Saturday, January 31, 2009


Please forgive me for not posting the winner of Amy Gallow's The WidowMaker until now. I am sorry, but like a lot of the country we've been somewhat victimized by the ice storms. Internet access has been sketchy this past week so it's taken me a while to catch up. Sorry!!

Without further delay, the randomly chosen lucky commenter is...

Margaret Tanner!

Big congratulations, Margaret! Please email me so I know where to send your prize.

And thanks to everyone who commented. It was so nice to "chat" with all of you! :)

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Welcome, Danyealle Autumn Myst

Welcome to From the Pages, Danyealle. We’re so pleased you came by to visit with us today. We’ve got a lot to talk about, so let’s get started…
Do you need silence to write or can you write through anything?

I can pretty much write through anything. I have two cats that should explain a whole lot. I've been known to talk on the phone and keep going, keeping track of both the conversation and whatever it is that I'm writing. Though the TV can be distracting…

Where do you write?

Believe it or not-at work! I work 3rd shift at a hotel front desk so there isn't a lot to do at night other than sit around and watch TV so I write while sitting there. Works out very well for me and my bosses don't mind it at all. At least that way I'm awake!

Does your family support your writing career?

My family didn't even know I wrote until I got my book published! But my fiancée really does support me. He does some editing for me and lets me bounce all kinds of ideas, no matter how strange, off of him. He's been great about it and seems to understand my 'obsession' and just smiles knowingly and tells me to go for it.

What circumstances led you to writing?

Writing has been my catharsis and way to cope with so many things. I can sit down and pour out what I'm dealing with or feeling into a bunch of characters that I can't hurt and maybe find a solution to what I'm dealing with. For me, it's my therapy.

What does your office look like?

I have an office???? My office is a big ole metal army desk with a computer on it plus all kinds of other junk. My desk and I have an agreement…I will be allowed to find things if I don't actually 'clean' it off-straightening up here and there is acceptable. Generally it's like a black hole, things get lost on it on a regular basis. Plus, at any given time there is at least one cat perched on it somewhere causing havoc.

The question most readers want to know but never get the chance to ask, do you ever write in your pajamas?

Oh yeah, the more relaxed you can get the better the flow!

Do you have a pet?

Two cats: Pockets-a pure black cat who looks like the most malevolent feline you could ever meet (it's the yellow eyes) but is a big cuddle-cat. Squeebles-a grey tabby who is beautiful but the ninja attack cat of death. They are my boys and I love them with all my heart!

Do you collect anything?

Inuyasha stuff-more specifically Lord Sesshomaru. Right now it's my current obsession. Don't ask…

If you could live anywhere in the world, where would you choose?

Actually, I love it right here where I am in central Texas. I'm not a native and chose to live here so I like it!

What's your most comfortable outfit? Are you a jeans-and-sweatshirt kind of person or a dressier sort?

Sweats and a t-shirt! Comfort, comfort, comfort…

Is there anything else you would like to share with us today?

Fate: In The Beginning is my first published (for money) work and I'm proud of it, as most people are their baby. It took me a great deal of time and rewrites to do.

Congratulations on the release of Fate: In the Beginning. It sounds very interesting, so we won’t keep readers dangling any longer. We’ll give them a bit of your intriguing story.

First, I want to thank you for visiting today. It’s been a pleasure getting to know you!

FATE: IN THE BEGINNING... by Danyealle Autumn Myst

The blurb:

They've met twice once at one the Marquis DeSade's infamous parties, then during World War II in Germany. That should have been the end of it. It wasn't…

Darious Mooksoon, the demon Lord of Lust, Sex, and Decadence, could have any being he wants, human or dark creature. But there is one he wants more than any other, and he can't find her—the doe-eyed, sexy and beautiful Lady Danyealle DesLoup.

After more than a century of trying to find her, he's been able to locate her once more and will do everything to have her again back in his life. They parted amicably, so he feels it shouldn't be a problem. But it is. Faced with the obstacles she gives him, he has to do the impossible to make it happen, or perform things he's never thought he would or could do


Darious crouched down so he would be at eye level with her.
He stared into those brown doe eyes that had haunted his dreams
for so long and almost lost all power of speech. Moving his hand
down, he placed it over hers and gave her hand what he hoped was
a reassuring squeeze. "It's been a long time, hasn't it?"

Kat nodded, looking deep into his piercing blue eyes. She was
resisting the urge to wrap herself around him and hold him once
again. Truth be told, she did miss him and was very glad to see him.
She had thought a lot about him since their parting, but she was
realistic, she could not be with him because of what he was. It almost
broke her heart all over again to see him right beside her and
know she would have to tell him to leave.

When the time had come for her to leave him in Alaska, it had
been one of the hardest things she had ever done in her entire life.
But she had done it without looking back because if she had, she
would have turned around, not something that was a viable option.

She thought the whole thing was funny in its own weird and
ironic sort of way. Here she was, Lady Danyealla herself, the oldest,
most powerful and feared she-devil above ground and she had
fallen hard for the one being in the universe who was incapable of
returning her feelings, a demon. But no, she couldn't do things
halfway, she hadn't fallen for just any demon, no not she, she had
to fall for the Lord of Lust, Sex and Decadence himself. Well, no
one ever said she did anything in half measures.

There was also the added bonus that even she couldn't be with
a demon unless she possessed him and made him her pet, any other
way would open herself to all kinds of manipulation and might even
endanger the rest of her kind. It was painful to sit and look into his
eyes once again after over a century of being apart.

Her heart pounded in her chest and she could feel a flutter of
excitement in her stomach. She tried to not let her emotions show
and gave him a small smile. "Yes, Darious, it's been a very long

Available at:

Danyealle’s website:

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Welcome, Amy Gallow

Amy, welcome to From the Pages! We’re thrilled to have you here. I know you’ve got lots of exciting news to share so we’ll get right to the questions, if that’s all right.

Can you tell us anything about what you’re working on now?

Typically, for me, I have five submissions at four publishers, a completed first draft of a 90,000 word historical fiction waiting rewriting and revision, a contemporary romance midway to completion of its first draft, a paranormal (vampire) romance in gestation, and a mainstream sea story written in 1972 ready to update.

The hardest thing I find about writing is the constant waiting for responses, release dates, royalties etc., (two of my submissions are now approaching seven months) so I keep the maximum number of balls in the air at any one time to distract me. In the case of completed first drafts, it allows me to come back to them with fresh eyes and the benefits of an ongoing learning curve as a writer.

In between times, I judge competitions and conduct part time classes and workshops in fiction writing at the local Adult Education facilities.

I know everyone wants to hear about your book, The Widow Maker. Can you tell us about it, please?

“The Widow-Maker” takes its name from a poem by Rudyard Kipling “The Harp Song of the Dane Women”, but is a motorcycle with an experimental suspension that has already killed one rider. When Glen Smallwood seems determined to ride it in the Australian Motorcycle Grand Prix at the Phillip Island circuit, the pressure on Alexandra “Lexie” Douglas mounts to an unbearable level. Already considered a jinx by the locals, she seeks to escape loving him, lest her presence tip the scales against him. The intensity of her emotions strip away the barriers of misunderstanding between her and her family and she emerges stronger and more focused, able to cope with the final test of her love and triumphs over her fears.

How long did it take to write?

This story had a chequered history. Initially written for my first Australian publisher under a different title, it was never published because she folded before it came to print and languished in my pile of MSs whilst I wrote a three-book series of paranormal romances for New Concepts.
When I found time to recover it from the pile, I read it with fresh eyes and realized that the motorcycle was the real driving force of the story. The name change and Americanizing the text, but not the location, took two weeks and the submission process another five months.

The original writing time, including a research visit to the location, was about ten weeks for the sixty thousand words (initial draft, cooling time, and rewrite), but I had the advantage of my youthful memories of the sport and the locale.

Where did you get the idea for this story?

Our eldest daughter made a comment that showed how little she understood our life before her tenth birthday and how powerfully puberty had twisted her perceptions of what she did know. It affects her views even now, when she has risen to Associate level in an International firm of consultant engineers and is the mother of two. This difficulty would be intensified with a so-called “Change of Life” child, especially if she were born into a family of boys. (Our daughter wasn't).

Having experienced an Island environment when I was young, it seemed the ideal pressure cooker for the situation and Phillip Island was the closest Island community available. The addition of the Grand Prix circuit provided a further intensifier and crammed all the events into a short, four day, period. Youthful exuberance had led me to ride the circuit years before and the surfing there is great, so I had all the ingredients of the story.

How many books have you written? Do you have a favorite?

I've published nine, plus two romantic short stories in local women's magazines, but have written fourteen, plus the three manuscripts that are works in progress. As to favorites, I suffer from the same problem that afflicted C.S.Forester (of Hornblower fame). I find reading my published work difficult because I have moved on in my learning curve and would love to apply the lessons learned to what can't now be changed.

If you had the choice of being stranded on a desert island or lost in a huge city, which would you prefer and why?

A youthful military exercise had us living exclusively off the land in a barren environment with no weapons beyond a heavy bladed knife so I am aware of the reality of the hard work involved in survival. On the other hand, I've had years of travel in foreign countries and am comfortable with most urban environments so being lost in a large city is neither new nor threatening.

How did you meet your significant other?

I'd been away from home for almost two years and my cousin, who'd been my frequent partner at social events when we were both at a loose end, rang and had four tickets to the Company's annual ball. We both went looking for partners and I met the one who share my life from that moment at a local dance. When we married, almost five years later, we'd spent less than twelve months physically together, but had enriched the postal services of many countries.

What brings you the most joy?

Forty-five years of marriage make that a given. I have been incredibly fortunate, both in marriage and in my children, and now my grandchildren. Writing was the hidden passion of my professional life and is now endlessly fulfilled as I learn more and more about the craft and venture further and further afield.

If you had to choose another profession, what would it be?

I grew up the youngest child of an itinerant Bush worker, picked peas to make ends meet, sometimes went without food (which meant my parents had less) washed pots and pans in the galley of a passenger-carrying paddle steamer, spent time in the military, went to sea professionally, lectured in the university, and ended up in the senior management of the offshore oil industry. I rode motorcycles competitively, bushwalked, lived in several countries and travelled in many others. I played ice hockey, squash, basketball, sailed in racing yachts and professional fishing boats.

It's hard to imagine anything that I haven't done that would interest me, but there's always tomorrow…

Is there anything else you would like to share with us today?

The first thing is to thank you for allowing me to babble on about my life and my writing. I enjoy what I do intensely and the prospect of seeing “The Widow-Maker” on the big screen is a buzz, even if I appreciate the many hurdles that lie between the contract I signed recently and the premiere screening of the film. The screenplay is finished and now we wait the decision of the funding body.

For the rest, please visit my website

Amy, it’s been a pleasure getting to know you. Please keep us updated about The Widow Maker’s progress; I’d love to see it on the big screen someday, and I know others readers would, too.

And readers, Amy has generously offered a copy of her fabulous book to one lucky commenter. The winner will be drawn at random from all of today’s comments, so comment away! Check back tomorrow morning to see if your name has been chosen!


Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Another Winner!

Oh my, how I do love contests...

Congratulations to Pam!

She won Jeff's wonderful book. Pam, please email me your snail mail addy so I can get the book right out to you.

Thanks to all who stopped by and left a comment.

Welcome, Shauna Hart

Hello, Shauna. Thanks so much for visiting with us today. We’ve got a lot to talk about, so let’s get started.

What circumstances led you to writing?

I think deep down I have always wanted to be a writer. I used to give new chapters to girls at my school. When I got older, I started to think about what I wanted out of life for myself. It didn’t take long to figure it out. Then, I had to start learning how to be a writer.

How many books have you written? Do you have a favorite?

I’ve written 7 books and am currently writing book 8. Obviously, each one is special to me for a different reason. I think my favorite is always the book I’m working on at the moment.

What do you love most about being an author?

I love exploring different lives. There’s nothing more exciting than a fresh idea for a story. Plus, I’m a nut for research. I love it. So, if I start a new book that requires research, I will quickly acquire all sorts of books on the topic.

Where do you write?

I usually write sitting on the couch. I have a weird system. I actually hand write everything in a notebook. Then, when I type it, I do my first edit. For me, writing it in the notebook is a little less formal. It gives me the freedom to make mistakes. I also write ideas in the margin that I want to explore when I type it into the computer. There is something about typing it that makes me feel like it has to be perfect.

How long does it typically take you to finish a writing project?

That depends on the project. Some books I’ve finished in a month. Others I end up taking a break from and it takes several months. For instance, my new release, The Pleasure of Sin, took a little over a year to write. I started the book, which is set in New Orleans, and then the Hurricane Katrina hit. With all of the terrible things that happened, I just couldn’t go back there. It took a few months for me to feel like I could actually start writing it again.

Any advice for an author just starting out on the writer’s journey?

I think the best advice I can give aspiring authors is to believe in yourself. My favorite phrase (which I used many times while trying to get published) is “If I don’t believe in myself, then why should anyone else?” I firmly believe that. Unless you are extremely lucky, getting published takes time. You will need to be your own cheerleader for a large portion of that time. Friends and family may support you, but it is not “real” to them until you get a contract. It has to be real to you. When you go to conferences or lectures, see yourself up there giving the speech.

How do you juggle all of life’s other demands with your writing career?

That is something I think we all struggle with. Having a full time job on top of writing makes it even harder. Essentially, you have two jobs. If you haven’t been published yet, people only recognize one of those jobs. That is the worst part. I’m lucky that my husband is such a help around the house. Plus, he is totally supportive of my writing.

The question most readers want to know but never get the chance to ask, do you ever write in your pajamas?

Usually for me, it is sweatpants and a tshirt.

I have to ask…guilty pleasures. Have you got any? Remember, this is a G-rated interview! *G*

Most of my guilty pleasures are television shows. They would be: The Hills, Flavor of Love, I Love New York, Charm School. They definitely are not high brow shows, but they are easy to get lost in for a while.

What’s your idea of the “perfect” night out?

Going to dinner and a movie with my husband.

Do you collect anything?

Boring as it sounds, the answer would have to be books. I just can’t seem to let go of them and I keep collecting. Maybe one day I’ll open a bookstore J

Is there anything else you would like to share with us today?

It took me 6 years to get published and there were a lot of times when it would have been easy to give up. What got me published was not giving up. If you are an aspiring author, just keep working on your craft. Also, start working on building up your fan base. A lot of aspiring authors think that they can’t start doing this until they are published. That is not true. It is a good idea to get a website (some are $25 a month), start a myspace page and develop a blog to start building a fan base. This way when you get published, you already have a database of people to market to.

Thanks for stopping by today, Shauna. It was a pleasure getting to know you.

Thank you so much for inviting me! You are my first interview. It was really fun!

Buy link:

The Pleasure of Sin is available from Whiskey Creek Press Torrid. Here is the blurb and a G-rated excerpt…


The blurb:

When Jade Monroe's sister, Ruby, is murdered, she vows to find her killer. But coming to New Orleans means facing the one man she has never been able to get over, her sister's ex-boyfriend.

Clay Devlin stole more than just a kiss years ago. He stole a piece of her heart. Now, he is her only link to the life her sister led. But Clay wants Jade to leave New Orleans. And the closer she gets to him, the more she begins to wonder what he is hiding.

As Jade investigates, she discovers that Ruby had secrets. Secrets she kept hidden from the people around her. Secrets she indulged in a private club. But Club X is not your average club. It's a sex club that caters to all kinds of tastes, no matter how dark or forbidden. As much as she tries to deny it, she is pulled deeper into a world where fantasy is reality.

Will she discover the truth before it's too late?

Or will her passion become the ultimate weapon against her?

And an excerpt:

All throughout dinner, they spoke of 'safe' topics, each one not wanting to voice the questions that remained just below the surface. An hour and a half later, they began the walk back to the apartment. They had talked about everything during dinner—life, current affairs, things they had done.

It had been comfortable.

Too comfortable.

She mentally scolded herself.

She couldn’t allow herself to be comfortable with him.

Not until she knew the truth.

She couldn’t rule Clay out. She had to stay objective. Even though she didn’t want to believe that Clay was capable of doing something as heinous as murdering her sister, the truth was she didn’t know much about him. What if he had killed Ruby in a jealous rage? She had heard the stories of men who seemed normal and then one day snapped.

Was Clay one of those men?

He couldn’t be, could he?

When they reached the door to the apartment, she turned to face him. “Do you want to come in for a drink?” As soon as the words left her mouth, she cursed herself for a fool.

What was she doing?

Had she lost her mind?

“That would be nice.”

As she poured the wine, a new strategy began to form. Perhaps some wine would loosen his tongue. She took a seat on the couch next to him as he took a drink of his wine. He placed his glass on the coffee table. Turning to face her, he slid his arm along the back of the couch.

“Can I ask you a question?”

She hesitated for a moment before murmuring, “Sure.”

“Why don’t you like me?”

His question stunned her, and for a moment she was unable to speak. Finally, she regained enough composure to reply. “I like you.”

He moved a little closer to her. “Is it because of what happened that night?”

That night.

It stood between them, as impenetrable as a brick wall.

Her eyes met his. The intensity of his gaze stole the breath from her lungs. Her lips parted involuntarily on a sigh.

Yes, it was because of that night, because of the shame she still carried around like a badge. But there was something else as well. Something she never admitted to anyone, not even to herself.

A longing.

That night, he’d awakened a longing within her that she never dared to let loose, for fear it would burn out of control. Like a caged wild animal, she refused to allow it to see the light of day for fear it would destroy everything in its wake, including the bond she had with her sister. That longing had only found life through one man. And it was a sad irony that the one man who could bring it to life would never be given the chance to cultivate it. With so few options, the only viable choice she had was to hate him.

Self-preservation at its finest.

His head began to descend toward hers, and a part of her wanted to give in to the temptation. Then it hit her. They were in Ruby’s house, on Ruby’s couch, and even though she was dead, she was alive all around them.

“You should go,” she said, turning away.

For a moment, he was silent. Then he stood.

“You’re right. I’ll see you tomorrow at eight thirty. There’s a new restaurant we can try.”

“I’m not sure…” she hedged, searching for a way to reject his offer.

He pinned her with a steely glare. “I’ll be here at eight thirty.”

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Welcome, Jeff Rivera

Welcome, Jeff! Thank you for taking time out of your busy schedule to visit with us. I have read Forever My Lady so I am especially excited to hear more about the author behind such a wonderful story. So, if it's all right with you, I'd like to get right to the questions.

Forever My Lady takes on some pretty tough topics without holding anything back. Was it emotionally taxing to write this story? If so,how did you unwind after a day spent at the keyboard?

It wasn't emotionally taxing at all, in fact for me it was therapeutic and felt exhilarating to write. I loved every minute of it. Though, there were times when I wondered if I'd ever finish it and had to force myself to keep writing, I'm so glad I did.

The scenes with Dio's mother were especially poignant. Was there anything you drew upon that helped you make these parts of the book so heartfelt?

I didn't draw on my own mother at all (except for wearing the blue eye shadow thing which my mom STILL does) but I created a character that I thought would be true to Dio's experience. I thought to myself what would Dio's mother look like. She was a very fun character to create.

How did you celebrate when Grand Central bought your book?

Well, I was in shock for the first 6 months and to be honest, I never did really celebrate it. I really ought to, maybe I'm still in shock!

How has your life changed since Forever My Lady has been published?

I definitely feel more validated as a published author. You go through so much self-doubt when you're writing, wondering if people are going to "get" what you're writing so to have a major publisher get that excited about it to the point that they're willing to publish it was awesome.

Can you tell us a little bit about what you're working on now?

Well, now I'm working on a YA novel. My goal this year is to write as many first drafts as possible then the next year to rewrite them. So many stories that have been screaming to come out for so long.

Where do you see yourself in the future? Do you aspire to write forever or do you have other plans?

I do plan on writing forever. It's what I do, it's who I am. I'd definitely like to have the sequel to Forever My Lady out too soon as well.

Thank you for visiting with us today, Jeff. Readers, Jeff has graciously donated a copy of his novel, Forever My Lady, to be given away to one lucky commenter on today's post. I'll randomly pull a winner's name from the comments, announce the winner tomorrow and make arrangements to send the paperback to the winning commenter. So comment away! This is a thought-provoking story, and I believe the winner will definitely enjoy reading Forever My Lady.

To learn more about Jeff, visit his website

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Another winner!

Oh my, how I do love contests... I especially like pulling a name out of a hat, like I just did. I know I said I might just wait until next week to announce the winner but I'm an old woman and knows the value of every day. So...

Congratulations to Celia!

She won Linda's wonderful story, Let Nothing You Dismay.

Just drop Sarita an email with your email address and she'll get that lovely title right out to you. Thanks to all who stopped by and left a comment. Please come back next week, when we'll have more interesting author interviews for you.

Have a nice weekend!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Welcome, Linda Swift

Welcome to From the Pages, Linda. I’m so pleased to meet you! My name is Elinor, from Sarita’s Snowdance novel. I hope you don’t mind being interviewed by a ninety-seven-year-old woman. I assure you, I may be getting a little long in the tooth but my mind is as sharp as ever. At least I hope it is!

Anyhow, when I heard you were going to visit today I baked some cookies. They are my favorite, oatmeal raisin. I thought you might like to settle back, drink some tea with me and have a few cookies. And if you like them, I’ll send you home with a plateful to share with your family. The recipe, too.

But enough from me. Readers are here to hear about you, so why don’t we get to the questions?

I have to know…did you always know you wanted to be an author? Or was it something that came later, after you’d had a chance to explore life a little?

I have loved books ever since I can remember. My daddy and grandmother, who were both school teachers, read to me long before I could read. And my daddy helped me choose appropriate-age books from the library and books were always among my Christmas gifts. So I developed a love for books and reading which led naturally to wanting to write them. I first wrote poems, then short stories, and at age 16, I wrote my first 500 page (handwritten) book. Then life happened: marriage, children, going to college (in that order), teaching, and finally writing again. But it took publication of my work to really feel validated at an author.

Ah, I see… It takes a lot of commitment to write a five-hundred-page handwritten book. And at such a young age, too. Good for you! Very commendable.

So, can you tell us anything about what you're working on now?

I'm working on completion of a half-finished historical set in 1605 England. I already have the cover which is a great inspiration to finish it soon.The book is a sequel to another historical, MAID OF THE MIDLANDS, set in 1573 which is being released by Awe-Struck/Mundania Press in 2009. I am also revising an earlier book, published by Zebra/Kensington. And submitting other completed manuscripts and doing promo for the book just released and looking ahead to promo for the three books coming out in 2009.

My goodness; you are a busy lady. I love historical novels so I’ll be on the lookout for your Maid of the Midlands.

Tell us a little bit about your book, please. I love the title. Let Nothing You Dismay…yes, that’s very thought-provoking.

LET NOTHING YOU DISMAY is the story of Kala, a tour guide at a Kentucky Welcome Center who is coping with debts left by her late husband's illness. When her car quits running, she enrolls in an auto-maintenance class taught by Rex, part-time instructor who has just lost his important job and family. Kala ignores her attraction to him when she finds out he is years younger and he has sworn never to be involved with another woman. When the storm of the century closes the Interstate, Kala opens her home to a houseful of strangers and provides them with an old-fashioned Christmas. She and Rex cope with fire, flood, and friction and in the process discover the greatest gift of love.

When did you know you'd "made it" as an author?

It has actually happened more than once for me. When I had my first short story accepted for publication by The Ball State Forum, a university literary journal, I accepted the "awesome responsibility" of being a writer. At that point I realized for certain I truly was a writer.

When Zebra/Kensington bought my first full length novel, I felt validated as a published author.

And when Awe-Struck Press bought my first ebook this year, I knew I had made it as a published ebook author.

So you’ve had a number of successful moments in your writing career. How lovely!

How many books have you written? Do you have a favorite?

Ten fiction, counting the book at age 16 and one non-fiction. Eight are contemporary and two historical.

My favorite is FOREVER, MY LOVE, a Civil War historical-family saga. It is the longest book I have written and set in my favorite time period. It is unpublished but I have had some "near-misses" on it. So I know I just have to find the right place for it.
I wish you well with finding it a home. I do so enjoy a good Civil War story…

Now, for the questions that I like to think of as the ones that tell readers a little bit about the person behind the public figure. I promise not to get too intrusive. Just a few things that I’m curious about, if you don’t mind.

Let me pour you another cup of tea. There you go…

Okay, what are your hobbies?

I would have to list reading first. (I don't consider writing a hobby; it is my profession) I also enjoy ballroom dancing, with my husband as my partner. I like to paint when I have time; pictures and also furniture and walls! Sewing makes the list. But I cook only of necessity though I do enjoy preparing occasional meals for guests. I like to shop and walk and visit beaches and travel.

If you could live anywhere in the world, where would you choose?

Ah, that's a hard one. So many places appeal to me. Coronado Island would be one. A small village in England for at least a few years. A small town (but not too small) in the Southwest--Arizona or New Mexico. Nashville. (both my children live there) And I'm quite happy on the Gulf Coast of Florida where I live now.

One book lover to another, what are you reading now? I’m always on the lookout for new books to read, especially during the long, snowy winter months.

Newspapers, Magazines for relaxation
And I have a list of downloads of current ebook authors waiting to be read.

What brings you the most joy?

Besides my relationships with my husband and children, of course, on a personal level, it would be getting to share what I have written with other people. If we write and no one ever reads our creations, then we have not communicated. And to me, writing is about communicating with other human beings, about touching their emotions and making a difference in their lives.

If you had to choose another profession, what would it be?

Teaching, as that is what I am trained to do and I loved doing it for several years. However, there is only a certain amount of psychic energy that each of us has, and I chose to leave my teaching career to write full time. But teaching is about reaching other human beings, too, and making a difference in their lives. It is very rewarding and we never know how far reaching it may be.

Is there anything else you would like to share with us today?

Yes, I would like to invite anyone reading this to visit me at my web site to read about my upcoming books. There are blurbs and excerpts and release dates as I get them. I also have a Poetry Page which I update with new poems each season. And there is a Guest Page where visitors can leave a message. I also have links on the site to MySpace and FaceBook and other places of interest. I'd love to hear from readers and other writers.

Linda, it has been a pleasure visiting with you today. I know you have touched my heart, and I suspect you’ve done the same with our readers.

I do so hope you will come back and visit with me again sometime soon. It can get kind of lonely living out here in this old farmhouse. I don’t often get to share my morning with someone as thoughtful and as talented as you. Maybe you wouldn’t mind coming back during the summer months, when the creek is gurgling and the roses are blooming. We could sit beneath the maple tree and talk about whatever you’re working on next. I know you’ll have something interesting to discuss, so let’s make a date, all right?

Maybe next time I’ll bake a lemon bundt cake. My Al, he used to love my lemon bundt…

Oh! I digress! Readers, Linda has kindly offered a copy of her lovely holiday story, Let Nothing You Dismay, to one lucky commenter on today’s blog post. Just leave a comment to be entered in the random drawing. Winner will be announced tomorrow on Tuesday the 20th, so check back to see if your name has been drawn.

If you can’t wait—and I don’t blame you if you can’t—to see whether or not your name has been pulled from the hat, just head over to The Wild Rose Press at and pick up a copy of this little gem. I know I’m going to do so, and then I’ll sit here this afternoon and read Linda’s story with a nice, hot cup of cocoa. Seems like the perfect way to spend a snowy afternoon!

Thank you for giving me this opportunity to appear on your blog, Elinor.

It was my pleasure, Linda. I meant it—I hope you will come back again. Now, why don’t we give the readers a taste of Let Nothing You Dismay? The blurb and a small excerpt, that’s the thing…

Let Nothing You Dismay


Kala's position as a tour guide at a Kentucky Welcome Center isn't enough to cope with huge debts left by her late husband's illness, but she manages to make ends meet...until her car quits running.

To save money on repairs, she enrolls in an auto-maintenance class taught by Rex, a handsome part-time instructor whose broken heart needs repairing, too. After recently losing his important job and family, he has sworn never to get involved with another woman.

Kala discounts her growing attraction to Rex when she learns he is years younger, until the winter storm of the century throws them together. When the Interstate closes down, Kala opens her home to a houseful of strangers. Despite fire, flood, and friction, she creates an old-fashioned holiday rich in the true spirit of Christmas. In the process, Kala and Rex discover the greatest gift—love.


Refusing the offer of a ride, Rex put on his coat, preparing for the grueling trek back to his hotel. Kala walked him to the front door and stepped out onto the dark porch, already covered in a fine layer of white from the blowing snow.

"Come for pancakes and sausage in the morning." She shivered in spite of her bulky knit sweater. "About eight or anytime after."

Without thinking, Rex opened his jacket and wrapped her up inside, folding her into his embrace. Instinctively, Kala lifted her face and his mouth covered hers. The kiss, which began as a friendly goodbye, took on momentum as he deepened it into a hungry tangling of tongues when she responded. The effect left them both breathless when they finally pulled apart.

"Maybe," Rex whispered, before he plunged into the drifts and disappeared in darkness.

Kala stood there for a moment, touching her lips with her fingertips, wanting to call after him, "Don't go. I need you. I...I love you." Love? Stunned by the unexpected realization, she hurried inside. Thank goodness, she had guests to feed. She didn't have time to worry over Rex now; her feelings would have to wait until later.

Although his feet were numb with cold, Rex plowed with dogged determination toward his apartment, wishing his mind were as frozen as his limbs. He could have stayed. So why did he invent an excuse not to? Because being with Kala Vandergriff, even with a houseful of people, would be too tempting. She made him lose control, forget his resolve. Like kissing her just now, the taste of her lingered on his lips. He wanted her, he admitted to himself with candor, in a way he never intended to want anyone again. And wanting her scared the hell out of him. She wasn't the kind of woman to have a casual fling, and he wasn't sure he was willing or capable of offering anything more. He saw the lights of the Ritz ahead and quickened his pace. He'd make a stiff drink and think about his feelings later.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Welcome, Marianne Arkins

Welcome, Marianne! I'm so glad to have you here at From the Pages. Thank you for taking time out of your busy schedule to visit with us. I have read One Love for Liv--and loved it!--so I am especially excited to hear more about the author behind such a wonderful story. I've also read most of your Wild Rose Press short stories, and enjoyed them all. You have a fabulous way of pulling a reader right into the lives of your characters. I love being able to escape real life, even if only for a few hours.

Anyhow, if it's all right with you, I'd like to get right to the questions.

How long does it typically take you to finish a writing project?

Depends. I finished the first draft of “One Love for Liv” during NaNoWriMo - in 27 days. The editing took a little longer (just over a year!). I have a novel I've been working on for several years that still isn't done. I wrote a story I just submitted to Womans World in about 20 minutes. Another short story took me months.

I think it matters whether I'm working on achieving a specific goal (like NaNoWriMo) or not. I work better under pressure... which is why I'm participating in a smaller writing challenge with a dozen friends that we call JaNoWriMo (

I'm arriving late to JaNoWriMo but it is a lot of fun!

What kind of food do you like best?

There are few foods I don't like ( which accounts for my perpetual need to lose weight), but I'm especially fond of pizza. I had a white pizza with tomatoes and garlic the other day that was out of this world.

I'm a big pizza fan, too. I had one a few weeks ago that totally bowled me over.

Can you tell us anything about what you're working on now?

A fantasy that was my 2007 (failed) NaNoWriMo novel, and two sequels: one for “Kitchen Matches” and one for “One Love for Liv”, as well as a few short stories. And, it's true: I never work on only one project at a time.

If you had the choice of being stranded on a desert island or lost in a huge city, which would you prefer and why?

Absolutely a desert island. I'm a complete loner - though I suppose I'd miss the luxury of the city. How about I'm stranded in my own house in the middle of the city? *G*

The question most readers want to know but never get the chance to ask, do you ever write in your pajamas?

Every day! I'm up around 4 a.m. and don't want to wake the rest of the house, as that is my only true “alone” time. So, I slither quietly downstairs, brew coffee and write.

This is something I've wanted to ask you for a long time... How do you juggle all of life's other demands with your writing career?

Very, very carefully. My friends often wonder how I manage to do what I do - which includes homeschooling my daughter and co-running the very busy reviews site, The Long and the Short of It ( I often wonder, too. I'm big on multi-tasking, I don't sleep much and I thrive on pressure. So, it works for me.

You manage to squash everything in so well, and make it all look effortless!

Any advice for an author just starting out on the writer's journey?

Study, learn and find a talented mentor. Most importantly - LEARN TO TAKE ADVICE. The rules are rules for a reason, and unless you're Stephen King or Nora Roberts, I'd advise not breaking them. Finish your work, polish it and submit it. You'll never be published if you don't submit. Be prepared for rejection, learn from your mistakes and keep on keeping on.

I don't imagine you've got lots of spare time, but when you do get a chance to relax, how do you spend your time? What are your hobbies?

Scrapbooking. Gardening. Bird watching. And, I've just recently started agility training with my dog. I suspect it could become very, very addicting for both of us.

You've just won a million dollars. What would you do with it?

Invest most of it, lol. Yeah, practical, but I can't help it. I'd buy a house with a library and built in shelves and proceed to stock them. I've often toyed with running my own publishing house, but that would require more time than I have. Of course, one of the conveniences of money is being able to hire help. Oh, and I'd have laser removal of all the hair on my legs. Seriously... can you imagine NEVER having to shave your legs again? *sigh*

What a glorious idea! Never having to shave legs again? Sheer heaven, I'd say!

If you could live anywhere in the world, where would you choose?

Somewhere warm and sunny. I'd prefer somewhere warm and sunny without all the drawbacks like flying cockroaches, water moccasins and alligators... so, my choices are limited to, yanno... nowhere. Can I just be wealthy and fly places all the time instead? I could follow the sun that way, but not have to bug bomb my home.

In the house--shoes or bare feet?

Bare feet. If I lived in the tropics, I'd never wear shoes.

When did you know you'd “made it” as an author?

I'll tell you when I do. Cuz, right now I'm still a work in progress.

How many books have you written? Do you have a favorite?

Written or published? I only have one novel published, but I have several written. They need some, er... assistance in order to face the light of day. They will eventually. And, I have to say that my favorite always tends to be the one I'm working on (unless it's giving me trouble).

What is your favorite kind of cake?

Chocolate. Seriously, is there any other kind?

What frightens you?

Truthfully? That my daughter will die before I do. That my mom won't live forever. And that I'll never move back out west... I really don't like the northeast. I'm not fond of maggots, either.

Have you ever laughed so hard something has flown out of your face?

You mean like an eyeball? No. But I have been known to end up with various liquids up my nose.

Do you collect anything?

Frogs. I love them. I keep the artificial ones inside my house, and the live ones in my garden.

Your life is about to hit the big screen. What's the title, and who plays you?

I've often been told I resemble Natalie Wood ... but since she's been dead for a decade or two, she probably wouldn't be the best choice. How about Sandra Bullock? I adore her.

Is there anything else you would like to share with us today?

I'd love to have you visit my blog occasionally: and remember to floss, be kind to animals and, if you're in the mood, check out my novel, “One Love for Liv”. You won't be sorry!

Marianne, I've loved chatting with you today! Thank you so much for visiting with us. I sincerely hope you'll come back in the future and talk with us again. I have a feeling we could just chat and chat and chat...

Readers, I hope you'll check out Marianne's work. As I said, I loved One Love for Liv and can heartily recommend it. It's a story that shows that the heart knows no boundaries--even when society's boundaries seem very well defined! It's a heartwarming story that makes me want to urge Marianne to write the sequel quickly! *G*

buy link for Liv:

Blurb forne Love for Liv:

Liv is out to prove her high society fiancé is cheating on her. Can she do it without breaking a nail—or falling in love with Mike the mechanic?

Olivia “Liv” Leigh, wealthy socialite and spa owner, suspects her fiancé of cheating on her. Drastic steps are required to discover whether appearances are deceiving. And if those steps require a bit of stalking, a change of appearance, a hippo-sized dog named Spike, and sacrificing her manicure to clean house for a sexy-but-sloppy man whose neighbor is determined to break several of the strangest Guinness world records, why should that be a problem?

Mike, a happily single auto mechanic, is more than content sharing his bachelor pad with piles of laundry, dirty dishes, and a sneaky ferret. But when a half-crazed woman in a bad wig shows up on his doorstep, what’s a nice guy to do?

Why, invite her in, unknowingly help her in her search for the truth and, in the process, fall head over heels for a woman who’s never been less his type.

And an excerpt:

Liv drove past the VW and parked around the corner. Nervous in these strange surroundings, she stepped out of the car. First one foot cautiously touched the pavement, then the other.

Litter dotted the sidewalk, and she sidled around a huge wad of pink chewing gum that glistened on the cement to her right, practically pulsating in the sunshine. The wooden fence beside her was covered in graffiti, mostly silly scrawls of people’s names and the objects of their affections.

With a glance over her shoulder at the beat-up sedan, she gave thanks she wasn’t driving the Miata after all. This neighborhood made her terribly uneasy, and her sweet car probably wouldn’t last an hour parked on this street.

She hurried up the sidewalk to the corner, grateful for the first time she was wearing sneakers instead of her usual pumps, and peered around to make sure Daisy wasn’t looking. Of course, she probably wouldn’t recognize Liv, but it was still good to be careful.

She trailed Daisy until the redhead turned up the walk toward the complex and moved behind some thick evergreen bushes. Liv broke into a trot, not wanting to lose her.

As Liv turned the corner, she nearly ran Daisy over. The woman had stopped to check her mail at the wall of mailboxes just outside the complex.

Liv leaped back and slipped between two parked cars, squatting down to hide for a moment until she realized she couldn’t see anything. She duck-walked up a few cars until she could lean down to peek underneath and watch Daisy’s feet to note when she moved on.

Utterly focused on the sight before her, she had no warning before the driver’s door beside her swung open, clipping her sharply on the head. She flew backward, sprawling into the street and thumping her skull on the pavement. Tires squealed nearby as a moving car whipped around her flattened body.

“What the—?” From a million miles away, a man shouted in surprise. She heard the thump of footsteps but couldn’t seem to open her eyes. “Hey, lady.” A huge, heavy hand shook her shoulder. “Are you okay?”

Something warm and wet swiped her face, both reviving and disgusting her. She kept her eyes closed and limply swatted at it. Her hand hit fur. “Ugh.”

“Spike, back off.”

Spike? What was going on? She gave a low moan and tried again to force her eyelids to obey her will, finally succeeding after a Herculean effort. A tanned face covered in five o’clock shadow and smears of black grease swam in front of her. Next to him, its neck surrounded by a studded black leather collar, sat the biggest brown dog she’d ever seen. The creature had drool suspended from its mouth and it looked as if it had swallowed a sneaker with the laces hanging out. Dear heavens, was that what had licked her?

The voice spoke again, and this time she saw the man’s lips move, though they seemed oddly out of sync with his words. The last time that had happened was when she’d seen Shoot the Piano Player in French with English subtitles.

“You don’t look so good. Maybe I should call for an ambulance or something. I whacked you pretty hard.” He touched her forehead and she tried to move away from those greasy hands. Did she have a smear on her skin?

“No, don’t call an ambulance.” Liv was dismayed at how feeble she sounded, but the last thing she needed was to draw more attention to herself. How would she explain that to Geoff or her father? “I’ll be okay. Just help me up.”

“If you’re sure.” Strong, firm hands slipped under her arms and pulled her easily to her feet. The dog leaned against her and shoved its head under her hand. She flinched at the feel of its bony, fur-covered skull even though she appreciated the support. It wasn’t enough, though, and her legs wobbled beneath her.

“Whoa there, Nelly.” The man tightened his hold and steadied her. “Maybe you should come inside and sit down for a couple of minutes. I could give you an ice pack for your head.”

Liv drew herself up to her full height, all five feet, two inches of it—damn, now she missed her three-inch heels—and declared, “I would no more go into a strange man’s house than…than…”

She hated that the man only grinned and watched her sputter. She lost the little bit of strength she’d summoned and sank down onto the sidewalk. “I’ll sit on the curb. Just get your ugly dog away from me.”

“Spike? C’mon, he’s gorgeous.” He gave the monster a vigorous scratch all up and down its body.

“And he’s not my dog, but don’t worry, he’s a marshmallow.”

“I don’t like dogs.” She dropped her aching head into her hands and peeked through her fingers to watch as the man dragged the dog a few feet away. Spike stared at Liv with droopy brown eyes for a couple moments before he turned and trotted into the apartment complex. Thank heavens.

“Look, you can’t sit out here by yourself. What if you have a concussion and pass out?” The man squatted beside her. “Do you live nearby? I could take you home.”

“I don’t live anywhere around here.” Heaven forbid. Liv waved off his offer with a flip of her hand. “I just need a few minutes to gather my wits.”

“I don’t feel right just leaving you here. Maybe you could go to my neighbor’s? Daisy is a pretty harmless woman—at least if you’re not a man—and from where I’m sitting, it’s obvious you’re no man.”

“Daisy?” That was impossible. What were the odds?

“Yeah.” He grasped her elbow and helped her stand again. Despite the grease and calluses, his hand was oddly gentle and comforting. “I bet you’re seeing double, and you can’t drive in that condition.”

Annoyed he was right, and interested in checking out where the competition lived, she reluctantly agreed. They walked side-by-side into the complex, each step making her head throb more.

“I’m Mike, by the way. Mike Peck.”

She looked up at him, really seeing him for the first time. He was unbelievably tall, well over six feet, and wore some kind of gray coverall that had his name embroidered on the patch affixed to the front.

She squinted at the smaller lettering above his name. Doug’s Import Auto Shop. Saved by a grease monkey. How exactly right for her day.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Stolen Birthright winner

I'm sorry it has taken me so long to get back here to select a winner. Life has been nuts this past week; please forgive me.

Without further ado, the randomly-chosen winner of a copy of Margaret's Stolen Birthright is Mary!

Congratulations, Mary! Please email me your address and I'll get that right out to you.

Thanks to everyone who visited this week!

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Welcome, Margaret Tanner

Welcome, Margaret! Yours is the first interview here at From the Pages. Thank you for taking time out of your busy schedule to visit with us. I have read Stolen Birthright--and loved it!--so I am especially excited to hear more about the author behind such a wonderful story. So, if it's all right with you, I'd like to get right to the questions.

First, I've got to know. Where do you write?

Anywhere that is quiet and comfortable and I can rest my writing pad. I always write my first draft in long hand.

In long hand, how interesting! Can you tell me anything about what you're working on now?

Yes, I am revising an historical romance set in 1870's Australia.

Where do you see yourself in the future? Will you still be writing, or do you have a new adventure on the horizon?

I will still be writing, but hopefully collecting big Royalty checks in the future.

Any advice for an author just starting out on the writer's journey?

Yes, Perseverence is the key. Keep on writing and keep on submitting and you will eventually succeed. In other words, don't let yourself fall at the first hurdle.

Excellent advice, Margaret. Very wise. So, how many books have you written? Do you have a favorite?

Eight. No, I like them all.

What kind of food do you like best?

Anything sweet. I fear I am a chocoholic.

We share that trait. I'm also a chocoholic, but let's just keep that between us, all right?

What are your hobbies?


If you could live anywhere in the world, where would you choose?

Australia, where I now live.

How did you meet your significant other?

On a "blind date" set up by a friend.

Do you speak a foreign language?

Unfortunately, no.

Is there anything else you would like to share with us today?

I would just like to say that writing can be a lonely occupation, which is why you need support from your fellow writers. They understand what you are going through, the highs, the lows and all the in betweens. My friends from the Melbourne Romance Writers Guild (MRWG) have ben a source of inspiration and support over several years and without their help and enthusiasm I would never have been published.

I've loved chatting with you today! Thank you so much for visiting with us, Margaret. I sincerely hope you'll come back in the future and talk to us about another of your books.

Readers, Margaret has graciously offered a copy of Stolen Birthright to one lucky commenter. Believe me, it's a great story. I know the winner will enjoy it. Just leave a comment to have your name in the drawing. A winner will be chosen at random and announced tomorrow morning. Check back to see if your name has been drawn!

Now, a blurb and excerpt from Margaret Tanner's Stolen Birthright...


Print and e-books can be purchased from Whiskey Creek Press.


Can an English aristocrat ever hope to marry the daughter of convicts?

Georgina, a wild colonial girl, is brought up by O’Rourke, a rough and ready Irishman who she believes is her uncle. While helping the bushranger Johnny Dawson escape from prison she meets and falls in love with a dashing young English aristocrat, the Honourable Marcus Lindquist.

When Johnny Dawson is ambushed and killed, Marcus finally learns the secret of what has bound the young outlaw to Georgina. Johnny is her brother, not her lover as he had jealously supposed, but even darker secrets from the past overshadow their love.

Meanwhile, twelve thousand miles across the sea, Marcus’ Godfather, is plotting Georgina’s death to keep his dark secrets from ever seeing the light of day.

And an excerpt:

The Honourable Marcus Lindquist cursed inwardly as another bump almost unseated him. What did this idiot of a driver think he was doing? Bloody half-witted colonial. He had been forced to leave England to save the Lindquist name from being dragged further into disrepute, now he was exiled in this Godforsaken penal colony. Australia was only fit for convicts and destitute immigrants.

Sylvia had ruined his life. She had betrayed him. Cast him aside to marry the heir to a Dukedom. He was just starting to think about marriage and settling down to produce heirs, when he had met and become infatuated with Lady Sylvia Hayworth. Just the thought of her full lips and lush, ripe body being given to another man almost destroyed him.

“Youse have to stay the night here.” Their uncouth looking driver poked his head through the coach window. “Too late to travel on the road now.”

“Road!” Marcus bit off an oath. Is that what they called it? Rutted track seemed more appropriate. He felt bruised and battered as he stepped stiffly from the coach and waited for the other occupants to alight.

He stamped his feet to get his circulation moving again after eight hours in the cramped coach. They had stopped only to eat and change the horses; now he was forced to spend the night in some revolting, bug-infested tavern, undoubtedly run by villainous riff raff.

Automatically, he offered his hand to help a middle-aged lady alight. A good night’s sleep would help. The voyage out from England had been nothing short of a bloody nightmare. Still, it did have a few lighter moments, including a troupe of eight painted, but pretty chorus girls who had kept him entertained.

“This way.” The driver took charge of the lady’s bag, leaving Marcus to pick up his own.

The roadside tavern looked anything but impressive, although the light spilling out on to the verandah offered some reassurance. A large, fat fellow in grubby pants met them at the door, and Marcus shuddered with distaste. Fastidious in his own habits, if this oaf’s appearance was anything to go by, he teetered on the brink of a hideous nightmare. Their driver, having dumped them like pieces of flotsam, disappeared without a word. Not even bothering to hide his disdain, Marcus stepped across the threshold.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Happy New Year!

Everyone needs at least one New Year's resolution. I've made one that I believe will be a fun, interesting and illuminating adventure.

What is it, you ask?

Starting on Tuesday, the 6th, I'm going to have Author Chats here! Isn't that exciting? A long list of talented authors have very graciously agreed to be interviewed. They will entertain and enlighten us, tell us about how they work, what they write and what we can expect from them in the future. They will let us peek inside their lives and minds...and sometimes inside their hearts, too. It doesn't get any better than that.

Many authors will offer various giveaways with their interviews. Every comment earns an entry into that day's giveaway, so I encourage you to leave a comment. Ask a question. Get to know the authors better. What have you got to lose?

So please come back and visit again.

Who will the first author here at From the Pages be? Tsk, didn't think I'd divulge that secret easily, did you? I may be ninety-seven but I've still got all my wits about me!