Monday, November 28, 2011

The Smells of Christmas

We have many traditions in our family at Christmas. When I was a little girl, baking started the day after Thanksgiving. My mom baked dozens and dozens of different kind of cookies, Spritz, sugar cookies, frosted cookies, cookies with sprinkles, not to mention bakery - poppy seed and nut rolls and other delicious yeast doughs.
Oh yeah, the house smelled delicious. Back then, people visited more often during the holidays. Not a weekend went by without company, usually Friday, Saturday & Sunday. The week between Christmas and New Years was the same. Every night, we either went visiting or we had guests. Hence the need for bakery. Back then many of us didn't have a television and even when we did, it wasn't the center of our lives.
I still do a lot of baking, but not near as much as my mom.
For us, the day after Thanksgiving was spent putting up the Christmas tree - something my mom did on Dec. 6th - the feast of St. Nicholas. Of course back then we had real trees. Once we went the way of the modern world with artificial, we could put them up much earlier and we did. (Including my mom)
We also had a traditional Christmas Eve dinner, which I still make - but not on Christmas Eve any more. Mos of my children visit with their in-laws on Christmas Eve, so we decide last year to do it a week earlier. That way everyone gets to enjoy it.
This meal takes some advance preparation - for one thing, we make homemade peroghi - that's an all day job and involves me and my three daughters. We make potato peroghi and sauerkraut peroghi. Since we're getting together Sunday to make these, I browned the sauerkraut with butter and onion today. The very aroma makes my mouth water. As if that wasn't enough, I also boiled the mushrooms we use for our soup.  Although this isn't necessary to do so far ahead of time, it's something we do when we find the mushrooms on sale. Strange combination of smells you think.
Let me tell you a little about our meal. We start it off with Oplatkay - paper thin wafer similar to Communion wafer with honey on top. This is a breaking bread type tradition. Next we serve mushroom soup. Mushrooms and potatoes mixed with a little bit of vinegar and browned butter and flower to thicken it slightly (I think it's more for flavor than thickening because nothing about the soup is thick). It's a sour soup and we serve either Mogan David or  Manischewitz Concord grape wine, which is very sweet and a great compliment.  The next course is babalki - little balls of bread that are steamed, drained, mixed with butter and either sauerkraut (browned in butter) or ground poppy seed with sugar and honey and of course the peroghi.  Needless to say with all those carbs, it's a filling meal. But the smells that emanate from the kitchen are heavenly. My mouth is watering as I write this. I can hardly wait until the 17th to partake of this delicious meal. Thankfully, my sons and daughters in law love this meal also, as do my grandchildren.
Ah yes, the smells of Christmas make my mouth water.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Welcome, Shirley Martin

Born in western Pennsylvania, Shirley Martin graduated from the University of Pittsburgh. She taught school for one year, then obtained a position as flight attendant with Eastern Air Lines. Based in Miami, she met her future husband there. After raising three sons, she devoted her time to writing, something she'd always wanted to do.
With a vivid imagination and a love of storytelling, Shirley has always enjoyed writing. Her first published novel, "Destined to Love" reflects her familiarity with western Pennsylvania and her love of romance writing. From this historical romance, she blossomed out to other romance genres. "One More Tomorrow" is a vampire romance, one her publisher dubbed "a sizzling seller."  With several fantasy novels and novellas, her writing should appeal to just about every lover of romance. Her books have been sold at Amazon and most major bookstores and have garnered great reviews.
A widow, Shirley lives in Birmingham, Alabama, with her two cats.

When a good witch grants Morgana her dearest desire, the young maiden gets more than she bargained for. And a handsome prince gets the surprise of his life.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving & Happy Anniversary

My husband and I are celebrating our 49th Wedding Anniversary today. I’m still trying to figure out where the years went. Seems like only yesterday, we began our life together. I guess what that song says, “Don’t Blink A Hundred Years Goes Quicker Than You Think” is true. We have much to be thankful for.  

We are especially thankful for all the blessings God has bestowed on us over these years. Yes, there’s been some rough times, but love and support of our family has made it all worthwhile. 

When we look back and reflect on all we’ve been through and all the blessings we’ve received - six wonderful children who have added three more sons and two more daughters to our family.  Together, they have blessed us with fourteen precious grandchildren. 

Now the family is extended further with the blessings of the grandchildren’s spouses and so far one great grandchild – we can’t thank or praise God enough. 

We're going to spend the day with our children and grandchildren  We'll miss my granddaughter, Sarah and her husband, John, and our grandson, Nick,  but they'll be with us in spirit, and we look forward to the day they all come home. John is serving our country in the Navy, and Nick as a Marine. 

To us the holidays and life is about family and the love we share. God has certainly given it to us in abundance. I can’t imagine what it would be like without our children and grandchildren. Each and everyone are special in their own unique way. We cherish all of them. We are so Thankful.

 Happy Thanksgiving, Everyone. 

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Welcome, Nancy Badger

Nancy Lee Badger: Roseanne asked me here, today, to interview one of the characters found in my latest romantic fantasy, DRAGON IN THE MIST. With me is Rory Hawthorn. Welcome, Professor Hawthorn.

Rory: Please. Call me Rory. I get enough of ‘Professor’ at the university. I prefer walking around various countries, alone.

Nancy: Alone? Sounds…lonely.

Rory: It is, but I do better with my…research when alone. Walking along Loch Ness is very interesting, and with the legend of the Loch Ness Monster, I sure don’t feel alone.

Nancy: You’re a believer in Celtic legends? Some say the Loch Ness Monster is a wingless dragon. However, I heard you are visiting Scotland to research their history of earthquakes. Scotland has dragons AND earthquakes?

Rory: Sure they have earthquakes, but I am still on-the-fence about dragons. I’m a scientist, remember. I want proof. Researching earthquakes, though, is a clever ruse. (he winks) It’s not actually why I’m here. I told my family and friends that, so I could research something a bit more exciting. A curse.

Nancy: Wow! Tell me more! I can keep a secret (crossing my fingers)

Rory: My family was cursed long ago by a strange woman. Since then, no MacDonald has kept the love of a woman. We can fall in love, but she eventually leaves. Like my Mom left us. Something tells me I am close to breaking the curse.

Nancy: Have you ever been in love?

Rory: No.

Nancy: You are very quick to admit that. Hmmm. Have you met anyone interesting since arriving in Scotland?

Rory: I did meet an interesting woman.

Nancy: Are you blushing? What’s her name?

Rory: Nessía. She works at the pub near Urquhart Castle. Her hair is the color of a glass of Scotland’s finest whisky. Her eyes are ice blue, and she has the cutest smile…when I can get her to smile.

Nancy: Sounds like love.

Rory: Nothing’s impossible, but I have to break the curse, first, while keeping those other women away.

Nancy: Suzie and Kendra? Yes, I heard they are clingy. I hear they are staying at the same inn as you. Didn’t they follow you when you toured Castle Urquhart? I bet Nessía wasn’t too thrilled watching them fawn all over you.

Rory: She saw that? I’m in the doghouse now. I better think of something nice to do for her…or to her…and head over to the pub. Maybe I can make her smile with my kisses.

Nancy: (sighs) Good luck!


Life without love is not worth living.

Nessía of the Loch has lived beneath the murky water of Loch Ness since ancient times. The pain of loneliness manifests in anger so strong, the entire valley shakes with earthquakes. In 1816, a Faerie queen pleads for her to cease the tremors and rewards Nessía with a human form. To stay human, she must find love. When the man she believes she loves casts her aside, Nessía responds to the betrayal by cursing the men of the MacDonald clan with the inability to keep a woman’s love. Only an act of true selflessness will break the curse.

After centuries pass, Nessía again searches for love. When Rory Hawthorn, an American scientist, arrives under the pretext of researching the earthquakes but in reality to research his MacDonald heritage and the curse, she believes she has found the perfect mate.

Amid stolen kisses, another earthquake, a steamy night of passion, and a broken heart, Nessía returns to the murky depths of the loch. When Rory dives in to follow her, he meets the green, scaly Loch Ness Monster. Assuming Nessía is in danger, he is intent on killing the monster and saving the woman he loves.


The day wore on and Nessía carried a basket of fresh-baked bread to the inn. The same inn where she had spent several blissful hours in the arms of a man. A man she was falling in love with.
The truth startled her, and a linen-wrapped loaf fell from the basket. Nessía crouched outside the flower-covered fence that surrounded the inn. She froze when she heard familiar voices. One voice belonged to Rory Hawthorn.
“Ladies, I must stop in my room.”
“We’ll come with you,” the redhead cooed, like a lovesick cow. “Tell us more about your search for your MacDonald ancestors.”
The MacDonalds? Rory is related to that bastard Monty? And why would Rory be in the company of those women? As Americans, she supposed they held a certain homesick charm, but he had told Nessía he would not stop into the pub for lunch. He had work to do. In fact, he claimed he planned to work along the northern shore of Loch Ness all day.
What I am hearing does not sound like work. Far from it.
Nessía peeked over the fence, but all three had disappeared inside the inn. Standing, she brushed dirt from her dress’s hem, then scurried to the inn’s backdoor. With her delivery complete, she swung the basket in a wide arc, desperately in want of smashing it over a certain gentleman’s head.
A MacDonald? Damnation!
Her heart ripped apart as she stamped her feet. Her dragon strength surged and the earth beneath her feet shook. Birds took to the skies and screeched, as they flew away across the loch. Stacked timber near the dock gave way beneath the tremors, and fell into the water. A boat in dry-dock slipped off its scaffolds and crashed on its side. Screams echoed from the inn and the two American females ran into the street.
Nessía closed her eyes and took several deep, cleansing breaths. Collecting herself, she urged the trembling to stop. When it did, she strode toward the pub.
She forced her feet to keep moving away from the inn, but two strong arms circled her shoulders. Rory turned her until she faced him. She refused to glance up. He cupped her chin, forced her head up, and she gazed into eyes filled with concern. And…love?
Silly dragon. Ye are a powerful, earthquake- causing creature. Forget him. Nessía found it hard to believe her own thoughts, especially when his mouth crushed hers in a brutal, yet passionate kiss.

About the Author

Nancy loves chocolate-chip shortbread, wool plaids wrapped around the trim waist of a Scottish Highlander, the clang of dirks and broadswords, and the sound of bagpipes in the air. Nancy lives the dream. After growing up in Huntington, New York, and raising two handsome sons in New Hampshire, Nancy moved to North Carolina where she writes full-time. She and her family continue to volunteer at the New Hampshire Highland Games each fall. Nancy is a member of RWA, Heart of Carolina Romance Writers, Sisters In Crime, FF&P Romance Writers, and the Celtic Heart Romance Writers. She also writes romantic suspense as Nancy Lennea.

Check out her website
Follow her on Twitter @NLBadger
and on Facebook

Author: Nancy Lee Badger
Genre: Romantic Fantasy
Length: 17,000 words
Barnes & Noble:


In celebration of my recent birthday, I am giving a gift to one commenter.  Actually, TWO GIFTS. One is a lovely SCOTLAND Bumper sticker, and the other is a gift certificate for any one of my e-books (6 to choose from!) Send an email with the word contest in the subject to: Nancy

Tuesday, November 15, 2011


Here's your chance to win a free copy of A Second Chance!

All you have to do is leave a comment.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Happy birthday, Ginger Simpson

Today is my dear friend,, Ginger Simpson's birthday. I first met Ginger when I joined the MuseItUp Publishing House. She was quick to welcome me to the Muse family. Her quick wit and humor often has us in stitches. We had a lot in common and quickly became friends. I've read several of her books and enjoyed all of them. I think my favorite was First Degree of Innocence. 

I had the pleasure of meeting Ginger  in person last year, and she was everything I expected and more. She's as warm and friendly in person as she is on the internet, not to mention her sense of humor. I wish I had more time to spend with her, but we were just passing through on our way home from Florida.
Happy birthday to you! Happy birthday to you! Happy birthday, dear Ginger. Happy birthday to you.
So, my dear friend, I wish you the happiest birthday ever!
Love ya, girl.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Welcome, Nicole Langan

 Today, I'd like to welcome Nicole Langan publisher of Tribute Books. 
1. Hi, Nicole. Welcome to my blog.  How long has Tribute Books been in business?
         We started in 2004.
2. I see you publish young adult books,  tell us what you're looking for in submissions.
         We're looking to work with authors who are savvy with social media - those who blog, tweet and update their Facebook status on a daily basis. Our preference is for authors who already have a book(s) published through a royalty-paying press. We want to work with those who are familiar with the ins and outs of the publishing process. We seek those who have experience having their work edited and know the effort required for successful book promotion.
3. Tell us about  your publishing process. From start to finish or from acceptance to publishing. How long once an author is accepted  to the publishing date?
       From acceptance to publishing, we try to shoot for a 90 day time frame. We edit the                       manuscript and prepare files that are ready for the Kindle, Nook, iPad, etc.      
4. How many authors does Tribute Books have?
        At this time, we have published about 35 authors, illustrators, photographers and editors.
5. Is there a specific genre you're looking for?
       We are looking to concentrate on the young adult genre. There would be NO charge for    authors, and those selected would receive 50% of the net retail price in royalties.
To begin, we're looking to work with 12 authors in 2012, publishing one per month. Contact Nicole at for submission guidelines.


Monday, November 7, 2011

Welcome, Diane Barr

Thank you so much for being here, Diane.

1: For starters, what genre do you write?
Urban Fantasy with a caress of erotica.

2: And how long have you been writing?
Off and on in high school and college and almost four years from conception to publication of Out of the Shade.

3: So tell us, what do you like the most and least about writing?
The Most -  That I can explore the many facets of "what if" and create anything so that my readers can "escape" into a new world or let their imagination run wild.
The Least - That I can't put on paper what exactly I'm trying to describe or express.

4: Ah yes, I love the what if. So what do you for fun and relaxation when not writing?
Many things, lol. Watch football; pro, college or high school, read my favorite authors, knit, sun tan. Watch Bones, NCIS.

5: You like many of the same things I like. Which authors do you like to read?
Laurell K. Hamilton, Kim Harrison, Elizabeth Peters, Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child, Kathy Reichs, Tess Gerritson, Patricia Cornwell, James Rollins, Any McDermott, Sian Williams my critique partner.

6: Interesting list. Tell us, what’s the one thing you’d most like people to know about you?
That I like tattoos and piercings.

7: No that is interesting. Okay, tell us about your current novel, where we can find it?
It is called Out of the Shade and here's the blurb: Faeries that carry katanas and guns instead of sprinkling magic dust and granting wishes. Dragons that reanimate the dead. Drug-crazed goblins terrorizing neighborhoods. Illegal demons attempting to conjure the alter ego of an Egyptian goddess.
Sounds like something out of a nightmare, right? Wrong. It’s my everyday life.
Welcome to the Shade, where all the creatures of myth hang out and where I, Detective Gabrielle Tate of the Supernatural Task Force, police them. My partner is AWOL and my sexy dragon boss is leaving nothing to chance as we deal with goblins high on Escape and a serial killer—or worse, a nest of rogue vampires—leaving the drained corpses of faeries and cops all over town.
And then there’s the psychotic demons trying to conjure the goddess Hathor’s alter ego, Sekhmet, to destroy humanity. As a faery and direct descendent of Hathor, I’m eager to manifest her power and use it to combat evil. At the same time, I need to learn how to control the accompanying bloodlust. How? By taking lessons from the charismatic leader of the local vampire clan, of course.
You can find it at:
·        MuseIt Bookstore
·        Amazon Kindle
·        B & N Nook
·        Goodreads
Here's the full list.

8: Wow, intriguing storyline. Here’s a question I’m often asked. Do you have any tips for aspiring authors?
The cliche write what you know isn't applicable if you are writing  Urban Fantasy lol. You can apply what you know to virtually any other genre - (erotica writers are always exhausted - giggle snort - sorry I couldn't pass that up), but you know what I mean. A better tip would be write about something that you like or love actually because the research and time you spend plotting can either make you love your subject or develop a love/hate relationship with it.

Also, write every day, be it a journal or diary entry, a chapter, plots anything. It keeps your mind and your imagination going so you don't develop writers block.
9: Great advice. Another question people want to know.Do you base your characters on real-life people?
Yes, I do - human nature and our various quirks or physical appearances make us the perfect creatures.

10: A question I’m always curious about. How did you come up with the idea for this book?
I've always be intrigued by faeries, dragons, Egyptology and Urban Fantasy. In 1993 when I read Laurell K. Hamilton's Guilty Pleasures - she is my idol by the way - I was hooked and my Muse began churning the wheels and not letting me sleep or concentrate.

11: I’ve experienced that. But when Muse speaks, we have to listen. So tell us, what are you currently working on?
Book 2 of The Shade Series - researching the Egyptian Underworld and writing down ideas that I have for children's books. I'm also taking an online Magic for writer's class through one of my online groups by Rayne Hall

12. Is there anything else you’d like us to know about you?
I speak Spanish, I like to laugh and do so loudly; usually punctuated with a snort.

13. Where can we find you? Website? Blog?
Luckily my day job (an IT technician) allows for breaks where I can check my email -, twitter(DianeBarr1), facebook and update my blog;  I'm working on my website - I have a kick ass template made in Adobe flash - so I'm teaching myself adobe flash as I go. ;)

What looked like lightning bugs blinked all around the yard. A small breeze caressed me with the smell of lavender and I could hear the tinkle of the stream as I kicked off my boots, pulled off my socks, and threw down my weapons. I willed my wings from my back being careful not to trip over them, which I have been known to do on occasion.
The cool grass felt so good on my feet. I went and lay in my usual spot. Lavender bushes around me, one foot in the stream the other foot wiggling my toes through the grass. From the shadows, gnomes, pixies, ivy elves, and grape vine sprites approached me. The blinking lightning bugs were the garden fairies welcoming me home.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Welcome, Suzie Quint

1: Thank you so much for being here, Suzie.
First up is the obligatory question. When did you first begin writing?
That would have been high school, but after I left school, life interrupted, as life often will. But that’s okay. I didn’t know enough about life to write anything interesting then. I know more now.

2: What inspired you to write?
Reading inspired me. I get completely lost in a good book. A good story makes me want to add to what’s out there.

3: What do you like the most and least about writing? As far as I’m concerned, writing is the most fun I can have with my clothes on. When it’s going well, you’ll find me cackling over my keyboard, making life run less than smoothly for my characters. My least favorite is the interruptions, like going to work. If I just didn’t have to eat, I’d be okay.

4: What do you do for fun and relaxation when not writing?
I read. Yeah, that’s a big surprise. I have brunch with friends, and every once in a while, I go out dancing.

5: Which authors do you like to read?
Jennifer Crusie is my favorite. Especially her old stuff. It doesn’t matter how often I read it, I still laugh out loud. Toni Blake is a favorite, too. The best new writer I’ve found is Mira Lyn Kelly. I liked her Harlequin debut so much that I found her on facebook and forced myself upon her. She hasn’t complained too much.

6: What’s the one thing you’d most like people to know about you?
Oh, criminey. I don’t know if it’s what I’d MOST like them to know, but they should probably be prepared for the fact that what you see is what you get with me. I’m sometimes honest to the point of tactlessness. It’s something hardwired in me because I can’t be any other way. Trust me. I’ve tried. I can only bite my tongue for so long. Fortunately, I have friends who like knowing where they stand.

7: Tell me about your current novel, where I can find it and your website/blog.
My current release is A Knight in Cowboy Boots from Pink Petal books. It’s the story of Maddie, a woman who’s sister was murdered by her abusive boyfriend. When he beats the rap, she takes her sister’s child (also his) and runs. She lands in Galveston where she meets a cowboy (Zach) in a hotel bar where she’s applying for work. It doesn’t take him long to figure out that she has “issues” and that she’s not who she claims to be. She’d like to hold him at arm’s length, but he doesn’t let her. It was fun writing their opposing priorities and I hope readers enjoy reading about them.

Besides the publisher’s site, it’s available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Smashwords, and maybe a few other place.

My website is at and I have a writer’s blog at The blog will be part of my website as soon as I can figure out how to get the feed to go there.

8: Do you have any tips for aspiring authors?
The ability to easily self-publish is an awesome innovation, but make sure you and your manuscript are ready. Most people think they’re ready before they are (I know I did), but just because you’ve written something the best you can today, doesn’t mean it’s ready. You don’t get a do-over on that first impression. Be sure you won’t cringe in five years when you look back at what you published.

9: Do you base your characters on real-life people?
God forbid. Of course, I might steal a characteristic, attitude, or mannerism from real-life people, but I don’t think I know anyone as well as I know my characters, so it would be difficult to model them on someone real. I think if I tried, the character wouldn’t come to life for me the way they do.

10: Where do you get your ideas and what inspired you to write this book?
For me, the stories start with characters, followed closely by a situation. Something that forces the characters together but also keeps them apart.

The McKnight clan was born because I was trying to figure out how to make my characters’ voice unique. That led me to study dialect, so I wrote a story just for practice that had several characters from different regions. I fell in love with one of those characters (Jake, who is a secondary character in A Knight in Cowboy Boots) so I started writing about his family.

11: What are you currently working on?
I’m working on another McKnight Romance. This one will feature Sol, the oldest of the McKnight boys. He had a very short-lived marriage right out of high school, but he’s never been able to emotionally let go of his ex-wife Georgia. I’ve also written a short story about Sol and Georgia that’s I’m planning to offer as a freebie, so folks can sample how I write. I don’t just want readers; I want satisfied readers.

I should perhaps mention here that a second McKnight romance will be released in November. Knight of Hearts is Zach’s sister’s story. Rachel is the oldest girl in their large family, so she has a tendency to be bossy, and she has an inborn need to fix things. That makes her good at her job as a hotel concierge but not so good at relationships. She and Mac were a joy to write, and I hope the readers will love them as much as I do.

12. Is there anything else you’d like us to know about you?
The one thing that took me by surprise about being published is how much I enjoy hearing from readers who like my characters. I knew I’d like it, but I had no idea how much I’d like it. It’s like heroin. Very addicting.

This is my favorite excerpt from A Knight in Cowboy Boots.

“Let me get that there drink for the lady, Pete.” Mr. East Texas Drawl stepped up to the bar. “That is, if the lady don’t mind?”

She turned her head cautiously, afraid moving too fast would blur her vision.

Mr. East Texas was watching her, waiting for a cue his offer was welcome.

Maddie cleared her throat. “Thank you.”

Oh, crap. She sounded all Marilyn Monroe breathy.

He handed the bartender a ten. Maddie expected him to pull up the next barstool. Instead, he shoved it over with his foot and leaned one elbow against the bar. “So what’s a nice girl like you doing in a place like this?”

Maddie laughed. It should have sounded old, trite, and corny, but nothing said in that drawl could sound anything but enchanting to her. Her laughter lit something deep in Mr. East Texas’s dark eyes. Maddie suddenly felt warm. Sitting-in-front-of-a-raging-fire-on-a-cold-winter-night warm. The flutter in her heart moved into the pit of her stomach.

“Don’t tell the bartender, but I’m casing the place to see if I want his job.” Maddie said, keeping her voice conversational. The bartender's eyebrows rose, but he didn’t comment. He’d no doubt seen this dance often enough.

“Ah, well. Looking for employment. That’s respectable then.” Mr. East Texas nodded sagely. “Though I gotta admit, I was hoping you was here for less reputable reasons.”

“You mean like looking for a man to take me away from all this?” Maddie's open-handed gesture included the entire bar.

“Even the best watering holes have a long tradition of that sorta thing. Why, my daddy met my mama in a place a lot like this.”

Maddie fought to keep a grin from breaking out across her face. How long had it been since she’d engaged in light-hearted banter, never mind flirting? It seemed like eons. “Really?”

“Well, maybe there wasn’t as much brass and mirrors. Or the selection of beverages this fine establishment has. And there ain’t no straw on the floor nor fiddle player in the corner . . . ” He looked away as though seeking a fiddle player. “And they had dancin’.” His nostrils narrowed with an indrawn breath. His eyes came back to hers. “Damn. A man oughta take a woman dancin’.”

The flutter in Maddie’s stomach moved lower.

“What kind of dancing do you do to fiddle music?”

“The spirited kind.” He let a beat pass before he continued. “But I think you’re the kinda woman a man takes slow dancin’. Someplace where there ain’t much light, so’s nobody’d see when I kissed you.”

He held her eyes, waiting for her response.

Someone down the bar hollered for Pete’s attention and he moved away. Their audience gone, Maddie swiveled on her barstool to face him straight on.

“What if I didn’t want to be kissed?” she asked, knowing her body language sent a completely different message.

“Why, ma’am . . . ” He leaned slowly closer as he spoke. “I don’t think I’d ask first.” His lips brushed hers lightly. Just a gentle touch, as though she’d been kissed almost in passing. He pulled back, but only a couple of inches. Neither of them had closed their eyes. Maddie swallowed, trying to work up some moisture in her suddenly dry mouth.

“My daddy says sometimes it’s better to ask for forgiveness than for permission.”

“Does he?” Maddie forced out.

“Oh, yeah.” His tone was heartfelt. “And I think I may need a passel of forgivin’,” he said just before he kissed her again.


Saturday, November 5, 2011

Welcome, Brian Knight

Thank you so much for being here, SB Knight,

1: What genre do you write? At the current time my stories are firmly in the Dark Fantasy genre. In the future I may try my hand at a different genre but for now I greatly enjoy writing Dark Fantasy novels.

2: How long have you been writing? I have been writing short stories, poetry and novels for…. 5 years I believe.

3: What do you like the most and least about writing? I love that I am able to share my stories through writing. As I write I become a part of the story and that is always exciting. What I like least is when two of my stories battle for attention. In the end it is a good thing but until I finally step up and start writing one it can be a distraction. Ironically, one will win out over the other and that is the one I go with.

4: What do you do for fun and relaxation when not writing? Fun and relaxation…hang on I need to get my dictionary. OH, I know what they are. Just kidding, I try to do a lot outdoors. I like to garden, play basketball and go hiking. When I can’t do those things I read or you will find me with my wife relaxing outside on our deck. I also really enjoy cooking and find that to be both enjoyable and relaxing.   

5: Which authors do you like to read? There are many but my absolute favorites are: Tolkien, Fiest, Brooks, and the late Robert Jordan to name a few. Yes, these are all epic fantasy authors and yes, that is my favorite genre to read. One day I hope to write an epic fantasy like these authors.

6: What’s the one thing you’d most like people to know about you? I had to think about this one. I would much rather have people see those traits in me rather than me tell them. I will say this; I am driven by faith and put forward my best effort in everything I attempt to accomplish.

7: Tell me about your current novel, where can I find it? Unfortunately we have to wait a little longer before my debut novel is released. My current novel is the sequel to Born of Blood which is my debut novel. The trilogy revolves around a bloodline with sinister ties which spawned an age old evil. It is the ultimate hunter and hunted situation. Things you thought you knew are only half the story.

8: Do you have any tips for aspiring authors? Never give up. If you don’t reach your expectations keep going. Time has no regard for your goals but in time you will reach them. It may not be exactly what you hoped for but it will be an accomplishment and that should be celebrated. Keep working.

9: Do you base your characters on real-life people? I would say they reflect some real life people. To be honest, I would say my characters have a touch of my personality in their DNA. Yes, I can see characteristics of real people in them.

10: How did you come up with the idea for this book? Actually, Born of Blood was developed more from a self challenge than anything else. I worked off the premise of ‘what if.’ Many novels are born that way but when it comes to vampires there are not a lot of ‘what if’ questions remaining that haven’t been addressed already. I found one ‘what it’ question that was partially addressed; however, a new twist was born from it and so we have Born of Blood, book one of The Blood Chronicles.

11: What are you currently working on? I am currently working with my editor on Born of Blood. I also have the sequel to Born of Blood in the works as well as a third novel. It sounds like a lot and it is but, so far, everything is working out well.

12. Is there anything else you’d like us to know about you? It is my hope that you will see my name often as I have a number of books I wish to write. With each I plan to improve my skill in the craft of writing. Of course, I would greatly appreciate it if you picked up a copy of my novel(s) when released. Below you will find links to my sites where you can get updates, find additional interviews and fun stuff like that. You can contact me through my site too.

13. Where can we find you? Website? Blog?
You can find me here:
Twitter - @thenewauthor

Send your completed interview to Roseanne at and I’ll schedule a date for you. Don’t forget to add an excerpt (if it’s unedited, say so) and a jpeg of your cover art (if you have it) and yourself if you’d like.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Welcome, Dianne Hartstock

Quinn talks with Rosanne Dowell

Give-Away! Comment below or send an e-mail to telling me who your favorite paranormal character is, for a chance to win a PDF copy of ‘Trials of a Lonely Specter’. Contest ends tomorrow night, Nov. 5th, and winner will be announced Nov.6th.

            Thank you for coming out here today, Rosanne. Are you comfortable? Here, let me help you with that blanket. Go ahead and lean back against Clarabelle’s headstone. She doesn’t mind. Comfy?
            Isn’t it pretty here? Aren’t those oak trees magnificent? Especially now that they’re getting their fall color. I really should apologize for making you hike all the way out here. I know graveyards aren’t everyone’s cup of tea, but I enjoy the silence. I find the presence of the living strangely unnerving, especially during a haunting.
            Have you ever been on a ghost hunt? Oh, you have. How exciting! I’ve been on some great ones with Liam. And cemeteries are my favorite, as you could probably guess. Who’d you see? Oh, you got some nice orbs on film. Next time let me know where you’ll be, and I’ll take Liam there. He’s very good. Most of his orbs can be seen with the naked eye. One time he even had a whole room screaming just by ringing a tiny bell someone had placed on a table.
            But a few haunts have scared the daylights out of me. Those are the one’s were we ran into a true medium, someone with the energy to make contact without our aide. You don’t understand? Take us chatting here, for example. You can see me because I wish it. A medium can see me because they wish it. It’s very painful, and I’m terrified of being trapped in-between the two worlds. It’s very dark there.
            So, to get back to an earlier question. Do I enjoy being a specter? The real question is whether I’d prefer to be alive. Most definitely. There’s so much I miss… But I have Liam’s company on occasion, making it bearable. And you can’t tell him this, but I do get a kick out of a good haunting. Liam says he knows a ghost who’s met the ‘Grey Lady’ in the York Theatre Royal, UK. He says he wants to take me there one day, but I don’t know. I seem to tire easily these days. I wonder if I’m beginning to fade…
            Pardon? Oh, you want to know about my book ‘The Trials of a Lonely Specter’. It’s about a haunting me and Liam went on and the frightening mediums I met. It was the most painful experience of my life. I have to confess that I haven’t read the ending to the book yet. I’m a little afraid to know what lies in store for me. You’ll have to let me know how it goes, the next time we meet!
            Oh, do you have to go so soon? That’s okay. I understand. It just gets a little lonesome, sometimes. Let me help you up. I really enjoyed our visit, Roseanne. Come by any time!

‘Trials of a Lonely Specter’
MuseItUp Publishing, Oct 14, 2011

There’s been an accident. Quinn believes he’s dead, though Liam insists otherwise. But if that is the case, why does Quinn see the two of them as ghosts? And why does Liam play along? Exposed to mediums and apparitions, Quinn has to make a decision: either accept his fate or risk everything to trust Liam one more time.


He came-to with a cry and sat up, embarrassed to find he’d been lying on Liam’s thighs. His friend patted his cheek then nudged him aside, rising fluidly to his feet.
Quinn stood as well, then froze in sudden confusion. He’d forgotten something important. “What happened?”
He was surprised when Liam gripped his arm, his face alert, more alive than he’d ever seen it. “You fainted. Look.” Liam urged him to the mirror. “What do you see?”
            “I see you,” he said, exasperated, then blinked in surprise when the room went absolutely black. Liam shifted his weight and the orb he could so easily call up illuminated his handsome face in the mirror. Quinn jumped when the faces of the women appeared behind the ghost. He wanted to turn away but Liam’s hold on his arm tightened.
            “What do you see?’ Liam breathed in his ear. The subtle voice meandered through his head, bewildering his senses. Liam’s reflection watched him eagerly, though the women remained passive, focused. He realized what they were doing, and whimpered as prickles of heat started up his body.
            “Don’t let them,” he begged as flames licked along the edges of his nerves. Liam crushed his hand. Quinn stared at him in disbelief as the pain mounted in his body. He cried out as the very atoms of his being were seared and began disintegrating.
            The pain was excruciating, Liam’s betrayal hurting worst of all. With all his will he gathered the fragmented pieces of himself. Screaming in pain, he tore his hand from Liam’s, stumbling backward as he did so. The women gasped as he passed through them. Ignoring Liam’s despairing call, he raced from the room, plunging headlong down the stairs, regardless of possible injury.
Outside, the moon had risen, lighting the dusty road. It wouldn’t have mattered had there been pitch darkness. He could see in the dark, provided he concentrated. He hastened from the house until the blinding tears made him stumble off the road into a grove of oaks. He sat with his back to one of the ancient trees and let the dark engulf him. Exhausted by emotion and hurt, he drifted into a fitful sleep.

Dianne Hartsock