Saturday, 31 July 2010

The Reviews are in!! Recent Desert Breeze Reviews

"This is the first in the Minx Tobin series by talented author Susanne Marie Knight and you'll be waiting for the next one, just to see what happenx next. The hint of romance blended in, promises sparks will fly...I'm pleased to recommend The Bloodstained Bistro to any mystery fan. The interesting settings and characters will keep you reading. Enjoy. I did."

Anne K. Edwards -


"This is the first book that I have read of Ms. Thorne’s but I was captured right from the beginning. I especially like the sayings before each chapter. Read as a pirate would say it. Excellent Book... You’ll be in for a great adventure."

Miss Lynne's Books and More
Rating = 5 Stars - 'A'

"Another Fastastic Novel!!!! Anne Patrick's novel, "Fire and Ash" is a well-written novel that flows wonderfully...A fantastic read!"

Ursshebear - Night Owl Reviews
Rating = 5 Stars

Friday, 30 July 2010

Author Spotlight Week - Excerpt from By Heart and Compass

"Can you imagine?" asked Lacey with building excitement, "an almost three-hundred-year old pirate ship? And it once belonged to Captain Bertrand who brought down the remaining pirates in the Caribbean after Blackbeard. He won the trust of the crown and the heart of a physician's daughter. It's all so romantic," she gushed.

Max startled her by putting his hand over her mouth. "Ever notice you babble when you're nervous? Like some kind of vomiting library book?"

Lacey steamed. She smacked his arm away.

"You realize you don't have to play it smart to get attention?" he continued, obviously showing off for Charlie and John's benefit. "Just shut your mouth and be pretty."

Lacey punched him on the shoulder with all of her strength.

"Ow!" he roared.

"Do not tell me to shut up and look pretty. That's so chauvinistic, Max. So--"

"I didn't," he argued. "I said that's all you need to do. You don't have to advertise the brains, sugar."

"Don't call me sugar. That's a southern rite and you're not Southern."

"That's right. I'm a pirate, huh? So maybe I should call you sweetheart or poppet."

Lacey glared. "I was just trying to explain."

"We don't need explanations. Keep the info verbose. Please."

Realizing everyone was staring and looking intensely entertained, Lacey stalked away and made her way through the tangle of cargo to the rail overlooking the stern. On her way out of the galley, she heard Charlie ask, "So what happened to the sloop of diamonds?"

Her heart skipped a beat in response. It seemed to be bouncing all over inside her chest since she'd arrived in Antigua. She hated herself for losing focus on the reason she was here. And then there was the diamonds. Sooner or later she'd have to tell Max about the diamonds that had been buried with the diary. Wouldn't she?

Darn him if Max didn't make her feel like a stuttering sixteen year old schoolgirl every time he beamed his laser eyes on her. For some bizarre reason she wanted her eyes to well up with tears. She wanted to feel offended and sorry for herself but she couldn't. Max didn't just think she was smart. He thought she was pretty, too.

"Shut up and look pretty," she mumbled trying to feel angry.

He didn't mean it, did he? No, not like that. He may have talked like one of the losers in high school who gave her a bad time, but his words rang empty. It was like they were some sort of self-defense mechanism. He didn't seem to want to respect or be impressed by any woman. Sheesh. What had his mother done to him?

A thump jerked her out of her reverie. When she looked over her shoulder, Max was standing a few feet away with his hands on his hips.

"Come up and take a look at the satellite maps. I want your input."

She glared at him, wanting him to make something right out of the unnecessary reproach in the galley.

"You going deaf?"

She crossed her arms over herself and he reached out and jerked them down. "I don't have time for attitudes. Get a thicker skin. You're not in Georgia anymore."

Lacey dropped her jaw. "You think you're a tougher crowd?" she scoffed. "I survived four years of high school, volunteering as a library assistant and playing in the band."

"You wore glasses, didn't you?" Max asked out of the blue. He leered as if their paths had crossed at some point during that time.

Lacey had a sudden epiphany. "You were the guy who tripped me on my way to the bus," she said slowly. "You were the one who spit paper wads at me while I shelving books."

"I never lived in Newton. And I got kicked out of high school."

"You know what I mean," Lacey said, suddenly and inexplicably angry. "You were that type of guy. You stole my clarinet and put it up on the roof of the boys' locker room. You drew cartoon ladies with big boobs on my locker."
Max laughed.
She kicked out at him and tripped, the boat's rise and fall throwing her off balance.

"Let me go," she said when he reached out to steady her.

"Calm down, Goober," he teased. "That's what they called you right? Goober?"

"Shut-up," she snapped, "Julius Bertrand the Eighth!" She stormed for the upper deck, slipping and sliding on the steep ladder. There was nowhere to escape, he came right up behind her. She turned on him when they both reached the top.

"You owe me a little respect," she demanded. His eyes were already on the stack of maps, dismissing her. "I mean it," she insisted. "You have no right to speak to me the way you just did. It's inappropriate and unacceptable, no matter what your issues are."

Max leaned back on a jutting counter top and crossed one foot over the other. He sighed dramatically. "We've got work to do and you have my respect. If you didn't, you wouldn't be standing on my boat." He pressed his lips together stubbornly but something that might have been remorse flashed in his eyes.

"Fine," Lacey muttered, surprised that he had relented.

"I'm sorry," he said, turning around so that his voice was less audible. Then clearing his throat, he added, "And just so you know, you were the girl who made fun of my grades behind my back and only went out with me because my daddy supposedly had bags of money."

"I thought you got kicked out of high school."

"Not until after I made my mark. And it was private school."

Lacey snorted and moved around him to look at the satellite images. You're still trying to make your mark, she thought to herself. She could only hope she'd left a mark on his arm.

Thursday, 29 July 2010

Author Spotlight Week - Danielle Thorne shares her favorite movie

When I think about the books that touched me most, or the books that opened my eyes to something new or even changed my life, I always come back to the Master and Commander series by Patrick O'Brian. The first book I read of O'Brian's was POST CAPTAIN. I picked it up after seeing the Master and Commander movie starring my most favorite actor, Russell Crowe.

Intrigued with West Indies history and the Golden Age, POST CAPTAIN exposed me to the Age of Sail from the British perspective and opened doors that led me into the wonder of wooden ships, exploration and the admirable, rugged and clever sea captain. It was a wonderful balance against the piracy I had read, giving me a look at the other side of the coin.

O'Brian has a flair for description that puts the reader in the scene. His ability to color every detail in language, mannerism, setting, tone, and emotion is extraordinary. So enticing are his stories about the chunky, bumbling but brilliant and courageous, Captain Jack Aubrey, that I read the entire collection of over twenty books in a year. I couldn't put them down, so immersed was I in the past lives of men of the sea. This was a world I would have never known or understood without his brilliance. I would have loved to have met the man.

Wednesday, 28 July 2010

Author Spotlight Week - Danielle Thorne shares her favorite movie

Darcy and Lizze, BBC verison of
Pride and Prejudice

In the collection of movies that I keep on hand to watch over and over, (Jaws, Star Wars, Indiana Jones, The Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter) there are a couple here and there that I always come back to when I need a laugh. I'm one of those people that walked out of the theater with scrunched brows after seeing Napoleon Dynamite thinking, "What the hell was that?" But the second time around, and then the third, it finally sunk in and I got it. The same thing pretty much goes for my favorite Jack Black movie, Nacho Libre. Maybe it's my strange sense of humor, but that movie about an incapable priest in the poverty-stricken mountains of Mexico who dreams of being a wrestler, tickles my funny bone. I often break into Nacho Libre voice when I need to relax. Sometimes I read in Nacho Libre voice when I need to get through a long passage of something I find boring. Whatever works. But seriously, my favorite all time movie at this time in my life (because let's face it, twenty years ago it was a toss up between Footloose, Goonies or Dirty Dancing) is the BBC version of Pride and Prejudice. I suppose it is cliché, but that's the way it is. No one holds a candle to Mr. Darcy. Not Baby. Not even Nacho.

Tuesday, 27 July 2010

Author Spotlight Week - Daniellle Thorne shares her passion for Contemporary and Historicals

When asked why I write contemporary and historical, the first thing I think of is my love of the past. I'd always enjoyed history, but when I was introduced to genealogy about twenty years ago, I began to feel a true connection with those that came before us. I'm a learner, too. I hunger for information, and facts and historical data always captivate me. Writing historicals gives me an opportunity to do the things I love to do most: to daydream and to research. It's a challenge and somewhat of an honor to bring the past back to life. And it's an adventure.

As far as contemporary, this may raise a few brows but…it's easy! When I write contemporary romances, I feel much less restrained because, hey, I'm living it. I don’t have to research food or clothing, or worry too much about parts of speech. Writing modern romance, besides the technical aspect of putting a plotline together, can be very relaxing. Like walking barefoot in the sand. As long as I'm able to integrate the beauty of family, friends and Mother Nature into my work, I feel satisfied with the long hours it takes to put a manuscript together. If we don't write what we don't love, what's the point?

Sunday, 25 July 2010

Author Spotlight Week - Q&A with Danielle Thorne

STEPH: I'd like to welcome Danielle Thorne to the Author Spotlight this week. Danielle Thorne's first release with Desert Breeze is "By Heart and Compass." Dani, can you tell us about your latest release, BY HEART AND COMPASS?

DANI: I'd love to, Stephanie. Thanks for having me this week.

BY HEART AND COMPASS is about stepping out of your comfort zone and truly following your heart. Whether it's love, trust or the opportunity to chase adventure, most people hold back because of that niggle of doubt that tells us dreams can't come true. In this adventure, Lacy Whitman finds an antique diary that hints at the location of a long lost shipwreck, and she has to gather her courage to face making a discovery that is more than just pages in a book. She also risks falling for a cynical yet vulnerable dive instructor. Life is all about taking chances and living, and that's what I like to write about.

STEPH: I notice you are drawn to water themes. What's the attraction for you?

DANI: The first time I saw the ocean I was 19-years-old. It had a profound effect. For me, it is a gateway to another world right here on our own planet. Since getting scuba certified a few years ago, I have become very passionate about sea conservation and environmental issues. I had the chance to dive off the coast of Mexico this April, just days after the oil disaster struck in the gulf. It's hard not to wonder if I will ever be able to again down that way. The effects of this crisis break my heart—but I do have my writing to bring the joy and adventure of the sea to other people.

STEPH: What was the inspiration behind BY HEART AND COMPASS?

DANI: I published my first novel, THE PRIVATEER, after over twelve months of in-depth research. The Age of Sail is a fascinating time to me. These were a type of courageous men that you don't see often anymore. When I was finished, I knew I someday wanted to bring the past into the present. Since Blackbeard's ship, The Queen Anne's Revenge, was discovered off the coast of North Carolina, I have enjoyed following the excavation and research that is made available to the public online. These events inspired me to think about what it would be like to discover my own pirate ship. Of course as a teenager I was in love with the pirating adventure film, "Goonies," so I'm sure there was some subliminal influence there as well.

STEPH: Do you cast your characters? If so who are the leads?

DANI: I actually start out with names popping into my head when I create a character and the general personality follows. Then I do think about books, film and television and consider people, real and imaginary, that might be similar. But on a whole, no, I do not cast characters in the general sense of the word. However, I do find it very entertaining to talk and read blogs from other authors that do.

STEPH: Are you a plotter or a panster?

DANI: Plotter. I don't have that ability of being able to write and just "know" where to go. I need to plan out my story with highs, lows and then let the characters get from A to B, all on their own. I definitely use plot points. I don't like to waste time and hope not to ramble!

STEPH: Do you write any other genres? If so, what?

DANI: Besides contemporary, I write historical, which comes natural to me with my love of research and genealogy. My first Jane Austen-inspired Regency will be released this winter and I'm looking forward to the response. I also have dabbled in juvenile fiction. I finished my first manuscript, DANNY BOY, many years ago. This Huck Finn-type adventure is my baby and we're still looking for a home.

STEPH: What types of books do you like to read?

DANI: I'm very eclectic when it comes to almost all areas of the Arts. Although I primarily pickup romances of varying sub-genres, I also like historical non-fiction and good government suspense adventures.

STEPH: What's the last movie you saw?

DANI: I just saw the new "Alice in Wonderland" with Johnny Depp. Of course, I am a huge Depp admirer, but it's more of a sisterly affection, I'm not a rabid fan. Maybe it's because sometimes he reminds me of my brother? (Laughs) He is one of the most brilliant actors of our generation and it's a shame he does not get the credit he deserves. No matter what film I see him in, he always becomes his character—he is never himself. I could only hope to be able to stretch myself and write with as much abandon as that man can act. Anyway, I loved the film and thought it was brilliant. It's a new favorite.

STEPH: Do you have any Desert Breeze authors or books you'd like to recommend?

DANI: I have read several Desert Breeze titles and have never been disappointed. That's why I am thrilled to be published by this House. Currently, I am following the Future Imperfect series by P.I. Barrington. Also, the sweet romance, NO OTHER is on my reading summer list, as is THE HUNGARIAN, which is sounding like it's going to be an amazing read.

STEPH: Thanks for being here today, Dani.

Friday, 23 July 2010

Author Spotlight week - Excerpt from End Game

End Game will be released 1 AUG with Desert Breeze.

They reached the infirmary and Michael held the door open for [Beverly]. Before he could pull the door closed, Lilly burst into the main room from the hall. "Michael, I need you!"

He bolted down the hall after her, nearly bowling over a tall, stunning woman with a mass of wavy, brown hair tied in a sky blue scarf. She stepped back, flattening her shoulders against the wall as he gripped the doorjamb of the first exam room and used it to propel him into the room as a barely muffled scream reached him. For half a second, his heart dropped into his gut.

Jacqueline was on the exam table, her knuckles white as she gripped the edge. Lacerations -- old ones -- crossed her bare arms and her clothes were dirty and torn. A white bandage with a dark red stain wrapped around her arm, indicating a more recent wound but one at least a few days old. Her neck arched off the pillow, her body shaking as she clenched her teeth, hissing sharply.

"Oh, God, Doc... please!" she screamed.

Michael moved to Jacqueline's side, hunching over her to hold her face in his hands. Her eyes were closed, her skin glistening with a fine sheen of perspiration. The tension in her body was enough to snap her in two.

"Jacqueline," he said softly but firmly. "Jacqueline, look at me."

Her eyes snapped open, her gaze immediately on him. Unshed tears made her eyes glisten and she sucked in a sharp breath. A light groan forced its way through her teeth.

"I'm giving her a massive dose of Morphezine, Benzapriline and a fast acting NSAID," Lilly said softly as she loaded the infusion syringe in her hand.

"Jacqueline," he said again, not looking away even to acknowledge Lilly's words. "Jacqueline, hear me. You need to let the medication help you."

A choked gasped vibrated in her throat as she rapidly sucked in air, her eyes still locked hard on him. A drop of moisture escaped the corner of her eye and Michael brushed it away with his finger.

"Just look at me."

Her hand snapped free from the edge of the bed nearest him and she curled her fingers into his shirtsleeve. The grip was hard and desperate, but he didn't look away from her eyes. He continued to stroke her matted hair, running his thumb over her cheeks. His own pulse pounded viciously at his temples. Michael wanted to know what they had done to her, where she had been, and how she had escaped, but none of the questions were as important as helping her.

The click and hiss of the infusion syringe reached him over the pounding in his ears and Jacqueline's sharp breath.

"Deep breaths. Let it work."

Her eyes fluttered and her gaze shifted to the ceiling past him.

"No, Jacqueline," he said, repeating her name again to keep her with him. "Look at me. Look at me."

She pressed her trembling lips together, another tear rolling free. "M-Michael," she whispered.

"I'm right here."

Jacqueline released a deep, shuddered breath and he felt the tension rush out of her like water dumped from a bucket. The grip on his sleeve loosened and her lips parted, her eyelids sliding heavily over her dark eyes.

"The Morphezine is taking hold," Lilly said just outside his peripheral.

He stroked her hair, staring into her face. She blinked slowly, struggling to open her eyes again.

"I'll be here when you wake up," he said softly.


Thursday, 22 July 2010

Author Spotlight week - Gail Delaney shares her favorite author

Author Catherine Anderson

My taste in writing has changed a great deal over the years. My first 'taste' of romance came in the form of a YA novel from Madeleine L'Engle, And Both Were Young. In my teens, my cousin would scoff her mother's bodice rippers -- because that's exactly what they were in the 1980's LOL -- and read scenes to me. I submersed myself in David Eddings and Terry Brooks in high school.

As an adult, the first romance novels I remember reading were from Sandra Brown. Her earlier work really hooked me. I also enjoyed Kathleen Eagle, especially while I worked on my first manuscript ( which has yet to be edited sufficiently for publication). In the last few years, I've enjoyed Linnea Sinclair, Susan Grant, Shannon Butcher... I'm trying to think of authors outside of DBP, because it should be an assumed fact that I enjoy all of DBP. LOL

But as an overall, long term favorite author... I have to go with Catherine Anderson. Whether it's one of her contemporary romances, or one of her historical romances, I love her work because she always manages to really tap into the human experience. The emotion of life -- not just falling in love. She always makes me feel when I read her work.

My favorite title of hers -- ever -- is Forever After. I've read this book several times, and it's on my keeper shelf... something I can't say about many books. I might hang on to books for awhile, but ultimately, they usually end up getting donated or given away. But not this book, this one I have packed away. In fact, I'm considering getting a copy to keep on my Nook -- for those times I need a familiar friend.

Wednesday, 21 July 2010

Author Spotlight Week -Gail Delaney shares her favorite movie

When Stephanie asked me to write a blog about my favorite movie, my first instinct was to pick a science fiction move, since that is the genre I'm promoting. And while, yes, I love Star Wars and all the Star Trek movies -- including the new one -- none of them are my 'favorite' movie.

That movie would have to be the movie I'd stop to watch if I ever saw it on television. It would be the movie I quote from. The movie that still makes me smile when I remember the first time I ever watched it.

And while there are a few movies that might fall into one category or another, there is only one movie that meets all three criteria: Pretty Woman.

I'm all about subtlety when it comes to building a romance. You might think "What's so subtle about a rich man and a prostitute sleeping together?" Well, as Vivian says... "I'm a sure thing." Okay, yes, when it came to the bedroom, she was. But what I mean is the other little things that had nothing to do with the 'pay out'. The way he looked at her at the polo match, the ease they had around each other... and the final intimacy of their first kiss. She was a 'woman for hire', but he treated her (Well, not all the time... but...) like a queen.

Who didn't go "Wow!" when he beat up Stuckey his slimy lawyer, and touched her cheek when he said "Not all guys hit". Le sigh.

I saw Pretty Woman for the first time in high school. I can't even tell you how many times I've seen it since. On DVD, in the theater, on television... if it's on, I'm there.

Tuesday, 20 July 2010

Author Spotlight Week - Gail Delaney shares her passion for Futuristic/Speculative Fiction

Writing science fiction is the ultimate test for your imagination. As writers, it is our natural instinct to 'create'. Whether it's create characters, create fascinating settings or plots, or in the case of science fiction and speculative writing, often creating worlds.

I write futuristic or speculative fiction, which is slightly different from 'hi sci fi'. The best way to differentiate is to compare to well known science fiction programs or movies. 'Hi Sci Fi' would be Star Trek or Farscape, though Farscape is also a Space Opera. (That's a discussion for another day.) It's 'out there' in space. Mankind travels in ships capable of inter-galactic travel. We visit, live on, and sometimes conquer planets in solar systems light years from Earth. Sitting in a bar with an alien who has four eyes and eight tentacles is normal and everyday.

Speculative fiction would be like Stargate: SG-1. It's science fiction that asks the 'What if...' question. What if the pyramids were actually built by aliens? And what if they left on Earth a means to instantly transport ourselves to other planets all across the galaxy? What if a very hot, very handsome, but slightly older commanding officer fell in love with his beautiful and brilliant second in command?

Sorry... got off track there. That's the 'romance' element sneaking through on me.

Futuristic fiction takes us forward in the evolution of mankind, and is often rooted heavily on Earth, and it asks its own kind of 'What if...' questions. It's a really future futuristic, but Firefly would be a great example. The question is what would the future be line if Earth colonized the galaxy, and what if the two most powerful nations ended up being the United States and Japan? What kind of influence would that have on who we become?

I write science fiction because I love asking 'what if...' questions. In the case of The Phoenix Rebellion, the question is "What if aliens have always been here? And what if they now want the planet for their own?".

You'll just have to read to find out. ☺

Books in Gail's Phoenix Rebellion Series:

Book 1 - Revolution
Book 2 - Outcasts
Book 3 - Gaining Ground
Book 4 - End Game

Monday, 19 July 2010

Author Spotlight Week - Q&A with Gail R. Delaney

Author J. Morgan (JMO) of the Love Bites steps in to interview Gail. Take it away JMO.


For those who don't know me, my name is sometimes J. Morgan. The other times, I'm not sure what it is, but that is irrelevant because today, I have the pleasure of interviewing one of the spiffiest Sci Fi authors in the universe. To celebrate the occasion, I've stretched the already thin Desert Breeze Budget to rent a TARDIS. That's right, I'm all Dr. Whoed up and ready to make—or is that rewrite—history. So settle in as, I snag one Gail Delaney from the time stream and make her spill some Phoenix sized secrets.

Jmo: Gail, welcome to the DBP TARDIS. By the way, don't touch the flashy thingie. I'm not exactly sure what it does.

Gail: (glancing over). Oh, that's the Trans-Dimensional Oscilator Regulation Valve. Don't worry, nothing will happen if you hit it. Well, nothing other than giving us a bit of a rough ride. What? Did you forget I write Doctor Who fanfiction? * wink *

Jmo: (Shooting her a dirty look) Remember nobody likes a smarty bootie. Now, before we get into the thick of your fabulous Phoenix series, can you let our readers in on what first ignited your passion for Science Fiction? Was it a movie, television show or book?

Gail: Well, it's ironic that you opted to interview me here in the TARDIS, because Doctor Who played a bit part in developing my love of science fiction. I watched US runs of Doctor Who on PBS when I was a kid every Sunday afternoon. Tom Baker was, as they say 'My Doctor' (Well, until Christopher Eccleston and David Tennant came along). I also watched syndicated runs of Star Trek when I was in elementary school, and ST: TNG came out when I was in junior high - I think. I also grew up in the age of Star Wars. I loved it all.

In later years, I loved Stargate SG-1, Farscape, Firefly... and these days, Fringe. I'm currently watching all 10 seasons of X-Files. ☺

Jmo: As a writer and reader of the genre, what do you thinks brings so many readers to Sci Fi? And, I said don't touch that. Do you want to negate reality or something? Geez!

Gail: Relax! I was just releasing the Mercury Vapor vent system. You don't want a TARDIS with a case of the vapors. Trust me on this.

Anyway, I personally love 'smart' science fiction. Don't just set a book on a space ship or a far planet, and try to convince me it's science fiction. Make sure it's intelligently thought out. Now, that doesn't mean you need to explain to me the viability of a cold fusion thrust drive versus a carbon dioxide based combustion drive, but make me believe what you're saying. Beyond that, we are in an age of dramatic advancements. Every year, something new hits the market. It's not really that far fetched that -- if not us -- then our children and grandchildren will explore space. It's fascinating.

Jmo: I guess I better get to Phoenix before you make us lose the security deposit on this thing.

When you started on the first Phoenix book, did you have a clear vision of how the series would play out? Or, did the series evolve as you started working on it?

Gail: Absolutely the series evolved as I wrote it. There are elements of the final resolution that I honestly hadn't even considered when I began book one. I would write something, and say out loud "Oh! I get it now!" I had certain things I knew would be part of the series -- certain developments and revelations -- but, some of those things I believed to be true in the beginning ended up being proved wrong in the end.

(Hovers hand over Core Flux Relay Initiator just to watch Jmo squirm)

Jmo: As a fan of the series, I've got to ask this. I know I have my favorite characters as a reader, but do you have a character that really gets your mojo going when it comes to writing him or her?

Gail: Michael Tanner... no doubt, no question, no hesitation. When I developed the concept of the series, Michael Tanner was a character just like anyone else: Nick Tanner, Beverly, Victor... any of them. But, as I wrote, I learned that Michael was not only the glue -- but he was and is the driving force -- of the entire series. Without him, the whole of it would fall apart. We all want our characters to grow through the course of a book, but Michael does so much more than that. He becomes.

Jmo: Michael is my fav, too, and of course Jackie. I have to admit something, I read Revolution when it came out from that other company and read the newly updated version. How did the intervening years change the scope of what had gone on before and what readers are seeing now in the series?

Gail: When I wrote The Phoenix Rebellion for 'that other publisher', I wrote it all on my own. Meaning I didn't have anyone reading it as I went. I had someone I bounced ideas off, but they didn't read it in a linear fashion. I wrote the series in a blur, all 4 books in 10 months. I barely remember it now. So, when I read through the books -- I feel like I'm reading someone else's book. Having stepped back from the series for a couple years, when I came back to it, I saw more potential that I hadn't tapped into the first time around. I love that I've had the chance to add the subtle dashes of story that can potentially enhance the whole.

Jmo: End Game, effectively ends the first part of the Phoenix Rebellion but not the Phoenix series as a whole. Not to give away too much, but what can we expect in the second part of the series?

Gail: Phoenix Rising will pick up on Earth just about a year after the end of End Game. We fight the good fight, and while victory is ours, we don't come out of The Phoenix Rebellion unscathed. Phoenix Rising is the story of mankind truly rising from the ashes to rebuild our world. Many (most) of the main characters from the first series will play varying roles in the second series. The story can't continue without them. There will be characters who only made brief appearances in The Phoenix Rebellion who will now step up and continue the story. And there will be some new faces.

Jmo: Before we put the ion drive before the bridge, let's go back to End Game. This book ends the Rebellion part of Phoenix. How hard was it to tie up all the threads you laid the groundwork for in Book 1? Then, again. Are they tied up? I know this question is running on and on, but do you feel the readers will be satisfied with the ending of the series part 1? Or, will they be screaming for more? I know I will.

Gail: A lot of questions will be answered by the time End Game wraps up. The reader will come away with an understanding of things that came before, and hopefully, will see a clearer illustration of it all. But, as it often works, answers lead to more questions. No war ends at the decree of Peace. And no enemy simply disappears.

I can only hope that the readers of The Phoenix Rebellion will be anxious to read Pheonix Rising.

Jmo: Like all great Sci Fi, Phoenix has a lot of underlying themes. Did you make a conscious effort to layer those in or did they evolve as the characters did their thing inside your head?

Gail: Some of them were consciously there, and some of them grew organically from the lives of the characters. And sometimes, I thought I wanted to focus on a theme a certain way, only to learn that wasn't the way it would happen. How's that for vague and ambiguous?

Jmo: Yeah, some pretty good dodging and weaving, there. I'm well known for asking at least one crazy question. So, here it is. If you could step into any Sci Fi book or movie and live out the adventure, which one would it be? I think I know the answer—wink—but shock me.

Gail: (Looks around TARDIS) Does a tv show count? Because who wouldn't want to travel through all time and space in a little blue box that holds nothing less than a universe inside? And have you seen the library here? My toughest decision would be choosing between the Ninth Doctor, and the Tenth. I love them both for very different reasons. Yeah... don't make me pick.

Jmo: Not to sound gushy, but the world of Phoenix looks fun. Any chance of getting me warped into that reality? Before I set you back in your own time, please let our readers know where we can find out about you and your amazing books. Don't forget to let them know where they can connect with you on the Net. And, yes you can drive the TARDIS. Here, but don't touch the flashy thingi…

Great, now we're in an infinite time loop in the 70's of all time slips. For your information, my mother made me wear bell-bottoms. It sure wasn't my idea. Better give those stats, before we totally lose stability. Thanks for stopping by folks.

Gail: My website -- though keeping it up to date is a challenge -- is I won't bother with my blog or MySpace, because I'd need a TARDIS to keep that thing up to date. I can be found on Facebook by searching Gail R. Delaney (The R. is important).

And will you stop worrying so much? (Smacks BIG RED BUTTON on TARDIS coral console). See? That was easy.

< Insert TARDIS Whomp Whomp here. >

Saturday, 17 July 2010

Review Saturday! Here are some recent reviews for Desert Breeze Titles.

by: Danielle Thorne
"This is the first book that I have read of Ms. Thorne’s but I was captured right from the beginning. I especially like the sayings before each chapter. Read as a pirate would say it. Excellent Book... You’ll be in for a great adventure."

Miss Lynne's Books and More
Rating = 5 Stars - 'A'

by: Susanne Marie Knight
"This is the first in the Minx Tobin series by talented author Susanne Marie Knight and you'll be waiting for the next one, just to see what happenx next. The hint of romance blended in, promises sparks will fly...I'm pleased to recommend The Bloodstained Bistro to any mystery fan. The interesting settings and characters will keep you reading. Enjoy. I did."

Anne K. Edwards -

by: PI Barrington

"Barrington pens a pulse-pounding sequel that will keep the reader on the edge of a precipice with Miraculous Deception, Book Two in the Future Imperfect Series...Barrington goes from thrill to thrill with ease... Miraculous Deception is a worthy, edgy sequel to Crucifying Angel."

Stephanie - Classic Romance Revival Reviews
Rating = 4 Wings

by: Melanie Atkins
"The plot of this story starts out with a bang and the excitement does not end until the very exciting climax. Cole and Jaden are destined to be together if Cole can only get past his brother's death and his own lost love... you will be on the edge of your seat until the very end of the story."

Maura Frankman - The Romance Studio
Rating = 4.5 Hearts

by: Tina Pinson
"Few books have had this effect on me: I finished in three days, and most of the time, I was reading past midnight to find out what would happen next... Clever writing, a twisting plot, and many slowly unraveling mysteries await in this gothic-feeling romance. Secrets, rumors, and a sparking romance pulled me onward to see if a happily ever after ending would win out as two stubborn souls with painful pasts find solace in one anothers' arms. For a debut novel, Ms. Pinson has proven herself with a riveting tale and characters that will keep you guessing."

Kathleen L. Maher - History Repeats Itself review blog

by: Stephanie Burkhart
"I appreciated the newness of the setting. Haven't read many historicals set in Hungary. As it happens, I do love a unique historical. And I think this one was... And, of course, I happened to have just seen The Wolfman and loved it. Slightly different time period, slightly different plot, but very similar in a lot of good ways...Overall, a great historical paranormal read. Worth the time and money to pick it up if this is your arena."

Rebecca Lynne - The Pen and Muse Reviews

Friday, 16 July 2010

Author Spotlight week - Excerpt from Bridget's Secret

Her accusation made Lucky’s hackles rise and his blood boil. "Are you calling me a coward?"

Bridget's chin jutted forward. "Aren't you?"

"Shoot no. I'd stand up to the Devil's top hand any day in the week." That sounded like such a childish, shallow boast. Lucky pointed an index finger in Bridget's direction. "You take that back."

"Why should I when it's as plain as the nose on your face that you and both your brothers are scared silly of your little old aunt."
Lucky's simmering anger exploded into fiery rage. Nobody called Lucky Livingston a coward and got away with it. He moved with lightening speed to stand directly in front of his accuser. Pulling Bridget to her feet, he locked his hands around her shoulders. His intent was to make her take back her degrading remark and to demand that she apologize. That was before he touched her.

Bridget's shoulders straightened. Defiance was written in every of her small taunt body. The fear that trembled in her voice gave lie to her brave declaration. "I'm not afraid of you."

Such defiance, such challenge, and such sweet innocence; Lucky's mind disengaged and his body took command of his senses. He lowered his head and captured her little bee-sting lips in a softly seductive kiss. Under the impact of his sweet assault, her mouth trembled, and then opened, allowing his tongue to enter, probe and plunder. He pulled her into his arms as she melted into his embrace.

After long blissful moments, Lucky broke the embrace, sat on the couch, and pulled Bridget down beside him. He had to stop this before passion slammed reason's door and he was lost forever to the demands of desire. "Maybe I should be afraid of you."
Bridget laid her fingers across her trembling lips. "Why did you do that?"

Old smooth-talking Lucky looked into that sweet, startled face and was as tongue-tied as a schoolboy. Without a second thought, he blurted out the truth. "I don't know, but I wish I hadn't."

Tears sprang to Bridget's eyes. "What a rotten thing to say."

He had messed up again. "I didn't mean it that way."

"What way did you mean it?"

"I didn't mean it at all. Is that good enough?"

Obviously, it wasn't. Tears flooded Bridget's eyes. "Does that mean you didn't mean what you said, or does it mean you didn't mean what you did?"

"It means both. I shouldn't have done what I did and I shouldn't have said what I said about what I did." Lucky shook his head. He was as confused as a goat on a shag rug.

"Then why did you?"

Reason returned slowly and with it came a sobering thought. Why should Bridget complain about him kissing her when she had kissed him back with a vengeance? Lucky smiled. "Did you mean what you did?"

Bridget blinked in surprise. "What did I do?"

Lucky pulled her back into his arms. "This." He brought his lips down on her upturned mouth and kissed her with an expertise that left them both breathless. Leaning back, he smiled, "You meant it."


Don't forget to visit Barri at the Desert Breeze Connections Yahoo Group Today from 10:00 am CST to 2 pm CST! Giveaways include: A short story by Barri, The Desert Breeze Cookbook, and a set of autographed postcards of Desert Breeze Covers.

Bridget's Secret is available at the Desert Breeze website, Amazon, Barnes &Nobles, Apple iBookstore, Borders through Kobo.

Thursday, 15 July 2010

Author Spotlight week - Barri Byran shares her favorite author

Anne Hathaway as "Jane Austen"

If you had asked me when I was in my teens, "Who is your all time favorite author", I would have said without a moment's hesitation, Jane Austen. But that was before I discovered the Bronte sisters. As I read in swift succession Jane Eyre, Agnes Grey, and Wuthering Heights they replaced Jane Austin and then each other.

That changed when I reached my twenties and time and perspective modified my tastes. Then I would have said without a pause, "My favorite author is Alice Duer Miller." When I read Forever Amber by Kathleen Winsor, My favorite author changed again.
As time moved along, I discovered Grace Metalious. I was both repelled and captivated by her stories. After I read The Tight White Collar, I decided she was my favorite author for all time.

More time passed. My reading became more varied. I branched out into reading, not only romances, but also mysteries and detective stories. I read a lot of Harlequin Romances as well as books by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Rex Stout, Dashiell Hammett, and Mickey Spillane. If asked, during this period of my reading evolution, who was my favorite author, I'd have said Victoria Holt or Joanna Lindsey. Then I read The Vampire Lestat by Anne Rice, and discovered, once again, another all-time favorite.
I must be fickle-must be? I am. Recently I read a book by Nicholas Sparks. He may be my current all-time favorite. Note I said may be. I like Mary Higgins Clark too. And of course, there's Danielle Steele...

I don't think I can say I have a favorite all time author. As I change and times change, my tastes in reading change too. I do have one all-time favorite reading genre. I love now, and always have loved, romantic novels.

Wednesday, 14 July 2010

Author Spotlight Week - Barri Byran shares her favorite movie

You would think because of my love for all things western, that my favorite movie is a western. Think again. Then you might suppose that I have fallen under the spell of the magic of one of those new films with all its enchantment of animation and graphics. Wrong again. Have I been captured by one of those scary vampire movies with shape shifters and creatures of the night? The answer again is no. My favorite movie is one I first saw back in 1943 when I was sixteen years old. Its title is Now, Voyager and it stars Bette Davis and Paul Henreid. Why am I so enamored of this film? I don't know. Maybe it's the plot. The story revolves around Charlotte Vale, a middle-aged repressed spinster who is completely dominated by her over-bearing, demanding mother. As the story unfolds she struggles to become independent of her mother. It's not an easy transition but she finally blossoms into a strong, confident woman. Then she falls in love with a married man. On second thought, the plot is trite and at times, contrived. As plots go it's about as ordinary as plots can get.

Maybe it's the characters. A middle-aged ugly duckling that changes into a self-confident swan and a married man who falls in love with the swan and is too weak to breaks the bonds of an unhappy marriage so he can be with her? Neither of these characters possesses the sterling qualities I would say portray a hero or a heroine. It couldn't be the characters.
It must be the ending. I'm a sucker for happy endings. But the ending isn't exactly happy. I'd say it's more like satisfying. I'm back to square one. My favorite movie of all time is Now, Voyager. I'm danged if I know why.

Tuesday, 13 July 2010

My Passion for Westerns by Barri Bryan

Spotlight week continues with author Barri Bryan who talks about her passion for Westerns.

I grew up during the Great Depression. My family was poor, even by 1930's standards. However, once a week my mother managed to find twenty cents for my brother and me to go to the movies. Yes, back then it cost a whopping ten cents for a child to go to a movie. Each Saturday that thin dime bought my ticket to a world of imagination and dreams. That world was replete with dastardly, devious villains, fair young maidens in distress, and best of all, strong and stalwart cowboy heroes.
I can't remember a time when I wasn't attracted to stories about the old west.

My dad was a great story teller. In the evenings after he came home from work and we'd had our evening meal, he would spin yarns -- facts that, I suspect now, were laced with liberal amounts of fantasy -- about 'the ole west.' He told of things he remembered. He's worked during his teens as a cowboy on a ranch in West Texas. He'd once gone on a cattle drive, of sorts. He also passed on stories he'd heard. His uncle, who was a barber, once shaved Frank James. That seems to me now, to be a dubious achievement at best; but Dad thought it to be quite an honor. His ranch foreman had once witnessed, first-hand, a battle-to-the-death gun fight. I learned, over the years, to take my dad's stories with a grain of salt, but they always fascinated me.

So, you see, my heroes have always been cowboys. When I began to write, I wrote about, what else but stories that reflect my love of romance and happy endings, and my passion for the Wild West and cowboys.

Monday, 12 July 2010

Author Spotlight Week - Q&A with Barri Bryan

Welcome to Author Spotlight Week - This week we're here with Barry Bryan, the Author of "Bridget's Secret." Barri shares her thoughts on writing, her latest release, and her favorites with you. Enjoy! Kicking off the week is a Q&A with Barri.

STEPH: - What was the inspiration behind your story, "Bridget's Secret?"

BARRI: I got my inspiration for Bridget's Secret for a story my dad loved to tell my brother and me when we were growing up. When he was a teenager, in the early 1920's, Dad lived with his family, in a half-dug-out on a bald prairie near the Texas - New Mexico border. One of his many colorful acquaintances was a young man named Henry. It seemed that Henry did well as a farmer, but he had on success whatsoever with 'the wimmen'. When Henry heard that girls who lived in the nearby orphan's asylum had to leave the home when they were eighteen, he hit on the idea of 'courting' one of them. He went to the home and found three girls who had just turned eighteen.

Henry's knowledge of courting procedure must have been non existent. He saw the girls, chose one, and asked to speak to her alone. His request was granted -- kind of. The moment he had her away from the other girls and in the presence of a chaperone, he asked her to marry him. And to quote my dad, "Believe it or not she said yes."

The girl's name was Amy. Dad always insisted that Amy and Henry, married, had 'a passel of kids' and lived happily ever after.

One morning long after I was an adult, I began to think about what it must have been like for a young man to be obliged to get his bride from an orphanage... From there my imagination took over and I soon had the skeleton of a plot for Bridget's Secret.

STEPH - I don't know much about the book. Can you tell us a little about it?

BARRI: I'd be happy to. Lucky Livingston is a devil-may-care cowboy who is out to settle an old score with Eddie Bruce, the man who, several years before, stopped his mother on a lonely stretch of road, molested her, and killed her. Eddie was not convicted of this crime; however, he went to jail for other crimes. Now Eddie has broken out of prison and is on the loose again.
Lucky intends to find Eddie and avenge his mother's death. When his brother Zeke tells him that he has a plan that will bring Eddie Bruce to him, Lucky is willing to listen and then to take part in a scheme that seems doubtful and a little crazy.

For the last eight years Bridget McGuire and her two younger brothers have lived at Miss Myra's Orphan Asylum. They were sent there when their father, Black Jack McGuire, was murdered. Before his untimely death Black Jack was involved in a scheme to steal a large sum of money from Eddie Bruce, who had stolen that money from a local bank. Eddie Bruce was captured and sent to prison. Black Jack was killed, and the money disappeared. Most of the locals believe Bridget knows where that money is hidden. Bridget knows that Eddie Bruce will come looking for her now that he's out of jail. She will do anything to keep herself and her brothers from harm’s way. That includes marrying a man who is a complete stranger if he offers her protection.

Add to this already volatile mixture a dangerous outlaw and a marauding band of Ku Klux Clansmen, stir in three inept matchmakers and one dishonest deputy sheriff and you have the ingredients for an exciting tale and a romantic love story.

STEPH: - Is a historical or contemporary Western?

BARRI Bridget's Secret is a modern historical romance. It is set in 1922.

STEPH: - How long have you been writing?

BARRI: I've been writing short stories and poetry since I was a child. I began to think of seriously pursuing a writing career in 1990 when I took an early retirement from teaching to care for my elderly parents.

STEPH - What attracts you to writing westerns?

BARRI: I love the drama and the excitement of the myth of the American West. I like the bawdy atmosphere and limitless possibilities of an open frontier. I am captivated by the colorful characters that lived during that time. I like the innovativeness and the bravery its heroes. I even like the scoundrels and desperadoes who peopled that legendary world.

STEPH: - Have you written any other genres?

BARRI: Yes, I have. I have some contemporary romances and some 'modernized' fairy tales. I also have four books of poetry. I have written one how-to book about creative writing. I have written stories that are published in anthologies and a book of three short stories.

STEPH - Do you have any hobbies you'd like to share?

BARRI: I love to do handwork. I like to knit. Each year I spend much of my spare time during the year making a watch cap for each of my grandchildren for Christmas. At first that wasn't a big task. Now it's quite an undertaking since I also have great grandchildren and grandchildren I acquired when my children married spouses who had children.

I also like to crochet, embroidery, and piece and make quilts. I am an avid reader and enjoy reading romances and mysteries. I love listening to music. I'm a big country music fan.

STEPH: - What's the last movie you saw?

BARRI: I find that today's movies are either too gory or too explicit for my tastes. I do like old movies. The last movie I saw was on TV. The title was San Francisco. It starred Clarke Gable, Jeanette McDonald, and Spencer Tracy.

STEPH - What was the last book you read?

BARRI: The last book I read was Big Girl by Danielle Steele.

Thanks Barri for being here today. We'll see you tomorrow about genre writing!

Friday, 9 July 2010

Featured July Release The Minx Tobin Mysteries - The Bloodstained Bistro by Susanne Marie Knight


Newly relocated Minx Tobin likes to help her friends. She also has a knack for solving puzzles. A huge puzzle in the form of a dead body soon gets dropped into her lap. Did waitress Brandi Evans murder her ex-boyfriend? Minx doesn't think so, but can she crack the Case of the Bloodstained Bistro?

Overworked Homicide Lieutenant Gabe Harris has his fill of women... and dead bodies. The women he can handle. The dead bodies -- unfortunately they keep piling up. But on this particular case he meets a young woman that not only impedes his investigation, but she also has no interest in him. A healthy ego like his can't handle that. He'll have to keep an eye on Ms. Minx Tobin.

The Tobin woman had been surprised by his offer of dinner, but not as surprised as he was himself. Gabe drove onto Santa Monica Boulevard all the while wondering what the hell he had been thinking.

She'd been right. Strictly speaking, he was mixing pleasure with official police business. Dynamite that was guaranteed to explode in his face.

He glanced over at his reluctant passenger. Sitting stiffly in the passenger seat, she held her handbag against her chest as if it were a shield offering protection.

Not that she'd need it against him. She wasn't his type. She was lean and athletic. He preferred his women to be of the buxom variety.

And, come to think of it, he might not be her type, either. She seemed to have a preference for Brandi Evans' company.

"Where are we going to eat?" Minx asked, turning her dark eyed gaze on him.

Minx. What a helluva name. She hadn't like it when he used it. Her plump lips had turned down imperceptibly. He'd noticed, though. It was his job to be observant.

Award-winning author Susanne Marie Knight specializes in Romance Writing with a Twist! She is multi-published with books, short stories, and articles in such diverse genres as science fiction, Regency, mystery, paranormal, suspense, time-travel, fantasy, and contemporary romance. Originally from New York, Susanne lives in the Pacific Northwest, by way of Okinawa, Montana, Alabama, and Florida. Along with her husband, daughter, and the spirit of her feisty Siamese cat, she enjoys the area's beautiful ponderosa pine trees and wide, open spaces--a perfect environment for writing.

Desert Breeze Congratules Susanne on her July Release!

Thursday, 8 July 2010

Featured July Release - Fire and Ash by Anne Patrick

Fire Investigator Sadie McGregor has been called to her hometown of Emerald Point, Missouri to investigate a suspicious fire which claimed the life of a local college student. By appearance the fire looks like the girl was just careless. What Sadie and Sheriff Quinn Harrington discover will not only affect those close to them, but will rock the entire community of Emerald Point and put Sadie’s life on the line.

Sadie’s life isn’t the only thing at stake. Struggling with the guilt of having been responsible for the fire that killed her family, when she was only seven, Sadie doesn’t feel she’s worthy of God’s love and forgiveness. Will Quinn be able to prove otherwise before it’s too late?

It was late afternoon before they arrived at the address the Ingram's had given them. Quinn parked his truck across the street and glanced up at the three-story brick building. "Third floor, right?"

Instead of an answer, Quinn heard Sadie's door close and looked over just in time to see her crossing in front of the truck, as usual, taking the lead. He smiled, grabbed the keys from the ignition, and reached for the door handle.

The sound of squealing tires caught Quinn's attention. He looked out his windshield as a black sports car pulled away from the curb. Shifting his gaze to the street, he saw Sadie was directly in its path. He jumped from the truck and yelled, "Look out!" then saw Sadie dive onto the hood of a parked car.

Quinn's heart pounded in his chest as he raced across the street. When he came around the front of the car she'd dove onto, he found her sitting with a dazed look on her face. He knelt beside her, "Are you okay?"

She blinked her eyes. "I definitely need to visit the gym more often."

He chuckled, relieved she was all right and that her humor was still intact. "I don't know I haven't seen a move like that since Starsky and Hutch."

"Will I need to call my insurance agent?"

He rose on his toes to peer across the hood of the late model Buick and saw a fairly good size dent in the hood. "I'm afraid so."

As a child Anne always had a very vivid imagination. When most kids on her block were playing with their dolls and army men, Anne and her detective friends was busy solving make believe crimes in the neighborhood. Each day was a new and exciting adventure with danger lurking around every corner. Then in high school, after discovering the wonderful world of romantic suspense, Anne decided to put that imagination to better use. She has been spinning stories ever since. When she isn't writing, she enjoys spending time with family and friends and traveling to foreign countries to experience new cultures. She makes her home in Kansas with her playful German Shepherd, Zoe, and an ornery cat named Sailor.

Desert Breeze congratules Anne on her latest release.

Wednesday, 7 July 2010

Featured July Release - Come, Love Me Again by Romona Hilliger


It's twelve years since Hunter Kincaid has seen Becky Carson. But he has never forgotten the girl who betrayed him.

The ruggedly-handsome Australian cattle king is in no mood for niceties and forgiveness is the last thing on his mind.

For twelve years Becky Carson has been haunted by guilt and bitter remorse and now, at last, the sale of her legacy, a vast cattle property in Australia, to Hunter Kincaid, she considers an omen to return from America to seek his forgiveness. To tell him the truth – why she’d been forced to betray him.
B Driven by her need to be forgiven, they play out their painful past, a past that only love will help them survive and come to love each other again.

But has she got so close only to fail?


"A tribute to the late John Denver, one of the greatest," another announcement came from the stage as a lone musician got ready to sing during the intermission. Becky stopped to listen to what the young man said. His voice rose in awe of the singer.

"John is dead, but his songs never will be," he added, while he plucked a few stirring chords on his guitar. In a placid voice, he began. "You fill up my senses..."

Goosebumps broke out on Becky's skin and her eyes misted at the memory of each sweet line. From across the lawn Hunter's eyes held hers captive and, for a few breathless moments, they locked, then his gaze snapped away.

"John Denver," Becky whispered, willing him to look at her again. Didn't he remember? Of course, he would. The moment came rolling back. They'd been at Mandaljara listening to John Denver.

Annie's song, he'd said, drawing her head back to rest on his arm. Now it's Becky's song. He'd lowered his head, whispering the words of a line. "Come, let me love you..."


From a school teacher to a payroll manager for one of Australia's largest retail companies. A challenging career-path change until, came along yet, another--Writing.

So, what triggered that?

My husband and I lived in the Northern Territory of Australia where we criss-crossed the outback, both with his work and on holidays. We discovered the magnificence of wind-crafted outcrops of granite and sandstone, vast ochre plains stretching to eternity, the Kimberley, Tasmanian wilderness regions and the bush teeming with wildlife unique to Australia. Our interest escalated and we extended our trips into gold and gemstone-fossicking adventures and tracing the tracks of explorers. The notes I kept translated into a series of travel articles for a magazine and then, I realised what better backdrop than this sun-drenched wilderness for conjuring up stories of unique blend--love up against impossible odds. I undertook studies in creative writing, specialising in Romance, and set to work.

Writing fulfils my most cherished dream, to breathe life, love and emotion into the people who step into my imagination.

Desert Breeze Congratulates Romona on her latest release

Friday, 2 July 2010

Featured July Release - By Heart and Compass by Danielle Thorne

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. But will finding it cost her heart?

Sitting outside, one of the divers looked busy replacing the o-ring on a scuba tank.

"I'm looking for Max?"

The long haired employee didn't bother to stand, much less look up.


"I'm Lacey Whitman, and I'm looking for the Max that owns the museum."

"You call that worthless shack a museum?"

Dumbfounded, Lacey couldn't think of any reply.

"What do you want?"

"I'm looking for Max," she repeated, feeling a flash of impatience. "I have some papers for him."

"Warrant, restraining order, or paternity test?"

After a pause in which she realized he was serious, she replied in frustration, "I have some research for the Bertrand family and someone at the museum told me to come down here."

Danielle Thorne freelanced for online and print magazines from 1998 through 2001, adding reviewing and editing to her resume. She is the author of two 2009 novels: THE PRIVATEER, a 1729 historical about British privateering in the Caribbean, and TURTLE SOUP, a contemporary romance set between Atlanta and St. Thomas.

Other works have appeared with Espresso Fiction, Every Day Fiction, Arts and Prose Magazine, Mississippi Crow, The Nantahala Review, StorySouth, Bookideas, the Mid-West Review, and more. She won an Honorable Mention in Writer's Digest's 2006 annual writing competition, and won the 2008 Awe-Struck Short Novel Contest.

Danielle currently writes from south of Atlanta, Georgia. She is the 2009-2010 Co-Chair for the New Voices Competition for young writers, active with online author groups such as Classic Romance Revival, and moderates for The Sweetest Romance Authors at the CoffeeTime Romance boards. She lives with four sons and her husband, who is an air traffic controller. Together they enjoy travel and the outdoors, Marching Band competitions, and BSA Scouting.

Desert Breeze Congratulates Danielle on her July Release!

Thursday, 1 July 2010

Featured July Release - Bridget's Secret by Barri Bryan

Recipe for trouble: Take one frightened young woman with a dangerous secret and a desperate need to hide. Add one devil-may-care cowboy bent on revenge. Stir in a dangerous outlaw, a marauding band of Ku Klux Klansmen, and three inept matchmakers. Add to this mixture a bank’s missing loot and one dishonest deputy sheriff. Stir well, settle back and wait for the kettle to boil.

Bridget closed her menu and looked around the room. "Folks are staring at us already. Maybe we shouldn't push our luck by asking questions."

Lucky scoffed. "I always push my luck." He was beginning to wonder if luck hadn't decided to push back. His feelings for this woman could get out-of-hand with a few more shoves.

Bridget looked down at her khaki uniform. "I'm not properly dressed. Maybe we should go."

Lucky grinned, "Not on your life." He sobered. "You look beautiful." The words were automatic. The emotions they evoked were new and disturbing. "We came here to have dinner and that's what we're gonna do." He winked broadly. "As soon as I figure out what we're having."

Bridget giggled. "You're right. Let's order something."

"Okay. What will it be?

Bridget shrugged. "I don't know. You decide."

The waiter reappeared and stationed himself beside the booth. With pad open and pencil poised, he asked, "Would you care to order now, sir?"

Lucky peered down at his menu. "We're making up our minds. What is this here Tripes a la Mode de Caen?"

The waiter answered, very much on his dignity, "It's a most delicious entree."

Barri Bryan is the pen name for Billie Houston. I acquired a pseudonym at the behest of my adult children when they discovered a steamy excerpt from one of my romances at the web site of a publisher.

I am a former teacher and educator. I like poetry, George Strait's music, old movies and Earl Grey tea. My hobbies are reading, quilting, sewing, knitting, crocheting, taking long walks, and growing house plants and herbs.

I'm four-time EPPIE winner and a published author with over twenty novels, four books of poetry, numerous essays, several short stories, and one non-fiction how-to-write-book to my credit. I have been writing since 1990. My first romance was published in 1998. I write the kind of books I enjoy reading --- romantic tales about relationships; stories that explore feelings and probe emotions. The plots revolve around ordinary people caught in extraordinary circumstances and faced with difficult decisions.

Congratulations to Barri on her latest release!