Thursday 28 February 2013

My special guest today is Cher'ley Grogg

Today, I'm delighted to have a friend I met on Facebook come to visit. 

Cher'ley Grogg is a lady who has a lot of things going on, and is no stranger to blogging and setting up Facebook groups. Since I joined her group-Writing, Wranglers and Warriors-I've learned how friendly she is to everyone, and how dedicated she is to giving authors a great opportunity to practice their craft and to get their work read by as many people as possible.

I'm sure the smile you see here is on her face most of every day! I asked Cher'ley to share a little about herself with us and here's what she has to say: 

I know you as the creator of a blog –Writing Wranglers and Warriors - where a number of authors submit posts, the aim being to have a post every single day of the year. What prompted you to set up this particular blog?

It is a way of promoting our books or other writing projects. Each of us have social media contacts like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, G+, Stumble Upon, Blogs, Websites, etc., and most of us have exhausted our friends and relatives, so I wanted a wider outreach and felt that others would want that too. It’s not a blog about writing, even though many of the authors do share tips and ideas, it’s a blog about what we want to promote without actually promoting. I like to share a life event or a slice of life that is also part of one of my novels. I hope in doing so, more people will want to read my novels. So, the bloggers can reach each other’s contacts with our blogs and hopefully our contacts will also share the blogs. It is less than 6 months old and it is constantly reaching more people.

You've shared the updates on blog visitors with the all Wranglers and I'm delighted with the blog's progress, and even more delighted to have been asked to join you all.  I know you've other blogs on the go as well.  Can you please explain what these might be? 

I have a blog for “Stamp Out Murder”, a general blog on my website, a truck driving blog called “Life in the Fast Lane”, a catch all blog and of course, my shared blog, Writing Wranglers and Warriors. I am getting ready to start a blog for “The Secret in Grandma’s Trunk”.

As well as a very active social media life you lead a very interesting physical life jaunting all around the US. Please share with us something about that, and how you cope with it as an author.

I and my husband are truck drivers; we drive an 18 wheeler across the US. We each drive 11 hours a day, plus our other duties-like paper work, making sure the truck is in good condition and of course cooking and cleaning the truck. Some days I don’t get a chance to write at all, but maybe we’ll be down for a day or we’ll have a short run and my husband can do all the driving that day, which will give me a chance to write.

That's an amazing life that you lead. I'm surprised you manage to write at all! So, how do you manage a typical day, given all the demands on your time?

I always try to support the other bloggers on Writing Wranglers and Warriors, so as soon as possible in the mornings, I read, comment and share this blog. We all depend on each other to do that. Most days I drive into the wee hours of the morning, so I get some sleep. When I wake up, I try to get my writing responsibilities finished first and if I have more time I work on my other novels. I try to advance my writing skills as often as possible, so I have a lot of learning sites that I belong to, and I work on some skill every week. It’s hard because promoting and marketing takes a lot of time. If we are down for a day or two I read too, because I think it’s important to support other authors and you learn from reading other’s works.
How long have you been a published writer?

One year for “Stamp Out Murder” and it will be a year this month for “The Secret in Grandma’s Trunk”.

I've started to read 'Stamp out murder'. I'm only on chapter four but I'm definitely wondering what is going to happen and what purpose is meant by the 'stamp' introduction to each chapter. Very intriguing. More from me on that later when I finish reading! 

Back to the questions. How many books have you published so far?

Two novels, lots of articles, short stories and poems.

Do you only write in one genre, or for one particular age group?

No. They are always books you could read to your grandmother, but they are all different age groups and genres.

Tell me about your latest release “The Secret in Grandma’s Trunk”.

It’s about two teens and a pre-teen who are cousins living along the Ohio River, in Belpre, OH. Great-grandma has always lived in California, but she is not able to stay by herself anymore and she has to come live with her granddaughter. The oldest son is very upset because he has to give up his room and his time to help care for her. When Great-grandma arrives she has a big trunk, in thirteen year old Brandon’s mind it looks like a treasure chest and he thinks there is treasure inside. Perhaps enough for her to get a place of her own, but the trunk is locked. When the children finally get into the trunk they find some things they wish they hadn’t found. To make matters worse a stranger from Great-grandma’s past is threatening her life.  

What’s the genre/ subgenre of “The Secret in Grandma’s Trunk”?

It is a tween novel.

Were there any triggers which led to the plotline for “The Secret in Grandma’s Trunk”?

Not really, I wanted to write a book that would be of interest to young boys, so they would read more. I also wanted to write in a girl that wasn’t the typical teen girl in size and ideas.

Who are the main characters of the story?

Brandon-13, his brother Jacob-12 and their cousin Jordan-13, Great-grandma, the man after her and a 16 year old girl.

Do the names for characters just pop into your head as soon as you start a book?
Some of them do, some of them are changed several times.

How much research do you tend to do?

I do a lot of research. I research before I start and all the way through.

I've had to do a lot of research for my current historical work in progress and know what a pleasure research can be, but also just how much time it takes me.  

What's your biggest writing related challenge in the coming year?

I have several novels started that I need to get completed. I have the draft of the next book in the Stamp series nearly finished, “Cancel Out Murder”.  I also have a YA novel that is a completed first draft that needs a lot of work and a suspense story that is near finished.

What about settings? Do you include places you’ve been to…or just invent?

I used a combination of places I’ve been and places I invent.

Who is your favorite character in the book? Why?

I think Great-grandma is because of her spunk and wisdom.

What are you working on right now?
I have a lot of readers who want me to write a vampire novel, so I plan to do some more work on that. I’ve started a 365 day devotional book with photos that I’ve taken and I’d like to get it finished by October.

That's a lot of work to undertake, Cher'ley but I've every confidence you'll give it your best shot and will have it done! Best wishes to you with all your projects.  

The Secret in Grandma's Trunk. 
A teen's life turns disruptive when Great-grandmother, a stranger to him comes from California to live with Brandon and his family along the Ohio River. Brandon prepared to do whatever it takes to get rid of the old woman, did not count on the spunk Grandma possesses. Her redeeming quality, in Brandon's opinion, is her habit of spitting in disgust. Grandma's huge trunk sets in the garage, tempting Brandon to open it, but she keeps the key around her neck. He is positive there is enough treasure inside to take care of her. But, hidden deep in the trunk is a secret that puts her in dire danger. Will help come from a young ghost, or will her great-grandchildren intervene?

Cher'ley Grogg writes different genres. "Stamp Out Murder" is her first novel to be published; however, she has many poems, short stories and articles published online and in print books. She has a children's mystery book and a picture book completed, and a YA novel and a suspense novel that are waiting for editing. Some of her hobbies are photography, and painting fine art. She has received awards in both mediums and she has art in collections throughout the United States and foreign countries.

Facebook link-Fans of Cher'ley Grogg
Cher'ley Grogg

Blog for Mirror Mirror--Who's the Next to Die

Thank you so much for joining us, today, Cher'ley. My good wishes to you  for success with all your work. .


Wednesday 27 February 2013

Boomer Lit at Welcome Wednesday

My blog is open to authors of many different genres, and sub-genres, and I'm delighted to have Michael Murphy as my guest today on Welcome Wednesday. I met Michael through one of my facebook groups, though I didn't know much about him. Now, having read his guest post for today, I'm guessing we must be 'much of an age'  - though I'm not telling you what that might be! 

Over now to Michael to tell us about the 5* reviewed book he's featuring today called 'Goodbye Emily'. 

The cover for it is wonderfully bright, don't you think? (and I confess I used to do my own tie-dying and dress making- kaftans galore)

The Newest Genre

If YA novels deal with coming of age, then Boomer Lit, or baby boomer novels deal with coming of aging. My latest novel, Goodbye Emily, falls into this category of novels with main characters who are baby boomers. The characters face life’s challenges and obstacles like in any other genre, but they have the advantage of life’s experiences.

Too often characters in their mid-fifties and sixties are presented in fiction as grumpy, get off my lawn kind of people. I prefer to create characters in this age group the way I see them in real life—talented, loving, nurturing toward friends, family and those younger than themselves, funny, because we’ve learned to laugh at ourselves and life’s ironies, and sexually active.

Baby boomers represent the largest group of book readers, so it makes sense for authors to write for and about people this age. Goodreads has a Boomer Lit group of talented authors who write about and for baby boomers. If you’re an author, or reader, check out the group and join in the discussions at

When I mention to people I’ve written a novel about baby boomers, they often react with a pre-conceived notation that a novel about boomers will just have to be a depressing look at health and post-retirement issues.  Far from it, readers.

Goodbye Emily addresses serious themes that many baby boomers deal have dealt with, broken heart syndrome, post traumatic stress and Alzheimers, but the novel does so with a significant amount of humor and compassion. I enjoy people who can laugh at themselves, and brought this attitude to my characters. Don’t take my word for it, check out what others have said at

Mine is one of many novels that are written for and about baby boomers. Last time I checked the Boomer Lit group had more than two hundred members, so if you’re a baby boomer, check out books written about and for you at Boomer Lit.


Three baby boomers relive their trip to Woodstock in ’69. One final roadtrip. One last chance to say Goodbye Emily.

Two years after the death of his wife Emily from cancer, a college professor faces his own life-threatening illness, broken-heart syndrome. Adding to his grief, a bean counting administrator has kicked him into early retirement, his daughter is considering a dream job halfway across the county, and his only friend is a pot smoking Vietnam vet stuck in the sixties. The professor plans a road trip to scatter his wife Emily’s ashes where they met at Woodstock. To recreate the original trip they’ll need to bring along a high school buddy who is  in a nursing home with early stage Alzheimer’s. When the home refuses to allow their friend to come along, the professor and the vet bust him out, attracting the attention of the cops and the media, fascinating the public. Good-bye, Emily is a journey of self-discovery for a man who thought he’d left all important journeys in life behind, only to rediscover that life is still groovy after all.

BIO: Michael Murphy lives in Arizona with his wife of forty years. He’s a full-time writer and part time backyard urban chicken rancher. 

Find Michael at:

Thank you very much for sharing you information about 'Goodbye Emily', Michael. Your book sounds like one I have to find time for very soon. Best wishes for its success!



Tuesday 26 February 2013

Trickle and rush

Revising part of my work in progess -presently entitled Bran Reborn - I've just described a woodland scene. It made me want to include some illustrations in the book, but since I thnk that's not realistic I'm posting some here instead that I took in April 2012 at Blair Castle, Perthshire, Scotland.

There's something infinitely soothing about the trickle of water...

1. Near Blair Castle, Scotland.

2. Just outside Braemar, Scotland

3. Blair Castle, Scotland

4. Not sure of the location since I bought the image use from

5. Blair Castle, Scotland

How would you describe the water in these? you have a favourite among these? If so, which one?

Sunday 24 February 2013

Sneak Peek Sunday thrill for you

Yes, I have to say that I can hardly believe another week has passed. The most amazing thing, so far, about signing up for Sneak Peek Sunday is realising how quickly it comes around again. (Perhaps that's why I never managed to discipline myself to doing it before?) 

Today, I'm giving you a nice long - 6 paragraph - peek at my December 2012 release, Topaz Eyes. 

The story at this point:

Duluth - Minnesota, US.  

Teun has chased after someone caught in the act of ransacking their hotel room...

With just sufficient presence of mind to make sure her key card was in her pocket, Keira snicked the door closed. Stumbling along the wall, her legs still a gelatinous mess, she pried open the heavy door to the emergency stairs.
            Noises pounded from somewhere down below: shouts and bellows she couldn’t interpret. At first she couldn’t tell if someone was going down to lower floors or was coming up. Their room was on the eleventh floor, so there were plenty of floors above and below them.
            Stilling her heaving breathing, she listened more carefully. The person was coming back up the stairs but the footsteps no longer powered their way. Edging back to the door, she’d no idea whether to wait or to retreat to her room. Her gaze scanned above, not for divine intervention, but purely because she was too cowardly to look below. There was no problem if it was Teun… but if it was the stalker? Her whole torso plastered against the cold metal, her breath stifled by panic.
            A couple more flights by the sounds of the slowing footsteps. That inner sister berated her again, told her to get real and stop wimping. Opening her palms flush against the icy surface behind her, she willed some courage to return. One more flight. Oh God! She could now hear the laboured breathing of someone fighting with their fitness. Taking her unawares, anger roiled inside her and then erupted. Where her gall came from she’d no idea, but she was past caring.
            “If you’re not Teun, I’m going to beat your head in! I’ve got a weapon here and the minute you come near me, I’ll not hesitate to use it, you thieving… prowler!" The minute the words gushed, Keira’s legs almost folded. What the hell had she just done? She gaped at her almost empty palms. A key card wasn’t exactly much use. 
Enjoy my snippet and don't forget to hop on over to the other Sneak Peekers.

Topaz Eyes Blurb:
A peculiar invitation to Heidelberg embroils Keira Drummond in the search for a mysterious collection of extraordinary jewels once owned by a Mughal Emperor; a hoard that was last known to be in the possession of Amsterdam resident, Geertje Hoogeveen, in 1910. 

Who among the progeny of Geertje – hitherto unfamiliar third cousins brought together for the quest – can Keira rely on? Distrust and suspicion among them is rife.

Which one is greedy, and determined enough, to hire thugs to tail her… and worse… as she travels to Vienna and Minnesota?  Can Keira even trust Teun Zeger - a Californian she is becoming very drawn to – as they pair up to unearth the jewellery?

As they follow a trail of clues, will they uncover the full collection before the hired gun kills them? Details remain furtive and undisclosed until danger and death forces their exposure. And who harbours the ultimate mystery item that is even more precious than the Mughal jewels?

Greed, suspicion and murder are balanced by growing family loyalty, trust, and love. 
Buy from: 
Amazon UK    amazon .com
Amazon author page for all books by Nancy Jardine


Friday 22 February 2013

Familiarise Friday meets - Somebody Like You

Familiarise Friday welcomes Lynnette Austin, a fellow Wild Rose Press author, who has had a recent release with Grand Central Publishing. She's brought along her friend from  - Somebody Like You - for us to meet.

Lynnette - if you're friend is always as sunny as this  cover photo, he can come visit Familiarise Friday any time!

Hello. and who are you?

Hi, my name’s Cash Hardemann, and I’m (blushing) the hero in Lynnette Austin’s Somebody Like You. This is the first in a series she’s writing about my small Texas hometown.

Where do you hail from? 
I was born and raised right here in Maverick Junction, Texas, and this is where I plan to spend my life. I’ll raise my kids right here at the Whispering Pines Ranch. Texas—home of the Alamo, Lone Star beer, and the Dallas Cowboys. The sky is big and so are people’s hearts.

That sounds like a really well loved place, but what would be your ideal place to stay for a month?

If I had a vacation—something a rancher rarely has—I’d spend it at home, here by the lake in the house I built with my own two hands. Of course, I’d talk Annie into spending it with me. Toss in Staubach, my so-ugly-he’s-almost-cute dog, and what could be more perfect?

What would you do down at the lake?
I’d sleep past dawn, then while the fog was rising, I’d take Annie out on the lake in my canoe for our first cup of coffee. We could do some skinny-dipping, horseback riding, and lay in a field of bluebonnets with a picnic basket. Boy, looking at that, I think I must have it bad for Annie. Don’t tell any of the guys about this.

I can see what you look like, and I bet you're very popular with the gals, but tell me 6 things about yourself.
Well, I’ve got a little problem right now. Grandpa went to Vegas and came back with a knock-down-dead, meaner-than-spit bride two years older than me. I lost Grandpa a couple months ago, and now I might lose the ranch.
Added to that, I think I’m falling for a beautiful gal who came riding into Maverick Junction on a big, black Harley. The woman’s turned my world upside down. Thing is, she’s hiding a secret, and that’s got me worried.
I love my horse, my dog, my longneck beer, and my jeans, cowboy hat and boots—and maybe Annelise Montjoy. Not necessarily in that order, of course.

How do you think Annelise would describe you?

Annie’d probably tell you I’m loyal and dependable. She might add stubborn and bullheaded. Of course, being Harvard educated, she’d no doubt use fancier words. There’s a chance she’d say I have kind of a quick temper—but only when it’s called for. Oh, and she’d surely tell you I’m a great kisser!

Sounds like you might have to change your lifestyle. What would you change first?

There’s the problem of Vivi, my grandpa’s widow. Seems a day doesn’t go by that some kind of drama’s not going on with her. I need to resolve that. Then…I think it’s time for me to start considering settling down with a family. With my Annie. That might take some doing, though, because, well, I’m cowboy boots, and she’s champagne flutes. But we’re working on it.

If your life settle down what leisure pursuits will you to take up in 2013?

I want to go parachuting. I want to take more time to simply enjoy life’s small pleasures—studying the clouds on a beautiful, sunny day, teaching my friend Ty’s triplets (what a handful!) how to throw a football. I think I might buy a Harley, and Annie and I could do some riding. That would be fun.

What’s your most favourite way to travel?
I love riding across the Texas countryside on Moonshine, my stallion. For longer trips, I really enjoy piloting my own plane.

When you've got a moment to spare what kind of novels do you tend to read?
I love Robert Parker’s books. I like to read Lee Child and Harlan Coben—books with lots of action and a mystery. And, of course, Zane Grey with his stories of the American West. I grew up on his books.  

That was great to get to know a little about you, Cash. Thanks for coming to Familiarise Friday.


Cash Hardeman thought he'd have all the time in the world to find the right woman...until he discovered that his gold digging step-grandmother will inherit the family ranch if he's not married by his 30th birthday. With the deadline just around the corner and no prospects in sight, Cash knows it's only a matter of time before he loses everything. But when Boston beauty Annelise blows into his life, Cash can't help but wonder if she's what he's been looking for all along.

Giving her bodyguards and the paparazzi the slip, heiress Annelise Montjoy has come to Maverick Junction on a life-or-death mission. But living incognito in the small Texas town is nothing like she expected, and she's finding it difficult to keep her identity a secret--especially with a rough and tumble cowboy like Cash tempting her. It's not long before Annelise starts to wonder if she's finally found the man who can love her for herself rather than her money. But will Annelise's secrets catch up with her before she and Cash can ride off into the Texas sunset?

Buy details:
Available in print and digital format @

Note from Lynnette!
Right now, my publisher, Grand Central Publishing, is offering the digital for only $1.99!

About the author: 

Lynnette Hallberg grew up in Pennsylvania's Alleghany Mountains, moved to New York, then to the Rockies in Wyoming. Presently she, her husband, and her Siamese cat divide their time between Naples, Florida's beaches and Georgia's Blue Ridge Mountains. She has a Master's in Educational Leadership and taught middle school language arts before leaving it to write full-time. Her books have finaled in Romance Writers of America's national Golden Heart Contest, PASIC's Book of Your Heart Contest, and Georgia Romance Writers' Maggie Contest. Her books include Enchanted Evening from Kensington, and Moonlight, Motorcycles, and Bad Boys, Chantilly Lace and A Pretty Face, and Night Shadows from The Wild Rose Press. Her newest, Just A Little White Lie, is scheduled for a September 2011 release from Carina Press. A lover of books, Lynnette loves to read and write and loves nothing better than to lose herself in her characters' world. Besides reading and writing, she loves to travel. She's visited all fifty states with the exception of Alaska. She's traveled extensively throughout Canada, Mexico, Europe, Africa, and Central America-always on the lookout for new characters or a new story. Visit Lynnette at
Author links:
Twitter @LynnetteHallbe

Thank you for coming to Familiarise Friday, Lynnette.  I wish you the very best for sales of all your books. 


Wednesday 20 February 2013

STAC? What's that?

Welcome Wednesday has a great post to share from my fellow Crooked Cat author - David Robinson

David writes cosy mysteries - fast and furious - along with some of what he calls 'darker stuff' , but it's mainly his STAC mystery series that he's sharing with us, today.  

What does STAC stand for? Why it's the Sandford Third Age Club and at its forefront is super sleuth, Joe Murray.

I’m known for the speed at which I can turn out my work. “How do you do it?” is a question I’m often asked. The answer is simple and anyone can do it.
I can turn out a full-length novel in as little as a month or as long as two years. The underlying truth is that both take the same amount of writing time.
Last year, my publisher, Crooked Cat Books, took on a previously self-published title, Voices. At 110,000 words, it’s the longest novel I have ever published. The first draft ran to 120,000 words and it took just 33 days to write. But to revise, edit, re-revise and complete up to publication standards, it took just under two years.
Contrast that with my series of minor bestsellers, the STAC Mysteries. If I pushed myself, I could turn out one every six weeks, and just recently we’ve not been far short of that: Murder at the Murder Mystery Weekend was published in November, My Deadly Valentine, followed in February, and The Chocolate Egg Murders, the seventh in the series, is scheduled for March 20th.
How is it done? 
When I’m writing the STAC Mysteries, I keep the prose simple, and my vocabulary limited. The essence is on the entertainment value, the inherent puzzle and finding the vital clue which unmasks the killer. I work to a plot outline, which gets me from A to B via the shortest route, and I’m not troubled by descriptions of bloodied corpses or steamy interludes between characters. There is no sex in the STAC Mysteries, only hints, and there is no violence other than the thinnest skim, and that is less than you’ll see in a Tom & Jerry cartoon.
There’s usually a subplot, but it tends to act merely as an aside to main thrust of the tale. With the exception of My Deadly Valentine, the locations I use are real towns and cities, and although the hotels, pubs, cafes within them are fictitious, they’re easily recognised as British High Street institutions.
Because they’re so direct, they’re also much shorter than the standard 100,000-word novel. Murder at the Murder Mystery Weekend, The longest STAC Mystery, is barely 83,000 words and the shortest comes in at about 50,000 words.
Everything is set up, therefore, to turn the titles out quickly, and with good reason. I may not have hundreds and thousands of loyal readers out there, but those I have clamour for more the moment they’ve read the latest.
The process has one final ingredient: my work ethic. I’m fortunate in that I’m semi-retired, by which I mean I no longer work for an employer. When I did, it was never less than 35 hours a week, and often it was up to 60 hours a week. Half a century of that gets into your blood, and these days, I’m at the keyboard no later than seven every morning, and when I’m pressing to get out a new title, I put in a minimum eight to ten hours a day. It’s rare that I will go through a day without producing at least 3,000 words, and often, I go way beyond that.
The math is very simple. Three thousand words per day produces an 80,000-word title in 27 days. I don’t hold with this business of put it away for two months and come back to it fresh. When it’s finished, I take one day away from it, then come back and re-read., making adjustments as I go along. From there it goes to my good friend and editor, Maureen Vincent-Northam, who can usually turn them round in a week. I make the corrections, pass it back to her and if she okays it, the M/S goes off to Crooked Cat.
Does it work?
As I write, all six STAC Mysteries are in the top 100 of the UK Kindle crime/mystery/British Detectives chart. They’re not setting the world on fire, but they sell consistently, and for the most part, readers enjoy them and come back for more.
I’ll never win the Booker, I’ll never challenge 50 Shades or Harry Potter, but I enjoy working with Joe and co, and as long as that is the case, I’ll carry on turning them out.
Buy Link:
David Robinson is a freelance writer and novelist. A Yorkshireman known for his and one-megaton sense of humour and outspokenness, he is a trained hypnotherapist and former adult education teacher, now retired. He writes in various genres, but is best known for the STAC Mysteries, a series of traditional British whodunits, published by Crooked Cat Books and available as both e-books (all formats) and paperbacks.
He can be found at  and the background to the STAC Mysteries can be found at
Thank you, David, for that great insight into your writing methods. I'm delighted to see they are paying off with great ratings in the charts.  Best wishes with all your books and a happy launch of your next!

Rosanne Bittner calls today!

My welcome extends to Rosanne Bittner, today. A prolific writer of romances set in the American West of the 1800s, she brings 'River of Love' to share with us.

River of Love {Book 3 ~ Savage Destiny Series}

Zeke Monroe will do anything to protect his Abbie and make sure she is happy, which is why he opts to settle into ranching and build his Abbie-girl a home of her own where they can begin raising a family on the plains of Colorado along the Arkansas River.  But the encroachment of white settlers and its affect on Zeke’s Cheyenne brothers begins to threaten his and his family’s safety, and the paradise he and Abbie find is short-lived.  Still, nothing can kill the devotion these two share toward each other, and it’s love that holds them together through heartbreaking adversity outside their private world.


“Come back to bed, Zeke,” Abbie told him softly.  “You know how I hate storms.  Come and hold me.”

The rain started pelting the roof then, and he came back beside her.  Both were naked, for that was the way they always slept.  … She pulled the buffalo robe over them, snuggling close to him, finding perfect shelter from the storm that frightened her.  She was afraid of nothing when Zeke was beside her.  He was like a rock, indestructible, strong, hard, never afraid.  She lifted her face to his.  Then his lips covered hers and she had no defense against the way he had of enticing her, as if his manliness and his touch were not enough

Rosanne Bittner says:

I've been writing for nearly thirty years and to date have had 57 novels published, all about the American West of the 1800's and Native Americans. I write romance, but not the typical bodice-ripping adventures. My stories are deep love stories, often family sagas told as a series. It is the hero and heroine's love that holds them together through the trials and tribulations of settling America's western frontiers. I absolutely love the Rockies, the Tetons, the Sierras, and the wide-open plains, prairies and desert land west of the Mississippi. In my books, I strive to tell the truth about the settling of the West and how it affected our American Indians, as well as the gritty depth of what our brave pioneers suffered in their search for free land and a better life. 

I am a member of the Nebraska and Oklahoma Historical Societies, my local southwest Michigan historical society, Women Writing the West, Mid-Michigan Romance Writers of America (treasurer) and the national RWA, and a local charity group called the Coloma Lioness Club. I help run a family business and love doing things with my three young grandsons. If you visit my web site, where all my titles are listed as well as a page that lists all my many writing awards; or you can visit me on Facebook. At either site you will learn news of new books to come as well as reprints of many of my past titles soon to be published in trade paperback and as e-books! I also have an author site at

Monday 18 February 2013

Monday Moments presents A Second Chance at Forever

I'm delighted to have my Wild Rose Press friend - Joanne Stewart - visiting again, today.

The cover for A Second Chance at Forever is fantastic! I really have to read this book sometime soon (adjust that TBR) - since the blurb and excerpt sound too great to miss out on! Enjoy!

Recently divorced and working two jobs, Angela Lewis has no room in her life for love. Yet when her childhood crush finds her at the nightclub where she works as the sexy stripper, Candy Cane, and expresses his interest, Angela can’t resist. She only wants one night to live the fantasy her alter ego provides.


Alex McKinley is still trying to pick up the pieces of his shattered life, and one night with Candy is exactly what he needs. He gets more than he bargained for, however, when he discovers she's the little sister of his best friend.  Suddenly little Angie’s all grown up and driving him crazy.

The more time he spends with Angela, the more Alex finds himself falling for the woman she’s become. She makes him want to live again. But can he convince her to take a chance on him?

“When is your birthday, Alex?”

The minute the words left her mouth she wanted to suck them back. When Alex’s gaze snapped to hers, heat blazed up her neck and into her cheeks. The question gave her away, revealed her thoughts as surely as if she’d spoken them out loud. In front of her family, no less. Oh, her, and her big mouth....

To make matters worse, desire and recognition flared in Alex’s eyes, the memory rising between them.

A night neither one of them could forget. She remembered only too well him telling her exactly that.

“Two weeks,” he said.

“Got any plans?” she asked, to cover the need that sparked in her belly. Like an ember stoked into a tiny flame. One that if given the right amount of fuel could consume her.

Alex didn’t respond the way she’d anticipated, however. The expression drained from his face, his features going stony. Tension rose tight and prickly in the air around them.

Brock looked up from the grill.

Alex shook his head and rose from his seat, his jaw tight, a stiff set to his shoulders that had unease settling in her stomach. “No.” Then he turned to Brock. “Beer in the fridge?”

Brock nodded. Without so much as a glance in her direction, Alex moved around her, stepping through the sliding glass doors into the darkness of the house.

Angela turned to Brock, fear and confusion pounding in her breast. “I said something wrong.”

Her brother shook his head. “It’s his story. He should be the one to tell you.”

She nodded, then turned to stare at the doorway Alex had just disappeared through. She swallowed hard and followed after him.

About the author:

J.M. Stewart writes sweet and heartwarming contemporary romance with a touch of passion. She’s a wife, a mother, a spiritualist, and lover of puppies, and happily addicted to coffee and chocolate. She lives in the Great Rainy Northwest with her husband of sixteen years and their two sons. She’s a hopeless romantic who believes everybody should have their happily-ever-after and has been devouring romance novels for as long as she can remember. Writing them has become her passion.

Find J.M.Stewart at:

Buy links:
All Romance ebooks
The Wild Rose Press
Thanks for visiting today, Joanne, and my best wishes for great sales of all your books

Sunday 17 February 2013

Take Me Now! It's Sneak Peek Sunday.

Another Sunday has rolled around already. I don't know how your week has been but mine has just flashed by. According to the rules of Sneak Peek Sunday I'm posting another six paragraphs from my contemporary 'corporate sabotage' mystery - Take Me Now. 

Today's excerpt leads on from last weeks sneak peek. (If you didn't read last time you'll be able to read the last two excerpts in the archives)

Make sure to use the link to pop over to the other blogs on the Sneak Peek Sunday blog hop.

Have a break and enjoy!

The story so far? Aela is finding Nairn to be a bit of a challenge when she goes to interview for the job of transporting him around and about. Normally, Nairn is a man of action who ferries himself around in his floatplane, and jet, and cars, and boats -  but for some very mysterious reason he has had a little bike spill and now sports a couple of plaster casts.  

Where’s your room?” Aela turned her head out of his reach, denying she liked the feel of his lips nuzzling her.

Nairn’s lopsided smile beamed at her as though he hadn’t a care in the world, his good hand squirming up between them, rubbing the still hard bead of her breast. “Yeah. Roused. Gor…jus…t’ bed.”

The slumberous gleam in his eyes got those lowdown tingles going great guns again, and made her turn her cheek back to his marauding lips. What his hand was doing rocked her even more as those wicked fingertips plucked and played. Something shifted inside, desire escalated and burned Aela to furnace-hot, an inside conflagration nothing to do with the overheated body she was supporting. The earlier ogre had morphed into that truly sexy wild highlander, ready to plunder!

Now she could see how he earned the reputation as a millionaire charmer, though at that particular moment it wasn’t exactly the seduction scene of her dreams. Although she undoubtedly loved the feel of the man in her arms he was a giant of a man…and no lightweight!

His lips slanted onto hers again, the kiss developing as though he was searching for something out of his reach, the light probe of his fingers stimulating Aela even more. Surrendering to the desire, her tongue did some exploring and seeking of its own.

Nobody had ever felt so good in her arms. He tasted…fabulous. Well, almost, if she could ignore the mysterious metallic element.

Hop over now to Sneak Peek Sunday snippets on the other blogs.

Enjoy the week ahead everyone!


Friday 15 February 2013

Familiarise Friday reveals - Mitch from Captive Hero - by Donna Michaels

On Familiarise Friday I'm delighted to welcome Mitch from Captive Hero (Time-shift Heroes Series-Book One).  He's just popped in with his creator, Donna Michaels, to let us know a little something about him. 

World War II is a historial period that I loved learning about myself, and loved teaching to the 11-12 year olds in my classes when I was teaching. Reading the blurb for Captive Hero makes me want to write about the era myself! 

Read on to find out more about this time-shift novel as we meet Mitch.

Hello Mitch. I'm very pleased you've managed to stay in one place to visit me today, and glad you've come to chat. I can see how handsome you look in your uniform, but for the readers let's give them a little idea of what you're like.

Mitch? Can you please describe yourself using only 6 words?  A Black Sheep Marine Pilot Ace

Aha! A black sheep? Murky past, or just a guy not wanting to be tied down? Where are you from? 

1943.  I was flying my corsair in the middle of a dogfight in the South Pacific when I was hit by a hail of bullets from a Japanese Zero. My buddy said he’d witnessed only a few hitting me because the others just disappeared. I figured he was suffering some sort of dementia. The bullets that hit me caused enough damage that I had to leave the fight and limp back to base. Once I was there, talking to the mechanics, I got this weird feeling like I was being watched. Sure enough, when I snuck through the trees, I found this beautiful woman spying with binoculars. Even though she was dressed really strange, she seemed familiar. The next thing I was lights out.

That's a very strange thing to happen. So... where are you currently living?  

Colorado present day. Yeah, seventy years later. When I first arrived and came out of my drug-induced slumber, I awoke to a deserted cabin in the middle of nowhere. I must admit, I thought I was in Germany near the Austrian border. Figured the pretty dame to be a German spy. Boy, was I wrong.

Wow! Seventy years is a long time to catch up from. You were a pilot back then but what’s your main occupation just now?

Right now, I’m a mechanic at a small charter service, get this...that my old WWII buddy owned. I know. Weird. And what’s weirder, is, it was his granddaughter Samantha who drugged me and took me from the war.

That was quite a transition to make. What makes you happy now ?

Being with Samantha. I don’t care what year, what century, I’m only happiest when I’m with Samantha. She’s so strong and giving and beautiful she takes my breath.

Since you've had such a traumatic thing happen to you, you've been granted a whole week where you can choose every single thing you want to do. What would that be? (Ahem. Answers within reason for the average blog visitor please!)  

Okay, that takes away most of my answer. lol I’ll just keep it clean and say I’d love to be dropped off at the cabin with Samantha like we were when I first arrived.

What’s your favourite reading material?

Samantha. J

I had a feeling you might say something like that! Okay. Broaden your horizons. You’re going to begin a new hobby. What would it be?

Will you hit me if I say Samantha again? Because it’s true. As for new, heck, everything is new to me. The appliances in the kitchen alone are enough to keep me occupied for the rest of the year. I’m a mechanical engineer, so I love to take things apart, see how they work, then put them back together again. I was banned from touching anything in the family room until I put the blue ray player back together. I’m still working on that...right now it’s in several pieces on the desk.

I sure do hope all the bits fit back in place properly. Who, or what, is the love of your life?

Without a doubt, Samantha. We always find each other.

Oh, my! This is posting on the day after Valentine's Day! What can I ask now? What is your biggest goal for 2013?

To make Samantha happy. And if I could just convince her to apply to NASA and follow her childhood dream of piloting the space shuttle, I know my girl could not only reach for the stars, she could fly to them.

Captive Hero Blurb:
When Marine Corps test pilot, Captain Samantha Sheppard accidentally flies back in time and inadvertently saves the life of a WWII VMF Black Sheep pilot, she changes history and makes a crack decision to abduct him back to the present. With the timeline in jeopardy, she hides the handsome pilot at her secluded cabin in the Colorado wilderness.

But convincing her sexy, stubborn captive that he is now in another century proves harder than she anticipated—and soon it becomes difficult to tell who is captor and who is captive when the more he learns about the future, the more Sam discovers about the past, and the soul-deep connection between them.

As their flames of desire burn into overdrive, her flying Ace makes a historical discovery that threatens her family’s very existence. Sam’s fears are taken to new heights when she realizes the only way to fix the time-line is to sacrifice her captive hero...or is it?

Can love truly survive the test of time?               

Buy Link:

 Here's a bit about Donna Michaels:

I live in Northeast Pa with my fulltime military husband, our 4 kids, my parents and several rescued cats. Yeah, never a dull moment in our household. It’s a wonder I find time to sleep, let alone write. lol  But I do.

I’m currently revising 3 books, and writing 3 books. Not enough time in the day! Right now the new ones I’m writing are Future Hero- the second book in the Time-shift Heroes Series, Maria’s story; Cowboy Daddy Squared—the sequel to Cowboy-Sexy, Brett’s story; and the first book in my Dangerous Curves Series about female agents in a D.C. based company—Locke and Load. I do love variety, but they will all have the same sexy humour.

If you want to keep up with my news, join my newsletter for exclusive excerpts and contests here on my website:

You can find me here:

That was great meeting Mitch today! Thank you for visiting Familiarise Friday, Donna, and my very best wishes for the success of all your novels.