Monday, April 27, 2015

Get Lost in Sarah Richmond's Brides of Serendipity

Dedicated to those pioneers whose determination
brought them across the Forty Mile desert to this spot
and sweet water. 

I'm a big fan of American history, and a trip to Fallon, Nevada inspired these books. Along side the highway is a sign designating the town of Ragtown a historical site—now a ghost town. Once a thriving trading post where the wagon trains stopped to rest after an arduous journey across the Forty Mile desert, Ragtown found its place in the history books.

I hope you enjoy these three novellas about three ladies who found love and purpose in a place called Ragtown.

Sarah Richmond

Buy link: Amazon

Courtin' Dory 

Brides of Serendipity Book 1

Excerpt from ‘Courtin’ Dory’

     Harley leaned closer. He did have amazing eyes that showed kindness. "Would it be all right if I kissed you?"
     Dory's heart beat wildly and she drew in a quick breath. She'd no experience with the rightness or wrongness of letting him kiss her. She only knew she wanted him to.
     She closed her eyes and tilted her head upwards. His rough hand rested on her cheek bones.
     "You smell so good," he said. "Sweet, like spring water."
     She opened one eye. "Are you gonna kiss me or talk?"

Buy link: Amazon

Barrett's Law 

Brides of Serendipity Book 2

Excerpt from ‘Barrett’s Law’

Before he could take off, Lena leaned over and grabbed the bridle of his horse. The mare stepped back but Lena held on firmly. All her life she played the hand she was dealt. But not this time.
Henry Barrett was going to listen.
"I'm not a wrangler and I'm not accustomed to sitting a horse but I'm capable, you said so yourself. I'm a hard worker and did a fair job patching you up. Seems to me out here where the land needs taming and the law's neglectful, a woman like myself would be useful."
She let his horse go having said her piece. What she'd told him struck at the core of the matter. He could depend on her.
"Lena," he said, using her given name for the first time. "You're the peskiest woman I ever did come across."
She knew he spoke honestly and from the heart. Her eyes stung with tears. It was the nicest compliment she'd ever received.
He smiled, by Lord in Heaven, he did. She was smiling too.
"I suppose if I don't let you come along," he said, "you'll just follow me anyway."
"I'm glad we're beginning to understand each other."
His mouth twitched. His blue eyes held her like an embrace. Lena liked what she saw.


Brides of Serendipity Book 3

Excerpt from ‘Rosy’

"Let me introduce you," Rosamund said. "Matthew Kincaid, this is Aunt Hester Sherry."
Hester examined Matthew Kincaid as an interloper but she remembered her manners.
"Sheriff," Hester said, extending her gloved hand.
"Ma'am," he said with rakish charm.
Auntie's gaze cut him with razor sharp precision. He hadn't won her over.
Sheriff Kincaid looked about as out of place on a veranda as a man could be. He took Aunt Hester's hand and shook it vigorously.
Hester retrieved her hand from his grasp.
"Aunt Hester has traveled all the way from Richmond," Rosamund explained. His gaze shifted to Rosamund. She saw a hint of a smile.
"I hope your journey was agreeable," he said with positively touching good manners.
Aunt Hester recoiled as if she'd come in contact with a hot iron. "You're a Yankee," she said, responding to his flat Northern accent.
"Yes, ma'am."
Hester looked at him in horror.
"Let's go along to my house," Rosamund said, taking Hester's arm before there was a confrontation. Hester could be a formidable in an altercation. "Jason will bring your cases."
"Rosamund, how can this be? A Yankee sheriff taking Jake’s place?"
"I will explain when we are at the house."
Their sheriff put two fingers to the brim of his hat. Hester ignored him.
"Luckily the house isn't far," Rosamund said, steering her aunt in that direction.
"Yes, I could use a proper cup of tea." The fan came out.
"Make no mistake, that's a handsome woman just arrived on my stage."
Aunt Hester stiffened.
Rosamund shot a look of disapproval over her shoulder. The stagecoach driver rubbed his grizzled face as he watched them walk away. Matthew looked like he was about to burst out laughing. Instead, he winked at Rosamund.
"And Rosy is pretty too," Matthew said.

Buy link: Amazon

Brides of Serendipity boxed set available at Amazon for $5.99

Sarah Richmond has lived all over the world and lives in San Diego. She's a graduate of the University of Michigan and the University of Paris, Sorbonne, an experience for which she will always be grateful. Ms. Richmond is the author of eleven historical romances. Recently, she was listed as #4 in historical romance sales on
Sarah has a question for commenters: A trip to Nevada inspired these three books. When you are on vacation, do you explore the history of the area you are visiting?

AMAZING GIVEAWAY! Sarah will giveaway one of the e-novellas (your choice) to each person who leaves a comment. Yes, you read right! So leave a comment, along with your choice of novella title, and your contact information.

Visit Sarah's website:

Friday, April 24, 2015

Tameri Etherton Interviews the Hero and Heroine of the Song of the Swords Series

Buy link: Amazon

This is my second adventure on Get Lost in a Story and I’m thrilled to be back! I hope you don’t mind if a few characters from the Song of the Swords fantasy series crash the party. They promised to be good, but that’s always subjective with these two. ~Tameri

Tameri: For those that don’t know you, Taryn and Rhoane, can you tell us a little about yourselves?

Taryn: Well, I was raised on Earth without any knowledge of my true home world of Aelinae. When my guardian Brandt took me through the portal, I thought I’d lost my mind. But then I met Rhoane, and the others. I found out I had a family (some of whom are trying to kill me), and I learned I had this crazy power..

Tameri: We’ll get back to that power in a minute, but first, Rhoane, can you tell us a bit about you?

Rhoane: I am Eleri. Is there more you need to know?

Taryn: Tell them something interesting, like your favorite food.

Rhoane: Why do they wish to know my favorite food? Would they like to dine with us?

Taryn: Probably, but they aren’t actually here, so they can’t. It’s just a way for them to get to know you.

Rhoane: Then I shall tell them I enjoy pizza.

Taryn: I made him pizza once and now he asks for it all the time. Do you have any idea how long it takes to make pizza when you don’t have electricity? All day! But dang, it’s worth it. Now I really want pizza. Thanks a lot, Rhoane.

Rhoane: You are most welcome.

Tameri: Taryn, you don’t always get along with your family, but there has to be something cool about finding out you have siblings.

Taryn: Ha! Now that’s an understatement. I love my younger sisters. They’re intelligent, beautiful young ladies. And funny. They both have this sense of humor that I think most people don’t get. I wish I could hang out with them more, but there never seems to be enough time.

Tameri: Because you’re off saving the world, right?

Taryn: If only it were that easy. More like, I’m trying to not get myself killed.

Rhoane: There are many who wish Taryn harm. She makes it difficult to protect her.

Buy link: Amazon
Tameri: She’s a mixed bag of trouble, isn’t she?

Rhoane: That is putting it mildly.

Tameri: Let’s lighten this up a bit. If the two of you had a day to do anything you wanted, what would you do?

Furious blushes creep across both their faces. I fan myself from the heat coming off them.

Tameri: Uh, never mind, *cough, cough*. New question. Cowboy hat, baseball cap, or tiara?

Taryn: Tiara. Since coming to Aelinae, I’ve garnered quite a collection.

Rhoane: What is a cowboy hat? What is baseball?

Taryn: Baby steps, Rhoane. You just learned about skiing and hockey.

Rhoane: And ice skating with metal blades.

Taryn: Yeah, and proper ice skating.

Tameri: What are you reading right now?

Rhoane: Prophecies.

Tameri: Beer, wine, or whisky?

Rhoane: Spiced grhom. It is delicious, have you tried any? (Hot Chocolate spiced with chiles)

Tameri: I have. Although, what we have here is nowhere near as good as yours.

Jillian:  I'd just like to chime in here––grhom is a version of our hot chocolate spiced with chiles.

Yum! When I lived in New Mexico it was a holiday season favorite!

Taryn: I’m partial to grhom, but love me a shot of dreem every now and then. It’s like whisky, but smoother.

Tameri: What’s your favorite word?

Taryn: Hope.

Rhoane: Honor.

Tameri: Least favorite word?

Rhoane: Betrayal.

Taryn: Hate.

Tameri: Favorite curse word?

Taryn: Can I say the F-word here?

Rhoane: Rykoto’s balls

Tameri: What’s something we might find surprising about you?

Rhoane: I am fascinated by showers. I tried Taryn’s in Paderau and want one in every palace across Aelinae.

Taryn: *giggling* I told you! Showers are awesome. Um, let’s see… I’m afraid of heights and I’m not real keen on boats, either.

Tameri: You’re afraid of heights? How does that work when you’re a darathi vorsi?

Taryn: I don’t think about it. I let the dragon take over and trust I won’t fall from the sky. Which, by the way, isn’t as easy a you’d think.

Tameri: A super hero afraid of heights. That’s brilliant.

Taryn: I’m NOT a super hero. Just a girl with enhanced power.

Tameri: Right. What was I thinking? What’s the coolest thing about having all that power?

Taryn: It’s really not as great as you think. Yes, I can fly and create something of nothing, but ShantiMari can also destroy just as easily. I try not to use it if I can. I prefer the strength of my sword.

Tameri: Anything else you want us to know?

Rhoane: Do not get comfortable. Everything that has happened so far, it is only going to get more, shall we say, interesting.

Tameri: Ohh, intriguing! Thanks again for coming today, Taryn and Rhoane. I hope the readers had fun getting to know you a little better.


It’s hard to save a world when your family is out to kill you…

Taryn banished the phantom, but someone, or something, is invading her thoughts. To escape the torture and bring balance to Aelinae, Taryn must do the one thing she fears most—unlock her Dark powers.

Rhoane swore an oath to protect Taryn, forsaking all others to keep her from harm, yet her independent spirit and lack of trust almost cost her life. Now, he’ll do what it takes to save the woman he loves from the Blackness growing inside her.

But there’s evil in this world, and it’s just as desperate for them to fail.

This is the second book in the Song of the Swords epic fantasy series about honor, family, and love—of what it takes to become someone you never thought you’d be and to find the strength to face your inner demons.

Get to Know the Author of the Song of Swords mSeries: 

Rocker of sparkly tiaras, friend of dragons, and lover of all things sexy, Tameri Etherton leaves a trail of glitter in her wake as she creates and conquers new worlds and the villains who inhabit them. When not masquerading as a mom and writer, rumor has it she travels to far off places, drinking tea and finding inspiration for her kickass heroines—and the rogues who steal their hearts—with her own Prince Charming by her side.


     Taryn shook her head and flexed her fingers, testing her flailing energy.
     “I want what everyone wants from you. Your power.”
     A blur of silver studded with sapphires plunged deep into her midsection, ripping skin and muscle. Taryn staggered to her feet, jerking the blade free. The pain drained what little strength she had left, but she kept moving forward, away from Marissa. Her sister sat on the sofa, laughing and calling taunts to her as she stumbled, disoriented.
     Rhoane, help me.
     Blood seeped from the wound, over her hand, to drip onto the thick carpets.
     Her boots thudded on tile and she lunged for the door, her vision narrowing as she fumbled with the doorknob, her hands slick.
     Baehlon. Faelara.
     Finally, she managed to grasp it enough to yank open. Marissa’s laughter burrowed like a worm into her mind; confusion muddled her thoughts. Why, Marissa? But no answer came to her.
     Brandt, I need you. Please.
     She stumbled into the empty hallway, blinking at her surroundings.
     Sabina. Please hurry.
     The light from the wall sconces hurt her eyes and she turned away from the glare. Her rooms were at the far end of the palace, away from Marissa. She focused on setting one foot in front of the other, making slow progress. Stars teased the outer edges of her sight.
     The sound of footsteps approaching spurred Taryn to move faster. Marissa was coming to finish what she’d started. She had to get away from her sister.
     The last of her strength gave way and she collapsed, a discordant ringing in her ears the final thing she heard.

Question for Commenters: 

If you had a dragon of your very own, what would you name him/her? Commenters who leave their contact info will be included in the raffle for a print or ebook version of THE STONES OF KALDAAR, book one of Tameri Etherton's fabulous new fantasy series.

Contact Tameri:  Twitter: @TameriEtherton  Facebook: TameriEthertonAuthor
Website: A Cup of Tea and Sorcery

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Welcome Memoir-ist Laura McHale Holland on the #anthology Sisters Born, Sisters Found #nonfiction #memoir

This year, lucky girl Vicki's essay was selected to be a part of an incredible anthology which has garnered many 5 star reviews. 
Let's get to know:

Laura McHale Holland:  An author, micro-publisher, and the youngest of three sisters, Laura McHale Holland is the editor of Sisters Born, Sisters Found: A Diversity of Voices on Sisterhood. Previously, she released the flash fiction collection, The Ice Cream Vendor's Song, and the award-winning memoir, Reversible Skirt. Laura's play Are You Ready? was produced by Sixth Street Playhouse and Redwood Writers in 2014 and shortlisted for the Sydney Short+Sweet 2015 festival.
Sisters Born, Sisters Found: A Diversity of Voices on Sisterhood reveals the core of female hearts, divulges secrets, and captures poignant, compelling, complex relationships. This vibrant collection of work from across the globe isn’t only about blood sisters or women who like each other. Sisters can bond over movie nights. Stuff snails down each other’s throats. Steal each other’s clothes—and lovers. Scrounge for food together, tell stories together, work magic together—even kill together. 

It's quite a challenge to pick one piece or excerpt to represent the Sisters Born, Sisters Found anthology because it contains 76 distinct, original voices--so many good stories to get lost in. But I think fans of this website would absolutely love this excerpt from Vicki's story, "Sister Act"

Every Christmas Eve, my family drove to Grandmother’s house for the yearly celebration. No ifs, ands, or buts. The entire clan made the journey. I never minded. For me, this event truly launched the gift-giving season. And being like every other small child enraptured with receiving presents, I eagerly anticipated the occasion. Laughter and love filled Grandmother’s red brick home as did good cooking, like smoked turkey and fixings. Desserts, too numerous to count, included her special tomato cake and mincemeat pie. Every baby was handed around the room until cranky and screaming for mom. Aunts and uncles found moments to see how school fared with nieces and nephews. My cousins, sisters, and I gathered in our own spot for “killer” Uno. All had a grand time.

After dinner cleanup, presents were passed around. The bows were removed and the paper ripped as we tore into the gifts. Grandmother received the most; some of which were interesting—a silly knickknack for her book shelves, knee-hi nylons, a serviceable sweater, yarn for knitting, kitchen tools, denture products, a school craft project.

The relatives would visit a bit longer. Then, my family would load up in “Big Blue,” our Ford station wagon, and drive home to wait oh-so-anxiously for Christmas morning to arrive. And it did in a big way.

My love for the season grew while I grew. As my sisters and I sang along with the holiday hits playing on the turntable, which featured the well-loved classics of Bing Crosby, Frank Sinatra and, my all-time favorite, Nat King Cole, we wrapped presents for Mom, decorated the family tree with the handmade sequined ornaments, and baked sugar cookies. We helped Dad untangle miles of blue and green Christmas lights to hang on the house and set the six-foot cardboard Santa just so, next to the front door, which was adorned with a plastic wreath of fir, poinsettia, and a red, satiny bow.

And Laura included an excerpt from her essay, "Safe to Dream": 

Gliding through freshly fallen snow on my way to visit Kathy at Hinsdale Sanitarium and Hospital, I imagine I’m an Olympic contender. I get a running start and then slide down the sidewalk, leaving marks like ski tracks in my wake. Roy Orbison’s Pretty Woman blasts through the transistor radio in my hand. Whenever I hear it, I imagine some cute guy admiring me as I walk by, even though I’m not a woman yet. Well, in the physical sense, I guess I am.
My first period leaked out just two weeks before I started high school and three weeks before my fourteenth birthday. I welcomed it with about as much enthusiasm as I would a quart of Penzoil poured into my underpants. I was one of the last girls from our neighborhood to menstruate. That’s what Jillie said anyway. She finds out stuff like that from her mom, who actually has friends in town, unlike my stepmom, Wanda the Wicked Witch of the Western Suburbs.

Wanda acts as though everyone in Hinsdale thinks she’s a leper. There’s some truth in that. She’s different than other parents, and not just in the way she treats Kathy, Mary Ruth and me. Take her clothes. She wears only floral patterned, synthetic house dresses that zip up the front. Even when the temperature plunges below zero. That’s all she’ll wear under a ratty car coat my sisters and I outgrew ages ago. The dresses were cartoonish when new; they get worse with wear. Threads stick out at the seams like legs on a centipede. The only footwear she puts on her tiny feet are sandals with wedged heels and black canvas straps crisscrossed over her toes and behind her ankles. She calls them “wedgies.” In winter, she wears white bobby socks with her wedgies, making them look even more bizarre. 

Find Sisters Born, Sisters Found at: Amazon

Time to do some serious Q&A with Laura: 
Vicki:  I’m a huge handbag girl. What is your favorite accessory?
Laura: Right now it's my hand-painted Anushcka handbag. It's reminiscent of the 1970s, but also very contemporary. And it has just enough room to fit the things I usually carry, including my iPad mini.

Vicki: How often to you get lost in a story? Laura: Every day, at least for a little while, sometimes all afternoon on a weekend. Yesterday I was swept away by Erik Larson's Thunderstruck. He writes thoroughly researched historical nonfiction so well his books read like novels. This one told two sagas that intersected in the early 20th century: Marconi's whirlwind personal and professional ups and downs in developing wireless communication, and two murder suspects trying to escape from London to a new life in America. 

I also just read an amazing novel, based on a true story, called Never Fall Down by Patricia McCormick. It's the story of Arn Chorn-Pond, a survivor of the infamous Khmer Rouge takeover of Cambodia in the 1970s. The protagonist was 11 years old at the time, and while he and his family and countless other Cambodians endured horrid things no person, especially a child, should ever have to witness or bear, he is now a humanitarian helping to preserve Cambodia's native culture and assisting youths who are harmed by war. 

Vicki: What’s the first book you remember reading? Laura: Charlotte's Web. I cried my young eyes out. Thinking of it now makes me want to re-read it. 

Vicki: What was the first story you remember writing?  Laura: I wrote a story when I was in third grade about a blackboard that resented being written upon and complained a lot. The story was three handwritten pages and contained a lot of screeching. I don't think it had much of a plot.

Vicki: What’s the first thing you do when you finish writing a book?  Laura: I jump up from my desk, hands up in the air, and shout Yea! Then I get on my knees and thank God, even though most of the time I'm not demonstrably religious. The gratitude just flows out of me.

Vicki: If you were given a chance to travel to the past where would you go and specifically why?   Laura: If I truly could, I'd go back to the 1920s through 1950s, and shadow my mother from girlhood to her death a the age of 35. I was a mere two years old when she died, so I have only a few vague memories of her. I'd like to know what she looked like when she wasn't posing for a picture, what her voice sounded like, the sorts of things she used to say, how she laughed, how she spent her time, who her favorite authors were, her favorite songs and movies, whether she liked to dance, whether she sang when she did housework, whether she knew how to drive a car. 

I'd like to see my father through her eyes the day they met, what she found attractive about him, and why she married him even though her family didn't approve. I wonder how she felt about life during and after World War II, how she felt about my sisters and me, whether she felt fulfilled or trapped, or some combination of both. And I'd give a lot to know what it was like for her to struggle with the severe mental illness that led to her death, whether she tried to get help, whether she said good-bye to me, how she felt about leaving my sisters and me behind.

Vicki: What drew you to write in the genre(s) you do?  Laura: All kinds of ideas come to me during the course of a day, but not that many keep coming to mind. I pay attention to the ones that grab hold of me and won't let go. For my first book, Reversible Skirt, the little girl I used to be, who seemed to be stuck deep inside of me, wouldn't stop pestering me until I finally wrote her story. By doing so, I wound up setting her free. She's out in the world now, reaching the hearts and minds of readers, many of whom I will never meet. She is an aspect of me, but not really who I am today, if that makes sense. 

My second book, a collection of flash fiction, was driven by curiosity. It was a fun project, a kind of experiment. I made a commitment to post one very short, original story per week on my blog for one year. The Ice Cream Vendor's Song is the product of that year's work. 

My third book, Sisters Born, Sisters Found: A Diversity of Voices on Sisterhood, is only partly mine. It truly belongs to a collection of writers from across the globe who saw value in the idea of publishing an anthology of sister stories (memoirs, essays, poems and fiction) whether they were about blood sisters, or sisters who formed bonds in other ways. It was my love for my own two sisters that drew me to this project, as well as the realization through readings on the sister theme that I hosted for a few years, that this is a rich, rich topic to explore.  

FIND Laura at: Email  Wordforest  Website  Facebook  Twitter  Goodreads

UP NEXT:  I'm planning to publish a sequel to my childhood memoir, Reversible Skirt. It's tentatively titled I Will Claim You. It begins when I'm 13 and ends when I'm 23. 


WILL YOU HAVE A DRAWING FROM THOSE LEAVING COMMENTS or do you have a promotion you'd like us to link to?  I'd like to provide three Smashword coupon codes — one each for Sisters Born, Sisters Found; The Ice Cream Vendor's Song; and Reversible Skirt — so the person who wins the drawing will get to have all three books in ebook form. Please leave your email in the comment section to be eligible.

GOT A QUESTION YOU’D LIKE TO ASK YOUR FANS?  What would you like to know about me that isn't covered in this interview?

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Romantic Suspense at its Best

Evidence Series, book 4

From enemies to allies…

When archaeologist Isabel Dawson stumbles upon an unconscious man deep in the Alaskan wilderness, her survival skills are put to the test. She tends his wounds and drags him to shelter, only to discover she’s saved the life of Raptor CEO Alec Ravissant—the man who may have covered up her brother’s murder to save his senatorial campaign.

With no memory of the assault that landed him five miles deep in the forest, Alec doesn’t know what to believe when he wakes in the clutches of the beautiful redhead who blames him for her brother’s death, but he quickly realizes he needs her help to uncover the truth about his lost hours.

Isabel never imagined she’d find herself allied with Alec, and he’s the last man she ever expected to find attractive. But the former Army Ranger-turned-politician proves seductively charming, and he’s determined to win much more than her vote. When their quest for answers puts Isabel in the crosshairs, Alec must risk everything—his company, his campaign, and his life—to protect her.

Read a Little, Buy the Book

RACHEL GRANT worked for over a decade as a professional archaeologist and fully intends to mine her experiences for storylines and settings, which are as diverse as excavating a cemetery underneath an historic art museum in San Francisco; surveying an economically depressed coal mining town in Kentucky; and mapping a seventeenth century Spanish and Dutch fort on the island of Sint Maarten in the Netherlands Antilles.
In all her travels and adventures as an archaeologist, Rachel has found many sites and artifacts, but she’s only found one true treasure, her husband, David. They met while working together excavating a four thousand year old site about to be destroyed by the expansion of a sewage treatment plant in Seattle. Despite their romantic first meeting, she has no intention of ever setting a story at a sewage treatment plant.

Rachel lives on an island in the Pacific Northwest with her husband and children.

ANGI: What’s the first book you remember reading? 
RACHEL: I remember my mother reading THE GREAT BRAIN to my siblings and me when I was about 4. The first chapter book I read myself was probably JAMES AND THE GIANT PEACH. The first time I got lost in a story (and dreamed about it all night so I had to get up early and finish it) I was in 3rd grade, and it was a short chapter book with a mystery surrounding a tree house. There is a good chance this is the book, but I’m not certain.

ANGI: Hiking Boots or Dancing Heels?
RACHEL: Hands down, hiking boots. Isabel, the heroine in INCRIMINATING EVIDENCE will agree with me on this. I’m not certain she owns shoes that aren’t hiking boots…and I definitely don’t own dancing heels. J

ANGI: What’s your favorite cartoon character?
RACHEL: I know you said cartoon, not Anime or animated movie, but I really, really love the movies made by Studio Ghibli and Pixar, so they were the first that came to mind. I’m going to say No-Face from Spirited Away followed by Edna Mode in The Incredibles.

My son is currently obsessed with Gravity Falls and so I’m going to add Waddles the pig to this list, because Neil DeGrasse Tyson played his voice when Waddles became a super genius in one episode.

ANGI: What do you like about the hero of your book?
RACHEL: There is a basic honesty about Alec that I really love. There aren’t any moments of him thinking one thing and saying another to Isabel. Once he decides he wants her, he’s very frank, straightforward, and unwavering, and she responds to him with the same honesty. I loved writing the emotion they each brought to the story. Their chemistry was so much fun even as they dealt with a difficult emotional conflict that held Isabel back from Alec.

ANGI: Would you rather be in a Fairy Tale or Action Adventure?
RACHEL: Action Adventure

ANGI: What is your best wish come true?
RACHEL: When I was writing BODY OF EVIDENCE, I hit a wall as I researched a virus that played an important role in the story. I had questions for which the answers were understandably difficult to find. I went to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website and looked up the contact information, but it was hard to imagine my very specific questions about a virus that could be used for biological warfare would be well-received. J (Like most thriller authors, I’m fairly certain Homeland Security has made note of my Internet browsing history.)

I stared at the computer as I tried to decide if a cold email would garner a response in the form of helpful answers, or a visit from the FBI, and said aloud to no one (well, maybe the cat?), “I wish I knew someone at the CDC.”

A week after I voiced that wish, I finaled in the Golden Heart® contest again and joined the private email loop to meet the other finalists. In one of her emails to the group, the amazing and wonderful Jennifer McQuiston mentioned she’s an infectious disease specialist for the CDC. Jennifer forwarded my questions to people in the right department (vouching for the fact that I needed the information for a book), and she helped with my scenes that required technical terminology relating to the virus. (Jennifer is awesome and provided accurate information, any mistakes are mine.)

TL/DR: Once I wished for Jennifer McQuiston and my wish came true a week later.

view of Tatoosh Island from
the northwesternmost point of the contiguous United States
ANGI: What’s your favorite rerun on television?
RACHEL: I don’t watch a lot of reruns, except of currently running series like The Big Bang Theory, The Simpsons, or Castle.

ANGI: What's your most favorite thing to do in your state?
view of the coastline at Cape Flattery
RACHEL: Spend a few days on the coast with my family. I love watching the waves crash against the rocky cliffs of Cape Flattery - the northwesternmost point of the Lower Forty-Eight, visiting the Ozette archaeological site, or leaning against driftwood logs on the sandy/rocky beaches to the south and reading a great romantic suspense novel. I actually got to do the third one just last week – it was spring break, so we rented a cabin on a river near Forks and went to Rialto Beach for a day. We didn’t see any whales, but the weather was gorgeous—which is really unusual for that area.

ANGI’S GOTTA ASK: “I met my husband while working on this dig, and so I get misty-eyed watching the clips. Yes, I cry watching sewage treatment plant videos. Doesn't everyone?” This is sweet and cute, Rachel. Can you share one thing about the dig and your husband that made it so special?
RACHEL’s GOTTA ANSWER:  This is surprisingly hard, because it was ALL so special. I was 21-years-old, and it was my first paying job as an archaeologist. I’d just moved from Florida to Washington. Everything about my life was new and fresh and vibrant. I was completely on my own, with one friend—whom I’d met a year before at field school—to help me settle into the job and city that I’d decided would be my home.

Three months after I moved to Seattle, a man who’d worked on the project before I joined it, but who had left for a summer dig in Jamaica on the same day I arrived, returned. I’d been hearing his name all summer and knew the others on the crew really respected him. I remember the exact moment he walked into the lab. I can close my eyes and relive the first moment I saw his face, heard his voice. I don’t remember what we said beyond the introductions, but I do remember on the car ride home with my one friend (who’d helped me get the job and was my ride to and from work) that I’d decided to have a crush on David Grant.
We started dating a few weeks later.

TheWest Point Archaeological Project came along just as I was starting my adult life, and it absolutely changed/shaped everything I’ve done since then. That’s probably why I cry when watching the online videos of the dig – I see me, so young, not knowing what the future would bring, and I’m thankful for the project, thankful for my husband and children, thankful for this amazing life I get to share with them.

Contact           Website          Facebook        Twitter @RachelSGrant        Backlist
Previous GLIAS interviews

UP NEXT for RACHELCOVERT EVIDENCE (Evidence Series #5) – An excerpt is included at the end of INCRIMINATING EVIDENCE. No release date yet—sign up for my new release mailing list to be among the first to know when it is available:

a Short Novel
Evidence Series, book 3
Some secrets are worth dying for…
Read a little, Buy the book

Evidence Series, book 2
And she thought facing a firing squad was bad…
Read a little, Buy the book

Evidence Series, book 1
A year ago she lost everything. Now she wants revenge…
Read a little, Buy the book

RACHEL is giving away  autographed copies of the 1st 3 Evidence books (this does not include INCRIMINATING EVIDENCE) to a North America Reader
CHOOSE: North America Readers or International giveaway

Note: COMMENTERS are encouraged to leave a contact email address to speed the prize notification process. Offer void where prohibited. Prizes will be mailed to North America addresses only unless specifically mentioned in the post. Odds of winning vary due to the number of entrants. Winners of drawings are responsible for checking this site in a timely manner. If prizes are not claimed in a timely manner, the author may not have a prize available. Get Lost In A Story cannot be responsible for an author's failure to mail the listed prize. GLIAS does not automatically pass email addresses to guest authors unless the commenter publicly posts their email address.

ANGI'S back on May 1st
UP NEXT ON GLIAS:  Laura McHale Holland

Get Lost on Goodreads, Facebook
or @GetLostInAStory  #GetLostStories

? RACHEL wants to KNOW ?
Isabel in INCRIMINATING EVIDENCE prefers hiking/camping/kayaking—anything outdoors—for entertainment. For her, an ideal date would be a picnic on a mountaintop. What is your fantasy date? Dinner at a fancy restaurant? Dinner at the International Space Station? (Don’t let little things like reality intrude!) Dinner on a private jet flying to Tokyo? Share your fantasy for a chance to win print copies of CONCRETE EVIDENCE, BODY OF EVIDENCE, and WITHHOLDING EVIDENCE.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Jan Schliesman's Bumpy Road to Publication

It's a little more than two weeks until my first book releases and my world is a crazy combination of fun and fear.  Surprised?  Maybe you think that signing a contract and sending your baby out into the world means you'll be dancing through fragrant fields of flowers?  I guess that could be a possibility, but I live in Wichita where we have lots of windy days and not an abundance of fragrant fields.

I also happen to know lots of writers. Self-published, e-published, traditionally published and who write everything from romantic suspense, historical, mysteries, paranormal, inspirational and erotic. Writers who churn out stories like well-oiled machines, writers who struggle to get words on the page and writers who fall somewhere in between.  Not a one of them says this is the easiest job they've ever had.  Most of them have toiled for years, striving to sell while working day jobs that pay the bills.  Juggling kids, husbands and household duties with time on the computer to get words on the page.

When it comes to writing challenges, I'm my own worst enemy.  I've said this before, I have no idea why technology hates me!  I think maybe it's because I fall into that gap of learning specific computer programs for specific jobs and not really having a need to create templates, format headers, renumber pages for contest entries and, gulp, add photos to anything.

As proof of my total incompetence when it comes to techy stuff, I will share an embarrassing story.  I needed a headshot and I happen to have a bossy-as-hell best friend who handed me a shirt and jewelry and hauled me to a local park in Dallas, Texas, for pictures.  I'm thinking a dozen is probably a sufficient number and instead, there were four hundred!

The pictures were saved to a flash drive, which was handed to me with instructions to upload the pictures to my laptop.  I'm a drag and drop kind of person.  If something can't be coaxed into moving to another folder, I convince myself that I probably didn't need it anyway.  These pictures appeared to be cooperating and I was uber-proud of myself for making a file folder and politely dragging the pictures into it.

I'm sitting on one end of my best friend's couch while she occupies the other and she seems to be happy with my progress. Five minutes later she asks, "Are you moving those pictures one by one?"  Her tone insists its a ridiculous idea and I'm sort of torn about my answer.  She quickly takes possession of the computer and then starts laughing hysterically.

FYI: The worst thing you can do to an insecure person who already says they don't have techy skills is laugh at them.

I had actually created a new folder on her flash drive...not on my own computer...and I was merely dragging pictures back onto the flash drive(!)  This is only funny because I would have gotten home to Wichita and tried to open the folder on my computer and there would have been nothing there.  Although this is sad, pathetic and wrong, I'm blaming this on the Microsoft Corporation for selling me a laptop with Windows 8.  Why couldn't they make it easier to use??

Rather than dwell on this minor speed bump, I'd like to celebrate the fact that I shared this story for your entertainment!  And what's a celebration without a giveaway?  I'm going to award a copy of my not-yet-available debut, Protecting His Brother's Bride, to a lucky North American commenter.  Scroll down and click the comment button, include your email, and answer this question:


ANGI ADDENDUM: The previous account is BASED on a true story. Otherwise... I don't think we'd still be best friends.

I'd also like to add some links for our most humble, Jan "say it with me" She-lease-man. And here's the romantic times review from her debut book.

“First, coffee mogul Dalton Matthews walks in on Kira Kincaid trespassing on his property, and later, Kira’s truck explodes as an intruder comes after her to kill her. Though Dalton is unsure of Kira’s motives, he defends her against the intruder. Kira is on a mission, desperate to clear her name from embezzlement charges, and Dalton joins her, compelled to keep her safe. While searching for evidence, Kira reveals to Dalton that his late brother, Josh, was her husband, and matters only get more complicated as the attraction between them grows. Plenty of action and a few good plot twists are the highlights of this story. The sharp, witty banter between Dalton and Kira, along with their sizzling chemistry, makes this story one entertaining romance.”

~ ~ ~
Twitter @JanSchliesman

On Sale at Harlequin     Kindle    Nook

Monday, April 20, 2015

Get Lost in an Irish Love Story

Take a journey to Ireland with author Beppie Harrison in the historical romance Hearts Trilogy:

Lady Anne Hawthorne dearly loves Ireland, where she was born and raised. But she is the daughter of an English aristocrat, whose lands lie in Ireland, and the year is 1810. The Irish have resented the English rule more and more bitterly, and in 1798 and 1803 there were rebellions by the Irish, quickly snuffed by the British. So on which side does Lady Anne stand?

Complicating her decision are two men: the enigmatic red-headed Irishman she encounters unexpectedly and the handsome, responsible Englishman taking over his Irish estates.

So where do her loyalties lie? She has to choose between temptations and opportunities to define herself, each man claiming part of her heart and loyalty. Only when she discovers where her own fidelity must be placed—and how far into danger she is prepared to venture—can she truly give herself to the man she loves.

Here's an excerpt:
Anne regarded her sister in the flickering candlelight.
Caroline murmured, “Did you notice how attentive Lord Ashbourne was to you?”
“He was polite,” Anne said, but she felt a little rush of satisfaction.
“It was more than polite. If you are so attached to Ireland, why not marry him?”
“Marry him?” Anne squeaked, sitting straight up in her surprise. “Why in the world would he want to marry me?”
Caroline propped up her head with her elbow. “Well, why ever not? You are certainly eligible. You’re the daughter of an earl—”
“He’s a marquess,” Anne interrupted.
“Close enough, as well you know. He plans to stay in Ireland, and you love Ireland—out of all reason, if you ask me. He seems very interested already. All you need to do is charm him.”
Anne groaned. “How am I supposed to charm him? I can hardly ride over the Ballymuir tomorrow morning and announce there I am, prepared to be charming.”
Caroline muffled her giggle. “He found you out on the road once already. It’s too bad that isn’t likely to happen often.”
“Exactly.” Anne flung herself back against her pillow, noticing that she rocked the bed and not much caring. “Good night and do dream about something else.” Leaning over, she blew out the candle.
Caroline giggled again. “Good night,” she murmured, her voice coming out of the dark again.
The darkness was warm and familiar in the comfort of their bed. Images of Lord Ashbourne floated across Anne’s mind. Had he been attentive? He certainly was attractive. From what Papa had said, he was planning to make his life in Ireland, just as she wished she had the freedom to do. Presumably he would have to take a wife, sooner or later.
It was a pity that only men were allowed to decide those things. She wasn’t falling in love with him—that would be ridiculous—but the prospect of marrying him, should he ever propose such an arrangement, would not be distasteful.
But how were they ever to meet frequently enough to discover what attraction existed between them? The days were passing rapidly. What if he never pursued the business of marriage until after she had been sent to England?
She flounced over in the bed again. Caroline, who must have been half asleep already, murmured a drowsy protest. Anne ignored her.
If she could choose the man she would marry, what sort of man would she choose? It was willful even to think it, but if ever she had the choice, she would choose a man who planned to live in Ireland. Her own beautiful, confusing, secretive Ireland.

The Divided Heart is the first book in the Hearts Trilogy, which is on sale as a boxed set at Amazon:

Meet Beppie

Beppie Harrison lives in southeastern Michigan with her husband and two slightly addled cats, their four children having grown up and flown the coop. They live a somewhat cross-Atlantic lifestyle. Her husband is an English architect and they began their marriage living in London, only moving to the States when they had young children. In many ways, England still feels like home.

For Beppie, the pull from across the Atlantic comes not only from old friends and familiar places in England, but from Ireland. Did it start with its literature, its history, or its wonderful garrulous people? However it happened, she is addicted now.

Her first fiction trilogy, the Heart Trilogy, is placed primarily in Ireland during the Regency period. The Grandest Christmas, a novella for the holiday season, is a warm and cozy read for Christmastime.

You can contact Beppie on her website:
Twitter: @queenskeys

E.E.: How often do you get lost in a story?
Beppie: Every time I read a story I like. My mother tolerated it better when I was a child because she was pleased I read with such enthusiasm. She was less enthusiastic when I was a teenager because there were other things she would have liked me to do as well: homework, my assigned chores, and paying attention when she was trying to tell me something.

My husband puts up with it, and has learned that anything he tells me when I am reading a book probably has made no impact on my memory. I have four children: two of them get as lost in books as I do and consider it normal behavior; two of them cannot believe that I am not deliberately ignoring them—even now, when we’ve known each other for going on thirty years!

E.E.: What sound or noise do you love?
Beppie: I was fortunate enough to spend my childhood in Hawaii, and the sound that is the most wonderful in the world to me is the sound of moving water. Waves tumbling onto the shore is my favorite. I am always torn between staying awake to listen to it and drifting into sleep, lulled by the rhythm. But since I’ve lived on the mainland, I’ve discovered that creeks and rivers do quite nicely as well.

E.E.: What’s the first book you remember reading?
Beppie: I remember reading Heidi by Johanna Spryi. My mother gave me an edition that had a very few illustrations when I was about seven years old, and told me she thought I read well enough to be able to read it myself. I remember being monstrously proud, and then completely sucked into the story. To this day I remember the Alp Uncle and the old grandmother who was bedridden and only had hard brown buns to eat, and how proud and happy Heidi was when she was able to bring her soft white rolls. I remember thinking Heidi was a nicer little girl than I was! But I remember the old grandmother even now, every time I eat a whole wheat roll which I think must be much softer now than they were then.

E.E.: Do you write while listening to music? What kind?
Beppie: I always try to write with music, but it doesn’t always happen. What kind depends on my mood: what I like best is the Sirius subscription station Seriously Sinatra because it just goes on and on with no commercials or having to change disks, and it’s the easy listening sort of music that only seldom demands my complete attention. Sometimes a song I dearly love or that tugs at my heartstrings comes on and I stop to listen—but that doesn’t happen all the time. Or if it feels as if I’ve heard each of the songs too much, I’ll switch over to the classical station.

E.E.: What’s the best birthday (or any holiday) present you ever received?
Beppie: Once early in our marriage, when we really couldn’t afford it, my husband gave me the World Atlas published by the London Times. It’s huge and shows the whole world in exquisite detail. It’s still my treasure, even if many countries have changed their names. It’s the best.

E.E.: Which era would you least like to have lived in, fashion-wise and why? Most?
Beppie: Whenever I think about comfort, I realize how fortunate I am to live when I do, when almost all our garments are more practical and easy to wear than they have ever been before. It amazes me what our ancestors were willing to put up with! I think it struck me most strongly when we took our family vacations on the Outer Banks of North Carolina, on those sandy strips where the women of the first settlers, during the Victorian period, wore long skirts and long sleeves and petticoats and who can fully say what underwear during those long hot summers. Of course, that’s the time of year when we chose to be there, but then we all ran around in bathing suits with maybe shorts pulled over them if there was a fancy excursion to buy scallops or crabs or on a sweltering afternoon, some ice cream to cool off.

Now if you just let me imagine, then I’d be a Regency lady in one of those wonderfully Greek-influenced thin dresses that were gathered under the bust with ribbons and a fichu of lace, and with my hair piled in splendid curls on my head. My hair would stay there, of course, unlike what it does now. And I’d be thin and willowy instead of cozy and friendly. But at the first chill breeze—and I’ve lived there; London does chill breezes very well—I’d run back to the 21st century as rapidly as possible.
E.E.: Where do you read and how often?
Beppie: I read wherever there’s a book, which is why I usually have one book in the kitchen, another in the bedroom, one in the bathroom cupboard, and of course a modest pile in the living room. Lots of books where I write, of course, but most of them are utilitarian histories, dictionaries, thesaurus, and multiple volumes concerning wherever I’m writing about at the time. Maybe a reading book tucked in somewhere for me to look at in moments of despair—and to put down firmly when I look at the clock and realize I’m supposed to be working.

I read whenever I can, which means I read in the morning, at lunchtime, in the afternoon, and after dinner. Unless I’m so caught up in writing my current book that my reality in this house and with these people fades away in the face of my fascination with the people I’m writing about and whose story I’m telling. Then I walk past all the objects in the real world—the books I was reading included—with blank eyes until I can sit down with my laptop and settle back into the world of my imagination.

E.E.: What does it mean to love someone?
Beppie: It means you can give them the freedom to be their best selves, and be content in the knowledge that they give you the same. It means you love who they are and who they may be becoming. It means accepting imperfection unless you are unfortunately perfect yourself. It also helps a lot if they make you laugh.

Today, Beppie will give away an autographed copy of The Divided Heart. Just enter the raffle and leave a comment.

If you could wave a magic wand and go anywhere on earth, where would you go, and why?

a Rafflecopter giveaway
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