Monday, February 27, 2017

Secondary Monday with Kate Hill

Paranormal romance writer Kate Hill is here today to talk about Secondary Characters. Her Fangs and Fists series features several characters who were once secondary characters in other books. Please welcome Kate Hill!

First Impressions of Secondary Characters

Secondary characters, especially in series books, are often as important as the main characters in a story. Many times characters who are stars of their own book are introduced in a previous story in the series. They need to make a good impression, not only because they add to the richness of the story, but because they should create enthusiasm for future stories.

Sometimes you know which secondary characters will have their own book, other times they take even the author by surprise. In my new series, Fangs and Fists, I knew that three particular secondary characters were the heroes and a heroine of the next two books in the series. Their stories had already been planned and I knew them as well as the hero and heroine in Fangs and Fists 1: Bolt. While writing the first draft of the story, several other secondary characters became, at least in my mind, potential main characters for more books. Since writing Bolt, I now have two additional stories plotted with the potential for more. The world of Fangs and Fists has been a lot of fun to explore, and I hope it will continue throughout 2017.

Since everyone responds to characters differently, good secondary characters might also connect with readers in a way the author doesn’t expect. When readers express interest in a certain secondary character, it’s usually a great opportunity for authors to examine their work in a way they might not have considered. Your next hero might be a character that you almost overlooked.

Secondary characters are often more than just tools to enhance the main characters. They have the power to expand fictional worlds in ways that might amaze both readers and authors.

Author Bio:

Always a fan of romance and the paranormal, Kate Hill started writing over twenty years ago for pleasure. Her first story, a short erotic vampire tale, was accepted for publication in 1996. Since then she has sold over one hundred short stories, novellas and novels.

When she's not working on her books, Kate enjoys reading, working out, spending time with her family and pets and running the Compelling Beasts Blog, dedicated to antagonists, antiheroes and paranormal creatures. She also writes under the name Saloni Quinby.

Fangs and Fists 1: Bolt
by Kate Hill
An erotic paranormal romance from Changeling Press.


Kiara remembers what life was like living free–before she was taken by demons and bred to gladiators so that the new generations of wolves would retain their ferocity but forget their freedom. Mated to top gladiator Grit, she has a son with this surprisingly gentle lover who is also planning their escape. When Grit is killed in the arena, his close friend Bolt upholds his promise to protect Kiara and the cub.

Bolt and Kiara have loved each other from the moment they met, but they buried their feelings because she was mated to his best friend. When Grit dies, despite their guilt, Bolt and Kiara surrender to their desire for each other. Will their love be strong enough to help them win freedom from their evil masters?


Bolt came to her again that night.

As before, the guards opened the door abruptly.

Kiara had been pacing the cell while Jett slept soundly in the adjoining room. She turned toward the door, her heart pounding with anticipation.

Wearing only his loincloth, Bolt entered behind the first guard. His blue gaze flew to Kiara. The guards said nothing, but left them alone, closing the door behind them.

"Bolt," Kiara said, meeting him halfway across the room.

They embraced tightly and he covered her face with gentle kisses.

"I had a strange conversation today," she whispered in his ear, hoping that if the masters were listening, they wouldn't be able to hear her. "A huntress said we should be ready tonight."

"Yes. Her name is Zari. She's been planning this escape with us for months. Me, Grit and a couple of others. Victor is fighting again tonight. His opponent is one of ours, a wolf named Glacier. Since killing Grit, Victor's next fight has been greatly anticipated. From what I've heard, most of the demons in the tower will be watching."

"You really trust her? This Zari woman?"

Author Links:

Friday, February 24, 2017

#AuthorInterview with Donna Simonetta

Fellow Wild Rose Press author Donna Simonetta is my interview guest today. Donna has just released a brand new contemporary romance called A SWEETER SPOT. Donna says her characters bear a lot of similarities to her and her husband. Well, like they say, write what you know! Please welcome Donna Simonetta!

How many books do you have under the proverbial bed? Will they ever see the light of day?

I have the first two books of a projected trilogy stashed away. They were the first two novels I wrote, and as such, have a lot of beginners’ mistakes. It was fantasy romance series, where the heroine was half-witch and half-Fae, and the hero was a Weretiger. I adore this series, and hope it sees the light of day sometime. I always intend to go back and polish it up, so I can try to sell it, but demands on my time, especially now that I’ve been published, never seem to allow it.

Where did you get the idea for your new novel?

A Sweeter Spot is the first contemporary romance novel I wrote that has no fantasy elements to it, so I wanted to write something I felt comfortable with, since I was uncomfortable without having the help of angels, shapeshifters, or fairies! You always hear people saying to ‘write what you know’, and that was my kicking off point for A Sweeter Spot. While we are unfortunately NOT the grandchildren of a billionaire and a former NFL player, my husband and I do share some similarities to Magda and Jeff. Like Magda, I am a librarian from Connecticut. And my husband is a native Virginian; therefore, a true gentleman to his core, as is Jeff. When I first went to visit his family in Virginia, I remember some funny culture clash incidents and thought they might be the kernel of a contemporary romance. 

What was the most difficult thing about writing this book?

See the answer above! Having Jeff and Magda share some character traits with my real-life husband and me, makes me feel vulnerable now that people are about to read it! What if a reviewer hates them? Usually I can take constructive criticism pretty well, but if someone disses my honey? I’m not so sure. 

Do you work on more than one book at a time?

Since The Wild Rose Press published Angels Fly last summer, I’ve had to. Write now, I’m working on the third book in the Rivers Bend trilogy. A Sweeter Spot is the first, and I’m waiting to hear back from TWRP about Book 2.  When I do, then I will begin edits on it. I’m also working on a ghost story that I’m really excited about! Obligations for contracted novels have forced me to put it on the back burner, but it’s been on my mind lately, and I’m antsy to get back to work on it.

Do you have any words of advice to beginning writers?

Writing is a personal endeavor, and every writer goes about it their own way. For me, I let the first draft flow. I don’t like to interrupt the initial creative process with worry over grammar or word choice, I save that for the second draft. And once you begin to put your work out there to sell it, you need to develop a thick skin. You can’t take criticism personally. If it’s constructive, and in my experience the vast majority of criticism is, then try to learn from it and move on with your work. When I first began querying agents with the fantasy trilogy I told you about earlier, I got my first rejection within half an hour of sending my email. Half a freaking hour! I got a little teary-eyed, and then picked another agent and sent it out again. 

Tell us a bit about you. Where do you live, and how long have you been writing?

I live in Maryland now, although I’m originally a New Englander. I was born and raised in Connecticut, went to the University of Massachusetts, and lived in New Hampshire for a year. I’ve been writing about ten years now. I actually had a health scare, and it made me re-evaluate my life. I realized that I always wanted to write fiction, but it kept getting pushed aside for real-life issues. At first, my husband was the only one who knew I was writing. I asked him to read the fantasy romance I was working on and to be brutally honest with me. Fortunately, he really liked it! Then I ‘fessed up to a friend, and he asked to read what I’ve been writing, and he enjoyed it too. I knew that as men they were not the traditional audience for a romance novel, but felt encouraged to keep writing. Getting published was a long road, paved with rejection letters, but in a way I’m glad for it, as I feel that it inspired me to continue to edit and improve my work.

Do you have another occupation, other than writer? If so, what is it? Does it help you with your writing?

I do. I have my MLS, and work part-time in the library at a private boys middle school. And, yes, it has helped my writing. It’s great to be surrounded by books all day, and we also have our regular ‘library guys’–students whose enthusiasm for books and reading is inspiring! Over the years, more female faculty and staff have joined our team, but when I first started we were a definite minority. Working in such a testosterone-heavy environment, has really taught me a lot about men–how they speak, and interact with one another–and I believe it’s helped to make my male characters more realistic.

If money were not an object, where would you most like to live? Why?

I would live on a beach. I’m not sure where, probably a Caribbean island. Definitely somewhere that stays warm year-round! Maybe it’s the fact that I lived in New England the first 35 years of my life, but I am so very over cold, snowy winters.  

How can readers reach you or find you online?

I have an author page on Facebook and am on Twitter…here are the links to find me online:


Magda knows a 28-year-old shouldn’t run away from home, but Rivers Bend is the ideal escape. Helping out her best friend will get her away from her uber-wealthy, controlling grandmother and duplicitous ex. She doesn’t expect the quirky little town to feel so much like home. Add in hotter-than-the-sun Jeff and his daughter, and leaving seems as unthinkable as it is inevitable.

Raising Sam alone, Jeff knew he wanted her to grow up in his supportive hometown. The arrival of a feisty new tenant sends Jeff's world spinning. Magda fills a void in his life that he’d like to make permanent.

Will love triumph over the most powerful woman in the country, and can they figure out how to make this happy-for-now in Rivers Bend into their happy-ever-after?


“Being cheated on is no fun. It happened to me once. Up here,” he tapped his forehead. “You know it’s not your fault. But here,” he tapped his chest over his heart. “You feel like it has to be your fault – like you could’ve done something to prevent it. But you couldn’t have. It’s all on him, Maggie. Not you.”

She picked a dandelion, whose flower had turned into a puffball, and blew on it, scattering the fluff to the wind. “Maybe. Maybe not. But thanks for the support.”

She pushed to her feet and took a couple of steps toward the river. Jeff rose and followed.

How could he be so angry at a man he didn’t even know? How could this Pierce jerk have slept around on a woman like Maggie? And the prick had even made her doubt herself in the process. It was written all over her anguished face.

He stood behind her and gently kneaded her shoulders. He turned her to face him and cupped her face in his big hands.

“This Pierce guy is the biggest fool on earth to go to someone else when he had you at home, Maggie.”

She blinked away tears, and he felt his heart constrict. Before he could think it through and decide it was a really bad idea, Jeff dipped his head and captured Magda’s lips in a gentle kiss.

Buy Links: 


The Wild Rose Press:

Barnes & Noble:

Amazon UK:

Author Bio:

After years working in the business world, my love of reading led me to get my MLS, and I currently work part-time in a school library, a job that allows me lots of time to explore my other love - writing romance! I live in Maryland, with my husband, who is my real-life romance hero. We both enjoy traveling to visit our far-flung family and friends, and spending time on the beach with an umbrella drink and a good book.

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

#NewRelease from Adriana Kraft

Bring on the trumpets – we need a fanfare!

We’re so excited to share this fabulous cover for our upcoming Romantic Suspense The Painter is a  Lady! Secrets. Trust. Courage. Who will knuckle under first—the war hero? The spirited single mom? Or the former high school bully who still hates them both?

Book Info:

Title: The Painter is a Lady Release Date: March 17, 2017
Author: Adriana Kraft
Publisher: eXtasy Books
Word count: 74,600
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Heat Level: Three flames

Wish List / Pre-Order Link


When war hero Michael Jarvis returns to his home town on the shores of Lake Superior, he doesn’t plan to stay—he’s undercover, investigating a possible sex trafficking ring operating on the Great Lakes. But he does want to sample the pesky girl next door he always turned down—and it wouldn’t hurt if she’d clear up a few mysteries of her own along the way.

Successfully established as an interior house painter, Brenda Tower finally has her act together as a single mom—but it hangs by a thread, a secret she’ll guard with her life. The return of her youthful crush Michael Jarvis threatens to unravel everything.

Jealousy has inflamed Brett Hill’s hatred of Michael and Brenda for as long as he can remember. Revenge will be so sweet—and it will fit in perfectly with his high stakes game.

When the secrets break open, can Michael and Brenda find the courage to trust each other, or will revenge and betrayal triumph?


We loved working with Syneca Featherstone of Original Syn designs (and what an original title for her business!) One shot, over and out – she nailed our concept, our characters and their hot moment in her first try. We hope we can work with her again and are so glad she’s now in the eXtasy Books stable of cover artists! Here’s what she had to say about putting this cover together:

“When I read the cover request I remember thinking how important it was to find an image of a couple with obvious chemistry and with luck, appeared to have real emotion. I was starting to despair that I was not going to find what I wanted and then tada!! It went so well with the background I selected and gave the overall feel of the location and the couple. I was on pins and needles waiting to hear back from Adriana. When she approved the cover I did my little happy dance (no worries, it was in the privacy of my office so no children or fuzzy animals were scarred for life because they saw it). I hope I get the chance to work with Adriana again and hope this book sells a MILLION!!”

Us, too!  

Subscribe to our Newsletter for sneak peeks, extra excerpts, and more about how we came to write this book!

Subscribe to our mailing list

* indicates required



We are a married couple writing Sizzling Romantic Suspense and Erotic Romance for Two, Three, or More.

Our Romantic Suspense line delivers “warmth, blazing hot sex, and well-developed characters” (Romance Junkies Reviews) as our hero and heroine battle outer threats and inner demons to stay alive and fall in love.

We write our Erotic Romance stories to entertain, of course, but most of all we write them because we believe in happy endings for all who fall in love, whatever their gender, sexual orientation or numerical combination.


Facebook Page
Twitter: @AdrianaKraft http://twitter.com_@AdrianaKraft
Google+ Adriana Kraft  


One free download of The Painter is a Lady to the lucky winner! E-book will be sent March 17, when the book releases.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, February 20, 2017

#AuthorInterview with Michal Scott

Michal Scott is my interview guest today. This erotic writer is also an ordained minister. Please welcome this very interesting writer!

Where did you get the idea for your new novel?

I came across an account of the first woman sentenced to hang in some Southwest state (can’t recall which right now) in a book on women and the West. The account shared that they hung her, but she didn’t die so they just hung her again. But that planted a “what if” in my writer’s brain. I thought what if a woman was unjustly sentenced and hung for a crime she didn’t commit, didn’t die, then was proved innocent and pardoned. What would her life be like? What would she be dealing mentally, spiritually, physically? How could a woman like that find love and who would she find it with? The story took off from there.  

Why did you choose this genre?

I’ve always loved history. So after finding and falling in love with Beverly Jenkins’ historical romances, I decided I wanted to try writing African-American historical romance. But I also have been trying to write erotic romance with a faith arc, what I call Christian erotic romance.

Tell us a bit about you. Where do you live and how long have you been writing?

I’m a native New Yorker and live happily in Brooklyn with my husband and our two cats. I’ve been writing seriously since 2003 when I joined RWA.

Do you have another occupation, other than writer? If so, what is it? Does it help you with your writing?

I’m an ordained United Church of Christ and Presbyterian Church USA minister. Oddly enough, the genre it helps the most with is my erotic romance writings.

How can readers reach you or find you online?

I’m on Twitter as Twitter - @mscottauthor1 which connects with my more political and erotic interests and @Revannable where people can connect with my inspirational interests. Depending on the genre people are interested in, they can check me out on my genre specific websites: erotic romance:,
gothic romance: and
inspirational romance:

Tell us about your current work in progress.

I’ve got two WIPs that finaled in a few contests, one since 2009 and the other since 2012. I am determined to finish and submit or self-publish them in 2017/2018. The first is an inspirational historic romance dealing with a mail order bride arrangement between a Northern freewoman who comes West to marry a former slave. The second is a paranormal Christian erotic romance that unites a former evangelical-turned-catholic heroine with her vampire ex-lover in an attempt to save her sister from vampirism.

One Breath Away by Michal Scott

His smile turned up the heat in his gaze. Mary frowned, painfully aware the smell of her passion lingered in the air, despite the woolen barrier of her skirt.

He stepped forward so his hand-stitched boots stood toe-to-toe with Mary’s second-hand shoes.

“Eban Thurman, at your service, Miss Hamilton. May I get you something to drink?”

At her service? The air congealed. Mary gasped, trying to suck in air too solid to inflate her lungs.

“No—no, thank you. I’m not thirsty.” Her stutter mimicked the tremor between her thighs. She clasped her hands and planted them hard against her lap.

“It’s a really hot night.” He turned his hand palm up in a silent plea. “Perhaps you’d find a waltz more cooling.” He eased his fingers into her clenched hands. “May I beg the honor of this dance?”


“Yes, Miss Hamilton.” He tilted his head, slanting his smile to the right. “Beg.”

“You don’t strike me as the begging type, Mr. Thurman.”

“To everything there is a season and a time for every purpose under heaven.” He tongue-swiped his full lips as if he’d just tasted something he wanted to taste again. “I know when it’s time to beg.”

She pursed her lips into a frown, fought back the urge to grovel and won. Barely.

The fingers around hers, clean and huge and strangely slender, hadn’t moved, hadn’t trembled. Their stillness aroused her. His stillness aroused her. Her lips quivered. She inhaled deeply against the surrender summoned by that tiny tremor.

Resist the devil and he will flee.

Silently she called upon the truth in this scripture for rescue.
The devil waited. She stared at the hand on hers, helpless against the appeal, the allure of temptation.

She swallowed hard, opened her mouth to say no, but her tongue refused to cooperate. She huffed out a breath and shook her head.

“I—I can’t. I don’t know how to waltz.”

“Well, you’re in luck.” His lips bowed in a smile, full, broad, and hypnotizing. “I’m an excellent teacher and I bet you’re a fast learner.” He gave her fingers a squeeze. “Shall we?”

He really wanted to dance with her. She blinked, speechless. A warning voice protested.


Her heart countered.



Sentenced to hang for a crime she didn’t commit, former slave Mary Hamilton was exonerated at literally the last gasp. She returns to Safe Haven, broken and resigned to live alone. Never having been courted, cuddled or spooned, Mary now fears any kind of physical intimacy when arousal forces her to relive the asphyxiation of her hanging. But then the handsome stranger who saved her shows up, stealing her breath from across the room and promising so much more.

Wealthy freeborn-Black Eban Thurman followed Mary to Safe Haven, believing a relationship with Mary was foretold by the stars. He must marry her to reclaim his family farm. But first he must help her heal, and to do that means revealing his own predilection for edgier sex.

Then just as Eban begins to win Mary’s trust, an enemy from the past threatens to keep them one breath away from love…


Wild Rose Press:

Saturday, February 18, 2017

RESCUE ME now free!

My romantic comedy RESCUE ME is now free at Amazon, Kobo and Barnes and Noble.

 Chelsea Andrews can’t decide who’s more dangerous; the creep on the Toronto city bus, or the handsome stranger who rescues her. She doesn’t hang around to find out. Fate intervenes when out of work actor Matt Malone sublets the apartment next door, and Chelsea discovers the most dangerous thing about her charming new neighbor is the damage he’s inflicting on her heart. She’s had enough of men like Matt; her father was a philandering charmer who left devastation in his wake. But the more she gets to know Matt, the more she realizes he’s not like her father at all.

Success has eluded Matt’s acting career. His family is pressuring him to give up acting and work full-time as a chef at the family business, Malone’s Irish Pub. Matt likes to cook but acting is his passion. He’s nearly thirty now, and meeting Chelsea makes him think of settling down. Should he give up his dreams for love’s sake?

Chelsea is starting to believe she can trust Matt with her heart when strange romantic notes begin showing up at the art gallery where she works. Then she’s followed home from the bus stop late one night, and her apartment is broken into. All the evidence points to Matt as the culprit. Is he the kind, funny, sincere man she’s falling in love with, or some kind of stalker? Will the real Matt Malone please stand up?

Friday, February 17, 2017

#AuthorInterview with Jean Adams

My guest today is New Zealand writer Jean Adams. Her latest contemporary romance, HONEY'S GREEK BILLIONAIRE, released on January 27, 2017 from The Wild Rose Press. Welcome Jean!

Where did you get the idea for your new novel, HONEY'S GREEK BILLIONAIRE? 

I was sitting at work one day, day dreaming about plots (as you do) and had one of those what-would=happen=if moments, and lo and behold a book was born.

What do you want readers to come away with after they read this book? 

I’d like then to smile, read the last couple of pages again and think aaahhhhh, I really enjoyed that.

What genre have you never written that you’d like to write?

One day I’d really love to have a crack at mystery, a la Agatha Christie, but I have a few more books to wrote before that happens.

Do you work on more than one book at a time?

Usually. Then if I go flat one I can turn to another. Currently I’m  working on five right now, a contemporary, a trilogy and an archaeological paranormal.

Do you have any words of advice to beginning writers?

Never, never, never give up and don’t listen to nay-sayers or dream stealers.

What comes first for you – plot or character? And why?

Usually the plot, but occasionally the characters. It depends on what grabs my attention first.

Are you a plotter or a pantser?

I’m a plotter. I used to be a pantser but got fed up with having to go over the story every time I had a new idea that didn’t work anyway. Plotting keeps my thoughts disciplined.

Tell us a bit about you. Where do you live, and how long have you been writing?

I was born in England but now live in New Zealand. I have been writing for several years (can’t remember exactly how many.)

If writing is your first passion, what is your second? 

Archeology would be my second passion but I’ve never taken part in a dig. Would love to though, either in Egypt or Greece.

How do you think your life experiences have prepared you for writing?

I have called on some of my travel experiences.

If you could get rid of something in your life that would give you more writing time, what would it be?

Probably my TV, but then again I use it for a lot of historical research material.

What did you want to be (occupation-wise) when you were a child?

I wanted to be an air hostess but alas, it was not to be.

What do you like best about your hero, Paris Magdalinos, in HONEY'S GREEK BILLIONAIRE

He’s a delicious sexy Greek who lives on an Aegean island.

What do you like best about Honey, your heroine? 

She’s very much her own woman who gets sideswiped by Paris and realizes that love is the greatest gift if all.

How do you choose the names and physical characteristics of your characters? Do you base them on real people?

I had trouble with his name until I came across the name by chance in an article.

How can readers reach you or find you online? 

I don’t do much on Facebook (Facebook hates me), my website is  I do have a Twitter account but I don’t do a lot of promotion online, something I intend to change this year.

If I was a first time reader of your books, which one would you recommend I start with and why? 

You could start with No Other Love set in Los Angeles and Greece. It’s a story I’m particularly fond of.

Tell us a little about your current release.

Honey works for a Greek company in London. Her Greek boss takes a fancy to her and flirts with her making her feel uncomfortable. A friend tell her that the way to stop him in his tracks is to ask him to marry her. To her surprise, instead of laughing it off, he accepts. I thought it was a fun idea to play with.


In an effort to stop his embarrassing flirtations, Honey Preston jokingly asks her billionaire boss, Paris Magdalinos, to marry her. Much to her surprise, he accepts, and no amount of wriggling on her part will induce him to let her off the hook. Besides, she doesn't believe she's good enough for him.

Paris has his own agenda. He's using Honey's innocent proposal to help him out of a sticky situation. And their marriage will only be for a short time...until he kisses her and discovers she's the woman he's been seeking. She's perfect for him, and he wants to stay married. But Honey's beliefs are hard to shake.


“And this is Honey Preston, Mr. Magdalinos.”

Snapped out of her daydream, Honey focused her attention on Brian Armstrong, the overall office manager. Oh lord, I’m about to be introduced. Should I offer my hand for a handshake? Please don’t let me do anything stupid like curtsy.

“It was Miss Preston who alerted me to the problem. She was Mortimer’s assistant for a year and a half.”

“Honey?” A light dancing in the chocolate-colored gaze collided with hers. Her face burst into instant flame. Oh, my goodness. Paris Magdalinos gave a short nod and bestowed on her his sexiest smile before his amused, sparkling eyes moved on to the next person.

Hot in here all of a sudden. The need to fan her face became an urgent priority after the heated brown eyes moved away. But she didn’t dare move so much as a finger in case any movement, however slight, attracted his attention again. She wasn’t sure she could handle another helping of his dark-eyed scrutiny. It was as though his eyes had undressed her.

But anonymity was not to be.

Buy Links:


The Wild Rose Press:

Author Bio:

Jean Adams is a firm believer in happily-ever-after and enjoys writing books with happy endings.
She has published nine romance novels and is currently working on several other books, including a trilogy set in ancient Egypt.

She likes dark, mysterious heroes and strong heroines, who are their perfect match. They are soul mates, and their love for each other goes soul deep.

Jean is the founder of Romance Writers of New Zealand.

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Margaret Fieland has an Amazing Story!

Science Fiction author Margaret Fieland is here to tell us an amazing story about her time in Europe as a college student. Her story proves that Mom knows everything. Please welcome Margaret Fieland!

ET, Phone Home

I am the author of four science fiction novels that take place on an alien planet, Aleyne, several hundred years in the future. Many of the problems my characters experience were informed by my own, especially those from the summer I spent as a co-op in the Netherlands and then traveling through Scandinavia.

During my sophomore year at the University of Michigan, I discovered an organization that placed students in math and science in other countries for practical work - for what would now be called co-oping. The organization's primary objective was to exchange students among the various European countries, but we managed to start a branch at U of M. I eagerly joined, and successfully lobbied a couple of my math and computer science professors who agreed to sponsor a foreign co-op student for the summer.

When I applied for a placement the summer between my sophomore and junior years, I thus had a preferred status; as someone who had worked for the organization, I went to the front of the queue, so to speak. Since I speak fluent French, I asked for France, Belgium, Luxembourg, or Switzerland, countries where French is spoken.

But placements for students from the United States were limited, and I was offered a spot in the Netherlands, at the Agricultural University of Wageningen, assisting a professor of mathematics.

I had a room with a family that lived a mile or two outside of town. They showed me what would be my room, which had a comfortable bed, dresser, sink, and a window with a view of the surrounding countryside.

“And your bath will be on Saturdays,” my hosts concluded.

Once a week? I was used to washing my hair every morning in the shower. So I phoned my mother. Fortunately Mom was a lot more cosmopolitan than I.

“Water is expensive,” she said. “Try offering them more money and see if they'll let you bathe three times a week.” She even suggested an amount.

It worked {phew.}

After borrowing an old bicycle from my hosts, I went into town, where my first stop was the bicycle repair shop and my next was to introduce myself to the professor I'd be working for.

His first task for me was correcting the students' latest set of exams. He provided me with two things: a paper with the correct answers, and a list of phrases in Dutch. One of them was the Dutch for “Nonsense.” I still grin every time I recall that.

In relatively short order, I found a sorority willing to make me a member for the summer and ballet class in town - I was passionately fond of ballet at the time - and signed up for lessons. It was there that I had my next lesson in cultural insularity.

"I'm an American," I responded when asked where I was from.

"Oh, so am I," a diminutive student replied. "I'm from Nicaragua. How about you?"

"I'm from the United States." And that is how, to this day, I respond when asked what country I'm from.

But soon, being then as now, a voracious reader, I faced the knotty problem of finding reading material in a town without any large bookstores. Hurrying down to the local library, I asked what I needed to do to join: pay a small fee and fill out a form.

The library's supply of books in English was quite small, but fortunately they had a couple of bookcases full of books in French, including a lot of Georges Simenon. So I spent my summer reading through the library's entire supply of Simenon's Maigret novels, some of his others, various memoirs about the war, a memoir by a French doctor, and several French science fiction novel, as well as a French translation of Ray Bradbury's Fahrenheit 451

My French was fluent, but reading science fiction in French was still a challenge; it's hard to make sense of a made-up word when the word it's derived from fails to spring to mind. All of this went into the experiences of my characters as they struggle with an alien language and culture.

After classes broke up for the summer, I went to visit a friend. She lived in North Holland, way out in the country, and not everyone spoke English. Still, I managed with gestures and the piece of paper with my destination written on it.

When my internship was over, I deposited most of my luggage in the depot in Brussels and spent three weeks traveling through Scandinavia. I barely managed to retrieve my things, as the day I'd allocated for it turned out to be a religious holiday. Fortunately, the depot opened at 6 AM, and my flight wasn't until 10 AM.

What would I have done if I'd failed to pick up my things in time? You guessed it: phone Mom again.


This is a scene involving Terran Federation Senator George Cromwell, one of the secondary characters in the novel. In the midst of tricky treaty negotiation, which are not going well, Cromwell decided to visit his brother, who is working some distance from where the hover bus let him off. Cromwell probably knows about as much Aleyni as I did Dutch.

Cromwell nodded. Perhaps Tom's duties prevented him from taking the morning off. Cromwell followed his benefactor across the almost-empty market square.

“Avan,” his benefactor said in Aleyni, “I have a favor to ask of you. My companion here needs a ride out to the camp the Terran scientists have.”

“You mind riding in my cart?” The farmer pointed to where a single shaggy nagga was harnessed to a wooden cart. A couple of baskets, one of purple fruit, the other of an orange vegetable, waited to be loaded.

“I would be grateful for your kindness,” Cromwell replied in Aleyni.

Shortly thereafter, he found himself seated beside the farmer, Avan, while they jounced along. By using a mixture of Common, Aleyni, and the occasional gesture, they managed to keep up a lively conversation. The orange-skinned vegetables, his companion informed him, made an excellent stew, when sliced and cooked along with the beans reposing in a third basket.

“Do you soak those beans?” Cromwell asked. “My mother always soaked hers overnight.” He mimed pouring water.

“These I do. The little brown ones, you don't have to.” The man paused. “How long you here for?”

“A while, I expect.” They'd arrived at the dig, and Cromwell descended.

“Thank you for the lift. If you make it to Aleyne City, I'm at the Port Hotel. I'd be delighted to treat you to a meal.” Cromwell stared at the farmer's retreating cart. The man had gone out of his way to drop Cromwell off here, simply because his table companion, some kind of relative, asked him to. They'd been as kind as his grandfather and his cronies. Not like the scum scrambling around the Federation Senate, seeking only to line their own pockets. Cromwell frowned. His preconceptions were suffering a major rearrangement. Still, he'd come to visit his brother, and that's what he planned to do.


Colonel Rob Walker always does his duty, even when it means risking  shaky relationship with his family. When he's ordered to bring the treaty negotiations between the Terran Federation and the Aleyni to a successful conclusion, he's determined to do just that, even when both sides would rather he fail. How can Rob pull off a miracle and avoid a war, one where both sides could be destroyed?


Buy Links:

On publisher's website:

Rob's Rebellion on Amazon:

Social Media Links:


Author Bio:

Born and raised in New York City, Margaret Fieland has lived in the Boston area since 1978.  She is an avid science fiction fan, and selected Robert A. Heinlein's “Farmer in the Sky” for her tenth birthday, now long past. In spite of earning her living as a computer software engineer, she turned to one of her sons to put up the first version of her website, a clear indication of the computer generation gap. Thanks to her father's relentless hounding, she can still recite the rules for pronoun agreement in both English and French. She can also write backwards and wiggle her ears. Her poems have appeared in journals such as Melusine, Front Range Review, and All Rights Reserved.  She is the author of  Relocated, Geek Games,  Broken Bonds,  and Rob's Rebellion published by MuseItUp Publishing, and of Sand in the Desert, a collection of science fiction persona poems.  A chapter book is due out later this year.

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Devon McKay: In the Spotlight with BETTING ON KINCADE

Fellow Wild Rose Press author Devon McKay makes a return visit with a brand new novel which is releasing today. Congratulations Devon! Happy Release Day!

Betting On Kincade by Devon McKay
Contemporary Western Romance
The Wild Rose Press

Betting On Kincade Blurb:

Everyone Cassie Wilcox loved is gone. And now, thanks to her drunken stepfather, her house and family business will be taken from her, too, unless she can find a way to buy back the ranch from the new owner. With less than two months to come up with money she doesn’t have, her options are running out, and apparently, her common sense as she rents out rooms to an eclectic group of strangers.

Returning home for Dalton Kincade is bittersweet. Not a damn thing has changed. Two years on the rodeo circuit weren’t able to shake free the memory of the feisty redhead who’d broken his heart into a thousand pieces. Nor the sting of her parting words…Never trust a Kincade.

Winning her beloved ranch in a drunken bet is the last thing he expected to happen, but at least he saved it for her. Now, he has to figure out how to break that news to a woman who never wants to see him again. Renting a room in the house he now owns might be a risk, but it’s nothing compared to betting his heart on winning back the love of his life.

Betting On Kincade Excerpt:

“Are you going to play or just sit there?” Gary Evans slurred in drunken angst as he kicked back his chair and leaned over the table. Not waiting for a reply, he picked up the crisp piece of paper lodged between them, waved it in the air, and then, slammed the deed to the Wilcox land back down on the hard pressed wood.

Cautiously, Dalton stationed a deadly stare on the intoxicated fool and noted the shimmering of glee highlighting the steel gray of the man’s eyes. Tapping the top card, he slowly trailed his finger along the swirled red print.

He was a loser no matter the outcome. Should’ve just walked away. Ignored Gary’s foolish bet and the taunts that followed once the hook had been set. It wasn’t as if Cassie would appreciate his effort anyway. Regardless, he couldn’t walk away and let her lose it all.

Clenching his jaw, he folded his fingers around the squared edges and paused before picking up the pile.

“Read ‘em and weep,” Gary squealed gleefully as he tossed his cards next to the deed. “Four deuces.” He stumbled from the end of the table, closing the gap between them in one stride, before managing to shove a quadruple of stubby digits in front of Dalton’s face. “Four.”

Dalton studied his hand with guarded fury, then stifled the drunkard’s premature victory with a flick of his wrist.

Betting On Kincade Buy Links:

The Wild Rose Press:

978-1-5092-1266-8 Paperback
978-1-5092-1267-5 Digital

Devon McKay Bio:

Devon McKay writes contemporary romance with a western flair. If she's not writing, she's busy with chores on her small ranch, working on a stained glass project or walking one of her three dogs through the woods. Her greatest joy is putting a smile on a reader's face and hearing from fans.

Please check out Devon’s website at: or contact her by email at: You can also follow her on face book at: 
and on twitter at:

Sunday, February 5, 2017

#ABA Valentine Blog Hop - A Simple Romantic Dinner

A list of all the blogs in the hop and a Rafflecopter of prizes follows at the end of this post!

Valentine's Day is definitely a time for love, but it's also a time to eat a romantic dinner with your sweetie!

I love going out with my husband for a nice meal at a great restaurant on Valentine's Day. But sometimes it's fun (and more economical) to stay home and cook together. Here's an easy dinner just special enough for Valentine's Day.

Here's the menu for a Valentines Dinner for Two:

Salad greens with apple, walnuts and brie
Sumptuous Seafood for Two
White or Brown Rice (optional)
Roasted Asparagus
Deluxe Brownie Dessert

Start with a crispy salad.

Salad Greens with Apples, Walnuts and Brie 
Prep time: about 10 minutes

1 tbsp. cider vinegar
3 tbsp. (45 ml) extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp. (5 ml) Dijon mustard
2 tsp. (10 ml) honey, or to taste
salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
4 cups (1 litre) baby salad greens, washed and dried
12 to 16 thin, half slices of red apple
2 to 3 tbsp. (30-45 ml) walnut pieces
75 g brie cheese, cut into small cubes

Combine the first 4 ingredients in a small bowl. Season the dressing with salt and pepper. Divide and mound the salad greens on two salad plates. Top with the apples, nuts and cheese. Drizzle with salad dressing and serve.
Check out the great Valentine reads at The Wild Rose Press - Candy Hearts 40% off!
Next, the main event!

Sumptuous Seafood for Two
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cooking time:11-13 minutes

1/4 cup (60 ml) white wine
2 tbsp. (30 ml) butter
1 tbsp. (15 ml) fresh lemon juice
1 garlic clove, minced
pinches of paprika, cayenne pepper and dried tarragon
1 - 3 1/2 to 4 oz. (100-115 g) lobster tail, thawed if frozen, split in half lengthwise
4 large scallops
4 large shrimp or prawns, peeled with tail portion intact
1 6 oz. (170 g) fish filet, such as halibut, cod or salmon
1 tbsp. (15 ml) chopped fresh parsley

Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. (230 C) Place the butter, wine, lemon juice, garlic, spices and tarragon in a small pot. Set over medium heat and heat 3 to 4 minutes, just until the butter is melted. Remove pot from the heat.

Use a paper towel to pat and remove any excess moisture on the seafood. Arrange seafood, setting the lobster cut side up, in a single layer in shallow-sided baking dish. Drizzle seafood with wine/butter mixture. Bake 11 to 13 minutes, or until the shellfish and fish are just cooked. When cooked, fish and shellfish should feel slightly firm, not hard (overcooked) and not soft (not cooked through). Sprinkle with parsley and serve.

Roasted Asparagus
Prep time: 5 minutes
Cooking time: 12 - 14 minutes. The asparagus has the same cooking time and temperature as the seafood, so they can go into the oven together.

12 - 14 asparagus spears, stems trimmed
1 1/2 tbsp. (22 ml) olive oil
1 tbsp.  (15 ml) balsamic vinegar
salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F (230 C). Bring a wide skillet of water to a boil. Add the asparagus and cook 2 minutes, until bright green, but not quite cooked through. Drain well, cool asparagus in cold water, and then drain well again. Place the asparagus in a casserole dish just large enough to hold it in a single layer. Drizzle with olive oil and vinegar; season with salt and pepper. Roast 11 to 13 minutes, or until hot and delicious.

CHILL OUT is 40% off! Read the blurb and excerpt.
And for dessert, let's go real easy with ready made store bought brownies. Or make your own, if you're so inclined.

Deluxe Brownie Dessert
Prep time: 10 minutes

8 small to medium fresh strawberries
1 tbsp. (15 ml) icing sugar
1/2 oz. (150 ml) orange liqueur, or to taste (optional)
2 squares or wedges of brownie
2 scoops mango or other fruit sorbet

Place strawberries and icing sugar in a small bowl and toss to combine. Flavour with orange liqueur, if using. Divide and spread on two dessert plates. Set a brownie on each plate. Set a scoop of sorbet on top of each brownie. You can garnish with a sprig of mint if you like. Enjoy!
Enter the Rafflecopter. We've got two $50 Amazon gift cards up for grabs!

To hop back on the ABA Blog Hop and check out more interesting blogs, go to

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Saturday, February 4, 2017

#AuthorInterview with SciFi Author Adera Orfanelli

Science Fiction writer Adera Orfanelli is my interview guest today. What does a science fiction writer have in common with a chicken? Read on and find out! 

Why did you choose this genre?

I love science fiction and have from a very young age. This serial actually began some time ago as part of a website that has since closed down, and I love the episodic feel of a serial, much like watching episodes of a beloved television series.

Do you have any unusual writing habits?

I tend to write when I can. So for example, when I worked at a major bank, I used to write in the 30-60 seconds between calls. I literally crafted some of my work a sentence at a time. I’ve cultivated the habit of being able to write whenever I have the opportunity.

What genre have you never written that you’d like to write?

I’d love to do some steampunk or alternate history.

Did you always want to be a writer?

Yes, as a teenager my career goals were to write romance novels and work on a horse farm. Well, I live on a homestead with 3 horses, which means I made it, I guess.

Do you work on more than one book at a time?

I tend to work on a couple of different projects at once, though usually they are in separate genres like fiction and nonfiction.

Tell us a bit about you. Where do you live, and how long have you been writing?

I live on a homestead in the Ozarks right on the Missouri/Arkansas border and I’ve been writing for over twenty-five years and I’ve been published for fifteen of those (more if you count numerous newsletter/magazine publications.)

If writing is your first passion, what is your second?

Chickens! Seriously, I run a website called, which is under some renovations, but is my farm-to-table advocacy site. I love my chickens. They provide laughter and breakfast. I consider them my stress relief.

Do you have another occupation, other than writer? If so, what is it? Does it help you with your writing?

I am a technical goddess. I’ve done technical support for about a dozen years and currently work as a virtual assistant to authors and entrepreneurs through my company Unscramblet Author Solutions. ( I also have My Author Home, which offers free websites to authors ( as well as numerous promotional opportunities. I love the technical side of things and it allows me to work a different part of my brain from writing, yet I’m still able to help authors.

How can readers reach you or find you online?


What’s your tagline? Why did you choose it?

For my main pen name, Mary Winter, my tagline is Seasons of Passion, and it’s something I’ve used for many years playing off the seasonal nature of my last name.

Do you have an event coming up you’d like to tell us about?

On February 19, I have a free webinar on having a storefront on your website to drive sales to your page. You can register for this free event here:

Book release:
The Tobine Chronicles: Episode 3
In the battle to save the planet she loves, one woman must discover the truth about her past, and if she has the strength necessary to not just save Tobine–but rule.

Episode Three - As Tenni learns more about the Vilos' plans, she wants nothing to do with the frog-like creatures. With the slave Kavin, she begins to make plans to escape only to discover that she's been given a horrible twist of fate.

My website:

Thursday, February 2, 2017

Linda Palmer and MOST WANTED

My guest today is fellow Uncial Press writer Linda Palmer. She's sharing the story of the inspiration for her Psy Squad series. I love stories about psychics so this sounds right up my alley! Please welcome Linda Palmer.

It all started with a movie called Vampire Academy, based on the first novel in Richelle Mead's delicious six-book series. I read them all and was sucked right into that supernatural world--no pun intended. Around this time, I also watched Divergent, a movie based on the first novel in Veronica Roth's dystopian trilogy. I loved that world, too. While the series were very different from each other, they had one thing in common: the hero and heroine fall into inconvenient, unwanted, and inappropriate love. No wonder I got so caught up. I mean, what's more tantalizing than forbidden attraction?

The result of all that was my novella Most Wanted, set slightly in the future when psychics have gone underground to escape public persecution. Kate Lawless, a waitress temporarily suspended from her job, is nineteen and fatally poor when she sees a World Security League all-call for anyone who has ever had "women's intuitions" or "gut feelings" that turned out to be right.

Is this a trick to lure mentalists out of hiding? Or does this reputable organization really need help? It honestly doesn't matter to Kate once she reads the small print that promises monetary reimbursement for simply showing up. She's weeks behind on her rent, and her car is stuck in the shop until she can scrape up enough money to pay for repairs. If the WSL is promising cash, she's going to be there. Never mind that she's not one bit psychic. All she has to do answer a few questions, get paid, and get the heck out of there.

Easy, huh?

Um…not so much.

It turns out that Kate shows promise. Even more shocking, the WSL wants her to undergo further testing. Meanwhile, she'll be paid a per diem, put up in a very fancy St. Louis hotel, and mentored by Nikolai Zycov, a several-years-older guy whose East European accent, alone, takes her to her knees. Never mind his formidable size and good looks.

Of course she agrees. Nikolai drives her to her apartment to pack a bag, dropping her off at the entrance.
The moment I unlocked my door, I shrugged off my jacket and began frantically straightening up. Dirty dishes in the dishwasher. Dirty clothes in the hamper. I made up the Murphy bed before folding it into the wall, kicked spare shoes into the closet, and tried to think what else deserved my attention. Realizing I was down to clutter that had no place to go, I grabbed an overnight bag and began cramming everything I might need into it.
While getting my toothbrush, I caught a glimpse of my reflection in the bathroom mirror and groaned. No wonder Nikolai had helped me cross the street. The winter wind had done a job on my long hair and somehow erased my make-up, making my oval face appear younger than usual. I pulled the snarled strands into a messy ponytail, all the while wishing I had time to hide my freckles with some foundation. But I didn't. In fact, a knock on the door made me jump even though I'd been expecting it. A quick peek confirmed it was Nikolai in the hallway. I unlocked the door. "That was fast."
Nikolai stepped inside, his cool gaze sweeping me and then the entire room that was my apartment. I wondered what he thought of the place. Trying to see it through his eyes, I guessed it must look pretty shabby, from my second-hand couch to my boxy, outdated TV. There were movie posters on the walls—Thor, Captain America, Hawkeye, Spiderman. I did love my superheroes. And while the idea of being rescued by a man would only appeal to me if I was flat out of options, these guys were eye candy that brightened my walls. 
"No Christmas tree?"
"Actually, I will have one this year. I'm just a little late putting it up."
Nikolai's gaze lingered on the book cases on each side of the bed frame, in particular a Harry Potter snow globe. "Just the one bag?"
We left the apartment. Once my door was locked, I turned to Nikolai. "I have to make one more stop before we go."
He nodded.
We rode the elevator down to ground level. "Stay here. I'll be right back." I pushed open a door with Office on it. "Hello, Mr. Bruno."
"Katydid. Come to pay me this month's rent? You're now three weeks late."
"I know. I know. And that's actually why I'm here. I've got some money coming in a few days, so if you can just hold off a little longer—"
His heavy sigh said it all. Blowing him a kiss for his patience, I turned and smacked into Nikolai, who'd apparently followed me inside. My face flushed. Unable to look him in the eye, I slipped past and hurried outside. 
Back in the Jeep, I stewed a little, imagining what he must think of me. "I usually carry more cash. I mean, my job more than pays the bills, plus I always get good tips. But I got suspended without pay from my waitressing gig a couple of weeks ago."
Nikolai gave me an incredulous look. "Why?"
"I poured a glass of iced tea over some jackleg's head."
He considered that for maybe two seconds before inserting his key in the ignition.
Was he judging me? "He deserved it, okay? Tried to feel me up. How was I supposed to know he was my boss's third cousin?"
Nikolai pulled out of the lot and drove for a good ten minutes before he spoke again. "You're what? Seventeen?"
Ouch. "Nineteen almost twenty."
That clearly surprised him. "Well, your parents should still help so you don't have to work in a place like that."
"I don't have any, and the grill is usually okay."
"What about siblings?" That word had never sounded so sexy.
"No family."
"Cousins, aunts, uncles…"
"No family at all."
I'd surprised him even more. "You're alone in this world?"
That sounded so dramatic that I laughed. "Me and a zillion other people. And I'm not that alone. I do have friends." I hoped he wouldn't ask how many.
"Nosy much?" I tried to change the subject. "What about you? Parents? Siblings?
"Yes and no."
"No which?"
"Girlfriend. There isn't time."
"You're what?" I took a wild guess. "Twenty-one?"
"Well, don't wait too long. Love might pass you by."
"Love isn't for everyone."
I snorted a laugh even though I actually agreed with him. "Several of the friends I mentioned, male and female, are single. I could set you up."
"I'm not gay, and your female friends would be too young for me, just as you are."
Double ouch. "So you've given this some thought?" I could hope.
He didn't answer. We made the rest of the trip in silence. At the hotel, he simply made a left, crossing traffic to drive under the overhang. Realizing he was scattering protestors by dropping me off at the door again, I climbed out of the Jeep and got my bag from the back seat. "Will I see you around?"
"May I have your cell number?"
"Do you want mine?"
"Actually, you already have it. My number is on my registration form. Call me if you change your mind about my friends. Any one of them would love to go out with a babe magnet like you."
His jaw dropped. 
I pivoted on my toe and went straight into the hotel.

Uncial Press released Most Wanted in November 2016. By then, my editor had suggested that I give one of the secondary characters, Miles, a book of his own. The result was Psychic High, which became book two in a series I'm calling Psy Squad. The third installment is Here and There, also already written. Both novellas will be released this year. These novellas have been a lot of fun to research and write.

Why? you ask. Because I'm a believer, of course.

Linda Palmer

Blurb, Most Wanted:

Kate Lawless, nineteen, is all alone in the world and struggling at the moment to make ends meet. Although answering a World Security League all-call for psychics is dangerous in these phobic times, she is tempted by the promise of reimbursement for just showing up. Screenings take place in a hotel conference room. When hers goes very well—a shocker—she is checked in so that she can undergo further testing. Staying at the ritzy hotel is quite a treat for Kate. The Christmas decorations are beyond beautiful. The festive background music reminds her of past holidays, most of them celebrated with a foster family or with other kids living in the youth ranch or orphanages that have been her life since the age of two. Her holiday plans this year? Enjoy this surprise vacay to the max, take the money, and pay her past-due rent.

 Nikolai Zycov, a Russian member of the WSL team, is assigned to her. While he claims that he's only interested on a professional level, he won't stop meddling in her personal life. He comes off as deliberately distant one minute; helpful, the next. Although annoying, this actually intrigues Kate, as does the fact that her clairvoyance gets a psychic boost whenever Nikolai is physically close.
Distracted by her growing feelings for him, she finds it harder and harder to lock onto Mbali Tinibu, the ruthless Sierra Leone civil war criminal she is helping the WSL locate. Kate finally asks to work alone and is given permission in spite of Nikolai's objections. Only then does she realize how unpredictable and dangerous her psychic gifts can be. And having an annoying Russian around? Well, sometimes that's not a bad idea.