Saturday, September 30, 2017

The Dreaded Booksigning by Diane Burton

Booksignings can be eagerly anticipated or dreaded. Usually, they don't go the way the first episode of Castle went, with a huge crowd and the publisher providing free drinks and food. They're more like the scene in National Treasure: Book of Secrets where Riley sits alone waiting/hoping for someone to stop by. 

September was a month of book events for me. Each one taught me something new . . . plus something I should have thought of and didn't. 

photo credit: Michael D. Jones
I'm a lifetime Girl Scout. Be prepared is our motto. Sadly, I wasn't as prepared as I should've been. For my first shoulda, here I am on a beautiful Sunday in Ann Arbor, Michigan at the Kerrytown Book Fest held in a farmer's market. This was a big event, with many, many vendors--authors, book publishers, sellers of book-related paraphernalia. Do you see my tablemate's (Michael D. Jones) banner? Do you see mine? It was at home still in its box. My tablecloth did get a lot of comments, though. For this all-day event (10am - 5pm), I shoulda brought a cushion to sit on.

Another shoulda, something I didn't think about. The author next to me had a bowl of chocolates. That stopped people, who politely asked if they could have one. She then engaged them in conversation. Chocolates are messy, especially on a hot day. I brought hard candy to the next event.

photo credit: Tamarack District Library
The following Saturday, I participated in the Tamarack District Library's Bios, Books, and Brunch in Lakeview, Michigan. As you can see from the picture above, many authors participated in this event. That's me sitting on the right. Next to me is Loralee Lillibridge, a long-time friend and author, who shared a table with me. At the opposite end of that row is Maris Soule, another long-time friend and my chauffeur. LOL It's always more fun to go to an event with someone. The conversation there and back makes the trip go faster, you can plot, discuss problems with a WIP, or just catch up on each other's lives. 

BB&B was a much shorter event (10am - 1pm). The library ladies couldn't have treated us authors better. Our tables were set up all over the library, encouraging readers to walk around. They offered free food (homemade scones and fruit) and drinks (coffee, tea, water). Almost like Castle's event. Better, in my opinion. Talking to everyone who stopped was a lot of fun. Asking what they liked to read is always a good conversation starter. One lady told us she'd been in two abusive marriages but was working through it. Her counselor suggested she journal, and what did we think of that. Loralee and I encouraged her to do so, and we chatted for quite a while. About an hour later, the lady came back to buy my book. Talking to people, listening to them, being open and friendly is so rewarding. Not the money she spent on my book. It was the fact that she'd gone home to get the money. I won't forget her.

Alpena Book Festival
Last Saturday, Hubs and I drove up to Alpena on Michigan's east (Lake Huron) coast. If you look at the back of your left hand, Alpena is at the tip of your index finger. (BTW, that's a Michigan thing--showing a location on your hand.) I attended the 3rd Annual Alpena Book Festival presented by the Alpena County District Library and three bookstores. I had such a great time last year, networking with authors and readers, I had to go back again. They offered panel discussions on various topics. (I'm in the corner next to the gentleman.) In the last hour of the all-day event, authors signed books. Did I bring my banner? Yes! Did I bring hard candy? Yes! See, I do learn from previous mistakes, even if I forgot to have Hubs take a picture of me with my banner. 

Something I had no control over but greatly affected the festival this year was the weather. Even in northern Michigan, the temps were in the 90s with high humidity, very rare in mid-September. That did not encourage people to walk around to the different venues. Attendance was lower than last year and disappointing to the organizers. I still had a great time.

Usually Hubs doesn't go with me to book events. But, since it's almost a five-hour drive up to Alpena, it was great having a chauffeur. Besides, he makes a terrific Sherpa. We then went on a mini-vacation a little further north so I could get what Hubs calls my "bridge fix." I love looking at the Mackinac Bridge that connects Michigan's Upper and Lower Peninsulas.

While preparing this post, I realized another shoulda. Get someone to take a picture, if only for a post like this. At my local writers' group, we talked about booksignings right after the Kerrytown event. Jean Davis, our organizer (and my chauffeur to Ann Arbor), talked about standing versus sitting, that standing puts you at eye level with the passersby. Good idea. Unfortunately with chronic low back pain, I don't do well standing. I did bring my business cards, bookmarks, postcards (with book info), my Square device to take credit cards, and plenty of change. Haven't had the opportunity to use Square yet, but I'm prepared. LOL

Authors tend to be introverts. After all, we have characters in our heads that we love talking/listening to. Why do we need to talk to real people? Booksignings can be awkward, painful even, for an introvert. In my mind, I'm an introvert. Anyone who knows me has a hard time believing that. I like to talk. I enjoy panel discussions. Maybe it's my years as a teacher. But before each event, I ask myself what am I doing! My stomach knots up. My hands shake. I should never have signed up for this! When I get to the event, my nerves settle down, and I have a great time.

After preparing the draft for this post, I found an interesting post on the Kobo Writing Life blog on booksignings.

I'm gearing up for the next event presented by the Grand Haven (MI) Loutit District Library on October 14th. 

Diane Burton combines her love of mystery, adventure, science fiction, and romance into writing romantic fiction. Besides the science fiction romance Switched and Outer Rim series, she is the author of One Red Shoe, a romantic suspense, and the Alex O’Hara PI mysteries. She blogs here on the 30th of each month, on Paranormal Romantics on the 13th, on Pandora's Box Gazette on the 3rd Wednesday, and on her own blog on Mondays.

Friday, September 29, 2017

Lemons, Breast Cancer, and Fulfilling Your Dream by Mackenzie Crowne

Have you ever had one of those When life hands you lemons moments? I’m not talking about a disastrous new haircut or even that moment when you can no longer zip your favorite pair of jeans. I’m talking about one of those Holy crap, what am I going to do now? moments.

Before the fall of 2007, I hadn’t. Like J. Thaddeus Toad on his wild ride, I’d been happily racing through life, enjoying the scenery and signing on for whatever new adventure presented itself. A constant stream of fads and manias drew my interest. You see, like Toad, I had a short attention span. Inevitably, some new bright and shiny notion would send me off in another direction. My switch from one mania to another was never a conscious decision, it just sort of…happened.

Over the years, I dabbled in many things. At one point, I filled my spare room with craft supplies because a good friend was a marvel at creating gorgeous Christmas wreaths. However, it wasn’t long before I discovered how badly I sucked at crafting. The subsequent yard sale earned a whopping thirty-four dollars, but my spare room was clear of twigs and bows once more.

Obviously, this isn't one of my boys.
Just making the point that
I'm apparently not the only
one who sucks at sewing.
Another time I purchased a used sewing machine from a charming eighty-year-old woman whose fingers were bent and curled with arthritis. The new valances over my windows were presentable enough but, before I destroyed all the evidence, I used to cringe whenever I'd come across a photo of my boys wearing the result of my short foray into the world of patterns and thimbles.  

Don’t most people have one arm much longer than the other? Dr Suess would have been proud of my handiwork. I, ahem, gifted the old lady’s machine to a friend.

I don’t want to give the wrong impression. I had occasionally gotten involved in something I felt strongly about and managed to see it through to an acceptable conclusion, but other than enjoying time with family and friends, the only mania that hadn’t faded over time was my writing. I was ten when I penned my first short story and dreamed of sharing it with others. Unfortunately, I never gave that lifelong passion the attention it deserved. Busy running in a million different directions, I treated my writing as more of a hobby than the burning need it was—despite the persistent antics of the characters living in my head.

Then, on a crisp late September morning, I faced a moment unlike any other. Within the confines of a small, windowless room, those lemons life occasionally delivers slammed into me like an out of control freight train. Facing a tiny sprite of a woman, an oncologist, J Thaddeus and I were introduced to the concept of mortality. From that moment on, Toad was on his own. After all, if I was going to battle and beat breast cancer, subjecting myself to physical disfigurement and debilitating treatments, I owed it to myself to do whatever it took to bring my dreams to fruition.

Breast cancer handed me an entire bushel of lemons, and while I wouldn’t wish the experience on my worst enemy, the diagnosis forced me to make lemonade. In the process, I quenched a soul deep thirst I’d been ignoring for years. Earlier this week, I sat in that same windowless room where that tiny sprite of an oncologist and I shared grins and high fives. You see, ten years later, having recently published my thirteenth title, I’m cancer free. Yeah, baby!

I could say mission accomplished and stop there, but that would be so Toad. He and I think differently these days. He's content to spend his life racing from one new fad to another. I, on the other hand, have experienced the sheer joy of fighting the battle and winning, in both my health and my writing. I’m a survivor, and with the concept of mortality firmly in place, I refuse to settle for just a piece of my dream. I insist on having it all.

What about you? Has life ever handed you lemons? And what did you do with them?

When Mac isn’t busy celebrating 10 years of cancer free living, she spends her time weaving HEAs for her characters, like Sophie Taylor, the heroine of her RONE AWARD winning romance, A SONG FOR SOPHIE, available via The Wild Rose Press and everywhere else e-books are sold.

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Looking for Home by Charlotte O'Shay

Roses and Readers, join me in welcoming Charlotte O'Shay!

I’m thrilled to be visiting the Roses of Prose today.

When I read your blog, I feel roots. I experience the pull, the comfort, the inevitable obligations, and the warmth of family and home. It’s that rare thing we all want but some of us spend a lifetime seeking. A sense of belonging.

The characters in my stories are uprooted, for the most part, whether through choice or just life happening. In my City of Dreams series, they’ve come to New York to chase a career. But though they’re searching for a once in a lifetime love, underneath it all they’re looking for HOME.

My heroine Lacey in A Model Engagement is a Navy brat, and an only child. She takes a dream job in NYC with the idea she will fund her design business but then falls prey to a blackmailer.


Lacey Lee Reed was at the type of event, which for years had been, if not her life’s blood, then at least her meal ticket. Anyone who knew her, or thought they did, would say she was in her element—smack dab in the middle of a society party with every A-lister in New York in attendance.

But she couldn’t breathe.

The combination of exotic perfumes and expensive colognes in the warm room hit her harder than the kick of a mule. She swayed on her five-inch heels.

Focus, Lacey. You will not have a panic attack in the middle of your best friend’s wedding.

She pasted on a smile as she scanned the sparkling sea of Prada, Gucci, and Dior visible over his head, scoping out her escape.

She inhaled again, slower this time then eased out a steady, candle extinguishing breath. Ridiculous to feel trapped. Another focused breath. She wasn’t alone. Not by a long shot.

She was in the middle of the most enormous ballroom the Pierre Hotel possessed at one of the splashiest New York City weddings in decades. The VIP crowd was nothing new, nothing she couldn’t handle.

It was individual people that creeped her out.

The old Lacey would have told this SOB staring straight into her cleavage where to go. Politely and with every bit of the charm her mama taught her. But that was the old Lacey. 

A Model Engagement
September 20, 2017 release 


Lacey Reed jumps at the chance for independence with a career in the big city. But her naivety and ambition blind her to the lure of a blackmailer.

With her savings gone she has nowhere to turn when she literally runs into financier Connor Devlin.

Though dazzled by Lacey, Connor sees the desperation she tries to hide. He hires her as his fake fiancée. Now Lacey has a job and he has a bandage for a family crisis.

When the blackmailer ups the ante, Lacey resolves to face him down— no matter what the consequences.

Does that mean Lacey will lose the only man who’s ever seen who she truly is?

Buy Links:



The Wild Rose Press

Author Bio and Links: 

Charlotte O'Shay was born into a big family and married into another big family.

The drama! The noise! The inspiration!

Negotiating skills honed at the dinner table led her to a career in law. After four beautiful children joined the crowded family tree, Charlotte traded her legal career to write about happily ever afters. She lives on the far westside only 3 subway stops from where she grew up.

When Charlotte isn't reading or writing steamy contemporaries featuring heroines in crisis and swoony heroes with issues, she's on the hunt for that perfect pair of sunglasses. 

She LOVES to hear from readers. 

Sign up to my newsletter to find out about giveaways and new releases:

Twitter (@charlotte_oshay) 
Instagram (charlotte_oshay_author) 
Facebook (Authorcharlotteoshay)

The City of Dreams series are standalone books linked by the wedding in The Marriage Ultimatum.
Book 1, The Marriage Ultimatum ~ Sabrina & Vlad
Book 2, A Model Engagement ~ Lacey & Connor 
Book 3, An Illicit Affair ~ Honey & Jake


Twitter @charlotte_oshay

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Book Launches by Betsy Ashton

I LOVE BOOK LAUNCHES. I really did mean to shout. I love hosting book launches. I love launching my own books. They are happy times when an author, especially a debut author, holds up a book, reads from it, answers questions, and sells copies.

I've hosted two events at my house in the past eighteen months or so. The first was for Kimberly Dalferes when her second book, Magic Fishing Panties, was released. I filled my house with friends, both hers and mine, asked her to talk about the humor essay collection, and read. She left them laughing with her title story about her mother-in-law who gave all the women in the family magic fishing panties. You see, the family did annual salmon fishing outings in Alaska. If the women wore these magic panties, they caught fish. If not... The funniest section was when Kimba wrote about trying to use the "bucket" on the pitching fishing boat. Not easy to shed foul-weather gear, squat, and not fall over. Kinda like Erma Bombeck reminding women not to wear a jumpsuit on an airplane. Lots of cake, salty snacks, wine.

Last month, I hosted my critique partner's launch. He refused to let me take a picture of him with his book--ugh, so hokey--but did let me take one of the books laid out on a table. M.C. ("Mark") Young's book, No One Has Or Ever Will, is a coming-of-age tale about four friends from high school who grow up against the backdrop of the turbulent Sixties. No spoilers here, but none of the foursome makes it through high school and college unscathed by the events that shape their lives. The loss of Camelot with President Kennedy's assassination is the first smash-in-the-face reality check, followed by the war in Vietnam, Watts, Detroit. So many dark events, but still the main character keeps his sense of humor. On one triple date, he realizes he's going to have to date dumber girls. Lots of wonderful cake baked by Mark's wife, salty snacks and plenty of wine.

Nothing in my memory has equaled my release day for Uncharted Territory, the second Mad Max mystery. I was in a dentist's chair getting my teeth cleaned and polished. Yes, at the dentist on release day. I don't remember having a launch party. I think this image of me with my bib on was more than enough launch excitement. Did I forget to say that this was tax day? It was. What's not to like with a dental visit on tax day? My little heart was going pitty-pat.

I have a new book launching next month. Eyes Without A Face is different from anything I have done before. I'll give you more of a preview in my next post. Leave it to say, this stand-alone psychological suspense novel is dark.

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

I think I saw the future

The Spousal Unit and I recently took a long road trip (11 hours of driving, which I did, but that's another story) to get to Pennsylvania for a family event.

Normally we wouldn't make the effort. This was the SU's niece's wedding and everyone would have understood if we didn't get there -- long trip, expensive, etc. But some other family members wouldn't be there and we thought the fam would be under-represented, so we made the journey. And I'm glad we did.

The Bride is white; the Groom is black. The audience was a mix of all races and creeds, as was the wedding party. The Father of the Bride (FOB) and Mother of the Bride (MOB) are divorced (and that's another story for another time), and not amiably. The MOB had her boyfriend there, which peeved the FOB to no end. Not to be outdone, the FOG (Father of the Groom) and MOG are divorced. The FOG's new wife was there as was the MOG's boyfriend.

Our family is very J C Penney; the Groom's family is very haute couture. I saw women wearing jewels, sheath gowns, high-heeled shoes that defied imagination. And I saw folks in black pants, a pretty blouse and flats (me) with costume jewelry purchased at Target for the occasion.

And you know what? We all got along. There were a few bumps: people didn't adhere to the seating chart for the reception, but we just gently reminded folks that there was assigned seats and no, you can't sit there. We were all forced to mingle and get acquainted, and we did. The Bride and Groom were so obviously happy that it spilled over onto everyone else. I chatted with folks from the deep South who were truly curious about the Midwest and I gave advice to someone seeking publication who was so amazed to meet me -- a published author!

People danced together and forgave small faux pas and were gracious to each other. I think at first we did so because we wanted Their Day to be special, but by the time the dancing got started, we were all truly on the same page. We really aren't that different when you sit down and look at it.

So let's raise a glass to diversity and civility -- it can exist in our world as long as we're willing to reach across the aisle and shake hands.


Monday, September 25, 2017

Choosing the Perfect Title by Linda O'Connor

Roses and Readers, join me in welcoming Linda O'Connor as guest blogger today!
Choosing a title for a book can sometimes be tricky. When I signed a publishing contract with Soul Mate Publishing for my first book, Perfectly Honest, I was surprised to learn that the author chooses the title and writes the blurb on the back of the book. I had imagined a team of marketing professionals doing that! But, I have to say, I was very happy that I was allowed to have input. I know some authors who don’t start to write their book until they’ve nailed down a title, but I have to wait until the book is finished. There’s a lot to consider. The title has to be catchy, not too long (for promoting), and reflect the genre of the book –a romantic comedy will have a very different feel versus a romantic suspense or historical romance. I usually search the internet to see how many other books have the same title because I’d rather pick something unique. Perfectly Honest is about two doctors who get caught up in a little white lie that spirals out of control and causes a lot of change in their life. Initially, I picked The Whole Truth for the story, but then I worried it was too close to An Inconvenient Truth. And then I wanted to use To Be Perfectly Honest but there were a number of other stories with that name already. By then I knew I wanted this story to be the first in a series, and I had the idea to use Perfectly Honest and start the subsequent titles with Perfectly – and the Perfectly Series was born! When I submitted this to my editor at Soul Mate Publishing, she noted that there was another book that was soon to be released with a similar title. She suggested naming it It’s in the Stars, Follow Your Stars, or Stars in Your Eyes because each chapter starts with a horoscope (a little fun foreshadowing). But when I discussed my idea of the series, she was happy to leave it as Perfectly Honest. Whew! I’ve had fun coming up with the other Perfectly Series titles – and I’m perfectly happy with the way it turned out. 

About Perfectly Honest (Perfectly Series Book 1)

You never know where your words will take you.

When Mikaela Finn agreed to be Sam’s ‘fiancée’ for a weekend, she probably should have told him that she’s a doctor. Sam O’Brien, aka ‘Dr. Eye Candy’, is trying to shed his playboy reputation and convince a small town hospital that he’s ready to settle down.  But when his ‘fiancée’ helps deliver a baby in the middle of the meet and greet, it’s a bit of a shock. If he’d known the whole truth, he might have done things a little differently because somehow his ‘fiancée’ ends up stealing his job and his heart. Not exactly the change he wanted. Lies and deceit – it’s a match made in heaven! 


Mikaela woke with a start to the sound of voices. Disoriented, in unfamiliar surroundings, she looked down at her short shorts and loose shirt covered with spatters of paint. Painting, of course. She must have fallen asleep in the chair, and checking her watch, she saw that it was two o’clock in the morning. Shit. She rubbed her eyes and yawned. Pulling herself out of the chair, she listened to the voices. One voice was female, sounding impatient and unhappy and one male, sounding apologetic and resigned.

“I know it’s not ideal, Sophia, but it’s what I want. I’m tired of the large city, the tertiary care center, and all the politics. I’m tired of all the meetings and all the committees. I want a smaller hospital in a smaller city. I want a life.”

“Nonsense, Sam,” the woman shot back. “You don’t know what you want or what’s good for you. You need to pay your dues now to reap the benefits later.”

“Look, I don’t expect you to understand. I’m grateful you’ve agreed to help me out, but . . . ”

Mikaela wandered into the hallway and stopped when she saw the two of them at the front door. The woman had unbuttoned her coat, and as she put her hands on her hips, there was a flash of the red cocktail dress she wore underneath. The man was a foot taller and wearing a suit. A very nice fitting suit, Mikaela mused, as she came up behind him.

The woman noticed Mikaela first, and her startled gasp had the man looking over his shoulder. Mikaela wasn’t sure who looked more shocked, the man, who moved to shield the woman, or the woman, who raked her gaze over Mikaela from head to toe. As Mikaela fought the urge to straighten her shirt and fix her hair, she decided, definitely, the woman.

The woman’s eyes narrowed, the hands on her hips became clenched at her sides, and her face flushed red. Mikaela held her breath.

The woman pushed at the man’s shoulder and spun him around to face her. “Why you! You! 'I can’t invite you in, the house is being painted,'” she mimicked. “Is that the new code word for 'mistress?' You could have just told me we were through. Well, I’m done. This is the last straw. You pig!” The woman spun on her heel and wrenched the door open.

“Sophia, wait!”

“No, wait,” Mikaela added. She lurched forward, now wide-awake.

The woman stormed out and slammed the door.
The man turned to Mikaela. “Who the hell are you?” 

Buy link: 

Linda O’Connor started writing a few years ago when she needed a creative outlet other than subtly rearranging the displays at the local home décor store. It turns out she loves writing romantic comedies and has a few more stories to tell. When not writing, she’s a physician at an Urgent Care Clinic (well, even when she is writing she’s a physician, and it shows up in her stories :D ). She hangs out at

Laugh every day. Love every minute. 

Social Media: 

Website   |   Facebook   |   Twitter   |   Amazon Author Page   |   Newsletter

Sunday, September 24, 2017

I CONFESS by Brenda Whiteside

Jerome, always uphill or downhill
Confession #1…I don’t enjoy doing research for a new book. Many times, I’ll have only a vague knowledge of my setting, time period, and character backgrounds when I dive into that first chapter. At some point, I’ll be stopped by my lack of information, and I’ll be forced to Google or send an email to someone to obtain the facts I need.
Confession #2…The settings for my books are generally
Some ruins are put to use
somewhat accurate, but I take great liberties if need be. I’ve normally been to the city or mountain or country and know enough to make it come to life for the reader. I’ve never been too concerned because I “see” the scenery the way I want to portray it.
Confession #3…It’s not really a confession at all, but an epiphany. Research can be fun. The setting for my next book is a short two hours away and a town I’ve long been in love with. I don’t know why this story didn’t call to me sooner. The research this time around has me excited.
Imagine the ladies beckoning
Jerome, Arizona was a mining town that got rolling in the 1880s. The Jerome family, related to Winston Churchill’s mother, invested in the mines. The town grew, hanging precariously to the side of Cleopatra Hill in the Black Hills. By the 1920s, the population had reached 15,000. There were more prostitutes per capita than any other city. It was truly the wild west and as colorful as a town can get. The stock market crashed in 1929, and by 1955 the population was less than 100. In the late 1960’s, the hippies converged on the town and it became one of those destinations like Haight Ashbury and Taos. Over the decades, there have
Stairs are the quick route from street to street
been numerous fires, sliding buildings, and political wrangling. Today, with a population of just under 500, a handful of the original hippies remain in a hard to get to area of the town. Many accounts of the town’s rebirth thank them for the artsy community it is now and for keeping the town in its original form.
As a lover of western culture and a wannabe hippie (I toyed with the lifestyle a little), I’m having a high time (excuse the pun) researching Jerome.
Until I get the Jerome stories down on paper, I hope you’ll read my current series mostly set in north and north central Arizona. The first four books in the Love and Murder Series are available. Book five will launch early next year. Amazon Author Page

Saturday, September 23, 2017

It’s Here! … so now what? by Margo Hoornstra

As many of you who read these pages know, On The Surface, Book 1 in my Brothers In Blue series and first romantic suspense, releases worldwide on September 29, 2017. Amazon, Barnes and Noble, KOBO, you name the book outlet and, thanks to The Wild Rose Press, I – rather, On The Surface – will be there. For all the world to see!
So how, exactly, does one go about getting the world to…well…see it?
Tweets, FaceBook posts and well-run blog tours help some. But, what else could I do to get the word out I wondered? Then an idea arrived at my door. Literally. The local shopping guide. Of the paper and ink variety. Circulation of a few hundred thousand.
When my first book came out in 2009, and having been a communications and public relations specialist in my former life, the press release was my go to promotional device. I’d sent one to them at that time they were happy to publish. Why not try again?
There’s only one problem. I’ve always been good at promoting others and their message. When it comes to tooting my own horn, not so much.
The whole who, what, where, when, why and how comes easily enough. The facts and a bit of a tease. Like this.
On The Surface, Book 1 in the Brothers In Blue series, is the latest book release from local author Margo Hoornstra. Available in both electronic and print formats at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, KOBO and other venues where books are sold, On The Surface is the story of one man’s revenge turned to redemption.
Then to add insight into the story. Using the entire blurb would be a bit much, don’t you think? With a general audience and all, better to keep it generic, and definitely PG.
Brad Collins is a bounty hunter more by necessity than choice. Determined to bring in the felon who ruined his life, he’s soon neck deep in a different situation he never saw coming.
Keep them reading with a little more to come...on.
On The Force, Book 2 of the Brothers In Blue series, is set to release in the fall of 2018.
Personalize with a touch of bio.
A city girl turned country woman, Margo enjoys hikes around the wide open spaces of her home, hates to cook and loves to read. With the kids and grandkids near, she and her husband reside in Potterville.
Now for a catchy headline. How about one of these?
All Romantic Suspense Fans! Listen Up!
(Maybe too in your face catchy, huh?)
Attention, Fans of Romantic Suspense.
Fans of Romantic Suspense, Don’t Miss This!
(There I go. Too in your face again.)
How about the simple.
Latest Book Released by Local Author.
Short, sweet, to the point…and done.
So, what do you think? Should I send it in?
My days to blog here are the 11th and 23rd. For more about me and my stories, please visit my WEBSITE
Oh, almost forgot, the one thing you can't do in print promo is provide the BUYLINK 
Now, it's really done.

Friday, September 22, 2017

IQ "Schmei-Q" by Leah St. James

I think most of us have seen those online quizzes that start off with something like: “Only 5 percent of the population can get a perfect score on this test.” And then when you do get a perfect score, the screen flashes a message that you’re a genius.

I’m pretty gullible, but I’m not gullible enough to think that having a basic knowledge of, for example U.S history, makes me a “genius.” But I’m not averse to having some online quiz creator think I am! :-)

Yes, I aced it! :-)

A few weeks ago, however,  I clicked on a link for an online IQ test–the real thing. The first couple were easy find-the-number-pattern type of questions, so easy, in fact, that I convinced myself I must certainly be a certified genius by that test’s standards. Then the questions got a little harder, and I had to think about the answers. The majority were math based, or maybe engineering based. Actually, I’m not sure what discipline they fell into, but I do know there were only a few that dealt with words and vocabulary (my strength). I should have known then I was doomed.

Halfway through the assessment, the difficulty quotient jumped even higher, and I had to skip a few. Then my sister called and I blabbed to her for about 20 minutes. By the time I got back to the test, I was selecting answers by the eenie-meenie-minie-mo method and wondering what kind of sadistic jerk could have devised such a torturous series of “brain teases” for his or her fellow humans?! 

A really smart person would have skipped checking the score, but I did, which confirmed that I am, in fact, not a genius. In fact, my score was so low, it’s a wonder I can function at all.

After that, I moped around for a few days, convinced that I’d passed on sub-standard intelligence genes to my two sons, and agonizing for the future of my family’s blood line. I’m over it now (sort of), after reading that the test was timed, so taking longer than x-number of minutes would lower the score, but for some reason, I want another shot at it. Why? Why am I torturing myself?

I haven’t figured out that answer, but I did a little research into these online IQ tests found what I think might be the ultimate site for mind-gaming:  American Mensa’s Virtual Game Room.

Despite some easy sounding names, my first inclination was to X-out of the potential disaster. But then that inner demon took hold, and away I clicked.  I selected something called “Pat Sajak’s Lucky Letters,” which is similar to the Wheel of Fortune TV show.

I was nervous but told myself this game was more up my alley – it had letters, words and phrases, the stock of my trade! And once I got the hang of how it was played, I started to score fairly well. I even wagered my entire winnings on one of the Lucky Draw rounds. For me, that’s huge. I don’t make bets. Ever. But I looked at the clue, looked at the possible answers, and it was a no brainer!

A few minutes later, I was in the lightning round, starting to sweat and wondering when I’d turned into this creature who wanted to spin the dial. Would I bomb, like that offensive, so-called IQ test, or would my love of letters and words come through for me?

And joy of joys, I won! I won I won I won I won I won!

But am I going back for round two? Heck, no. I’m done. I’ll quit while I’m ahead, forever a winner of Pat Sajak’s Lucky Letters on none other than I may never take another IQ test again.

What about you? Do you torture yourself with online quizzes or IQ tests?


Leah writes stories of mystery and suspense, good and evil and the enduring power of love. She blogs here on the 6th and 22nd of each month and hangs out online most often at Facebook. She loves visitors! To learn more about her writing, visit her website at

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Talking about critiquing by Barbara Edwards

Talking about critiquing.

I did say I’d share my experience so here It is.

My chapter talk turned out a little weird. 
Four people were in attendance. Instead of doing the formal talk I’d written I did a question and answer session. 

I asked why they wanted a CP. One member didn’t know anything about critiquing and was nervous about sharing her work. Another asked her how she expected to get past an editor? 

I had to go back to the basics. I explained you need rules like how often, how many pages, meeting online or in person, what do you want from the critique? An overview, grammar, dialogue/ plot or character focus?

What do you do if it doesn’t work for you? 

The end result was the four of us are going to start a group. 

We’ll share the pages on-line then meet next month to discuss the critiques.
I’m hoping it is productive. If not, then no harm no foul.

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Wednesday, September 20, 2017


Come meet the Blautsaugers, a family of vampires living in Amber Heights, Missouri. Each book features one of Andris Blautsauger's children and their search for a soulmate.

What happens when you pray for an angel and get a vampire instead?



After a spell goes horribly wrong, Morgan must learn to use her magic to save the vampire she loves.



He was both her hero and enemy. She was his best student and biggest regret.

The conclusion of the Blautsaugers of Amber Heights series deals with Dr. Michaela Blautsauger.

An icy she-vamp and a red-hot human 
Detective make for an explosive combination.



He’d just had sex, twice now, with a vampire. Been inside the living undead. Even as the idea boggled his mind, he found he only wanted a chance to do it again.

      Because, vampire or not, he had feelings for the lovely and cool Dr. Michaela. From their first kiss, he'd known there was something about her. Something that drew him in. Not just animal magnetism, but the almost indiscernible vulnerability he'd glimpsed in her eyes. Anyone who thought her cold and unfeeling had obviously never looked below the surface—or had her in the sack.

      She was open in her lovemaking. Kept nothing hidden, and it made him wonder why she considered it so necessary to keep her passionate side hidden the rest of the time.

      The front door suddenly slammed open. Hitting hard against his hip and almost knocking Michaela off of him. Their private time ended as three men clambered through the broken door.

      Seth instinctively reached for a weapon that wasn’t there.

      “Dad!” Michaela squealed and everything inside him froze solid as ice. Scrambling off Seth's body, giving a flashing view of that lovely backside, she attempted to use his body as a shield.
Even as he sat up straight, she was tugging at him, and cowering behind his back.

Catching the look of pure venom in Andris Blautsauger’s eyes, Seth slapped a hand to his forehead, and groaned.

      Things were about to get really ugly.
To buy or see what else I'm working on - hint: it's a novella - come check out my website:
You can also see me on the cover of The Romance Reviews ezine this month at: The Romance Reviews ezine
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