Monday, July 28, 2014

Character Interview - Rachelle from White Christmas Kiss

Today, I'm going to interview the heroine from one of my books. Book #3 of The Wedding Girls' Series, has been contracted but will only be released closer to Christmas as it's a Christmas story. Seeing it's July and some people are celebrating "Christmas in July" plus it features in my book, I'm going to interview Rachelle.

I don't know if anyone reading this post read my debut novel, Wedding Gown Girl. One of Kienna's clients at the wedding boutique where she works confides in her that's she doesn't love her groom. Kienna can't bear to leave the man ignorant so contacts him and warns him. Rachelle is the bride who actually jilts Blake at the altar. Blake, despite his broken heart, is attracted to Kienna and a relationship develops between them. Rachelle even goes so far as to send Kienna bad messages and sabotage their relationship.

So, White Christmas Kiss is Rachelle's story. Doesn't the bad girl deserve a second chance at love?

Here's a blurb of the story:

Rachelle runs a little wedding chapel on the Coderica Passenger Liner. Two years on the passenger liner haven’t helped her find peace from past mistakes. Ray brings his girlfriend on the Coderica’s grand cruise to Europe. When his plans to marry her in the little chapel go horribly wrong and the relationship fails, Ray and Rachelle are drawn to each other like moths to a flame. Romance blossoms in Europe, culminating on Christmas Day. But the cruise ends and Rachelle isn’t sure she’s ready to leave the Coderica with Ray. Will the memory of their white Christmas kiss be strong enough to bring them together forever?

Character Interview:

What’s your favourite part of the day? Morning, afternoon or night?

Definitely a morning person. I'm fresh and alert first thing and fade towards evening, but since I've met Ray, I'm more flexible. He keeps me alert because I don’t want to miss a single moment with him.

If you had to take anyone with you on a long journey away from home, who would it be?

Well, I’ve spent two years of my life journeying far from home. To be honest, I don’t know. I’m estranged from my parents. Once I meet Ray, he would, of course, be my first choice. I mean we fell in love on tour so touring would bring back memories of those precious moments together discovering one another.

Name one of your weaknesses that you’d like to work on.

I do tend to be a little suspicious of people. I don’t trust easily. I also tend to live in the past, reliving my mistakes and wishing I could have done things differently.

What question would you like to ask your creator?

Why Ray? Why did you send him to me? I know he’s right for me but I just wanted to know your thinking. I wonder if I'd met him earlier if I would have been ready for him. 

If you could do anything over again in the book, what would it be?

I would have tried much harder to mend the broken relationships in my life. I’d be willing to ask questions instead of believe the worst of people’s reactions.

If you were able to invent something totally new for your world, what would it be, and why do you think it’s needed?

Phew, that’s a hard question. I would maybe invent a device that could check whether you love someone to eliminate all the doubts and problems before marrying them. Who wants to go through those months of questioning and doubts before the big day? But come to think of it, I think the best way to find out if you love someone is to go through some challenges together, and no machine can tell you what’s in your heart. So, no, I don’t think that would work. How about a software program that takes a photo of a woman and puts different wedding dresses on her or flowers for the chapel, or whatever so she doesn’t take so long to choose what she needs? I’m babbling on. I’d better move on to the next question. Oh wait, how about a love ship? A passenger liner purely for the purpose of bringing people together. It's a wonderful place to meet someone. I think there was a TV program in the eighties called The Love Boat. That would be the best invention ever.

Is there anything you’ve always secretly wished for but isn’t mentioned in the book?

I think I’ve always wanted a baby. Haven’t been ready for one with all my relationship problems, but I’ve always secretly longed for a child to nurture.

If you could commission a painting from a famous artist, what would it be of?

Now that’s the easiest question so far. I’d love a landscape of Copenhagen covered in snow. Or any European country. The snow epitomizes romance and purity—second chances. It washes away all the dust and dirt gathered from months of mistakes and provides a clean slate.

What’s your most embarrassing moment?

I have to say the day I left Blake at the altar. Those moments standing at the back of the church were the most hair-raising of my life. I couldn’t take those steps, and my family’s gazes were on me waiting for me to go. When I told my dad no, I couldn’t marry Blake, I felt dead inside, but now I’m glad I did because I’ve met Ray.

Are you similar to how you were as a child or have you changed significantly? If you’ve changed, what changed you?

I’ve changed a significant amount. I had an easy, almost spoilt childhood. I was the only child and my parents pampered me. They were good to me and I’m forever grateful, but I owe my outlook on life now to the hard two years I spent on the Coderica Passenger Liner. Hardships soften you. I wouldn’t have been ready for love if I hadn’t realised how lost I really was. I had to go through that to appreciate the simple things in life.

What is the most sacrificial thing you’ve done for someone else?

I have to be honest, most of my life, I’ve been rather selfish. Only since I went on the Coderica, did I try to find ways to help others. Often after a long day at work in the chapel, I would fill in for my fellow crew members at the theatre bar. Some nights, I could barely keep my eyes open, but I found joy in giving them a chance to go off the ship or to rest their weary heads.

What do you prefer? Rock, classical, jazz, country or other?

I love my instrumental music and would often let it tinkle on in the background in the chapel on the ship. It’s peaceful, calms the mind and heart, and still allows me to focus on my work. Christmas music has a special place in my heart now, but you need to read the book to find out why.

Cat or dog person?

I haven’t had a pet for years. You can’t keep a pet on an ocean liner. I love to watch the dolphins and whales in Cape Town when the ship docks there. We don't see them every time so it's a real treat when we do.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Character Interview and Spotlight - Elizabeth West

Today, I have fellow Astraea Press author, Elizabeth West, talking about her inspirational YA novel, Different. She writes sweet, inspirational romances of varying genres - touching and beautiful. Accompanying her is the character from her novel, Jezebel Smith, who will give us some insight into herself.


Anything can happen when the rules change.


Jezebel Smith is different. She can’t talk, she doesn’t look like anyone in her family, and no matter what she does it’s always the wrong thing. God accepts her for who she is, but He’s the only one who does. Then she finds an unconscious man in her favorite cave, and her life is turned upside down. New people and new rules collide with the old, leaving Jezebel unsure of which set of rules apply to her life. When the strangers in town attempt to help her out of the nightmare she’s grown up in, it promises to change her life forever.


The distant drip of water echoed off the rocky walls as Jezebel Smith wandered through her cave. Pungent fumes from her kerosene lantern stung her nose, and she wished for a flashlight. But her family would miss a flashlight. They never noticed when she took the old lantern from the barn.

Turning her face away from the lantern, she caught a whiff of the familiar scent of the rocks around her. She loved the fresh, earthy smell of her cave. Through countless hours of careful practice, her hiking boots barely produced a whisper on the bumpy path leading to her special cavern. If she swung the lantern on its creaky handle, however, she could fill the cave with a creepy echo that reminded her of Halloween.

She passed through an opening in the wall and entered a large cavern with several ledges in one end. As she approached the lowest ledge, the glow from her lantern touched an unfamiliar lump on the floor below the rocky shelf and she froze. She knew every inch of this cavern — every rock, ledge, and bump in the floor. No one ever came here. Nothing ever changed unless she changed it. The cave was the only thing she could count on to always stay the same.

This time, however, there was something new. The cave had broken its own rules, adding a boulder where one didn’t belong. She crept toward it, fighting tears of hurt that the cave would trick her like everyone else, and the golden light of her lantern revealed it wasn’t a boulder after all — it was the still form of a man. Her pulse pounded in her ears, so loud it threatened to drown out her own thoughts. Where had he come from? Why wasn’t he moving? Her heart skipped a beat. Was he dead?

Buy Links

Because the book is a brand new release, please follow the link to Elizabeth's website for buy links: E.A. West

Author Bio

E.A. West, award-winning author of sweet and inspirational romance, is a lifelong lover of books and storytelling. In high school, she picked up her pen in a creative writing class and hasn’t laid it down yet. When she isn’t writing, she enjoys reading, knitting, and crocheting. She lives in Indiana with her family and a small zoo of pets.

Where to Find E. A. West

Character Interview - Jezebel Smith

What’s your favourite part of the day? Morning, afternoon or night?

Morning and afternoon are definitely better than night.

If you had to take anyone with you on a long journey away from home, who would it be?

I don’t know. There haven’t been very many people in my life that I would want to go on a long journey with. I don’t really like going places I’ve never been anyway. Unfamiliar things make me nervous.

What is your motto in life?

Always do your best to follow the rules.

Name one of your weaknesses that you’d like to work on.

I don’t know if it counts as a weakness, but I have a speech impairment that makes it nearly impossible to talk a lot of times. I would LOVE to be able to talk as easily as everyone else.

What question would you like to ask your creator?

Why did you give me such a difficult life?

If you could do anything over again in the book, what would it be?

I would probably try harder to talk before the day I found Daniel in my cave.

Give a memory from childhood.

A lot of my memories from childhood aren’t things I like to think about. But I do remember the first time I ever caught a snake. I’d been watching it for a while and finally worked up the courage to reach out and grab it. I caught it right behind its head so it could bite me. When I picked it up, it wrapped its long, slithery body around my arm. The snake’s skin was so smooth, and I could feel how strong it was. I’ve loved snakes ever since.

Is there anything you’ve always secretly wished for but isn’t mentioned in the book?

I’ve always wanted to go to a zoo. I love animals, and a zoo sounds like it would be amazing. My brothers and sisters always talked about the trips their classes at school took, but I was never allowed to go on any trips with my family or anyone else. Maybe someday I’ll be able to go to a zoo and see all the animals I’ve only ever heard people talk about.

If you could commission a painting from a famous artist, what would it be of?

I think I would want a painting of the woods or maybe my cave. Those are my two favorite places and so relaxing.

What’s your most embarrassing moment?

It’s hard to pick just one because I have a lot of embarrassing moments. When you’re as different as I am and don’t understand a lot of things everyone else seems to be born knowing, embarrassment is a way of life.

Are you similar to how you were as a child or have you changed significantly? If you’ve changed, what changed you?

I’m only fifteen, so it hasn’t been that long since I was a child. I think I’m still pretty much the same girl I was a few years ago, but two things have changed me. I became a Christian and I got older.

What is the most sacrificial thing you’ve done for someone else?

I risked severe punishment to get help for Daniel when I found him in my cave. He had that cut on his head and couldn’t seem to stay awake. I was so scared, but I knew he needed a doctor. So I went into town anyway, even though I wasn’t supposed to go there.

What do you prefer? Rock, classical, jazz, country or other?

I don’t really listen to a lot of music, but I like bluegrass and Appalachian mountain music. That’s what I grew up listening to, and it feels like home… in a good way.

Cat or dog person?

Dog person, definitely. I like cats and all other animals, except spiders (they are so creepy!), but I’ve always dreamed of having my own dog.

Thank you for stopping by, Elizabeth and Jezebel. It was fascinating to discover more about you. I love knitting too, by the way.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Book Spotlight - Never Say Forever

I don't know if you remember that I had Karen King talking about her young adult novel a while back. Well, she's back and this time, she's writing under Kay Harborne and she's writing romance - although, unknown to me, she's pretty old hat at that too! I adore the tagline of her book and it hooks me straight away - Do you follow your dream or do you follow your heart?

Kay Harborne has written several romance stories for women's magazines. Her romance novel The Millionaire Plan was nominated for the RONE Award earlier this year. Never Say Forever was originally published by as a People’s Friend Pocket Novel, then in large print by Linford Romance. She is delighted that Astraea Press have republished it.  Kay has also written many children's books under the name of Karen King. She loves reading, writing and eating chocolate.

Never Say Forever is about to be released so the buy links below may not lead you directly to the book yet but keep your eyes open for this fascinating book.


Do you follow your dream or follow your heart?

That’s the decision Kendall McKenzie has to make when she meets hunky businessman Jake Newman. It’s obvious that he’s as attracted to her as she is to him. But Kendall has vowed to never get married – and it seems that Jake, too, is determined to never commit. When the two are together however sparks fly and it’s obvious to everyone except themselves that they’re meant to be together. Can Kendall trust Jake enough to give him her heart? And if she does will she have to say goodbye to her dream?


He turned and saw an open door leading into the kitchen where Kendall, her back towards him, was unplugging the kettle. She was wearing a neat, grey, pinstriped suit, the jacket tapering in at the waist and the skirt finishing just above the knee, with enough of a slit to reveal her very shapely legs.

She turned around and smiled at him, and his heart missed a beat. She was incredibly pretty and fresh, even at this early hour. Her glowing hair was loosely tied back from her face, which was bare of make-up apart from a touch of lipstick, and her eyes were bright and sparkling, as if she’d had a restful night’s sleep.

“OK, I’m ready now. I’ve just got to get my suitcase out of the bedroom.”

Here was where he was supposed to tell her that she was staying at the Birmingham office, that he didn’t need her in Spain, after all. But the words wouldn’t come. He might not need her in Spain with him, but he definitely wanted her there.

“Ouch!” Kendall’s cry of pain interrupted his thoughts. He dashed down the hall and saw her bending down, rubbing the back of her leg, the suitcase on the floor behind her.

“Are you all right?” he asked, worried. His eyes rested on the hole in her tights and the bruise already forming. “That looks nasty,” he said sympathetically.

She flushed. “The case was heavier than I thought. I stumbled and caught the back of my leg with it. I’ll be fine. I just need to change my tights.”

“I’ll wait in the car for you.” He effortlessly picked up the heavy suitcase. “And we’re all right for a few minutes if you want to put some ice on that bruise.” Without waiting for an answer, he carried the suitcase out the front door.

Maybe he was the one who needed the ice, he thought, as he took the case down to the car. The sight of Kendall’s bare skin peeping through the hole in her tights and hint of cleavage as she’d bent down to rub her leg had certainly made his temperature rise.

Don’t even think about it, he warned himself as he pressed the remote to open the car boot. This was a business trip, and he had to keep it that way. He never mixed business with pleasure and he wasn’t about to start now. Not even with Kendall McKenzie.

Especially not with Kendall McKenzie.


It was only as she walked into the car park at the back of the flats that Kendall realised she didn’t know what sort of car Jake drove, but the sleek midnight-blue sedan just had to be his. She was a bit taken aback when he got out, walked around, and opened the passenger door for her. Not many guys did that nowadays.

“Thank you,” she said as she slid onto the leather seat.

“My pleasure.” There was a hint of teasing in his reply, as if he knew he’d surprised her.

“Love the car,” she said as he got in beside her.

He flashed her a smile. “I quite like it too.”

“It might have been better if you’d got someone to drop us off at the airport so they could take the car back,” she suggested. “I wouldn’t risk leaving a car like this parked at the airport.”

ʺI’m not. I’ve left a spare set of keys with my chauffeur. He’ll pick it up later this morning then drive it home for me. It didn’t seem fair to drag him out of bed this early.”

He’s a nice guy, Kendall thought, kind and considerate yet rich and successful. In her experience, the qualities didnʹt always mix.

As they drove along, she was acutely aware of his presence beside her, of his strong hands holding the wheel casually but firmly, of his left hand reaching down to change gears effortlessly and smoothly, just a few centimetres from her knee.

“How long did you teach in Thailand?” he asked her. “I spent a bit of time over there myself a couple of years ago. It’s a beautiful country.”

“I was there for a year.” She was glad of the diversion. “I taught in a school in Chiang Mai.”

For the rest of the journey they spoke about Thailand and some of the other countries they had both visited, and she realised that he was actually very easy to talk to with a good sense of humour. She was almost sorry when they arrived at the airport; she’d enjoyed his company so much.

Careful, she told herself. I bet he’s as charming as this with all the women he meets. She knew he had a reputation for collecting beautiful girlfriends — Tanya had hinted as much at the engagement party. He was the eternal bachelor. Well, she was the eternal bachelor girl, wasn’t she? She could handle Jake Newman, even if he did make her go all goose-bumpy.

Buy Links:

Kay's Links:

Twitter: @karen_king

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Author Interview with Elizabeth Morgan

I have fellow Decadent Publishing author, Elizabeth Morgan, who's written her first sweet romance. (She actually writes in a rainbow of genres.) Today, she's talking about her latest sweet, contemporary romance called Stepping Stones. As soon as I read the excerpt of this book, I was hooked. She's running a blog tour and there are prizes to be won so click on the rafflecopter link below to enter the competition. I think you only have today and tomorrow left to enter.


There's nothing like a wedding to bring the family together....

If not for her baby sister’s impending marriage, Margaret West would never return home. But after six long years, she finds herself a maid of honor who must answer to the people she left behind.

If her parents’ interrogation doesn’t drive her to drink, facing her foster brother, Adrian, just might. To make matters worse, her ex-fiancé is the vicar who will conduct her sister’s ceremony.

Everyone demands to know why she ran off. But the more time she spends at home, the more Margaret realizes even she doesn’t know the real reason.

Length: Novella (32,000/91 pages)| Content: Sweet Romance/Contemporary| Publisher: Bono Books


“When is Aidy getting here?” Jessica grabbed the large bowl of scrambled eggs and brought it closer to her plate.
“I think his flight is due in at three.” My mother placed a dish of bacon on the table and took a seat beside me. “He will be in time for the wedding rehearsal; don’t worry.”
 My stomach clenched. “Wedding rehearsal?” I coughed, trying to clear the chunk of toast lodged in my throat. “What wedding rehearsal?”
“Today at four. We’re running through the service.” Jess scooped egg onto her plate. “I told you.”
Nervous laughter bubbled in my throat and try as I may, I couldn’t stop shaking my head. “No.” I patted my chest. “No, you never mentioned a rehearsal.”
“Oh.” She placed the bowl back in the middle of the table. “I could have sworn I did.”
“Nope, you didn’t. Believe me, I would have remembered otherwise.” I grabbed my mug and knocked the coffee back before finishing my piece of toast.
“Well, it’s no big deal.” Edward took the bowl of eggs and helped himself. “Just a quick run-through.”
“Will everyone be there?” Forcing a smile on my face, I looked up at them both, hoping like hell my question would pass as innocent and genuine curiosity.
“Anyone who is involved in the wedding itself will be.”
Great. So that meant Jessica, Edward, the parents, and the bridesmaids, plus me. That left Adrian and…. “Will Vicar Taylor, be there?”
Oh God, did my voice just go higher?
“Yes, Margaret, William will be there. He is the one who is marrying Jessie and Edward, so he needs to be there.” My father skewered some bacon and tomatoes onto his fork.
Grimacing, I reached out and grabbed another piece of toast. “Just a question, Pa.” A stupid one, but a question nevertheless….
“It is normal for people to have wedding rehearsals, Margaret. Just because you—”
Jess picked up the coffeepot. “Does anyone want more coffee?”
I straightened, my focus fixed on Pa. “I’m aware of that.”
My father’s shoulders went rigid. He lifted his head and our gazes locked. I didn’t miss the way the muscle in the side of his neck ticked. Arguing with my father in front of Jessica and Edward was not an option, so I looked away.
“Please.” I held out my mug and Jess poured the dark liquid.
I could kick myself. A wedding rehearsal hadn’t even crossed my mind. Having to stand at the altar before William on the actual wedding day would be hard enough, but having to do it twice…my stomach churned.
“So, will Adrian come straight to the church?” Edward cut the awkward silence.
“Yes. He will get a taxi to the church, and then we will bring him and his luggage back here.” My mother held her mug out to Jess.
“Adrian is staying here? Tonight?” I added sugar to my coffee. “Won’t it be crowded? I thought—”
“No more crowded than it was in your childhood.” My father took a bite out of his toast.
More and more good news. Of course he would be staying here; it was his family home after all. I guess, it was stupid of me to hope that he would go to a B&B, but my parents wouldn’t have allowed it even if he did suggest it. I hadn’t seen him in six years, hadn’t spoken to him. And yet, in a couple of hours I would be locked in the same house as him.

Buy Links:

Author Interview:

What is the best thing for you about being a writer?

The best thing about being a writer is that I get to create worlds and then share them with other people. I have always had a vivid imagination and it has always been my belief that I have this imagination and these strange dreams that I have for a reason. And that reason is to write stories and share them with the world.

What is the hardest thing for you about being a writer?

Wanting to write, having these scenes play in my head, having these dreams, but not having the time to write, which is sometimes the case. And then, when I have the time, sometimes I haven't got the energy because I've had a tough day, or something is going on in my personal life etc. And it is very frustrating, because I do just want to sit and write.

What genre/s do you write and what genre is your latest release?

I'm a multi-published author of urban fantasy, paranormal, erotic horror, f/f and contemporary; all my stories have a degree of romance, a dose of action and usually a hit of sarcasm, sizzle or blood, but no matter what I give a unique and often humorous spin to my stories.

I like variety so if I have a story idea and it is outside my "usual" genre, well, I will still write it. I like trying different things, and I've had the idea for a reason and that reason is to write that story.

My latest release is a sweet contemporary romance. It is the first, and currently the only sweet romance I have written, and it is very family orientated.

What essential things have you learned about writing in the last year?

That each author is different and that we all have our own time limits and routines, and everyone works at their own pace.

I often find myself freaking out that I am only writing/publishing X amount of books a year, and yet everyone else is doing double the amount, but life affects and it isn't a competition.

Who is your favourite heroine from your books and why?

Heather Ryan from my Blood Series is my fave heroine so far simply because she was the first heroine I ever wrote. She has changed a lot from the original draft, but life has really dealt her all the rubbish cards. Her life, her purpose is so crazy, but she handles it with a lot of sarcasm and humour and just gets on with her life's mission, because she has no other choice. It's admirable.

What type of hero do you like? Super alpha, wounded or somewhere in between? Or even something totally different? You could give an example from a movie or well-known book.

I like all types of heroes. I love Dracula; dark tortured soul. I love Mr Rochester from Jane Eyre; he is wounded, alone, angry. I love Rick O'connell from The Mummy. I love Gambit from X-Men. I could go on, but I won't. We will be here all day otherwise. ;-P

Tell us about your journey in writing this book.

The idea started with a dream, which I let stew for a while. A year later I sat down and started writing I got two chapters written and then one of my Werewolves from the Blood Series barged into my brain and started growling over the fact that I hadn't written his and his mates story.

It's very hard to ignore a Werewolf, especially Owen MacLaren, so I stopped writing Stepping Stones and wrote She-Wolf. After I had finished that book, and Owen was happy, I continued with Stepping Stones until I had it finished.

The book was originally published in November 2012, but the publisher closed a year later and the rights were reverted back to me. So, I cleaned it up and submitted it to Bono Books (Decadent Publishing) and it was contracted.

I feel that this new edition is tons better than the original, and I absolutely love the book cover and can't wait to share this new and improved version with you all.

Tell us three quirky or interesting things about yourself.

I'm very open-minded and I am a huge believer in fate, reincarnation, soul-mates, and well, I believe that everything in life happens for a reason.

I collect Venetian masks.

I have one tonsil. lol

What rituals do you use to help you focus or get the words down on the page e.g. music or a snack.

I usually always have a playlist for each of my projects, or at the very least one song that can sum the whole feel of the story up. No matter what I have to have my headphones on and music playing, that way it blocks all other sounds out and I find I can concentrate on the project better. And a cup of tea always helps. ;-P

Mention something unique about your books and your writing style.

They usually have a lot of humour, sometimes it is a little dark or possibly twisted, but I think you will always giggle at something in my stories.

What book would you like to work on next?

I'm currently in the middle of editing the first book in my urban fantasy series, Cranberry Blood (Blood Series: Book One.)

The novel - along with its prequel She-Wolf - was originally published in 2011 and 2012, but after the publisher closed down and I received my rights back, I decided to self-publish the books and all that will follow.

So, She-Wolf & Cranberry Blood will be re-released on August 25th. I will be starting book two in the series in the summer, after I finish my present current WIP, which is a brand new fantasy romance.

Thanks so much, Elizabeth, you are very interesting. And yes, sometimes finding time to write is challenging! I'm also in the middle of two books at the moment with about two or three other ideas floating around in my head.

Where you can find Elizabeth online:

From Elizabeth: Thank you for having me over today and thank you to all of you for stopping by. If you would be interested in winning a copy of my new release, Stepping Stones or maybe a swag pack, then please do leave an entry on the rafflecopter. J

Check out the beautiful prizes: