wants to read the blurb and add it to their ‘Want to read’ list


Back cover blurb:

Brianna Lindsay’s grip on the inheritance that is rightly hers hangs by a thread. If the town finds out her father has died, Brianna will be forced into marriage with her loathsome cousin, Lord Robert, and will lose all of Edzell Castle and its lands. To protect her home, she’ll have to trust a complete stranger, a brooding Highland barbarian who sweeps into Edzell with a small retinue and insists on replacing her Captain of the Guard. He proves his worth by defeating her men and she has no choice but to accept his offer.

Though his motives are suspect, Colin MacKinnon has nobility in his blood and good intentions in coming to Edzell. He seeks his own kingdom, one to rival his father’s, and sets out to conquer Brianna in the best way he knows how—with seduction.

Brianna never thought of all the wealth she protects, the one thing she has left completely vulnerable is her heart. Colin never thought that of everything he stands to achieve, he might have to face the unexpected pain of loss. Together, they must navigate a treacherous world of spies and intrigue, of legacy and fidelity, of love and betrayal, to find what is truly worth possessing.

Here’s an excerpt of Possession of a Highlander – it’s short and sweet, but I love it:

He caught her hand mid-swing.

Just one look.

She stopped, and her warm gaze rose to meet his.
Her face was flushed beneath fair skin, her lips pink.
Just one touch.
He brushed the curve of her cheek with his fingertips, down her jaw to the delicate line of her throat. She tilted her head back and her lashes fluttered closed.
Her lips were mere inches from his.
Just one kiss.
His heart slammed in his chest. His breath came fast.
He grasped the back of her neck and threaded his fingers through her silky hair. If he was going to allow himself only one kiss, he would relish it.

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Scott Wieczorek

My guest today is Scott Wieczorek, a professional archaeologist working in the American Middle-Atlantic region. He has written numerous short stories and several full-length novels ranging from science fiction to paranormal mystery to horror. In addition, he writes reviews of books by Independent authors. Samples of his work are available on his blog at

I’ve always had an interest in archaeology, so I was fascinated with Scott’s answers to my questions. And when I read the excerpt from his book, Witness Through Time, I knew I had to read this book! You can read the blurb and excerpt at the end of this post.
1. You are an archaeologist. Tell us a little about your work. Old, Native American sites, or historical sites?
As I mention in my bio, I am a professional archaeologist working in the American Middle Atlantic Region. Through my career, I have excavated various historic and prehistoric sites from basic shovel-testing surveys to full-on data recoveries with units and block excavations. The ages of artifacts I have recover range from 50 yrs old to 10,000 years. One of the few times that Indiana Jones was right is when he told his students that most of the work in archaeology take place in the library rather than the field. The excavation, though the most fun, is generally one of the smallest parts of an archaeological project. Research, analysis, and report writing make up the bulk of the work. It really takes a special kind of person dedicated to research and writing to be an archaeologist. For me, the writing is my favorite part.

2. How has your profession influenced your writing, or has it? Have you incorporated any sites or anything from it into your writing?
Working as an archaeologist has, in fact, influenced my writing in several ways. First, it proved to me that I could write a long manuscript. After all, if you can write a multi-hundred page report at single-space, 11 pt. font on 8.5×11 sheets, then a 70-80,000 word manuscript is not so daunting. Secondly, it opened me up to working with professional editors. Editing is a key component to writing. A rough draft is almost never good enough. There is always polish needed. And that is what editors do. They take something good and make it great! As far as incorporating an archaeological site into my writing, I actually do have a manuscript in process that involves a site I investigated for my Master’s Thesis.

3. You had a church sponsored book signing with some proceeds going to the church, yet you write about zombies and demons. How do you deal with those two different elements in your writing as well as in your life?
It’s a funny thing you mention this. The book involving angels and demons, titled Awakening, actually has lots of religious underpinnings and puts both creatures as two factions of the same race of creatures known as Daimones. One faction seeks to enslave humanity, the other to protect it. Our parish rector loved the story so much, she actually offered up the book signing as an event for the church’s 150th anniversary. It was a great honor. With regard to zombies, they are a biological manifestation. For those who have read Byron: A Zombie tale, the zombies have little to do with religion, and a lot to do with bacteria and microorganisms. As far as religion and science in my own personal life, I don’t see that they are diametrically opposed. After all, everything may have started in the big bang. But what created everything in the first place? What put it all into motion?


Witness Through Time Blurb:

When Glory Parker moves to the bucolic locale of Cragg’s Head Cove, Maine, she uncovers a mystery that has remained unsolved for more than fifteen years—the disappearances of four college students with the perpetrator still on the loose. As the mystery unfolds around her, she becomes aware of her strange new ability to pierce the veil of time. Can Glory solve the mystery before more people disappear?

Witness Through Time Excerpt:

The glow of her headlights caught a gleam of metal ahead in the distance. A car was pulled over to the roadside. Could it be Jim? Did he decide not to head in to the station, but to wait for her? As she approached, the car came more clearly into view—definitely not Jim’s.
Parked askew, it appeared the driver had pulled over in haste. The car’s headlights remained on, but its taillights sat dark. She couldn’t understand why someone would drive and abandon a car in such a dangerous way at night.
Against all her instincts and better judgment, she pulled off the road, grabbed her cell phone, and shut off her car. As it sputtered to a stop, it became apparent the other driver hadn’t turned his engine off. Had something terrible happened? Its occupants couldn’t be too far away. She reached into her center console and removed a flashlight before stepping out into the chilly night air.
She dialed Jim’s number, hoping he still had his cell phone handy, but groaned at the dead air against her ear. A glance at the screen told her all she needed to know—no bars. How could that even be? She’d just received a text from Jim mere moments ago. She sighed, debating whether to drive a little further up the road to find better reception, or a phone booth. But something tugged at her; people probably needed help, and she couldn’t just leave them here. With a shiver flitting up her spine, she stuffed the phone in her pocket and closed her car door.
As she stepped toward the embankment, the hackles stood on her neck. Something about the whole scene seemed wrong. Except for the low idle of the car, an eerie solitude settled about the place; not even the tree frogs croaked their mating songs in the night.
A scream pierced the stillness. She knew the sound—it didn’t belong to any kind of animal; it belonged to a woman. She pulled her phone from her pocket. She dialed Jim’s number again—still no reception.
Whipping her flashlight around, she pointed it to where the sound came from. Of course, it needed to be down the embankment. She slipped her phone into her pocket again; she would check for reception again later.
With a deep breath, she made her way down the steep roadside to the leaf-littered forest floor below. A quick examination of the slope as she went revealed another fresh path cut through the leaves, and snapped branches. Someone had crashed through here at high speed. Another scream caught her attention—a female voice, and definitely in trouble. Glory broke into a sprint, following the voice. She ran through the woods, branches whipping her face and brush grabbing her ankles.
“Somebody! Help me!”
The girl’s scream sounded loud and clear. Something crashed in the leaves ahead, followed by a groan and sounds of struggle.
“Let me go, you bastard.” The girl’s voice echoed through the woods.
“Shut up!” The angry voice belonged to a male.
As her feet crashed through the leaves, she heard something like a meaty thud.
Glory stopped dead in her tracks, reached for her phone, and dialed 9-1-1. She pressed send—nothing again. Crap! She must still be in a dead spot. The irony struck her. If she didn’t do something soon, then this would certainly be a dead spot for the girl. She needed to help—one way or another. Glory crept up, extinguishing her flashlight. She followed the sounds of struggle pierced by the girl’s sobs and squeals.
“Yeah,” said the male voice, “you go ahead and cry. Ain’t nobody gonna help you.” Glory could hear from the sound of his voice that he was enjoying himself.
The girl wailed, her voice carrying through the barren trees. The sharp clap of an open-handed slap echoed through the dark. Another wail flew into the night.
Glory could see the pair on the ground. The mousy young brunette girl lay on her back with a young man of average build atop her. He wore a backward baseball cap and Glory couldn’t see his face. They wrestled around as he tried to pin her hands at her sides. She wriggled her hand free and tried to punch him, but he grabbed her wrist, trapping it again.
She scanned the ground for anything she could use as a weapon. Ten feet to her right, lay a long, thick branch, about four-feet in length. Her heartbeat thrummed in her ears. Sidling like a crab, she slid her phone in her pocket and picked it up, creeping toward them.
Before she could reach them, though, the male straightened up, bellowing in pain. He clutched a hand to his face. Blood covered one of the girl’s hands.

Here’s where you can buy a copy of Witness Through Time:

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Conquest of the Heart

I am so happy to have a great new cover for my book!




Her people conquered his country. How can they overcome the distrust they feel to find love?

In 1067 England, Madeline, a Norman, wants a big, brash, never-defeated-in-battle, Norman knight. What she gets, by order of the king, is a wiry Saxon who once studied for the priesthood instead of warfare. But is this gentle man she is falling in love with entangled in the rebellion now sweeping the land?

Ranulf wants to marry the girl next door. What he gets, by order of the king, is a lush, strong Norman woman who just might be a spy reporting his every move. He wants her in every way a man can possibly want a woman. But can he trust his heart to a woman who might have been sent to root out the struggle for freedom his people are engaged in?


He let his gaze travel back to his bride walking stiffly, reluctantly, toward him. For once, Ranulf felt speech was beyond him. She was so much more than he had expected. So beautiful. So clean. She  glittered like a bright jewel in a dung heap. For Etherby, no matter how much he loved it, was not much better than one right now.

If only he could say to this magnificent woman, “Go away. Come back in a year. Give me time to build the castle the king has ordered, tear down this rotting hall, teach cleanliness to servants to whom filth is a way of life. Then you won’t have to grit your teeth and square our shoulders as if going into battle as you come to wed me.” But it was already too late. She was here. The wedding was now. And he felt as randy as a billy goat.

He would begin building the king’s castle immediately. The work would distract him from Lady Madeline’s seductive lure. She would find no treason with which to fill the king’s ears, and, like his mother’s attitude toward his father, he was sure the lady would be glad not to have him in her bower, not the way he felt now, the things he wanted to do to her.

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C.D. Hersh

SERIES TITLE: The Turning Stone Chronicles
GENRE: Urban fantasy, Paranormal Suspense Romance

Owen Todd Jordan Riley has a secret. He’s a shape shifter who has been hunting and killing his own kind. To him the only good shifter is a dead shifter. Revenge for the death of a friend motivates him, and nothing stands in his way . . . except Katrina Romanovski, the woman he is falling in love with.

Deputy coroner Katrina Romanovski has a secret, too. She hunts and kills paranormal beings like Owen. At least she did. When she rescues Owen from an attack by a werebear she is thrust back into the world she thought she’d left. Determined to find out what Owen knows about the bear, she begins a relationship meant to collect information. What she gets is something quite different-love with a man she suspects of murder. Can she reconcile his deception and murderous revenge spree and find a way to redeem him? Or will she condemn him for the same things she has done and walk away from love?

This book brings to life Owen’s story a year after the loss of his best friend whom he thinks was killed by Rhys Temple. This book also continues with Alexi’s and Rhys’ story, which began in The Promised One as they took their places to become the long awaited bringers of peace to the Turning Stone Society.

Three ancient Celtic families. A magical Bloodstone that enables the wearers to shape shift. A charge to use the stone’s power to benefit mankind, and a battle, that is going on even today, to control the world. Can the Secret Society of shape shifters called the Turning Stone Society heal itself and bring peace to our world?

Find out in the series The Turning Stone Chronicles:
Book three of The Turning Stone Chronicles “Son of the Moonless Night” currently available in eBook on Amazon at:

Book one of The Turning Stone Chronicles “The Promised One” currently available on Amazon in eBook: and paperback:
When homicide detective Alexi Jordan is forced to use her shape shifting powers to catch a paranormal killer, she risks the two most important things in her life—her badge and the man she loves.

Book two of The Turning Stone Chronicles “Blood Brothers” currently available in eBook on Amazon at:
Shape shifter Delaney Ramsey’s daughter is missing, and she is bound by honor to protect the man she suspects of the deed. To bring him to justice, she must go against her code, the leader of the secret shifter society, and the police captain she is falling for.

Excerpt from Son of the Moonless Night:
A crash in the alley stopped Katrina Romanovski mid-stride. Like the October mist swirling in off the lake, her gypsy blood stirred sending her intuition into high gear. Something unnatural was happening.
Go see what’s wrong. She heard her father’s voice as clearly as if he stood next to her.
On the heels of his words came her mother’s pragmatic warning in clipped British tones. You know what curiosity killed. Katrina pushed the ever-present warning aside. Mom never approved of Dad’s supernatural hunts and even less of his drawing her into them.
Pulling the oversized cross she always wore out from under her shirt, Kat looked around for a weapon. Please, not a vampire. I hate vampires! A piece of wood sticking out of the trashcan at the front of the alley caught her eye.
Grabbing it, she broke the end off into a sharp point. The mist-filled air filtered the light from the single bulb over one of the alley doorways. The wind swirled the loose trash around making a quiet approach difficult. Sidestepping the paper, with the stake in one hand and holding the gun she took from her purse in the other hand, she crept into the alley.
A roar echoed against the buildings, the sound nearly sending her running. That roar wasn’t a vampire. It sounded more like an animal. Kat inched closer. In the yellow pool of light from the back door of the building, a black bear, over seven feet tall, reared on its back legs and swung its paw at the man standing at the edge of the light. He crashed to the ground, shirt torn open from the slashing claws. Blood covered the fabric, and he clasped his left hand over his shoulder to stem the flow. The bear bent toward him, teeth bared in a smile. A wicked smile.
Kat aimed her gun, but before she could pull the trigger, a shot rang out. The flash of gunpowder lit the face of the injured man. The blast reverberated against the buildings. With an enraged bellow, the bear staggered backward against the wall. Shaking his head, the animal dropped to all four paws. Weaving like a drunk, he lumbered toward his attacker. The man took aim again, shooting the animal between the eyes. Animal and human collapsed on the dirty, littered pavement.
As she started to move forward, Kat’s gypsy senses crawled over her skin like angry red ants. As she slipped back into the shadows, the bear shed fur. Changing size. Then, finally, turning into a man.
Shape shifters. Her stake wasn’t any good against them, and her bullets weren’t silver. This one appeared dead anyway. Had the wounded man seen the shift? Tossing the stake aside, she paused by the shifter and quickly moved to the wounded man. Out cold. Still human.
When she touched him, his eyelids fluttered open. “Did I get it?”
“The bear.”

hersh_smallC.D. Hersh Bio:
Putting words and stories on paper is second nature to co-authors C.D. Hersh. They’ve written separately since they were teenagers and discovered their unique, collaborative abilities in the mid-90s. As high school sweethearts and husband and wife, Catherine and Donald believe in true love and happily ever after.

Together they have co-authored a number of dramas, six which have been produced in Ohio, where they live. Their interactive Christmas production had five seasonal runs in their hometown and has been sold in Virginia, California, and Ohio. Their most recent collaborative writing efforts have been focused on romance. The first three books of their paranormal romance series entitled The Turning Stone Chronicles are available on Amazon.

Where you can find CD:
Soul Mate Publishing:
Amazon Author Page:

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On Respect and Research

Welcome to Janis Susan May/Janis Patterson today! She has an amazing story to tell! How many writers can say they not only visited Egypt, but stayed on site at an archaeological dig?


On Respect and Research

by Janis Susan May/Janis Patterson

The late comedian Rodney Dangerfield built an entire career on the trope that he ‘didn’t get no respect.’ It made him both rich and famous. Lucky him. It doesn’t work that way for most of us.

Writers ‘don’t get no respect’ – that is, if we’re genre writers. Literary writers whose work is often impenetrable and convoluted are lionized, and if they’re dead almost sainted. People who write the books people actually like to read – romances, mysteries – are regarded as a not-too-bright stepchild.

“When are you going to write a real book?” is a question we hear a lot, especially when we publish in electronic versions. “Why don’t you write something of lasting value?” is another. The one that makes me grind my teeth, however, is “I know I could write a book if I just had the time.” Or, “What a way to steal money! Just churn out a couple of books a year and you’re set.”

It’s a wonder some poor writer hasn’t just snapped and done one of them in with a cocktail fork or whatever else sharp is handy.

Another problem is the fact that when we’re writing, we are usually at home, and if we’re at home, we’re fair game. People who would never demand that we leave a regular job to go lunch/shop/hang out/watch their children/whatever have no compunction about demanding it when we work from our home. “You’re just writing – you aren’t really working,” was something I used to hear a lot – back when I answered the telephone!

Fielding these barbs and putdowns has become almost second nature to writers; some of us laugh all the way to the bank, but a lot of us just hold on to our dreams with grim determination and a rictus smile. Even after some 30 books I was one of the latter, until this last trip to Egypt.


Dr. Dirk Huyge, a dear friend and a great help on my last summer’s release THE EGYPTIAN FILE, and I had been talking about doing a mystery set in the reputedly haunted dig house at El Kab, roughly halfway between Luxor and Aswan. Civilians never get asked to stay in dig houses, so when Dirk suggested that The Husband and I come stay for a few days, we jumped at it. I knew this was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to say nothing of a great research opportunity, but didn’t realize that it would be an incredible boost to my ego!

The dig crew was wonderful – friendly and welcoming and as sweet as could be. I had heard of some of them before – they are each well known and multi-published in their various fields, and each one of them had a very impressive alphabet soup of degrees after their name. As I don’t have any kind of a degree I was more than intimidated by them.


One morning I all of a sudden had the idea of how the book should start. Creeping out of bed so as not to wake The Husband, I grabbed my computer and tiptoed into the common room where everyone worked and ate. Then I started to write. I wrote for most of the morning – we write when the muse grabs us, don’t we? – and only towards lunch was I aware that all of them (those who worked in the house and those newly returned from the field) were moving around more than usual. And all seemed to be moving behind me, very slowly, and somewhat surreptitiously taking a great interest in the words that marched across my computer screen.

It was only when one whispered to another in awe-struck tones, “She’s writing a novel while we watch!” that I realized why. They were impressed! These well-educated, well-published professionals were overawed by my oft-ridiculed storytelling. Seldom have I felt so appreciated or admired. As a gift to them I broke a cardinal rule and allowed anyone who wanted to read the first chapter when it was completed. Normally no one – not even The Husband – sees my work until it is finished.

The ones who did read it were impressed. One even marveled at my speed – 2,000 words in less than a day. (She should see what I can do when I’m in my office, alone, under a hard deadline!) She was working on a doctoral thesis and said 200 words a day were good for her. I told her it was easier for me because, aside from a framework of actualities, I didn’t have to bother with facts! I could create my world the way I wanted to.


Whether she wrote fiction or not, she was a writer and she appreciated what I was doing. So did the others. Genre fiction is not easy to write, despite what the ‘I could write a book if I wanted to’ crowd says. After seeing some of the things that are out there, though, maybe I should say GOOD genre fiction.

Remember, if you have published a book, even a not-so-perfect one, you have done what 90-odd percent of the population has not. You have finished a book. You have created a world and populated that world and created a series of events, all out of nothing but imagination and caffeine. Whether you have been published by a trad publisher or self-pubbed, you have survived the tests of editing, artwork and the grind of publicity. Best of all, you have (hopefully) the final validation of complete strangers buying and reading your book. That is an awesome achievement!

So, what do we say to the ‘why don’t you write a real book crowd’? Probably nothing we could say would make them happy, but I really don’t care about making them happy. And, as I am told on occasion I can be sharp-tongued and snarky, I just smile and tell them when they get their book finished and published, then we can talk about how ‘easy’ it is. Small-souled of me, I know, but oh-so-satisfying!

Writers ‘don’t get no respect’ from people? Believe me, that’s the people’s problem, not ours. We know what we’re worth. Or we should.

All photographs ©2015 Janis Susan May Patterson


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