Tuesday, June 28, 2022

J. Arlene Culiner and a recipe from A ROOM IN BLAKE'S FOLLY

J. Arlene Culiner makes a return visit to my blog today. She tells us more about A ROOM IN BLAKE'S FOLLY and the characters who inhabit it, and also shares a recipe for the vegetarian dish Pecan Soup. Because, of course, many of her characters are vegetarian. Thanks for stopping by again, Jill. Great to have you!

Romance with Strange Characters

A Room in Blake’s Folly by J. Arlene Culiner

I love writing about people who are different. Some are forced to adapt to new circumstances in order to survive, others are originals, folks who have never really fit into mainstream society. But no one is humdrum, and all have dreams.

I adore people who challenge the status quo. They are often opinionated, sometimes obnoxiously so, but they are also entertaining, and stimulating, and they do make us question our own values.

In my latest release, A Room in Blake’s Folly, six linked stories take place in a former silver boomtown that, in time, becomes a semi-ghost town. The sort of people who choose to live in such a place can only be at odds with society. But that doesn’t make them unworthy of love.

In the second story, Evenings at Madam Lacey’s, Alexander Treemont is the son of a former silver baron. However, instead of stepping into his father’s shoes, he ran away to Paris to become an artist back in the 1880s. Now, forty years later, he is again in Blake’s Folly, and still willing to break taboos, he begins wooing Susanna Lacey, former prostitute, now a brothel owner. And when he invites Susanna to his home for dinner, she discovers he is a vegetarian—no surprise; in Paris Alexander frequented former anarchists and artists:

Their meal of old-fashioned American dishes was equally surprising, and very different from what she knew: a smoky soup of herbed pecans, a main course of braised squash, carrots, fennel, and herbs, served with the finest Canada rice, and a dessert of home-preserved summer fruits. There was no meat, neither was there fish. 

“A hangover from anarchist days in Paris,” Alexander explained. “We were influenced by writers like Henry Salt who protested against the appalling treatment of work horses and dogs in England, and Tolstoy, who thought it immoral to slaughter innocent animals that were themselves vegetarian—deer, rabbits, sheep, horses, and trusting cows.” 

That sort of meal sounds wonderful to me, too. Vegetables that are braised or oven roasted with a touch of olive oil are divine. As for pecan soup — you can use walnuts if pecans aren’t available—well…it’s a taste of heaven.

I’m a cook who never measures anything, so I can only give you a vague recipe. But do play around, give it a try. You won’t be disappointed.

Pecan Soup - Ingredients

1-2 cups of shelled, lightly oven roasted (about five minutes) pecans or walnuts

1 large chopped onion

1 medium to large potato cut into small pieces

4 cups of vegetable broth (can be from a cube)

1-2 chopped cloves of garlic

1-2 chopped celery stalks (optional)

1 chopped tomato (optional)

Pepper, chopped parsley, oregano (optional) rosemary (optional) thyme (optional)

Milk, cream or sour cream


Chives (optional)

Sauté all the ingredients (except the chives) in butter until the onion is soft. Add the broth and simmer until the potato is cooked. Put everything into a blender until smooth. Now add the milk, cream or sour cream until you decide it tastes perfect.

Pour into bowls and sprinkle with chives.

The Room Upstairs, the fifth story in A Room in Blake’s Folly, takes place in 2021. My heroine, Lucy Barnes, a woman who loves and protects spiders, is also a vegetarian. Here’s the moment when Lance Potter, veterinarian, asks her out for dinner:


Pushing open the door to Second Hand Rose, he stepped inside. Stopped dead, his heart plummeting lower still. No, Rose wasn’t here. The comforting thought of a flirtatious evening disappeared, slid outside to join the frigid desert air and glacial stars. Sitting at a small round wooden table over to the left, was the Valkyrie. She looked up from the book she was reading and stared at him with just about the same amount warmth he was feeling toward her.

“She’s not here.” No “hello,” no preamble of any sort. 

“Yes, I can see that. I’ll come back another time.” He turned to go, return to the wintry evening, and begin the long drive home. 

“Hey, wait.” She was staring at him. “Why not come and sit down. Make yourself comfortable. You want a coffee?”

“A coffee?” He gaped at the Valkyrie as if the word “coffee” were a new one he hadn’t yet tried out. “You’re offering me a coffee?” And hospitality? 

She lowered her head and a certain amount of amiability disappeared. “That’s right, Buster. Real freshly-made coffee in a pot, no instant, no chemicals.” 

“My name’s not Buster.” 

A wicked grin appeared, one made more mischievous by her slightly crooked and uneven teeth. “Okay, Bud. But the offer for coffee still holds.”

“It’s not Bud either.” 

That grin broadened. “Look, you can’t get around me. I know what you call me.” 

“Oh, yes?” 

“Yup. Just to let you know.”


“I’m the Valkyrie, right?” 

He took a deep breath. Then, felt amusement pushing aside dark dreariness. “Yeah, that’s right.” 

“But you’re wrong.” She got to her feet, as if preparing a devastating blow. “You wanna know why?” 

Even he had started smiling. “If I don’t, you’re still going to tell me, right? Because that’s your style.” 

“You got it, Bud.” Hands on her hips, she looked at him with what could only be called triumph. “Because the Valkyries were virgin warriors, and I’m way too old to be a virgin, that’s why.” 

Impossible to suppress the chuckle bubbling up from deep in his belly, that turned into a roar of laughter. How had she managed to win him over in such a short time? Damn.

She was still grinning, still waiting for his answer about the coffee. He stared at her for a minute, then forced his own broad smile into something more serious. “Let’s forget about the coffee.” 

“Okay.” The grin faded, and she shrugged as if she didn’t care one way or the other, which was probably true.

“Instead of coffee, how do you feel about going out to dinner with me?” 

Now she was the one who stared as if the word “dinner” were a new one. “Me?” 

“At the moment, you’re the only one in this room aside from some 2,000 tiny loyal spiders that probably follow you everywhere. But I’m not asking them if they’re hungry because I know what the answer would be.”

“As for dinner, I’m a vegetarian.” 

“You would be.” 

“You got something against people who refuse to kill animals for food?” She was back in Valkyrie mode. 

“Absolutely nothing. I’m open as far as food goes.” He paused before adding, “And I’m open to new ideas, too, okay?” 

Warily, she nodded.

A Room in Blake’s Folly


If only the walls could speak…

In one hundred and fifty years, Blake's Folly, a silver boomtown notorious for its brothels, scarlet ladies, silver barons, speakeasies, and divorce ranches, has become a semi-ghost town. Although the old Mizpah Saloon is still in business, its upper floor is sheathed in dust. But in a room at a long corridor's end, an adventurer, a beautiful dance girl, and a rejected wife were once caught in a love triangle, and their secret has touched three generations.

Purchase Links:




Author Bio:

Writer, storyteller, photographer, and social critical artist, J. Arlene Culiner, was born in New York and raised in Toronto. She has crossed much of Europe 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.

Author Website: http://www.j-arleneculiner.com

Blog: http://j-arleneculiner.over-blog.com

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

BookBub: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/j-arlene-culiner

Twitter: https://twitter.com/JArleneCuliner/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/jarlene.culiner/

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/jarleneculiner

Amazon Author Page : https://www.amazon.com/author/jarleneculiner-quirky-roma

Wednesday, June 22, 2022

STRONG ENOUGH releases today!

 STRONG ENOUGH, book 4 in the Masonville Small Town Romance series, releases today!

Love can make you stronger, if you let it.

Charlotte Saunders has a full life—a rewarding career as a nurse, meaningful volunteer work at a dog shelter, and family, friends and pets she adores. But no matter how hard she tries, she can’t forget the horrible event that’s haunted her for ten years.

A survivor of childhood sexual abuse, Damon Greyson now helps others who have suffered trauma. His experience and intuition alert him to trouble in Charlotte’s past, and he wants to help her, if only she’d let him.

As they work together to help veterans suffering from PTSD and neglected dogs needing loving homes, their feelings for each other deepen. But when the trauma from Charlotte’s past roars back to life, both are forced to confront their painful histories—or die trying.

Buy Links:

Amazon - https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B09VNRFZW7 

Amazon CA - https://www.amazon.ca/gp/product/B09VNRFZW7 

Amazon UK - https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B09VNRFZW7 

iBooks: https://books.apple.com/us/book/strong-enough/id1615684106 

Barnes & Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/strong-enough-jana-richards/1141265231?ean=2940161031278 

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/60582342-strong-enough 

BookBub: https://www.bookbub.com/books/strong-enough-masonville-series-book-4-by-jana-richards

Tuesday, June 21, 2022

#NewRelease from Linda Griffin: BRIDGES

 I'm hosting Linda Griffin on her blog tour today. BRIDGES is a vintage romance about a May/December love affair. Make sure to enter Linda's giveaway. Thanks for being here, Linda!



by Linda Griffin

Genre: Sweet Historical Romance 

In 1963, Neil Vincent, a middle-aged World War II veteran and "Christian atheist," is working at Westfield Court as a chauffeur. He spends most of his spare time reading.

Mary Claire DeWinter is a young, blind, Catholic college student and reluctant heiress. To secure her inheritance, she has to marry within a year, and her aunt is pressuring her to marry a rich man who teased and bullied her when she was a child.

Neil and Mary Claire shouldn't even be friends, but the gulf between them is bridged by a shared love of books. Can they cross the bridge to more?

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On the drive to Brierly Station, he didn’t speculate about who Miss DeWinter might be. It wasn’t his job to know who she was, only to meet her train and take her safely back to Westfield Court. She wouldn’t be the last of the friends and relatives who would gather as the old man’s life came to its long-awaited and peaceful end.

Brierly was bustling today, as restless as the St. James household. He was in plenty of time for the train and sat in the car reading. The car was a Bentley Mark VI, as well-maintained and highly polished as it was the day it was purchased. The book he was reading was Thomas Hardy’s The Return of the Native.

When the train rumbled in, he got out of the car. He stood patiently on the platform as the passengers disembarked, holding up a small slate on which he had chalked DEWINTER in large capitals. There weren’t many passengers, but they were briefly delayed while the conductor helped a blind woman navigate the steps. Neil’s gaze fell expectantly on a woman in her thirties, with an awful hat, but she was immediately met by a portly man and a teenage boy. No other likely prospects appeared, and he waited for someone to respond to the sign. No one did.

Finally, only two passengers were left on the platform—a small, homely man and the blind woman. Blind girl, really. She couldn’t be more than twenty. She had a jointed white cane, and her large sunglasses didn’t cover the edges of the scars on her face. She would not have been beautiful even without the scars—too thin, for starters, of average height but with small bones. On the other hand, her face might once have been pretty, and her hair was clean and shining, raven black, and well brushed. She was too pale, and the scars around her eyes were red and ugly. She looked a little lost.

Feeling foolish, he lowered the slate. “Miss DeWinter?” he asked as he approached her.

“Yes,” she said, turning toward his voice with a smile.

“I’m Vincent,” he said. “The St. James chauffeur.”

“Pleased to meet you, Mr. Vincent,” she said. “Thank you for meeting me.” Her voice was soft, her enunciation perfect.

The porter fetched her luggage—a single gray vinyl suitcase with a flower decal—from the depot and turned it over to Neil with a cheerful nod. Jane would be disappointed, especially if the girl’s other clothes were as plain as what she wore, a simple dark dress with long sleeves and an unfashionable, below-the-knees hemline. “Would you take my arm?” he asked, positioning himself so she could place her hand in the crook of his elbow, which she did with easy confidence.

“Do you have a Christian name?” she asked.

“Yes, miss. It’s Neil.”

“That’s a good name,” she said. “Mine is Mary Claire. How is my grandfather, do you know?”

Neil, who hadn’t known the old man had any grandchildren, said, “Hanging on, miss.”

He opened the car door and helped her into the back seat.

“You don’t have to call me ‘miss’ all the time,” she said. “Please call me Mary Claire. Or my friends at school call me Sunny.”

“Yes, miss,” he said automatically and closed the door. 

I was born and raised in San Diego, California and earned a BA in English from San Diego State University and an MLS from UCLA. I began my career as a reference and collection development librarian in the Art and Music Section of the San Diego Public Library and then transferred to the Literature and Languages Section, where I had the pleasure of managing the Central Library’s Fiction collection and initiating fiction order lists for the entire library system. Although I also enjoy reading biography, memoir, and history, fiction remains my first love. In addition to the three R’s—reading, writing, and research—I enjoy Scrabble, movies, and travel.

My earliest ambition was to be a “book maker” and I wrote my first story, “Judy and the Fairies,” with a plot stolen from a comic book, at the age of six. I broke into print in college with a story in the San Diego State University literary journal, 
The Phoenix, but most of my magazine publications came after I left the library to spend more time on my writing. 

My stories have been published in numerous journals, including 
Eclectica, Thema Literary Journal, The Binnacle, The Nassau Review, Orbis, and The Avalon Literary Review, and in the anthologies Short Story America, Vol. 2, The Captive and the Dead, and Australia Burns. Four stories, including one as yet unpublished, received honorable mention in the Short Story America Prize for Short Fiction contests. A sweet romance, Bridges (2022), and four romantic suspense novels, Love, Death, and the Art of Cooking (2021), Guilty Knowledge (2020), The Rebound Effect (2019) and Seventeen Days (2018) are available for order from the Wild Rose Press.

Follow the tour HERE for special content and a giveaway!

$10 Amazon

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Friday, June 17, 2022

WARRIOR PRIEST by Kate Hill #onsale for #99cents!

Kate Hill visits today with her science fiction romance WARRIOR PRIEST. We learn a little more about Kate as she answers five quick questions about her likes and dislikes. WARRIOR PRIEST is on sale for .99 cents at Smashwords and Amazon until June 30. Welcome Kate!

Quick 5

- Coffee or tea?

Tea. For some reason, I’ve never been able to stand even the smell of coffee. It probably sounds strange. Almost everyone I know loves coffee. Personally, I’m a water drinker, but I also enjoy tea sometimes. I like plain black tea, or sometimes peppermint, orange spice, or lemon. I enjoy most flavors of tea.

- Movies: romantic comedies, thriller, or horror? Got a different favorite?

I’m a huge horror movie fan. I’ll watch any type of horror movie from any decade, from silent black and white movies to the latest releases. Some of my favorites are The Howling, A Werewolf in England, Psycho, Crimson Peak, and the Hell House LLC movies.

- Bubble baths or steamy showers?

Showers! I don’t like sitting in a bathtub. I like running water. 

- Chocolate or caramel?

Chocolate! My favorite is dark chocolate, but I’ll eat pretty much any kind of chocolate. Strangely, I’m not wild about chocolate cake, but a piece of chocolate or a brownie, I can’t resist! I also love chocolate chips in oatmeal cookies and banana bread. Chocolate chips make just about anything better.  

- E-book, paperback or audiobook?

I enjoy all three for different reasons. I love ebooks because no matter where I am, I always have a variety of books at my fingertips without lugging around a giant book bag.  Paperbacks are great for favorite books that I want to hold in my hands and physically turn the pages. They’re also great if you want to makes notes or highlight favorite quotes. I know you can make notes and highlight in some ebooks, too, but I like to have a physical copy of stories I love. When I’m going to sleep, I like to listen to audiobooks. To me, there’s a good reason for every type of book. I love books!


What happens when a warrior priest from a strict religion meets a free-spirited priestess from a new age commune?

Jade and Selena are as different as two people can be, but to facilitate an alliance between their worlds, they engage in a cultural exchange. With their galaxy in danger from a planet that wants to conquer or destroy all others, they realize the importance of their assignment, but it is difficult for a warrior priest and a nonviolent priestess to understand each other.

Selena is both attracted and appalled by his old school masculinity, and Jade is tempted to break his vow of celibacy until marriage due to his powerful desire for her. Will this unlikely pair not only find common ground, but unconditional love?


At six feet three inches with a large build, Jade often considered his cell at the temple cramped. During his travels, he’d lived in caves, cottages, tents, and mud huts. He had even endured a Kimbrian prison camp. Still, he wasn’t fully prepared for Selena’s little house.

“It used to be a caravan,” she said. 

They removed their boots, left them on a rubber mat, and hung their coats on hooks near the entrance.

“Ned and Rayne helped me renovate it so that I’d have a little more space.”


“Yes. Before joining the commune, he was a builder. Well, he still is. He’s been in charge of building many of our shelters and clinics all over Neidress. He’s super talented and smart.”

“I got that feeling.”

“He’s also great with his hands. He can build just about anything.”

“That’s a little surprising,” Jade admitted, picturing the plump, bookish priest.

“I know, right?” Selena chuckled. “It’s said that looks can be deceiving. Come on. I’ll put some wood on the stove. It’s freezing.”

While Selena walked to a small, old-fashioned iron stove toward the center of the house, Jade glanced around. The caravan was made for efficiency, but it had an almost storybook charm. It fit Selena perfectly, but Jade felt too big for the house.

“It’ll heat up fast in here.” Selena stood and brushed wood chips off her clothes.

“That’s a guarantee.” Jade smiled and stepped closer to take her in his arms.

Purchase Links:

On sale for $0.99 until June 30, 2022 at Smashwords and Amazon

Author Bio:

Kate Hill is a vegetarian New Englander who started writing many years ago for pleasure.

When she’s not writing, she enjoys reading, watching horror and action movies, working out, and spending time with her family and pets.

Social Links:

Website: https://kate-hill.com/

Blog: https://kate-hill.com/blog/

Newsletter: https://kate-hill.com/index.php/newsletter/

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Kate-Hill/e/B002BLS7OW

BookBub: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/kate-hill

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/16157.Kate_Hill

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/katehillromancewritingandmore/_saved/

Tumblr: https://www.tumblr.com/blog/katehillromancewritingandmore

Twitter: https://twitter.com/KateHillRomance

Tuesday, June 14, 2022

Interview with Author Richards I. Levine

I'm interviewing author Richard I. Levine today. In his new book, TO CATCH THE SETTING SUN, a disillusioned Oahu police detective searches for a killer who's targeting women. Richard has had an amazing wealth of experiences in a variety of occupations, including as a writer. Thanks for letting us get to know you, Richard!

Q: Where did you get the idea for your new novel

A: It was a confluence of several separate, yet simultaneous, sensory experiences that triggered images which ignited the creative foundation for this story. Please allow me to explain. In 2018 I was on my way to the set of a Hawaii 5-O episode where I was cast as a background NCIS agent. On the way to set I mentally became this agent—giving him a name, a history, habits etc. I pictured him being uncomfortably hot while driving to an investigation because his car air-conditioner didn’t work. So, I shut mine off, rolled down the windows which caused a blast of hot air to rush in along with the smell of a trash pile left along the roadside. Then I began to play some music from the John Dumas CD Kohola Dreamtime and HPD detective Hank Benjamin came to life. After several weeks of repeating this ritual while in the car, a story began to develop and I knew I had my next novel.

Q: What was the most difficult thing about writing this book?

A: Constant interruptions from work or personal obligations, to neighbors engaged in noisy home remodeling projects or playing loud music to all hours of the night. It was extremely hard and frustrating to find uninterrupted quiet time. 

Q: Did you always want to be a writer?

A: From the time I was a small child, I had always found it difficult to verbally express my thoughts and feelings. I was never one of those people who had the ability to fire off a quick retort in the heat of the moment. The perfect response to any situation would always come to me hours later. Writing always came easy. It was a natural and an enjoyable path to travel; an easy way to transform my daydreams into a world that others can experience.

Q: Do you have any words of advice to beginning writers?

A: When I write, I literally do it for myself. It’s my entertainment. I’m the creator and the critic. The end result just happens to be a story, a novel, and a world that never existed until it developed in and moved out from the deep recesses of my brain. I never worry about an idea that comes to me at an inopportune time. If it’s a good idea, I’ll remember it. If I don’t, well, there will always be more to come. I never try to force a paragraph, a sentence, or a word, and you shouldn’t either. If the inspiration isn’t there, go do something else. If you try to force it, you’ll close down the innate pathways to the imagination and become frustrated. Just remember that If it doesn’t flow naturally, allow yourself to step away. Most important, don’t doubt yourself and don’t rush to get the approval of others. Believe that you are a creative genius. Do allow your imagination to sail across the cosmos with reckless abandon and understand that everything you put down on paper is not chiseled in stone. 

Q: What’s your favorite thing about being a writer?

A: Playing God. Seriously, getting to create and develop my characters and the world where they live. 

Q: What’s your least favorite thing about being a writer?

A: Playing God. While writing my previous four books, there were characters that I had developed a fondness for and never anticipated their demise when they were first created. In each instance, I had to pause for several days to reconcile the inevitable. After I had convinced myself it had to be done, I actually grieved over their passing. Sounds crazy, yes? 

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

A: I am a native New Yorker raised in the shadows of Yankee Stadium. After dabbling in several occupations (volunteer fireman, bartender, auto parts store manager) and a one-year coast to coast wanderlust trip, I returned to school to become a chiropractor. I’m a twenty-two year cancer survivor and a strong advocate of the natural healing arts. I have four Indy-published novels under my belt; my first being written in 2011. My fifth and latest work, To Catch The Setting Sun, will be released on August 22, 2022 on the Crimson Rose label of The Wild Rose Press. In 2006 I wrote, produced, and was on-air personality of the Dr. Rich Levine show on Seattle’s KKNW 1150AM and after a twenty-five year practice in Bellevue, Washington, I closed up shop in 2017 and moved to Oahu to pursue a dream of acting and being on Hawaii 5-O. While briefly working as a ghostwriter/community liaison for a local Honolulu City Councilmember, I appeared as a background actor in over twenty-five 5-Os and Magnum P.Is. I can be seen in my first co-star role in the Magnum P.I. third season episode “Easy Money”. I presently resides in Hawaii. 

Q: Do You have any pets? What do you like best about your pet.

A: I’ve always been a cat person. Found my first one when I was eight. My current kitty is an all-black (salt and pepper now) stray who is approximately twenty years old. Buddy is more like a lap-dog who follows me around the house. He’s the most vocal cat I’ve ever owned; constantly calling out to be fed, brushed, or to join him on the couch for TV time.

Q: What genre is your favorite to read?

A: I love history, especially late 18th century America. So both historical fiction and non-fiction piques my interest. I loved David McCullough’s John Adams. If I could go back in time, I would love to live in colonial Boston, New York, or Philadelphia.

Q: Name two authors we might find you reading when taking a break from your own writing?

A: When I was in high school, I was impressed with Ernest Hemingway and had always fantasized living in Key West with a bunch of polydactyl kitties and smoking Cuban cigars while pounding the keys of an old cast iron Royal typewriter.

I also have an affinity for the 1930s-1940s. I love old Bogart and Cagney films, so it makes sense that another author on my to-read list is Dashiell Hammett. In the future, I can see myself writing a noir detective novel.

Q: What are two (or more) of your all-time favorite books in any genre?

A: The first would have to be the George R. Stewart sci-fi classic Earth Abides. Written in the 1950s the story follows introvert Isherwood Williams who, thanks to the venom from a rattlesnake bite, survived a world-wide viral epidemic that wipes out most of humanity. Stewart’s masterful prose easily transports me into the protagonist’s shoes. Oddly, given the state of our world today, I find this story a tad prophetic of what can still occur. 

The second book would have to be McCullough’s biopic on John Adams

Q: What do you like best about your hero in To Catch The Setting Sun?

A: I like Detective Henry Benjamin’s integrity; his moral compass. He’s a flawed individual, he has his faults and weaknesses which he recognizes and is determined to overcome. Still, he’s honest and faithful.

Q: What do you like best about your heroine in To Catch The Setting Sun?

A: There are a couple of heroines in this story. My female leads are strong, independent, and intelligent. Not all are honest, but nonetheless, they can hold their own in any situation and can kick a little butt when necessary.   

Q: How can readers reach you or find you online?

A: I can be found on my Amazon author page, On Twitter @Your_In8_Power, and my Facebook author page Richard I Levine—fiction novelist.

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

A: I would definitely begin with my newest work because it’s “hot of the presses” as they say.  I wouldn’t deter anyone from my earlier work which are the four novels of the Ray Silver action adventure series. While each book can be read as a stand-alone, just know that where one book ends, the next book begins.

To Catch The Setting Sun


There’s a killer loose on the island of Oahu. His targets? Young, native-Hawaiian women. But it also appears that he’s targeting and taunting Honolulu police detective Henry Benjamin who knew each victim and whose wife, Maya, had been the first name on that list. In addition to battling his personal demons, this New York transplant’s aggressive style didn’t sit well with his laid-back colleagues who viewed Henry’s uncharacteristic lack of progress in the investigation as evidence that fueled ongoing rumors that he could be the killer. Was he, or could it have been someone within the municipal hierarchy with a vendetta? As it was, after thirteen years on the job Henry had been disillusioned with paradise. His career choice long killed any fantasy of living in a grass hut on a wind-swept beach, being serenaded by the lazy sounds of the ocean and a slack key guitar. Instead, it had opened his eyes to a Hawaii that tourists will never see.


The reflection from scattered tiki torches competed with the moonlight flickering across the black velvet lagoon. Gentle trade winds, carrying the sweet peach-like scent of plumeria, tickled the flames and the palm fronds. Clearly a welcomed reprieve from five straight days of stifling temperatures. A catamaran and a couple small outrigger canoes, their artfully painted fiberglass hulls made to look like the wood of ancient Koa trees, were pulled up along the sandy shoreline. The heavy beat of drums reverberated off the tall palms and set the rhythm for a half-dozen pair of grass-skirted hips dancing on the main stage while vacationers laughed, ogled, and stuffed their faces with shredded pork, scoops of macaroni salad, steaming flavored rice wrapped in Ti leaves, thick slices of pineapple, papaya, mango, and freshly roasted macadamia nuts that were all artfully displayed on wide banana leaf covered center pieces. They sat cross-legged in the sand, sipping Mai Tais from plastic cups made to look like hollowed out coconut shells, lost in a tropical fantasy that came complete with a souvenir snap shot taken with an authentic hula girl—the perfect paradise as portrayed on the website. The noise from the music, chanting, and laughter, drowned out the frantic noise of the nearby kitchen, and it drowned out the desperate pleas and painful cries of Makani Palahia from the far side of the beach at Auntie Lily’s Luau Cove and Hawaiian Barbecue.

Author Bio:

Richard I Levine is a native New Yorker raised in the shadows of Yankee Stadium. After dabbling in several occupations and a one-year coast to coast wanderlust trip, this one-time volunteer fireman, bartender, and store manager returned to school to become a chiropractor. A twenty-one year cancer survivor, he’s a strong advocate for the natural healing arts. Levine has four Indy-published novels and his fifth work, To Catch The Setting Sun, has just been completed and he's anticipating a spring 2022 release. In 2006 he wrote, produced and was on-air personality of the Dr. Rich Levine show on Seattle’s KKNW 1150AM and after a twenty-five year practice in Bellevue, Washington, he closed up shop in 2017 and moved to Oahu to pursue a dream of acting and being on Hawaii 5-O. While briefly working as a ghostwriter/community liaison for a local Honolulu City Councilmember, he appeared as a background actor in over twenty-five 5-Os and Magnum P.Is. Richard can be seen in his first co-star role in the Magnum P.I. third season episode “Easy Money”. He presently resides in Hawaii. 

Friday, June 10, 2022

FALLING FOR THE DOCTOR: #newrelease from Nan Reinhardt

I'm thrilled to have another of my Word Wrangler sisters on my blog today. The amazing Nan Reinhardt just released book 2 in her Lange Brothers trilogy. I can't wait to read FALLING FOR THE DOCTOR! Thanks for being my guest, Nan!

 Q: Not only are you a prolific writer, but you’re also a freelance copy editor. What came first—writing or editing?

A: I’ve been writing since I could hold a pen, so the real answer is writing, but I’ve been a freelance editor since 1996 and my first book wasn’t published until 2012, so… you do the math. I love both my careers—editing is always challenging and I get to read a lot of great books and discover new authors. Writing is my heart. I can’t imagine me without it.

Q: The setting for your Tule books is the small town of River’s Edge, Indiana, which is full of quirky and fun secondary characters. Did you grow up in a small town?

A:I did not. I grew up in the suburbs of a big city, but ever since I read Anne of Green Gables, I’ve wanted to experience small town life. I get some of that at our lake cottage, which is in a small town, but mostly, I’m a city girl. That said, there are plenty of quirky characters in the city, too, so lots of inspiration.

N: What is the most difficult part about writing for you?

A: The middle. My friend, author Liz Flaherty and I have a little saying that goes, “First is the meet-cute, the attracted, stuff happens, then there’s a conflict, and then the happily ever after.” It’s the “stuff happens” part that’s hardest for me, but if you let your characters go, they’ll usually come through.

N: What is the toughest criticism you’ve received as a writer? The best compliment?

A: An editor once told me my hero was an asshole. Man, that one hurt, particularly because she was right. He was. I learned so much from her about characterization and story. I’ll always be grateful, but that was pretty harsh.

N: Writing can be an emotional, stressful pursuit. Any tips for aspiring writers?

A: Breathe. Really. Just breathe. When you’re overwhelmed, step away, take a walk, have a glass of wine, weed a garden, read a book, watch a movie, absorb some story. You’d be surprised how much it helps to just step away for a few hours. 

N: What did you want to be when you grew up?

A: For a while I wanted to be an archeologist—in 4th grade, I learned about Howard Carter and the discovery of Tutankhamun’s tomb and I was fascinated. But then I found out Egypt was hot and there were scorpions, so… In high school for a while I wanted to go to Paris and be a translator—I’m an unabashed Francophile. But between those, I was writing and I knew one day, I would be a writer. Being published was dream I didn’t dare to express out loud, but wow! It’s an amazing ride!

N: Favorite book when you were a kid?

A: Every book I read—seriously. But the one that made me want to be a romance writer was Gene Stratton-Porter’s The Harvester. David Langston was the ultimate romance novel hero—I highly recommend it!

N: And here is a question that everyone loves: If you could choose three people, living or dead, to invite to a dinner party, who would they be and why?

A: My mom because I miss her; Dorothy Parker because she’s funny and quick and I think we’d get along great; and Carole King because she seems like such an intelligent, gentle soul and after dinner she could sing for us. 

Blurb and Buy Links:

Falling for the Doctor, Book 2 in the Lange Brothers Trilogy

They were in it for the fun, but never expected the storm…

Life for hometown ER physician Dr. Max Lange has always been sweet. He loves his job and is dialed in socially with his family, friends, and community. But lately, something feels like it’s missing. When a visiting doctor pulls him in for a hot kiss and asks him to play along in order to avoid unwanted attention from a hospital administrator, Max knows exactly what he wants and needs—the lovely Dr. Mitchell.

After a tragic error shakes her confidence beyond repair, Dr. Lauren Mitchell has abandoned her career in cardiothoracic surgery and instead works as a lead medical consultant for a top cardiovascular technology company. She enjoys her simple life on the road—hotel rooms, room service, and no emotional entanglements.

When a violent storm throws her into service at St. Mark’s hospital, Max has only a few days to prove to Lauren that they belong together, while she must reevaluate her career…and her life. Will Max’s love be enough to make River’s Edge and Max her home?


…She stacked her bread plate on top of her salad bowl, but Max stopped her with a raised palm. “I’ll bus your dishes, honey. You go on, and good luck with the presentation.” He leaned down to drop a quick kiss on her upturned mouth—the lightest touch of his lips to hers. “Don’t let the turkeys get you down, okay?”

“Thanks.” Lauren smiled, packed up her iPad and phone, and shoved them into a leather messenger bag that she slung over her shoulder. Walking away, she stopped a few feet from the table. “Nice to meet you, Dr. Johnson.” She gave him a brief nod. “See you tonight, Max.”

Whew. She’s going to meet me!

At least he hoped that was what her farewell meant. With a mental shrug, Max settled back into his chair and scraped the last of the chicken and noodles from the plate in front of him. When he looked up, Chris was staring a hole in him, one brow raised cynically. “Come on, Max.”

“Come on what?” Max took a slug of milk, then swiped his paper napkin across his lips and beard. 

“Who is she?”

“We told you. She’s Dr. Lauren Mitchell, cardiothoracic surgeon, currently a consultant for Cardiotronics. We met in Baltimore a few months ago and—”

“Your right eye twitches when you lie, Max.” Chris leaned back in his chair and crossed his arms over his chest. “It has ever since I met you freshman year in Bloomington. I imagine it’s happened your whole life. I could ask your mother. She likes me.” 

Max offered a pointed glance and unwrapped his brownie. 

Chris continued to stare at him. “I know this is crap because you’ve been in the ER with me for the past four days and I’ve not seen that woman once. Not one time. Plus, I know you. If you’d found that gorgeous creature in Baltimore, you’d have been crowing about it because you don’t date, and if you were dating the good Dr. Mitchell, you wouldn’t be able to resist telling me. And I haven’t heard so much as a peep out of you about her in—what’s it been since the conference?” He counted the months on the fingers of one hand. “February, March, April… It’s almost May. Three months.”

Max sighed. “You’re quite the detective there, Sherlock. Think you could’ve missed your calling?”

Chris chuckled. “Nope. My eight-year-old could’ve doped this one out. I’ll stick to medicine.” He pushed his plate away, set his elbow on the table, and cupped his chin in his palm. “So spill it.”

Max debated, but only briefly. Chris was no hospital gossip. He was his best friend and maybe it wouldn’t hurt to process a bit because, by God, he was darned curious about Dr. Lauren Mitchell. “I’ve never seen her before she threw herself at me”—he peeked at his smart watch—“thirteen minutes ago.”

Buy Links:

Amazon | B&N Nook | Kobo | Apple Books

Author Bio:

Nan Reinhardt is a USA Today bestselling author of sweet romantic fiction for Tule Publishing. Her day job is working as a freelance copyeditor and proofreader, however, writing is Nan’s first and most enduring passion. She can’t remember a time in her life when she wasn’t writing—she wrote her first romance novel at the age of ten and is still writing, but now from the viewpoint of a wiser, slightly rumpled, woman in her prime. Nan lives in the Midwest with her husband of 48 years, where they split their time between a house in the city and a cottage on a lake.

Talk to Nan at: nan@nanreinhardt.com

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Tule Publishing

Wednesday, June 8, 2022

Kayelle Allen and The Antonello Brothers Box Set #BlogTour

I'm happy to host Kayelle Allen and her science fiction romances featuring the Antonello Brothers. The five books are now in a beautiful box set. Thanks for visiting today, Kayelle!  


Complete Set of The Antonello Brothers 

by Kayelle Allen
New Release


Snuggle up with the Antonello Brothers. This boxed set contains all five exciting stories in the science fiction romance series, plus links to three bonus books.

♥ A Stolen Heart - This child can steal anything. Including a warrior-pirate's heart...
♥ Bro - He can be invisible, but he can't hide from the truth...
♥ At the Mercy of Her Pleasure - She's addictive. He can't touch her. But what if he kissed her just once...
♥ For Women Only - His secret truth is her people's darkest lie...
♥ Crystal Clear Truth - How can you trust when your own truth is a lie...

Three brothers. One missing mother. Not raised together, none of the brothers knows about the other. That is, until fate brings the youngest into the life of a former warrior-pirate. From the moment Luc decides to intervene and save a frightened child, nothing in his life will ever be the same.

If you like science fiction romance on the sweeter side, have an ache for wounded heroes, and admire heroines who don't wait around to be rescued... The Antonello Brothers series is for you.

#SciFi #Romance #Read #BookSeries #Read #NewRelease #BookTour #RenesGetaway #RLFBlog #AntonelloBrothers

Purchase Links

Universal Buy Link https://books2read.com/ab-complete

Website https://kayelleallen.com/antonello-brothers/

Amazon https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B09Z6G6JHJ

About the Author

Kayelle Allen writes sci-fi and space opera with misbehaving robots, mythic heroes, role-playing immortal gamers, and warriors who purr. She is a US Navy veteran and has been married so long she's tenured.

Connect with Kayelle

Facebook: https://bit.ly/KayelleAllenFacebook
Goodreads: https://bit.ly/KayelleAllenGoodreads
Instagram: https://bit.ly/KayelleAllenInstagram
Twitter: https://twitter.com/kayelleallen
BookBub: https://bit.ly/KayelleAllenBookBub

Tuesday, June 7, 2022

UNEXPECTED #OnSale at Amazon

 Secondary Characters in UNEXPECTED

When you write a story set in a small town, the people who inhabit that town naturally become part of the story. I like to think they make Masonville feel like a real place.

But these secondary characters must have a purpose in the story, or they’re simply window dressing. For instance, I made Morley Walker, Ben’s law partner, his conscience and his voice of reason. Morley was Ben’s grandfather’s best friend, and he may be up in years, but he’s as sharp as ever. He guesses that Ben is considering running away with his stepdaughters to keep their grandparents from gaining custody. In this scene, Morley tells Ben about a new client and a new opportunity. It’s meaningful work Morley knows Ben enjoys, so he’s suspicious when Ben seems uninterested:

Ben nodded. It was exactly what he was looking for. But if he had to run, he’d be leaving his client in the lurch. His conscience wouldn’t allow him to begin a job he might not be able to finish. After the weekend visit with the Doyles, running looked more and more inevitable.

The thought of running, of leaving Jamie, caused a knot in his gut.

“Let me think it over for a couple of days.” Ben turned his attention back to his work, or at least tried to. Morley remained seated, his gaze focused on him.

“What do you have to think about?” he asked.

“The work you’re proposing is all-consuming. I have to weigh helping the reservation against the time I’ll be away from my family.”

Morley’s gaze drilled into his, making Ben fidget. “Is there anything else you’re concerned with?”

Ben tried to think of a reasonable objection. “I’m not sure the job’s a good fit for me.”

Morley folded his arms across his chest. “This is exactly the sort of work you did in Chicago. You told me you loved it.”

“This is different.”

“Is it?”

“I’m thinking about moving back to Chicago.” The lie tasted bitter.

“How does Jamie feel about moving?”

“She…” Ben turned away from Morley’s intense scrutiny. “She doesn’t know.”

“She doesn’t know? Are you thinking about leaving without her?” Morley’s eyes widened as comprehension dawned. “You’re thinking about running away with the girls, aren’t you?”

Ben didn’t know how he’d guessed his plans, but for Morley’s sake, he had to deny it. “No, of course not.”

Morley ignored him. “How far do you think you’d get? What kind of life could you make for your children?”

“I told you, I have no plans to run away.” The words sounded empty even to his own ears.

“Maybe, if you were on your own, you could disappear. But with two small girls? Not so easy.” Morley gave a disgusted snort. “When you’re caught— and you will be caught—you’ll never see your children again. Is that what you want?”

“Of course not!” Ben jumped to his feet, and his chair crashed against the wall behind him. “I only want to save my family. Is that so wrong?”

“Wanting to preserve your family is commendable. But to do it by running won’t get you what you need. In the end, you’ll lose everything.”

Later, when everything falls apart and the children’s’ grandparents, the Doyles, renew their custody suit, Morley again acts as Ben’s conscience:

“Ben, for God’s sake, can’t you bend a little? This fight could get ugly. They’ll bring up your alcoholism, dig up every drunken incident they can find and splash it all over the court. You’ll be humiliated. And do you really want to expose your children to a battle like this? They’re the ones who’ll get hurt.”

If they hadn’t all conspired against him, maybe he’d be willing to talk. But not anymore. “I can’t let them take them away. They belong with me.”

Morley shook his head. “Do you hear yourself? It’s all about you and what you want. When are you going to think about what’s best for the children?”

A secondary character has an important role to play. Sometimes they can act as comic relief, and sometimes they provide a shoulder to cry on. In Morley Walker’s case, he’s there to tell Ben the truth.

UNEXPECTED is #onsale for #99cents on Amazon from June 3-17, 2022!




A marriage of convenience. An unexpected love.

Single dad Ben Greyson wants only to retain custody of his two stepdaughters. A dysfunctional childhood has made family the most important thing in his life. When his late wife's parents sue for custody, a desperate Ben is left with two choices – run away with his girls or marry his next-door neighbor.

Jamie Garven wants to be a mother. She's intrigued by her handsome new neighbor and falls in love with his little girls. Then Ben is faced with losing his children, and Jamie agrees to marry him for a chance at motherhood. They're determined to show the world, and the girls' grandparents, two loving parents.

Their marriage of convenience turns into unexpected love. But Ben interprets Jamie's efforts to save their family as betrayal—they could lose everything, including each other.


The ceremony itself was mercifully short, less than ten minutes. Ben barely heard the Recorder’s words. He stared into Jamie’s eyes and clung to her hands.

“You may now exchange rings,” the Recorder said.

Jamie turned to Blair who opened a jeweler’s box and passed her a ring. Jamie slipped it on his ring finger and looked up at him with a shy smile. The gold band was beautiful and classic, much like the woman who gave it to him.

He pulled the ring box from his pocket and removed the ring. His hand trembled as he slid it on her finger. Once again nerves jangled. There was so much riding on this marriage. They couldn’t fail. What if they failed?

Her gaze met his. “Four diamonds. For us.”

He relaxed and smiled, pleased she understood what the ring meant to him. Four diamonds for the four of them and the family they were trying to create.

“I now pronounce you man and wife. You may kiss your bride.”

Ben brushed a kiss across Jamie’s soft lips. He lingered there, drinking in her sweet scent. They’d only talked briefly about intimacy and sex. He didn’t know if she was interested in him in a sexual way. He could only pray she was. It had been a long time for him…

Damon let out a whoop and Blair clapped. “Congratulations!”

Ben looked into the eyes of the woman who had just become his wife and prayed he could make her happy.

Buy Link:



STRONG ENOUGH, book 4 in the Masonville Series, Coming Soon!

STRONG ENOUGH is available for pre-order now. The book releases June 22, 2022!

 Love can make you strong enough. If you let it.

Charlotte Saunders has a full life—a rewarding career as a nurse, meaningful volunteer work at a dog shelter, and family, friends and pets she adores. But no matter how hard she tries, she can’t forget the horrible event that’s haunted her for ten years.

A survivor of childhood sexual abuse, Damon Greyson now helps others who have suffered trauma. His experience and intuition alert him to trouble in Charlotte’s past, and he wants to help her, if only she’d let him.

As they work together to help veterans suffering from PTSD and neglected dogs needing loving homes, their feelings for each other deepen. But when the trauma from Charlotte’s past roars back to life, both are forced to confront their painful histories—or die trying.

Buy Links:



Author Bio:

Jana Richards has tried her hand at many writing projects over the years, from magazine articles and short stories to full-length contemporary romance, paranormal suspense and romantic comedy. She loves to create characters with a sense of humor, but also a serious side.  She believes there’s nothing more interesting then peeling back the layers of a character to see what makes them tick.

When not writing up a storm or dealing with dust bunnies, Jana can be found pursuing hobbies such as golf (which she plays very badly) or reading (which she does much better).

Jana lives in Western Canada with her husband Warren. You can reach her through her website at http://www.janarichards.com


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