Friday, October 24, 2014


If you’re like me, you're already eager for the days from Thanksgiving up to Christmas Eve. That’s my favorite time of year. I love the decorations, the songs, the anticipation associated with choosing gifts for my family.

I confess to feeling letdown once the gifts are opened and the dinner eaten. The tree looks letdown, too, with no gifts underneath. I can’t explain why Hero and I leave our tree up until after Twelfth Night, but we always have. Probably this year will be no exception.

You can see why I love reading Christmas stories at any time of year. In fact, I read them all year, but especially from October until Christmas. However, this is the first time I’ve written a Christmas story.

For this novella, I blame Darling Daughters 1 and 2. Each of them asked me to write a Christmas story. Guess the Christmas spirit is genetic, right?

Kim Killion did the perfect-for-the-novella cover. I chose the woman's photo from Kim’s studio stock, but there was no background. Kim used the photo to create exactly what I had in mind. Don’t you love when that happens?


Christmas has been Celia Dubois’s favorite time of year as long as she can remember. When she moves to her parents' home a year after the death of her husband, the young widow is appalled at the town’s lack of Christmas spirit. Two months earlier, banditos had burned the church and crushed the townspeople.  Celia vows to return holiday joy to the town. Perhaps doing so might help mend her aching heart. Will Celia’s plan work magic on the town?

Rancher Eduardo Montoya knows Celia is the woman for him. She enchants him with her winning smile and vivacious nature. When her father warns Eduardo away from Celia, Eduardo is both angry and frustrated. After he stops a robbery in the mercantile, will Celia’s parents change their minds about him? Can handsome Eduardo heal Celia’s sorrow?

Here’s an excerpt of STONE MOUNTAIN CHRISTMAS:

Radford Crossing, Texas, November 1874

Eduardo Montoya focused on the beautiful redhead who swept the walk in front of Sturdivant’s Mercantile across the street. He turned to speak to his friend. “She is a vision, is she not?”

Micah Stone, his cousin’s husband, asked, “Have you met her or spoken to her?”

Eduardo’s gaze returned to Celia Dubois. He refused to let anyone shatter his dreams. “See how graceful she is even when performing a menial chore? When we are wed, she will not have to be concerned with such things.”

Sounding incredulous, Micah said, “I repeat, have you even met or spoken to her?”

Eduardo had no doubt his friend believed he had taken leave of his senses. He wasn’t so sure he hadn’t, but he placed a hand over his heart. “In good time, my friend. All in good time.”

Micah clapped him on the shoulder. “Come on, Romeo. We’ve finished our business with Joel. Hope’s expecting us for lunch. You can daydream about the pretty widow on our way home.”

“I suppose we must go.” He exhaled, reluctantly willing to leave town but unwilling to let anyone derail his plans.

Micah untied his horse from the hitching rail in front of his brother’s law office and mounted. “Have to say this is the first time I’ve known you to be shy about flirting with a woman.”

Determination steeled Eduardo’s resolve as he swung onto his gelding. “Never before has a woman been so important to me. You will see. One day, she will become my wife.”

The two rode toward Micah’s ranch.

From where she stood on the walk, Celia had known the men watched her. One was the youngest Stone brother. Identifying him was easy because the three Stone men looked so much alike.

But she hadn’t yet met the handsome man dressed as a Spanish Don. He fit the description she’d been privy to of Eduardo Montoya, one of the wealthiest men in this part of Texas. At least, that’s what she’d overheard while helping in her parents’ store.

He certainly cut a dashing figure in his black clothes trimmed with silver buttons. She wondered if he was entitled to dress like Spanish nobility or if he merely played a part. The silver on his saddle flashed in the sunlight and she questioned the safety of such a display.

One thing she’d noticed in her few days in town and working in her father’s mercantile, she heard tidbits of local gossip whether intentionally or not. She wondered what the gossips had to say about her. Probably best she didn’t know. Most people she’d met were friendly but there were a few prunes eager to criticize everyone.

Wasn’t that true everywhere? Yet she thought an unusual pall lay over Radford Crossing. The town definitely needed a large dose of cheer. As a matter of fact, she wouldn’t mind a measure for herself. With a sigh, she went back inside the store.

You can purchase STONE MOUNTAIN CHRISTMAS here:

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Wednesday, October 22, 2014


Five Things You Didn’t Know About Native American Families
By Martha Conway

These days there is so much information available that I’m fairly sure that whatever is news to me will not be news to someone else. That being said, however, there is a lot I learned about Native American families and communities while I was researching my novel, THIEVING FOREST. Previous to this, most of my “knowledge” came from Hollywood or from my 6th Grade Ohio state history class. And I don’t even want to tell you how many decades ago that was!

Ohio forest

I had certain prejudices. I thought that some tribes settled in villages, others roamed about hunting and fishing, while still others traded and lived in portable houses (tepees). But as it turns out, in 1806 many Native Americans did a combination or even all of the above, regardless of their tribal affiliation. Much like today, families could be very fluid, moving from one part of the country to another, sometimes living with other families, sometimes going it alone, depending on what we might now call the economy.

Potawatomi dancer

Here are five other facts that surprised me:

1. Different tribes lived together in harmony
Villages might not consist of only one tribe. In fact it was common in northwest Ohio, especially after the Iroquois Wars, for several tribes to live together. It was better for the sake of protection, and it worked to build up tribes that had lost a lot of members to war and famine.

2. Separate checking accounts
Women in certain tribes owned their own land and farmed it themselves. When they sold their crop, they kept the money. Their husbands had their own sources of income.

3. Chiefs could be female
I know, surprising, right?! Never saw that in a Hollywood movie. Also, you might find more than one chief in a village, especially if the village was a large one. Different chiefs had different responsibilities: one might oversee agricultural disputes; another might interview guests and newcomers.

4. Not all tribes took captives
Different tribes had different attitudes about this. Some tribes did not take prisoners at all, some let their captives go after hostilities were over, while others converted captives into adopted tribal members and treated them like family.

5. Intermarriage and adoption was common
Inter-tribal loyalties were strengthened by marriages, much like European royalty. And in fact, in some cases relations through marriage took precedent over tribal affiliation.

Of course, generalizing about Native Americans is like generalizing about Europeans—not everyone is going to be culturally similar, even if they live on the same continent. And my focus was very small: the Great Lakes Indians, or Forest Indians as they were sometimes called. But even so: some surprising facts, yes? Or did you know all this already?!


”Conway's historical novel features prose as rich as its characters ... hypnotic.” —Kirkus Reviews

"An extraordinary historical novel." —Akron Beacon Journal

On a humid day in June 1806, on the edge of Ohio's Great Black Swamp, seventeen-year-old Susanna Quiner watches from behind a maple tree as a band of Potawatomi Indians kidnaps her four older sisters from their cabin. With both her parents dead from Swamp Fever and all the other settlers out in their fields, Susanna makes the rash decision to pursue them herself. What follows is a young woman's quest to find her sisters, and the parallel story of her sisters' new lives.

Potawatomi man's costume
Field Museum, Chicago

The frontier wilderness that Susanna must cross in order to find her sisters is filled with dangers, but Susanna, armed with superstition and belief in her own good luck, sets out with a naive optimism. Over the next five months, she tans hides in a Moravian missionary village; escapes down a river with a young native girl; discovers an eccentric white woman raising chickens in the middle of the Great Black Swamp; suffers from snakebite and near starvation; steals elk meat from wolves; and becomes a servant in a Native American village. The vast Great Black Swamp near Toledo, Ohio, which was once nearly the size of Connecticut, proves a formidable enemy. But help comes from unlikely characters, both Native American and white.

Both a quest tale and a tale of personal transformation, Thieving Forest explores the transformation of five pioneer women and one man as they contend with starvation, slavery, betrayal, and love. It paints a startling new picture of European and Native American communities, along with compelling descriptions of their daily lives. Fast-paced, richly detailed, with a panoramic view of cultures and people, this is a story of a bygone place sure to enthrall and delight.

Thieving Forest is the gripping story of Susannah Quiner’s quest to find and recover her sisters, kidnapped as part of a plot against the family, all struggling to survive in the unforgiving wilderness that was 19th century Ohio. The interwoven tales of each sister – and Susannah’s search through the vast forest and swamp that once bordered Lake Erie – are told in fast-paced prose that vividly portrays a time long past and the timeless challenges and choices of life both then and now.

Fans of literature about early life in America from Last of the Mohicans to Little Women will be delighted to discover Thieving Forest and add it to their list of books to enjoy again and again.”
– Alice K. Boatwright, author of Collateral Damage and Under an English Heaven

For an excerpt of THIEVING FOREST, go to Martha’s website at


Martha Conway, Author

Martha Conway’s latest novel, Thieving Forest, has been called “extraordinary” by the Akron Beacon Journal. Her first novel 12 Bliss Street was nominated for an Edgar Award, and her short fiction has appeared in The Iowa Review, The Mississippi Review, The Quarterly, Folio, Puerto del Sol, Carolina Quarterly, and other publications. She graduated from Vassar College and received her master’s degree in Creative Writing from San Francisco State University. She has reviewed fiction for the San Francisco Chronicle, The San Francisco Review of Books, and The Iowa Review, and is a recipient of a California Arts Council fellowship in Creative Writing. Born in Cleveland, Ohio, she now lives with her family in San Francisco.

Martha has taught fiction at UC Berkeley Extension and at Stanford University’s Online Writer’s Studio. She tweets ten-minute prompts and exercises every day on twitter (#10minprompt, #WritingExercise) via @marthamconway.

Sunday, October 19, 2014


Where there is love

Where There is Love by Mya O'Malley

Mia Dennsi is a beautiful young woman who has experienced a challenging childhood. As an out of work teacher, Mia accepts a position for home-schooling a troubled, misunderstood teenager. Mia makes it a priority to help Cassidy overcome her challenges and reach for her dreams. In the process, Mia experiences healing of her own; she is faced with issues she must now come to terms with.

Mia finds a rare friendship in Jamie, her caring and attractive neighbor. The relationship starts off as friendship, but will Mia let this healthy friendship bloom into something more or is she destined to a repeat the vicious cycle of making the same mistakes over and over again?

Through the various twists and turns of Mia’s love life, she is forced to make a decision that will affect her entire future. The reader cannot help but root for this character to succumb to true love and happiness.


I would have done anything for that girl. Anything. I have dreamed of Mia, I have waited for Mia. I have loved Mia.

I can’t trust Mia.

I can’t get my hopes up again, only to be crushed by her. I couldn’t stand it.

She doesn’t allow herself to be happy. What has happened in her life to cause her to reject the people who love her, who care for her?

I remember the first time I ever laid eyes one her. The way she bumped into me, how embarrassed she was. I swear to this day that she is the most beautiful creature I’ve laid eyes on. Her slim build, dark hair and striking eyes. And that smile, that smile still warms my heart.

I went to see my grandma in Maine for the weekend once I realized that I was falling in love with Mia. My grandmother and I have always been close. She has been there for me through thick and thin ever since I was a child. I grew even closer to her as I was growing up, finding my way in life. For some reason, I always found it easiest to share my feelings with Grandma, the two of us like kindred spirits.

My feelings for Mia scared the life out of me. I told my grandmother that I didn’t want to risk getting hurt again and that Mia seemed so unsure of herself. She offered me a piece of advice that I will hold true to my heart forever: She placed her hand over my heart and said, “Go where there is love, surround yourself with love.” So I did, I went to Mia and tried to tell her how I felt, only to be brushed off with news of Josh coming back into the picture.

I’m happy with Danielle, she’s smart and she’s beautiful. Yeah, I’m going to give this a chance, I would be a fool not to.

But...I think...she’s not Mia. My heart can’t take Mia.

She has the power to hurt me, and I can’t survive that again.

MyaAuthor Mya O’Malley

Mya O’Malley was born and raised in the suburbs of New York City, where she currently lives with her husband, daughter and three step-daughters. The family also consists of two boxers; Destiny and Dolce and a ragdoll cat named Colby. Mya earned an undergraduate degree in special education and a graduate degree in reading and literacy. She works as a special education teacher and enjoys making a difference in the lives of her students.

Mya’s passion is writing; she has been creating stories and poetry since she was a child. Mya spends her free time reading just about anything she can get her hands on. She is a romantic at heart and loves to create stories with unforgettable characters. Mya likes to travel; she has visited several Caribbean Islands, Mexico and Costa Rica. Mya is currently working on her fifth novel.

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Book Blast Giveaway

$50 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash

Ends 11/4/14

Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.

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Friday, October 17, 2014


Bar V5 Dude Ranch Series
by Melissa McClone


Three couples. Three stories, where you can follow one pair from meeting to wedding day!

1. Mistletoe Magic – short story – Free at Amazon and Smashwords
2. Kiss Me, Cowboy – eBook novella — $0.99 on Kindle Oct 16 - 22
3. Mistletoe Wedding — eBook novella — New Release! only $2.99

Mistletoe Magic

Spending a quiet Christmas housesitting and reading novels about hot cowboys sounds perfect to Caitlin Butler. Until a stray kitten brings her face-to-face with Noah, her crush from college. Watching the handsome vet in action melts Caitlin's heart and brings back long forgotten emotion. She would be safer back at the house lost in the pages of a book. But a toe-curling mistletoe kiss tempts her to stay. Maybe she won't be spending this Christmas... alone.

Veterinarian Noah Sullivan isn't a Scrooge, but the Christmas Eve tradition of hanging mistletoe in the clinic's waiting room annoys him. Kissing doesn't belong at the Copper Mountain Animal Hospital. Noah rethinks his position when Caitlin arrives with a stray kitten she found freezing in the snow. All he wants now is to maneuver the pretty preschool teacher under the mistletoe. If he's not careful, he'll wind up on Santa's naughty list.

Kiss Me, Cowboy

She didn’t mean to kiss him…

When dude ranch wrangler Charlotte – aka Charlie – Randall kisses Zack Harris in an act of empathy, she falls hat over spurs for the handsome military veteran turned cowboy. Zack has too many demons, however, and refuses to get involved. A year later, he's still stonewalling, and Charlie needs to move on with her life so she can find a fulfilling relationship, not frustrating unrequited love. Putting distance between them seems the best way to get Zack out of her head and heart...but that means quitting the job she loves and accepting a position in Colorado.

He didn’t mean to kiss her back…

Growing up, Zack longed for a real family, and had one with his squad while deployed in Afghanistan. Now, he's back in the States and doesn't want anything messing up his new ranch family, no matter how much he's attracted to the sexy, hard-working Charlie. She could break his heart and ruin the comfortable working relationship they and the other wranglers enjoy. Besides, her friends claim she's looking for the perfect guy, and perfect he's not.

A kiss is just a kiss…or is it?

When Zack learns Charlie's thinking about leaving the ranch, he decides to find her a boyfriend — someone so good, so perfect, she has a reason to stay in Montana. Until he realizes too late that the only cowboy he wants her kissing is him. Can he commit to love and convince Charlie not to leave? Or has she made up her mind to put the past, and the kiss that started it all, behind her and move on without him?

Mistletoe Wedding

Longer: Event planner at the Bar V5 Dude Ranch, Meg Redstone is dreaming of a white Christmas with twinkling lights, sparkly decorations and strategically placed mistletoe. She loves making dreams come true for others, whether planning a holiday wedding or giving her young daughter the best Christmas ever.

Ranch foreman Tyler Murphy loves the holidays, but his newest employee has taken over his barn with her over-the-top decorations. He admires Meg’s desire to give her daughter the perfect Christmas while planning a winter wonderland wedding, but he wants to show her that a Montana Christmas is more than glitter and lights.

After raising his younger sister, an instant family is not on Ty's Christmas wish list. But he finds himself falling hard for the single mom and her little girl. Meg, however, is not interested in a romance with a cowboy like Ty, or any man. Getting her under the mistletoe is going to take a Christmas miracle . . . or a little help from Santa.



The clinic’s front door opened.

A woman in a puffy powder blue down coat entered. Her hat pushed long strands of brown hair over her face. She carried something bundled in a black and white checked fleece blanket. “Please help me.”

The crack in her voice and pale complexion sent him into action. Two long strides, he was at her side. “I’m Noah. A vet.”

Worried green eyes met his. Familiar eyes, except these weren’t as young and innocent as the ones he remembered. These eyes were wary and concerned. But they still reminded him of that girl he’d just thought about, the freshman with cute freckles and twinkling jade-green eyes.

Her gaze widened with recognition. “Noah. It’s you.”

His heart crashed against his chest. His world tilted.

“Caitlin.” His arm reached forward, as if touching her would assure him this —she—was real. That of all the vet clinics in Montana, she’d walked into this one. “I can’t believe it.”

“Me, either.” She gave her head a shake, then lifted the blanket toward him. “I found a kitten in the snow. Something’s wrong with him. Or her. I don’t know which. Can you help?”

Noah remembered where he was, what he was. He took the bundle, ignoring the million questions racing through his mind. Talking could wait.

Buy links:

1.         Mistletoe Magic


Mistletoe Magic is FREE on Smashwords:

2.         Kiss Me, Cowboy

3.         Mistletoe Wedding

Melissa McClone, Author

With a degree in mechanical engineering from Stanford University, Melissa McClone worked for a major airline where she traveled the globe and met her husband. But analyzing jet engine performance couldn’t compete with her love of writing happily ever afters. Her first full-time writing endeavor was her first sale when she was pregnant with her first child! Since then, she has published over thirty romance novels with Harlequin and Tule Publishing Group. She’s also been nominated for Romance Writers of America’s RITA® award. When she isn’t writing, you can usually find her driving her minivan to/from her children’s swim practices and other activities. She also sends care packages to deployed service members and fosters cats through a local no-kill animal shelter. Melissa lives in the Pacific Northwest with her husband, three school-aged children, two spoiled Norwegian Elkhounds and cats who think they rule the house. They do!

Twitter: @melissamcclone

Wednesday, October 15, 2014


Today's guest is Stacy Verdick Case and she's sharing an interview with readers plus details of her latest release.

Stacy will award a $50 Barnes and Noble GC to one winner, and a signed ARC of An Intimate Murder (US only) to two randomly drawn winners via rafflecopter during this tour and her standard tour.

Caroline: Tell readers about growing up:

Stacy: My older sister and I were military brats. Growing up we moved all over the place but we always ended up back in Minnesota so that’s where I call home.  No one would mistake me for a jock growing up – LOL! I was really a dork. I’m still a big dork. My husband rolls his eyes when I’m being goofy but my daughter thinks it’s the best. To her I’m like a big kid she gets to play dress up with.

Caroline: Who are your favorite authors and favorite genres?

Stacy: Well, I’m a literary omnivore.  I don’t really have a favorite genre, it just depends on the mood I’m in.  Douglas Adams sits comfortable next to Edgar Allan Poe, Laura Ingles Wilder, and Harper Lee on my bookshelf. I think that would be the best writers dinner EVER! I would mortgage my house to be there.

There are a lot of authors who have been great influences on me for instance the late, great Cheryl Anne Porter. She gave the most fantastic writing classes. If authors can get their hands on audio copies of her workshops you would be smart to do so. As far as my favorites the list is too long and getting longer all the time.

Caroline: I love the term “literary omnivore.” That describes me also, except that I don’t read horror or true crime. What’s your favorite way to relax and recharge?

Stacy: It’s so rare that I have time to myself but when I do I fire up the DVR and watch The Walking Dead, Hell on Wheels, ore Rizzoli and Isles. Of course it sounds trite but I love to read. I’ve never met a writer who didn’t love to read so when I’m not watching good stories I’m reading them.

Caroline: I love “Hell on Wheels.” Do you have a favorite quote that sums up how you feel about life?

Stacy: Oh yes! Words are so powerful to me. I collect quotes and sayings so they adorn most surfaces of my home, but the one that I read over and over is from Abraham Lincoln and it came to me at a point in my life when I really needed to hear it. One of those serendipitous moments in life and I posted it on my bulletin board.

Isn’t that so true!

Caroline: Yes, it is. How long have you been writing?

Stacy: As long as I can remember. I must be a natural born storyteller because when other kids had security blankets, I carried a red spiral bound notebook. Why red? I have no clue because my favorite color is blue, but it always had to be red.

Caroline: Well, red is a power color. Where do you prefer to write?

Stacy: After my daughter was born I had very little time where I could devote a block of time to writing and create the “perfect” conditions, so I write where and when I can. I keep paper and pen with me at all times (still carrying my security notebook!)  and I also have a digital recorder to “write” while I’m driving. I literally have to steal time to write. If I have a date night with my husband he knows that if he walks away to go to the bathroom I will be writing when he comes back.  But I do put it away when he comes back. I never want to be so wrapped up in my writing that I forget what really matters most – family.

Caroline: Ah, yes, family before career. Are you a plotter or a panzer?  

Stacy: I am a complete pantser!  A writer friend of mine and I wrote a blog piece called Plotter vs. Pantser about our different styles because she’s the create a 3-ring binder of back story befor you start to write type of plotter and I just sit down to write. I never know what’s happening from one moment to the next. I once killed the heroine of my book and sat back and went, “Huh.” I was so stunned! It all worked out though. It always does.

Caroline: Do you use real events or persons in your stories or as an inspiration for stories?  

Stacy: Absolutely! I tell people around me, “You’re all fodder.” The first book in the Catherine O’Brien series A Grand Murder, was written to kill off a former boss who stole a lot of money from me. Most of the people in my books are amalgams of people I know. If there’s a quirk about someone I like I will give it to one of my characters. I think that helps make them feel real to people. There’s an attorney in An Intimate Murder who is a complete rip off of an auditor I met once through my work. Of course if any of the auditors I’ve worked with are reading this they are all scrambling to buy a copy of the book and find out if it’s them!

Caroline: I feel we are each the sum of all our experiences and observations. Do you set daily writing goals?

Stacy:   I do want to write every day but life is life. I try not to pressure myself because if I sit down and say I HAVE to write 10 pages today that’s when I’ll get stuck and not be able to write anything. However if I set out to just write the next scene a lot of times I end up with a lot more pages than I would have set as a goal for myself because I would have thought there was no way I could reach it. Because I’m a pantser my writing comes out in fits and flows. Some days are good and some days aren’t. It seems to work out.

When I first started to write with the goal of being a professional writer I went to all the classes that said I had to do this and had to that and completely stressed myself out trying to be everything I was supposed to be according to what everyone else seemed to be doing. Then I learned that what works for them doesn’t work for me. It wasn’t until I chucked all that advice out the window and found my mojo that everything fell into place.

Caroline: It’s true that we must find what works for us. What do you hope your writing brings to readers?

Stacy: Enjoyment. I’m an entertainer and I’m okay with that. I was once taken to task (again in one of those writing workshops) because we were supposed to tell everyone what we wanted to accomplish with our writing, and I said to entertain people. The workshop presenter told me I wasn’t thinking “globally” enough and she would come back to me. I told her she could come back to me if she wanted but my answer would be the same. I’m not out to save the world, I just want to give my readers some pleasure. If can make you smile or laugh then so much the better. What if the world laughed just once all at the same time. Imagine a moment of universal levity. How’s that for thinking globally!

Caroline: I so agree. Why is wanting to lighten others’ lives not a great goal? What long-term plans do you have for your career? 

Stacy: More books in the series and possibly a few stand-alone books. I would love to see Catherine and Louise make it to the small screen. I think they would make a great TV detective team. Like a modern day Cagney and Lacey – would that be so much fun!! Oh my gosh, I get giddy thinking about it.

Caroline: Would you like to tell us what you’re working on now?

Stacy:  Book 4 – and I can’t give any spoilers because I’m a pantser and I don’t know what’s going to happen yet, but from what I’ve written so far I can tell you that Gavin’s mother plays an important role in book 4, which is making things interesting for Catherine. I’ve had to put it on hold for a little bit to do the press and stuff for An Intimate Murder but I am itching to get back to it.

Caroline:  Marketing does impact our writing time, doesn’t it? What advice would you give to unpublished authors? 

Stacy: Cultivate a belief in yourself. In this business there’s a person waiting to tear you down around every corner. If writing is something you want to do then you have to have faith in yourself and not care what other people think. That’s really hard for some people to accept. They write and then want reviewers, etc. to validate them and I’m here to tell you that more often than not you will be disappointed if that’s what you’re waiting for. Your belief in your writing needs to be stronger than any outside source if you’re going to survive.

Caroline: Great advice! What’s a fun fact readers wouldn’t know about you? 

Stacy: That I’m an upcycle addict. I love to take things that are old and worn out and create something beautiful from them. I’ve done this for as long as I can remember – even before upcycle was a word or a trend. People come to my house and tell me how much they love something and then I show them what it looked like when I bought it at a thrift store or a garage sale and they can’t believe it.  If I wasn’t a writer I would probably have a little shop selling things that I’ve recreated. Maybe if I retire someday you’ll find me doing that.

Caroline: Share something about you that would surprise or shock readers.

Stacy:  I’m an excellent shot. I know it surprised me. LOL! I don’t own any guns but I’ve taken training so that I can write knowledgeably about shooting and it turns out I’m a really good shooter.

Caroline: Tell us about your series .  

Stacy: It’s the Catherine O’Brien mystery series. There are three books so far A Grand Murder, A Luring Murder, and An Intimate Murder.

Caroline: Can you give readers a blurb about AN INTIMATE MURDER?

Stacy:  Sure!

Catherine O’Brien, the irreverent detective, is back in
An Intimate Murder.

When Jonathan and Susan Luther are murder in their home, St. Paul homicide detective Catherine O’Brien and her partner Louise discover this isn’t the first time the Luther family has been visited by tragedy.  Is it a case of bad family luck or is there something more?

How about an excerpt from AN INTIMATE MURDER

Stacy: Absolutely!

I locked eyes with her and wished, not for the first time in my life, that I had telekinetic abilities. If I had, I could mentally disembowel Jane Katts. That’s probably why God never blessed me with that particular gift.

“Hello Detective.” Jane Katts’ tone was overly pleasant. She must have trumped me in some way and now she’s was just waiting for me to concede the trick.

“Close the door behind you, O’Brien.” The chief rocked back in his chair and smiled.

There was nothing in his smile except pleasantry, which made me more nervous than the one Jane Katts had given me. A broad smile was so alien on the Chief’s face that I was certain that Jane Katts had managed to pull a switcheroo and replace the chief with a pod person of her own design; one who is not hard-edged and sand-papery as I have come to expect but instead soft, with as much grit as a nail file.

“I’m afraid there’s not enough chairs so one of you will have to stand.” The smiley version of our chief of police said.

I braced my feet a shoulder width apart and crossed my arms over my chest, I preferred to stand for whatever nasty surprise Jane Katts had in store for me.

Louise sat and introduced herself to Jane. They exchanged a handshake.

“Ms. Katts is the reporter who asked for the exclusive interview.”

He glossed over the detail about her being the reporter who had engaged in a calculated smear campaign against the department.

“She would like to change the angle of her story to get more of an inside view.” The chief’s eyes cut to my face and I saw a hint of the real chief behind whatever hoodoo Jane Katts had performed on him.

Where can readers find your books? (buy link) You can buy An Intimate Murder by clicking the link. Otherwise it’s available, along with the other books in the series, wherever books are sold! 

How can readers learn more about you? (website, blog, Facebook, etc?)  I would love for readers to visit me at my webstie or my Facebook fan page

While you’re on either site sign up for my Willing Accomplice mailing list to learn about upcoming promotions, future releases, contest, and exclusive content! I will be doing a really cool giveaway for newsletter subscribers only once I reach 100 subscribers so sign up today!

I’m also on twitter which for some reason I just love! @SVerdickCase Now you’ll all have a chance to find out what a twit I am.

Caroline: Is there anything else you’d like readers to know about you?  

Stacy: That I love hearing from readers. If you want to talk to me just tweet me, email me, post a message of Facebook, or because I have some old-school love in me you can snail mail me at: PO Box 242, Stacy, MN 55079

Thanks for sharing with us today, Stacy, and best wishes for continued success!

Stacy Verdick Case, Author

Stacy Verdick Case was born in Willmar, Minnesota.  After a brief stint as a military brat, where she lived in Fort Sill Oklahoma and Fort Campbell, Kentucky, her family moved back to Minnesota.

Stacy has written all her life earning a High School Writer Award and a Daphne Du Mauier Award for excellence in Mainstream Mystery/Suspense.

Stacy currently lives in a suburb of St. Paul with her husband of twenty-years, her five-year-old daughter, and their two cats.

An Intimate Murder is the third book in the Catherine O’Brien series.

Visit Stacy on the web:

Twitter @SVerdickCase

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Thanks for stoppiong by!

Tuesday, October 14, 2014


First, a few words from Jodi Thomas . . .

Once in a while in my career of forty books, there comes a story I know I have to write.  It waits like an impatient child in the back of my mind for its time to shine.  A PLACE CALLED HARMONY was one of those stories.  As I moved through the Harmony series, getting to know the people of Harmony, Texas, better with each book I knew that someday I’d tell the beginning of their town.  From the day I started writing the characters came through clear.  I had to find men strong enough to influence the generations of Mathesons, Trumans and McAllens.

Many times during the writing of this story I felt all three men standing behind me telling me their lives.  Patrick McAllen, young and full of dreams, thought of it as an adventure and believed love came easy.  Clint Truman felt old at thirty and didn’t believe in love.  When he heard he had to have a wife to get the job, he went to the prison gate and picked the first woman walking out.  And then there was Captain Gillian Matheson who loved his wife but also loved adventure.

When Truman, Matheson and McAllen’s stories began to dance in my mind, I found myself staying up later every night to write more.  I love the way the three men interacted and the way all three loves stories grew.  I have a feeling that readers will be staying up a little later to read one more chapter.

I felt close to all of them, because my great-grandparents settled this same country over a hundred years ago.  My grandmother was even born in a covered wagon. So follow me through A PLACE CALLED HARMONY you’ll love the story.

Enjoy the adventure,

Jodi Thomas

Jodi Thomas is the NY Times and USA Today bestselling author of 40 novels and 12 short story collections.
A four-time RITA winner, Jodi currently serves as the Writer in Residence at West Texas A&M University in Canyon, Texas.

Review by Caroline Clemmons

Yes, I’m another dedicated fan of Jodi Thomas books. I can honestly say I’ve read every book she’s published and enjoyed each one. I admit I’ve wished she’d write more western historical romances even though I love her Harmony series and the two suspense novels she authored.

With A PLACE CALLED HARMONY, Ms Thomas has fed both my addictions by writing a historical western romance about the founding of the town of Harmony. As I expected, this book kept me enchanted from the first word to the end. Those who’ve read the Harmony books will recognize that series’ leading families of Truman, Matheson, and McAllen.

Harmon Ely wants to found a town at the juncture of two Texas Panhandle waterways where he’s built a trading post.  With his dog Davy as a companion, Harmon is used to his own company. He’s a man of vision who believes he owns the perfect site for a town. Though his trading post has been burned to the ground, he’s been shot and left for dead, and he’s been robbed several times, Harmon is not going to give up.

He has a scheme to attract married people to settle in his new town—all he needs are strong, determined, and resourceful couples. He’ll offer work building the town and a house. In exchange for two year’s work, Harmon will sign over their house and forty acres of land. With ads in newspapers, he carefully reviews responses because he only wants good people who will contribute to his town. He’s building for the future.

Harmon also enlists and old friend to help, Sheriff Lightstone of Huntsville, Texas. Lightstone knows a man who appears determined to kill himself with liquor and fights since the death of his family. The sheriff pulls Clint Truman from a brawl and offers him an opportunity to stay out ofjail. Lightstone even has an idea for Clint’s wife.

The two men take a wagon to Huntsville prison for women and wait as that day’s releases file out. Of the several women inmates regaining freedom that day, only one is not met and has nowhere to go—and she carries a tiny baby. Karissa has been betrayed by everyone she trusted and is consumed by fear. After assurances by Clint, she agrees to wed him if her conditions are met: he will never ask about her past, he will never strike her, and he will never force himself on her. He gives her a few days to recover while he sells his farm, then they set out by train for Dallas to buy a wagon and supplies for their trip to the Panhandle.

Meanwhile near Galveston, Patrick McAllen is escaping an overbearing and abusive father with the aid of his mute brother, Shelby. Going with Patrick is Annie Spencer, who is almost as eager to escape her stepmother. Patrick and Annie are friends but not in love. Their motive in marrying is to flee beyond their parents’ reach and they seek Harmon Ely’s town as a sanctuary. Annie requests only that Patrick never lie to her. He agrees and asks for the same. He hopes one day Shelby will join them.

Captain Gillian Matheson is a career soldier. Although he loves his wife Daisy to distraction, he cannot settle on her family’s farm and tolerate her brothers ordering him about constantly. He hadn’t realized when they wed that she wouldn’t leave her family to follow him from post to post. What he doesn’t know is that Daisy has grown weary of never seeing her beloved husband for longer than enough time to conceive another child. Writing as her husband, Daisy contracted with Harmon Ely to settle in his new town. Then she convinced her brothers to load all her furnishings into wagons and escort her to Harmon’s trading post and leave. All she has to do now is await Gillian’s arrival. The letter she sent her husband should bring him hurrying to meet her. At least, she prays that’s true.

A PLACE CALLED HARMONY is one of my favorites of Ms Thomas’ books. Each of the three couples plus the secondary characters face different problems that present a slice of 1880’s western life. Settling on the frontier was hard work and dangerous, but joy also awaited those with survival skills. By deftly weaving the good with the bad, Ms Thomas creates a portrait of those who founded not just Harmony, but a myriad of towns across the West.   

 If you haven’t already guessed, I give A PLACE CALLED HARMONY five out of five stars. You can buy this book from