Grab your favorite beverage, relax, and let me tell you a story…

After Midnight - Black Phoenix #1

Re-edited, revised edition October 2013

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September 28, 2012

Friday Quickie

25 quickie facts about Rolynn Anderson:

Birthday? July 16
Favorite color? Green
Favorite animal? Sea Otter
Siblings? 4
Favorite drink? Gin and Tonic
If you were a jelly bean flavor, what flavor would you be? Cherry
Favorite author? Barbara Kingsolver
Favorite dish? Halibut poached in sour cream sauce
Ice cream flavor? Chocolate Mocha Fudge w/ Macadamia Nuts
Favorite Season? Summer
Plotter or pantser? Pantser
Hobbies? Golf and gardening
Dream vacation? Hill country-Italy
Favorite TV show? Downton Abbey
Musical preference? Diana Krall; The Eagles
Pet peeve? Irregardless
Favorite place to write? On the boat
Favorite song? The Letter by the Boxtops
Odd family fact? I lived in 20 different homes before college-Army Brat
Unforgettable moment? Selected as principal to open a new high school
Favorite Superhero? Superwoman
Spicy or not? Love spicy
Cat or dog? Cat
Favorite candy bar? Heath
Favorite guilty pleasure? Chocolate Malt Milkshake

Summarize your book Twitter style – 140 characters or less:

She’s a boutique funeral planner whose dead clients won’t rest in peace.


To learn more about Rolynn Anderson and her writing, please visit her website:

September 27, 2012

PMS and the Romance Writer

Trying to write but...

my characters are fighting
the dogs won't stop barking
I want chocolate
my pants are too tight
I have cramps
my husband is chewing too loudly
I want ice cream
the garbage smells - even though I emptied it five minutes ago
where's the Midol?
I want popcorn
my boobs are swelling out of my bra
now the neighbors dogs are barking
my characters are still fighting
is this ever going to end?
there's not enough Midol in the world to fix this
screw it, I'm going back to bed!

September 25, 2012

Virtual Blog Tour: Away from the Spotlight by Tamara Carlisle

Today I'm happy to have Tamara Carlisle with me. Tamara is celebrating the release of her book, Away from the Spotlight, and has agreed to stop by and visit with us today. Oh, and Tamara will be awarding two $25 Amazon GCs to randomly drawn commenters during the tour!  So make sure you leave her a message!  Welcome, Tamara!

Away from the Spotlight includes a love triangle. So long as it doesn’t appear contrived, a love triangle can ratchet up the drama, show a side of a character that might not otherwise be shown, and/or spur a character to take or fail to take certain actions. And what woman wouldn’t love to have two men competing for her affections?

The Drama 

Law clerk, Shannon Sutherland, meets co-worker, John Maher. Soon after meeting John, Shannon learns that John is in a long-term relationship and realizes she has no chance with him as a result. John and Shannon then settle into a close friendship. Unbeknownst to Shannon, John is equally taken with her, but remains in his relationship without Shannon knowing of his feelings for her.

As the novel begins, Shannon meets Will MacKenzie. Shannon and Will quickly fall in love. However, when Will and Shannon appear to have problems, John is right there. While still in his long-term relationship, John consoles Shannon and serves as a listening ear. Later, John’s girlfriend leaves him and he becomes single, but Shannon is no longer single. John tries to spend time with Shannon, taking advantage of the fact that Will is away for a period of time. Shannon realizes what John is up to and distances herself from him. However, when Will and Shannon again have problems, John is right there - again.

Who is Shannon supposed to be with? Will, whose career requires somewhat of an itinerant lifestyle and provides a host of complications? Or, John, whose career and lifestyle is identical to that of Shannon? While Shannon’s preference is clear for the most part, does the story play out that way? Does she have a choice?

Character Development 

In addition to the dramatic element, the love triangle serves the additional purpose of drawing the reader into Shannon’s life outside her relationship with Will. Shannon is no shrinking violet waiting to blossom under the love of a good man or be rescued by her prince. Regardless of how amazing her relationship with Will is, Shannon is an independent, well-educated, career woman with a life that is more than being someone’s girlfriend or wife. In that regard, she serves as a good role model and the story provides an example of a good relationship that complements a woman’s life rather than becomes a woman’s life.

Also, when Will sees Shannon and John together at one point in the story, he behaves in a way that shows what he was like before he met Shannon. Now that I think about it, to some degree, Shannon saves Will!

Catalyst for Action or Inaction 

The involvement of a third party can also spur action or inaction on the part of one or more characters. In Away from the Spotlight, as I noted before, Will sees Shannon and John together at one point in the story. That incident serves to delay a reconciliation between Will and Shannon. Will’s subsequent behavior then places him right back in the path of Shannon and leads to that reconciliation, albeit after a delay.

Timing Is Everything

Shannon and Will meet when they are both at the right place at the right time. Both were single and ready to fall in love when they met. The timing between John and Shannon was off for a long time. Did it remain that way? You’ll have to read Away from the Spotlight to find out.

Thank you, Sarah, for allowing me to join you today!

In the closing weeks of law school, Shannon Sutherland meets handsome and charming Englishman Will MacKenzie. Initially swept off her feet, Shannon finds that Will has a secret that, once discovered and the consequences realized, could destroy their fledgling relationship. Will and Shannon take great pains to have a normal relationship but, ultimately, find it impossible to do so. Will the pressures of their careers and the temptations of others drive Will and Shannon apart? Can Will and Shannon live a happy life away from the spotlight?


“I promise nothing will separate us again. Just like it said in our vows, ‘Til death do us part.’”

“Well, about fifty percent of all marriages are ‘til divorce do us part.’”

“We’ll be in the other fifty percent.”

“How do you know?” I was still worried.

“Because I love you and I am not stupid enough to make the same mistake twice. Unless you have any plans to break us up?”

“No. I wasn’t worried about me. I was worried about you.”

“We’re good then?”

“Yes, I guess so.” I could hear a little sigh of relief on the other end of the phone. “Other than Saturday, have you ever noticed how we have a lot of these kinds of conversations over the phone or out in public?”


“I wonder why that is.” “Because when we’re alone together, we can’t keep our hands off each other,” Will said in a sexy voice.

“I guess that’s true. Do you think we’ll ever be able to have them when we’re alone together?”

“If you mean, ‘do I think that we’ll be able to keep our hands off each other at some point,’ I certainly hope not. But I do think we might be able to figure out how to multitask.”

Tamara Carlisle is a former attorney and business consultant. Away from the Spotlight is her first published work of fiction. She currently is working on two additional novels: one is about love in the music industry and the other is a work of paranormal fiction. Tamara currently resides in the San Francisco Bay Area with her British husband and daughter. For further information, go to http://www.tamaracarlisle.com

Tamara’s Goodreads Author Page also includes a blog detailing trivia relating to Away from the Spotlight.

September 22, 2012

Contest Winner!

I just discovered – by way of a Google search I did while waiting for my husband to start the movie – that my entry in the Hearts Through History, 2012 Romance Through the Ages Published Author Contest is a winner. Yup, AFTER MIDNIGHT took first place in the Contemporary category! Entries were judged by avid romance readers. Winners will be included in a full-page RWR (Romance Writers Report) advertisement and are to be awarded a trophy featuring their name and the book title? Woohoo! Can’t wait to see that!

September 21, 2012

Friday Quickie

25 quickie facts about Emma Lai: 

Birthday? September 1st.
Favorite color? At the moment, purple.
Favorite animal? Dog.
Siblings? Too many to list.
Favorite drink? Champagne.
If you were a jelly bean flavor, what flavor would you be? Cinnamon.
Favorite author? C.S. Lewis.
Favorite dish? Curry.
Ice cream flavor? Mint cookies n’ cream.
Favorite Season? Fall.
Plotter or Pantser? Panster.
Hobbies? Watching movies.
Dream vacation? Trip around the world.
Favorite TV show? Big Bang Theory.
Musical preference? Classic country.
Pet peeve? Negativity.
Favorite place to write? Chair in the living room.
Favorite song? Daddy’s Hands by Holly Dunn.
Odd family fact? Too many to pick from.
Unforgettable moment? Son’s birth.
Favorite Superhero? Iron Man.
Spicy or not? Spicy.
Cat or dog? Dog.
Favorite candy bar? Snickers.
Favorite guilty pleasure? Escaping the house by myself.

Summarize your book Twitter style – 140 characters or less:

Wanting It All coming September 25th from Loose-Id.

Clayton Palmer has power and prestige. What he doesn’t have is another man to share his life with. Will his courtroom nemesis and secret crush be open to negotiations?

At Least Once More coming September 28th from The Wild Rose Press

Miss Annabelle Abbott wants love but finds only fortune hunters, so the next man has to prove his desire for her body first. Will the Duke of Powis satisfy her demands?

To learn more about Emma and her fabulous books, please visit her website: http://www.emmalaiwrites.com 

September 20, 2012

Welcome Guest Blogger Alyson Reuben

Thanks so much for having me at your blog today, Sarah.

Just a few years ago, if someone told me I’d write a story involving a love triangle, I would’ve said they were crazy. Yet, once the idea behind CASTLES WE BUILD took a hold of me, it was like a bulldog sinking its teeth sunk into a chew-toy. It refused to let go.

Just to be clear, the story isn’t a modern sex ménage. But it isn’t exactly a traditional romance either. The premise sprouted from an idea that came to me out of nowhere during one of my rare philosophical moments. I wondered what a woman would do if she married one man, believed he died – let’s just say, during a war (which I decided to use in the story) – and then remarried another man only to discover that her first husband wasn’t dead after all. Who would be her “real” husband, legally? How about emotionally? Or morally? Ooh, tricky. Out of curiosity, I asked a few people what they thought. Guess what? Yep, you got it. Everyone had a different opinion. Some people thought she should go back to the man she was married to first. Others were sure that she should stick with her current husband. As I toyed with this story idea, I took it a step further, imagining that she had been passionately in love with her first husband, and had never really stopped loving him, even after she thought he was gone forever. I also imagined that husband #1’s return wouldn’t go over well with husband #2.

Eventually, I sat down and started typing random scenes in the story. It soon became clear that CASTLES WE BUILD should be set in the roaring twenties, amid a whole flurry of other exciting events. The heroine, Julia, would find herself in a real quandary as she came face to face with the return of her first husband, Landon. Her existing husband, Ford, would shake things up even more. Several events and scenes took me by surprise, since many of them weren’t planned.

More than three-fourth of my way into the story, it dawned on me that I still had no idea how it would end. Naturally, I started to panic. What was I supposed to do now? There was nothing to do but to keep doing. As Nathaniel Hawthorne once said, “Easy reading is damn hard writing.” After a while, it didn’t matter that I couldn’t figure it out. My characters took matters into their own hands. And when Julia made her decision during the last few chapters, I was absolutely thrilled with the outcome.

By the time you finish the story, you may or may not agree with every the decision the characters make, but I hope you love Julia, Landon, and Ford as much as I do!

She has a chance to relive her past. But at what cost? 

When Julia married the man of her dreams, Landon Sloane, neither of them could have predicted the destructive impact of The Great War. Finding herself a widow and single mother in a period ripe with women’s suffrage and the prohibition, Julia married wealthy industrialist Ford Hampton. 

Now, ten years later, with a son attending an academy for the gifted, a daughter with special needs, and a flapper stepdaughter who tests her daily, Julia is hardly prepared for Landon’s return from his long foreign captivity to announce he has never stopped loving her. 

Faced with unrequited love for Landon, her life truly begins to unravel with the intrusion of her mother, who abandoned her as a child, a devastating factory fire, and an alarming encounter with a tawdry bootlegger. Finally, when her son is kidnapped in a diabolical scheme of revenge, Julia knows she has to make a final decision that will forever change everyone and everything in her life. 


There he is. A man whose memory I desperately tried to lay to rest at his memorial site in Westbrook Cemetery.

Landon Sloane.

For a few seconds, I wobble, my peripheral vision closing in. I’m about to pass out….

Suddenly, he grins. And the grin does the same thing to me now that it did nine years ago, saving me from losing consciousness. Saving me, period.

He holds out his arms, and I rush into them, moaning as his mouth claims mine in a kiss that’s like a drowning man clutching a lifesaver. Pulling me inside and reaching behind me to slam the door shut, his hands grip at my clothes and my hair, tangling in them as if hoping to extract the essence of everything I am.

Now he’s kissing my cheeks. My forehead. My chin. The places behind my ears. The hollow of my neck. The skin above my lace collar. My breasts through the voile fabric. My legs as he pushes up the hem of my frock.

And I’m falling backward on a bed that seems to have appeared like magic. Calling his name. Over and over. He answers me with a voice tinted by a slight brogue, as familiar as the sound of leaves rustling in the wind. Yes. Yes, he’s really Landon Sloane. Alive. Very alive. And my name is also on his lips, coming out in hoarse whispers, pressed against my skin, branding me with what’s always been there, never disappearing completely, but only lying dormant — my love for him.

Rising above me, his body comes down over mine in the ancient way that has coupled countless lovers. In the same way that summoned us in the past with pleasure and intoxication. I grip him, pulling him closer, needing him to complete what’s lacking. To satiate me with his heat and energy….

A little girl’s cry floats through the room.

Gracie! Just that suddenly, I push Landon back, forcing his flushed face away from mine. No, I’m not thinking clearly. That wasn’t a girl’s voice. Just a bird outside the open window. One that has a trill similar to a child’s outburst.

For several seconds Landon and I stare at each other, saying nothing. He looks the same. Yet, different in several ways. Slimmer…a little too slim. A leathery tan that makes his eyes brighter, as potent as midnight’s navy sky in a flash of lightning.

I’m lying here half naked. With a husband I thought would never return from the war he left to fight nine years ago. And the question hits me like a rock to the stomach. “Why, Landon? Why didn’t you come home? Where have you been?”

He visibly swallows, his face glistening with perspiration and what might very well be tears. “My ship sank off the coast of South Africa. Most of the men didn’t…. Anyway, me and my lieutenant were rescued by natives. They had bartering friends who traded with them. Local radicals who supported the enemy forces. I think a few of them even had direct ties with Germany.”

His voice has deepened, grown huskier with age. I try to concentrate on his words, needing desperately to understand. To make sense of this unexpected phenomenon: the miracle of his rise from the dead.

“So me and the lieutenant were arrested and held in an encampment. Seventeen straw huts surrounded by a high fence. Guards with guns and long pikes. Shared it with criminals and other detainees. We didn’t even know when the war was over. Guess they liked having free laborers too much to set us free. Or maybe they just liked trapping us like mice in a maze.” His voice is hard now. Gritty. Full of hatred and anger. In a tone I don’t recognize.

“They finally released us last month. Because of some new political uprising, I think. I don’t know exactly who or what…. I only care that I’m free. Back where I can see you. Hold you. And…oh, God, if I can just get all this filth out of my head.” He sits up beside me, gripping the sides of his head.

The hair at his temples is peppered with silver.

It used to be completely dark, the color of coffee with no creamer.

Like Brent’s.

I reach for him, pulling him to me. Prison. For almost a decade. What a nightmare that must’ve been. The hurt is palpable, transferring between us. “It’s over, darling,” I whisper near his ear. “And I’m so glad you’re back, safe and sound. Alive.

He folds his arms around me so that we’re huddled in a ball. And we stay that way. Unmoving. Quiet. For a very long time.

His heavy breathing steadies to a hoarse snore; the sound of a man who hasn’t had good, clean rest for a long time. He shifts, spreading out his arms in unconscious freedom. And I release him, sitting up gently in order not to wake him.

The bedroom is mostly bare. A utilitarian iron bed. A dresser. A shabby club chair. But nothing else. I stare at the open window where the cage hangs, dangling slightly in the breeze. There are no finches in it. Or any other birds. The door is hanging open, facing the outside.

He won’t cage anything again.

I push my tousled hair from my face, combing both hands through the chin-length strands.

None of this is the way it should be.

It’s all messed up somehow.

Ford’s face enters my mind. Just the way he looked last night, smiling at me from the dinner table.

Oh, God.

I’m married to someone else.

And I have a family.

Two men.

Two husbands.

Back in elementary and high school, Alyson was always in trouble for jotting stories in her notebooks when she should’ve been studying for math tests. Detentions and trips to the principal's office aside, she was determined to become an author someday, no matter the price.

Fast forward a few years — okay, actually several years — she began writing historical romance and women's fiction, leading to the debut of A BEAUTIFUL CAGE, published by the Wild Rose Press in 2011.

Now she gets in trouble for writing stories when she should be cooking dinner for her family.

Find Alyson Here:

September 18, 2012

I’m Out of Shape

Writing shape, that is. We won’t even talk about what kind of shape I’m in physically, this is a writer’s blog, after all.

For me, summer is a time of total insanity. Not because of school break, ball games or vacations. Oh no, for me summer is crazy because both my husband and I work an insane amount of hours during the months of June, July and August. Heck, sometimes it carries into September. What do I mean by an insane amount of hours? Well, for him summer means 80+ hour work weeks, for me, something like 65 – 70 hours a week.

See, I told you it was a time of total insanity.

Given the choice between working an obscene number of hours every week and writing, I would, of course, choose writing. However, there are bills to pay. And so, I trudge to work every morning at 5 a.m., and leave at 6 p.m.. Only, instead of heading home, I head off to put in a few more hours working with my husband. I don’t begrudge this time of all work and no writing, but I don’t embrace it either. After all, it’s not like the voices in my head take the summer off.

This year has been a bit different for me, as I’m done with the crazy hours already. Yup, it’s 40 hour work weeks for me. Which is good, great really, except for one thing. I’m out of shape – writing shape.

As bad as being out of shape physically. Surprisingly difficult to get back into the habit of writing. There are so many things to do! Laundry. Vacuum under the couch. Paint the living room. Lunch with friends I haven’t seen in months. Get that last swim in the lake.

Whew, I’m working up a sweat just typing out all the things I need to do! Between work and that list, how do I fit writing in?

One step at a time doesn’t work for me. Nope, me, I have to dive right in head first. Surround myself with inspiration, reconnect with friends who also write, and no matter what else is going on, sit my butt in the chair and write. Blog posts, fragments of the story, anything as long as I do as Nike urges and Just Do It! Every. Single. Day.




It’s not going to be easy, but I’m the stubborn sort. With persistence, dedication, and a few kicks in the pants from a certain friend who shall remain nameless –ahem, Amie – I can get back into shape. I have to, after all, there are two heroes commanding my attention right now.

Dominic Michael

How do you get re-motivated?

September 17, 2012

Random Photo Day

This weekend my family and I did something we haven't done in years...we went away. Not really a vacation, more like a mini-vacay or getaway, as we called it. Where did we go? To Sandusky, Ohio and a fabulous amusement part called, Cedar Point - 364 acres of fun located on a Lake Erie peninsula.  Here's our view from the giant ferris wheel.

What did you do this weekend?

September 15, 2012

New Blog

I have a new blog I'm excited about. It's called Off the Keyboard and my partner in crime - ahem, I mean blog partner - is the fabulous Amie Louellen. Won't you check it out? We 'officially' start up next week with Monday Musings: 10 Things You Might Not Know About Sarah Grimm.


Looking forward to seeing you there!

September 13, 2012

My Funny Bone

I have a confession to make. I’m a laughaholic. I love to laugh, and do so whenever and wherever possible. It’s not always pretty – head thrown back, mouth wide open – but it does seem to be contagious. Especially if you get me to laugh hard enough I snort. My BFF can make me laugh that hard, and does any and every time we’re together. She can get me laughing so hard it literally becomes difficult to breathe. God, I love that woman!

My family makes me laugh. On any given Saturday night you will find me, my husband and our two sons (17 and 18) sitting in a local restaurant having dinner. This may not be too strange – although I know a lot of families whose teenaged sons don’t spend much time around the parents anymore – but that’s not even the strange part. Okay, strange may not be the right word, but…whenever you find us out like that, you’ll know us because we are the table that can’t stop laughing. It’s true, mom, dad, 17yo son and 18yo son are always laughing. Always. Laughter is a huge part of my life, and my husband and sons make me laugh.

This is the one thing I am most thankful for in life. I can’t imagine a life without laughter. I can’t relate to people who don’t laugh long or often. I can find laughter in some of the dumbest things. When something is so messed up it’s either laugh or cry, I choose laughter. Every time. And when I’m blue, I turn to laughter to lift my spirits.

So it’s not surprising that some of my favorite contemporary authors incorporate humor in their writing: MaryJanice Davidson, Susan Anderson, Rachel Gibson, Amie Louellen.  Getting lost in a fabulous romance, falling for the hero – a hero who’s funny – it’s like falling for my husband all over again. It doesn’t get much better than that. I think this is one of the hardest things for an author to do – reach readers by touching both their hearts and their funny bones. It’s also one of those skills I don’t have. No matter how hard I try, I can’t write funny.

So instead, I’ll keep scouring the local bookstores for more humorous romances. And if I keep that little dream alive – the one where one day I can write a book that touches the readers heart, tickles their funny bone AND keeps them on the edge of their seat – well, there’s no harm in dreaming, right?

September 11, 2012

Welcome Guest Blogger Andrea Downing

Sept. 11th has rolled around again and it’s a date that is hard to ignore, even on a romance blog site. In the collective memory of mankind, this date is one that is going to stick around for a while and the question, “where were you when--?” just won’t go away. But perhaps if we escape the 21st century for just a little while, we might be able to think of happier times.

 I’ve been told that I was born in the wrong century and I do have a certain hankering for life back in the 1800s. I see it as a simpler way of living, a gentler, less stressful life. But was it? In the collective memory of the late 1800s, what events would be lurking? The start of the Civil War—and the peace, too. The death of Abraham Lincoln. The massacre at Little Big Horn and later the murders at Wounded Knee. It was hardly a gentle century, all told. And life was hard. We take so much for granted these days that it is difficult to envisage life without smartphones, washing machines, dishwashers and the like. But since we’re talking romance here, what about relationships in the 1800s?

Courtships, of course, generally started with the man asking permission from the lady’s father to see her. In ‘better’ families, the courtship would have to be chaperoned. Dates might be dances such as the church social or friends’ parties, sleigh or coach rides, or just a plain old visit, sitting in the parlor or out on the porch. In cities there might possibly be an outing to theatre with a few stolen kisses in the coach on the way home. All sounds rather bland but then why were one third of women pregnant at the altar in the early part of the century? That’s right—pre-marital sex is not a modern invention, we’ve just become more open about it. That statistic, by the way, dropped off as the century proceeded due to various inventions of birth control. The re-usable condom was one; it had to be washed out!

This also accounted for the drop in size of families. Early in the 1800s, families had an average of 7-8 children. This had gone down to 4-6 by the end of the century. Remember, however, that women were home-bodies, looking after the children and doing all that washing without machines, hand-stitched sewing, cooking on the stoves with fires that had to be lit, sweeping up and working the pump for the water with which to wash dishes after dinner. Later in the day they might grovel to their husbands for a few extra dollars for something they saw as necessary before he took advantage of the free sex on offer, even when she wasn’t in the mood.

So perhaps it wasn’t a gentler, less stressful life—for women, for the men who had to fight those bloody battles or slog away for their burgeoning families without benefit of a second income. Perhaps when dates like Sept.11th roll around and we look for ways to escape the traumas of the age in which we live, we should sit back and count our lucky stars and forget about ‘where we were when’ and enjoy the here and now.

When Lady Alexandra Calthorpe returns to the Loveland, Colorado, ranch owned by her father, the Duke, she has little idea of how the experience will alter her future. Headstrong and willful, Alex tries to overcome a disastrous marriage in England and be free of the strictures of Victorian society --and become independent of men. That is, until Jesse Makepeace saunters back into her life... 

Hot-tempered and hot-blooded cowpuncher Jesse Makepeace can’t seem to accept that the child he once knew is now the ravishing yet determined woman before him. Fighting rustlers proves a whole lot easier than fighting Alex when he’s got to keep more than his temper under control. Arguments abound as Alex pursues her career as an artist and Jesse faces the prejudice of the English social order. The question is, will Loveland live up to its name? 


The two men looked over at Jesse who was leading his own horse into the stable, anger etched in every muscle of his face. Joe nodded toward the chuck house and they followed the others in to leave Alex alone when Jesse came out.

She was starting back to the main house when Jesse grabbed her arm and turned her around. “You ever do that again,” he said in a voice she had never heard, intense in its anger, rage just below its surface, “I swear to God, Alex, I’ll...I’ll take you over my knee and give you a lickin’ once and for all.”

“How dare you!” She shook him off. “How dare you talk to me like that! How dare you! Who the hell do you think you are?”

Jesse jabbed his finger at her to emphasize he meant what he was saying. “Who do I think I am?”he snarled back. “Who do I think I am? You ever, ever take a gun off me again and point it at someone, you’ll find out who the hell I think I am. You know that coulda gone off? You know you coulda killed someone? I told you—out there yonder—I told you, you never point that thing at anyone less’n you mean bus’ness.”

“I did bloody well mean business! They were destroying that horse. Furthermore, I knew, and you knew, and they both knew, there wasn’t a shot under the hammer. You taught me that, didn’t you? So there was no chance of an accident!”

“That don’t matter none. You coulda pulled the hammer back twice. Way you was, you were nothin’ better’n a loose cannon, Alex. You ever do a thing like that again—”

“You’ll what?” She shook with her rage as tears pooled against her will. “I apologized to them both and they accepted my apologies. It’s none of your concern—”

“None of my concern! You pulled my gun! You ever do that again— Don’t you walk away when I’m talkin’ to you!”

She turned back to him after a few steps. “You’ll what? You’ll what, Jesse? What will you do? I want to hear it! Say it again. What will you do?” And she stood there in the evening darkness, facing him down, wearing him out like she’d faced down the stallion.

To learn more about Andrea and her writing please visit her website:

LOVELAND is available now at Amazon and The Wild Rose Press.

September 10, 2012

Mystical Press

Greetings and Salutations!

Many thanks to Sarah for hosting us on her blog today! We’ve got some really exciting news to share with everyone so grab that cuppa and let the blogging begin!

 September 1-15th marks the official
Grand Opening of Mystical Press Services!!! 
This means 50% Off all our classes
and services through September 15th!

In case you haven’t yet heard about our website, allow me to introduce you to a place where you just might find the fulfillment of your dreams. That’s right! The talented folks at Mystical Press want to help you reach your publishing goals!

How do we do that? I’m glad you asked!

Mystical Press is the culmination of an idea that came from two authors and professionally trained editors—Arial Burnz and AJ Nuest—where we help authors bridge the gap between the form rejection letter and publication. In fact, we believe in this venture so passionately, our tagline is “Helping authors achieve their dreams.”

At Mystical Press our primary goal is to help writers. As authors, we understand the frustration of not receiving constructive and useful feedback, the aggravation of navigating the murky depths of the publishing industry and that, sometimes, authors just need a place to vent. Well, we’re here to tell you, the insanity can end!

Like-minded individuals can gather online at Mystical Press to work one-on-one with professional editors who help authors prepare their manuscripts for submission. Whether you are looking for a Manuscript Evaluation, Submission Evaluation, or a full story edit, we will give you honest, encouraging feedback and work diligently with you on your story to make sure it’s ready to land on an editor’s desk. No project is too big or too small and all receive the same precise attention to detail.

Perhaps your submission is ready but you need assistance with smaller editing projects like a query letter and synopsis? Have no fear! Mystical Press is here! We offer a full edit of query letters and synopses with comments and suggestions that come directly from AN EDITOR! TAH-DAH!

 And don’t worry! If your goal is to write your very own dynamite synopsis, at Mystical Press we believe in “teaching a man to fish”. Our Power Class, How to Write a WINNING Synopsis, is designed to easily guide you through the process of crafting your very own synopsis! Yes, that’s right. I used “easily” and “synopsis” in the same sentence!

The self-paced course curriculum at Mystical Press can assist in tackling those pesky problem areas as well (e.g., show vs. tell, POV shifts, realistic character and story development, etc.). If you’ve read books, articles and/or taken workshops and are still in search of that elusive contract offer, perhaps Mystical Press can help. Take one class or take a whole series—our online classes are designed to meet each writer’s individual needs.

Is your next project of the self-publishing variety? Mystical Press has a selection of pre-made covers we guarantee will only be used once! No one will have the same cover! Or, if you’d like, we can design a cover specifically tailored to your vision—you will work one-on-one with our talented cover artists! We are also happy to edit your baby and can even format the document to meet the specifications of most popular self-publishing platforms.

Remember to mention Mystical Press to all your friends and fellow writing pals – here’s why. Mystical Press offers a free Referral Program. Just register on the site and we will assign you a Referral ID. If anyone clicks on your link and makes a purchase, you earn a referral fee! Whether you choose cash or a credit for products or services on the site, consider this our thank you for helping us spread the word.

Oh! And before I forget…we offer a wide range of gift certificates designed specifically with the writer in mind. Tired of searching for the “write” present for your author pals? Maybe that next birthday calls for an eGift from Mystical Press!

So now that you know all about us, please tell us all about you! Head on over to Mystical Press and register free on the site. Everyone who does will be entered into our drawing for fabulous gifts and prizes! Join our celebration and together we will strive to get your voice heard!

September 8, 2012

Review Time!

It's been a while since my contemporary romance, AFTER MIDNIGHT was released so imagine my surprise and excitement when I discovered JoAnne wrote a wonderful review of it. Go to Romancing the Book and check it out! Here's my favorite part:

This was a romance that had lots of darkness to it and then some light would shine through to ease some of the pain you could feel coming off the pages. It drew me in from start to finish and I didn’t want to put it down.

September 7, 2012

Friday Quickie

25 quickie facts about Mariah Lynne:

Birthday? March 18
Favorite color? Pink
Favorite animal? Lion
Siblings? 1 Brother
Favorite drink? Iced Tea
If you were a jelly bean flavor, what flavor would you be? Licorice
Favorite author? Agatha Christie
Favorite dish? Angel Hair Pasta with Marinara Sauce and Meatballs
Ice cream flavor? Pistachio
Favorite Season? Summer
Plotter or pantser? Plotter
Hobbies? Swimming Traveling (when I can)
Dream vacation? African Photographic Safari
Favorite TV show? The Closer
Musical preference? Soft rock
Pet peeve? Backstabbers
Favorite place to write? My Family Room
Favorite song? Always On My Mind
Odd family fact? My father’s great great uncle was the Duke of Naples (passed down by word of mouth only)
Unforgettable moment? Witnessing first hand the last Space Shuttle Atlantis launch
Favorite Superhero? My Husband –My Best Fan
Spicy or not? Not
Cat or dog? Dog
Favorite candy bar? Hershey Bar with Almonds
Favorite guilty pleasure? Dark Chocolate and Champagne

Summarize your book Twitter style – 140 characters or less:

THE LOVE GYPSY finds true love and befriends time travelers. When her two worlds collide, the romance is magical!


To learn more about Mariah Lynne and her writing please visit her website:

September 5, 2012

Wednesday Shout Out

1. At this moment, I am (where?) ...

2. Right now, I wish I was (where?) because ...

3. I'm happy this week because...

4. My biggest challenge this week is...

5. The thing I'm looking forward to the most is...

6. The last book I read was...

Join me!  I've placed my answers in the comments. Post your answers there, or on your blog. If you DO post it on your blog, let us know where to find you!