Friday, July 29, 2011


Remember when we were all encouraged to go out and commit Random Acts of Kindness? There were even bumber stickers urging us to join. What happened to that movement? There’s a TV commercial that shows one person’s tiny kindness spreading to many others. Today I’m sharing quotes on kindness and hope. Yes, I collect sayings like these. I can’t help myself. Like babies, puppies, and kittens, these sayings make me smile. I hope they make you smile . . . and act kindly toward those you meet today.

"Three things in human life are important: the first is to be kind; the second is to be kind; and the third is to be kind." Henry James

"How far you go in life depends on you being tender with the young, compassionate with the aged, sympathetic with the striving, and tolerant of the weak and the strong....because someday in your life you will have been all of these." 
George Washington Carver.

"The very least you can do in your life is to figure out what you hope for. And the most you can do is live inside that hope. Not admire it from a distance but live right in it, under its roof. What I want is so simple I almost can't say it: elementary kindness. Enough to eat, enough to go around. The possibility that kids might one day grow up to be neither the destroyers nor the destroyed. That's about it..." Barbara Kingsolver

"Life is short and we have never too much time for gladdening the hearts of those who are travelling the dark journey with us. Oh be swift to love, make haste to be kind." Henri Frederic Amiel

“The most important word in the English language is hope." Eleanor Roosevelt

"Most of the important things in the world have been accomplished by people who have kept on trying when there seemed to be no hope at all." Dale Carnegie

"No one can go back and make a brand new start. Anyone can start from now and make a brand new ending." Jeanne Bice

Kindness is contagious. Let's start an epidemic!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011


Available Now
7 FOLDS OF WINTER is a young adult tale that will also appeal to adults who love fantasy. To me it appears a blend of ancient lore, fantasy, and a lesson in earth stewardship. In the opening, the main character, Traven, reminisces about his childhood and instruction from his Granny Barely. Obviously he listened to her, because he grew up to become Hero of the Realm. Here is some of her advice that I found especially true:

Wolves don’t wear no sheep’s clothes. They don’t have no needs because they wears the skin of man.

A deceitful tongue is like armor made of oiled paper. It shimmers and looks pretty in the light, but once the flames of truth brush against it, there’s nothing left but smoke.

This book is a fast-paced adventure sure to hold a young person’s interest. The imagery is vivid and the cast of characters varied and intriguing. Chrystalia, the heroine, is a delight. She is courageous and finds her inner strength. One of the characters I loved was Ornery, but each of the secondary characters is as well defined as the main characters. With an army of unlikely compatriots, Traven battles the mighty Winter King. Can Traven’s few helpers hope to overcome such a mighty foe? Can Traver win the hand of the Snow Maiden? No spoilers here. This book ends with a perfect lead into a second book, which I hope Ms McCray is writing. 

7 FOLDS OF WINTER is available for $3.99 from Smashwords

Carolyn McCray and Princess,
one of her chihuahuas

Carolyn McCray is a writing instructor who has written indie-published bestselling mysteries, a religious mystery, romance, and now Young Adult. You can find her at She's taken the summer off from her blog, but you can follow her on Twitter at @craftycmc and @writingnodrama.

This book was furnished free to me for an impartial review.

Thanks for stopping by!

Monday, July 25, 2011


Today I welcome my good friend Celia Yeary. No, we've never met in person, but we are online BFF's because we've learned we have an incredible number of things in common. Honestly, with so many experiences, we share we must be related--so we tell people we're cousins. Do you think anyone believes us?

I'm so pleased Cousin Celia is here today to share her new release, HEART OF A HERO. She's offering one lucky person who comments a PDF of the book. Now, here's Celia:

Author Celia Yeary

Thank you, Caroline, for allowing me to introduce a new release no one knows much about. I'm happy to have this opportunity to introduce a Contemporary Romance, a little spicy, full of hurting, revenge, and love. The title is HEART OF A HERO.

I wrote this story a few years ago and learned that most romance publishers wouldn't take it in its present form. You see, I do have a hero and a heroine, but the hero is entangled with a fiancé with whom he tries to keep secret from a young woman he meets and instantly falls in love. She, too, holds a secret, and so they spend a summer together—a long, hot, dangerous summer—in which they cling to each other, knowing they will have to part.

As a result, I held on to it, studying publishers who seemed to be more lenient with guidelines. I took a chance with Whimsical Publications, owned by Janet Durbin, and although we did some serious editing, the basic plot and characters remained intact. Thank you, Janet.

The story came to me in bits and pieces as I watched our men and women go off to war halfway around the world to Iraq, Afghanistan, and other dangerous places. Then I watched with a breaking heart, some of those who survived come home, often to more problems than they had on the battlefield. I always thought—now they must fight for their own freedom to have the life they want and deserve. As the reader will learn, Matt Carrington's family holds him hostage as much as the terrorists did.

Matt Carrington escapes a terrorists’ prison while in the Army, but he has difficulty escaping the trappings of a demanding fiancé and his own parents. To get away to think, he meets pretty, girl-next-door Lauren Delaney, the kind of woman he desires. But his fiancé and his parents have other plans, and they determine to have their way—no matter what Matt wants.

Lauren Delaney is an independent young woman who quickly befriends the soldier hero who comes to town. Knowing he has another life in Dallas, she holds a secret, too. But she pretends neither have a problem in order to have the summer with him.

During the long hot months, a hurricane almost destroys the town. Matt and Lauren work with a team to save as many residents as they can, and in the process fall deeply in love. When the danger is past, the two lovers suffer from their own lies and misunderstandings. Can they find peace and happiness without hurting others?


Lauren knew he was shutting her out.

Matt was angry, so angry that he couldn’t talk anymore.

She could figure out what had probably happened with his family and his girl. He had not been given time to sort out his feelings, or grieve for lost comrades, or contemplate his own life—which he almost lost. Lauren’s heart went out to him.

Walking to him, she placed her palm on his back, on the wound beneath his shirt. The ugly, sickening scar, with a matching one in front. At the river, she had plenty of opportunity to see it and plenty of time to feel the pain he had suffered. Silently, she had wept for him and prayed for him. Now, she knew for certain that the biggest, ugliest scar marred his heart and soul. His family had become the enemy.

Instead of talking to him, she took his glass from his fingers without his knowing. As quietly as she could, she began to collect ingredients for their dinner. Food would help him. Then, she had a plan that would soothe his hurting. At the same time, she would soothe her own.

He appeared in the doorway. “Are you okay?”

“Me, Matt?” she asked. “Well, yes, I am, but I’m very hungry. Aren’t you?”

“Are you angry with me?” With a frown, he ran his fingers through his short, dark hair and then let his arm drop.

She placed the skillet on the stove, turned fully to him, and spoke ever so softly. “Why would I be mad at you? How could I ever be angry with you, Matt? All I see in you is good and honest and generous. Do you think because you chose not to talk anymore, that I would turn on you? That’s unfair, isn’t it? You’re a free man, Matt; free to do as you choose, free to make your own choices. Isn’t that one reason you went to fight a war halfway around the world? To defend freedom? It’s precious, Matt. Don’t let anyone take that away from you. Whatever you do, don’t let them take it away.”

BUY LINKS: in eBook and print

HEART OF A HERO, a contemporary romance set in Texas, is now available at:

Amazon Kindle---

and eBook on Smashwords by Whimsical Publishing:


B&N- y

I would love to give away a pdf copy of HEART OF A HERO. Please leave a comment for a chance to win. Thank you…

Celia Yeary-Romance...and a little bit 'o Texas

Thanks, Celia. Readers, thanks for stopping by. Don't forget to comment to qualify for Celia's drawing!

Available Now!
For those of you not from Texas, that's the
Dallas skyline in the cover's background

Saturday, July 23, 2011


Readers, please welcome debut author Vonnie Davis as a guest poster today.


There are so many different kinds of romance. If I had to pick one type, I doubt I could do it. At the top would be comedic romance in any sub-genre. I do love to laugh. Another one of my favorites is romantic stories that revolve around a family, with all those wonderful, complex dynamics. I enjoy getting to know each family member.

STORM’S INTERLUDE includes a small family—Storm, his twin sister Sunny, who has leukemia, and her little boy, Sawyer—who all live on the Triple-S Ranch. An important part of the family is Noella, the housekeeper, who raised the twins from the age of five when their mother deserted them. Also part of this extended family is Storm’s best friend and the love of Sunny’s life, Police Chief Jackson Cole. Enter Sunny’s new nurse, Rachel, who blends in with the family quite well, except for the fire-sparks between her and Storm.

Noella as she might look
 To my surprise, my favorite character in my contemporary romance turned out to be Noella. Now, Noella is, to use the cliché, the moral compass of the family. Expressing her feelings is as common for her as making breakfast or running the vacuum. She rules the house and keeps Storm in line by threatening to stop cooking for him. She also has a verbal quirk. Once she voices her opinion, she ends it by saying, “But I say nothing.” I think this little quirk makes her memorable and more human.

Here's the blurb:
Nurse Rachel Dennison comes to Texas determined to prepare her new patient for a second round of chemo. What she isn’t counting on is her patient’s twin brother, Storm Masterson. Despite her initial attraction, Storm has two things Rachel can’t abide: a domineering personality and a fiancée. Half Native American, with the ability to have "vision dreams," Storm dreams about Rachel for three nights before her arrival. Both are unprepared for the firestorm of emotions their first chance encounter ignites. Ultimately, it is Rachel’s past—an abusive, maniacal ex-boyfriend—that threatens to keep them apart…and Storm’s dreams that bring them together again.

Excerpt: I’d like to share a scene with you. Storm is trying to figure out his attraction to Rachel. He’s an engaged man; his loyalties are to his fiancée, so this fascination is not setting well with him. He’s in his office at the ranch, struggling, trying to deny his attraction.
 The sounds of more laughter and water splashing seeped through the open window, so did the music Rachel was so fond of playing. It was good to hear Sunny giggle again. Maybe that was part of the attraction. Gratitude. Was part of what he was feeling for Nurse Rachel gratitude for her helping Sunny?

With her there, much of the tension that permeated the house for so long had evaporated. Noella’s claim that Rachel brought hope was correct. It was like they’d all been given a new lease on life, not just Sunny. He tossed the pen down and stepped to the window again.

“Master Storm, I bring you some coffee and two banana nut muffins.” Noella set the plate and steaming mug on his desk.

“Thanks, Momma Noella. You know the way to my heart.” He glanced over his shoulder and smiled at her.

She stepped beside him and looked out the window. Rachel was holding Sawyer’s hands and dancing with him to a song playing on the CD player. The delighted child was giggling. “Si, I know one way to your heart.” Her head jerked in the direction of Rachel. “Maybe she knows another, huh? But I say nothing.”

“I’m engaged. You know that.” His eyes stayed focused on Rachel.

“Si.” Noella patted his chest. “But your heart, my child, does your heart know that?” She turned and started to walk out.

Buy links: -- The Wild Rose Press -- Amazon -- Barnes & Noble

Come visit me at Vintage Vonnie where I blog.

Vonnie Davis at a book reading
Thanks, Vonnie, for sharing your debut release, STORM'S INTERLUDE, with us. What a gorgeous cover. From what I've read, this one is a winner. Best wishes for many sales.
Readers, please return on Monday for a visit with my Almost-Cousin, Celia Yeary.
Thanks for stopping by!

Thursday, July 21, 2011


Want a free romantic suspense that will have you on the edge of your seat? FINDING KATE HUNTLEY, by Theresa Ragan, is a romantic suspense that combines romance, murder, and adventure in a fast-paced read. Theresa has graciously offered a free e-book to each person who comments. Please be certain to include your email in your comment, because you will be so glad to get a copy of this book!

When Kate Huntley was fifteen, she saw her father murdered during a Caribbean vacation off the coast of Haiti. He barely managed to save Kate after he fought off his attacker. Who would harm her father? He was a harmless scientist working to find a cure for AIDS. She lives to avenge him, and remains in Haiti's tough backstreets--where life is hard and lives come cheap. She manages to remain under the murderer(s) radar.

Ten years later, while gaining mental and physical strength with her continued determination, she works for a charter business in Port-au-Prince. But she has not yet found her father’s killer nor avenged her father’s death. Every day she thinks of him and heeds her father’s final words, “Trust no one!” She vows she will never be caught helpless again and has turned into a real kickass heroine. Although she is strong and capable, there’s a sense of inner vulnerability to her too that I found endearing. Without her knowledge, her image is caught on a routine satellite photo that alerts the FBI. They want to talk to her about her father's death and why she's remained missing.

Jack Coffey is a rookie FBI agent sent to find missing Kate and bring her home to the States. At the same time, he is being framed. He realizes he’s been naive and feels foolish, but decides to fight back. Now he trusts no one--something he and Kate have in common. He is a charming man, and a real hunk. Kate discovers him following her after being told a man has asked for her. She confronts him, and their race begins. He doesn’t understand why she won’t trust him; she doesn’t understand why he trusts people who have betrayed him.

The fast-paced plot sweeps the reader along with barely time for a deep breath. I loved the action-filled suspense that kept me guessing to the climax. I also loved the relationship between Kate and Jack as it built from sex and developed into a true romance. FINDING KATE HUNTLEY is a book that will please readers on many levels. I recommend it highly to anyone who reads romance, mystery, suspense, and adventure.

Theresa Ragan
FINDING KATE HUNTLEY is available for $2.99 from Kindle but you can have a FREE copy just by leaving Theresa a comment on this blog and review and including your email. What a deal!

To learn more about Theresa Ragan and her other books, check her website

Thanks to Theresa for her generosity. And thanks for providing me with a copy of FINDING KATE HUNTLEY for this review. I loved it.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011


Readers, please welcome debut author Alyssa Fox.
Caroline: Alyssa, readers love to get to know authors. Share anything that lets readers get to know the real you.

Alyssa:  I didn't start off wanting to write for a living. I wanted to be a nurse at first, but then it turned into being a mom. Being at home with four small children, I needed an outlet. I started out writing a YA book, but it took a bad turn, and that's when I found my genre with smoking hot sex scenes.

My loving husband and I now reside in the beautiful mountains of southern West Virginia with four wonderful children who put up with my writing craziness. They have been shushed more than once so I could write down something a character was saying.

As a stay at home mom and the family taxi driver, I can still find time to write about the alpha heroes and strong-willed heroines who keep my imagination running wild.

Caroline: Who are your favorite authors and favorite genres?

Alyssa: Nora Roberts, Maya Banks, Candace Havens, and Shayla Black are just to name a few. I read contemporary romance, paranormal romance, and erotic.

Caroline: All good choices. Candace and Shayla live in my area. Nora is one of the reasons I write romance. How many books do you read a month? What are you reading now?

Alyssa: 6-8 it depends. I’m reading "POSSESS ME AT MIDNIGHT,” by Shayla Black.

Caroline: When you’re not writing, what’s your favorite way to relax and recharge?

Alyssa: Reading would be the way I love to relax. Hobbies? I knit and crochet.

Caroline: I always intend to learn to knit and crochet. All I can crochet is a chain stitch a mile long. LOL Describe yourself in three or four words?

Alyssa: Caring, loyal, strong.

Caroline: Would you like to share any guilty pleasures that feed your muse?

Alyssa: It would have to be reading.

Caroline: Reading, yes, I love reading too. But authors must read to stay current with our craft, so that really shouldn't count as a "guilty" pleasure, should it? How long have you been writing?

Alyssa: I’ve always had stories running around in my head, but I’ve only been writing them down for the last year and a half.

Caroline: Can't get them out of our heads, can we? Where do you prefer to write? Do you need quiet, music, or solitude? PC or laptop?

Alyssa: Laptop, in my office. I have to have my playlist playing for the book I’m working on. Now I can write a first draft in the middle of the living room with the kids screaming, but when it comes to editing the only thing I can have on is the music.

Caroline: Mmm, I write with classical music. Are you a plotter or a panzer?

Alyssa: Plotter.

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

Alyssa: Yes I do. Erin from ROAD TO RECOVERY is loosely based on my best friend.

Caroline: Do you do your research before you begin a new project, or as you go along?

Alyssa: I do my research before hand, but there are times I have to do it during as well.

Caroline: Tell us about your writing schedule. Do you set goals?

Alyssa: Yes I set goals.

Caroline: Do you write daily?

Alyssa: Yes unless the kids are out for summer vacation like now, then I write when I can.

Caroline: Do you write full time or do you have a day job.

Alyssa: I’m blessed to be an at home mom, so I get to write full time.

Caroline: Stay at home mom was my favorite job! What do you hope your writing brings to readers?

Alyssa: I hope they enjoy the books I write, as much as I enjoy writing them.

Caroline: Don't we all? What advice would you give to unpublished authors?

Alyssa: Don’t give up. It takes lots of hard work to make it to land a contract.

Caroline: Tell us about your latest release, ROAD TO RECOVERY.

Alyssa: Dr. Erin Miller and Dr. Kyle Reynolds are competing for a coveted mentoring position at Maple Forge Memorial Hospital, they plan on pulling out all the stops. But their careers and their desires collide, tangling their past with their future and giving them a chance for love.

Blurb: Dr. Erin Miller’s life was going great; for the most part, anyway. She was single, had a career she loved, and a cherished circle of friends, but something was missing. When a mentorship with the Chief Pediatric Surgeon becomes available, she couldn’t be more thrilled. Maybe this is just what the doctor ordered! That is, until the handsome and charismatic Dr. Kyle Reynolds decides he wants the mentorship as well.

Kyle Reynolds has lost everything including his wife and daughter. With nothing left in his life except for his job, he sets his sights on the new mentorship position with single-minded determination. The only obstacle he faces is the sexy Dr. Erin Miller

Caroline: Please give readers an excerpt.

Alyssa: Here's and excerpt from ROAD TO RECOVERY:
Erin leaned back in her chair. She sat surrounded by the tomes she’d pulled from the shelves. It made no sense to her. The tests she’d been waiting for had all come back fine. Those two hours she’d hoped it would take had turned to six. She was still waiting for an ultrasound report, which should be coming any moment. She placed the latest report on the table and reached her hand to her head, slowly rubbing her temples. It wasn't like her not to be able to figure out what was going on with a patient. She dreaded the look on the parents' faces when she had to tell them. Sometimes it seemed like days before reports came back, and that was the only part of her job she hated. Her stomach knotted as she glanced at the clock. Only twenty minutes before she had to give them an update.

Her mind wandered back to the meeting six hours ago, and the way her body had warmed under Kyle's gaze. It had only been for a brief moment. Girl, you seriously need to get laid, that's all it is. There's nothing to the way he looked at you. You're imagining things.

“Good afternoon, Erin,” She jumped at the deep voice coming from her left. A glance over her shoulder confirmed what she already knew.


“Afternoon.” She fumbled to grab the chart in front of her, hoping he'd leave. He sat down next to her. His gaze singed her cheeks, but she couldn't look up; instead, she concentrated on the chart in front of her.

The memory of their first week working together came to her mind again. When she walked into the office, she'd been drawn to Kyle, who had sat in a chair across the small room, so arrogant and sure of himself. Kyle wasn't her type at all; she normally stuck with the safe, boring guys. Everything about him had screamed he was more. Just once, she wanted to take a chance and not do what everyone else expected. It had been time to let go and have some fun. Well, that's what she had wanted to do, and based on his flirting he’d seemed to be into her too.

For a moment, her mind drifted back to the dance they’d shared at the Christmas party three years ago. Against her best judgment, she’d said yes to Kyle's offer to dance. Really, what could one little dance do? Boy was that ever wrong, from the moment he’d taken her in his arms. She could feel the chemistry between them. The smoldering heat took over, and she couldn't think of anything but him, as fire raced down her spine, consuming her. Her mind told her to break the dance, that it had been a mistake, and yet she couldn't. The pull between them was greater than her need to move away.

Her gaze had traveled upward. His eyes had darkened, her knees had weakened, and it had taken everything in her to fight the strong attraction she felt toward him. She saw the unspoken question in his eyes. The song ended. "I'm sorry...I just can't," she had whispered and left him on the dance floor.

Instead of taking a chance on Kyle, she’d gone the safe route and starting dating Dr. Lopez. Someone she had thought was ready to settle down and start a family like she had been. Too bad the safe route had turned into the biggest mistake of her life. It had caused her to re-examine her plans. To wait until she was more established in her career before she seriously started dating again.

She continued pointedly ignoring Kyle, and relief washed over her when Jenny, one of her interns, walked up and said, "Here's the CAT scan report."

“Thanks,” she said, taking the report. She studied it. Erin closed her eyes and rubbed her forehead. This keeps getting crazier. She opened her eyes slowly to skim over the report again. Nothing had changed. “This makes no sense,” she whispered, more to herself than to anyone else.

“What's doesn't make sense?” Kyle asked.

Setting down the piece of paper, she turned to look at him. “I've got a three year old patient, and it shows he has no appendix, yet he has all the classic symptoms of having appendicitis. I don't get it; I've run every test I can think of.”

“Here, let me take a look at his chart.”

Erin handed him the chart and watched him as he read it. His eyebrows drew together as he concentrated. Her fingers itched to trace the scar above his right eye, and she wondered how he'd gotten the injury. He cleared his throat, jarring her back to reality.

“This doesn't make sense. Come on, I want to check him out myself.” Kyle stood.

Although she wasn’t crazy about his taking over like that, she was so relieved to have another brain working on the problem that she let it slide. Her bruised ego was nothing compared to the well-being of her young patient.

Kyle’s hand brushed against the small of her back as he let her precede him into the room. Shivers of pleasure raced down her spine so quickly they were gone in an instant.

Caroline: Where can readers find your books?

Alyssa: Pink Petal Books,

Caroline: How can readers learn more about you?

Alyssa: Website,

Thank you for visiting us, Alyssa. Best of luck with your career.

Monday, July 18, 2011


by Alyssa Fox

Pink Petal Books
ISBN 978-0-9835892-3-5
May 2011
Dr. Erin Miller is a resident at Maple Forge Memorial Hospital. She has a five-year career plan and is determined to stick to it. Unfortunately, a brief liaison with another doctor cast false doubts about her actual ability. She’d worked extra hard after they split, pulling extra shifts to prove she had what it took and wasn’t simply sleeping her way to the top. She’d worked her ass off to squash those rumors, and had kept her distance from men to make sure the gossip stayed squashed.

Now there’s a mentorship opening with the Chief Pediatric Surgeon, and Erin wants it. The new position wouldn’t be easy. Most of the time, it’d require longer hours. What better way to prepare than right now? This was a great opportunity and would be an impressive addition to her resume. There would be time to sleep once she had established herself as the premier candidate.

Dr. Kyle Reynolds is also a candidate for the mentorship. As far as he was concerned, there would be no competition for this position. He’d make sure of it. Well, Erin might want it; she was good at her job, and like him, she had been there since her residency. Erin was a damn good surgeon and didn’t take crap from anyone. But he was sure he was better.

This was in the bag for him, no two ways about that. He’d worked hard all these years to get this position, even lost his child and wife to the job. Work was all he had left, and he’d be damned if he let someone take this opportunity from him now.

But life has a way of interferring with plans, as Erin and Kyle learn. Obviously, Erin and Kyle cannot each succeed. What they learn is that life presents opportunities and challenges, and that each of us has a role to fill.

In her debut novel, Alyssa Fox has set up an excellent conflict and engaging characters--with emotions that pull the reader into the story. If you like medical romances, you’re sure to love THE ROAD TO RECOVERY.
I received a copy of this book in exchange for an impartial review.

Saturday, July 16, 2011


The winner of a PDF download of HOME, SWEET TEXAS HOME, my July release from The Wild Rose Press, is Karen! Yay, Karen, and thank you for commenting on Sky Purington's two-day interview of my characters!  If you will send me an email at or contact Sky Purington, I'll send you a copy of HOME, SWEET TEXAS HOME.

Carol M. Upton has graciously shared her review of THE BONE TRAIL by Nell Walton. Here's Carol's review:

Nell WaltonSoft Cover, 2010, $13.95
ISBN: 978-1-45649-90799
Available from Amazon
Reviewed by Carol M. Upton
First published in Horses All:

On the afternoon of the last day of Lindy Abraham’s life, she stood leaning against an old Jeep Cherokee, once red, now faded to kind of a dusky umber, rapping her heel impatiently against a tire. She waited in the Nevada desert in the middle of June; it was hot, and her peach colored cotton tank top stuck unpleasantly in the hollow between her narrow shoulders. ~ Nell Walton

In THE BONE TRAIL, Nell Walton hooks the reader from the very start. We can feel the unrelenting heat and isolation of the desert, and the vulnerability of those who venture there. I was immediately drawn into this exciting story about the disappearance of two wild horse advocates – mystery, thriller and romance all rolled into one.

Walton’s book is inspired by the true-life events with which many horse lovers are familiar – the brutal helicopter roundups of wild mustangs off U.S. public lands, hearing of them being run to exhaustion into long-term warehousing facilities, where many face illness and death. But, there is more to this story, something far worse, and investigative journalist Kate Wyndham is determined to the discover the truth, even at great personal risk.

Every single character in this novel is lively and engaging – from the cold-blooded mining security staff to the Shoshone Reservation inhabitants to the stonewalling local police. Before we know it, we are following Kate’s terrifying trail, gripped with fear and sickened by the possible outcome.

This is one of those books the reader hopes will never end. Rumor has it that Walton is working on a sequel and there is no doubt readers will be lined up to get their hands on it.

Nell Walton is a journalist and the founder of the online equestrian news magazine, The AllHorses Post ( She lives with her husband and four horses (including two mustangs) in East Tennessee.

Doesn't that book sound intriguing? Hope you enjoyed Carol Upton's review. I'll be doing a review of Alyssa Fox's book on July 18th. Thanks for reading.

Thursday, July 14, 2011


Big news for today's blog!  

First, please join me Thursday and Friday at Sky Purrington's beautiful blog for an interveiw with the characters of my July release, HOME, SWEET TEXAS HOME. Sky will be interviewing Courtney Madison, the heroine, on Thursday and Derek Corrigan, the hero, on Friday. Stop by her blog and leave a comment which includes your email. I'll be GIVING AWAY a PDF copy of HOME, SWEET TEXAS HOME to one person who comments on either day. You can find Sky's blog (and it really is very pretty) at

Disclaimer: Pardon me for promoting my own work. What else can authors to do to convince you to buy our books?

I do love a sale, don't you? ALL FOUR of my backlist titles are on sale at both Smashwords and Kindle for only 99 cents. What a deal!  (Two more will be added next month.) Imagine a full length novel for less than a dollar.

SNOWFIRES is a contemporary romance set in West Texas and Dallas. Penelope Tucker has been the mainstay of her immediate family since the death of her mom. Her father was a gambler who lost everything before he died of a heart attack. If not for Penny's grandfather, she would have lost her home. Now Trent MacLeod has purchased the family business shares her father gambled away. Worse, Trent is determined to take the company in the opposite direction her father had mapped. She knows her father was foolish, but she believes in his business judgement. She vows to fight Trent's plans, but her first attempt strands Trent and her at an isolated cottage in the worst snowstorm of the decade. I took the kernel of this idea from a trip my family made to West Texas one winter. Fortunately, we were stranded at my mom's and not alone in a stranger's home.

BE MY GUEST is a contemporary romance set in and near the small West Texas town of Post. Aurora O'Shaunessy is on her way to Colorado when floodwaters sweep her car off the road. She barely escapes before the vehicle washes down the river. Will Harrison rescues her from the muddy flood and takes her to his home. By the time the water has receded, he knows he wants to keep her in his life forever. Can he convince Aurora to share his life? The idea for this book came from trips we made from the Dallas area to West Texas. The fork of the Brazos River, which is normally mostly dry along this area, becomes a raging torrent in a heavy rain due to the raised railroad bed along the Snyder to Post highway. I knew someone whose car was washed onto the railroad bed. Fortunately, that family was safe and didn't lose their car, but in heavier rains the road is very dangerous. That's Jimmy Thomas on the cover, by the way. He says he's appeared on more book covers than the famed Fabio ever did.

The next two are among my favorites of the books I've written. Sigh. Although I write contemporary mysteries. contemporary and paranormal as well as historical romances, these next two historical reads hold a special place in my heart. If you haven't already, I do hope you'll give them a try.

THE MOST UNSUITABLE WIFE begins in 1878 and is Book One of The Kincaids.
Pearl Parker bakes bread and pastries and also serves as the local midwife and healer for a small isolated community in Tennessee. Since her grandmother died several weeks ago, Pearl and her siblings have experienced a series of mysterious attacks. Drake Kincaid is the heir to his parents' large Texas ranch...if, that is, he marries before his thirtieth birthday only weeks away. He reponds by vowing to find the most unsuitable wife available on his horse buying trip to Tennessee and Kentucky. In Pearl, Drake believes he's found the perfect woman for his marriage of convenience...until Drake realizes that in her startling violet eyes he sees a beautiful woman with a generous soul. Their life together may not have started with hearts and flowers, but Drake and Pearl soon learn that real love, with a breathtaking dose of passion, will make their marriage a true romance. The idea for this story came from a few sentences my grandmother told me about a girl from her village in Tennessee. I don't know what happened to the girl who inspired the story, but I decided to write her a happy ending.

THE MOST UNSUITABLE HUSBAND is Book Two of the Kincaids and is set in 1885. Gambler Nate Bartholomew is in trouble...again. He barely escapes an angry mob prior to being buried alive and clawing his way out of his grave. When he reaches St. Louis, he learns his stepmother has died and he's been left out again. The gambling house that should have been his has gone to a young woman who sells the place, though she hardly needs the money. He vows to get his own back.
Sarah Kincaid came to St. Louis from Texas to help her real mother, who was dying. She realizes Nate is following her, but she enlists his help rescuing three children and getting them to her home in Texas. By the time they arrive, Sarah wants Nate to remain with her. Nate wants to remain with Sarah and the children, but he's already set a major con in motion to cheat the Kincaids and their neighbors. How can he make it right without one of his cohorts killing him? During the time I was plotting this story, our minister gave a sermon on Nathan/Bartholomew and how he changed his name because he was a "new" man. I liked the idea and used those names for the hero. 

These SALE books are available from Kindle at

and Smashwords at 

Thanks for reading! Y'all come back.

Monday, July 11, 2011


Ever look out the window and see a huge black angus bull eating from your backyard birdfeeder? It’s an arresting sight, believe me.

Two evenings ago, I saw the neighbor’s bull walk by the family room windows. Naturally, I called Hero, since that’s what I do in any emergency or interesting development.
This is not really Bob. He is much larger!

Our neighbor’s bull, named Bob, is her pride and joy. She sells his calves only to other breeders. No slaughter house for her pets. Our neighbor is a tiny woman with a double helping of spunk, and she leads Bob around with no problem. Not so us!

Bob found a weak place in the fence and brought two of his harem for some birdseed. He also lapped up all the water in the birdbath.
Not that we mind sharing, mind you, but it was near dark, we live near a blacktop road with no streetlights, and black cattle are not that easy to see at night. We hated to risk Bob or his, make that heifer...friends getting hit by a pickup or car. Could be fatal to the driver and/or the cattle. By law, our neighbor would be at fault for letting her cattle stray.

We knew the neighbor was not home, so Hero called another neighbor to see if he and his two sons would help round up the cattle. The husband was gone, but his wife and two sons came down to help Hero coax the cattle home. Yes, I know I was a wuss to wait on the patio while the woman and her two sons helped Hero. She and her husband have cattle, though, and both of their sons are ropers and rodeo fans. They used a bucket of feed to entice Bob and the heifers followed him. End of story? No.

 Hero went out the next morning to walk Webster, our tiny Shih Tzu, and met Bob face to face. This time, Bob had five friends with him. Bob threatened to charge Webster. You can take Hero’s birdseed, but you better not mess with his dog!

This time the neighbor was home, so Hero phoned her. She spent yesterday repairing fence. I think Bob’s birdseed forays are over for a while.

Those of you city dwellers miss this sort of excitement. Are you tempted to move to a rural area?

Friday, July 08, 2011


Melissa Foster

Welcome, Melissa! Readers love to get to know authors. Please tell us about growing up.

Melissa: I was the quintessential a tom boy. I grew up with six brothers and the most amazing mother a person could have. There was nothing the boys could do that I couldn’t (or wouldn’t). I grew up in Maryland with fifteen wonderful kids on my block. We were all very close knit and got into a lot of trouble. Good times were had by all.
 I’m married with six great kids. Four of our kids are now college age, but for years we lived in a state of controlled chaos. Quiet was never to be found, and more often than not you would find all eight of us in one room watching movies together.

My favorite things in life are my mother, my children, my brothers, and my extended family. My friends are my lifeline to sanity, and brownies come in as a close second.

Caroline: Wow, I'm still reeling from learning four of your kids are in college at one time. Who are your favorite authors and favorite genres?

Melissa: I wish I could say that I love all genres, but that would be a lie. I have a very hard time reading non-fiction, so I typically leave that genre to my husband and my sons. I crave fiction that I can relate to, and I can relate to fiction that is a little on the wild or unconventional side as easily as I can relate to women’s fiction.

Melissa Foster signing books
Favorite authors are hard for me to distinguish. There are so many authors that I enjoy for very different reasons. I love the beauty of Lisa See’s writing, the down-to-earth realism portrayed by Jennie Shortridge, and the descriptive decadence portrayed by Khaled Hosseini.

Caroline: Knowing so many authors does make it hard to choose, doesn't it? I also love Lisa See's writing. How many books do you read a month? What are you reading now?

Melissa: Unfortunately, when I’m writing, I don’t get to read as much as I’d like. During the summer I don’t write, and I read about five books per month. During the other months I only read one or two books each month. I run a book club on The Women’s Nest, the social and support community for women that I founded, and I make that book selection my priority for the month.

I’ve just finished reading THINK TWICE, THE GIRL WHO CHASED THE MOON, and HEAVEN IS FOR REAL.It was a good month.

Caroline: Sarah Addison Allen is one of my favorite authors. When you’re not writing, what’s your favorite way to relax and recharge? Hobbies?

Melissa: When I’m not writing I love to read. I spend the summer on Cape Cod, and I read continuously. I also get to spend loads of time with my kids doing outdoor activities and joining friends for bonfires and barbeques. I also get to increase my workouts, which always makes me feel energized.

Caroline: Cape Cod? I'm definitley jealous! Our weather here in North Central Texas was 107 F degrees today, sticky humid, but with no rain in sight. And the grasshoppers have descended to strip the leaves from my roses. Ugh. Sorry, I digressed. Describe yourself in three or four words.

Melissa: Creative, headstrong, sensitive, loving

Caroline: Would you like to share any guilty pleasures that feed your muse?

Melissa: I’m a people watcher with an active imagination. I love to think of stories to go with people I meet and those I observe. Other than that, mint chocolate chip ice cream with whipped cream and chocolate jimmies always gets my creative juices flowing.

Caroline: Now you've made me hungry for ice cream. :) How long have you been writing?

Melissa: I began writing when my second son was born, at the end of 1990. I wasn’t able to do any serious writing until all six of our children were in school full-time, though, so my writing career didn’t begin until 2006.

Caroline: Where do you prefer to write? Do you need quiet, music, solitude? PC or laptop?

Melissa: I prefer to write on a deck overlooking Cape Cod bay, but since that isn’t feasible, I write from home. I need music—anything with a beat, and I prefer to write when no one else is around. I do odd things, like act out my scenes when I’m writing them so I can feel the emotions of the characters. If there were people in the room, I think I’d quickly gain a few strange nicknames.

I write on my laptop. It has a pink cover that I only see when I carry it from room to room, but just knowing that color is there somehow makes me happy, which translates into a better writing experience.

Caroline: A pink laptop sounds perfect. My office is pale pink and I call it my pink cave. I feel very girly and creative there, which makes writing easier. Are you a plotter or a panzer?

Melissa: I love this question! I’m definitely a panzer. I don’t prepare before writing, and when (inevitably) my editor asks for an outline, I moan and groan like a disgruntled child. I’m also a sticky-note girl. My computer has them plastered all over in various colors, and my computer desk is also covered.

Caroline: What did we do before sticky notes? Do you use real events or persons in your stories or as an inspiration for stories?

Melissa: I wish I could say that I don’t liken my characters to anyone that I know, but that would not be honest. Quite often my characters reflect different parts of people that I know. This isn’t always the case, but I believe that we’re all influenced by those around us, so even if I don’t realize I’m patterning a character after someone I’ve met, I probably am.

Caroline: Do you do your research before you begin a new project, or as you go along?

Melissa: Definitely as I go along. I don’t always know what I need to research until my project has begun.

Caroline: Tell us about your writing schedule. Do you set goals? Do you write daily?

Melissa: I am neurotic about my writing schedule. I write from 9 am – 2 pm Monday through Friday from September through June (while my children are in school). I only leave my desk out of duress, and have probably lost out on many good times because of my unwillingness to give up my writing time. I set goals—sometimes word counts, and other times scenes or chapters. I try not to write over the summer, but sometimes I’m able to sneak in a few hours here and there.

Caroline: Great discipline, but you'd have to be efficient to manage a household with six children and still accomplish all you have. Do you write full time or do you have a day job. If you have a day job, what is it?

Melissa: I founded and ran a human resources consulting firm for years, and was a Director of Administration just prior to changing my life. After climbing the corporate ladder, when we decided to have our fifth child, I changed my lifestyle and began working from home to be with our four older kids as well as our new baby(ies). I sold real estate for ten years, and put my license into referral status after publishing my first book. Now I run The Women’s Nest, the free social and support community for women that I founded, and I write. I would go without most things in life to have time with my children and time to write.

Caroline: What do you hope your writing brings to readers?

Melissa: I hope my readers are entertained, enlightened, and emotionally conflicted. I hope every story brings them to the edge of their seat and makes them think about things that they’d rather pretend never happened. My books tend to lean toward themes of family, forgiveness, and understanding. I hope my readers always come away with a reason to be less judgmental toward others and more accepting of things they may not agree with.

Caroline: Yes, I saw those themes in CHASING AMANDA. What advice would you give to unpublished authors?

Melissa: Write from your heart, not to sell books. Don’t give up. The publishing industry is going through major changes that will continue to affect the way books are brought to readers. Don’t get too caught up in the details. Push past the worry and write. Believe in yourself. If you love your writing, chances are, it will touch someone else’s life, too.

Caroline: Sound advice. Tell us about your latest release.

Melissa: CHASING AMANDA was actually my first manuscript that I wrote in 1996, previously titled, THE KNOWING. I put it aside to write MEGAN'S WAY, and then revisited it and reworked the storyline to include more of a women’s fiction slant. CHASING AMANDA is a mystery/suspense. I came up with the idea while running down a very creepy, secluded rustic road one afternoon. I no longer run on that road.

Melissa's Blurb for CHASING AMANDA:

Nine years ago, Molly Tanner witnessed a young girl’s abduction in the busy city of Philadelphia, shifting her occasional clairvoyance into overdrive. Two days later, the girl’s body was found, and Molly’s life fell apart. Consumed by guilt for not acting upon her visions, and on the brink of losing her family, Molly escaped the torturous reminders in the city, fleeing to the safety of the close-knit rural community of Boyds, Maryland.

Molly’s life is back on track, her son has begun college, and she and her husband have finally rekindled their relationship. Their fresh start is shattered when a seven-year-old girl disappears from a local park near Molly’s home. Unable to turn her back on another child and troubled by memories of the past, Molly sets out to find her, jeopardizing the marriage she’d fought so hard to hold together. While unearthing clues and struggling to decipher her visions, Molly discovers another side of Boyds, where the residents--and the land itself--hold potentially lethal secrets, and exposes another side of her husband, one that threatens to tear them apart.

Melissa's Excerpt:

At first, the change in temperature seemed imagined. Molly’s eyebrows furrowed. She sped up her pace and her heartbeat followed. Within seconds, the air around her became cold. Goose bumps rose on her arms and sent a chill down her spine. She swallowed hard. Her calm slipped away, overshadowed by dread and certainty of what was yet to come.

A cold sweat replaced the perspiration she had earned. She swiped at her brow with a shaking hand. Her shorts and tank top clung to her small muscular body. An eerie silence took shelter in her eardrums as her vision dimmed, and an acidic taste settled in her mouth. Each breath became a fight for air. Her feet stopped moving. No! Not now! She closed her eyes and tried to will away the pressure in her head. There was no escape. She clenched her fists and brought them to her forehead, bracing herself for what she knew was happening. A fog enveloped her mind, and her legs became weak beneath her. A passerby, seeing her body shake and thrust, would have thought Molly was having a seizure. A passerby wouldn’t have been able to distinguish between a seizure and the Knowing. Molly could.

She cursed herself for allowing the Knowing to continue to control her, year after year, yet she had no power to stop it. She felt like a puppet on a string. Visions flashed in her mind: A cavern-like room surrounded by shadowy darkness; a young girl huddled in a corner, scared and shivering; the smell of rancid, wet earth.

Caroline: Thank you for the excerpt. I hope readers will want to read the entire book. Tell us where we can find your books.

Melissa: Here's a link:

Caroline: Anything else you’d like readers to know?

Melissa: Thank you for asking. There are two exciting things on the horizon. MEGAN'S WAY, my 2009 debut literary fiction novel, has been picked up by Director Wendy Crouse for film production. She’s currently casting and hopes to start production this summer.

In honor of the upcoming film, I’ve reduced MEGAN'S WAY in Kindle format to just 99 cents, and I’m hosting a summer long Kindle giveaway. If you purchase any of my books, in any format, you may enter (one entry per purchase). One Kindle will be given away for every 75 books purchased. I’m hoping to give away many Kindles! Details are on my website:

I’m also working on my next novel, (working title)  COME BACK TO ME. It’s an international love story/tragedy.

Most importantly, I love to chat with readers and book clubs. If you plan on reading my books, or perhaps have read one or both of them, please contact me and let’s set up a time to meet via Skype, in person, or online. Thinkhappygirl (at) yahoo (dot) com

Caroline: Super idea! How else can readers learn more about you?

Melissa: Readers can always chat with me on THE WOMEN'S NESTt, (my username is Thinkhappy)

Visit my website:

Friend me on Facebook and "like" my fan page:!/MelissaFosterBooks

Follow me on Twitter:

Melissa: Caroline, I have really enjoyed answering these questions. They were insightful and really made me think. Thank you for being creative and for hosting me today on your blog.

Caroline: Continued success with your writing, Melissa. Thanks for visiting with us today.