Archive for November, 2010

Dating Mr December by Phillipa Ashley

November 30, 2010 By: Guestauthor Category: Guest Blogger, Latest News 4 Comments →


Hi there and thanks to Romance Junkies for inviting me to blog about my US debut novel, Dating Mr December.

They also asked me a great question!

Your heroine goes to the country for a fresh start. Where do you go or what do you do when you want a break?

Well the answer is easy – I go where my heroine did. Just to explain a little, here’s the blurb for the book:

She doesn’t need rescuing; she only needs a change of scenery…

After a disastrous discovery loses Emma Tremayne both her boyfriend and her high-profile PR job in London, she moves to the Lake District to recover her confidence and live a simpler life. She loves her new job with the tourist board, and she’s settling into small town life just fine-until she ends up responsible for a fundraising effort that calls for twelve naked mountain rescuers…

Dating Mr December is set in the Lake District around the lives of a mountain rescue team.  We’ve always loved the mountains, lakes and tiny villages in this stunning region of England so a few years ago, we realised out dream and bought a small apartment in a 1920s former ‘gentleman’s residence’.

Just like Emma’s home in the novel, our flat is in a small village. You can gaze out over Lake Windermere, just as she does. You can even charter your own yacht and go for a moonlit sail – okay, maybe not with Mr December, but with someone you love.

If I ever need a break from writing or just to recharge my batteries I head for Emma’s apartment. The problem is that I’m usually inspired to write even more.

That tends to happen with any beautiful, wild place I visit. A trip to Corsica inspired my second book, Wish You Were Here (Sourcebooks, Spring 2011)  This sizzling hot French island in the Mediterranean was a dream place to set a romance, with its white beaches and crystal mountain pools.

My other escape is body boarding which I think is better known as boogie boarding in the US. It’s basically surfing for softies.  I take off with the family whenever I can to ‘ride’ the waves on the UK’s south-west Atlantic coast. I love to be in the ocean, with the waves thundering onto the beach. Afterwards I like to hole up in a cafe with a hot chocolate and cake, come to think of it, maybe that’s best part…

I’d love to escape every day but as a writer, I’m bound to spend many hours alone at my keyboard. By four pm I’ve usually had enough, so I head for a workout or swim in the outdoor pool at the local health club. Even if there’s snow on the ground it feels really indulgent to jump into that steamy pool. Isolation is one of the downsides to a writer’s life and sometimes the first ‘real’ people I see all day are the reception and bar staff!

The closest I have to colleagues are my writer friends so we try to meet for lunch every month, share the latest gossip or discuss our current projects.  A country vineyard is our favourite haunt. It serves traditional teas and sometimes I even buy wine to take home for my long suffering husband…

Whether you’re a writer or a romance reader, I’d love to know your favourite way of escaping the pressures of the world.


Phillipa Ashley studied English Language and Literature at Oxford before becoming a freelance copywriter and journalist. DATING MR. DECEMBER (called DECENT EXPOSURE in the UK) was the basis of last year’s Lifetime TV Movie “The 12 Men of Christmas.” She lives with her husband and daughter in Staffordshire, UK. For more information, please visit, follow her on Twitter or find her on Facebook!

The Reformation of a Villain

November 29, 2010 By: Guestauthor Category: Guest Blogger, Latest News 12 Comments →


I love villains. I really truly do. They make a story interesting and they give purpose to any given hero or heroine. And if they are done right, they can even make you care about them.

I’ve always been of the opinion that no one walks around thinking they’re bad. Everyone thinks they have a valid reason for why they’ve done something. No one actually believes they’re the villain in any story. It all depends on whose eyes that particular story is told through.  In other words, I don’t think there are any real life Lex Luthors out there.  You know, villains who know they ARE villains. Everyone is the hero or heroine of his or her own story.

When we were writing THE WOLF NEXT DOOR, we introduced Dashiel Thorpe, Earl of Brimsworth, as a dangerous werewolf whose purpose is to steal the hero’s intended from him. In the first version of that book, we had scenes told through Dashiel’s point of view. You got to see why he did certain things and his rationality for his actions. But in the end, we had to take them out, because that particular story isn’t really meant to be told through his eyes. He wasn’t the hero, no matter that he saw himself as such.

So when we began THE TAMING OF THE WOLF, it wasn’t as difficult as one might think to reform Dashiel into a hero. We were simply now getting the chance to tell his story through his eyes.  I probably should tell you that none of our critique partners thought the task would be possible to tackle. They were all under the impression that Dashiel couldn’t be reformed, that he’d simply been too bad, too evil.

But Dashiel hadn’t yet had the opportunity to let readers get to know the real him, instead of the version of him as was viewed by the previous hero and heroine. And I am very happy to report that each one of our critique partners has changed their opinion of poor Dashiel (he’s even become a favorite for a number of them).

He’s a favorite of mine as well, and I can remember the day we sat down at a coffee shop and decided to write his story. We were done with our first trilogy, but there was something about this character that made us both want to get a happily-ever after for him as well.  We had a lot of fun dipping inside Dashiel’s mind, seeing his strengths, his insecurities and his capacity to love.  Beneath all that growling, posturing and aggression lies the heart of a true hero.

Best of all, his heroine happens to agree.

Who is your favorite villain of all time? And do you think you’d see him differently, if the story was told through his eyes?

A copy THE TAMING OF THE WOLF will be sent to two lucky commenters. Please include email addresses along with your comments so the winners can be contacted. **Available for only US and Canada residents.

Scents of Fall

November 28, 2010 By: Guestauthor Category: Guest Blogger, Latest News No Comments →

The last few days I have been enjoying the change in the season. This is a time of year that makes me happy. Just before the bite of winter sets in and we scuttle to and from where we are going to get out of it. This is the time I stroll to and from my house and I gaze at the leaves on the trees changing color. There is a scent in the air that can’t be mistaken. That crisp, fresh and reviving smell of renewal. It follows me as I go about my day. The people I pass have a smile on their face and a little pep in their step. I saw a few others like me enjoying being outside for a really nice day.

Days like today put a huge smile on my face and a song in my heart. Yeah I know I’m being sappy but this is that sort of day. One where you are in a good mood and want to share it with everyone else. And share is what I did. I went for a walk around my neighborhood and I chatted with a few people and we had a very scintillating conversation. (wink) About what we have planned for the upcoming holiday season. It was lots of fun to hear what various traditions others have.

Once finished chatting I continued my stroll just enjoying the world around me. When I went home after my walk I was revived and feeling even more happy. Take some time from your day to just enjoy that moment for the scents of fall.

McKenna Jeffries
…. sensual, edgy, unexpected

Chat Group:
Free Reads Site: http:/ /

Conquering Jazz – What’s a woman to do when she unwittingly makes a tantalizing proposition to her best friend?

Be brazen, bold and set some ground rules. Her offer. One night of carnal bliss. No emotion allowed.

His counter offer. A continued affair to fulfill all their sexual cravings.

His hidden agenda. Conquer to make sure their affair never ends.

Buy here at Liquid Silver Book.

My muse must be a faery

November 27, 2010 By: Guestauthor Category: Guest Blogger, Latest News No Comments →

The Keeper of Moon Haven My muse whispered all sorts of wonderful tidbits in my ear as I wrote my upcoming release, The Keeper of Moon Haven. How else would I have been able to insert all the whimsical scenes sprinkled within the body of this manuscript? I’m very excited about this book. What I love best is the possibilities it creates for sequels and oh yes, I’m already working on a sequel or two. In the meantime, I want to share  the blurb and an excerpt.


On the southern fringes of the Mendip Hills sits the Castle Hamingjur, an abandoned structure most fear haunted. Yet, on the rare occasions when the Hunter’s Blue Moon occurs, the Keeper occupies this mysterious castle where he guards the bridge to Alfheim Haven. 

Noreen Willshire discovers more than fairytales hidden between the pages of Beletania’s diary. She opens the ancient book and finds a pathway to a Faery Realm where all manner of mythical creatures reside. In her naïveté, she summons the Keeper before his scheduled time in the human realm. In that brief moment, the mysterious wizard touches her soul with more than magick. She promises to return the diary during Mefylleth, a time when the barriers between the two realms melt away, but danger stalks her path. Torn between her desire to make a new life for herself in America and her growing love for the Keeper, she must bridge the gap between magick and time to follow her heart.


Vin pushed a branch out of the way and stopped. A faery ring never failed to elicit his deep appreciation. Each faery glowed with the radiance of life. Wood faeries were small, no larger than his foot. Uthela perched upon a toadstool with a golden harp nestled between her legs. A plaintive tune flowed from her fingers. The melody touched the soul, binding all gathered to the earth, the sky, and the sun.           Too bad it can’t touch my soul. He gave a derisive snort.          He stared down upon the ring, his brow furrowed. His task proved more difficult this time. A faery never fell for the same trick twice. How would he distract Uthela from the music? How would he break the spell that held them all captive?          He took a step forward. His heavy footfalls upon dry grass alerted the revelers to his presence. He looked down, puzzled by vegetation that should have been succulent and bright red with life. Instead, the grass beneath his feet had wilted to a dull green, a color more in keeping with the grass found in the human realm.           The music increased tempo. He lifted his head, his attention claimed once more by Uthela’s melodic tune. She ignored him, determined to play until her fingers went numb.           “Uthela.”          She laughed, the sound adding harmony to the mellow notes of the harp. She kept her eyes closed, her thoughts and energies focused on the harp. A high-pitched soprano voice greeted him. “In days of old, faery music enthralled humans and led them into our circle to dance and dance. ’Twas a fine jest to return them after they’d dance the night away only to discover they’d lost days. I miss those times, Vin.”          “Uthela. Put down the harp, sweet. Your comrades tire of dancing.”          “There was a time when they could dance longer than this. Ach, time has little meaning.” She tilted her head up and opened her eyes.          She gasped, and the harp fell from her hands, signaling the end of the faery ring. “Fiddle faddle, Vin. What happened to you?”          He bent low and translucent fingers plucked the thimble-sized harp from the ground before she recuperated enough from shock to play again. Fifty or more wood faeries collapsed upon the downtrodden grass, their frail wings wilted. He frowned. Was it his imagination, or did their skin appear more pale than usual?          Stilp pranced over to him, a broad grin upon his youthful face. “You did it, Vin. You stopped her. You stopped the music.”           “A pity I can’t stop one human female from reading Beletania’s diary just as easily,” Vin muttered to himself as he tore his gaze from the fallen faeries.          He placed the harp in the pocket of his vest to add to his growing collection. He wondered how long it would take before Uthela commandeered a gnome to make her another one.          “May I have my harp back, Vin?”          He arched a brow but made no other comment.           She flitted around his head. Her wings beat furiously, a sure sign of her agitation. “You’re horrid, Vin. Simply horrid.”          “An opinion shared by many these days.”           He turned away from the cluster of faeries. He’d learned many things since becoming the Keeper, one of which was to use a firm hand when dealing with the Beings of Alfheim Haven. As a result, he rarely bowed to another’s will. He glanced down at the translucent quality of his hand and bit off an oath.           The blasted woman continued to read. Her throat must be hoarse by now. Time flowed differently in Alfheim Haven. A minute in the human realm equated to nineteen minutes here, sometimes even more. She must have read that story for almost three hours. If anything, she was tenacious.           He walked slowly. Her voice pulled at him. He resisted. Doesn’t she have anything better to do with her time?           By the time he reached the keep, his skin was completely transparent. He swung his cape over his shoulder and yanked the front door open with more force than he intended. He must rein in his temper and not give into the human emotion.           I won’t go. She can read until she has no voice and still, I won’t go.           “Vin?”           His mother’s gentle voice broke through his thoughts. His eyes met hers. A flitting worry etched her features before it fled from view. “She calls to you again, doesn’t she?”          He rolled his eyes. He should have never told his mother of his visit to the human realm.          “Just because she calls, doesn’t mean I must go to her. I won’t be manipulated.”          His mother turned her head away, but not before he caught her gentle smile. She studied the flowing fabric of her gown with more interest than it deserved. “Vin, when you saw the woman, did you think to ask her name?”          His mouth gaped. He clamped it shut. Awiergan! What had he been thinking? How would he find her when he bridged to the human realm if he didn’t know her name? Mefylleth drew near, and he wouldn’t have much time to locate the girl or the book. “Aye, but she managed to avoid telling me. It’s an oversight I intend to correct. Have no fear, Mother, this situation will resolve itself soon. I give you my word.”           Before he could change his mind, he disappeared from her sight and into the timeless void that would take him to the human realm—and the nameless woman who summoned him.

Destiny Blaine… Breakfast by the Sea

November 19, 2010 By: Romance Junkies Category: Guest Blogger, Latest News 5 Comments →

Jekyll Island is on Red Alert: These Tough and Sexy Operatives Will Leave the Island Forever Changed


On rare occasions, a writer will pen something they can’t seem to leave behind after they type out the ending. Breakfast by the Sea is one of those books. Jeff Jacobsen, the lead Alpha-male hero in the novel is forever embedded in my mind. The story, the characters, and the setting will remain in my head for years to come.

When writing a ménage romance with more than two heroes, I tend to lean toward one of these fellows right from the start, but after reviewing my notes for the novel,  I never thought this would be an obstacle in this particular novel and for various reasons.  

When the characters were developed, I fell in love with each of these men, feeling like they were the boys next door. These operatives were cowboys with plenty of heart. They were willing to take up arms and fight for what they believe in and more than willing to die for the person they were standing beside, especially when one of their own, a brother more than a friend, counted on them for their protection.

As much as I tried to keep Jeff Jacobsen on common ground with the others, he kept pressing his way to the forefront and mainly because there was so much story to tell about his past; too much to reveal and a lot of layers to uncover. The man behind the operative chased the demons he desperately needed to overcome and once Paige revealed her place in his life, I was toast. Jeff was mine.

Even though Jeff Jacobsen emerged as the leading hero, Callan O’Bree won over several beta readers from the start. He was noted as the perfect Irishman—handsome, charming, and full of mischief.  Miles is said to be intelligent with a dry sense of humor certain to win over his own crowd. As for Adam, our fearless Super-Ops leader, he has a definite fan club for various reasons.  I can’t reveal those without giving away a few spoilers.

In the end, I think readers will be very surprised at the turn of events between Paige Lambert, our heroine, and Connor, one of the heroes who could’ve easily emerged as our leading man. The way the tables turn between Connor and Paige is one of my favorite parts in the story. I think you’ll see the underlying significance of their relationship and agree, the final scene between Paige and Connor lays the groundwork for an incredibly sweet happy ending.

I’m proud of Breakfast by the Sea and hope you’ll consider purchasing this book while it’s on sale at a tremendous 15% savings. I’m anxious to introduce ‘my boys’ to you and hope you’ll love them as much as I do. Breakfast by the Sea is available today at Siren-Bookstrand.

Destiny Blaine/Natalie Acres

Natalie Acres is one of the pseudonyms for Destiny Blaine. Natalie’s books Sex Party, Sex Games, and Cowboy Boots and Untamed Hearts became the #1 Best Selling Erotica and #1 Best Selling Western books on Amazon soon after their initial release dates . Destiny Blaine’s western ménage books Domination Plantation (Aspen Mountain Press) and A Matter Among Four (Siren Publishing) have captured and claimed best selling spots on various third party retailers. Destiny Blaine is also credited for being one of the first authors of sports romance. Her sports romance books are available now at Siren-Bookstrand.  ©2010 Destiny Blaine  

Blurb for Breakfast by the Sea:  A beautiful woman with a checkered past runs a legitimate bed and breakfast on Jekyll Island. Several young men posing as cowboys move in Breakfast by the Sea and things become chaotic right from the start when the oceanfront B&B turns into a command center for a very determined group of special Super-Op Forces. Pursuing a man known as the King of Hearts, five tough operatives fall for a woman they’re supposed to eliminate. When the team discovers Paige Lambert is in fact the Queen of Hearts, they can’t ignore their handler’s orders. Is the bed and breakfast owner destined to die for her past crimes or will she end up under the protective custody of the men hired to kill her?  

Excerpt One for Breakfast by the Sea: He felt like he’d just laid eyes on her for the first time. He started at her chin, noticing the way the dark brown hair curved under her jaw, a lock of hair so delicate but there nonetheless, like it was clinging for dear life. Was that what Paige was doing? Was she frightened? Was she running scared? His gaze traveled down her long, slender neck. He admired how she held her head high, the structure of her slender collarbone leading to a bare chest with plenty for a man to enjoy. Before he indulged too much, Paige knelt down and retrieved her clothes, shrugging into a sports bra, one she had to yank over those full mounds in order to secure them. Damn. She was right. Snapping that neck of hers would be a terrible waste. That’s when his mouth watered. Why hadn’t he gawked when she’d been topless? And why did he find her sexy as all fucking hell right then? Her flat stomach made him itch. He’d love to kiss around her sunken belly button and insinuate a slow sex act, make her arch for him, beg him for more. Finally, he studied the band of her shorts. What he’d give to lick and tease his way a little lower, strip away those shorts and show her what she’d been missing. Maybe in her body, he’d find what he’d been looking for all along. Perhaps he needed to fuck a woman he wasn’t later expected to kill. Then again, he couldn’t be so sure that order wouldn’t come. Stop thinking! “Is something wrong?” she asked, batting her eyelashes. “No,” he replied, storming ahead of her. Suddenly, he wondered why she followed him then when she hadn’t trailed behind him before. He stopped, turned around, and shook his finger again. “Don’t you dare run. I’d like to have breakfast before we do that again.” “Okay,” she said, catching up and walking beside him. “Want to answer my question now?” “Which one?” “How can you keep up with me?” “Wouldn’t you like to know,” he growled. “I’m asking.” “I’m in great shape.” “I can tell.” Jeff stopped at the bottom of the steps. “Is that you coming on to me?” She sashayed by him. “No, Jeff. That was me trying to figure out how I can outrun you next time.” “There won’t be a next time,” he told her, grabbing her from behind and slamming her against the steps, bracing her back with his large hands. His breath matched hers. The move knocked the wind out of both of them. “Now what?” “I’m not going to kiss you,” he said, thinking he wouldn’t put up much of a fight if she laid one on him. She moistened her lips. “I didn’t think so,” she whispered, arching her neck. “What if I kiss you?” “Is that what you’re planning to do? You have the rest of these guys by the balls, and since I’m not turning tricks to taste the pudding, what ’cha gonna do, darlin’, offer me a spoon?” “I don’t understand your riddles,” she stated flatly, licking those full, enticing lips once more. “Let me give you a warning. I’m the real thing, sweetheart. I’m in Jekyll Island to work. It’s something all of us do very well when we don’t have a distraction. Now, since I’ve been assigned to you for the time being, I’m setting you straight. You’ll do what I tell you, and you’ll do it with a wide smile to boot. Understand?” “Or you’ll what?” “I told you what I’d do. If you want to see how much I enjoy skinny-dipping, pull one of your stunts again. I’ll drag you into that ocean and make sure every tourist within ten miles hears you when you scream.” “I already heard the guys talking. You wouldn’t rape me,” she said, narrowing her gaze and proving then that she wasn’t so sure. “Rape? Hell, no. You’ll respond to me like a bitch in heat. I have a way about me.” “Really? Who would’ve thought?” she asked diabolically, moving her lips to his ear. “Who can I ask to verify this? Hmm? Have you left any of your past lovers alive? Because if you have, I’d love to give them a call and invite them to join me for tea.”     

Buy Link:  

Wanda Brunstetter

November 18, 2010 By: Romance Junkies Category: Guest Blogger, Latest News 1 Comment →




Whenever I decide to write a series of books, my husband and I always visit the area where the books will be set in order to get a feel for it. We also get to know some of the people who live in the area, which gives me a connection even after we’ve gone home. Before I wrote my stand-alone novel, “Lydia’s Charm,” we visited Charm, Ohio several times. We also became acquainted with some Amish families who live in the area, which really helped me get the feel of the Amish community there.

                By visiting many of the shops and businesses in Charm, I was able to make the story seem real to my readers who may have visited or plan to visit there. Some of the places we visited in Charm were Keim Lumber, Miller’s Dry Goods, Charm Shoe and Boot Store, and Grandma’s Homestead Restaurant. While we were having lunch at the restaurant one day, we saw a waitress walk off the job. This gave me a great scene idea for the book, as I pondered the question as to why the woman had left so abruptly, leaving many of us without the food we had ordered.

                During my research I make sure to take lots of notes regarding the types of trees; flowers; landscape; birds; insects; wildlife; fish in ponds, lakes, and rivers; types of homes; roads; street signs; places of business; and anything else that I might decide to mention in my novels. I also learn about the types of crops that are grown in the area, and what the weather is like throughout the year. I write down any sounds I hear, such as the clip-clop of horses’ hooves, dogs barking, cows mooing, horses neighing, geese honking, or any unusual bird or insect sounds. I was particularly interested in the noisy buzz of the cicadas when we were in Kentucky doing research for my upcoming Kentucky Brothers series.

                While researching my historical series, The Brides of Lehigh Canal, my husband and I rode a restored canal built, pulled by two mules, part of the way up the Lehigh Navigation System near Easton, Pennsylvania. We walked the towpath in order to get a feel for what it was like for my main character when she led the mules that pulled her father’s canal boat from Easton to Mach Chunk to pick up loads of coal. We visited two locktender’s homes along the canal, and spent time in the canal museum in Easton, where I gathered some additional information. All of these things helped me get the feel of what it was like to live and work on the canal in the 1800s.

                Along with my note-taking, my husband photographs many things we think I might mention in my novels. By having the pictures to look at, when we get home, I’m able to put myself in the scene and remember what it was like when we were in the area we visited.

                One thing I always try to remember when I’m researching a book is to use all of my senses and record what I hear, see, smell, feel, and taste. I believe all of those things help bring my books to life.     

Writing About Real People – Making Everyday Life Sexy and Extraordinary

November 17, 2010 By: Guestauthor Category: Guest Blogger, Latest News 4 Comments →


In my Thursday Night stories, I love writing about couples overcoming the challenges life throws at them.  The characters are normal people living their lives.  They’re not vampires or shifters or aliens sent to colonize the planet, they are simply Mr. and Mrs. Normal; well, maybe a sexed-up version of Mr. and Mrs. Normal, dealing with LIFE.  I imagine these stories as a window into a couple’s home and it’s my job as the writer to open that window so the reader can watch the magic of love triumph over everything in its path. Not all the plotlines are based on saving the world, or curing a crippling disease or even stopping an out of control school bus filled with adorable pre-schoolers singing a medley of Barney songs as it races toward the edge of the mountain road with a broken guard rail where, if it’s not stopped, will tragically plummet 1,000′ to the canyon floor below.  Nope.  The plots are based on real events that may have already happened, or could happen, to some of us at one point in our lives.  Perhaps a critical decision must be made that has relationship-altering consequences or an external event occurs that drives a wedge between the hero and heroine and they need to find a way to bridge that new gap.  Keep in mind that these stories are all in the Erotic Romance genre so the plot and characters will be sexually charged and erotically driven.  And, as in real life, sex serves as a key element in the character’s relationship and plays an important part in the overall resolution of these stories. But it’s not all about the sex.  It’s about seeing how these couples interact and feed off each other while under duress that builds the dramatic tension.  Honestly, I cheat.  In a lot of stories and novels, you watch the characters meet, court and fall in love.  The tension builds until there’s one defining moment when the characters realize they have fallen for each other.  In the short story, it’s tough to adequately build up that courtship.  So, the characters in the Thursday Night stories are all past that courtship stage.  They are committed couples, some married, some not, striving together.  They believe they can count on each other to overcome whatever is thrown at them, with believe being the operative word.  These characters are like real people.  They are not pristine or perfect.   They may have made some bad decisions in the past and are living with the ramifications, but they are moving forward. Reality in fiction.  Hmm.  It reminds me of an oxymoron like army intelligence or jumbo shrimp, but that’s what I’m striving for here.  Even the series name, Thursday Night, conjures images of …what?  Nothing really.  Thursday is not a famous day.  It’s kinda the everyman day of the week, more of a placeholder between hump day and TGIF, than a significant day in its own right.  That’s about to change.  On Thursday Night, anything can happen.Watch for my first release from Breathless Press, The Presentation, coming out on November 19th.Not one for public limelight, Sheila, the new VP of Operations must face her greatest fear: the presentation to her future. Overridden with anxiety and nerves, she could only turn to one person for help—Matt, her husband of eleven years. But his innovative ways pose possible threats to her job. Can she risk endangering her career for the sake of fulfilling her forbidden fantasies?

Check out The Presentation on Nov. 19th at

S.E. HoldenEmail:



Story Ideas: where do they come from?

November 16, 2010 By: Guestauthor Category: Guest Blogger, Latest News 7 Comments →

The Christmas Clock, by Kat Martin

People often ask where I get my story ideas. Often the idea for a novel comes from a character that pops into my head or a plot concept, some kernel of information I may have read in the newspaper, seen in a movie or on TV.  The idea for THE CHRISTMAS CLOCK came from a fictional character I saw in my mind, an adorable old woman named Lottie Sparks whose memory was fading from Alzheimer’s.  Lottie’s friends, Syl Winters and Joe Dixon, became the focus of the romance in the story and the core of the book.

The most exciting thing that can happen to a writer is when a book takes off on its own and the author really feels connected to the characters and the storyline.  When that happens, the words just seem to flow.  It’s an exhilarating feeling, and occasionally it will continue all the way through a novel.  Most of the time, however, you just have to keep working, grinding toward the ending until you’re finished.  It’s just part of being a writer.

Working in my spare time, it took me two years to finish THE CHRISTMAS CLOCK, but when the book was complete, I felt as if I had written a story that was really worthwhile. 

I hope you’ll watch for THE CHRISTMAS CLOCK and after the holidays, you’ll keep an eye out for my Raines Brothers Trilogy, which starts January 1st with Jackson Raines in AGAINST THE WIND. 

Till then, Happy Holidays and all best wishes, Kat 

ORDER from Barnes & Noble

ORDER from Amazon

ORDER from Borders

FIND an Independent Bookstore

Blogging with Jill Shure

November 15, 2010 By: Romance Junkies Category: Guest Blogger, Latest News 5 Comments →


Why do Americans believe that reading a novel is like taking toxic smelling medicine? Is it because we were often forced to read extremely boring texts throughout high school and college? Did reading Beowulf and Paradise Lost forever kill your ability to enjoy a good book? I, too, did my time reading books which were supposedly good for me. Like spinach, they were meant to nourish me. But my personal belief is that the pretensions of educators and certain factions of the public make reading less of an adventure and more like a tedious journey.

I personally grew up devouring Nancy Drew books. My older sister handed me down the original versions published before 1959.
And though my grade school teacher discouraged me from reading these mysteries, I read the entire series. Yes, I was also forced to read the classics. But those early reading pleasures of curling up with Nancy Drew inspired me to go on to enjoy all sorts of adult fiction. I finished high school having read works by Tolstoy, Joseph Conrad, and Dostoyevsky In college I read most of William Faulkner, Hemingway, Eugene O’Neil, Tennessee Williams, and F. Scott Fitzgerald.

Fitzgerald, now regarded as a literary genius, actually wrote popular fiction in his day, achieving early fame with his first novel,  This Side of Paradise. This bestseller was not praised for its high literary appeal but for how well it depicted the post World War I generation. It was Fitzgerald’s 1920’s view of wild youth indulging in outlawed whiskey, sexual misconduct, and what we would call excessive “partying” today.

I just wish the public would accept that reading should be pleasurable. Because books can improve your imagination, your vocabulary, and educate you about the world. And kids will read if they’re inspired to.  Just think of those Harry Potter books and those vampire novels kids are devouring.

So if your eleven year old son hates reading, try finding a biography of a sports hero he admires. Or the autobiography of a musician he’s wild about. And if children see you reading for pleasure, they might get the idea that sitting on their beds with a good book is fun.

Don’t worry about someone else’s idea of what literature is.  Read whatever you like. And if you hate a book, put it down. There are too many wonderful books out there to bore yourself.

Because reading encourages more reading. It certainly did wonders for me. I enjoyed it so much I became a writer. In fact I wrote a mystery called, A CLAUSE FOR MURDER thanks to those hours spent with Nancy Drew. It’s a cozy mystery which will give you hours of pleasure and make you laugh. Because I also believe that laughter is one of the greatest pleasures on earth.


Jill Shure, a New York native, had a creative knack since she was young. Making her stage debut at the ripe old age of 10, she knew she was destined for greatness. Moving became a family pastime and the constant uprooting and changes in her life encouraged her to seek creative outlets in both the theater and writing. Shure majored in Language and Fine Arts at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor.

After graduating, Shure moved to Washington, D.C., and worked on Capitol Hill. After three years, Shure packed her bags and headed for Southern California where she attended graduate school in San Diego for teaching. She then pursued writing and worked with screenwriter Howard Browne and later on with novelist Joan Oppenhiemer. During this time, Shure kept her foot in the performance arena, starring in a production at San Diego State University and working in Children’s Theater.

Shure has written several novels from Young Adult to a Psychological Suspense Thriller. Her first script, The Levy’s Tomb, was optioned by a 20th Century Fox executive. Shure became a finalist in both The Austin Heart of Film Screenwriting Competition and twice in The Academy of Motion’s Pictures’ Nicholl Fellowship. Shure also studied screenwriting at UCLA, and with such notable gurus as Syd Field and Linda Seger.

Her fiction harvested awards at the Santa Barbara Writer’s Conference and twice at the San Diego State’s Writers Conferences from editors at Berkley Putnam and Harper Collins. Jill’s writings appear in The Love of Friends (Berkley Putnam 1997). In 2002, she won the BEN FRANKLIN AWARD for Popular Fiction for her novel, NIGHT JAZZ.

Jill is currently active in Sisters-In-Crime, Scripteasers, The Southwest Writers Association, Women in Film, and The National Writers’ Association, among others. An avid supporter of animal rights, Jill is a benefactor at The Helen Woodward Center in Fairbanks Ranch, California.


Being You

November 13, 2010 By: Guestauthor Category: Guest Blogger, Latest News 3 Comments →

I was talking with someone recently and she mentioned something that disturbed me. Basically it was all about being you. She was putting on a façade to those around her. She mentioned she could only be her with a few people and I was one of them. Since I couldn’t understand how one could not be themselves it led to a long discussion. It was really eye opening and mouth dropping. I guess I am naïve when it comes to some things. But the one thing I can be very experienced about is who I am.

As I listened to her I was tired just hearing how she acted around different people. All I could think was – it was too much effort to put on a front to different people why don’t you just be you. I didn’t tell her this because she wasn’t a friend of mine. If she was I would have given her a reality check. Anyway when I left her I couldn’t stop thinking about the conversation. It made me sad that she felt she had to act a certain way to supposedly fit into certain circumstances or put on another persona to make others see her a certain way. She was basically being fake.

Being disturbed by the conversation I discussed it with a close friend. My friend was as baffled as I was. When I asked her why she thought I didn’t get it she was her usual blunt self saying “I just don’t give a f— what others think of me. You on the other hand are too blunt like me and just enjoying being you. You are honest to a fault. Not to mention nice which those who don’t know you take as being weak or easily walked over. Boy, are they wrong. You might be nice but you don’t put on airs or take shit from anyone. It boils down to being genuine and real. And that’s what we have.” When she said that I knew she was right. Of course I had to tease her for making me blush with saying I’m nice and all that crap. I’m mean I tell ya. Mean and don’t let anyone tell you different. LOL.

Yes my friend was right I just couldn’t get it because it was so far out of the realm of what I did for myself or with people who are my friends. When I call someone friend I mean it. When I say I like or hate something I mean it. When I talk with you what I say is what I want to not a false front to make you feel a certain way about me. Again it made me sad that someone had to put on an act. All I still wonder is why. There is nothing more awesome than being who you are. Being the same with everyone. No I’m not talking about talking the same with everyone but being the core of being you.

If the person you are dealing with doesn’t like it. Tough. Not everyone will like you. Not everyone will understand you. Not everyone will want to be your friend. And that is ok. When it comes down to it all that matter is what is inside of you. Don’t let anyone change who you are or change to suit what others perceive. There is nothing better than just being you.

Taige Crenshaw
…increasing the sizzle factor

Chat Group:
Free Reads Site:

Wilde Seduction – What happens when a woman who doesn’t know how to relax meets a man whose lust for life will change her and make all her deepest desires come to life?

Buy here at Total-E-Bound.

  • Events Calendar

    February  2016
    Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat Sun
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7
    8 9 10 11 12 13 14
    15 16 17 18 19 20 21
    22 23 24 25 26 27 28
  • Categories

  • Recent Posts

  • Twitter

    • The RSS feed for this twitter account is not loadable for the moment.

    Follow @RJBookReviews on twitter.

  • Archives

  • Polls

    • Sorry, there are no polls available at the moment.