Please visit me today at Kelly Moran’s!

Giving away a free ebook at Kelly Moran’s today through Saturday. Comment to be entered to win! Remember to leave your email in the comment to be contacted if you win! Thanks~

Thanks to Kelly for hosting me on her site.



Published in: on April 28, 2011 at 12:45 pm  Leave a Comment  
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“Good Girl” AJ NUEST Breaks The Rules!


On the whole, I would describe myself as a rule abider. I don’t function well living on the edge. In fact, going anywhere near the edge sorta makes me ill. I like everything organized and neatly placed where it belongs (explains my obsession with nesting bowls). I thrive inside a schedule, happily checking things off the list as I go about my day (clarifies my fascination with pretty much any office supply store).

However, I recently discovered an area where I LIVE to break the rules. Not consistently, and usually not without reason, but when I write I sometimes purposely break those rules our editors always tell us to avoid. Shhh… It’s naughty, I know. I can’t help myself. I sneak in a passive sentence here, or maybe use too many adverbs there, fully aware the sentence structure is technically wrong. But I like it that way. And sometimes a passive sentence conveys a story element an active sentence never could. And sometimes, I do it to just push the envelope – to see how much I can get away with before I’m busted. Shhh… don’t tell…

Here’s the thing. Of the last two novels I read, both of them brilliant, and both of them fantasy, the authors balled up the rules and tossed them out the window. One author switched perspectives mid-paragraph, sometimes even mid-sentence, and I could’ve cared less. (Here’s where my CPs are propping their hands on their hips and screaming, “WHAT!?”). But I got so involved in the story, the transitions became seamless. If I wasn’t a writer, I never would have noticed his technique. The second author jumped back and forth in and out of hindsight language. Evidently it’s a big no-no for your main character to “tell” the story, because this takes the reader in and out of the action. This author had his hero detailing the story of his youth to a Chronicler, and I LOVED the way the story unfolded. Even when the action screeched to a halt and I was jolted back to the present. All this did was make me turn the pages faster!

I’m wondering if the fantasy genre is more lenient with rule-breakers. Maybe the very nature of a “fantasy” implies writing styles outside the norm. Either way, I learned a lot from these authors. Most importantly, I wanna be one. How awesome would it be if my writing was so unique, my story so powerful, I could break the rules and get away with it. How totally fantastic if my characterizations and plot line were so stellar, I could disregard a major writing directive and then get handed an award (yes, one of the authors mentioned above won the 2007 Quill Award). Hmmm…I know I’ve got a fantasy in here somewhere. Oh, yep, there it is…

So tell me, what writing rules do you live to break?     


Jezebel’s Wish Blurb:

Haunted by nightmares, tormented by guilt, Jezebel came to Redemption Ranch to escape the past—except now she’s stuck in the middle of nowhere with no redemption in sight. When her mother pushes her into riding lessons with local veterinarian Matthias Saunders, Jezebel balks. Sure, the doctor is gorgeous, but he’s completely obnoxious and knows how to push every one of her buttons.

Only her deep connection with The Reverend, a gentle stallion who guards her darkest secrets, has her agreeing to spend any more time with Dr. Saunders. Caring for the stallion is the first bright spot in her life in months, and if being around the horse means she has to deal with Matthias Saunders, then so be it. Surely a city girl like her can handle one country vet—even one with disturbing blue eyes. Can’t she?

Jezebel’s Wish Excerpt:

Jezzy stopped. “I thought I was having a riding lesson.”

“You are.” He nodded toward the empty paddock. “Go in.”

“Go in?” Jezzy propped a hand on her hip. “You sure you know what you’re doing? Because it was my understanding that an actual horse is needed for a riding lesson.”

“Don’t you think it would be wise at this juncture to leave the understanding up to the professionals?”

Jezzy rolled her eyes. “You’re making this way too easy. Professionals? Please. Don’t get me started.”

“Why not? Getting you started is exactly what I’m here for.”

Jezzy’s jaw dropped. She didn’t quite know how to interpret that remark.

He held out the rope. “Now go in. And take this lead line with you.” Steely blue determination glinted in his eyes. There was no way he was going to give in.

Jezzy snatched the lead line from his hand and stormed through the gate, then turned when he closed it behind her.

He put a foot on the bottom railing and rested against the gate, facing the horizon. “Take the chair to the center of the paddock and sit down.”

“And just exactly how is that supposed to teach me to ride?”

He cocked an eyebrow. “You want out of the deal?”

Jezzy’s fist clenched tight around the lead line. What she wanted was to march back to the fence and smack his face.

Jezebel’s Wish Buy Link:


The Wild Rose Press

Book_Photo2008_web.jpgAJ Nuest lives in northwest Indiana with her loving husband and two beautiful children. She is the author of two contemporary romance novels.

Visit her on the web at:


Facebook: Tattered Pages

Published in: on April 25, 2011 at 1:00 am  Comments (16)  
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The Wild Rose Press Celebrates 5 Years!

CONGRATULATIONS TO THE WILD ROSE PRESS on five years of romance. I’m proud to be a TWRP author. The staff and owners (Rhonda Penders and RJ Morris) run a great company.

My novel MESSAGE TO LOVE (June 2010) was edited by the wonderful Amanda Barnett who stuck it out with me through thick and thin.





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 MESSAGE TO LOVE.


“It was a dream, just a very bad dream.”

She stepped back out of his hold. Clammy spots of moist heat lingered on her arms where his hands had been.

“I’m all right now.” Audra reached for the door and noticed the sickly sweet odor of liquor on his breath. “You can leave now. I want to go back to bed.” She pulled open the door and gestured into the hall.

“Sorry, but this time you’re going, too.” Rollins strode over to the dresser and pulled out a drawer. “Better pack. We have just under two hours.”

“I’m not in the mood for comedy, Rollins,” she sighed. “I’m really very, very tired. I’ve got to get some rest. Now—”

“Let me make myself clear.” He sounded gruff. “I said we’re leaving, and unless you want to get on a ship bound for Santiago with your shirttails hanging out, better change and get ready.” He made to leave the room. “I hope you have a shawl or something. It’s gotten cooler out, and we have half an hour in a wagon to get to port.” Then he vanished into his own room next door, leaving Audra gape-mouthed in the hallway.

“Who does he think he is?” She growled as she stamped her foot against the cold hard floor. “Infuriating! He is absolutely infuriating!” Audra heaved the door shut with gusto. “These are not my shirttails, either!”

Amazon buy link (print and digital)

The Wild Rose Press buy link (print and digital)

Visti The Wild Rose Press April 27 – May 1 for a celebration full of surprises!

Published in: on April 25, 2011 at 1:00 am  Leave a Comment  
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BridledHeart_w4783_680.jpgI’m happy to share fellow The Wild Rose Press author Paty Jager’s new book Bridled Heart with you today. It’s a wonderful story of love, forgiveness and understanding.

From the cover:

A specialized placement schedule and self-imposed vow of celibacy keeps ER nurse, Gina Montgomery, from getting too close to anyone. Music is her only solace and release from a past laced with abuse. But when that music draws the attention of a handsome rodeo bareback rider, her chosen solitary life–not to mention her vow–gets tested to the limits.

Holt Reynolds let his younger sister down when she needed him most. With the similarities to his sister far too evident in Gina, he can’t get the woman out of his head, or her poignant music out of his heart. But how can he find a way to free her bridled heart before the past resurfaces to destroy their one chance at happiness?

Paty Jager writes with a comfortable style and eases into this story beautifully with music and art. Those two creative outlets helps Gina and Holt deal with their personal demons. When Gina’s music and Holt’s art meet coincidentally at a fund raising event, the two people are drawn to each other as well. Gina’s history is unpleasant and she’s chosen to deal it with by shutting down her heart. It’s the only way she knows to help her cope until Holt enters. He is all cowboy but with the biggest heart I’ve ever met. He’s patient too, and that patience wins Gina over to give love a try. This time it’s within the loving arm’s of an understanding, and very sexy, bronco rider who will get inside your heart before you know it. Holt is also trying to cope with a mistake he thinks he made in the past with his younger sister. He didn’t listen. This time Holt hears everything Gina has to say and gives her the chance at love she deserves.

BRIDLED HEART is a winner!

A note from Paty: Thanks! I’m glad you liked the book. 
My website:
Wild Rose Press buy link:

It can also be purchased at Amazon and B& N.

Published in: on April 20, 2011 at 1:00 am  Comments (1)  
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Guest LAURA BROWNING’S Thoughts On The Digital Reader Revolution

Greetings, Laura. Thanks so much for being my guest today. I just have one question for you: What is your opinion on the electronic book and ereader revolution?

My idea of a wonderful evening used to be curling up on the couch to begin a new book. Reading at my own speed, I would slide my fingers along the edge of the page and slowly turn it, feeling the graininess of the paper beneath my fingertips.  In addition to the textures of different papers – the glossies of magazines, the slick pages of a textbook, or the rich, thickness of a novel’s pages – there were the smells. Newspapers and paperbacks reminded me of ink, library books came with the mellowness of age, and women’s magazines with the gradually fading aroma of the newest perfumes. I will always remember and treasure those sensations. At some level, I believe most of those will live on, but having said that I must add, I live in a family and with a husband who embrace technology.

I had a laser printer when many people were still using dot matrix. Somewhere floating around my house is one of the dinosaurs of digital photography that actually used a floppy disk. Even my first “computer” wasn’t much more than a glorified typewriter. But when it came to ereaders, I hesitated. I saw too many incompatible formats, similar to when VCRs first came on the market, and ultimately I just didn’t want to sacrifice the sensuous experience of turning those pages.

Two things made me take another look at ereaders and ebooks. First, I am a voracious reader. I can finish a short novel in hours. Reading at that rate can drown you in paperbacks pretty quickly. It’s also monumentally inconvenient when you go on vacation. Less avid readers simply don’t understand the need for a crate of books in the luggage. The second thing that made me rethink the move to electronic reading is my son. He struggles to read. There is a vast difference between what he would like to read and what he can read. I work with students who are the same way. An ereader gives them the ability to read what they are capable of reading, and I hope to improve their skills, without being the brunt of their classmates’ teasing.  There’s no childish cover to give them away.

Still not completely convinced because I’ve become much more cautious about spending big bucks on new technology, I eased into electronic books. Most of my early purchases are pdf files I have stashed on a flash drive. Then I discovered Nook and Kindle both had PC applications. Yes! Instant gratification was now mine. I could read right on my computer.  Finally giving in to the inevitable, I ended up with a Nook.

In the midst of all this electronic publishing upheaval, I finally took the step to becoming a published author. I searched out companies that dealt in ebooks with the option of print on demand because I now believe that is where the industry is headed. Electronic books will become the norm, and printed books will be a collector’s item.

Do I like that? There is a part of me that will always want to lift a book to my nose and inhale its unique fragrance. My Nook just smells like plastic.

Laura has a new release out this month!

The Silkie’s Salvation is set to release April 15, 2011 from The Wild Rose Press. Buy link right now is: 
Readers can find me on Facebook and also check out my website at:
 Laura Browning
The Silkie’s Call –  available now from The Wild Rose Press
The Silkie’s Salvation – coming April 2011 from The Wild Rose Press

Winning Heart– coming July 2011 from Lyrical Press

Thanks, Laura!

Published in: on April 18, 2011 at 1:00 am  Leave a Comment  


Hi, SANDRA!Sweethearts5c.jpg

Welcome and tell us a little about yourself. Thank you for inviting me, Liz. I’m happy to meet your readers. I bet we’ve enjoyed some of the same books. I’ve read my whole life; I can’t imagine a day without a novel of some sort in my hands. Movies are one of my passions, too, along with fast cars. We have a Corvette convertible–I love the wind in my hair–although a helmet when racing is smarter. While you read through this interview, you’ll probably notice the out of doors keeps me sane.

What are three things you cannot do without? My family. Mountains. Animals. I even like pigs, but not rats.

What is your opinion on the electronic book and ereader revolution? It’s the best thing that’s happened to publishing since papyrus and ink. IMHO, writers will eventually work on a level playing field. The stigma of self-publication will diminish and disappear. If a story is well written, it’ll sell. If it isn’t, it won’t. This won’t happen overnight. Like all major changes, it’ll take time and upheaval as opportunities open, shift and settle.

Personally, I like e-books and e-readers for the ease and economy of exploring outside my usual reading material. Those I love, I buy in traditional book form for my keeper shelf. I suspect this will eventually stop. I hate dusting. I have a small house. I move frequently and packing is a pain.

Address the ins and outs of an aspiring author seeking publication. It’s as hard as it is easy–keep writing, keep learning, keep submitting, keep faithful to your gut.

Talk about your publishing journey. My first contest experience was in the late 90’s. A fluke of circumstances, there were only four entries in my category, earned me Honorable Mention and infected me with the wanna-be-published bug. I completed four manuscripts in the next thirteen years between five moves; the deaths of my father and father-in-law three weeks apart; my husband’s back surgery and long recovery; marriages of both our kids; the births of grandchildren; and countless other distractions. I submitted three of those manuscripts to traditional publishers and allowed rejections to steal my steam. Like my humor, which is a half a bubble off plumb, my writing doesn’t fit the traditional mold. E-publishers accept the offbeat as long as it’s well written. Three 4 Star/Heart reviews from Sizzling Hot Book Reviews, The Romance Reviews, and The Romance Studio confirm what my editor and publisher saw in my writing. I’m blessed that some of my readers have been kind enough to tell me: “I couldn’t put it down.”

I’m gratified I persevered, mainly due to my critique partner’s pushing, prodding, encouraging. Caroline Clemmons rocks! Thank you, kind and wise lady. I’m forever in your debt.       

Talk about online book promotions. What has worked for you? I should skip this question because I’m such a newbie at it–I’m trying everything. But, I do have a couple points I believe are important. Marketing is a long term effort. “Caught by a Clown” was released January 21st, so I don’t have sales feedback yet to measure against my fledgling attempts. However, a blend of social media (Facebook, Twitter, etc.), radio interviews, and sites such as Goodreads that reach readers outside our writing circles promotes name recognition which, I hope, will eventually equate to book sales. The most important aspects of all of that are courtesy and respect, the cornerstones of The Golden Rule. Be sure your frantic schedule of writing, marketing, and living don’t overshadow the fair treatment of others.

Writing tips: Utilize senses twice as often as you think you should and you’ll come closer to grounding your reader in the scene and helping them care about your character. Explore outside the usual, “popular” senses of sight and sound, which should be individualized whenever possible to reveal character. For example: An older sister might groan at her younger sister’s prize rose garden and shred a blossom because their mother ignored them as kids in favor of tending the precious flowers. The younger woman might breathe deeply of their rich aroma, her mother’s scent, and relish their petals, soft and smooth like her mother’s cheek.

Touch seems to be the forgotten sense. Its intimate connection to the point of view character gives it greater strength in capturing the reader.

Taste is more challenging to incorporate outside of meals or snacks, but its unique application can be powerful and worth the effort, unless it’s so unique it jars the reader out of the story. lol

How do you balance life and work? Not well. I prefer writing, even marketing to housecleaning, laundry, cooking (yuck) or errands. I usually end up squeezing in things I should have been doing when my writing hits a snag. Most of the time, those problems crop up due to brain drain or I’m too close to the scene. If I’m tired, I choose something outside to rejuvenate me.  When I’m too close to the scene, I bustle about my chores until a fresh perspective frees the snag.

CaughtByAClown_w5118_120.jpgTalk about a specific book of yours. That would be “Caught by a Clown,” my first published novel. Available through The Wild Rose Press, , the spicy romantic suspense involves a spontaneous freelance journalist on a mission of mercy who finds herself entangled with a methodical undercover FBI agent out to settle a score. As you might guess, these opposing personalities strike sparks from the moment they meet.

Here’s the blurb:  Stacie Monroe’s spontaneity lands her in hot water again when her best friend’s little brother disappears and Stacie trails him to a nudist resort. To get inside the exclusive oasis and convince him to return home, she must blend in, a move tailor made to shock her oh-so-proper family and renew efforts to bring her in line.

That’s exactly what Special Agent David Graham intends to do when she interferes in his case. Yet, the soft-hearted temptress challenges his resolve, revealing the path to a love he thought impossible. Will that love survive when he betrays her in order to unravel the final twist in his case and convict a vicious killer?

Excerpt: Stacie tapped one sandal-clad foot on the floor while Agent I’d-Rather-Scare-You-Than-Confide-In-You ignored her. She glanced toward the bathroom, crossed her legs, and wished she hadn’t finished that last glass of wine.

     “Aren’t you going to search that closet or open those two bottom drawers in the dresser?” she asked when he tucked his camera inside his pack.


     A nasty suspicion raised its head. “Why not?”

     “Don’t have a search warrant. That limits me to a visual inspection of what’s in plain sight.”

     “I won’t tell,” she pushed, despite being certain of his response.

     “There are laws.”

     She groaned over the close match to a pronouncement she’d heard her whole life. There are rules.

     Boring. Snoring. Gone. Think of something else.

     Like how Agent By-The-Book caused this mess. If he’d mentioned being from the FBI when they met in the office none of this would have happened. He ignored her interest in Alan Walsh and her intelligence in favor of treating her as if she were a child in need of a lesson.

     Nature threatened to float her teeth, but Stacie refused to ask for relief. She fidgeted on the hard chair and crossed her legs the other way. The backs of her thighs pulled where her skin had stuck to the wooden seat. That twinge of pain reminded her she ought to be thrilled Graham claimed a badge and not a rap sheet. Instead, she rattled the handcuffs that shackled her to the chair and worried how far he meant to carry her arrest.

BUY the paperback at TWRP  or Amazon 

BUY the Ebook at TWRP or Amazon Kindle or DigiBooks Café

Find out how far David carries Stacie’s arrest and learn who’s “CAUGHT BY A CLOWN.”

You can also hook up with “Caught by a Clown” at my website , or my blog

Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp? Absolutely. I hope my readers will hold their breath, laugh out loud, even sigh and maybe, by the end of the story, believe they, too, have the strength it takes to meet their challenges. If so, I’ve added a bit of value to the world, and that’s a good thing.


What writing books do you recommend and why? The first that springs to mind is Dwight V Swain’s “Techniques of a Selling Author.” Its broad coverage and excellent pointers serve as a thorough guide for new writers and a great review for established writers or ones wanting to address a particular problem.

Alicia Rasley’s book “The Power of Point of View” illustrates how to immerse a reader in the viewpoint of the character with the most at stake in a scene. “The Power of Point of View” is available through her website at . She also offers a wealth of articles for every level of writer.

If you have trouble with telling rather than showing, check out William Noble’s book, “Show, Don’t Tell.” He addresses openings, backstory, action, pacing and senses among other aspects. Every writer struggles with one or more of those at some point.

Donald Maass’ “The Fire in Fiction” uses excerpts from published works to illustrate his points on how to ratchet up the quality of a writer’s pages. He also offers exercises at the end of each chapter to strengthen and encourage all who seek to improve their writing.

A particular favorite of mine is Rebecca McClanahan’s “Word Painting: A Guide to Writing More Descriptively.” She delves into point of view, characters, and settings through our senses, which are often missing or shortchanged in stories I read.

Liz, thank you so much for letting me chat with your readers. I hope they enjoyed it as much as I have. Please stop by my website or my blog anytime. I can also be contacted at  I wish all of you the very best in your endeavors.

Published in: on April 11, 2011 at 1:00 am  Comments (17)  

Seven Hearts for MESSAGE TO LOVE!

MESSAGE TO LOVE received seven hearts from The Stephanie Loves review site. Check it out!


What Stephanie Thought: I was really impressed by this book’s complex plot. Brimming with accurate details from the late 19th century era, it was a romance that was full of both suspense and danger.

Audra’s journey begins in her comfortable and rather privileged home in the States. Fresh out of her preparatory school and innocent as can be, she meets Rollins, a dashing but overly confident lieutenant who claims to be on a “mission” to watch over her in her father’s absence. 

Self-sufficient and inexorable, Audra doesn’t want his assistance. But Rollins still insists, and before he or she knows it, they fall in love. There are several extremely passionate scenes in Message to Love — Audra and Rollins’s love is certainly intense, and certainly real.

Trouble brews when sleazy Jasen Angler (long-time property rival who’s recently bought almost everything Audra has left to her name) follows her to her trip to Cuba. She’s in search of her father, and she doesn’t need him. Or Rollins for that matter. But they both come anyway. Turns out, Jasen and some other corrupt officers have been planning to take advantage of Audra — and her fortune.

Then she discovers that her life — her life as she knew it — is not what she thought it was. And that Rollins, the good guy, the lover, isn’t who he says he is.

The ultimatum offered to Audra is that she is to choose either her father’s life or her first love’s — the type of decision neither you nor I would even consider to make. As a happily-ever-after romance, all ends well. The bad guys perish and the good guys (Greg and Rollins) survive. I thought it ended rather abruptly, but other than that, Message to Love was a  sweet, adventurous read. It was slightly slow-moving, but that’s because of the exquisite detail Arnold offered. I definitely recommend it to all historical romance lovers — especially those who appreciate a little love-making 🙂

Stephanie Loves: ‘Death is no place to linger, my friends,’ he offered. ‘The fortunes of many men are lost in the wind because they live in the vicious grip of death’s power. Exile, self-recrimination, revenge. It causes it all. It is a tragic fame to live in death.’ He downed the last of his liquor. ‘This, a soldier knows the best. Death is no place to stay.‘”

Radical Rating: 
7 hearts- A few flaws here and there, but wouldn’t mind rereading. ♥♥♥♥♥♥♥

Thanks, Stephanie!

Published in: on April 9, 2011 at 9:02 pm  Comments (2)