Dear Reader…What’s Your Hero “Type”?

Pistols, Parasols & Passionate Little LIes

I’m planning the next book in my Secrets & Spies series and I’m curious…readers, what type of hero would you like to read about next? Of course, he’s got to be gorgeous and studly and definitely swoon-worthy. That goes without saying. Are we in the mood for a brawny Scotsman? A reformed outlaw? A lawman straddling the line? A man who looks like a bookworm but really knows his way around a gun…and the ladies? A cowboy…or two? I’d love to know your thoughts.

Share your thoughts for a chance to win a Kindle copy of the latest installment in my Secrets & Spies series, Pistols, Parasols & Passionate Little Lies. I’ll announce the winner on Sunday, January 19, just in time to get a hot spy story to warm a cold January weekend and heat the rest of your week.

Drumroll Please: Cover Reveal – Pistols, Parasols & Passionate Little Lies

The second book in the Secrets & Spies series will be making its debut next week…I’m impatient, so I couldn’t wait that long to share the gorgeous cover. I just love it! Pistols, Parasols & Passionate Little LIes

So beautiful! Share your thoughts about the cover, and you might win the first book in the Secrets & Spies series, Secrets, Spies & Sweet Little Lies. One lucky commenter will win a Kindle copy of the book. Already have Secrets, Spies & Sweet Little Lies? No problem – if your name is chosen, you’ll be one of the very first to receive a digital copy of Pistols, Parasols & Passionate Little Lies when it takes its bow in the very near future.

Here’s a little about Pistols, Parasols & Passionate Little Lies:

Sometimes, even a spy needs a hero.

Like any good secret agent, Amanda Emerson knows how to get what she wants—in this case, a man with guts and a gun—a man heroic enough to break a notorious double agent out of a Confederate prison. But first, she’ll have to save her hero’s own neck.

Caught with Rebel plans and set for a hanging, Union spy Steve Dunham’s luck has run out—until a cunning beauty shows up at the jail and engineers his escape. Of course, she’s there for a reason besides preventing him from dangling at the end of a noose—he’s the key to her daring scheme.

Steve may be trading one execution for another, but the tempting—and off limits—operative draws him into the perilous mission. Falling for Amanda is a complication he can’t afford, but Steve’s never been one to play it safe. The spoils of victory will be Amanda’s surrender. And the terms of surrender promise to be sultry and sweet.

Pistols, Parasols & Passionate Little Lies will be available soon! Look for details later this week.

My November “Book Baby”

I’m a November baby, so it seems only fitting that my historical romance, Secrets, Spies & Sweet Little Lies has a November book birthday as well. Here’s a little about the story:

Secrets, Spies & Sweet Little LiesSecrets, Spies & Sweet Little Lies

A heart’s destiny cannot be denied when a daring Union spy abducts a beautiful runaway bride he suspects of being a traitor.

Emma Davenport was a model senator’s daughter: prim, proper, but hell-bent on escaping the dreaded fate of spinsterhood that awaited her under wartime Washington’s all-too watchful eye. She was going to be a bride, and no one was going to stop her. Not even the daring renegade who steals her from a train transporting her to a forbidden marriage. Her heart tells her this mysterious captor is a dangerous man, but the undeniable attraction he wields is a more potent threat than any weapon.

Major Cole Travis is a highly trained secret agent, as skilled with deception as he is with a gun. Keeping a beautiful traitor from her rendezvous with a treacherous scoundrel shouldn’t be a challenge for the battle-seasoned spy—but he’s not the only one after his tempting prisoner. Emma Davenport must be kept out of enemy hands at all costs. Drawn to this woman whose innocent allure may be just another weapon in her arsenal, Cole risks his neck to shield her. Soon, however, protecting her from his own heart’s desire becomes another story entirely.

You can find Secrets, Spies & Sweet Little Lies on Kindle. Prefer a paperback? The story will be out in paperback soon.

Welcome Guest Author Selena Fulton

Selena FultonIt’s my pleasure to welcome author Selena Fulton to the blog today. She’s going to tell us a little about her latest release, Never Let Go, a touching time travel romance. Selena’s graciously offering an e-book to one lucky commenter. Be sure to leave your comment by Saturday, June 15. The winner will be announced by Monday, June 17.

Welcome, Selena. Please tell us a little about Never Let Go.

Kendra Prescott, a high-powered Atlanta real estate broker, is sent England to coax the owner to sell a beautiful cottage. Never Let Go CoverFamily portraits line the stairway, and Kendra finds one man, Benjamin Sheffield fascinating. Too bad he lived almost two centuries ago.

In eighteen sixty-three, Benjamin Sheffield escaped England because of a trumped-up murder charge. He came to America to disappear in the vast Western frontier, but is delayed by a little thing called the War Between The States.

When Kendra falls and loses consciousness, she wakes up in the middle of Civil War torn Georgia. She doesn’t know what happened to the cottage, but when she sees Ben, she realizes he is the key, her only chance of returning to her own time. Trouble is, now that she’s met him, she isn’t sure she wants to.

Selena, if you could live during any era in time, when would that be? Why?

I would say the antebellum era because of the beautiful dresses. On second thought, all those clothes were hot and no air conditioning! I’m content to live in Florida where I can wear flip-flops and shorts most of the year.

What’s your favorite guilty pleasure?

Dove dark chocolate. Love the silky way it melts on my tongue.

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

I would have a house right on the beach so I could walk the beach every day, and let the sound of the surf sing me to sleep.

What’s your favorite quotation?

You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself, any direction you choose.

Dr. Seuss

You wake up in Oz. Which would you rather possess: flying monkeys or Toto?

Toto. He was soooo cute!

What’s your all-time favorite movie?

There are quite a few, but I think my favorite is South Pacific. I love the ocean, love all those cute sailors, and oh Emile! Love men with accents.

If you could wake up stranded on a desert island with one celebrity hunk (actor, athlete, musician, etc.), who would it be? Why?

Tom Selleck. ::sigh:: I once had a dream about him. Let’s just say it was a nice one. 😉

Thanks for stopping by today, Selena. Don’t forget to leave a comment for a chance to win this terrific story.

Tara’s Next Big Thing

I’ve been invited to participate in a blog hop where we discuss our “Next Big Thing”. Well, not sure how “big” this is, but here goes 🙂

1) What is the working title of your next book?

The Slayer Next Door

2)  Where did the idea come from for the book?

I’m a big Buffy the Vampire Slayer fan…the movie as well as the show. This could be described as Buffy meets 27 Dresses.

3)  What genre does your book fall under?

Light Paranormal – there’s quite a bit of humor

4)  What actors would you choose to play the part of your characters in a movie rendition?

For my heroine, I’m thinking Katherine Heigl. She’s great at these types of roles. For my hero, Ryan Gosling would be perfect.

5)  What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?

She could handle a classroom full of kids…putting a vampire or two in his place shouldn’t be a problem.

6)  Who is publishing your book?

Ah, that’s a good question. It’s not finished, but I’m hoping it will find a good home.

7)  How long did it take you to write the first draft of the manuscript?

I’m still working on it, but it’s flowing quickly. Really enjoying this story.

8)  Who or what inspired you to write the story?

Actually, there’s an old Goldie Hawn comedy that I adore, Foul Play. Her character in that movie is my inspiration for my heroine, blended with Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

9)  What else about the book might pique the readers’ interests?

A school teacher heroine, an ex-Navy Seal hero, and a fur ball of a cat…mixed in with a vampire queen and a warped sense of humor…if you like romantic comedies with a hint of danger and adventure, I think you’ll enjoy this.

Next week, look for the next big thing from Kelsey Browning and Tessa Berkley. Kelsey Browning can be found at her awesome Brain Candy blog and Tessa Berkley’s hot cowboys can be found at:

Thanks for dropping by! I’ll let you know when it’s close to publication.

Welcome Guest Author Merry Farmer

It’s my pleasure to host author Merry Farmer on the blog today. Merry writes historical romances set during one of my favorite time periods, the 1890s. Welcome, Merry.

Merry Farmer  If I had a dime for every time I sighed and thought that I was born about 125 years too late, I would be wealthy right now.  There’s just something about the 1880s and 1890s that sings to my soul.  It was an exciting time to be alive, full of innovation, invention, and progress.  People of the twenty-first century don’t realize how advanced and comfortable life really was at the end of the nineteenth century.  That’s one of the reasons I was inspired to write the Montana Romance series.

There are a lot of misconceptions about how exactly people lived in the 1890s.  Those who haven’t studied history tend to think it was a backwards time of ignorance, repression, and inconvenience.  The truth couldn’t be further from that notion.

By the 1890s advances in transportation had opened up not only the American West, but the whole world.  People could travel from coast to coast in a matter of days, and Fool For Love [e-book cover]_smallacross the ocean in just over a week.  Fool for Love begins in London, and three weeks later the characters are in Cold Springs, Montana.  Yes!  You could do that.  Furthermore, by 1896, when this novel is set, not only were ships constructed that could travel that fast, many of them were equipped with refrigeration.  We think of imported food as a modern concept, but by the 1890s it was already a reality.

You know what else existed by the 1890s?  Electricity.  Yep.  The proverbial light bulb was able to go off over someone’s head when they had a good idea because Edison had invented the first successful incandescent light bulb in 1879.  By 1896 they were a household item.  Well, if the town in which you lived had the infrastructure to support all of the new technology.

Granted, just because the technology for a wealth of new inventions – ready-made clothing, automobiles, typewriters, elevators, etc. – existed, that didn’t mean it could be found everywhere.  One of the things that appeals to me so much about the 1890s is that while so much of the world was moving faster and achieving more, life still had a slower pace.  People read books.  They visited while playing cards or sewing.  Meals were prepared with care and savored at the table instead of in front of the television.

Not everything was perfect and rosy.  A woman’s work was still never done and most modern appliances with which to do it automatically were still a few decades away.  Cooking, cleaning, and laundry all still had to be done by hand with rudimentary machines.  But by this era women’s rights had already come a long way.  Women could hold professions, like teaching, working in business, or even as doctors, and more opportunities were opening every year.  By the beginning of the twentieth century some states in the US had already given women the vote.

Our Little Secrets_smallYes, I have a special place in my heart for this era of our history.  I hope it shines through in the lives that my characters live.  Michael and Charlie, the hero and heroine of the first Montana Romance book, Our Little Secrets, are quite advanced for their time – Charlie has graduated from college and Michael imports goods for his general store from all across the country – but they are still a part of their time.  Eric’s trip to London in Fool for Love would have been unthinkable a few decades earlier, but by the 1890s he could have made that trip several times in his lifetime.

I may run the risk of my readers scratching their heads and wondering if the things I write about in Our Little Secrets and Fool for Love could really happen, but with a little research they’ll be able to see that yes, they could.  I love the 1890s and enjoy giving people a glimpse into a world that is not as unfamiliar as they might first imagine.

To learn more about Merry and her books, check out these links:

Social Networking links:


Twitter: @merryfarmer20


Amazon Page:

Book links:

The Loyal Heart

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The Faithful Heart

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The Courageous Heart

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Our Little Secrets

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Classic Rock Legends: Eric Clapton

I’m a Classic Rock gal. Now, I’ll listen to some Country tunes. Lady Antebellum, Faith Hill, and Toby Keith are some of the Country acts I enjoy. I adore Adele’s smoky vocals, and there’s even room in my musical library for Lady Gaga and the Black Eyed Peas. But nothing gets my blood pumping like some good old-fashioned Classic Rock. And who better to epitomize Classic Rock’s streamlined, unsynthesized brilliance than Slowhand himself, Eric Clapton.

Eric Clapton is without a doubt one of my all-time favorite artists. I’d pay to see the man play scales, for crying out loud. Rolling Stone ranked Clapton second only to Jimi Hendrix in its list of 100 greatest guitarists of all time. The only three-time inductee to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame (as a solo artists, and as a member of the Yardbirds and Cream), Clapton is a true rock-and-roll legend whose talent is timeless and enduring.

My husband and I were privileged to see Eric Clapton perform on April 6 in Pittsburgh, the last stop on his North American tour. After a terrific opening set from the Wallflowers (wow, a Grammy winning band as an opening act…what a bonus!), including Eric Clapton sitting in with Jakob Dylan and company to join them on their final number, Clapton took the stage for a solid two hours. No flashy set. No costume changes. No light show. Just a phenomenally talented man surrounded with outstanding musicians, doing what he’s done so well for decades. For me, the highlight of the show as the acoustic set. Layla, Wonderful Tonight, Lay Down Sally, and a song that never fails to bring tears to my eyes, Tears in Heaven. For those of you who aren’t familiar with the background of this song, Tears in Heaven was Clapton’s way of expressing his grief over the tragic death of his son Conor. Clapton’s poignant feelings elevate this song to a ballad that touches my heart every time. Eric Clapton is a tremendously gifted musician with a soulful sound that hasn’t diminished over the years. This wasn’t our first Eric Clapton concert. And it will likely not be our last.

Who are your “must see” musicians? Are you a Country gal, or an Alternative aficionado? Leave a comment for a chance to win this week’s prize, a $5 Amazon gift card. A winner will be selected at random from those who leave comments on this week’s (April 8 – April 12) posts on Sunday, April 14. Please check back on Monday, April 15 to see if you’re the winner.



Monday, Monday – Zombies and Heroes and a Mad Man, Oh My!

A blog about zombies isn’t typical romance writer fare. Not exactly a topic to conjure thoughts of love and sweet nothings and happily-ever-afters. But this is a special Monday – the Monday after the season finale of The Walking Dead. Yes, I must confess – I’m a Dead Head, 2013 style.

Since the first episode premiered on Halloween 2010, I have been riveted to every episode. The Walking Dead is one of the most gripping shows on television. The ensemble cast brings characters to life with many fascinating nuances, displaying strengths, weaknesses, and vividly portraying the good in humans – and the evil. This season has emphasized a richly-drawn villain, the Governor. Portrayed by the ruggedly attractive David Morrissey, the Governor’s a complex character, alternating between protector and diabolical mad man, an enemy whose machinations compound the perils the small band of survivors of a zombie apocalypse must face. The Governor’s an intriguing threat, intelligent and ruthless, and yet, there’s a hint of the man he’d been before the zombie onslaught tore away any mercy he ever possessed.

As with most season finales, this week’s episode presented an agonizing cliff hanger. I can’t say I didn’t see it coming – after all, that’s the genius in a serial. Just as a gripping book makes you want to turn the pages, a well-done serial makes you want to keep tuning in. But the appeal of this series goes beyond well-executed hooks. The heroes and heroines of The Walking Dead have undergone major changes since the series began. The character arcs in this series are, in my important, far more important than the zombie makeup (which is indeed impressive) or the death toll with each episode.

The heroes and heroines have evolved since the story’s inception, creating a fascinating portrait of humans growing through adversity and tragedy. One of my favorite characters is Daryl, the crossbow-wielding tough guy with a heart of gold. Daryl’s far from a conventional hero, but he’s the stuff of a romantic’s dreams. Hardened and intense, he’s loyal, courageous, and displays a subtle sensuality that’s immensely appealing. I’m not the only one who finds Daryl immensely appealing….not if Facebook postings about the character are any indication. Daryl’s got the right stuff to be a romantic hero.

Walking Dead fans out there, who’s your favorite character? Why? Which character can you picture as inspiration for a romance novel? Don’t watch The Walking Dead? Who’s a great, unconventional hero or heroine you’d like to share? Leave a comment, and you’ll be entered for a weekly drawing for $5 Amazon gift card. One lucky commenter on my blog postings this week will be selected for the prize. The winner will be announced on Sunday, April 7.

Thursday Thirteen – Thirteen Reasons I’m Glad the World Didn’t End on December 21 & A Giveaway

Okay, admit it – last week this time, somewhere in the back of your mind, there was a nagging little thought scratching at the surface of your brain. December 20, 2012…only one more day on the Mayan calendar until time ran out. Now of course, the Mayans didn’t have leap years and daylight savings time and leap seconds and all that good stuff, so logically, we knew it couldn’t possibly be accurate…after all, if they’d been right, we would have run out of time a while back. But still, there was an intriguing sense of mystery…like the mystery of what’s actually in a Twinkie that keeps it springy and fresh for what seems like eternity. The very slim chance that that Mayans knew something we didn’t toyed with our imaginations just a bit. So, I have to confess I breathed a sigh of relief when December 22, 2012 came and went for my friends down-under. There had been a warped sense of comfort knowing that if the world was going to come to a screeching, fiery halt, I could sit back and watch it on CNN before Gozer the Gozerian (yes, I’ve seen Ghostbusters way too many times…I have a mad, impetuous crush on Bill Murray) or Godzilla or a giant asteroid or whatever was to bring our doom arrived in the mountains of Pennsylvania. After all, it’s great to get head-of-line privileges at theme parks…not so great where an apocalypse is concerned.

But December 21, 2012 came and went, and the world as we know it is still here. Now, of course, that means that I will indeed have to pay the bills incurred in purchasing presents to put under the tree, but that’s a small tradeoff for continuing to exist. Here are 13 reasons I’m glad the world didn’t end (not necessarily in order of importance):

1.  My Christmas Eve tradition of watching National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation. Clark Griswold is my husband’s inspiration for exterior illumination.

Jinxie hat22. The joy of seeing my cat in her jaunty little Santa cap. Of course, that joy is short-lived (about 30 seconds before she manages to tear it off), but it’s something.

3. I would have missed the joy of adding new books onto my shiny new e-reader.

4. I still haven’t seen Les Miz…definitely on my “must do” list.

5. The joy of watching my family gathered for Christmas Eve dinner. Actually makes the agony of cooking it almost worth it .

6. I have at least 3 stories percolating in my head that I want to write in 2013.

7. This is my first winter surrounded by snowy mountains. I plan to enjoy this beauty.

8. I’ve conquered my fear of flying…seriously, I’m not being metaphorical here…and I intend to rack up some travel miles in the next few years.

9. So many books I want to read…and more wonderful romances being published every week. I need all the time I can get.

10. I can’t wait to see the new adaptation of The Great Gatsby. It’s one of my all-time favorite books.

11. There’s a new Ryan Gosling movie coming out in January.

12. I’ve never learned to ski…this year, I might.

13. I have Twinkies stockpiled just in case…

Of course, I have many more reasons to be thankful the world is still here. I love my family and want to spend many more years with them, and I’m blessed with terrific friends near and far. Laughter is an abundant commodity in my life, and I’m so grateful for all my blessings. But no one wants to read something sappy right now. We’ve had enough to stomach with all the “my family is perfect, wish yours was too” holiday letters that come disguised as Seasons Greetings this time of year.

What are some of your favorite reasons to be glad the Earth continues to exist? Leave a comment for a chance to win an ecopy of Love Potion #7. One commenter will be chosen at random. I’ll post the winner on New Year’s Eve…be sure to leave your email addy so I can contact you.

Happy Holidays!