Friday, March 21, 2014

Friday's Book - Summer's Growth by Tina Gayle

I've recently discovered Tina Gayle and was hooked by the opening of Summer's Growth so now have it on my Kindle and reading. Like what I've read so far! Tina has a lot of books out and you can look through them easier on her site than on Amazon, where of course there are books listed in with hers that aren't hers.

Plus, on the website you can read the first chapter of all her books.

Summer's Growth
by Tina Gale

In the spirit-haunted Winston estate in Ohio, rooted in time and occupied by the lingering ghosts of a great family, the torch is about to pass...

Mattie Winston, sober, sensible, and steady, has served as Keeper to the family for decades. Amber Harrison, hovering on the edge of flunking out of college, unsure what she wants out of life, has barely even heard of the Winston estate. The family, however, has decided that it's time for the changing of the guard. These two exceptional women soon find themselves dealing with violence, murder attempts, and old family mysteries while each finding the love of her life. Two romances and a growing friendship, all twined around a brooding family tragedy, make for an outstanding paranormal offering depth and charm beyond the commonplace. The growing love of Amber and Carter and of Mattie and Quincy offer readers a tender and engaging first novel in a winning new paranormal series.
Tina Gayle:
Tina has buy links for all her books on the books page

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Wench of Romance - Sara Daniel

That Wench, Sara Daniel discusses her love of romance today. 

Why I Love Reading and Writing Romance

 by Sara Daniel

1. The Love Story:  Obviously, right? I love to read about two people who care about each other so much that they’ll fight for each other. I love that they believe in each other more than anyone ever has before or will again. There is something so satisfying, so heartwarming to watch two characters fall in love, usually against their will, and rise above all the conflict to live out that love they deserve.

2. The Emotions:  No other genre does the roller coaster of emotions like romance. One minute I’m laughing at a particularly witty line of dialogue, and the next I’m sobbing as the hero or heroine takes a figurative (and occasionally literal) punch to the gut. Does your life feel stale and blah? For the hours that you’re reading a romance, you’re living the gentleness of the hero caressing your cheek, the frustration of that one person who always has to make life difficult, the thrill of finally giving said person their comeuppance, the sweetness of a first kiss, the stark terror of falling for the person who could cause you to lose everything, and absolute joy of spending forever with the love of your life.

3. The Happily Ever After:  Of course, we all know how a romance novel ends. The hero and heroine get together and live happily ever after. Some people scoff at this guarantee, but it is my number one reason why I will always read and write romance novels. Every day you can pick up the newspaper and read about a life that ends in tragedy. In our own lives and in the lives of our friends and neighbors, there are problems that we can’t wave a wand and make everything magically turn out okay. Who needs to read about more pain, suffering and general cynicism? Definitely not me. Instead, sit down for a couple hours and escape to a romance. Vicariously conquer every roadblock thrown at you. Best of all, no one can take away your happily ever after when you reach the end.

See what I mean with this short intro to one of my favorite books.

Nicole trusted Wyatt with her heart once. She won’t make the same mistake twice.

Nicole DeMonde’s car breaks down the moment she returns to her hometown for her brother’s wedding. The cop who stops to help her is none other than local hottie Wyatt Truman, who slept with her then dumped her when they were teens. She has no choice but to accept his help. However, she knows better than to trust him with her heart twice.

Wyatt is determined to earn Nicole’s forgiveness and make amends for his callous past. Once he lays eyes on her, he can’t help wanting a lot more than forgiveness, despite his intention never to hurt her again.

Just as Wyatt starts thinking his best intentions are of the forever variety, Nicole decides to work Wyatt out of her system with a one night stand. Can either of them make peace with the past in a single weekend, let alone survive with their hearts intact?

To read an excerpt from Wyatt's Guilt, please click HERE.

Sara Daniel writes what she loves—irresistible romance, from sweet to erotic and everything in between. She lives her own happily-ever-after romance with her hero husband.

Learn more about Sara on her website and blog. Subscribe to Sara’s newsletter. Stay connected on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.

Be sure to enter Musa Publishing's January Giveaway.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Travel Time Again

This summer will take me away to places of my dreams again. And with my travels there will be the collection of goodies to share! So that means a contest is coming up. Details to be announced next week!

In the meantime, a sample of some of the places I'm going this summer!

Let's start in Athens, Greece


Why not hop over to Malta?

Then another stop or two in between that you'll have to wait for later to see!!
And ending with a few pub tours in London!

Looking forward to summer!

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Dancing Can Bring Out Strength

Watched Dancing with the Stars last night and ended up with tears in my eyes when Amy Purdy danced. This woman is a prime example of what determination and attitude can accomplish even
Amy Purdy (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)
when life smacks you a hard one.

If you missed the show or are not familiar with Amy, she lost her legs below the knees to meningitis at age nineteen. She's now a Bronze Medal winner from the 2014 Paralympic Games in Sochi, as well as a three-time World Cup Para-snowboard winner.

And now she's on Dancing with the Stars! So, I say...go, Amy! Rooting for you. Totally admire your courage.

Here is a video of her and the life defining question she asked herself to take the steps to this growth.

Question for readers:

What obstacles have you had to dig deep inside you to overcome?

Thursday, March 13, 2014

This Time the Wench Brought Company!

Today, that Wench, Sharon Ledwith, has brought her own interviewer.  Just so happens I adore both of these people, so the more the merrier this week!

YOU HAVE TO WRITE YOUR OWN FIRST FEW WORDS HERE  multi published author SS Hampton Sr. and his guest outstanding middle grade author Sharon Ledwith.

Sharon Ledwith, hello! So, who are you, and where do you come from?


Hey, Stan, glad to be here! Oh, such a complicated question. How long do we have? Seriously though (and I rarely am!) I’m a middle-aged broad who writes for the middle-grade/YA genre. Guess you could say I’m going through my second childhood! I come from my parents—mom still has nightmares to this day—via Streator, Illinois USA while my father was under contract by the government to teach meteorology. That makes me a dual citizen. Currently I reside in the wilds of Muskoka, a tourist area deep in the heart of central Ontario, Canada. Cue the haunting cry of the loon…

Lol, the loon! So, why did you become a graphic artist? Was it difficult to give up that career field for writing (I assume you write full-time)?

Well someone has done his homework! I’ve always loved art throughout school, and wanted to parlay that into a solid business career. Plus I didn’t want anything to do with math again! I took the graphic technician course in college which allowed me to work in the printing trade. This was before computers took over, so everything was done by hand. Um, yeah, slow process, but worth it if you applied yourself and worked hard. My hubby and I started Box Office Graphics in the early 80s and we saw so many changes in the industry which included fax machines, computers, and the internet. The graphic businesses that didn’t change fell by the wayside.  We sold our business in 2004, and have never looked back. BTW—our former business is still going strong after 30 years! And NO, it wasn’t difficult to give up that career at all. Somehow I knew deep inside I would be pursuing a full-time career as a writer. After all, something had to be done to stop the voices from talking in my head!

Where and how did you meet your husband? Was he aware that he was courting a soon-to-be writer with all of her quirks? I generally assume all writers have their quirks – I know I do.

Poor hubby. I met him at the first job I was hired at straight out of college—a graphic trade shop that specialized in plastic container packaging. Call him my soul mate or a misguided fool, I knew from the moment I met him that we were destined to be together. I believe he was aware of some quirky karma, ’cause he never gave up the chase, even when the odds were against us. I also believe writers should use all their quirks to their advantage!

Any friendly words of advice for writers, particularly when a future spouse “comes a’calling”? Or perhaps for the future spouse who discovers their love interest is a writer?

Run, spouse, run! Kidding. My advice would be to never stop investing in yourself. Invest in the best. That’s in yourself, in your readers, and in your partner. Your readers deserve the best of what you have to offer them. Surround yourself with the best possible team (this includes spouses). Never stop learning. As you grow, so will your readers, so be prepared for this. Oh yeah, and never give up. That’s a given and should be part of any author’s credo.

How did your family and friends react to you becoming a writer?

Say what? You want to be a writer? Good for you! Ten years later…you’re still writing? Anything published yet? No? Humph. Maybe you should get a REAL job. Um, yeah, tried it, didn’t like it, went back to writing, and got published. Yay me! Once I signed the contract, I was cast in a different light, and everyone was supportive and happy for me. You should have seen the release party I threw – hot damn it was fun and VERY satisfying!

I find it interesting that the inspiration for The Last Timekeepers of Atlantis came to you in a dream, that you believe in Atlantis, and you burn incense when writing. You didn’t mention what types of music you like, or favorite artists. So, not to resort to labels, but are you perhaps, something of a “New Ager”?

Yes, very much so. I’m quite a spiritual person and believe we’re all here for a reason and purpose. This comes out in my stories. I don’t want to come off as preachy (in fact I can’t stand it when other people try to shove their beliefs on me) so I try to inject humor whenever I can in my stories. I think we all learn best when there’s laughter present. And if you want a real laugh, when I first started out writing I listened to the soundtrack of Braveheart (sigh) a lot, as well as some native drum instrumentals, Enya, and Enigma. Now I hardly listen to music while writing.

Braveheart, eh? And Enya and Enigma—some of my favorite music too. Just a comment here: I like the first sentence of the opening of your blurb – “Children are the keys to our future.” Truthfully, I have always believed that. Might that have something do with the intended audience of Middle Grade/Young Adult readers regarding Last Timekeepers?

Oh definitely! But it is true – children are the keys to our future. It’s up to us adults to supply kids with good role models, people to look up to, and to aspire to. We need to be the best we can be, and offer children a new hope for a better tomorrow. I mean, how else can we pass along our knowledge and understanding to a new generation if we don’t show up in this life?

Would you please share an excerpt from The Last Timekeepers and the Arch of Atlantis with us? Or, if you feel comfortable, perhaps an excerpt from your prequel, Legend of the Timekeepers?

Would be honored, Stan. Here’s the blurb and excerpt from my newest release, and the prequel to the Last Timekeepers series, Legend of the Timekeepers:

There is no moving forward without first going back.

Lilith was a young girl with dreams and a family before the final destruction of Atlantis shattered those dreams and tore her family apart. Now refugees, Lilith and her father make their home in the Black Land. This strange, new country has no place in Lilith’s heart until a beloved high priestess introduces Lilith to her life purpose—to be a Timekeeper and keep time safe.

Summoned through the seventh arch of Atlantis by the Children of the Law of One, Lilith and her newfound friends are sent into Atlantis’s past, and given a task that will ultimately test their courage and try their faith in each other. Can the Timekeepers stop the dark magus Belial before he changes the seers’ prophecy? If they fail, then their future and the earth’s fate will be altered forever.

“Why are you here?” Lilith asked. “You’ve already got your life seal.”

“I have more questions for Istulo.” She continued to stare at the disk.

Lilith sighed. “My name is Lilith. What’s your name?”

Her shoulders relaxed slightly. A hint of a smile broke out on her face. Her upturned nose wiggled. “She-Aba. I was born here in the Black Land. Both my parents arrived from Atlantis fourteen years ago yesterday. My mother gave birth to me the next day.”

Lilith perked up. “That would make today your birthday!”

She-Aba beamed. “Yes. That’s why I’m here. For my birthday last year, I had my life reading done by Istulo. But recently, there’s been a hiccup in my plans. It’s like my life seal rearranged itself, and now I’m confused. I’m here for a reaffirmation.”

“What’s the problem?”

She-Aba traced her life seal with the tip of her perfectly shaped fingernail. “My lifetime occupation was supposed to be to design clothing for the people of the various positions in the court and temples.”

Lilith smirked. “That makes perfect sense.”

“I know, right? So why, all of a sudden, would my life seal change from designing clothing to something completely different?”

Lilith arched a fair brow. “How different?”

“Well, instead of clothing people in lavish robes and gowns for others to appreciate, the seal suggests that I’ll be doing the opposite by covering up and hiding the truth. I don’t understand it at all. I thought my life was all planned out for me.”

“I thought mine was too, until my country blew up and slid into the ocean,” Lilith muttered.

“Hey, look at the bright side, at least your hair isn’t red like mine.”

Lilith eyed She-Aba carefully. “What’s wrong with red hair? My uncle has red hair and it suits him fine.”

She-Aba moved in closer. “If you haven’t noticed already, there aren’t many redheads around here. The natives think red is magical, and anyone with red hair is considered a freak of nature.”

“That’s ridiculous!” Lilith said loud enough to cause an echo down the marble hallway. “Is that the reason why those artists were rude to you? Because you have red hair?”

“Red is a very powerful color,” a raspy voice said from behind both girls.

Lilith and She-Aba jumped. They slowly turned to find Istulo hovering over them.

Wearing the same white gown and orichalcum headband Lilith saw her dressed in before, Istulo nodded slightly before she said, “Red represents the essence of life—if we are drained of blood, we are drained of energy. The people of the Black Land understand this, and therefore red is reserved only for their gods and goddesses.”

Lilith giggled. “Don’t tell She-Aba that, she’ll think she’s a goddess.”

Here's the LINK for more information on the book.

Thank you for visiting with us today! Are there any parting words you would like to share with us?

Absolutely! I was once asked by another interviewer to share what inspires me to write, and why am I doing what I do? The truth is that I want to be the change I would like to see in this world. Yes, I stole that from Gandhi, but those words have been my mantra, and have guided me to write stories I would have loved to read as an adolescent. My hope is to give my target audience (upper middle-grade and lower young adult) the kinds of stories the world needs now—force readers to ask why they are here on earth at this time, and what is their major purpose. I guess I’m looking for ways to make the world a better place. I also want to make people laugh out-loud while they’re reading my books, and leave them wanting more when they turn to the last page. Thanks so much for putting up with, er interviewing me today, Stan, and loved your well-researched questions! Cheers!

Check out The Last Timekeepers series Facebook Page.


When Sharon Ledwith is not writing, researching, or revising, she enjoys reading, yoga, kayaking, time with family and friends, and single malt scotch. Sharon lives in the wilds of Muskoka in Central Ontario, Canada, with her hubby, a water-logged yellow Labrador and moody calico cat.

Learn more about Sharon Ledwith on her website and blog.  Stay connected on Facebook and Twitter.

Much of SS Hampton, Sr.'s writing is drawn from his extensive military career, including his historical short story The Sentinels.

December 1941 – the German offensive has ground to a frozen halt before an ominous forest encircling Moscow, and a German patrol seeks to discover what secrets the forest hides…

December 1941, and fresh Siberian troops from the Soviet Far East have launched savage counter-attacks against the German invaders. The Eastern Front is torn open with German units driven back, overwhelmed, or isolated. An exhausted Waffen SS infantry platoon outside of Moscow needs to know what the Siberians, hidden in a dark forest before them, are up to. A small patrol is sent into the snowy, otherworldly forest...

To read an excerpt from The Sentinels please click HERE.

SS Hampton, Sr. is a full-blood Choctaw of the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma, a divorced grandfather to 13, a published photographer and photojournalist, and a member of the Military Writers Society of America. His military career began in 1974. He retired on 1 July 2013 from the Army National Guard with the rank of Sergeant First Class; he previously served in the active duty Army, the Army Individual Ready Reserve, and enlisted in the Army National Guard in October 2004, after which he was mobilized for Federal active duty for almost three years. Hampton is a veteran of Operations Noble Eagle and Iraqi Freedom.

His writings have appeared as stand-alone stories, and in anthologies from Dark Opus Press, Edge Science Fiction & Fantasy, Melange Books, Musa Publishing, MuseItUp Publishing, Ravenous Romance, and as stand-alone stories in Horror Bound Magazine, The Harrow, and River Walk Journal, among others. He is also a published photographer and photojournalist, and a member of the Military Writers Society of America.

After 12 years of brown desert in the Southwest and overseas, he misses the Rocky Mountains, yellow aspens in the fall, running rivers, and a warm fireplace during snowy winters. As of December 2011 in Las Vegas, Nevada, Hampton officially became a homeless Iraq War veteran.

To learn more about SS Hampton, Sr. or read excerpts from his books please click a vendor's name.

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Thursday's Wench, Holley Trent is Cookin'

A Happy Thursday to one and all, and especially to Miss Holley Trent, an author who warms my heart with her North Carolina settings (yep, we're from the same state) and the stories she weaves! And no matter the season, a good read is a good read, even if it is Holiday related.
by Holly Trent

 This meatloaf spin-off has ground up tortilla chips. Its airier texture is due to rolling the meat rather than patting it into shape. This dish is a perfect substitution for pickier eaters, and the cheese in the middle adds a little something for the kiddos.

Holley’s Tex-Mex Meatroll

2 lbs. lean ground beef
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. onion powder
1 tsp. mustard powder
½ tsp. cayenne pepper
½ tsp. ground black pepper
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese (can substitute Pepper Jack)
3 cups crushed corn tortilla chips
¼ cup mild salsa

 Preheat oven to 350°F.

 Mix meat, egg, and seasoning in a bowl.

 On waxed or parchment paper, pat the meat mixture into a rectangle as wide as your loaf pan or slightly less wide than the width of your paper if you're baking on a cookie sheet.

Cover the surface of the beef with the tortilla chips. Just eyeball it. You don't need to use the full three cups - just make sure you have good coverage.

Spread the cheese over the top. Pretend you're building a pizza.

Take one end of the paper and roll the meat as if it were sushi, but don’t catch the paper in the roll. Gently tease the roll to the end and carefully transfer to a greased pan.

Pat the ends so they're rounded and the ingredients inside don’t fall out.

Brush the top of the loaf with salsa. Water it down a bit if doing so makes it easier to spread.

Cover with foil. Mold it against the roll a bit to provide structure to the meat holds its shape as it cooks.

About 45 minutes in—when the roll has firmed but not completely cooked—remove foil. Apply another brushing of salsa.

Bake until a thermometer reads 160°F.

Let the meatroll rest for at least ten minutes before cutting.

While your dinner is baking, check out my fun Christmas FREE READ Boughs of Halle only at Musa Publishing.

Ex-hipster Erin Posey is too cool for Christmas. But, when her mother announces she’s driving up to North Carolina to visit her prodigal daughter, Erin engages in a last-minute scramble to deck the halls of her bungalow. In a night rife with frustrations, a tree salesman named Halle takes pity on the frazzled school photographer and helps her get into the holiday spirit.

When the tree’s twinkle lights turn on, the magic Erin feels doesn’t have a thing to do with the joyous season. She knows she needs to mend her strained relationship with her mother, so once all the tinsel has gone on, she sends Halle on his way.

The handsome stranger has got quirky Erin pegged better than anyone she’s ever met. She wants him to return, but is her charm like mistletoe? Does the magic exist only when she’s up close, or will thoughts of her be enough to draw Halle back for a New Year’s kiss, too?

To claim your free copy of Boughs of Halle please click HERE.

Holley Trent is the author of Executive Decision, Mrs. Roth’s Merry Christmas, and Her Resident Jester – all available now from Musa Publishing's Calliope Romance Line.

To see all of Holley Musa Publishing books, please click HERE.

Learn more about Holley Trent on her blog and follow her on Twitter.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

New Author Julie Ramsey Shares!

Today new author, Julie Ramsey, has stopped by to share about her first book.
Let's start with you telling us a little about yourself?

 My name is Julie Ramsey. I am a blogger, new author, reviewer, and in my paying job a Respiratory Therapist. I have a soft spot for Paranormal Romance but read almost every genre of fiction. I live in southern Michigan with my husband, son, 3 dogs and 2 birds.
Newest release?
 My 1st release is The Wild Bone: The White Alpha of Monroe it came out on February 13th. It is currently on Amazon and Smashwords.

What can we expect from your stories, action, drama, romance, sex, blood and guts?
 Lots of action, some romance, a little hot sex and a great story

Do you have a favorite character in your stories? Who? and Why?
 Since I only have 1 book out, I would say Sally. Sally goes through a lot in this story. Lots of new info from her past but she gets Tony. That is a good trade off.

How about your least favorite characters? What makes them less appealing to you?
 Alex he is a jerk. But I love him in this book.

Give us an interesting fun fact or a few about your book or series.
 We have no idea what will come of Sally and her half breed status. The town of Monroe that I use is the actual town I live in. I use real places for fake events and people.

Has there been any one to inspire your writing?
JR Ward, Suzanne Wright, Christine Feehan, Katie Macalister just to name a few.

What can readers who enjoy your book do to help make it successful?
 Read it; let others know maybe even leave a review

Do you have any tips for readers or advice for other writers trying to get published?
 Keep at it. You can do anything you truly set your mind to 

Do you have a favorite author? If yes, what draws you to that person’s work?
Like above there are a lot who have inspired me...My favorite would be Christine Feehan for her Dark series and JR Ward for her Black Dagger Brotherhood series

Can you remember one of the first things you wrote? What makes it memorable?
 Actually I wrote small things as a kid but the 1st actual book was a kid’s book my son and I wrote Hiccup and Mooney. It will hopefully be out within the next 2 months under the name J.J. Ramsey (Julie and James).

Do you have any other interesting hobbies, pets or stories you would like to share?
We just lost one of out furry babies and are getting a new one very soon but we usually have 3 dogs, 2 birds. Others things I do...back in school working toward my BA, I work full time and go to my son's swimming events. Then in my spare time I write.

Favorite places to travel or visit?
 Anywhere with my family. I have family in Austin, so Austin.

And now, before you go, how about a snippet from your book that is meant to intrigue and tantalize us:


Hello my fellow readers, reviewers and authors. My name is Julie Ramsey. My 1st Novella was just released on feb 13th 2014. The Wild Bone: The White Alpha of Monroe is something I had always wanted to do. I have been a reviewer for years and run a successful review site called Julies Book Review (  As a reviewer I love books of almost every genre. My soft spot has always been paranormal romance. Some of the authors that have influenced me over the years, Christine Feehan, JR Ward, Suzanne Wright, Carrie Ann Ryan, and Katie MacAlister just to name a few. I am currently back in school working toward my BA. It was in a creative writing class that Sally and the Monroe pack came to me. I couldn't use the piece for class but I set it aside and came back to it. The paper then became The Wild Bone: The White Alpha of Monroe.  I have had lots of good reviews so far and I am excited about the possibilities this book brings. For the future I am working on book 2. I am hoping to have it out with in the next couple of months. Also I have 2 kids books that should be out this year as well under the name J.J. Ramsey. So please let people know about The Wild Bone: The White Alpha of Monroe. I hope you enjoy the book as much as I enjoyed writing it.
Julie Ramsey

 Blurb:   When Sally's mother dies, she is left with no family. Her two best friends Hector and Cathy decide to take her out to the new bar in town, The Wild Bone, to get her out of the house. The night doesn't turn out how they imagine. Sally's mother kept a secret that is about to come to light. The secret holds the trio's future. 2 men both werewolves are about to change Sally's life forever. One will be her future and bring out what has been hidden from her. One wants to steal her future to gain the power of the Monroe pack. Will Sally and her friends survive the turmoil to come? 

Check out the YouTube link:


       The night was so peaceful. The breeze was cool on my skin. I sat on the little porch and sipped my tea. I had sweats and a sleeveless t-shirt on, relaxing, looking into the stars. I almost missed the shadow by my neighbor’s house.  I kept a bat by me just in case, when I was outside for protection. I am inexperienced in relationships, but I knew how to defend myself. So I set my tea down and pick up my bat, and snuck around the house. I was going to find out who was watching me. Bat up high, I peak around the corner. I don’t see anyone. Oh, I know I saw a shadow. My bat is still held high as I walk around to the front. That is when someone taps me on the shoulder. “OH MY GOSH”I scream, and I swing the bat. I hit somebody. No way was it a person. Whatever I hit, it went down like a ton of bricks and my arms were reverberating. It felt like I hit a steel pole. I look at the ground and sure as heck, it is the tattooed man. You…..What the heck are you doing sneaking around here, I could have killed you.

 He groaned, “I doubt that, but I am going to have a heck of a headache. You know that is twice now you have hit me.” He was on the ground and smiling up at me.

Thanks for sharing with us today, Julie.

Thanks for hosting me. It has been fun.

Julie Ramsey