Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Isabel Roman, Author Interview

Marisa Velez (left) and Christine Koehler,
Isabel Roman
Readers, today our guest is Isabel Roman, although she is actually they. Christine Koehler and Marissa Velez write together as Isabel Roman, and have been very successful in cowriting romance novels. For this post, Christine is answering for the duo about their novella IN THE SHADOWS, which appears in the Civil War anthology NORTHERN ROSES AND SOUTHERN BELLES from The Wild Rose Press.

Caroline: Isabel, how did you come up with that idea for your novella, IN THE SHADOWS?

Isabel: I’m not sure how the concept came about, but I do know I researched both the Pinkertons and those who smuggled goods into the South during the blockade. As it turns out, Allen Pinkerton did hire one woman agent, Kate Warne. After the Civil War, Kate was responsible for a small number of female Pinkerton agents.

I based Marion off Kate, even briefly mentioned Kate Warne, and Allen Pinkerton is an old friend of Marion’s father. As for Jack, I based him off Rhett Butler. Except English. And not with the romantic background of Rhett, but with a poor vicarage background. Hey, a man’s gotta make something of himself, right?

In the classic, Gone With the Wind, Margaret Mitchell based Rhett Butler on George Trenholm, (who may or may not have been a distant relation of hers). I read Dr. E. Lee Spence’s Treasures of the Confederate Coast: The "Real Rhett Butler" & Other Revelations, A look at South Carolina's underwater heritage, and Shipwrecks of Charleston Harbor. Granted, I didn’t need to read all those for the story, but they really were fascinating. And I may have skimmed some parts.

From The Wild Rose Press
Caroline: We get lost in research, don’t we? I was especially interested to learn from you that Rhett Butler was based on a real  person. Tell us about your writing schedule. Do you write full time?

Isabel: I wish I could write full time! But no, I have a fulltime job, family, puppy, and friends. In every single other moment of free time, I write. Nights, after work and walking the dog, I try to write 2000 words. On weekends and other days off, I try to do between 5,000 and 10,000…it all depends on the flow of the story, interruptions, and naps.

Caroline: LOL Naps are important at my house. Is there a reason you’re drawn to the Civil War era?

Isabel: When I was in high school, I read a lot of Civil War romances. I took several classes as an undergrad, and watched all those epic Civil War movies popular in the 90s. But then I realized they all sounded the same. Hero from the North has to rescue the poor misguided Southern Heroine from something and they fall in love. Pft. Scarlett O’Hara was a bitch, but she was much stronger than that.

So what if the woman was from the north, and the man was English? Very different there, considering England only had a very general interest in our war. Got me thinking about a lot of things I’d forgotten over the years about the Civil War and how it truly did change our country.

Caroline: Good for you! I always thought that--even though she was not sweet as Melanie--without Scarlett O'Hara, the people around her would have starved. What are the other works you have out?

Desert and Destiny 
Isabel: I have a Druids series published with Red Silk Editions now available in book stores, a story in the only zombie romance anthology you’ll probably ever find, about a dozen short stories, and a werewolf novella in The Wild Rose Press’s GOT WOLF? anthology.

Caroline: And your Red Silk Editions have such gorgeous covers. What do you have in the works for us:

Isabel: I’m currently working on a couple things: editing a 1920s prohibition story and a very dark alternate history Regency. I also have maybe ¼ of two stories finished, one is a contemporary Egyptian reincarnation story, the other is a 1797 spy story set in Switzerland.

Caroline: Quite an eclectic mix. I love 1920’s stories, so I hope you release that one soon! Would you give us a blurb from IN THE SHADOWS?

Sex and Subterfuge
Isabel: Marion Shelton only wanted to help her country during The War, so she traveled to Charleston, South Carolina in order to learn what she could about the Confederates. She hadn’t planned on falling in love with an English smuggler, or in risking both her heart and her life for her country.

Jack Harrison’s single goal was to make money smuggling goods into the American South. He didn’t care about their war, but when he met Marion, all that changed. The problem is, can he keep her safe and still help her protect her?

Caroline: How about an excerpt:

Murder and Magick
Isabel: Here it is:

He would not shame his wife. First he had to convince her to marry him. And then, he supposed, he had to convince himself class didn’t matter. Not a simple task. In England, class defined one. Only here, in America, could one define oneself.

Jack turned to the house and could just see Gloriana through the windows, laughing with Edmund Calhoun. In cahoots, no doubt, over Marion’s marriage with Ned.

Jealously speared through him, and he wanted to march inside and challenge Major Calhoun.

But Marion was nowhere in sight. Frowning, he moved through the shadows in search of her.

“Damn woman never does what I expect,” he muttered. Circling the premise, careful not to run across a slave on guard duty, he searched for her.

One of the many things that intrigued him, her ability to do the unexpected, worried him as well. He never knew what she’d do next. And her secrets. She hid something from him. Until this latest conversation, he wouldn’t have guessed she lied about her love for him.

No, her sobs had been real enough. The surprised hurt on her face cut through him as much as her rejection of his proposal. What prompted her rejection?

“What are you hiding, Marion?” he wondered as he spotted her in Mrs. Whitaker’s morning room.

He stepped toward the room to confront her, surprise her through the French doors, when she slipped through the connecting door to Mr. Whitaker’s study.

“What are you hiding, my dear?”

Caroline: Yours was a fascinating story. Is there any other news you’d like to share us? Any links?

My website is http://www.isabelroman.com/ and my blog is on that site.

The buy link for NORTHERN ROSES AND SOUTHERN BELLES, which includes Isabel’s novella IN THE SHADOWS is:

http://www.thewildrosepress.com/index.php?main_page=advanced_search_result&search_in_description=1&zenid=162b14522c4e59f049d6bf658f403c27&keyword=Northern+Roses+and+Southern+Be&x=28&y=5 The anthology set around the Civil War is available in both print and e-book format and is also available on Amazon for Kindle, B&N for Nook, etc.

2011 Epic Finalist
Caroline: Isabel, thank you for sharing your experiences with us.

Please allow me once again to mention that the anthology NORTHERN ROSES AND SOUTHERN BELLES is a 2011 EPIC Finaltist. In addition, may I recommend one of my books for the readers on your gift list? They're found at www.thewildrosepress.com/caroline-clemmons-m-638.html 
Join me tomorrow to hear from Lilly Gayle and the Roses Christmas blog tour.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Susan Macatee, Author Interview

From The Wild Rose Press
2011 EPIC Finalist
Continuing with authors whose work appeared in the award-winning anthology NORTHERN ROSES AND SOUTHERN BELLES, today my guest is Susan Macatee. Although she's been writing as long as she can remember, she started writing for publication after her youngest started kindergarten. After success with short stories, she decided to try a novel. She considers that novel, LAURA, her practice novel. Success came with the publication of her second novel, a YA titled UNDER THE GUNS, but it is now out of print. Once she decided she wanted to write romantic fiction, she joined Romance Writers of America and their Fantasy, Futuristic and Paranormal chapter. Susan is also a member of Scandalous Victorians, a small writing group that specializes in Victorian set romance in both America and England. They also have a group blog, http://slipintosomethingvictorian.wordpress.com/.

Caroline: Susan, your novella’s hero is a Civil War re-enactor. How did you come up with that idea?

Susan and her husband with
the 28th Pennsylvania Regiment
Susan: The idea came directly from my own experiences as a Civil War reenactor. I chose civilian, but my husband and sons did the military side and I also witnessed many staged battles, so could accurately describe the sights, sounds, smells and action involved in a reenactment. Reenacting is sort of playacting the past, so I thought it would be fun to have a reenactor hero experience a past life, where he actually was the Civil War soldier that he portrayed.

As a reenactor, myself, I had to learn how to dress, what to eat and how to behave as a Victorian lady. My husband learned not only how to drill and how soldiers fought, but he also had to learn how a Victorian man acted in camp and toward women. Our youngest son was 10 at the time we started reenacting and we also had to learn how to appropriately dress him and what types of games and toys he would have played with. It was a fun learning experience.

Caroline: It’s sounds like a nice family hobby for those who love history as you and I do. What attracts you to time travel?

Susan: That goes way back to when I was a kid. I loved TV shows like "The Twilight Zone," "The Outer Limits," "Star Trek," "The Time Tunnel," and the daytime soap, "Dark Shadows." All these shows featured episodes where people traveled back in time and I loved the interaction of people from different eras. It was fun and a subject I longed to write about.

Caroline: I agree that it’s fun to write a time travel. Tell us about your writing schedule. Do you have another job or write full time?

Susan: I don’t have an outside job, so writing is my first priority, but I do type manuscripts for other writers. I started that business when my youngest son started school as a way to earn a little cash while learning the ropes of writing stories of my own. I still type for others, but only keep a few clients, so I’ll have enough time for my own writing.

I generally use my mornings to take care of household things, like feeding and dog and taking him to the park, starting the laundry, running errands, housecleaning. I also try to get in at least an email check in the morning, plus I take an hour for my workout.

Afternoons are reserved for writing and typing projects. When a typing project is in, I usually give that top priority, unless I have something under contract. Otherwise, I make sure I get in at least an hour a day for writing. But I also have to make time for blogging, updating my website and book promo.

Sometimes it can be a real balancing act.

Caroline: Isn’t that the truth? Writers are like those old performers with twirling plates in the air. I must compliment you for making time to comment on the blogs of friends. You have other books out. What are they and are they also time travels?

From The Wild Rose Press
Susan: I have one other time travel, ERIN'S REBEL. This is the story of a modern day reporter who crashes her car and wakes up in a Confederate Army camp. And that’s where she finds the man of her dreams. My other stories are all straight historicals, with the exception of two vampire stories both set during the Civil War.

ERIN'S REBELwas a finalist in the 2010 Ancient City Romance Authors Heart of Excellence Reader’s Choice in the paranormal category.

Available from The Wild Rose Press
CONFEDERATE ROSE is the story of an Irish immigrant who disguises herself as a male to join the Confederate army. She meets a Southerner, who she later learns is a Yankee spy, but not until after they fall in love.

CONFEDERATE ROSE took first place in the 2010 Beacon Contest Published Division and second place in the 2010 New England Reader’s Choice Bean Pot Award in the historical category.

I have four other stories. The novella, THE CHRISTMAS BALL, is part of the anthology, AN AMERICAN ROSE  CHRISTMAS; my two vampire stories, SWEET REDEMPTION, and ETERNITY WAITS, are available as stand-alone e-books and my short story, "A Kiss Under the Mistletoe," is available for FREE! A link to the download is on my website.

Caroline: You’re a very productive lady! Is there a reason you’re drawn to the Civil War era?

Susan: I love the clothing, the intrigue and excitement of setting stories during wartime. Something about the Victorian era also captures my imagination. And the fact that I spent a lot of weekends living in that time period, also makes it easier to write about the things that add realism to any story.

Caroline: Your stories pull readers into the world you’ve created. What do you have in the works for us:

Susan: I’m currently revising a post Civil War novel that I’ve titled CASSIDY'S WAR. The story’s based on characters from an out of print novel I had published about nine years ago.

Here’s the blurb: The Civil War is over, but CASSIDY'S WAR is just beginning.

Cassidy Stuart longs to attend medical school. Her training under her physician father and her time serving as a nurse during the war, have only increased her desire to be a real physician with a practice of her own. When the man who’d left her at the altar five years before, returns, she’s determined not to let him upset the plans she’s set for herself.

Unknown to his former fiancĂ©e and her family, George Masters is now a Pinkerton agent sent to investigate a physician now living in George’s former hometown. When he finds Cassidy hasn’t married, he hopes he can have another chance with her, but can’t reveal his real reason for returning, at least not until his mission is accomplished.

Can love be rekindled with a doctor bent on revenge against them both?

Caroline: CASSIDY'S WAR sounds as irresistible as your other novels. Anything else?

Susan: I’m also working on a time travel novella set after the war. This one’s based on my time travel novel, ERIN'S REBEL. I’m haven’t settled on a title yet and it’s still in first draft stage.

Caroline: Back to the anthology—would you give us a blurb from ANGEL OF MY DREAMS?

Susan: When Civil War reenactor, Kyle Dalton, keeps seeing a beautiful woman on the battlefield tending to soldiers, he thinks she’s another reenactor. But when she disappears into thin air, he starts to believe he’s seen a ghost. Did he have a past life with this woman?

Caroline: I remember that from your story. Poor Kyle. How about an excerpt:

Susan: Of course.

“Corporal, what are you...?”

He took her mouth, silencing her question. Her lips held tightly firm for a moment, then yielded to him. His tongue slid inside to taste her thoroughly. Sweet, soft and amazing. When he released her, he read the unleashed passion in her half-closed eyes.

She blushed a deep red, glancing around the tent. “Corporal ...Kyle...you mustn’t take such liberties. What will the others think?”

He looked around and shrugged. “No one’s paying us any attention.”

She lifted the pan. “I have to go.”

Before he could stop her, she hurried past him moving to the front of the tent.


Something blared beside his cot. He turned his head and woke in his own bed to the blast of rock music from his alarm clock.

He shut it off and sat up. What a vivid dream! The ones he’d had before had been fragmented and fuzzy. He’d barely remembered them afterward. But that kiss. He touched his lips, swearing he could still feel her softness, smell her lavender scent.

He had truly lost it.

Caroline: The confusion for our characters is part of the fun of a time travel, isn’t it? Susan, do you have anything else you’d care to share? Any links?

Susan: My website, www.susanmacatee.com, contains info on all my stories, reviews and other news. I also post regularly on the blog, http://www.slipintosomethingvictorian.wordpress.com/ about subjects related to the Civil War. And I post about my writing projects at my blog http://www.susanmacatee.blogspot.com/

The buy link for NORTHERN ROSES AND SOUTHERN BELLES, which includes Susan’s novella ANGEL OF MY DREAMS is:

http://www.thewildrosepress.com/index.php?main_page=advanced_search_result&search_in_description=1&zenid=162b14522c4e59f049d6bf658f403c27&keyword=Northern+Roses+and+Southern+Be&x=28&y=5 The anthology set around the Civil War is available in both print and e-book format and is also available on Amazon for Kindle, B&N for Nook, etc.

Susan, thank you for sharing your experiences with us. I look forward to reading your future novels. I know they’ll be as wonderful as those I’ve already read.

Readers, please return on the 30th for an interview with Isabel Roman.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Mary Ann Webber, Author Interview

Mary Ann Webber
Like many authors, Mary Ann Webber began writing fiction in elementary school. Writing took a backseat as life became her biggest challenge. She wanted it all—marriage, home, children, grandchildren, teaching career in Virginia and Arkansas. Her early life experiences now add depth to her current characters. During the years her writing was on hold, she collected history books related to periods she found fascinating. As a result, she often spends more time researching than writing. After early retirement, she moved to Dallas to be near her children and grandchild and immersed herself in writing.

NO DECORUM, in the anthology NORTHERN ROSES AND SOUTHERN BELLES, is Mary Ann’s first novella for The Wild Rose Press.

Caroline: Mary Ann, how did you come up with the idea for NO DECORUM?

Mary Ann: I’ve spent time in Camden, Arkansas, and I’ve visited the grounds of the Chidester House, where the yearly Civil War reenactments take place, so I have a real feel for the area.

McCollum-Chidester House,
now a museum
A few years ago, I was surprised to learn the Union forces under General Steele occupied Camden for only eleven days. While the bloody Red River Campaign of 1864 raged through Arkansas and Louisiana, the Confederate and Union forces jockeyed in and out of position in Camden.

What can happen in the span of eleven days? I decided to pack as much life into this time as I could, and the story wrote itself while I continued my research.

This is unlike anything I’ve ever put on paper. The heroine is an innocent - but headstrong - teenage girl. Unlike my usual heroines, she seems to call the shots with everyone around her. Only a heroine like Juliet could make so much happen in such a short time.

2011 EPIC Finalist
2009 Preditors and Editors Top Ten
at Number 6

Caroline:  Tell us about your writing schedule. Do you write full time?

Mary Ann: My stories pop into my conscious mind as full blown movies, in living color, complete with soaring music, sound effects, and the highest paid actors. I have no idea how it happens. The characters arrive and do their jobs. I scramble to find the right words and put it all down on paper. This never happens on any sort of schedule.

I write full time in the sense that I have no longer have an outside job, such as the twenty-two years I spent teaching in public schools.

Some writers switch on their writing muse when they turn on their computers, but I have a muse who thinks she’s a prima donna. “Dahling, must we do this every morning?” she groans. Then I remind her how many camera crews and actors are waiting for us and how we need some royalty checks. She usually sighs and crawls out of bed.

Caroline: LOL Love your attitude, Mary Ann. Your muse's sister must be my muse.  Is there a reason you’re drawn to the Civil War era?

Mary Ann: My ancestors fought on both sides in the War Between the States, but probably the real reason is because my sister and I spent years sitting in dark movie houses watching GONE WITH THE WIND. It left us permanently warped. My sister says her husband has no idea how much he owes to his resemblance to Rhett Butler.

Caroline: Perhaps it's best he doesn't know. :-) What else do you have in the works for us?

Mary Ann: I’m working again on my “epic” novel, A MAN AT THE DOOR.

Also, I’m plugging away on five novellas. They’re all historical – except for one, DAKOTA WINDOW. It features time travel inside a Manhattan apartment.

Caroline: Five novellas? Wow! I remember reading part of A MAN AT THE DOOR and loved it! I hope you finish and submit it soon so I can read the rest of the story. Now, though, how about sharing a blurb for NO DECORUM for readers?

Photo of The City of Camden 
paddlewheeler with cotton bales 
headed for New Orleans
Mary Ann: Here’s the blurb:

What can happen in eleven days? In the Civil War, towns could be occupied and reoccupied by opposing armies. And just as quickly, young enemies Juliet and Randolph could fall in love, marry, and be torn apart. This fast moving tale carries a story of sudden infatuation and unending love. It happens when decorum is cast aside.

Caroline: How about an excerpt?

Mary Ann: I have two, one long and one short. Let’s start with the short one:

Ouachita Court House
Confederate Women's
Juliet’s voice betrayed her alarm. “What’s wrong? What are you seeing?”

He slowly circled her. “Turn so your back is to the lamp. That’s it. Now I see what it is. Stand very still and lift your arms straight over your head. Right. Now look up at your fingertips.”

In a twinkling, Randolph grabbed the nightgown and whisked it over her head. Juliet stood naked in the middle of the room and Randolph swallowed at the vision. “Now, everything is just as it should be.”

Here’s a longer excerpt:

Randolph lifted the curtain and gazed out the bedroom window. “It’s almost dark. Let’s go have some fun.”

“I thought we were having fun.” Juliet rolled over and looked at him.

He grabbed her hands and pulled her to her feet. “Take off that dress and put on the one you wore to church.” He grinned at her. “Don’t wear anything under it.”

“I don’t think it’ll fit without a corset. What do you have in mind?”

Randolph emerged from the wardrobe with the church dress and tossed it to her. He also threw her a blue shawl. “Here, you’ll need this, too. It’s cool outside.”

“Where do you think we’re going?”

He held a forefinger to his lips. “It’s a secret. We’re going to the church. Wear old shoes. The grass will be wet.”

Juliet was intrigued. She never imagined marriage would be such fun. When Randolph came up with new games or funny roles to assume, she knew his Dolphie side was ready to play. She slipped into the dress and her husband fastened the bodice.

Leaving by the front door so they wouldn’t be seen, they held hands and ran to the unlighted church. Once inside, Randolph whispered, “We don’t know each other’s names.”

Juliet was breathless with excitement. “Yes, Sergeant.” She crept to the back of the church as Randolph moved across the front, bumping into pews.

Reaching the aisle, she moved slowly and deliberately toward the front. If her eyes hadn’t adjusted, she would still have found Randolph, seated as before in the aisle seat of the first pew.

She dropped onto his lap.

He moaned deeper than she’d ever heard him. Recovering, he whispered into her hair, “Young lady, this seat is taken.”

Caroline: LOL I remember that scene. Precious! Mary Ann, thank you so much for visiting with us today.

NORTHERN ROSES AND SOUTHERN BELLES is available from The Wild Rose Press in both print and e-download and is also available from Amazon and other online stores. Please return on Sunday to learn about Susan Macatee.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010


Prizes? Prizes? The information is at the bottom of this post. Please also read the post about Amy. 

Amy Corwin, Author
 Welcome Amy Corwin who will tell us about her stack of to-be-read novels for the holidays. Amy Corwin is a charter member of the Romance Writers of America and has been writing for the last ten years and managing a career as an enterprise systems administrator in the computer industry. She writes Regencies/historicals, mysteries, and contemporary paranormals. To be truthful, most of her books include a bit of murder and mayhem since she discovered that killing off at least one character is a highly effective way to make the remaining ones toe the plot line.

Available Now!
Amy’s books include the Regency, SMUGGLED ROSE; three Regency romantic mysteries, I BID ONE AMERICAN, THE BRICKLAYER’S HELPER, and THE NECKLACE, and her first paranormal, VAMPIRE PROTECTOR. These are all available at the Wild Rose Press

Amy Corwin’s “To Be Read” Pile of Books

I hope readers won’t be too disappointed to learn that my reading habits are very…seasonal. Starting around September and lasting until January, my taste for creepy, spooky stories and mysteries is irresistible. The long nights and falling temperatures, combined with the evening fire in our fireplace make me long for ghost stories and the occasional mystery. Oh, not horror—I dislike the current blood-and-gore fests that are the typical horror fare these days—but atmospheric, spooky stories. What I crave are ghostly tales such as “The Haunting of Hill House” by Shirley Jackson, or Barbara Michaels’s “Aimee Come Home.”

Available Now!
If only they still sold Gothics. Sigh.

During the spring and summer, I turn my attention back to lighter romances, like those by Crusie and Mayer, but for now, my TBR pile is filled mysteries and ghost stories.

So, if I haven’t lost your attention, here is my current TBR pile. I should note that I just finished a terrific vampire story by fellow TWRP Lilly Gayle, called “Out of the Darkness” and it was wonderful!

“Dark Whispers” by Marie Kenward (another TWRP author)

“The Mammoth Book of Modern Ghost Stories”

“The Ghostly Tales of Joseph Sheridan”
“Bryant and May Off The Rails” by Christopher Fowler

Regency Available Now!
If you like British cozy mysteries, then check out Fowler. He’s absolutely terrific. I’ve read several other Bryant and May mysteries and I’m really looking forward to this one. The two old codgers who “star” in this book are wonderful old, grumpy gents I wouldn’t mind having to tea one day.

“The Crying Child” by Barbara Michaels

If anyone is looking for a spooky mystery with a romantic subplot, I really recommend the last one on my list, “The Crying Child” by Barbara Michaels. I haven’t read it for years, but I just got it downloaded on my Kindle and I’m looking forward to reading it again.

There aren’t too many nice things you can say about having a bad memory, but one of the nicest is that you can re-read books over and over again without recalling anything except the fact that you liked it the first time around. So Michaels book ought to be as good this time as it was when I read it back in the late 70’s.

So that’s it for the TBR pile. With luck, I’ll get a few more books added over the holidays, and then it’ll be time to think about adding some romances for my spring and summer season…

Website: http://www.amycorwin.com/

Twitter: http://twitter.com/amycorwin

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/AmyCorwinAuthor
Blog: http://amycorwin.blogspot.com/

And now for the prize information! This Wednesday and for the next three Wednesdays, a few of the authors from The Wild Rose Press have a Christmas Blog Tour. A comment on any of the blogs qualifies you for once chance in the drawing. You're smart or you wouldn't be reading this blog (in my opinion), so you know more comments you leave on the participating blogs increases your chances.  The prizes and schedules can be found at

Monday, November 22, 2010


In Print or E-book
EPIC 2011 Finalist, NORTHERN ROSES AND SOUTHERN BELLES includes six novellas, one of which is mine. The five other authors and I are friends and decided to put together an anthology on a "what if we did this?" basis. Working together was fun! Not only were we able to contract the anthology with The Wild Rose Press, but we've had wonderful reviews from the result. We were #6 in the 2009 Preditors and Editors Top Ten poll last year and received a 4. rating from Romantic Times. This was the only thing I've written set in Georgia or in the Civil War time period--I prefer Texas in the years from 1870-1895. To my pleasant surprise, NORTHERN ROSES AND SOUTHERN BELLES came together rather well (in my opinion, which might be more than a little biased LOL). Over the next few weeks, I'll slip in interviews with each of the authors and ask each to share some information about her novella. First up is my long time friend, Jeanmarie Hamilton.

Jeanmarie Hamilton
Jeanmarie enjoys family and friends, oil painting, fossils -- which reminds me of her story that was inspired by a "dinosaur beach" -- and dinosaur tracks. She said, "A thirty-inch long dinosaur footprint touching your toes can change your life!" Texas is her home as it was to some of her ancestors -- men who were farmers, ranchers, judges, lawmen -- women who would rather be outside riding their horses than inside cooking, who learned to speak the language of the Lipan Apache, stopped hangings, and raised children. Jeanmarie loves writing stories set in the Southwest about heros and heroines, the problems they overcome, their fears and triumphs and the forever love they can't deny.

Caroline: Welcome, Jeanmarie. How did you come up with that idea for ARE YOU GOING TO THE DANCE? for the anthology?

Alsatian dress Castroville
women settlers wore
Jeanmarie: When we authors decided to write an anthology, I was interested in writing a story about my Texas ancestors' experiences. I didn't want to write about them exactly, so I used their actual history for inspiration. The town of Castroville, Texas (known as Little Alsace) voted to have a local militia unit to protect their town rather than send men to fight in the Confederate army. My great great grandfather wanted to keep the states together. He'd come to Texas from Holland in the early 1840s and it was important to him and many other farmers in that area of Texas to keep all the states together. His son became a member of the local militia.

Comanche family. Comanches were
known as Lords of the Plains
Another family story involved my great great grandmother saving the life of a Comanche brave who had been wounded and hadn't been found. The scene of how she discovered the Indian at night and removed the bullet and cared for him is actually part of my great great grandmother's story. Inspired by the militia and her experience, I developed the characters, Lexie and Clay, for "ARE YOU GOING TO THE DANCE?"

Caroline: Tell us about your writing schedule. Do you write full time?

Jeanmarie: I write all the time. I'm either writing a story, editing, or working on promotion for my stories. I start around 9 in the morning and stop when my husband arrives home from work around 5 or 6 pm. I take off on the weekends when he's home all day, unless I'm in a hurry to finish a project at an editor's request.

Caroline: I know you love setting books in Texas, as I do. Are you drawn to the Civil War era?

Jeanmarie: Although my story, ARE YOU GOING TO THE DANCE? takes place immediately the Civil War, I haven't previously written stories influenced by the Civil War. I would rather write stories about how the war influenced my characters' lives following the war and how they picked up their lives once again.

Caroline: What are the other works you have out?

Jeanmarie: I have a few out. MOONLIGHT DESPERADO published by Siren BookStrand is a werewolf western historical romance that takes place in central Texas after the Civil War. This story was inspired by an incident which involved raiders who robbed my great great grandmother in Castroville. Of course I changed it as well as the characters and added werewolves for some fun. Werewolves are strong over-the-top characters and I enjoy reading and writing about them.

SEDUCTION was my debut book out in 2009. It's a western historical romance with a little touch of pygmalion flavor. PURE HEAVEN, out with Red Rose Publishing, is a short novella, an erotic werewolf western historical romance I wrote under the name Jenette DuPris. It has received some great reviews as well, and it's part of a multi-author series titled Legends of Loving Texas.

Caroline: What do you have in the works for the future?

Jeanmarie: I just contracted another erotic werewolf story, GUARDIAN OF HER HEART, with Siren Bookstrand. This one is a contemporary story and also a novella. It is scheduled for release in March, 2011. Meanwhile, I'm working on an erotic western historical novel about a Texas Ranger and a strong-willed rancher's daughter.

Caroline: Would you give us a blurb from ARE YOU GOING TO THE DANCE?

Jeanmarie: Strong-willed Lexie Perreau must protect her lifelong friends, the Lipan Apache from being wrongly arrested for a deadly raid. Clay has led the local militia in times of war and peace and kept his community safe. But someone has just been killed by raiders. Now he must find the killer and agrees with the men in town that he must catch the Apache raiders responsible.

But beautiful and courageous Lexie challenges him at every turn, endangering her own life and possibly the trust and respect of the one man who holds her heart.

Caroline: How about an excerpt:

Jeanmarie: Certainly.

"Mind if I cut in?" Clay smiled at her.

"Yeah, I do mind." Al looked plainly disgruntled.

"Too bad." Clay pushed Al back, slipping between him and Lexie, taking control.

As Clay's gentle hand swept around her waist, and his other hand took hers, she breathed a sigh of relief. Relaxing in his embrace, she smiled at him as he swept her into a turn, following the music. "I didn't know if you'd make it," she admitted.

"Sorry, I was late. I wouldn't miss the dance knowing you'd be here."

At his words, Lexie looked up at his eyes. His warm gaze sent heat and that disconcerting ache streaming through her to settle low in her stomach. Oh Lord. She hoped no one noticed how he affected her. He easily led her around the room, turning her in time to the waltz until she was almost dizzy. When the music stopped, he released her from his hold and escorted her to the refreshment table.

They drank glasses of punch and afterward shared a breathtaking polka. As the dance ended and people clapped and whooped, Lexie noticed Clay's attention was drawn to the entry. She turned to see what he looked at and saw with disappointment that one of the younger militiamen stood inside the doorway gesturing for Clay to follow him.

"Looks like I'm needed for something. Hate to leave so early, but I'd better check this out." Clay turned to leave.

"No. I'll go with you." Obviously, there was trouble. What kind of danger did he face? She hurried after him as he made his way through the crowd and out the door to the road.

Caroline: Is there any other news you’d like to share? Any links?

Jeanmarie: I'm thrilled to say that the anthology, NORTHERN ROSES AND SOUTHERN BELLES, which includes "ARE YOU GOING TO THE DANCE?" is a finalist in the 2011 EPIC contest. Look for an ad for the anthology, NORTHERN ROSES AND SOUTHERN BELLES, in the January 2011 issue of RT Book Reviews. I'd love it if readers would like to sign up for my newsletter. Anyone interested can find the link on my web site at http://www.JeanmarieHamilton.com

The anthology set around the Civil War is available in both print and e-book format and is available at http://www.thewildrosepress.com/ and also on Amazon for Kindle, and most other online book sources.

Jeanmarie, thank you for sharing your experiences with us.

Thursday, November 18, 2010


As we near the gift giving season, the gals at the Mojito Literary Society (my kind of people) thought it would be fun for some of us to join them in relating the story of the funniest--as in not quite appropriate--gift we'd received from our spouse or significant other. Even though it's the wrong season, I'll tell you about the Mother's Day gift my sweet Hero gave me during my first pregnancy.

My husband and I had been told I could not conceive, so we were completely overjoyed when the OG-GYN told me I was pregnant. I already knew. I swear I was sick from the second of conception. Talk about morning sickness! I bordered on toxemia, so I was just plain sick the entire time, but I won't bore you with all the yukky details. On Mother's Day, my Hero told me he would plan a wonderful surprise day for me since as a mom-to-be I qualified for Mother's Day honors.

I'm an indoorsy kind of person. You know, the nerd who reads all the time or writes in a secluded corner as opposed to playing sports or camping. My idea of roughing it is staying at a three star motel. My Hero is pretty much the same except for fishing. He loves fishing! His mom loved picnics and fishing. So what did he do? You guessed it. He thought all women loved picnics. We went to Lake Tawakoni east if Dallas.

Lake Tawakoni
Here I was with swollen feet and hands and looking like a beached whale, and he took me out in the heat, with insects, on a picnic to a lake about an hour from our home at that time. I was trapped. He'd planned so completely, I couldn't tell him I was miserable. At least I hope I concealed my discomfort and dislike of the whole idea. Well, I enjoyed the drive there and back in our air-conditioned car. During the afternoon--which lasted at least 72 hours--he was so solicitous and caring. I was a woman who wished she were home! You have to understand that my Hero is extremely considerate and loving. Unless you're a person so mean you kick puppies, you just can't be bitchy when confronted with Hero's attitude. Well, at least not too bitchy.

That's my story of my funniest gift. What's yours?

You can see the stories of others at the link below.

Monday, November 15, 2010

November Is National Family Literacy Month

November is National Family Literacy Month. Obviously literacy is important to you or you wouldn’t be reading this. LOL Celebrate by volunteering to help someone learn to read—whether encouraging an adult or tutoring a child. Give yourself a break and curl up with a good book. If you don’t have one handy, please let me recommend mine! at www.thewildrosepress.com/caroline-clemmons-m-638.html. Blatant self-promotion, but I feel compelled. If I don't push my books off on you, who will?

My First Book--Isn't it Sweet?
 Can you remember the first book you read? The first one I read alone—not counting the newspaper comics my dad used as incentive to teach me to read—was a small Golden Book of PRAYERS FOR CHILDREN. At the time, my mom wasn’t a reader (although she became an avid reader later in life), so she didn’t buy books for me. Occasionally she’d let me buy a comic book.  Why comic books and not real books? The fact the comic books were cheap made all the difference for my frugal mom. Could that woman ever pinch a penny until Abe Lincoln begged for mercy!

My dad read the newspaper and any book he could get his hands on, but didn’t buy them or use the library. I have no idea why, but he borrowed them from my half-siblings. He loved to read and encouraged me to learn at an early age. Probably he tired of me nagging him to read me the funny papers and comic books. At the time, I thought Bugs Bunny was the funniest thing on earth. What can I saw? A sophisticated kid I was not!

What was the first book you chose to read from a library or bookstore? Can you remember the first book you purchased on your own? I do. My first library book was a Nancy Drew mystery, although I don't remember which one. The first book I purchased with my allowance was LITLE WOMEN. Those books resurrect fond memories for me.

A favorite book
of our daughters
My husband and I also share fond memories of reading to our daughters, even long after they could read themselves. It was a cozy bedtime ritual whose memory I wouldn’t trade for any amount of money. They’re both avid readers now and were good students in school. One has a PhD and the other her Masters, so reading paid off for them. But reading pays off for anyone! Even if you don't get to finish school for some reason, reading brings pleasure forever. The ability to read is necessary to excel in any field, even math. If you don’t read well, you can’t even pass the personnel application test—now always given on a computer—necessary to get a job. I realize I'm preaching to the choir, but if you don’t read to your children or grandchildren, do yourself and them a lasting favor and start right away.

November is also NaNoWriMo. Due to family crises, guests, a party we've planned, holiday plans, etc. I'm not participating in the writing challenge this year. It's a great thing, though, and many of my friends are involved. Writing without letting your internal editor slow the process is tough for people like me, so NaNoWriMo is good practice in letting the words flow unchecked. As my heroine Nora Roberts reportedly said, "I can edit crap; I can't edit a blank page."

My newsletter avatar
 Big news for me is that the 15th is my first ever Mostly Monthly Newsletter. If you missed out on this month, sign up on this blog's sidebar beneath my photo and get in on future emails. It's painless. Honest. And it includes an exclusive FREE (always my favorite price for anything!) short story, recipe, news, and miscellaneous odds and ends as whimsy dictates.

Hooray! I finished the final edits for my next release, HOME SWEET TEXAS HOME. This novel is quite a departure for my writing. Instead of sensual, it’s sweet, which means that there is no consummated sex. The book includes lots of sexual tension between the heroine, Courtney Madison, and hero, Derek Corrigan, though. Plus, it’s set in West Texas near where I grew up and part of it even takes place in Lubbock. Courtney has a teenaged brother for whom she’s guardian since their mom’s death. Derek has two young kids, eight and five, and is a widower. Oh, you see where this is going, don’t you? Maybe. Maybe not. I'm not saying. Soon I’ll get the release date, but I’m sure it will be 2011.

No cover yet
I also signed the contract for a novella titled SAVE YOUR HEART FOR ME. I love this little story. I began it years ago, then decided to change the name of the heroine and her mom to that of my aunt and my mom. When my mom died three-and-a-half years ago, I put the story away. One week last month, I dug it out of my computer’s hard drive and finished it. It’s a western historical set in—no surprise—Texas in 1885.

Thanks for stopping by!

Thursday, November 11, 2010


Fall has arrived and Thanksgiving is just around the corner! Where did summer go? Never mind, I much prefer the cool, crisp days we now enjoy.

Since holidays mean cooking for some and eating for most of us, I thought I’d share a favorite recipe. Whenever I’ve prepared this, people take seconds and many ask for the recipe. It’s not original with me, but from a friend who now lives in San Angelo, Betty Beadle.


Preparation time: 10 minutes
Baking time: 25 to 30 minutes.
Serves: 8

2 pkgs. 10 oz. Frozen, chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
1 can 13 ¾ oz. Artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
½ cup heavy cream
1/8 tspn. Salt
1/8 tspn. Pepper
2/3 cup grated parmesan cheese [she uses block cheese she grates]
1 package 8 oz. Cream cheese, softened
1 cup milk

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

Combine spinach, artichoke hearts, cream, salt, pepper, and 1/3 cup parmesan cheese in a bowl with mixer on medium. Beat until fluffy.

In separate bowl on low mixer speed, beat cream cheese until fluffy and gradually add milk until blended and smooth.

Spoon spinach mixture into greased 8x8 glass baking dish or into 1 ½ qt. casserole dish. Pour cream cheese mixture evenly over spinach mixture. Sprinkle with remaining 1/3 cup parmesan cheese. Bake 25 to 30 minutes until edges and top are golden.

Doesn't that make your mouth water? I'm drooling on the keyboard here. But then, I've had the good fortune to taste Betty's casserole.

Bailey helping me write
I'm busily writing the EXCLUSIVE FREE read to go into my November newsletter. If you haven't signed up, please do. One lucky subscriber will receive a $10.00 Amazon gift certificate this month. The form is on the sidebar at the right just under my photo.
Each newsletter will include an EXCLUSIVE FREE read, a recipe, news, and miscellaneous whimsical information.

Thanks for stopping by