Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Review: Baby On His Doorstep

Avery has been accustomed to saying and doing as he pleased and not really paying attention to the consequences.  He needs an humbling lesson and he gets one fast to help change him.  He had no idea how fast he could change!

Halley Thorpe has been through a lot and the last thing she expected is the thing she gets.  How will she handle the new change?  Will she ever mend her broken heart?  Or will she hide behind working at the ranch?

Avery has had many surprises but what he encounters in this book may be one of his biggest.  This is a great read and full of turns and hope!

Trully Sunee

Monday, August 14, 2017

Review:To Dodge a Duke Review:

Miss Ashford is known for her fiery temper and lack of respect for those she feels is beneath her.  That's what led her to meet someone who was beneath her or so she thought.

This book is filled with love and patience.  To be able to lower oneself isn't easy and this book shows how love can lead to an humbling process and many lessons learned.

Sir Logan is more than you see with the eyes.  He is my favorite character and has a very rich, patient, tolerant personality and doesn't mind having fun at others expense if they aren't respectful to all.  He is very wise and has a keen mind.  This book deserves an award in it's genre as every paragraph and page was worth every second.

Five Stars ✨ 
Trully Sunee

Saturday, August 12, 2017

Review: Passion'a Palette

As Serena delves into her passion of art, she doesn't let the outside world in but she doesn't feel she is missing anything.  That is until she meets the mover... or is it the veterinarian?

Seamus likes to be known for his skills assisting animals and keeping them healthy, alive, and strong.  Now he has another mission and he's allowing himself to be get to know someone who can break through his ice and walls.

There are a few stories at play that meet into this one great book.  There are friendships and partnerships that come into this really passionate book to make one great romance! You get to see the gamete of emotions as we read a well written story that can really penetrate everyone's ice.  


Friday, August 11, 2017


Continuing on with our Bonus Materials that were the seed that entered my author’s mind to create such a duke, and since I am enamored of fairy tales yet, I tend to create what I hope are bold, outrageous but lovable men intrigued with independent, spirited women. No milk toasts on either side of the romance. I tend to fall in love with all the characters, some more than others, whether they’re the hero, heroine, villain, or a great secondary addition. One of the comments about my debut book, Once Upon A Duke, I most enjoyed from a fan was: “Her brother was ruthless and scandalous and if I could have ripped from the pages to get to his neck, I would have.” It literally floored me that such a character could evoke such emotion, and I gave him life and reality. It was a WOW moment. Thank you, Bryan Clarke, Author of Before Sunrise.

For today, I’ve chosen to interview His Grace, Althorn, know to my readers as Gordon. While it was not considered the appropriate honorific to some, his wife chose to call him Gordon, throughout the book. Who am I to argue with a strong female character?
Enjoy the read. I welcome all comments at sanrdramastersauthor@gmail.com. You may subscribe to my newsletter at: http://authorsandramasters.com. Click on the Contact page.
Sandra Masters, Unapologetic Story Teller

P.S. You might ask why I use the term Unapologetic Story Teller. In some venues, Story Tellers are not considered, for lack of a better word, legitimate authors. I believe in Fairy Tales, so you may think of me as a rebel author with a cause--and that is, I read and write all genres of romance. ♥


Q. Your Grace, when you first met the former Lady Cassandra, what did you think of her?A. To start with, I sat in a wing back chair sipping a liqueur in front of a warm fire in the drawing room of a manor house where I attended a ball. I was startled by a conversation between a man and a woman who had entered the room totally unaware of my presence. The bounder had just summarily broken their engagement in favor of someone who had a higher status than she. I looked for a moment when I could interrupt and leave their presence, but that didn’t happen. A book flew across the room, as well as a paperweight of sorts. He left rather quickly. I stood up, announced myself, and offered my handkerchief and my glass of spirits. Do you know what she said? Something like, “Is this my night to meet nothing but scoundrels?” But she did take the cognac and my handkerchief. That is how I met my future wife.

Q. What happened then?
A. Kindly remember I was an acknowledged rake and proud of it. The last thing I needed was a woman who needed comforting, like a wounded puppy. I’ve a fondness for such creatures. Imagine my surprise, when she took the arm I offered and we walked out of the room, only to meet her now ex-fiancé’. She excused herself for a moment and walloped him with her fist. Bravo, I thought. Great spirit. He wasn’t going to get the best of her. She and I then left him to nurse his cheek, and we joined the others at the ball.

Q. When did you meet again?
A. Two weeks after that evening, I was on my daily walk on Brighton Beach and I saw an enchanting woman peering through a telescope and when she looked toward me, we recognized each other immediately. The lilt of her warm greeting pleased me. One thing led to the other, need I say more?

Q. Tell us something we may not know about you?
A. I was the second son of my father, therefore, not the heir. That suited me fine. I loved my brother. We were schooled together and then we were tutored at home. We learned the dead languages of Greek and Latin, and not too much else. The fate of second sons was a choice of the divinity or military. I cared for neither but did convince my father to allow me to travel to Barbados and learn about the sugar plantation and factories we had there. The good thing is that it showed me a different part of the world and commerce. The bad thing was that I contracted malaria and after four months on the island, I had to be transported home because foreigners were susceptible to the disease that could kill. A native woman I cared about, arranged for a witch doctor to ink me with a tattoo of a lion so my ancestors could protect me.

Tomas, my good friend from school days, went with me and therefore had the opportunity to transport me back home to England where I barely survived the ocean journey. Without realizing it, my island life was left behind. Then everything changed.

Q. What happened?
A. My mother greeted the ship with footmen, a physician, solicitor, vicar, and a tutor whom I recognized. That somber sight would have sobered a drunk. I wondered why she was outfitted in black. Tomas assisted me to the carriage. When she saw me, she broke into tears. My father was dead, and three weeks later, my brother died in a carriage accident. That left me as the sole heir to the Duke of Althorn. There I was, totally unprepared for my dynastic responsibilities. My carefree life was over. I could never see my native lady again. I did apply myself after my health returned, but it was a lonely existence. So I sought out former school chums, and I freely admit, we got into mischief in many ways. My mother tried to talk sense into me, but it was to no avail.

Q. You are a well renowned duke, honored by all. What caused you to change your ways?
A. To say I loved my family would be an understatement. All I had left was my mother, whom I adored. When she fell and sustained an injury, I determined it was time to remember who I was and to emulate my father in all things. Above all, he was an honorable man. Honor became my personal signature. Now, I do not expect anyone to believe I became a saint. Not true by any means, but I was discreet. I did believe that personal integrity, respect, dignity and pride would distinguish my dukedom from others. My mother’s illness was the catalyst to my epiphany. I became aware Cassandra and her ward, Alicia, were also friends of hers, who visited my mother annually. I should say technically that Alicia was her brother’s ward, but the little girl belonged to Cass in every sense of the word. I never really cared to notice, until one day I was at home, when I overheard a conversation between Cassandra and the professional caregiver as to the unkind treatment she rendered my mother. As I listened, I realized this was not the compassionate aid my mother required, so I summarily terminated the nurse. I had to start the search again for I had terminated at least four others.

Q. You speak of your reputation, were all the allegations true?A. I did acquire notoriety with the ladies, a small part was deserved. The other was conjecture, fodder for the scandal sheets, and wishful thinking. If I had all the liaisons attributed to me, my manly parts would have fallen off from overuse. Beg your pardon, Lady Masters, my creator, for my risqué banter. I am a model husband now, ever in love with my wife.

Q. How did the romance progress? A. Rather quickly. It was clear I had an interest in her, but she came with a ‘package’, her ward, Alicia, a tow-headed blonde who resembled Cassandra. The unkind talk of the ton was that the little girl was the issue of a liaison gone wrong. Cassandra was the sister of the earl, so she was semi-accepted in society. While there was no proof of such indiscretion, tongues wagged. The simple truth was that Alicia was the daughter of her best friend who died in childbirth. Cass, that’s what I sometimes call her, agreed to honor (there’s that word again) her promise to raise the child as her own. That’s courage I admired considering her circumstances..

Q. What caused you to propose?
A. I didn’t. She offered me a business arrangement. She’d care for my mother if I would offer protection for her and little Alicia. In other words, it was a marriage of convenience. No mention of love or sex. I refused the proposition twice out of pride. Then I recalled how difficult it was for her to make such an offer to someone like me. My arrogance repelled me. One day I officially offered and we did marry. We now have two sons, two dogs, Runt and Giant, and there were a few puppies, also. And yes, then there was the traitorous mother dog who went everywhere with Cass, my dowager mother, and the children who frolicked on the beach. I was captivated from the start. If you wish to know anymore, I suggest we reschedule.

Q. I say there, Lady Masters, I’m getting thirsty. Are you going to offer me a libation?A. You have such a wicked smile. It makes me sigh. So sorry, your grace, kindly allow me to pour your favorite, since I know what it is.

Q. Your grace, I assume if readers want to know anything further, they should read the book My Divinely Decadent Duke?A. Absolutely, I’m sure you can use the proceeds to fund future stories.

End of Interview

http://bit.ly/2eBmbYH Wild Rose Press $2.99

Website: http://www.authorsandramasters.com/
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/SandraMastersAuthor Email: sandramastersauthor@gmail.com

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Review: Taking Flight

Lucas knows he has thrown himself into his work due to having no real love life.  He just doesn't feel like he'll meet the one and has resigned to be okay with that.

However, Ivy is still mourning of the death of her husband just several months prior and doesn't want to low. up to anyone and isn't sure going back into motivational speaking is for her.  She has surprises to come!

Having the good, the bad, and the ugly come out means you get to see whether you really can handle the situation.  This story let's you in to these two main character's lives and makes ya want more.  This was a great read that was read in one sitting!
5 stars ✨ 

Trully Sunee

Wednesday, August 09, 2017

New Release – ONE NIGHT WITH A DUKE by Sandra Masters


The distraction had Raven cling to the walls that shadowed him. Raven moved carefully to the end of the alleyway to round the corner of Langham Place and another corner to Regent Street, which held a more fashionable row of homes. A few meters down the pavement, through the muddle, he spotted a carriage with lanterns lit. The street seemed deserted, but the men’s clamors a short distance behind sounded in the night hour. The desolate area offered a perfect opportunity for them to do damage if they caught up with him.

Raven cat-footed his way to the coach aware the coach driver stepped down to steady the horses. With the driver occupied, he opened the door, entered the carriage, closed it, and dropped on the brocade seat. A well-dressed woman seated there gasped. She held her reticule high, poised to strike him.

He gripped her arm. “Bravo,” he whispered, a grin curling his lips. Nonetheless, he kept his voice low to allay her fear. “I’m a gentleman in dire straits whose life is in danger. May I share your company for a moment? I will not harm you.” He removed his top hat, placed it and his cane on the shadowed opposite seat.

“You frightened me with your abrupt presence. Pray tell, sir, what are your intentions?”

Outside the coach driver’s voice pierced, “Git away, rowdies, or I’ll take my whip to ye. No need for trouble if ye leave.” One of the louts climbed on the conveyance, and it swayed.

Raven slid closer to the woman. She didn’t move, so he embraced her and placed his cheek against hers. “If you scream or shout, our lives will be in jeopardy.” He bent his head to capture the woman’s lips, pressing her against the seat. Raven sampled the sweet mint taste of her mouth. Her lemon fragrance pleased his senses, a rare combination of forbidden pleasure and danger that caused his groin to ache. He lingered in enjoyment. True, his lips held the kiss longer than the moment required. What started as a kiss in the name of safety became something more pleasurable—and not safe at all.

Raven placed his gloved finger to his mouth. “Shush.” The brunt of her shoe connected to his shin, and he held back the profane words he wished to say. “Place your arms around me now. Perhaps if we pretend to be lovers, they will leave us alone,” he whispered. He paused and spoke a word a duke would never utter. “Please.”

Her arms encircled him as she dropped her reticule to the floor. His broad back shielded her from outside harm should anyone attempt to enter. Her generous breasts against his chest had his blood surging through his veins until the sensation settled uncomfortably in his loins—a long ago forgotten desire. The naiveté in her kiss reminded him how jaded and bored he’d become. A delicious awareness invaded and reeled his senses. The touch of her hands to his hair tingled his scalp. Damnation, her fingers were magical. A purring moan escaped through her racing breath.

The ruffian peered through the curtained window and chuckled. “No one here ’cept some clod with his doxy,” the mob spokesman shouted and he jumped to the pavement. “Let’s move on to better pickin’s.” They surged away down the street.

Raven’s heartbeat pulsed at his temples, not from fear, but from potent desire. He broke the kiss for a moment and moved his body a whisper-breath away to better study her. He savored all he saw, as did his male parts. He moistened his suddenly dry lips. “I don’t hear voices, but it would be best to wait to make sure the mob has gone, my lady. Nor do I want to attract attention to your coach by my departure. It could place you in danger.”

“I’m sure it’s best to be cautious,” she said. “However, you should be aware, I don’t usually entertain strange men in my carriage. The driver has held the horses against the ruffians and the commotion. Explain yourself, or I will summon help.”

“My boot sheaths my knife, and my cane is also a sword. Have no fear. I would have kept you safe.”

She arched one brow in a challenge, and simply held his gaze. Her devastating smile ensnared him. “And who will protect me from you, sir, and the marvel of your rakish kisses?”

“Dear lady, I would guess we’d protect each other. The magic of your hands fingering my hair must have presented quite a lover’s sight. Wherever did you—”

“I read it in a penny novel. I presume it sufficed? I have limited experience in that regard.”

“Indeed.” His grin contradicted his serious tone.

One Night With A Duke
http://bit.ly/2qx0Dr0 The Wild Rose Press

Tuesday, August 08, 2017

Famous women in history

Women who were never boring- always awesome!

These are famous women from history. Some were known for their beauty, some for their scandalous love affairs, and others for what they achieved in their lives. But they all had one thing in com
mon. They were strong, independent women – women of spirit who weren’t afraid to take a chance. They grabbed life with both hands and to Hell with the rest of the world!


She was the one who started it all! She took a bite out of an apple that a serpent gave herand passed it to Adam, thereby creating original sin. It is because of her that women throughout time have been blamed for being seductresses.

A role model for ever?


Cleopatra ruled ancient Egypt for almost three decades. Well-educated and clever, she was a dominant ruler. Both her love affairs and military pacts with the Roman leaders, both Julius Caesar and Mark Antony, as well as her striking beauty and powers of seduction, have earned her a lasting place in history.
The true love story of Antony and Cleopatra, two powerful figures, is intriguing and moving, and one of the great love stories of all times. They fell in love at first sight, and their relationship gave the country of Egypt great power. But their love affair angered the Romans, who were wary of the growing powers of the Egyptians. Despite all the threats, Antony and Cleopatra married. While he was fighting a battle against the Romans, Antony got false news of Cleopatra's death. Devastated, he fell on his sword. When Cleopatra learned about Antony's death she was broken-hearted, and took her own life by means of an asp bite on August 12, 30 BC.

What a woman!


In 1424, at the age of 13, Jeanne d’Arc, an illiterate French shepherdess began having visions, in which Saint Margaret, Saint Catherine, and Saint Michael told Joan, as she was known in English, she must support King Charles VII and help rid France of the English. At the head of her troops Joan led them to capture first Orleans, then Rheims, Paris, and many other towns in an effort to free France from the English.

While the French lauded her for her accomplishments, the English declared her a heretic. Joan was captured eventually by the Burgundians, allies of the English, to whom they traded her for money. The English put her on trial, quickly convicted her and sentenced her to death.

On May 30, 1431, at the age of 19, Joan of Arc was burned at the stake for her crimes against the English. In 1456, Pope Callixtux III declared that Joan was innocent of her crimes; at this time, she became a martyr. In 1909, Joan of Arc was beatified, meaning she was accorded the power to intervene on behalf of those who prayed in her name. In 1920, she was canonized, which is an official declaration of Sainthood.

A French heroine, brave beyond belief!

Queen Elizabeth 1st

Queen Elizabeth 1 ruled England from 1558 – 1603, and left us with an amazing picture of a glittering time of excitement and achievement. The Queen, larger than life as she inspired her people, was at the center of it all.

Her father was the notorious King Henry the Eight, who had six wives. Elizabeth was the daughter of his second wife, Anne Boleyn, who was beheaded for suspected adultery and other trumped-up crimes, when Elizabeth was only three years old.

Elizabeth ruled wisely and fairly for forty five years, taking advice from her council of learned men, but going her own way. In spite of pressure from her advisers she refused to ever marry, and became known as the ‘Virgin Queen’. However, she loved the attention of her devoted courtiers, and was rumored to have affairs – particularly with her favourite, Robert, Lord Dudley who, it is believed, was her one true love, and, in later years, with Robert Devereux, the young earl of Essex.

She was a diplomatic ruler who restored the Church of England and eased tensions between England and France, and England thrived throughout her reign.

In an age when women were considered inferior to men, Elizabeth was a glorious exception.

Mae West

A 1930’s Hollywood sex symbol, Mae West was assertive in an age when women were supposed to be submissive; she was openly bawdy when respectability was the order of the day.

She began her career as a child star in vaudeville, and later went on to write her own plays, including "SEX", for which she was arrested and sentenced to 10 days in jail for ‘corrupting the morals of youth.’ She got her first part in the movies in 1932, and with her first film she became a box-office smash hit, breaking all sorts of attendance records.

The controversy aroused by the sexy content in her first two films resulted in the studios establishing the Motion Picture Production Code, which regulated what content could be shown or said in pictures. After this she used ’double talk’, which could be interpreted in two ways, to get around the censorship rules.

Although she only appeared in 12 films, as well as spending much time on the stage, she had a powerful impact on the public. She was way ahead of her time with her sexual innuendos and the way she made fun of the puritanical society of the day.
She once quipped, ‘You only live once, but if you do it right, once is enough.’

She made sex her tool of trade, when women were supposed to be ladies.

Amy Johnson

In 1930 Amy Johnson was the first woman to fly solo from England to Australia, and she set a string of other records throughout her career. She was regarded as one of the most inspirational women of the twentieth century.
She worked as a typist for a firm of solicitors until, at a loose end one Sunday afternoon, she made her way to Stag Lane Aerodrome in North London. She was enthralled by the primitive biplanes taking off and landing, and began to spend all her spare time at the aerodrome. She gained a ground engineer’s license and took flying lessons, and in 1929 she was awarded her pilot’s license.

Amy left Croydon Airport on May 5th 1930 to fly solo from England to Australia. She was in a second-hand Gipsy Moth called Jason, with no radio link with the ground or reliable information about the weather. Her maps were basic but she had plotted the most direct route – simply by placing a ruler on the map. This took her over some of the world’s most inhospitable terrain and meant she had to fly in the open cockpit for at least eight hours at a time. In spite of a forced landing in a sandstorm in the Iraq desert she reached India in a record six days, and suddenly she was world famous. She became called the 'British Girl Lindbergh', 'Wonderful Miss Johnson' and 'The Lone Girl Flyer'.

When she ran into a monsoon near Rangoon a bumpy landing ripped a hole in Jason’s wing and damaged its propeller. A local technical institute repaired the wing and Amy landed in Australia on Saturday, May 24th to tumultuous crowds. Over the next six weeks she was treated like a superstar. Women asked their hairdressers for an ‘Amy Johnson wave’ and at least ten songs were written about her, the most famous being ‘Amy, Wonderful Amy’. Fan mail poured in and her fame was so great that an envelope addressed to ‘Amy wat flies in England’ reached her

After a short courtship, Amy married Scottish pilot Jim Mollison in 1932, and they became known as the “flying sweethearts”. They both created many more records and won many air races. America took them to their hearts. They were given a ticker tape parade in New York and entertained by President Roosevelt.

A daring adventurer.
Elizabeth Taylor

One of the greatest beauties of all time, Elizabeth Taylor started dancing at the age of 3, made her screen debut at the age of 10, and had a love life that made international headlines. She shone as an actress, winning two Oscars and numerous film awards, and her films grossed many millions at the box office.

Her personal life received constant media attention, and the public adored her for her passionate embrace of life. She was married eight times to seven men, and led a jet set lifestyle, and amassed an incredibly expensive collection of jewelry.

Her most famous marriage was the fiery and passionate one to Richard Burton, whom she married twice.
She was the movie star of all times, with her marriages, her jewelry, her amazing violet eyes her talent, and her spirit.

Shortly after her death, her son Michael Wilding released a statement, saying "My mother was an extraordinary woman who lived life to the fullest, with great passion, humor, and love ..... We will always be inspired by her enduring contribution to our world."

Truly a woman of spirit!

Kitty Morland, although not famous was also 'A WOMAN of SPIRIT'

Kate Loveday

Saturday, August 05, 2017



I like that word. It sounds completely ridiculous, conjures cartoon levels of violence (think Wile E. Coyote being flattened by a steamroller), and makes my three-year-old snicker. With synonyms like flabbergasted, stunned, astounded, and speechless, it’s also packed with meaning; completely not ridiculous meaning, and it made me want to unpack it with a story.

Without a doubt, I knew that story would start with love at first sight. It’s one of my favorite tropes, and after growing up on movies like Pretty Woman, Sleepless in Seattle, Ever After, At First Sight, and Serendipity, I grew fond of identifying those gobsmacked moments. I couldn’t wait to see them on my screen, and I couldn’t help wanting to see more representation in characters and stories like those.

When I was younger, I don’t think I consciously noticed the lack of people who looked like me in the books and movies I consumed. (I was probably more concerned about the overdue fines from my local library, and taming my very multicultural hair.)

Now that I’m older, I realize it’s because every single one of those roles could have been played by me, or a disabled person, or a trans person, or a fat person, or [insert underrepresented person here]. It’s because those stories are universal, and diversifying them just enriches the experience for audiences. #OWNVoices

So, armed with my woke-ness, my extensive chick flick-watching history, a STEM degree, and a serious case of wanderlust (exacerbated by my love for food), I wrote Between You and Me.


It’s an interracial love story about a brilliant, hopelessly romantic disabled scientist from Seattle, and an equally brilliant, way more influential, slightly cagey venture capitalist from New York, who are gobsmacked by love at first sight at an event in Chicago, then fall in love (on purpose this time) during a steamy weekend in New Orleans.

Well, they rack up a lot of flyer miles.

I’m most proud of the fact that the conflict in the story isn’t born of their outward differences, and that the characters, from primary to tertiary, reflect the world as it truly is.

I had so much fun writing the multiple place settings, the super geeky technology, allll the food, and the sexy times (there may or may not be extraordinary body ornaments…possibly with tassels…possibly with sequins).

What I hope readers take away at story’s end is that love at first sight is possible, it can happen to anyone, and it can grow into something lasting if two gobsmacked characters can peel themselves up from the pavement, and re-inflate each other with bicycle pumps.

Look out for Between You and Me, coming September 20th!

~ Lynn Turner

Friday, August 04, 2017

Review: Never A Sinner

Ted knows how to overcome, having been crippled since birth.  He also knows that his sister coming and needing assistance isn't easy but he will do what is needed.

Being fun loving and caring was Jessica's way for so long, until she became paralyzed from the waist down and when she with her boyfriend, now ex-boyfriend.  Her life changed overnight.  She closed her heart and doesn't want to go on until running into Teddy Bear and sees how life is what you make it.  This is definitely a good read!

Trully Sunee

Fooling the Eye

Well come to my porch. Sit a spell. Read a book. Actually this is not a real porch. It's an acrylic painting on a plain brown door at the end of my hallway. This type of painting is called trompe l'oeil (French meaning "to fool the eye"). Writing is more than a visual experience. It uses all senses and emotions. In my latest novel, Give Love a Chance, your senses will peak and your fear will escalate as the heroine tries to escape from an assassins deadly aim.

For more on Give Love a Chance and to purchase,

Monday, July 31, 2017

Mélisande by Philippa Lodge

I’m not Catholic – not very religious at all, in fact – so the fact that part of the story is a young woman’s conversion to Catholicism surprised me, too. It was the dominant and official religion in France in the seventeenth century, of course, but magic was still a major player. France had dabbled in witchcraft trials for a while, but never with the intensity of the Spanish Inquisition and the English and their colonies. At the time I’ve set this story, the court scandal was not that people consulted witches and bought potions from them, but that some of those potions were poison bought to free unhappy spouses and greedy heirs.

Oh, and that the king’s official mistress, Madame de Montespan, might have been participating in satanic rituals. She might NOT have, too, as all the “evidence” was given under torture, when witches were saying anything at all to try to make it stop. But King Louis XIV had all the evidence gathered and locked away, then burned the box. He was probably protecting the children he had with her, as he had legitimized them and given them estates and titles and rich spouses, and not protecting her, precisely.

So anyway, a lot of Googling of saints and practices and churches and miracles later, and here we are.

Melisande is becoming Catholic to please her birth father and get enough money to support herself and her family. Lucas has been steeped in it from childhood and is in danger of becoming as rigid and angry as his godfather, who is Melisande’s father. He’s at a turning point in his life, though, where his godfather has shown his feet of clay, hunger for power, and hypocrisy one too many times. And along comes this element of his godfather’s past, the illegitimate child of the old days when the Comte was partying with witches. Let the struggle for the souls begin.

Saturday, July 29, 2017


Where Does a Writer Get Ideas

Having read nursery rhymes to all four children, years later, seeking a new method of murder, I got a great idea.

“Jack Sprat Could Eat No Fat,” prompted my imagination. The villain could feed his victim to morbid obesity, then pump air into her blood stream to precipitate her death.

Might that work?

One evening, at a meeting of the high school’s adult quarterback club, I mentioned my idea to a couple of medical doctors who volunteered as team physicians.
One of them agreed a man might easily feed his wife to morbid obesity, but doubted anyone could then use the condition to kill her.

I suggested using a syringe to shoot air into her veins. Both men laughed heartily and nixed that. It would take too long, one would have to use an oversized needle, and the obvious needle marks would arouse immediate suspicion.

One of them then nodded and said, “But you could break a bone.”

The other one’s eyes rounded as he grasped his associate’s meaning. “Of course, a broken bone would release emboli into her bloodstream.”

They then joined in a duet. “And there would be nothing we could do to prevent her death.”

“She’d have to be really fat.”

“Right. But it would work.”

“And it’s unlikely anyone would suspect foul play.”


The two were so enthusiastic at having realized this unusual method of murder, that other members at the meeting had stopped their discussions and eavesdropped on this one. Most of them laughed, nervously, and suggested we get back to club business.

The diabolical advisors were Don Crawley and Kenneth Miller.

JACK SPRAT COULD will be released August 25, 2017 from Wild Rose Press. It will be my thirteenth published novel.

Sharon Ervin


Friday, July 28, 2017


ONE NIGHT WITH A DUKE by Sandra Masters Released June 21, 2017 The Wild Rose Press
http://www.authorsandramasters.com https://www.facebook.com/SandraMastersAuthor

Setting: Regency England 1817, the industrial revolution, and returning soldiers with no employment set the scene for political turmoil.

His Grace, Raven, Tenth Duke of Ravensmere, reclusive, politically powerful, denies love after the tragic deaths of his duchess and baby son. Bound by a deathbed promise made ten years prior, he has
vowed never to allow love to enter his heart again.

He meets Lady Samantha Winston, a young widow, who permits him to seek refuge in her carriage in a time of need, and what started out as a kiss in the name of safety, became pleasurable and not safe at all. In spite of every caution, his interest escalates into unexpected but welcomed desire.

Author: What is your main fear, Your Grace?

Answer: Being a mature and politically savvy peer, I feared to fall in love again passionately as I did with my late wife. The loss of her and our son paralyzed my every thought. To assuage the remorse, I delved more into all political events and devoted my efforts to my constituency and the tenants on my estate. England won the war against France but bankrupted the country. My goal was to propel my country back into the forefront of the financial world. My loveless life continued. And then by accident, I met Samantha Winston.

Author: Can you tell me about the incident?

Answer: You were the one who concocted the scene, but I’ll relive the events for our readers. After a meeting with the Prince Regent at his Carleton Townhouse, I chose to walk to the Townsend Ball a few blocks away. However, I encountered anarchists intent on doing me bodily harm simply because I was an aristocrat. The night darkened, and I cat-walked against walls, turned into an alley, and somehow avoided direct contact. Seven to one are not great odds for success. I saw a waiting carriage on the street with lit lanterns and raced to the door, pulled it open, expecting it to be empty. Instead, a lady sat on a seat, alarmed at my intrusion. The mob was now around us. The coachman bellowed for them to leave, but one lout climbed to peer through the window. Before I could speak to her, I went to her side and took her to me. All the thug could see was two presumed lovers in an ardent embrace and kissing. It must have amused him because he jumped down and chuckled moved the group down the street.

Author: Lady Winston allowed you, a stranger, to kiss her?

Answer: There was little time to speak, only to act. The lady kicked me in the shins, clouted me with her reticule until I uttered a sentence.

Author: Rather curious, Your Grace. What was the sentence?

Answer: Damnation, Madam. I asked her assistance since I was in dire straits…that I would explain and then I kissed her. It was when I said, “Please,” that she consented.
Author: Odd, that a duke of the realm would resort to such a word.
Answer: In dangerous times, a man would resort to any unusual actions. Now stop your falderal and let me continue.

Author: One kiss or two?

Answer: One long and pleasurable kiss. I remember thinking that a kiss in the name of safety was not safe at all. In the lantern light, I memorized her young face, but it was her verdant eyes that begged further inspection, not to mention her copper colored hair.

Author: And then what happened?

Answer: I apologized for my rash actions, made my explanation, and introduced myself. Other women would have fallen apart. Instead, she said, “It seems peculiar, Your Grace, to have introductions after our scandalous kisses. Perhaps it should have been the other way around?” Most of all, her sense of humor appealed to me. Her pleasant demeanor impressed and she chatted informally with me as if we were old friends. I offered to stay and wait for her relatives to explain my presence, but she asked for propriety’s sake that I leave.

Author: Did you?

Answer: Yes, after all, it was her request. I thanked her for her assistance. And that’s when she leaned forward and said, “Au revoir.” She whispered, “Until we meet again,” and touched my arm.

Author: Did you meet soon after?

Answer: You certainly know the entire story, but I avoided two dangers. One was the anarchists attempt to harm me. The second was the danger of a beautiful, high-spirited woman intent on flirtation or seduction. The latter intrigued me no end and represented a risk I would face with infinite pleasure. I determined that at another time, another place, I would find her again and demonstrate all the other things my lips and manly parts would do.

Author: Your Grace, I’m shocked that you would speak so.

Answer: I beg to differ with you, Mistress Masters. I can’t believe I did and said many of the things you wrote. You took great liberties with my persona in our book. You brought me out of the darkness of my personal life and gave me the desire to live and love again. There were those who never would believe me capable of such passionate utterings. They used to speak of me, under their breaths, as cold as ice with an even colder heart. The truth of the matter was that my heart needed resuscitation and my lady did an adequate job. Admittedly, you took a circuitous route, caused me great angst, pain, and suffering, but then I might not have appreciated Lady Samantha’s firebrand wit and courage. So I forgive you.

Author: For our readers’ sake, I’d like to say that you did reunite in Chapter Two. However, Lady Samantha Winston appeared to push all your ‘hot’ buttons much to your chagrin.

Answer: Yes, she did. I got the distinct impression you enjoyed every moment of my distress. We did meet at the ball later that evening, and I knew that my life would change forever because I saw the spitfire side of the lady and wanted to tame her indomitable spirit. I’ve always loved a challenge. Now, I suggest you go on to the next book because I want to savor the publication of our story. Feel free to join my lady and me in the library for a libation. I remember that you favor gin over brandy.

Author: Raven, you’re such a rogue. If I were to drink with you, I might have to write you in another book. You were one of the first dukes I created, but you gave me such a hard time because you were complicated in every way imaginable. Most of all, I liked your charming arrogance. I have created you out of the figment of my imagination. I hope I brought you justice. So, goodbye for now…oops, perhaps I should have said, “Au revoir. Until we meet again.”

AUTHOR: http://www.authorsandramasters.com
Once in a while
In the middle of ordinary life
LOVE gives us a FAIRY TALE.

Thursday, July 27, 2017

How FBI Special Agent Jake Bernstein Evolved

I began with one of my favorite fiction characters, Gabriel Allon from Daniel Silva’s great spy thrillers. A Mossad assassin, Allon is now Chief of Israel’s Mossad. A complex man with a multitude of talents—a brilliant artist, a linguist fluent in German, Hebrew, Arabic, English—he is also a moralistic man. You ask, how can an assassin be a man of moral principles? He is. He draws the line at killing only those despicable people who have killed innocent civilians in their quest for religious dominance, money, power or national zealotry.


So from Gabriel Allon, whose German Jewish family was killed by the Nazis and whose wife and son were killed by radical Muslims, I jump into the heart and soul of Jacob Bernstein. He’s a modern American male with a German Jewish/Irish Catholic family background. His identification with his German-Ashkenazi Jewish grandparent prompts him to pursue a law enforcement career aimed at seeking justice. Naturally, with his Navy Seal history, he relishes the field work of counter-terrorism. His unique training has prepared him for going undercover on a variety of cases, from tracking down an elderly American grandmother suspected of WW II war crimes to exposing a terrorist cell’s plot to commit mass murder. Now, in WHERE DANGER LIES (Book Three in the FBI romantic-suspense series), Jake helps inexperienced NCIs investigate the murder of a Navy weapons specialist assigned to Naval Base Coronado, San Diego. Meanwhile, his girlfriend, Meg Larsen, finds herself in the midst of helping one of her students, the daughter of a Muslim woman who has become the victim of an attempted “honor killing.” There are people who want to stop both of them before the truth is discovered. For even in beautiful San Diego, you never know WHERE DANGER LIES.


In the next installment (Book Four) of FBI Special Agent’s Jake Bernstein’s adventures, a Silicon Valley tech genius plots to sell his Bio-weapon of Mass Destruction plans to the highest bidder. But who among an international crowd of the world’s most dangerous villains will be the one to succeed? Can Jake uncover him in time to stop the transaction? And bring the American traitor to justice? This time, Meg Larsen, having joined the Special Services Group of the FBI, partners up with Jake in their undercover operation. Stay tuned for SPIES IN BLACK TIES!
by Donna Del Oro

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Coming soon from The Wild Rose Press

In this contemporary, #ownvoices debut set in the Southwest, single mom and recent graduate gets more than she bargained for when she accepts the help of a sexy as hell businessman fighting to keep his company.

Single mom Valentina wants to provide a good life for her son, starting with the perfect home. When the deal on her dream house falls through, rather than move back in with her parents and disappoint them and her son once again, she accepts the help of the intimidating-as-hell stranger she’s admired from her coffee shop seat for the last six months. She's afraid to fall for the wrong guy again, so she makes Cole promise to keep their relationship strictly professional.

Following his failed marriage, Cole can’t find a reason to care about anything or anyone. Saving his company from his ex-wife is the only thing that has kept him afloat for the past six months. As loneliness sets in and he begins to lose the fight over his company, Valentina becomes his lifeline. Cole wants to be more than her landlord, and he has a plan to get her to release him from his promise.

Find out more at www.DianaHicksBooks.com

About the Author:
Diana became an avid reader when she found her first romance novel tucked away in a corner of her high school library. The more books she read, the more she wanted to be a writer. Diana has a Master’s degree in information systems and accountancy, and for many years worked for a major Fortune 100 telecommunications company as an IT project manager (As one does when pursuing a career as a romance author.).

These days, when she’s not writing, Diana enjoys running half marathons, traveling, and indulging in the simple joys of life like wine and chocolate. She lives in Atlanta, and loves spending time with her two children and husband. Visit her online at www.DianaHicksBooks.com, or on Twitter at @diana_hicks.


ONE NIGHT WITH A DUKE by Sandra Masters Released June 21, 2017, The Wild Rose Press.

Setting: Regency England 1817, the industrial revolution, and returning soldiers with no employment set the scene for political turmoil.

Her Grace, the Duchess, former Samantha Winston, as a young widow, permits His Grace, the Duke of Ravensmere, to seek refuge in her carriage in a time of need, and what starts out as a kiss in the name of safety, becomes pleasurable and not safe at all. In spite of every caution, her interest escalates into unexpected and welcomed desire.

His Grace, Raven, Tenth Duke of Ravensmere, reclusive, politically powerful, denies love after the tragic deaths of his duchess and baby son. Bound by a deathbed promise made ten years prior, he vowed never to allow love to enter his heart again. And then he met the lovely, high-spirited, irreverent and beautiful Samantha.
When a high-spirited woman disrupts the routine of a duke who follows the rules, sparks sizzle and planets collide…the duchess laughs when she hears this tagline.

Author: What is your main fear, Duchess?

Answer: Having been on the shelf, so to speak, I feared to fall in love again passionately as I did with my late husband, Percival, whom I adored as a little girl. My brother’s best friend was over the house all the time, and I soon was the pest he liked. As I grew older and prettier, he grew so handsome. Our friends said we were over the moon with each other, but little did they know that Percival neglected to inform me of his malady—impotence! You can imagine my empty bed on my wedding night while he gambled the night away. Two weeks later he was killed by footpads who robbed him. I then became an unconsummated widow. Of course, the duke never became aware of this circumstance until it was too late.

Author: Can you tell me more about the circumstance?

Answer: You were the one who concocted the scene, but I’ll relive the events for our readers. After the stunning revelation from my new husband, and after his death, I built walls around me. I have been known to have wit, high spirit, and an interest in politics. The latter was a definite negative when seeking a new relationship. I vowed I’d never let any man dupe me again. I wanted to sample the masculinity before I committed again. You made me outrageous.

When Raven and I first met in the carriage, I felt a jolt of desire in his kiss. He was grateful for my assistance in the carriage against the anarchists. When we met at the ball, I raised my walls even higher by challenging his goals and motivations. I wanted him to know that I wasn’t a ninny hammer, but I went too far. I believe in the aftermath one of his comments was: “One could say that to be called old, egotistical, a coward and an over-aged schoolboy in the same two minutes of conversation is a novelty for me. Tell me, did I miss any other affront to my dignity?” He controlled his tone but kept it superior. “Yes. I also said you suffered from vanity.” As I look back on it now, I did shock him. He made a reference that he’d find me a soap box to lecture from in Hyde Park. My offense was deliberate, but I regretted doing so.

Author: Did the duke ever speak to you again?

Answer: Not for an hour or two, but he did present himself for a waltz upon which we agreed before the entire hullabaloo. I remember it well. We floated on air, and the chemistry between us regained its intensity. I apologized, a difficult act for me, but I was too strong in my comments. After the waltz, we sat and talked and that was when he won my heart with his tale of loss. To endure such grief at the loss of wife and child endeared me to him. I felt even worse for my actions. I concluded that he could be a man of significance. He was fearless. I was interested.

Author: Did you encounter him again?

Answer: At the end of the evening, I bid him, Au Revoir, and I’m sure it jogged his memory. My brother had invited him for lunch the next day. So, yes, we were thrown together once again but the atmosphere heated, not in anger, but we ‘played’ with each other in double entendres and all sorts of mischievous romantic intentions. Then he created a scandal.

Author: Tell me, duchess, what scandal. It sounds delicious.

Answer: It was. From our conversations, Raven knew I was afraid that at the lunch auction of my charity that some rake might bid for two hours of my time. Such a worthy cause. At the event, imagine my horror that one rogue bid a high amount. I was terrified. The duke matched that sum with the pastor conducting the sale, by five pounds each time. When the sum got to five hundred pounds, every participant was stunned into silence to know the outcome. The pressman reported it in every gossip trades paper the next day.

Author: Tell us more. I’m on pins and needles.

Answer: Since you created me, you know how unfair you were. However, the duke bid the astronomical sum of one thousand pounds. The rake capitulated. The crowd cheered, and my duke took me to a private table where we ate lunch and took a long walk.

Author: You called him ‘your duke?’

Answer: Not to his face. He was romantically aggressive, and I was a willing student. Being grateful, I allowed him another kiss. In fact, there were a few. There were many. His strong, masculine body pinned me against a tree where no one could see me. He set me afire, a sensation new to me. In between kisses, there was the sensual banter and wit. I remember raking my hands through his hair. He whispered things I’d never heard in referring to my lust-swollen lips. You wrote: “Energized blood coursed through my body igniting every part, awakening my dormant soul with the promise of all he might do.” It becomes obvious his manly parts worked.

Author: And then what happened?

Answer: As you well know, over the course of the next days and weeks, he did quite a bit.

Author: Did you allow him to do other things?

Answer: Your readers will have to read the book. This interview has become too risqué, and I’m sure Raven will think me indiscreet. Needless to say, your book is about a May-December relationship, filled not only with the romance aspects, but also, suspense, intrigue, international skullduggery, an attempted assassination, and glorious sex. I was determined to seduce him as I mentioned before…to sample the wares.

Author: And?

Answer: They were more than acceptable. Now you have delved too far, and I must conclude this interview. I hope your next heroine is different from mine. Good evening.

Answer: Decidedly so. It took me seven years to edit this too long epic story but demanded a reader audience. I’m delighted you are still happily in love.

Author: Do you have any other comments?

Answer: Mistress Masters, I can’t believe I did and said many of the things you wrote. You took great liberties with my persona in our book. You brought me out of the darkness of my personal life and gave me the desire to live and love again. There were those who never would believe me capable of such passionate utterings. They used to speak of me as the spinster. The truth of the matter was that my heart needed rescuing and my duke did an adequate job. You caused me great angst, pain, and suffering over many chapters thinking I could lose him, but then I might not have appreciated Raven and all his qualities: magical and otherwise. He was so ready to be loved.

Author: For our readers’ sake, I’d like to say I had so many favorite phrases as compared to my other books. My most favorite was when you asked him, “But what would I have to do?” He answered, “I leave that to your resourcefulness…and mine…under a starlit night with nothing but our naked imaginations.”

Answer: Yes, I do remember thinking: His nearness too intimate; his touch too hot; his desire too obvious. Hmm. I do believe I should see about the whereabouts of my duke. He may want to play. Good night, again.

Author: Samantha: Before you go, have you ever noticed your first name is close to mine? That our personalities are somewhat alike? Oh, she’s left the room. We’ll never know.


Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Seafood & Sailing- a book launch treat!

Went on a four-day sail around the San Juan islands as a reward for the release of Lipstick on the Strawberry this month. The border of the US and Canada, where pine trees, vineyards, oyster farms, and whales thrive.  So beautiful! 

Twelve guests, most not known to one another, thrown together for four days of hard work, uncomfortable sleeping quarters, and great conversation. Sounds like a classic whodunit plot.
Not what I write, but book ideas kept bubbling up.

The trip was a caterer's dream, too. In addition to hauling sails up and down, deck swabbing, and "helping" the crew, guests on the sail tucked into Pacific Northwest seafood and wine. Fabulous food. My "Lipstick" heroine, Camilla, can't wait to get back in the kitchen to test some of the recipes! They may appear on my blog's cookbook, available to subscribers.


Margaret Ann Spence
@Margaret Ann Spence

Monday, July 24, 2017


Every writer knows that word of mouth and reviews can propel a new book into success. (At least six reviews are recommended for debut day.) So you enlist your best friends, beta readers, critique partners, and family members to review your baby. Pretty safe odds love rolls in for the “newborn!” LOW RISK only to biased honesty.
            No time to bask in the lovelight. You create a media kit, blog, tweet, guest post on social media, organize a street team, host a launch party, do book signings, readings, advertise… everything it takes to announce and promote that book in the frenetic search for READERS. Competition is always huge when supply exceeds demand for books. A supply created, in part, by a flood of eBooks and the rise of Indie authors in the last few years. Does Amazon really have millions of books in their online catalog? Add review magazines and online review sites to the mix, and REVIEWERS are also in demand. It’s a Catch 22 when good books need to be discovered but discovery…and sales…often depend on reviews.
            When the organic reviews are slow coming in, you DO have options to jumpstart. With no strings attached, paid reviewers will insure an honest review, but it’s a marketing expense that can burn a hole in your pocket. Kirkus and Chanticleer charge hundreds of dollars for a review—with no guarantee to even recommend the book. Still, you do have the option to post…or not if the review burns a hole in your heart. HIGH RISK for the expense.
            “Nagging” is another option. A kinder word is “trolling.” If I know someone who has purchased a copy from me, I might ask for a review weeks or months later. Posting on FB, Goodreads, in your newsletters and emails, even on business cards you can gently “nudge” with links directed to your book sites. In the stash of prints I keep on hand to sell, I insert a little card in each book with my site links, along with a friendly review request. Readers who know you will not want to comply if they didn’t like your book, but even readers who loved it may feel unqualified to post a review, or unable to understand the process if they don’t navigate social media. MODERATE RISK –more to pride/friendship.
            Networking with the brotherhood is another option. You’ve been inspired by other writers, followed their blogs, rubbed shoulders with other Indies or authors published in your Press. You share and commiserate with them. Ralph Waldo Emerson once said “the only way to have a friend is to be one.” Can that be twisted into “the sure way to get a review is to write one?” Doesn’t every author swap reviews on occasion, particularly if they value an elevated review count that Amazon is sure to notice! If you swap with a writer in your genre, chances are good you already like their subject. And even if the book does not meet your rating standards, you can always find something nice to say after a short synopsis—minus any spoilers. Only another writer can appreciate the fact that writing a book is an accomplishment in itself. VARIABLE RISK to time consumed and qualms about trading an equal number of stars.
            Whoever said “Reward never comes without risk” had to be a writer...or a cliff diver. Same thing?  Sometimes. 
By Cj Fosdick
Newsletter http://eepurl.com/bxt3Kv  

Saturday, July 22, 2017

FLAWLESS on Sale for .99 cents!

My World War Two romantic suspense, FLAWLESS, is on sale for .99 cents until July 28. I love writing stories about WW2, and stories that capture the danger of that time, combined with a great love story, are my favorite. I hope you'll agree. Here's the blurb from FLAWLESS:

France, 1942.  The world is at war. The Nazis have stolen the infamous blue diamond, Le Coeur Bleu, intending to barter it for weapons that will destroy the Allies. Jewel thief Hunter Smith is given a choice; help the French Resistance steal back the diamond and avenge the death of his best friend, or stay locked up in an English prison. He chooses revenge.
Resistance fighter Madeleine Bertrand’s husband died when he was betrayed by Hunter Smith. How can she now pretend to be married to the arrogant American? How can she betray Jean Philippe’s memory by her passionate response to Hunter’s kisses? Neither is prepared for the maelstrom of attraction that erupts between them. To survive they must uncover the mysteries of the past and conquer the dangers of the present. But first Madeleine must decide if her loyalties lie with her dead husband and the Resistance or with the greatest love of her life.
Here's an excerpt:

Hunter’s eyes snapped open, his blood pounding in his ears. “What do you know about The Blue Heart?”

“Only that it is one of the most famous and rare diamonds in the world, over 30 carats, and said to be flawless.”

Hunter rose from his cot and paced his small cell, heart racing. “Ah, finally something you don’t know. Le Coeur Bleu has a small flaw, an inclusion visible only with a jeweler’s loupe.”

Campbell inclined his head. “My mistake. I bow to your superior knowledge of the stone.”

He met Campbell’s calm stare. He doubted this man ever made mistakes. “What else do you know about the diamond?”

“I know the diamond is reputed to have magical powers. Some even say it is cursed.”

“You don’t really believe in magical powers, do you?” Hunter scoffed.

Campbell lifted one shoulder in a delicate shrug. “Perhaps, perhaps not. Do you think your friend Jean Philippe Bertrand believed in magic?”

All the air rushed out of Hunter’s lungs and he struggled to breathe. “What do you know about Jean Philippe?”

“That he came into possession of Le Coeur Bleu and was murdered for it by the Nazis.”

Hunter dropped heavily onto his cot, shock and pain turning his knees to water. Snippets of the telegram he’d received from his best friend a few weeks before his arrest flashed in his head. Need to buy Heartstone times two from Jewish refugee. Desperate. Send cash. Hunter had immediately wired JP the money to buy the Heartstone, the name by which Le Coeur Bleu was sometimes known. He never heard from Jean Philippe again. In all the months of his captivity he’d clung to the hope that Jean Philippe was safe. But now that hope was dashed.

 “Dead? You’re sure?”

 “Yes. The SOE is very well connected in France. I can assure you, your friend was killed for Le Coeur Bleu.

Guilt flowed through Hunter’s veins like a poison. If he hadn’t sent the money, JP wouldn’t have had the diamond and the Nazis would have had no reason to kill him.

Campbell stepped closer to Hunter’s cot, determination glittering in his eyes. “I’m giving you the opportunity to avenge your friend’s death. Will you take it, Mr. Smith?”

“How is stealing The Blue Heart going to avenge Jean Philippe’s death? It’s just a stone, Mr. Campbell. Very pretty, very valuable, but just a rock. Is stealing it going to bring him back?”

“No, it won’t,” Campbell conceded, “but it will hurt the Nazis immensely. I can assure you that taking Le Coeur Bleu from them will reduce their capacity to fight, Mr. Smith. It may even shorten the war and provide the turning point we’re looking for. Is this not what your friend would have wanted?”

As Hunter stared into Campbell’s round face, he remembered the last stinging conversation he’d had with his friend. “If you used your God-given talents for good instead of squandering them on party tricks, perhaps you’d be a lot happier. It’s time to grow up, Hunter. For once in your life, be a man.”

Perhaps the time had finally come.

“How soon can I get out of here?”

Campbell smiled in satisfaction. “Follow me.”

FLAWLESS can be purchased at the following retailers for .99 cents until July 28:

The Wild Rose Press | Amazon UK | Amazon | B & N | Bookstrand |Google Play | Amazon CA | iBooks


Thursday, July 20, 2017

Chararcter Interview With Dan Rothberg

An Interview With Dan Rothberg, hero of Addicted to Love, by Jennifer Wilck

I want to introduce you to my hero, Dan Rothberg, today. He is a complicated guy—swoon worthy, with salt-and-pepper hair, the most amazing to-die-for blue eyes, and a limp from an accident he refuses to talk about with anyone. He’s a widower living in Hoboken and working in New York City. He’s doing his best to raise his teen daughter and recover from some pretty serious mistakes from his past. He doesn’t let a lot of people into his life, so the fact that he’s seeing Hannah Cohen is pretty amazing. We’re dropping by his office to say a quick hello.

Hi, Dan. Thanks for talking to me today. Can you tell our readers a little about yourself.

[Looking at his watch.] “Sure, but I only have about five minutes. I’ve got a crisis at work going on that I have to attend to. Tess will be home from school any minute and I need to check in with her about her homework as well. So we’ll have to make this fast. What would you like to know?” [Tips chair back, drums fingers on chair arm.]

Wow, you’re a busy guy. Let’s start with your job. What’s going on?

“I’m a forensic accountant, which basically means I investigate companies’ finances. I really can’t talk much about it, but my investigations have to remain under wraps until we find evidence of a problem. Unfortunately, the press got a hold of what we are doing regarding a pharmaceutical company and all hell is breaking loose. The company makes a lot of charitable donations, and if the leak isn’t found and plugged, patients, charities and the company are going to suffer.” [Mumbles under his breath.]

I’m sorry, I missed that last part.

“My girlfriend thinks it’s my fault.”

Wait, what?

“It’s a long story. But the sooner I find the leak, the better for everyone.”

I’ll bet. Tell me about your girlfriend.

[His face lights up.] “Hannah is amazing. She’s young, younger than me by about ten years. She’s beautiful and smart and has this innate ability to make me feel like I’m the best I can possibly be when I’m around her. And she’s phenomenal with Tess.”

And Tess is...

[He laughs.] “My daughter. She’s a teenager and anyone who can get along with someone else’s teenage daughter—attitude, eye rolls and all—is a saint. Hannah can even get her to smile.”

Wow, Hannah sounds perfect.

“She is.” [He swallows.] “I can’t get the sound of her crying on the phone to me out of my head though. And I’m not sure I deserve her...” [His phone lights up.] “Dammit, I have to go. Great talking to you.” [He rises, leans on his cane and points to his office door.]

Jennifer Wilck

Wednesday, July 19, 2017


Agents and editors are notorious prologue skeptics. The reason being, many times a prologue is what is referred to as “backstory” or an “info dump.” So when I had to confess to my editor that I had written a prologue, her reaction was –Why?

The truth was my first chapter had become bogged down with backstory, and after rewriting it no less than twenty times, it still read like an info dump. The reader needs some backstory, and it is the writer’s job to make it as invisible as possible. Sometimes the narrator gives the reader this information, sometimes it is told through dialogue, and sometimes it is done with internal monologue—a character’s thoughts. But no matter what the delivery, it becomes boring if too much backstory is laid on the reader before he has even met the main character.

The backstory problem I faced with A Splinter In Time was that I had two female characters whose lives and history were intertwined. They have been best friends since the age of six, one is black and one is white, one’s ancestors owned a plantation before the Civil War, the other’s ancestor was a slave on the plantation. All of this information is essential for the reader to know before the time travel event sends one of them to the Civil War South.

And so a prologue seemed my only option. It is short, and is set on the day the girls first meet. To my surprise, it was the easiest chapter in the novel to write. I had been to Charleston and I could see the scene in my head. As I wrote, I watched six year old Audrey’s doll fall from the rail of the second floor piazza. I saw Leigh’s mother bring her up the sidewalk and settle her in the shade of the scarlet crape myrtle, then go to the door to ask for work. I heard the creak of the screen door when Leigh’s mother went into the house, and the rustle of wisteria leaves when Leigh climbed the woody vine to return the doll to Audrey.

When chapter one opens, thirty years have melted away. The reader knows these two women, and the first chapter isn’t bogged down with the details of their history.

To read the prologue of this award winning novel, click the following link, https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01MCTJ3EH then click “Look inside” just above the book cover.

Linda Shelby
A Splinter In Time - Historical Romance/Time Travel