Free Flick Friday – Book Trailer for Depth of Desire by Jill Blair

Depth of DesireI’m featuring book trailers on my blog on Fridays, and up first is Jill Blair, with her book trailer for Depth of Desire.

Sarah Templeton finds adventure and romance when she visits her brother’s best friend’s dive resort on the tropical island of Cozumel.

Gentle warning: I love this video, but it’s got some spice to it. It may be a bit heavier than PG-13 if you know what I mean.

Check it out here: bit.ly/15oklOS

Like what you see? Then give it a thumbs up on YouTube and leave a comment. Share the love!!!

View the book on Bookstrand: http://bit.ly/1597pNp

View the book on Amazon: http://amzn.to/18gSFSZ

 

Other books by Jill Blair:

The Thirty Day Gamble, BookStrand Publishing, December 2012
The Depth of Desire, BookStrand Publishing, August 2013
Early Surrender, BookStrand Publishing, September 2013
Find and follow Jill Blair at:

Twitter @BlairRomance
www.Facebook.com/BlairRomance
www.Amazon.com/Author/JillBlair

Thanks for stopping by. Show us some comment love in the comments.

Share on Twitter: Visit @BlairRomance and her #booktrailer at bit.ly/15oklOS #steamyromance #romance via @BishopLily

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In the mood to watch book trailers? Check mine out at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TDZjY5l_Ym8.

If you are interested in being featured on Free Flick Friday, use the Contact Lily information above and send me a line. Happy writing!!!

Writer Wednesday – Meet Marissa St. James

The Heart RemembersToday I’m featuring Marissa St. James, who has written several time travel and contemporary romances. Come join us and get lost in the mists of time.

 
What’s your favorite thing about writing time travel romance?
I think time travel opens up a whole lot of possibilities. You can write fact, fiction or something in between. You can do things with your characters that other genres wouldn’t allow. You can plunk down a character in a situation that doesn’t have to be logical, and what they do with it can be a lot of fun.
Many time travel romance writers stick with one time alternate period, but you’ve written stories set in two, one on Scotland and one in the early American Revolutionary.  What are some of your favorite research techniques?
Actually, I also have set a time travel story in medieval England.
 I try to keep the research to a minimum for two reasons. Authors are always told to research their stories before getting into the writing. I get an idea for a story but I never know in what direction it’ll go or what will be involved. I’ve had stories that did a total turn-about so that whatever research I’d done early on was no longer valid. The second reason is that researching can be ‘dangerous’. Imagine doing research about a specific battle. You find the information, then a side note distracts you. After reading that and making some notes, something else distracts. It might keep going that way until you’ve completely forgotten what you were originally researching. I tend to research the point I need exactly when I need it. This way I avoid the distractions. If it’s something I’m really interested in, I’ll make a note of it and return another time.
If you could go back in time, what period would you choose and why?
 
LOL. Now that’s a tough one.  I’d probably want to be like my namesake character, Meryl Spellbinder, from the Highland Eyes books. Different situations put her in different times, although she is kind of tethered to the early fourteenth century. There are two time periods I find fascinating. One deals with the Plantagenets, family of Richard the Lionheart and the other deals with the Tudors, Henry VIII, his children and his wives — all eight of them.
Of the books you’ve had published, do you have a favorite?
My favorite would have to be The Heart Remembers. (set in England) This story deals with a young woman who is subtly prevented from marrying the love of her life. Sylvia and Aubrey are sent back in time during the reign of King John. They have no memory of their contemporary lives. The romance in this story deals with two couples, one middle-aged, the other, teens. Both couples have trials they must face if their love is to survive and grow. It was fun, as well as a challenge to write.
What do you do when you’re not writing?
During the winter months I do a lot of knit and crochet. I’ve got quite a collection of afghan patterns and I’m trying to get the hang of lace knit/crochet. The afghans go to a couple groups to be auctioned off.  I’ll also be working on a quilt for my son and his wife. In between the craft work, I read as much as I can. There’s never enough time for that so I try to fit it in wherever possible.
What’s next in store for Marissa?
LOL  Even Marissa isn’t sure of that.  I’ve been working on several projects: the sequel to Band of Gold, called Ring of Truth; book 3 in the McKinley’s Jewel series, A Diamond In the Rough; and a paranormal western trilogy, Those McAllister Girls. One story involves a shape-shifter, but all three stories involve some time travel.
Where can you find Marissa? All of her books are listed on her bookshelf, and you can also check out her blog.

Thank you for stopping by, Marissa. I’m a sucker for a time travel romance, so I’m definitely adding The Heart Remembers to my reading pile.

If you’re a romance writer and want to be featured on my Writer Wednesday meet and greet sessions, contact me through the contact page above.

 

 

Writer Wednesday – Meet Cynthia Woolf

Today I’d like you to meet a writer that I’ve discovered recently. Her name is Cynthia Woolf, and I just finished her scifi romance published under the pen name CA Woolf, entitled Centauri Dawn (Centauri Series). I thought I would introduce her to all of you, and let her talk about how she manages to write in two genres – western romance and scifi romance. Cynthia, take it away.

Author Cynthia WoolfWriting in Two Genres and Other Ramblings

My books are historical western romance and scifi romance. Two very different genres. Or are they?

When you think of western, what do you think of? Cowboys. Settler crossing the prairie in covered wagons. Saloons. Showdowns in the street. Cattle drives. You get the idea. These are the images we have from our modern media. TV, films and even books. Essentially brave people settling an untamed land

When you think of scifi what do you think of?   Space pilots. Space ships. Ray guns and phasers. Our media images are Star Wars, Star Trek, Battlestar Gallactica and in my case, Firefly. I love that show. Anyway what you have, essentially is brave people settling untamed space and planets.

Not so very different are they?

I started writing westerns first. My first book, TAME A WILD HEART, was written because I fell in love with the story of how my parents met on a ranch in Southern Colorado. Mom was from Texas and up there as a nursemaid (nanny) to a young boy with asthma. Dad was a cowboy who worked on the ranch.

I found the idea of ranch life fascinating and decided to write a story about it. That’s all I had to begin with. Just an idea. Now I’m not a plotter. I’ve tried and tried to plot my books. I’ve tried using GMC, the hero’s journey, the W plot. You name it I’ve tried it. The problem is when I get the book plotted, I don’t want to write it anymore. To me it’s already been written. Now it’s just fill in the blanks. As a pantser (a non plotter) the book unfolds before me much as it does you when you read it. It’s a surprise.

Redeemed by a RebelMy current western, REDEEMED BY A REBEL, is the first in the Destiny in Deadwood series. The books are about the Black Hills Gold Rush in 1876-1877. My hero is on the run from the law and he and his brothers come to Deadwood, where there is no law. There they each meet their destiny.

The second book I wrote was CENTAURI DAWN. It came about because of a dream I had when I was fifteen. My mother and I were going through a rough patch. My dad died when I was five and Mom was both mother and father to me. It was tough on her, but as a selfish kid I didn’t think about that.

But I digress. We were having a difficult time as most teenagers have with their parents. During the time, I had a dream. I was a princess from Alpha Centauri. I’d been sent to Earth as a baby in order to save my life. Bad men wanted to kill me. But now it was time to go home and they’d come for me.

That was the premise of my second book. This one had a space captain not a cowboy flying to the rescue of the princess not a ranch owner.

I guess what I’m trying to show is that these two genres are not so very different. A different place and different time but still the same story. Battlestar Gallactica is just a retelling of the old TV show Wagon Train. Star Trek is the old show Gunsmoke, where the sheriff (Matt Dillon or Captain Kirk) attempts to keep the peace in their town or universe.

What it comes down to is write what you love whether western or scifi or romantic suspense or romantic comedy or thrillers. Whatever it is, they all have some elements that are the same if they are romance and all of mine are. They must have a happy ending. The guy in the white hat (good guy) always wins. The hero always gets the girl. Always.

Amazon Buy Links to the first book in each of my series:

REDEEMED BY A REBEL – http://amzn.com/B00I1GZAU0

CAPITAL BRIDE – http://amzn.com/B00AM3CNQ4

TAME A WILD HEART – http://amzn.to/vu62X7

CENTAURI DAWN – http://amzn.to/uDMkCY

THE SWORDS OF GREGARA – JENALA – http://amzn.to/JFXEQv

WEBSITE – www.cynthiawoolf.com

Facebook – www.facebook.com/CynthiaWoolf

Twitter – @CynthiaWoolf

 

Here’s an excerpt of Redeemed by a Rebel:

CHAPTER 1

August 1876

He’d been dead. Deader than a doornail in a rotted-out door. Becky Finnegan remembered finding Horace Sutter splayed across the rocks like the annual sacrifice to some unknown god. Heck, that wasn’t something she was likely to ever forget. She’d had to leave him to collect her no good, drunkard father, Billy, from The Gem where he spent all the gold she worked her butt off to get.

She’d lied to Billy once again, only given him part of their gold. If she gave him all of it, like he wanted, nothing would be left to buy food or the pans and other equipment she needed to work their claim. And then there’d be no gold for him to go drown his sorrows. Sorrows that were her fault, according to him, since Becky killed her Ma by getting born. And then he’d beat her and she wouldn’t be able to work so there’d be no gold and the cycle would start again. Better to lie to him.

Resigned, she grabbed the mule’s bridle. Buster snorted at the small jerk she gave the gear as she started walking downstream along the narrow path that followed the creek. She’d made this path, going back and forth to their claim on a daily basis. After collecting Billy from The Gem, after he’d spent another night drowning his sorrows. Better there than at their campsite where he’d just complain and then beat her for the hell of it.

She and her father, Billy, originally came from the coal mines of West Virginia. Some said they were rebels because West Virginia was in the south during the War of Northern Aggression. But that was so long ago and there’d been many, many stops along the way. Becky barely remembered the place anymore. She supposed the only reason she didn’t forget it altogether was because she’d lived there with Grandma Bess. Those were the memories she liked to remember. Grandma Bess was so good to her, but then she had to go and die. Then there was just Billy and new place after new place

Every time she hoped this might be the spot, the one where they could put down roots. But it never was. Billy leached the goodwill from the townsfolk until there was none left and they had to move on.

She’d gotten lucky with her education. One of the ladies she worked for took pity on her and taught her to read, write and speak so she was able to get better jobs as time went on. But not good enough to keep Billy supplied which was why she spent all day in the cold river panning for whatever gold, flake or nugget, she could find.

She went into The Gem and saw Billy, face down on one of the tables next to the door.

“Hi, just came to get Billy,” she said to the man behind the bar.

“Ah, if it isn’t Miss Finnegan. Where are your bruises Becky? Guess Billy’s been keeping his fists to himself lately.” Al Swearengen, owner of The Gem and procurer of flesh, said from in front of his second floor office.

“No thanks to you and all the whiskey he downs here,” she said. There was a running dialogue that she had with Al, every time she picked up Billy.

“Thanks for that. I love the gold Billy spends here every night. He almost single-handedly keeps me in business.”

She rolled her eyes and looked over at Billy, wondering if she really could be related to the reprobate. She’d get the barkeep to load him on the mule and then, when they got back to camp, she’d untie him and let him slip to the ground. She used to try holding him up, to slow his fall, but too many times, she’d ended up trapped beneath him until she could shove his heavy body off her. Totally ignorant of the whole situation, he blissfully slept off the effects of his alcohol fueled stupor.

There’d been just as many times she left him at The Gem and let them deal with his sorry ass..

Dan, the barkeep said, “you get your father and get out. I keep telling you, this ain’t no place for a girl like you to be seen.”

“Oh, I don’t know, Dan,” said Al looking dapper in his black three piece pinstriped suit. He wore no tie and his shirt was open at the collar. Becky craned her neck to look upward at him. “We could give her a job that’s a lot easier than working that claim. Wouldn’t you like that Becky? No more standing in the cold river. You’d be flat on your back, but you’d be warm.”

He leaned on the hand rail of the second floor walkway. The small porch like structure went along the whole back of the building, all of the doors to the whores rooms were off of it and visible from the bar where the barkeep could keep track of the comings and goings of the men from the rooms.

“Not today, Mr. Swearengen, but I’ll be sure and keep your offer in mind.” She hoped the sarcasm came through in her voice.

Swearengen laughed. A great rumble from deep in his chest. “You do that. Help her load Billy on to her mule,” he said to the barkeep then he turned away and went back into his office. “See you tomorrow, Becky,” he called over his shoulder.

She nodded, then looked at the fancy women lounging around the room in varying states of undress and silently agreed with Dan. She should get out. She didn’t understand how they could do what they did. She’d rather work day and night in the creek than let any man with a dollar in his pocket touch her in that way.

 A little bit more about Cynthia:

Cynthia Woolf is the author of six historical western romance books and one short story with more books on the way. She was born in Denver, Colorado and raised in the mountains west of Golden. She spent her early years running wild around the mountain side with her friends.

Their closest neighbor was one quarter of a mile away, so her little brother was her playmate and her best friend. That fierce friendship lasted until his death in 2006.

Cynthia was and is an avid reader. Her mother was a librarian and brought new books home each week. This is where young Cynthia first got the storytelling bug. She wrote her first story at the age of ten. A romance about a little boy she liked at the time.

Cynthia loves writing and reading romance. Her first western romance Tame A Wild Heart, was inspired by the story her mother told her of meeting Cynthia’s father on a ranch in Creede, Colorado. Although Tame A Wild Heart takes place in Creede that is the only similiarity between the stories. Her father was a cowboy not a bounty hunter and her mother was a nursemaid (called a nanny now) not the ranch owner.

Cynthia credits her wonderfully supportive husband Jim and the great friends she’s made at CRW for saving her sanity and allowing her to explore her creativity.

TITLES AVAILABLE:

REDEEMED BY A REBEL, TAME A WILD HEART, TAME A WILD WIND, TAME A WILD BRIDE, TAME A SUMMER HEART, CAPITAL BRIDE, HEIRESS BRIDE, FIERY BRIDE, LOVE AND MISERY, a very short story


I hope you enjoyed this little chat with Cynthia. I know I did. In the next few months I’ll be buying more of her books. She has a natural, clean style, and her books are well-edited. I fell in love with the men of Centauri (ssshh don’t tell my husband). I could picture the space ship and all of the wonderful technology she described, but she didn’t paint with a heavy hand. The story blazed along and kept me guessing.

So, phasers or six-shooters up — give Cynthia Woolf (and CA Woolf) a try.

And remember if you’re looking for a sample of my work, head over to No Strings Attached.

Easy Homemade Strawberry Shortcake

2014-04-08 20.26.45

2014-04-08 20.26.45 2014-04-08 20.16.15It’s coming on strawberry season here in South Carolina, and one of our favorite desserts is strawberry shortcake.

Last year I started making the cake part of strawberry shortcake from Bisquick, and it’s a quick and easy dessert that even a non-baker like me can do.

(Now, don’t be a Bisquick snob. You can wave your hand over this flour mixture and the most fabulous things happen! Our joke is that if you are using Bisquick, you have to tell it what you are making, and it will magically adjust.)

You can find the directions on the back of the Bisquick box, but I change it up a little bit.

Heat oven to 425.

Mix 2 1/3 cups Bisquick mix, 2/3 cup milk, 3 tbsp sugar, 3 tbsp butter or margarine melted

Mix these ingredients together until a wet dough forms. I add a splash more sugar, enough so that the top of the batter is covered.  It’s maybe 1/2 cup of sugar total.

Drop the dough in biscuit sized bits onto a baking sheet or stone (I use a stone), and cook for 12-15 minutes.  The ingredients above make about 6 little cakes. You may want to experiment with the sugar levels. The first time we thought the basic recipe wasn’t sweet enough, hence our additions.

For the strawberries, cut them up and sprinkle with a bit of sugar or honey. For the topping, we use Cool Whip Lite, but you can also whip your own cream if you have time on your hands. If you’re a busy working mom throw a dollop of Cool Whip or ice cream on the top and mission accomplished.

Share your favorite spring desserts in the comments.