Tuesday, 27 April 2010

The Reviews are in! In Plain Sight by Michelle Sutton

Jovana was held captive by her gypsy boyfriend for seven years, and when he abandons her she returns to her parents' home in Macedonia. Her brother Bojan introduces her to faith and offers her a new life in Arizona.

While in Arizona, she stays with her future sister-in-law, but as her brother's wedding approaches he is concerned that she will be unsafe staying alone. Her brother has his close friend, her boss Randy, stay with her while they are away to protect her, only she objects to being treated like a child. A handsome stranger is pursuing her and she likes it, but she has no idea his intentions are for her destruction.

On the other hand her boss, Randy, is a wholesome, good man who even speaks her language. She can't imagine a nice man like him wanting a woman with her history, so she pursues the dangerous man, but she gets in way over her head. At the same time she discovers a surprising attraction to Randy developing, and because she is afraid of her feelings toward him, she does everything she can think of to scare him off. But he's tough to shake loose, which is, of course, exactly what she needs to heal.



5 Stars
Rita M. Garcia
I enjoyed, Danger at My door, so much, In Plain Sight, became a must read. Michelle, lives up to her reputation has the "Edgy Inspirational Author." Her writing has an easy flow that draws you right in.

5 Stars
A Newberry
Michelle once again does a fabulous job of showing the struggle between our old self and who we want to be in Christ.

5 Stars
Tara Robertson
In Plain Sight really appeals to me because I find Jovana such a believable main character.

5 Stars
I loved the message in this book for women who have been deceived or hurt by men they thought they loved and who loved them back.

5 Stars
Kimberly Byrd, author of the Desert Breeze Release "Queen of Hearts,"
Michelle Sutton does it again...Ms. Sutton will pull you in at the first page and never let you go!

5 Stars
Shawna K. Williams, author of the upcoming Desert Breeze title, "No Other."
I also thought the end of this book was very satisfying to the point that I have to say; it was kind of beautiful.

You can find the reviews in their entirely at Amazon.com
Link to buy the book: http://www.amazon.com/In-Plain-Sight-ebook/product-reviews/B003EV5T1W/ref=cm_cr_dp_all_helpful?ie=UTF8&coliid=&showViewpoints=1&colid=&sortBy=bySubmissionDateDescending

Monday, 26 April 2010

Interview with author Stephanie Burkhart, author of "The Hungarian"

Desert Breeze author, Stephanie Burkhart has an upcoming release 1 MAY, "The Hungarian." She's here today to talk about it.

Q: Tell us about your upcoming release, "The Hungarian"

Steph: It's set in 1901. Hungarian Count Matthias Duma harbors a dark secret. He's a werewolf. When he meets a young British noblewoman, Katherine Archibald, he risks everything, including his secret, for her love.

Q: Why a werewolf?

Steph: I love the paranormal, especially werewolves. What I enjoy about werewolves is that they're alive, breathing, and oh so human. If you subscribe to classic myths, than a werewolf is a man 26 days out of a 28 day lunar cycle, and it's the struggle of the man and how he deals with his condition that is fascinating to me. Does he carry himself with quiet nobility? Is he moody? Intense? Selfish? That's what I want to explore.

Q: Where is the novel set?

Steph: The first half of the book takes place in England, where Matthias meets Katherine. He's a widower and he's gone back to England so his young daughter, Emily, can meet her mother's parents. The second half of the novel takes place in Budapest. Matthias takes Katherine back to his country.

Q: What was life like in 1901?

Steph: On the cusp of remarkable change. Automobiles mingled on the street with horse drawn carriages. The telephone had been invented and was in use. Trains allowed for faster transportation, but airplanes were not around. Photographs were in use. There was electric light and heating. Medicine was improving as was dentistry. Old ways clashed with new inventions. Imperialism had embraced Europe. It was the last glory days of monarchy.

Q: Do you cast your characters?

Steph: Sure. I cast Jonathan Rhys-Meyers as Count Matthias and Justine Cotsonas as Katherine.

Q: Do you have a book trailer you'd like to share:

Steph: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MZwaF8hAdow

Q: What's the landmark on the cover of "The Hungarian?"

Steph: The Széchenyi Bridge. It was one of the first suspension bridges built in 1840's. It spans the Danube River and connects "Pest" and "Buda" the two cities that make up Budapest. It had to rebuilt after World War II, but it represents the heart and soul of Hungary. At least, to me, it does.

Q: Have you been to Budapest?

Steph: Yes, in 1997 while I was stationed in the Army. I was deployed to Taszur, Hungary and I went to Budapest on an USO sponsored Rec Trip. It's a trip that resonates with me today.

Q: Do you have any hobbies outside of writing?

Steph: I'm always looking for a racquetball partner. *grin* I love reading.

Q: What was the latest movie you saw?

Steph: "New Moon." It's not easy for me to go see a movie. My husband and I usually go in shifts since we have a 3 year old and it's hard to find a babysitter. I really want to see "Young Victoria" with Emily Blount. I think it's just come out on Netflix.

Q: Thanks for popping in today, Steph.

Steph: Thanks for having me. "The Hungarian" releases 1 May with Desert Breeze. If you get a chance, join me on my blog tour in support of the novel. It starts tomorrow. You can the schedule at my blog, "Romance Under The Moonlight" http://sgcardin.blogspot.com


The door squeaked open and Katherine peeked over the top of her book. A tall, muscular man walked in wearing a white button-down shirt and holding his blazer. He paused, as if surprised to find her, and then walked toward the window, his stride easy. He moved with wolf-like prowess, his long legs taking cool, calculated steps as his unusual eyes surveyed her. Katherine bit the inside of her lip, returning his measured perusal with one of her own. His silence was unnerving, yet intriguing.

His eyes drew her to him -- malachite green with a gold ring around the iris. Dynamic. Expressive. Even now, as he looked at her, they softened and grew translucent. He stopped in front of the window and casually threw his blazer onto a nearby chair as if he owned the room.

"Hello," he said.


"You're staring."

"I am? I thought you were staring at me."

He chuckled. "Perhaps I was admiring you."


"Who else is here?"

Katherine pursed her lips as her insides warmed from the deep silkiness of his voice. He smiled and walked to her chair, slowly gliding around it, tracing his finger over the leather headrest, skirting her curly hair.

"What's your name?" he asked.

"And who is inquiring?" She tried to sound cool and composed, but she had to fight the nervous temptation to play with her hands.

"Romeo, perhaps?"

"Then my name is Juliet."

A teasing smile graced his lips as he walked out from behind her chair and glanced at a bookshelf before turning to look at her again.

"Would you fall for Tristan?"

"Only if my name were Isolde."

He walked over to a wooden table near the window and ran his long finger over a clay mock-up of Excalibur lodged in a stone. "What do you think of Arthur? Do you think it suits me?"

"Only Guinevere would believe your name was Arthur."

He crossed his arms, his eyes sparkling in the sunlight. "Would you believe my name was Matthias?"

"I might, if--"

"If what?"

"If I knew more about you."

Book Link: http://stores.desertbreezepublishing.com/-strse-87/%3Ci%3EBudapest-Moon-Book-One%3C-fdsh-i%3E-cln-/Detail.bok

Wednesday, 21 April 2010

Wishing Desert Breeze a Happy 1 Year Anniversary

Editor in Chief, Gail Delaney

Desert Breeze Publishing is turning 1 this month and are some birthday wishes from the authors at Desert Breeze:

Sue Perkins:
I'm glad to be part of the DBP family and thank you Gail and Jenifer for all that you do to make us a family.

Barri Bryan:
Happy first birthday Desert Breeze. May you celebrate many, many more.
I raise my glass in a cyber toast to Desert Breeze
You're the best with the most.

Raine Falconer
My wish is that tens of thousands of readers will discover e:books, specifically the ones carried by DBP. Happy Birthday DBP!!!

Stephanie Burkhart in Gail's Office, author of "The Hungarian."

Shawna Williams:
My wish is to see DBP continue to expand and receive more recognition for the talent here. I'm very grateful for this wonderful group of people.

Stephanie Burkhart:
Congrats on one year in the publishing business, Desert Breeze! I love being a part of such a wonderful, author friendly business. Continued success!

Monday, 19 April 2010

DB Author Regina Andrews guest blogs - "The Seeds of Inspiration"

“The smallest seed of faith is better than the largest fruit of happiness.” Henry David Thoreau

I don’t know about you, but there’s something about this time of year that motivates me to get back to my connection with the Earth. The first sunny day, and my sleeves are rolled up. Time to cultivate my own garden, as Voltaire put it.

Out I run to the Garden Shoppe to find the seeds of new life. Home I run to my window box, ready to plant my wildflower mixture and my forget-me-knots.

I prep the box. I dig and clear and drain and trowel, then sprinkle the seeds into their new environment. As I’m patting them in, I can’t help but imagine what the window box will look like before long. It’s filled with rich, wet dirt now, but it won’t stay this way. Soon it will be loaded in a riot of green sprouts, then buds, and then colored with a sea of fresh flowers.

Just like the seeds newly planted this spring, the ideas of this writer’s imagination will be given a loving start. Each day, I will tend them carefully, respectfully, joyously, coaxing them to develop into the most beautiful story possible.

Not all of them will make it. Just like the window box flowers, some ideas will be eclipsed by other factors: shadows, weak roots, or too much water. Some flowers, some stories are not meant to be. Yet, as Thoreau pointed out, each seed has a purpose and helps me along the way to creating a garden, or a story.

What a blessing as a writer to have that feeling of newness and potential every time I start a new project. And blessing upon blessing, this potential, this new start carries through all year long.

This time of year we in New England go from barren to beautiful, in about two weeks. Life is abuzz all around us. Everything is stirring. Bees are buzzing and lawn mowers are mowing. Ideas are taking root. Stories are sprouting. Inspiration is celebrated everywhere!

I wonder: what are your seeds of inspiration this spring?

Wednesday, 14 April 2010

Check out our Blog Contest celebrating Desert Breeze's 1 year Anniversary!

Congratulations on Desert Breeze's 1 Year Anniversary. To celebrate, Desert Breeze is offering the following:

First: We're offering 20% off orders at the DBP site through the end of the month! No limit on how many orders a customer may make, and no limit on how many books you can buy with the discount. Just enter code 1YRDBP when you check out and you'll get the discount.

Second: We're offering a contest. Here are the rules:
The contest will be open from now until Sunday, 18 APR. I will post FIVE questions about Desert Breeze authors and books here on the blog. The answers to these questions can be found on the Desert Breeze Website at: http://www.desertbreezepublishing.com

You have to answer all FIVE questions correctly.
If you answer the questions correctly, your name will be put in the "hat." I'll draw the winner out of the hat on Monday morning (19 APR) and announce it here on the blog.

The Prizes:
A set of autographed postcards
A gift certificate to the Desert Breeze online book store
A mousepad with the Desert Breeze Cover of your choice.


Here are the questions:

1. What is the name of Michelle Sutton's Best Seller with Desert Breeze?

2. What is the name of J Morgan's story in the Be Mused Anthology?

3. What Diane Craver book was named Book of the Week by LASR?

4. What book won EPIC's QUASAR Award last year?

5. What Nicole Zoltack book placed in the top 10 in the Preditors and Editor's poll for Fantasy Romance?

Remember to post your answers here in the blog and have fun with the contest.


Tuesday, 13 April 2010

Deborah Kinnard talks "Damages"

Deborah Kinnard pops in to talk a little about "Damages," her latest release by Desert Breeze.


DAMAGES tells the story of Cassidy, who's loved one man her whole life and God said "No." The man of her choice met another woman and moved on -- literally. But now Brian's back after a car accident that robbed him of both wife and mobility. When he proposes a marriage of convenience, secretly hoping to get Cassidy back for real, she struggles and ultimately accepts.

He hopes to win her love, for his own sake and to make her happy, as he didn't before.

Now this couple, seemingly working at cross purposes, are challenged to create something beautiful out of their relationship. The aim -- a Godly and fulfilling marriage.

(I love "second chance" stories and this is the favorite of all the ones I've written.)


Who doesn't enjoy a rich, satisifying "second chances" book? *grin* Good luck with sales, Deb!

Damages is avail at the Desert Breeze Publishing Website, Link in the Title,
All Romance Books and Amazon for Kindle.


Desert Breeze is celebrating their ONE year birthday this month and we have some great stuff planned.

First, To celebrate, we're offering 20% off orders at the DBP site through the end of the month! No limit on how many orders a customer may make, and no limit on how many books they can buy with the discount. Just enter code 1YRDBP when you check out and you'll get the discount.

Second, Starting Tomorrow I'll be hosting a CONTEST here on the Blog! I'll be asking 5 questions about Desert Breeze Authors and their books. (If you don't know the answers, you can go to the Desert Breeze Publishing Website for the answers!) Post the answers on the BLOG. Those who get all FIVE right will have their name put in the "Hat." I'll be drawing a name out of the "hat" and annouce the winner next MONDAY, APRIL 19th, here on the Blog.

The winner will receive:
A set of autographed Postcards
A Gift Certificate for Desert Breeze
Be Mused/Hungarian magnets
& A Mousepad with the Desert Breeze Cover of their choice.


Monday, 12 April 2010

Featured Author Interview with Michelle Sutton

Today we have Desert Breeze author, Michelle Sutton visiting the blog to talk about her writing and her latest release, "In Plain Sight."

STEPH: What was the inspiration behind "In Plain Sight?"

MICHELLE: I fell in love with the characterization of Bojan's sister from Danger at the Door and wanted her to grow in her faith in the next novel.

STEPH: Have you been to Macedonia?

MICHELLE: No. Never been anywhere outside of the US besides Canada and Mexico.

STEPH: Did you have to do a lot of research for the novel?

MICHELLE: Not too much. I had people I could ask about the culture and stuff. It helps to have friends and acquaintances from that part of the world.

STEPH: For those who haven't read the book yet, can you tell us a little about the plot?

MICHELLE: The story begins with Jovana being in the US about 2-3 weeks and she is still struggling with English. She's lonely but feels safe and loved in the US, except that her brother's love can only go so far. She's not used to men being kind to her and being able to trust me. So I gave her two choices. Both are handsome, charming men, but one killed his wife and the other loves the Lord and would never hurt her. So who does she spend her time with? Bite your nails now, cause it gets kind of frightening.

STEPH: Do you cast your characters?

MICHELLE: But of course. :)

STEPH: Who is Jovana?

MICHELLE: She's an early twenty-something young woman who has gone through more suffering in the past seven years than most people have to deal with in a lifetime. She has major trust issues because of it.

STEPH: Who is Randy?

MICHELLE: He is an all around good guy, but he packs a pistol because he was vulnerable once and refuses to be victimized again. He has some PTSD from a robbery of a restaurant where he used to work.

STEPH: How did you go about picking the names for your characters ?

MICHELLE: I got Jovana from a Macedonian list of female names. Her last name is like Smith her in the US. I just start writing and then tell me who they are. Randy chose his own name. I think it suited him so I let him keep it.

STEPH: Do you have book trailer you'd like to share about the novel?

MICHELLE: But of course. It's on the Desert Breeze site, too.

STEPH: How long have you been writing?

MICHELLE: Since August of 2003.
STEPH: What about writing inspirational stories appeal to you?

MICHELLE: I love having God be in every story as a character in His own right. I love redeeming characters and teaching them things that increase their faith.

STEPH: What's the latest movie you saw?

MICHELLE: Shutter Island. Waaaay creepy!

Thanks for being here today. Michelle's book is available at the Desert Breeze site, All Romance Books, and Amazon for Kindle.

Sunday, 11 April 2010

Easing into Ebooks, Part 3 by Shawna Williams

Welcome back for the last part of my series, Easing into Ebooks. As a reader, I hope you are better informed about the new and exciting technologies now available, which combine comfort and convenience for a pleasant reading experience. I also hope that I've been able to ease a few concerns that weigh heavily on the minds of booklovers as they witness the publishing industry incorporate electronic formatting, and promote reading devices in this digital age.

I'd like to devote the last segment in this series to passing on information about where to find ebooks. Obviously, there are the storefronts of individual publishers and online retailers that specialize in the sale of ebooks. But there are also the major retailers, such as Amazon, Barnes and Noble and Borders – all of these now have an ebook division, and have either developed a device exclusively sold at their store, or teamed up with a tech company to sell that company's product. Such is the case with Borders and Sony.

Barnes and Noble has done both of these things. The Nook, which was developed exclusively for B&N, is sold at brick and mortar stores and on their online storefront -- there you can also find an extensive ebook catalog. Along with this, they have purchased the popular ebook retailer, Fictionwise, which sells the eSlick Reader, a product of Foxit Corporation.

Amazon strictly promotes its Kindle and Amazon Kindle books, but they have developed a wide array of free apps that allow their books to be read on other devices, such as Apple products like the iPhone, iPod Touch, and soon, the iPad. Kindle books can be purchased and read on Blackberry, PC, and Mac. Kindle is in the process of developing apps for the much anticipated tablet computers, once again, including the iPad. And, as I've already mentioned, these apps are absolutely FREE.

B&N is keeping pace by also developing similar apps, and the Sony Reader Store is with the program too. Competition is an excellent motivator.

Now all of this is well and good, but perhaps you're just getting your feet wet in this rapidly changing world of reading, and want to sample ebooks before you commit to buying any. Many retailers allow you to download a sample of one to five chapters, depending on length, so you can see if the book captures your interest before you hit the "buy" button.

Most retailers also offer some ebooks for free. Sometimes this is done as a promotion effort. An author may have a new book in a series coming out, so for a specified time period another book in that series may be offered for free. Either check up top, or scroll down the length of any ebook retailer and I bet you'll see these words, "Free Ebooks." And there ya have it – except in the case of Amazon, but here's a hint. Amazon calculates their bestsellers list through the number of downloads. Nothing motivates a reader to download a book better than offering it for free. Click Amazon's bestseller's list and see how many of them have $0 listed as their price. If a book interests you though, grab it, because some of them are only offered this way for a few days.
Aside from books given away through retailers, there are also public domain sites where many works of literature have been converted through the effort of volunteers and are available at no cost. Project Gutenburg is a prime example, offering over 75,000 titles completely free of charge. http://gutenberg.us/Collections.htm.

Even libraries are adopting technology that allows readers to access their ebook collection online, and check out books with the aid of a specialized library card. Here's a library doing just that. http://www.greenwichlibrary.org/. Click on "Downloadable Library" to see. This is a great service for the homebound.

Retailers have also heard the demands of customers who wish to loan their ebooks to friends. Barnes & Noble has developed the LendMe service for their ebooks, and other retailers are sure to follow suit. Competition's an excellent motivator! Did I already say that?

Saturday, 10 April 2010

An A-muse-ing Interview with J Morgan, Steph Burkhart, and muses Diana & Isolde!

J Morgan's muse from @mused, "Diana" and Steph Burkhart's muse from "Matchmaking Amusement," "Isolde" teamed up to interview each other's authors today. It's a fun post with a lot of chuckles. First up: Diana interviews Stephanie.


DIANA: As a Muse I don't normally do interviews. It's not that I'm anti-interview or anything. It's just that the powers that be would rather we kept low-key on the public appearances. Something about it kicking us into a higher tax bracket. I call bull pucky on that but since they cut the checks, I tend to keep my mouth shut. Like I said, I don't normally do interviews but when Desert Breeze told me I'd get to play Larry King, I couldn't pass up the chance.

So sit back and get ready for the first thrilling episode of Diana the Muse Live!

Joining me onset today is none other than Stephanie Burkhart, author, mother and muse dependent and muse addict! Sorry, but you've got to jazz these things up to get readership up.

So Steph, how long have you been addicted to muses and are you jonzing right now? Because I'm taken and I have pepper spray in case you get any funny ideas.

Author Stephanie Burkhart

Stephanie: Diana you're wild. I'm actually trying to do this interview with my 3 nyear old on my lap. Forgive my typos. Joe is a heck of a muse in his own right. Funny ideas? me. hahahahaha

Diana: Somebody get legal on the phone to see if we have to pay double for the child labor.

Now, while they jump on that let's move on to the next question. It's been rumored you snagged Shakespeare's Muse. After reading your story, I have to say you must have. Since, muses are forced to sign a nondisclosure agreement, where did the idea for Matchmaking A-muse-ment come from? Like I don't know. Wink, wink, nudge nudge.

Stephanie: Um, the idea came from my muse of course! (I don't want to make Isolde mad at me) I don't know about Shakespeare's muse but I'll settle for JK Rowling's muse. Isolde is very picky who she works for. Actually, Gail Delaney, (Editor in Chief at Desert Breeze) asked me if I wanted to write Matchmaking Amusement and I got all excited, jumped up and down and said "Heck, yes!" Then Isolde took over and threw some pixie dust on the story.

Diana: By pixie dust, you mean actual pixie dust and not some hip slang for something else. Because this is a family show.

Stephanie: Yes! Isolde grows her pixie dust in the marshes on New Galatia. She's very proud of her crop.

Diana: Before the police raid you, could you explain the importance of pixie dust to a muse? I would but that would be revealing trade secrets.

Stephanie: Quite simply, Pixie Dust is what enables Isolde to work her magic. Isolde is not your typical muse. She can actually talk to her writer. It's very disconcerting if you know what I mean.

Diana: I'm sure I don't, but let's continue. As an author have you ever wanted to be a muse yourself? The pay stinks but man the fringe benefits are worth it. We might even get dental this century.

Stephanie: I don't know about that. Isolde's job is hard, fluttering about and filing her nails. I don't have the imagination to be a muse.

Diana: Don't sell yourself short. A-muse-ment is an amazing story. I'm sure it wasn't all Muse inspired. After all, I'm not your muse.

Okay my producer is signaling that we need to wrap this up. Before he cuts to a commercial, what is the one thing you hope your readers come away from your stories with?

Stephanie: That there's a little bit of Isolde in all of us. *smiles*

Diana: Stephanie, thanks for joining us today. It has been a pleasure and please don't forget your gift bag as you leave.

What do you mean we ran over budget and couldn't afford gift bags! My agent will hear about this! Sorry, Steph. That's the reason I stick to the written word. Just so you don't leave empty handed—which you are—could you please let our readers know all the fabulous places they can find out more about you and your fantastic books?

Stephanie: Thanks, Diana. You can visit me at: http://sgcardin.tripod.com or http://sgcardin.blogspot.com. My paranormal romance, "The Hungarian" will be available 1 MAY with Desert Breeze.

Now it's Isolde's turn to interview JMO.

ISOLDE: I usually don't talk to anyone but Tristan and Jane, but I grabbed a 1 lb bag of pixie dust and threw it on J. Morgan so I could interview him about his story, "@Mused." He was a good sport about it, after hacking up a lung and taking a Benadryl pill, he was all game to talk to me. So J, give us the skinny – I heard working an old world muse like Diana was rough. Just how tough is she on you?

JMO: Hack! Snort! Sneeze! Uh, excuse me but apparently I'm allergic to pixie dust. You don't happen to have a Zyrtek handy, do you?

Diana was wonderful to work with. Well, as long as you kept the Oreos coming. I ran out half way through the story and ended up typing one handed until I could get to the store. BTW, the muse mafia is real and they don't mind breaking a bone or three to get what they want.

ISOLDE: The Muse Mafia ? I wouldn't want to encounter that bunch. I'm afraid they'd break a nail. I heard Diana hit you over the head with a computer monitor to get your attention? Mind you, I don't know if my source – The National Inquirer – is really reliable.

Author J Morgan

JMO: They got the story half right. She crushed my hand in a laptop until I did what she wanted. Stupid me. I thought I was the one writing the story.

ISOLDE: Silly you, indeed! You know it's all about the muse. So how did "@Mused" come about? And don't blame it on the pixie dust!

JMO: Funny thing is, I really did have a Muse named Diana behind it. My good friend Diana Castilleja inspired it. We were chatting and she something about how much is inspired between authors chatting in IM and the story just popped into my head. A lot of people don't know this but in addition to Muses authors need other authors to help us deal with the craziness that is the writing life. Truthfully, I don't think non-writers understand how crazy authors really are. So I guess you could say it's all her fault, except for the Oreo scene. That's all mine.

ISOLDE: Oreos and pixie dust. I wonder if they mix. I agree writers need other writers. So what about the cheetoes was that all you too?

JMO: Okay, I am ashamed to admit this, but the occasional Cheeto has found its way into my chest hair. Thankfully, my wife is more than happy to laugh and point them out to me.

ISOLDE: Bless her. I just can't do the visual. Well, I'm going to wrap this up before the pixie dust wears off. Oh, Tristan just gave me a box of Oreos to give to you, they look…interesting to say the least. I prefer strawberries myself. My Mom in New Galatia is really proud of this interview, so do you want to leave some links where they can check out your writing?

JMO: Thanks it's been a blast. BTW, Strawberry Cream Oreos are the bomb! I'd love to have everyone check out my website and invite y'all to add me on Facebook where I tend to act abnormally on a daily basis.



Hope you enjoyed the fun!

Friday, 9 April 2010

Featured Author Interview with Vijaya Schartz, author of Red Lepoard

Today we welcome Vijaya Schartz to the blog, author of Desert Breeze's April Release, Red Leopard.

STEPH: Vijaya, I see that you've lived in France. For how long? Where? Can you speak French?

VIJAYA: I was born and raised in France, near Paris, and lived there until my late twenties. French is my native language. I did all my studies in France, and I speak English with a trace of French accent (a stronger accent when I'm tired). The funny thing is, after all these years I now think in English, so the words flow in English. And when I return to France to see my family, it takes me several days to start thinking in French again and find my French words and syntax.

STEPH: You've traveled all over. What were some of the places you've been to? Have your travels resonated in your storytelling?

VIJAYA: I lived in India (where I studied Yoga), I spent a few years in Hawaii, I've visited Japan, Thailand, traveled all over Europe and Scandinavia. I've seen the Sphinx and the Pyramids. My first novel, Ashes for the Elephant God, is a reincarnation love story set in India. I especially like to study different customs. Writing Sci-fi romance, it helps me create imaginary societies with idiosyncrasies and customs that make sense.

STEPH: Chocolate, Vanilla, or Strawberry?

VIJAYA: French Vanilla as a flavor, definitely. But also sometimes coffee (can't resist Tiramisu). Hard, dark chocolate, however, is definitely a staple of mine.

STEPH: How long have you been writing? What's the most rewarding aspect of it?

VIJAYA: I've been writing since I was six, poetry, journals, essays, articles (in French). I was always an avid reader. It's only after I came to the United States and settled down in Phoenix, Arizona in the nineties, that I decided to write seriously for publication (in English). So I took a bunch of English classes, creative writing, novel writing classes, joined writers groups, etc and embarked on this exciting new career. My first book came out in 2000.

As for the rewards, they are many. First I love what I do, and I can do it in my yoga pants, drinking tea and eating dark chocolate peanut Reese's. I've also earned the respect of my peers and I now speak at writers conferences and teach writing seminars. My students are wonderful. But whenever a reader emails me to tell me about my characters, or just loves my books, I'm in seventh heaven. The first time someone I didn't know came to me at a book signing in a Barnes & Noble, gushing about my stories, I was stunned.

STEPH: What's the latest movie you've seen.

VIJAYA: I see many movies, but the latest one that sticks in my mind is AVATAR. For a sci-fi author, it's extraordinary to see on the screen the stuff that could so far only be imagined and described in books.

STEPH: I just started watching Caprica and I love it. Are you watching it? What are your thoughts on the series?

VIJAYA: I watch the Syfy channel religiously (except for horror movies). I usually like to see or read a story from the beginning, but Caprica, the prequel to Battlestar Galactica, couldn't have been aired first. It would have spoiled the intrigue about the origins of the cylons. I also suspect that the idea for the prequel came as a consequence of deepening the characters in Battlestar Galactica. I'm very interested to see how this develops, and how it ties into the known Battlestar story.

I also watch "V" and "Legend of the Seeker" on other channels. I'm glad Syfy took over the "Merlin" British series. I'm a fan of medieval fantasy. Love Arthurian legends. Maybe that's why the Chronicles of Kassouk have this dual thread, medieval society vs. galactic race.

STEPH: How did the idea for RED LEOPARD come to be?

VIJAYA: It's kind of serendipitous. White Tiger, Book One, was an award-winning novel originally published by my former and now defunct publisher, and was a single title. When I signed up with Desert Breeze, I suggested that White Tiger could become the start of a series. They liked the idea and asked me for titles. The name of the series was easy, since the citadel of Kassouk is the center of the world I created for the first book. Then, without any idea about what the next book would be, I had to provide titles for two more books.

Since felines are a very important part of Human life on this world, and Human warriors liken themselves to felines, I chose feline titles. Just as White Tiger was the nickname of the heroine in Book One, Red Leopard is the name of the hero in Book Two, and Black Jaguar is the hero of Book Three. I have more titles in mind for future books, but it's not set yet.

STEPH: What is Red Leopard about?

VIJAYA: It's about a young medieval warrior placed in a position of power when an alien invader shows up at his doorstep, and about a powerful, space-traveling woman who has to deal with prejudice and betrayal. It's about winning against impossible odds, it's about courage, sacrifice, and about Human resourcefulness. He must learn to ask for help, and she must learn to respect the values of what her people consider a primitive race.

STEPH: Why the fascination with felines?

VIJAYA: I dedicated Red Leopard to all the cats in my life. This fascination with felines in Kassouk society did not happen by chance. I'm a shameless cat lover. As I was writing Red Leopard, my test readers kept asking me to write more about the felines. So I did. And if you like cats, you'll recognize the truth of their behavior, habits, reactions. In Book Two, these large felines are fully developed characters.

STEPH: The covers for the series are stunning. Did you have anything to do with them?

VIJAYA: I wish I did. I only provided the information for the book, and Jenifer Ranieri came up with the fantastic cover for the first book, White Tiger, which won the Quasar Award for best eBook cover of 2009.

STEPH: Do you plot your stories in advance, or just start writing and see where the story goes?

VIJAYA: I do both. Writing from an outline goes faster, and I do like a solid plot. But I also like discovering and deepening my characters as I go. Sometimes they are full of surprises. If the plot is flexible enough, I can include the new elements that surface as the story matures. I found this method rewarding. it however requires more rewrites and takes longer than just writing from a set outline.

STEPH: What are you writing now?

VIJAYA: I'm working on book three, BLACK JAGUAR, which is scheduled for release in November 2010. The hero is absolutely delicious, with dark skin and emerald eyes, and his pet is of course a black jaguar. I'm learning a lot about jaguars in my research. Did you know the word means "who kills in one leap?" Jaguars also do not roar like other large felines, they have a kind of coughing cry. This story is one of exploration, and the heroine is a mind reader. Each book is a story unto itself, but the characters are related to previous characters in the other books.

Thanks for popping in Vijaya! It was fun getting to know a little more about you and your writing. Bon Chance avec Red Leopard. (I hope I said that right!)

Thursday, 8 April 2010

Featured Author Interview - K Dawn Byrd in character as "Daphne Dean" from Queen of Hearts

We're here today with Daphne Dean, the main character from Queen of Hearts. It's set in the 1940's during World War II and Daphne's here to tell us a little bit more of the story.

STEPH: Welcome, Daphne :)

DAPHNE: Thank you. It's great to be here.

STEPH: Daphne, how did you get involved in spying for the OSS?

DAPHNE: My boss, Tom, asked me to join the O.S.S. It seemed exciting at the time. My grand-mother was a spy during WWI and the idea made me feel closer to her. Plus, I was afraid that my job might be at stake if I didn't.

STEPH: Is there someone who has been a big influence on your life?

DAPHNE: The person who has been the biggest influence on my life is my friend, Anya. She was my grand-mother's best friend and my nanny when I was a child. She's been with me my entire life.

STEPH: How did you get into reporting? What do you love about it?

DAPHNE: I've always had an eye for mystery. Reporting is my dream job because it allows me to be a snoop, but in a good way. I love everything about it, especially the freedom it offers. Since taking the job, I'm no longer stuck in the copy room at a desk all day.

STEPH: What are your thoughts on the War? What do you have to ration?

I'll be glad when the war is over and they boys are home safely. The war has taught us many things in America, including how to conserve. It seems like almost everything is rationed. Certain days are "meatless" in restaurants. Coffee, butter, and sugar are been rationed. I really miss buying new shoes and stockings, but will do without all these things just to have the boys home.

STEPH: Have you gone to a movie lately? Who is your favorite star? Douglas Fairbanks? Cary Grant?

DAPHNE: I don't have much time for movies because I work long hours helping out in other departments at the paper if needed. I give it my all, hoping that I'll get to keep my job when the boys come home.

STEPH: Tell me one thing about Kenneth you miss.

DAPHNE: He has the most amazing sapphire blue eyes that it's easy to get lost in. Even more than that, I miss his arms around me.

STEPH: Tell me one thing about Vito you like.

DAPHNE: There are so many things I love about Vito. He's handsome, respectful, and he's a Christian who has had to choose between his faith and his wealthy mob family. Who do you think he chose?

STEPH: Thanks for being here today, Daphne. It was fun getting to know more about you and what it was like during World War II.


You can find K Dawn Byrd's book at the Desert Breeze Website, All Romance Books, and Amazon for Kindle

Wednesday, 7 April 2010

Featured April Release - Queen of Hearts

Daphne Dean is proud to be serving her country stateside during WWII as a reporter and an Office of Strategic Services operative. When the photograph she takes of the crowd at a murder scene places her on the mob's hit list, she's forced into hiding in a vacant mental asylum in the middle of nowhere with terrifying secrets of its own.

Daphne believed herself to still be in love with her ex-fiancée, Kenneth, until she spends several days locked away in the asylum with Vito, the mob boss' son. Can she put the terrifying events that occurred there behind her and allow herself to pursue a relationship with Vito? Or, will she return to Kenneth who has turned his back on his country by becoming a draft dodger and a black market racketeer? One thing's for sure, it won't matter if she can't escape the mental institution alive.


Daphne opened her eyes and then closed them quickly as her head pounded and a wave of nausea threatened to consume her. She breathed in deeply and exhaled slowly. Once she felt stronger, she attempted to pull herself up to a seating position, but was unable to move her arms.

Stay calm, she told herself. Daphne peered through the slits in her eyes and then squeezed them shut when the dim overhead light increased the blurred vision and the pounding in her head. She tried again, keeping her eyes open long enough to realize that she was in an unfamiliar place. She shivered in the frigid air.

Daphne tugged on the restraints, exhausted. The band on her left arm gave slightly. She worked her arm back and forth, her heart pounding wildly as she took deep, even breaths in an attempt to decrease the terror racing through her. What kind of sick person would strap her down to a table? And, where was Vito? He knew how much she hated the place, how terrified she was of being alone. Why would he leave her?


K. Dawn Byrd has been an avid reader for as long as she can remember. Her mother once said that she 'never knew she was on the place' as a child because she was always off somewhere reading quietly in a corner. She's a book collector and had over 2,000 titles at last count and even though she loves print books, she's fallen head over heels for ebooks, downloading several at a time into her Blackberry to read on the go.

When not reading, she enjoys spending time with her husband of 14 years, walking their dogs beside a gorgeous lake near her home, and plotting the next story waiting to be told. Writing everything she's plotted will take decades, leading her well into retirement. Her retirement dream is to live on a golf course near Myrtle Beach and write novels while her husband plays golf

Queen of Hearts is available at: Desert Breeze Publishing, Link Above

All Romance Books: http://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-queenofhearts-423976-151.html

Amazon for Kindle: http://www.amazon.com/Queen-of-Hearts-ebook/dp/B003EV5T3K/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=digital-text&qid=1270659836&sr=8-1

Link to the Book Trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=grqPjGvfRa0

Tuesday, 6 April 2010

Featured April Release - In Plain Stight

Jovana was held captive by her gypsy boyfriend for seven years, and when he abandons her she returns to her parents' home in Macedonia. Her brother Bojan introduces her to faith and offers her a new life in Arizona.

While in Arizona, she stays with her future sister-in-law, but as her brother's wedding approaches he is concerned that she will be unsafe staying alone. Her brother has his close friend, her boss Randy, stay with her while they are away to protect her, only she objects to being treated like a child. A handsome stranger is pursuing her and she likes it, but she has no idea his intentions are for her destruction.

On the other hand her boss, Randy, is a wholesome, good man who even speaks her language. She can't imagine a nice man like him wanting a woman with her history, so she pursues the dangerous man, but she gets in way over her head. At the same time she discovers a surprising attraction to Randy developing, and because she is afraid of her feelings toward him, she does everything she can think of to scare him off. But he's tough to shake loose, which is, of course, exactly what she needs to heal.



The phone vibrated in her hand, startling her. She almost dropped it on the floor. She checked and saw Bojan's picture appear on the screen so she pushed the green button.

"Alo?" She decided to speak to him in their native tongue so Laney wouldn't understand her if she started correcting him for what he was doing. She would keep her voice calm, but her meaning would be clear. Boki was starting to get on her nerves. He was smothering her.

"Hello, my dear sestra. How are you?"

"I am good, my overprotective bratko. I told you before to stop pestering me. You do not need to follow us home. You said you would not do that to me anymore."

"I was not following for that reason. It is important that I speak with you in person."

Michelle Sutton, otherwise known as the Edgy Inspirational Author, is the former Editor-in-chief of Christian Fiction Online Magazine, a member of ACFW, a social worker by trade, and a prolific reader/book reviewer/blogger the rest of the time. She has eleven contracted novels, four of which are currently available.

She lives in Arizona with her husband of nineteen years and her two teenaged sons. Michelle is also the author of It's Not about Me (2008) and It's Not About Him (Sheaf House 2009).

You can find "In Plain Sight" at the Desert Breeze webstite, link above
Amazon for Kindle: http://www.amazon.com/In-Plain-Sight-ebook/dp/B003EV5T1W/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=digital-text&qid=1270564153&sr=8-1
All Romance Books: http://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-inplainsight-423975-149.html

Monday, 5 April 2010

Featured April Release - Damages


Cassidy Amberg has known but one love in her life: the irrepressible, charming Brian Hayward. Though she’s coped well enough since he married another woman and moved away, she’s never forgotten. He returns home after an accident robs him of both mobility and wife.

Though Brian isn’t quite back on his feet, he buys a home too big to manage from a wheelchair. Cassidy sees her old friend needs help, and offers as much as she can. When Brian proposes a marriage-of-convenience, she must dig deep within for the grace to accept.

At first they manage well enough as friends, but gradually Brian recognizes he loves his in-name-only wife. Cassidy struggles with realizing she never fell out of love with him. Only when Brian dares push their platonic marriage beyond the boundaries, do they find a chance at permanent happiness together.



Cassidy's heart kept beating. She felt air flowing in and out of her lungs, which told her she was alive. Otherwise everything, body, soul and spirit, came to a crashing stop. For a moment, she thought she'd heard I love you. Marry me.

But that was only more self-deception. She'd heard marriage, not love.

Incredibly, Brian continued speaking. The stammer he'd conquered as a boy returned, a sure sign of extreme stress.

"Don't get me wrong. I'm offering you a sort of m-marriage, in name. With the idea of m-making a home. I don't see too many options here. My company is taking off nice, so it needs a h-hundred percent of my attention. So does therapy. Between 'em I'm working too many hours most days to keep up with the house too. Business is good and getting better. I already make almost what I did in Arizona." He shook his dark head. "It's not what you deserve. The externals are the whole package. A nice home and a pretty g-good lifestyle."

"Why now? Why me?"



Deborah Kinnard started writing at age ten, frustrated because there was no preteen girl with a horse on 'Bonanza'. From there she progressed to short stories and really bad poetry.

In college, she gained two degrees in health care and spent time observing hippies, basketball stars, el-ed majors and other strange species.

While raising two active girls and cherishing a husband, she enjoyed a career that has encompassed Spanish translation, volunteer work at a crisis line, years in assorted ERs that don't resemble the one on TV, and a day job at a big Chicago teaching hospital.

She's a member of American Christian Fiction Writers, serving as Midwest Zone Director, and confesses to being a loud singer at church. In 2002 and 2003, she sold her first and second novels, POWERLINE and OAKWOOD to Treble Heart Books. ANGEL WITH A RAY GUN was released in 2006, 'Something Borrowed' in the BRIDES AND BOUQUETS 2007 anthology, and MY SILENT HEART in November 2007, all by ByGrace Publishing. SEASONS IN THE MIST will release in spring 2010 from Sheaf House Publishing.

When Deb's not at the computer writing, she keeps busy with reading, playing the guitar, and needlework. She loves to travel and meet new people, some of whom turn up later in her stories. So if you meet a short woman with a light in her eye...

You can purchase this book at: Desert Breeze Publishing, link in the title,
Amazon for Kindle: http://www.amazon.com/Damages-ebook/dp/B003EV5SZE/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=digital-text&qid=1270482998&sr=8-1
All Romance Books: http://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-damages-423974-149.html

Sunday, 4 April 2010

Featured April Release - Be Mused Anthology


Muses are fickle creates, sprinkling inspiration on their wards as they see fit.

They live in a world just right of center from ours, and to them, we're just the day job. Muses need lives too, you know.

Enjoy this collection of stories compiled by several authors at Desert Breeze Publishing that will give you some insight into the world of the ethereal creatures who inspire the arts.

Contributing authors:

J. Morgan
Katie Charles
Stephanie Burkhart
Nicole Zoltack
Sandra Sookoo


"I see that bet and raise you two short stories and a novella to be named later."

Diana squinted at her hand. The three queens screamed call and raise, but Blaine was cagey. You could never tell when she was bluffing. That's what you got when you played poker with a Western Muse. Mina, the paranormal muse, was bad enough, always reading your thoughts, but Blaine was the worst of the lot. At least Kaylianne, the fantasy muse, had shown up to sit in on the game. You could always count on her to liven up the whole thing. Who would've thought the muse who inspired the entirety of modern geekdom could sweep a pot like nobody's business? Being Sisters of the Creative didn't matter when it came to no holds barred poker.

Checking her hand one more time, Diana decided to hell with it. "See that bet and raise you one epic poem."

Kaylianne snickered in her lilting Elven tone. "Blaine, I'd fold if I were you. Young Diana acts as if she has the hand of the night."

"You be quiet you outdated Tolkien ideal. The day Di Di beats me at cards is the day I'll wander up to the Asimovian Ideal and pucker him back to my century." Blaine sounded sure, but from the way she snuck a peek at her cards, Diana thought her sister muse might be about to bet a losing hand. "I'm in."

Kaylianne laid her cards face down on the table. "I fold."


Be Mused is available on Amazon's Kindle format at: http://www.amazon.com/Be-Mused-Muse-ing-Anthology-ebook/dp/B003EV5SWM/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1270429277&sr=8-1

Friday, 2 April 2010

Featured April 2010 Release - Red Leopard by Vijaya Schartz


In charge of the fortress of Kassouk in the King's absence, what is Terek to do when a Goddian spacecraft lands in his medieval backyard, and the striking woman leading the galactic party insists on colonization?

Galya, the Goddian Princess commanding the geological vessel, is bent on finding a crystal with unusual hyper-conductor properties. And the futile resistance of the local population isn’t going to stop her. Not even that defiant tribal chief nicknamed Red Leopard, like the infernal feline that follows him everywhere.

Terek and his band of swordsmen and felines must defend their people’s freedom, no matter the cost. But with this unexpected arrival, an old prophecy surfaces, taking new meaning and carrying a new threat...

When political intrigues, greed, murder and betrayal tip the scales, whom can Galya really trust? Her fellow Goddians? the Mutants bred to serve her race? or her primitive Human enemy?



The tall woman stopped, made a hand gesture, and a few Grays stepped up to collect the swords. Then she faced Terek. She had ivory skin, full pink lips, short flaxen hair and deep blue eyes enhanced by curved blue lines tattooed around them. "And what about your sword, Red Leopard, is it?"

A Gray took a step toward Terek.

The woman raised one hand to stop him. She had six fingers, like a Mutant or a Godd. "I'll handle this." She stared into Terek's eyes. Except for the fingers, she looked Human, taller than him, and extremely refined. "What are your intentions, Red Leopard?"

"How do you know my name?" Terek's heart beat like a battle drum.

She had a sad smile. "The same way I knew you were coming. You were betrayed."



Born in France, award-winning author Vijaya Schartz never conformed to anything and could never refuse a challenge. She likes action and exotic settings, in life and on the page. She traveled the world and claims she comes from the future. Her published books collected many five star reviews and literary awards. She is a master of suspense and will make you believe you actually lived these extraordinary adventures among her characters. Her books have been compared to Indiana Jones Adventures with sizzling romance. So, go ahead, dare to experience the magic, and her compelling stories will keep you entranced, turning the pages until the last line.


Available at Desert Breeze (link above in the title)

Amazon.com for the Kindle: http://www.amazon.com/Chronicles-Kassouk-Book-Two-ebook/dp/B003EV5T6C/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=digital-text&qid=1270217184&sr=8-1

All Romance Books:http://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-thechroniclesofkassoukbooktworedleopard-423973-143.html