Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Romance Countdown To 2012

We all love December. The snow, the cheer, the music, the decorations, the food, gathering with the ones we love, and let's not forget selebrating Jesus's birth!

No matter what your is for loving December, you know you have to admit that the closer Christmas gets, the more excited you become. The kid in us never really leaves, we just have more practice at hiding the excitement... LOL!

Let me tell you how YOU can have Christmas EVERY day for the month of December. That's right..... every day!!!

See that little yellow box over in the left hand column titled "Romance Countdown To 2012"? Click on that box and it will take you to Marilyn Wigglesworth's blog, Jaguar Warriors, and there she is hosting this event.

Here's how it works:

Every day of the month, Marilyn will have a post from a different author. Read the post and then leave a comment and your email address. It's that simple!!!! 

Here is a great way to learn about new authors and find some great books. But books aren't the only thing you could win. You will have to stop by everyday to see what prizes are being offered and if you enter more than one day, you can be entered to win the BIG basket of goodies. And remember, somedays have more than one aithor listed so that's TWO ways to win.

This isn't just about winning the prises though. We really do hope you will enjoy reading  these posts and hopefully find a new author to read!!!!!

SO- don't forget!!!  Contest starts Dec. 1 and runs through Dec. 31.   You must leave a comment, a name and an email address to be eligible. Enter more than one day to be eligible for the BIG basket of goodies so you will have to come back more that one day.

Here is the list of days and authors.
Dec. 1- Angela Scavone and Cheryl Yeko

Dec. 2- Char Chaffin and Dawn Ireland

Dec. 3- Kristi Lea and Elle Hill/ Lesleigh Owens

Dec. 4- Casey Wyatt/ Christine Wunch and B.J. Scott

Dec. 5- J.L. Bowen/ Mary Guida

Dec. 6- Deena Remiel

Dec. 7- Kallypso Masters

Dec. 8- Maeve Greyson

Dec. 9- Caridad Scordato

Dec. 10- Jessica Aspen

Dec. 11- Cari Quinn

Dec. 12- Renee Vincent

Dec. 13- Karen Cote

Dec. 14- Cathryn Fox

Dec. 15- Nikki Duncan

Dec. 16- Misty Evans

Dec. 17- Sharon Buchbinder

Dec. 18- Hillary Seidl

Dec. 19- Kimberly Killion

Dec. 20- Adriana Kraft

Dec. 21- Laura Kaye

Dec. 22- Eliza Knight

Dec. 23- Zoe Archer

Dec. 24- Marilyn Wigglesworth

Dec. 25- Lizzie Walker and Sarah Hoss

Dec. 26- Karen Kay

Dec. 27- Nicole North

Dec. 28- Kendra James and Teri Gilbert

Dec. 29- Cynthia Owens

Dec. 30- Mary Guida

Dec. 31- Kate Douglass


Thursday, November 24, 2011

This is a time to reflect and say what we are thankful for all of the things in our lives. This list below is mine.


I am lucky to have all of these things in my life and every one of them is vital to my every day well being and my ability to do what I love which is write.  I hope that, today, if not every day you are able to spend time with the ones you love and that peace and joy follow you!

From Heart of Romance to you, I leave you with one simple but wonderful picture for your Totally HOT Thursday!! ENJOY!

Matthias Strietwiesser

Monday, November 21, 2011

Interview with Author, BETH TRISSEL

INTERVIEW WITH AUTHOR    Beth Trissel                        

Today I’m interviewing Beth Trissel.  Her novella, Somewhere the Bells Ring, a vintage American ghost story Christmas romance, was released on Nov 9th by the Wild Rose Press.

Please tell my readers a little bit about your book.

Thanks for having me on your lovely blog, Sarah.  Somewhere the Bells Ring is set in the gracious old Virginia home place, circa 1816, in the Shenandoah Valley where my father was born and raised and I grew up visiting during the holidays.  Nostalgia over the late 1960’s inspired the time period and the story opens during the tumultuous age of hippies, Vietnam, and some of the best darn rock music ever written.  From 1968, the story flashes back to an earlier era, 1918 and the end of World War One.  Having a Marine Corps Captain Grandfather who distinguished himself in France during the thick of the fighting and then tragically died when my father was only three definitely influenced this story.  I’ve dedicated it to him.  If you enjoy an intriguing mystery with Gothic overtones set in vintage America and heart-tugging romance then Somewhere the Bells Ring is for you.  Oh, and did I mention the ghost?  I always did think that house was haunted.

Describe the genre of this particular title, and is the only genre you write in? 

I write both light paranormal ghost story/time travel romances in my ‘Somewhere’ series and historical romance, so write for two different lines and senior editors at The Wild Rose Press.  The common thread in all my stories is my fascination with the past.  

When did you start writing toward publication?  

16 years ago.  I wrote for 12 + years before my first book, Somewhere My love, was published.

Did you have several manuscripts finished before you sold? If so, did you send them out yourself?
Yes, I had four or five completed manuscripts before the first one was published and ooodles of rejections from agents/editors.  I was faring well in the contest circuit, though, including a Golden Heart final, and had finally landed a good NY editor, but she couldn’t sell my work to traditional New York Publishers, so I said goodbye and submitted to the Wild Rose Press in 2008.  So far, they’ve been very enthusiastic about everything I submit.  I’m a big fan of TWRP and have no plans to go anywhere else, unless I write something they don’t publish at some point.   If that happens I’ll probably publish it myself.  I did that with a work of nonfiction about country life—it finaled in the EPPIES!  As did my historical romance Red Bird’s Song.  Quite a thrill.

Her old family home where the story takes place.
Why have you become a published author?  
 To share my stories with the world.

Do you have any rejection stories to share? 
 Literally hundreds.  I think I must have queried every agent out there at some point, and a number of editors.  For ages a ‘good’ rejection letter, the personal kind with a pat on the back along with the inevitable ‘but’ was as good as it got.

What is your writing routine like? 
 I used to have one.  With five grandbabies living nearby, now I just write whenever I  can.

What sort of promo do you do? Do you have help? 
I wish.  I do interviews, like this one, guest blog in addition to being an avid blogger myself, belong to facebook, twitter, triberr, authorsden, sometimes pay for advertisements on popular romance review sites…always on the prowl. 

Having achieved your goal to be a published author, what is the most rewarding thing?

Positive feedback from readers and stellar reviews.  I really don’t want to hear about it if you think I’ve written the worst book you’ve ever read.  And yes, I’ve gotten a few of those from readers too.  It’s all part of the journey.   

Are you a member of any writing organizations and, if so, have they helped. 
 RWA (forever) Virginia Romance Writers, Celtic Heart Romance Writers online group, The Wild Rose Press loop…to name the most important ones.  The workshops, writing tips, support, and guidance from these groups has been invaluable.

Will you share some encouraging words for authors still struggling for that first contract? 
 Don’t give up.  Keep on writing.  Hone the craft, better your skills.  Someday, someway, you will make it.

What’s next for you?  
I recently turned in a historical romance novel to my WRP historical editor and am awaiting word.  It’s the third story in my colonial frontier trilogy, the sequel to Through the Fire.  And now, I’m at work on my next light paranormal/time travel romance, the sequel to Somewhere My Lass.

BLURB for Somewhere the Bells Ring:
Caught with pot in her dorm room, Bailey Randolph is exiled to a relative's ancestral home in Virginia to straighten herself out. Banishment to Maple Hill is dismal, until a ghost appears requesting her help. Bailey is frightened but intrigued. Then her girlhood crush, Eric Burke, arrives and suddenly Maple Hill isn't so bad.

To Eric, wounded in Vietnam, his military career shattered, this homecoming feels no less like exile. But when he finds Bailey at Maple Hill, her fairy-like beauty gives him reason to hope--until she tells him about the ghost haunting the house. Then he wonders if her one experiment with pot has made her crazy.

As Bailey and Eric draw closer, he agrees to help her find a long-forgotten Christmas gift the ghost wants. But will the magic of Christmas be enough to make Eric believe--in Bailey and the ghost--before the Christmas bells ring?~

“Bailey.” He spoke softly, so as not to startle her.

She turned toward him. In her long, white nightgown, hair tumbled down around her, wearing that lost look, she bore an unnerving resemblance to the mysterious woman in Wilkie Collins’ classic mystery, The Woman in White. Eric fervently hoped the similarity ended there. As he recalled from the novel, that unfortunate lady had been unhinged.

Leaving the door ajar, he stepped inside. “We missed you at breakfast.”

She answered distractedly. “I wasn’t hungry.”

He limped to where she stood, the hitch in his leg a little less pronounced today. Maybe he was getting stronger. “Why are you here, looking for ghosts?”

“Or a door to the past.”

He tried to coax a smile to her trembling lips. “Did you check inside the wardrobe?”

“Eric, I’m being serious.”

“That’s what worries me.” Leaning on his cane with one arm, he closed his other around her shoulders and drew her against him. Such a natural act, and she accepted his embrace without pulling back. She smelled of flowers from her perfume and wood smoke. “Mercy, child,” he said in his best imitation of Ella, “it’s as cold as a tomb in here.”

“It wasn’t last night.”~

How can my readers buy your book? 
Somewhere the Bells Ring is available in various eBook formats at The Wild Rose Press and will travel onto Amazon kindle, Barnes & Noble’s nookbook and other online booksellers. For more on me and my work please visit:

My website:

My blog:

Tuesday, November 15, 2011


That's right!

Do you remember me telling you a month or two ago that I had entered my novella, HEAVEN SENT, in the Celtic Hearts Romance Writers new contest, Novellas Need Love Too!

Well, I did. I entered it in the contemporary category. I received news in October that I had finaled. From there, they sent it and the other two finalist's work over to Grace Bradley of Ellora's Cave.

Today, we were notified of how we did and my novella won first place in my category!!!

I am sooo excited. This is the third time I have ever entered a contest, the first time with this story and the first time I have ever finaled or won!!!!

I want to list to you know all of the finalists and winners and to say CONGRATULATIONS to them all! I am proud to be listed among them!

EROTIC (Kelli Collins, Ellora's Cave)

1. Going Up (full requested) - Susan Shellabarger

2. Wildfire (full requested) - Susan Shellabarger

3. Wildkat (full requested) - Susan Shellabarger

4. Hurricane Winds - Jaimie Bergeron

HISTORICAL (Mary Hamilton, Samhain)

1. An Honorable Seduction - Karen R. Dobbins

2. The Seduction of Sarah Banks - Kathleen Bittner Roth

3. A Shocking Proposal - Melinda B. Pierce

PUBLISHED (Gina Bernal, Carina)

1. A Little Bit Wicked (full requested) - Liz Talley

2. Picture Me Hot (full requested) - Mary A. Behre

3. Sword of Elements - Camryn Rhys

PARANORMAL (Imogen Howson, Samhain)

1. Savage Protector - Amity Grays

2. Unlikely Protector - Amity Grays

3. The Ghost Who Came to Dinner - Alisa Walker

CONTEMPORARY (Grace Bradley, Ellora's Cave)

1. Heaven Sent - Sarah Hoss

2. Cookies for Santa - Valerie Clarizio

3. Chocolate on Her Sleeve - Barbara Heintz


Going Up by Susan Shellabarger

Friday, November 11, 2011

INTERVIEW with Author, Pat McDermott

Pat McDermott

Today I’m interviewing Pat McDermott. Her book, Glancing Through the Glimmer, a young adult romantic adventure set in an Ireland that might have been, debuts today.

Please tell my readers a little bit about your book.

Thanks so much for hosting me and my new release today, Sarah. Glancing Through the Glimmer is the young adult “prequel” to my “Band of Roses” trilogy (A Band of Roses, Fiery Roses, and Salty Roses), coming in 2012 from MuseItUp Publishing. I’d already written the trilogy (the first two books will be re-releases) when an acquaintance suggested the YA angle. I found I loved writing about my “Roses” characters as teenagers. The Scottish legend of Tam Lin and the Irish myths surrounding Finvarra, the King of the Connaught Fairies helped inspire the story, which takes place in a modern Ireland ruled by kings descended from High King Brian Boru. The title is a phrase from The Fairy Thorn, an old Irish poem by Samuel Ferguson about four “merry maidens fair in kirtles of the green” whose evening stroll is ruined by thieving fairies.

Describe the genre of this particular title, and is the only genre you write in?

I dislike genre rules, as I dabble in a bit of everything. Most of my stories contain elements of fantasy, action/adventure, sci-fi, and romance. Glancing Through the Glimmer is no exception.

When did you start writing toward publication?

Not until my kids were grown. I have great respect for writers who juggle the jobs of writing and parenting. I’ve written short stories and attended writing classes over the years, but my kids were in college before I pursued publication. I worked up the courage to enter a short story in the 74th Writer’s Digest Annual Writing competition and received an Honorable Mention for children’s fiction. That award gave my confidence a serious boost, enough to finish my first novel, A Band of Roses.

Did you have several manuscripts finished before you sold? If so, did you send them out yourself?

My first novel was under contract before I finished the second. I have four under contract now, all submitted without an agent.

Why have you become a published author?

Because of a combination of persistence, networking, finding a publisher who liked my stories, and good luck—though I believe the first three factors conjured that good luck.

Do you have any rejection stories to share?

What writer doesn’t? I attended a lecture by a noted author who said that after successfully publishing stories for over thirty years, she still receives rejections. I once had a drawer full of rejection letters from agents and publishers. A writing teacher warned me to expect them, though I still found the initial batch of barely legible form letters discouraging. The nicer rejections, more personal and actually signed, stated that my book wasn’t for them but encouraged perseverance. I recently cleaned out that drawer. Tore up the letters and tossed them out. It felt wonderful.

What is your writing routine like?

I try to write every day, usually early in the morning when it’s quiet and my only interruptions are a cat or two in need of a hug. Whether I’m starting something new or revising pages I’ve already written, I find that quiet time of day most productive. I spend time in the afternoon reading for research or pleasure, usually with a cat or two in my lap. On Monday evenings, I host a writers’ group, which gives me a deadline to finish a chapter or two each week. For most of the year, I attend a writing class on Tuesday evenings.

What sort of promo do you do? Do you have help?

I wish I had help. The promotional aspect of writing bewilders me. I’ve attended book marketing seminars and did a couple of book signings, and I loved that a local readers’ group chose A Band of Roses as their book-of-the-month and invited me to be their guest author. Great fun. I wish I could say the same for the rest of the marketing process. Marketing is important, yes, but I’m happier creating stories. Right now, I’m promoting Glancing Through the Glimmer through my web site, blog, and online interviews, by word of mouth, and through various internet sites.

Having achieved your goal to be a published author, what is the most rewarding thing?

Having my kids think I’m smart? Seriously, I loved holding my published novel in my hands for the first time, and that’s a response with which I think most authors would agree.

Are you a member of any writing organizations and, if so, have they helped?

I am a member of the New Hampshire Writers' Project, Seacoast Writers' Association, Romance Writers of America, and Celtic Hearts Romance Writers. Then there’s Sip, my Monday night writers’ group, a key writing organization for me.

Will you share some encouraging words for authors still struggling for that first contract?

You’re the only one with the ultimate vision of the story you’re trying to tell. Don’t let anyone talk you out of it. Join a writers' group, take classes or workshops, and never stop reading. Go out on a limb and read books you wouldn’t ordinarily read. To paraphrase an Oliver Wendell Holmes quote, a mind stretched by a new idea never returns to its original dimensions. Don’t be afraid other authors will influence your personal style. And exercise those writing muscles! The more you write, the easier it is to get your vision onto a printed page. Set goals and deadlines for yourself, and meet them. Persevere in your quest to become a published author, and enjoy the ride!

What’s next for you?

I’m sprucing up the sequel to Glancing Through the Glimmer. Liam and Janet return in Autumn Glimmer for a Halloween weekend they’ll never forget.


In the modern Kingdom of Ireland, few mortals believe in the fairy folk. Without that belief, the fairies are dying. Finvarra, the King of the Fairies, would rather dance than worry—but he must have a mortal dancing partner.

When Janet Gleason’s grandfather becomes the new U.S. Ambassador to Ireland, the sixteen-year-old orphan must leave Boston and her friends behind. Janet is lonely in Dublin and unused to her grandparents’ stuffy social life. An invitation to a royal ball terrifies her. She can’t even waltz and dreads embarrassment. Finvarra’s fairy witch overhears her fervent wish to learn to dance.

Seventeen-year-old Prince Liam Boru loathes the idea of escorting another spoiled American girl to a ball. In fact, he detests most of his royal duties. He dresses down to move through Dublin unnoticed and finds himself on his royal backside when Janet crashes into him. Intrigued, he asks to see her again, and she willingly agrees. Unaware of each other’s identities, they arrange to meet. When they do, the fairies steal Janet away.

Liam’s attempts to find her trigger a series of frustrating misadventures. Can he and Janet outwit a treacherous fairy king who’s been hoodwinking mortals for centuries?

A little bit about the author

Born and educated in Boston, Massachusetts, Pat grew up in a family full of music and myths that have found their way into her stories. She lives near the New Hampshire seacoast with her husband and three devious Tonkinese cats. Her favorite non-writing activities include hiking, reading, cooking, and traveling, especially to Ireland.


The first time Liam slipped and fell, he cursed the rain-damp grass. He blamed his second tumble on his haste to catch up with Janet. What on earth had possessed the girl to run off like that? She couldn’t possibly want to find music that badly.

Music only she could hear.

The third time he lost his balance, he’d swear someone had pushed him, but no one was there. He landed on his hands and knees and cursed again. He might not be a muscleman, but he was far from a clumsy dolt. A lifetime of sports and outdoor treks had surely left him fit enough to climb a scrubby little hillside.

Something strange was afoot.

I’m being ridiculous. The breeze must have kept him from hearing the music she heard. She’d likely gone after the owner of whatever was playing the tune to learn its name.

Yet the Nose of Howth seemed deserted. How odd for a sunny Sunday morning. Even if Janet had gone off seeking the source of the music, no amount of rationalizing could explain why she’d left so abruptly. The chilling sense that she was in danger had Liam’s heart thumping high in his throat.

Should he call his cousin? If Kevin was still on the pier, it would take him a while to get here. And practical Kevin would surely think Liam astray in the head.

Maybe he was, but something told him he had to find Janet, and fast. Keeping close to the ground as if he were dodging radar, he clambered monkey-like up the hill. This time he reached the top of the rise. Lumps in the landscape surrounded him, clumps of rock and rolling masses of heather and gorse that encircled the level spot where he stood. He knew the place well. Except for the curious lack of weekend hill walkers, nothing seemed amiss.


He listened hard. A seagull cried in the distance. Otherwise, all was silent. No, wait! Music drifted toward him, a plucky harp tune he might have enjoyed under different circumstances. Was that what Janet had heard?

Where was it? He turned in a circle, squinting in the sunlight, scanning, straining to hear. When he returned to the spot where he’d started, a jolt of fear set his pulse racing.

A round stone hut had appeared on the highest part of the clearing. Its low thatched roof rose to a ridiculously high point. It resembled a roundhouse, the sort of dwelling that belonged in a prehistoric ring fort.

Or a fairy fort.

Liam swallowed hard. He’d seen replicas of such huts in Ireland’s folk parks. He’d also viewed ruins of the original ring forts, all that remained of the structures built by the mysterious peoples who’d lived and died in Ireland thousands of years ago.

Where had this one come from? Why was it on the Nose of Howth? Liam had never seen it before, nor had he heard of any gimmicky tourism plans for the cliff walk. Of course, he didn’t know everything. Convincing himself that he’d failed to see the hut at first because the sun had blinded him, he ventured toward the structure.

He spotted a doorway and relaxed. Janet was there, speaking to a woman wearing a period costume, medieval or older. That’s what it was, he thought: tourism come to tarnish Howth. How could Uncle Peadar have allowed such nonsense?

Liam called Janet’s name again, but neither she nor the woman showed any sign that they’d heard him. The wind must have carried his voice away. He stalked toward the roundhouse. As he approached, the costumed woman placed a necklace over Janet’s head.

The roundhouse flickered, faded, and reappeared. Alarmed, Liam stopped. This was no tourist gimmick. As his thoughts scrambled for an explanation, the woman grabbed Janet’s arm and pulled her into the hut.

“Janet, no!” His ferocious roar proved useless. Unbelievably, the roundhouse began to dissolve. No longer doubting his horrified senses, he dove at the hut and charged through the disappearing door.

The world around him melted away.

How can my readers buy your book?

Readers can visit the book’s buy page on the MuseItUp Publishing site:

Glancing Through the Glimmer Page

You can find more information about Pat and Glancing Through the Glimmer by

visiting her web site:

Writing/Travel Blog (Put the Kettle On):

Facebook page:!/pat.mcdermott1

Facebook page for Glancing Through the Glimmer (feel free to “Like” it!):!/

MuseItUp Author Page:

MuseItUp Bookstore Page for Glancing Through the Glimmer:

My cooking blog (Kitchen Excursions):

Monday, November 7, 2011


Well, we are into day 7 of NaNoWriMo and I am having a great time. I have been writing and trying to keep up with the 1600 word count. Not an easy task since I am working on book two in my series and trying to keep up with that 1000 word count.

I sometimes wonder if I can be THAT creative? LOL.... we will see.

My first priority is the series. But, I am having a great time challenging myself doing NaNoWriMo.

If you are participating in it also, I want to wish you GOOD LUCK!!!!!!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Totally HOT Thursdays

I don't know about all of you, but I watch reality T.V. Not all of them. I love Amazing Race and Survivor. And today's THT hunk comes from Survivor.

Every Wednesday, we get to see this gentleman on our sets. His naturally curly locks, tanned skin, and beautiful eyes pull you in. His cunning ability to make his way through this show keeps you coming back for more. Even his days old beard stubble is attractive.
Let me introduce you to:

Ozzy Lutsh

Full name- Oscar Lutsh
Birth date- August 23, 1981
Place- Guanajuato, Guanajuato Mexico
Famous for- Three time Survivor contestant. Cook Islands, Micronesia, and South Pacific