Winter Blog Hop, Day 22 – Tena Stetler

Today’s guest is fellow Wild Rose author, Tena Stetler. Welcome, Tena, and congratulations on your new release!

Happy Holidays! First of all a big thank you to Marin letting me join her Winter Blog Hop. If you’re interested in Christmas traditions and elves at the North Pole, check out my blog at www.tenastetler.com/my-blog.

For those of you who don’t know me, I am a paranormal romance and cozy mystery author with an over-active imagination.  I wrote my first vampire romance at the age of thirteen, to the chagrin of my mother and the delight of my friends. Colorado is home; shared with my husband of many moons, a brilliant Chow Chow, a spoiled parrot and a forty-year-old box turtle. We love camping, hiking, kayaking and traveling.  Any winter evening, you can find me curled up in front of a crackling fire with a good book, a mug of hot chocolate and a big bowl of popcorn.  My books tell tales of magical kick-ass women and mystical alpha males that dare to love them.

This holiday season I’m celebrating my recent paranormal romance, A Witch’s Holiday Wedding, which released December 9th, 2016. It’s a sequel to A Witch’s Journey, which released in June of 2016.

A Witch’s Journey and the sequel A Witch’s Holiday Wedding are heartwarming tales of redemption, magic, wildlife rescue, true love and paying it forward.

I love to make new friends and chat with readers and authors. To learn more, visit me!

Website: http://www.tenastetler.com (You can sign up for my quarterly newsletter.)
Blog: http://www.tenastetler.com/my-blog
Facebook Page: www.facebook.com/tenastetler.author
Twitter Page: www.twitter.com/TenaStetler
Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/tenastetler

Here’s a little peek into A Witch’s Holiday Wedding.

Elemental witch Pepper McKay and former Navy SEAL Lathen Quartz have built Lobster Cove Wildlife Rescue and Rehabilitation Center on enchanted McKay land. During a romantic interlude on Halloween night, Pepper happily agrees to become Lathen’s wife. What better day than Winter Solstice for their wedding in a town that loves celebrations and Christmas. However, planning a wedding and operating their wildlife center takes a toll on both Pepper and Lathen.

When the couple takes a much-needed break for Thanksgiving with family in Colorado, a Maine snowstorm fills the center with injured wildlife. Lathen finds himself drawn into a covert military mission, while trying to deal with issues concerning friends and family. Pepper wants to cancel the wedding. Is she having second thoughts? Will the nosy McKay ghosts, Lathen’s werewolf pack, Pepper’s parents, and her best friend help or hinder the wedding and holiday plans?

Excerpt:

Half an hour later, Lathen turned the truck onto the gravel drive to the cabin, slowed, and stared at the dark SUV parked in front of the cabin. Slowly he guided the truck behind the vehicle, noticing that the plates were government issue. What the hell is this?

Pepper leaned forward in her seat. “What’s a government SUV doing sitting in front of our home?”

“Maybe it’s the DIFW,” Lathen said hopefully. He turned off the headlights and cut the engine. The doors opened on the SUV, and four men in suits stepped out and waited.

Oh shit, this doesn’t bode well. He recognized one of the men, Lt. Commander Raymond Sale. Lathen jumped out of the truck as Pepper opened her door. “Pepper, why don’t you go on inside, let Tonk and Ember out, but keep them close. I’ll just be a minute.”

Pepper glanced from the men and back to Lathen. She opened her mouth to protest, but he shook his head and glanced toward the cabin where he could hear Tonk and Ember barking.

Available atAmazonKoboThe Wild Rose Press,  All Romance, and Barnes & Noble

 

Winter Blog Hop, Day 7 – Love’s in the Cards with Becky Lower, & a Giveaway!

Becky Lower visits again today with a post about where she got the idea for her new Christmas novella, Love’s in the Cards, which releases today from The Wild Rose Press. Happy book birthday, Becky! Scroll down to the bottom for a special giveaway from me and Becky. 

perf5.000x8.000.inddPeople often ask writers where they get their story ideas. I can’t speak for all authors, but for me, it can be something as common as a billboard or as intimate as an overhead whispered conversation. In the case of my latest Christmas novella, it was definitely a memory that had been tugging at me for a while. Since kindergarten, in fact.

Who would have thought an obnoxious little boy who liked to use the soles of my shoes at nap time as a canvas would be the inspiration for Love’s in the Cards? His favorite crayon was purple and my mother would get so angry each time he’d go overboard and mess up my sparkling white shoes. That little boy went on to become a high school art teacher and inspired many of his students to be creative. So Delbert, wherever you are, thank you so much for the spark of creativity you’ve provided to me. But in order to incorporate Del’s childish shenanigans into a story, I needed the proper setting. Fortunately, I worked in a Hallmark store part-time for a year while living in Virginia. It was a sweet little card and gift shop and each Christmas season, the door was flanked by a pair of six-foot tall plastic nutcrackers. Later, when I moved to Ohio, I turned that retail experience into a job as a merchandiser for the biggest greeting card company in Ohio, where I learned all about lines of cards featuring famous people or artists. Love’s in the Cards combines Delbert’s story with my greeting card experiences.

Love’s in the Cards

Penny Beedle’s outlook on Christmas, as her favorite holiday, was destroyed by a messy breakup years earlier and a botched wedding last year—both on Christmas Eve. But since she and her sister now own a greeting card store, and the holidays are their crazy selling season, she has to put on a happy face.

Del Madison has loved Penny since kindergarten. Commissioned by a big greeting card company for a line of Christmas and Valentine’s cards, he has to emerge from behind his alter ego and unveil himself to the public. He chooses Penny Beedle’s shop for the big reveal. If he plays his cards right, he just might gain Penny as part of his life.

Excerpt:

Penny sighed softly. Abbey made sense. They had to do everything possible to compete with the other shops, all chasing the same tourist dollars. Even if doing so meant having six-foot-tall nutcrackers flanking the door for the next six weeks. Penny’s eyes smarted with sudden tears, but she blinked them away quickly, telling herself the moisture merely came from a reaction to the cold weather. “I think we need new names for these boys, especially after last year’s debacle. I now have two reasons to despise the season.”

As she wiggled her nutcracker to his final position on one side of the entrance to their shop, Abbey grunted. “This is our make-or-break season, so your attitude has to shape up, Penny. I had hoped a year would give you enough time to get over last Christmas’s aborted wedding.”

Penny jerked her big statue a bit too hard to the left before she squared him with the frame. She bit her lip at the chastisement as she glanced at Abbey. Anyone could tell they were from the same family, with their dark hair, blue eyes, and slender builds. Often, they were mistaken for twins, even though Abbey had been born two years earlier. The only noticeable difference was Penny could sing in key, but Abbey had a tin ear.

“Even though I’m over both Max and Ricky, their betrayals still hurt. And the fact they both screwed up my Christmases makes me hate the season.”

“Well, if getting your head back on straight this year means we rename Hans and Gunther, let’s do so. What’d you have in mind?”

Penny squinted up at the lifelike plastic statues towering over them. “I don’t mind Hans, but I’ll name mine Solo, since that’s what I am.”

Abbey grinned and wrapped an arm around Penny. “Well then, may the force be with us as we head into our peak season. The weather’s finally turned cold, perfect for putting folks into the holiday gift-buying mood. Let’s get inside. I’ve got something exciting to show you.”

You can find Love’s in the Cards at Amazon.

48988_1025007027_4423_nAbout Becky: Amazon best-selling author Becky Lower has traveled the country looking for great settings for her novels. She loves to write about two people finding each other and falling in love, amid the backdrop of a great setting, be it on a covered wagon headed west or in present day small town America.  Historical and contemporary romances are her specialty. Becky is a PAN member of RWA and is a member of the Historic and Contemporary RWA chapters. She has a degree in English and Journalism from Bowling Green State University, and lives in an eclectic college town in Ohio with her puppy-mill rescue dog, Mary. She loves to hear from her readers at beckylowerauthor@gmail.com. Visit her website at www.beckylowerauthor.com.

And finally, enter here for a chance to win a fabulous Maine-themed gift box Becky and put together to celebrate our new releases, both set in Maine. In addition to the items pictured, Becky is offering a copy of Love’s in the Cards!

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Historical Book Blast Friday: Laura Strickland’s back!

I am pleased to welcome fellow Wild Rose author Laura Strickland back to the blog, since her latest book, Forged by Love, releases today (I wish I was so prolific!). Thanks for stopping by, Laura!

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Forged by Love
by Laura Strickland

Newly returned home to Lobster Cove from the War Between the States, blacksmith Douglas Grier can’t forget the horrors he’s witnessed or the beautiful young woman he helped break free from her shackles one dark night after her master’s plantation burned. He wishes he had at least asked her name, even though she and her family disappeared into the darkness and Douglas has no expectation of seeing her again.

Josie Freeman can’t remember the last time she felt safe. Even though she and her family are freed, they’re being pursued by slave hunters hired by their former owner. When their ship is damaged on the way to Nova Scotia, Josie is thrown into contact with the one man she never expected…the very man she had wanted to see. But will her past catch up with her before Douglas can free her heart?

EXCERPT:

“Hello, folks. Sir, I don’t suppose you remember me.”

Josie stared at the man who spoke, afraid to believe her eyes. Tall and with bare shoulders that gleamed in the sun, he had a crop of wavy black hair and skin almost as dark as her own. Though he spoke to Daniel, his brown eyes sought hers and held them, his wonder evident to see.

Not remember him? From the instant he stepped on the wharf, Josie’s attention had been snagged—and not just because he was a good-looking man. No, for the pull she’d felt from the first they sighted this place heightened almost unbearably, every one of her inner instincts sitting up and howling.

Not remember him? Had there been a moment since that night he hadn’t been, somehow, with her?

Her lips parted, but she didn’t speak. Daniel’s deep voice sounded instead.

“Of course, of course we remember you, sir. How could we forget?”

“Good to see you again.” The man focused on Daniel at last and extended a hand to him without hesitation. “But what sort of happenstance has brought you here where we might cross paths again?”

“A long story, sir, and one with a full measure of sorrow.” Daniel shook the man’s hand with the innate courtesy that always marked him.

The fellow’s gaze stole back to Josie, and she promptly went breathless. “I’m very glad to see you safe. That night—well, I never did get your names.”

“Daniel Freeman, sir. This here is my son Michael, his wife Eunice, and their child Hetty. And my own girl, Josie.”

“Douglas Grier, and I’m glad to meet you properly.”

Michael leaned forward to shake Douglas Grier’s hand. “I’m happy, Mr. Grier, to have a chance to thank you. It was a fine thing you did for us that night.”

Douglas Grier smiled, and his somber face transformed as if lit from within. Josie’s heart fluttered like a wild bird before resuming a double-time beat.

Calm yourself, girl. He’s done no more than look at you.

Grier turned to her. “Josie Freeman,” he repeated as if he memorized it, and took Josie’s hand.

She promptly went dizzy as sudden images pressed upon her, blotting out the present. His hands coming at her, so strong and yet gentle, out of the darkness that night. The way he’d touched her, with such care and respect, and the way he’d looked at her as if he could see right down to the bottom of her soul.

He smiled again and Josie’s poor heart pounded in response. “What a marvel this is. I’ve wondered a hundred times what happened to you after that night.”

Forged by Love can be found at these retailers:
Amazon
Amazon Canada
Amazon UK
The Wild Rose Press
Barnes and Noble
Good Reads
All Romance eBooks

Laura Strickland Publicity PhotoBorn and raised in Western New York, Laura Strickland has pursued lifelong interests in lore, legend, magic and music, all reflected in her writing. Though her imagination frequently takes her to far off places, she is usually happiest at home not far from Lake Ontario with her husband and her “fur” child, a rescue dog. Author of Scottish romances Devil Black and His Wicked Highland Ways as well as The Guardians of Sherwood Trilogy (consisting of Daughter of Sherwood, Champion of Sherwood, and Lord of Sherwood), she has also published two Steampunk romances, Dead Handsome: a Buffalo Steampunk Adventure, and Off Kilter: a Buffalo Steampunk Adventure, as well as two Christmas novellas: The Tenth Suitor and Mrs. Claus and the Viking Ship. Her Lobster Cove Historical Romance, The White Gull, is the prequel to her new release, Forged By Love, a Lobster Cove novella. Her next release will be a contemporary Candy Hearts Romance called Ask Me.

You can read more about Laura and her books at www.laurastricklandbooks.com.

 

Historical Book Blast Friday: Laura Strickland

Today I’d like to welcome historical romance author Laura Strickland to the blog. Laura’s most recent book, The White Gull, part of The Wild Rose Press Lobster Cove series, was released on October 2, 2015.

perf5.000x8.000.inddWhen the trawler White Gull was lost in a storm off the coast of Lobster Cove, Lisbeth O’Shea’s husband, Declan, was lost along with it. At least that’s what Lisbeth believes until, a year later, she hears Declan’s voice in the night and sees him haunting the shore near their tiny cottage. Then she wonders… Has grief affected her mind? Or is someone playing a cruel trick?

Town blacksmith Rab Sinclair has loved Lisbeth ever since he arrived in Lobster Cove. Lisbeth has never had eyes for anyone other than the charming, feckless Declan O’Shea, but Rab knows Declan was not faithful to Lisbeth. How can he convince the grieving widow she’s pinned her heart on the wrong man? And when dangerous secrets come to light, how can Rab protect the woman who means more to him than his own life?

Here’s an excerpt:

Lightning flashed once more, flooding her eyes with brightness. In the doorway of the bedroom stood a figure wearing dripping oilskins with only the sou’wester missing from his bare head.

Declan.

In the sudden darkness that followed the lightning she moaned his name and then shouted it.

“Declan? Declan, Declan!” She heard movement, the scrape of a boot on the floorboards, the flap of his coat as he turned and left the doorway. With a sob, she followed. Hands stretched before her like a blind woman, she felt for him, stubbed her bare toe on the leg of the bedstead and faltered. She blundered from the room in his wake.

The cottage boasted but three rooms: this bedroom they had shared, another smaller bedroom she’d dreamed of someday using as a nursery for her children and the main room which combined parlor and kitchen. The darkness of the main room enfolded Lisbeth like black velvet. She had but a glimpse of paler darkness as the front door opened and closed again.

“Declan!”

She followed after him, her heart torn between gladness and pain. He was here! But if he truly were here, returned by some miracle from the same sea that had stolen him, why would he go from her? She reached the door, tore it open and stared out into the storm. Waves and salt spray poured over the stones in front of the cottage. Static filled the air and lightning arced overhead, the thunder competing for dominance with the crash of the rain. Wearing only her nightgown, Lisbeth was immediately soaked to the skin. The wind tore at her hair as she strained to catch sight of the figure she had glimpsed in the doorway.

From the cottage, as well she knew, a path led either north to a narrow strip of shingle or south towards Lobster Cove. Which way might he have gone? She could see nothing but storm, the raging elements that matched the furor now in her heart. Would he head down to the sea? Most this coast consisted of sheer rock but the O’Sheas possessed that stony beach where they had hauled up their boats and readied their lobster traps.

The boats were all gone; the White Gull lay in pieces. Why would Declan go there? Having come home to her, why would he leave at all?

She walked barefoot to a break in the rocks where the sea poured in like a gray beast, alive and wild. No one but a madman would be down on that strip of shingle now.

She turned her head toward the track but saw nothing. The thought came to her: maybe I imagined it. But she had heard the scrape of his boots on the floor. She had seen his hair ruffled by the force of the storm.

A dream, then. She’d had them before, yes, but never, never so real. She returned to the cottage where she shut the door and hurried to the fireplace. With clumsy hands, she searched for matches and the stub of a candle. Her fingers shook so violently it took her three attempts to put flame to the wick.

The light took hold slowly and seemed pitifully inadequate. Thrusting it aloft, Lisbeth retraced her steps to the door of her room, careful to keep her now-sodden garments swept back, her eyes on the floor.

A trail of wet led its way to the bedroom door and culminated on the threshold.

The very place where he had stood.

The candle tumbled from her suddenly numb fingers and the flame went out.

You can find The White Gull, and Laura’s other books, at these retailers:
Amazon 
Amazon Canada 
Amazon UK
The Wild Rose Press 
Barnes and Noble
All Romance eBooks

Laura Strickland Publicity PhotoBorn and raised in Western New York, Laura Strickland has pursued lifelong interests in lore, legend, magic and music, all reflected in her writing. Though her imagination frequently takes her to far off places, she is usually happiest at home not far from Lake Ontario with her husband and her “fur” child, a rescue dog. Author of Scottish romances Devil Black and His Wicked Highland Ways, as well as The Guardians of Sherwood Trilogy consisting of Daughter of Sherwood, Champion of Sherwood and Lord of Sherwood, she has also published two Steampunk romances, Dead Handsome: a Buffalo Steampunk Adventure and Off Kilter: a Buffalo Steampunk Adventure and two Christmas novellas: The Tenth Suitor and Mrs. Claus and the Viking Ship. Her Lobster Cove Historical Romance, The White Gull, will be followed by a Lobster Cove novella, Forged By Love.

Contact Laura at her website, www.laurastricklandbooks.com, or on Goodreads.

 

Author Interview – Marilyn Baron

Today I welcome Marilyn Baron, whose latest book, The Widows’ Gallery, was released by The Wild Rose Press on February 11.IMG_1172 (2)

Tell us a bit about you. Where do you live, and how long have you been writing?

A native of Miami, Florida, I’m a corporate public relations consultant in Roswell, Georgia, in north Atlanta. I’ve wanted to be a writer all my life but I’ve been seriously writing fiction for 10 years. I’ve had a long career in public relations, primarily with AT&T before I formed my own PR business. All of my client work involves writing corporate communications ranging from news releases and newsletters, to ads and annual reports, speeches and special events.

I write in a variety of genres, including: humorous coming-of-middle-age women’s fiction; historical romantic thrillers; romantic suspense in a psychic suspense series; and fantasy for The Wild Rose Press. I also write dark and humorous supernatural short stories for TWB Press. I’ve written three books with my sister, an artist in Florida, including a musical about Alzheimer’s called Memory Lane.  I’ve won or finaled in writing awards in single title, suspense romance, novel with strong romantic elements and paranormal romance.

What inspired you to write The Widows’ Gallery?

I love using art and art theft as themes in my books. I studied art history in Florence, Italy, in college where I fell in love with my favorite painting—The Birth of Venus by Sandro Botticelli—which hangs in the Uffizi Gallery. So, in The Widows’ Gallery, I decided to make that painting the centerpiece of my story. The cover art is also reminiscent of that painting. Last year, my husband and I took an anniversary cruise to the Mediterranean. All these things gelled and I decided to set part of my book in Florence, Italy, and on a cruise ship, before the main characters arrived in the fictional town of Lobster Cove, Maine, where the Lobster Cove series for The Wild Rose Press is set.

What does your writing process look like?

I’m not advising you follow my lead, but I am a dyed-in-the-wool pantser. I don’t do outlines or story boards. Everything is in my head. The first thing I do is come up with a title that inspires me and character names I fall in love with. Then I write the opening. Often I’ll know the ending before I start. It’s the middle that is the biggest challenge. Things will always change along the way. I revise as I go along. I also like to write the blurb before I start the book. I do my best writing and thinking when I’m relaxed and staring out at the ocean. When I get ideas, I put them in the Notes section of my cell phone for future reference or write them on scraps of paper which I proceed to lose.

What do you do when you’re not writing?

I am an avid reader. I’m in two book clubs and I volunteer on the Roswell Reads Steering Committee for my local library. I enjoy going to movies, eating Italian food, traveling and hovering over my two daughters. I’m in the middle of planning a wedding for one of them now. I often set my stories in places I’ve visited, including Bermuda, Australia and Italy, where I spent six months studying in Florence during my senior year in college.

What are you working on now?

On March 20, Killer Cruise, the third book in my Psychic Crystal Mystery Series, will be released from The Wild Rose Press. It also takes place on a cruise ship and one of the themes is art theft. It’s murder, mystery, and mayhem combined with high jinks on the high seas. The novel even features a vampire.

On February 15, TWB Press released my fifth dark and humorous supernatural short story, The Files Death Forgot.  The Grim Reaper with a failing memory, a craving for chocolate chip cookies and a penchant for old movies: Could this agent of death inadvertently save the world from mass annihilation??

Later this year, The Wild Rose Press will release my second Lobster Cove book, a fantasy called Someday My Prints Will Come.

My current work in progress is called Landlocked, where an inexperienced South Florida realtor with weather issues, tries to sell her widowed grandmother’s rural property on an isolated Western North Carolina mountaintop only to discover the tract is landlocked, and therefore, unsalable. The book features a missing artist, two romances and a serial killer.

How many books do you have under the proverbial bed? Will they ever see the light of day?

That’s funny because only one of my manuscripts is still under the bed and I think it’s going to stay there. I don’t give up so I have managed to resurrect and revise all of my under-the-bed manuscripts and they’ve all been published or are about to be published.

How do you come up with your character names?

Anywhere and everywhere. My eyes and ears are always open. If I hear a name I like, I’ll write it down. I’ve come up with character names in the gift wrapping department at Bloomingdales, at the Georgia Aquarium, my hair salon, and when I’m out to dinner. There are no limits. The cosmos is constantly sending you messages. You just have to absorb them.

Name one thing about you that most people don’t know.

I was born without a sense of smell.

Other than “butt in chair,” what piece of advice would you give to an aspiring author?

Finish the book. You can always correct a bad manuscript but there’s nothing you can do about a blank page.

What book are you reading now?

Edge of Eternity by Ken Follett

The WidoTheWidows_Gallery_w9270_750ws’ Gallery, Lobster Cove Series,
by Marilyn Baron
Genre: Women’s Fiction/Romance

Childless heiress Abigail Adams Longley and three other widows on a Mediterranean cruise bond over a Renaissance masterpiece in Florence, Italy, and find love, friendship and joy in their joint venture to open an art gallery at the Longley mansion in Lobster Cove, Maine.

Since the death of her husband, Abigail has been lonely and drifting in a house that’s too big and a town that’s too small. When she literally runs into sexy widower and whale-watching excursion captain Tack Garrity on the dock, she’s entranced by his adorable five-year-old daughter.

But will Tack, who has harbored a secret crush on Abigail for almost two decades, be able to capture her heart? A secret pact her husband made with Tack could either tear them apart or bring them closer together and change their lives forever.

Excerpt:

There is a popular but anonymous Italian saying coined in the late 1700s, “See Naples and die!” Well, the cruise ship had just pulled away from Naples Harbor, and Victoria Dare was about to make that phrase a reality.

Victoria stared into the watery wake of the massive floating hotel. The superliner sliced through the water like a sharp knife through a hot buttered blueberry muffin. Weird she should think of food at a time like this. But she was going to miss blueberry muffins. And crispy bacon. And pancakes. And steaming hot chocolate, for that matter. Maybe it wasn’t too late to change her mind and go to the dining room for one final breakfast—a Last Supper, of sorts.

Available from The Wild Rose Press.

Find Marilyn at www.marilynbaron.com.

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