Christmas Awards 2011

Thursday, 31 May 2007

Interview For Cheryl St John



Interview For Cheryl St John. Cheryl is an author for HMB and a very good one! I enjoy her books, Anne


Tell us a little about yourself
I’m a native Nebraskan who has written stories since I was a little girl. I received my first rejection from Redbook Magazine at the age of fourteen. I didn’t do much writing while I was raising a family, until my youngest went to school all day. Then I dusted off the old Selectric typewriter and wrote a full-length book beginning to end. It never did get published—and didn’t deserve to be published—but it was a learning experience. I learned I could follow through.

What do you write?
I love to write Americana and Western historical romances with believable characters and emotional depth. I also write contemporaries and have been published in several lines over the years. One of my favorite premises is someone pretending to be someone they’re not. I also love a juicy secret and I adore creating underdog characters for readers to root for.

Why do you write?
I began writing for my own pleasure, and continued to prove something to myself. I write now because it’s the best job I could ever have. I’m not a nine-to-five person or a clock watcher. Hours speed past when I’m lost in a story. It’s a creative outlet and a challenge.

What are you writing now?
I’m contracted for a Western Christmas anthology for ‘08, but before hunkering down to that deadline I’ve been working up a few proposals for new stories. One is a series I’m excited to write.

What kind of clothes do you like to wear?
I love comfort. During the week I’m pretty much a jeans or capris gal, but when going out or going to church I like to dress up. I love shoes and purses and jewelry. Teal is my favourite color for clothing with pink a close second.

Are you in love? Have you ever been?
I’ve been in love with the same man for more years than some of your readers have been alive. We’re often asked the secret to a long and successful marriage. There’s no secret. Marriage is hard work. Anything worth having takes effort and commitment. Staying in love is a choice, and when both people make that choice, you have a solid relationship.

Do you have a dream lover – and what does he look like?
All my heroes are dream lovers and they’re mostly tall, dark and handsome.


What kind of comfort food do you like best?
Without a second thought that would be chocolate in any way, shape or form.


What makes you laugh? Cry?
Kids make me laugh. I adore them. I can’t get enough of their precious faces or sweet voices or innocent reasoning. I even enjoy the endless questions.
Pictures of my children as babies make me cry because those moments are gone forever. I hope I enjoyed them to the fullest.


What do you do to amuse yourself when not working?
I love to decorate, redecorate, garden, and shop flea markets and antique malls. I love going to the movies, watching DVDs and reading.



What is it in a man or woman that turns you on? The clean version please!
I love an ambitious man. One who knows what he wants, but won’t step on anyone to get it. I admire a man with principles and integrity. I appreciate men who aren’t afraid to show love or admit failings.



What do you hate about life?
I don’t hate anything about my life or life in general. I regret there aren’t more hours in a day, and wish I didn’t need rest because sleep is a waste of time. Life is what we make of it. We can’t change other people, but we can change how we react and how we let them affect us.



What do you hope to achieve in life and when will you know that you have been a success?
If I make a difference in one person’s life, I will consider that a success.


What are you going to write next?
I’m going to write the ’08 Christmas anthology I’m contracted for and by then some of the stories I’m pitching now will be sold and I can write them. Nothing compares to the satisfaction of a great writing session, of using that last brain cell of the day and sitting back and knowing you accomplished something worthwhile. It’s a thrill to know that my stories bring hope and enjoyment to readers all over the world.

Tuesday, 29 May 2007

Touch me in the Dark


Touch Me in the Dark by Jacqueline Diamond/Triskelion Publishing/ebook

This is a book that slowly draws the reader into the story. It is a little dark in places but as that is the story it works well. Sharon and Ian’s chemistry is great and the way they fight it also helps the story along and adding in a ghost adds more complications. The way Sharon and Ian try to figure out who the ghost is and why the ghost is there makes for an intriguing read. This was a good suspense story with an ending I did not expect. While reading the book I wanted to reach the end to find out how it ends and yet now that it is done I am wishing to read more. This is definitely a book worth reading.


I would give this book 4-1/2 red roses.
Larena

This is a reader's review and as such is special, because it gives a true picture of the book! Anne

Interview with Hazel Statham


Hazel Statham has a new book coming out soon with Triskelion.


Tell us a little about yourself
I am now officially ‘retired’ although I have not worked for thirteen years due to ill health. I have a beautiful grandson named Daniel and we are great pals. Apart from writing, my other ruling passion is animals and until recently I was the treasurer of a local group who raised money for animal charities. Over the years, we have owned everything from hamsters to horses and at the moment we have a lovely yellow Labrador named Lucy.

What do you write?
I write Georgian and Regency romance but have also been known to stray into the Medieval era.

Why do you write?
It’s a compulsion and I have written on and off since I was sixteen. Originally, I wrote solely for my own amusement, but when I joined a writers’ group at the local college, the lecturer who headed the group persuaded me to try for publication. My first two books were published in 2005 but due to my editor’s demise the company was closed. I then sought publication in 2006 and was delighted when I had four books accepted.

What are you writing now?
I have just started a new Regency and its temporary title is ‘Sarah’, which no doubt will change as the book evolves.

What kind of clothes do you like to wear?
Usually trousers with either a shirt or blouse.

Are you in love? Have you ever been?
I have been married to my husband for thirty-eight years, so I guess we must have something going for us

Do you have a dream lover – and what does he look like?
I think you have to be a little bit in love with all the heroes you create and you create what attracts you the most. Mine are usually tall, dark and athletic.

What kind of comfort food do you like best?
I suppose it has to be chocolate – but not any old chocolate. Thornton’s Fruit Creams are the top of my list. There are several other substitutes, but nothing can really compare.

What makes you laugh? Cry?
Animals and children in equal measure. I am a very sentimental person and am easily moved to tears. I like witty dialogue rather than slap-stick comedy.

What do you do to amuse yourself when not working?
Read. It’s a standing joke amongst the family that you can leave me anywhere as long as I have a book to read. I like a good drama or film but much prefer it to be a period piece. My mobility is somewhat restricted now but I used to love riding, dancing and walking.

What is it in a man or woman that turns you on? The clean version please!
Eyes and the shape of the mouth, plus a good sense of humour. I like athletic, tall, dark men. A man with a lively mind who is capable of almost anything,
What do you hate about life?
Cruelty or injustice in any shape or form, be it to people or animals.

What do you hope to achieve in life and when will you know that you have been a success?
When I see one of my books for sale in Webberley’s (our local independent book shop) I will know I have arrived as an author. On a more personal level, if I can contribute to my family’s happiness, I will be content.

What are you going to write next?
I have a prequel to ‘Dominic’ that I wrote twenty-five years ago that I would like to work on. After that, I will continue to write in the periods I know and love.
www.triskelionpublishing.com

Monday, 28 May 2007

Long Distance Love



Anne Whitfield/Long Distance Love/ Samhain Publishing/ISBN 1-59999-571-3/print
Fleur's plan was to spend the summer in Whitby running a book shop/café. Having just recovered from breast cancer, she wanted to get away from her home and the sadness of the past couple of years. What she didn't want or need was a love affair, but when Patrick walked into her life her senses did a somersault. It was a case of instant attraction, but was it only physical – and could she afford to get involved?



Between running her business, which took off beyond her dreams and falling in love, the weeks flew by but then disaster struck. Fleur was needed back home because of a death in the family. She had to go and what she discovered there made her see that her family needed her. But she was in love with Patrick – how could she live in Australia when her heart was with him in England?


This is a delightful love story that kept me reading happily throughout a wet afternoon in England. I found Fleur a captivating character and I liked her friends and Patrick. It was a book that made you care about the people, and sensual enough to appeal to young readers without alienating the older generation. I recommend this book and give if five red roses, Anne

Sunday, 27 May 2007

The Reluctant Cinderella



Christine Rimmer/ The Reluctant Cinderella/HMB Special Edition/ISBN 978-0-263-85636-1/ £3.10 248pgs
This is a part of the Talk of the Neighbourhood series. Megan Schumacher has always been known as the nice girl who lives in her sister's apartment and helps out with the children. She runs a design business and the good people give her little jobs to do and pay her a few dollars thinking they are being kind, but Megan is a successful business woman and when her friend Carly offers to put her in touch with her ex husband Greg Banning, who runs a huge firm, she jumps at the chance. What she doesn't bargain for is that they will feel an instant attraction.

The feeling between them is too strong to be ignored and they fall into love and into a passionate affair, which leaves Megan feeling guilty. Carly is both hurt and angry, and Megan feels as if everyone has turned against her. But she had nothing to do with the break up of their marriage. Can she and Greg find happiness together?

This is a lovely romance, sensual and tender as it explores Megan's journey from shy mouse to confident woman. Ms Rimmer is the best selling author of thirty-five novels and has won awards for her work. I recommend this for anyone who loves romance. Award five red roses, Anne

Interview for Mary Eason


Mary's book thirty Lessons is available from Samhain Press now. Don't Close your Eyes is coming from Cerridwen Press in August.

Tell us a little about yourself:
My Bio: I'm a Texan through and through. I was born in a small Central Texas town where I was the youngest of four kids. Being the baby of the family and quite a bit younger than my brothers and sister, gave me plenty of time to entertain myself. Making up stories seem to come natural to me. I could keep myself happy for hours with all the possibilities.
As a pre-teen, I discovered romance novels and knew instinctively that was what I wanted to do with my over-active imagination.
I wrote my first novel as a teen, (it's tucked away somewhere never to see the light of day), but never really pursued my writing seriously until later, after the kids were out of the house when I wrote my first romantic comedy and was hooked.

I still live in Texas, and I still write romance. In fact, I can't think of anything I'd rather do.
What do you write?

I grew up a huge fan of Victoria Holt and Phyllis Whitney. They formed my love for romantic suspense very early on. Although I write several different genres of romance, my one true love remains romantic suspense.

Why do you write? I know it sounds clichéd, but I believe you are truly born to be a writer or your not. Whether you are the next Nora Roberts or you simply write for your own enjoyment, some things cannot be faked. The desire to writing is one of them. If you are truly a writer, you cannot do anything else. For better or worse and believe me there’s both.


What are you writing now? LONGBOAT KEY. A romantic suspense that is about a woman who discovers she doesn’t know her fiancé quite as well as she thought.
What kind of clothes do you like to wear? I’m a jeans kinda gal. The more casual the clothing, the better. I think it comes for years of working in corporate America where I was forced to dress accordingly.

Are you in love? Have you ever been? Absolutely. Yes to both of those questions. I love my husband of twenty-plus years. I’ve loved him from the beginning and he is still my first love along with my best friend. He understands me better than I do myself at times and the poor buy still sticks around anyway. Go figure.

Do you have a dream lover – and what does he look like?
Subconsciously, I believe I pattern most of my heroes after my hubby. But when I chose a book to read for myself, I prefer that my hero be a little bit of a mystery with lots of baggage attached. Makes for a more interesting story in my opinion. In addition, I can form my own vision of him.

What kind of comfort food do you like best? I’ve been a huge fan of Reece’s Peanut Butter Cups since they were invented. I should probably buy stock.


What makes you laugh? My nine-month-old granddaughter. She is the cutest thing. But I laugh a lot because I’m generally a happy person. Life is good but short. Enjoy it while you can. Cry? A sad movie or book. GOOD GRIEF by Lolly Winston s a prime example. It invoked both laughter and tears for me. Now that’s a good book.


What do you do to amuse yourself when not working? Grandbaby --- need I say more? Also, my hubby and I have a little cabin in the Colorado Rocky Mountains. It’s lovely and so peaceful.
What is it in a man or woman that turns you on? The clean version please!
When I was younger, I guess my answer would be his looks. Now that I’m forty-something, well, I find the things that turn me on about a man is his kindness. His gentleness. Watching my husband with our granddaughter.


What do you hate about life? The fact that people sometimes fall for the craziest of things. I wish that we as a people would stop following trends and worrying about looks so much. It’s okay to be different and getting older is a GOOD thing. Wrinkles and all.

What do you hope to achieve in life and when will you know that you have been a success? I’d like to hope people will look back on my life and say that I cared about my fellow man. As far as knowing when I achieved it, well that will be for those around me to say.
What are you going to write next? I’m starting a new romantic suspense series entitled THE BEHOLDER SERIES. It’s about some women with the gift of physic insight and how it affects their lives.

Also, I’m working on a romantic comedy called BINDS THAT TIE about a family that suffers a tragedy and how the three daughters must come together to overcome it.

Saturday, 26 May 2007

Teddie Turns On



Sloane Taylor/Teddi Turns On/Triskelion Publishing/ISBN 1-933874-45-7/ebook/100pgs/$5.99
Teddi has been a widow for several years, and has devoted herself to her business in an effort to fight the loneliness and grief. Her friends and younger sister are constantly telling her to move on, and they have packed her cases with a lot of sexy fun clothing, which she wouldn't have bought for herself.

Now Teddi's business is in trouble because someone reneged on a big deal and she is on her way to Munich to try and sort out the mess. At the airport she notices a particular man watching her, and despite her feelings of betrayed loyalty to her lost husband, she starts to have sensual dreams about him. Unknown to Teddi she is featuring largely in David Stiefel's dreams, and David is a successful man who goes after what he wants – which all leads to fun and games in Munich!

This is a highly sensual book with a lot of strong sex scenes, but it is also very much a romance. David is the arrogant, commanding hero we all love and Teddi's need for love touches the heart. If you enjoy strong sexual scenes you will love this and I recommend it to you for a very enjoyable read. Award five red roses. Morna

I read this too, Sloane and loved it, Anne!

Friday, 25 May 2007

Guitar Man



Marie Treanor/Guitar Man/Triskelion Publishing/ISBN 1-60186-163-x/78pgs/

This is a modern sexy book about a sassy girl who has been dumped two weeks before her wedding. Ellie has strongly developed senses and can control things with her mind, which come in handy a couple of times in this exciting paranormal story. Ellie goes to Scotland to stay with her friend, who is working in a scientific way to discover extra sensory activity – and they discover that something is going on in the house of a friend.

Chris and Ellie met sometime previously in Italy and had the most wonderful sexual encounter, but neither of them was ready for anything permanent. Now, Ellie realises her friend may be in trouble, and on top of her physical feelings for him is the anxiety that something evil may be trying to take him over. Can Ellie and her friends Jenny, Jim and Charlie save Chris from the being that is trying to take his soul – and will Ellie find love?

This is fun and highly sensual, a sexy romp that you will read all in one go. I award 4.5 red roses for this very enjoyable book. Anne

Interview with Lynne Marshall

Lynne's book for HMB was reviewed on this site. Good luck with your dreams Lynne!
Tell us a little about yourself
I’m a recently retired registered nurse who discovered writing late in life. I started writing the book of my heart during a late mid-life crisis. It kept me from going nuts, and I produced a wonderfully compelling story as a result. I am married for twenty-four years and have two grown children. My daughter got married on May 12th and my son is training as a medic in a Special Forces Unit in the army. I am proud of both of them!

What do you write?
I now write for Harlequin Mills & Boon in their medical romance line. I also write what I have coined "boomer romance" because it’s never too late to fall in love and baby boomers still like to hold books in their hands when they read!

Why do you write?
I have so many stories floating around in my head, that I think I’d burst if I didn’t write them down!

What are you writing now?
I am currently writing my fifth medical romance and editing an inspirational romance. I have edits and rewrites waiting for my next boomer romance, too. In other words, I’m very busy and have no business having fun with interviews like these! LOL.





What kind of clothes do you like to wear?
Whenever I am involved in writing workshops or meetings, I definitely go for the professional look. We all need to visualize our success, and I believe dressing for success is very important.
But when I’m home and writing, that’s another story. I prefer loose fitting clothes like workout pants and tee shirts. I absolutely hate to wear bras and leave them off at home. Some days, when I’m engrossed in writing, I don’t’ get dressed until after lunch!

Are you in love? Have you ever been?
I am married for 24 years and have learned the joys of long-lasting love. But I also get to indulge myself in the best of both worlds by writing romance. Everyone never forgets those first moments of falling in love. They cannot be repeated in real life, but in romance stories we get to experience them over and over again.
Do you have a dream lover – and what does he look like?
Whatever book I am writing, my hero becomes my dream lover. I make him the man I would give anything to know. I hope it comes through in my books.
What kind of comfort food do you like best?
When I’m really stressed, I crave macaroni and cheese. But daily, I like to indulge in Chai Tea latte’s and occasionally chocolate (hopefully surrounded by a cookie). Mm mm.

What makes you laugh? Cry?
I love quick wits and snappy repartee. I admire anyone who is quick witted. I still laugh at Seinfeld reruns and Monty Python shenanigans. The last time I laughed really hard was with my sister. Our cousin was recalling some funny incidents with our Uncle and my sister and I were in stitches.
I cry over the massive love I feel for my children. I am overwhelmed almost daily with the depth of love I feel for them.
I cry when I lose people close to me, and that is becoming more often as I grow older. The world lost a great soul when my brother died last June.
My heart hurts when I see children suffer, or animals, or anyone with severe health issues. I loved being a nurse and caring for those in need. It filled my heart.
What do you do to amuse yourself when not working?
I love to read. Of course! I also love to watch a well-written movie or play, which is getting harder and harder to find!
Music is a great way to enjoy life. And playing with our dog never ceases to amuse me.
What is it in a man or woman that turns you on? The clean version please!
A sense of humor is, hands down, the sexiest thing a man can possess. It has always amazed me how beautiful women wind up with frumpy men. I am willing to bet it either has to do with lots of money or the guy makes the lady laugh. It’s a gift to spread cheer. And a smart wit is very enticing.
What do you hate about life?
The injustice of where a person is born and who their parents are.
What do you hope to achieve in life and when will you know that you have been a success?
Wow. That’s a tough question! I never expected to be a writer, but here I am. I have made people laugh and cry with my books, and that’s pretty awesome. So, in part I have achieved a portion of success. I’d like to widen my readership, of course.
As a parent, growing my children into independent adults is a big challenge. I will definitely feel I have been successful when my children live full and hardy and embrace life full on.
What are you going to write next?
I am going to write another medical romance and another boomer romance and

Thursday, 24 May 2007

The Loveday Loyalty


Kate Tremayne/The Loveday Loyalty/ Headline/ ISBN 0-7553-2872-8/ pb/499pgs/ £5.99
This is the latest in the continuing Cornish saga about the Loveday family. In this book the twins Adam and St John are still caught up in the power struggle between them. St John inherited Trevowan, the house and estate that Adam loved, and still neglects it. Adam has the shipyard, which until his father's recent death, had always been seen as a part of the Trevowan estate, and he is doing his utmost to keep the business solvent with many new ventures. His cousin Japhet, having been sent to Australia as a penalty for his crime is now in charge of Adam's venture there, and is struggling with the corrupt military to ensure a fair profit for Adam's goods. Meanwhile, Hannah, another of Adam's cousins, is being haunted by the smuggler Harry Sawle, who is determined on revenge and seduction. It seems that the Loveday family is now in terrible trouble and must pull together to avoid disaster.

This book is an intricate tapestry of Cornish life in the eighteenth century, with so many compelling characters and plot threads that it would be impossible to give more than a flavour of the book in one review. Ms Tremayne is a master storyteller and paints a vivid picture, bringing her characters to life with such force that the reader feels like a fly on the wall, privileged to peek into the lives of many different families. This is a big book, something to take on holiday and really settle down with, because it demands your complete attention.

For its sheer scope of drama and acute sense of place and time, I give this book a bouquet of red roses. I hope the series will continue because there are not enough of this kind of book around for those who love them. Linda Sole

Wednesday, 23 May 2007

Far Horizons


Far Horizons by Katharine Swartz
Robert Hale Publishers
978-0709082583
224 Pages Buy book www.halebooks.com

18.99

Katharine Swartz is a name readers who enjoy emotional and intensely well-written sagas ought to remember. Her first novel, Far Horizons, is a terrific tale which you just want to curl up with and devour in a single sitting!

Allan MacDougal may be leaving for the New World to establish himself, but he does not want to leave his beloved Harriet. So he asks her to wait for him until he can return for her when he is established so that they can marry and live a comfortable life. But Harriet’s parents decide to thwart his plans, but he decides to remain honourable and not to betray his beloved.

But on Prince Edward Island, Allan is finding it hard to assert himself against the tyranny of his father and Harriet finds herself threatened and in danger of losing her family’s farm.

Does Allan and Harriet’s love stand a chance of survival?

I really enjoyed reading Far Horizons! Katharine Swartz has written a wonderful tale which will tug at your heartstrings and have you eagerly anticipating Ms. Swartz’s next novel!

Sunday, 20 May 2007

Interview with June Francis


This interview is with an author I have known for some years. June writes wonderful sagas and also lovely historical books. I feel lucky to have met June and to have a continuing friendship with her.


Tell us a little about yourself
I'm 65, have celebrated my ruby wedding anniversary and have three sons in their thirties. I was one of four children, two boys, older, and a younger sister. I grew up in Liverpool, passed the eleven plus and went on to be a cash clerk before becoming a writer. I'm a questioning, tolerant, bit of a sinner, Christian. My writing career started when I was tricked into becoming the church magazine editor and took off from there. I wrote articles for My Weekly before making the big jump to writing a novel. It took me two years of trying and rejection before I was accepted my Mills & Boon's Masquerade imprint in the eighties.
You'll learn more about me below.

What do you write?
I write family sagas set in Liverpool and Chester and also historical romance for Harlequin Mills&Boon.

Why do you write?
I wanted to write from school days but although I used to tell my sister bedtimes stories - we shared a double bed when we were kids - and made up stories for my sons when we were walking to the shops or going to the park, I never settled seriously into writing until I was forty. I write because I enjoy creating a world peopled with interesting characters with whom I can play God - up to a point - because just like real human beings they can suddenly take over and do what they want sometimes. I also write for the money - at one time it was to help pay the mortgage and to see my sons through university - but now it's so I can go out to lunch with friends and have more holidays with my husband. Our favourite place in the UK is the Lake District. Abroad it is Lindhos, Rhodes in the Greek Isles.
Unfortunately I don't earn a fortune but I live in hope and I get top PLR from the libraries.

What are you writing now?
I've almost finished an historical romance set in the 15th century called Enslaved By the Witch's Daughter. It's set in Cheshire, on a ship, France and Yorkshire.
My hero is a merchant adventurer called Jack and my heroine is a widow, Lady Anna Fenwick, who has been accused of being a witch. It's hard work but great fun.

What kind of clothes do you like to wear?
Urrgh! I spend most of my days in jeans, tracksters, t-shirt or jumper and walking socks at my desk but I do enjoy dressing up when I go out to the odd party or when on holiday. Then I'm prepared to wear what my husband likes, lacy, slinky tops, skirts or frocks. One of my favourite dresses is long, sleeveless and white with ultra modern small black patterns in it. I also enjoy fell walking and am happy in walking trousers, boots sweater and waterproofs.

Are you in love? Have you ever been?
I fell in love with my husband when I was sixteen and couldn't stop thinking about him which wasn't good for my GCEs exams. We still hold hands after almost forty three years of marriage.

Do you have a dream lover – and what does he look like?
I used to have a dream lover years ago when I was writing for HMB in the late eighties. It was a bad time in my life. My widowed mother and widowed mother-in-law both had dementia and my husband and I were completely stressed out.
This faceless man, who was probably one of my HMB heroes would come and sweep me off my feet. Generally the sea was in the background and...you can imagine the rest.

What kind of comfort food do you like best?
Bacon and egg, fish and chips, orange cream filled chocolates or whisky cream ones.

What makes you laugh? Cry?
Sadly I don't laugh as easily these days as I used to but generally it's a sense of the ridiculous. Something completely daft where I'd say this couldn't happen but I still find funny. I don't like slapstick, or John Cleese's Silly Walk or Faulty Towers. Ronny Barker in Porridge I enjoyed and Morecambe and Wise. I don't find the
new comedians funny - The Office didn't make me laugh at all but perhaps that was because I couldn't relate to it these days.
Crying is easier. I was near to tears today when two characters in my book were saying farewell. I get upset when I read about young soldiers getting killed in Iraq. There's been several from Merseyside killed in the last year. I used to weep reading letters sent home from soldiers during the Great War.

What do you do to amuse yourself when not working?
I swim, walk, talk to friends, I go to church, and I watch a lot of telly with two of my sons, especially nature programmes and Have I Got News For You, as well as detective programmes, such as Morse, Poirot, etc. I also lunch with my sister
and I enjoy garden centres, listening to music and reading.

What is it in a man or woman that turns you on? The clean version please!
A certain smile.

What do you hate about life?
The certainty of suffering and death.

What do you hope to achieve in life and when will you know that you have been a success? I've had twenty two books published and that's more than I ever dreamed of so I'm happy about that but I'd love one of my adventure romances made into a film. If that was to happen then I'd be made up.

What are you going to write next?
A saga called Tilly's Story set in the early 1920s. I've written a one page synopsis and my deadline is 1st Jan 2008, so I've a lot to do once I finish the one I'm writing now.

Fire Maiden



Tina Gerow/Fire Maiden/Triskelion publishing/ISBN 978-1-933874-37-1 /$7.77/296 pgs
This enthralling book deals with the supernatural and for a change God is a She. The gargoyles were for centuries the guardians of God but they have been released from their vows so that the eldest of their family – Ariel - can marry and give birth to the Child of Blood. The sisters, Logan, Ariel's husband and James – a Vampire who has been pardoned by God, have been given the job of protecting the Child of Blood from the evil forces that are gathering against it even before it's birth.

The prophecy began in Stone Maiden, the previous book, and in that book Dagan betrayed Kefira – the beautiful Fire Maiden, who is the heroine of this book. Dagan has come looking for his lost love. He wants to apologise for hurting her and help her defend her sister's baby. Ranged against them are Jeslyn, the Queen of the Succubus – an evil race of supernatural beings that hold men in thrall and drain them of life as they mate with them – and hordes of shape shifters who believe that they will have a place in the new order when the Dark One rules. Kefira is infected with poison from one of Jeslyn's daughters during a fight, and feels that she is being drawn to the dark side against her will.

It is the law of the prophecy that Kefira must find her own destiny. Only she can choose whether to plunge the world into darkness or take the right path and help bring the Child of Blood into the world. Can Dagan be there when she needs him and rescue her from the clutches of evil?

This is a highly sensual, highly imaginative story of the forces of good against evil, using supernatural beings. Blended with the excitement and danger is a thread of delicious humour. Wonderful story telling and strong writing makes this an excellent read. I recommend reading, though it veers towards the eighteen and over line. Award five red roses, Anne

Friday, 18 May 2007

Under A Viking Moon



Tami Dee/Under Viking Moon/Triskelion Publishing/ebook/178 pgs
Iceland 900. Katla Rollodottir plans to have her husband to be murdered on their wedding day so that she can marry her lover, but something about the warrior Leif Nabboddrson makes her wish she had never begun this terrible thing. It is too late and the slaughter begins, a crime so evil that it will reverberate through time itself. Wow! What a beginning to this fantastic story.

California 2006. Kat Jonsdotir loves her grandmother Amma, who is now suffering from dementia, but doesn't know whether to believe her tales of destiny and the legends of her ancestors. But when she saves the life of a man who looks like a Viking on the beach near her home, it seems as if the old prophecy is about to come true. Somehow Leif has been hurtled through time and space to the twenty-first century. His first action is to try and kill the woman who betrayed him all those centuries ago, but Kat manages to stay his hand.

A Viking is loose in the 21st century! How will he cope with it and the bold, beautiful and sometimes reckless woman who once betrayed him and his warriors? Kat has battles of her own she must combat in her own time, but Amma says she must go back to his and put right the wrongs that were done so long ago – and her heart tells her that she wants to be with this man. Can she return to a turbulent past and is there a way for them to find happiness?

This is an exciting story that spans the centuries. Leif in the 21st century is amazing enough but in his own he is magnificent. I have always loved time slip books and this one is thrilling. I thoroughly enjoyed it and award the author a bouquet of roses. Anne

Thursday, 17 May 2007

The Courtesan's Courtship


THE COURTESAN’S COURTSHIP
BY
GAIL RANSTROM/ HMB/ PB
ISBN –13-978-0-84664-5
ISBN-10-263-84664-4.

London August 18th 1820.
Dianthe Lovejoy, walking down a path in Vauxhall gardens hears a rustle in the bushes, not usually nervous she has a prickling feeling in her spine. Surely this was the path her friends had taken to watch the fireworks? Had her friends come back to find her? Or was it the strange man in the scarlet cloak who had caught her arm earlier and then let go and disappeared suddenly, obviously he had mistaken her for someone else?
She stumbled in the darkness catching her foot on something. Bending to see what it was, she found a woman lying face down on the grass; it was the person she had seen earlier who looked uncannily so like her that her friends had remarked on it. Dianthe knelt down next to the woman and spoke to her trying to turn her over, as she did so her hands became wet and sticky with blood. The woman mumbled something about her murderer, hinting that she too might become a victim.

The woman stopped speaking, Dianthe tried to rouse her but it was too late, she realised she was dead; a chill of fear ran through her. She saw something in the moonlight, lying beside the girl, picking she saw it up it was a knife….

Suddenly there were people all around Dianthe; she was bending over the body with the knife still in her hand. Then her friends were there, looking in horror at the scene.

Who was the woman, why did she look so much like Dianthe and why had she warned her?
In this fascinating book we are shown some of the darker sides of regency life, of intrigue and murder of seduction and rape. Just how can a young girl of moderate means but good family, solve the terrible crimes, which are happening? Can she win through against all odds and many dangers and find lasting happiness with a most unlikely hero, whom she believes to be a thoroughly bad character? Lord Geoffrey Morgan.

Wanted for murder Dianthe leaves her home and friends and is led into the darkness of the Demi-modes life style. Dangerous and yet compelling Lord Geoffrey guides her into a life she could have never imagined…will this gently reared girl become another victim… Have fun finding the answers in this unusual period romance. I award this book 4 red roses. As
This sounds an intriguing read! Anne

Wednesday, 16 May 2007

Interview with Rita Karnopp

Super answers Rita. Red Roses hasn't reviewed you yet but we'll get you one of these days! Anne

Tell us a little about yourself

BIO: Rita Karnopp has been writing for over fifteen years. She is a ten-year member of RWA, having attended three National Conventions. She served two years as RWA Outreach President and the Big Sister/Little Sister Coordinator for Region Four. She was three years President, one year Vice-President and Newsletter Editor of the Heart of Montana RWA Chapter.
She is a 1988 graduate of the Institute of Children's Literature in recognition of completing the Writing for Children and Teenagers course. In 1991 she completed the Writer's Digest Grammar Course. She has spoken to the Great Falls Historical Society on how to take and write oral histories. She is also a regular presenter for the Great Falls Public Schools speaking on The Writer in You.
Rita contributed a story on Mary Ground (Grass Woman, of Browning, Montana) to the anthology, Daughters of the Land, a Maverick Publication that has gone into three print runs. This book is a collection of stories about Native American women who helped civilize the west.
Rita’s first ebook sale to Triskelion Publishing, KIDNAPPED, was released May 7, 2007!
Her second book, an Indian Historical, WHISPERING SUN, will be released by Uncial Press in the spring of 2008.


What do you write?
I love to write suspense, Indian historical romance. I also have a Native American ‘life goes full-circle’ type futuristic and a serial killer novel. Yikes… I haven’t settled down yet…and I would suspect I never will. I’m actually working on a ‘gypsy heroine during the holocaust.’

Why do you write? I write because I can’t stop the stories filling my head and demanding to be written!! It’s my passion! It’s my joy. It’s my dream.
What are you writing now? I’m finishing a romantic suspense, THOU SHALT NOT COMMIT ADULTRY. It follows THOU SHALT NOT KILL of my Ten Commandments Series.

What kind of clothes do you like to wear? I love jeans anything reflecting a Native American feel…feathers…beads…turquoise…I’m just a down to earth Montana girl.


Are you in love? Have you ever been?
I’m more in love now…than 34 years ago when I married my husband. He’s my best friend, my partner and my lover. He’s the best thing that has ever happened to me.

Do you have a dream lover – and what does he look like?
I must admit my bald, soft kissing husband is my ‘dream lover’. If I were to pick someone other than hubby, I’d say Lou Diamond Phillips is a hunk as was Daniel Day-Lewis in THE LAST OF THE MOHICANS.

What kind of comfort food do you like best?
I’m a woman… chocolate covered cherries and a dry glass of Australian or South African chardonnay!

What makes you laugh? Cry? My children make me laugh as does my husband’s dry sense of humour. I love laughter. And I believe we should laugh no less than 30 times a day! I’m an extrovert and a woman with a positive attitude. I’d rather laugh than cry. Oh…cry? Well a ‘Kodak moment,’ a rose for no reason, a daughter or son getting married, writing the courtroom scene in my book KIDNAPPED… need I say more?

What do you do to amuse yourself when not working?
I work as an executive secretary, so when I’m not working I write! To unwind I love watching movies. I love to make dream catchers. I love to go crystal digging. I love floating the Missouri River on our raft…with hubby. I enjoy canoeing, fishing, camping. I love sitting around the camp fire with family…sharing stories and jokes.

What is it in a man or woman that turns you on? The clean version please!
I think it’s sexy when my husband surprises me with a deep kiss that makes me yearn for more. I find cooking with hubby a turn on. Watching a sexy, tender movie with lights down, candles lit and a glass of wine extremely a turn on!

What do you hate about life?
I hate prejudices of any kind.
What do you hope to achieve in life and when will you know that you have been a success? My goal in life was to see my name on the cover of a book! I am a success already… the rest will be more than I’ve ever hoped for. I feel extremely blessed in life.

What are you going to write next?
I have a drive that keeps pushing me to finish my suspense Ten Commandment Series and to get typing on TANGO OF DEATH (TANGO FUN TOYT) – my gypsy story.

Tuesday, 15 May 2007

The Penrose Treasure


Janet Tanner/The Penrose Treasure/Severn House/ISBN 0-7278-6238-3/326 pgs/HB/£18.99


Tamsin Hardy is forced to come home in answer to a summons from her family. She had enjoyed her work as a lady's maid, but she realises that her mother comes first and she must stay with her until she recovers her health. However, when Isobel Penrose offers her a post as her companion she accepts, because it is only a short distance from her mother's home so she can combine the two.


In childhood the two girls were friends, and it is Tamsin's instinct to trust her friend and to take her word against Adam Penrose when dark things begin to happen. Tamsin has always felt something special for Adam Penrose and likes him more than Isobel's husband Nicholas, but when her mother is attacked the finger of blame seems to point at Adam. Aware of growing feelings for him, can she bring herself to think the unthinkable? Might it not be Adam at the back of these terrible happenings but someone else?


This is an intriguing mystery with a dark, silent hero and some clever villains. I love gothic tales and this one was well worth reading. MS Tanner has always been on my list of authors to read whenever possible and she doesn't disappoint. Linda

Monday, 14 May 2007

Rosettes



Rosettes from The Wild Rose Press/ebook format
Treasured/Jenna Bayley-Burke
This is a sweet short story set after the American civil War. Marianne Phillips receives a proposal from Robert Hannigan – but can she trust him? She is no longer an heiress and most men have wanted the money she no longer possesses.

Found/Jenna Bayley-Burke
Another sweet interlude about a woman's night out meaning nothing, because she has the man she needs at home.


Miles From You/Marianne Arkins
Millie runs a small diner. Every Monday Paul comes in for her apple pie and it is the highlight of her week, but Paul is leaving town and it is breaking her heart. Will love find a way to bring them together?

These three short stories are all pleasant, sweet interludes. Wild Rose Press markets them as Rosettes. Because they are so short I can't give them the usual award, but they are enjoyable as a quick read and I would like to read something a bit longer by the same authors, Morna

Her L.A.Knight



Lynne Marshall/Her L.A. Knight/HMB Medical/ISBN 978-0-263-85229-5/ £2.89/185pgs
China Seabury is a nurse and a fund-raiser for a special cause. She is trying to raise money for the hospital and at the same time heighten awareness of how many teenagers die in car crashes. She needs someone to be a host for her latest charity event – and the best person she can think of is the resident charmer Dr. Rick Morell. China is about the only nurse he hasn't dated and she is giving him a wide berth – partly because of his reputation and partly because of her own feelings. China is hiding a secret, something that has taken most of the joy from her life.

Rick has been attracted to the serious nurse for a long time, and when he finally has the chance to get near enough to know her finds himself falling in love. Although China is also falling in love something happens that makes her keep him at a distance. Both of them have issues that they need to resolve before they have a chance of finding happiness.

This is a lovely romance that bubbles along at a good pace. It has some serious issues that make it more than just a light-hearted story and I found it a good read with a happy ending. Award 4.5 red roses, Anne

Sunday, 13 May 2007

Ghost of a Chance



Ghost of a Chance/J Morgan/Triskelion Publishing/ebook/137 pgs
I have just spent the day reading this gorgeously funny book. I meant to dip my nose in and then do some work but once started I didn't stand a chance. Ms Morgan has written a real sparkler.


Jessica is dead. Someone stabbed her in the back just she spotted this wonderful hunk, and maybe that is the reason her spirit refuses to head towards the golden light. When Deacon Chance comes to investigate and a cop bad-mouths him, Jessica gets mad. She chases after her hunk, who is the only one who can see her spirit at this point, though others join in later. Deacon has been seeing dead people since he had an accident and was put on paid leave from the American police force.


Now begins a crazy, fun filled adventure with a voodoo priestess, Lucifer, the dark angels and a talking cat that can not only see Jessica but also read her mind. Gabriel (the angel!) also keeps an eye on the proceedings from a distance. It turns out that because she is a daughter of Lilath, Jessica is gifted with special powers that make her a danger to Lucifer and his kingdom and that could upset the balance and throw the universe into chaos. When it comes to a contest with the dark powers I'm betting on the cat! The Egyptians knew a thing or two! But in the end it may all boil down to a gutsy, bad-mouthed girl making the right choices!


Oh wow! I absolutely adored this book. It is crazy, strange, loveable and so very, very funny. I do hope it isn't going to be the only one using these characters. Please, please, MS Morgan, tell me you are going to write some more! Award five red roses, Anne

Hunting Diana



Having seen all the Dracula films but never read a vampire book I wasn't sure how a vampire could be a hero. Fortunately, MS Orsini gave me a good grounding in the first few pages of Hunting Diana. Once I understood the premise I read with interest and growing enthusiasm!

Lucien is a Champion d'Angelique, a protector of all innocents. He must defend others as well as his own race, but he is being called upon to destroy a young woman in the name of vengeance. Diana's father is Frank Nostrum, a man seemingly dedicated to destroying all vampires. The community is in uproar over the painful death of Marek in Nostrum's pen, his flesh frying in the daylight. Marek was Lucien's stepbrother, which leaves him torn between his duty to someone he loved and his duty as a defender.

He is ordered to give Diana just one drop of his blood, which would be enough to condemned her to an eternity of hunger and need that would be forever denied. However, he has a week to decide whether she is the bait Nostrum uses to draw vampires into his pen. Watching her, seeing her dance naked in the waves, entering her mind to discover she is fresh and pure and innocent, Lucien is drawn to her in a way that tells him she is his soulmate. Diana has remained a virgin because she too looks for her soulmate – but can they ever hope to find happiness?
Someone is determined to create havoc and bring evil back to the community. Can Lucien save Diana and his people or will he too be destroyed in the fight?

Lucien has just enough of the original Dracula to make him dangerous, but when I watched the tender way he brought a kitten that had almost been drained of life by another vampire back to life, I was hooked. This is highly sensual, passionate, enthralling from start to finish. MS Orsini is a master storyteller and holds her readers from start to finish. I loved it and will now look for other in the genre. Award five red roses, Anne

Friday, 11 May 2007

Interview with Nicola Cornick


Nicola Cornick is one of the Steepwood authors. I admire her for her work and like her as a person. I enjoyed meeting her when we worked on Steepwood together and I know she has grown as an author since those days and now writes wonderful books for HQN. Anne

Tell us a little about yourself:
I’m a Yorkshire girl from the North of England. I have been hooked on history and on reading for as long as I can remember. I studied History at London University and recently completed my Masters at Oxford, where I was awarded a Distinction for my dissertation on historical heroes. It was no chore doing that research! I live with my husband and an adorable Labrador and two gorgeous cats. As well as writing I train guide dog puppies, do some nature conservancy work and also act as a guide in an historic house.

What do you write?
I write Regency historicals for HQN Books and historical romance for Mills & Boon/Harlequin Historicals.

Why do you write?
I write because I love telling and sharing stories.

What are you writing now?
I’m finishing an Edwardian-set book for Mills & Boon. It’s been a real challenge for me to write something in a different era but the Edwardian period is a fascinating one and I’ve loved the research.

What kind of clothes do you wear?
When I’m writing I wear jeans and a T-shirt, casual, bordering on scruffy. The rest of the time I like to dress in simple, elegant clothes and I love, love, love sexy shoes!

Are you in love? Have you ever been?
Yes, I’m very much in love with my husband of nineteen years. We’ve had some very tough times in the family lately. Things like that can push you apart but in the end they have brought us closer together and I think that is wonderful. I feel as though I have had a new lease of love. I still have the can’t-wait-to-see-him feeling. He’s my best friend.
That said, I fall in love with all my heroes and plenty written by other people as well!

Do you have a dream lover?
The heroes of my books are my dream lovers and I spend a lot of time thinking about them.

What sort of comfort food do you like best?
Crisps and white chocolate, though not together.

What makes you laugh? Cry?
Lots of things can make me both laugh and cry. The written word, mad pets and friends can make me laugh. Romantic novels and films, passionate music and heartbreak in real life can make me cry a lot.

What do you do to amuse yourself when not working?
I volunteer as a guide in an historic house. I love being surrounded by all those layers of history. My other passion is the countryside, and walking the dog. I also eat, read, see friends, listen to music, and go to the theatre.

What is it in a man or woman that turns you on?
Sense of humour, integrity, resourcefulness. I find intelligence really sexy – the sort of person who challenges you and makes you think. I’m also pretty susceptible to the tall, dark, handsome type. And to have someone’s whole attention is very seductive.

What do you hate about life?
Bad things happening at random to good people.

What do you hope to achieve in life and when will you know that you have been a success?
I hope to make a difference to other people’s lives, even if it’s only in a small way. You know you have when people tell you. Getting nice feedback from readers is one of the best things in the world, and knowing that you have entertained them for a while. I also think that if you can achieve inner contentment then you have been a success.

What are you going to write next?
I’ll be starting the first book in a new linked series for HQN called the Brides of Fortune. The first story is a Regency historical about a widowed Duchess who falls in love with a toy boy!

Batchelor Duke


Batchelor Duke/Mary Nichols/HMB Historical/ISBN 0-263-84629-6

April 1814.Naples
Miss Sophie Langford has been left orphaned and destitute by the death of her father. Twenty-one years old, unmarried, with no close friends and with no money to pay the rent Sophie is quite desperate. Her father’s brother, who has now succeeded to her father’s title, has repudiated her, where can she turn now? Feeling desperate and alone her mother’s friend Lady Myers, offers her a temporary home and will take Sophie back to England shortly, when she and her husband return. What is her alternative? She could become an interpreter, which she has done before, to the English tourists who will no doubt be travelling to Naples now that the war is over. Sophie is writing a book but it will be some time before it can be published what can she live on in the meantime?

Persuaded by Lady Myers, Sophie returns to England and is to appeal to her Mother’s distant cousin the Duke of Belfont. The family had not approved of her Mother’s marriage so Sophie was not hopeful of this connection being recognised.

Sophie was much travelled as her father drifted from continent to continent living on his wits and winnings as a gambler. She had mixed with diplomats and hosted parties for her father, she was well educated and spoke several languages, but how could she earn a living in England, a country she could barely remember?

Once in England Lady Myers accompanies Sophie to meet the Duke of Belfont, who is not the elderly distant cousin she has envisaged. He is young and very attractive and not really interested in her but his widowed sister, Lady Harriet Harley, who is residing with him, welcomes Sophie and makes her feel wanted and a part of the family, telling her that she will positively enjoy introducing her into society.

She becomes part of the Duke's responsibility’s, but is forever arguing with him, as she is a girl of very independent views. The Duke finds her very trying but strangely attractive. She disrupts his life and finds herself the centre of attention when she tells people she is writing a book about places she has been and people she has met when acting as her father’s hostess.

Sophie says her book is about places she has seen and calls it a travel book but whispers and stories put a very different interpretation on her book and this puts her in unknown dangers. The Duke also is not all he appears to be!! Follow the intrigue and dangers in this romantic Historical and unfold Sophie’s story. A really good read with twists, I enjoyed it from beginning to end. Thank you Mary Nichols.
I award this book 4.5 Roses

AS

Wednesday, 9 May 2007

Interview with Ayn Amoreli


Ayn is a writer for Black Velvet Seductions and her book Contract Bride was reviewed by one of our reviewers. Roxy liked it and gave it 4.5 red roses. Anne

Tell us a little about yourself.
1)I’m a published writer and write about ghosts which only I can see and hear. I also write about people no one else can see either. And I talk to them too. I talk to them a lot. Every single one of them. I just sit in a little room all by myself and talk to them and argue with them, and listen to them talk back to me, and fuss like the very dickens if I want them to do something they don’t want to do.
I also go into the bedrooms of people only I can see and hear, and watch them make love, while I take notes…a lot of notes. Then I not only write about what they did, but I get it published too!
Other than that, I’m a fairly average normal person.


2.) What do you write?
I write Gothic Mysteries under Ayn Hunt and steamy Romances under Ayn Amorelli. So I really have 2, well, maybe 3 identities, depending on my mood at the moment and what I’m writing. The first two identities are my "writer identities" and the third identity is the normal-type camouflage I present to the world when I’m not writing.


3.) Why do you write?
Because only I can see and hear and talk to characters who are the most fascinating in the entire world. They may seem ordinary. They look ordinary. But just let them get behind closed doors, then watch out! Even I’ve had to duck for cover sometimes.
But then I’ve been practicing this for years, since I never wanted to be anything other than a published writer, ever since I can remember. I think a writer has to be nosey too, and I am. I’m a people-watcher who eavesdrops on every conversation I can.


4.) What are you writing now?
I’ve just completed my 5th book, which I’m sending to a publisher at
their request. It’s a spicy Historical Romance called The Wayward Governess. It’s the most challenging I’ve written because of the detailed research I had to do.


5.) What kind of clothes do you like to wear?
Whatever’s clean in my closet which is usually jeans and a top in the
colder months, which we sometimes have here in Houston . But when the temperature hits 80, I put on shorts. I never ever wear shoes unless I’m going out.


6.) Are you in love? Have you ever been?
Sure. I’ve been married to the man of my dreams for nearly 34 years
He’s a very willing participant when I want to do ‘research’ for my Romances.
Aside from that, I went to college (never finished, but I did go) during the 60’s. I never messed with drugs or booze, but I ‘sort of’ experimented with "Make Love, Not War." I know now that’s a bit naughty, but I was very impressionable at the time, and catchy slogans impressed the heck out of me.


7.) Do you have a dream lover – and what does he look like?
A man who’s rich might qualify. It depends.


8.) What kind of comfort do you like best?
Chocolate. And when I feel really lousy, I get frozen strawberries and dip them in
chocolate syrup.

9.) What makes you laugh? Cry?
My aunt once complained I had a very strange sense of humor. But my favorite show was "Three’s Company." Chrissy getting things mixed up always cracked me up.
As for crying, I always cry when I watch old movies, the really dramatic ones in black and white, where the man and woman have to live apart even though they love each other desperately. I know it’s fiction, but the actors of those days make me forget it isn’t real.


10.) What do you do to amuse yourself when not working?
My weakness is books. When I’m not writing, you can bet I have a have a couple of books close by that I read every chance I get. I don’t have a favorite genre. Or a favorite book. I like nearly everything.


11.) What is it in a man or woman that turns you one? The clean version, please!
Intelligence. Followed by a man’s hairy chest, the hairier, the better.


12.) What do you hate about life?
War and violence. I’ve started not watching the news on TV because it’s filled with it, and there isn’t a blasted thing I can do about it.


13.) What do you hope to achieve in life and when will you know that you have been a success?
To me, being a success means working at something you love. For me, that’s writing. But I’m not at the point where I want to be…not yet. And maybe that’s part of it too, the striving to be better in the future than I am in the present.

Curses


Cindy Pape/Curses/Triskelion Publishing/ebook/189 pgs


As soon as I began to read this book I knew I would love it. Mel is a witch and her family have been cursed for generations. Because of this she knows she can never marry and she is determined never to have a child, but she does need something in her life. When Jonas - better known as Joe Pierce - comes along the physical attraction is strong. Joe is a best selling author of horror books and he has sought peace and quiet at Whispering Pines to write his new book, but he is also researching Mel because he has a need to know more about witchcraft and various other paranormal states.


The truth is that Joe is a shape shifter and can become a wolf at will. He soon learns that Mel uses her powers for good and gives of her own strength to heal her friends and the wild animals she rescues in the forest. But Mel has an enemy who wants to build a fashionable centre on her land, and will use any mean trick to force her to sell. As Mel battles her enemy on one side and her growing feelings for Joe on the other, she falls in love with him in both his forms - as I did! Joe is gorgeous both as a human and a wolf! In fact both characters are lovely. I want to sit in Mel's kitchen and drink coffee with her, and I want to hug Joe, especially when he's a wolf.


This is a special book, sensual, warm, uplifting - and its author deserves a bouquet of red roses for giving us this lovely story. Anne

Sunday, 6 May 2007

Contract Bride



Ayn Amoreli/Contract Bride/Black Velvet Seductions/ebook/337 pages
This very sensual book starts off in a way that is guaranteed to provoke a reaction from women. If you are female you will either laugh and say go girl! Or you might hate the hero's attitude. Bob McKnight needs a bride and a baby by the end of the year if he is going to inherit a huge fortune from his aunt. Kayla is down to her last few dollars and definitely needs a bit of luck and when Bob offers her two million dollars to marry him and have his child, she agrees. But when Bob seems to think he can treat her like a whore she wishes she had never agreed. She decides to leave him, but Bob is the man of her dreams and she can't help falling into bed with him. Can she tame him and make him realise what he could lose?
Is it possible that what began as a contract marriage can turn into something worthwhile? Look out for some twists and turns! This is a book for over eighteens and is a strong, pacy read with a satisfactory ending. 4.5 red roses, but only for those who like strong sexual scenes. Roxy

An Interview with Michelle Styles




An Interview with Michelle Styles. This is an author I met through the Internet and in person at the RNA awards luncheon. We were both up for the Romance Award, which neither of us won – but we have become friends through it and I think that is possible worth more to us both. Anne
Tell us a little about yourself
I was born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area. I spent my third year of university in England where I met my husband. Four years later, we married and I moved over to England permanently, much to my family’s dismay. After nearly twenty years, I think I am very well settled in Northumberland, a few miles south of Hadrian’s Wall. In addition to a large rather over grown garden, we have three children, two cats, two dogs, hens, a multitude of ducks and two beehives.

What do you write? I write historical romance. Okay, good old fashioned bodice rippers with accurate history and a high degree of sensuality. Torn togas if you will for my Romans. I am still trying to come up with a good name for my Vikings as the women did not wear bodices. Sometimes, I think that people fear historical novels will be hard to follow or demand too much because they didn’t like history at school. I want to make history accessible, to show that history is interesting and a thumping good read. It is the type of novel I love and why shouldn’t I write what I love to read?

Why do you write?
I write because I am a far nicer person when I am pouring drama into my novels, rather than pouring into my life. I write basically because it comes as naturally as breathing to me.

What are you writing now?
Right now I am writing an early Victorian. It is a linked book to my December release –A Christmas Wedding Wager, because my daughter fell in love with a secondary character – Lottie and demanded that she have her own Happily Ever After.

What kind of clothes do you like to wear?
One of the great things about being a writer is that you can work in really comfortable clothes – jeans and a sweat shirt. But every now and then, you are given a chance to dress up – an awards ceremony or going to meet your editors and then I like to take the opportunity to look nice.

Are you in love? Have you ever been?
I love my husband dearly. What is great about having a long term relationship is the nature of love changes. This was really crystallised for me when I read Anne Morrow Lindbergh’s brilliant series of essay in Gifts from the Sea. She likened romantic love to the two halves of a perfect shell – beautiful but fragile, but married love was a knobbly whelk with many chambers – not necessarily pretty to look at but useful, durable. I love exploring the theme of love in its many forms.


What kind of comfort food do you like best?
An English fried breakfast – eggs, bacon, sausage, tomatoes, baked beans – the works. My husband introduced me to them in the early days of our courtship and I remain addicted! Unfortunately, I don’t get to eat it very often as I had my gall bladder removed in 2002 and have to limited my fat intake, but whenever I need comfort food...

What makes you laugh? Cry?
Lots of things. I am easily amused. Hopefully I don’t take my self too seriously. Equally, I cry very easily. Apparently when I was little, I used to practice crying in front of a mirror. My parents thought I might grow up to be an actress. Tears have never bothered me, but I understand that they bother some.

What do you do to amuse yourself when not working?
I garden and take long walks. I love doing needlework and of course reading remains a top priority. I also enjoy cooking.

What do you hate about life?
I hate injustice and hypocrisy.
What do you hope to achieve in life and when will you know that you have been a success?
I hope to raise my children into honourable adulthood and will be well satisfied if I live a life well lived. If my writing touches one person, then I have been a success. I think success is measured in small precious moments in time. In 2002 when I had gall stones, and nearly died, I realised that it was important to take pleasure in life’s blessings. The fact that my writing is published and people enjoy it means a lot.
What are you going to write next?
After I finish the early Victorian, I think I am going to write the final part of my Viking trilogy, but it depends slightly on what my editors think. Luckily I love many different historical eras and I love doing research. But whatever I write, I hope it will be a thoroughly enthralling read for anyone who chances to pick it up.

Eye of The Tigerlily



The Tigerlily/Annie Holloway/Triskelion Publishing/Ebook/115pgs
Molly Whitecloud is part Native American and works tirelessly for the people of the Blackbird Indian Reservation, but when she visits a fertility clinic in Boston it is for her own private dream. Molly happens to know that the man she loved still has some of his sperm in the bank there and, as he gave his permission for it to be used for others, she uses her inside knowledge to take advantage. They had once been lovers but she miscarried his child after marrying a man of her tribe. Cameron Outlaw has never forgiven her for breaking off their relationship, but he does not know that her father made it clear she was not suitable as a wife for him.
Now, years later, Molly needs something to fill her life. Cameron has a child from his first marriage – a marriage to a woman he never loved – and is now planning to marry again for all the wrong reasons. But fate is about to get in the way. Molly and Cameron are flung together as they try to stop the mobsters from taking all the profits from a project that was supposed to bring benefits for the Reservation.
Being so close together brings all the old feelings flooding back and it is inevitable that they should make love. Molly is battling with her feelings of guilt at what she did, and her hurt that he still intends to marry Sharon. Cameron meanwhile has always hated the man she married when she should have been his, and though they were divorced some years previously, his jealous makes difficulties between them. However, the danger that nearly robs Cameron of his beloved daughter and Molly of her life finally brings them to a realisation of the truth.
For me this was an unusual love story, telling part of the problems posed for Native American people in their struggle to find a place in the modern world. Tender, sometimes sad, but always compelling, this is an appealing book. Award 4.5 red roses. Morna

Saturday, 5 May 2007

The Gallant Lord Ives


Emily Hendrickson/The Gallant Lord Ives/Robert Hale/ISBN 9780-70090-8222-4/HB £18.99

This tender love story about an earl and an invalid girl, despised or neglected by most of her family, tugs at the heartstrings. Lord Ives comes calling on the ffolkes family to talk about sheep with Alissa's father. He first sees the shy young woman flying her hawk with her horse and dog. She is disturbed when they meet, because during her ill fated season this handsome man never noticed her though she noticed him! On her ride home she has an accident, which leaves her unable to walk temporarily.


When Lord Ives returns to stay for the sheep fair a month later he is dismayed to hear that Alissa is confined to her room. He defies convention to carry her from her bed to the chaise longue and forces her to face life again. It is Lord Ives who stands by her as she struggles against her sister Henrietta's spite, while appearing to favour the younger girl. Her youngest sister Elizabeth is also a good friend and deservedly finds happiness with Lord Ives' friend, but can Alissa overcome all her problems to find her own true love? This is a book you will want to keep and read again. Award five red roses. Anne

Secret Intentions


Leslie Dicken/Secret Intentions/TriskelionPublishing/ebook/187 pgs

This book set in Victorian times is an entertaining tale of a proud nobleman who is forced into taking the rebellious Lizzie Parker to London for the season. Her father is the Rector at Abingdon and under a misguided idea of securing her fortune he has blackmailed Lord Markham into courting and marrying her.


Lizzie is furious at being taken away from her home and her father. She thinks she wants to marry the curate but despite Lord Markham's arrogance and her anger, she finds herself falling in love with him. She is then devastated to learn the truth. Can love find a way through this tangle of secrets and deception?


This is enjoyable, sensual , fast paced and good fun. Award 4.5 red roses, Morna



Interview Lynda K. Scott


Lynda K. Scott
Lynda is an American writer. Her book Heartstone has just been reviewed on Red Roses For Authors. I admired her for her book already, but I admire her more now that I've read her answers. Anne
Tell us a little about yourself
I’m a computer operator/programmer for a Building Automation System and a bit of a geek; love technology and love to figure out how it works. I also love science (even if a good deal of it’s over my head, I love to read Scientific American) and history though not recent history. I’m a wife and a mom and I’ve done all the mom things like make costumes for Halloween and dance classes, bake sales, chauffeuring, etc. I’ve done the Girl Scout Troop Leader thing (which was a LOT of fun!) I’ve got so many interests that it’s hard to catalogue them all and I often refer to myself as a Jack-of-all-trades.

What do you write?
I mostly write cross-genre futuristic romance with a good strong adventure though I’ve written some erotic paranormal and I have a historical that’s been begging for attention for the last few years. So many ideas, so little time to actually write them!
Why do you write?
The classic answer? The voices tell me to The real answer? I’ve been writing stories since I learned to hold a pencil. It’s what I do.
What are you writing now?
I’m working on a futuristic set in the far future that I’ve tentatively titled Rider’s Luck. It involves a trader with a criminal past who’s pursued by a lawman who wants to bring her and her old friends to justice. But he finds that the criminal charges against her are bogus and as his feelings for her develop, he wants to find a way to exonerate her.
What kind of clothes do you like to wear?
I’m into comfortable clothes, nothing tight or restrictive. I prefer jeans and T-shirts but I can get fancied up when I have to. Then I really like sparkly stuff.

Are you in love? Have you ever been?
Yes, I still love the man I married even though he drives me to distraction sometimes. I’m sure he feels the same way so I guess that’s fair

Do you have a dream lover – and what does he look like?
Each time I start a new book, I get a new dream lover He’s tall, well built and has a heart-melting smile. Right now, he’s got dark auburn hair, hazel eyes, one dimple in his cheek and a soft brogue.

What kind of comfort food do you like best?
I’m a country girl so I like fried chicken, mashed potatoes and green beans cooked with a little bacon or salt pork. Dessert is almost always chocolate.

What makes you laugh? Cry?
There’s a lot that makes me laugh. People. Animals. The really weird stuff I see in every day life. I laugh at my cat, Wookie Baby, who is a sweet, if slightly neurotic feline who is currently obsessing about the new ceiling fan in my dining area. And I laugh at my dog, Zuzu, who watches Wookie obsess about the ceiling fan with a perplexed expression that’s almost human.
Cruelty to children and animals makes me cry. It also makes me very, very angry.

What do you do to amuse yourself when not working?
I write. Wait. Writing is supposed to be work, isn’t it? Okay, I play computer games or watch TV or read one of the kazillion books I own. Occasionally I work in my garden but all that fresh air and sunshine can send me reeling back into the house when my allergies start up.

What is it in a man or woman that turns you on? The clean version please!
I like men who show in their words, expressions and actions how they feel about a woman. I like fidelity and honesty and gentleness and strength. That turns me on faster than anything.
Women don’t turn me on but if I had to describe the perfect friend, it would be one who accepts me, would stand by me, and who wouldn’t play the little games some people resort to. Luckily I have several very good friends who fit the bill.
What do you hate about life?
That it’s too short and sometimes it isn’t very fair.

What do you hope to achieve in life and when will you know that you have been a success?
I’d like to sell enough books to quit my day job. Or to keep a roof over my head and food on the table if my husband loses his job. But really, I’d be head over heels if a reader came up and asked for an autograph. I’d know I had ‘made’ it then.
What are you going to write next?
If Rider’s Luck is a success, I’d like to write a sequel or turn it into a series. There are at least two characters in there that would like their own books. They’re getting pretty insistent about it too.

www.triskelionpublishing.com

Friday, 4 May 2007

The Heartstone



Lynda K. Scott /Heartstone/Triskelion Publishing/ebook/160 pages
MS Scott takes your mind and holds it in thrall with this mesmerising book. Science fiction it may be, but written with such power and honesty that you cannot stop reading and believing.
Keriam is human or so she has always thought, but strange things begin to happen after her mother's death, which she fears may be a form of madness. She befriends a dog she calls Wolfgang little knowing that he is in one of his other forms and is actually the Antari Defender. Eric has come looking for the Stonebearer, because she is the only one who can find the Heartstone and save his planet – and the universe – from the Gawan.
The Gawan is an evil being who infests other beings and forces them to become a part of it, trapped in the web of its mind. Only Keriam and Eric can defeat this evil, but they must do it together. They can only become powerful enough by bonding in a special marriage called Ga'ja. Eric knows the old legend but even he does not understand the truth at its core.
Before they can discover the Heartstone they must journey a long way and face many dangers and monsters, of which the most terrifying is Gawan spawn. It is during their journey that their feelings become love and it is through that love that their quest will succeed.
A highly sensual love affair shines through this breathtaking adventure, holding the reader fast in tentacles of suspense to the end. Five red roses, Anne

Interviews


To celebrate our first two months we are posting the first author interview. This month it is Jen Black, an English author. Jen recently had a review on Red Roses For Authors and the reviewer loved it. To read more about this author go to Jen's blog. We hope our visitors will enjoy this new feature, one of many we shall introduce gradually. Anne



Interview For Jen Black





From Jen Black

Tell us a little about yourself
My name is Jennifer Black, but I get Jen as a nickname. I worked from school, and then went to university as a mature student, gained a degree in English language and Literature, then a diploma in Library Science. I managed libraries in academic sector and I’ve worked most of my adult life, which is why retirement seems so wonderful now. I’ve divorced and re-married and it is so much better the second time around.
What do you write?
If we’re talking about published books, I have written two historical novels set in Viking times and one contemporary set in rural France, with a pair of ghosts wandering about as an added attraction to the old watermill.
If we’re talking about books yet to be published, then things widen out a little. I set one skiing adventure in Banff, in the famous Sunshine Village, a Viking-Celtic romance set on the west coast of Scotland, and then I came home to my own glorious Northumberland for a fin de siecle romance set in 1891.
I suppose the link through them all is romance. Some have adventure thrown in for good measure.
Why do you write?
Because I love it! I know everyone says they wanted to do it from being knee-high, but it is true! I did want to write a book, but I didn’t have the confidence to tell anyone, not even my close family, so it came as something of a surprise when I actually did it.
What are you writing now?
I’ve just begun to write about Northumberland in the sixteenth century, and again it will have adventure and romance thrown into the mix.
What kind of clothes do you like to wear?
Oh, casual in the extreme. Jeans and tee shirt about covers it, (they certainly cover me!) though sometimes its jeans and a blouse, or fleece trousers and sweatshirt. My husband is always nagging me about it. "You’re not going out dressed like that?" he’ll say in tones of wounded astonishment, and I’ll go back and put on something more ladylike. He likes me to look smart. So do I, sometimes! I do have one or two posh outfits, but we hardly ever go anywhere posh enough to wear them!
Are you in love? Have you ever been?
Yep. It took me a long time to find my husband, and I wish I’d found him two decades earlier, but that’s life.
Do you have a dream lover – and what does he look like?
I have a few, in my books, and they vary according to my whim, and what I think will suit the book and the character. The one I’m just inventing hasn’t really come clear yet for me or the heroine, but he’s got dark hair and brown eyes. My last hero, the one I meanly abandoned in 1891, had dark hair and grey eyes. They usually have mellow voices, because an attractive voice is one of the things I first notice, and remember longest, about any man. It’s definitely sex related, because I never think twice about women’s voices. Finlay, the hero of my two published historical novels, is tall, dark haired and has eyes that are "not black or brown, but green. There are flecks of brown and yellow, but the base is green, dark as water with weed under it."
What kind of comfort food do you like best?
Chocolate most of the time, anytime. Warm toast with honey dripping from it late at night when I can’t sleep. Marmite on top of butter on warm toast if I’m bored with honey. A bacon sandwich, porridge with sultanas sprinkled through it for breakfast on cold winter mornings, with honey drizzled over the top. Oh, and did I mention chocolate? Toblerone, dark Toblerone for preference.

What makes you laugh? Cry?
Inadvertent humour, I think. Witty humour. I can sit through slapstick and never raise a smile. I remember sitting in a cinema watching that Streisand-O’Neil film with the improbably plot. A steer gets loose from a train in an American town and runs through the streets. Guess where it ends up? Charging through a shop full of glass and china, and everything rattles and clashes but not a single thing gets broken. I nearly fell off my seat laughing "a bull in a china shop!" – but I alone was laughing in the entire cinema. No one else thought it funny.
Cruelty to animals makes me cry. I still miss my Dalmatian who died back in 1988. If I’m out for a walk I sometimes get the feeling I can hear her behind me, but of course…she’s not there. The orphaned child in Africa who took out a white envelope and removed a small photograph. "This is my father." The camera pans in and I realise the photograph is actually a negative…and it is all he has of his father.

What do you do to amuse yourself when not working?
Since I don’t have to work for a living any more, I don’t consider anything I do now is work. I do only what I want to do! I spend a lot of time at this time of year in my garden, which is looking wonderful. My neighbour has one of those precise gardens with everything in straight lines, primulas lined up in rows and not a weed to be seen. He must think mine is a jungle, for there’s not a straight line in it apart from the fence and even that has only one right-angled corner!
We go on holidays quite often. We ski, we go to France and vegetate in the sun and I’ve visited every continent except South America. I walk a lot, exploring our wonderful countryside

What is it in a man or woman that turns you on? The clean version please!
Oh…..well, different things in different men, I suppose. I’ve never seen all of these things in one man, not even my husband! And I’ve already mentioned my penchant for voices, so let’s see…clear brown skin, the kind that tans easily. Good bone structure, with a slight hollow between cheekbone and jaw. Thick, strong hair on the head, perhaps the limbs, but not, thank you, on the chest or back. Some muscle definition is nice, but I prefer the lean body rather than the hulking type. And there’s a particular chest shape I like…but how to describe it? Wide and deep like Richard Harris, if anyone can remember him in his prime. I must be old fashioned, but the current vogue for men that have larger breasts – I don’t care if it is muscle! – turns me off rather than on.
What do you hate about life?
I hate it when people promise something and then don’t produce the goods. I hate the rudeness I see around me on the streets, the way the media hype things out of all proportion because they’re all hanging on to their jobs and need something to say; the way people’s private lives are laid bare by news hacks. I hate it that Concorde and Britannia, both superb British icons, were decommissioned. (Yes, I know Concorde was half French!) and I really hate it when shop assistants leave you standing there so they can answer a phone!
What do you hope to achieve in life and when will you know that you have been a success?
If I’m happy, then my life is a success already. I don’t have anything to prove to myself, or anyone else, but it will be rather nice when I finally hold my first print copy from a reputable UK publisher in my hot little hands. That will really be a day to break out the champagne!
What are you going to write next?
I have no idea! I’ll think about that when I’ve got more than one chapter of my work in progress done!