Friday, April 24, 2015


Giveaway Alert!

This is to be a monumental year for me. My eighteen-year-old triplets will be leaving in the Fall to attend college at the University of Missouri-Columbia, a good four and a half hours away from me. Sigh. It all went so fast! It seems like yesterday they were climbing into my lap to read stories, riding their tricycles up and down the driveway, and pretending to be unicorns in our back yard. Saying goodbye is tough for three reasons.

One, the obvious, you’ll miss whoever you are saying goodbye to.  I’ll miss the way hearing them come in the door at the end of the day brought an automatic smile to my face. Miss the, “Hey! How was school?” and their answers. Even their unanswers like, “Okay, I guess.” I’ll miss how my son Ryan tells me stories about the residents in the nursing home he works at. I’ll miss the way my son Mitch helps me with my physical fitness. I’ll miss the way my daughter Hannah shares some of the same celebrity infatuations as I do (Hel-l-l-lo, Green Arrow!) But…what I won’t miss-CONSTANT laundry, dirty dishes left to harden on the counter (right above the dishwasher!), sibling ugliness, going to cook dinner and finding the objects you needed have been consumed despite your warnings...the list is long.

A second reason it is hard to say goodbye is the fear of the unknown. I have been a mom for over twenty years, and, of course, I will continue to be a mom, but not in the same way. What will it be like when the noise disappears? (And, I’ve gotta say, we can be noisy!) How will I deal with missing them? What will it be like to walk in the door and not trip over shoes? For my husband and I to have privacy again? So many unknowns. And there’s always that feeling…someone leaves a job and says, “Don’t worry. I’ll be back to visit.” But it’s never the same. Sharing your daily life with someone brings a certain closeness that can’t be achieved any other way. But…there have been many other stages in my life when changes have come, and I was able to handle them. And let’s face it, despite my telling them that I could live in their dorm closets, they are going to grow up and fly away. That is how it is meant to be. And that’s a good thing. …Or so they tell me.

A third reason it is hard to say goodbye is worrying about the person/persons whom are leaving. Will they remember the lessons we’ve taught them and make the right decisions? Will the world treat them kindly? Will they meet the right people, move in the right direction, find happiness? How will they do when I’m not there to give them a hug at the end of a bad day? 

Okay, enough! This is getting depressing and I certainly don’t want to depress you. In life it is all about perspective. Choosing to look at the negative or focus on the positive. I’m proud of all that my kids have accomplished and all they have yet to accomplish. I’m happy for all the opportunities that await them at the University of Missouri-Columbia, my husband’s and my alma mater. I’m excited to have more time for my writing and more alone time with my hubby. More opportunities to travel. More nights where we bag making dinner and go out and eat. And, since we’re season ticket holders at Mizzou, I’ll be able to see the kids at every home game. Change, though difficult, is not always bad.

What about you? Has life taught you any tricks to make saying goodbye easier? Anyone out there a change-hater like me? (Everything is fine. Why does it have to change?) Do you cringe when they announce changes at work? Or are you energized by change and ready to try something new?

Princess Megan in my latest release, LADY OF THE KNIGHT, has difficulty with the changes in her life. First she has to adapt to being a Knight’s wife, and then everyone believes that her husband is dead, when she can feel it in her bones that he is alive. Is she cracking up? And what do these changes mean for Orion, her husband’s apprentice, the second man that loves her? Aha, ha! You’ll just have to read to find out. Meanwhile, here’s a blurb to entice you further and then I’d love to have you comment if you feel like it. And be sure to enter the drawing for two e-copies of the first in the ROMANTIC KNIGHTS TRILOGY, LEAP INTO THE KNIGHT. Thanks for reading!


Can she betray the man she loves in order to save him?

Newly wed, Maggie is trying to figure out how life married to a Knight of the High Order is supposed to work. Then an explosion rips her husband away from her. Everyone believes him to be dead, but in her heart she knows it’s not true. How is she supposed to find him when others think she’s crazy for even looking?

Will he betray The Order to make his way back to her?

Darius’s captor wants information about Council members. If the Knight is killed keeping The Order’s secrets, his newfound life with Maggie will come to an abrupt end. Will duty win out over love? 

And will he betray his best friend for the woman he loves?

Orion has learned to keep his distance from Maggie, but when circumstances throw them together in a very intimate way, how can he be expected to remain a loyal friend to Darius? He may be a Knight, but he’s human, too. He wants to do what’s right for all of them, but what’s right is becoming increasingly unclear.

When hearts are pulled in separate directions, each painful decision they make could affect them all. Join us for another ROMANTIC KNIGHT! 

Excerpt ~
They both turned to stare out the window at the spot where Darius’s ship had last been. There was no trace of the ship. All that was left was a cloud of debris. A cold wave of shock hit Orion. He froze, his mind grinding to a halt until all that was left was the one thought. Darius was gone. His master was gone. In the back of his mind a voice screamed, “Maggie!” but it took a while for it to register. When it did, it rang clearly. “Maggie.” He looked over and then reached out to comfort her but she shrugged him off.

She straightened her shoulders, drawing herself taller, but she seemed to force the words from her lips. “Stop, Orion. Darius is fine.” 

“Maggie…” He was at a loss for words. How could she deny what she saw with her own eyes?

“I’m telling you, he’s fine.” Her eyes shot fire. “Run a scan for life-forms if you don’t believe me.”

Everyone stared at the commander. For a moment he stared at her with pity, unsure of what to do. Finally he turned and said quietly, “Lieutenant Skruggs, run a life-form scan.”

Skruggs pushed up his glasses and dutifully punched several buttons on his console.

“There are no signs of life, sir. I’m sorry,” he added compassionately to Maggie.

Something seemed to snap inside of her, and she charged at the man, emitting a growl. Orion stepped in front of him and grabbed her by the shoulders.

“YOU LIAR!” she shouted at the man vehemently. “Orion, he’s lying to you.” She gazed into his eyes, her face still enraged but also pleading with him. “Can’t you see that he’s lying to you?” Her jaw tensed, and her eyes became hard. “Do something, Orion.” At the end, her voice cracked.

“Maggie, honey...” He tried to find the words to reason with her.

“Get …y-your hands… off…me-e-e!”

Purchase on~
Barnes and Noble

Giveaway:I'll be giving away two e-copies of the first in the ROMANTIC KNIGHTS TRILOGY, LEAP INTO THE KNIGHT to two commenters or email entrants.

Author Bio~ 
M.J. Schiller is a lunch lady/romance-romantic suspense writer. She enjoys writing novels whose characters include rock stars, desert princes, teachers, futuristic Knights, construction workers, cops, and a wide variety of others. In her mind everybody has a romance. She is the mother of a twenty-year-old and three eighteen-year-olds. That's right, triplets! So having recently taught four children to drive, she likes to escape from life on occasion by pretending to be a rock star at karaoke. However…you won’t be seeing her name on any record labels soon. 

M.J. can be found at~
Google + :

Giveaway ends 11:59pm EST April 25th. Please supply your email in the post. You may use spaces or full text for security. (ex. jsmith at gmail dot com) If you do not wish to supply your email, or have trouble posting, please email with a subject title of JRS GIVEAWAY to be entered in the current giveaway.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Why the Weird Stuff?

With: Seleste Delaney

I’ve gotten this question a few times—usually from my mother or from people who haven’t actually read my books—but it never fails to stop me in my tracks. Why the weird stuff? Why not the weird stuff?

Please understand, I know the question is meant to be helpful. More of a “wouldn’t your books be more mainstream if you left out the hero with Hulk-like rage issues and cursed paintings and all that?” The short answer to that question is “maybe,” but it’s equally likely that my books would get lost in the shuffle of all the other non-weird romantic suspense books. 

But that isn’t what people ask. They ask “why the weird stuff?”

The answer is pretty simple to figure out really. Take a look at my TV and movie viewing…
- Marvel Cinematic Universe, including the TV shows hits the top of the list. (Weird in the real world.)

  • Supernatural (Weird in the real world.)
  • The Librarians (Weird in the real world.)
  • Warehouse 13 (Weird in the real world.)
  • Eureka (Weird in the real world.)
  • Gotham (Weird in the real world.)
  • Arrow and The Flash (Weird in the real world.) 
  • Harry Potter (Weird hidden in the real world.) 

Honestly, I could go on for a long time here, but I think the most concise way to put it is Richard Castle is the author I want to be. Yes, I know he’s fictional, but I also know that even though he’s “in” the real world (or a close fictional facsimile), it never occurs to him that the crazy answer might not be just as plausible as “the jilted ex-lover did it because they could still collect on the life insurance.” The first time he threw out a crazy theory, my response was “I’d read that.” 

When I couldn’t find it…I wrote it. 

The editor who worked with me on Gaming for Keeps called it Big Bang Theory meets The X-Files. That was how I knew she got it. She understood exactly why I write the weird stuff. 

Because I can. Because I want to. And simply because there’s not enough of it in the world. 


He made her crazy. In every way imaginable...

Since her partner's death, Jodi Israel has been perfectly happy playing Q to everyone else's Bond. Electronics and machines are safer - and they are a lot easier to deal with. Unfortunately, she's stuck with TRAIT's newest recruit, an infuriating, arrogant alpha-male who plays by his own rules...and is hot enough to send electric voltage through all of Jodi's circuitry.

Finn Danby heeds his instincts, even though it's cost him his job on more than one occasion. The moment he sees Jodi's fiery hair and uncanny engineering abilities, Finn's instinct takes over...and it's all libido. Now they're working together to protect the unstable daughter of a high-profile politician - and the sparks are flying. Both in and out of the bedroom. But when all hell breaks loose, Jodi and Finn just may find themselves alone…and unemployed.


“We’re sparring?” He eyed the mats like she was crazy.

Maybe she was. This was risky for sure, but Jodi needed to gain the upper hand somehow, and she didn’t anticipate him being impressed by simply looking at all her toys. It didn’t matter that she built half the stuff TRAIT was using in the field these days. Remote battle drones camouflaged as toys pretty much just looked like fun and games when they were sitting on a shelf. He was going to need to see her—and them—in action. “We’re fighting. When we reach a death blow, it ends.”

“You want to go best two out of three so you stand a chance?”

No. Element of surprise only worked once, and there was no way she’d beat him at hand-to-hand combat. She was gadget girl, able to destroy buildings with bombs the size of earrings, but unable to bench more than eighty pounds. Probably a lot less after the months working in the garage.

“I’m good with one round.” She twisted her hair into the elastic, making certain it was as secure as possible before stepping to one corner of the mat.


“There are no rules out there. We won’t bother to have them here.”

Frowning, Finn started toward the opposite corner. He toed off his shoes and unbuttoned his shirt. As he slid it off arms corded with muscle, Jodi couldn’t help but notice the scars crisscrossing his skin. The marks started on his biceps and continued across his shoulders and back. She had to swallow and tear her gaze away for a second. It wasn’t her business.
She knew he’d been discharged from the army after being seriously injured when a building exploded, killing all but him and one other member of his platoon. She just hadn’t realized he lived with that kind of reminder.

“You ready, doll?”

The pet name helped her shake off her thoughts, and she prayed she didn’t have any visible reaction to the moniker. “Whenever you are.”

About Seleste:
Seleste discovered early the trick to not being afraid of the monsters under the bed was to turn them into heroes. Since then, she has seen enough of human monsters that she prefers escaping to worlds where even the worst demons must play by the rules and the good guys might end up battered and bruised (or dead), but they always win. She resides in southeast Michigan with her kids and a pair of fierce slobber-monsters of her own. In those moments when not battling terrorists, vampires, or rogue clockworks, she loves to interact with readers all over the Internet. 

FIND THE AUTHOR HERE:   @selestedelaney     Facebook      Website

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

The Ranger

With: Angi Morgan

West Texas Watchmen

A Texas Ranger must protect a single mom with a target on her back...

Texas Ranger Mitch Striker's uncomplicated bachelor lifestyle suits him just fine: catch the bad guys and move on. But there's nothing straightforward about struggling single mom Brandie Ryland or her adorable four-year-old son, Toby. The beautiful redhead is the prime suspect in Mitch's undercover investigation. But when a hostage standoff leaves Brandie's family vulnerable and uncovers a roomful of contraband and drugs, Mitch second-guesses her involvement in the crime…and his ability to keep his emotional distance.

With the danger growing and the clock ticking, Mitch must save Brandie, catch the perps and handle the daddy heartstrings Toby keeps tugging on. Then he'll have to face the secrets he's sure Brandie's keeping—before they become his undoing.

"Texas Ranger Mitch Striker works undercover as a mechanic at a garage managed by single mom Brandie Ryland. Although Brandie just so happens to be the prime suspect I Mitch's investigation, he has his doubts about the beautiful redhead's involvement. When the perps go after Brandie's son, Mitch must save the day. When all is said and done, will the confirmed bachelor be able to walk away from the bond he has created with Brandie and her child? ... the characters are likeable and there's plenty of suspense and even some humor." ~ RT MAGAZINE

Chapter One
Mitch cracked one eyelid open, staring at pavement. The last thing he remembered was palming his .45 and soundlessly skirting the back wall of Junior's garage. He'd been about to open the office door, tripped and then nothing but stars. God bless `em, but he'd seen enough pinpoints of light in the past couple of minutes to last a lifetime.

Texas Ranger Mitchell Striker had been an undercover mechanic in Marfa going on six months. Too long in his humble opinion, but no one asked him. He couldn't see a blasted thing from his position on the cement. He concentrated on the sounds around him. Shuffling of smooth-soled shoes inside the office. Papers falling to the floor. Excited breathing.

It didn't make sense that he'd fallen. If anything was out of place where he worked, he would have been the one to leave it there.

Nothing was ever left out of place. He hadn't tripped.

He'd been hit on the back of his head. If he concentrated any harder, he'd hear the lump pushing through his hair. Inching his left hand, minutely extending his arm, he tried to find his gun.

A noise like someone bumping the chair, followed by muffled voices awakened him from a light sleep in the back room. He'd come to the office but must not have been as quiet as he'd thought. The guy with the smooth shoes had gotten the drop on him. 
"You didn't have to hit him with a wrench."

Mitch froze, recognizing the woman's voice. Daughter of the garage owner and his boss, Brandie Ryland. She should be at home with her son not rustling through files in the middle of the night. Files she had access to anytime she asked in the daylight.

"What if you've seriously hurt him?"

"Good. We told you to clear him out for a while. Why's he here in the middle of the night? You got something on the side?"

Male voice with a bit of a northern nasal. Clearly not from south of the border or Texas.

"He's my mechanic and sleeps in the back room." Brandie moved next to him. Tiny bare feet, he could see she'd painted her toenails herself and had missed a spot on the outside of her pinky. The color was her, calm blue with festive glitter. She knelt beside him and her toes were replaced with cartoon characters covering her knees.

"Where do you hide the cash around here?"

She wanted to rob her own garage? She didn't need muscle for that.

Cool, shaky hands gently parted the hair where he'd been hit. Just a lump or she would have hissed at the sight of blood. Mitch had seen her practically pass out when Toby had gashed his shin falling from his tricycle. She stroked his longish hair covering his face to tuck it behind his ear. He was forced to completely close his eyes and couldn't see where her partner was located.

"I don't keep cash here." Brandie was lying. Mitch knew she put it in the safe overnight and drove it to the bank after the breakfast crowd thinned out.

~ ~ ~
ANGI MORGAN writes “Intrigues where honor and danger collide with love.” She combines actual Texas settings with characters who are in realistic and dangerous situations. Angi's work has been a finalist in the Bookseller’s Best Award, Romantic Times Best First Series, Carolyn Readers Choice, Gayle Wilson Award of Excellence and the Daphne du Maurier.

Website   Facebook   FB Fan Page  
Twitter @AngiMorganAuthr      Book Trailers on YouTube
Extra Giveaways. Check out A Picture A Day for the link
~ ~ ~

Friday, April 17, 2015

Facing Your Fears… Sort Of!

With: Michelle Karl

Congratulations to "Jonetta A." the winner in Michelle's giveaway. Thank you to all who participated!

One of the most common pieces of writing advice that every writer hears, at least once in their journey, is to “write what you know.” Whether or not you subscribe to that adage, there’s one thing that we all know—and probably better than we want to: Fear. We all know what it’s like to feel afraid, to feel that surge of adrenaline in your chest that starts your pulse racing and your heart pounding.

It’s a lot like falling in love, really. Maybe that’s why suspense and romance go together so well!

When I started writing Fatal Freeze, I asked myself: “What am I afraid of? What makes me shake and shiver, what is it that, when placed in a difficult and unexpected situation, would make everything so much worse?”

Spiders and snakes are common fears for some people—as are public speaking and heights—but you know what strikes terror into my heart? Boats. And the ocean. Boats on the ocean! All right, before you start laughing, hear me out for a moment! 

I think that when you can identify a fear and harness those raw emotions, a story becomes much more powerful. My hero and heroine in Fatal Freeze are trapped on an icebound ferry in the ocean, and just thinking about being in that situation makes me shiver and cringe in fear. Imagine if you were in their shoes, with a killer aboard. Yikes.

Throw a little romance into the mix, and that pounding heart is going to get a major workout! 
I’d love to know what makes you shiver and shake with fear! If you were on the run from a killer or placed in danger, what would make that situation so much worse? 

Commenters will be entered into a giveaway to win a copy of Fatal Freeze!


CIA agent Shaun Carter is on the trail of an international crime ring, and the sudden appearance of a woman from his past could jeopardize his mission. Missing persons investigator Lexie Reilly's search for a missing teen has put her in the criminals' crosshairs. Joining forces to take down this ring is their only chance of survival. Shaun vows to keep the beautiful investigator out of harm's way and help her find the lost girl. But when their ferry becomes icebound, they are trapped at sea with killers who will stop at nothing to keep them from discovering their secrets.

Amazon | Barnes and Noble

About the Author
Michelle Karl is an unabashed bibliophile and romantic suspense author. She lives in Canada with her husband, a co-dependent cat, and an opinionated parrot. When she's not reading and consuming copious amounts of coffee, she writes the stories she'd like to find in her 'to be read' pile. She also loves animals, world music, and eating the last piece of cheesecake. 

Visit her at, on Facebook (, or Twitter (! 

Giveaway ends 11:59pm EST April 18th. Please supply your email in the post. You may use spaces or full text for security. (ex. jsmith at gmail dot com) If you do not wish to supply your email, or have trouble posting, please email with a subject title of JRS GIVEAWAY to be entered in the current giveaway.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Taking on the dark side.

Congratulations to "Mary P.", the winner in Kara Leigh and Jody's giveaway. Thank you to all who participated!

Looking at the story from the bad guy’s point of view...

When we first started our plotting and planning, which neither of us are programmed to do, so that in itself was a challenge, we discussed the idea of having the villain’s voice in the story. The antagonistic POV isn’t all that uncommon in mainstream romantic suspense, however it’s much rarer in Christian romantic suspense, so we knew if we were going to do this, we needed a really good reason. And we did!

Sharing our antagonist’s, Raymond Scotts, perspective would be an opportunity to fill in some of the gaps for readers so they weren’t quite as in the dark as our heroine, who suffers through most of the book with retrograde amnesia. This also gave us the opportunity to heighten awareness and increase tension. The audience knows bad things are coming even before our characters, because readers now have some insight into the mind of the attacker. 

Still, when choosing to share this point of view, we had to be careful that we knew what we wanted the audience to feel for Raymond. There are books where the villain’s voice allows the audience to feel empathy for their situation, even if they can’t stand the actions of that character. There are so many fantastic books that do the opposite of this as well. One of our favorites is The Search by Nora Roberts. We know exactly who the villain is and why he does what he does, but there is no empathy. Only a heightening desire to have the characters resolve the conflict before they come to harm. 

To make the point of view most effective for our story, we used short moments that showed the character’s frustration, anger, and darkness. We allowed the audience to see the escalation in less than a page until the very end. Hopefully, when readers get to the end, this knowledge of our villain will make the conflict and the precarious situation our mains find themselves in, even stronger.

Giving the villain page time lets readers feel his anger, but also their panic. For us, our bad guy needed to tie up loose ends or what he was working toward would be ripped away. That’s a powerful motivator. Here’s an excerpt from DANGEROUS LOVE from the antagonist’s perspective.

Several local papers were sprawled out on the desk in front of him. He’d combed through each one of them hoping to find something about Alessandra. But there was nothing. He slammed his fists down on the desk. If he knew where she was, he could fix everything. But not knowing was keeping him awake at night, and that was just unacceptable.

“Yeah?” he said in response to the knock on his door.

“We found her,” Frankie said.

Well it was about time. Standing, he said, “I want her brought here, to me, immediately.” And this time he would ensure she was appropriately dealt with once and for all.

Frankie rubbed at the back of his neck, stalling. “Well, sir, she’s in Metro General
Hospital and according to our sources, she hasn’t been released yet.”

A string of expletives coursed through his mind, but he bit them back. This wasn’t supposed to be so complicated. It was supposed to be a simple hit job that he ordered and never had to think about again.

“I can get a couple of our cities finest pay-rolled uniforms to go check up on her,”
Frankie suggested.

“No.” He sighed. “No. This is already messier than it needs to be. I don’t want anyone else involved. You and Chuck handle this, like you should’ve in the first place.”

“You got it, boss.”

“Find out when she’s being released, and then wait for her so you can bring her to me.”
Frankie nodded.

“And what about that friend of hers? Kristy? Did you find her?” He had a feeling
Alessandra would run straight to said friend as soon as she was released from the hospital. Knowing his associates botched this once already, he needed to have eyes on Kristy. If all else failed, he’d have to use Kristy as bait to get to Alessandra.

A story can definitely be told well without this point of view, but it was fun to include him and it challenges writers to get inside all of their character’s heads. Even though we didn’t want to spend a lot of time with Raymond, getting to know his voice that well improved our ability to make Alessa’s fear more authentic. We knew, and so will the audience, what she was up against. 

We’d love to let you get a better sense of all of our characters, too, and will give away a copy of Dangerous Love to one lucky commenter. Tell us, do you like the bad guy POV in a story? Why or why not? What are some of your favorite books that utilize this technique? 


He’s fighting to forget his past while she struggles to remember hers...

Doctor Josh Parker lives with guilt about his wife’s death every day. He believes himself incapable of ever loving again, but when a mysterious woman arrives in the Emergency Room, brutally beaten and
left for dead, he starts to feel something he hasn’t felt in far too long: hope.

Alessandra Matthews has no memory of the events that led to her being hospitalized. Worse, she has no idea who hurt her or why. Although she’s uncertain of who she is, she is fully aware of one thing -- she’s falling for her doctor.

Sometimes, what you don’t know can kill you...

As Josh and Alessa work to solve the mystery surrounding her past, she soon realizes just how much danger she’s really in, but Josh refuses to let her face the darkness of her memories alone. With each of them
struggling to put their pasts behind them, theirs is a DANGEROUS LOVE.

Release Date: 
March 3, 2015

Book Links:
Barnes and Noble

Author Bios:
Kara Leigh Miller: Kara lives in Upstate New York with her husband, three kids, three dogs, and three cats. When she's not busy writing romance novels that leave readers swooning, she's spending time with her family or attending one of her many writers groups. An active member of The Romance Writers of America and the CNY Writers Haven, Kara is also Managing Editor for Anaiah Press' Surge and Romance Imprints. She absolutely loves to hear from her fans and fellow authors, so feel free to drop her a line anytime!

Jody Holford: Jody lives in British Columbia with her husband and two daughters. She is a fan of Nora Roberts, Jill Shalvis, Rachel Gibson, and Rainbow Rowell. In reading and writing, she likes characters who are flawed, but driven toward the pursuit of love and happiness. In November 2013, she published A Not So Lonely Christmas with Foreward Literary. In December 2014, she published Forever Christmas through Kindle Direct.

Kara Leigh Miller

Jody Holford

Giveaway ends 11:59pm EST April 16th. Please supply your email in the post. You may use spaces or full text for security. (ex. jsmith at gmail dot com) If you do not wish to supply your email, or have trouble posting, please email with a subject title of JRS GIVEAWAY to be entered in the current giveaway.