Monday, December 26, 2011

The Holiday's Over. What Now?

Miriam Newman is the author of heartfelt historical romances and adventure-filled science fiction tales. She's joining us today to share her new releases from DCL Publications. Let's give her a warm welcome. She'd love to hear from you. Feel free to leave a comment or ask a question.   

So, OK, the big holiday is over.  The presents are opened, the dinner eaten and perhaps your tree is a little lopsided if, like me, you have a puppy.  Well, she’s in housetraining, so it could be worse.  I count my blessings that she’s a “she” and not prone to lift a leg.  My last puppy chewed up all the Christmas ornaments along with the wrapping paper, cards and ribbon all carefully stored in my attic.  I even tell the story in one of my books, Dancer Dog.

Another of my books is Season of Love, a Christmas anthology brought out a couple of years ago by DCL Publications.  There are stories by Kate Hofman, Bill Haworth, Susan Blexrud and me.  They’re all good stories, otherwise we wouldn’t have included them, but for the purposes of this post I’m going to consider my own.  For the first time, at my publisher’s request, I tried writing science fiction.  I hadn’t done it before and was pleasantly surprised at the outcome, Peace on New Earth.

In my story, colonists from a future Earth have left their overcrowded planet for the freedom and challenges of life on the planet Megasta.  That life is literally hanging by a thread.  Despite their massive technological achievements, the colonists have still been outwitted by Mother Nature which has brought along their ancient, inherent susceptibility to the measles virus which has spread to the indigenous population like a virtual plague.  The natives, a nomadic people not too far past their planetary equivalent of our Stone Age, are beginning to die and they don’t plan to go down peacefully.  In a last ditch attempt to preserve lives and fragile peace, med-techno Janelle attempts to successfully immunize a tribal chieftain, Aron, who has offered himself for the experiment in hopes of saving his people.  This is a romance, after all, and of course you can guess at the outcome.  World peace and a love affair.  Sappy stuff, perhaps, but after all it is the Season of Love.

Aron is a sensitive and intelligent man even if he does still like a good spear for bringing down wildlife.  He is impressed by the technology of the colonists, believing from what he sees that they are capable of almost anything.  So when Janelle tells him that she envisions a future in which their people will live together in peace, he responds, “If you see it, I believe it may be so.”  Such a simplistic statement…or is it?  If we see peace, can we not achieve it?  We have “seen” the atomic bomb, the first Moon landing, the cures for major diseases—things no one a hundred years ago thought were even remotely possible.  If we SEE peace clearly enough and with a powerful enough vision, can we fulfill Aron’s simplistic yet profound belief that seeing a thing can make it so?  In this Season of Love, what do you think?   

Fantasy poetry driven by myths and legends has been Miriam’s passion for as long as she can remember.  She was published in poetry before catching the romance writing bug.  She brings that background to her writing along with a lifelong addiction to horses, an 18 year career in various areas of psychiatric social services and many trips to Ireland, where she nurtures her muse.  Her published works range from contemporary fantasy romance to fantasy historical, futuristic, science fiction and historical romance.  Currently she lives in rural Pennsylvania with a “motley crew” of rescue animals.  You can view her books at  

Monday, December 19, 2011

Author Sarah McNeal and her Supernatural Christmas

The winner of the 2011 Christmas Anthology is...Calisa Rose. Congratulation!
Karen: I'm thrilled to have Sarah McNeal here today to share her Christmas tale, Gifts of an After Life that's featured in the 2011 Christmas Anthology and her long awaited sequel to Harmonica Joe's Reluctant Bride, For the Love of Banjo! She's also giving away an e-book copy of the Anthology to one lucky reader. Just in time for the Christmas Stocking!

Let’s start with you telling us a little about yourself:

Sarah: I live in North Carolina with my four-legged kids, Liberty (cat) and Lily (Golden Retriever).  Both of my pets are rescue animals.

Until 2009, I worked as an RN in critical care, the last 17 years in the ER.  I took an early retirement so that I could devote all of my time into writing.  I was lucky enough to have worked for a hospital that had a pension plan.

I’ve yearned to be a writer since I was 9 years old.  I’ve had quite a few ups-and-downs on my path to becoming published but, with the help of writing classes, writer mentors and dogged persistence, I published my first short story back in 2005.

Karen: Gifts from the Afterlife is your new release featured in the 2011 Christmas Anthology. Why don’t you tell us a little about your story. What inspired you to write it?

Sarah: Gifts From the Afterlife is about a young woman who is facing the Christmas season completely alone. Her flagging spirit and loneliness undermine her desire to celebrate anything, let alone Christmas.  But Lydia is about to have a life-altering encounter with an angel, a few ghosts and a childhood sweetheart.

Karen: Tell us about Lydia Sinclair. Why has Christmas lost its meaning to her?

Sarah: Lydia lost her father and sister in an auto accident years ago.  For most of her life, she has celebrated the holidays with her very loving mother.  After the recent death of her mother, Lydia faces her first Christmas alone.  The prospects of spending Christmas alone has depleted her of all joy.

Karen: You have an angel and ghosts featured in your story. Do you believe in angels? Ghosts? What fascinates you about these entities?

Sarah: Mostly, I’m a cynic.  I doubt many of the claims by people that they’ve seen ghosts or angels but I feel confident that they exist in our world.

I think I could live quite well without having an encounter with a ghost but the thought of witnessing the presence of one is very intriguing.  An angel is another matter altogether.  I would love to meet an angel, talk with the angel and learn something only an angel could tell me.   

Karen: You have an upcoming release, For the Love of Banjo, a sequel to Harmonica Joe’s Reluctant Bride. I loved this story and can’t wait for Banjo’s tale. Will you share a snippet with us?

Sarah: Deceit stands between Banjo Wilding’s love for Maggie O’Leary and his search for the father he never knew.


Banjo Wilding wears a borrowed name and bears the scars and reputation of a lurid past.  To earn the right to ask for Margaret O’Leary’s hand, he must find his father and make something of himself.

Margaret O’Leary has loved Banjo since she was ten years old but standing between her and Banjo is pride, Banjo’s mysterious father and the Great War.

Will either of them find happiness?     


          In one graceful movement, he dismounted the pinto then stepped to the porch where Maggie stood with unrestrained tears that flowed down her cheeks.  Banjo swept her into his arms and kissed her.  The kiss wasn’t his brotherly, friendly peck on the cheek.  He kissed her with a slow burning need and ran his tongue along the groove of her lips then slipped inside. 

          He tasted of coffee and mint.  Maggie reached up to weave her arms around his neck.  She stepped on her tiptoes to better reach him and taste him.  Her heart raced and heat rushed hungry waves of yearning into places in her body she never knew existed as she responded to his explorations with her own.  If only she could slip into his pocket and follow him wherever he went.  She wanted to become the marrow in his bones, to always be a part of him.

          Just when she thought he would take her to her room and make love to her as she had asked, the kiss ended.  Banjo bent his head his rough cheek rasped against hers.  The fragrance of him, a combination of horse, pine and crisp snow, caressed her senses.  He slipped his hand into her hair and gently rubbed the tender skin of her neck where her blood pulsed beneath his thumb.

          His mouth so close to her ear she felt the warm moisture of his breath as he spoke his last words.  She would never forget them, not as long as she lived.  Breathless from the kiss, he said, “Don’t forget me.  Write to me every day and I’ll write back.  You are the star in my sky and my compass home.  I’ll come back, if it’s the last thing I do, I will come back.  I swear it.”

Karen: What do you find most rewarding about writing?

Sarah: I love coming up with new story ideas.  I keep a writer’s journal with me everywhere I go and jot down things I see and hear (like a little voyeur, LOL) to use in stories later.  In this crazy world where nothing is certain, writing is the one thing where I say who lives, who dies and who falls in love with whom. 

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

Sarah: The newly revised edition of The Violin is about to be released by Rebecca Vickery Publishing.

I 'm working on the plot for the next Hazard story.  Robin Pierpont, an English immigrant from the book, For Love of Banjo, falls in love with one of Lola and Joe’s girls.

I also have a paranormal, The Light of Valmora, that I am presently submitting to publishers. I am working on another book in this series, Silent dancer, where a cursed violinist falls in love with a deaf woman.

Karen: What genre inspires your writing?

Sarah: Besides romance, I love stories with a bit of mystery woven into them.  I am particularly drawn to time travel and paranormal.

Karen: Tell the readers where they can find you:

Sarah: My website:

Sarah’s Provocative Ponderings:

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

Sarah: Readers are wonderful treasures.  I hope that my stories entertain, inspire and live in the hearts of readers who honor me by reading my stories.

Karen: Contest: All you need to do is answer this question: What is your favorite Christmas story? It could be a book, movie or TV show. One lucky commenter will be chosen on Friday, December 23rd to win a e-book copy of 2011 Christmas Collection. Good Luck!  

Sarah, thank you so much for sharing with us today. I wish your the best success. I can't wait to read your new releases.

Monday, December 12, 2011

What's on Your Virtual Bookshelf?

The winner of Markee Anderson's $10 Amazon Card giveaway is Desitheblonde. Congratulations!!

KAREN: The very talented Markee Anderson is here today with holiday gifts for everyone. Read on and find out about her virtual Christmas bookshelf. What's your reading pleasure?  
Let's give her a warm welcome. 
Ask her questions or leave her a comment for a chance to win a $10 Amazon Gift Card, too.
MARKEE: Have I got a deal for you! 
I have more than one pen name, but today, I’m coming to you as Markee Anderson (see all my pen names on 
I love to write books, and I think Christmas books are some of my favorites.  I noticed there are a lot of great Christmas books out there, but I couldn’t find just one place to peruse those books. 

 So, I started a virtual Christmas bookshelf at  It's a one-stop Christmas shop, and I encourage you to check it out!  It contains books of every genre and every heat level!
***  FOR ONE WEEK only, on this blog, I’m offering coupons for the following new Christmas books I recently published:
'A Dream to Share' by Markee Anderson: 
            Genre:  contemporary romance (fantasy…contains cupids)
            Coupon:  LH36A  good until 12/17/2011

'Can Natalie Come Out to Play?'  by Andie Alexander
            Genre:  murder mystery (paranormal…contains a friendly ghost)
            Coupon:  CF66G  good until 12/17/2011
'Finding a Heart of Peace' by Eryn Grace
            Genre:  Christian romance
(warning…I cry every time I read this thing, but it has a happy ending)
            Coupon: DX44V good until 12/17/2011
I hope you enjoy!  ***
Remember, ONE lucky commenter, I'm giving away a $10 Amazon gift card!
Merry Christmas!!!
Markee Anderson
Karen: Thank you so much for offering your wonderful books. I hope you have a Merry Christmas, too!

Monday, December 5, 2011


A lover of history and all things Texan, let's give Celia Yeary a warm welcome. She's here today tell us about her heartwarming new release, The Stars at Night, a new Romantic story to fall in love with.

KAREN : Why don’t you start by telling the readers a little about yourself. 

CELIA: Currently, I live in Central Texas with my husband of many years. I wouldn't live anywhere else, at least not right now. During my working years, I taught high school students biology in a private military boarding school. That was the best thing that happened to me, outside the love of my family. I began writing in 2004, so I've climbed a very steep hill to get where I am today. Life is good, life is fun, life is full of adventures, and I try to portray that in my stories.

KAREN: Tell us about your story, The Stars at Night. What is the story about? What inspired you to write it? How much research went into writing the tale?

CELIA: The Stars at Night is the first contemporary novel I wrote. When I submitted it to a publisher, the editor wrote back--with a rejection--that while the story was good, it read like a textbook. Well, I only wrote science research papers before, so that was no surprise. I kept it safe for three years but dragged it out to see what I'd learned.

It's about a young woman who works and lives a fast-paced lifestyle in New York City. She has a five-year-old motherless nephew who has a father and grandmother in Texas. It seems logical to take him there, and if all worked out, they could gain custody of the child. But nothing goes right--nothing is as Kate thought it would be--and her plan completely falls apart.

I have no idea how I thought of this story. I did no research to speak of, since I'm so familiar with Texas.

Oh, yes, I did have to learn how a rider started a motorcycle. Since my husband had one years before, he helped me write that part.  

KAREN:  Jesse McCoy is the hero of the story. What is he like? When he first meets the heroine, Kate Norwood, what is his first impression? What are Jesse’s strengths and weaknesses?

CELIA: Jesse is a "man's man," a big, strong guy, but he has a very soft heart--very caring, and hopes to do his best for those he loves. Kate impresses him from the very minute he pulls her over for speeding. She takes his breath away, even though her hair resembles Pebbles', pulled up to the top of her head and sprouting out. 

 KAREN: Tell us about Kate. What is her first impression when she meets Jesse? What are her weaknesses and strengths?

CELIA: When Jesse pulls her over for speeding, she thinks of the posters the Marines use, with a big handsome guy in a uniform, pointing, saying...We Want YOU For the Marines...or something like that. She's soon knocked off her feet by his gentleness and loving heart.

Kate, also, wants to do what's right, and she chastises herself for thinking she could bring Nicky to Texas and leave him. She immediately realizes she may have to give up her high-flying life in NY to care for the child.

KAREN: What do you find most rewarding about writing?

CELIA: The satisfying feeling I get by doing something completely different from anything else I've ever done in my life. I was not born a writer, but it was there, in my head and in my heart, and once I began to type, the words and stories poured out!

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

CELIA: I use Google like crazy. "The Handbook of Texas On-line" is one of the best resources I have. My bookshelf contains a few books that I've run across which are about writing--"No More Rejections" by Alice Orr, "Hooked "by Les Edgerton, and the simple Strunk and White "Elements of Style."

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

CELIA: A story set in 1919 in North Texas, just as WWI ends. It's a romance, but it's also about starting over when everything you had was destroyed.  

KAREN: Tell the readers where they can find you: 

 My blog: 

The group blog I co-moderate with Caroline Clemmons:

My Facebook page:

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

CELIA: Try new authors. I tend to stick with those I know I'll enjoy, but when I bought a Kindle, I went a little crazy and bought a lot of books. Most were by authors I'd never heard of, but some were by authors I'd met on-line and I decided to try some of their books. Trust me...there is talent galore out there! Stretch your wings and try someone new.

BLURB FOR The Stars at Night:

Kate Norwood from New York arrives in Texas with her young motherless nephew, Nicky. She quickly decides the plan to relocate him with his grandmother is a mistake. With the help of Nicky’s uncle, Jesse McCoy, she learns the boy’s father is dead. Her boyfriend interferes with his own agenda for Kate, using lies, deceptions, and cruelty.

Jesse McCoy falls for Kate Norwood the minute he stops her on the outskirts of Sendera, Texas for speeding. He soon learns they share a family connection and a common problem. His goals become finding the proper home for his nephew, saving Kate from a devious man, and loving her for the remainder of his life. But will she give up her New York lifestyle to live a simple life in Texas?


Jesse stood almost toe to toe with Riley, with his hands casually inside his jacket pockets once again. He rocked back a bit on his heels and looked down his nose at the smaller man without lowering his head. "Who's your visitor, Riley? Who's in your bed?"

"This is absurd! Criminal, in fact. I'm calling the police right this minute and you'd better back off now, or you'll be sorry. None of this is your business."

"None of what?"

Riley pointed his finger again. "If you're not out of here in two seconds, I'll… I'll…"

"Why so defensive, Sanders? What's so frightening about us being here?"

Kate had been watching and listening to the conversation, but suddenly, she turned on her heel and stalked to the bedroom door. Without slowing down, she turned the knob and stormed in, slamming the door back to the wall.

Jesse took a couple of steps in that direction to peek in the room. A naked woman lay in Riley's bed, not even trying to hide beneath the sheet. The curvy blond lay on her side in a seductive pose. She grinned at Kate, and then actually chuckled low in her throat.

Kate spun about, nearly knocking Jesse over, and stalked back to Riley with her fists clenched. When she got close enough to him, she spread her feet, pulled back one fist, and cracked him in the jaw. He stumbled, almost fell from the blow, and grabbed his face with both hands. He yelped like a hurt puppy dog. "You crazy bitch! Get out of here!"

Jesse threw his head back and laughed out loud. He noticed Kate bent forward at the waist. She held her hand with the other, and had both clamped between her legs. She grimaced and attempted to stem the tears spilling over.

"Ahhh, sweetheart, come here," crooned Jesse. "Let me see your poor little hand. Let me kiss it for you. Honey, why didn't you slap him instead of using your fist?" He made a big show of holding her and caressing the back of her head with one hand while holding and kissing the hurt hand. "I'm proud of you, sweetheart. Good for you."

"He's a beast, Jesse. I hate him."

Riley seated himself in a chair and rubbed his jaw. Lowering his chin, he said, "Okay, so what do you want?"


 THANK YOU-- Celia      
KAREN: You're welcome. I wish you the best success. 

Thursday, December 1, 2011

A Picture Is Worth A Thousand Words!

Yep, it's true. I see mysterious, eerie and tantalizing all in one. Rae Monet captured the essence of Magic of the Loch perfectly. 

What do you see?

Magic of the Loch is coming soon to The Wild Rose Press (Faerie Line)!

Michaela Grant travels to Scotland for a holiday, knowing this vacation is her last. A medical condition threatens her life and any chance of a future—until she meets Alan MacLachlin, a man forced to exist between two worlds.

Alan is the legendary Loch Ness Monster. Once every fifty years he returns to human form in search of his soul mate, the one woman who can break his curse. He believes he has found forever with Michaela, but to claim it he must figure out how to save her life.

Michaela and Alan vow to take what time has to offer, but another threat looms. A sinister shape shifter with a vendetta against Alan is making Loch Ness his personal hunting ground. Now he’s threatening Michaela. Alan must discover who the shifter is and stop him before it’s too late.