Monday, March 30, 2015

Come Winter

Clare Gutierrez

A lowly maidservant. A disguised fugitive. A savior to the poor and endangered. A queen.

Such is the paradox of Lady Caterina Tabor, an extraordinary young girl who, en route to England, finds herself captured and at the mercy of a stern and powerful lord. Forced to work as a common kitchen maid in the dank halls of Dermoth Castle, Caty dreams of her past as a free and autonomous maiden with a bright future in the English courts—did fate have other plans?

This early trial is but the first in a litany of shocking tribulations; imprisoned, abused, accused of sorcery, and kidnapped, Caty’s life is for so long anything but charmed—but you can’t keep a soaring heart shackled. As we follow this misunderstood maiden's journey through both the unexpected, electrifying joys of new love and the pain of mind-boggling adversity, we become eyewitnesses to the astonishing way she not only transforms herself but enchants, inspires, and invigorates those around her.

Spanning decades of castle life, treacherous journeys, bloody battles, and heartache, Come Winter is a sweeping yet personal tale of a brave woman who at once embodies and transcends the prescribed and oftentimes oppressive roles her society demanded. Let Clare Gutierrez (author of Dancing with the Boss) curate your voyage back to the Scottish highlands of ages past—a time and place in which simply staying alive constituted a noble adventure, and becoming a patron of the oppressed and the impoverished could make you a hallowed queen.

Ever so often, and not nearly as often as my longing heart would desire, I stumble across a true diamond amongst the many crystals and gemstones that make their way to my desk.  When I read the synopsis for Come Winter, it sounded intriguing. 
Once I opened the book and began to fall into the spell of the first lines of the story, I realized that this was going to be something more than just another historical novel.  Within pages I knew I had found a master of the written word.  The words seemed to have slid off her pen and onto the written page with a magic all their own.  They wove their own tapestry and came off the page in such imagery that my mind’s eye was a rolling screen throughout the story.
Clare demonstrated a great appreciation for the plight of noble women during the early mid ages when they were but chattel of their lords and kings, to be traded and passed on as part and parcel of the holdings.  Though this subject has been demonstrated in many a novel, I have never seen it set as the central theme, nor presented so passionately through the eyes of a woman of noble birth as it was in Come Winter. 
Katy, the heroine of the book, was a woman of strength, a lady of great passion and one who had the capability to love deeply.  She was a unique lady of her time, having received a well rounded education, speaking several languages, reading and writing in the same, a healer, and a leader.  But because she was a woman, she was but an item to be owned, to be traded and bartered by parent, captor, until she finally obtained the highest position that a woman could obtain, Queen.  Even when she reach this vaulted position, she found she was still but a possession, a captive, and at the pleasure of her lord and master, the king.  She would never be free.
Clare took the time to develop her characters to give them the breath of life and to allow the reader to see what it was to live, through their eyes. We learned to feel their pain and despair as well as their joys and ecstacies.  The POV was not limited to that of Katy, but also that of the men who were a part of her adult life through the years.  It added an additional dimension to the characters, giving them well rounded perspectives and allowing the narrative to provide a complete picture of the story as it moved ever forward through the years, first from France to Scotland, then to Spain and finally to Italy. 
After finishing Come Winter, out of curiosity, I looked up to see how many books Clare Gutierrez has written and only found one addition book published in 2012.  I believe Clare has the talent to become a writing force to contend with.  Her ability to write a believable historical novel, not so much one that was based on factual events, but one that nailed it, on living conditions of the time.  Her style is much that of Michelle Moran, or Phillipa Gregory.  It is rich in imagery and full bodied prose that throws the reader into the Age of the setting without actually forcing them to try to deal with terms and language they do not know or understand.  Most of all she leaves you wanting more.  You cannot ask for better than that.  This is a must read book for any historical, romance, adult fiction, woman’s fiction fan.  FIVE STARS

Why did your choose this story to write?
The story unfolded on its own. I had the beginning in my head but needed a time and place were such a thing could take place. A little research, such as the wifenapping, and I was off running.  While doing research to find a way to use the scenes I had in my head, I kept returning to the very great difficulty women have faced in every 'age' in history. The research gave me LOTS of ingredients for a story. The way I write is, I suppose, a little strange. As I begin to put into words the story in my mind, the characters take on a life of their own. Caty developed in just such a way. As she moved through her life, the world around her changed.

Do you have a love affair with history?
I do love historical movies, books, architecture etc. 
I noticed that you live on a wonderful preserve and ranch in Texas.  Can you tell us a little about it?
My husband is from the Valley, as this part of Texas is affectionately called. When his dad became ill, he requested Beto come home. We did. The preserve/ranch we have is not where we actually live. It's a long distance from where his office was located..about 50 miles. He bought the ranch with the idea in mind to create a place were people could go to photograph wildlife without the land around changing. A place where the wildlife could live without man's intrusion. We could not have imagined how much people would enjoy our ranch.

What was the title of your first book?  Synopsis in one paragraph?
My first book is titled Dancing with the Boss.  In the American Southwest, criminal organizations from all over the world conspire to control everything from human trafficking to drug running and gun smuggling. Caught in the midst of all this is the smart and sassy Annie, the owner of a rare-art dealership in Arizona. In a chance encounter, Annie meets Tony, a veritable gangster and mafioso who finds the brutal nature of his work at odds with his growing feelings for Annie. But when Annie learns that her brother Allen, a former special ops agent for the FBI, has gotten himself into some deep trouble, she finds an unexpected ally in Tony.

Do you already have another book floating in your head? or on paper yet?
 Whenever I am at a corner in my writing, and can't decide how to get around it, I work on something else. Consequently, I have several other projects on my MacBook Pro. 

Does storytelling run in your family?
Storytelling was not in my family that I know of, however, my mother made certain we all had tons of reading material, although we were on a ranch miles from any library. Granted, I read, reread and reread again the books, but they were always there. After my mother died, I found a notebook with short, two verse poems. Just as she was, they are gentle.

Where have I found help?
 I subscribe to several periodicals for writers. Although certainly not everything is useful, they do provide a great deal of information, both in the arena of doing the work itself and the arena of trying to get as clean a copy as possible before submission. Oh, and I'm sure everyone already knows this, but Google is a GREAT source for research. 

 How important is research?
 As important as the story itself.

Don't give up. Keep typing, writing (I write on planes, in motels, etc) and talking. It does come together.


Clare Gutierrez grew up on a cattle ranch in rural Colorado as one of four children. A registered nurse, she now lives in the Rio Grande Valley of southern Texas. Together with her husband, a medical doctor, they host first-class photographers the world over at Santa Clara Ranch—a 300-acre wildlife sanctuary for native species, some of which are unique to the area.


Author: Kelly Hall
Title: The Legend of the Light Keeper
Series: The Light Keeper Series
Publication Date: March 25, 2015
Publisher: Booktrope

After a hurricane destroys her home, Lily Jordan is ready for life to get back to normal. That would be easy if her mother’s recent engagement hadn’t landed her in a house along Southeast Texas’ most haunted ghost road.

The secluded scenic road is steeped in rich history and legends, but when Lily is given an old diary on her birthday, will she find that those legends hold more for her future than she’s bargained for?

With the help of new friends, Hunter and Owen, and forbidden love, Talon, will she uncover dark secrets from the past and find the key to her own gifts?

Is it fate or circumstance that brought her to her new home?

Normal gives way to the paranormal in book one of the Light Keeper series where mystery and suspense will keep you guessing until the very last page.

Karen Laird

Based on a local Southeast Texas legend, this delightful YA Paranormal novel kept this young at heart reviewer entertained from page one till I closed the cover at the end of the book.  There was not two storylines, but three that managed to intertwine their way through the novel as I found myself flipping the pages as quickly as I could read.  It was a more than a wild ride on the back of the motor bike as I tried to keep up with the breakneck speed as the teens raced along without thought for life or limb in search of the mystical light that haunted  young Hunter’s dreams. 
Ms Hall took the time to develop the relationship between her characters.  She built layer upon layer between the known and unknown of her plots, adding depth and mystic to the story.  Much like a rose, as each petal opened out, a new one was exposed revealing more to the story, and exposing more and more of the beauty of the lovely blossom till you finally saw the flower in its full beauty.
It was a story of family, its ties and its strengths.  It was a story of unrequited loved and a love that would not die.  It was a story of greed and the downward spiral of its path.  Finally, it was a story of joy and hope for what life had to offer and what life could be.
Simply, but well written.  A book easily enjoyed by all ages. A mystery, a love story, a para-normal, a legend, but mostly a delightful weekend read.

Kelly Pic Author Bio:

Kelly Hall was born and raised in Southeast Texas, and lives in a small town just a stone’s throw from the ghost road where her Light Keeper series is based. When she’s not busy writing, or spending time with her husband and two sons, this self-proclaimed creative junkie dabbles in many different forms of art, including cake decorating and mixed media.  
Author Links:


This tour was organized by Good Tales Book Tours.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Stillwater Rising - A Book Review


Steena Holmes

After losing her son in an elementary school shooting that devastates the tight-knit community of Stillwater Bay, Jennifer Crowne finds herself unable to settle back into her role of perfect stay-at-home mom and committee organizer. Meanwhile, her best friend, Mayor Charlotte Stone, struggles to keep the town together, and Charlotte’s husband, the school principal, may not be the hero everyone thinks him to be.
As they try to heal from this irrevocable trauma, Jenn and Charlotte find themselves at a crossroads—within the town and within their friendship. For Jenn, broken and grieving, there is no going back, and she demands that the school be closed so that she can bury the past. Yet Charlotte is equally desperate to hold the town together, fighting the school closure and helping the shooter’s mother regain her place in the community. Jenn and Charlotte’s relationship is put to the ultimate test as each weighs her own interests against the bonds of their friendship.

Not every author is willing or has the compassion and heart to take on the subject matter of a school shooting.  Even more so, a school shooting from the view point of a mother’s heart.
Steena Holmes did just that.  When I picked up the book, I did so with great trepidation and an XXL box of Kleenex.  Was I ready to read a story about great traumatic loss?  Was I ready to watch families melt down into ash as the events of the frightful day took its toll on their lives and the lives of the town in which they lived? 
Maybe I need to insert a codicil here.  I am married to a retired Law Enforcement Officer.  He was shot in the line of duty and survived, but we spent the rest of his years on the force, and the years after he retired working with other families who’s LEO didn’t survive.  I know traumatic death.  I have lived it.  I have dealt with it.  With this said, I knew this story could possibly bring up deep emotions and nightmares.
Within pages I realized that this story was not a graphic novel.  Ms. Holmes was not out to tell a story of blood and gore.  She was sharing a story of grief and loss.  A story of darkness that could pull a soul down. 
The story centered around three mothers.  One mother who was on a long slow slide into the darkness of loss.  One mother, the pastor’s wife, who was forgiving and so focused on helping other deal with their pain, she locked hers away, even from herself.  The third mother was the mother of the shooter.  She too, was slowly falling into the morass of dark despair.  Her ostracization by members of the community with vandalism to her home added to her downward spiral.
The slow dance of sorrow was punctuated by interactions of well meaning (and some not so well meaning) neighbors and towns people. As within any well written book, and as it is in real life, no man is an island.  These women did not suffer alone. Their suffering was just a single layer of the many layers of pain that spread and over-lapped in the small community.  Each point of pain affecting another and each point of strength drawing from those around, as they sought to reach up towards the light of hope.  As the view point pulled out, the reader could see that intimate story of these ladies’ sorrow was woven into the story of families, and an entire town trying to recover from this great crisis among their people. 
Sniggling through the wonderful story line, much like a jagged gouge winding through the edges of the story, there is a second hidden agenda, a second story line begging for attention.  But can we find the threads?  Can we find the clues to unravel the mystery before it is too late and causes all the hard work towards recovery to come unglued?
Steena Holmes was masterful in her presentation of such delicate material.  For material such as this is sure to wrench every mother’s heart.  Her characters’ pain and despair was authentic and compelling and left this reader reaching for the box of Kleenex on more than one occasion.  The attention to the small detail that only a mother in pain would notice, like the small memorial on the side of the road with some toys and toy boats, just like her son used to play with brought both the main character and me to our knees with the force of sorrow that tore at our soul.
I would give Stillwater Rising a full FIVE STARS and THREE BOXES OF KLEENEX for one of the most heart wrenching reads I have read in a long time.

    Steena Holmes

NY Times & USA Today Bestselling Author!

Growing up as a small town Canadian girl, there wasn't much to do but ride your bike, hang out with friends on the beach and daydream. I always wanted to write but never dreamed it was something I could do as a career. I love to travel and fell in love with the sheep covered hillside, old castles and romantic history of Scotland and England. I dream about waking up in Tuscany and touring small town shops in the south of France with my husband, of placing my toes in the ocean and experiencing history first hand. As a mother with three daughters, I'm learning that teaching them to pursue their dreams is a lasting legacy. I love to wake up to the Rocky Mountains, will forever enjoy the taste of coffee and chocolate and can't imagine the day when a story doesn't unfold in my heart. Living a life with passion and pursuing dreams is a life well lived.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015


Shade Tree Book Reviews and Blogs

April 2
Duet for Three Hands
Tess Thompson

April 7
                         A Sparrow in Tarezin
Kristy Cambron
Book Release Date!!!

April 13
By the River
Jae Carvel

April 16
The Barefoot Queen
Ildefonso Falcones
An In Depth Book Review

April 18
Huntress of Thornbeck Forest
Melanie Dickenson
An In Depth Book Review

April 24
The Wilde Wood
Posie Graeme-Evans
An In Depth Book Review

April 26
Senseless Acts of Beauty
Lisa Verge Higgins
An In Depth Book Review

April 30
Chain of Event
Frederick Olson
An In Depth Book Review

Join us for these and more, as they come in during the month of April.

Monday, March 23, 2015

The Pearl Locket - A Book Review


Katherine McGurl


We’ll Meet Again…
When Ali inherits her great-aunt’s house she immediately moves her whole family in, despite the warnings that there is something strange about the place. Unfazed Ali begins redecorating, going through the rooms, making each one her own with the help of her daughter, Kelly. But when under the wallpaper in Kelly’s new room they discover a scrawled message from 1944 Ali begins to question the history of the house as she knows it.
Her family has always seemed so picture perfect, not a blemish or a secret to be found. Yet, this discovery throws her into confusion and Ali begins to question exactly what she knows about her family and the mysteries they have kept hidden…

I love historical romance novels and love era romance novels … okay, I am a romantic at heart.  The Pearl Locket was a delightful story of love under duress as young hearts fight against parental constraints that keep them apart during WWII.
After moving into her great aunt’s home that her mother had inherited that had been the family home that her grandmother had grown up in, Kelly found her perfect bedroom.  When she discovers Joan love Jack” written on the wall of her room underneath some peeling wallpaper, she finds she is drawn more and more to finding who Joan and Jack are.
While never going through the mechanizations of what you would expect for a paranormal novel, there was no missing the experience of watching the 21th century young teenage girl falling under the influence of someone or something from the past.  The storyline was well written, just like in real life, none of the family, nor did Kelly (the teenage girl) understand what was happening.  Kelly only knew she had to find out who Joan was and what happened to her and Jack.
The novel was well crafted with the two storylines inter-twined and moving between WWII and current day as more was discovered about Joan and Jack and back to the past, as their love story progressed.  The connection between the two was masterful and held my attention all the way to the end with a wonderful surprising ending.
The Pearl Lock cost me a night’s sleep, for I looked over and it was three in the morning and I forced myself to finish it the next day.  The sentiment of the love story wrenched my heart time and again as I watched Joan and Jack struggle with finding a way to make life happen for themselves.  I would rate this novel a full FOUR PLUS STARS.  I highly recommend it to fans of historical romance or pararomance. 

Kathleen McGurl lives in Bournemouth, UK, with her husband and teenage sons. She always wanted to write, and for many years was waiting until she had the time. Eventually she came to the bitter realisation that no one would pay her for a year off work to write a book, so she sat down and started to write one anyway. Since then she has published two novels with Carina UK and self-published a third. She has also sold dozens of short stories to women's magazines, and written three How To books for writers. She works full time in the IT industry and when she's not writing, she's often out running, slowly.

Twitter: @KathMcGurl

Sunday, March 22, 2015

The Ruby Brooch - A Review


Katherine Logan

As a child, I fell in love with history, then later as a young adult, I started reading historical fiction. A passion for history and a fascination with mysteries and time travel led to writing time travel romance.  

One of my favorite writing experiences happened a few years ago during the Christmas holidays. I was working on the stampede scene in THE RUBY BROOCH and I needed gun information. So I went to a local store. My first visit ever! The store was crowded with holiday shoppers. I stood at the door not knowing what to do. The cashier asked if he could help me. I said, "I need a gun that will kill as many cows as possible in the shortest amount of time." The store went completely silent. The men stared at me. I had a lot of explaining to do. After they discovered I was a writer, everyone wanted to give me gun advice. 
From the Inside Flap
From the white-plank fenced pastures of Lexington, Kentucky, to the Bay of San Francisco, The Ruby Brooch, a saga steeped in family tradition and mystery, follows a young woman's amazing journey as she tries to solve the murder of her birth parents 160 years in the past.

I love a good historical romance, but throw in Western Historical Romance, and I am a sucker.  I grew up teething on Louis L’Amour.  Despite the preconceived notions that he is a men’s cowboy author, his novels were full of rich western history and were filled with actual magical locations throughout the West.  He was also not afraid of a heavy dollop of romance and believed very much in “happily ever after”.
I feel that I have found another magical spinner of western romance in Katherine Logan, plus the added aura of just a touch of fantasy with the fun of time travel as her story whisks the reader back and forth between the mid-1800’s and the current day twenty-first century.  The characters that Ms. Logan introduced us to were bigger than life, as all western heroes should be, when the heroine found herself back in the 1800s.  What was fun was that those bigger than life heroes were quite ready for the strong headed, thoroughly modern heroine that was doing her best to fit into a more docile role of the 1800’s woman, and not quite making it. 
It was easy to fall into the story and fall in love with the hero as the storyline rocked along on the Oregon Trail on the un-cushioned seat of the heroine’s buckboard.  Being the brilliant woman that she was, she brought taboo items from the 21st century back with her to make sure she could survive the wilds of the Wild West and in doing so saved lives of others around her.  Her training as a volunteer Paramedic definitely came to her rescue on more than one occasion, too.
As with any great western there were Villains, and the Villains in The Ruby Brooch were the ones responsible for killing the heroine’s parents…or were they?  The mystery of the letter left to the heroine, along with the Ruby Brooch that transported her between centuries left the heroine with few clues and an agonizing need to find the answer to who she was…
Like the giant of western writers, Ms. Logan painted fantastic scenery displays of the west that the wagon train traveled through, providing the reader with glimpses of the beauty of an untarnished land as she painted her landscapes in bright colored strokes across the pages.  Likewise, she spent equal time developing the personalities of the main characters giving us glimpses of the many layers of who they were and who they longed to be. 
The love story was not a disappointment.  Like a good loaf of homemade bread, Ms Logan introduced all the necessary ingredients and then added them to the mix as needed, adding the yeast of yearning for love to mix in and a large dollop of sugar to feed the love and help it to grow and infuse through the rest of the mixture.  As time and the story moved forward, she message and kneaded the growing attraction and love, then laid it aside to perk and rise.  Later she brought it out and pounded that love flat with a beating of stress and strife as the story went through stressful period… For as with any love, love grows and is beat down, but true love grows back, sweeter and better than before.  In the end, her final presentation was as deliciously sweet and comforting as a freshly baked loaf of bread, fresh from the oven. 
By the time I had finished consuming the novel, much like a freshly baked loaf of bread (smile), I was longing for another fresh loaf, hot out of the oven.  I hope we are not long in waiting. 
This novel was a wonderful FIVE STAR RATING. Katherine Logan will be an author I will be re-visiting and looking to read again.

Katherine grew up in Louisville, Kentucky and attended college in New Jersey, where she earned a BA in Psychology and a minor in Criminal Justice. After attending the Philadelphia Institute for Paralegal Training, she returned to Central Kentucky and worked as a real estate and tax paralegal. Katherine is an avid reader, a marathoner, and lives in Lexington, Kentucky.

Website: www.KatherineLLogan 
Blog: www.KatherineLowryLogan 
Facebook: Katherine Lowry Logan, author
Twitter: @KathyLLogan

Wednesday, March 18, 2015


About the Book


Author: D.S. Schmeckpeper

Title: Destiny's Flame, A Land of Destiny Novel (Book 2)

Word Count: 95,000

Genre: Epic Fantasy

Release date: April 21st, 2015 (tentative)


What happens after the battle is done? Do you think everyone lives happily ever after?

Lumernia has been left divided, leaderless. The ensuing power struggle cost the city more than just the knightly order, leaving the land and its people unguarded. Is the conquering army content with their prize, or do they have their sights set on more?

Celeste, Tarnelius, Arcus and Siobhan are back. After saving the land of Altierra from the threat of the ultimate evil, they expected life to return to normal and made plans to pay respects to a fallen friend. No good deed ever goes unpunished, though, and their actions have many consequences. Kuunkierto was defeated, but an ancient pact was broken and the first calls of war have sounded. Will they be able to right the wrongs of the world once more? Will they be strong enough to face what is coming?

Through the flames of war, new destinies arise.

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Victoria awoke with a start. She stared up at the ceiling, trying to figure out where she was. Turning slowly toward the center of the room, she was shocked to find herself face-to-face with Joseph, who was sitting on the floor with his back against the wall. He had apparently moved the end table to the side at some point during the night.
“Good morning, beautiful.”
She sat up and stretched. “Morning. Have you been waiting for me to wake up?”
“More or less. I don’t sleep well. Night before last in Kayalost was the most rest I’ve had in a long time.”
“So instead of sleeping, you decided to watch me sleep?”
A ghost of a smile flickered over his face. “You looked just like an angel.”
“I don’t understand you at all. You are full of mixed signals. You kiss me with such passion and you watch me sleep, tell me I look like an angel … but you also push me away when I try to take our relationship further.”
“Give me time.”
“Since when do you need time?”
Joseph turned away. “See? That’s why I need time. I don’t want to make a mess of things. There is no rush. Right now, when you think of me, you only think of the women that came before you. You think of how I didn’t wait. You aren’t thinking of us at all. You aren’t thinking that maybe I don’t want a mere night of passion, that maybe I want something deeper. I guess the question is, what do you want?”
“Joseph, the only thing that I’m thinking of is that I don’t want to wait. You said it yourself: ‘nothing in this life is guaranteed.’ Can’t we enjoy however long we have together?”
Joseph closed his eyes, seemingly lost in thought. For a moment, she was sure she’d won him over, but then he shook his head. “Just give me a little time, all right? I want everything to be special. You’re special. Being with you is special.”
“You’re infuriatingly charming, do you know that?”
He smiled a crooked smile at her. “One more thing for you to love about me.”
She patted the bed next to her. He rose to his feet and sat down. She climbed onto his lap and kissed him gently on the lips.
Joseph deepened the kiss, his hand rising up to cup her face, while his other hand held her in place on his lap. She tangled her fingers in his hair, shifting slightly. He groaned.
Pulling away, she murmured, “I do, you know.”
“What’s that, Vicki?”
“I do love you. You were right, and it is too fast, but something about you calls to me, to my very soul. I–I’ve never felt anything like this before. It frightens me.”
Joseph stared at her, a look of stunned happiness on his face. He didn’t speak a word, and after a few awkward moments, she pressed herself into him once more, kissing him with all the passion she wished she could verbalize. She gave him a little shove and he fell backward, landing on his back on the bed, with her atop him.
“Do you love me, too, Joseph?” she breathed.
Joseph rolled over, sliding her beneath him in the process. He kissed her chastely once, his weight resting on his elbows. “I do, Vicki. I tried to tell you last night. You know what else?”
“I think I’ve had enough time now.” He kissed her again, this time with an urgency that made her blood run hot.
Copyright © 2015 by D.S. Schmeckpeper


About the Author

D.S. Schmeckpeper (a.k.a. Dottie and Steve Schmeckpeper) live in Florida, USA. They are a husband and wife team who work together to create the Land of Destiny series. Both have loved the Fantasy genre for many years and have wasted way too much time playing fantasy-based games. Dottie was a vocal performance major in college, before she decided a liberal arts major was not for her. Ironic, huh? They have two wonderful twin boys, who are three at the time of this publication. They are the light of their parents’ lives. Steve does the artwork and comes up with many of the story concepts. Dottie brings the ideas to life.  When not working, writing or drawing, the pair love to take their children to Florida’s many amusement parks, and can often be found there.

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Tuesday, March 17, 2015

The Blue Bird Bet

A themed tour through Prism Book Tours.

We're blitzing the GRAND FINALE for
The Bluebird Bet
By Cheryl Harper

Did you miss any of the posts about thie sweet romance about two people on opposite sides of what to do with the Bluebird Bed-and-Breakfast? If so, go back and check them out now!

2. What do you hope readers take with them when they read your book? 
I always want to give readers a chance to laugh along with my characters and to have a happy smile after they finish the story.

Wishful Endings - Excerpt
“What are you going to do with the Bluebird? I spent some great summers there, so if you’re thinking of selling, I’d love to make an offer.” 

At that moment, anyone checking Elaine’s pulse would definitely be concerned. She’d been working and saving forever without any notion what she was hoping for.

Now she knew. This inn was meant to be hers.

JoJo's Corner - Review
I enjoyed this author's writing style, she really drew me into the beautiful setting and sold me on these wonderful characters and their story. Ill definitely be looking for more books from Cheryl in the future. . . . If you enjoy sweet romance, don't miss this!

Colorimetry - Excerpt
Elaine felt a flutter of hope. The Bluebird was a dream she could go after. Once she’d decided to pursue something, she rarely lost. She liked her odds all of a sudden. “Fine. I’d love to visit.” 

Babs Book Bistro - Excerpt
Nothing felt comfortable about this whole situation, but it seemed like the right thing to say. She wanted the Bluebird. She should make him an offer. But he wanted the best for his son and for the Bluebird. She would encourage him, even if it went against her nature.

i blog 4 books - Review
The Bluebird Inn sounds like such a peaceful place, and the author did a great job of making me want to drop everything and head over for a long weekend! Since that's not possible, I'll have to settle for visiting through the pages of The Bluebird Bet. An enjoyable read, I recommend for fans of sweet, contemporary romances.

I Am A Reader - List & Excerpt
Five Things I Know about War Photojournalist Dean Collins
5. He left Tall Pines as fast as he could. Changing beds and scrubbing toilets at the bed-and-breakfast was never his idea of a life. Dodging bullets and telling important stories had fulfilled him, but he had to make a change before it killed him.

Katie's Clean Book Collection - Review
I enjoyed the setting and felt right at home there. . . . The story is full of  fun busybodies, with humorous moments, and I liked the way it all ended up. 

The Written Adventure - Excerpt
     For half a second, she considered checking the messages. Just because it had never been an emergency before didn’t mean today was the same. Except Nina would have correctly assessed the situation just like she’d diagnosed the next patient.
     Her mother could wait. Work could not.

Letters from Annie (Douglass) Lima - Excerpt
     Her mother waved a hand, a slightly rueful smile on her face. “Unless you want to do this all day, I’d move on, Dr. Watson. I keep hoping she’ll grow out of it, start asking for makeup and pop music.” 
     That was another reminder of the young Elaine—a mother who wanted her to be something she wasn’t.
     “Maybe she’ll be a doctor someday,” Elaine said.
     Hailey straightened her shoulders and smoothed down her skirt again. “I’m going to be the president someday.”
     Elaine studied her face. “Maybe you could be both.”
     Hailey brightened as if the idea of choosing had been a real problem.

Paranormal Books - List & Excerpt
Five Things I Know About The Bluebird Bet’s Dr. Elaine Watson
5. She’s ambitious, a hard worker, and needs to take some of her own advice. Whether it’s to finish medical school, establish the best practice in town, or restore the Bluebird Bed-and-Breakfast to its former glory, she won’t fail.

My Devotional Thoughts - Review
For a quick, sweetly-written romance, this could easily be your go-to book. Definitely recommend!

Getting Your Read On - Review
As I said, this is a sweet, gentle book.  It didn't pull my emotions in or cause my heart to pitter patter, but it was a good book.  The romance is soft and slow building.  The Bluebird sounds like the perfect place for a weekend getaway.

The Bluebird Bet (Welcome to Tall Pines # 2)The Bluebird Bet
(Welcome to Tall Pines #2)
Cheryl Harper
Adult Contemporary Romance
March 1st 2015 by Harlequin Heartwarming

Winning isn't everything...

To other people Dr. Elaine Watson never loses. Period. So she won't miss out on a chance to restore the Bluebird Bed-and-Breakfast. The owner's son, Dean Collins, seems just as determined as she is. A famous photojournalist, he hasn't been home in years, so why does he want to turn the Bluebird, a charming old B and B, into a fishing camp?

With just a few weeks to create the winning plan, Elaine has no choice but to spend time with the guy. She's drawn to the handsome, wounded man, but being with Dean would mean giving up the future she's been dreaming of... And Dr. Elaine Watson never gives up.

Amazon - Barnes & Noble - Harlequin

Cheryl Harper discovered her love for books and words as a little girl, thanks to a mother who made countless library trips and an introduction to Laura Ingalls Wilder's Little House stories. Cheryl enjoys strong characters that make her laugh. Now she spends her days searching for the right words while she stares out the window and her dog snoozes beside her.

Tour-Wide Giveaway

- $25 Amazon gift card (open internationally)
- Signed print copies of A Minute on the Lips & The Bluebird Bet (US only)
- 5 ebooks of The Bluebird Bet (to be gifted through Amazon or B&N)
Ends March 24th

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Prism Book Tours

Monday, March 16, 2015

Lean On Me - Guest Post


NYT Best-Selling



Somebody to Lean On
I hope the title makes you all start swaying and singing, too. No one should be doing karaoke alone. *grin* (C’mon, I wanna hear ya now, “We all need, somebody to lean on…”)
This writing gig is a tough journey. I tend to be pretty independent, but a decade and a half of doing this has proven — again and again — that this isn’t a career path I’d want to travel without a support system. That support system doesn’t have to traipse around with me in my daily life — virtual pals are great, too — although it’s nice to have both. What it does have to be is genuine. (I think we all know the sting of thinking someone’s a friend because they seem nice on the surface, only to find they’ve been talking about us behind our backs, feeling resentful when things are going our way or, even worse, gleeful when things aren’t.) But when you find someone truly supportive, I don’t think even the best writing tool available on Amazon is more effective at helping us keep working through those rough patches.
When I first began taking fiction writing seriously, my only support system was my family — specifically, my husband. (My son was too little back then to do anything other than shred my manuscript pages or, occasionally, chew on one.) I didn’t tell my parents, my husband’s parents or even my brother that I was working on a novel until after I’d finished writing by hand the first draft and typing it up. Once they knew, they were incredibly supportive, especially my husband’s mom, who must have been the world’s most wonderful mother-in-law. (She read and gave me feedback on THREE different drafts of my first dreadful, deservedly unpublished manuscript! And then the dear woman read my second manuscript. And my third. And my fourth. And half of According to Jane before she became too ill to continue…) My brother, who couldn’t be more of a macho-cool guy and a reader of only thrillers, surprised me by asking to read many of my early romance, chick-lit and women’s fiction efforts, too. My son, who is not allowed to read my books yet (!!), learned to give Mommy time to write uninterrupted and, when that failed, my husband — a god amongst men some days — learned that an evening of bonding (out of the house) with his son was right up there with chocolate, roses and whispered sweet nothings.
But strong support on the home front, while priceless, wasn’t the only kind I knew I needed. I somehow lucked into getting involved in the Chicago-North RWA chapter, and that branched out into meeting other aspiring writers online and, eventually, in person, from all around the world. I’ve been an RWA member since 2002, and I know I wouldn’t have become a published writer without the insight, encouragement and astute critiquing of my(critique partners (CPs). More than that, I wouldn’t have survived years of rejections or the whirlwind of release days and promo without the friends in my life — online and off — who’ve been there to talk me out of torching a problematic proposal in the fireplace, distract me from reading negative reviews with the promise of Almond Joy martinis or email me links to helpful articles or blog posts when they know it’ll give me valuable information.
And sometimes these wonderful people even invite me to guest blog on their websites. ;) (Thanks, Karen!!)
What about you? Who do you call on when, um, you need a hand? (Cue the music again…start swaying…) Who can you lean on?

Marilyn, thank you so very much for taking the time out of your busy schedule to drop by and give us a ray of sunshine during this blustery March season.  Reading one of your blogs is almost as entertaining as your novels.  I know that you love all things "Jane Austen", contemporary women's fiction, light comedy romance novels, and here recently (you termed it travel and adventure but...) romantic mystery.  Though your two books were as much intrigue and mystery as romance.  I loved them.

The Road and Beyond is Marilyn's most current novel.  
Here is a link to my review on the book.  Set on the scenic Hwy 66 from Chicago to LA, it is a road trip that will leave you breathless in more than one sense of the word.  FIVE STARS 

The Perfect Pair
The Perfect Bet

 This boxed set is a contemporary retelling of the Classic "Pride and Prejudice".  A rollicking sexy and fun read. 

SmashwordsAmazon, iBooksKobo, andB&N

Marilyn Brant is a New York Times & USA Today bestselling author of contemporary women’s fiction, romantic comedy, and mystery. She won RWA’s prestigious Golden Heart Award for her debut novel and was named Author of the Year (2013) by the Illinois Association of Teachers of English. She loves all things Jane Austen, has a passion for Sherlock Holmes, is a travel addict/music junkie, and lives on chocolate and gelato. Marilyn’s coming-of-age romantic mystery, THE ROAD TO YOU, was a Top 100 B&N bestseller and an homage to Route 66. Look for her newest contemporary romance series—“MIRABELLE HARBOR”—coming soon! Visit her online: