Sunday, March 30, 2014

Romance Author's Booksigning Open to the Public

Tempe Mission Palms Ballroom
60 East Fifth Street
Tempe, Arizona 85281

General Information:
You are invited to attend one of the largest book signings in the Valley.  New York Time’s Bestsellers Christie Craig, Sylvia Day, Allison Brennan, Karin Tabke, Jennifer Ashley and many more favorites, will be available to meet and greet their fans while they sign their books.

Authors scheduled to appear:

     Jennifer Ashley                                                  Kayce Lassiter                                          
     Judith Ashley                                                     Debbie Lee                         
     Allison Brennan                                                 Sandra Lee Smith     
     Shari Broyer                                                     Annette Mahon
     Mary Buckham                                                  Mary Maxie
     Patricia Burroughs                                             Cathy McDavid
     Laurie Schnebly Campbell                                  Terri Molina
     Stacy Connelly                                                  Judythe Morgan
     Christie Craig                                                    Debra Mullins 
     Barbara White Daille                                          Marina Myles
     Sylvia Day                                                        V. S. Nelson 
     Alison Delaine                                                   Virginia Nosky
     Kerrie Droban                                                   Pinkie Paranya
     Barbara Duell                                                   Marie Patrick
     Marion Ekholm                                                  Lexi Post
     Connie Flynn                                                     Erin Quinn 
     Ramona Forrest                                                 Sarah Raplee
     Calista Fox                                                       Deena Remiel
     Roz Denny Fox                                                 Vijaya Schartz
     Cynthia Garner                                                 Mimi Sebastian
     Tina Gerow                                                       Linda Style
      Marie Harte                                                      Karen Tabke
      Donna Hatch                                                    Pam Tracy
      Arlene Hittle                                                     Kris Tualla
      Jannifer Hoffman                                              Ann Videan
      Shanyn Hosier                                                 Susan C. Yarina
      Morgan Kearns                                                Beth Yarnell
      Vanessa M. Knight

Friday, March 28, 2014

Author Spotlight on Amber Leigh Williams

by Amber Leigh Williams

He's in some serious trouble….
Cole Savitt does not want to deceive Briar Browning. But if he hopes to see his son again, he has to find the weaknesses in her charming bed-and-breakfast, then get out of town fast! But the quaint inn isn't the only thing charming him….

Cole's straightforward plan becomes anything but when he begins to fall for the beautiful innkeeper. Suddenly everything's on the line—his future with his son, a chance at happiness and the love of a good woman. Cole must rethink his priorities…and the stakes have never been higher.

     “There’s something you need to know….” 
     Cole’s lips curved as he turned back to the bike. “I know.” 
     “You do?” Briar asked, sounding astounded.
     “You’ve never ridden a bike before.”
     “Is it that obvious?” she asked, rubbing her palms on her jeans.
     “A little,” he said wryly. “Just lean with me into the turns. And hold on.”
     Hell, if he didn’t coax her on now, she’d probably run for her life. And while that might have been better for the both of them under the circumstances, he found himself jerking his thumb behind him, motioning for her to get on.
     After a brief pause, Briar dropped down her visor and stepped to the bike. Gripping his offered hand for balance, she climbed on behind him and placed her feet on the small passenger pegs.
Just this once, he was going to give Briar Browning the ride of her life. God help them both.

RT BOOK REVIEWS gives A Place With Briar 4 STARS: “Great description and engaging characters make this story an entertaining read. Cole is nicely developed and his despair over losing his son and Briar’s worry over the potential loss of her inn are both well drawn. The secondary characters, such as Briar’s tenants, are also quite fun and nicely crafted.”

You can purchase A Place With Briar now in stores or online….




Amber Leigh Williams lives on the Gulf Coast. A southern girl at heart, she loves beach days, the smell of real books, relaxing at her family’s lakehouse, and spending time with her husband, Jacob, and their sweet, blue-eyed boy. When she’s not running after her young son and three, large dogs, she can usually be found reading a good romance or cooking up a new dish in her kitchen. She is represented by Joyce Holland of the D4EO Literary Agency. Visit her on the web at You can also find her on Twitter (@AleighWilliams) and Facebook (

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Congratulations to all seven of my winners, in the U.S and U.K.!

Today I'd like to give a shout-out to some of my most loyal readers...and the winners of my last contest, which I'm happy to say are both one and the same. My website contest for a moonstone necklace was won by Arwen L. from Austin, TX. Congrats, Arwen! She sent me a lovely picture of herself wearing her new necklace. Thank you for allowing me to share, Arwen!

At the same time, I had a give-a-way for SIX autographed ARC's of Everlasting Enchantment. It's always so hard for me to give away just ONE prize when I get so many wonderful entries sharing my books on Twitter and Facebook and other social media. Anyone could enter, of course, but the only way to find out about this private contest was through my newsletter. (Oh, dear. You still aren't a subscriber of my newsletter? It's easy! Just hop on over to my website and click on the Newsletter button: )

Congratulations to:
Sandra L. from Kalamazoo, MI 
Kathie S. from Oklahoma City, OK
Jennifer H. from Sharpsburg GA
Dianna R. from South Charleston, WV
Ilona F. from Wales, U.K. (Yes, I allow entries from my overseas readers!)
Karen K. from Five Points, AL

  I use to pick the winners. I find it fascinating that the winners are all from different states/locations, although it makes me happy to know that my books are reaching and touching so many different people. I guess magical romance can appeal to any tender heart.

As Always,
My Magical Best,
Kathryne Kennedy

Friday, March 21, 2014

Introducing Marie Patrick

It is my great pleasure to introduce Marie Patrick and her book 
Mischief and Magnolias.


The year is 1863 and Natchez, Mississippi, has peacefully surrendered to the Union Army. Several homes in the city are commandeered…but not everyone surrenders peacefully, especially Shaelyn Cavanaugh.  When her home and beloved steamboats are taken over by Major Remington Harte and his small contingent of men, Shae strikes a bargain to allow her and her mother to remain in their home—her mother will cook for the men in blue and she will clean up after them. Her ultimate goal? Make Major Harte leave. Her plan of attack? Make the little things in his life difficult.
Wounded by a sharpshooter’s bullet that nearly took his life, Remy has taken an assignment to transport supplies and troops utilizing the Cavanaugh steamboats. He is determined to find the persons responsible for ambushing his scouting party, leaving most of his unit dead—and extend kindness to those around him, especially Shae. Instead of being upset at finding she added vinegar to his coffee and poured molasses in his boots, Major Harte is intrigued. His admiration grows for the feisty woman and her pranks…and he looks forward to what she might do next.
When Shae’s steamboats disappear, attributed to the Gray Ghost, a guerilla fighter with the Confederacy, and accusations of espionage grow against her, Remy has to decide between following his head or his heart. If he makes the wrong choice, he could lose his men, his reputation and the woman who has become more important to him than he ever expected.

Novels by Marie Patrick
Coming soon: Mischief and Magnolias
A Treasure Worth Keeping, available on Amazon and Crimson Romance 
A Good Man For Katie, available on Amazon and The Wild Rose Press
A Scandalous Woman, available on Amazon and Whiskey Creek Press
Touch the Flame, available on Amazon and Whiskey Creek Press
Angel in the Moonlight, available on Amazon and Whiskey Creek Press

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Beta Readers

From what I have heard, Beta Readers are volunteers, who are not writers, who read an author's manuscript. They give feedback based on the average readers point-of-view. Bob Mayer, a New York Times Bestselling Author, suggests using Beta Readers.

I decided to give it a try. I am in the process of changing a cozy mystery into a sweet romantic mystery. In order to do this, I need to change half of the scenes into the hero's point of view. The original book has already been edited. What I need now is a set of fresh eyes to look for obvious mistakes. My husband, my mother, and a friend at work have been reading what I have finished so far.

What I have discovered is that they often find different mistakes, or different aspects of the book stand out to them. This has been a valuable experience. Of course, I do have my writing friend who will look at the final copy for anything that stands out from a published author's point of view. I do plan on using them again in the future.

Until next week,
happy reading and writing.
Tina Swayzee McCright

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Admit it. You Do It too.

Judge a book by its cover, that is. Covers can make or break a book. Sad but true. The majority of us won't even pick a book up unless the cover appeals to us in some way.

So when it came to my latest book, I knew I needed help. This new historical romance series is set during the Great War. I've written historical romances before but they have paranormal elements. I've written dark stories before but this one is a romance not an apolcalyptic adventure with romantic elements.

In other words, I needed something the same yet different. And it all comes down to that marketing thing called Branding. I'd done up some mock covers but just wasn't happy with the results. They were either too violent or too saccarhine. Plus there was the whole 24-36 books in the series thing. I needed a cohesive idea that would span the next 6 years.

Through my various writers loops, I began cyberstalking cover designers and butted against two problems—time and appeal. Time was short as my book will go live on the 21st and not many designers could fit me in. Second was appeal. Most designs were either too sexy or too light in terms of mood. As the series was set during the Great War, the romances are/will be dark themed, centered on dark events, and menacing.

I was fortunate enough that my first pick of designers, Gabrielle Prendergast of was able to work within my time frame.

If you've been published before, you know that there's always an art cover form to fill out. It's a fairly simple step describing the hero/heroine/clothing etc as well as the time period, thoughts on the design and a scene from the book.

The hard part came in when she asked for a name of the series. Um, that stumped me and I came up with some really bad ideas that sucked even worse when i saw them on the mock cover. Ho boy. Given the size of the series, I really needed a name. Thankfully, my coworker let me bounce bad ideas off her until she said rather snarkily: how about Love's Great War. Ta Da! What a fabulous idea.

So now the series has a name, one to put in those little meta data tags to help folks find me at book sellers everywhere.

But it was Gabrielle who came up with adding poppies and barbed wire—both symbols of the Great War.

Originally we had planned to change the color of the background for each book and I wanted golden wheat in this one. Instead, she came up with the grayscale—something timeless yet modern for the coming years. This has the benefit of making the poppy stand out as both a symbol of the war and red for love. Lastly, she added an antique was to the model image to give it the historic feel.

And this was the result:

Except for the title and cover model, the cover layout will remain the same for all the books. Anyone will be able to tell at a glance they're part of a series and a small subtitle will pinpoint where the book takes place. Even better the grayscale will make it noticeable amongs all the very colorful romance covers.

So to sum up, the cover meets four marketing requirements:

1—It brands the series (recognizable at a glance)
2—It conveys the tone and genre (dark romance )
3—It subliminally taps into iconography of the war (barbed wire/poppy) and time period (antique wash)
4—Stands out from others in my market (gray scale has the added boost of being timeless and classy)

Makes me a little sad when I look at my other covers.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Recipe for St. Patrick's Day

Kim Watters here. In honor of St. Patrick's Day next week, here is a traditional Irish recipe for Beef and Guinness Pie. 

 Let me know how yours turns out. Inquiring minds want to know.

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 2 hours, 30 minutes

Total Time: 3 hours


  • 7 oz all purpose/plain flour
  • pinch of salt
  • 4 oz butter, cubed or an equal mix of butter and lard
  • 2 -3 tbsp cold water
  • 1 beaten egg, for glaze
  • 1oz all purpose/plain flour
  • 1lb chuck steak cut into 1"/2.5cm cubes
  • ¾ oz butter
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 2 large onions, thinly sliced
  • 2 carrots chopped in to 1"/2.5cm cubes
  • 2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tsp tomato puree
  • 17 fl/oz Guinness or stout
  • 1½ pints hot beef stock
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • Salt and ground pepper


Make the pastry following these instruction
  • Place the flour in a large bowl and season with salt and ground black pepper, add the cubes of meat and toss well in the flour until evenly coated.
  • Heat the butter and oil in a large, heavy-based, flameproof casserole dish until the butter has melted. Add the meat to the fat in small batches and brown quickly all over for just a minute, then remove with a slotted spoon and set aside.
  • Add the onions and carrots to the pan and fry gently for about 2 minutes then return the meat to the pan with the Worcestershire sauce, tomato puree, ale stock and sugar. Grind in plenty of black pepper and a little salt, stir well and bring to the boil. Cover, reduce to a gentle simmer and cook slowly for about 2 hours until the meat is tender and the sauce has thickened and is glossy. Remove from the heat, place into a 2½ pint/1.5 liter deep pie dish and leave to cool completely.
  • Heat oven to 400F.
  • Roll out the pastry to 1/8"/3mm. Cut a ¾"/2cm strip from the rolled-out pastry. Brush the rim of the pie dish with water and place the pastry strip around the rim, pressing it down. Cut out the remaining pastry about 1"/2.5cm larger than the dish. Sit a pie funnel in the center of the filling; it will support the pastry and stop it from sinking into the filling and becoming soggy.
  • Place the pastry lid over the top and press down to the edge and seal. trim off any excess pastry an crimp the edges with a fork or between your thumb and forefinger. Brush the top with beaten egg and make a hole in the center to reveal the pie funnel. Bake for 30 - 35 minutes until the pastry is crisp and golden.
Optional - You can decorate the top of the pie with pastry trimmings as you like. 
taken from original source

Friday, March 7, 2014

Author Spotlight Marion Ekholm

Jut Like Em
By Marion Ekholm

She's not the kid she used to be…not by a long shot! 

She had a crush on him when she was a teen and Roger was in college…and made his life miserable as only the friend of a guy's kid sister can. Years later, Emmy Lou returns to Phoenix, divorced, with an asthmatic little boy at the center of her world.

Grieving the death of his wife, Roger reluctantly asks her for help with his young twins and teen daughter who's proving as difficult to handle as Em used to be. Just as they finally begin to find happiness together, a career move comes between them—because it affects Em's child, whose welfare means more to her than…anything.