Monday, November 28, 2011

Escape With A Sweet Romance...

Rachel Rossano is the author of historical and sci-fi romances. Her sweet tales are sure to leave a lasting impression.  Let's give Rachel a warm welcome. She loves to hear from readers. Feel free to ask questions or leave a comment. 
KAREN: Why don’t you start by telling the readers a little about yourself.
RACHEL: My romantic hero (my husband) and I have three small children, a four-year-old and twin toddlers. My life is bit full of diapers, sippy cups, and preschool at the moment. I am constantly on the move keeping everyone fed, dressed, clean, and hopefully busy with an activity. Then naptime hits, silence descends, and I am typing away at my laptop. My thoughts are never far from my current project even midst the chaos.
I love to write. It is a bit of an addiction at this point. Storytelling, characters, dialogue, you name it and I am eager to discuss it. I think the only part of the process I don’t like is the editing stage, but even that has its perks.

This obsession with words began at an early age. As a child, I was notorious for checking out the maximum number of books from the library every week. The following week I would be back, eager for a fresh batch.

KAREN: Tell us about your story, The Crown of Anavrea. What is the story about? What inspired you to write it? How much research did you have to do?

RACHEL: The Crown of Anavrea is a tale about choices and love. Eve, a slave, encounters a stranger in the forest. He is on the run, wounded, and ready to die. She convinces him to accept her help and fight. Upon recovering his health, Labren offers her the protection of marriage, freeing her from slavery. Eve chooses to throw her lot in with him despite knowing nothing of his past and why he was on the run. The story follows them on their journey to love and trust as Labren makes peace with his past.

I began writing The Crown of Anavrea while visiting the black forest area of Germany. The gorgeous countryside influenced the setting of the book quite a bit. How can one not be inspired among ancient forests, rolling green hills, and majestic mountains? I did think of the Grimm Brothers’ fairy tales as I wrote, but no witches, goblins, or other fairy tale creatures crept into the story. There are a few kings, princes, and a princess, though.

For this book, I didn’t do any research. Instead, I created a new country to fit the story and added it to a world I was using for a separate novel already in process. That story will probably never be published.

KAREN: Labren is the hero of the story. What is he like? When he first meets the heroine, what is his first impression?

RACHEL: Labren is an easy going man, usually. A doer, a man of action, and a planner, he tends to be thinking a few steps ahead. Gentleman to the core, he believes women should be protected and respected. Honor and duty drive him, sometimes in directions he doesn’t want. Still, he will tackle the distasteful with grace. Don’t get the idea that he won’t dirty his hands, though. He brawls with a scoundrel to defend Eve’s honor.

His first impression of Eve is that she is too young. He calls her a child. Not exactly the best way to make a good impression on a woman. Of course, he is half out of his head with pain and a fever at the time. Once the fever is under control, he finds her quite attractive. Her inner strength intrigues him.

KAREN: Tell us about Eve. What is her first impression of Labren?

RACHEL: When Eve saw Labren, she responded to the man in pain. She saw him as someone in need of help and her compassionate heart responded. There is a moment when she wonders if he is more dangerous than the king’s men she has been warned about. However, when he declares that he will die, she decides she will do all she can to prevent that. She doesn’t see him as a complete person until much later when he begins to regain his strength. Only then, does she begin grow aware of him as a woman.

KAREN: What do you find most rewarding about writing?

RACHEL: Oh, there are so many aspects that I find rewarding. From the thrill of a new idea to the satisfaction of the completed book, the whole is exciting. Each part, however, has its own special allure.

Character creation is an amazing process. Choosing a name, writing a background, and plotting out the past are fun. However, I am always anxious to get to the writing. On the page is where I truly begin to get a feel for each character. I discover their voice, mannerisms, and personality in the course of the storytelling.

I write with a mixture of plotting and by the seat-of-my-pantsing. So, I love seeing the story forming as I write. The words, images, emotions, and events fall into a pattern, rise toward a climax, and then resolve. There is a special satisfaction to finishing a story, even if it is still only a rough first draft. It is a natural high.

KAREN: Do you have a favorite reference book or website?

RACHEL: Not really.

I do research and seek inspiration from many sources. Books, articles, and websites are all vital resources.

KAREN: What are your current projects and works in progress?

RACHEL: Do you have awhile? I have quite a list.

At the moment, I am preparing two short stories for publication.

One is a prequel to Exchange, my first published short story. Set far in the future among diplomatic talks and insults both veiled and blatant, the story focuses on the meeting of the mismatched pair from Exchange. Myah’s presence distracts Ruhan from his task as representative of his planet. The attraction makes no sense. She, unlike him, is not gene-altered. A towa connection shouldn’t be possible, yet how else can he explain the pull every time she comes near him.

The other short story resembles The Crown of Anavrea and The Mercenary’s Marriage, my published novellas. Set in a fantasy world resembling Medieval Europe, Word and Deed follows the fate of a noblewoman named Maven Faye. After her father dies of unusual circumstances, her half-brother betroths her to a man with a fearsome reputation, sight unseen. To prevent her escape and quiet her tongue, her brother locks her in a tower. A soldier from her betrothed arrives to evaluate her. He touches her heart. Still, she must marry his master, hopefully before her half-brother decides she knows too much about their father’s death to live.

I am also preparing the next novella in the Theodoric Saga for publication (The Crown of Anavrea is book one). The King of Anavrea will follow Labren’s younger brother as he balances his responsibilities as a new husband and king.

There are quite a few more projects in the queue, but I won’t bore you with them now.

KAREN: Wow, you are busy. 
Tell the readers where they can find you:

KAREN: Is there anything else you’d like to tell the readers?

RACHEL: If you are interested in getting a visual taste of any of my published works, the book trailers are on YouTube ( By subscribing to my channel, you will be among the first to know about any upcoming releases when I upload their book trailers.
The Crown of Anavrea's book trailer.

Amazon buy links:

The Crown of Anavrea -

In a time when castles were the strongest…in a place where combat was face to face…Labren was on the run. He hid his true name and he admitted it freely.

In a time when slavery was a place where kings were all-powerful…Eve, a slave, appeared in the right place at the right time.

Eve saved his life. In return, he offered her the opportunity of freedom. She did not know what would happen to her if she chose to accept his proposal, but she did know the consequences of rejecting it.

The Mercenary’s Marriage -

Trained as a mercenary soldier, Darius Laris was a man of decisive action. He was also a man of compassion. Seeing a young slave woman about to become the spoils of war, he claimed her for his own. Marrying her before God and king, he made her a free and respectable soldier's wife. Brice Ashlyn was born a slave. Abused and beaten, she learned quickly to avoid being noticed and to stay away from men. When her master's walls fell to enemy forces, she ran, but not fast enough. In Darius' offer she found deliverance, but experience had taught her to fear power such as his. Could she trust in his protection, or had she traded one form of slavery for another?

Exchange - 

Blurb: He offers her escape, but at what cost?

Isolated on a distant planet, she is incarcerated for a crime she doesn’t recall. She has no name, no idea where she came from, or why she is injected with drugs daily to hold these vital facts from her grasp. Despite small rebellions, she wastes away, worn and losing hope of ever being whole again.

Then he arrives. Claiming to hold the answers burned daily from her brain, he offers her a way out. But at what cost?

 KAREN: Rachel, thank you so much for sharing your books with us. I wish you the very best success!

Friday, November 25, 2011

Black Friday Blog Hop: KINDLE FIRE and 23 Books!

Have you ever been so busy you forgot to be somewhere? It happened to me today. Sorry this is late, but it looks like I'm a part of this blog hop. lol Some of the blogs have me listed. So if you end up here, I don't want you to be disappointed. Giveaway: Gift Certificate for a free digital copy of Mr. O'Grady's Magic Box, Love's Eternal Embrace and for Wanted. 

So what are the rules? Simple: visit as many of the blogs as you can and leave a comment for the blog owner. For every comment, you’ll get one entry into the grand-prize drawing. Be sure to leave your e-mail address with every comment so we can find you if you win! And don’t forget that several blog owners are giving away prizes specific to their blog, too!
One winner will be chosen on Saturday morning using I will contact that person about the Kindle Fire and then each blog owner with a prize will contact the winner themselves to arrange delivery of said prize. Questions? Contact me at AuthorCassandraCarr AT gmail DOT com.

Black Friday Sale!!

Moon Shifter is 30% off for the Wild Rose Press' Black Friday Sale!!

  Moon Shifter

It is forbidden for a moon shifter of The Mac Tíre clan to change a human and save them from death. Grayson Quinn, the alpha of the pack ignores the ancient rule when Sydney Carlisle, his fiancée is ravaged by one of his own kind.

Sydney believes she is a monster, a werewolf. She flees before Grayson can help her adjust, but Grayson must find her. Sydney’s body is still changing and the were-lust will drive her crazy if not sated. He has until the full moon to help her tame the wolf inside and convince her she’s his soul mate. If he fails, he loses her forever.

Sydney still craves Grayson’s touch, but can her heart forgive him for making her one of the Mac Tíre?


Monday, November 21, 2011

Feed Your Reading Habits with Good Dose of Troy D. Smith's Tales!

Karen: What's your reading fancy? Mystery, suspense, fantasy, horror, westerns or a good paranormal, Troy D. Smith is a master storyteller of every genre. His westerns are gritty, depicting the true reality of life in the old west. His paranormal and fantasy tales breathe life into the old legends and his historical tales transport you back in time. His new crime story of revenge is a must read  thriller. 

Let's give him a warm welcome! Please feel free to enjoy the excerpts. If you would like, leave a comment or ask a question. Troy would love to hear from the  readers. What's your favorite genre?

About the Author:
Troy D. Smith was born in the Upper Cumberland region of Tennessee in 1968. He has waxed floors, moved furniture, been a lay preacher, and taught high school and college. He writes in a variety of genres, achieving his earliest successes with westerns -his first published short story appeared in 1995 in Louis L'Amour Western Magazine, and he won the Spur Award in 2001 for the novel Bound for the Promise-Land (being a finalist on two other occasions.) He is currently teaching American history at Tennessee Tech.  

Dr. Troy D. Smith
Department of History
Tennessee Tech University


 Cross Road Blues (novel)

Roy Carpenter, harmonica-playing bluesman in 1957 Nashville, knows great music when he hears it. He also knows a dangerous woman when he looks at her . . . and finds her looking back. Beautiful Sallymae has a brutal husband--just the sort of guy to end up dead, with Roy taking the fall. Prize-winning western writer Troy Smith turns to the crime novel with dazzling results. A tough, passionate, honestly written tale. "One of the best crime novels I've read recently!" -James Reasoner.

All Great Neptune’s Ocean

Short story


An investigative reporter gets on the wrong side of a mobster and pays the ultimate price. Believed dead, he seeks revenge in the only way left to him –by going after the only person his enemy loves.

But can he do it?

The King’s Avenger

Short story

Murder and Intrigue in 5th century Ireland!

Conor MacCormac is not only the most honored warrior of Connacht, he is the king’s closest friend. When his leader is murdered at the High-King’s Fair, it is up to Conor to find the killer.

The king had no shortage of enemies –but which one is guilty? And what price must Conor pay to find the answer?

The Infidels

Short story

Murder and Intrigue in 5th century Ireland!

Conor MacCormac, the new King of Connacht, had not wanted a Christian church in his territory, but the High-King – a new convert – had insisted. Now the priests have been slaughtered by raiders from the northlands – or so it seems.

Conor must unravel the mystery, and he fears the truth may rock the Emerald Isle…


All That We See or Seem

Novel by Troy D. Smith and David Allen

Will Shaw wanted a better life. A parenting license, maybe a physical upgrade for his wife. But he has a nasty habit of asking too many questions, an infamous radical brother, and a directive from the Committee of Programmers to report to The Marches—where reality and sanity blur, and which few return from. Shaw discovers the government’s shocking secrets, but it is Robert Jenkins, the agent assigned to watch over him, who must face the consequences. Both men learn that nothing in their world is what they thought it was…

That Distant Eden

Short story

The passengers and crew of the generational ship Thoreau are finally nearing the end of their centuries-long journey to colonize the uninhabited Gordon's Planet. It will be a new beginning, an opportunity to avoid the mistakes of their ancestors who ravaged Earth.

There's only one problem. Gordon's Planet isn't uninhabited after all. And its indigenous people do not wish to be colonized...


 Short story

The halfling Jod Gleefellow had not expected to find adventure in the Dark Wood; he had only hoped to find a rabbit for his supper. He had certainly not expected to find an Elven maiden, imprisoned for centuries by an evil sorceror. Jod beheld the bones of the many champions who had sought to free the beautiful Elf from her amber prison -and they'd come there on purpose!

“Well, Jod, old fellow.” he said softly to himself. “You've certainly got yourself into it now.”

Mister Tree

Short story

Nikki was a scared little halfling girl, and the Dark Wood was the last place she wanted to be -but her pet squirrel had run into the mysterious forest, and she had to find him. But -what if some wicked creature or other was lurking just out of sight? Nikki thought back on all the stories she had heard about the Dark Wood. It was a haunted place, everyone said, an eerie thing with a thousand living eyes, which mysteriously sucked up all who entered it.

Nikki did not want to be sucked up. She only wanted to find her squirrel.

But the trees were watching...

The Windigo
Short story

Prospectors lost in the North woods during a cold, desolate winter are on the verge of starving. With no game, no supplies, and no idea of which way to travel, they are desperate. Two men leave to seek food and shelter to save the small group, but never return. Then an eerie howling that raises the hackles of even the bravest among them travels on the cold wind.

Could it be the Windigo?

The People in Yonder

Short story

 Two mountain men, Harry and Joe, stand before a strange phenomenon they found on the grassy plains-an aperture, a jagged hole in the sky. Is it an opening into another, evil dimension? The strange opening swirls with wild colors, and there are shadowy, demonic figures inside. One man is frightened, but one is mesmerized. And what does this have to do with the Battle of the Little Big Horn?


Bound for the Promise-Land

Novel- Spur award winner

"Freedom is not a place you run to…Freedom is a place in your soul." These words sum up the life long quest of ex-slave Alfred Mann as he pursues the dream of equality in a world not of his making. From fugitive to Medal of Honor winner, Mann carries on to rise above the ignorance and intolerance of those who seek to bring him down; somehow gaining strength from the unimaginable losses he suffers and his own self doubt.



Short story series

A series of short stories I've written about the Blackwell family (some of whose members also show up in my full-length novels from time to time.) The series is my attempt to look at a broad range of Old West settings and events through the experiences of a single family, in a short story format which allows the reader to get immediately into the action. I plan many more stories in this series, and look forward to revisiting the Blackwell brothers often.

Brothers in Arms


The larger war is over —the family war has only begun. Fate draws three brothers together again. A daring robbery, a bloody shootout, and a desperate trek in Indian Territory are just the beginning. Wade Qualls comes home—death and hell riding his coattails. Sam prepares to make his stand, his eye on a higher duty.

Who will have the younger brother Tim's loyalty, and Violet's love?

Caleb’s Price


Cattle vs. Sheep...  Grazers vs. Squatters... Life vs. Death...
Joey, a nine-year-old orphan, leads a lonely existence. His uncle and aunt have an impending range war on their hands and don't take much notice of him. Then a mysterious stranger named Caleb enters his life. Caleb, a gunman who is in turn tender and brutal, has a deadly secret.

Will he save the downtrodden settlers, or destroy them?

  Troy, Thanks so much for letting me showcase your books. I wish you the very best and I look forward to reading what you have next.