Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Mystery, Romance, Suspense at a Deal that Won't Scare You

The Cavanaugh House is available for $0.99 as a Kindle Countdown Deal from this afternoon, Feb. 25 -March 4. With 86 five star reviews, The Cavanaugh House debuted as a #1 bestseller in three different Mystery categories on Amazon. It will be featured on two sites this week:

Free And Bargain Books For Your Kindle

Ereader News Today on Sat., Feb. 28

Buck Books on Sun., March 1. 

Both will promote the $0.99 Kindle Countdown Deal that runs from this afternoon, Feb. 25, through Wed., March 4.

Find the following novels on the Buck Books March 1 promotion  as well: 

The Cavanaugh House is available on Amazon

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

The Struggle to Escape Chapter 29

I am so pleased to have author Alice Orr as my guest today. I met Ms. Orr last year at a meeting of the Greater Detroit Chapter of Romance Writers of America. Her workshop was both inspiring and practical--the kind that made me feel a sense of urgency to get back to my manuscript and try the ideas she offered. Welcome, Ms. Orr.

I didn’t want anything more to do with Chapter 29. The demon in my head even suggested I didn’t want anything more to do with the whole damned book. I’d come all of this way. I’d written 28 chapters – but it was simply getting too hard. That was the substance of my whining anyway. So I tripped into something I find too easy – the avoidance dance.

I decided our bedroom needed rearranging. This involved moving heavy furniture so I recruited my husband Jonathan’s help. He had no idea he was really helping me avoid Chapter 29. An important step in the avoidance dance is this – tell no one what you’re avoiding or even that you’re in a dance. After 42 years together Jonathan knows it’s sometimes easier just to go along so he hefted the heavy stuff.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Exotic Islands and Romantic Sites Inspire Nancy Loyan's Romance Novels

My friend Nancy Loyan and I have been traveling a similar author journey with a similar author process. Like me, along the way Nancy’s written a book or two…or more. Welcome, Nancy!
First, thank you for having me as a guest on your fabulous blog. Let’s see, I have been writing ever since I began composing picture books for friends in elementary school. Writing is something that I’ve always done, like breathing. I did not major in creative writing, however, but hold a BSBA in marketing from John Carroll University. My background in sales, marketing and public relations has proven very important, as being an author is a business. I was a freelance writer for a number of years working for trade, local and national publications, specializing in construction, architecture, antique safes and special interest before focusing on books. I am the author of Cleveland, Ohio: A Photographic Portrait and On the Threshold of a New Century: The City of South Euclid, 1967-1999. My first novel was Paradise Found, published with InnerVision books and, later, self-published.  I have several novels with Crimson Romance (F&W Media): Lab Test, Hearts of Steel, Wishes and Tears, The Right Combination and Special Angel. With my newest novel, Champagne for Breakfast, a novel I had the rights reverted from my publisher, I am seriously entering the realm of self-publishing.  I am currently working on my next novel, to be published this summer, just in time for my return to The Chautauqua Institution In New York State where I will be instructing a course in romance and women’s fiction writing.

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Embracing the Unknown – Making Goals Outside of My Comfort Zone

My son Matt gave me a T shirt that said, “People say I have ADD, but they don’t understand…Oh, look a chicken!” This led to several chicken-motif gifts from my daughter Kate and son-in-law Todd (I think mostly from Todd). But, actually, the T shirt is correct. I discovered later in life that I am totally ADD. Like right now, for example, I’m thinking of other blog topics I could right…

So what is my blog topic now that I’ve written a full paragraph and haven’t mentioned it yet? Okay, yes, it’s in the title. My “One Little Word” for 2015 is “embrace.” I wrote about this in my Jan. 14 post "Embracing the 'One Little Word' Challenge. As I set goals for myself as an author, I am trying to see beyond what I have been comfortable with to new possibilities. Here are some of my goals.


For someone like me, Goodreads is a nightmare. It has so much to offer that I enter the site and feel overwhelmed. I am clutching my recent copy of Writer’s Digest and rereading Michael J. Sullivan’s article “Get in Good With Goodreads.” He offers solid advice and clear instructions—I highly recommend the article. Trouble is, I go to the site to start applying his advice and suddenly I’m following a thread about “Whimsical Southern girl obsessed with teeth” because, well who wouldn’t follow that? So my author profile doesn’t get updated and I haven’t created a compelling bio. But I am going to do this. And I believe spending more time on Goodreads instead of say, looking at cats on Facebook, will further my success as an author.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Idyllic Towns are Murder in Lynn Cahoon's Tourist Trap Series

Lynn Cahoon writes both mystery and romance just as I do. Her small town background is fertile ground for her imagination. Welcome, Lynn. Please tell us a little about yourself.
The official bits? Here’s my bio: USA Today and New York Times, best-selling author, Lynn Cahoon is an Idaho native. If you’d visit the town where she grew up, you’d understand why her mysteries and romance novels focus around the depth and experience of small town life. Currently, she’s living in a small historic town on the banks of the Mississippi river where her imagination tends to wander. She lives with her husband and four fur babies.
I love walking. And thinking. I’ve always been a bit of a loner. Don’t get me wrong, I like people, I just love making up stories in my head and that takes a little peace and quiet. I was President of my high school FHA (Future Homemakers of America) club, and District VP. I love setting and reaching goals. 

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Looking at Love from the Loyalist's Side

While I write historical romances set during the American Revolution from the patriots’s point of view, Canadian author Elaine Cougler writes from the Loyalists point of view. We’ve talked about doing a book tour together—how fun would that be! I am so pleased to welcome you to my blog today, Elaine
In writing my novels, I often come to one scene (or more) that is so difficult to write I have to leave my WIP for a while and let the ideas percalate. Was there a scene for you that was more difficult than others? One that you pondered whether or not to include it?
In The Loyalist’s Wife (book 1) there were a couple of scenes that
were difficult to the point of tears as the words poured onto the screen. I never considered leaving out those scenes for two reasons. One, I agree with Anne Rice who says in order to hook your reader make life difficult for your heroine and then make it worse. Two, I had to leave Lucy’s terrible brush with low-life ruffians in to satisfy the plot. And I realized that I was crying because I’d managed to catch the essence of what was happening to my heroine. If  it affected me that much, surely my readers would be similarly affected.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Embracing the "One Little Word" Challenge

My friend Lisa challenged me and our friend Tina to consider the “One Little Word” challenge. This idea is the brainchild of Ali Edwards who in 2006 began to chose one word each January that
One of Ali's One Little Word Projects
would be her focus for that year. While I am not taking part in her workshop because I am in the midst of revision for my next novel, I accepted my friend Lisa’s challenge to think of a word that could be my focus for 2015.

Embracing my beautiful daughter, Kate
While I was watching Ali’s video about her workshop, my word came to me as surely as if someone (Boris?) whispered it right into my ear. Embrace. That is my word for 2015. I will embrace my loved ones, as always. But I will also embrace the present moment. I will embrace success, and I will embrace failure. I will embrace revision and editing.I will embrace opportunities, trials, even this darn head cold I have right now.

How am I embracing this head cold? Instead of feeling sorry for myself as I sniffle, cough, sneeze and shiver my way through the day, I am trying to relax (my friend Lisa’s word) into the extra rest and sleep that I know I need. Instead of fighting it by overexerting myself, I
Embraced by my beloved, Rich
am trying to honor (my friend Tina’s word) the extra care I need right now. So instead of cursing the darkness of self-pity and despair, I am lighting the candle of embracing the moment whatever it brings. Do I sound painfully cloying? Perhaps. But I think it’s a better coping mechanism than “poor me” which usually would be my default right about now.

I suspect my word embrace will have far more positive application than negative throughout the year. What I hope is that it will make me more mindful of the present moment, more grateful for the many blessings in my life and more accepting of the lessons always taught in the face of challenges.


What word you would choose? I would love to know.

Author's note: After writing this post I learned of the unexpected death of a friend who was a loving husband and father and gifted musician. I must also embrace sorrow today.

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Rachel Donnelly's Evelina Series Will Bewitch Readers

While Rachel Donnelly’s Evelina Young Adult series is a fun fantasy, she also explores some serious topics, too. Welcome Rachel. It’s so nice to have you here today.
Thanks so much for having me as a guest on your blog today, Betty. Happy New Year to everyone! 

What is the biggest chance you’ve taken as a writer? How did that work out?
 This is it.  The Evelina series—book of my heart—a lot of good clean fun—something for all ages to enjoy. Evelina and the Time Pirates has had 70K reads on Wattpad, so that’s good news. And Evelina and the Reef Hag will be out in paperback this week. I’m excited to finally hold it in my hands.

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Danger Lurks and Romance Blossoms in The Thornless Rose by Morgan O'Neill

Last chance to get The Thornless Rose at its introductory $0.99 price. Ends soon!

Deborah O’Neill Cordes and Cary Morgan Frates writing as Morgan O’Neill create such a compelling world in The Thornless Rose that images stay with you long after you’ve put the book down (which you can’t do until you’ve finished it.)  Within this world simmers the passion of lovers brought together by time and kept apart by circumstance. I love every book Morgan O’Neill has written, and I am so pleased to feature their latest novel. 

Title: The Thornless Rose
An Elizabethan Time Travel Novel
Author: Morgan O’Neill
Publisher: Entangled Publishing, LLC
Publication Date: December 29, 2014
Genre: Historical Fiction

No one ever knew what really happened to Dr. Jonathan Brandon back in 1945. He simply disappeared from a London pub, leaving behind an unsolved mystery and his fiancée—Anne Howard’s grandmother. Seventy years later, Anne herself is haunted by the strange tale, along with inexplicable hallucinations straight out of Elizabethan England. Including a scarred, handsome man whose deep blue eyes seem to touch her very soul...

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Winter Dreams is a Romantic Winter Read

As many of you know, my first book, Love’s Destiny, is one of ten novels in a bundle of historical romance novels called Time After Time. Crimson Romance has just released a new bundle perfect for this time of year that includes novels by seven of my author friends. Cuddle up with a cup of hot chocolate or a hot toddy and read the excerpts from each. Please note the fantastic sales price—that us not a misprint!

7 Heartfelt Holiday Romances 
$0.81 on Amazon for a Limited Time (Prices at other e-retailers vary)
Bundle Blurb
Winter's crisp cold is the perfect backdrop for holiday lights, snowball fights, and starry nights by the fire, curled up with hunky heroes. Let these seven couples show you how to find the warmth of red-hot romance.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Art Did Imitate Life for Author Robin Devereaux-Nelson

Today I welcome fellow Michigan author Robin Devereaux-Nelson to my blog.  Listening to her talk about her life, her process and her life lessons is quite fascinating. Welcome, Robin. Please tell us a little about yourself.

I grew up in an interesting time–the 1960s–with totally apolitical parents who sheltered my sister and I from everything that was going on around us, Vietnam, racism, Cuba. I didn’t learn about any of these things until I was in high school, and didn’t understand much about them until I was an adult. As a result, I grew up in a pastoral setting wearing rose-colored glasses. The world, when I got out into it, came as a big, and sometimes not so pleasant surprise. Conversely, I was extremely fortunate that our family had an extensive library in our farm home – a real library. My maternal grandfather, the son of immigrant Germans, came from a somewhat wealthy, well-educated family. When he bought the farm in Linwood in the 1940s and moved from urban Detroit, it was important to him that culture didn’t go by the wayside. The ten by twelve room, which was lined with shelving he built with his own hands, was filled with all manner of books, fiction and nonfiction, detective novels, westerns, sex manuals, how-to books, Shakespeare – all was fair game. Reading was how I came to know the world. Writers were who I admired. Did I read things at a young age I probably shouldn’t have? I admit, I did. However, early on I was interested in words and how they fit together. I started drafting stories when I was three years old. Since I couldn’t write them down yet, my father set me up with his huge reel-to-reel tape recorder and I spoke my first stories. I’ve been writing ever since.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Who Can Resist Romance, Murder and a Haunted Castle?

Author Kathleen Shaputis has channeled her dreams of living in a fairy tale to creating characters of her own. Today my fellow Crimson Romance author joins me to talk about her writing. Welcome, Kathleen. Tell us a little about yourself.
I’ve been writing stories and plays since childhood. I wanted to be Briar Rose from Sleeping Beauty, and live in a forest taken care of by three fairies so I could write all day. Well, life and my mother had other plans. Eventually I did get my forest, two acres in the Pacific Northwest and various contracts to write books, these treasures surrounded by a day job, adult children and grandchildren.  
Your first book, Grandma Online, was non-fiction. What most inspired you about writing this book? A person or people? A place? Something else?
My passion is romantic comedies, yet I continually heard how non-fiction is easier to sell. “You should write non-fiction.” I balked against this suggestion for years until one day I woke up realizing I’m a computer tech and a grandmother. Most of my day is spent answering questions about software, hardware or how my grandson was doing. What if I wrote a book for grandmothers about the Internet? I nearly threw up within seconds of the thought as the force of energy overwhelmed me. I bought a book by Eva Shaw, How to Write a Non-Fiction Book and learned to create a book proposal.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Susanne Matthews Believes That It's Never Too Late to Follow Your Dream

“Works well with others” is a perfect description for author Susanne Matthews. Not only does she publish under her own name, she is half of a dynamic duo that publishes as Misty Matthews. Welcome, Susanne. Please tell us a little about yourself.

My name is Susanne Matthews, and I’m a Canadian, living in Eastern Ontario, close to the borders of Quebec and New York.  I spent more than 30 years as an educator, primarily teaching high school English. I’ve been married over 43 years and my husband and I have 3 children and 5 grandchildren.  I write romance novels in several genres including, paranormal romance suspense, historical romance, romance suspense, contemporary romance, and Christian romance suspense. I have nine books of my own published and my first Christian romance suspense will be released in May. 
I also co-write contemporary novels under the name of Misty Matthews with Misty Cail, an author from Newfoundland. Currently we have two books available, a novella and Coming Home, Book One of our Taking a Chance on Love Series. Book Two will be released in the spring of 2015.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

For Illustrator Jamie Rizzo, Inspriation Can Strike at Any Moment

Last month I was in my home town, Rochester, NY, for a couple of book signings. While at the Hilton Apple Fest, I met Jamie Rizzo, an illustrator, who was at the table next to me. We had a delightful chat, and I invited her to be my guest on Meyette’s Musings. I am so excited to have my first illustrator on my blog. Welcome, Jamie. For starters, describe your journey to becoming an illustrator.
Where to start? It has been a crazy journey to be sure. It started when I was very young, standing at a tall wooden easel in my grandmother’s art studio. Brush in hand, she would try to teach me how to paint with oil colors. Sometimes she would take over when it got too hard, but we always did it together. I learned how to make clouds and trees and sunsets and even a horse or two (they are really hard to draw). 

In grade school, art class was always my favorite class. Being a shy, introverted kid, diving headfirst into a drawing was a way of escape for me. It let me relieve stress and forget about the daily grind of middle school and high school. 

In college I had an especially hard senior year. My style is very heavily influenced by the Japanese anime style of art and a lot of my pieces reflected that and a heavy use of color. I found it hard to conform to my painting class professor’s idea of what was right and what was not. I spent many hours on paintings that brought me no joy. With each stroke there was a heavy sigh. Not my best work, for my portfolio or my soul, but I got through it and passed the class. Funny enough, another art professor told me that my style was very different to not give up on it. To this day I am still not sure what my “style” is, but I know I will figure it out someday. 

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Local Legends Provide Inspiration for Rebecca Patrick-Howard's Mysteries

Rebecca Patrick-Howard loves ghostly mysteries just like I do. How exciting to have her on my blog today. Rebecca, talk about the books you’ve written. What was the first seed of an idea you had for your book? How did it develop?
I’ve been published for around 13 years but it’s only been recently that I’ve seen success with my books. I began by collecting local ghost stories, legends, and folk tales from people in my community. I created a Facebook page in which folks could send me stories but, for the most part, I just got out in the community and started interviewing people. My paranormal mystery series, Taryn’s Camera, is about a woman who sees the past through her camera. She uses this to solve old murder mysteries. I use this series to combine my love of urban exploring, old houses, photography, and ghosts. The first book in the series is WINDWOOD FARM. That idea came from an exploration of an old stone farmhouse I did with my husband. The house was empty and had been neglected over the years. The downstairs was completely devoid of furnishings. When we wandered up the stairs, however, we discovered a bedroom full of belongings. It appeared that someone had simply gotten out of bed one day and walked away. That scene gnawed at me for years so I finally created a story around it.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

NaNoWriMo Update: Day 12

Little did I know what I was getting into when I jumped into the NaNoWriMo pool. On the plus side, I’m still showering and we have clean underwear. On the down side, I’ve gone through more than one “dark night of the soul.” I pondered whether or not I wanted to share this with you, but we’ve been through a lot together, so here goes.


I’m very proud of my commitment to this challenge having logged over 21,000 words so far. I have written every day but one, and that was due to meetings and a stomach flu. Most days I’ve written more than the requisite 1,667 words. What a good feeling to be ahead of the game and see on my little chart on the official NaNoWriMo site that my word count tops the straight line that is “par.”

Progress v.2

Yes, my word count is piling up, but last weekend I realized that while I had all these great scenes and was reuniting characters from The Cavanaugh House (a popular request from readers) NOTHING WAS HAPPENING. Yeah, I had a little bump in the road (you’ll get that joke when you read the opening scene) but my protagonist was not in danger. There was no risk for her. No threat. Ergo, no story. I’ve read that many NaNoWriMoers begin to hate their books—or at least drown in despair—at around day 15. As I’ve said, I’m an overachiever. I hit the wall at day eight.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Angela Smith Gave "One Last Hold" One More Chance

Like me, Angela Smith fell in love with books at a very early age when her mother read her children stories. I am so happy to welcome her to my blog because we have so much in common! Welcome, Angela. Please tell us a little about yourself.
I’ve been dreaming of stories ever since my mother read stories of 'Brer Rabbit' to me and my sister so often that we could recite it before we could even read. My mother gave me my first romance story at a very young age. I’m not sure it’d even be legal now, ha-ha! And even though I longed to write, alas, I had to have a real job. Luckily for me, I fell into the perfect job in criminal justice and later became a certified paralegal. Perfect fodder for adding suspense in my writing!

Friday, October 31, 2014

Peggy Bird Celebrates Romance with Every Holiday

Steam rises from Peggy Bird’s spicy romance novels. A fellow Crimson Romance writer, she is here today to tell us about her journey as a writer. Welcome, Peggy! Start us off with a little bit about you.
I’m the luckiest woman I know. I’ve been everything I ever wanted to be (except a ballerina. That was never in the cards, I’m afraid.) But I’ve been a nurse, worked on public policy, had a good marriage (on the second try), raised a terrific daughter and become good friends with two step-daughters, been part of a small business, headed up a non-profit, been an artist and a writer. I’ve traveled and lived in another country. Now I get to use all that experience in my writing.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

NaNoWriMo Here I Come!

When I first heard the term NaNoWriMo, I thought it was a strain of the flu. When I learned what it actually is, I thought it was a form of insanity. National Novel Writing Month. Write a book in a month? What? My first book took 30 years!

But the more I learned about NaNoWriMo, the more intrigued I became. It seemed that every year I was in the revision phase of a current WIP and in no frame of mind to begin a new project, so I never have joined. This year, however, I am ready. Yes, I am about to join the legions of crazy writers who stand poised at the end of October to give up every other activity in their lives (including showers so I’m told) to achieve the goal of 50,000 words by November 30th.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Maris Soule Weaves a Haunted Tale

Today I welcome fellow Michigan author and member of the MidMichigan Chapter of Romance Writers of America Maris Soule to my blog. Like me, Maris loves suspense in her stories, and today she’ll talk about a perfect tale for this time of the year. Welcome, Maris!

Thank you for hosting me on your blog, Elizabeth.
Since this is the month for haunted houses and things that go bump in the night, I’d like to tell your readers about HAUNTED, a romantic suspense I recently released as an ebook. HAUNTED was originally published as a Bantam Loveswept back in 1995 under the title Dark Temptation. That was the year Loveswept’s marketing department decided to put flowers on all of the covers—not their wisest move since after the first month the similar covers started confusing readers, who wondered if they’d already bought/read the story. Although my sales for Dark Temptation were comparable to the other Loveswepts published during those “flowery” cover months, I never felt the book had a chance to reach all of the readers who might like a story that brought together an Oscar-winning, special effects hero (who might be a killer), and a heroine who needed his help even though the idea of working with him had her shaking in her boots.

I love the Sierra Nevada mountain range and the gold country area, so it seemed the perfect setting for HAUNTED. In the story, Jason McLain moves from Hollywood to the small town of Slaterville, nestled in the Sierra Nevada, to escape the media hype that follows the death of his wife. A jury may have acquitted Jason of the murder, but the question still remains: Who else but a special effects expert could have rigged the gun that went off when she opened the safe?