Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Interview from Texas by Brenda Whiteside

The two main characters from my latest release, The Morning After, are the subjects of today’s interview. The Morning After is a novella from The Wild Rose Press and is part of the Honky Tonk Heart Series.

Can there really be love at first sight?

Abigail Martin doesn’t think so. Unless the sexy redheaded stranger she wakes up with the morning after her best friend’s wedding is telling the truth.

Bobby Stockwood fell cowboy-hat-over-boot-heels for the brown-haired beauty, and married her in an impromptu wedding ceremony.  Now he just has to convince his new bride that the morning after can be the first day of the rest of their lives.

But just when Abigail starts believing the fairy-tale is real, she finds out exactly who Bobby is, and the walls of make-believe start crumbling down.

And now, straight from their mouths to your ears.

Me: Hi Abigail and Bobby. Let’s start with ladies first.

Bobby: But of course. That’s my motto too.

Me: Tell me a little bit about yourself, Abby.

Bobby: Ohhh, don’t call her Abby. Only her mother and her husband can call her Abby.

Abigail: Bobby! You are so forward. Hmm…but it’s true, Brenda. Sorry.

Me: I’m sorry. Totally forgot. Now something about you, Abigail.

Abigail: I’m single, working at a job I’m not too crazy about and kind of tired of being the bridesmaid and not the bride. And thanks to my mom, am reminded rather frequently that the old clock is ticking. I’m not the gorgeous, voluptuous heroine you find in most romance…

Bobby: Now she’s just plain wrong there. Darlin’, you’re beautiful, splendid and spirited.

Abigail: In his eyes! I’m thirty-five and pretty much the girl next door in the looks department. Now hush, Bobby, until she asks you a question.

Me: Let’s go ahead and hear a little bit about Bobby from Bobby.

Bobby: Thanks, Brenda. And she is pretty. As for me, I’m not too tall at five foot seven but I like practically looking Abby eye to eye. I’m a redheaded cowboy who does more corporate work for the family business than cowboy business. And I like to have a good time no matter what I’m doing.

Abigail: Now that’s stating it mildly. First off, he’s damn sexy. And to put it in Texan terms, Bobby’s a hoot. And he believes in love at first sight.

Me: How about you, Abigail?

Abigail: Now? After the fact? Still not entirely sure. I’m a bit more grounded than Bobby is, although lately I feel like I’m floating three feet off the ground. He did sweep me off my feet, but then I’d had a few too many of those tropical blitz things in cute pink and purple glasses – and you got to keep them!

Bobby: Tried to drink yourself to a full set, huh?

Abigail: No! I’m just not a drinker. Ugh. So he swept me off my feet…

Bobby: Are you telling her you wouldn’t have been swept off your feet if you hadn’t overindulged. Abby, honey, don’t tell me you were that drunk. I knew you were more than tipsy, but not mind-numbing drunk. The night was all too perfect. Damn near a double wedding with Sue Ellen and JT.

Abigail: Snickers.

Me: Would either of you like to tell me more about your story?

Bobby and Abigail in unison: No!

Abigail: There are twists and turns and lots of fun that the readers need to enjoy without a hint.

Bobby: Y’all enjoy now, ya hear!

4 Star RT Rating
There is only one word to describe this novella — adorable! While readers miss the couple’s “meet cute” the truth is that we don’t need to know what happened the first night they met because Abby and Bobby’s entire relationship is heartmeltingly sweet. This is a morning after that readers will not regret one bit.

The somewhat introverted Abigail Martin is shocked when she wakes up the night after her friend’s wedding hungover with a man in her bed. The surprises keep on coming when Bobby Stockwood introduces himself — as her husband! Even though he is sexy, smart and charming, Abby still feels rushed into the situation. So she kicks Bobby out, only to wish he would have stayed. However, Bobby doesn’t take the rejection to heart. After a string of not-right-women, he knows that he has finally met “the one” even if she doesn’t believe in love at first sight. 

5 Cup Coffee Time Romance Rating

This is a really fun read that is based on falling in love at first sight. Abigail and Bobby are extremely likeable characters and they have great attraction between them. The western setting is realistic and adds strength to the storyline. The story flows very naturally and is well-paced; I even held my breath towards the climatic scenes near the end. I heartily recommend this book.

Amazon Link
The Wild Rose Press Link

Chatting with Det. Ellie Fitzpatrick, Heroine of Resort to Murder!

By Glenys O'Connell  @GlenysOConnell
*Psst! Leave a Comment & You Could Win a Print Copy of Resort to Murder!*
I'm happy to have police Detective Ellie Fitzpatrick here to talk to us today. Ellie is the heroine of Resort to Murder, my romantic suspense set in Yorkshire, England.  I'd love to have a photo of Ellie to share with you, because she's gorgeous, but at times like this I'm forced to accept she's not actually real. I don't send my characters birthday cards, either. That way I can pretend to be hanging onto at least a shred of sanity...

Shhhh! She's here.

Me: Good morning, Detective - may I call you Ellie?

E.F: Of course. It's nice to be here. I haven't been out much since you wrote The End. <glares at writer>.

Me: Er, yes, well - all good things come to an end. Now, I understand you were the victim of a stalker...

E.F: Stop right there! I've never been a victim, and I don't like it when people like you say things that make it look like a woman is somehow to blame or helpless..

Me: Oh, Ellie, I didn't mean...

E.F: No, I'm sorry. I'm still pretty strung out after everything I went through. Everything you put me through.

Me (making shushing noises): Ellie, we'll talk about this later, in counselling. For now, I just want to tell the nice readers a little about your story.

E.F: You know, why don't you let me tell it. Then we might be out of here sooner - I've a great guy waiting for me with a bottle of wine and a massage.
See, folks, I was fast-tracked for promotion, partly because I have a university degree and mostly because I'm a bloody good cop. Sadly, that caused some resentment among my fellow officers. Being a woman in the police force means you have to work twice as hard as the guys, and still come have to cope with misogyny.
Anyway, I made a major breakthrough in arresting the Sunshine Slasher - a nastier piece of work you couldn't wish to meet. The jury convicted him in less than an hour, the evidence was so good.
Then this writer guy <disgusted snort> writes a book called Justice Denied, in which he claims that Sunshine is innocent.
Next thing, I'm asked to investigate claims that some of my fellow cops are taking bribes from a nasty bunch of slime sucking bottom dwellers. I so did not want to have to do that - investigating one's colleagues doesn't make you popular at all!
Suddenly, everything came crashing down in me - I was under suspicion myself for taking bribes after a huge sum of cash showed up in my bank account - money I couldn't account for. Believe me, now I know the pain of that, I'll be kinder to the next perp who claims he's being framed.

Me: I thought you said you could tell this faster than I could...?

EF: Yeah, well, I wasn't the one who had to cut 10,000 words out of this story when she was revising, am I?

Me: That was artistic...

E.F: Yeah, whatever.
Anyway, after a lot of smart detective work, being very kind to the sweetest stray dog on earth, and having to totally revise just about all my belief system, I finally got everything figured out.
Sunshine stayed in jail where he belonged, the sweetest stray dog on earth got to bite the psycho who was stalking me, and the man I really loved stormed in in the nick of time - I guess you had to leave it til the very last moment, didn't you? - to rescue me.

Me: Okay, okay - now, wouldn't it be fair to say that you were also being wooed by two delicious hunky guys - one dark and brooding and handsome, the other smart and rich with looks to die for?

EF: Yeah, and you took it into you head to make one of them a psycho creep. Worse, I hadn't got a clue. By the end of this story, I had to completely rework everything I believed about these two guys, about my ambitions - about so much that I'd taken for granted. I tell you, I doubted my own ability to make good judgements, both professionally and personally

Me: I am so sorry that you had to go through all that - but it was a happy ending, wasn't it?

EF: Sure it was, after one of those thugs beat me up and a psycho tried to kill me because he was obsessed with me. Sure it was a happy ending. At least I got this great guy and cute dog...

Me <deep sigh of relief> Well, thanks for coming in today and sharing your thoughts with us, Ellie, Maybe we'll see you again?

EF: Not bloody likely. I'm busy writing a novel about a mean, unfeeling writer who is made to pay the price for ill treating her characters. <slams out of interview room>

Well, friends, as you can see, sometimes a writer's characters can develop minds of their own and become a little too real.....

Glenys O'Connell is the author of four romantic suspense and comedy books. Resort to Murder was published by The Wild Rose Press, and you can see it on Amazon or read an excerpt here on my website.
Leave a comment about characters, romantic suspense, or this blog and your name will be entered in a draw to win a copy of Resort to Murder so that you can see what a nice person Ellie really is - when she's not under stress!

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Guest Vijaya Schartz Meets Sigefroi of Ardennes

When I first laid eyes on my hero, Sigefroi of Ardennes chilled my blood. He stared me in the face from the height of a stained-glass window, a crown on his brow, a scepter in one hand, the other clenching a sword hilt. With reddish hair, hazel ayes, and a strong jaw, he looked as intimidating as a wild lion... and he must have been in his day. I had a chill, and not from the cool draft in the cathedral of Luxembourg. It suddenly hit me. I was going to write about a real person, a historical figure, a strong man who built a new country, and a flawed hero.


But he was oh so fascinating. All I knew about him were dates, battles, and cold historical facts, but I sensed such fire in him. Then I researched the local legends of the foundation of Luxembourg and found the soul of the true Sigefroi... a man torn between love and duty, between the church and the evil my immortal heroine represented for the people of his time.


SEDUCING SIGEFROI is book 3 in the Curse of the Lost Isle series. Books 1 and 2, Princess of Bretagne and Pagan Queen, start this saga in ancient Scotland, with King Elinas and Pressine the Fae, and the childhood of Melusine. Book 4, Lady of Luxembourg, to be released in the fall, will continue the story of Sigefroi and Melusine the Fae.





Curse of the lost isle:

From history shrouded in myths, emerges a family of immortal Celtic Ladies, who roam the medieval world in search of salvation from a curse. For centuries, imbued with hereditary gifts, they hide their deadly secret... but if the Church ever suspects what they really are, they will be hunted, tortured, and burned at the stake.




Luxembourg - 963 AD - To offset the curse that makes her a serpent from the waist down one day each month, Melusine, exiled Princess of Strathclyde, must seduce and wed a mortal knight, the shrewd and ambitious Sigefroi of Ardennes.

Sigefroi, son of the Duke of Lorraine, suspects Melusine is not what she appears, but her beauty, her rich dowry, and her sharp political skills serve his ambitions. He never expected her to soften his stone-cold warrior heart.

So close to the Imperial court, dangers and intrigue threaten Melusine. War looms on the horizon, a Mermaid was sighted around Luxembourg, and Sigefroi’s bishop brother questions her ancestry. If anyone ever suspects Melusine’s true nature, she will burn at the stake...


"As always, Schartz spins a great story. It’s a bit bloody and bloodthirsty in places... But that's part of the drama, and Schartz certainly knows drama." Manic Readers 4.5 stars




“Is everything to your liking so far?”

Jarred by the deep male voice, Melusine snapped awake. Sigefroi stood in front of her, one soft boot nonchalantly propped on the edge of the wooden tub. The white of his tunic matched his teeth as he stared at her with a wolfish grin.

Melusine glanced around in panic for something to cover her nudity but her clothes lay too far away. She pulled up her legs in the bath water and laced her arms around her knees. “How dare you intrude? Can’t you see I’m taking a bath?”

Sigefroi’s bold gaze swept over her exposed body. “It’s not as if it were the first time. You seem to like bathing in hot tubs as well as in cold rivers.”

Shocked at his effrontery, Melusine released one arm to point toward the door. “Get out of my chamber immediately!”

“Your chamber?” His grin widened. “This is the only private chamber in the villa, and it happens to be mine.”

“Yours?” Melusine flushed in confusion. She knew the villa was small but hadn’t really thought about all the details.

“I’ll share it with you, unless you want to sleep on the hall floor with the servants.” The scowl on his brow returned. “And as the lord of this place, I don’t take orders from my guests... or my wenches.”

Wench? Her solitary life hadn’t prepared Melusine for such vulgarity. According to what she understood of men, however, she must not give herself too fast but rather let Sigefroi grow hungry for her body as long as possible. “I am no wench and demand to be treated with respect!”

He chuckled and effected a mock bow. “You certainly have mine, my lady.”

Melusine managed a forced smile. “If you give me your word to behave honorably, I could sleep on a pallet behind a screen at the far side of your bedchamber.”

He rolled his eyes. “Truly?”

Melusine hoped her inaccessible proximity would work in her favor. “There is enough space for the two of us.”

“Nay.” The candles flickered in his amber eyes. “You don’t understand, my lady.” A slow smile spread on his sensual lips. “I intend to take you to my bed tonight. After all, we are to be wed.”

“So soon?” Panic choked her voice. Impaired by Sigefroi’s close proximity, Melusine couldn’t think. He wanted to consummate their union tonight? She quickly regained her composure. “My lord, it’s not proper. We hardly know each other and are not yet betrothed.”

He pulled up the sleeves of his tunic. “A detail easily remedied, my lady. Do you mind if I wash my hands before dinner?”

Before she could react, he dipped his hands in her bath, caressed her knee, brushed the skin of her thigh. Delicious heat coursed through her entire body. He seemed to enjoy her confusion as he swept the length of her folded arms with the back of one finger.

Lifting her chin with the crook of one finger, he bent and softly kissed her lips.

Melusine melted into the bath water, waves of heat swelled and washed over her. His smooth, soft lips teased hers. Her mouth relaxed and opened under his. She let him gently probe her mouth then claim it as his own. Dear Goddess, she was lost.


Find out about Vijaya Schartz and her books at:


Sunday, August 26, 2012

Wanna Hold My Frog?

I get a kick out of character interviews. I love getting to know more about heroes and heroines. What they like. What makes them tick. I enjoy a character with attitude or a secret or charm oozing from his or her pores. Take Sawyer Masterson, for example. He's going to talk to us today.

Me: Hi Sawyer.

S.M: Hi Miz Vonnie. Here, wanna hold my frog? His...his name is Scream. He gets lost in the house or the car and then eberbody screams.

Me: Ewwl! No...ah... no, honey, I don't want to hold him.

S.M: It's okay, Miz Vonnie. He don't bite. Unkie Storm says frogs don't got teeff.

Me: Tell me about your Uncle Storm, Sawyer. Do you do stuff with him?

S.M.: Oh, yeah. I go widing wif him lots. And I take my af'ta'noon nap in his big bed. He...he let me nap dere after Mommy got sick with cancer. I was sad 'cause Mommy was too sick to play wif me. Unkie Storm, he let me sleep dere and he weed me stories and showed me how to tie knots in rope. Do you like books, Miz Vonnie?

Me: Well, yes. Yes I do. What kind of books do you like?

S.M: Well, I got all the Courious George Books and Doctor Seuss books too, but...but you know what? He's not really a doctor 'cause he don't take care'a sick people.

Me: (Laughing) He doesn't?

S.M: (Shakes his head) Nope. My mommy don't go to him and she's sick. Her...her got loo-keem-ya.

Me: Do you have a favorite super hero?

S.M: (His eyes light up.) Yeah! Superman. Wachel, she's my mommy's nurse, made me a superman cape with a BIG "S" on the back for Superman Sawyer. I wund through the house with it on and "save the day."

Me: Oh, I bet you do.

S.M: Do you think I'm smart, Miz Vonnie? My mommy says I'm the smartest boy in the whole wide world and pro'bly the smartest boy in Texas, too. Miz Noella says I smart 'cause I drink all my milk when I get done eatin'. (Rubs his stomach) All dat milk fills in the cracks dat the food makes.

Me: (totally charmed) Oh, I see.

S.M: Miz Vonnie. Are you gonna scream? 'Cause I don't know where my frog went...


“Unkie Storm! I’m all clean fwom my baf.” Sawyer streaked onto the patio wearing Sponge Bob pajamas, a book in his grasp and his hair still wet from his bath. Storm held out his arms for his nephew, who shot into them. He loved the feel of this child in his arms.
If Pilar had her way, Sawyer might be the closest he came to being a father. Although she promised, insisted even, she’d help raise the boy if something happened to Sunny, Pilar made it quite clear getting “big with child” and “changing disgusting diapers” was not in her future.
“Mommy got me a new Georgie book.” Sawyer wiggled and grunted and settled into Storm’s lap. He held the book in front of Storm’s face, waving it back and forth. “Will you wead it to me?”
“I didn’t hear the magic word.” Storm gave the child a stern look.
“Oops. Sowwy. Will you please wead it to me?”
Sunny lowered herself into a chair next to Jackson. “Does Unkie Storm have a choice?” She laughed softly.
Jackson reached out and took her hand, bringing it to his mouth for a kiss. “You always were beautiful in the moonlight.”
Sunny’s eyes opened wide. “Well, aren’t you just full of compliments tonight.”
Jackson winked. “Darlin’, you ain’t seen nothin’ yet.”
“Okay, grown-ups. Time to be quiet while I read Curious George Goes to the Beach.
Sawyer laid his head against Storm’s chest. “I wuv you, Unkie Storm.”
Storm kissed the child’s dark hair, inhaling the smell of the child’s shampoo and savoring that sense of contentment he always felt when holding this little fellow. “I love you, too, son.”