Thursday, April 30, 2009

A Winner!

Congratulations, Becky! Your name was randomly chosen to receive Janet's Whiskey Shots volume!

Drop me an email and I'll send your prize right out.

Thanks, everyone, for stopping by!

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Welcome, Janet Quinn

Welcome to From the Pages, Janet! I'm so jazzed to have you here visiting with us today! If you don't mind, I'd like to begin asking you questions straight away...

Where do you write?

I used to sit at my desk and write. Ever since I got my laptop, I haven’t moved off the couch. I balance my laptop on one leg and a pillow and write with the TV on. I have found my dog leaves me to my writing more now that I am on the couch. When I move to my desk, he feels we must play catch.

Did you always know you wanted to be an author?

When I was in high school, I wanted to be doctor, until the end of my senior year. My English teacher told me I could write and I got my first A ever in English. I always got A’s in math and science. That’s when I decided I wanted to be an author. My mother wasn’t thrilled and it took me many years to actually become an author, but I did finally realize my dream.

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

At the moment I am writing a sequel to The River’s Treasure, which is a historical romance. Sam, who was a slave bought by the hero in The River’s Treasure, was a favorite character of everyone, so I decided to write his story. It is called Freedom’s Treasure and is an underground railroad story. Sam, a giant of a man, is content with his life until Jubilee crosses his land as she is being chased by slave hunters. He falls in love with her and finds himself being led into all types of trouble while he tries to keep her safe.

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

I have sold twelve books and six short stories. I have several manuscripts in the file cabinet and that is probably where they will stay. Whatever book I am working on is my favorite at the time until I get to the galley stage where I hate the book, the characters and everything else about it and never want to see it again. Once I hold it in my hands, that all changes. My favorite character is Cassidy in Arrow of the Heart, which is a time travel romance. She is a gunslinger who comes forward in time, and even though she doesn’t understand her new world, she isn’t going to let anyone take advantage of her.

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

I plan to be writing until they bury me. I have had plenty of new adventures in my life and I am happy sitting on my couch writing, when I am not teaching.

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

Since my three grown sons live with me, I sleep in sweats and a T-shirt. I also write in sweats and a T-shirt except in the summer when the sweats are traded for shorts.

Do you have a pet?

I have two cats and a dog. Chewbaca, the dog, is a spoiled, fat, lazy dog. He likes to sit in the recliner when he’s not playing ball. He also likes to chase the cats. The smaller one lets him know that she is Queen of the house and he’d best knock it off. He discovered his Christmas presents on top of the fish tank and tried for half an hour to climb up and get them. He is my baby and gets Christmas and birthday presents and even gets his picture taken with Santa. The cats, on the other hand, want to part of any of that.

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

I would definitely choose to be lost in a huge city. I don’t go anywhere that doesn’t have ice, beds, or flush toilets. I am rather into air conditioning as well.

When you’re not writing, what do you like to do?

When I am not writing or teaching – I have two day jobs that involve teaching – I like to lay on the couch and watch TV. I used to read, but by the time I am through with everything else I do, I’m too tired to concentrate, so I watch dramas. I almost never watch movies.

Do you have a recipe you would care to share with us today?

Chicken Mozzarella
Easy and Elegant

8 skinless, boneless chicken breasts
2 cups grated Mozzarella cheese
16 ounce jar of spaghetti sauce
4 ounces Italian bread crumbs

Preheat oven to 350°.
Pour bread crumbs into small flat bowl.
Dip chicken breasts into bowl, coating inside of chicken.
Put cheese in middle of chicken breasts and fold in half.
Place in 8 inch square baking pan.
Pour spaghetti sauce over chicken breasts.
Bake in 350° oven for 45 minutes.
Sprinkle remaining cheese over chicken.
Bake for an additional 10 minutes.
Is there anything else you would like to share with us today?
Writing is a passion and something I can’t imagine not doing. It is also a job that takes discipline and dedication. It is some of the hardest work I have ever done, but finishing a story and seeing my published book, makes all the work worthwhile.
Janet, thanks so much for talking with us today. I've enjoyed getting to know you, and I know my readers have, too. I hope you'll come back and visit again.
Readers, Janet has graciously offered to give one lucky commenter a copy of her Whiskey Shots, Volume 7. All you've got to do is make a comment; one name will be chosen at random to receive this collection. Check back to see if your name has been picked! the link for the prize I am giving away which will be Whiskey Shots Vol. 7
From Betrayals:

Logan Lambert's world shatters when an earthquake destroys his newly constructed building. In the aftermath of the quake, he soon realizes that his reputation as a builder has also been damaged, and possibly beyond repair. But to make matters even worse, his also learns of the betrayal of his most-trusted friends, which shakes him to the very core of his being.
Kayla Hampton, a blind CPA, is drawn into Logan's chaotic new world when her father asks her to investigate Lambert for signs of fraud. Not only does she find herself falling in love with the discredited yet determined builder, taking risks to help him repair his reputation, but chancing to step outside her safe and orderly existence. Together, Logan and Kayla are plunged into a dangerous world of shoddy construction, gambling, murder and betrayal. And to clear Logan's good name, they must locate the man responsible for the mayhem. But will they expose the real culprit in time to save themselves? And if they do, will their love be strong enough to put their worlds back together?

Carrying her briefcase, she walked across the lawn that
separated her building from the street, her cane skimming the
top of the blades. When her feet hit the solidness of the
sidewalk, she sighed. Calm filled her as the night breeze blew
across her face. Everything was in order. Here, her world was
normal. She had twenty steps to walk to the front door. Then
she would open the security latch, go in and walk ten steps to
the stairway. There were twelve steps to the landing, two steps
to the right, then twelve more steps to the second floor. From
the stairs, it took her fifteen steps to her front door.
She had covered ten steps when the quietness of the night
ended. Hurried footsteps sounded on the sidewalk from about
half a block behind her. Her heart pounded. She paused,
holding her breath and listening. Taking in a deep breath, she
tapped her cane on the sidewalk. Why would anyone be after
her? She was being silly. Anyone could be coming down the
Still… Squaring her shoulders, she hurried toward the
door, fumbling in her bag for her keys. Once inside she’d feel
safe again. She knew all of this was a reaction to the earlier
break-in, but she couldn’t stop her trembling. The footsteps
disappeared and breathed again. Then the footsteps hit the
sidewalk and her breath caught in her chest. Heavy footsteps.
Made by work boots like Logan wore. Logan making sure she
had arrived home safely? She hesitated, listening to the
footsteps, sniffing the air for a whiff of his cologne. It wasn’t
Logan. She ran the last few feet to the doorway. Jamming her
key into the lock, she tried to turn it. It stuck. The footsteps
bore down on her. They were behind her. She turned,
swinging her briefcase.
“Ooof,” a deep voice breathed.
Kayla tightened her grip on the handle, yanking it toward
her. A hand gripped her shoulder and shoved her. She crashed
backward, her head hitting the door as the doorknob bit into
her spine. The attacker wrested the briefcase from her hand.
Pain shot through her fingers and up her arm, causing her to
A second set of heavy-booted footsteps sounded against
the pavement. She pulled herself up the door and groped for
the keys in the lock. A body thudded behind her. A rush of
breath broke through the night.
“Kayla, get inside.”

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

A Winner!

Thanks to all who stopped by yesterday!

The randomly chosen winner of Christina's novel, Foretaste of Forever, is...

*drum roll, please!*


Congratulations, Amy. Your prize is on its way.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Welcome, Christina Phillips

Welcome to From the Pages, Christina! I'm so glad you could stop by today and chat with us! I've got lots of questions I'd like to ask you, so if you don't mind I'm just going to begin asking.

First, where do you write?

Up until recently I wrote in a corner of the family room, but a few months ago my eldest moved out and so I now have her bedroom as my office. It's all pink and girly, covered in photos of my babies, full of all the wonderful romance novels I love to read, and I just... love it so much!!!

Tell us a little bit about your book, please.

FORETASTE OF FOREVER is a dark erotic romance with paranormal elements, published by the Scarlet line of the Wild Rose Press. It is available here.

It's about a strong heroine who is prepared to do anything to be with the man she loves, and an alpha hero who is so blinded by his sense of honor that he can't see his destiny when she is standing right in front of him.

Where did you get the idea for this story?

This story was actually inspired by a recurring dream I had. And not just any old dream - this one was in full technicolor and surround sound. Midnight, on a deserted beach with only the moon for illumination. But despite haunting me for four years, this couple never got any further. And they slowly began to drive me insane!

Eventually it occurred to me that I should write their story down, just to get it out of my head. I was pretty shocked to discover the dreams immediately stopped. But even though I no longer dreamed about these two people, I still couldn't quite get them out of my head.

It wasn't until a few years later when, encouraged by my fabulous CPs I went back to it and added the spice and submitted to The Wild Rose Press.

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

I can't imagine a time in the future when I won't be writing. It's a part of who I am, and when I don't write I get bad tampered and twitchy and a nightmare to live with!! Besides, I love being the goddess-of-my-own-universe far too much to ever give it up!!!

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

Much as I like shopping in the city, I have no sense of direction and can get lost walking round the corner. So the thought of being lost in a huge city is kind of a nightmare for me! So...

If we're talking about being stranded on a fabulous desert island with white beaches, palm trees and warm turquoise water, then I guess I would just have to make the best of it, and ensure my co-strandee (I'm not alone on this island, right?!), the delectable Clive Owen, didn't succumb to sunstroke. I'm thoughtful like that.

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

Hee hee!! Chance would be a fine thing. I have three kids and only after I've dropped the youngest at school, done the shopping and various chores do I collapse in front of the computer.

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

I'd quote the line from Galaxy Quest - Never Give Up! Never Surrender! It took me nine years before I sold Foretaste of Forever and I came close to giving up several times, especially after particularly painful rejections. Another thing I discovered was Never Say Never - when I first started writing I aimed at category romance and was sure I would never write a first person chic lit. So then I wrote a couple of first person chic lits, while telling my CPs I could never, much as I'd love to, write paranormal.

I then wrote a couple of light paranormal romances, and despite my CPs telling me I should try my hand at erotic romance knew I'd never be able to.

Within six months I had not only written my first erotic romance, but it had been contracted by The Wild Rose Press.

Now, whenever I say never to my CPs they can barely contain their mirth!

That's great advice. And yours is definitely a success story! Congratulations!

In the house—shoes or bare feet?

Flip-flops or, as they are known Down Under, thongs. I can never call them thongs though, since as I originate from the UK thongs are skimpy knickers!!

What is your favorite kind of cake?

Something rich, chocolately and decadent and most importantly calorie free. If you know where I can get one, please let me know!

What frightens you?

The thought of being alone.

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

I was born in England, emigrated to Australia ten years ago, my star sign is Leo and I am twenty-nine years old. Well okay, three out of four isn't so bad!

Christina, it's been great getting to know you. I look forward to reading your work, and I wish you every success. I do hope you'll consider coming back and chatting with us again.

Readers, Christina has graciously offered a copy of her Foretaste of Forever to one lucky commenter, so comment away! One name will be randomly drawn to receive this intriguing story. Check back to see if your name has been drawn!


Elyesha, last surviving descendant of a line of powerful witches,
finally finds the only man she's ever loved, the man who deserted
her countless years before. But Ben is torn between desire and
despair when Elyesha, his only love, eventually penetrates his
protective retreat. He knows what she wants, but the price of their
love is too high. At midnight, on the beach, a battle of wills and
erotic seduction ensues as each confronts the other's darkest fears.

Excerpt ~ Edited

Elyesha hooked her ankles around Ben's waist as he strode through the castle's crumbling entrance. For a fleeting moment, she wished it had retained its former glory, but her ancestors had allowed the magnificent stronghold to fall into ruins centuries ago.

Besides, it didn't matter where she had Ben. So long as she had him. And soon – she would have him forever.

In the Great Hall, with its soaring arches and remnants of ancient grandeur in the carved four poster bed, he paused and she slowly slithered from his grasp. "What shall we do now?" she said, tilting her head to one side and allowing her long hair to tumble provocatively over her shoulder.

"No suggestions?" She raised one eyebrow and trailed her finger over his groin and toward his chest. She didn't know why he fought against her some nights. What did he hope to achieve? Sooner or later, she'd get her way and then he would see how foolish all his protestations had been. "Perhaps I'll strip you naked," she suggested, loosening the ties on his scarlet linen shirt.

He didn't reply, except to give the merest grunt of a laugh. She tugged his open shirt from his britches and admired his
perfectly sculpted chest, before sliding the shirt over his shoulders and along his finely muscled arms.

"Enjoying yourself?" There was a rasp to his voice, as if he tried to deny the rising desire between them.

She shot him an exasperated glance. "I intend to enjoy myself far more before this night's over." She tugged at the fastenings at his crotch, deliberately prolonging the procedure. Occasionally she found Ben's inhuman self-control infuriating, but even that didn't matter. Because, in the end, he always succumbed.

Christina's Website
Christina's Blog

Foretaste Of Forever

Thursday, April 16, 2009

A Winner!

Thanks to everyone who stopped by and left a comment on Annette's interview post!
Annette has put together a lovely gift package for one lucky commenter.
I've just randomly pulled a name out of a hat
(actually a Yankees cap!) and that name is...
*Drum roll, please!*
Congratulations, Dru!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Welcome, Annette Snyder

VIVEKA'S WAR by Annette Snyder

Welcome, Annette, to From the Pages. I'm so glad you could stop by and visit today. I've got lots of questions to ask so if you don't mind we'll get right to them.

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

I usually finish a book from idea to saleable state in about a year. Once I get the last draft finished, I put the project aside and let it rest while I write a synopsis and put a query together. With luck, the novel finds a home at a publisher and then editing and re-editing, cover art work-up and printing—total two to three years. The hardest time for me to stay motivated in my writing is November thru January, who knows why. I do write every day even if it’s just a little bit.

Did you always know you wanted to be an author?

When I was in college taking creative writing classes, I’d get so involved with my projects that the rest of the world would disappear. I lost track of time. I enveloped myself in my work so much that the projects seemed real. After I’d write something, I’d reread it and wonder what part of my brain that came from. I wanted to write but knew the chances of earning a living doing something I loved was a far fetch. Only a handful of writers make money with their work. Instead, I went into business school and started a family. When my kids got old enough, my father in law gave me his old computer and I started to write again. Travis Pass was the first novel I ever finished and my third sale. After I wrote Travis Pass, I got more and more ideas and I learned to hone my craft using more description and depth of character. Now, if I go for a day without writing, its unusual.

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

2009 is proving to be a busy year for me. I thought I’d have two releases and recently discovered I’ll have four. The New Year starts with the release of Viveka’s War, one of my favorite stories. July marks the release of Intimate Flames, a novel about putting the past behind and learning to love a second time. It’s a read beginning and ending on Independence Day. In October and December, my Travis Pass Series releases in MegaBook I and MegaBook II. Readers will be able to purchase three of my Travis Pass stories in one volume for a great low price. I’m also involved in a cooperative band of Nebraska producers called Grow Nebraska, and I host book club at WRDF. The information is available in this post and at my website Add all that to my writing, I’m working on a project involving a fast food worker and a limousine driver. Plus, I work full-time, part-time and I do the regular stuff taking care of my family. Who says the life of a writer is a solitary one?

It does sound like you're very busy!

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

I’d go to work at my real job if my pajama’s were presentable enough but they aren’t. I used to attend church in my PJ’s if you really want to know a secret.

Oh my gosh, that's funny. PJ's in church! I haven't tried that one...yet!

In the house—shoes or bare feet?

I’m known for bare feet. When it gets warm enough to go without shoes, I shed them. Once I went to work and forgot my shoes--worked all day without them. If it wasn’t for snow, I’d go barefoot in the winter.

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

I’ve written about fifty books. I have eight released, three more releasing soon and a couple contracted. Not all the books I’ve written are to the publishable stage because I wrote them way before I knew what a publishable book consisted of so, when I have time, I go back and revamp the old ones with my new skills—That’s between edits and new ideas. It’s good that I keep a file for new ideas and go back to my older stories when I think of things pertinent to them. I think my favorite book, so far, is Viveka’s War based on the struggles one woman learns to overcome during her life and the novel afterward, Eureka Springs about a woman who learns to put the mistakes of the past behind her. I try and make sure all my characters learn and grow with each story.

You’re in an Italian restaurant. What do you order?

I went to Naples, Florida with my girlfriends last November and we went to an Italian restaurant. There was a sign outside that read, “Two for the price of one from 4-6.” I ordered Bloody Mary’s. Cost me fifteen dollars but by the time I left, I was speaking Italian.

Sounds like you had an interesting language lesson! *G*

Do you need silence to write or can you write through anything?

I can write through anything. In fact, I think when a person is going through a bad spell in life, if they write it helps work through that spell. I also can sleep through anything. Noise and distraction don’t bother me through writing or sleeping.

Do you collect anything?

Dust. I collect giant, fuzzy dust bunnies. I’m thinking in 2009, my friends will get them as gifts! I also collect rocks. When someone tells me they’re going on a trip, I tell them to bring me a rock. I have them from many states, cities and places of interest in the USA, Bolivia, Canada, Iraq, The Baltic Sea, Guatemala, and several ruins overseas. My rocks come from castle walls in Germany and haunted hotels in South Dakota. My aunt, a Catholic nun, even stole a rock from the Pope during her visit to the Vatican.

Do you believe in extraterrestrial beings?

I saw a UFO once. I used to commute an hour to and from work and I crested a hill with my rust bucket 1969 AMC Ambassador—this was in 1985 so that tells you how old my car was. Through the windshield of my car, I saw a neon blue orb skate across the sky in a straight line. It came in the east side of the horizon and exited the west side half way between the ground and the atmospheric ceiling. I followed the light with my eyes and the whole trip took about four seconds. At first, I thought it might be a shooting star or space trash, but it was bright blue, had no tail and entered and exited in a perfectly straight line. I researched all over the internet and newspapers but couldn’t find anything about a mysterious light in the sky. Had to be an alien craft.

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

I’d like to let everyone know about a great group I’m involved in. I host the Writers and Readers of Distinctive Fiction’s book club blog. Each month, Lynda Cook and I hand-select some great reads to discuss on Lost in a Good Book. It’s free to join the WRDF community, If you’re a reader and interested on getting the latest information on your favorite authors and reads, it is the place to be. If you’re an author and would like your novel considered for our book club, all the information is one the WRDF site. Check us out through these links: Writers and Readers of Distinctive Fiction and Lost in a Good Book It’s a great opportunity for readers and authors alike. You can also check my website for that information plus more on my career

Thanks for visiting, Annette. I've enjoyed getting to know you.

Readers, Annette is offering a lovely prize package to one lucky commenter so comment away and check back later in the week to see if your name has been chosen to win!

ARPETTA HONOR by Annette Snyder

A Winner!

Thanks to all who stopped by yesterday!

The randomly chosen winner of PL Parker's novel, Riley's Journey, is...
*drum roll, please!*

Emma Lai!

Congratulations, Emma. Your prize is on its way.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Welcome, PL Parker

Welcome, PL, to From the Pages. I am so happy you're able to take time from your busy schedule to visit with me! I've got lots of questions, so if you don't mind I'll get right to them.

Where do you write?

I am a sneaky writer. I keep a screen open at work and whenever an idea comes to me, I flip over to the screen and write it down. At the end of the week, I send my ideas home so that I can sit down and put them all together. Works really well for me and I can pretty much fill 4 or 5 pages of single-spaced typed pages every week, depending on my workload.

Did you always know you wanted to be an author?

Actually, no. I dabbled in writing for years, but only started truly writing in 2006. I was always telling my husband these stories I made up and he kept telling me I should write them down and once I got started, the ideas just kept coming. Besides being a legal assistant, in my spare time, I was a dance teacher, choreographer and performer for many years. I am also quite crafty, which has fallen by the wayside now that I am writing. I used to sell many of the things I created, fairy gardens, Christmas wall hangings, that sort of thing – not good at scrapbooking, too tedious and nerve-wracking.

Does your family support your writing career? How?

My husband is my biggest fan. He is the one who builds my confidence when I sometimes feel inadequate or struggle to keep my motivation going. He reads everything as I write it and is excited every time I give him the next chapter to read.

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

I'm currently working on a vampire story, along with probably every other author in the country, with Twilight coming out.

How long did it take to write?

I started my story in February. So far, I've finished my novels in about 6 to 8 months each, but this one has taken me somewhat longer. I am at the end of the story, though, and am excited to put in the finishing chapter.

Who is your favorite author? Favorite book?

My favorite author(s) are Christine Feehan and Sherrilyn Kenyon. I love paranormal and rarely read anything else – which could be why that is the genre I choose to write. I love any of the books Feehan writes that deal with the women who have the special powers, although her Carpathian series is great too. As to Kenyon, I love the stories about the gods and goddesses.

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

I certainly would prefer the huge city. At least, I could find a restaurant and eat and visit with strangers if I wanted to. That is something I can relate to, not living by myself. I talk to myself enough as it is – imagine how I'd sound on a desert island!! Hee hee.

In the house—shoes or bare feet?

The minute I walk in the house, the shoes go!

Do you have a pet?

I have three right now. Two huge cats and my little darling – Biddy, my toy poodle, who is like an extra foot. If I'm in the house, none of the males exist. They are okay until I'm available and then they're dirt.

Do you believe in extraterrestrial beings?

Most certainly. Don't want to meet one, but I believe!

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

I would say to write with passion, pick subjects that make you feel what your characters are feeling, be it good or bad. I think my early years acting gave me an edge on that aspect. I mentally act out what each character is doing or feeling when I am writing and how they would react to situations. Really helps me set the stage.

Thank you so much for visiting today. I know I've enjoyed learning about the lady behind the stories, and I know readers did, too. I hope you'll consider visiting again!

Readers, PL has generously offered a copy of Riley's Journey to one lucky commenter, so comment away and maybe yours will be the randomly chosen name! Check back to see if you're the lucky winner!

Riley's Journey can be purchased here.

Learn more about PL Parker and her work at: Links are;; My personal links are; and

Aimee's Locket Blurb:

The antique ivory locket was the key! Exquisite and enchanting, it drew Aimee like a magnet. Though the locket cost every spare penny she had, it was money well spent – or so she thought!

Catapulted back to the year 1847, Aimee finds herself alone in St. Louis, Missouri, the jumping off site for the Oregon Trail. The much touted slogan “Go West Young Man” takes on new meaning. Seattle, her home in the present, was a distant dream, and unless she found a suitable male willing to marry, Aimee would be left behind when the emigrant train departed, bound for the Oregon Territory.

Jake Marshall, scout for the Markham Party, was the perfect, if unwilling choice. Undaunted by his overt rudeness, Aimee entices Jake to the alter, promising her diamond earrings as payment for a marriage of convenience. Properly wed, she thereby secures passage on the wagon train, and embarks on a chain of events that would ultimately culminate in the far reaches of the great American West.

Riley's Journey

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Grapes For a Guinness -- A Winner!

The name out of the winner's hat is Sue W!
Congratulations, Sue!
Mike Ryan's Grapes For a Guinness will be on its way
to you by the end of this week.
Please shoot me an email with your
mailing address.
Thanks to everyone who stopped by
yesterday to visit with Mike!

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Welcome, Mike Ryan!


Welcome to From the Pages, Mike. So glad you could drop by and visit with us today. I've got lots of questions to ask, so if you don't mind I'd like to just dive right in.

Where do you write?

Usually in my office in the basement and occasionally on the commuter rail.

Did you always know you wanted to be an author?

Yes, probably since I started reading.

Does your family support your writing career? How?

Yes, they support me by tolerating my sometimes visits to historical places or listening to me ramble about historical people.

When you’re not writing, what do you like to do?

Reading, biking with my wife, and following the Boston Red Sox.

Great hobbies! I'm a baseball fan, too.

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

I’m working on the third Cootch Connolly mystery, No Fun In the Fens; a novel about a guy hitting 50 not sure how to commemorate that milestone, and a political novel.

Sounds intriguing!

How long did Grapes For a Guinness take to write?

About two years. Grapes For A Guinness stemmed from a lousy short story I wrote. I liked the idea, junked the short story, and turned it into a novel.

Where did you get the idea for this story?

From reading the Guinness Book of Records.

Hmm, I don't think I've ever had anyone give that answer before. It just goes to show that inspiration can strike from almost anywhere. Very interesting.

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

Yes, whatever it takes.

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

Plank your butt into a chair and type.

Excellent advice.

How did you meet your significant other?

Ironically, it ties in with the supermarket setting in Grapes For A Guinness. While I was in college, I worked part time running the front end of a supermarket. One of the bundle boys said to me, “I have sister your age.” I was single, I was available. “Really,” I replied. He said, “Yuh, she’s five-nine and ugly.” That killed my interest.

A few months went by. The store sponsored a softball team and I played on it with Bob the Bundleboy. He invited me to his high school graduation party. I went to the party to be polite. I met his sister Debbie. I was smitten at first sight.

I grabbed Bob later at work. “You’re an a**h**le,” I said. “Your sister isn’t five-nine and she’s not ugly.” He shrugged his shoulders. “You know how brothers and sisters are.”

She had a boyfriend, and for once I didn’t take a pass. We’ve been married for 29 years and have two great children.

What a great story. I love it that you got the chance to see Debbie for yourself, and it's great that you didn't let her brother or her boyfriend get in the way. Good for you!

How many books have you written?

Four of my books have been published. I’ve written four others.

Do you speak a foreign language?

I studied German for four years in high school.

Do you have a role model?

My father.

Do you listen to music while you write?


What brings you the most joy?

My family.

What do you love most about being an author?

Having someone read one of my books and tell me that he or she enjoyed it.

I agree. That is one of the best feelings in the world.

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

I had two great writing teachers. In high school it was Paul Wilgoren. I was too much of a wiseass to accept his constructive criticism. In grad school at Boston University, I studied magazine writing under Tim Cohane, former sports editor of Look Magazine. Tim Cohane possessed a great love of good writing and passed it along to his students. Sadly, both men are deceased, and I wished they were around so I could have thanked them in person.

Readers, Mike has generously offered to give away a print copy of his book, Grapes For a Guinness, to one lucky commenter. So comment away, and check back to see if you're the randomly drawn lucky winner!

Thanks so much for visiting today, Mike. I have enjoyed getting to know you and I look forward to hearing more about your upcoming novel.

Grapes For a Guinness blurb:

Mickey Paquette lives a quiet life occupied mainly by working to help his father—his mom died when he was twelve years old, his dad’s a recovered alcoholic. Mickey doesn’t make waves at school and doesn’t worry about his social life. Near the end of his schooling, Mickey stumbles on an intriguing notion to celebrate those academic years —to try to gain an entry in the Guinness World Book of Records. He hatches the idea to break a world record after watching two friends throw and catch grapes at lunch. After embarking on his quest, Mickey soon discovers he has an amazing mix of friends, helpers and adversaries, most of them tangled up in the often-vicious environment of small-town rumor, romance, and politics. Despite setback after setback, he pursues the record—but will there be one final stumbling block?

Excerpt from Grapes For a Guinness:

They walked, passing a few ranch-style homes. They arrived twenty minutes later in downtown Knightsbridge. Inside Fielder’s Package Store they bought soda and stood over a footbridge overlooking Potter Falls. Plants lined the footbridge shooting the floral scents, while bees flitted from pistil to pistil.

Despite the closing of the mills in the seventies the water remained brown when it gushed toward the waterfall.

Barry broke the silence. “You really like Charlotte. Don’t you?”

“Yup. She thinks I’m a pimple on the rear end of progress.”

Barry laughed. “She thinks better of the fleas on her dog’s ass.”

“I really want to do something this year.”

“Take Charlotte to the senior prom?”

“Without Travis and his thugs tossing me over this bridge?” Mickey chugged his root beer.

“We have to do something big this year, Bazz.”

“Senior prank or senior skip day?”

“I heard that one class tore apart a Volkswagon and reassembled it in the bell tower.”

“I think Dad said it happened before him.”

“Senior skip day is dumb. Drive to the beach and try not to get arrested for drinking on the beach in Rhode Island.”

“I can see the wheels turning. You’ll come up with something, Mick. I know you will.”

“I hope so. I hope so.”

Buy Grapes For a Guinness here.

Mike Ryan is the author of the EPPIE AWARD winning novel BEGIN WITH ME.

Visit Mike Ryan's website at

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

A Winner!

Big congratulations, Becky! You're the randomly chosen commenter who will receive Linda's new book. Please email me asap and I'll send your copy right out to you.

Thanks, everyone, for stopping by. And thank you, Linda, for visiting here at From the Pages!