Thursday, October 29, 2015

Jessie Clever: On a New Course with Contemporary

Today I’m happy to welcome Jessie Clever and her latest book, WHEN SHE KNOWS. Would you please tell us a little about it?

His latest problem is her newest assignment.

Shannon Wynter has it all figured it. Abandoned by her mother and left to care for her agoraphobic father, Shannon focuses on building her career as a journalist to the detriment of all else including her love life.

Ian Darke has his own problems. Battling past failures, Ian sets his eyes on launching a new factory for his father’s defense firm. But it’s the very father he failed that will do anything to sabotage Ian’s progress.

And when Shannon follows an anonymous tip that leads her to Ian’s factory door, the last thing she expects to discover is what she already knows.

Is this your first book? What others have you published?

The book is well down the line of my publishing career.  Before this, I wrote the Regency romance series, The Spy Series.  The Spy Series chronicles the adventures (or misadventures) of a family of spies during the Napoleonic Wars.

What inspired you for this particular story?

WHEN SHE KNOWS came about when I said goodbye to my 20s and reflected on what I had learned.  There’s a lot of me in this book, and I don’t often get a chance to write about things I’ve encountered personally.  I hope some of the aspects of the heroine’s character will help other women in similar situations and going through a similar time in their life.  I believe there is a lot of pressure on young women to do it all, and I hope they find in this book that they only need to do those things that are worthy of them.

This sounds like a book that will be relevant for many women—we do frequently feel pressured to be everything. If you had to describe the book as a color, what would that color be?

Red for passion and determination.
I’m not surprised. It sounds as if Shannon has those very qualities. Do you have a special place you like to write?

I write on my couch covered in Basset hounds.  They like to think they’re helping.

LOL. My son’s family had a pair of Basset hounds. They were quite a pair! What about challenges with finding writing time, other than when your helpers are napping?

I dedicated about six months to full time writing and found myself going nuts.  I’ve learned that I need other things to occupy my time to get projects completed.  I block out an hour of writing time every morning to accomplish about 2500 words.  This keeps projects going steady toward completion.

You can do 2,500 words an hours? I’m totally intimidated. What’s your next project?

The second book in the Franconia Notch Trilogy, WHEN SHE FALLS, will be releasing in November.  So there’s no time off for me!

What one tip would you offer writers?

Keep writing.  Write, write, write.  Keep your hands moving toward improvement.  I find that the more I write the easier it is to get the first draft down and the better the final draft is.  The second thing I would recommend is to read books on the writing craft.  I attended a lot of classes on writing early in my life, but I’ve found writing craft books to be invaluable.

Excellent advice! Thanks so much for being here today, Jessie.

Links for When She Knows

Goodreads Link:

Purchase links:

Barnes & Noble:
Google Play:
All Romance eBooks:

About the Author:

In the second grade, Jessie began a story about a duck and a lost ring.  Two harrowing pages of wide ruled notebook paper later, the ring was found.  And Jessie has been writing ever since.

Armed with the firm belief that women in the Regency era could be truly awesome heroines, Jessie began telling their stories in her Spy Series, a thrilling ride in historical espionage that showcases human faults and triumphs and most importantly, love.

Jessie makes her home in the great state of New Hampshire where she lives with her husband and two very opinionated Basset Hounds.  For more, visit her website at

Social Media Links:


Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Stories With a Twist: Casi McLean Takes Us on A Special Journey

You're in for a special treat today. Casi McLean is taking us on a fantastic journey...with several twists and special stops along the way. Welcome, Casi!!

Hi Barbara. Thank you for having me as a guest on your blog.
I love stories with a twist, the kind that take your breath away. Not with fear, but with a warm excitement and happy tears. I'm taking your imagination on a journey today, first through time to an era that few people still remember first hand. You can smell the cool, crisp November settling into the North Georgia foothills. Feel the anxiety of a young woman just opening her eyes, realizing she's in the arms of a handsome stranger, in a place she’s never heard of––
 34 years before she was born.

Now take a moment and click here. I'll wait ................. Done? Great.

A ghost town submerged beneath Atlanta's famous man-made Lake Lanier reportedly lures victims to a watery grave. But when Lacey Montgomery's car spins out of control and hurtles into the depths of the icy, black water, she doesn't die. She's swept to town buried beneath lake––in 1949.

When the 2012 lawyer tangles with the 1949 hunk, fire and ice swirl into a stream of sweltering desire. The desperation to find her way home dissolves as Lacey falls in love with a town destined to be erased from the face of the Earth, and the man who vows to protect it. Will the couple discover the key to a mysterious portal before time rips them apart? Or will their star-crossed spirits wander forever through a ghost town buried beneath the lake?

 Beneath The Lake is available here:

But let's move on. As I said, I love twist endings. Now, I'm taking you to meet self-reliant Reagan Nichols. She's no stranger to challenges, but ever since twilight fell over Spirit Lake and that murky mist oozed inland, everything felt surreal. When she finds a little girl wandering through the eerie fog, Reagan vows to save the child's father from the bowels of a ghostly vessel adrift on the lake. Will the three survive a confrontation with pure evil in order to meet their Destiny?

Destiny is available here:

Next, I'd like to introduce you to Savanna Bradford. The impulsive reaction to her boyfriend Ryan's proposal spirals her into a rendezvous with fate and a mystical gift that could alter her future. Will the timeless struggle between dreams and passion bait her into repeating history, or will a simple gift from her bizarre encounter steer Savannah toward her true destiny before it's too late?
 The Gift is available here:

 Sabrina Wentworth's bewildering gift swept her into the sensuous arms of a dream lover. Every night, sometime after midnight, she slips into an illusory world drenched in passion. But the sands of time run out tonight. Can Brie find the key to her fantasy world before the reality of her ex boyfriend's deadly plot plays through or will she be destined to death after midnight?

After Midnight is available here:

Now meet prominent heart surgeon, Sierra Norton. She performs minor miracles on a daily basis, but never in her wildest dreams did she imagine she would live one. When lightning strikes her flight the aircraft plunges, swirls through turbulence, and catapults Sierra into a treacherous past––the attack on Pearl Harbor. In a whirlwind blur, Sierra's courage, skill, and passion challenges her sanity. Can the convergence of three strong women reset history to fulfill her destiny?

 Convergent is available here:

Finally, when New York Time's best selling author, Katlyn Harris, discovers a timeworn painting in the attic of the isolated home she mysteriously inherits, she feels a surge of déjà vu that spins her into a mysterious fantasy. Can dreams pierce the realm of reality or is Katlyn's mystic connection to the antique painting the fulfillment of a promise torn from the pages of history?

The Pegasus Chronicle is available here:

Can't decide which book to read? Well, here's a twist ending you'll love. Just when you think you've got everything figured out, BOOM. I combine the last 5 stories into one book. Romance, suspense, time-slips, mystery and a touch of paranormal, all wrapped together just for you.
Award-winning Destiny, was a winner in the AWC writing contest.

Judges’ comments: At first these stories reel you into what appears to be a formula romance. Then they turn the genre on its head, throwing a perfectly aimed, delightful curveball at the surprising and satisfying endings. The writer doesn't rush any part of these stories, letting the reader see, hear, and feel the magical eeriness of one fateful night.

Destiny Series, Five Novelettes With A Twist is available here:
So now you can have a twist of your own. Which do you choose, Beneath The Lake or Destiny Series, Five Novelettes With A Twist? Maybe you could try both. :-)

Thanks, Barbara, for bringing your fans along on my little journey. I hope everyone enjoys my books, and thank you so much for hosting my book blast.

Friday, October 23, 2015

Marin McGinnis, Her New Victorian, and Copy of the Book

I am thrilled to have fellow Rose Marin McGinnis here today for a look at her new Victorian and for wonderful insight into the history of the area of England where its set.

Thank you for having me here today, Barbara! I’m delighted to have the opportunity to talk a bit about my new release, Secret Promise, and the history of the part of England in which it takes place. 

The book is set in Northumbria in Wallsend--so named because it's at the eastern end of Hadrian's Wall--literally a stone wall built by the Roman Emperor Hadrian beginning in AD 122. The wall was the northernmost edge of the Roman Empire, and extended the width of England from Wallsend to the Irish Sea. 

 My husband, who is a classicist, and I hiked a big chunk of the wall about 15 years ago. Although the picture below is a part of the wall some 35 miles west of Wallsend, it gives you an idea of the countryside. On the day we were there, at the end of March, the weather included snow, rain, sleet, and hail, as well as the odd bit of sun. It was definitely a hardship post for the Roman soldiers stationed there.

Wallsend is famous not only for the ruins of the Segundum Roman fort, but for shipbuilding. Thousands of ships have been built in Wallsend, including the RMS Carpathia, which rescued the passengers of the Titanic.

 The photo below (from is probably from the early 1900s, and shows how a Wallsend street, like the one on which my heroine’s tavern sits, might have looked in the 1860s.

In addition to Wallsend, the book also takes place in the coastal town of Tynemouth, where the hero in Secret Promise grew up. Tynemouth sits at the end of the River Tyne, just a few miles from Wallsend. In the second half of the 19th century gained a reputation as a seaside destination, and hordes of Victorian bathers flocked to the village.

 Tynemouth has a more interesting history, at least in my opinion. It is the site of a Tynemouth Castle and Priory, built in the 7th century, destroyed by Danish invaders in 800, rebuilt and destroyed several times in the 9th century, and then again rebuilt before the 11th century. The resulting fortress reputedly contains the mortal remains of two Northumbrian kings and King Malcolm III of Scotland. It also gave refuge to the queens of Kings Edward I and II while the menfolk were off fighting in Scotland.

The monastery was abandoned in the 1500s, although it remained in use as a church until the early 17th century.

It was this picture (taken by Chris McKenna and available on Wikipedia) that inspired me, at least in part, to write the end of Secret Promise.

There is something wild and dangerous about it, at least in my own slightly twisted brain.

If Tynemouth inspires you as well, here’s more about Secret Promise, which releases next week from The Wild Rose Press:
Falsely imprisoned as a blockade-runner during the American Civil War, Edward Mason yearns to go home. But when after seven years he finally returns to England, the life he expected is gone. His parents are dead, his home destroyed, his father’s legacy stolen, and his girl—his girl is now the single mother of a child Edward never knew.

Abandoned by the man she loved and disowned by her family, Anna Templeton has learned to stand on her own two feet and make a home for her son. Now the successful owner of The Silver Gull tavern, she's not about to put their happiness in the hands of the one man who let her down so badly.

Edward is determined to regain Anna’s love and be a father to his son. But when a series of suspicious accidents threaten him and those he loves, he must stop the man responsible, or lose everything.

Buy links:         The Wild Rose Press




“Good day, sir. What can I get you? We have a very good cottage pie today.”

Edward frowned. “Aren’t you a bit young to be working in a public house?”

“Oh, I don’t work here,” the boy said. “Me mam’s the owner, and Molly didn’t come to work today.”


“The barmaid, of course.” His tone held a hint of derision, as if he thought Edward an idiot for failing to know who Molly was.

“Of course.” Edward was amused. “Well, then, I suppose I shall have the cottage pie, and an ale. And perhaps I could have a word with your mother, when she has a moment?”

“What do you want her for?” The boy’s eyes narrowed suspiciously.

“I used to live here, many years ago, and would like to speak to someone about…” Edward broke off as a woman emerged from the kitchen, carrying two plates piled with food. She had fiery red hair and a lithe figure, and moved easily through the tables. After setting one of the plates before a man sitting near the bar, she turned and scanned the room. Her gaze alit on the boy first, and she smiled. Then she spotted Edward. All color drained from her face, and the remaining plate slid from her hand, shattering on the stone floor.

“Mam!” The boy raced to the woman and clutched at her skirts, but Edward was unable to move.

“Anna,” he whispered.


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