Redemption

By Caridad Pineiro


My favorite stories have always been ones about the redemption and the power of love. I guess that’s why I loved Spike so much from Buffy the Vampire Slayer.


The hero in NOCTURNAL WHISPERS, Lord Alec, is definitely a man in need of redemption. He’s been cursed for centuries since he stole a mummy’s child to help pay off some gambling bets. You see, Lord Alec was the spare heir and because of that a little ignored and a little wild in his bids for attention. It’s what shaped him and made him a bit callous in his regard for others.


Until he’s cursed and his brother dies and Lord Alec finds himself shouldering immense burdens alone.


He’s incredibly lonely, but worse, he can’t find love until he rights the wrong he’s done. To do that he has to not only find the child mummy that has gone missing, but also return it to the mummy who has been torturing him.


In NOCTURNAL WHISPERS, Alec has finally found the missing mummy child. Unfortunately it’s in the hands of another museum and under the supervision of Kate Morton, the attractive museum curator. Alec is dead set to get the mummy child in any way he can, until he starts falling in love for Kate and discovers that he can no longer betray her to accomplish his goal.


As Alec struggles between his growing love and lifting the curse, will he redeem himself and find his happily-ever-after?


I hope you’ll check out NOCTURNAL WHISPERS and find out.








Lucky Penny

By Catherine Anderson

Well, as I write this it is Valentine’s Day, so my thoughts automatically turn to my own true love story and the greatest romances I’ve ever read. Thinking of those books—some of which I read years ago and still remember with a smile—I’d like to blog about a question: What makes a romance extremely special to you?

For me, the truly great story has to begin with two really well-drawn main characters, the hero and heroine, and then as their relationship unfolds, it must touch me deeply on several different levels. Over my years as a reader, I’ve developed my own little book test. Maybe it will sound a little crazy to you, but here goes. After a year passes, if I can still remember the first names of the hero and heroine, I know that particular book was so good the people in it seemed real to me.

How do you know if a romance you’ve just read has passed your particular test? Do you have any criteria by which you grade a book? Are there certain characteristics in a hero that you adore, and you feel disappointed if he doesn’t possess them? And what kind of heroine appeals most to you?

Whitney and The Greatest Love of All

By Jaycie Cash


Some people are blessed with incredible gifts . . . or are they?


It’s hard to think of someone having a more beautiful voice than Whitney Houston, yet I’m not sure it brought her the same joy it brought her fans over the years. Who knows, maybe she would have had the same struggles and demons even without her extraordinary talent. Plenty of folks who have no discernible genius obviously have their share of problems and temptations.


Yet I can’t help but think Whitney’s life might have been a touch easier without the unrelenting expectation from the rest of us that she always be amazing, in looks and voice. I have plenty of days when I’m not interested in stylin’ or being scintillating or funny. So on those days, if life and deadlines allow, I give myself the present of down time.


I wonder if Whitney and people like her are truly allowed time off. If not, I wonder how they deal with that never-ending pressure.


It certainly appeared over the years that Whitney didn’t always make the best or healthiest choices. On many occasions it appeared she simply didn’t love herself—the real her that lived inside the star façade the rest of us saw—enough to take care of that person. Heaven knows she and those who loved her paid the price in embarrassment and worry when her choices fell short. Now, her daughter, mother and others are forced to go on without her even though at age 48, Whitney seems far to young to be gone.


May she finally find peace.


And may the ups and downs of her life serve as a lesson to us all that the greatest and most important love of all must live deep inside of us for ourselves. Otherwise, we can’t really be there for anyone else . . . and we might just end up gone, in body and spirit, all too soon.


WHAT DO YOU THINK? WHAT DID WHITNEY HOUSTON AND HER MUSIC MEAN TO YOU. DO YOU HAVE ANY THOUGHTS ON WHAT THE GREATEST LOVE OF ALL TRULY IS . . . OR ANYTHING ELSE YOU’D LIKE TO SHARE? A FREE COPY OF MY DEBUT NOVEL, MRS. GOODFELLER WILL BE RANDOMLY AWARDED TO ONE PERSON WHO LEAVES A COMMENT BELOW BEFORE THE NEXT WRITERSPACE BLOG IS POSTED.


Jaycie Cash blogs on a regular basis for Writerspace.com. Her debut novel, MRS. GOODFELLER, is available through most major eBook outlets, including Amazon and Barnes and Noble. She’d love for you to like her Facebook Author page.







My Wicked Little Lies

By Victoria Alexander

Well, Valentine's Day is bearing down upon us with the inevitability of an unstoppable freight train. I have to confess, my husband and I rarely do anything special for Valentine's Day. We're really not very sentimental. Oh sure we exchange cards—usually funny cards—but that's about it. Probably because we don't have to. He knows I love him and I know he loves me. He shows it in little ways every day and I hope I do too.

People are always asking me to define romance and I think that's it exactly. It's not the expected on days like Valentines' Day—although flowers are always nice!—but it's the little things every day. It's bringing me coffee in the morning. It's running an errand for him. Things like that that make up life and love.

Usually in my books, my hero and heroine are trying to get to happily ever after. In my newest book, MY WICKED LITTLE LIES, they're already there. The story is about a couple who have already been married for two years. Evelyn Hadley-Attwater has everything she has ever wanted including the love of her life. Her husband Adrian is happy with his life as well even if he might be feeling just a tad restless. You see, both Adrian and Evelyn led very adventurous lives before they married and there are secrets between them. Secrets that could destroy everything.

And Adrian, of course is a guy. Sure he's an 1886 guy but he's a guy nonetheless and when it comes to his wife, he has a few insecurities and a tendency to jump to irrational conclusions and come up with stupid ideas he thinks are brilliant. Because, well, he's a guy. I know guys— married one, gave birth to one. And I love guys because they're charming and irresistible and always think they're right and they're not at all perfect.

Evelyn is my favorite kind of heroine. I like my heroines to be pretty but more than that— I like them to be smart. Evelyn is smart enough to know that no matter what idiotic things her husband may do, he does them because he loves her. Which doesn't mean he shouldn't be taught a lesson. Or two.

This is the first full length novel I've written about characters who are already married. I like writing about marriage. About what happens after you get to happily ever after. Because happily ever after isn't the end. It's only the beginning. And the story continues.

In real life I have what my characters are always looking for. What Evelyn and Adrian have found as have I. A love that will last forever. And we're all living happily ever after.

Okay, maybe I am sentimental after all.

Happy Valentine's Day.

THE MONTH OF LOVE . . . FOR BOOKS

THE MONTH OF LOVE . . . FOR BOOKS


By Jaycie Cash


Thanks to St. Valentine, February is the month of love. For some of us . . . especially those with a soft spot for romance, it’s the month of love for books. Yeah, yeah, I know, for many of us every month is filled with affection for the written word, and I’m certainly no exception. I loves me some novels 365 days a year!


So imagine my delight at the list of novels (below), written by Writerspace authors that are hitting the shelves this month. Oh happy February!


Now, if only I could take the month off and just read, what a wonderful heart-filled world it would be.


FEBRUARY RELEASES INCLUDE:



My Wicked Little Lies


By Victoria Alexander


Zebra


www.victoriaalexander.com



Lucky Penny


By Catherine Anderson


Signet


www.catherineanderson.com



Midnight Enchantment


By Anya Bast


Berkley Sensation


www.anyabast.com



The Twisted Kiss


By Anya Bast


Samhain Publishing


www.anyabast.com



Sinful Seduction


By Ann Christopher


Kimani Romance


www.annchristopher.com



Fortune’s Valentine Bride


By Marie Ferrarella


Harlequin Special Edition


www.marieferrarella.com



A Lady Never Surrenders


By Sabrina Jeffries


Pocket Star


www.sabrinajeffries.com



Princess Charming


By Nicole Jordan


Ballantine


www.nicolejordanauthor.com



Seduction


By Brenda Joyce


HQN


www.brendajoyce.com



Before Sunrise


By Diana Palmer


HQN


www.dianapalmer.com



A Seductive Kiss


By Francis Ray


St. Martin’s Paperbacks


www.francisray.com



Island Flame


By Karen Robards


Pocket Star


www.karenrobards.com



Deceived


By Bertrice Small


Kensington


www.bertricesmall.net



The Captive Heart


By Bertrice Small


Signet Eclipse


www.bertricesmall.net



If You See Her


By Shiloh Walker


By Ballantine


www.shilohwalker.com



Table for Five


By Susan Wiggs


Mira


www.susanwiggs.com



The Summer Garden


By Sherryl Woods


Mira


www.sherrylwoods.com


Jaycie Cash blogs on a regular basis for Writerspace.com. Her debut novel, MRS. GOODFELLER, is available through most major eBook outlets, including Amazon and Barnes and Noble. She’d love for you to like her Facebook Author page.

CAKE ON A HOT TIN ROOF

Do you believe in fate? Maybe you prefer to think of it as destiny. Or divine intervention. Whatever you want to call it, I’m a believer. Three years ago, I lived in Utah, a world away from New Orleans and the Gulf Coast. Though I love to travel and had visited several places I thought I might like to live “someday,” I really suspected that I’d stay in Utah forever.


Then my youngest daughter and her husband relocated to the Gulf Coast region and (rudely) took my only grandchild with them. I visited once and fell in love with the location. After my second visit, during which my second grandchild entered the world, I was also in love with the people and pretty sure I could be happy living a block or two from the Gulf of Mexico.


I set a goal to move by October of that year but, frankly, it wasn’t a very realistic goal and by September I’d all but given up on it. That’s when my editor and I discussed the idea of a mystery series set in the world of cake decorating. During a phone call in late September, we agreed that New Orleans would be a fabulous setting for the new mystery series. Since my daughter lived only a few hours from New Orleans, I thought doing the research would be … well … a piece of cake.


An hour after I hung up from talking with my editor, the doorbell rang and the mailman handed me a certified letter. It contained a notice that my landlord had sold the home we lived in and that the new owner had decided not to renew our lease. We had 30 days to pack up everything we owned and find a new place to live. I panicked for a few minutes, and then a very clear thought that seemed to come from somewhere, or someone, else went through my head. “If you have to pack up everything you own and put it on a truck, you might as well take it off the truck in Florida.”


My oldest daughter decided to make the move with me. We loaded up, drove across country, and unloaded all our earthly possessions on October 29th – defying all logic and fulfilling my goal of moving to the Gulf Coast region by October.


Whether it was fate, destiny, divine intervention, or just dumb luck, I found myself in the unique position of discovering this fascinating area of the world along with Rita Lucero, the protagonist of the new mystery series. Rita came to New Orleans from New Mexico and decided to stay when she was offered a partnership in Zydeco Cakes, which she now runs with Miss Frankie Renier, her almost-ex-mother-in-law.


Zydeco is located in a remodeled antebellum mansion near the Garden District and Rita lives in a fabulous house she inherited when her estranged husband was murdered. She also acquired a staff of quirky, eccentric, and emotional cake decorators, and a bank account that changed her world.


In CAKE ON A HOT TIN ROOF, she also gets custody of the ceramic baby her almost-ex found in last year’s Mardi Gras King Cake and with it, the obligation to host this year’s party for the Krewe of Musterion. The party takes Rita out of her comfort zone, and an unexpected visit from her aunt and uncle add to the stress. But things go from bad to worse when local celebrity Big Daddy Boudreaux is found floating face-down in the swimming pool.


CAKE ON A HOT TIN ROOF is the second book in the Piece of Cake mystery series. I hope you’ll have as much fun spending time with Rita, her family and her friends as I do!

An Interview with E.J. Copperman

by E.J. Copperman

So. E.J. Tell us what kind of books you write.

I'm so glad you asked.

Thank you.

The Haunted Guesthouse mystery series focuses on Alison Kerby, divorced mom of 10-year-old Melissa, who has moved back to her Jersey Shore hometown of Harbor Haven (which I completely made up). She bought herself a huge Victorian to renovate and eventually open as a guesthouse, but she wasn't counting on a problem. Two problems. Their names are Paul and Maxie, and they're dead. But they're still in the Victorian, and they're, at least technically, haunting the place.

Oh, my.

You haven't read the books, have you?

I do a lot of interviews...

Well, suffice it to say that through the first book in the series, NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEED and the second, AN UNINVITED GHOST, Alison and the ghosts have worked out an arrangement: Because some tour groups actually seek out a paranormal experience, the ghosts provide "spook shows" for the guests to help keep the place booked--it gives Alison a reputation as the "Ghost Lady," but she's handling it. In return, however, she has to help Paul, who was a private detective in life, investigate the occasional crime. Turns out the afterlife is, among other things, boring, and he needs a hobby.

So what is OLD HAUNTS about?

In OLD HAUNTS, everybody in the house (except Melissa, who is, after all, 10) is dealing with a romantic entanglement that ended, shall we say, badly. Paul has asked Alison to find the woman to whom he was going to propose marriage just before he died, just to see if she's adjusted to his being gone. Maxie is stunned to hear that the man she married (albeit for only four days) has been found murdered under the beach in Seaside Heights, and wants Alison to investigate. And Alison is dealing with the worst problem of all, because her ex-husband, whom she calls The Swine, has just shown up on her doorstep after two years in California, and he has an agenda he's not sharing. It should be a fun week.

Indeed. What's your style of writing?

Chaotic. I never know what's coming next. Well, I sort of know what's coming next: I have a few scenes in my head that I know will end up in the book. The connective tissue happens as I'm writing, which I do every day, a minimum of 1,000 words.

Every day?

Yup. Weekends, holidays, every single day. Except when I'm not specifically working on something. Then it's all going on in my tortured brain until I'm ready to type the words.

Ooh, TMI. People say there's a lot of humor in your books.

Aren't they sweet.

Is that intentional?

If you have to ask... yes, it's intentional. These books are, to me, sort of a throwback to the type of ghost story that something like Topper used to be, both the movies and the TV series, which ran for the first time in the late 1950s and then in reruns through everybody's childhood. It's about ghosts who aren't necessarily scary, but can be seriously inconvenient.

How do you write ghosts?

You write people. Some of them just happen to have died and not taken the hint.

You have a contest on your web site, www.ejcopperman.com What are the rules?

It's very simple. Anyone can enter--all they have to do is email me at ejcopperman [AT] gmail [DOT] com and tell me (along with their email and snail mail addresses) who their favorite character in the Haunted Guesthouse mystery series might be. Those who haven't read the books (and here's your chance!) can just say THE HOUSE. Prizes are one 16-oz. OLD HAUNTS travel mug and two OLD HAUNTS t-shirts. Deadline is Leap Day.

What are you working on now?

That would be telling.

Yes, it would. What do you think we interviewers are for?

Publicity?

Fine, be that way. Just as an aside, what does "E.J." stand for?

Almost anything.

Thanks for the answers.

It's been a slice.

E.J. Copperman is the New Jersey-based author of the Haunted Guesthouse mystery series, beginning with NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEED and AN UNINVITED GHOST, and now continuing with OLD HAUNTS. E.J. says to tell you that you don't have to read them in order.

Quiet Strength

There is no shortage of 'strong' women in romantic suspense…none at all.

We've got cops, private investigators, sharpshooters, bail bondswomen…the woman who seems to be the type to leap tall buildings in a single bound, while wearing four-inch heels, and she'll land on the other side without breaking her stride. Her hair will be perfect, her make-up be pristine and she'll give the hero a smoldering look on her way to her next butt-kicking.

Yes?

A little over the top?

Eh, yeah, probably. But you have to admit, there's no shortage of the strong heroine in romantic suspense. And I like a strong heroine.

Sometimes, we have her opposite…the push-over.

I don't like the pushover, but here I was writing…writing about her.

Although, to be honest, she was more of a victim than a pushover.

A few years ago, she divorced her husband, after years of abuse. Physical abuse. Mental abuse. But even the divorce wasn't enough to make her feel safe and she started to run. Hitting the road, never settling down, Hope stayed on the road. She never stopped fearing he'd come after her. And she just might have kept on running. But then she was attacked and it had the weirdest effect on her. It pushed her to the wall, and she found her stopping point.

After all the hell she'd been through, Hope finally found her strength.

I knew it was there…it would have to be for the story to work out, but it was still kind of fun to watch her emerge. She won't ever be the heroine to leap buildings in her four-inch stilettos, but she stopped hiding. She stopped cringing her life away.

She looked inside and saw what the hero saw all along…

Without all that hair, she didn’t look so fragile, he realized. Not that she really was, he was coming to realize. A fragile woman would have broken after what had been done to her. No matter what people thought, Hope hadn’t broken. She had been forced to bend, to take unimaginable shit and heartbreak.

But she hadn’t broken.

She had to be one of the strongest women he’d ever met.

Does the quiet strength work for you? Who are some of the heroines (even the heroes) that come to mind when you think of quiet strength? Shiloh Walker will be giving away a $15 gift certificate to Amazon, Books A Million, or Barnes and Noble (winner's choice) to one person who leaves a comment.

Shiloh Walker

http://shilohwalker.com

File M for Murder

By Miranda James


I blame Nancy Drew for my life of crime. Reading it and writing it.


I was ten when I borrowed The Secret of Shadow Ranch from a cousin. It was the first mystery I ever read, and I was hooked. Then, to my delight, I discovered this was only one of a long series of adventures in which Nancy solved mystery after mystery. Just as exciting, I soon found other amateur mystery-solvers: the Hardy Boys, the Dana Girls, Judy Bolton, Trixie Belden, and many more. By the time I began reading adult mysteries, my love of the amateur detective was completely entrenched.


When I decided I wanted to write a mystery myself, I knew my main character would be an amateur. After all, I’m not a policeman, or a lawyer, or a private detective. But I do have a healthy dose of curiosity about the world around me and the people in it. Charlie Harris, the sleuth in my Cat in the Stacks series, is just like me in that respect. He’s also about my age (fiftyish, if you must know), he’s a librarian, he grew up in Mississippi, and he has a Maine Coon cat. That’s as far as it goes, however. I also have a cat, but he isn’t a Maine Coon.


While my life is pretty predictable, Charlie’s is far more interesting. He finds himself involved in the occasional murder in his hometown of Athena, Mississippi. He also lives in a big old Southern house and has enough money so that he really doesn’t have to work in the library for a living; he just does it because he likes to stay busy. Plus he gets to take his cat, Diesel, with him everywhere he goes.


But all this is part of the fun of having an amateur detective. I know a lot of mystery readers don’t think amateur detective stories are very realistic, but I’ll let you in on a big secret. I’m not writing realism – I’m writing escapism. I don’t know about you, but I read to get away from the “real” world. I have a lot more fun tagging along with an amateur than I would shadowing a homicide cop trailing a grisly serial killer.


I also have a lot of fun writing stories about amateur detectives, and I hope my readers will enjoy themselves as they tag along with Charlie and Diesel in the third book in the series, FILE M FOR MURDER. In this book Charlie’s daughter Laura plays an important part, as does a troubled writer whom Laura knows perhaps a bit too well.







They're Back - Grayson Friends Series - Unexpected Romance in the Big Apple

Many of us are acquainted with that giddy feeling you experience when you wait all year for a seasonal item and then one day you walk into the store and it's there. Well, I'm feeling that thrill today. A SEDUCTIVE KISS, the 5th book in the Grayson Friends series, was released yesterday. The last book in the series was released over a year ago. Well, those wonderful heroes are back and they're taking on women who will challenge and inspire them in New York.

Previously the books were set in Atlanta (THE WAY YOU LOVE ME), North Carolina and the NASCAR racing circuit (NOBODY BUT YOU), Montana (ONE NIGHT WITH YOU), and Mexico/LA (IT HAD TO BE YOU). The next three book in the series - A SEDUCTIVE KISS, WITH JUST ONE KISS, and A DANGEROUS KISS - all take place mainly in New York with a couple of side trips to the Hamptons, Paris, and Dallas. Since "Kiss" is in the next each title, I lovingly refer to these new addition to these new additions as the Kiss Trilogy.

Alex Stewart, brother of Catherine Stewart Grayson, is a successful lawyer in New York. He has two best friends, C.J. Callahan and Payton "Sin" Sinclair. Alex might have known who the woman is for him since he was a kid. I thought you'd like an excerpt so here it is:

“Are you all right?”

The sound of the rich baritone voice made Dianne Harrington smile. She turned, aware she’d see Alex Stewart, the only other unattached male in the room. Catherine’s big brother had been the extra special bonus of having her for a best friend. “Of course,” she said, still smiling up at him. It had always been easy to talk with Alex. He had also been her first crush.

“Good,” he said, starting down at her.

He had thick lashes her friends would kill for, a straight nose, and a mobile, sensual mouth she had been wondering how it would feel against hers entirely too much about lately. “You’re here to have fun.”

Dragging her gaze away from his lips, Dianne thought of the issue at hand. Alex had always looked after her. Somehow he’d always known what to do to make her feel better. She wondered if he could give her what she needed this time as well.

She wanted a man to look at her as if she were his world, as if she made his life better. She realized she wanted that man to be Alex. The realization didn’t surprise her. Somehow she knew he’d be a gentle, considerate lover. He was steady and dependable. He was always there for her.

Growing up she’d been told too many times by her parents how utterly worthless she was. Alex didn’t think so she thought as she gazed up at him through a sweep of her lashes. But was he the man who could ease the ache in her heart and soul?

Alex stared down into the pensive, beautiful face of his one weakness, Dianne Harrington. He’d probably started falling in love with her the Christmas morning she was five years old and he was nine. He’d seen her crying on her porch steps because her parents had given away all of her toys and Santa hadn’t left any to replace them. He’d quickly climbed off his new bike and made up a story about Santa leaving the wrong bike and size at his house.

The wide-eyed happy smile on her tear-stained face had been worth the lie. He’d happily pushed her around on his bike most of the morning, then the next day with his own money that he’d saved for a telescope, he’d purchased her a pink bicycle. He couldn’t explain to his parents why it had been important to use his own money, it just had been. They hadn’t asked any more questions, just told him how proud of him they were.

He’d long since accepted that he could only have Dianne as a friend. If she leaned how he felt, it would be awkward for her and embarrassing for him. Dianne was like a star, to be gazed at and admired, but not touched.

*****

Things are about to take a dramatic turn for Alex and Dianne in a huge way. Both have lessons to learn about seduction, betrayal and a love that will last a lifetime.

Thank you,

Francis Ray

www.francisray.com

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