Monday, October 31, 2011

Happy Halloween Bewitching Blog Hop
Today's the day. My Chef and bartender have been working overtime this weekend with all the food and drink preparations. Have you tried the Witches' Brew. Soooo Good. And Chef's pumpkin roll? To Die for.

I would like to thank Drea for giving me the opportunity to be apart of this amazing blog hop. I went to many of the sites on hop only to find those authors had not participated. Shame on them! Call me neurotic, but if I sign up for something I do my best to keep my obligations. I understand that life happens, I have one of my own and have been extremely busy with my book blog tour, edits, Halloween hops, and sick family members. Okay, enough of that.

I was searching the 'Net for pics the other day and came across two particular ones that shall we say sent shivers tiptoeing down my spine. Here's the first.

Remember Poltergeist and the Preacher. That guy still creeps me out. AND we had a landlord who favored him. Yeah creepy.

Here's the Second photo. 

I don't know about you, but if I saw a huge dark shadow standing in my living room, I'd freak a little bit, or start throwing blessed oil.

From the age of twelve I've been fascinated with what's really out there. My grandmother's house was haunted by the ghost of a little girl, I can't remember her name, but she would play tricks on me and my cousins. Things like turning off the lights or flipping over mattresses. Nothing to hurt anyone.
One of the most frightening experiences I had was waking up to find a dark one horned shadow standing beside my bed. Since that time I know there are things I will never understand and respect the supernatural.
Even today I still see people, shadows, spirits passing through.

So on this last day of the Bewitching Halloween Blog Hop, thank you so much for stopping by my blog. I hope I've entertained you and made a fan or two along the way. No special question today.

Just leave a comment. Thank you again for hopping by. Have a safe and fun Halloween. And one more thing. Just a little something to keep you going while you Trick or Treat.

Indulge Your Inner Romantic,
W. Lynn Chantale

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Bewitching Blog Hop
I watched 'It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown' on Hulu Friday night. I looked at the copyright 1966 and remember thinking; "wow my mom watched this as a kid." Then I got to thinking how I tried to get MY children to watch these same TV shows. I love Charlie Brown, I always felt sorry for him. He just didn't get any respect. Does anyone remember the Garfield cartoon special? His favorite line was "candy, candy, candy!" Maybe Scooby-Doo had a few specials, but none that pop out. Some of my favorite Halloween Shows/movies. 'Charmed' had a great episode where Prue, Piper, and Phoebe traveled back in time to save their magic from Cole. Hocus Pocus, The Simpsons Treehouse of Horrors. Bones, where Brennan dresses like Wonder Woman and Booth like a Squint, and Monster Squad.

Today's question...What was/is your favorite Halloween Special or Movie? Don't forget to leave your email when you comment.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Editor Emma Lai On Writing Shorts

I'm very pleased to have Emma Lai here today. I have been blessed with some extraordinary critique partners and now I can see why. So here is an editor giving you an inside look into writing short stories and when you get a chance check out the submission guidelines for both her presses. Take it away Emma.

National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) is only days away. For those of you unfamiliar with the event, it’s a challenge to writers to complete a 50,000 word novel in a month. The goal is to get writers to write and not worry about mistakes or edits. (For more information visit
Neither Twenty or Less Press ( or Sybarite Seductions ( publishes stories above 20,000 words, so why would I, as an editor for the presses, be interested in novel writing? Because like NaNoWriMo, short stories are a way to get writers to write, to explore different facets of the craft. And because there’s no reason those stories can’t be polished for publication.
But, you say, I’ve never written a short story. 
Sure you have. Anytime you write a scene, you’re writing a short story. Think about it. Scenes have a beginning, middle and end. The key is to find that critical point in your story idea and write that scene and whatever supporting scenes and information are needed to maximize the impact.
Consider the following premise: two friends having a falling out and go their separate ways. They meet again years later. What happens? 
Keep it simple. What was the reason for the disagreement? What’s the simplest, most fun, sexiest, most dramatic, etc. thing you can think of to bring them back together, or even send them spinning off their separate ways forever? 
Congratulations, you just outlined a short. 
And just because it’s short doesn’t mean it doesn’t deserve the same editing attention as a novel. It’s my job as an editor to ensure delivery of the best quality stories, regardless of length. I’m demanding. I’m exacting. I will read and reread stories; make comments; ask questions; suggest verbs, phrasing and words; and question the thoughts behind actions, but I will also answer questions, listen to concerns, and above all, I will respect the author’s creative decisions. 
So, if you’re up to the challenge of writing shorts for me, submit your story or story idea to Twenty or Less Press (fiction, including sci-fi, fantasy, children’s, and women’s) at or Sybarite Seductions (erotica) at
In the meantime, what questions about writing shorts do you have?

Bewitching Halloween Blog Hop

I've been blogging all day at two different sites and I"m having a blast. Have you found any new authors you've gotta read? I know I have. Well I'm hangin out in the TRS party room at Spookapalooza. Check out Emma Lai. She's totally awesome and if you have a short story that fits the submission guidelines, shoot it to one of her presses. She's tough, but fair.

Today's questions. I know why can't you just leave a comment? And after visiting close to 200 blogs today I feel your pain. I hate capchas and you won't find them here. Gosh darn I HATE those capcha catchas, darn make-me-go-cross-eyed word squiggles just so I can post a dadblasted comment that I have to enter three frickin' times because the stupid s melted into a bleeping g and don't even bother with the so called audio clip because not even Stevie Wonder wearing a hearing aid with Bose THX Surround Sound can hear let alone understand the spoken letters!

Oh sorry. Got caught up in a rant there. So what do you hate? Is it those bloody capchas or something tame like popping bubble gum. Leave the answer and your email for a chance to win.

Friday, October 28, 2011

A Moment with Nona Raines

Welcome Nona. I'm so glad to have you with me today.

Tell the readers a little about yourself and your latest release. 
Thanks so much for having me here today. I'm a former school librarian who enjoys all kinds of books, but especially romances. I've been writing off and on for a long time. But a couple of years ago I became determined to actually complete a manuscript.
My latest book "Take This Man" is the story of lovers Adam and Elyse. One evening, when they unexpectedly enact a sexual fantasy that includes a third person, their relationship is shattered. Hurt and angry, Elyse leaves town and upon her return realizes her feelings for Adam are still unresolved. He still loves her, too, and wants to make up for past mistakes. But they have to struggle with anger, hurt and fear, as well as ghosts of the past, to reclaim the love they once had.
As an author, do you take time to read? If so, what do you like to read and who is/are your favorite author/s?
Oh, I love to read, always have! Now that I'm writing I have less time for it, but it's so important in re-energizing the brain cells. I enjoy nonfiction about women's issues, popular biographies, YA and children's books, and of course, romance!
Some authors I really enjoy are Cari Quinn, Danica St. Como, and Susan St. Thomas.  
How do you stay motivated when the Muse is uncooperative?
Sometimes writing scenes out of chronological order works for me, or just brainstorming ideas by myself or with my critique partners. Other times you just force yourself to plow ahead. Even when I'm not motivated, I remind myself that I'm lucky to be doing what I've always wanted to do!
If you could go anywhere in the world on a romantic getaway, what would you do and where would you go?
I would love to tour of some of the great libraries of the world—The New York Public Library, The Library of Congress, The New Library of Alexandria (Egypt), and others. Now some might not think that very romantic. But any place is romantic if you're with the right person, isn't that so?
What is the hardest thing for you to write?
This may sound strange coming from an erotic romance author, but the sex scenes are toughest for me. You want to hit the right balance—hot without being pornographic, and you certainly don't want to be boring! 
If you could live the life of one of your characters who would you be?
I think I'd like to be Tania Talcott, who appears in both my books.  She's gutsy and funny and not afraid to say exactly what she thinks! 
The tag line on my blog is ‘Indulge Your Inner Romantic.’ What do you do to indulge?
Coffee, chocolate and books are my indulgences of choice! This may sound boring to some people, but there's nothing more delicious for me than to hole up in a corner of a bookstore with a large coffee and a huge stack of books! I could sit there for hours!
Where do you get your story ideas?
Wow, ideas are everywhere—the problem is figuring how to stretch them into full-length stories. Some of my stories are inspired by supporting characters from earlier books. For example, in my first book, "One Good Man", the hero Matthew had a mouthy, cynical older brother. Well, what's his problem? I wondered. That character, Adam, is now the hero of my new book. Some other characters also have me curious, and I'm working on their stories now.

Blurb—"Take This Man"

The biggest mistake of Elyse Zemanski's life was falling in love with Adam. When a night of sexual fantasy went too far, she was crushed and couldn't leave town fast enough.

The biggest mistake of Adam Vostek's life was letting Elyse go. He'd been afraid of the love she promised, and pushed her away—into another man's arms…and bed.

When Elyse returns to Summit to help a friend, Adam wants a second chance to prove he’s worthy—in and out of the bedroom. She claims she's over him but one look from those smoldering eyes, and she throws caution to the wind. Elyse offers him seven days of wild sex, hoping to get him out of her system. 

Adam's good to go on the sex. But will a week be enough to win back Elyse's love and trust?
To purchase from The Wild Rose Press:
To purchase from Amazon:
For more information, go to

Someone knocked at her door. It could only be Jason. Coop must have flaked out on him, for him to be back already. Elyse hurried to open the door, ready to console her friend.
Adam stood in the threshold.
"What are you doing here?" Her heart slammed in her chest.
"I wanted to say I’m sorry." He shifted from one foot to the other. "I shouldn’t have been such a prick before."
"You didn’t have to come here for that. You already apologized."
His shoulders twitched uneasily, then straightened. He met her stare dead on. "I wanted to do it right this time."
Elyse gazed at him. He no longer had on the work boots, jeans and company-logo emblazoned T-shirt he wore this morning. He had gone home, showered and shaved, and changed into black dress pants and a long-sleeved button-down shirt. Elyse caught the whiff of something woodsy, some kind of after-shave or cologne. His hair was still a bit damp.
"Are you on your way somewhere?" she asked.
He blinked at her. "No."
So he’d done all that, just to come over to apologize. Elyse felt something soften inside her. Even as part of her was screaming No, don’t do it! she stepped back, out of the doorway. "Come on in."
Adam stepped inside and briefly glanced around the room, his discomfort as apparent here as in the hall. "I thought you and Devereaux would be sharing a room." The corner of his mouth lifted. "What’s the matter, does he snore? Or do you hog the bed?"
"You tell me," she snapped. She should have known she and Adam couldn’t occupy the same space and have a civil conversation. Not anymore. "It wasn’t that long ago we shared a bed. If I remember right, you were the one that took up most of the space. And snored." She glared at him.
His mouth twisted down and his hands curled into fists at his side. "I did it again. I’m sorry. I should have never come. I should go." He looked at her, his cheeks dark with embarrassment. "I am sorry. Really."
"Wait a minute." The same part of her that warned not to invite him in now cried, Let him go, Elyse. Please, let him go.
But of course she ignored it. "Jason and I aren’t sharing a room because we’re not together. We’re not a couple. We’ve haven’t been since…" since that night.
"We’re friends now." She told him. "Very close friends."
Adam lifted his eyebrows. "Very close."
"Yes." Elyse gritted her teeth, ready to shove him out the door if he made one more smart-assed comment. "As a matter of fact, Jason is my best friend."
Adam curled and relaxed his fingers. He looked at her sideways. "I used to be your best friend."
"I thought so once, yeah," Elyse said. "But now I know we were never really friends."
He actually looked hurt. "I want to be," he said, his voice soft. "I want to be your friend now."
Elyse couldn’t have answered even if she’d known what to say. Her throat was as dry as straw.

Halloween Blog Hop

Well hello Halloween is nearing and let me tell you I can't wait to don my costumes and pass out candy to all the little ghosts and goblins. While some will be passing out candy or playing practical jokes. Does anyone do that anymore? Let's talk scary movies.

I'm interested in the paranormal, supernatural, whatever you want to call it. I'm thoroughly intrigued by the concept of Heaven and Hell. Demons and Angels. Psychics and Ghosts. For me it's real, ever since my brush with the supernatural when I was twelve I've endeavored to learn all I can. So watching A Haunting, Paranormal State, Ghost Whisper taught me a few things. Now when it came down to watching Paranormal Activity I was game.

Big Mistake.

OMG! I didn't sleep for two days. My two oldest boys thought it was funny, and I swear I kept seeing something walk through the house for a week. That'll learn me.

Okay. So the contest for the Halloween Blog Hop. Up for grabs a really cute Trick or Treat bag filled with goodies and a Scary Movie. Sorry it isn't Paranormal Activity.

Please answer the following question.

This symbol is featured on the front of these sisters' book.

Name the sisters, the book and the symbol.

For more opportunities to win check out the other blogs by clicking on the caption below the pic.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

New Cover Goodness

I'm so excited. Just got the cover for my short Decadent Seconds. I'm so excited, I'm repeating myself.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Writing with Iris Deorre

My Writing Journey
My writing journey began when I was seventeen. I wrote a short story about a young teenage girl who was struggling with that stage of her life. It helped me personally to get through some things I was going through at the time. 
English Literature at school also encouraged my journey to write. I remember studying our first novel (Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare) and thinking wow! If only I could write like that. Not necessarily the old English, more of the creativity the meanings behind words.  I tried to string beautiful words together but never felt that they came out sounding like Shakespeare. I came to learn and accept that each writer has to and must develop their own style. 
Life happened; I had a baby and later a divorce. During that period I wrote a novel about a young girl with supernatural abilities who was misunderstood by her peers. It’s a story I never developed, it sits dormant on a memory stick. Perhaps one day I will go back to it and publish it under a different name.
Life really began to get interesting when I sent a short story to a women’s magazine. The story was about a woman who left her country in search of a better life with a small child. I didn’t even know I’d been published except for the cheque that arrived in the post a few months later.
My writing took a huge turn in 2005. One evening I was surfing the net and came across a call for new writers who wanted to try their hand in script writing. The course would be run by a well know Theatre house and only 20 places where available. I sent in my application and to my surprise I was accepted onto the course. The course ran for five weeks, with the end result to showcase a play to a live audience. Even though my play was only five minutes long it was nerve wrecking sitting in the audience hoping that people would laugh in the right places and hopefully understand my play.
A year later I got a call from the literary manager from the Theatre and was told that I’d been selected as one of the new writers to write a short play for radio and the internet. I couldn’t believe it; this was validation of my work. It was the first time I began to take myself seriously as a writer.
Later I turned from script writing to novel writing. In November 2007 I joined Nanowriters and achieved my 50,000 words the night before the deadline. The book was never published another one that lies dormant on my PC. 
I wanted to learn more about writing skills so I enrolled onto a writer’s course. This was run by a well known erotic author who not only encouraged me but was genuinely excited about my work. She believed in me and I began to believe in myself a lot more. I turned to writing erotica. There was something about the freedom of expression that was the most exciting about this type of writing. Also my love for Horror is what makes me combine the two.
I love to write no matter what genre it is or what type whether it’s script or novel. It’s what I love to do and it’s a part of who I am. As far as I see it my writing journey has only just began.

Iris Deorre started to write when she was seventeen. At the time it was a form of escapism. By the time she hit her twenties she was writing short stories and got one published in a women’s magazine. She went on to write short plays but after meeting a well-known author who taught a writers class her focus changed to Erotica. Her love for paranormal is what makes her combine the two.
She resides in the UK with her little girl.
Contact Iris at her blog

The Whitby Ghost is the latest story from Iris Deorre.
Roy has a past he'd rather forget. To overcome it he takes his girlfriend Melisa to Whitby, the very place of his past that he is trying to forget. Roy believes it's the only way to move on and to forget it by moving on with his future, Melisa.

But something is lurking in Whitby, something that Melisa becomes sensitive to the minute they arrive. What she discovers is hard to swallow. What follows is a journey to the other side. Something she'd rather forget.

Will Melisa marry her boyfriend who refuses to talk about his past? Or will his past bring them closer?
Buy links

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Today's The Day!!!

Prizes abound on Tuesday. Pop over to Sweet n Sexy Divas for a chance to win a copy of either of my books AND a mugful of goodies. Then "Like" me on Facebook for a chance to win my Trick or Treat giveaway.

It looks like I'm in Two Places Tomorrow and Iris Deorre will be here as well. So Since Decadent Decisions will have a special on Wednesday, we can do a little Hump Day Inspiration today. So grab a towel and take a look. 

That's a fantastic microphone, don't ya think?

Yeah I knew you were gonna need the towel.  So while you're wiping the drool from your chin. "Like" me on Facebook. Or if you've already liked me. Leave a comment with your email. Until next time Indulge Your Inner Romantic.

Monday, October 24, 2011

What's New?

Last week was hectic, mind-numbing and downright scary. Between edits and family members in the hospital I really haven't had time to empty my email box or truly respond to messages like I normally would. I spent a week with my sister helping her with the kids. Let's just say I have a newfound respect for writers with small children. I remembered those days, but now I KNOW what they go through. A toast to you moms and dads who juggle writing and small children.

Whew! I'm glad I'm home. (home again, home again. jiggity jig) 

In other news, I'm losing my very first editor. Sorry I'm pouting right now, but I understand how things are.

Okay upside. Contests, blog hops and giveaways galore. I can't remember, I"m not kidding I really can't remember how many hops I signed up for. Someone is laughing and I"m being...okay I am kidding I know where I'm going to be for the hops. So check back later in the week.

And because I LOVE giving away things. Tuesday, October 25 I will giveaway a Trick or Treat grab bag, well a pail filled with a scary candle and lots of candy. I'll post pics a little later. What do you have to do. "Like" me on Facebook. If you've already Liked me leave a comment with your email. Easy peasy.
And if you can manage it check me out this week at Sweet n Sexy Divas on Tuesday. Wednesday I'm at Naughty in the Backseat and Raine Delight. Thursday I'm at Seriously Interviewed. Tired yet? And I haven't even told you about the weekend. That's another post.

So remember contest on Tuesday. Like me on Facebook or if you've already liked me leave a comment. Until next time Indulge Your Inner Romantic.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

One Knight with Casea Major

1-Tell the readers a little about yourself.
I am a stay-at-home mom with three children.  
Last year after reading a particularly inspiring story that left the reader with one obvious burning question.  I decided to write my own answer in a small mini-chapter which I posted to a fan fiction site.  That story received the praise of the author and has become the best loved story in that genre.
Once the flood gate was opened, I couldn't stop.  I wrote my first full-length story within two months and the follow-up this summer.  I have written three additional stories all are published or in the process.  And have five current WIP.  I am currently revising the first manuscript for publication.
2-As an author, do you take time to read? If so, what do you like to read and who is/are your favorite author/s?
I spend a good portion of my time reading, writing and critiquing.  Anywhere from 12 -15 hours a day, 7 days a week.  My husband calls me obsessive.  I call it inspired.  I love reading classics.  My favorite authors are J.R.R. Tolkein, C.S. Lewis, Ursula K. Le Guin. As you can tell, I love epic fantasy. For modern I love Marsha Canham and Karen Marie Moning. I read in any genre but prefer fantasy, YA, or Romance. 
3-How do you stay motivated when the Muse is uncooperative?
When I'm not inspired?  I have too many stories to ever be able to finish them all.  If I'm in the middle of a story and can't seem to get inspiration, I read or critique.  Critiquing other writer's work is the number one reason for my growth as a writer.  When you help someone else with their work, you get to become a small piece of it, but in return I have found what I learn about my own work and my understanding of how words fit together is invaluable.  I can't stress enough to new writers – Find a good critique group.  Mine is the best and have grown so much.
4-If you could go anywhere in the world on a romantic getaway, what would you do and where would you go?
That is a hard one.  I've been so few places and desire to see so many.  I used to say I wanted to visit all the "A" places.  Australia, Austria, Alaska, Africa, The Alps.  If I can see three of those five I would be happy.  I also would love to do a Tour of the Greek Islands.  I am currently writing a story set in the Mediterranean Lebanese town of Byblos titled Three Weeks of Sheik.
5-What is the hardest thing for you to write?
Anything non-fiction or about myself.  Fiction flows like a bubbling brook but inspiration for blog posts or interview questions scare me and I stress over them.
6-If you could live the life of one of your characters who would you be?
My first heroine Abby is very much like me and many things I'm not.  She suffers, grows, loves and saves the world.  And she gets a kingdom and a very hot guy. LOL
7-The tag line on my blog is ‘Indulge Your Inner Romantic.’ What do you do to indulge?
I write.  I love to read a good book but now I prefer to write them.  What is better than a steamy first kiss or when two characters realize they love each other.  I am an intimacy junkie just like most romance readers.  Maybe even more.  I say intimacy because to me that is the key ingredient in any romance.  It can be sweet with barely a kiss or it can be steamy with taboo elements and fetishes.  But at either end of the spectrum, it must have that emotional and spiritual connection for the work to be called truly Romantic.

Prior to becoming a writer of romantic fiction, Casea Major worked in the legal field for a non-profit dispute resolution company for ten years.  She is now a full-time mom to three preschool children with whom she and her husband live happily...most of the time.  When she isn't chained to her laptop, she enjoys Cary Grant movies and crocheting.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Can I Rest Now?

Okay. I know AJ was supposed to be here, but she expresses her apologies, her editorial duties call. I'm excited about what's going on with my newest publisher, Still Moments. I have a sensual erotic short story titled, Mistletoe Mambo, in their upcoming Christmas Anthology. And if you need a challenge Still Moments is looking for themed submissions.

Don't leave yet. There are some really cool things going on around here. This coming week will slow down a bit for me, but I'll be involved in a couple of blog hops for Halloween and a few interviews, but I'll post more on that Monday.

So here's the rundown. Delia, from Breaking Delia's Rules has been interviewed at Beck's Book Picks.
I'm over at InterRacial/MultiCultural Books showcasing my culinary talents.

And Casea Major will be my guest on Sunday, so make sure you stop by and show her some love Decadent Decisions style. Chef will be on hand for brunch and he makes the most marvelous omelets and waffles.

And just to keep you inspired I'm sharing a couple of pics that I'm using as visual stimulation. If I've shared them before forgive me.

My first encounter with Ryan Gentles was watching him onstage in Tyler Perry's 'Madea Goes To Jail.' In the play his hair was longer, but he's still got a smokin' hot bod.  Hmm. Beautiful. Oh right my character, Zach Walters for an upcoming erotic.

And Dominic Purcell is my inspiration for Maxwell Dixon. I remember seeing him in John Doe and I knew he was Max. Sorry I couldn't find one without his shirt.

Thank you everyone for your prayers and warn wishes regarding my BIL. He's home and resting. I couldn't have gotten through the rough patch without your support. Thank you. Until next time, Indulge Your Inner Romantic.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Passion and Doris Lemcke

Help me in welcoming Doris Lemcke to Decadent Decisions.

 If you could go anywhere in the world on a romantic getaway, what would you do and where would you go?  I am very much a homebody (I don’t even have a passport), but I believe that anywhere can be a romantic getaway if you’re with that one person who connects with you in all the important ways.  I grew up in Michigan, surrounded by water, but recently fell in love with the rugged, ever-changing seascape of North Carolina’s Outer Banks’ coastline--especially in April or October.  The beaches are nearly deserted and the water alternately dances playfully around chilly toes, or pounds against a fragile shoreline, changing it forever in the time it takes to take a breath.  To walk hand-in-hand with that special person in your life, on sand warmed by the sun, under a full, yellow moon framed by clouds of pink, gold and indigo blue is to connect with the very pulse of life.  To me, it doesn’t get more romantic than that.  

If you could live the life of one of your characters who would you be?   I write historical fiction, but am very fond of the conveniences of modern life—especially indoor plumbing and central heat.  But if I were to pick a character, it would be Camilla Langesford O’Grady, the matriarch in Passion’s Spirit and heroine in the upcoming book number two of the Passion’s Legacy series.  She survived a past that would have destroyed Scarlett O’Hara, to emerge a strong, wise, and most important, forgiving woman; not to mention living on a fabulous Southern Plantation.  She is the embodiment of the of the woman I would like to be, living a life I’ve been in love with since I was a child.  Too bad I’m a Yankee. 
The tag line on my blog is ‘Indulge Your Inner Romantic.’ What do you do to indulge?  I currently live on Florida’s Gulf Coast and where every night sky, shining with stars above swaying palms (really), always sets a romantic scene.  I have a very demanding “day” job, so coming home to gulf breezes and the sultry calls of wild birds, a glass of wine, and a good romance (mine or someone else’s) keeps me in the mood for romance.  
Share your first sale story.   I am fortunate to have had two “first” sales.  One was sooo long ago it seems as if it was in another lifetime, but both first sale stories share common elements, even after all this time.  Passion’s Spirit (released October 19) was written in stops and starts over many years that were filled with personal and career changes.  Every year or so, I’d scroll through my issue of Writer’s Market and submit to any publisher willing to take an unagented query, or agents willing to look at Western Historical Romance.  After being ignored by most, rejected by many, and told by even more that there was no longer a market for Westerns, I put the book back in the box and worked on something else.  But I never let go of the dream.    
Then fate stepped in and led me to this first sale.   While looking for a job in the Northeast, I was offered one in Southwest FL—home of the RWA’s Southwest Florida Romance Writers.  I joined them just in time for their annual conference, dusted off Passion’s Secret, polished my pitch, and presented it to three agents—again to be told, “Western Historicals are hard to sell.”  
But SWFRW wouldn’t let me give up.  Joyce Henderson, a TWRP Cactus Rose (Promise the Moon, 2011) author told me emphatically, “That is NOT true,” and suggested her publisher.  I queried TWRP and was asked to submit the complete manuscript.  While it was under consideration, Rhonda Penders spoke at one of our SWFRW meetings.  She was so warm and approachable that after Passion’s Spirit was approved, I proposed revamping the first book from so long ago, along with two others, as the Passion’s Legacy series.  I’m so thrilled to say that within months of achieving my “first” sale, I made my second sale, Passion’s Secret (2012).  I owe this wonderful opportunity to persistence, patience, a network of supportive writers, faith that we all have whatever we need within us make our dreams come true—and the knowledge that fate works in wonderful, mysterious, and unexpected ways to help us do it.  
How do you stay motivated when the Muse is uncooperative? My muse is very patient, waiting through the busy workdays (and years) to play with me in the evenings, on weekends, vacations and any other moments we can steal to be together.  Even during the non-writing years, she bookmarked where we left off on every incomplete project, reminding me of her presence with notes, files, and “idea lists” that I find in the strangest places; telling me she’s always been there for me and always will be.  
Now that I’ve once again made her a part of my daily life, she is very energetic, sometimes overwhelming me with characters, plots, details and plans that distract and confuse me.  That’s when I slow her down and we retrace our steps to admire what we’ve already worked so hard to create.  So we happily polish, rewrite, and research until we’re both back on the path, our destination clearly in sight, our steps matched once again.   I’m aware of the “write the Sh..ty first draft” theory, but perhaps after so many years of the “stop and start” method, my muse and I work best together when we know we have a solid foundation.   So I don’t worry too much about her cooperation.  Rather, I’m just so excited to be cooperating with her—again.
Where do you get your story ideas? While story ideas are everywhere, we all sort through them for the theme that resonates with us.  I grew up with the classic old movies spawned by Gone with the Wind, with TV Westerns and a trunk of old books in a trunk my grandfather bought at an unclaimed freight auction.  As a result, I love history, romance, and mystery.  I’m also a visual person and love old pictures.  At restaurants, museums, antique stores, anywhere there are dusty old, sepia-colored photos with the faces of unidentified people peering at me, I stop and wonder, “Who were these people? Where did they come from?  What are their stories?”  
It may have started when I discovered an old photo of the Michigan lumber camp where my great-grandmother, an Ojibwa Indian cook, and her English husband adopted the son of the camp’s Irish foreman.  They raised him as their own, in the same camp where his natural father and brothers worked.  Perhaps because of my questions about my grandfather’s adoption and Michigan’s ethnically diverse frontier, I’m fascinated by the “sins of the fathers” theme, inter-racial relationships and the consequences of actions taken in one generation on the following ones.   And every old picture I see gives me a new idea. 

Untamed Hearts, Worlds Apart – Santa Fe, New Mexico 1892
Raised by Santa Fe missionaries, half-Apache orphan Elena Santiago has vowed to avenge her white, guardians’ murders the Apache way. But first, she must masquerade as a white woman to deliver a dangerous message across the country into the land of her enemies. And after one look at the untamed spirit behind Sean O’Grady’s smoky grey eyes, she realizes that her heart’s response to his body, more like and Apache warrior than a soft, white “gentleman,” is far more dangerous than the warning she carries.” 
Sean O’Grady has always dreamed of exploring the Wild West, but at 25 years old, he’s put aside those dreams to wed his neighbor and run their two Georgia plantations. When Elena arrives looking and speaking more like a Spanish lady than an Indian mission girl, he wonders if she's really who she says she is. Is she a virgin or a vixen? The question taunts him as he struggles with feelings he’s never felt before. Feelings that could get them both killed.

Passion’s Spirit Excerpt
When Sean pulled away, Elena looked into his eyes wondering, is this what love feels like, or is it only lust? She decided that nothing as beautiful as the moment they’d just shared could be evil. But it could never be love, either. She had felt his passion press against her and ached for him to fill her. Now she was grateful he hadn’t.  
They were from different worlds still at war with each other. He could never survive in her world and she refused to live in his.
As if he read her thoughts, he leaned into her, whispering so close to her ear that it could have been a kiss, “Why can’t you be Mary Louise? And I the Apache brave who will eventually claim you?” Then he turned to stare at the stream patiently following the course nature had carved out for it.
The question echoed in Elena’s mind. For a moment, his heart had beat to the rhythm of hers. The curves of her body had melted into the angles of his as they breathed the same breath and tasted each other’s souls. For a moment, they had truly been one body and one soul. 
Now separated, the chilly breeze that stirred the pine needles at their feet told her that when she was with him, even angry, she was whole. And though he changed his moods faster than the mountain gods and was promised to marry a weak and silly white woman, part of her would always belong to this loco Gringo.
She also turned her gaze toward the river. “We can only be who we are.”

Passion’s Spirit is available in print and ebook on October 19, 2011 from The Wild Rose Press as a Cactus Rose Romance.  Passion’s Spirit is the debut novel in the four-book, PASSION’S LEGACY series.  Passions Secret will follow with a 2012 release date.

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Thursday, October 20, 2011

Rock Crazy with Rochelle Weber

Abandoned, pregnant and bi-polar, Katie McGowan’s going crazy on that God-forsaken rock the Moon!
Blurb:  Rock Crazy
Katie McGowan is bi-polar, and she’s run the gamut of medications, but nothing works anymore.  Everyone says her she should have a microchip implanted in her brain that can regulate her mood swings.  But Katie doesn’t want to be a robot.  In a tough love move, her husband, Scott takes her to the Moon—and dumps her. Katie’s stuck on that God-forsaken “rock,” and thinks she’s space sick. But she’s wrong; she’s pregnant. Now the surgery’s too dangerous and she has to go off her meds until the baby’s born.
Scott’s elated that he’s going to be a father and assumes Katie will take him back.  He has no clue how badly he’s hurt her, how thoroughly he’s broken her trust—or that he may not get her back at all.

Rochelle Weber is a Navy veteran and holds a BA in Communications from Columbia College in Chicago with an emphasis on creative writing.  Her non-fiction article, “Bulimia,” was featured in Hair Trigger 9 & 10, the acclaimed Columbia College student anthology.  Her first novel, Rock Bound, is available at Create Space, Smashwords, Amazon and  She edits the Marketing for Romance Writers Newsletter.  Rochelle fights her own battle with bi-polar disorder, quipping, “You haven’t lived until you’ve been the only woman on the locked ward at the VA.”  Her song, “It’s Not My Fault,” won a gold medal in the National Veterans Creative Arts Competition. She lives in Volo, Ilinois, with her elder daughter and granddaughter.  Her younger daughter lives in Paris, Illinois, and has a son and two daughters. Three cats and a bunny allow the humans to wait on them leg and paw.

Rock Crazy 
Katie McGowan is a spoiled brat and to make things worse, she’s bi-polar.  She’s run the gamut of medications, but nothing seems to work anymore.  Everyone is telling her she should have surgery.  A doctor on the Moon has developed a microchip that can regulate the hormones that cause her mood swings.  But Katie doesn’t want to be an automaton.  In an effort to force her to have the surgery, her husband, Scott takes her to the Moon—and dumps her the first time she “goes off.” Alone, 250,000 miles from home, Katie has to face her disease and learn to support herself, but she can’t shake the space-sickness that’s plagued her since she arrived on the God-forsaken lunar “rock.” She gets a job waitressing—until she passes out at work.  Then she discovers that her space sickness is morning sickness.  When the doctor tells her she’ll have to go off of her meds for the rest of her pregnancy, she agrees to have the surgery.  But it’s too dangerous while she’s pregnant.  She’ll have to wait until the baby is born.
Scott is elated when he hears he’s going to be a father and naturally assumes Katie will take him back.  After all—he didn’t really desert her.  He planned this separation with the help of her family as kind of a radical intervention.  He’s always intended to take her back when she has the surgery.  He has no clue how badly he’s hurt her, how thoroughly he’s broken her trust—or that he may not get her back at all.
How will Katie make it through nine months of no meds combined with the hormonal fluctuations of pregnancy?  She still loves Scott—but does he truly want her, or does he want her back because of the baby?  Can she ever trust him again?  Can she ever trust any man again?

Red Rage

Champaign, Illinois
September, 2065

They were on Earth, at a bar near Champaign, Illinois, part of the Chicago metropolis, which had sprawled across the Midwest and even down to Cairo, Illinois, where it merged with the equally sprawling Greater Memphis Area. They were there to sing karaoke, and Katie McGowan was ‘sober,’ as usual. She was on too many medications to mess with alcohol.
She didn’t remember, later, what the woman said that triggered her. She didn’t remember deciding to react. She just remembered the hot, red rage. And the split. She watched herself do it as The Voice kicked in.
“You can’t do this,” it said. “This is inappropriate behavior.”
Katie tried to stop herself, but she couldn’t. Her arm rose, as if of its own accord, and poured the pop on the woman’s bleach-blonde, over-processed head. The woman came off the stool and shoved Katie. She flew across the room, seemingly in slow motion. Of course she threw her right arm out to break the fall, and she still hit her head on the floor. But the pain in her wrist was worse than the headache.
“I told you not to do it,” The Voice said. “Now, at least stay down. Don’t try to fight her. You’ve already lost.”
Katie lay there gasping for breath, smelling the old, stale, spilled booze and beer that had seeped into the floor. Someone helped her up. It was Scott, her husband, and she was wrapped in his arms while holding her wrist. The woman wanted to come after her again, but people restrained her.
The screaming started. Katie cowered in Scott’s arms screaming and screaming and screaming, while The Voice told her to stop acting this way, and people tried to restrain the angry woman, pop dripping from her soggy bangs.
“Get her out of here!” the manager demanded.
“Looks like her temper matches her red hair.” She heard someone comment.
Scott half-carried her outside. She was hysterical and still screaming. The other woman followed them out to the car.
“What the fuck’s wrong with you, you crazy bitch?”
Katie couldn’t answer. All she could do was scream. Just scream. No words, just that high-pitched wail that was a good octave above any note she ever managed to reach when she sang.
“Now why can’t you reach this pitch when you sing?” The Voice asked. “Stop it or you won’t be able to sing at all. Ever again.”
She threw herself across the hood of the sky-car, feeling its warmth. She kept screaming, and the pain flared in her wrist again. Her throat was sore, and her voice was going…gone. The screaming subsided, and she began sobbing, hoarsely. Damn it. Her physical voice really was gone! The Voice was merging into the background, but now her mother was there. Linda Snodgrass had been dead for over five years, but she still appeared and yelled at Katie.
“You stupid bitch! I told you ladies don’t fight. What the hell did you think you were doing?”
“I don’t know why I did it, Mama. I think I broke my wrist,” she mumbled.
“Serves you right.”
“I’m sorry, Mama. I’m sorry.”
“Quit whining, or I’ll give you something to be sorry for.”
Her mother faded away, and she started hearing what was going on around her again.
Scott was there, and the manager, and the woman who had shoved her, and several bystanders, but all she could do was cry and say, “I’m sorry,” over and over.
“Who’s she talking to?” the woman asked. “She really is fucking crazy!”
“Katie’s bi-polar.” She heard Scott explain.
“Get her out of here!” the manager yelled.
“I’m so sorrrrrreeeeeee,” Katie wailed hoarsely. Someone stayed with her while Scott went back inside to get her sweater and his keys. She was powerless to stop this stage, as well. The sobbing and apologizing would go on for another hour or so. It was part of the pattern. She would apologize to everyone she met. And she would cry until she dehydrated herself and ran out of tears.
Scott came out of the bar and handed her sweater to her. She reached for it with her right hand and dropped it. He picked it up and put it across her shoulders. Then he unlocked the sky-car and helped her into it.
“Your wrist’s swelling up fast, baby. I brought you some ice from inside.” He handed her a bag of ice wrapped in a bar towel. “Your eyes look more red than green right now, and you’re so pale your freckles really stand out on your nose.”
“I’m sorry, Scott. I’m really sorry.”
He was oddly supportive this time. “I know you’re taking your meds. I’ve been giving them to you myself. And you still went off.”
“W-why?” Katie sobbed. “W-why? I’m s-sorry. I’m s-so s-sorrrrreeeee!”
“I don’t know. I don’t think the meds’re working,” he said. He reached over to pat her hand, but she was holding her right wrist, trying to cushion it and keep the bag of ice steady.

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