Hi, I’m a contemporary traditional/sweet/clean

romance writer from New Zealand, published with The Wild Rose Press.  I grew up in a very small coastal town in Southland, New Zealand’s southern-most province. An eagerness to travel, fostered by my mother, led me to join the Royal NZ Navy where I enjoyed a very satisfying career. I have been fortunate to have travelled extensively and lived in Singapore and Maryland USA. I began writing contemporary romances when my youngest child started school. I enjoy including family issues, genealogy, rugby and/or snippets from my past military life in my stories. I have realised my very own dream of bringing something of my beautiful country to romance readers everywhere, so New Zealand always features in my stories, normally as the setting.  When not reading or writing, I find plenty to occupy my time with my family commitments. I currently live in Auckland with my husband and two of our four children.

I'd like to share with you my latest release which is initially set in the southern region of New Zealand before shifting to our capital city, Wellington.

Back Blurb of "The CEO Gets Her Man"

Ensuring her company's success is Debra Laurie’s life. But when she goes undercover to investigate a failing hotel in southern New Zealand, she finds her confidence crumbling. Masquerading as a waitress is a disaster—especially when the hotel’s assistant manager is a former rugby star she once had a crush on.

Jase McEwan is struggling to keep the hotel afloat. An unpredictable manager, ridiculous demands from the head office, and employee unrest are problems enough. Now a haughty new waitress is causing mayhem in the restaurant—and in his heart.

Determined to be impartial, Debra sets out to discover if Jase is responsible for the hotel’s drastic situation. But the more she investigates, the more she likes his work—and the more their attraction sizzles. Before long, Jase has turned Debra’s world upside-down. But what happens when he learns the new waitress is really his CEO?


Continually jabbing at the lift button probably wouldn’t make it come any faster, but Debra tried anyway. Every second counted. About to dive for the stairs instead, the ding of the lift stayed her movement. Bouncing from foot to foot while the doors inched open, Debra burst through the widening gap and punched the down button.

Thank goodness no-one was around. She should be able to keep out of sight of the reception staff if she stuck close to the wall and nipped around the corner. Then a dash across the dark car park to the staff quarters and she’d be safe.

Slinking out of the lift she did exactly that. Hugging the wall she backed cautiously around the corner, pausing when she neared the staff doorway to take a relieved breath. Grinning at her achievement of exiting the VIP suites without being seen she spun around to leap for the door--and ploughed into a dark blue brick-like wall.

The “wall” barely budged despite the whack exploding every last ounce of breath from her. Warmth tingled the hand inadvertently slipped beneath the blue telling her this was no ordinary brick wall. Her fingers registered a steady thump-thump-thump.

With a winded ache of rising panic imprisoned somewhere deep in her chest her eyes crept upwards...past the crisp white shirt with its perfectly Windsor-knotted blue tie...past a thick brown column of skin...past the closely shaven squarish chin and slightly crooked nose. She absently wondered if that nose was a result of a rugby injury, some permanent physical reminder of his playing days.

Her mind flew back but so many years had passed since she’d even thought about the hunky All Black she couldn’t remember whether his photos showed that bump on his nose or not. She trembled as she found herself where she’d once dreamed of being--in his arms.

An interview with Debra Laurie, the Heroine of "The CEO Gets Her Man"
(Recorded before her arrival at Riversleigh Resort  - and before her arrogant haughtiness begins to take a beating)

 Tell me about yourself?  

I'm single, in my thirties.

The interviewer looks at her strangely, waiting, in vain, for more
Ahh, what is your occupation?  

My brother and  I run a multi-national company dealing in real estate, hotels, restaurants etc
What do you consider your strengths and weaknesses? 

Strengths, my single mindedness, determination, dedication to my company.
Weaknesses? weakness isn't tolerated in business, especially not by a woman.

What’s your family like and how does your upbringing affect you now? 

My brother and I are twins so we work well together. My father was a very astute business man and a major influence in my life. I strive to follow in his footsteps and continue to expand the business he left us.

What about your mother? 

My mother is a social butterfly who enjoys shopping and meeting friends for coffee. She is quite involved with varying charities, though.

You're not close to your mother? 

No. We have nothing in common.

What is your earliest childhood memory? 

My most pleasant early memories are of visiting my father's office.

But your earliest memories? 

Warm and fuzzy moments, you mean? I have no time to indulge in early fantasies.

What tangible object would symbolize you? 

(shrugs) My office, my computer, my blackberry

Describe your hero. What was your first impression of him and did it change over time?

When I was a silly teenager I used to watch Jason McEwan playing rugby. He was very good, you know and probably every girls' ideal man. I used to fantasize about meeting him and...(an uncharacteristic blush coloured her cheeks) ...What was your other question?

Did your first impressions change? 

Oh yes, most definitely. Whoever was silly enough to employ a broken down rugby player as the Operation Manager of one of my hotels, (shaking head and clicking her tongue with disapproval). His ability to do his job is not the only thing I doubt. His honesty is also now under scrutiny.             

Is there anything about your hero that you would consider a flaw? 

Other than him possibly being a thief? (eyebrows shoot upwards) His inability to help run my hotel without the need for outside assistance is definitely a flaw, and that alone is a likely reason to terminate his employment.

What is it that you want out of life? 

What do I want from life? Exactly what I have, a successful  career, a respected business.

Has life handed you any major disappointments? 

(A very distinct pause) - not any that matter            

If you had an unexpected free day, what would you do with it? 

I don't have free days.

But what if you did, what would you do? 

Go into the office, of course.

What CD is in your CD player right now? 

CD? Music? (she glares at the interviewer in astonishment) I don't have time to listen to music. And even if I did, it would be sure to disrupt my thought processes.

But all Debra's preconceptions are about to get knocked to smithereens.

website - http://www.anneashby.com
website blog - http://www.anneashby.com/blog
facebook - http://www.facebook.com/AuthorAnneAshby
twitter - http://www.twitter.com/AuthorAnneAshby
goodreads - http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4386672.Anne_Ashby
my publisher - http://www.wildrosepublishing.com/maincatalog_v151/index.php?main_page=index&manufacturers_id=679

Buy Links:
Book is available in both print and digital from:
Publisher - The Wild Rose Press http://www.thewildrosepress.com/index.php?main_page=index&manufacturers_id=679
Amazon - http://www.amazon.com/The-CEO-Gets-Her-ebook/dp/B00AU50QHW
B&N - http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-ceo-gets-her-man-anne-ashby/1115202539

Camdeboo Nights – Where it all began…

Folks don’t believe me when I tell them that Camdeboo Nights was the third novel I ever wrote. The first, Khepera Rising, is already in its second edition, and the second shall remain forever unnamed. Its ashes have been buried in a deep hole and I was only too happy to burn that manuscript!

But it took me a while to get round to publishing Camdeboo Nights, and I’ve got quite a number of other stories that saw the light of day before this one. In addition, this novel has a bit of a convoluted tale attached to it.

At first I tried my hand at writing flash fiction, and what you see as chapter one is actually a development of that short story, which was one of the first I ever sold. Now the site that took that story is long gone but I’m glad I can keep the tale alive in the novel.

What got me started was that I wanted to tell one story from the point of view of multiple characters. I’d been reading George RR Martin’s epic fantasy series, A Song of Ice and Fire, and I absolutely loved the idea of telling one story from the limited points of view of characters who don’t have all the information.

And I had a lot of fun creating the characters, and they are the ones who drive the story. We begin with Trystan. Not only is he a vampire, but he’s on the run from his own kind because he drank the heart’s blood of another. So he’s been hiding from the world and prowls the roads in the only friend he’s got – a vintage Hudson Commodore that he’s kept in mint condition for many years. He’s completely out of touch with contemporary culture, so of course when Helen moves in next door with her grandmother, she reminds him what it’s like to act like his apparent age. The only complication is he can’t decide whether to eat her or protect her.

Helen’s going through a particularly tough time. Not only are her parents splitting up but her mom’s affected by a mental illness. Helen, her brother and her mom end up moving to a small village in the countryside to go live with their grandmother, whom they’ve never met. On top of that, they have to adjust to life in boarding school, and have the dubious honour of drawing the ire of the school bullies. When Helen meets Trystan, she’s instantly attracted to him but is fairly wary of starting a relationship with him since she’s had a bad run with the boys she’s been interested in before. Luckily she is quick to make friends, and that’s where Arwen and Etienne come in.

Arwen’s parents really did name her after a character from Lord of the Rings. But not only that, she’s descended from a long line of hereditary witches. Occasionally she reads people’s fortunes and her predictions are uncannily correct. She’s not all that happy about living in an isolated part of the country, but her parents carry a terrible burden. They’re on the run from an ancient enemy that has hunted all witches to the point of extinction – vampires.

The other important character in this story is Etienne, and he came into being as a nod to my favourite little person – Tyrion Lannister. I’ve always wanted to write a character who’s different in such a profound way, and portray them sympathetically. Etienne has a big heart and a keen sense of justice. A bit of an outcast like his best friend Arwen, he’s learnt to cope with the bullying at school from the popular kids. And his smart mouth often gets him into more trouble than it’s worth.

So, throw all these youngsters together, add a few malicious vampires and other supernaturals, and you’re in for one helluva ride. If you’ve yet to read fiction set in South Africa, do consider giving Camdeboo Nights a shot. I had oodles of fun writing this story, and it took me on a few completely unexpected twists and turns.

About Nerine Dorman:

An editor and multi-published author, Nerine Dorman currently resides in Cape Town, South Africa, with her visual artist husband. Some of the publishers with whom she works include Dark Continents Publishing and eKhaya (an imprint of Random House Struik). She has been involved in the media industry for more than a decade, with a background in magazine and newspaper publishing, commercial fiction, and print production management within a below-the-line marketing environment. Her book reviews, as well as travel, entertainment and lifestyle editorial regularly appear in national newspapers. A few of her interests include music travel, history (with emphasis on Egypt), psychology, philosophy, magic and the natural world.

About Camdeboo Nights

Helen Ashfield’s world is about to be turned upside down. Is she ready?

Helen Ashfield’s life is complicated. Not only must she adjust to her parents’ divorce, but she has to come to grips with her new school in the small South African Karoo town of Graaff-Reinet. She’s sorely mistaken if she thinks she’s going to slot seamlessly into her new life. Her growing magical powers have attracted the unwanted attention of Trystan, a vampire, who may not have her best interests at heart.

Outcast from his kind for drinking another vampire’s blood, Trystan has been on the run for almost a hundred years from Mantis–the closest thing their kind has to an enforcer. All Trystan wants is an existence of quiet anonymity, but Helen turns his world upside-down.

Helen’s powers also mark her as one of Mantis’ targets. If Mantis gets control of Helen, she’ll change the course of history…for the worse.


Armed with her grandmother’s shopping list, Helen ran out to the familiar silver Volvo, looking forward to speaking with Arwen, only to discover Szandor and another woman with a teased-out mop of white-blond hair waited in the car.

The woman turned icy gray eyes on Helen, giving her the impression that she could read each of Helen’s secrets.
She was pale, which wasn’t helped by the funerary aspect of her clothing–a buttoned-up sleeveless shirt with a cameo at her throat. When she moved, an audible swish of many layers of satin and chiffon filled the vehicle.

This must be the aunt. She couldn’t be the mother. The resemblance to Szandor was almost uncanny.

Szandor smiled, but the pleasure did not reach his eyes. “This is Sonja, my sister. Sonja, this is Arwen’s new friend, Helen.”
Sonja gave the briefest of frowns before facing the window.

“Uh, hi,” Helen said, wishing that she could be anywhere else but in this car with these peculiar people. The journey to Graaff-Reinet would be just over half an hour but it would feel like an eternity.

Szandor made a sound that was almost a snigger before turning the key. If only Damon were here, but her brother had gone to visit the Prof the instant his chores were done.

They drove in silence, with only the hiss of the air-conditioner as accompaniment, until they left the valley.
Then Szandor said, “Did you enjoy the films last night, Helen?”

She thought her heart would explode. Should she lie? Should she allow the story to filter through without some of the pertinent details?

“I… Uh. Yes.” She had watched films after Trystan had walked them home. Granted, she hadn’t been able to concentrate on any of the onscreen action.

“Oh,” Szandor said.

She caught a glimpse of his amused expression in the rearview mirror.

Bloody hell, of course he didn’t believe her. What did she expect?

“You haven’t seen or heard anything that you would consider out of the ordinary, have you?” Szandor asked.
“Um, no.”

“You’ll tell us if you do, won’t you?” Szandor asked. It was more a command than a question.

“I guess so.” Helen clutched the seat with white-knuckled hands.

Her grandmother’s amused tones echoed in her memory. The whole lot of them, they’re all witches. The father, too.
How far would Szandor push his craft? What could he do? Was she in any danger? If there was the superstitious fear of witchcraft that was prevalent among the indigenous Africans…

She’d read a little about the subject a few years previously while researching for a painting for her art classes. Witchcraft was a fascinating topic but she had never expected to ever deal with the real thing. Now her present situation seemed very real and very menacing.

“Where’s Arwen?” Helen hoped to steer their conversation to safer territory. She may as well have said “Nice weather, we’re having.”

“Arwen has been grounded,” Szandor said, his pale gaze reading the road ahead.

Oh heck. He knew.

“Oh.” Perhaps it would be better to say nothing at all then she wouldn’t dig herself a deeper hole.

The rest of the ride passed in uncomfortable silence. Helen pressed her face against the glass and hoped nothing more would be said.

She hated deception of any kind. Whenever she lied, she always ended up being caught out. Instead, she watched the passing landscape, where gray-blue spiked agave lined the road in clumps. Every so often jeep tracks led from the road they followed and she wondered where they went.

Buy Camdeboo Nights at Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Camdeboo-Nights-ebook/dp/B00B8XYO9G/ref=la_B004QXPOFS_1_8?ie=UTF8&qid=1368377358&sr=1-8

For Nook: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/camdeboo-nights-nerine-dorman/1114234687?ean=2940015970265

Follow me on Twitter @nerinedorman


Hello, M.J. I love your blog and have been dying to get on it! Thank you for having me. I’m here to 
share about my current release, Flying in Shadows, 
and about the non-profit organization I’ve teamed 
up with for the month of May. 

Operation Migration is completely amazing. They

raise highly endangered Whooping crane chicks, 
then teach them to migrate from Wisconsin to 
Florida behind their glider planes. Sounds easy, 
right? Yikes. The process takes nearly a year, costs 
a ton and contains several patient steps. They have 
an incredible blog that tracks, posts and updates 
their followers on the progress of each year’s group 
of chicks. Due to groups like OM, the Whooping 
crane population has grown from a 21 in the 1940s to well over 400 today. During the month of May 10% of the proceeds for Flying in Shadows will be donated to OM. I encourage your readers to both 
check out the links I provided below to OM’s blog

and to buy a book! It’s sweet, intense, filled with passion and suspense and, this month, is for a great cause. 

To read more about Operation Migration, check out my blog post at: http://bit.ly/Xjq8ao

Here is the book jacket blurb:

From the time she was a little girl, Rose Piper was sure of two things: she wanted to work with animals and she wanted to win the heart of her best friend, Andy Reed.

Now the most sought-after conservation biologist in the Northeast, she's trying to convince herself that one out of two isn't bad.

Andy spent most of his life following his dream of becoming a builder. Now a successful land developer, he has returned to Black Creek to win the girl he has loved since high-school and hurt too many times: Rose

But efforts to keep their love together turn dangerous when a decades-old secret brings a murderer out of hiding, sending the pair running for their lives.

And an excerpt:

Walking in the dark, Andy readjusted his tackle
box. Moonlight shone on the dark ripples creeping 
down Black Creek. He spotted a raccoon as he 
crossed the bridge. Startled, the animal hissed at 
him. Andy stomped his foot and hissed back; he was 
in no mood for it. 

He saw movement in his peripheral vision. Larger
movement. A man? The shape disappeared as 
quickly as Andy imagined it. When you let yourself 
get this worked up, you start seeing things, he 
chided himself. 

What the hell had he been thinking when he
decided to date Candi? 

He would go over to her house first thing the next
day to end it and all of the maintenance that came 
with her. Never again, he vowed. He would be 
more like his brother. Casual relationships. No 

But first, he needed Rose.

She would calm him down and lighten his mood,
help him feel normal again. He looked at his watch 
and winced. What were friends for if you couldn’t 
count on them to be there? Even at this time of 
night. Or morning. 

* * *

Rose slept soundly in her twin bed dreaming of her 
favorite spot at the zoo. In the small rain forest 
building, she allowed a newly emerged monarch 
butterfly to dry its wings on her apron while sharing 
facts about the insect to one of two visiting young 
boys. The other threw pebbles into the nearby 
wishing pond. The sound of the small rocks plunked 
as they hit the stone wall before dropping into the 
Oh, crap. She woke and sat up straight. The 
plunking noise came from outside, not in her head. 

She felt her cheeks tighten in a wide smile. Biting
the nails on one hand, she ripped her blankets off 
with the other. As she hustled to her window, she 
realized it was still pitch black out. 

Grabbing the flashlight she always kept on her
windowsill for just this occasion, she lifted the 
window and found Andy with the beam. “I thought 
you didn’t get home until tomorrow,” she 
whispered loudly. 

“It is tomorrow.” He held up fishing poles and
tackle box. 

“It’s not tomorrow until the sun comes up.” She
smiled wildly as she pulled on her jeans. This 
reaction she had to him had to stop eventually, she 
convinced herself. It was not healthy. 

“I’ve got the worms. Get down here.”

Quickly, she tied her hair in a bandana, cleaned
herself up and slipped on some sneakers. She 
scribbled out a quick note and headed for the front 
door. Her feet stopped before she did causing her 
throw her arms out for balance. Another dead bolt? 

When did this happen? she wondered.

Here are the social networking links for me and
for Operation Migration: 

Flying in Shadows Amazon buy link: 

Flying in Shadows BN buy link:

Flying in Shadows Book Trailer: 

Operation Migration Blog: 

Operation Migration Official Facebook Page: 

R.T. Wolfe website: http://www.rtwolfe.com

R.T. Wolfe Facebook Author Page:

R.T. Wolfe Twitter Handle: 

R.T. Wolfe Pinterest Page: 


Today I have the good fortune to be talking to author Becky Lower. Becky writes historical
romance and is sharing a blurb after her interview of Book Three of her Cotillion Ball Series. 

So tell me, Becky, what is the best thing you’ve learned about writing and/or the publishing business?

To trust myself and my gut instinct when I write. I’ve written and rewritten some of my stories based on contest judges’ suggestions and my critique partners’ suggestions and it seems that the life sometimes gets sucked out of the pages. Don’t get me wrong, I depend on my critique partners to tell me when something’s not working (it’s perfectly clear in my head!), but when they start telling me how my characters should be reacting to each other, or how they should be talking, that’s where my edit button needs to step in and say, maybe, maybe not. I struggle with that a lot, since every writer has a fair amount of self-doubt, and I’m no exception.

Ain't that the truth! Since we're exploring that self-doubt, what is something you struggle with when you write?

I write in layers. I’ll get down the bones of the story in a chapter outline form and then go back in and add in emotion, senses, descriptions, details like that. Then, I go back again and check for my list of words not to ever use. I call them the Seven Deadly Sins that make your work passive and tell instead of show. I do a “find” for each of the seven words, and come up with other ways to say it. After that, I’ll go through my list of words that I like a lot and make certain I’m not overusing them. That part of the writing process is slow and tedious. I’d rather be putting new ideas down on paper, lickety-split. But I know my work is better if I pay attention to the editing process.

Hmmm...I'll have to ask you about those seven words some time. Passive writing is something I struggle with. Do you have a job outside of writing? What is it and how does it mesh with your writing?

I’m fortunate enough to have taken early retirement, but that doesn’t mean I’ve stopped working. I consider writing my full-time job now, and, to put food on the table, I work part-time as a merchandiser for a large greeting card company. That’s a fancy term for someone who takes care of the card inventory and stocks new merchandise. I get to help people find the exact card for the person they’re looking for, which is the upside of the job. On the down side, I was watching a dating show on TV the other night and the man pulled out a gift bag for his date. I recognized the bag immediately as being one from my company’s product line, and was so amused by my recognition of it that I paid no attention to what was in the bag. And you’d think, as a romance writer, that would have been the big take-away.

Where do you live? Where would you love to live?

I live in an eclectic college town in Ohio, near Lake Erie. I’ve been here now for three years. My criteria when I was looking for a house was as follows: hardwood floors, a wood-burning fireplace, a screened-in porch and a fenced-in yard for the dog. This house has all of that, so I’m content. Although I still have dreams about buying back my log cabin in West Virginia and spending four months out there, pounding out my next book, like Jude Deveraux did with A Knight In Shining Armor.

Share with us a little about your family. Married? Kids? Pets?

Not married, ever. Unusual, I know, especially for a romance writer. No kids, either. I have three sisters and a brother, who are very dear to me, and who I draw on for the family dynamics that appear in just about every book I write. And, of course, my little dog, Mary, who has to listen to every story I am working on. When she sits and listens to me, I think my work is golden. But when she turns and leaves the room, I wonder what is wrong with the story.

Sounds like a cutie. Now, just for fun-

What was one of the best Christmas presents you ever received?

It wasn’t a Christmas present, but rather a wish list that my dad created for us kids. I don’t know where the stuff came from, since we were dirt poor. We called it “Dad’s Magic Shed.” After watching Ricky Nelson on television, I expressed an interest in learning to play the guitar. A few days later, an old battered guitar was at the foot of my bed. And disappeared just as magically when I lost interest. When I was glued to the TV during the winter Olympics one year, I said I wanted to learn how to ski. You guessed it, a pair of wooden skis (no poles, just the skis) showed up. They disappeared faster than the guitar did.

Great stories! What is your concept of a fruitful day?

I’m fortunate to have a friend here in town who’s also a fellow writer. We get together a few times a week to have dinner and talk about our writing. She’s a Golden Heart finalist this year and I’m following her journey to the conference with her, which is fun. And she’s gotten to follow along with me as my work has made it into print. So, good food, good company, and good discussions make for a fruitful day.

I like how you include recreation in a fruitful day where all I would think about is work. Nice perspective! Now, what one thing (modern convenience) could you not live without?

A bathroom! I write a lot of historicals, and don’t dwell too much on the lack of sanitary facilities. But I’ve spent enough time roughing it at camps and at my cabin when it was being built to know how nice a flush toilet is and a bubble bath at the end of the day.

What are your three favorite smells?

A soft spring rain.
Pine of any variety.

Oooh! Like that pine one! I've interviewed a lot of writers and you're the first person to say that and I love the smell of pine! Thanks for sharing with us today, Becky!

Now here's a blurb from Becky's BANKING ON TEMPERANCE:

Basil Fitzpatrick was born into a life of privilege. In 1856, at 23 years of age, he is the owner of the St. Louis branch of the family banking business. He has his pick of the ladies and life by the horns. Temperance Jones and her family are far from privileged. Her father is a circuit-riding preacher from Pennsylvania. But the rumblings of a war between the North and the South force the preacher to move his family to Oregon rather than to take up arms against his fellow man. However, hardship and sickness have slowed their pace, and they are forced to spend the winter in St. Louis, waiting for the next wagon trains to leave in the spring.

Basil is drawn to the large family the moment they roll into town, partly because they remind him of his own big family in New York. But also because of the eldest daughter, Temperance. She is a tiny, no-nonsense spitfire who is bent on fulfilling her father’s wish to get the family safely to Oregon. Basil is only interested in finding a mistress, not a wife. He knows if he allows Temperance into his heart, he is accepting the obligation of her entire family and their quest to settle in Oregon. He wants Temperance like he has wanted no other, but the burden of her family may be too much for him. And he can’t have one without the other.

Isn't that a great cover and blurb? And now for an excerpt:


Temperance sputtered and fumed, breathing fire as the door to Basil’s apartment staircase closed behind him. That no-good, self-centered ass! How dare he say their friendship had been destroyed by her ambition! If they’d truly been friends, he would have stood by her and championed her clever attempts to get her family moved westward. But once he introduced her to Jake, it was as if he’d turned his back on her. She could take him turning his back on her as a woman, but not as a friend. She yanked open the door and ran up the stairs.

“How dare you!” She didn’t bother to knock at the top of the steps, she was so angry.

He turned to face her, but didn’t reply.

“Well? How dare you say that I’m the one who turned away from your friendship? You’ve become my best friend here in town, Basil, and I miss our good times. You never come to the restaurant anymore, and you barely talk to me at all here. Do you want me to quit? To leave?”


“Yes, what?”

“If you know what’s best for you, leave, right this minute.”

“Why? Because you’ll tell me something I don’t want to hear?”

Basil crossed the room to her in two strides. He placed his hands on either side of her face and growled, “Not because of what I’ll tell you, but because of what I’ll do.” He lowered his mouth to hers, crushing her tender lips beneath his own.

Temperance stood still, in shock at what was happening. The breath whooshed out of her lungs. Her arms hung by her sides, but her mouth and tongue were doing battle with Basil’s. She moved her arms finally, and wound them around his broad shoulders, welcoming him. Her back was up against the wall as Basil continued to kiss her with all the pent-up passion that had been building between them for months. She pulled him closer, reveling in his scent of spice and man. She tasted the tobacco on his breath, along with mint, and thought there had never been so delightful a combination.

This is where I belong. Not Oregon.

A small moan drifted from her mouth as she sunk her fingers into his hair. He ran a row of scorching kisses from the left corner of her mouth up to her temple, then down to the pulsing vein in her neck. As he tugged gently, her whimpers became stronger. She was desperately kissing his hair, his forehead, anything she could touch. His moans matched hers as the torrid, sensual dance continued.

His hand drifted to the buttons running down the front of her dress. He slowly unbuttoned each one, taking the time to kiss each inch of new skin he uncovered. Temperance thought she would surely combust from the sensation of his mouth on flesh that had never before been touched by a man. She squirmed and wrapped her fingers into his hair. “Oh, sweet Lord,” she cried out.

Basil pried his lips from her, and backed off a step. He ran his hand through his hair. Temperance couldn’t talk. She couldn’t breathe. Her senses were still writhing out of control. He backed away one more step, staring at her with lust-filled eyes.
“That is why you should never set foot in this apartment. If you come near me again, I’ll not stop. I will have all of you, and ruin all your plans for marriage to Jake. And that is why we can no longer be friends. You’ve made your choice, Temptress. Now leave me alone.”

Whoo! Steamy! Becky it has been a delight having you! Come back any time!


What is it about weeding that inspires me to write? If you've read my blogs in the past, you may have seen it mentioned before. Maybe it's a bunch of time sitting around, mindlessly plucking the cursed things from my landscaping! A bunch of time when my mind just roams...

I have an enormous ivy bed on one side of my house. It slopes down all along the house, all the way to the property line, and is quite lovely, when it is weeded. This bed is about fifteen years old, so it is THICK--layers upon layers of vines. So when you are pulling weeds, and you want to get close to the ground to get the whole root when you yank, you are reaching through these deep holes, dissecting your way through criss-crossing plant cords, through deciduous debris, old leaves, etc. to the dark and scary bottom.

I harbor no illusions about my ivy bed. I know it is a great habitat for any number of creatures, big and small. I am glad they have a home. Really. I am. I just don't want to see them! I know that many of them are reptilian in nature, not that I have anything against reptiles, per say...I don't mind looking at them BEHIND glass at the zoo. Might even comment that they are fascinating.  Cute, even, if I'm feeling generous. But in my landscaping they tend to attack. And by attack I mean move, in a threatening way, or just...move. Really, I don't mind if they live there--enjoy the cool shade that the ivy offers, the quietude of a little-used portion of our plot of land.  They can relax and kick up their little webbed feet for all I care. I just DON'T WANT TO SEE THEM. EVER!

Today the sump pump was turning on, (I hope) and causing some noise, and movement, in the bed, which made me very nervous. I know that under the ivy is a little prehistoric land where creatures roam and carry on with their everyday lives. They are lurking there, which I don't mind, but they need to stay hidden from my sight at all times. I know to some other reptiles they may be quite attractive, but to me, they just aren't. Hey, I'm not judging...I'm sure that they probably don't find me attractive either, and I understand that. Just keep your distance and we'll be just fine. That's all I'm saying.

And one last thing I need to say about the weeds themselves. Again, I have nothing against weeds, exactly. They just tend to choke out my ivy, which is uncalled for. The ivy was put there by me, the owner of the land, and therefore belongs there, unlike the interloping weeds. I wouldn't mind if the weeds stayed, if they just kept their "hands" to themselves.  But I see the ivy going down, helplessly pulled under by the weeds and smothered out of existence. This sort of violence is unacceptable to me and won't be tolerated. If you wish to live, weeds, I have nothing against you, go live at my neighbors'. No. Not my neighbors' or you may creep over into my yard. At my neighbors' neighbors' house. That's fine. I don't mind. We all have a right to live. Just do it someplace else. After all, I have to establish some "ground rules." (hee-hee!)

There you have it. My thoughts on weeds and weeding. I still have half the ivy bed to go tomorrow. Pray that all goes well.


It's Friday! We've made it! For some it has been a harrowing experience~I'm speaking of myself, of course. Baseball games, weeds, work, writing...my friends, it has been a zoo. But it's Friday! That's the good thing. Let's focus on that. A little mini-break before it all starts over again. So let's begin our Friday by chatting with my friend, author Diane Burton. Welcome, Diane!

It’s a pleasure to be here, M.J. Thanks for inviting me.

The pleasure is all mine. Now let's talk about your writing. What would you say is the best thing you’ve learned about writing and/or the publishing business?

Developing a thick skin. At the beginning, I was so wide-eyed optimistic. Of course, an editor would buy my story. The first rejection was—I won’t say shock, more like big surprise. Chaptermates would say “it’s not personal. They’re rejecting your work not you.” That helped a little. Until I heard Nora Roberts describe rejection as they’re saying your baby is ugly. Yeah, that’s what it felt like. I did learn to shrug it off and try again. And again. And again. My skin toughened after each one. Good thing, too, because even after having your book accepted there are edits. And you want to call up the editor and yell at her for saying my precious words <tongue planted firmly in cheek> need changing. Then after the work is published, there were reviews. Do I pay attention to the good ones? Of course. But the ones that stick are the negative ones. The skin keeps getting thicker and thicker.

I hear you, my sister! Now here's a toughie: How do you balance the demands of your everyday life and your writing life?

I don’t. I’m continually amazed at how authors with full-time jobs outside the home plus young children manage. It’s only my husband and me, and he is very patient and very supportive. He’s retired now and is happy that my dream (of publication) has finally been realized. When I’m buried—either in the “zone” writing or up to my ears in promotion or finishing edits—he makes meals. He also vacuums when he can’t stand the “stuff” on the floor and does laundry when he runs out of underwear. Not that he’s always patient with me but he tries. The only thing that drags me willingly away from the computer is a visit from my grandchildren. For me, that’s a no-brainer.

Sounds like a wonderful man! If you had time away from writing, what would you do with it?

I love quilting but have no time. Flower gardening except for my bad knees. Photography is probably my favorite hobby. My first camera was a Brownie Hawkeye, a Christmas present when I was ten. I “graduated” to an Instamatic then Hubs, an amateur photographer himself, gave me an SLR camera. That lasted many years—from my children’s birth through their college graduations. I love my digital camera best where I can take as many photos as I want to get the “good” one to print. When my life settles down (hah!) I plan to learn how to use one of the photo programs to make a “book” instead of printing photos and putting them into albums—which I haven’t for years.

Share with us a little about your family. 

I met my husband on a blind date. We’ve been together over forty years. We have two children and two grandchildren. We had two dogs (one at a time) for over thirty years. Then our son gave us his dog because he couldn’t keep her in his apartment. We had her for almost two years. Right now, we’re dog-free. As much as I enjoy canine company, it’s great to be able to get up and go without having to make arrangement for the pet. Every once in a while, Hubs and I will talk about getting another dog. Maybe we will one of these days.

Okay, now, just for fun-

Name your favorite children's story.

Anne of Green Gables.

What was your nickname growing up or now?

I never had a nickname as a child, and I always wanted one. My husband always refers to me as Di, so his friends call me that, and now my good friends call me Di.

What is your concept of a fruitful day?

When the words just flow onto the page—uh, monitor. It’s like magic.

What one thing (modern convenience) could you not live without?

We can always learn to live without conveniences. I’ve been watching the TV show “Revolution” where everyone lost electricity. In dire circumstances, a person does what one needs to do. However, the one convenience I would hate to lose is my Keurig. I love coffee and the Keurig makes it so easy to brew.

Ha! That's funny! I had another author tell me the same thing! I've gotta get me one of those babies! 

What are your three favorite smells?

Besides fresh-brewed coffee? LOL Cinnamon in something baking, lilies of the valley, my children and grandchildren when they were babies. That baby smell is so special.

Well, that's it. Fairly painless.

Thanks, M.J. for having me here on your blog. It’s been fun.

I enjoyed it, too. Come back any time!

Now here's a blurb for Diane's Switched Resolution:

Actions have consequences as Space Fleet Captain
Marcus Viator and NASA reject Scott Cherella discover when they switched places. Does the reserved Marcus have what it takes to imitate his smart-aleck twin? Despite help from his love, Veronese, Scott’s already been outed by two of Marcus’ best friends.

When rebels steal the ship with part of the crew aboard, Scott has to rescue them and retrieve the Freedom. The stakes increase when he discovers the rebels are heading for Earth. They know he’s a fraud and they want Marcus. The safety of the Alliance of Planets depends on Scott and his allies.

Switched Resolution, which wraps up the Switched series, takes the reader from Earth—where Marcus adjusts to a pregnant Jessie—to the starship Freedom commandeered by rebels, to the chase ship with Scott and Veronese aboard.

Here's an excerpt:

Gloria held out her arms to Jessie who seemed to have no qualms about accepting a hug. “Oh, I can’t wait to see that grandbaby. May I?”
She reached toward Jessie’s protruding abdomen. Jessie took her hand and brought it to rest on top. Gloria’s eyes widened, and she quickly removed her hand. “It kicked. Oh, my goodness.” She giggled and touched again. “Active.”
“Oh, yes.” Jessie laughed. “Very active.”
“Do you know what it is yet?”
“I—We want to be surprised,” Jessie said. “We can tell you we’re having twins.”
Gloria jerked her hand away as if burned. “Twins?”
She actually stumbled back against Marcus. He put his arm around her to steady her and felt her tremble.
“Are you okay, Mom?” He was surprised how right it felt to call Gloria that.
Jessie ran back into the garage and brought out a canvas chair. As he eased his mother into it, Jessie asked, “What happened?”
Gloria touched her temple. “I’m being silly. Pay me no mind.”
“Seriously, Mrs. C. Did Max trip you?”
“No, no. It’s nothing.”
Jessie went back into the garage and came out with a paper cup. “Here’s some water. Do you think the heat got to you?” The late April day, which started out cool, had gotten progressively warmer.
“No.” Gloria took a sip of water. “Hearing about twins always . . . affects me. I—I thought I was going to have twins. When I was pregnant with you, Scottie.” She patted his hand.
Since he and his twin had switched places, Marcus often had to remind Jessie to call him Scott. More often than not, she called him an endearment, like honey. Hearing his own mother call him by another’s name seemed . . . wrong.
Gloria cleared her throat. “One day, I felt— I can’t explain it. I felt different. The doctor said he must have been mistaken about twins. When you were born, I was so sure there would be another baby.” She pulled a tissue out of her pocket and dabbed at her eyes. “Don’t listen to me, Jessie dear. Nothing will happen to your babies.”
Marcus knelt beside her and held her hand. It seemed like the right thing to do. He knew exactly what had happened all those years ago, and anger surged through him as her words reminded him of the Gemini Experiment. Only a lifetime of controlling his emotions enabled him to conceal visible evidence of hatred for the one who had stolen his mother’s baby. Her other baby. Him.

Sounds fascinating!

Switched Resolution is available at:

Diane Burton combines her love of mystery, adventure, science fiction and romance into writing science fiction romance. Besides the Switched series, she is the author of The Pilot, a series about strong women on the frontier of space. She is also a contributor to the anthology How I Met My Husband. Diane and her husband live in Michigan. They have two children and two grandchildren.

For more info and excerpts from her books, visit 
       Diane’s website: http://www.dianeburton.com

Connect with Diane Burton online