Sunday, September 30, 2018

Humor by Diane Burton

What is it about humor that appeals to so many yet eludes others? I was a serious child. Oldest of seven, the one left in charge, the responsible one. That carried over into my adult life. Until I met a certain guy with a wicked sense of humor. He could tease me out of my seriousness and helped me find my own sense of humor. I was smart enough to grab onto that guy, and we’ve been married for almost forty-six years. I’m still too serious at times in real life, but I can let go in my writing.

While I love science fiction movies, like Star Trek, Star Wars and Serenity (Firefly spinoff), romantic comedy is my favorite type of movie. Romancing the Stone, It’s Complicated, Something’s Gotta Give, Six Days, Seven Nights. Falling in love is serious business, but without that spark of humor it came be maudlin. 

Humor comes in many forms. Give me wicked banter any day over slapstick. I never understood the appeal of the Three Stooges. Maybe that’s a guy thing. I loved the Saturday morning cartoon Rocky & Bullwinkle because of the dialogue. Same with the Muppet Movie. When they were young, I took my children to see that movie at an afternoon matinee. The best part was the dad behind me who, along with the few other adults in the theater, couldn’t stop laughing at all the “good” parts—like “gone with the Schwin.” I love that the writers of children’s movies slip in the comedic touches for the adults.

I said I’m not fond of slapstick, so how do you explain my love of the Stephanie Plum series? The physical comedy is laugh out loud funny. Author Janet Evanovich knows how to take a situation, twist it, turn it on its ear and make it hilarious. I should never read those books in bed because the bed shakes from holding in my laughter—don’t want to wake the Hubs with laughing out loud.

Life is serious. The news every night keeps getting grimmer and more disturbing. Comedy is an antidote to life. The value of humor is vastly underrated. In fact, rarely has a comedy won an Oscar, with the exception of It Happened One Night (1934). In fact, it won 5 Oscars. Actors whose forte is their comedic timing rarely win Academy Awards. What do they receive awards for? Their dramatic work.

Medical studies tell us that laughter releases endorphins, nature’s natural pain killers. Laughter relaxes the skeletal system, reduces stress, lowers the blood pressure and regulates the heart rate. According to inspirational speaker Marilyn Meburg, your liver needs laughter because it gets no exercise. The liver is the organ in your body that gets rid of toxins. So, if you’re not laughing you’re neglecting your liver.

Give your liver and the rest of your body that antidote to “real life” and enjoy a good comedy.

When I wrote Switched, a science fiction romance, it was not a good time. My stories had been rejected time and again. Finally, I wrote for fun. I wasn't going to submit it because (back in 1999) no publishing house was buying sci-fi romance. Or so I thought. In 2000, a small niche publisher of paranormal, fantasy, and science fiction romance heard about my story. (A friend of a friend mentioned it to the owner.) I was encouraged to submit. And they bought it. Yay! The editor told me she laughed so hard, she fell out of bed reading my story. That made me feel so great.

Switched came out in 2001 and was available for two years before the rights reverted back to me. Many years later, a friend told me about self-publishing in e-book version. She said the book was just sitting there doing nothing, why not? So in 2011, I self-published Switched. People bought it. Wow. I was on a roll. Since then, I've self-published 11 books with one more on the way. I believe that humor sold Switched more than the science or the romance.


As if being kidnapped by aliens isn't bad enough, Jessie Wyndom discovers they grabbed her by mistake. She wise cracks past her fear especially when she learns she was part of an experiment separating Terran twins before birth. Her twin just took Jessie's place back in Ann Arbor, Michigan while she gets to twiddle her thumbs on an Alliance of Planets starship. The only good part is the hunky captain. Except. He's so unemotional he could be Mr. Spock's double.

Captain Marcus Viator's well-organized life is turned upside down by the free-spirited female from Earth. Problems with the starship prevent him from returning her to her home. Together, they discover treachery and true love.

Switched is available for 99₵ at Amazon ~ Amazon UK ~ B&N ~ Kobo ~ iTunes ~ Smashwords

What are your favorite comedy books or movies?

Diane Burton combines her love of mystery, adventure, science fiction, and romance into writing romantic fiction. She blogs here on the 16th and 30th of each month. She shares snippets from her stories every weekend on her blog.  Her latest release is NUMBERS NEVER LIE, a romantic suspense, available at Amazon, free on Kindle Unlimited. 

This post first appeared on Christine Warner's blog on 9-26-2012. It has been tweaked and expanded for today.

Saturday, September 29, 2018

What Inspires Your #Romance by Mackenzie Crowne

If you were to poll one hundred authors on what questions their readers ask of them, “Where do you get your inspiration?” would most likely be in the top three. And “Everywhere” would be among the most cited responses. 
This is certainly true for me and those flashes of inspiration are one of my favorite parts of the writing experience. I can’t tell you how thrilling it is when a seemingly mundane sight or sound draws my attention and BAM! Bright and shiny possibilities swirl in my mind as the spark of a new plot line flares to life.
For example, news reports of the Bernie Madoff scandal are at the heart of ThatDating Thing, my light-hearted romance involving an assistant district attorney with political ambitions and the daughter of Wall Street’s most notorious stock swindler. 

Of course, not all my inspirations have been huge, game changer experiences. Most are of a far subtler variety. I’m telling you, I was definitely inspired by that super-hottie in line at the post office who, amazingly enough, looked exactly like Beau Walker, the sexy hero of my RONE award-winning romance, A Song for Sophie. In my small-town romance, The Billionaire’s Con, I wrote a heroine chef—right about the time my youngest brother was graduating from culinary school.
Then there is this guy. Murphy, my sister’s crazy but sweet dog was the inspiration for Gracie Gable’s trouble making canine sidekick in book 1 of my Players series, To Win Her Love. He is also the inspiration for today’s post. You see, this past week, those of us who loved Murphy said goodbye to him as he crossed the rainbow bridge. 
I naturally thought of Murphy when Gracie insisted she needed a dog. He was such a sweet boy, after all, with the added bonus of his crazy habit of… 
Well, I’ll let you experience his habit for yourself in the short excerpt below.
Enjoy, and thanks for the laughs, Murph. You were well-loved and will be well-missed.

Murphy landed sure-footed, only to skid across the hardwood floor. Momentum carried him strait for Jake’s long legs.
No stranger to dexterity, Jake danced to the side. He snagged the dog’s collar and halted his progress. Murphy wriggled wildly, the claws of his scrambling paws clicking on the hardwood floor. He bucked, and Jake pivoted his upper body sideways.
The move would’ve worked, too, if Murphy was a normal dog, intent upon jumping up to plant his paws to Jake’s chest. Gracie knew from experience that wasn’t the case.
“Murphy, no!”
Quick as a flash, he dropped his nose and whipped up his head. She cringed as his skull made solid contact with Jake’s unprotected crotch.
A loud oof accompanied the unexpected head butt. Jake’s briefcase clattered to the floor. Stunned pain etched his features.
“What the fu—” He bent forward and the duffle slid from his shoulder to join the briefcase at his feet. He cupped one hand over his injured crotch and shoved the dog away with the other. Jaw clenched and long legs bent, he crossed one knee in front of the other. His eyes slid shut on a pained moan.

To find out how things worked out between Jake and Murphy,
pick up your copy of To Win Her Love at
and wherever books are sold.

Thursday, September 27, 2018

The Power of "We"

It's such a tiny word. We. W and E. And yet, it's such a powerful concept. It's the power of more than one doing something together.

For a writer, "we" is the writer and her characters. They don't exist in a vacuum. Writers need to listen to their characters to be certain she represents them the way they should be represented, the way they want to be represented. When I try to force a character to act not in accordance with the way it thinks, nothing works. Descriptions become stilted; dialogue becomes unnatural; characters become cranky.

And none of us want a cranky character.

For a writer, "we" is also our agent, publisher, and editor. I've talked to many of my fellow writers, most of whom think their agents are god. The agent works for the writer and sells the work to a publisher, who assigns an editor to polish it. I cannot tell you how many writers have told me they hate their editors. They hate having their ideas challenged, their words changed. I've seen posts on Facebook by new writers who think an editor/publisher should take what they write and publish it without a single question. That's what self-publishing is all about. And that's why so many self-published works show a lack of discipline that "we" bring.

Let me give you an example. In Uncharted Territory, the second Mad Max mystery, my editor questioned a technique I used to signal the presence of a certain character. This character tapped the main character on the cheek with an invisible feather. I thought I'd explained how this clairvoyant manifested his thoughts through the feather. I guess I didn't, because by the fourth time the feather appeared, my editor wrote, "What's with the f***ing feather?" Well, now. I guess I didn't explain it.
I hadn't seen the problem. I was too close to the story. So, when my editor pointed out the flaw, the story became stronger, clearer and more exciting when I explained it the first time it appeared.

"We" works in our personal lives as well. "We" is our family. "We" is our close friends. "We" is our country. When "we" all work together, "we" get great things done. And now, it's time to listen to my latest character, Toad, who is my current "we." He has a lot to say right this minute.
Betsy Ashton is the author of the Mad Max mystery series, Unintended Consequences, Uncharted Territory, and Unsafe Haven. She also wrote a dark psychological suspense novel, Eyes Without A Face, about a female serial killer, who unpacks her life and career in first person.

Wednesday, September 26, 2018

A change of scene

By this time next week, I'll be Up North, enjoying a getaway at a northern Minnesota lake. This used to be a yearly tradition, but the drive is much longer now and it's become a now-and-then occurrence.

When we first started going, there was no WiFi, iffy phone reception, and no TV. Over the years, stronger signals have brought all the modern amenities to the place. I still don't watch any TV, though, and log in to the Internet only randomly.

This is a place where I get story ideas. This is a percolating kind of place.  I'll go through all the magazines I've stocked up, I'll review my promo ideas, and I'll let story thoughts circulate in my brain. It's such a long drive but it's mostly on cruise control so I can let my thoughts go to my story as I drive (I always drive. The Spouse is just not a good driver for long hauls).

It's comfortable, there's a crackling fire, we have to drive a boat to get there so there isn't any traffic of any kind (except an occasional fisherman who boats on by), and the nearest store is the Zup's grocery store, about 6 miles away.

And the next time I post, I'll have a new book out to talk about. Always fun!

Tuesday, September 25, 2018

How Much Research Really Goes into Writing Fiction by Heather Weidner

Roses and Readers, please welcome our guest Heather Weidner!

Thank you so much for letting me visit and talk about my sleuth Delanie Fitzgerald from Secret Lives and Private Eyes and The Tulip Shirt Murders. Fiction is made up, right? Surprisingly, I do quite a bit of research for my traditional and cozy novels and short stories. I want the story to be plausible and as accurate as possible. Readers do notice when writers don’t get it quite right.

I grew up as a “C.K.” (Cop’s Kid). Handcuffs, night vision scopes, and
squawk radios were just a part of my childhood. My dad was the SWAT commander in the 1970s, and they needed practice bullets. I sacrificed a ton of crayons for practice ammunition. What other elementary school kid knew how to melt crayons and fill shell casings? I learned how to use a night scope by playing with his on summer nights in the backyard. It was fun to watch the neighbor's dog illuminated all in green. And if you’ve ever gotten a whiff of a police car, you’ll never forget the smell. They can be clean, but they always have that distinctive scent. I was in my twenties before I realized that not everyone talked about crime and murder at the dinner table. Little did I know that all that experience would be invaluable later in my mystery writing life.

My dad, now a retired police captain, is my best law enforcement resource. I’m always asking him things like, “Hey, Dad, what does a meth lab smell like” or “how long will a body stay submerged if it is dumped under water?” And he is always willing to share tidbits from weird cases or stupid criminal stories. I think believability is key to mystery writing.

My writers’ groups are also a great resource. The Sisters in Crime – Central Virginia chapter hosts a variety of programs for our authors. We bring in all kinds of professionals, such as law enforcement, criminal psychologists, and K-9 trainers to talk to our writers about what they do. Recently, we have had presentations by a CSX railroad investigator, a tour of a local hospital’s forensic unit, an Alcohol Beverage and Control Board investigator, and a Conservation Officer. These are amazing contacts, and our guest speakers have been wonderful about answering questions. I landed a lot of ideas for my PI series when we had a female private investigator talk to the group about her job and experiences.

My sassy private investigator, Delanie Fitzgerald gets herself into all kinds of adventures. For my second novel, The Tulip Shirt Murders, Delanie gets involved with larping and roller derby. I had to do a lot of research on live-action role playing (larping) and roller derby gals to make sure my descriptions were accurate.

My sleuth lives in a Sears Catalog home, the Yates model from 1939. Beginning in the early 1900s, people were able to order homes from the Sears Catalog, and the parts were delivered by rail. These had to be assembled on the owners’ lots. Some of these homes still exist still in Virginia, and many of the boards and parts still show the parts numbers. I found several good resources on Facebook and Twitter, and real Sears Catalog home owners were willing to answer my questions.
Google Maps is one of my favorite online tools for research. I can find locations where my character visits. The street view is invaluable for giving me ideas about setting and location. Since my character is a PI, I sometimes have to find locations where she can conduct a stakeout without drawing too much attention to herself. With this online tool, I can see surroundings and lots of good places to hide a body or a crime.

Research and in my case, past experiences, are key for fiction writers. I tend to do quite a bit for each of my novels and short stories because I want to make sure the details are right for my readers.  

Author Biography
Heather Weidner, a member of SinC – Central Virginia and Guppies, is the author of the Delanie Fitzgerald Mysteries, Secret Lives and Private Eyes and The Tulip Shirt Murders. Her short stories appear in the Virginia is for Mysteries series and 50 Shades of Cabernet. She has a novella, “Diggin’ up Dirt” coming out in November in To Fetch a Thief.
Heather lives in Virginia with her husband and a pair of Jack Russell terriers, Disney and Riley. She’s been a mystery fan since Scooby Doo and Nancy Drew.
Some of her life experience comes from being a technical writer, editor, college professor, software tester, IT manager, and cop’s kid. She blogs at Pens, Paws, and Claws.

Synopsis for The Tulip Shirt Murders
Private investigator Delanie Fitzgerald, and her computer hacker partner, Duncan Reynolds, are back for more sleuthing in The Tulip Shirt Murders. When a local music producer hires the duo to find out who is bootlegging his artists’ CDs, Delanie uncovers more than just copyright thieves. And if chasing bootleggers isn’t bad enough, local strip club owner and resident sleaze, Chaz Smith, pops back into Delanie’s life with more requests. The police have their man in a gruesome murder, but the loud-mouthed strip club owner thinks there is more to the open and shut case. Delanie and Duncan link a series of killings with no common threads. And they must put the rest of the missing pieces together before someone else is murdered.

The Tulip Shirt Murders is a fast-paced mystery that appeals to readers who like a strong female sleuth with a knack for getting herself in and out of humorous situations such as larping and trading elbow jabs with roller derby queens

Contact Information
Pens, Paws, and Claws Blog:
Amazon Authors:
Book Links

Monday, September 24, 2018

What's New by Brenda Whiteside #RomanticSuspense #Arizona

Hanging on the side of a mountain
My current WIP (work in process) is based on a real-life mining town turned ghost town turned tourist town. I fell in love with Jerome, Arizona years ago. In order to have more flexibility with the lay of the land and the history, I've renamed it Joshua. All the people in Joshua are purely from my imagination. This Romantic Suspense Series should keep you turning the pages long into the night. An unsolved murder from 1990 has a bearing on today…especially now that bones have been found in the Hippie section of town called The Ravine.

My first inclination was to write a three-book series set in 1969 followed by a three-book series set in today Joshua. What I settled on was the contemporary with flashbacks to those early days. I'm seven chapters in to book one. I had to make a chart of characters that are involved in the plot with their ages in 1969, 1990, and 2019. There are twenty-five of them so I definitely needed a chart. The book is set in 2019, involves a murder in 1990, and is interwoven with what happened in 1969.

I found I had to rename quite a few characters, too. Since it became a book within a book, I couldn't have names that sounded too much alike.
1930s "house of pleasure"

I’ll share one of those flashbacks with you today. Every flashback will be seen from the POV (point of view) of Frank Harlan MacKenzie, who came to Joshua in 1969, met Susie Muse and had three children, Magpie, Harlan, and Elidor. Frank and Susie were some of the first of the so-called Hippies that settled in Joshua. I can’t share the whole flashback because it’s too long, so here’s the latter part. He’s just dropped off his friend, Snuff, at the clinic. This is when Frank meets Susie…1969.

Frank closed the clinic door behind him and strolled through the archway that led to another part of the building. A sign intricately painted with scrolls and flowers read Knit Two Wear. The arrow pointed straight ahead. In the middle of the shop, Lolly—the Lolly—arranged some sort of knitted clothing on a rack. Even without seeing her face, she was hard to mistake for anyone else. He was just under six feet, and the woman stood nearly as tall as him. She had to weigh three hundred pounds.
She glanced up. “Good morning. Anything I can help you with?” She dressed the same as the first time he’d met her: full, floor length skirt, sandals, and a cotton blouse with a plunging neckline that left little to the imagination about an abundance of breasts. A leather strap held straight blonde hair at the back of her neck.
“I’m just looking around.”
“Please do.” Thick brows drew together. “We’ve met.”
“Yeah, first night I was in town. At your house.”
“That’s right. You live with Doug and Maureen.” She floated toward him, all fullness of skirt flouncing, breasts bobbing and threatening to break free of what little material covered them.
Her arms spread wide, and he suddenly dissolved into warm flesh. He could’ve laid his head on her shoulder and taken a nap. The scent of patchouli lulled him.
She stood back then, still clasping his shoulders. “My, you are a strong young man.” Her hands slipped to his biceps. “Mm—mm.” She winked. “Why haven’t you been back to my house?”
Her welcome hug could’ve turned into a whole lot more. She was really beautiful, but the beauty came as a result of the openness and warmth that radiated from inside her. Lolly held nothing back of herself. How he knew all of this with one hug and a wink, he didn’t know, but thoroughly believed.
“I’ve been busy getting settled and working on my sculptures.”
“Ohhh, you’re a sculptor.” Her fingers massaged his biceps. “I should’ve guessed.” Another wink, and she released him. “Well, you know where I am. You come around any time you want. My home is open most every night to all of our friends.”
Two women entered the shop from the street door. With a smile, she left him to greet her customers.
Having been officially welcomed to Joshua, he left through the street entrance and stepped into the almost noonday sunshine. This is home. He smiled.
The heat of eighty-degree weather penetrated his cotton shirt, and he rolled the sleeves above his elbows as he walked. Turning onto Cutway Street, aptly named as the road jutted upward at an angle to connect to Main Street above, his leg muscles felt the pull with the climb. He didn’t mind. Cutway Street dumped onto Main and into the heart of downtown Joshua. He took a deep breath as he paused at the top. He hadn’t quite acclimated to the elevation yet.
His stomach growled. He’d had only coffee for breakfast. The shop directly in front of him looked promising for food when he spied two wrought iron tables on the sidewalk in front. The sign above the door said “Susie’s” and was flanked by a window on each side. Over one window, “Wake Up Susie” was painted in purple and over the other window in bright taxi-cab yellow was “The Muse.”
He stepped through the open doorway, greeted by a delicious spicy aroma, as well as a nicely rounded bottom covered in worn jeans frayed on the leg edges and missing a pocket.
The petite woman belonging to the butt, bent from the waist downward, peeked around her legs. Black hair, so curly it hung in corkscrews, dusted the floor. “Hi!” She straightened from the shelf of books she was arranging and laughed. The sound was a melody. The face a work of art. Her eyes were the color of gold nuggets rimmed in the color of dark fertile soil. How appropriate for an old mining town. She smoothed her waist-length hair down without much success. Her ripe peach lips were moving, and Frank started with the realization she was speaking.

I’ve been floundering on what to call this new series. Not wanting to wait for some inspiration to hit 
me, I’m going with these working titles. First off, the series will be called Joshua, Arizona. And I’ll name the books for the main character. Book one will be “Magpie, a Joshua, Arizona Novel.” Book two will be “Harlan MacKenzie, a Joshua, Arizona Novel.” And book three, “Elidor, (maybe Elidor Muse), a Joshua, Arizona Novel.” If I find these are too boring, I just might offer a contest to readers to help me choose new titles. More on that in the months ahead.

I write Romantic Suspense. You can find more about my books and me here:

Sunday, September 23, 2018

Baby Number Two Is Alive, Kicking and Ready To Go by Margo Hoornstra

Delivery day has finally arrived! And I didn't even have to go into labor!

On The Force, Brothers in Blue Book 2 is now available for pre-order. The official release date is October 29th.


In the interest of time, here's a peek at what On The Force is all about.

Top notch CFO Sydney Raines is devastated when her coveted job working for a high profile conglomerate is yanked out from under her. Determined to restore her mangled reputation, she finds her second chance when the owner of an upscale art gallery hires her as his personal assistant.

Straight arrow cop Vince Miller is assigned to crack an international art theft ring. Working undercover, he never counted on meeting Sydney Raines, let alone falling in love with her. Then an unexpected twist in the case reveals the identity of a serial killer, along with the shattering realization that Sydney could be the psycho's next victim.

And, some of what to expect from the story.

“It’s Miller from Detroit…I’m pretty sure I know who your Jane Doe victim is.” He didn’t give his colleague any time to comment. “I’m going to call her next of kin. We’ll be over your way in a couple of hours.”
Vince pressed his foot down harder on the gas pedal as he fought to block out everything but the highway in front of him. A simple survival tactic as blind faith propelled him on. If he let his mind go where it wanted, all thoughts of Sydney would be front and center. He didn’t want to deal with that much pain just now. To focus on the road was his best option. Straight, flat, predictable.
Until they got to the turn off to the hospital, more specifically, the morgue.
Terror and sadness, rage and impotence stabbed at him from all directions, tearing him up and threatening to destroy his heart.
Beside him, Andy Raines wasn’t faring much better. “It’s not supposed to be like this.” He blew his nose then used the same handkerchief to wipe the tears from red rimmed eyes.
“It’s a hazy connection at best, but right now it’s the only connection we’ve got.” Vince didn’t share the details of the other victims. Not yet anyway. “I just hope to hell I’m wrong.”
“Children bury their parents. Not the other way around.” He coughed into one elbow then dabbed at his eyes again.

Vince kept his lips tight and jaw clenched. The right thing to do was respond. Offer some words of…what? Wisdom? Sympathy? Commiseration? Pity he had nothing to give as they traveled to possibly identify a Jane Doe dead body as someone they each loved more than life.

My days to blog here are the 11th and 23rd. For more about me and the books and short stories I write, please visit my Website

Saturday, September 22, 2018

Blessings of Best Laid Vacation Plans by Leah St. James

As this blog posts, I’m scheduled to pick up my oldest/best friend at a nearby airport for the start of our second-annual Ladies’ Week Off vacation. We’ve been planning for weeks, trying to decide where to go that would provide enough beach time for my ocean-deprived buddy, and enough things to do in the event of rain. (Of course I’m always storing away locale information for future stories, so something new is always nice.)

Last year we took a few days following my son’s wedding and headed to Virginia Beach, 50-ish miles from where I live on the Virginia Peninsula. It was wonderful—days lounging at the beach, perfect weather, good food, wonderful conversations. We even had an oceanfront room with a balcony where I settled myself in the early morning to write while she slept in like normal people.

I knew it would be hard to beat.

We discussed heading east to Virginia’s Eastern Shore—a wildly beautiful and intriguing body of land that separates the Atlantic from the Chesapeake Bay. I’ve traveled up and down the area many times by car while trekking to New Jersey, but I’ve never stayed there. 

We could sun ourselves at the bay one day, the ocean another, and take day trips to Assateague and Chincoteague to see the wild ponies a' la Misty of Chincoteague by Marguerite Henry.

 I’d always wanted to explore the shores along the Carolinas, however, and vacationing with my oldest/best friend provided the perfect opportunity. Unlike some husbands I know, she loves exploring and doesn’t complain about leisurely and impromptu side trips. I have a good friend from Jersey who settled there a few years back, and my friend discovered a mutual high school friend on Facebook who lives there. We’d have the beach, sunshine if all went well, good food, wonderful conversation with friends...perfection.

Our destination? (You've probably already somewhat guessed.)  Wrightsville Beach outside Wilmington on North Carolina’s Atlantic coast. If that sounds familiar to you, it’s because that’s where Hurricane Florence landed a few weeks back.

As the storm predictions zeroed in on that exact town, I contacted my friend and said, “We need to come up with a Plan B, quickly.”

After tossing out a couple inland suggestions (rivers and cities are nice, but not the same as the ocean!), we decided on North Carolina’s Outer Banks where so many books and movies have been set. 

One of my favorites is BEACH RENTAL by Grace Greene (a fabulous writer and friend from Virginia Romance Writers).

Another is MEANT TO BE by  another friend and fabulous writer Terri Osburn.

That wasn’t a deciding factor in our vacation discussions. I just  thought it would be fun to throw in a few book plugs while I was at it. :-)

Anyway, we were lucky to get last-minute reservations. While we don’t have an oceanfront room (woe is us), we’ll have the beach, good weather (if predictions are correct), great food that we don’t have to prepare and clean up, and wonderful conversation. What more could we ask for?

We’re so blessed we only had to make a slight change in our plans. But as I write this, many thousands of people are still out of power and in harm’s way of floods across the Carolinas, and lives have been lost. I’m thankful my friend from Jersey is well and has power back. We haven’t heard from our mutual high school friend so hope she is also well and will be in touch soon. And I have a feeling we’ll be making Wrightsville Beach our destination for next year’s Ladies’ Week Off .

Stay tuned for my vacation report next month!


Leah writes stories of mystery and romance, good and evil and the power of love. The beach is one of her favorite places to be and to write about.  To learn more, go to her website, or visit her on Facebook or Pinterest where she will probably pin some vacation photos when she gets around to it.

(For any who’d like to help the people of North and South Carolina, there are many nonprofit organizations providing support to the area. I Googled Relief for Hurricane Florence and found a bunch of them.)

Friday, September 21, 2018

By Reservation Only, coming soon

I have lots of things finished for my new release, By Reservation Only.
The manuscript is being formatted as I type. Here's the cover, the blurb and the excerpt. Until its galleys are ready, I don't have a buy link, but that's close.

It's the grand opening of The Deerbourne Inn! Award-winning Chef Nathan Harte has worked long and hard to restore this historic property in Willow Spring, Vermont. He’s ready to greet his guests with fine cuisine, comfortable rooms, and maybe even a ghost or two. 
He's escaping the rat-race of the city for a slower more rewarding life, but is he ready to deal with a broken arm, a quirky arsonist, and a long-ago mystery? And what might he find up in the 300-yr-old attics?

Since the inn was quiet, Emily pulled on a long t-shirt and opened the door. Her heart fluttered. She was disappointed Nate wasn’t waiting for her in the dark passage. She blew out a frustrated breath and opened one of the bedroom windows to let the fresh breeze blow in. A whip-poor-will called from the hill.
The comfortable bed beckoned her. Flowery potpourri scented the bedroom air. She lay on top of the handmade quilt and stared at the ceiling. Sleep eluded her. She lost count of the times she turned over, punched the pillow, yawned.
An owl hooted from the nearby woods. The call of the whip-poor-will sounded closer. The curtain flapped and the scent of smoke tainted the air. Her watch claimed it was only twelve thirty, not nearing dawn. She swore and rolled over again.
Someone knocked on Nate’s door and called his name. Emily pulled on her pants and sneakers before she opened her door.
“What’s happening?” Her pulse raced. Smoke, she smelled smoke.

Do you want to read the rest?
Stay tuned!

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Amazon Author’s Page

Thursday, September 20, 2018


                                                 Books by R E Mullins

Paranormal romance: The Blautsaugers of Amber Heights Series
Book 1:  It's A Wonderful Undead Life
What happens when you pray for an angel

and get a vampire instead?

Blurb: It's been a rough couple of years for Cailey Kantor. Facing her first Christmas alone and bad financial news, she prays for an angel to fix her problems. Instead, a sadistic, sociopathic vampire, with the goal of starting a vampire war, attacks her and forces her to drink blood stolen from the Nosferatu Gabriel Blautsauger.

Gabe must complete Cailey's turning or she will die. In doing so he risks losing his yet unfound soulmate. But something about the lovely mortal speaks to his heart. Once her transformation is complete, he and Cailey find themselves embroiled in a battle that could cost them all they hold dear.
Faced with lies, abduction, and betrayal Cailey wonders if the vampire she is falling fangs over heart for is in it for love or if she's just a means to stop a war.

Book Two: Vampire In The Scrying  Glass
After a spell goes horribly wrong, Morgan must

learn to use her magic to save the vampire she loves.


Blurb: Rafe Blautsauger, vampire and enforcer, must put his feelings for the mortal Morgan Maguire aside. The Nosferatu council who employs Rafe strictly forbids their love. But he can't stay away from the beautiful woman who causes his blood to beat with new life. Yet, she hides a secret, one he must expose in order to protect her.

Morgan keeps her unique gift of magic under wraps due to a spell gone horribly wrong when she was young. She is haunted by a nightmare where two malevolent glowing red eyes stalk her. Can she trust the arrogant but oh-so-handsome Rafe with her secret as well as her heart? Can he help her regain her power in time to save the world of the living and the undead?


Book Three: A Vampire To Be Reckoned With
He was both her hero and enemy.

She was his best student and biggest regret.


Blurb: Vampire Metta Blautsauger is known as the family airhead and she works hard to keep up the fa├žade. It’s the perfect cover as she goes from dispensing her own brand of justice as a vigilante to an agent for Orcus, the Nosferatu shadow agency.

Captured, tortured, and left for dead, she is forced to leave both the agency and Lucas O’Cuinn, the mentor she’s grown to love.
For the last century she’s struggled with regret and boredom.

Then her life is given new meaning when four mortal ministers ask her help in stopping a human trafficking ring. If Orcus discovers her unsanctioned involvement, they will brand her as a rogue. The penalty is death. It’s only a matter of time before Lucas arrives—stake in hand.

Lucas O’Cuinn has waited ninety-eight years for Metta’s return and he’s run out of patience. It’s time she remembers she belongs to him.

Book Four: Cold Hearted Vampire

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


Blurb: Dr. Michaela Blautsauger, a Nosferatu vampire, is considered an expert in her field of work. However, her skills when it comes to dealing with others and showing emotion is almost non-existent. When Detective Seth Whitehead barges into her lab, she discovers the human is just as interesting as the blood formula she is working on.
Seth's tenacity to find who is committing crimes in Amber Heights pits him against vampire aristocracy as well as Toltec vamps who are nasty to say the least. When the she-vamp he is falling heart over fangs for leaves the country to find the blood plant she needs, he follows and discovers his cold hearted vamp truly has a heart.

When they both fall into Toltec hands, Seth knows he will do anything he has to do to keep Michaela from suffering harm. But will he be able to keep his own life in the process?


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