Tuesday, March 31, 2020

The Turkish Affair - #NewRelease by J. Arlene Culiner

J. Arlene Culiner takes us on an exotic journey today. This writer doesn't just travel for research; she's lived her research! We can be sure the details of THE TURKISH AFFAIR are very authentic!

Do I Travel for Research?
by J. Arlene Culiner

Do I travel for research? I certainly do, and I often find myself in strange places, and uncomfortable situations. For a recently completed non-fiction biography, I found myself tramping over frozen winter roads in backwoods Ukraine — not a soul in sight. For a non-fiction book about Romanian immigration to Canada, Finding Home in the Footsteps of the Jewish Fusgeyers, I crossed all of Romania on foot. However, for my newest romantic suspense, The Turkish Affair, I didn’t have to travel anywhere: I once lived in a small town in central Turkey.

It was a very exciting time. I was working as a guide and translator (before going off to live in a community of gypsies and becoming a belly dancer). I spent much time on archaeological sites, where I learnt about the very real problem of artifact theft, and smuggling, and I saw a world most tourists never imagine. The landscape around me was beautiful but bleak; the winters were Siberian; the summers, hot and heavy. It was a dangerous time, too, and I knew there were rules that had to be respected, that the police were untrustworthy, that there was political unrest, and there were frequent arrests.

Since I always incorporate my own experiences into my books no matter what the genre, I decided it was time to write about Turkey — and to do so in a romantic mystery. Anne Pierson, the heroine of The Turkish Affair, is also a guide and translator, although, unlike me, she has a tricky past she wants to hide. And my hero? Well, one day, while passing through an archaeological site, I briefly caught sight of a lean and elegant man. And, as he headed toward a jumble of smashed pillars, the bright sun caught the golden blaze of his hair. He became my hero, Renaud Townsend.

Of course, I want my readers to enjoy the lovely, sometimes difficult, romance between Anne and Renaud, but I’m also taking them on an exotic journey where they’ll learn about another culture, its foods, traditions, history, and dangers. In other words, I’m offering armchair travel with no airport hassle, no check-in lines, and no risk. Only the pleasure of a good tale, and the chance to solve a mystery along with my hero and heroine.


Love and Danger at the ancient Hittite site of Karakuyu

Priceless artifacts are disappearing from the ancient Hittite site of Karakuyu in Turkey, and the site director has vanished. Called in to solve the mystery, archaeologist Renaud Townsend is hindered by both his inability to speak the language and the knowledge that the local police are corrupt. His attraction to translator Anne Pierson is immediate, although he is troubled by her refusal to talk about the past and her fear of public scandal. But when murder enters the picture, both Anne and Renaud realize that the risk of falling in love is not the only danger.


A delicious breeze tickled the air, and the little boat rocked gently. A fine line appeared between Renaud’s brows, and his blue eyes were, once again, serious. “I need your help.”

Anne stared. “My help? With what? Translating?”

“No. With something else. I have to find out who is behind the thefts at Karakuyu.”

The feeling of dread returned, but she forced herself to sound casual. “How could I possibly help you with that?”

“I don’t know.” He sighed. “I just don’t want to feel that I’m alone in this.”

What could she say to that? Tell him she was the last person he should team up with? That long ago, she’d escaped arrest by the skin of her teeth? If she did so, this splendid moment would be over. The silver-foil glimmer of romance would be tarnished forever. He’d row back to shore, drive back to Gülkale, get rid of her as quickly as possible.

“Anne?” He reached out to caress her bare arm. “Come back from wherever you are.”

“You know nothing about me,” she said jaggedly.

“Nothing,” he agreed.

She swallowed. “I could be involved in the thefts for all you know. Why ask for my help? Why choose me?”

He smiled faintly. “A good question. I suppose, quite simply, I need—or want—to trust you.”

She felt utterly miserable. Why was life always like this? Wanting someone and not being able to have them? Wanting trust, but seeing it snatched away before it came close?

Author Bio:

Writer, photographer, social critical artist, musician, and occasional actress, J. Arlene Culiner, was born in New York and raised in Toronto. She has crossed much of Europe alone on foot, has lived in a Hungarian mud house, a Bavarian castle, a Turkish cave-dwelling, on a Dutch canal, and in a haunted house on the English moors. She now resides in a 400-year-old former inn in a French village of no interest and, much to local dismay, protects all creatures, especially spiders and snakes. She particularly enjoys incorporating into short stories, mysteries, narrative non-fiction, and romances, her experiences in out-of-the-way communities, and her conversations with strange characters.

Trailer: http://j-arleneculiner.com/page-2-book4-turkish4-video.html

Buy Links: Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0823B18Z3
Barnes and Noble: https://tinyurl.com/yx2lyg6v
Apple: https://books.apple.com/us/book/the-turkish-affair
Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/the-turkish-affair-3
Bookbub: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/j-arlene-culiner

Author Websites: http://www.j-arleneculiner.com
Blog: http://j-arleneculiner.over-blog.com

Storytelling Podcast https://soundcloud.com/j-arlene-culiner

My other romances can be found here:

Twitter: https://twitter.com/JArleneCuliner
Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/jarlene.culiner
Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/jarleneculiner

Friday, March 27, 2020

Interview with Julie Howard, Romantic Suspense Author

Julie Howard sits down for an interview today to talk about her life and her writing process. She also lets us know about her newest release, HOUSE OF SEVEN SPIRITS, as well as her new novella coming out this summer. Please welcome Julie Howard!

Where did you get the idea for your new novel?

I traveled to Australia last year and was instantly aware of how unique this country was from anywhere else I’ve visited. I suppose you could say that about any continent, but there are numerous animals in Australia that don’t exist anywhere else on Earth (except in zoos). A fair number of these creatures are deadly! There’s nothing more stimulating to a mystery writer than deadly things. I instantly imagined a plot in this setting.

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

I would love to write a young adult book someday. I remember so many wonderful weekends reading as a tween and teen (yes, I was a total bookworm!) and would like to create a book that young people would love. I have a number of projects to finish first, so this will have to wait a while longer.

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

I have three underway at the moment. If I get stuck in one then I switch to another. In this way, I never have writer’s block because by the time I return to the first book, I’m ready to work on it again. I am always, always writing something.

Do you have any words of advice to beginning writers?

Never give up! The journey to being published, whether you go “traditional” or self-published, is difficult. If you want to reach your end goal, you really need to believe in yourself and your book. My first book received numerous rejections before it was accepted. Those rejections hurt! I let myself crawl into bed and be sorry for myself for a day. But I limited my pity party time to one day and then pushed forward again.

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

Lots! I have a notebook filled with ideas and two more series sketched out. I also have a historical fiction completed that needs some TLC and rewriting.

What’s your favorite thing about being a writer?

Just like reading a book, I can lose myself in a story – the only difference is I am creating the plot and characters. But the enjoyment level is similar. I write because I enjoy stories. It all comes back to the stories.

What genre is your favorite to read?

Just one? I love them all! If I had to choose, I’d have to say my top two are historical fiction and mystery. Oh, and magical realism. I have to add that one because I’ve always loved a little bit of magic in the books I read.

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

I love living in Idaho, but I wouldn’t mind a second home at the beach. Who wouldn’t? This is probably why my main character in House of Seven Spirits, Jillian, has a beach-view cottage. I can live this dream through her.

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

A writer. No kidding. I decided by age seven I was going to be a novelist someday.

What do you like best about your heroine? 

Jillian Winchester started her own business and controls her destiny. She’s young, smart, willing to take risks and doesn’t like it when someone stands in her way – including her boyfriend, Mason. She also has a fragile side and a unique history that drives her to speak to ghosts. While the books are novella-length, this character still offers some complexity, and I like this about her.

How can readers reach you or find you online?

Lots of places. I have a newsletter, too, that readers can sign up to receive via my website. Here are my online and social media links:
Website: http://juliemhoward.com
Facebook:  http://www.facebook.com/juliemhowardauthor
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/18116047.Julie_Howard
Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/-/e/B07D6CS4NQ
Bookbub: https://www.bookbub.com/profile/julie-howard?list=author_books
Twitter: https://twitter.com/_JulieMHoward

Tell us a little about your current work in progress.

I’m finished editing work on a novella that is part of a series my publisher will launch this summer. The series is called One Scoop or Two, and all books will have a flavor of ice cream in the title. Mine is called “Sea-Salt Lavender for Aphrodite.”  Aphrodite is a standard poodle who happens to love ice cream, and she plays a role in the plot. I hope to do a cover reveal in May and the book will be scheduled to run sometime over the summer.

What’s your tagline for your new release, House of Seven Spirits? Why did you choose it?

“Some Secrets are Deadly.” The Outback can be a scary place and there are a host of things that can kill you. A couple of these factor into my story.

Tell us about this release.

House of Seven Spirits is a ghost mystery, and is the second in my Spirited Quest mysteries. Each book can be read as a stand-alone; you don’t need to read them in order. Below, I have the blurb and an excerpt to give readers a taste of what’s to come.

Some secrets are deadly, and ghost-blogger Jillian Winchester and her photographer boyfriend discover it's true when they set out to investigate an Australian family who disappeared without a trace in the 1880s.

An abandoned sheep station rumored to be haunted by the long-dead Kinsley family is one challenge. The other is the beautiful but deadly Outback.

As Jillian probes deeper into the mystery, one thing becomes clear: She might not make it out of this quest alive.


“Don’t go up there,” Mason warned. “The wood’s apt to be rotted in places. The floor may not be safe.”

She glanced over her shoulder at him and hesitated. Her California beach home was eight thousand miles away—a fifteen-hour flight plus a day’s drive along bumpy bleak roads. She hadn’t come this far to only examine the structure’s exterior. Her work required total immersion.

She put a foot on the first step and tested it with her weight. Mason strode around the car and halted just below the porch with arms crossed. “Jillian.”

The last thing she needed was someone hovering, directing her on what she could and couldn’t do. When she worked, the “real” world faded in importance. His uneasy energy interrupted her focus. “I’m fine.”

The stair was solid, at least. Not even a creak greeted her as she advanced onto the veranda. He cleared his throat as she took another step, but said nothing.

Despite the heat, a sudden chill rippled up her bare arms, sending prickles all the way to her neck. For a split second, her world tilted and her senses were overwhelmed. The musty odor of freshly shorn sheep wool, clothes flapping on a line, young voices chattering, the sharp tang of blood. Just as quick, the images dissolved and all was still, dry and lifeless once more. She let go of a deep breath, and a feeling of exhilaration swept through her.

Someone’s here.

Author Bio:

Julie Howard is the author of the Wild Crime and Spirited Quest series. She is a former journalist and editor who has covered topics ranging from crime to cowboy poetry. Now she edits an online anthology, Potato Soup Journal.

Buy Links for House of Seven Spirits:

Amazon: https://tinyurl.com/ubgz73p
iBooks: https://books.apple.com/us/book/house-of-seven-spirits/id1497768327
Nook: https://bit.ly/39kJRgS

Tuesday, March 24, 2020

The Story Behind Healing Hearts by Christine Clark

Christine Clark stops by to talk about her newest release, HEALING HEARTS, published by The Wild Rose Press. Christine tells us about the horrific environmental event that inspired her story. Great to have you here today, Christine!

Thank you for hosting me on your Blog today, Jana. I’m very happy to be here.

The story at the heart of Healing Hearts is based on a real event. Five years ago the tailings pond of the Mount Polley copper mine in central British Columbia burst and spilled twenty-four million cubic meters (6,340,129,256.6 US gallons) of mine waste into Hazeltine Creek. This tidal wave of sludge destroyed everything in its path and poured into pristine Quesnel Lake.

Canoeing on Quesnel Lake
The government scientists tell us the water in the lake is okay for fish, birds, and humans, but when you see the horrendous damage to the environment, there’s no question that this beautiful remote area has been changed forever. The mining company has made some environmental remediation, and the work is ongoing, but the damage is done.

Some of the damage caused by the tailings pond breach.

 Reeling from loss and heartbreak, Stella King is desperate to escape painful memories. The position of nanny on an isolated ranch in British Columbia’s rugged Chilcotin Plateau seems the answer to her prayers.

Cattle rancher, Dawson Wheeler, has worked hard to overcome grief and build a predictable world for his young daughter. The last thing he needs is the all-too-attractive Stella disrupting the smooth running of his ranch, especially now that disturbing incidents are happening on his property.

Defending his land against those who want to gut it will be a challenge, but the biggest threat of all may be to his heart.


The back of his neck itched. "You're Stella King?" Of course she was. Who else would be waiting here at this time of night? Once again he glanced at the photograph clenched in his hand—gray curls, thick glasses, sixty years old. This was the Stella King he'd hired. The itching amped up to a full-out assault.

She stood and held out her hand. "Nice to meet you, Dawson."

He stumbled back a step, his worst fears confirmed. This gorgeous woman was the nanny he'd hired to look after Deirdre.

Her light blue wool sweater did nothing to hide the rounded mounds of her breasts. Her legs looked a mile long in the white denim, skin tight, designer jeans tucked into a pair of knee-high, high-heeled, black leather boots. Her perfume wafted on the evening breeze, a heady mix of spring flowers and something subtle but decidedly feminine.

He struggled to swallow, but his throat was parched, his tongue as dry as old leather against the roof of his mouth.

Silence stretched between them. An owl hooted from a nearby tree, crickets chirped in the tall grass lining the ditch, and still he didn't move as the ramifications of what he'd agreed to engulfed him.

Buy links:

Author Biography:

 Award-winning author, C.B. Clark, has written six romantic suspense novels published by The Wild Rose Press. She has worked as an archaeologist and an educator, and enjoys hiking, canoeing, and snowshoeing with her husband and dog near her home in the wilderness of central British Columbia.

Social Media Links:

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/cbclarkauthor/

Blog: https://cbclarkauthor.wordpress.com

Twitter: https://twitter.com/cbclarkauthor

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/cbclarkauthor/

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/15029617.C_B_Clark

Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/C.-B.-Clark/e/B01BK61TQG/

Friday, March 20, 2020

Recipes and WILD ROSE PASS by Karen Hulene Bartell

Karen Hulene Bartell is here to share a recipe, and she also shares some information about why scents and memories are so connected. Thanks for being here, Karen!

Thanks so much for hosting me on your blog. It’s a pleasure to be here!


Food is essential. I love preparing and sharing it—as well as writing about it. As a result, food becomes a crucial element of my novels, and readers participate in the scenes through taste and smell, even engaging with their favorite characters because of the recipes I include.

The sense of smell is closely linked with memory. What better way to recall past holidays than through the aromas of traditional food? What comes to mind when you read the next paragraphs?

Then, she brought the pièce de résistance on an oversized platter— 

His mouth watering at the sight and scent of home cooking, Ben inhaled the spices’ pungent aromas and the turkey’s savory bouquet.

Thanksgiving? Christmas? What do you recall?

Using thick potholders, Cadence took the mincemeat pie from the warming oven. Cloves, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, apples, currants, and dried apricots bubbled together in a buttery lattice pastry. As she carried it into the dining room, its spicy aromas wafted back, and she breathed them in along with memories of earlier Thanksgivings with her parents.

Food also introduces us to foreign cultures, flavors—and sometimes concepts. Textures and tastes take us on tiny culinary adventures.

When Cadence inhaled the fresh cornbread’s familiar aroma, she detected an unusual nutty scent. She bit into the crumbly bread, slowly chewed it, and smiled. “This tastes like a sweet cornbread. What’s that subtle flavor?” 

“Mesquite meal. It makes the corn meal go further.” 

“Where did you get it?” She did a double-take. 

Ben translated. “I ground mesquite beans on a makeshift metate of flat rocks.”

Scent and taste are also subtle sexual communicators. Some scientists believe kissing evolved from sniffing and tasting potential partners. Think of phrases like “Sexual appetite” or “His eyes devoured her” or “Lips tasted like wine / honey / strawberries…”

As he reined away his horse from the veranda, she inhaled, catching the masculine scents of sun-warmed leather and horses. Warmth crept to her cheeks.

Her nearness, the clean scent of her hair, and the feathery tickle of her breath on his neck stirred him, and he bent his head to kiss her.

But the topic of today’s blog is Recipes, so try your hand at this spicy favorite—but with a Texas twist: agave syrup.

Ben shook his head as he ladled peaches over his steaming gingerbread, their sweet and pungent aromas mingling as he inhaled.



2-1/2 cups white flour
2-1/2 teaspoons yeast powder (or 1 packet instant yeast)
2-1/2 teaspoons ground cloves
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
4 egg yolks, beaten
1/2 cup butter, melted
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup agave syrup (or maple syrup)


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter one oblong baking pan. Combine the dry ingredients. Mix the egg yolks with the butter, sugar, and syrup. Combine the dry mixture with the egg mixture. Turn into the buttered pan. Bake for thirty-five minutes, or until center springs back when touched. Serve warm with canned peaches, if desired. Serves 12-16.

Wild Rose Pass by Karen Hulene Bartell


Cadence McShane, free-spirited nonconformist, yearns to escape the rigid code, clothes, and sidesaddles of 1880s military society in Fort Davis, Texas. She finds the daring new lieutenant exhilarating, but as the daughter of the commanding officer, she is expected to keep with family tradition and marry West Point graduate James West.

Orphaned, Comanche-raised, and always the outsider looking in, Ben Williams yearns to belong. Cadence embodies everything he craves, but as a battlefield-commissioned officer with the Buffalo Soldiers instead of a West Point graduate, he is neither accepted into military society nor considered marriageable.

Can two people of different worlds, drawn together by conflicting needs, flout society and forge a life together on the frontier?


Reining his horse between catclaw and prickly-pear cactus, Ben Williams squinted at the late summer sun’s low angle. Though still midafternoon, shadows lengthened in the mountains. He clicked his tongue, urging his mare up the incline. “Show a little enthusiasm, Althea. If we’re not in Fort Davis by sunset, we’ll be bedding down with scorpions and rattlesnakes.”

As his detachment’s horses clambered up Wild Rose Pass, the only gap through west Texas’ rugged Davis Mountains, Ben kept alert for loose rocks or hidden roots, anything that might trip his mount. A thick layer of fallen leaves created a pastiche of color shrouding the trail from view. He glanced up at the lithe cottonwood trees lining the route, their limbs dancing in the breeze. More amber and persimmon leaves loosened, fell, and settled near the Indian pictographs on their tree trunks. When he saw the red- and yellow-ochre drawings, he smiled, recalling the canyon’s name—Painted Comanche Camp.

“How far to Fort Davis, lieutenant?” called McCurry, one of his recruits.

“Three hours.” If we keep a steady pace.

Without warning, the soldier’s horse whinnied. Spooking, it reared on its hind legs, threw its rider, and galloped off.

As he sat up, the man groaned, caught his breath, and stared into the eyes of a coiled rattler, poised to strike. “What the…?”

Flicking its tongue, hissing, tail rattling, the pit viper was inches from the man’s face.

A sheen of sweat appeared above the man’s lip. “Lieutenant—”

Buy Links:

Amazon Paperback: https://amzn.to/2vQP41r
Barnes & Noble NOOK Book: https://bit.ly/32zhDfZ
Barnes & Noble Paperback: https://bit.ly/2T1V3JM

About the Author:

Author of the Trans-Pecos, Sacred Emblem, Sacred Journey, and Sacred Messenger series, Karen is a best-selling author, motivational keynote speaker, wife, and all-around pilgrim of life. She writes multicultural, offbeat love stories that lift the spirit. Born to rolling-stone parents who moved annually, Bartell found her earliest playmates as fictional friends in books. Paperbacks became her portable pals. Ghost stories kept her up at night—reading feverishly. The paranormal was her passion. Westerns spurred her to write (pun intended). Wanderlust inherent, Karen enjoyed traveling, although loathed changing schools. Novels offered an imaginative escape. An only child, she began writing her first novel at the age of nine, learning the joy of creating her own happy endings. Professor emeritus of the University of Texas at Austin, Karen resides in the Hill Country with her husband Peter and her “mews”—three rescued cats and a rescued *Cat*ahoula Leopard dog.

Connect with Karen:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/KarenHuleneBartell 
Twitter: https://twitter.com/KarenHuleneBart 
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/explore/tags/karenhulenebartell/ 
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/611950.Karen_Hulene_Bartell 
Website: http://www.KarenHuleneBartell.com/
Email: info@KarenHuleneBartell.com
Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/author/karenhulenebartell
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/karenhulenebartell/
BookBub: https://www.bookbub.com/profile/karen-hulene-bartell
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/karenhulenebartell/
AUTHORSdb: https://authorsdb.com/community/17847-karen-hulene-bartell

Tuesday, March 17, 2020

D.V. Stone's Favorite Scene from ROCK HOUSE GRILL

I love the old saying "Men make plans and God laughs". In D.V. Stone's upcoming release, ROCK HOUSE GRILL, Aden and Shay's plans come crashing down around them, but together they learn there's always Plan B, and it can be better than they ever imagined. ROCK HOUSE GRILL releases April 6, 2020 from The Wild Rose Press. Welcome D.V.!

Have you ever had everything planned out for your life? You were going to go to school and get a degree in a field you loved, but no one was hiring in that field. Maybe find the partner of your dreams and live happily ever after, until the divorce. You were going to raise your kids to be amazing people, but they didn’t turn out how you expected. The bank account you were building for retirement ended up going toward medical bills.

Don’t get depressed yet. I’m an author whose main ARC or Trope, is hope. A bit of personal history. I’ve owned and lost businesses. Heath issues are real. I’ve been divorced. Laid off from long term jobs. Money? Fuhgeddaboudit! (I can use that expression, I’m from NJ.)

So, when I was asked about my favorite scene in Rock House Grill, this one immediately came to mind. Here’s the setup. Circumstances in Aden House's life are a contributing factor leading to a terrible car accident. He is in a rehabilitation center with damaged legs. In the midst of an anger/pity party, a very smart man comes into his room who may or not be loosely based on someone I know.

“Do you need anything?” John, the rehab aide, popped his head in the door. “Can you get your legs on the bed?” 

“I’ll be fine.” 

The man flinched at his sharpness. Aden took a deep breath. “Sorry, thank you.” 

“I know it’s frustrating.” John came in, picked up the grabber, and leaned against the wall. “It might help to talk to someone.” 

“I’ve already talked.” Aden grabbed one leg, then the other, lifting them onto the bed. “See, it’s all good.” 

The other man didn’t back off, though. “So, you’ve talked to someone. What did they say?” 

Aden leaned back, put his arms behind the pillow, and stared at the ceiling tiles. “I would experience anger, frustration, insecurity—blah, blah, blah.” 

“And what were you experiencing when I heard you throwing things and stuck my head in?” 

Aden closed his eyes. “All of it.” 

When he opened his eyes, John stood at his bedside. “You’re still the man you were. It’s a rough patch. You’ve hit rough patches before?” 

“Not really.” 

“Welcome to the other ninety percent of humanity.” The aide stooped down, so he and Aden were on eye level. Laugh lines and slight graying at the temples were the only indications he was older than Aden. “Circumstances change us. We can curse them and let them control us. Or, we allow whatever happens to make us better.”

“I get it.” 

“No, I don’t think you do.” John paused a moment, grabbed a chair, and straddled it. “I have this friend. He’s a runner.” 

Aden pulled himself up, leaned against the headboard, and snorted. “I’m getting a bedtime story?” 

“Yeah.” John laughed. “The guy wants to be in the Olympics. Every day he runs and practices. Every day he gets home, and he hurts all over, especially his feet. Blisters like I’ve never seen. They bleed. But after a while, blisters go away, bleeding stops, and calluses develop.” 

“You’re saying I should develop calluses?” 

“Wait, calluses are not the point of the story. The guy makes the team. Heads to Atlanta.” 

 “Did he win?” Aden couldn’t help being caught up in the story. “Have I heard of him?”

 “He got sick.” John leaned his arms on the back of the chair. “Pneumonia, the day the meets started.” 

“Then all his work was for nothing.” Well, that wasn’t helpful. Shouldn’t this be a story about a winner? “Just like me.” 

The other man shook his head. “I didn’t say The End.” 

“What happened?” 

“He went to the hospital and nearly died. But there was this nurse.” John’s eyes went distant. “She was beautiful and determined her patient would make it.” 

“Did he?” 

“Yup. They fell in love, got married, and had a couple of kids.” John pushed the chair back and stood up. “Not the life he’d planned. He regretted not achieving what he’d worked so hard for, but once he adjusted, his life turned out great.” 

Aden developed a sneaking suspicion in his gut as the aide headed for the door. “What does this guy do now?” 

“He gets great satisfaction in helping injured people get on with their lives.” John closed the door behind him.


Aden House, successful but driven chef and TV personality, refuses to slow down. His life implodes one night, damaging him both physically and emotionally. He's rescued by a woman he thinks of as his angel.

Shay McDowell has rebuilt her life after her divorce. She juggles volunteer EMT duties and her job, while dreaming of becoming a chef. She finds her way to Rock House Grill and back into the life of the man she helped save.

Can love be the ingredient needed to survive the many obstacles they face?


“Easy, you’re going to be okay.” A soft voice eased through the chaos around him. The owner of the voice grabbed his arms and held them in a firm but gentle grip. “I’m right here with you. You are not alone.”

“Can hardly m-move.” His voice slurred. “C-can’t see anything.”

“You’ve been in an accident. I’m an EMT with the ambulance squad,” the velvety voice calmly explained. “You can’t see well because we’re under a tarp. Hold still, okay?”


A small light flickered at the edge of his vision. It shone into a bag next to him. Penlight.

“You’re restrained to a board. It’s to keep your head from moving and causing more injury.”

She continued to talk to him. The voice reached down somewhere inside him, calming and peaceful, so he focused on it. A glow from spotlights on the outside lit whatever covered them. The shadow gave the woman the appearance of a halo—like an angel.

Buy Links:

Amazon           Barnes and Noble          iBook’s

Author Bio:

Born in Brooklyn, D.V. Stone has moved around a bit and even lived for a time on a dairy farm in Minnesota before moving back east. Throughout her wandering, she always considered herself a Jersey Girl. She met and married the love of her life, Pete—a lifelong Jersey Man, and moved this time to Sussex County.  They adopted Hali, a mixed breed from the local shelter, who is still working things out with their cat Baby.

D.V.’s career path varied from working with the disabled to become a volunteer EMT, which in turn led to working in hospital emergency rooms and then in a women's state prison. After a few years, she took a break from medicine and became the owner of Heavenly Brew, a specialty coffee shop in Sparta NJ, and a small restaurant in Lafayette. Life handed some setbacks, and she ended up back in the medical field, but this time in a veterinary emergency hospital.

During the poor economy, she was laid–off from a long-time position she cared about. Devastated, D.V. wondered what to do with her life. Finding comfort in her love of reading, she realized it was now time to follow her dream of writing. It's been a long road but worth every minute of it. Now a published author, she also works in a people medical office again.

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Friday, March 13, 2020

For the Love of Pets by Cynthia Terelst

We lost our seventeen-year-old dog Lou just after Christmas. It's been hard without her but I take comfort in remembering all the joy she brought us for so many years. It's good to hear about other people's beloved pets and to know they feel that joy as well. Thank you to Cynthia Terelst for sharing her love for her pets.

For the love of pets

Hi everyone,

I’m Cynthia Terelst. I write contemporary romance with some heat. Thank you to Jana for inviting me to share my pets with you today.

I cannot imagine not having pets in my life. For as long as I can remember we’ve had pets in our home. My current two pets are Kimmy and Possum.  Kimmy is 12 years old, and we adopted her from a local refuge.  She loves us, but is not interested in other people. Her favourite pastime is sleeping.

Possum is the total opposite. She loves everyone and demands their attention ALL THE TIME. She is an Abyssinian cross, who is a foster fail. If you don’t know what the term foster fail means, it is when you foster an animal through a rescue and end up adopting it yourself. 

As well as my two cats I often foster kittens for a local rescue. I once had five kittens in my home at once. Let me tell you I have never experienced such craziness, and I never will again. Just imagine, these babies need to be fed three times a day as they grow, grow, grow. They get into everything on their adventures and have no shame in breaking things.  And the amount of cat litter cleaning required is extreme. I will be sticking to two or three at a time from now on.

I have included a photo of Gimli, one of our fosters from a few years ago.  Fostering is a very rewarding experience.  You are setting these babies up for a forever home. If it weren’t for foster carers many kittens and cats would be put to sleep because shelters just do not have enough room for them.

In The Cat’s out of the Bag, we meet some cats who live in a shelter. Mike is the cat character of the book and has a paw in Evie and Jesse’s relationship. He is a wise old boy with a lot of love to give.
Ultimately, The Cat’s out of the Bag is a love story that starts off at a cat shelter. We watch Evie and Jesse’s relationship grow. It’s not always an easy path, just like any relationship. The book touches on tough subjects like domestic violence and trust. Rest assured, this is not a totally serious book, there are many places where you will laugh.

The Cat’s out of the Bag

One van. Two hearts. Thousands of kilometres.

Jesse’s a self-made billionaire who yearns to get away from his empty life and the money-hungry parasites who inhabit it. The plan? Go to Australia, tell no one about his money and find himself. Instead of finding just himself, he finds Evie, who is everything anyone should aspire to be. Now, what he aspires to be, is hers. But to be hers, he needs to tell her everything.

Evie has left her past behind. She has rebuilt herself, and her life, into one of happiness. After she meets Jesse, while volunteering at a cat shelter, memories of her past filter back in. She is stronger now and wants to trust him. But after all she has been through, is trust even possible?

The quest to find a cat a forever home leads them to travel across the country together. Can the close quarters drive them to open up to each other? Or will it drive them apart?



I went to Mike’s enclosure to pay him a quick visit. He did not hear me enter, but as soon as I touched his head, he opened his eyes and regarded me. His purr was almost instant, as was the calming effect he had on me. I couldn’t believe I had missed out on the companionship of a pet all my life. Someone who I could confide in and would keep my secrets close.

“How’s it going, Mike?”

He head-bumped my hand, a sign to tell me he was good.

“I was thinking about Evie today.”

He looked at me as if encouraging me to go on.

“She’s pretty special, isn’t she?”

He continued giving me that speculative look.

“I like her.”

Still, he just stared at me, like I was telling him nothing new.

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Author Bio:

Cynthia Terelst is a project officer by day and a writer by night. She is a contemporary romance writer who likes to share a little bit of history, some Australian scenery and a whole lotta love. Cynthia does not shy away from difficult topics, as she feels that they should not be ignored.
She lives in Queensland, Australia, where the sun shines at least 283 days a year.

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Tuesday, March 10, 2020

Cover Reveal! VANILLA WITH A TWIST by Peggy Jaeger

I'm happy to show off the cover of Peggy Jaeger's upcoming release
VANILLA WITH A TWIST, part of the One Scoop or Two series
Coming soon from The Wild Rose Press!

Tandy Blakemore spends her days running her New England ice cream parlor, single-parenting her teenage son, and trying to keep her head above financial water. No easy feat when the shop's machinery is aging and her son is thinking about college. Tandy hasn't had a day off in a decade and wonders if she'll ever be able to live a worry-free life.

Engineer Deacon Withers is on an enforced vacation in the tiny seaside town of Beacher's Cove. Overworked, stressed, and lonely, he walks into Tandy's shop for a midday ice cream cone and gets embroiled in helping her fix a broken piece of equipment.

Can the budding friendship that follows lead to something everlasting?