Saturday, December 10, 2016

A Ghost of an Idea

“I have endeavored in this Ghostly little book, to raise the Ghost of an Idea, which shall not put my readers out of humor with themselves, with each other, with the season or with me. May it haunt their house pleasantly, and no one wish to lay it.”  Charles Dickens-December 1843

People respond to suffering in different ways.  Moved by the plight of children working in the Cornish tin mines, Charles Dickens gave a series of speeches imploring audiences to fight ignorance with educational reform. He then considered writing an inexpensive political pamphlet, but opted instead for writing fiction finishing the novella in six weeks.  Published on December 19, 1843, the first run of 6,000 copies of A Christmas Carol sold out by Christmas Eve.

It always amazes me what other creative endeavors are inspired by a single story.  Less than two months after publication, there were at least eight theatrical versions in production.  Scrooge’s tale of redemption has been portrayed in a variety of stage and screen adaptations with even the Plymouth Philharmonic doing a musical version.   While I’m sure Dickens would have written an impassioned political pamphlet, I doubt it would have resonated through the years as his novella.


Wishing all of you a holiday season filled with more hope and less humbug.

Saturday, November 19, 2016

Author Interview-Jill Archer

How did you become a writer?

I’ve been a lifelong reader so, at the outset, I had that love of books and the written word that every writer must have. When I reached the point in my life when I decided I wanted to try writing a novel, I just started writing. Those first scenes weren’t even close to a novel, but you have to start somewhere. Over a number of years, I took workshops, online classes, attended conferences, and read at least a dozen books on novel structure, character development, worldbuilding, etc. When I read other authors’ books, I started paying more attention to how they were written. I kept writing. Eventually, many years later, I was able to write a manuscript that was good enough to attract the attention of several agents. Leaving the practice of law to write about it (albeit with an interesting twist) was risky, but it paid off.

Who are some of your favorite romance characters?

Celia Bowen and Marco Alistair (Night Circus)
Claire and Jamie Fraser (Outlander)
Ramses and Nefret Emerson (Amelia Peabody series)
Aliena and Jack Jackson (Pillars of the Earth)
Kate “Puck” Connolly and Sean Kendrick (The Scorpio Races)

What inspired this story?

Noon was very loosely inspired by the Egyptologist Evelyn “Evy” Carnahan from the movie The Mummy. I was having lunch with a bunch of writers during the time when I was seeking inspiration for a new project. I was still practicing law and I sat next to a librarian. We each shared with the other that we felt our day jobs were fairly pedestrian and not necessarily something that could be tapped into to create a dynamic, otherworldly character. I then mentioned Evy as an example of a wonderful librarian character, who found love while battling the undead, despite her bookish ways. So that conversation got me thinking… If Evy could do it, maybe another similarly bookish lawyer character could do it too.

What is one of your favorite romantic locales?

Cape May, New Jersey is one of my favorite beach towns. Its Victorian houses are charming, its beach is beautiful, and it’s one of the only places on the east coast where you can watch the sun set over water. There’s a brewery, winery, lighthouse, and aviation museum. My husband and I have toured them all. J There’s also tons of great restaurants and places to sip cocktails in salty air. The Virginia Hotel’s porch is one of the best!

Is there anything else you’d like to share?

Advance review copies of Pocket Full of Tinder will be available on NetGalley via SFWA from November 15, 2016-December 15, 2016. I’m also running a Goodreads giveaway right now (chance to win one of 10 signed print ARCs).

Pocket Full of Tinder can be pre-ordered on Amazon, Kobo, and iTunes. On its release day, it will also be available on Nook and CreateSpace.

More about Jill

Jill Archer writes dark, genre-bending fantasy from rural Maryland. Her novels include Dark Light of Day, Fiery Edge of Steel, White Heart of Justice, and Pocket Full of Tinder. She loves cats, coffee, books, movies, day tripping, and outdoor adventuring.






Saturday, November 12, 2016

Lessons From the Dance Floor

Some writers seem to be everywhere, doing blog tours, leaving clever comments on writing loops and making appearances on all conceivable forms of social media sort of like the popular girl who is always on the dance floor. The gals on the sidelines wonder if they need a shorter skirt, higher heels or darker lipstick to be noticed. Writers watch others cut a broad swath on the Internet and worry about how much blogging, tweeting and commenting is needed to attract readers.

You don’t have to be everywhere, but you do need to be seen. One night at Salsa my instructor noticed me pouting at a remote table.  “You need to be closer to the action,” he said nodding toward the crowd at the bar. I moved to a more populated area of the club and my evening improved considerably.  If maintaining your own blog is too much for you, consider being part of a group blog or look for guest posting opportunities at other author blogs.



Watch the other dancers for ideas, but ultimately you need to find your own rhythm.

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

On the Road Again

I'm visiting the Roses of Prose today and sharing an excerpt from Ladies Man.
Hope to see you there!

Sunday, October 30, 2016

Got Ghosts?

One of the things I like most about Halloween is ghost stories and Northern Nevada has some chilling stories! Most people associate ghosts with old houses or graveyards. Apparently ghosts can reside anywhere there are strong feelings or intense memories.  I'm thrilled to be at Brenda Whiteside's blog today chatting about a sighting not far from my current office.

Wishing all of you a Happy Halloween! Hope to see you there!

Saturday, October 29, 2016

The Vampire (1957)

Claiming that he found the secret a dying Dr. Campbell hands a vial of pills to Dr. Paul Beecher who slips the pills into his pocket.  When his young daughter accidentally gives him one of the pills during a migraine, the kind family doctor finds himself swept up in horrifying events beyond his control. Can the good doctor stop the madness in time?


Although the film has several flashes of iconic horror scenes, a mysterious old house, creepy laboratory with bats, lovely woman fleeing in terror, vampire fans expecting the suave elegance of Bella Lugosi will be kept waiting.  Despite a number of bodies with the tell-tale fang marks in the neck, the title monster’s transformation and storyline is more The Wolf Man than Dracula.  Those horror fans that love their monsters whether they’re fanged, furry or with fins will enjoy The Vampire even without the cape and the smooth accent. Vampire purists may prefer to stick to the classic  Dracula or even Fright Night (the 1985 original or the 2011 remake).  

Saturday, October 8, 2016

Best of the West

In celebration of the release of Ladies Man, the production team shares what they consider the best of the West. They worked with me on Package Deal and Hot Flash and I'm thrilled to work with them again.


Personally, I'm pretty fond of the scenery throughout the West-not to mention how varied it is. You've got the stark beauty of the desert, the coast across California, even thick forests up in Washington. The weather can be a bit crazy sometimes, but there is always a gorgeous spot somewhere around the corner.

In addition to formatting, Stevie does cover design. Featured is one of her covers.


Harris Channing-Cover Design
Harris is an author in her own right as well as designer.

When asked what I love about the West, I had to stop and think.  As a Southern girl, it pains me to say that the furthest west I’ve ever been is Louisiana
So, I had to go deeper into things I like about the West. And what intrigues me is the history. So many great things happened during the expansion of America.  Gunslingers, Indian Chiefs fighting for their people, cowboys herding cattle, the iron horse, bison...And all the sites!  I’d love to see the Alamo, dip my feet into Pacific ocean, ghost hunt in a real ghost town, visit the Hoover Dam, the Grand Canyon and where Custer (who I think was an idiot) made his last stand.
But my interest in the historical West started more, or less, with reruns of television shows from the 1950’s and 60’s.  Young Clint Eastwood playing cowboy Rowdy Yates, James Arness as Matt Dillon (still don’t know why he never married Miss Kitty), my strange crush on Hoss Cartwright—I know he’s not the best looking Cartwright, but I think he would have made a hell of a good husband and father…Did you know his name is actually Eric Haas Cartwright?  Bet you didn’t.
But it has to be Chuck Connors-- cowboy, father, marksman and overall hottie, Lucas McCain that has me wanting to don spurs and ride into the sunset.  That chiseled jaw, that piercing stare, the immense size of the man, broad shoulders, narrow hips….yep, he was a romance novel hero before I even knew about romance novels.
So, here’s to the faux-none to factual Old West….where you never saw a cowboy in the outhouse.  Never smelled him after he’d been sewn into his long underwear all winter, and who always, always had strong, white teeth and minty fresh breath.
The Old West of the 1950’s.  It’s just too good to be true.
  
Truly an author’s editor, Marian also writes romance as Colleen Ladd.

Living in the mountains in northern Colorado, what I like best in the West is when fall rolls around.  The leaves change, mostly aspen turning gold and orange and, if we're very lucky, red.  The air turns cool and so crisp you feel you could cut it with a knife.  The smoky smell from people's fireplaces fills the air.  There's something fundamentally different about the smell of smoke in the fall.  Summer campfires smell of picnics and outdoor family time, hotdogs and toasted marshmallows.  Winter fires smell like warmth and cuddling up under a warm blanket with a dog or two and a good book.  They smell like home.

Mariposa Cruz-Author

To me nothing captures the spirit of the West with its wide open skies and landscapes like a Western. Destry Rides Again (1939) was James Stewart’s first Western and is tops on my must-see movie list. The folks of Bottleneck are confounded when Destry (Stewart) their sharpshooter new deputy refuses to carry a gun.  Armed with a quick wit, Destry upholds the law without firing a shot. But corruption runs deep in Bottleneck and an armed standoff between Destry and the mayor’s hired guns is inevitable.

As with many of his roles, Stewart comes across as Everyman Nice Guy. However there are a few key scenes where the Nice Guy façade drops and Destry stares at his opponent with a cold glare with a rage held barely in check. The effect is chilling. To me that look is well-worth the price of admission.

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Indie Author Day

“Writers aren’t exactly people…they’re a whole bunch of people trying to be one person.”
F. Scott Fitzgerald

I believe Fitzgerald’s quote to be especially true for indie published writers. Not only do you have a cast of characters in your head vying for attention, as an indie writer you are the CEO, publicist, finance director and tech support of your own business.  Even if you hire out for some of the heavy lifting jobs (like editing), the success or failure of your enterprise rests squarely on your shoulders.
That’s why I’m thrilled to announce the inaugural IndieAuthor Day taking place in libraries across the country on October 8th with a live webcast scheduled for 2:00PM EST. 

 My local library, Washoe County Library-Spanish Springs, will have their event on Sunday, October 9th from 2:00-4:00PM PST. The Spanish Springs event will host about a dozen local writers (including yours truly).  Authors will have their books available for purchase and there will be an author Q&A from 2:30-3:30.


Curious if your local library is participating? Check out http://indieauthorday.com/where
Here are the dates:  Nationwide-October 8, 2016
                                Spanish Springs, NV-October 9, 2016

Hope to see you there!


Sunday, September 11, 2016

Ladies Man-Available as a Pre-Order from Amazon

The release date is set for October 27th, but I'm excited to report that Ladies Man is available as a pre-order on Amazon. My second title in the Rhythm & Romance series and it's all about West Coast Swing.

Ladies Man

Clark Stevens has always had a way with women, but his teenage daughter despises him.  When his daughter comes to live with him fulltime, he enlists co-worker, Julie Wahl, to coach him on parenting skills.

As a single mom and paralegal, Julie Wahl, has successfully balanced family, work and swing dancing. After heartbreak on the dance floor, the last thing Julie needs is an office romance.  But she can hardly say no to a colleague in need, especially one with dark brown eyes and a killer grin.

Didn't Harris Channing do an amazing job with the cover! More in the weeks to follow.


Saturday, September 3, 2016

Dancing to Australia

Did you know an Italian study discovered that recovering heart surgery patients were happier taking waltz classes than those who cycled or ran the treadmill? I know I'd rather be on the dance floor than anywhere else.

Quick update: I've been busy with the final edits on the 2nd title in the Rhythm & Romance series. Harris Channing just sent me the cover and it's gorgeous! I hope to release "Ladies Man" later this Fall.

Today I'm guest posting at Louisehttp://louiselyndon.blogspot.com Lyndon's blog about a certain cowboy who first invited me onto the dance floor. My sister Wild Rose author is based in Melbourne, Australia and I'm thrilled to be her guest. Hope to see you there!

Saturday, August 6, 2016

Midnight Mysteries-Laura (1944)

I imagine between the schedule and facing the dark side of humanity on a daily basis that it would be difficult for a NYC detective to meet that someone special.  Under her portrait’s mesmerizing gaze while reading her diary, Detective Mark McPherson falls for a beautiful, quick-witted woman during a murder investigation. Unfortunately, the lovely Laura Hunt happens to be the victim.

The true star of the movie is the dialogue.  Laura’s mentor, newspaper columnist, Waldo Lydecker, has a rapier wit and he’s fond of skewering the unwary.  Writers will be intrigued by Lydecker’s writing desk, a typewriter perched over a spa-sized bathtub.

“I’m not kind. I’m vicious it’s the secret of my charm.”
 Waldo Lydecker

“In my case, self-absorption is completely justified. I have never discovered any subject so worthy of my attention.” Waldo Lydecker

McPherson: [Regarding the list of suspects] “You know you’re on this list too.”
Lydecker: “Good. It would insult me to be overlooked.”

“I can afford a blemish on my soul, but not my clothes.” Shelby Carpenter

By the way it’s a treat to see a young Vincent Price emerge from the shadows to play Laura’s man candy boyfriend, Shelby Carpenter.

I’m afraid I can’t say more without revealing too much. I can tell you that Laura like most noir movies, nothing is as it seems.

Saturday, July 16, 2016

Author Interview-Jenna Bennett

What inspired you to become a writer?
I’ve always been a writer. My first grade teacher told my parents – and all the other parents in the room – that “this one will probably grow up to be an author,” just before she read my story out loud at one of the parent-teacher meetings. Growing up, writing stories was a way to live vicariously through the characters, who were all prettier, more popular, and much more exciting than me.
I never considered writing as a possible career, though, so I did a lot of other things. Tour guide, bank teller, actress, waitress, proof reader, bed and breakfast reservationist, real estate agent, stay-at-home mom... until 2005, when I met historical suspense author Tasha Alexander. Her first book was being released that year, and she told me, “if I can do it, you can do it.” So I did it. And the rest is history, pretty much.

Who are your favorite romance characters (besides your own?)
I’m partial to Eve Dallas and Roarke, in JD Robb’s (Nora Roberts’) In Death series. They have full lives, difficult pasts, often difficult presents, and they don’t always get along, but their relationship is always real, and I like how, when they disagree, it’s over real stuff, and not some silly misunderstanding that could be figured out with a two minute conversation. As mostly a mystery writer, I appreciate the mystery and suspense plots of the books, too.

Tell me what inspired this story.
I started writing the Savannah Martin romantic mystery series when I was in real estate school in 2005. They were talking a lot about personal safety, and about the dangers that might lurk in an empty house. Things like axe murderers, rapists, and really big cockroaches. And I started imagining what might happen if a newly-minted real estate agent walked into an empty house and found a dead body. And not just that, but the dead body of a competitor, the barracuda of the real estate office, with her throat cut from ear to ear. And the suspect in the crime, the guy practically standing over the body, was the boy her mother always warned her about...  
That’s how A Cutthroat Business was born. I was reading a lot of Janet Evanovich around that time, so that’s the general feel of it. With a romantic relationship that actually goes somewhere, and doesn’t carry on in perpetuity with no resolution.

What is one of your favorite romantic locales?
I’m not sure there is such a thing. I mean, it all depends on who you’re with, right? Anywhere can be romantic with the right person, or unromantic with the wrong one.
That said, the isle of Capri is lovely. So is Venice. So, for that matter, is Bruges. And a whole lot of other places in the world, depending on your taste.

Is there anything else you’d like to share with our readers?
A Cutthroat Business, the first Savannah Martin mystery, is a free ebook download.  You can find the links on my website, www.jennabennett.com/a-cutthroat-business/ or simply by checking your ebook vendor of choice for it. It’s available on Amazon, BN, iBooks, Kobo and Google Play.
Here’s the blurb, if you think it’s something you might be interested in. It’s pretty funny, and with a really hot love interest, if I do say so myself.

Savannah Martin has always been a good girl, doing what was expected and fully expecting life to fall into place in its turn. But when her perfect husband turns out to be a lying, cheating slimeball—and bad in bed to boot—Savannah kicks the jerk to the curb and embarks on life on her own terms. With a new apartment, a new career, and a brand new outlook on life, she’s all set to take the world by storm.
If only the world would stop throwing her curveballs...
Everyone has warned new-minted realtor Savannah Martin that real estate is a cutthroat business. But Savannah doesn’t think she’s supposed to take the warning literally ... until an early morning phone call sends her to an empty house on the ‘bad’ side of town, where she finds herself standing over the butchered body of a competitor, face to face with the boy her mother always warned her about.


Rafe Collier is six feet three inches of testosterone and trouble; tall, dark, and dangerous, with a murky past and no future—not the kind of guy a perfect Southern Belle should want to tangle with. In any way. But wherever Savannah turns, there he is, and making no bones about what he wants from her.

Now Savannah must figure out who killed real estate queen Brenda Puckett, make a success of her new career, and avoid getting killed—or kissed—by Rafe, all before the money in her savings account runs out and she has to go back to selling make-up at the mall. 

Saturday, July 9, 2016

Author Interview-Rachel Leigh Smith

What inspired you to become a writer?
I can’t put my finger on any one thing. Writing was something I always enjoyed, and that my parents encouraged me to pursue. Then in 2007, I decided I wanted to get a little more serious and learn how to write a novel. So I did. I finished my first one in the winter of 2011, and I just published my fifth novel.

Who are your favorite romance characters (besides your own?)
How much time do we have? :D Acheron from Sherrilyn Kenyon’s Dark-Hunter series! He’s magnificent. I’m also a huge Psy-Changeling fan, and Sherri’s The League. I have such a Dark-Hunter problem that I own both of the coloring books out right now.

Tell me what inspired this story.
My Name Is A’yen arrived in a dream, after a pretty traumatic couple of years and surviving an abusive marriage. On the night of what would’ve been my third anniversary, I dreamed about a humanoid alien walking through the forest saying the same word over and over and over.
I woke up the next morning, got out a notebook, and started writing stuff down. It just poured out. In 86 days, I had a completed first draft of 97,000 words. Writing it was a big part of my healing process. I poured all of my heartache into A’yen, and when he got his happily ever after I kinda did too.

What is one of your favorite romantic locales?
It’s an Episcopalian church in St.Francisville, Louisiana, with a beautiful old cemetery. It’s such a beautiful place. And I’m odd enough that I find old cemeteries very romantic. Especially Southern ones in the spring when all the azaleas are in bloom.

Is there anything else you’d like to share with our readers?
My Name Is A’yen is free! It’s a romance focused on the hero, as all of my romances are. If the hero is always favorite character, or you like exploring new worlds, check it out. It’s available on Kindle, Nook, Kobo, iBooks, and Google Play.

They've taken everything from him. Except his name.

The Loks Mé have been slaves for so long, freedom is a distant myth A'yen Mesu no longer believes. A year in holding, because of his master's murder, has sucked the life from him. Archaeologist Farran Hart buys him to protect her on an expedition to the Rim, the last unexplored quadrant of the galaxy.

Farran believes the Loks Mé once lived on the Rim and is determined to prove it. And win A'yen's trust. But she's a breeder's daughter and can't be trusted.

Hidden rooms, information caches, and messages from a long-dead king change A'yen's mind about her importance. When she's threatened, he offers himself in exchange, and lands on the Breeders Association's radar. The truth must be told. Even if it costs him his heart.

Kindle


You can also check out my website, www.rachelleighsmith.com for more about A’yen’s Legacy, and watch for my upcoming shifter romance series launching this fall. I’m also on Facebook, www.facebook.com/rachelleighsmithauthor, and on Instagram, @rlsauthor.

Saturday, June 4, 2016

Midnight Mysteries-One Body Too Many (1944)

Eager beaver insurance salesman, Albert Tuttle, thinks he’s landed a dream appointment with eccentric millionaire, Cyrus Rutherford.  He arrives at the Rutherford estate only to find his hot prospect is stone cold dead with a house full of conniving relatives, suspicious servants and a slippery lawyer.  As stipulated in Rutherford’s will, none of the potential heirs may leave the premises until the next morning.  It could be the opportunity of a lifetime for Tuttle…if he lives through the night.

One Body Too Many is the typical creepy mansion flick complete with secret rooms and hidden passages as well as a comic twist.  While likeable Tuttle is hardly the typical stoic, square-jawed hero he stammers, stumbles and scrambles from one situation to the next.  Though the large cast makes it tough to distinguish the cut-throat relatives from one another, the flick is well-worth a watch.

Fun facts:

Director Frank McDonald worked on the railroad prior to his directing career. He directed more than 100 films including action movies and Westerns.
Albert Tuttle was played by Jack Haley who is best known for his role as the Tin Man in the Wizard of Oz.

Bela Lugosi appeared in a supporting role as Merkel the butler.

Saturday, May 7, 2016

Care Instructions Motherhood & Writing

Write,
mother,
sleep.
Repeat as needed.  


The creator of Grey’s Anatomy and Scandal has shared some inspiring comments regarding writing and motherhood, but this is one of my favorites.  Too often mothers and writers embark on a frantic search for the right combination of habit, attitude and magic that will keep their priorities aloft without all of them crashing down on their heads. Unfortunately due to life’s ever-changing nature, what worked like a charm today may be worthless tomorrow.

That doesn’t mean to stop striving, but you can ditch trying to be perfect.Sometimes it is best to keep moving forward and embrace the silly sticky moments.  Instead of aiming on an impossible ideal, focus on being consistent which works well for both real kids and literary babies.


Have a wonderful Mother’s Day.

Saturday, April 30, 2016

Ladies Who Lunch

I don’t know when it became fashionable in the corporate world to skip lunch. I recall a late afternoon meeting in which a C-Suite darling bragged she had made it through the entire day on an apple and a single cup of coffee.  Had that been me, I’m not saying there would have been bloodshed, but there would have been serious bruising.

Besides magic can happen when sharing lunch with a like-minded colleague especially if fresh tortilla chips are on the table. A while back during lunch at Q’doba, I told Regina Duke about two of the stories I had sent to an editor for a romance anthology. She quickly brought me to my senses.

“Get them back from the editor and publish them yourself. You don’t need outside validation,” she insisted. I could hardly argue with retired college professor and USA Best Selling Author especially since my mouth was full. After our lunch I hurried home to retrieve my two stories from the editor and to write what would be the third story in Hot Flash.

A couple of notes on the inspiration behind the Hot Flash stories:
·         Overture-Yes, I’m a former band geek with a weakness for sax players.
·         Room Service, a spicy short featuring Liz and Patrick from Package Deal.

·         Last Friday Night-On occasion I’ve had to borrow my son’s car, a high-mileage, low slung gray sedan, to go out on the town.

Saturday, April 9, 2016

Author Interview-JM Stewart

What inspired you to become a writer?
A dream, actually. I had a dream one night and a single image stuck with me. It seemed to have a story and I was intrigued.

Who are your favorite romance characters (besides your own?)
Oh, this one’s easy. Jamie and Claire, from Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander. Jamie is just swoon worthy and I like that Claire is such a strong character.

Tell me what inspired this story.
Hahaha. I’d always wanted to try my hand at writing erotic romance. I read a lot of it. One day, I thought, “Why not?” This was my first attempt. I wrote this book originally for me and me alone and I followed the muse. I think I chose a billionaire theme just because it was popular and I’d never done one before. I wanted to see if I could. lol

What is one of your favorite romantic locales?
Hmm. That’s a tough one. I’ve never been anywhere outside of the US and nowhere I’d particular call romantic. But for the sake of the question…Paris, I suppose. Or Italy. Or Greece. They’re all so beautiful. I’d love to visit someday.

Is there anything else you’d like to share with our readers? 
Blurb for Bidding on the Billionaire:
Safety. Anonymity. Invisibility.
Those are just a few advantages of Internet “dating.” Even better, as far as Hannah Miller is concerned, is the fact that she can shed all inhibitions without worrying about what he thinks of her figure or her face. “He” is bikerboy357, the man who knows what Hannah likes, and wants her—every night—as much as she wants him. When he asks to meet, Hannah hesitates. But the temptation is too strong. And after one look into his sultry green eyes, there’s no turning back.
Cade McKenzie's never met a woman who wasn't blinded by his billion-dollar net worth, but "JustAGurl456" knows neither his face nor his name. Her words are so smart, sweet, and scorchingly sexy that Cade's willing to gamble she'll be just as amazing in person. And she is. But even as every delicious encounter makes Cade want Hannah more, what he wants most is her trust.
It’s something all his money can’t buy. And now, Cade will do anything to earn it.
Buy links:

Saturday, March 26, 2016

Midnight Mysteries-The House on Telegraph Hill

There are so many amazing classic thrillers out there, I decided to add a new category, Midnight Mysteries. Enjoy! 

The House on Telegraph Hill (1951)

To endure the horrors of the concentration camp, Karin and Victoria dream of a future where Karin is reunited with her son who she sent as an infant to live with her wealthy aunt, Sophie, in San Francisco. Despite Victoria’s vigilant care, Karin perishes.  Victoria leaves the heartbreak of war-torn Poland behind when she assumes Karin’s identity and finds love and an affluent new life in San Francisco.

But anything can happen in a Victorian house with a beautiful blonde governess with a murderous gleam in her eye.  Would the kindly, late Aunt Sophie approve of an imposter mothering her beloved grand-nephew? Even in the land of the free, Victoria doesn’t know where to turn or whom to trust.

The film opens with a panoramic view of San Francisco filmed from the top of Coit Tower. Most of the film was shot on location and the City is truly one of the stars of the show.  The film features scenes from Telegraph Hill, Twin Peaks Vista and the Marina. So if you’re  longing for the City by the Bay, grab a bowl of cioppino and a loaf sourdough and head for The House on Telegraph Hill.

Fun facts:
Director Robert Wise would later direct West Side Story and The Sound of Music.
Film was based on the novel “The Frightened Child” by Dana Lyon

Victoria (Italian actress, Valentina Cortese) fell in love with her leading man (Richard Baseheart) while filming and the pair later married. 

Saturday, March 5, 2016

Undercover at Stanalei Fletcher's Blog

Did you know that the original title of  Ian Fleming's "Moonraker" was "Mondays Are Hell"?

While I'm not thrilled with Mondays, I love spies and novels of intrigue. That's why I'm excited to chatting about Package Deal at fellow Wild Rose Press author Stanalei's Fletcher's blog today.  For more intrigue about Stanalei  and her latest release, Dead Reckoning check out the following posts: Mariposa's Musings  Create on the Side

Hope to see you there!

Saturday, February 27, 2016

Author Interview-Stanalei Fletcher



What inspired you to become a writer?
I think I was inspired to become a writer by reading Alistair MacLean. I love his stories of espionage and intrigue. He’d offer a love interest for the protagonist, but I couldn’t help wanting just a little more romance from the couple before the story ended. I figure the only way I was going to get that ending was to write the book myself. Thus, I stored away the idea of writing stories until I had the time and ability to really focus on making it a career.
Who are your favorite romance characters (besides your own?)
My two favorite romance characters are Jack O’Neill and Samantha Carter from the original Stargate series. They danced around the attraction in so many episodes that I started to dream up my own FanFiction stories just to get them together.
Tell me what inspired this story.
I’m not 100% sure where the inspiration for Dead Reckoning came from, but I do remember when Hurricane Katrina struck, that I had an idea for a character who’d lost her memory during the storm and was forced to figure out who she really was. I worked the plot into my Northstar Security series and came up for the twist on Kellee’s background. It was a lot of fun working that twist.
What is one of your favorite romantic locales?
I love the mountains. A quiet mountain trail away from the city, being alone in the forest with that special man spells romance for me.
Is there anything else you’d like to share with our readers?
If your readers enjoy a bit of action and suspense and romance, they might enjoy the stories from Northstar Security Series. Each book is written as a standalone and do not need to be read in order, although as I introduce characters from earlier books, they do make an appearance in subsequent stories.

Thank you Mariposa for opening your blog and sharing your audience today. I enjoyed my visit.

Stanalei, thanks so much for joining us today. I look forward to being a guest on your blog on March 5th!

Dead Reckoning Blurb:
Egan Maddox isn’t sure he’s the right man for the job when Northstar director, Byron O’Neal, asks him to find his missing daughter and protect her from an unknown danger. Egan’s never shaken off his attraction to Kellee O’Neal and hiding away with her, could be more than trouble than this former Navy SEAL can handle.
Kellee is lost, with no memory, and believes someone wants to hurt her. When Egan appears and seems to know her, he convinces her she’ll be safe with him. As her memories resurface, she turns to Egan for comfort, and her youthful crush transforms into a womanly passion she can’t deny.
With the Russian Mafia closing in, Kellee learns her entire life has been a lie. How can her love for Egan be enough to help her navigate the murky waters of her past and prove that her heritage doesn’t matter as much as the woman she’s become?
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Friday, January 22, 2016

Dancing over to Joanne Guidoccio's Blog

Did you know you can burn up to 306 calories per hour while dancing? Just imagine an hour of county, line, disco or salsa dancing would burn off that grande latte you had earlier. As if that were not reason enough, today I'm chatting about Package Deal and the Top 10 Reason's You Should be Dancing at Joanne Guidoccio's blog. Hope to see you there!

Saturday, January 9, 2016

Author Interview-Joanne Guidoccio

What inspired you to become a writer?
 From an early age, I loved curling up with a book and losing myself in the stories. In high school, I looked forward to English class and dreamed of writing the great Canadian novel. Instead, I followed the conventional advice of the times and pursued a career in teaching. But, in my heart of hearts, I knew that someday I would resurrect that writing dream. When I took advantage of early retirement in 2008, I decided to devote my second act to writing.

Who are your favorite romance characters (besides your own)?
 My favorite authors include Ann Patchett, Ann Lamott, Jane Green, Maeve Binchy, Gail Bowen, Louise Penny, and Adriana Trigiani. The protagonists in these novels are older and wiser, having encountered many bumps on the road to romantic love and personal fulfillment. One of my favorite quotes comes from Maeve Binchy: “I don't have ugly ducklings turning into swans in my stories. I have ugly ducklings turning into confident ducks.”

Tell me what inspired this story.
In 2004, I was diagnosed with inflammatory breast cancer. While undergoing treatments, I gravitated toward cozy mysteries. After devouring over fifty books in the genre, I imagined the following scenarios: What if a brunette lottery winner moves back to her hometown and finds herself involved in a murder investigation? And what if all the victims are blondes? Since I had plotted the story during the most challenging season of my life, I decided to use A Season for Killing Blondes as the title.

What is one of your favorite romantic locales?
 I enjoy reading novels based on the eastern and western coasts of Canada and the United States. I particularly like scenes featuring promenades on boardwalks.

Blurb

Hours before the opening of her career counseling practice, Gilda Greco discovers the dead body of golden girl Carrie Ann Godfrey, neatly arranged in the dumpster outside her office. Gilda’s life and budding career are stalled as Detective Carlo Fantin, her former high school crush, conducts the investigation.

When three more dead blondes turn up all brutally strangled and deposited near Gilda’s favorite haunts, she is pegged as a prime suspect for the murders. Frustrated by Carlo’s chilly detective persona and the mean girl antics of Carrie Ann’s meddling relatives, Gilda decides to launch her own investigation. She discovers a gaggle of suspects, among them a yoga instructor in need of anger management training, a lecherous photographer, and fourteen ex-boyfriends. As the puzzle pieces fall into place, shocking revelations emerge, forcing Gilda to confront the envy and deceit she has long overlooked.


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Bio
In 2008, Joanne took advantage of early retirement and decided to launch a second career that would
tap into her creative side and utilize her well-honed organizational skills. Slowly, a writing practice emerged. Her articles and book reviews were published in newspapers, magazines, and online. When she tried her hand at fiction, she made reinvention a recurring theme in her novels and short stories. A member of Sisters in Crime, Crime Writers of Canada, and Romance Writers of America, Joanne writes paranormal romance, cozy mysteries, and inspirational literature from her home base of Guelph, Ontario.

Where can readers find more about your stories, books and you on the Internet?

 Note from Mariposa:
Joanne is also one of the contributors to We'd Rather Be Writing, a cookbook featuring quick dinners and time saving tips from 88 authors.