Thursday, 25 February 2010

The Reviews are in for Gail Delaney's Outcasts!


Victor turned his back on everything he knew --- Everything he thought he was -- to help Michael Tanner be free.

Something dark haunts Victor, threatening to steal his sanity --- even his life. He doesn't understand it, has no name for it; he only knows the malicious darkness in his mind wants him dead for his treachery in helping the humans.

Only in Beverly Surimoto's tender touch does he find some fraction of peace. But how much can he take from her before it's too much? How much before she realizes the demon he is and turns him away?


Rating: 5 Stars

Sci-Fi at its best, The Phoenix Rebellion Book II: Outcasts is a roller coaster ride through the unknown...


Fallen Angel Reviews
Rating: 5 Angels

Ms. Delaney has written a series that is reminiscent of one that was written by E. E. "Doc" Smith's The Lensman Series. This is the highest praise I can give. I will be waiting impatiently for the next installment of The Phoenix Rebellion.

Wednesday, 24 February 2010

The Reviews are in for Melanie Atkins's Prime Suspect!

I just wanted to share some reviews with you for Melanie's Atkins's Latest Release, Prime Suspect. Enjoy!


New Orleans Assistant District Attorney Marisa Cooper prosecutes murderers for a living, but the tables are turned when her ex-husband is found dead in her garage. To prove she didn't kill him, she must team up with her former fiancée, Slade Montgomery, the detective who risks his career — and his heart — to help her find the real killer.


From: Shaiha - Suite Magazine

"I loved PRIME SUSPECT! The flow of this story was so fast and furious that I hardly had time to come up for air."


From: Autiotalo - Enchanted Ramblings
Rating - 5 Wands

"This is a suspenseful, stylish story written in a rich, evocative style that complements the setting of New Orleans. The plot is clever without being convoluted, and its fast-paced action pulls the reader along."


Hana K - Romance Junkies
Rating = 4 Blue Ribbons

"PRIME SUSPECT hooks you from the explosive first chapter."


Elise - ECataRomance
Rating = 4.5 Stars

"The plot has many surprises that will keep you ensnared in the pages. So sit back and take in the ride that Melanie Atkins will give you in Prime Suspect."


Linda Bass - The Romance Studio
Rating = 5 Hearts

"Ms. Atkins writes a compelling novel titled PRIME SUSPECT that is full of twists. The writing flowed smoothly and keeps you guessing of its conclusion. For every mystery lover this one is a must!"

Congrats, Melanie!

Tuesday, 23 February 2010

Interview with Desert Breeze Author, Carie Lawson

Carie Lawson has a March release with Desert Breeze, "Beyond Africa." She's here with us today to talk a little about the book and her writing. Welcome, Carie! Onto the questions:

#1 - You have release coming out in March - Beyond Africa. What inspired the plot?

When I decided to write Christian Fiction, I wanted to write something with a dangerous, sexy hero. Lilly was a missionary from the first time she popped into my head, so her hero had to be able to appear in the mission without being a missionary...hmm, a pilot. After that, I think I let them tell me their story more than anything else.

STEPH: Pilots always make sexy heroes.

#2 - Can you tell me a little about the plot for Beyond Africa?

Case meets Lilly when he's assigned to take her to a mission in a dangerous part of the Democratic Republic of Congo. He's seen enough of the area to know he doesn't want to leave her there. His conscience continues to drag him back there to offer her a small amount of protection. Lilly fights her instant attraction to him because he obviously isn't a Christian and she's dedicated her life to continuing her parent's work as a missionary. She finds herself in the undesirable position of having to choose between everything she's ever believed and the only thing she wants in the world. A little boy she meets at the mission, Sam, adopts her and then she has to factor in his safety.

STEPH: I love the plot. It sounds really exciting.

#3 - Do you cast your characters when you write? If so, who would cast for the main characters in Africa .

I didn't cast my characters exactly. The McCord family is very loosely based on my own family. I've taken personality traits from my four kids--the good and the...hmm...challenging. Case is a pretty typical oldest child--a little bossy, protective and serious natured. His closest friend is his younger brother, Zane, who's story is told in Beyond Summer, coming out September 1.

#4 - You have four kids and a soccer van! Tell me when you have time to write? Seriously, when do you write? Do you listen to music? Light candles. Tell me about your writing space.

I started writing Beyond Africa when my daughter, who's now six, was an infant. Much of it was written with her sleeping in my arms. That's a wonderful memory for me as this dream of writing is starting to happen. Not much has changed, I guess. When all goes well, I enforce a naptime at my house and then head off to my computer for an hour or so. It probably takes me longer to write than someone who has a little more free time. But I find I'm better off when my life is balanced (sometimes it feels like a tight rope) family time mixed with writing time. What's funny is that my creative juices really get flowing when I'm driving. I think because the kids are in the backseat and I have a little bit of time to let my mind wander or mull over a problem. By the time I get to the computer a lot of the time the scene exists entirely in my head and all I have to do is get it out on paper.

STEPH: I agree in that balance is so important. I have two kids, a full time job, a passion to write, and a desire to go to the gym every day. Striking the balance is not easy. I, too, find that same peace to let my mind wander when I'm driving. Sometimes, I'll put on a audio book. It's one of the few times I can 'read.' so to speak.

#5 - Who are your favorite authors?

That's a tough one. I love to read and nearly always have a book going. Some of my favorite inspirational authors are Susan Mae Warren, Tamara Leigh and Kaye Dacus.

#6 - What's the last book you read?

The Heart's Journey Home by Jen Stephens. It is a wonderful book written by a friend of mine.

#7 - What inspires you in general?

This sounds like a simpleton answer, but its honest. That fun, fluttering, falling in love feeling inspires me to write...and read. We all need little escapes in the everyday.

STEPH: Yes, I agree - we all need the little escapes everyday. It keeps me sane. When I get to work and I have down time between calls or on the radio, I pull out my pen and paper and escape. My co-workers have gotten used to me escaping into my fantasyland, haha! Those escapes are so important. It keeps us all fresh.

Thanks so much for being here today, Carie!

Monday, 22 February 2010

Interview with DB Author, Nicole Zoltack

I'd like to welcome Nicole to the Desert Breeze blog this morning. Nicole has a March release, book 2 in the Arnhem series, "Knight of Glory." It's a very exciting series. Her book, Woman of Honor was a TOP 10 Winner in the 2009 Preditors and Editors poll in the Science Fiction Romance category.

Onto the questions:

#1 - Tell me why Fantasy romance appeals so much to you.

Well, I think to some extent all romances have some elements of fantasy in them. But there’s something about creating a new world, one with magic and mythological creatures, where the men are brave and strong and true and love their ladies as much as they love their knights. Fantasy romance is a way to escape the problems of this world for another one with limitless possibilities.

STEPH: I so agree and that's why fantasy appeals to me as well.

#2 - Knight of Glory is book 2 in the Kingdom of Arnhem series. What inspired the series?

I have always been fascinated by the Middle Ages, and with knights in particular. Throughout my research, I decided to try to find out if there were any female knights, knowing the way that women were treated back then. To my surprise, I uncovered information about an entire order of female knights – the Order of the Hatchet.

This served as the motivation for Aislinn to try to become a knight in “Woman of Honor.” Book I ends with war between the kingdom of Arnhem and Speica. The series will now follow this war, which will be the last in a long line of wars between the two countries.

#3 - How did you come up with the plot for "Knight of Glory." (I'm glad to see Geoffrey get his own book!)

Sir Geoffrey was one of my favorite characters in “Woman of Honor” so it made a great deal of sense for him to be the main character in Book II. From his dreamy, bard-like idealization of love to his big heart, I thought that many readers would love to see more about him, and for him to finally find a woman that he could love. Fortunately and unfortunately (depending on how you look at it), Geoffrey actually finds himself torn between two very different ladies. Both keep secrets from him, even as his uncovers a sinister plot from the Speicans.

Basically, I let Geoffrey tell me the story and I just typed it. The plot just came to me one day.

#4 - I hear "Woman of Honor" did very well in the Preditors and Editors poll. Tell me about it.

“Woman of Honor” finished tied for four in the Preditors and Editors poll for fantasy and science fiction novels in 2009. I was very surprised and extremely pleased that “Woman of Honor” placed so high!

#5 - Cast the book for "Knight of Glory." Who is Geoffery? Celestia?

Let’s see… Geoffrey is blond with grey eyes with a strong, muscular build (of course, he’s a knight after all!). He’s short by today’s standards at 5 foot 6 but that was the average height for a man back in the Middle Ages. If I had to cast Geoffrey, I would say a short, grey-eyed Paul Walker.

STEPH: I LOVE Paul Walker! He's Viktor in my upcoming "Moldavia" Series.

Celestia has long, wavy red hair and aquamarine eyes. A young Kate Walsh.

Jenanna had short mahogany hair and sky blue eyes with some freckles. Not a traditional beauty like Celestia, the best compliment Jenanna could hope for is “fair.” Honestly, I don’t know who to cast as Jenanna!

#6 - Aislinn is the heroine from "Woman of Honor." Is there a little of Aislinn in you?

I would like to think so, although I am no where near as strong as she is, physically or emotionally. But she loves her brothers dearly, just as I love my siblings, and she loves her man fiercely, just as I love my husband. I could never see myself as Queen or as a Lady Knight, so there is a fair amount of Aislinn that is not me at all.

#7 - What's the latest book you read?

I just finished reading Traci E. Hall’s “Love’s Magic,” a paranormal romance set in 1192. It was a fairly good story but there was a lot of head-hopping (which is one of my biggest pet peeves) and several phrases that were not used back then (my biggest pet peeve). It was a good story, if you can overlook so flaws. The romance aspect was well-written although a little frustrating at times, the hero refused to listen to the heroine when she told him that she loved him. Can you say dense? But I received the book for free so I guess I shouldn’t complain too much.

#8 - Do you write other genres? If so, what? What do you find appealing about them?

I write in all kinds of genres, I just haven’t published in them all (yet!). I write YA, fantasy, paranormal, horror, sweet romance (in all different sub-genres), historical. Basically whatever the muse dictates, I write!

I love to read YA, so it’s no wonder that I write it. My ‘baby’ book is one that I started in 6th grade (literally, I wrote some of it during class) which is a fantasy YA novel that I am shopping around to agents.

Fantasy, we already discussed.

Paranormal. This is so close to fantasy but usually deals with today’s world and magical creatures. I have a short story called Beauty is Only Fin Deep that is a paranormal YA romance that will be published later on this year in an anthology called Mertales.

Horror. Maybe I should say dark, rather than horror. I sometimes think I have two muses, because some of my story ideas are just plain dark and nothing like the other stories I write.

Sweet romance, already discussed.

Historical. So far, just medieval but I might branch out and try some other time periods. In fact, one of my short story WIPs is about Atlantis’ destruction.

Thank you so much for interviewing me, Steph, I had a wonderful time!

It was great to have you, Nicole and I look forward to Knight of Glory!

Friday, 19 February 2010

Meet Desert Breeze Author - Esther Michell

While unpublished until her twenties, Esther Mitchell spent her life dreaming of writing. She learned to read on such classics as Gawain & the Green Knight and Beowulf. Raised in Europe, with its wide exposure to mythology, history, and the paranormal, she quickly became fascinated by the lore of the unseen, eventually translating into an educational background in parapsychology and a lifetime of study and practice in spiritual healing and counseling.

Life in a fast-paced, on-the-edge military community ingrained her with both an intimate understanding of the military world, and the ability to craft edgy suspense.

At the age of eight, she fell in love with romance, and by the time she was twelve, she had already penned the first of a series of Arthurian romances, and was working on what would later become the futuristic suspense series, Underground.

Always dedicated foremost to her writing, she writes under her real name, and has completed about thirty novels to date, of which ten have previously been published, with more to come. Reviewers and fans alike have dubbed her work “exciting,” “edge of your seat” and “daring.” For more information on either her books or her work with metaphysical healing, visit her website at

Can you tell us a little about your book?

Certainly. DAUGHTER OF ASHES is the first book of a brand-new Fantasy series I’ll have here at Desert Breeze Publishing in June called Legends of Tirum. This is exciting for me, as I love Fantasy, and this series has been nearly 20 years in the making! The series contains a continuing storyline, as nine men and women who possess the magic (in the books, it’s known as Majik) that makes up the core of their world, and their quest to return a powerful Majin to life, and restore their world. DAUGHTER OF ASHES introduces two of the major characters for this series – Telyn Gwndal, known as the Phoenix, and Nacaris Onachar, who has a secret I’m not going to reveal at this point! *grins* DAUGHTER OF ASHES follows the first step of Telyn’s journey, as she discovers her roots, and the Majik she never knew she possessed.

What inspired you to write this book?

(laugh) That’s a question that’s a little difficult to answer. Some of it actually draws inspiration from my own life, and my own belief in magic. And some of it is drawn from a variety of sources. At the time I started writing it, I was addicted to a computer Role Playing Game called Might & Magic… And I was an avid gamer with paper & dice RPGs, as well. The first draft of DAUGHTER OF ASHES was a strictly Fantasy adventure story. But the story didn’t have a lot of real “guts” to it until much more recently, when I began to realize what was missing – the connection between the main characters. And thus was born the Romance, and suddenly, the story came to life!

When did you know you wanted to be a writer?

(GRINS) Truth is, I honestly don't remember. I've always been a writer, I think. I know I drove my parents crazy, as a small child, drawing squiggly lines on the pages of *wince* books which I claimed were the stories I was writing. I did that until my parents had the brilliant idea to give me notebooks to fill, instead. I still have them. Illegible, full of squiggly lines that mean little to me, today, but when I look at them, I remember what it felt like, and that inspires me when I'm frustrated with some current writing problem or another.

How or why did you decide to write Romance?

Well, that's personal and very private, but I do believe in true love. While I don't believe it conquers all, and I don't believe in "Happily Ever After", I do believe in the "Happy As Long as I Can Be" mentality, and I do try to end my work on a positive note, where I can. I have a lot of faith in the power of love to create something bright and beautiful in even the darkest areas of life. Hence why I write fiction that's both dark/dangerous and with that grain of light/love/hope.

6. Where do you do most of your writing? Do you have a favorite spot or room?

I’ll write anywhere an idea comes to me, but I actually have my own office, now, where I do most of the work when I’m home. I also use my laptop, and I’m typically seen with either a notebook or whatever manuscript I’m currently editing, wherever I go. I often work on my books during my lunch hour at work, too.

What has been your greatest challenge?

Acceptance, I think. I don’t write mainstream Romance, and it’s been a battle to gain acceptance in the Romance community. Most of my work is darker, edgier stuff that can make some people uncomfortable, and it’s reality-based in ways that many Romance authors tend to avoid – I don’t shy away from the dirty details of real life. That’s made it tough; but I’m determined that it’s not impossible.

How many hours a week do you spend writing?

(laughs) Not as many as I’d like, anymore. I do have a regular job, as well, and at current it tends to cause writing time conflicts. But I still try to get at least 3 hours every day to write.

What do you do when writes block hits you?

I don’t often get writer’s block, but when I do, it depends on how and why the block’s hit. First thing I do is look over what I’ve written, and try to see if I’ve just written myself into a corner. If I have, I rewrite the section, to open up a way out. Sometimes, removing the block has been as simple as rewriting a scene from another Point of View. If the block’s more serious than that, I’ll set the book aside for a couple of hours and do something totally unrelated to writing; usually after a couple of hours away, the ideas start pouring in. If not, I put the book aside for a few days, and work on other projects (I usually have more than one book going at a time).

Are you currently writing anything new?

(Laughs) Always! I’m currently also working on an anthology story for Desert Breeze Publishing, as well as the next book in The Legends of Tirum. I also have series with other publishers I’m working on. Anyone wanting to see more of my series should check out my website at

Thursday, 18 February 2010

Meet Desert Breeze Author, Danielle Thorne

Greetings from beautiful (and chilly) Georgia! What a thrill it is to be joining so many talented authors at Desert Breeze. An author of historical and contemporary romance, I heard about Desert Breeze when they first opened their virtual doors, and was very excited to learn there was a new publisher targeting my sub-genre: sweet heat and adventure.

With a Yankee mum and no accent, many people are surprised when they learn I’m from the deep South. Born in Chicago, I grew up in the mountains of North Carolina, and later Nashville. My traveling feet have taken me as far West as Idaho, and I’ve even spent time in the beautiful Mid-West. I’ve hung my hat all over Dixie.

My path with this “sweet” company crossed last Fall, after starting my new Caribbean adventure. I felt sure BY HEART AND COMPASS would be a great fit with Desert Breeze. Thanks to generous voters in a work-in-progress contest at Classic Romance Revival, I was able to get some exposure for the manuscript and Chief Editor, Gail Delaney here at Desert Breeze generously offered me a contract.

You want the nitty gritty? I’m the mother of four boys and have been married to my college sweetheart for almost twenty-one years. Together we enjoy traveling the Caribbean, weekend road trips to the mountains, and supporting high school marching band competition and scouting. When I’m not writing you can find me with my nose in a book or puttering around in my little salsa garden. (Salsa is not just food at our house. It’s a way of life.) And of course, I’m never far from the keyboard when inspiration hits for another romantic adventure!

Coming this summer is my latest sea adventure, BY HEART AND COMPASS, about a diary, a lost pirate ship, and two very different personalities:

When Lacey Whitman buys a restored Victorian home, she never dreams discovering an antique diary will lead her back to sea and into the arms of the dive bum she’d rather forget. Her habit of living in the past comes to a screeching halt as diver Max Bertrand and the diary of his ancestor take Lacey on the quest of a lifetime: To discover and raise the privateer ship, Specter, and bring the treasure and legacy of a true hero home again.

Will Lacey’s adventure cost her her heart? That to me, is always the question when I pick up a romance. What great adventure will bring two people together or tear them apart? What challenges will they face and how will the overcome? My greatest wish is that my own books will answer those questions for readers and take them on a breathless ride.

I’m looking forward to being a part of the growing authorship with this great company. Please stop by my website and give me a shout out--with blessings, you will be seeing a lot more of me here, and all around the online reading world.



Don’t Miss My Newsletter!
The Privateer Newsletter: News, Reviews, and Swashbuckling Fun:

& You can Follow Me on Twitter: @DanielleThorne

Wednesday, 17 February 2010

An Interview with Michelle Sutton, author of First Impressions

#1 - With your novel, "First Impressions," was there a real Jimmy in your background?

Actually I have a picture of him if you are interested I could scan it in. Yes, he was 17 and boy was he hot, like a blond John Stamos. I was 13 and not fat or buck-teethed, but I did wear glasses. He actually liked me and kissed me one time that summer. It was in the back yard between the rows of corn my dad was growing in the garden. One of my sisters snuck up behind us and saw him kiss me. His face turned beet read, poor guy. But, yeah, it was summer romance to remember for sure. In those days a kiss was a big deal, if you know what I mean?

STEPH: Awww... I should have gotten back to you sooner; I would have liked to have seen the picture.

#2 - Were you Sammie? Did you know a Sammie growing up?

In this story I became Sammie. I always wanted larger breasts and thinner legs so she got them for me. I did have eye surgery and braces like she did, though. Plus, I know a ton of people in the military since I live near Fort Huachuca so research was easy as pie!

#3 - Jimmy's faith is so important to him. How did you come to write "edgy" inspirational romance?

This was the first book I ever wrote. I had no idea there were "rules" back in 2003 when I wrote my first draft. A-hem, can you see why Steeple Hill rejected it? . Anyway, I thought it would be fun to write a story about a good Christian guy who started to forget his convictions the more time he spent with this hot girl he couldn't stay away from. And I wanted to show how one of the things that drew her to him was the very thing he blew off to be with her. His faith.

#4 - Did Jimmy and Sammie really wait for their wedding night?

In the story? Of course. :P In reality, I never saw him after that summer when I was thirteen so I couldn't tell you what would've happened if I had met him again and was single. I would hope I'd have done the right thing, but I've made my share of mistakes before. However, my husband of almost 20 years and I did wait for our wedding night to be intimate with each other. We'd both had prior experiences with the opposite sex prior to marriage and we wanted our wedding night to be special, so we behaved ourselves, though it was tough.

#5 - Did you secretly write the love scene between Sammie and Jimmy and aren't sharing?

Oh, I've had plenty of love scenes of my own in lifetime to share. And what romance writer's husband isn't thrilled to do research for her latest book. Tee hee. Happy men they definitely are...

STEPH: Thanks for popping in today and talking about your latest release. Smiles, Steph

Tuesday, 16 February 2010

Featured Interview with Michelle Levigne, Author of "The Family Way"

We're happy to have Mechille Levigne with us today, author of Desert Breeze's February release, "The Family Way." Onto the questions:

#1 The Family Way is a Tabor Heights novel. How did you find/get the inspiration for the Tabor Heights Series?

MECHILLE: The first few books were stand alones; A few of them in the Cleveland/Cuyahoga County area, but not related. Then as I got more ideas and roughed out the books and got into revisions, I realized I could borrow characters from one book to the other, or situation mentioned in one book would make good books by themselves and it sort of grew. I don't want to say it was Frankenstein's monster, but it was something like that.

It's like real life in real towns. All of the books either out or currently under contract through 2011 are in my year one plan for Tabor Heights. Yes, I do have a number of ideas planned through year 2.

#2 - How did you come up with the plot for The Family Way?

MECHILLE: Actually ... the germinal idea is pretty clear. 10+ years ago, my doctor had me on BC pills for hormonal reasons. The pharmacy messed up one month and gave me a double-strength dose. Chemical depression set in, and during that point I had some really weird dreams that stuck in my head after I woke up. One was of a young widow standing at her husband's casket, and her in-laws telling her to get out of town. (That's the germinal idea for my May book, "A Quiet Place.") The other image was of a husband coming home from a long trip, his wife says "I think I'm pregnant," and his first response is, "Is it mine?"

I already had nasty, self-righteous Mr. Montgomery, the lawyer, who was the nemesis in "Common Grounds," and he still needed to be punished and reveal his true colors, so it was easy to cast him as the vicious father-in-law. It was a very short book to begin with, but as I created more Tabor Heights stories and fleshed out the town, I "discovered" more people who would be friends with Lisa and either contribute to the fight or try to guide her out of it. I already had Kat, Bekka and Amy from "The Second Time Around" and the upcoming "Detours" who were living in the same building, and they're close to Lisa's age, so it was natural to have some or all of them as Lisa's friends. It sort of grew organically as time went on.

#3 - Cast the characters - who is Lisa? Todd? (I love seeing author's visions for their characters.)

MECHILLE: Honestly, I didn't have any actors or faces in my mind to "play" Lisa and Todd when I was writing them .... although now that I think about it, two actors from the TV show "Chuck" would be perfect. The actress who played Chuck's ex-girlfriend, Jill Roberts, would be great for Lisa. And the guy who plays Chuck's brother-in-law, Devon "Captain Awesome" would be great for Todd.

#4 - Do you have music you write to? Do you have a "soundtrack" for "The Family Way?"

MECHILLE: I used to play movie soundtracks all the time when I was writing ... but now it's too much trouble to get up and change CDs or flip over LPs (yes, I still have a huge LP collection and I invested in a turntable a few years ago so I could keep listening to them -- why spend all that money replacing all those movie soundtracks???) My favorites are the Lord of the Rings trilogy, Dragonheart, Pirates of the Caribbean, all the Star Trek, Star Wars and Superman movie soundtracks. Hmm, can't remember what else -- it's been so long!

#5 - What's the latest movie you saw?

MECHILLE: Tooth Fairy. It was funny, silly, cute. I like Dwayne Johnson/The Rock. Before that was Avatar. I'd be tempted to get it for my iPod Touch ... but the movie is too big to limit to such a small screen. I can't wait to see Percy Jackson and the Olympians -- read the book last week, and I have to agree with the reviews online -- it's as good as Harry Potter, maybe better in some aspects. Of course, it might be because there's less angst and tripping over British-isms ...

#6 - Do you write other genres? If so, what? What do you find appealing about those genres?

MECHILLE: I write SF and Fantasy mostly. I think the fun part of writing in SF and fantasy is I can set up new worlds with new toys and new possibilities and let my characters go. I don't have the restrictions of the known world and political and economic situations. I can have a hero who's a fugitive, but he has the added advantage and burden of being a shapeshifter to get him out of trouble and into even more trouble. It's bad enough having the police chasing you, but what if your enemy was a psychotic genocidal organization that nobody believed existed anymore, and it was out to destroy you because it considered you a threat to the Human genome, just by existing? Or you're a Fae with magical powers, but you're exiled to live in the Human world with reduced powers, and you're sentenced to helping lovelorn Humans during your two years of punishment.

#7 - Do you have any hobbies you'd like to share with us?

MECHILLE: Hobbies? What are hobbies? I've become addicted to online puzzle games, and I'm trying desperately NOT to play them -- you sit down to relax for a little bit, take a brain break, and then you look up 2 hours later and your hand is cramped, your eyes are dry, and you're way behind in your page count for the day. Aarrgghh!!

STEPH: Thanks so much for being here today, Michelle, and good luck with your Tabor Heights Series!

Monday, 15 February 2010

Author Interview with Barri Bryan

I'd like to welcome Barri Bryan to the blog today. Barri has a March release, "Search for Paradise," and we're all very excited about it here at Desert Breeze. Now onto the questions:

#1 - Tell me what inspired the plot of your upcoming novel, "Search for Paradise?"

My grandmother Leila May is the inspiration for Search for Paradise. In 1923, shortly after the death of her husband, she moved with her four children -- ages fifteen, thirteen, eleven, and eight -- from her comfortable home and her friends and family in Central Texas, to a wind-blown thrown-away stretch of land in North Texas near the New Mexico border where she didn't know a living soul.
My heroine in Search for Paradise is very much like Grandmother Leila. Kate McClure is adventurous, daring and resourceful. She leaves the comforts of the city to brave starting a new life on a small ranch called Paradise where the living conditions are primitive to say the least.

STEPH: How inspirational, Barri, especially to take something from your family's past and give it life.

#2 - How long have you been writing?

I began writing poetry when I was a child. I began to seriously pursue writing novels in 1989. My first novel was a historical. I never found a publisher for it. Looking back now, I can say thank goodness. It was terrible. My first novel was published in 1998.

#3 - I see you like to write Westerns. What makes westerns special to you?

My dad was a Texas history buff. I grew up hearing stories about Texas Rangers, cattle drives, Indian raids, gun fighters -- in general the courageous daring-do of Texas heroes and the dastardly deeds of her villains. One of my undergraduate majors is in history. My field of concentration was --what else? Texas history.

#4 - Do you write other genres? If so, what?

I have written some contemporary romances. I've tried my hand at a few paranormals. Most of the historicals I've written are modern historicals that are set in the first half of the twentieth century. I also write poetry. I have written one non-fiction book. It's a curriculum for creative writing.

STEPH: I'd like to explore "modern" historicals, too. I have one that's in draft form that takes place in Canada in the 1930's.

#5 - I see you're a four time EPPIE winner! Congrats. What novels did you win the award for?

Thank you. I'm very proud of those EPPIES. I received three of them for poetry collections. The last one was for my how-to book about writing fiction.

STEPH: Congrats on the wins. That's great.

#6 - Who are your favorite authors?

That's a tough question to answer. I love Jane Austen and the Bronte sisters. I like Robyn Donald who is a New Zealand writer. I like Jane Toombs. I enjoy Mary Higgins Clark's mysteries. I have recently read books by Marion Kelley Bullock and Raine Falconer that I enjoyed very much. I love poetry. My favorite poets are Emily Dickenson, Wallace Stevens and Christina Rossetti.

STEPH: I love Jane Austen movies. To my shame, I have never read "Pride and Prejudice" but I do have it on my Kindle. I've always enjoyed Dickenson's poetry. I hope you got a chance to check out my post about Charles, the Duke of Orleans. He's my new favorite poet. **grin**

#7 - What's the last movie you saw.

I don't care much for today's movies. They are either too gory or too violent or too explicit for my tastes. I am a big fan of old movies like Harvey, Now, Voyager and Casablanca. The last movie I saw was Yankee Doodle Dandy.

Sunday, 14 February 2010

Charles d'Orleans, The Romantic Duke

The Tower of London

One of the earliest Valentine's ever wrote for which we still have a record of was by the Duke of Orléans, Charles Valois.

Charles was born in Paris in November 1394 and became the Duke when his father, Louis, was murdered on the orders of John, Duke of Burgundy, a rival nobleman.

Charles is best remembered as a poet, writing over 500 poems. Most of these were written when he was a prisoner of war.

Charles was 14 when his father passed and he became the Duke. He was young and impressionable, and fell under his father-in-law's influence, the Count of Armagnac.

Charles's first wife was Isabella of Valois (a daughter of French King Charles VI) He loved her dearly, but she died in childbirth. In 1410, he married Bonnie d'Armagnac, Count d'Armagnac's daughter.

In 1415, Charles was taken a prisoner of war in the Battle of Agincourt. He was 21. Henry V of England took him to the Tower of London were Charles composed most of his poetry. Charles was in captivity for over 24 years (he was in the line for the French throne and England didn't want to give him up.) With nothing better to do, Charles wrote.

Most of his poetry was for his wife, Bonnie, but she died before he was released. He was let out in 1440 at the age of 46 and married a third time. His son from his third marriage, became Louis XII. His poems are mostly French Rondeaus, a two line rhythm and are usually about love and the spring time.

Charles's Valentine in the original French:

Je suis desja d'amour tanné,
Ma tres doulce Valentinée

Rondeau VI, lines 1-2.

Here's another of Charles's poem in English:

(To his Mistress, to succor his heart that is beleaguered by jealousy)

Strengthen, my Love, this castle of my heart,
And with some store of pleasure give me aid,
For Jealousy, with all them of his part,
Strong siege about the weary tower has laid.

Nay, if to break his bands thou art afraid,
Too weak to make his cruel force depart,
Strengthen at least this castle of my heart,
And with some store of pleasure give me aid.

Nay, let not Jealousy, for all his art
Be master, and the tower in ruin laid,
That still, ah Love! Thy gracious rule obeyed.

Advance, and give me succor of they part;
Strengthen, my Love, this castle of my heart.

Friday, 12 February 2010

Featured Interview with Melanie Atkins, Author of Prime Suspect

I'd like to welcome author Melanie Atkins to the blog. She's the author of New Orleans Detective Series. Now onto the questions. Thank for being here, Melanie.

#1 - Prime Suspect is book 2 in the New Orleans Detective Series. How did you get the inspiration for the series?

I love New Orleans. Cops fascinate me...especially hot cops. So I decided to put the two together...and the series was born.

STEPH: Haha! Nothing wrong with that. I was an MP in the Army and my husband is currently an officer for LAPD.

#2 - How did the plot of Prime Suspect come to you? An ADA being accused of murder?

I wanted to put the heroine in jeopardy, and the juxtaposition of an officer of the court being accused of a crime was just too good to pass up -- especially when she must depend on the man she left at the altar to help prove her innocence.

STEPH: I love the premise of the plot and I can't wait to read the novel!

#3 - How did you come to set the novel in New Orleans? What makes the city special to you?

I only live three hours away and went to college even closer than that, so I've spent a lot of time there. I love the city. From the quaint homes in the Garden District, to the wrought iron balconies of the French Quarter, to the green confines of City Park. I just love it. The history, the romance. The resilient people. And now with the Saints going to the Super Bowl... Need I say more? (Except maybe Who Dat!! lol)

STEPH: Hehe - WHO DAT indeed!

#4 - Cast the characters - Who is Marisa? Who is Slade. (I love seeing who the author envisions as playing their characters)

Marisa: Evangeline Lilly
Slade: Jude Law

STEPH: Awesome cast! I'm at the movie!

#5 - What's the latest movie you saw?

It's Complicated, starring Meryl Streep, Alec Baldwyn and Steve Martin. It was hilarious!

#6 - Describe your writer's space - neat, messy, or wild..

Let's just say it's much neater now than it was a month ago. I've been on a major cleaning spree

#7 - Do you listen to music while you write? Do you find inspiration in music?

I do listen to music sometimes, and it helps me channel my thoughts. But I also like eye candy and often have a crime drama on the TV at the same time (with the sound muted, of course).

#8 - Tell me about your little feline muses.

Shipper is a white manx with gray spots. She's stubborn, opinionated, and smart as a whip. Widget, a tortoise shell mix, is more laid back and loves to spend her days on the back of the couch. And Spike is a gray tabby with leopard spots who loves to go outside and hunt.

STEPH: Ah... I love the kitties. ((hugs)) Thanks for being with us here today, Melanie.


Thursday, 11 February 2010

Featured Interview with Sandra Sookoo, Author of "The Trouble with Love"

I'd like to welcome Sandra Sookoo to the blog today. She's the author of "The Trouble with Love." Onto the questions.

1 - "The Trouble with Love" is your latest release with Desert Breeze. How did you come up with the plot? What inspired you?

This was actually the second book I’d ever completed. To say that I knew nothing about the craft of writing while putting together this story was an understatement. I thought up the plot at work. You see, four years ago, I was working as a secretary in a title company that had nearly zero business, which left a lot of time for writing. I thought it would be funny to write a story about a woman who had a secret admirer who was also the guy she’d known her whole life.

What inspired me? LOL At that time, boredom. No work at the day job and needing to “look” busy and use up my brain power, I wrote. It wasn’t until I’d gotten laid off and had absolutely nothing else to do that I actually finished the book, and I use the term “finished” loosely. It got killed in a crit group and on the contest circuit. I’d picked it apart on those recommendations so much that it didn’t resemble my book anymore.

I put it away for a year or so thinking that it would never see the light of day. Then Gail came along and fell in love with it. Who knew?

STEPH: Well, I'm glad you showed it to Gail! It's a very inspirational story, and I have to say, I have issues with critique groups. I think it is a good idea on idea to get feedback on your work. A guy a work was a writer and had a critique group he went to and all he would do was come back and complain about how they didn't like his story. Anyhow, I'm digressing - Forgive me. I just might do a post in the future about critique groups.

#2 - How long did it take you to write the story? What's your writing process?

It took about two years because I wasn’t fully concentrating on it.

My writing process now is to work on edits/interviews/blog posts in the mornings then after lunch, I’ll write, pause for dinner then write the rest of the evening unless hubby and I have something else going on or there’s something interesting on TV

STEPH: Thumbs up!

#3 - Cast the movie - Who is Madelyn? Gordy?

LOL I have no idea. I’m really bad at casting actors for my books.

#4 - Do you write other genres other than romance? If so, what? What appeals to you about those other genres?

Other genres? Not really. I firmly believe romance is an integral part of life and there’s love in all things. For now, I’m happy in the romance genre. I’ll keep you posted LOL

STEPH: If you do try something new, let us know. I think you'd be great tackling a Young Adult story.
#5 - What's your next writing project?

At the moment, I’ve just finished a vampire novella which is the first of a planned series. For the next couple of months, I plan to concentrate on a paranormal/fantasy book, hoping for 85K. After that, who knows?

#6 - Have you seen any good movies lately? Which one?

Actually, there have been two recently that I’ve really liked. The first was TOOTH FAIRY with Duane—The Rock—Johnson. Cute movie. I loved it because I write a lot about mythical beings and myths and legends. LOL

The second movie was JULIE & JULIA. I liked this one because I could identify with both characters. I loved Julia’s strength and attitude of doing what she wants regardless of what others think. But I think I’m more like Julie who freaks out, has meltdowns and questions her confidence. Other than that, I haven’t really watched a whole lot.

STEPH: I want to take my son to see Tooth Fairy. He's 7 and losing his teeth so I think he'd get a kick out of it!

#7 - Do you write to music? Do you have a favorite CD you like to listen to?

Sometimes I do. I’ve got tons of CDs loaded onto the laptop and I’ll just set it to shuffle and listen to that or streaming popular rock from the web. Other times, if I’m writing a love scene and need something strong to get me through, I’ll pop in Elvis or Brittany Spears, etc. LOL Other times, I have to have quiet, especially if the plot’s complicated.

#8 - Have you been to Disney World lately? Who is your favorite Disney character?

Unfortunately, no I haven’t. Hubby and I have a trip booked for the day after Thanksgiving this year, and that seems so far away. My favorite character? Hands down Pooh Bear. Nothing ever bothers him. He never worries. The other character who runs a close second would be Tinker Bell. She causes a bunch of trouble and it doesn’t seem to bother her LOL

STEPH: Pooh Bear rocks! When I had Joe's baby shower it was Pooh Bear themed. Joe even looks like Pooh Bear in a way. haha.

Sandra, thanks so much for popping in today. It was great to talk to you.

Wednesday, 10 February 2010

Featured Author Interview w/Gail Delany, author of Outcasts

#1 - Tell me what inspired the Phoenix Rebellion series.

It's a bit of a convoluted story, but I'll give the bare bones. A few years ago, I'd finished writing Watch Over Me, and found myself in a slump. I had several individual story ideas, but when I'd begin them they would stall on me a few chapters in. No matter what I did, nothing worked. So, for a good year I divulged in my favorite guilty pleasure - I wrote fanfiction for my favorite tv show at the time - Stargate SG:1

My critique partners - three women whom I owe a great deal to for getting me to where I am today - asked me why I didn't just take my love of science fiction and my love of romance and write a sci fi book. I fought it for a long time, thinking it was one thing to write in a universe created by someone else, and another thing entirely to write something on my own. But, eventually, I decided to give it a try.

I also took some of those story ideas I'd begun but couldn't finish and found that putting them in a futuristic - rather than contemporary - setting fixed a lot of my hang-ups. Two of the four character stories in the series actually came from other books I started and stopped.

But, I wanted to take a different approach to the books. Instead of each book in the series being about two people alone - I wrote the series so that everyone is involved in the story all the time. Every character plays a part and thus, every character gets a POV at some point. It's told as a 'cast of characters' rather than limiting the story view.

As a result, my readers have told me they really feel 'vested' with every character in the series.

#2 - Outcasts features "Victor." Tell me about his character - what do you find fascinating about him?

Victor is an Areth, the alien race that -- according to the backstory of the books -- came to Earth in the early years of the 21st Century. Right about now. The Areth claim that Humans are their descendants. Although on a biological and cellular level, Humans and Areth seem nearly identical - there are differences. The Areth do no procreate, rather choosing to clone themselves to continue their race. They do not have the desire or need for companionship - either with each other or with other races. And they live exceptionally longer lives than humans.

To understand Victor you must understand that he doesn't understand himself... I know, that seems confusing. Victor enjoys and even seeks out the friendship of humans - especially Michael Tanner - a man who has been a constant friend to Victor despite his captivity by Victor's people. And in the first book of the series, when given the chance to help Michael escape his prison, Victor turns his back on his brethren and his life to make sure Michael is free.

But something is wrong with Victor - something he doesn't understand. He is haunted by a malicious voice in his mind - that which he calls his Demon - and this entity threatens to not only drive him insane but to take his life. The only peace he can find - and the only time he seems to have any control over the Demon that can hijack his body and mind - is when he's in the presence of Beverly Surimoto. Beverly is one of the leaders of Phoenix, she is deaf and speaks through a neural voice link, and she's also a low-level empath. Something about her presence sooths his Demon - or drives it back - either way, Victor doesn't care.

Victor fascinates me because of the internal battle he fights not only in this book but through the remainder of the series. He is of two minds - but make no mistake in assuming he is schizophrenic or mentally unbalanced. The truth will be revealed in time, so I won't say much beyond that. He doesn't want to be who he was created to be - an Areth scientist in a cold world without contact - but he knows he can't be the kind of man a woman like Beverly deserves. He feels weak and beaten, but doesn't see his own immense internal strength. He's a man with a deep well of compassion, but he doesn't understand his own mind.

#3 - Cast the movie! Who is Victor? Beverly?

Oh, this is very difficult because I know of actors who have the range a capability to act the tormented part of Victor, but they do not fit the physical description of Victor. Someone like David Tennant could play the roll because his emotional range is powerful enough to play the roll convincingly. However, Victor would be considered - by description - to be Latino or Central American.

In the same way, Beverly is unique in that she is red-haired and green-eyed, but she has a touch of Asian ancestry. I know of no actress that meets that description. Unlike other characters, I didn't model these two after an existing actor... but I do have images I found to match them.

#4 - What is the basic plot of Outcasts?

In Outcasts, the Areth finally show their true intentions - although not their true face. When their plan to use humans as little more than cattle is revealed, they drop the façade of co-existence and attack Earth. The true fight for the continuing existence of mankind begins.

Victor now lives among the men and women of Phoenix, but he is far from accepted. He is looked at with suspicion and scorn, especially when their base is attacked. He fights a constant battle for control - a battle which he sometimes loses - but his willingness to sacrifice for the people he has come to care so much for is evident when he once again betrays his brethren to save mankind.

#5 - What's the latest movie you saw?

You can tell it's been awhile, because I'm not sure... but I'm pretty sure it was New Moon.

#6 - What other genres do you like to write? Why?

My next favorite after science fiction romance is romantic suspense. But as of late, I've rekindled my love for contemporary romance with a dramatic flare.

#7 - Do write to music? Does music inspire your writing?

I do write to music, and it all depends on what I'm writing - right down to the scene I'm writing - as to what I listen to. For instance, while working on my last book I listened to a lot of Michael Buble because he strikes me as very romantic and the kind of dancing his music inspires is prone to the intimate. Since the book was very romantic - even for a romance LOL - it worked well.

#8 - Tell me a little bit about your muse.

My muse's name is Alabaster. Her name symbolizes either the pure white joy I feel when I write a wonderful scene - or the pure white of my open document when I can't find the words to write. She's a fickle creature - often flittering off to realms unknown on a whim - only to show up later with a new dress, a drink with one of those little paper umbrellas in it, and a great new storyline. She's an elegant creature with long red hair and ethereal features. She drives me crazy, and I'd go crazy without her.

Tuesday, 9 February 2010

Featured FEB 2010 Release - Scattered Hearts


Love knows no boundaries, accepts no limits. It warms your blood, makes your heart pound. Love can overpower like a giant wave, or enter your soul on silent wings. And sometimes ... sometimes ... it's heart-breaking.

Scattered Hearts goes beyond traditional Valentine's Day tales, offering the reader a collection of stories and poetry, as creative as the thirteen individuals who envisioned them. Read about a boy's surprising choice for birthday party guests. Fly with a Viet Nam pilot whose links to love are baby bottles. Stand alongside a young woman who must face down society and family to be with her soul mate.

These are three of the stories and poems that will touch your heart, and perhaps offer a new way of viewing the one day of the year dedicated to honoring love. Love isn't easy, but, the trip is always worth the ride



Baby bottles full of ice and dripping with condensation, bulged from my flight suit pockets in a very unmilitary manner.

I climbed through 10,000 feet altitude over Da Nang, South Viet Nam. My wingman rode tight and in perfect lock step with my every move. Operation Rolling Thunder was underway. After long and tedious deliberation, the politicians in Washington had decided we would bomb North Viet Nam... again.

The targets all picked in Washington, with more consideration given to politics than to any strategy, frequently were worthless and always dangerous. As proof of this the objective of today's mission lay to the area west of Hanoi, which required an approach through the heaviest concentration of missiles and the biggest group of MIG fighters in the north.

Do not hit the airfield at Hanoi where all the MIG's are based. Do not fire on anything in the city of Hanoi, where all the missile batteries are located. Let them fire at you, but do not fire back.


In 1994 author Elaine Bierbaurer moved to Santa Maria, CA. Among the things she left behind was an active writers group. Needing one for her creative outlet, she set out to form one in her new home town.

She and a fellow resident of Casa Grande Mobile Estates, Sylva Mularcyk, sought out fellow authors, and what would become The Santa Maria California Word Wizards came into being.

The first meeting of Word Wizards happened at Café Monet with five core members. Three of the five are still part of the group.

At first, Word Wizards met on Tuesday evenings. And they still do, but a year ago a daytime group started; and again, fifteen years later, the meetings are held at Café Monet.

Word Wizards has grown to sixteen core members, all talented authors.


Scattered Hearts on Amazon: SCATTERED HEARTS

Monday, 8 February 2010

Featured FEB 2010 Release - Prime Suspect by Melanie Atkins


New Orleans Assistant District Attorney Marisa Cooper prosecutes murderers for a living, but the tables are turned when her ex-husband is found dead in her garage. To prove she didn't kill him, she must team up with her former fiancée, Slade Montgomery, the detective who risks his career — and his heart — to help her find the real killer.



"ADA Cooper?" The younger of the two policemen had white-blond hair and a stern countenance. "We met in court a few weeks ago."

She nodded. "Officer Brennan. I remember."

"You reported a dead body?" The older officer cocked his dark head. She didn’t recognize him. The gray marking his temples gleamed in the muted light. Daisy sniffed at his shoes, and he turned his attention to the dog. "Does she bite?"

"Not usually." Marisa pulled the animal back. "The body’s in my garage. It-it’s my ex-husband, Nikolai. Nikolai Assimov. We’ve been divorced a while. I don’t know what he’s doing here. I just—"

"Yes, ma’am. Please stay here." The older officer pulled his pistol and motioned to the younger cop. "You take the back."



Melanie Atkins a multi-published author of romantic suspense, a fan of crime dramas, and an avid reader. Writing is more than an escape for her -- it's a way of life. She grew up in the Deep South listening to tall tales and penning stories about her cats. Now she writes gripping stories of love, suspense, and mystery with the help of her furry little feline muses.


Link to Prime Suspect on

Prime Suspect

Saturday, 6 February 2010

Superbowl Weekend here at Desert Breeze

It's Superbowl weekend and several Desert Breeze Authors have plans for the big events.

J Morgan who hails from Louisana had this to say:

As a Louisiana boy, all I can say is GEAUX SAINTS!

I've waited a long time for this day and plan to make a total fool out of myself before the day is over. As a result my wife Jenn has restricted me to the house during the Super Bowl. So, we're doing a Mexican dinner that night. Nachos, burritos, and whatever else she can come up with that doesn't involve sharp objects to eat. For my attire, I'll be wearing my Deuce and Bush jerseys throughout the game. The Deuce on my body and the Bush as a hat because that is how I roll. Weird I know but I'm going with the lucky charms that got us to the Super Bowl. Not to be alone in my madness, Paco the wonder dog will be wearing his Saints shirt and watching with daddy. A Saints Snuggie may come into play depending on weather.

Jenn will of course sit back and watch the festivities with her finger on speed dial to 911 in case it becomes too much for me.

Melanie Atkins said:

I live about three hours north of New Orleans, and I'm a major Saints
fan--have been since their inception. People around here are extremely
excited. Geaux Saints!!!!!

We're just having pizza and snacks. Can't wait!! I usually just
watch for the commercials, but this year I care about the game. It's way

Stephanie Burkhart is rooting for the Saints - and even got her boys Saints jerseys to wear for the big game. Heck, the Saints are due! Sadly, she'll be at working answering 911 Calls when the game is being played


Deb Kinnard said:

Steph, when you dress your boys make sure it's in blue & white. Just saying.

Steph: Yikes, I better watch out!

Gail Delany said: We’re going to a SuperBowl party at a friend’s house. We’re routing for the Saints, but by what I understand there’s going to be quite the mix of Saints vs. Colts fans at the party.


Melinda Elmore added: Have fun at the game, Gail. We are cheering for the Saints too.


Nicole Zoltack said: I'm a die-hard Eagles fan so I really don't care either way who wins.


Tina Pinson said: I'm rooting for the commercials.


We'd love to hear how you're going to be spend the Superbowl. Let us know who you're rooting for. Keep it friendly.

Friday, 5 February 2010

Featured FEB Release - The Trouble with Love


Love felt a whole lot like PMS—or so Madelyn thought when her childhood friend, Gordy, kissed her.

In the midst of Madelyn’s crumbling business venture and lackluster love life, Gordy breezes back into her town like a snowstorm, with dating on his mind. To top it off, she's got a secret admirer who leaves her flowers every day, a cat who's scared of her own shadow, and a single's group that's growing by leaps and bounds.

But the question remains: just who is this mysterious love interest? And what will she do about Gordy, the man she never thought she’d have romantic feelings for? That’s the trouble with love. She'll have to put her brain on auto-pilot and let her heart decide.



He peered again at the house through the windshield dotted with snowflakes. "I'll think about it. We've seen tons of properties today. Maybe I won't buy a house. Maybe I'll retire early and be a shrimp fisherman in the Carolinas. You know, buy a boat, and spend all my time out on the water."

Madelyn threw him a strained glance. "You never did have a head for comedy." She didn't speak until Gordy parked in the lot near her apartment. "Feel free to come up. I'm gonna veg in front of the TV."

"Sounds good to me."

She listened to his footsteps on the metal stairs behind her then cried out with dismay at the sight that greeted her on her doorstep.

"Hey, look." Gordy picked up a bouquet of six pink roses and a card. "Maybe this is from Derrek." Handing the flowers to her, he broke the seal on the envelope. "Do you mind if I read it?"


Sandra is a writer of romantic fiction. Her portfolio includes historical, contemporary, and paranormal romances, and has recently embarked on writing mysteries. Just like the heroines in her books, she uses sarcastic wit and humor to make people laugh.

After catching the writing bug at the young age of ten, she's gone on to grow her unique writing style. She's an occasional blogger, and has also written a couple of fairy tales (because they're needed in life) and a handful of children's stories (because they're fun) in addition to her romance work.

When not immersed in creating new worlds and funny characters, Sandra likes to read and travel. Her favorite place to spend vacation hours is Walt Disney World. It's the place where dreams are born, and that suits her just fine.

Writing is her ultimate dream job.


Link to Amazon's Buy the Book site:

The Trouble with Love

Thursday, 4 February 2010

Featured FEB 2010 Release - The Family Way

Lisa thought she walked into her marriage with her eyes wide open, aware of the hard task of getting the approval of her cold, domineering father-in-law. When she discovered she was pregnant, she thought she would finally be accepted, but Todd's reaction to the news was the last thing she expected: "Is it mine?"

She had endured his father's constant criticism because she thought Todd loved her, but now she wasn't so sure. Maybe Todd had never loved her, and he was more like his father than she dreamed. To protect her baby, should she leave him, and refuse to continue the Montgomery family tradition? Where did being a 'good Christian wife' end, and the need to protect her sanity and her baby begin?


Lindsey, Todd's oldest sister and her husband, Kevin stood in the hall. They were both dressed up for an evening out; suits and high heels, that cashmere coat that looked so good on Kevin, and Lindsey had her hair swept up with the blue and pearl clips Lisa had given her for her birthday.

A stab of envy shot through Lisa, followed by a sharp hunger pang. They were going out for dinner. How long had it been since Todd took her out?

"You're not ready," Lindsey said, after looking Lisa up and down. She chuckled. "Are we early again?"

"Ready for what?" Lisa stood back and beckoned for them to come in. The mantel clock in her office chimed the half hour.

"Yep," Kevin said. "We're early. How's the cartoon business treating you, Lisa?"

"Fine." She looked back and forth between the McNeals, feeling grubbier with each passing second. "What's going on?"

"Todd said you two had something important to tell everybody, so he made reservations at the Mediterranean." Lindsey took a step closer, her blue eyes narrowing a little as she looked over Lisa’s baggy jeans and sweatshirt. "Don't tell me my idiot brother forgot to tell you what time?"

"He didn't bother inviting me." Her throat closed for a minute, then Lisa swallowed hard and tried to smile. "Look, whatever is going on, I'm really not in the mood. I spent the whole day bent over my desk and my head hurts -- "


Michelle has been a book addict since picking up 'The Cat in the Hat'.

She started writing her own stories in junior high, when TV shows didn't turn out like she thought they should. Her first rejection letter came the summer after high school graduation, her first published story was in connection with fan fiction, and her first sale was in the Writers of the Future anthology.

With a BA in theater/English and an MA in Communications, focused on film and writing, she has worked for a local newspaper, then in advertising, and now works as a freelance editor. She is published in multiple sub-genres of romance, as well as SF and fantasy. Awards include being a finalist in the Dreamrealms and EPPIE competitions, with an EPPIE win in 2006.


Buy Link for Amazon's Kindle:

The Family Way

Wednesday, 3 February 2010

Featured FEB 2010 Release - Outcasts


Victor turned his back on everything he knew --- Everything he thought he was -- to help Michael Tanner be free.

Something dark haunts Victor, threatening to steal his sanity --- even his life. He doesn't understand it, has no name for it; he only knows the malicious darkness in his mind wants him dead for his treachery in helping the humans.

Only in Beverly Surimoto's tender touch does he find some fraction of peace. But how much can he take from her before it's too much? How much before she realizes the demon he is and turns him away?



Victor's sorrow was smothering, sucking the air from the room and squeezing Beverly's chest until she had to take a step back and regather her defenses. Swallowing against the onslaught, Beverly walked into the dark room.

Victor sat on the floor with his back against the wall and his knees drawn up, his head buried in the bed of his folded arms. Hot tears burned Beverly's ees as she knelt beside him, his sadness was so tangible. It raised the hairs on her arms and made her heart ache. She had to fight the urge to reach out and touch his hair, smooth her fingers through it, and comfort him. If the intensity of his emotion was this great just by proximity, Beverly was afraid what she would feel if she touched him. Instead, she knelt as close as she dared without making contact and clenched her hands in her lap.

Before she could say his name, he raised his head, his black eyes seeking her out in the dim light. The soft glow of the hydrogen gel from the hallway lit his features, highlighting the damp streaks on his cheeks.

"Beverly," he said, his lips moist from his tears.

She nodded.

His body shook and his expression twisted with agony as new tears filled his eyes and he looked toward the ceiling. Victor laid a hand across his brow, bracing his head as another wave of anguish slammed through him, and through her. Beverly curled her fists, her nails digging into her palms, and she felt her own tears fall. "Victor, please. Tell me. What is breaking your heart?"

Gail R. Delaney has been actively writing 'for publication' since 1996. The first novel she ever wrote is still sitting on her computer, waiting for the major rewrite that will make it acceptable. She says she has learned a great deal since writing that book, and it shows when she looks back at that rough draft.

Gail has had eight novels published in the genres of contemporary romance, romantic suspense and futuristic romance. Her novels have received several nominations and awards since she was first published in 2005.

Gail and her family recently moved from the cold and blustry east coast to Southern California, and is loving every moment of sunshine she can soak in.



Tuesday, 2 February 2010

An Overview of Feburary's Releases

Hi everyone! February is here and the NEW releases are out with Desert Breeze. I thought I'd share the covers and a little blurb about them before doing my daily features. If you get a chance, head on over to the website and check 'em out!


A first pregnancy should bring joy, not accusations. For Todd and Lisa Montgomery, it only releases pent-up frustrations and pain, and maybe the end of their marriage.

To protect herself from a killer, ADA Marisa Cooper must turn for help to Slade Montgomery - the handsome detective she left standing at the altar.

Humanity's fight for survival against The Areth begins with destruction and death as one man fights for his sanity, his soul and his life -- finding strength in the touch of a human woman.

Scattered Hearts and Shattered Dreams; Love often isn't what it seems. Enjoy a collection of poems and short stories centered around Valentine's Day from the Santa Maria Word Wizards.

As Valentine's Day approaches, daily flower deliveries arrive from a secret admirer. When he suddenly turns into the guy that got away years ago, how will Madeline deal with all the changes?