Posted in Books, Conference, For Writers, Guests, Talking with, Writing

Talking with Nancy Holland

Today I have my fellow Midwest Fiction Writer and contemporary romance author Nancy Holland on the blog. Rather than the usual questions, Nancy stopped by to share some of what she learned at the Romance Writers of America conference held earlier this month in beautiful San Diego. Take it away, Nancy

Three Things I Learned at RWA 2016

Thing One — Beverly Jenkins is the best!

I was able to go to two of the talks by romance legend Beverly Jenkins and both were amazing. She spoke at the Golden Network Retreat (GNR) on Wednesday about creating vibrant characters, and the first thing she said was that characters aren’t characters — they’re people. Light bulb! Then she went over a very helpful list of things that make your characters the people they are:  their inner and outer influences, their physical attributes, the things that symbolize their personalities (such as their homes or clothing), and their setting. She also had wise things to say about how plot is what lets your characters discover who they really are. Needless to say, she was also wildly inspiring in the bargain.

Beverly Jenkins also gave the keynote speech at the Thursday lunch, where she talked about the history of romance and specifically the role of African-American authors and stories in that history. Once again she was awesome and inspiring, especially for those of us who follow her on social media and know the challenges she’s faced lately. And the best part was everyone got a free book and cool Beverly Jenkins notepad!

Thing Two — Branding can be fun (no, really)

Damon Suede and Heidi Cullinan also spoke at the TGN Retreat (they did a workshop for the PAN retreat, but I had another obligation at that time). Damon and Heidi walked (well, more trotted) us through some fun exercises to help determine what our brand is and, amazingly, mine was pretty much what I already thought.  They also shared some great information about how to use your brand in promotions and marketing.  I strongly recommend checking out their website,

Courtney Milan and Alisha Rai did a workshop on how to identify the audience for your books, how to use that information in designing covers, etc., and how to connect with your audience on social media. The session was too short to cover everything they wanted to, but they gave a lot of helpful suggestions that dovetailed nicely with what Damon and Heidi had to say. Thanks to these workshops, I may just have this branding thing down. Sort of. Maybe.

Thing Three — Hanging out by the pool is totally part of the conference

Since the AC in the meeting rooms was set on “arctic,” I left one session early to sit out in the sun by the pool. On the way out the door I met an author with a charming British accent, and we fell to talking (as one does). She looked vaguely familiar, but it took a while before we exchanged names. Turns out she was Stella Cameron, one of my late mother’s favorite romantic suspense authors. We had a lovely chat about anything and everything (as one does), including her personalized recommendations of places to stay when my husband and I go to England next year.

The take-away? Always take time to make new friends at RWA — you might meet someone like Stella Cameron or, as two of my fellow Harper Impulse authors did, end up having lunch with the real-life Rita for whom the Rita Awards are named!


Found-OSBLola here, hopping in to add that Beverly Jenkins is amazing. She is a master of research and character and hope. Nancy learned some new promo tricks, but in her note above she was too humble to mention her latest book, Found: One Secret Baby which came out days before we left for the conference.

I make no guarantees regarding the cost and how long the discount will last, but I picked up my copy for the unbelievably low cost of $.49.

LA lawyer Rosalie Walker will do whatever it takes to protect her adopted son. She promised his mother before she died that she’d look after him and keep him safe from his paternal family. So when delectable Morgan Danby walks into her office in search of his nephew, she must keep the baby in her care a secret—even if one look from Morgan makes her want to share everything with him…

As a favour to his step-mother— the woman who actually raised him, unlike his real mother who abandoned him as a child—successful businessman, Morgan is searching for the son of his incarcerated step-brother. He can tell Rosalie is hiding something and the temptation to seduce her for her secret is strong, but will he be able to handle the consequences once all is revealed…?

Found: One Secret Baby is available at Amazon and Barnes&Noble 


Posted in Books, Guests, Spotlight on

Spotlight on Galen Rose

Today my spotlight shines on Galen Rose and her contemporary romance, A Place to Rest my Heart. For a limited time, you can pick up this delightful book for less than a dollar.

no crimson PTRMH imageSean Muldoon knows trouble when he sees it, and he sees it in Laney Murphy the minute she passes out in his arms. He thinks she’s a con artist, and she thinks he’s just like everyone else, arrogant and judgmental.

Much to Sean’s dismay his family is determined to help Laney and he just doesn’t understand why. That is until he gets to know her and realize under her tough exterior beats a heart of gold.


Want a sample before you buy? Read on for an excerpt from Galen Rose’s A Place to Rest my Heart.

“Move, Ace. You’re in my way.”

“Sweetheart, I haven’t even begun to be in your way.” He leaned against the doorway, arms crossed. “I will not allow you to hurt Tommy or Molly, so why don’t you pack up your schemes and dreams and hit the road. You won’t get a penny from them. I’ll see to that.”

I have never been known for having an even temper but I’ve worked hard to keep it under control, but not this time.

“Look, asshole, I don’t have a clue what you’re talking about. You’re delusional if you think I have any intention of taking a dime from Tommy that I haven’t earned. I pay my way!”

“Sure you do. I ran your fingerprints, darlin’, right off your juice glass from this morning. You’ve got a nice background there, Laney. Pandering? Breaking and entering? Those are great ways to pay your way, huh? You got a scam to bilk Tommy, but you might as well hit the road running, babe,” He smiled, acting quite pleased with himself. “Tommy and Molly all too often fall for the sob story and feel sorry for the strays that come along.”

I felt that to my core. Stray? Felt sorry for me? The last thing I needed was anyone’s pity.

But right at the moment the only thing I felt was the need to strike back at Sean. “Stray, huh? “Weren’t you a stray too? They feel sorry for you then? Take you in on pity?” I saw his jaw tighten and knew I’d scored.

“Leave now and I won’t tell them your plans to take them for a ride,” he growled.

“My plans? You’re so sure about my plans, huh? Wow, you sure are smart, Sean Michael Muldoon. You ran my fingerprints and so now you know my whole life story in one fell swoop? Look, you arrogant ass, you have no idea what my life has been like and a couple of knocks on a police sheet only tells you what your narrow-minded brain wants to hear. But for your parents’ sake, I’ll go and save you the trouble of making a fool out of yourself.”

I tossed the case of champagne at him. He let out a curse, as he lunged to catch the box and I shoved him hard when I went through the doorway. I heard him hit the shelves, rattling bottles and swearing a blue streak. I heard the case of champagne hit the floor with a thud and the sound of breaking glass.

I know I could have done worse and to this day I still have no idea why I didn’t kick him in the nuts, or flat out deck him. I should have done something other than leave. I wanted to do anything other than leave, but I couldn’t bear having to own up to some of the missteps I had made long ago.
A Place to Rest my Heart is available now at Amazon 

About the author: Galen Rose lives in the Santa Cruz Mountains and is an avid cook, gardener and traveler. Over the years, she has repaired bikes, been a telephone solicitor, a day care aide, managed the order department of a family law publishing firm and for nine years ran her own on-line Celtic jewelry and gifts store. Oh, and you can add in wife and stay-at-home-mom too. A Jill of many trades but not one true color for her parachute, until the day she really sat down to write and kept on writing and hasn’t stopped.


Posted in Guests, Reading, Talking with

Talking with Kathryn Kohorst

Today I’m talking with debut author (and fellow Midwest Fiction Writer) Kathryn Kohorst. Ever since Kathryn shared a chapter from Marianne and the Mad Baron during one of our monthly meetings, I’ve been eager to read more of this crazy-fun Steampunk adventure. And don’t you love the cover? To celebrate her release, Kathryn shared her answers to my tough questions. Read on!marianne cover art 4

What inspired you to write Marianne and the Mad Baron?

I’ve always loved adventure stories. This series started out as an idea for a female ship captain during the early eighteenth century. The idea to turn it into steampunk happened after rereading Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea by Jules Verne. I love Jules Verne and the sense of wonder that the Victorians had for their world and technology. I thought, how fun would it be to have the ship sail through space?  The story grew from there.

What types of books do you enjoy reading? What is on your nightstand?

Romance! I suppose that’s an obvious and rather boring answer but there are at least three books open throughout my house at any given time. I never know when the urge to read will strike me and I like to be prepared. I probably read two or three romances a week although I occasionally spice that up with something different. There really isn’t a genre that I won’t read.
Currently I have The Best Man by Kristin Higgins on my nightstand, Romancing Mister Bridgerton by Julia Quinn in my living room, and The Bride Wore Starlight by Liz Selvig in my office.  I love these books so much I can just open them to a random page, start reading and fall in love all over again. I do switch them out from time to time with other books from my keeper shelf but these are the current favorites.

How do you make time to write?

I get up at 4:30 in the morning. The house is quiet and I can focus for three hours before the husband wakes up and distracts me. I also find that by starting early it is easier to get words on the page. Most of the time if I don’t start writing early, I won’t write at all. I think it’s important as an author to learn what system works for you and I’m glad I figured out mine. Now if only I can figure out how to write engaging heroines from the get go without having to re-write them several times.

What is your favorite part of being an Author?

I love that I can explore the stories in my head. It’s rather busy up there and until I started writing it could get a bit hard to concentrate. Having an outlet for my imagination has been a godsend. I’m surprised I didn’t go crazy with all the voices talking in my head.

If a celebrity did the audio book reading, who would you pick and why?

I would choose Benedict Cumberbatch, because the man has a voice like melted chocolate. Rich and decadent, it always leaves you craving more.

Let’s play “Dump the purse” – What’s in yours?

Small wallet, phone, inhaler, lip balm, ibuprofen, and bookmarks. It’s kind of boring. I used to carry more but my shoulders were killing me so I downsized.

My kid’s built a time machine out of Legos.  When and where are we headed and why?

 This is a tough one for me.  I’m a bit of a history nut and there so many periods I’d love to visit.  Could you imagine being one of the first people to walk through the doors of the Crystal Palace at the Great Exhibition of 1851 in London, or being present for the opening of the Brooklyn Bridge?  We could go see the launch of Apollo 11 or the Wright brother’s historic first flight. I could go on and on and on. I’m not sure I’d ever be able to choose just one place or time.

You are the first person to pick the Crystal Palace and the Great Exhibition. That would be high on my list too. Dessert time! Give me your “either – or” answers.

  • Chocolate, fruit or other? Chocolate! Seriously, why is this even a question?
  • Warm or Cold? Both! Chocolate Lava cake with vanilla ice cream anyone?
  • Buttercream or fondant? Neither, they’re both too sweet.
  • Cookies or Brownies? See above about chocolate. Brownies are generally richer than Cookies and softer.
  • With nuts or without? If chocolate is involved, I really couldn’t care less. If I had to choose, then I’d take it without nuts. Nuts sometimes hurt my teeth.

marianne cover art 4 Marianne and the Mad Baron

Arthur Tavish, Baron Summerfield doesn’t look like a hero.  As he walks the crowded streets of Victorian London, his cyborg enhancements cause looks of fear, laughter, and perhaps worst of all, pity.  But Tavish no longer cares for the world below.  He’s found refuge as first mate aboard his beloved Aethership, Sheba.  Floating high above London society, among the hardened sailors of the Sheba, he can concentrate on his work and forget about his foolish dreams of love and family.

Marianne Lindstrom’s debutant life is over. Her father’s suicide following financial ruin has left her orphaned and destitute. She must find work but with no skills, her future looks bleak. Without protection from family and friends, her ruin is imminent.

On the cruel London streets, Marianne is rescued by a monster more frightening than the thugs who attacked her. But after her initial shock at the man’s huge stature and mechanical parts, something about the stranger calls to her.

Tavish can’t leave the woman. The London streets would eat her alive in less than a day.  He offers her a job aboard the Sheba. As Tavish teaches Marianne what life on an Aethership can offer, the two fall under each other’s spell.

But a dark force is after Marianne, set on killing her, or worse.

As they travel the Aether, collecting friends along the way, Tavish and Marianne must unravel the mystery of the demon chasing them and why it thinks Marianne must die.

 Buy Links:   Amazon  Kobo  

Kathryn Kohorst Bio:

Kathryn has always loved to read. Growing up she could most often be found curled up with a book. She craved adventure, romance, and mystery. Each book transported her to a new world with new wonders to explore. Unhappy with the weak female characters she found in many of the stories she read, Kathryn started writing her own. At twelve, she was putting her own heroines in danger and allowing them to save themselves.

She attended the University of Wisconsin-Madison earning a history degree and then a law degree from Hamline University School of Law.  After practicing law for several years and hating every minute of it she put down her law books and picked up her creative pen, this time to write a book she would publish. She’s been scribbling ever since. Kathryn currently lives in Minnesota with her husband, and a lovable but neurotic cat named Brooklyn.

Posted in Crimson Romance, Guests, Talking with

Talking with Becky Flade

I’m talking with the one and only Becky Flade today. She’s dropped by to share her latest Crimson Romance release, Fated Hearts.

Thank you so much for having me here today, Lola!

So, Becky, What types of books do you enjoy reading? What is on your nightstand?

I enjoy all kinds of books but right now I have Bethany-Kris’ mafia romance Deathless and Divided on my nightstand, along with a couple MC books by Debra Kayn and Sail by James Patterson.

If a celebrity did the audio book reading, who would you pick and why?

Hmmmm. Tina Fey. Yes, definitely Tina Fey. She has a wonderful, warm speaking voice. And I will do justice to the banter between the characters courtesy of the razor sharp wit for which she’s known.

Let’s play “Dump the purse” – what’s in yours?

My purse is a mad house. I have my wallet. Notices from my daughter’s school. A prescription I forgot to fill. Chapstick, keys, hair ties, six plastic rings, a lip gloss, 3 pill bottles, 2 pens, 1 pencil, a small notebook, an inhaler, a checkered hat, my eyeglass case, and a rosary. 

I always carry hair ties – usually three different types. You never know when you are going to need one, like say when you are out drinking and don’t want hair in your beer. Say we’re at a bar with your hero and heroine, what are they drinking?

Henley is having a martini – understated and sophisticated, classic. Carter is having a lager, preferably Yuengling, because he’s a cop from Philly and he keeps it real.

My kids built a time machine out of Legos.  When and where are we headed and why?

We’re going to medieval Ireland to look for fairies, explore castles and caves, and search out clues to the location of Arthur’s Avalon – I firmly believe Ireland is where the legendary place resides or resided – and if we’re very lucky find it! 

Dessert time!  Give me your “either—or” answers

  • Chocolate, fruit or other? Chocolate
  • Warm or cold? Cold
  • Buttercream or fondant? Buttercream
  • Cookies or brownies? Brownies
  • With nuts or without? No nuts

Thanks so much for playing. Now, tell me more about Fated Hearts.


Hearts.cvrPsychiatrist Henley Elliott fled her quiet life in Cleveland for a gypsy lifestyle, trying to stay one step ahead of her painful memories. When she breaks down in quirky little Trappers’ Cove, Minnesota, she meets Sheriff Carter McAlister – a man healing from his own share of hidden heartbreaks.

At the request of a friend, Carter offers Henley a job to help her get back on her feet . . . but soon he can’t resist trying to sweep the intriguing woman off them. Breaking through her carefully built shell proves to be a near-impossible task, and to make matters worse, a dangerous new presence in the Cove seems to be targeting Henley. They must learn to trust in each other in order to keep her safe.

Can Henley and Carter leave their secrets and scars in the past to get a second chance at happily ever after?

 Fated Hearts by Becky Flade

Crimson Romance | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iBooks | Google Play


About the Author: beckyflade

Home is where the heart is and I make mine with my very own knight in slightly tarnished armor in southeastern Pennsylvania. When I’m not busy living my own happily ever after, I’m writing about someone else’s.

Contact Details:


See Fated Hearts on Pinterest and on YouTube

 Enjoy the following excerpt from Fated Hearts: Hearts.cvr


“What are we doing, Carter?”

“Enjoying our evening.”

“You know what I mean.” She shifted her body and lifted her hand as if to touch his face. He tensed in anticipation. She skimmed her fingertips over his jaw, his cheek, featherlight touches that left a trail of fire across his skin. “I think I’m getting used to your touch. To … how you feel.”

“That’s a good thing.”

“Are you going to kiss me again?”

“Would you like me to?” He saw her nod this time and recognized the banked passion in her hooded gaze. He lowered his mouth to hers but pulled back before their lips met. “How much of what you’re feeling is you and how much me? I don’t want to influence you.”

“It’s both. And it astounds me.”

His muscles clenched with desire. He hadn’t intended to seduce her or himself tonight. He had only wanted her to become more comfortable with his company and his touch. They needed to build trust, and he’d wanted to lay that foundation. With a level of restraint he hadn’t thought he possessed he laid his forehead against hers.

“How about you kiss me, Doc?”

Now that you’ve read a sample, add Fated Hearts to your Goodreads to be read list

Posted in Decadent, Guests, heroes, Reading, Talking with

Talking with Jessica Subject

I’m heating up the blog with a visit from fellow Decadent Publishing author Jessica Subject.  I did a lot of reading before I wrote my forthcoming 1Night Stand and Jessica’s Beneath the Starry Sky was a standout. I loved how she blended  science fiction and real world concerns. When I learned Beneath the Starry Sky was becoming an audio book, I had to invite Jessica over.

audio Beneath the Starry Sky

  1. Let’s play “dump the purse.” What’s in yours?

LOL Do you really want to know? There is, of course, my wallet, keys, and sunglasses. I usually keep some pads in there, in case of emergency, whether my emergency, or a friend’s. One never knows. I also have mints from Boston Pizza, pads of paper, pens, old cards from flowers that my husband sent me, lip gloss, gum, old shopping lists, receipts, my author business cards, and a couple book postcards. Oh, I have my night driving glasses, a nail file kit, and a hair band.

  1. We’re out at a bar, what are your characters drinking?

Josh would have a beer, whatever is on tap. Tamara would have a Merlot. If wine is not available, she would have a Long Island.

  1. When you heard your characters come to life in someone else’s voice, what was it like?

Honestly, it was the strangest thing ever. Narrators (and readers alike) don’t always emphasis the same things I would. Names may be pronounced differently, and secondary characters might get a different personality than I’d intended. Luckily, by the time I had Beneath the Starry Sky produced as an audio book, I’d had three others produced, and knew what to expect. It’s definitely exciting by the time the final recording is ready.

  1. “Beneath the Starry Sky” is one crazy hot story, and funny to boot. You are one of my go-to authors, which got me thinking, who are some of yours?

Thank you so much, Lola! I get a kick every time  someone says that my stories are funny. I never intend them to be humorous, but it always seems to slip in somehow.

Hmm, I have a lot of go-to authors, and I’m always trying new authors as well. The first author who came to mind was D.L. Jackson. Kate Richards, Kacey Hammell, Kelley Armstrong, Beth Revis, Sharon Lynn Fisher, Andrew Fukuda, and Rick Yancey would be on the list, too.

Beneath the Starry Sky ~ An Audio Book!

A 1Night Stand story

By Jessica E. Subject

Narrated by Audrey Lusk

Erotic Contemporary Romance

Left at the altar with bald patches on her head and her self-confidence stripped away, Tamara Johnson must pick up the pieces of her life and face her Alopecia Areata, the autoimmune disease causing her hair to fall out. She is convinced no man will date a bald woman and arranges a one-night stand through Madame Evangeline’s popular service, 1Night Stand. With her new wig held firmly in place, Tamara arrives at the Castillo Hotel in Las Vegas for a night of passion and pleasure. Anything more than one night would mean exposing her bald head, and she will never do that to any man again.


Running into the Castillo Hotel, away from the paparazzi constantly at his heels, Josh Summers wants to spend his next few days locked away from the flashing lights and screaming fans. When he finds an incredibly sexy woman lying on his hotel room bed in nothing but lingerie, he thinks management has made a mistake. Leaving her behind, he heads for the lobby to get the situation rectified. But an unexpected text from Madame Evangeline sends him back to his room. Though unsure whether the woman on the bed is really his perfect match or just another fan believing him to be like his character on television, he knows he must find out, even if it means he must risk telling her his own secrets. If Tamara can handle his imperfections, she just might be his ideal woman.


audio Beneath the Starry SkyAudio book available from:

Audible | Amazon | iTunes


Get the Kindle version for only 99¢ at Amazon through October 9th!

Amazon US / UK


 To learn more about Alopecia Areata and to help find a cure, visit the National Alopecia Areata Foundation and the Canadian Alopecia Areata Foundation

 Listen to a sample from the audio book





About the Author

Jessica E. Subject is the author of science fiction romance, mostly alien romances, ranging from sweet to super hot. Sometimes she dabbles in paranormal and contemporary as well, bringing to life a wide variety of characters. In her stories, you could not only meet a sexy alien or two, but also clones and androids. You may be transported to a dystopian world where rebels are fighting to live and love, or to another planet for a romantic rendezvous.

When Jessica isn’t reading, writing, or doing dreaded housework, she likes to get out and walk with her giant, hairy dog her family adopted from the local animal shelter.

Jessica lives in Ontario, Canada with her husband and two energetic children. And she loves to hear from her readers. You can find her at and on twitter @jsubject.

Website/Blog | NewsletterTwitter | Facebook

Pinterest | Goodreads | Amazon | Authorgraph


Posted in Books, Guests, Talking with

Talking with Morgan O’Neill

After a long hiatus, the tough questions have been answered. The wonderful writing team of Morgan O’Neill joins me today to discuss their newest time-traveling tale, The Thornless Rose, so I present you with two answers for the price of one.

Welcome Deborah, welcome Cary. What inspired you to write The Thornless Rose?DeborahCordes&CaryFrates

Deborah- The Elizabethan Age straddled the old world and the new, an era where science, technology, and modern thinking were in their infancy, yet the foundations that would lead to the Enlightenment were well begun. In choosing this time, I wanted the challenge of accurately portraying the wonders, joys, and horrors that our time travelers, Anne Howard and Dr. Jonathan Brandon, would experience as they attempted to survive life in 1560 London.  It was a different, yet hauntingly familiar, world, and I hope I succeeded in giving our readers a sense of “what might have been.”

Cary- Queen Elizabeth I and the rest of the Tudors have kept me enthralled since earliest memories. Nobody has ever managed to find a pigeon hole that adequately describes Elizabeth Tudor, and I think it is because she had so many facets. She was a scholar, an athlete, a politician’s politician. She was driven, cunning, and knew how to use her feminine “wiles” to the detriment of her male-dominated world. She had an endlessly traumatic childhood, little true love, and throngs of hangers-on who would use her at a moment’s notice. She was her father’s daughter, but only knew his love when it suited him. How can we not be captivated?

I love alternate histories. The Thornless Rose sounds like a terrific book to curl up with on a cold winter night. Thinking of which, what types of books do you enjoy reading? What is on your nightstand?

Deborah- I am reading Neanderthal Man: In Search of Lost Genomes by Svante Pääbo.  It’s a fascinating memoir by one of science’s greatest paleo-geneticists. I’m about to have my DNA tested, and the test will reveal how much Neanderthal DNA I possess.  Amazing!

Cary- Making Magic by Donna June Cooper (It’s excellent, as are the other two in the Magic series) and The Oresteia by Aeschylus, translation by Robert Fagles.

I haven’t heard of any of those. Other than reading, I mean research time, what are your favorite parts about being an author?

Deborah- Working at home in my pajamas. 🙂

Cary- Bringing the characters to life. Since we deal with many real historical figures and their exploits, I consider this a great privilege.

If a celebrity did the audio book reading, who would you pick and why?

Deborah- For The Thornless Rose, I would like a woman who has a sophisticated voice. Helen Mirren or Judy Dench would be fabulous.

Cary- Hmmm, male, to be sure. I don’t know, but he’d need a low-pitched, rumbly sort of voice, because those are yummy. That’s what our hero, Dr. Brandon, sounds like.

If your hero or heroine were babysitting my kids (age 6 & 10) what would the night be like?

Deborah- I would want our Scottish housekeeper, Trudy MacCunn Leach, to babysit. She’s a real character (pun intended, he, he), who would bring Duffy, a Cairn terrier who adores children.  The two of them would entertain the wee ones for hours and hours.  🙂

Cary- Wellllll, I think they’d be on very solid ground. Elizabeth has stories to tell that could raise the hairs on anyone’s neck, but she has the wisdom to tailor her words to her audience. And she loves kids!

The kids will have a great time. What if we were at a bar with your hero and heroine, what would they drink?

Deborah and Cary- Anne Howard likes the occasional shandy (a mix of beer and lemonade), while Jonathan drinks Guinness or Elizabethan dark beer called double-double.

I approve of Jonathan already. My kids built a time machine out of Legos.  When and where are we headed and why?

Deborah- I would encourage them to avoid taking any trips – just read about it. The idea of actual time travel is frightening, when one considers the consequences of interfering with the past. I know I’m over thinking here, but I can’t let go of the old conundrums, such as “what if I killed my grandfather before my parent was conceived?”  Just. Read. About. It.  lol

Cary- Why, Elizabethan England, of course! The language is familiar-ish, the clothing (we’ll land wealthy) is to die for, and the entertainment (Royals watching) is without equal – bar none.

I love how you each bring something different to the table. Thinking of which, dessert time! Give me your either/ors.

  • Chocolate, fruit or other?

Deborah- Chocolate (another reason I wouldn’t time travel – I’ve gotta have my Lindor truffles or Reeses peanut butter cups). lol

Cary- Fruit

  • Warm or cold?

Deborah- Warm      Cary- Warm

  • Buttercream or fondant?

Deborah- Buttercream        Cary- Fondant

  • Cookies or brownies?

Deborah- Brownies           Cary- Brownies! (moist, not cakey)

  • With nuts or without?

Deborah- Nuts, especially a Hershey’s bar with almonds!    Cary- Without (unless it’s a character trait, then nutty all the way)

Before you ladies run off, care to share anything more about The Thornless Rose?

THE THORNLESS ROSE 1600x2400No one ever knew what really happened to Dr. Jonathan Brandon back in 1945. He simply disappeared from a London pub, leaving behind an unsolved mystery and his fiancée—Anne Howard’s grandmother. Seventy years later, Anne herself is haunted by the strange tale, along with inexplicable hallucinations straight out of Elizabethan England. Including a scarred, handsome man whose deep blue eyes seem to touch her very soul…


Anne wonders if there isn’t something more to the story. Is it even possible that Jonathan disappeared into England’s dark past? And why does Anne keep hearing him whisper her name? Because now she too feels the inexorable pull of the past, not to mention an undeniable attraction for a man she doesn’t even know.


It’s just a matter of time before Anne will step back into history, and face a destiny―and a love―beyond imagining…

The Thornless Rose by Morgan O’Neill is available now

Amazon –

iTunes –

Kobo –

B&N –

A chance meeting at a writers’ conference brought Cary Morgan Frates and Deborah O’Neill Cordes together, two award-winning authors who connected because of a mutual love of time travel fiction. Collaboration ensued, the search for a pen name the first step in their working relationship. Their maiden names provided the solution – and “Morgan O’Neill” was born.  Cary and Deborah’s backgrounds are uniquely suited to writing stories steeped in atmosphere and history: Deborah has a Master’s Degree in history and is a dedicated genealogist; Cary is a talented linguist in French and is currently a student of Latin. They’ve traveled to Europe’s ancient and medieval sites many times, with Cary living on the Continent for five years.  The Morgan O’Neill time travel novels have received a number of literary awards, including two finalist wins in the Booksellers’ Best Awards, two semifinalist wins in the William Faulkner-William Wisdom Creative Writing Competition, first, second, and third place wins for the Mainstream Novel with Strong Romantic Elements category of the Golden Rose Contest, a top ten finalist award in the Pacific Northwest Writers’ Conference Zola Awards Literary Contest, and a top ten finalist win in the Orange Rose Contest.

Author Links:

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Posted in Books, Guests, Spotlight on

Spotlight on Nancy Weeks

My spotlight today shines on Nancy Weeks, author of the terrific “In the Shadow” suspense series.

Lola, I’m so thrilled to be back on your blog for the release of In the Shadow of Vengeance. To be perfectly honest, this release is bitter sweet. Today, the last McNeil brother, my hard-headed, sexy-as-heck detective Noah McNeil’s story will hit the stores and I’m going to have to find a way to let this series go.  No!  At least we have one last book to enjoy . Tell us more about the series.


All five books, In the Shadow of Greed, In the Shadow of Evil, In the Shadow of Malice, In the Shadow of Pride, and In the Shadow of Vengeance shared a similar premise. As law enforcement officers, the five brothers’ lives constantly intersect with the worst that mankind has to offer. While each brother feels his world is too dangerous to share with that one special woman, fate butts in and gives an extra hard push. But falling in love for any one of the McNeil brothers isn’t your typical fall-in-love. It changes their understanding of the world and there is no turning back.

In the Shadow of Vengeance 9781440580352

In the Shadow of Vengeance spouted from a common, but powerful adage: love conquers all. In the real world, our lives are constantly shadowed by adversity. It’s the people that love us that help us through difficult times. I saved Noah’s story for the last book because I knew the villain I planned to stand in the way of his happiness with his heroine, Elizabeth Merlot wasn’t going to be easy to take down. It’s going to take all five McNeil brothers working together to help Noah and Elizabeth come together.


I’m often asked whether the In the Shadow series need to be read in order. I created each book as a stand-alone novel. They don’t have to be read in order. With that said, I think readers will have a much richer understanding of In the Shadow of Vengeance if they read In the Shadow of Evil first — where the series began. And wonderful news!! In the Shadow of Evil has been placed on sale for only 99 cents from 12/22 to 12/29!!


For a peek at the first four books in the In the Shadow series, your readers can visit my WEBSITE, click on the BOOK PREVIEWS icon and enjoy the first three chapters of each book free.


Here is a brief blurb of In the Shadow of Vengeance.

Detective Noah McNeil has his cases under control, but the same can’t be said for his personal life in Fells Point, Maryland. Elizabeth Merlot, the mother of a troubled teen Noah is mentoring, is freezing him out of the family’s lives – especially criminal given how hot this single mom is.

Elizabeth Merlot can’t afford to let the handsome detective close to her son lest he discover she’s in the witness protection program. Until the day, that is, when the teen tries to fend off a gang attack and her entire world of secrets begins to crumble – and Noah may be the only one who can save their lives. Don’t miss this exciting conclusion to the McNeil family saga!


Excerpt of In the Shadow of Vengeance. Enjoy!


“What other man hurt you?”

This time Elizabeth was the one who stepped back. Shit. Of course Noah would pick up on that. Her life was a lie, and she hated how it turned her into a quick-thinking liar.

“There isn’t another man. I don’t know what Danny is talking about. Unless it’s Mendoza—”

“Elías Mendoza will die in the hole we put him in.” Noah’s voice went deep as every muscle in his body tensed.

Elizabeth swallowed. Everything about the man’s demeanor changed in that instant. And her instincts might have been defective when it came to relationships, but they were spot on in other areas. Detective Noah McNeil could be charming; fun-loving, even; but underneath all that charisma was a dangerous man. She needed to remember this moment.

She walked toward the door, almost surprised her knees didn’t tremble out from under her, and pulled it open. “I’ll get you that name.”

Noah moved into the small foyer, clutching the paper bag. His dark blue irises bored into hers with a mixture of irritation, confusion, and something she almost didn’t recognize: desire.

He took a step into her personal space. She held herself perfectly still. When he finally spoke, his deep baritone voice oozed sex and a slight hint of malice.

“I get you don’t like me. I can even understand why you don’t want any McNeil near Danny.”

“I don’t blame you for what happened to Danny.”

He slowly moved his hand up to her face and brushed a strand of hair back behind her ear. The simple touch sent an electric jolt through her, but she held her stance. Damn. She needed to stop staring at his mouth and wondering what those full lips felt like—tasted like.

“Yeah, you do. Don’t lie to me, Elizabeth. I don’t deserve that.”

“I’m not lying—”

Noah’s fingers pressed gently over her lips. “My superpower is I’m a human lie detector. I don’t care if you don’t like me or trust me. Don’t lie to me.”

She knocked his hand from her face. She had to pin her arms to her side to keep from shoving the damn stubborn man down her steps. “You’re right. I don’t trust you and I don’t want you near my son. And that has nothing to do with what happened. I just don’t like you.”

Noah let out a forced laugh and then reached for his wallet. Pulling out a card, he pressed it in her hand. “That was honest, and for the record, the feeling is mutual. But I do like your kids.”

He eased past her. On the first step, he turned and placed his hand flat on the door, keeping it from closing. “This isn’t going away. If you don’t want my help, then reach out to someone.”

“I don’t need—”

“It’s not a dream, Elizabeth. It’s a warning. Listen to Danny.”

Buy links:


Nancy C Weeks profile pictureFind Nancy at:



Thank you again for hosting me today, Lola. If your readers have any questions about my books or anything about me, please don’t be shy. Interacting with readers is as fun and writing.

I hope everyone has a holiday season filled with love and laughter.

((Hugs to all!))

Nancy C. Weeks

I hope Nancy gets cracking on a new series soon. Nancy, my virtual door is always open for you.

Posted in Giveaway, Guests, Talking with

Talking with: Heather Thurmeier

Today I’m talking with Heather Thurmeier. Her newest contemporary romance, The Wedding Hoax sounds like a lot of fun. HeatherTWH_500

What types of books do you enjoy reading? What is on your nightstand?

-I have sort of eclectic reading taste. Of course, I love to read romances (paranormal, NA, and contemporary), but I also love dystopian and adventure. Give me a treasure hunt or a horde of zombies and I’m set for the night!

You are amazingly prolific. How do you make time to write?

– I write when the kids are at school. As soon as the bus drives away, my office hours start. I try to get as much done then as I can. Sometimes I will have to work when they’re home, but I try not to. I will bring my work to after school activities is necessary so I can watch dance class and answer interview questions at the same time. (cough) Once in a while I will work at night after bedtime, but usually by then, I’m so darn tired, I can’t think straight! I know that feeling!

What is your favorite part about being an author?

-The freedom! I love the freedom of being able to write on my own schedule. No one tells me when I have to get my work done. I might have a deadline, but I still choose when I sit down and get the work done. It allows me to still be the stay at home mom I want to be, to run to the school on a whim when the kids fall in a mud puddle and need new clothes. (That happens more often than you might expect!)

-The other thing I love about being a writer is getting to live in new worlds all the time. I love getting into a new world of characters and having them in my head while I write their story! It’s so fun to research new places and imagine experiences I’ve never been through in my real life.

If a celebrity did the audio book reading, who would you pick and why?

-Oh, mmmm… I can’t even answer this question without smiling. If you know me in real life, it’s no secret that I have always loved Bruce Willis. It doesn’t matter that there’s a huge age difference. That man is sexy… his lopsided smile, those eyes, and that voice. *happy sigh* He’d definitely be one of my top choices to read The Wedding Hoax. I could totally listen to his voice for hours.

Nice pick. Before we find him and ask if he’ll do the audio, let’s play “Dump the purse” – what’s in yours?

-Oh God. This could be a dangerous game for some people! LOL. But for me, it’s pretty tame. There’s the basics: wallet, sunglasses, tissues, tic tacs, pens and keys. Then there’s the few extras for writing that go everywhere with me: ear buds, business cards, and my idea book. It goes everywhere with me since you never know when inspiration might strike.

Let’s take it to a bar with your hero and heroine, what are they drinking?

– Not surprisingly, they enjoy my favorite drinks. Cole would be drinking a Rye and Coke. For those of you who don’t know, Rye is Canadian whiskey. It would be Crown Royal, to be exact. But in the book, it’s rum because the editor felt that was more commonplace. Daisy would be sipping a strawberry margarita. Delish!

My kids built a time machine out of Legos. When and where are we headed and why?

-We’d be off to the future! We already know what happens in the past, so I see no reason to spend time there. But the future is a mystery and I’d love to know what it was like. But since I don’t have a time machine, I guess I’ll have to become a vampire so I can live forever and see the future in person. And becoming a vampire is probably less painful than a Lego time machine.

Dessert time! Give me your “either—or” answers

  • Chocolate, fruit or other? CHOCOLATE! Is there any other answer?
  • Warm or cold? Cold. It’s easier to warm up than it is to cool off.
  • Buttercream or fondant? Buttercream. Fondant is strange.
  • Cookies or brownies? Brownies. Yum.
  • With nuts or without? Probably without.

Heather, what is The Marriage Hoax about?

A satisfying category romance from Entangled’s Lovestruck imprint…

HeatherTWH_500To save their companies, they’ll plan the fake wedding of the century…

Meet the bride…

Daisy Willows is a wedding dress designer who longs for her own happily-ever-after. In the meantime, she’s struggling to keep her business going even as she covers her mom’s increasing medical expenses. So when a bridal show expo owner offers to help her out, she can hardly say no. And all it takes is Daisy pretending she’s back with her playboy ex. And that they’re engaged…

Meet the groom…

Cole Benton works for his father’s bridal magazine, which is on the verge of downsizing. All he really wants is a crack at an outdoor lifestyle magazine, and if he has to fake-marry Daisy to make it happen, he’s definitely in. Now Daisy and Cole are playing up their fake engagement, shopping for rings, and even kissing upon request. All of which is makes it a whole lot harder to remember that their big white wedding is a big white lie…

Buy Links:





That’s a beautiful bracelet, by the way. Thank you, but it’s not mine. It’s a give away inspired by my heroine Daisy!

Daisy bracelet   Fab! Here’s the Rafflecopter link. The giveaway runs through October 20th.

You can find Heather online at








Posted in Books, Giveaway, Guests, Talking with

Talking with Terri Herman Ponce

Today I’m talking with Terri Herman-Poncé about the rerelease of her novel In This Life.

IN THIS LIFEIn This Life is one of those hard to categorize books but one worth seeking out. Check out that evocative cover and did you notice the tag line? I’m a sucker for a good series. This one promises a love triangle and past lives in Ancient Egypt. Be sure to comment for a chance to start The Past Life Series with your own copy of In This Life.

Terri, what types of books do you enjoy reading? What is on your nightstand?

I have an eclectic mix of books I love to read, but I gotta tell you that fiction absolutely, positively has to grab me by the throat. I’m a HUGE fan of Robert Crais and Harlan Coben (to me, they’re masters and my biggest influences). In fact, I’m such a fan of Crais that I’ve reread all his books 3 or 4 times! Now, have any of you read Gone Girl? Well, that book is up there as one of the most amazing stories ever written. That story Grabbed me, with a capital ‘G’. But right now, on my nightstand? Hmm…Missing You by Harlan Coben. Peace of Mind by Thich Nhat Hanh. The Mediterranean Prescription by Angelo Acquista, M.D. Howzat for eclectic?

I Loved Gone Girl. I suspect neither one of us has a purse as interesting as Amy Dunne’s but let’s play “Dump the purse” – what’s in yours?

Hmmm. Well, now that I’ve made a mess on my desk, I guess I should share it. Lip gloss. Hand sanitizer. Wallet. Keys. My monthly train ticket and MetroCard for the subway. Oh…my iPhone! And last but not least, the backup flash drive with all my novels and works in process, book covers, book photos, and pictures for character inspiration on it – some of which are, um, racy. *cheeky grin*

Oh dear. You’ve made me blush. Let’s move to something more… wholesome. If your hero or heroine were babysitting my kids (age 6 & 10) what would the night be like?

If David were babysitting your kids? He’s an ex-Marine turned professional soldier so he’d have the nerf guns out. If one of them got out of line? He’d probably tower over them, deepen his voice, and reprimand them for disrespect. Then he’d drop down to eye level and ask if they were ready to get back into the game.

 David’s hired! Which is good, I could use I night at a bar with your hero and heroine. What are they drinking?

Ha! They’ve recently been turned onto sipping tequila. And David Bellotti’s favorite is Herradura Suprema. And Lottie would be right there drinking it with him, sip for sip.

Impressive. Thinking of which, my kids built a time machine out of Legos.  When and where are we headed and why?

Ancient Egypt! I know I have a romanticized view of these amazing, beautiful people, but their concept of the afterlife intrigues me. The beauty of their texts and hieroglyphs. Their fascination with the cosmos (which I also share). The breathtaking pyramids…the mystery behind how they were built. Then there’s Nabta Playa, which has religious ties to ancient Egypt and is one of the world’s earliest known astronomical devices. It also predates Stonehenge by millennia, with astronomical monolithic structures and everything. How cool is that?

I know nothing about Nabta Playa. I’ll have to research but after dessert time!  Give me your “either—or” answers

Chocolate, fruit or other? – Chocolate. DARK!

Warm or cold? – Warm cake or pie on the bottom, AND cold ice cream on top. Yummm.

Buttercream or fondant? – Buttercream because I can lick the spoon.

Cookies or brownies? – Brownies! omg…BROWNIES!!!

With nuts or without? – Without, thankyouverymuch.

Excellent choices! Thanks so much for stopping by.

Thank you for having me here! I had a great time answering your questions and hope it was enjoyable for your visitors. And in honor of my re-release, I’m happy to gift a free copy of In This Life to one commenter. So come on…get in on the fun!IN THIS LIFE


In This Life Blurb:

Hidden memories. Buried secrets. Resurrected revenge.

Psychologist Lottie Morgan knows something is wrong when she relives memories of a lover she’s never had. At first she attributes them to fever-induced dreams. But when the fever disappears and the visions don’t, Lottie realizes something else is going on.

Then she meets Galen. Their first encounter is as intense as it is eye-opening, and his revelation that they shared a passionate relationship thousands of years ago in ancient Egypt entices Lottie into wanting to learn more about her past. Her decision, however, comes at a price. Galen may hold the answers but he could destroy the devoted, lifelong relationship Lottie has with her current lover, David.

It also could mean her death—again.

Someone is protecting millennia-old secrets, determined to keep them buried while exacting a revenge on Lottie for a mistake made a very long time ago.  A mistake she could be destined to repeat.

Take a trip to mysterious ancient Egypt, where Lottie becomes caught between two lifetimes, two men, and long-buried deceptions. Hank Phillippi Ryan, Agatha, Anthony and Macavity-winning author, calls this paranormal suspense about reincarnation and finding your soul mate “Inventive, original and thought-provoking; this mystically romantic mystery will instantly intrigue.”

 More about Terri Herman-Poncé

Terri looks for any opportunity to make stuff up, and thinks anything that can’t so easily be explained is worth an extra look and often makes a great story. She loves red wine, scotch, sunrises, Ancient Egypt, the beach—and a host of other stuff that would take too much real estate to talk about. The youngest of five children, Terri lives with her husband and son on Long Island. And, in her next life, if she hasn’t moved on to somewhere else, she wants to be an astronomer. Terri’s fascinated with the night skies almost as much as she’s fascinated with ancient Egypt.

Terri’s a member of member of Sisters in Crime and Mystery Writers of America, and you can read about her at You can also find her on Facebook and Twitter. Come visit—she’d love to hear from you!

Be sure to comment for your chance to win.  Please include your email in a name at place dot com type format.  Can’t wait to read In This Life? You can get it now


Posted in Decadent, Food, Guests, On Writing, Talking with

Talking with Jane Ainslie

Today I’m welcoming fellow Decadent author Jane Ainslie. In a show of hospitality, I didn’t insist she come visit me in the frozen Tundra.  Sadly, I couldn’t shovel the snow off the car and hop a flight to heat of Australia, so we’re meeting in the always climatically comfortable realm of cyberspace.

Her Sister's Wedding SmallJane Ainslie is a fellow foodie and author.  With a delicious new romance, Her Sister’s Wedding, I had to find out more.

What inspired you to write Her Sister’s Wedding?

My love of food, watching celebrity chefs on television, and wondering what it would be like to date a man who could really cook, when you are a gal who loves food?

Sounds like a dream come true! Tell me about your favorite place to write.  What makes it special?

I have a lovely room in our house where I write. I’m surrounded by all my favorite things, and my husband knows he’s not allowed to set foot in to my space (he has his own messy man cave). It’s really important to carve out a place for yourself to write.

 I agree. But I suffer invaders in my office. How do you make time to write?

Making time to write means putting yourself before the housework, the pets, the shopping, your family, babysitting, the garden, your work schedule and even your husband. It’s a hard balance, but I grab the hours in between all that to do what I can. I often feel guilty. I guess if I were making mega dollars from writing, I would feel like it was my job, but because I am starting out, I’ve realized you need to take that leap of faith in yourself, commit the time to your dream, and go for it.

Our weather may be at opposite ends of the temperature spectrum, but mentally we’re in the same space. What is your favorite part about being an author?

Using my imagination to wander off down the laneways of Paris, dreaming about romantic stories and happy endings, and using everyday situations for inspiration for that next book.

Let’s play “Dump the purse” – what’s in yours?

Probably one of my pet ferrets, trying to find a treasure. I’m missing my favourite change purse at the moment and I know they have hidden it somewhere in the house, because I forget to zip up my bag the other day. If they managed to get into my purse, then they ferret around, and I’m likely to find my keys, lip gloss, tissue packet etc. missing.

What mischief makers! We’re at a bar with your hero and heroine, what are they drinking?

Mandy and Jake are drinking gin martinis, because that’s my favorite drink so I wrote it as their drink in ‘Her Sister’s Wedding’. It’s not too sweet, so you can take your time. It’s a pure drink – there is only one additive to the gin – it’s old school, which I find romantic.

 I can picture them now. Dessert time!  Give me your “either—or” answers

•    Chocolate, fruit or other? Oh God, NEVER fruit. I can’t stand it. My idea of hell is a health retreat where you detox on fruit. Chocolate only.

•    Warm or cold? Warm, sticky date pudding with toffee sauce (yes, I know dates are a fruit but that’s the only exception…)

•    Buttercream or fondant? Being an Aussie, I don’t know what this means! I’m assuming it means creamy icing or hard icing. Creamy icing. Icing you whip up yourself in a bowl with plenty of butter, so you can lick that knife after you’ve iced the cake.

Be happy you don’t know fondant and yes, always real butter.

•    Cookies or brownies? We call cookies biscuits in Australia, and brownies here are squishy chocolate kind of cake things. Yum. Brownies.

•    With nuts or without? Pile those nuts on top of the chocolate cream, on top of the ice cream, on top of the sticky date pudding. You are talking to a foodie romance author!

Oh yum.  I can’t wait to share a meal in person. Until then, I’ll have to settle for your mouthwatering book.  Jane, tell me more about Her Sister’s Wedding.

What happens when you meet the right person at the wrong time?

 Melbourne-based food journalist Mandy Evans has Paris firmly in her sights. She’s got a chance at her life-long dream of studying art in the City of Love, but not before she has to be a ring-in bridesmaid at her sister’s wedding.

 After setting up his latest restaurant in Melbourne, renowned American chef Jake Pearson is leaving for his next project in Miami. He’s the hottest ticket in anyone’s town, with a burning ambition to conquer the world, but not before he’s best man at his friend’s wedding.

 When Mandy and Jake meet, the attraction is instant. He loves her sassy, natural style, and her appetite for great food. She thinks he’s the best thing since sliced bread, or even martinis. Fate gives them a chance at love when they are partners at the same wedding, but can either of them compromise their ambitions to let love grow?

This is going on my To Be Read shelf right away.

You can get a copy of Her Sister’s Wedding at Amazon or through Decadent.

Author Jane Ainslie adores martinis, is a keen but hopeless gardener, and an avid reader of cookbooks. She currently resides in Adelaide, Australia, with her beloved husband and her four unruly pet ferrets.

Her blog can be found at and she can be found on Facebook at Jane Ainslie Books.

Thanks for visiting.  Her Sister's Wedding Small