Saturday, November 22, 2014


#Medieval #Phoenix #Knight #RWA #Heart #Research @Barbara Bettis

Let me introduce Author Barbara Bettis. Barbara says, " I love creating stories of other times and places, of heroines ‘to die for’ and heroes to live for. And, of course, happy endings." 

Buy Links:
THE HEART OF THE PHOENIX:                                                  SILVERHAWK: 

Barbara, thank you for being my guest today. Here are some questions that will help us get to know you better:

1. IF I WERE YOU AND WROTE BOOKS, What would be the name of my last book or upcoming release? What genre and length. Do I have a tagline for that book?

If you were me, you’d be doing the happy dance, as I am over my latest book, which is my second and another medieval. This one is set in the weeks after King Richard I (the Lionheart) dies. It’s called The Heart of the Phoenix. Here’s the tagline: Some call him a ruthless mercenary; she calls him the knight of her heart.

2. IF I WERE YOU AND WROTE BOOKS, Would I be doing lots of research?

As you can see by the era in which my books are set, you’d be doing a lot of research! But I love it, perhaps a little too much. It’s fascinating, and so easy to get wrapped up in reading about different eras, in searching out their customs, dress—oh, and the politics! Sometimes it’s disconcerting to learn how ruthless and conniving people in power (or wanting power) could be. I can get so immersed in the world I’m investigating, I have to make a concerted effort to stop researching and—write.

3. IF I WERE YOU AND WROTE BOOKS, Do I belong to any writing groups, if so, why?

You would belong to several online historical interest groups, an RWA chapter (four hours away), and your local writers group, a growing organization of talented authors writing in a variety of genres. You’d also belong to a small, weekly critique group that has been together for six years. We meet at one of the member’s homes and read the pages we’ve produced in the last days.

The group began with three people who were determined to finish a book by the end of the year. We did. Not long after, we added a fourth member. The four of us have remained the core, although a couple or three others have come and gone during the years. When anyone new is invited, it’s with the understanding that they are serious about writing and completing their stories. (From the outside, it appears we may be just a social group. We’re not.) We try to maintain the number at five—six upon occasion.

We call ourselves the Tuesday Writers and we’ve grown quite close, as you might imagine. Everyone has published at least one book or short story. Ironically, we all write in different genres, although two of us may be setting stories in the same era very soon. We’re looking forward to that.

4. IF I WERE YOU AND WROTE BOOKS, Would I get excited over seeing my book cover for the first time?

Yes. A simple answer to describe a complex reaction. Except, my real excitement came with seeing the actual book. When my first one was published last year, the Tuesday after the the paperback version was available, my critique group surprised me with copies. I arrived at the meeting a bit late, rushed from work. When I walked into her home, the hostess said, “Before we begin, Barb, here,” and handed me a copy of the book. I hadn’t even had time to receive my own—this was my first look at the hard copy. I truly was stunned. I held it and just looked at it, and tears came. (Allergies, you know! J ) It was such an incredible experience. Then they all made me autograph their copies. Wonderful support and friendship like this is priceless.

5. IF I WERE YOU AND WROTE BOOKS, Do I have a favorite writing spot inside/outside my home, such as a chair, corner, desk, patio area, etc.

You do have a spot, an alternate to the desk. But first, thanks for walking along my writing path with me today. Hope you’ve enjoyed it as much as I have. Now let’s settle down in a favorite non-office writing spot here in the living room near the bay window. A warm fuzzy to cover your feet, a cup of hot tea at your elbow—happy writing.

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Tuesday, November 18, 2014


#North Carolina #Blue Ridge Parkway #Farmer's Market #Asia #South America #Write #Books @Ashantay Peters
Ashantay Peters is my quest today. Ashantay, thank you so much for taking the time to visit with us. I chuckled all the way through this interview and I know my readers are going to enjoy getting to know you better. 

Lynda, thank you for hosting me today. I love the focus of your new blog feature, and enjoyed answering your questions. To clarify one of those answers, I live in Western North Carolina, near Asheville, in the foothills of the mountains. This information will make more sense in a moment. I look forward to your reader’s comments!

IF I WERE YOU AND WROTE BOOKS, If I took a drive in the area I live, what might I see?           You’d see so much beauty your breath would get stuck in your lungs, or maybe in your throat until you remembered to respire. You’d be able to drive on the Blue Ridge Parkway when you wanted – a Kodak moment around every turn, no kidding. Or travel to picturesque small towns for a tasty brew – coffee or beer. Visit farmer’s markets and fruit stands for fresh produce. You could enjoy nature in whatever form you like best – active or contemplative. Or see a live artistic performance with renowned artists or talented amateurs. And don’t forget the crafts shows! There are plenty of potters, weavers, caners, soap makers, woodworkers, and metal crafters to appreciate. 

IF I WERE YOU AND WROTE BOOKS, What would I sincerely feel about editing, and editors? 
You’d enjoy the process. No, you’re not crazy! Your editor would be a person who’s opinion you respect, even as you groaned when seeing lots of comments. Those red lines and yellow splotches only mean you are working together to create an excellent product!

IF I WERE YOU AND WROTE BOOKS, Would I get excited over seeing my book cover for the first time? You’d be doing a happy dance every time a new cover came in. You’d have your cover(s) saved to your desktop so you could easily show the artwork to passersby and unwitting store clerks.

IF I WERE YOU AND WROTE BOOKS, Do I write for myself or my readers? You’d write for yourself first, and remember to explain the stuff for readers that you know so well you’ve forgotten to put it on the page. A win-win!

IF I WERE YOU AND WROTE BOOKS, Do I write better when I'm feeling great or feeling low? You write better when you’re feeling great, but you keep writing when you feel low and the process pulls you into a better place.

IF I WERE YOU AND WROTE BOOKS, Are there days I hate writing? You betcha! You feel like you’re in a hole, as if the words are jammed up somewhere, maybe lost in a forgotten part of Asia or the jungles of South America. Watch out for that python! Quick! Step away from the cliff! 

IF I WERE YOU AND WROTE BOOKS, Why did I start writing? If I can't write for an extended period of time, do I react in a weird manner? You’d start writing because you wanted to read stories about people like you. If you can’t write for an extended period of time, you go a little nutty, but no one notices because you were a tad off to begin with. The good news is you take your weirdness, make it funny, and no one knows your books are autobiographical in nature. Or maybe...well, you’re not admitting anything.

Ashantay, Where can my readers find your books and how can they follow you?
My books are available through  You may contact me at, and I promise not to stalk you. Or, check out Facebook to decide whether or not you like my posts.

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Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Book Review: COLLISION The Battle for Darracia by Michael Phillip Cash

About The Book:
The Darracia saga continues with all the key players spread out and searching for answers throughout the solar system. Prince V'sair struggles to hold his fractured kingdom together without help from his family. His stepbrother Zayden is on a vengeful hunt for his evil uncle Staf Nuen. Tulani navigates her two worlds trying to bring them together. Staf Nuen, the orchestrator of the original coup, is making unholy alliances with nefarious new allies. Like the comet zipping across the horizon, all the different factions are heading for a collision course that will test both their faith and power.

Lynda's Rating/Review:
Loved this second book every bit as much as I did the first of the series. The family struggles are intense, the author's world-building technique keeps me rooted in this fictional realm, and the romance is an extra bonus. Great story!

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Monday, November 3, 2014

Book Review: TRUTH BE TOLD by Jane Ryland

#Bodies #Confessions #Evicted #Fiction

About The Book:
Families unfairly evicted from their suburban homes, dead bodies found in vacant houses, and a shocking confession in a notorious cold case! Top-notch reporter Jane Ryland digs up the truth on these heartbreaking stories—and discovers a big-bucks scheme and the surprising players who will stop at nothing, including murder, to keep their goals a secret. Financial scheming, the power of money, our primal need for home and family and love. What happens when what you believe is true turns out to be a lie?

Lynda's Rating/Review:
The layered and twisting plots took me for a ride while I tried to figure out how the author was going to bring all the ends back together. The action felt believable and the pacing wasn't forced.There was a little something for every reader: family, some romance, and lots of crime and mystery. An enjoyable read.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Book Blast: SEAN’S SWEETHEART by Allie Kincheloe


Sean has spent five years cleaning up his life. He’s shoved his past behind him and built a profitable business in the town’s most popular dance club. Falling in love with a college sophomore wasn’t in his plans. But, from the moment he rescued Talia, she brings out his every protective instinct. He tries to resist getting involved on a personal level. Talia’s persistence, however, is stronger than his will.

Despite just ending an abusive relationship, Talia finds an instant connection with a man unlike any she’s dated before. Older, tattooed, and totally inappropriate for her, Talia couldn’t keep Sean off her mind, especially once he calls her “sweetheart” in that deep drawl of his.

When Talia is in danger, they discover just how strong their relationship is. Can Sean and his sweetheart make things last when horrors from their pasts come back to haunt them and family seems determined to keep them apart?

As a busy mother of five, Allie sneaks time to write between breakfast and tickles. Always a Kentucky girl at heart, she currently makes her home near Nashville. 

Author links:


Sean tried to call Talia for the sixth time that week.

“This is Talia, you know what to do.” But obviously she doesn’t or she’d answer her damn phone!

He hung up without leaving a message. He’d left messages earlier in the week. Sent a couple texts. No response. She was still pissed. But damn it, she’d kissed him. He just wanted to explain himself. Explain his reasons for pushing her away. But she wouldn’t answer his call. Again. Sean pulled his arm back to sling the damn phone at the wall, but he’d just have to replace it. His hand itched for a handset to slam down. Jabbing at the touchscreen would never satisfy like slamming a receiver down so hard the phone rang.

Sean tossed his phone on the table and sank down onto his couch with a sigh. One kiss and he acted like a lovesick puppy. Frustrated the hell out of him. He was a grown-ass man who should have better control over himself than that. Maybe it was a side effect of two years of self-imposed celibacy, you idiot, he chided himself. Not dating for five years while he got the club going seemed like a good plan. Until a beautiful, soft woman pressed her lips to his.

He never should have kissed her back. He should’ve shoved her away the moment she stepped between his legs. Should have, but didn’t. Oh, no, he pulled her tight to his chest and kissed her until they both gasped for air and he thought his lungs might collapse from lack of oxygen. Then he’d moved to that delectable throat, savoring the feel of her pulse beneath his lips. He’d marked her, leaving evidence of their passion on her pale skin. He’d thoroughly enjoyed her soft curves pressed against…

He had to get out of this apartment.


Allie will award a $10 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to one randomly selected winner via Rafflecopter during the tour, and a $10 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to one randomly selected host.

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Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Book Review: DEAREST DARLING by Andrea Downing

It's my pleasure to introduce Andrea Downing, an author I've enjoyed reading for some time. Her characters are the kind that linger on my mind, always unique, funny, and up for every kind of adventure. 
#western historical romance #cowboys #Andrea Downing #Wyoming #Jackson Hole

Genre: Western Historical Romance
Length: 82 Pages

About The Book
Stuck in a life of servitude to her penny-pinching brother, Emily Darling longs for a more exciting existence. When a packet with travel tickets, meant for one Ethel Darton, accidentally lands on her doormat, Emily sees a chance for escape. Having turned down the dreary suitors that have come her way, is it possible a new existence also offers a different kind of man?

Daniel Saunders has carved out a life for himself in Wyoming—a life missing one thing: a wife. Having scrimped and saved to bring his mail-order bride from New York, he is outraged to find in her stead a runaway fraud. Even worse, the impostor is the sister of his old enemy.

But people are not always as they seem, and sometimes the heart knows more than the head.

Author Bio:
Andrea Downing likes to say that when she decided to do a Masters Degree, she made the mistake of turning left out of New York, where she was born,  instead of right to the west, and ended up in the UK.   She eventually married there, raising a beautiful daughter and staying for longer than she cares to admit.  Teaching, editing a poetry magazine, writing travel articles, and a short stint in Nigeria filled those years until in 2008 she returned to NYC.  She now divides her time between the city and the shore, and often trades the canyons of New York for the wide open spaces of Wyoming.  Family vacations are often out west and, to date, she and her daughter have been to some 20 ranches throughout the west.  Loveland, her first book, was a finalist for Best American Historical at the 2013 RONE Awards.  Lawless Love, a short story, part of The Wild Rose Press ‘Lawmen and Outlaws’ series, was a finalist for Best Historical Novella at the RONE Awards.   Dearest Darling, a novella, is part of The Wild Rose Press Love Letters series, and comes out Oct. 8th and Dances of the Heart, another full length novel, comes out in the next few months.

Thanks so much for having me here today, Lynda.  I always enjoy our chats and am grateful for this opportunity to talk about Dearest Darling.

What do you think most characterizes your writing?
A love of the west primarily, be it my western historical writing or my contemporary novel which will be coming out soon.  But also, I like to think I write slightly complicated plots, plots with a few twists other than just the complexities of the love story itself.  I like surprises!  And Dearest Darling certainly has a few…

What did you enjoy most about writing this book?
That's a tough one. I love going out to the Tetons and Jackson Hole area, so I wanted to set this book there.  I wanted to try to convey my awe of that area and the people who homesteaded it, though it was difficult without making the setting the main focal point of the book. But that is what I enjoyed most, having a setting with which I am familiar, and to which I feel a great attachment.

What would you most like us to know about your new book?  This goes back to the surprises and complexities of the plot.  I'd like readers to know this is not your usual 'mail order bride' book; in fact, I never thought of it as being about a mail order bride until someone commented on that aspect!  If anything, it's more about the chances people are willing to take to lead the lives they want. 

How did you come up with the title?  When I heard The Wild Rose Press was doing a 'Love Letters' series I immediately decided this was for me, and how else do you start a love letter other than 'Dearest Darling?'  But that reference alone was too obvious so, with a little nod to J. M. Barry's Peter Pan and the Darling family, I named my heroine Emily Darling.

Can you tell us about your main character?  Emily Darling is someone who knows her own mind and is very strong-willed but is also a product of her background and the times in which she lived.  On the one hand, she has been forced to accept male domination in the personages of both her father and her brother in order to survive, but on the other hand she is brave enough to have not succumbed to a loveless marriage just for the sake of being married, and to take what opportunities come her way in order to experience a different life.  And she's curious about life, she wants to know what's out there, what this or that feels like, why someone did this or that.  She's patient enough to bide her time to wait for her opportunities, but when the opportunity presents itself, she'll take her chance.

What do your plans for future projects include?  I have a full-length women's fiction novel coming out from The Wild Rose Press called Dances of the Heart, and I'm working on some more commercial fiction at the moment.  I also have a Civil War period saga in mind and, of course, there's always the next western historical to plot out.

      Thanks again for having me here today Lynda—much appreciated!

Excerpt: Dearest Darling
The mercantile was a marvel to her. A large store carrying about everything and anything someone could want out here. Barrels of apples, their perfume vying with the aroma of coffee. Rows of canned peaches and beans, brightly labeled. Bolts of fabrics and piles of overalls and blue jeans. Racks of handguns and rifles, cartons of ammunition. Rolls of chicken wire and shelves of implements, tools for farm and ranch and home. Jars of sweet candies and a stack of newspapers and books. Emily’s eyes were big with wonder and Daniel was rewarded to see it as she did, the color, the diversity, the spectacle, not just the practicality of things in a jam-packed shop with sawdust on the floor. And then he shook his head to remove the distractions, concentrate on the matter at hand.
“What can I do for you today, Dan? Not your usual day in town.”
His sideways glance caught Emily suppressing a smile.
“Dan?” she smirked.
He gulped a breath and ignored her. “Hey, Jason, how ya doin’? My cousin here is just out from New York, looking to make a new life. We wondered if there was any work going she might take up. And I do have a list, as usual.” He tried to put a cheerful, friendly note in his voice, something he was definitely not feeling.
The shopkeeper took the list and studied it, shaking his head. “No work as I know of. With summer coming, some things might open up. We always get folks moving in, mebbe starting up businesses, in summer. But nothing as yet. You might want to check back in a week or two. Or there’s the saloon. I heared Ben’s been looking for someone to clean up each morning, but whether you’d want your kin working there, well, that’s another matter.”
Emily stepped forward. “Where is it? The saloon?”
“No!” Damn woman. Daniel sucked in a breath. “You’re not working there,” he said more gently.
Jason’s gaze shot from one to the other. “’Course, I didn’t mean nothing by mentioning it. Mebbe shoulda kept my mouth shut.”
Daniel locked on Emily’s hard stare. Her anger was evident, but she stayed silent.
“Well. I’ll get this order together. Be about fifteen minutes. Can you wait?”
 “Sure thing,” Daniel said and grabbed Emily by the wrist. He dragged her outside after him, almost tossing her against the hitching rail.
“If it’s the only job?” She stomped her foot. “I don’t belong to you, you can’t tell me—”
“I can. And I am. You made yourself my responsibility...” They were shouting, and he lowered his voice, his gaze darting around. “You made yourself my responsibility the day you took those tickets and came out to me.” He let this sink in, reining in his own truculence. “You’re gonna do what I say, and I’ll make the dang decisions. You got that?” He waited for a response. “I said, do you understand?”
Emily crossed her arms. “You said, ‘you got that,’ not ‘do you understand.’” Smugness was written across her face, her lips a thin, tight line, her eyes round with the correction.
Daniel straightened. Then he laughed. And he laughed a little more. “Oh, heck.” He lifted his hat briefly, swept the hair out of his eyes, and set the hat back on his head. “How the hell did this happen to me?”

Lynda's Review:
As you can tell by the excerpt above, these are not just ordinary characters. They will slip off the page and stay with you for a while. This story makes you think about what risks people take in order to find happiness and the complication and hurdles that result. The element I love best about author Andrea Downing's writing is her absolute control and use of dialog. It's always snappy, character revealing, and plot progressing. And setting comes in second, because after reading one of her books, I can put the location on my 'been there' list. The descriptions are always rich and full of small details that make me feel as if I've actually experienced them. Thank you so much for a heart-thumping story, Andrea. I look forward to reading many more.

Links to Social Media:  
Twitter:  @andidowning 

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Monday, October 13, 2014

Blog Tour and Interview - H20 by Virginia Bergin

About The Book

#Survival #Rain #Psychological #Drama

In this tense, psychological drama, debut author Virginia Bergin crafts a tale of desperation and survival about a world in chaos. Anyone who’s been touched by rain or tap water is dead. With a fascinatingly unique premise, a heroine that takes daunting risks and slim chances of survival, H2O’s fast-paced, unputdownable mystery and emotional survivor’s story will appeal to readers who enjoyed The Fifth Wave and The Hunger Games

One minute 16 year old Ruby Morris is having her first real kiss at a party at Zach’s, and the next she’s being bundled inside the house by Zach’s parents, yelling at them to get inside. They don’t believe it at first. Crowded in Zach’s kitchen, Ruby and the rest of the partygoers laugh at Zach’s parents’ frenzied push to get them all inside as it starts to drizzle. But then the radio comes on with the warning, “It’s in the rain! It’s fatal, it’s contagious, and there’s no cure.”  Two weeks later, Ruby is alone. Anyone who’s been touched by rain or has washed their hands with tap water is dead. The only drinkable water is quickly running out. Ruby’s only chance for survival is a treacherous hike across the country to find her father—if he’s even still alive.

Author Interview:

Thank you for asking these tricky questions, Lynda!

Virginia Bergin is the author of the young adult novel, H2Oa story about what happens when a totally ordinary (and utterly unique, because everyone is) teenager finds herself in a global apocalypse. Virginia works as a writer for TV, eLearning and corporate projects. Most recently, she has been working in online education, creating interactive courses for The Open University.  She lives in Bristol, England.

What was the hardest part of writing this book?  

Very early on in the first draft of H2O, I almost lost my nerve. Not because I didn’t think I had a story to tell, but because I suddenly realised how brutal and horrific that story was. It’s all very well thinking, ‘I’ll write a story about an apocalypse’, but once you’ve got a real character down on the page and you’re starting to have to feel what she’s feeling and think what she’s thinking and you know how much she’s going to be hurt and frightened . . . you start to have doubts. Well, I did.

My first doubts were for readers. When I was 14 I watched a zombie film I wasn’t really ready to watch. I saw it with a bunch of friends and they all seemed fine about it. I was scared out of my mind. It gave me nightmares. The storyline of H2O was so horrific I worried I could traumatise someone, and it felt really weird and horrible to be imagining the deaths of so many people, but . . .

. . . once Ruby (my main character) had walked onto the page and found herself in the situation that’s she’s in, I knew I couldn’t leave her. It was too hard to walk away. In real life, there are kids and teens who can’t walk away from situations that would smash any adult. So I stayed, even though I didn’t want to, because I felt I should see it through . . . and because I couldn’t leave Ruby on her own.

What was your favorite chapter to write and why?

Because it had been so dreadful, getting Ruby through those first few days, I think – from that point of view – my most favourite chapter, emotionally, has to be . . . Fourteen. I don’t want to give too much away, but that’s when Ruby starts to see glimpses of a future, even though she does not - and cannot possibly – realise it. For the first time, she starts to make decisions that are not based on the past, but based on the present.

And I like this chapter because it’s a total mash-up between horror and comedy – and human compassion.

Why do you feel you had to tell this story?

Uh . . . that’s so hard to answer. When I started out, it seemed like such a simple thing: I just wanted to tell a really good story, the kind I wouldn’t be able to put down myself. Yes, I just wanted to tell a cracking good story.
Then I started writing it, and a whole load of other things piled on in. Things I feel very strongly about: the pressures teens are under, the state of the planet . . . and more specific, factual things – like us over-prescribing antibiotics to the point that they no longer work, and . . . so we all need water – but if you live in the Western world do you even know how that water gets to your faucet?

It didn’t stop there! There were much more philosophical things: who, really, is responsible for what? What would happen to religion and politics if we were all faced with a global catastrophe – and if there was such a catastrophe, how would it play out? Who would the government save? Who would you save – and what kind of decisions would you have to make? (About other human beings, and about animals . . . and about pets.)

Basically, it all spiralled out of control . . . but, luckily, I didn’t have to work out the answers to any of those things. I had a character, Ruby, who was going to work them out for herself . . . in her own way, and in her own time.

So: ‘Why did you feel you had to tell this story?’ . . . because I felt an obligation to Ruby and to all young people who are going through unbelievably hard times. H2O is not the answer to anything, I’m sure, but I’d hope it’d be a story that at least raises some useful questions.

How did you come up with the title?

This is such a good question.

The answer might seem obvious – dur, it’s water?! – but to me it is the story itself:

·         It’s science. H2O is the scientific name for water and this is a story with a lot of science).
·         It’s Ruby. The title stuck as H2O because first draft around I couldn’t stop to work out how to drop the ‘2’ below the line, as it should be . . . but then I realised - if I couldn’t stop to work it out, why would Ruby?
·         It’s about . . . the connections between things. Between molecules, between people, between ideas.

The UK title is ‘The Rain’ – and that works just as well . . . because this is a story about how simple things can get really, really complicated.

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Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Writers...How do you visualize your story? Why Not Pin Your Way to Inspiration

Follow Lynda's board Stormee Waters - Coming Soon on Pinterest.
Follow Lynda's board Payback in Wayback - Published on Pinterest.

The old saying 'Seeing is Believing' works so well for me. I love the process of story boarding on Pinterest. I start the process weeks before I actually begin to write and continue all the way through till I finish the book. Often new images inspire additional plot points, ideas for deeper characterization, and fabulous descriptions.

As a writer, what do you do to help visualize a story? As a reader, do you enjoy viewing author's story boards?

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