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Monthly Archives: December 2012

Too Many Cooks.

Shirley Ann Wilder, welcome to Romance Lives Forever. Let’s talk
about your book, Too Many Cooks.

Genre: Contemporary Romance
Publisher: Boroughs Publishing Group
Buy links:
Boroughs Publishing Group
Cover artist: Kim Killion
Length: 80,000 words
Heat rating: mildly sensual
Tagline: Bitter news leads a San Diego widow and widower to true
love–and to a scheme to marry off their adult children, a plan that goes deliciously
Gaetano Lorenzo was the sweetest man that the widowed Estelle
Bennett had ever met. That morning began terribly, with awful news, but now the
owner and head chef of a local San Diego ristorante was offering up Italian delights:
red wine, delicious food, walks on the beach, laughter when she’d never thought
she’d laugh again…. Estelle felt twenty-five. She and Gaetano had found the recipe
for love, and a simple variation might just get their adult children to settle down,
too. A scoop of sugar, two ladlefuls of lust, a pinch of deception and a whole 24
oz.-can of danger– Suddenly, ingredients were coming from everywhere! But kitchens
are crazy places, and variety is the spice of life. And for anything to get cooked,
things have to get hot.
What are your main characters’ names, ages, and occupations?
Estelle Bennett is a 50+ widow.
Gaetano Lorenzo is a 50+ widower the owner and head chef of a
popular Italian restaurant. Estelle’s son Alex, 29 year old son, Alex, who traipses
all over the world as a photo-journalist
Gaetano’s 28 year old daughter, Gina, an up-and-coming attorney
who can’t boil water.

Interview with Estelle Bennett

Tell us about yourself. What are you like?
I was widowed about a year ago and I miss Marty, but I try to
keep busy. I have one son who travels everywhere so the little time I spend with
him is precious. I helped Marty in his business until we had Alex. Then I was a
stay-at-home mother and active with his school and other projects. I have my Garden
Club now and some friends, but there are times, I admit I get lonely.
What do you think is your strongest point?
I don’t give up. I pride myself on being able to overcome problems.
I had to be strong when Marty was ill–for Alex’s sake. Now, I must be strong again
because I may very well be at the end of my life.
Do you have a weakness? (If so, what do you think it is? What
does your lover think it is? What does your enemy think it is?)
Weakness? Goodness, I never thought about it. I guess if I have
a weakness it would be wanting my son to be happy and maybe a bit more settled in
his life. My lover? Oh, well, oh my, lover? I never placed Gaetano in that role,
but I guess in a way, we are lovers. God knows he’s opened up a part of my life
I thought was gone forever. It’s been quite wonderful; actually, I mean I have something,
someone to look forward to. Gaetano would probably say my weakness was him. He is
persuasive. I’m not sure I have an enemy–unless of course you count this illness.
My doctor says it’s nothing but I heard what he said.
What drives you to do the things you do? What makes you want
to be the “good guy?”
Instinct drives me to do the things I do. I always want to do
what’s right. I’ve always played by the rules.
What’s your favorite guilty pleasure?
Oh, I wish you hadn’t asked that question. My guilty pleasure
is Gaetano. I wouldn’t tell everyone this, and especially not my son, but that man
has awakened parts of my body and soul that I forgot I had. He’s so charming and
so handsome and …oh well, I’ve said enough.
If you didn’t know how old you were how old would you be?
While I enjoyed being a young mother, I like being just the age
I am now, but I’m sorry I’m not as healthy as I used to be.
A biography has been written about you. What do you think
the title would be in six words or less?
Love knows no age limits.
If money were not an object, where would you most like to
Right where I live now–in the beautiful community of La Jolla,
the suburb of San Diego that is known as the jewel of the ocean.
What song would best describe your life?
Misty — It describes what I feel when I’m with Gaetano.
If you were a tool, what would people use you to do?
I’d probably be some sort of kitchen tool–maybe a hand mixer
because I do like to stir things up.
Picture yourself as a store. Considering your personality
and lifestyle, what type of products would be sold there?
Oh, it would have to be a store like Williams Sonoma–you know
the one that features lots of cooking appliances and little items that make a kitchen
special. Items that people can do without but the ones that add just a special touch
and show their personality. Maybe a sterling silver coffee measure, or an imported
honey utensil with a special jar of organic honey.
As a child, what was your favorite thing about school?
Tell us an embarrassing story that has to do with a pet. If
you have no pets, a story about a significant other will do.
Well, we never had a lot of pets, Marty was so busy and didn’t
think Alex could take the responsibility. However, you know as mother we see things
differently and I knew how much Alex wanted a puppy, so I told a little white fib
and told Marty that we were pet-sitting for the Nelsons’, thinking that he’d get
used to the dog and then we’d tell him it was really our puppy. Unfortunately, we
ran into the Nelsons’ at a social function and Marty asked them when they were picking
up their dog. Obviously, I had to confess but Marty relented and we all loved Snickers
for a long time. He did dig up a few of my prize plants, however.
If you came with a warning label, what would it say?
Oh, my, I never thought about having a warning label. Perhaps
it would be “Handle with care. Excessive shaking could result in an explosion. I
do have red hair and you know what they say about a red-head’s temper.
I love pizza with green bell peppers and pineapple.
I’m always ready for adventure which Gaetano seems to produce
no matter where we go
When I’m alone, I usually like to read or catch up on taped
TV shows
You’d never be able to tell, but I’ve cheated death.
If I had a halo it would be lopsided.
If I could turn back the clock, I’d say all the things
I meant to say to Marty and never did
I can never regret all the mistakes I’ve made because
they have made me a better person.

About the Author

Shirley Ann Wilder
I grew up with a love of books and read before starting school,
which was not always welcomed by my mother. She passed me off as under five so she
didn’t have to pay bus fare for me and then was embarrassed when I read all the
ads on the bus. I fell in love with my husband at first sight, even though I was
just three weeks away from my wedding to my high school sweetheart. Needless to
say, that marriage never took place. I had almost a half-century with my soul mate.
He’s gone now, but remains my hero forever. We raised 3 sons and a daughter and
I now am the proud grandmother of four granddaughters and one grandson. Writing
is my passion and saves me from going crazy when loneliness threatens to creep into
my life. I dream a lot of my plots and when I write, I become each character.
Hmmm, does that mean I have multiple personalities?

Books Coming Soon

“Fly Me” and A Son by Any Name

Find Me Here


Highland Healer.
Willa Blair, welcome to Romance Lives Forever. Let’s talk about
your book, Highland Healer.
Genre: Scottish Historical Paranormal
Publisher: The Wild Rose Press
Buy links:
Cover artist: Tina Lynn Stout
Length: 85,000
Heat rating: Spicy
Tagline: Scottish Historical Romance with a Paranormal Twist
He needs her for his clan. He wants her for himself. Can he have
Toran Lathan never expected to become Laird, and never expected
to meet a woman like Aileana Shaw. Her healing ability is just what his people need,
but Toran cannot re-sist her beauty. Yet will loving him destroy her ability to
Aileana Shaw has a healing touch – and a special talent she must
keep secret. Stolen from her home by a marauding army, she’s kidnapped again by
the Highland Laird she heals. Is she a prize of war, or the prize of his heart?
While Toran battles the invading lowland army, he also battles
his desire for Aileana. And Aileana must decide if she can trust her secrets to
this fierce warrior who needs her talent, but wants her love.
What are your main characters’
names, ages, and occupations?
Toran Lathan, Laird of Clan Lathan
Aileana Shaw, Healer
Gar Colbridge, leads the lowlander army


What is the most important thing you do for your career now, as compared to when you first started writing?
When I started, learning about the craft of writing and actually
writing were the most important things for me to do. Now that I’m published, and
now that my book has won an award and is a best-seller on Kindle, networking and
promotion/publicity activities such as writing blog posts are important. And writing
the next book, of course!
What do you enjoy most about writing?
Giving my imagination free reign to explore times, places and
situations that would never occur in my everyday life.
If you could give the younger version of yourself advice what would it be?
Finish the damn book! Like a lot of writers, I spent years starting
several books and pol-ishing the first few chapters over and over again. It took
a decade for me to settle on one and finish it. Typing “the end” was a revelation.
A rite of passage. Proof that I could really do it.
After that, writing a book is not as daunting a task. Yes, it’s
daunting. Just not as daunt-ing. I finished the second book in under a year and
I’m working on the third in the series now. When I want a change of pace, I work
on the outlines of two different contempo-rary novels and a science fiction romance
series I’m developing.
What is your work ethic when it comes to writing?
I am most emphatically not a morning person. Afternoons and evenings
are the most productive times for writing. When I’m really deep into the book, I
can spend hours at the keyboard. But when I’m still working on the outline or synopsis,
I’m easily distracted. Social media is a blessing and a curse. And don’t get me
started on the lure of Ama-zon’s rankings, especially for a debut author!
How do you cope with stress as an author?
The same way most of us do – with chocolate! Or a glass of wine.
Sometimes both.
Which of your books would you recommend to someone who doesn’t normally read your genre, and why?
I’d recommend Highland Healer to anyone who enjoys a good story.
It has action, ad-venture, suspense, and romance. One reviewer even said that men
would like the book because of the details of the invading army, the siege, etc.
Another mentioned the pace and the page-turning action, along with the romance.
Willa Blair
What kind of books do you read when taking a break from your own writing?
I grew up reading science fiction and some fantasy, so I still
go there when I want a change from what I’m writing, but I also enjoy contemporary
romance, romantic sus-pense and science fiction romance.
What do you think is the future of traditional publishing?
That’s a great question. I don’t claim to have a crystal ball,
but I think the fact that au-thors have so many options right now will force some
changes. I think the Big Six, or Five, or Four, or however they end up, will slowly
adjust to the new realities. Authors can make more money as independents or with
smaller presses. They can choose any combination of publishing methods, including
the (potentially) lower pay but greater prestige of traditional publishers. I think
the big houses will have to woo authors with better royalties and more benefits.
I know multi-published authors who are self-publishing new material at the same
time they’re fulfilling contracts with NY editors for new books at the same time
they’re reclaiming rights to their backlist and e-publishing those books. Options
are good.
Imagine you get to go on a dream vacation, but you have only one hour to pack and leave, and it starts
as soon as you finish this interview. What will you take with you and where will you go?
I’ll pack layers, comfy walking shoes, a bathing suit and sunblock
and head for New Zealand to visit
friends there and for a grand tour, then hop over to Australia and revisit places I’ve been
as well as adding some new stops.
What is your favorite holiday and why?
Hallowe’en. All that candy! Did I mention I’m addicted to sugar?
My favorite is Brach’s Indian Corn – the candy corn with the chocolate tops.
Then there are the adorable little kids in princess and pirate
costumes – SO cute!
What good book have you read recently?
Ghost Planet by Sharon Lynn Fisher. Not your usual romance, but
it will hook you in the first few paragraphs.
If you were a color, what color would you be?
Orange – all shades from light and bright to deep and burnt.
Please underline which statement is more like you:
“I am a vacation spa because I am laid back and relaxed.”
“I am a ten-countries in ten-days tour vacation, because
I do things as fast as possible.”

Please complete the sentences

I love pizza with pepperoni and onions.
I’m always ready for lunch or dinner out.
When I’m alone, I read, write or nap.
You’d never be able to tell, but I enjoy city life, at least in small doses.
If I had a halo it would be crooked.
If I could be consistent I’d be dangerous!
Willa Blair
I can never work in an animal shelter because I’d adopt and adopt and become the crazy cat lady.

Find Me Here

Young Ladies of Mystery.

Stacy Juba, welcome to Romance Lives Forever. Let’s talk
about your new release, the Young Ladies of Mystery Boxed Set.
Genre: Mystery/Romantic Suspense
Buy links:
Publisher: Thunder Horse Press
Cover artist: Mark Juba (for the boxed set cover)
Length: 595 pages
Heat rating: Clean romance
Tagline: Solve a cold case with aspiring reporter Kris Langley;
discover the downside of fame with former reality show contestant Cassidy Novak;
and meet teenage psychic Dawn Christian, who discovers that ESP spells D-A-N-G-E-R.
3 books in one download.
The Young Ladies of Mystery Boxed Set features Stacy’s
adult mystery/romantic suspense novels Twenty-Five Years Ago Today and Sink or Swim,
and her young adult psychic thriller Dark Before Dawn, in one bargain-priced download.
Solve a cold case with aspiring reporter Kris Langley; discover the downside of
fame with former reality show contestant Cassidy Novak; and meet teenage psychic
Dawn Christian, who discovers that ESP spells D-A-N-G-E-R. More on the three books
included in the download:
Twenty-Five Years Ago Today – For twenty-five years, Diana
Ferguson’s killer has gotten away with murder. When rookie obit writer and newsroom
editorial assistant Kris Langley investigates the cold case of the artistic young
cocktail waitress who was obsessed with Greek and Roman mythology, not only does
she fall in love with Diana’s sexy nephew, but she must also fight to stay off the
obituary page herself.
Sink or Swim – How do you change the channel when reality
TV turns to murder? After starring on a hit game show set aboard a Tall Ship, personal
trainer Cassidy Novak discovers that she has attracted a stalker. Can she trust
Zach Gallagher, the gorgeous newspaper photographer assigned to follow her for a
local series? As things heat up with the stalker and with Zach, soon Cassidy will
need to call SOS for real.
Dark Before Dawn – When teen psychic Dawn Christian gets
involved with a fortuneteller mentor and two girls who share her mysterious talents,
she finally belongs after years of being a misfit. When she learns her new friends
may be tied to freak “accidents” in town, Dawn has an important choice
to make – continue developing the talent that makes her special or challenge the
only people who have ever accepted her.
What are your main characters’ names, ages, and occupations?
In Twenty-Five Years Ago Today, Kris Langley is in her mid-twenties
and is a newspaper editorial assistant, obit writer and aspiring reporter. One of
her duties is compiling the 25 Years Ago Today column from the microfilm.
In Sink or Swim, Cassidy Novak is in her mid-twenties and works
as a personal trainer for a health club. She is also a recent reality show contestant
hoping to gain some income through endorsements.
Dawn Christian, the heroine of Dark Before Dawn, is a teenage
psychic who gets involved with a fortuneteller mentor.


How did you get your start in the industry?
I wrote my first novel, a young adult book called Face-Off, during
high school study halls when I was 16 years old. I entered it in a competition for
teen writers and it won a publishing contract with a major New York publisher. This was an exciting experience
for me, and it gave me the confidence to keep writing and submitting to publishers
and agents.
What is the most important thing you do for your career now,
as compared to when you first started writing?
The publishing industry has changed so much since the early 1990s,
when I was originally published. Now I have a web site and a blog, and am very active
on social networks such as Twitter and Facebook, as well as with many author groups.
The opportunity to network with readers and have access to all of this insider information
about the publishing industry has given a big boost to my career. Also, the rise
of e-books has had a tremendous impact on my career. Years ago, I remember thinking
that it wouldn’t even be worth being published if they had electronic books someday,
as I was tied to the concept of holding a printed book in my hand. Boy, was I wrong!
The growth of e-books has allowed me to make a living as an author and I find e-books
very enjoyable to read on an e-book device. It’s like a toy for book lovers. As
a result of this e-book trend, I spend a great deal of my time targeting my marketing
toward e-book consumers via social networking.
If you could change something about your first book, what
would it be?
Luckily, I had the opportunity to change something about my first
published book, my young adult hockey novel Face-Off. It was originally published
in the early 1990s, and I recently brought it back into print and released digital
editions. I deleted the names of some retired hockey players, as well as the names
of music groups and TV shows and movies that today’s kids wouldn’t identify with.
I’m now more careful about what real life details I add into a book, as I’m more
aware that someday it will be out of date.
If you could give the younger version of yourself advice what
would it be?
It would definitely be to lighten up, go with the flow, laugh
more, and take more time to relax!
What does “balance” mean to you as a writer?
It means balancing family, fiction-writing, marketing my books,
and my freelance clients, while not overextending myself. This is challenging, but
I am learning to take more time to exercise, read, and just “be.”
What are some jobs you’ve done before (or while) you were
a writer?
Since high school, I’ve worked in a drugstore, as a trainer and
lifeguard at a health club, as a college writing tutor, as a newspaper editorial
assistant, newspaper reporter, and as an administrative assistant, publicist and
event organizer. I currently write and edit newsletters for a few freelance clients,
in addition to being a full-time author.
Which of your books would you recommend to someone who doesn’t
normally read your genre, and why?
I’d recommend Twenty-Five Years Ago Today as a starting point
for someone who doesn’t normally read mystery or romance novels. I’ve visited a
few book clubs that read literary fiction, and not genre fiction, and they really
enjoyed Twenty-Five Years Ago Today as it has a lot of discussion points for a book
club. However, some of the members said they normally wouldn’t have stumbled across
it as it was in the mystery section and they don’t usually read mystery novels.
What kind of books do you read when taking a break from your
own writing?
I enjoy reading mystery novels, romantic suspense, sweet romance,
romantic comedy, and occasional young adult novels.
What is your favorite holiday and why?
I love Christmas, and the excitement of exchanging presents on
Christmas morning. I also love the carols on the radio and driving by houses with
Christmas lights. It’s a nice time of year.
Where were you at midnight, on December 31st when the new
century started?
I was kissing my husband in the living room of our then-apartment
as the ball went down on the television.
What do you like to do when you’re bored?
I love to read, play Just Dance games on Wii, and take walks.
If you were a color, what color would you be?
Yellow. I feel like yellow is a happy color, and I have it on
several walls in my house. I also wear bracelets with yellow in it, to give me a
Which statement is more like you:
“I am a vacation spa because I am laid back and relaxed.”
“I am a ten-countries in ten-days tour vacation, because
I do things as fast as possible.”
Definitely ten-countries in ten days as I like to be on-the-go
when I’m on vacation, though my goal is to become more laid back and less of a Type
A personality!

Please Fill in the Blanks

I love pizza with green peppers and onions.
I’m always ready for a good book.
When I’m alone, I like to blast music very loud.
You’d never be able to tell, but I’m very introverted.
If I had a halo it would be yellow
and sparkly
If I could win a million dollars I’d go for a massage
every week
I can never read enough books because it’s one of my
favorite things to do

Previous Books

Adult: Twenty-Five Years Ago Today and Sink or Swim
Young adult: Dark Before Dawn; Face-Off
Anthology: 25 Years in the Rearview Mirror: 52 Authors Look Back
Children’s: The Flag Keeper; Teddy Bear Town Children’s E-book
Stacy Juba

Books Coming Soon

Watch for a new romantic comedy in 2013, followed by some fun
short story spin-offs for my books!

Find Me Here

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