Wednesday, March 21, 2018


It’s been great fun getting Sex, Love, & the Spacetime Pinch out in an audio version. Listening to books has become a favorite activity. I began on a long cross-country drive, found it eased the boredom…and was delighted to learn my leg no longer cramped after a long stretch on the pedal! I took up listening next when I walked my daily exercise. Suddenly, rather than having to drag myself from the computer, I was eager to get out and discover what happened next in the story. :-) I also found listening to old favorites in their audio versions wonderfully relaxing for unwinding at bedtime.

Hearing one of my own creations read aloud by another person is a strange experience, both anxious and pleasurable. All at once I began “seeing” my book from a reader’s eyes. The perception is an eye opener. I’m anticipating the pleasure of listening to one of my romantic suspense novels next time. –– Eve Dew Crook, writing as Vee Bentley

Eve Dew Crook
Taking the Tumble
Peril, Passion, Peru
Sex, Love, & the Spacetime Pinch, 
  (ebook & audio)

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Blog Interview with Dr. Alun Withey

(This interview first aired on 9-29-16 on
Jennifer Taylor is the author of the Rhythm of the Moon series, published by Wild Rose Press. Her third and latest, Echoes of the Moon, released in November 2017 .)

Good morning! I am delighted to have Dr. Alun Withey here with me today. A year ago, while doing research for Heartbeat of the Moon, I happened upon Dr. Withey’s excellent blog: . He’s written an impressive number of informative and entertaining blogs on subjects as varied as the significance of the beard throughout history, and medical treatments for the time period.

Dr. Withey is an academic historian of medicine and the body, and a research fellow at the University of Exeter. He did his thesis on medicine in 17th and 18th Century Wales. You can imagine what an invaluable source his work is for an historical romance author like myself. It’s like stepping back in time, without the risk of disease and bad odors.
Welcome, Alun!

Alun: Thanks for inviting me onto your blog!

Jennifer: You are a 2014 AHRC /BBC ‘New Generation Thinker’. Can you tell us about that?    

Alun: Every year the New Generation Thinkers scheme gives an opportunity for 10 individuals to work closely with radio and television producers to develop their ideas for broadcast. It’s a highly competitive scheme, but is a fantastic opportunity for anyone (like me!) who enjoys reaching a broader audience for their work. Through the scheme I’ve been lucky enough to work on programmes for BBC Radio and the BBC Arts TV channel, often live, which can be both exhilarating and challenging, and speak to the public about my research. I’m certain that it’s also opened doors in other ways.
Jennifer: Your articles give readers a detailed glimpse into the everyday life of folks in the early modern period. Since the heroine of my series is a midwife in the 18th Century, I’m particularly fascinated with your articles on medical history. Here’s one of my favorites from 10/17/14: “Seventeenth Century Remedies You’d Probably Want to Avoid.”
One of the treatments you uncovered for “collick” was to distill the testicles of a chicken (do I have that right?) and take a few teaspoons when the need arises.  
Do you want to add anything to that? What’s one of the most bizarre treatments you’ve ever come across?

Alun: Yes, you’re absolutely right about the chicken’s testicles! When I’m looking at early modern remedy collections I commonly come across one that I think must surely be the most unusual…and then another one crops up to take its place. Two favourites spring to mind: first is the ‘oil of swallows’ to treat shrunken limbs, which involves catching 20 (or more) live swallows, baking them to a powder, adding all sorts of oils and herbs, putting the pot into a hot dunghill for 2 weeks, then rubbing the oil onto the limbs.
The other is a cure for constipation, which directs the afflicted person to squat down over a bucket of boiling milk for as long as they can bear it…or until something starts to move!

Jennifer: I’m trying to imagine how people ever came up with such unusual treatments. And it’s also fascinating to think about how many people did survive and indeed thrived in that time period. What, in your opinion, did they do right?

Alun: Studying early modern medicine can be challenging. You have to balance cool academic detachment with the urge to burst out laughing at times. In all seriousness though, it’s important to remember that early modern medical remedies were based on a perfectly logical, coherent and complex model of the body – the humours. If you believe, as they did, that the body works in a particular way, and that sickness is something to be driven out, then the majority of the remedies make perfect sense. Also, the many ingredients that seem strange to modern eyes are also based on their assumptions about the properties and powers that they contained. So, products from animals, herbs etc, were all believed to have certain virtues, which could be harnessed to cure particular ailments. I often remind people that what we think of as modern medicine (biomedicine) has existed for not much more than a century, whereas beliefs in the humours lasted thousands of years. That being said, I’m not suggesting that people go hunting for swallows, or chopping the ‘cods’ off chickens for their medicines!
Jennifer: You’ve written at length about the social significance of men’s grooming. What would you like us to know about that?

Alun: The project I’m currently working on is looking at the health and hygiene history of facial hair, between 1700 and 1918. A big part of this is how shaving moved from being something originally done by a medical practitioner (a barber or barber-surgeon), and over time became part of the personal grooming routines of individuals. It’s easy to think of personal grooming as something that is unimportant and mundane. But the decisions involved in shaving (or not shaving), the growth of male skin products, scents, and even things like cosmetic procedures, all involve decisions. These can link into fashion, but also other important things like health, ideals of appearance, masculinity and so on. That’s why I think that it is important to capture the history of these things over a long period, to see how things change and, perhaps more importantly, why.
You are also the author of Physick and the Family: Health, Medicine and Care in Wales, 1600-1750, and Technology, Self-Fashioning and Politeness in Eighteenth Century Britain: Refined Bodies. I can only imagine the tremendous amount of dedication and patience it takes to unearth such detailed information.

Alun: I think if you love what you do then the work is made much easier. I’ve certainly covered a lot of mileage over the years, hunting for the sources for my books, but the joy for me is encountering documents that probably haven’t seen the light of day for decades. I’ve never lost (and hope I never do) the thrill of touching a centuries-old manuscript, which was once the property of a real 17th or 18th-century person, and with their words and thoughts on it. It’s as close as you can get to actually being able to speak to them.

Jennifer: Alun, I’m curious about what set you on the road to becoming a medical historian.

Alun: It was actually a complete accident. In 2006 I was looking for sources for my undergraduate dissertation, which I intended to be about the civil wars in 17th-century Wales. I went to a record office on one particular day, and asked the archivist on duty whether he knew of any contemporary sources. He thought, and then suggested a 17th-century notebook in their collections, which nobody had really worked on. I ordered the book up, and was immediately struck by some remedies in it, including a cure for smallpox, as well as a pill ‘to make a horse pisse’! I did some further investigating and discovered that very little had actually been written on Welsh medical history, so this became the subject of my undergraduate dissertation…which was published, and then informed my MA thesis…which ultimately led to the PHD.
What I love most about the history of medicine is that you’re ultimately dealing with people just like us – people who just wanted to avoid being ill, relieve their symptoms and get better. Even if we put all the grand theory and science aside, medical history makes us ask important questions about the human condition, and our journey through life.

Jennifer: What’s your least and most favorite part of your job?

Alun: I think the favourite parts would be the actual process of research – the thrill of the chase, and being able to pass some of these fantastic sources on, whether through formal ways like the academic publishing and teaching, or to a wider audience through the blog, or the media activities. It’s a joy to do.
I don’t really have a least favourite…although I guess something like doing the final edits for a book, or especially the index, might come close!

Jennifer: What’s next for you?

Alun: For the next two years I’m working on my Wellcome Trust-funded project on the history of facial hair, so there’s lots of research to do, writing and (hopefully) another book and other exciting things such as curating a museum exhibition in London in November.

Jennifer: Music is vital for me as a writer. Do you use music as inspiration for your writing?

Alun: I love all sorts of music – especially the blues/rock, but I can’t work to it…I just end up listening to the music without actually doing the writing. Instead I usually put something gentler when I’m writing – often classical music (Vaughan Williams is a favourite), or something acoustic.

Jennifer: Tell us about your guitar playing.

Alun: I’ve been playing for 30 years now and can’t imagine being without a guitar. When I’m working there is always an acoustic guitar within reach and I often pick it up and play absent-mindedly…helps me get my thoughts together. I used to have 12 guitars, but now it’s down to a more reasonable 8! There is still one guitar that I’d love to own – a Gibson jumbo-acoustic. Next time I go to the States I may come home with one!

Jennifer: Thanks very much for visiting my blog today, Alun.

Alun: My pleasure, and thanks for having me.

Alun Withey’s Bio:  I left school with no clear idea of what I wanted to do, and ended up in an office job, working for a major UK bank…where I stayed for more than 10 years. I’ve always had a love of history though, and especially the 17th century, and started to study whilst I was still working. In 2003, with the support of my family, I took the big step of leaving the bank and went to University, taking my BA, MA and, finally, my PhD on Welsh medical history in 2009, funded by the Wellcome Trust. The rest, as they say, is history! Finding medical history was a complete and happy accident.

Rhythm of Romance:                    
Where Love and Music Embrace  

Historical Romance: Mercy of the Moon, Book #1 of the Rhythm of the Moon Series 

                                    Heartbeat  of the Moon, Book #2
                                    Echoes of the Moon, Book #3

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Tell Me How You Met by Jennifer Wilck

My parents met via computer error, when computer dating was first invented. My husband and I started dating on a bet. So it won’t surprise anyone to learn that not only do I love finding out how people met, but also the meet-cute in romance novels is very important to me.

In my latest book from The Wild Rose Press, Five Minutes to Love (book 2 in the Serendipity Series), Jacob and Aviva meet during a speed dating event. Both of them face pressure by others to date—Jacob’s mother wants him to find a nice Jewish girl in between all of his law school obligations, and Aviva’s roommates have been setting her up with obnoxious guys in the hopes of helping her find her happily ever after. Neither one of them particularly want to attend the event, and when they finally meet each other there, they escape together, rather than continue with the disastrous event (you’ll have to read it to find out more).

Personally, I think speed dating sounds fun. I’d never expect to meet my soul mate there, but it sounds like a great time. Never having gone to one of them, though, I had to do research.

First, I checked the Internet. There are lots of clubs and restaurants who host these events, and they appear get broken down into categories—either age, or profession, or sometimes even by culture. My problem was that there was only so much Internet research I could do without signing up for an event myself, and well, my husband was just not going to understand. ☺

So the next thing I did was contact a family friend. She’s single and lives in New York City, so I thought she might be able to provide me with more insight. She connected me with a friend of hers who not only participated in several speed dating events, but had horror stories to tell me. And they were hilarious! If you read Five Minutes to Love, you’ll get to hear about some of the funnier ones.

The last piece of research I did was unintentional. My husband, daughter and I met a friend in New York City for dinner. The restaurant we went to had an event room in the back that you had to walk through to get to the restrooms. Well, they were hosting a speed dating event that night! So I dragged my teenaged daughter with me and the two of us spied on it. We were lucky enough to get there at the beginning so I was able to hear and record the instructions the hostess gave. We both had a lot of fun spying, and it was all in the name of research.

Tell me, how did you and your significant other meet? Or, do you have a horror story of your own? Let me know about it in the comments and my favorite one will receive an e-book of Addicted to Love, the first book in this series. Can’t wait to hear your stories!

Jennifer Wilck

Monday, February 12, 2018

Stones of Sandhill Island

The Wild Rose Press just released my latest Sandhill Island book and I hope you enjoy it as much as I enjoyed writing it.  Sandhill Island is a mythical place off the coast of Corpus Christi where life is laidback – except when it isn’t.  The breeze off the waves may lull you to sleep in a hammock but watch out for your neighbors.  You might want to sleep with one eye open.
            Most of the inhabitants of the island are good, hard-working people who prefer a slower pace than life on the mainland.  And they are there to help if needed.  There are the occasional troublemakers who can take a tropical paradise and turn it upside down.
            Billie Stone had the voice of raw honey dripping from its comb.  Her mother, a former principal ballerina with the Corpus Christi Ballet brought her to the island as a baby and helped her develop her own art – music.  She was a favorite in the Corpus Christi jazz scene with her best friend, String.  String accompanied her on the bass fiddle and sometimes took over the piano.  His deep bass voice complemented hers and they mesmerize audiences far and wide.  Until tragedy struck, and her family was killed in an auto accident.  Then she headed back to the only home she’d ever known, Sandhill Island. Home to heal her psyche she found her mother had become ill with Parkinson’s.  Her strong lovely ballet legs had become her enemy. 
            Joe Franks was only a little drunk the night he hit the minivan and killed two people.  Now after a year in prison he is out only to find his job gone, house foreclosed, car repossessed, and bank account drained after paying into the Texas Victim’s Restitution Fund.  And no one would hire a jail bird. He wanted revenge and he was not above violence to get it.
            As Billie tried to recover from the loss of her family and, now her mother, she discovered her mother held a secret she’d never told her.  A secret that could change Billie’s life forever.
            Check out the second in the Sandhill Island series, Stones of Sandhill Island.  I’m thinking there may be a third that involves smuggling. 

I love island life!

Peggy Chambers

Available on Amazon and all major online retailers

Thursday, February 08, 2018

What Tools Do You Need - Post Four

This banner is from one of my personal groups where I invite authors to post about their books.  I’ve made an investment in my graphics. If you have a budget and it provides for a graphic artist, then by all means, hire the person and go back to writing. I don’t have such a budget so I make do with what I can.
Here’s some new memes without text that I purchase from a stock photo house. These are primarily from They usually have sales; i.e. 100 photos for $100 for a year. If they don’t show it on the website, chat with a sales person and it might be available.

This is used for a current Valentine’s Day Contest.
This is a favorite of mine. I post on the social media sites with a catchy phrase in the comment section. “At another time, another place, if he might find her again, Raven would demonstrate all the other things his lips and manly parts could do.” From Once Upon a duke.
Here’s another photo of my Regency Lady, where I use various phrases. Is she going to meet someone? Has she heard a noise and is frightened? Did the draft blow her candles out?  There’s no end to how you can utilize a photo.

It goes without saying--do not simply copy pictures from the internet. There are copyright laws and you don’t want to tangle with these legal issues. Pay for what you use and you’ll feel safe.
I’ve used this saying of mine in a few books, just to show there are countless ways to make your words count.
Above all, you want your memes to be fresh and new without breaking your bank. There a few other stock houses you can use: Dreamstine, Pixabay…just to name a few.

So here’s my last one. 

 Sincerely hope you’ve found this blog of interest. I’ve had fun working on my memes. I do use a graphic artist when I have special text.  I improvise when I can place the text under the photo. 

Have a question? E mail at:
Purchase a novel?   Amazon The Wild Rose Pres
Author website:

What about your meme will make it engaging? Post Three

By now, you’ve noticed I use different banners/headers dependent on what I’m sharing with my readers and fans. I write titillating romance. My readers expect me to deliver, so my memes are indicative of my writing.

Here are some recent new memes.
*From your novel, choose a catchy tag line or short excerpt.
*Create a photo that will intrigue and tease.
*Do not use too many words. Choose carefully.
*The above examples show five lines: “Come to me in my rooms,” etc.
* “Clutch the Shirt of a Duke, And make him your own.” Three lines.
*Both memes have power words and sentences.
Here’s another meme made from a photo showing my debut novel and a prop mask and books in the background which I use for promotions.

Next week’s Blog #4 is about: WHAT TOOLS DO YOU NEED?

Have a question? E-mail at:

Purchase a novel?   Amazon The Wild Rose Press
Author website:

Wednesday, February 07, 2018

How Can You Use a Meme to your Benefit - Post Two

Back to the memes I’ve posted before:

#1:  What started out in the carriage as a kiss in the name of safety became pleasurable, and not safe at all.

#2. “What would I have to do?”
       “I leave it to your resourcefulness under a starlit night with nothing but our naked imaginations.”
       His nearness too intimate.
       His touch too hot.
       His desire too obvious.

#3  “Samantha, I would venture it’s a definite possibility. As a caution, they would have to stay close to one another. It would be an experiment of interest, wouldn’t it?” A smile crossed his face. “Would you like me to take measurements?”
“Of me or the tub, Your Grace?” Her eyes engaged his. “However, that will not be necessary. I have determined it would fit two consensual persons.”

In each of the above three cases, the graphics relate to the words.
#1 shows the carriage
#2 shows the semi clad couple in an embrace.
#3 shows the bathtub scene and the two lovers.
The banter of each has a sensual connotation which Regency Romance readers love.

Where would you post these?
 To your Facebook Author Page(s)
To  your Twitter Page
To your Instagram Page

 In most cases, you can add a photo if you choose to take advantage of your reader’s 8 second interest.

Hints: Post it to as many groups within your genre as possible. Go to the Facebook Groups section and peruse the groups and join. Read guidelines carefully and follow them for each individual group.

           Post at specific times in the day. For my Pacific Time area, I post Monday to Friday, between 6:00 a.m. and 9:00 a.m.  Weekends are usually Saturday only, same time frame.
           I post in the late afternoon, 3:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. with a brand new meme content.
          On Sundays, I choose not to post unless it is a crucial event. The readers and I both next a rest.
         Do not over-post the same message time and time again.
         Be adventurous and change your morning meme with a different meme in the afternoon.
         Memes can be made in all sizes and shapes.
        Above all, be professional. This is your time to shine.

Have a question? E mail at:

Purchase a novel?  The Wild Rose Press
Author website:

Tuesday, February 06, 2018

To Meme Or Not To Meme, That Is The Question - Part One

February 2018          

Hello Everyone: Allow me to introduce myself. I write as Sandra Masters for The Wild Rose Press in the Tea Rose Regency line. My heat level for these five published books in The Duke Series is a 4/5. Spicy/Steamy.

Early on in the marketing and promotion program, I experienced success with branding through memes. If you’re a one-person show without a virtual assistant or publicist, you might consider using memes in your social media which is what I did. Lisa Dawn at The Wild Rose Press helped me with my first meme. Thereafter, I managed to gather about seventy-five of them for all my books.

This blog on memes will run for the next four days. Now to this session.  What is a meme?  Whatever you want it to be. Sounds simplistic, but it’s not.
·                     A meme is a graphic image with text or with text representative of a character, place or    scene in your novel.
·                     It can feature a hero, heroine, villain, pet, or an abstract.
·                     It can include the cover of your book in a small version anywhere you choose, most          likely lower left or right of the meme.
·                     It can and should include the title and your author name.
·                     Ideally, if you have a mind-boggling tag line, it will catch the viewer.

If you were a reader/fan scrolling through social media, would these graphics and text lines make you want to know more about the book, the characters, the scenarios, the spice level, and cause to consider purchase of the book?
·                  I speak only for myself.
·                  Memes that are classic, elegant, spicy, and in good taste will attract attention.
·                  No porn and no erotica is allowed by Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc.
·                  Even though the memes above are suggestive, they are not blatant.
·                  My personal favorite in One Night With a Duke is the meme about naked imagination      and resourcefulness. Sigh.
·                  Memes do not have to have any text. The picture will speak for itself. Comments can be   made under the meme or anywhere you choose.
·                  I do not use memes for long excerpts.
·                  You can ramp your heat level up or down. You are the boss.


The above is another type of graphic: The banner which can be used for post cards, posters, newsletters, blogs, whatever you feel you need to engage your audience.
Have a question? E mail at:    AMAZON AUTHOR PAGE