Welcome author CLAIRE ASHGROVE!


Welcome, CLAIRE, and tell us a little about yourself.

Hi everybody, I’m Claire and it’s nice to be here – thank you, Liz, for having me.  I’m published in contemporary romance through The Wild Rose Press, and in 2011, I’m breaking into the Paranormal Romance subgenre, with the first in a new series through Tor Romance about Immortal Knights Templar. 

Immortal Knights Templar sounds luscious!

Tell everyone about your journey to publishing a novel.

Oh goodness.  I hate this question.  (laughing)  I didn’t particularly have a journey to be honest with you.  Not in the way I consider the meaning at least.  I’ve always written, always written romance.  And yes, I do mean always, since I was a little girl writing love poems.  That graduated to make-believe stories about my idealized version of myself, in a rock band, and marrying people like Nikki Sixx.  When I got a little older and realized how many other girls intended to marry Nikki too, I went to make believe characters and Regency romance.  Piddled with that for a few years, modifying it as I realized something was missing that I wanted in there.  A whole bunch of words later I had characters I still love and a plot that was very juvenile.  None of those experiences, however, were more than pleasure and a means of spending free time in a farmhouse, solo, with too many cats and dogs and horses.

In 2008 I gave in to my mother’s pushing to “do something with it”, and joined three local RWA chapters along with a critique group.  In October of the same year I submitted Seduction’s Stakes to The Wild Rose Press, more or less on a dare, and about fell out of my chair when they offered a contract.  I’ve gone on to publish four additional romances there.    In the spring of this year, I signed with Jewelann Cone of the Cascade Literary Agency and subsequently sold my first Paranormal Romance series to Tor.

So, for me, it wasn’t really a journey because I wasn’t really working at being published.  It just… happened.  I’m thankful it’s “been happening” since then, and now, as a full time author, wouldn’t change the course of events for anything!

Wonderful story! It takes much longer for so many authors to get published. The stars must be in your corner!

What do like the most and the least about writing?

The most – the ability to not only craft what my heart desires, but also working at the hours I choose on the schedule that works best for me.  I fall in love with my characters, spend a little time romping in their world, and then move on to another place and time.  Great travel experience on a zilch budget, I tell ya!

The least – frankly, promotions.  They are a necessary evil, but each hour I take to promote means an hour less I can write.  And I would much rather sit in my writer’s cave and devote myself to story-telling.

Promotions do feel like a dirty trick to some authors. In my opinion, the trick is to apply the same perserverance and thick skin to promotions that you did to writing.

What are three things you cannot do without?

Coffee, dark chocolate, and I absolutely cannot live without my daily dose of Newfoundland dog slobber.

Fabulous! I’m a St. Bernard girl, myself.

Give us a peek into your latest published work?

I have a new release out, A CHRISTMAS TO BELIEVE IN.  It’s the third book in the Three Kings series, a trilogy written by myself, Dyann Love Barr and Alicia Dean.    Last year we decided to go in on a project together, sat down and brainstormed the three brothers, their mutual backgrounds, their mother and father, and all the conflicts that occur in each book.  My brother is Clint, a struggling Thoroughbred breeder, who would rather be at home on his stables in Kentucky than returning to Kansas City for Christmas.  Grudgingly, he abides by his mother’s wishes and returns, only to find his rock, his sole savior on the trip from hell, has transformed from the tomboy he remembers into a stunning woman he can’t keep his hands off of.  Throw in Jesse’s foster child, however, and everything gets more complicated by the minute.

The story is very much a “feel good” story and is themed on the idea that if someone believes in another enough, anything is possible.  And yes, while there is a horse present in the book, it isn’t about racing or horses.  But that mare too, has a little magic to share of her own.

Sounds positively stunning. What a great idea for a collaboration.

What’s next on the writing horizon for you?

Hm.  Really, anything is possible!  Primarily I’m devoted to the Templar series and resolving the crises they are involved in.  As I mentioned, it releases next year, and I am super enthused about this project.  There’s a bit of speculative fiction incorporated in my plot, a lot of myth, and a heavy dose of dark, sinister motives.   Along with a healthy serving of sexy knights, defending not only the oaths of brotherhood, but also ready to battle to the death for the women they love.

In between, however, I’m hoping to sell a historical, and I’m piddling with a couple other side projects.  With luck, 2011 will see the fruition of some of these ideas.

Please come back and tell us about these side projects! If they are anything like your current works, we don’t want to miss them!

Is there anything you want to tell readers?

Thank you for reading my books, above all.  I love hearing from you.  While yes, I do write to appease my own imagination, without my readers there would be no job, and I do take into consideration your desires when you step into my worlds.

I’m also participating in two different Holiday blog hunts, and encourage you to visit my website, and follow the instructions for each of them there.

Yes, do visit Claire’s website! Here’s the link:



Thank you again, Liz! 

It’s been wonderful having you, Claire. I meant what I said. Come back and update us on those yummy books you have planned!


Published in: on November 29, 2010 at 4:38 pm  Comments (5)  

What’s The Point?

I write because I love words. I appreciate talking with words, but the letters, shapes, meanings, history, and power of words have always fascinated me. Games such as Scrabble, word search puzzles, and old fashioned Hang Man really turn me on. In fact, if a suitor wants something special out of me, he is wise to utilize words spoken and written to spark desire in me on all levels. Words turn me on.

Writing has been my preferred means of communication since elementary school. I found that I could express myself more clearly and to greater numbers if I wrote my thoughts rather than talked about them. Some people are talkers. I’m a writer and it’s probably because I’m a reader with an opinion about something I’ve read by some other writer.

I’m a writer because writing makes sense to my brain. And it lasts. I’m concerned about memories not lasting. I had trouble remembering things for school when I was a child and my mother encouraged me to write everything down to help me remember. Diaries and journals and stories and poems grew from those efforts. Now she can’t remember the name of a movie she is watching for the tenth time. I’m sad because she never kept a journal. We will never know what she thought or did or wanted or feared, but my family and my readers will have no doubt what I cared about because I write it all down.

Writing down ideas and stories almost guarantees that my point as a person will stick. It will continue to matter to me and to those who read it after I’m moved forward into the next dimension of this journey. We all have a point (a purpose) and everyone is entitled to engraving their point on the cosmos by writing it down. And that is the point of writing.

What’s your point?

Published in: on November 28, 2010 at 8:57 pm  Leave a Comment  


Welcome, BETH, and tell us a little about yourself. 

Greetings all, and thanks for having me Liz.  I’m a Virginia author of historical and light paranormal romance with the Wild Rose Press. I also write creative non-fiction pieces about rural life. The beauty of the Shenandoah Valley and surrounding mountains are my inspiration.  For more on me, my blog is the happening place: https://bethtrissel.wordpress.com/

I love your blog, Beth. You’re right, it IS a happening place!

Tell everyone about your journey to publishing a novel. 

Back in the Dark Ages when I began this sacred journey I wrote by hand on college lined notebook paper with a certain kind of Bic pen–had to be that kind. And I went through bottles of whiteout. Once a page was stiff with whiteout, I’d crumple and throw until I was surrounded by a pile of discarded prose.  Time passed and I acquired my hubby’s old pc and learned how to type and navigate the cyber world.  After 12+ years and a succession of agents, one of them excellent, I abandoned my quest to be published by a big NY house and sailed to a welcoming harbor at The Wild Rose Press.  I’ve been at the Wild Rose for two, going on three, years now, and have seven releases out and more in the works.  I love TWRP!

Whiteout!! You’re hilarious. But we’ve all done that.

What do like the most and the least about writing?  I love writing when I’m in the zone and the story flows well, hate beginning a new one and facing that totally blank document.  I love to edit and polish my words.  I just wrote Chapter One on an empty page so am not in my happy place yet.

I’ve read your stories, Beth. And your “happy place” is a great story, in my opinion.

What are three things you cannot do without? 

Dark chocolate apparently, because I cannot give it up, hot milky tea, preferably Earl Grey, and the right music for each scene–must have music to transport me from here to ‘there.’

Hot, milky Earl Grey! You sound so Victorian. Love it!


Give us a peek into your latest published work? 

Ah yes, my latest is the story of my heart, the first novel I ever wrote and rewrote repeatedly, finally published at long last, Native American historical Romance novel Red Bird’s Song.  The initial encounter between Scots-Irish settler Charity Edmondson and Shawnee warrior Wicomechee was inspired by a dream I had on New Year’s Eve 15 yrs ago about a young warrior taking an equally young woman captive at a river and the unexpected attraction between them.  That dream had such a profound impact on me that I took the leap from writing non-fiction essays to historical romance novels and embarked on the most amazing journey of my life.  I also met the prophetic warrior, Eyes of the Wolf, in another vivid dream at the advent of this adventure, so when I describe him in the book I’m envisioning a character I feel I know.  Many of the events in this adventure/romance are based on research I did into accounts of my early American ancestors–even the hero, Wicomechee, to whom I’m distantly connected through mutual forebears and whose true story is included at the end of Red Bird’s Song.

How fascinating to be “distantly connected” like that.

What’s next on the writing horizon for you?  That blank story with all those words to fill in, and several more like it.  I’m writing for two lines at The Wild Rose Press and two editors, both terrific, senior historical editor Nicole Darienzo and senior Faery Rose editor, Amanda Barnett.

I didn’t know we shared editors at TWRP! Love, love, love Amanda Barnett!

Is there anything you want to tell readers?  Yes, buy Beth’s books, they make super Christmas presents.


I totally agree, Beth. Thanks for stopping by.

Published in: on November 15, 2010 at 1:19 pm  Comments (8)  

Reader’s Guide: MESSAGE TO LOVE

MESSAGE TO LOVE is set during the spring of 1898 just before the start of the Spanish American War in Cuba. This is a fascinating period in Victorian America and the politics, practices and petticoats of the turn-of-the-century were being fashioned in new ways that reflected the changing attitudes. There aren’t that many works of fiction set during the SAW even though it’s a fascinating period. It was known as “The Splendid Little War” because it was somewhat of a gentleman’s war and it was very short-lived. I hope these reading guide questions will spark your interest in reading MESSAGE TO LOVE and finding out more about the Spanish American War. www.spanamwar.com

1. Do you think Audra’s sometimes childish tantrums are genuine or a ruse to keep Rollins and others from meddling in her affairs?

2. Rollins is driven by his desires to seek revenge on the Spanish for the murders of his father and brother. How do you feel about that? Do you think that’s on his mind while he is uncover in Cuba?

3. Audra and Rollins have very differing opinions on the future of “The Everfaithful Isle” as Cuba is known because of its regular role as a sovereign nation. Whose opinion do you support? Audra or Rollins?

4. What do you think of Audra’s persistence in finding her father and proving his innocence? Is the scene of her in the Morro Castle prison a point where she decides something? What? The female journalist from Britain in the women’s cell with Audra is based on a real life character stationed in Cuba during the Spanish occupation. How do feel about women reporters working behind enemy lines in any war?

5. At what point do you think Audra’s mind was changed about Rollins and about their relationship?

Happy reading!



Audra Wakely’s father has been seized by Spanish authorities and imprisoned for sympathizing with Cuban rebels. Raising the money to bribe officials if necessary, she sets off for Cuba to rescue her father. She doesn’t bargain on the interference of any U.S. officials–that is until she meets Rollins McBride.

Lt. Rollins McBride of the newly designated U.S. Naval Intelligence service is assigned to track Audra on her journey. He’s to arrest Greg Wakely, a U.S. citizen, for treason and gun smuggling. His mission and his heart are taken by surprise by the feisty beauty who sets a stubborn path toward finding her father and proving he isn’t a traitor–no matter what or who gets in her way.

Sizzle, spice and intrigue heats up the Spanish American War in 1898!

Available now from The Wild Rose Press www.thewildrosepress.com







FREE BOOKMARK Send SASE to P.O. Box 1322, Parkersburg, WV 26102

Published in: on November 11, 2010 at 1:08 pm  Comments (3)  

Say Hello to Author LYNDI ALEXANDER!


Welcome, Lyndi, and tell us a little about yourself.

Thanks, Liz! I’m an author and attorney practicing in the area of family law, living in northwestern Pennsylvania. I’ve been married to an absent-minded computer geek for ten years, and between us, we have eleven computers and seven children of assorted ages, the youngest ones with special needs, including autism.

Tell everyone about your journey to publishing a novel.

 I wrote my first novel when I was 14, and rashly sent it off to Doubleday, waiting for the checks to come in. As you might imagine, they didn’t accept it. Stories continued to come to me, and I wrote them, workshopped them, studied books about writing, went to conferences, made connections, and as of this year, I think I’ve written probably nineteen or twenty novel-length manuscripts. I’ve sent them all out here and there, but not till this spring did I “click” with a publisher, Dragonfly Publishing, and The Elf Queen came out in July. I’m happy to say that I’ve signed contracts also for two more books in the series: The Elf Child, which is due out next summer, and the Elf Mage, which will be published in 2012.

What do you like the most and the least about writing?

The best part about writing for me is when flow happens.  Every once in awhile, you get just the right mix of characters and actions and emotions and the words just come. My husband is a great partner in this regard, and we often debate What if? scenarios while I’m working on various projects.  Once the thought process gets rolling, it’s much easier to sit down and just pound out a chapter or two.

I’m not sure there’s any part I don’t like, at least not yet. I do have to admit that I thought the hard part would be writing the book—now I’m finding out that often the hard part comes even after the editing, in the collaboration to get the word out about your book into the market!

What are three things you cannot do without?

That’s an interesting question. I’d probably have to say:

 1) my computer, now that I’ve grown accustomed to that instant access to everything; and I love my netbook, because I can write anywhere!

2) coffee. Definitely coffee.

3) the camaraderie and exchange with other writers—it really energizes me!

Give us a peek into your latest published work.

In The Elf Queen, an urban fantasy set in modern-day Montana, Jelani Marsh finds a glass slipper on the city sidewalk and tries it on for laughs. The slipper shatters, slicing her foot, and dozens of tiny men scatter from the bloody remains. A moment later, her foot is miraculously healed and they’re gone.

This is the first in a series of meetings that will unravel everything she knows. In the following weeks, the sassy barista from Missoula, Montana, will learn she is not an orphan, as she’d been taught to believe, and that her life story has been a deception, right down to the circumstances of her birth. A menace arises from her family’s past that could threaten everything she holds dear, including her own life.

Two groups help untangle the mystery: her human friends—life skills coach Iris Pallaton, computer geek and gamer extraordinaire Lane Donatelli, and “Crispy” Mendell, an agoraphobic abuse survivor—and her new-found elf companions, Daven Talvi and Astan Hawk. Can she learn about her true roots and absorb the implications of her new life in time to save her friends, her family,  and herself?

What’s next on the writing horizon for you?

In addition to the Clan Elves of the Bitterroot series, I have received and accepted three other novel contracts this fall for these stories: Second Chances, a romantic women’s fiction book about a Pittsburgh lawyer hit by the recession, who finds herself out of a job and alone and is encouraged back to success by a Iraq war vet with cancer, twenty years younger than she is (Zumaya Publishing, 2012); a vampire crime thriller titled Love Me, Touch Me, Kill Me (Renaissance EBooks, 2011); and most recently, Deliverance, a romantic suspense story of a woman who runs a brothel in southern New Mexico and the Doctor without Borders who escapes from a vengeful Mexican drug cartel by hiding in her place (Wild Rose Press, 2011).  So I’m finishing up the final draft of The Elf Child now, then I expect I’ll jump into the editing processes for these other books soon after.

Is there anything you want to tell readers?

I’m so pleased to be able to share these stories that have rattled around in my head until they leaked out through my fingertips with all of you. I hope you’ll come and visit the Clan Elves’ site at http://clanelvesofthebitterroot.com to catch up on all the latest reviews and happenings. I look forward to entertaining readers for many years to come.  Thank you so much for this opportunity, Liz!



Lyndi Alexander has been a published writer for over 35 years, including seven years as a reporter and editor at the South Dade News Leader in Homestead, Florida. Her list of publications includes the non-fiction book 101 Little Instructions for Surviving Your Divorce, (under the name Barbara Walton, Esq.) published by Impact Publishers in 1999; stories in A Cup of Comfort for Divorced Women, in December 2008, and A Cup of Comfort for Adoptive Parents, in June 2009. She regularly writes technology articles/television reviews at Firefox News (www.firefox.org/news), and blogs on a variety of subjects, including autism, science fiction and life at http://awalkabout.wordpress.com.  

The excerpt is here: http://www.dragonflypubs.com/excerpts/elfqueen.html
You are one amazing author, Lyndi. Come back soon!
Published in: on November 2, 2010 at 11:54 am  Comments (3)