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Monthly Archives: December 2013

Today’s featured book is Reflection by Kim Cresswell.
investigative reporter, Whitney Steel, has lived in the shadow of her legendary
father long enough. To prove herself she needs to find the “Big”
She found it. Now it may kill her.
After receiving a lead pointing to the world’s first cloned human, now a small
child, Whitney vows to unravel the truth. However, sifting through the facts
proves to have dangerous results, including death threats and murder.
When she’s nearly killed, but is saved by undercover FBI Special Agent, Blake
Neely, he refuses to let her get in the way of his own objective–at least not
right away.
Caught in a lethal game between a billionaire obsessed with genetic perfection,
his hit man’s thirst for retribution, and a Colombian drug lord fresh out of
prison determined to make Blake pay for his twin brother’s death over a decade
Can they save an innocent child before it’s too late?
Faced with tough choices, with deadly consequences for many–Whitney soon
realizes that sometimes a story becomes more than just a story.

Buy Link

Find Me Here

Amazon Author Page:

Great Fruitcake Bake Off 
Welcome Vicki
Batman back to Romance Lives Forever for a few writing tips.
In church this past winter-almost-spring,
I sat behind a couple with granddaughters. The woman removed her fur scarf and set
it around a blonde cutie’s neck. The little one gathered the ends and rubbed them
across her face and pressed them to her nose.
I wanted to do that. I wanted to buy
a fur collar and do what she’d done in the worst way. Just by watching her, I could
feel the softness brushing my mouth and the scent of Chanel No. 5.
I like to buy vintage handbags, and
recently when I opened up one, a whiff of perfume teased my nose. Something old
and special. Remember when ladies put scent on their hankies and stowed it in their
bags? Remember peeking through Grandmother’s bath cupboard and seeing the cobalt
blue perfume bottle with a silver label inscribed Evening in Paris?
My cat is twenty years old and doesn’t
venture outside much. But when she does on a bright summer day, she will park herself
in a corner outside my window. I’m so afraid I’ll forget and leave her there; so
after a while, I retrieve her. I always kiss the top of her head, feeling the velvet
of her fur against my mouth. And she smells fresh, as if she had absorbed sunshine.
Evening in Paris 
My malti-poos on the other hand have
silky hair which grows into riotous ringlets. When freshly laundered, they are incredibly
soft and the hint of apricot from the shampoo lingers. But after a couple of weeks,
they cease being adorable and become plain ol’ smelly dogs. Dirt-stained paws, gooky
eyes, sour scent.
On Sunday, I took the dogs for a long
walk. As we turned the last block toward home, I noticed the green pecans on the
asphalt from the squirrels’ munching. Even lines from gnawing were visible on the
hull. The leaves from water-starved trees littered the pavement. Some shaped into
long beige cocoons. Others in various stages of disintegration. The tink-tink of
the doggies’ badges clinking as they marched onward by my side.

When we write, are we taking the time to engage all our senses? Do we really
feel? Do we really smell? Do we hear?

Green Pecans 
What does our hero’s hair feel like?
Long is different from short. What does their skin feel like? Most men have hair
on their arms, legs and chest, and that intriguing line which runs below their waistband.
And don’t forget the scruffy beard and the adorable twinkle in their eye which makes
a gal want to twinkle right back and move right into the sexy dance… Whoa. Too
much romance writing. LOL
We can enhance our power of sense
by observation. Stop rushing through the day. Sit. Listen. Take a lengthy look.
A deep inhale and a cleansing exhale. What does the raindrop plopping on the tin
roof of a boathouse actually sound like? What kind of caw does a parrot make when
he flies overhead? What does gravel crunch like when we walk down a path?
It’s hard to put sights, sounds, tastes,
and smells into words; yet when we get it right, we transport our readers further
into our story and giving them an intimate experience.
Sometimes, we over rely on ourselves
to create the sights and sounds.
When I posted a blog about watching
rain one morning, several people described the sound of rain. Lesson learned–ask
friends what they hear, see, taste, smell. Everyone’s experience is a little different
from our own, and maybe, just maybe, they might describe it better and the words
to take my work to the next level will come to me.
How do you enhance your senses for
your writing? What do you recall from reading a good book where the author
brought out the senses?

Buy Links

About the Author

Like some of her characters, award-winning author, Vicki Batman has worked
a wide variety of jobs including lifeguard, ride attendant at an amusement park;
a hardware store, department store, book store, antique store clerk; administrative
assistant in an international real estate firm; and a general “do anything
gal” at a financial services firm–the list is endless.
Writing for several years, she has
completed three manuscripts, written essays, and sold many short stories to True
Love, True Romance, True Confessions, Noble Romance Publishing, Long And Short Reviews,
and Museitup Publishing. She is a member of RWA and several writing groups and chapters.
In 2004, she joined DARA and has served in many capacities, including 2009 President.
DARA awarded her the Robin Teer Memorial Service Award in 2010. Most days begin with
her hands set to the keyboard and thinking “What if??

Me Here

Amanda in the Summer 
Brenda Whiteside, welcome to Romance Lives Forever. Let’s talk
about your book, Amanda in the Summer.
Genre: Mainstream Women’s Fiction, Historical
Buy links:
The Wild Rose Press:
Worldwide Release date: December 18, 2013
Publisher: The Wild Rose Press
Cover artist: Rae Monet
Length: 45,000 words
Heat rating: sweet
Tagline: Three generations of women…and the secret that strengthens
their love.
A line of women, all named Amanda, stretches back for generations.
Each with her hopes, her joys, her pain—each pouring out her heart in correspondence
with a dear family friend who shares their lives, understands their loves, and joins
in their sorrows.
But within the correspondence lies a secret. And as the youngest
of the Amandas retraces the journey through the years—beginning in post-war America
and following through to modern day—the letters reveal, layer by layer, the Amandas
who came before her. Soon, the truths and lies hidden in the letters lead her down
a path of self-discovery that forges a bond between her past and future.
What are your main characters’ names, ages, and occupations?
Amanda is twenty-four in the opening letter written in 1947.The
letter is written to Tilly who is the same age. Subsequent letters are written by
Amanda’s daughter and granddaughter. All of the Amandas are main characters and
they all write letters to Tilly from 1947 until 2004.


How did you get your start in the industry?
My first book was published by The Wild Rose Press in 2010. Prior
to that, I had short stories published with some free press both in print and on-line.
What is the most important thing you do for your career now,
as compared to when you first started writing?
I write every day. There are days I get hours of writing in but
there are just as many I get twenty minutes for my craft. The most important thing
is to keep the creative juices flowing.
What websites do you visit daily?
That varies, but I’m on Facebook every day. There are several
blogs I check in on if the subject matter attracts me.
If you could change something about your first book, what
would it be?
I’d give it one more good edit to catch the things we missed.
And I might deepen the POV. All in all, it was meant to be a lighthearted suspense
for entertainment, and I still see it that way.
What do you enjoy most about writing?
When words come together I find amusing, or when a character
pops off the page I get excited. So often, creativity is spontaneous. I’m not the
only writer that says this. We all have those moments when characters run away with
the story, and we’re just a conduit to the page. It’s plain old fun!
If you could choose anyone to be your mentor who would it
I’d have to have two – Maeve Binchy and Diana Gabaldon. I love
the ever day people feel to Binchy’s stories. I also think she’s a terrific storyteller.
Gabaldon is a master at deep POV. You can live through her characters. I’d like
to excel to their level in both those talents.
If you could give the younger version of yourself advice what
would it be?
My younger version didn’t know I wanted to be an author. I’d
have to tell myself my happiness would be greatest writing – and to get busy and
stop wasting time.
What is your work ethic when it comes to writing?
Like I said, I write every day, but I still get distracted by
life. You know? So I do have that daily work ethic to keep at it although I wish
I could ramp it up more.
How do you cope with stress as an author?
I work harder. And I complain and eat chocolate.
Do things your family or friends do ever end up in a book?
What are some jobs you’ve done before (or while) you were
a writer?
I managed a swimming pool company years ago. I’ve worked in a
library, flipped hamburgers at a goofy-golf course and trained child care providers
in nutrition.
Which of your books would you recommend to someone who doesn’t
normally read your genre, and why?
I’d recommend The Morning After because it’s short (so they wouldn’t
feel like they were getting roped in for a long read they might not like), sexy
(but not too sexy) and fun (if they get entertained they might come back for more).
What kind of books do you read when taking a break from your
own writing?
I’m on a suspense kick right now, probably because I’m writing
a romantic suspense.
What do you think is the future of traditional publishing?
There will always be a place for it, but not the monopoly of
the past.
What do you wish I had asked you? Please ask and answer it
Do you have another book in the works for publication? As a matter
of fact, I do! The Art of Love and Murder is currently in the editing process at
The Wild Rose Press so the release date hasn’t been set. This is a romantic suspense
I had a great time writing. I’ve got at least two more novels spinning off from
characters in this book.
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?
My cosmetics would be first, followed by a few sweaters, boots
and denim. Love my denim. Then I’d be off to Ireland. One of my grandfathers, a very
colorful man, was Irish and I’ve always wanted to go there.
What is your favorite holiday and why?
Thanksgiving has always been my favorite. The coming together
of family and friends for nothing more than to eat and talk is so enjoyable. No
stress of giving and getting in the material sense. It’s the one time each year
when I’ll get to enjoy people I might not see all year long.
What good book have you read recently?
I’m reading Sandford’s Prey series about Lucas Davenport. I’m
on book four.
Brenda Whiteside

Previous Books

Sleeping with the Lights On
Honey On White Bread
The Morning After
Warm Christmas Wishes (Anthology)
A Holiday to Remember (written
with nine other authors)
Just One Wish (Holiday anthology)

Books Coming Soon

The Art of Love and Murder

Find Me Here

Group Blog, The Roses of Prose:

Be Mine This Christmas Night 
LA Sartor, welcome to Romance Lives Forever. Let’s talk about
your book, Be Mine This Christmas Night.
Genre: Romance
Publisher: L.A.
Cover artist: Neringa
Length: 288 pages print, apx 40,000 words digital
Heat rating: mild
Tagline: Will Their Wish Come True This Christmas Night?
The Children’s Author …
Annie Hamilton’s children’s series
Star Light~Star Bright is a mega hit.
She loves kids and wants nothing more than a family of her own, but twice burned,
thrice shy. When a gorgeous man with two young boys moves next door, Annie can’t
help but dream her impossible dream.
And The Widower Who Moved Next Door
Evans is a brilliant scientist, but finds fatherhood a challenge. When his son develops a bond with their
enchanting neighbor, the boy’s favorite author, Cole discovers just how much he’s
lost—and how much he needs.
Will Their Wish Come True This Christmas
Can Cole overcome family meddling and
alleviate Annie’s fears so they can be a ready-made family?
Buy links:
What are your main characters’ names, ages, and occupations?
Annabelle Hamilton (Annie) 30’s, Children’s book author
Dr. Cole Evans, late 30’s, PhD Atmospheric Physicist
Josh Evans, 7
Peter Evans, 9


If you could change something
about your first book, what would it be?
I changed the cover to Dare To Believe once and I’d change it
again. If you want to see the first cover, go to www.lasartor
and scroll down to the bottom of that first page. I’m not sure how I would change
it a third time, but I’d love to hear from the readers of the blog. Chime in. What
would you change from my current cover…also on the same website.
How do you cope with stress
as an author?
I go into my back yard which is an oasis for me. Pond, views
of the mountains, peace. I get away from the computer, and if I still want to write,
use the ancient tools of pencil and paper. While I love the computer, it can suck
you dry. Too many distractions, and too many things I should be doing as well as
writing, like promotion, emails, web-surfing…
Do things your family
or friends do ever end up in a book?
Parts of them do and parts of me. I saw a T-shirt
once that said, “Be careful what you say or you could end up in my book.”
True. So watch out J
Which of your books would
you recommend to someone who doesn’t normally read your genre, and why?
I was at a signing recently and was told by some of the readers
who’d stopped by that they don’t read romance. So I started thinking about my books
and really, they are a journey, not only of the main characters, but I try really
hard to take you someplace you may not know. My screenwriting comes in as I set
the scene, place you there. I’m told I’m good at it. So yes, it’s a love story,
but so much more. Now how do I tell you that? Thoughts, dear readers?
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?
Shorts, bathing suit, sunscreen and my credit cards. Any island
where there is sun, sand, palm trees and blue, blue water. Let’s go now. Dare To
Believe is set both in Hawaii and Colorado. Two of my favorite
What is your favorite
holiday and why?
Christmas is. Which is why I HAD to write Be Mine This Christmas
Night. I love the magic, hope, peace and goodwill of the season and wish it could
last longer, like all year. Wouldn’t peace to all and hope for a better tomorrow
be a good thing?
Where were you at midnight,
on December 31st when the new century started?
Fun question. At home with my husband, waiting for a calamity
to befall the bank I was part of. I was on the Y2K team. We were extremely prepared,
but YAY, nothing!!
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.”
Both honestly. But If I had to pick…nope, can’t do it.

Please complete the sentences

I love pizza with mushrooms, onions, bell peppers-any color
and lots of cheese.
I’m always ready for wine and pasta, a good walk and a chat
with my best friend.
When I’m alone, I love to read, do cross stitch and play the
You’d never be able to tell, but I can be a very shy person.
If I had a halo it would be gold
with diamonds.
If I could win the lotto I’d set up a literacy foundation.
I can never scuba dive again because I’m terrified
of drowning, but love to swim.

About the Author

Leslie Ann Sartor (aka L.A. Sartor)
began telling stories around the age of 4 when her mother, at Leslie’s insistence,
wrote them down and Leslie illustrated them. As an adult she writes suspense and
action adventure novels with a dash of romance, and screenplays—she’s had a contracted
adaptation! She lives in Colorado
with her husband whom she met on a blind date. Leslie loves to travel. She thinks
life is an adventure and we should embrace the journey.

Find Me Here

Amazon author site:
Kaden’s Reprieve 
Dariel Raye and I have worked together on several projects,
so when she started a street team recently, I asked if I could tag along. She
soon outran me energy-wise, and I dropped back to admire from a distance. I
asked her to keep me posted on what was what. This is her report. — Kayelle
  1. Street
    teams are all the rage in the book market right now. Ideally, an awesome group
    of loving fans sacrifice their time and effort to help get the word out about
    our books. Realistically, though, it’s not quite that simple. After contemplating
    the pros and cons of street teams, I finally started one a couple of months
    ago. I’d been reading about them and asking questions from more experienced
    marketers, but since I started working with Raye’s Ravers, quite a few more
    things have been made clear to me. Here’s my take, along with a few suggestions.
  2. Ongoing
    point/reward system is too tedious, and even that doesn’t get everyone sharing/tweeting.
    Also becomes impersonal, IMO. The golden rule for street teams is to find unique
    ways to show appreciation. Never forget that these awesome individuals are
    helping you for FREE, so personal thank yous are definitely a requirement.
    I’ll talk more about this later in #6 and #11. Points/rewards for special campaigns/projects
    works better. You can use Google or some other spreadsheet to help keep up
    with points for each team member during the campaign. I started with a month
    long campaign, but I don’t recommend that – too LONG. Two weeks is probably
    a good maximum for special projects and campaigns.
  3. Don’t accept
    people onto the team who are on more than 5 street teams – there are exceptions
    to every rule, of course, but generally speaking, they simply don’t have time
    to keep up with all the boards, groups, and teams on a regular basis. Unless
    your team quickly becomes a favorite, they’re seldom around to respond to tags
    or any other messages you post.
  4. Create
    a private group for sharing and team files.
  5. I’m sure
    you know this, but very few writers have time to be on street teams. Like you,
    they need to be writing. Any time they have left needs to be spent marketing
    their OWN work. Cross promotion is always awesome, but it should never be just
    about you and your work when working with another author. Enough said.
  6. Team-ONLY
    parties can be nice incentives for special campaigns, and this is another reason
    for #7.
  7. Let people
    go nicely who never share. I call most of them “Friends of Raye’s Ravers”
    because they cared enough to give the team a try, and they still help by sharing
    occasionally. Occasional “house cleaning” is important though. Unless
    a team member lets you know why they’re not around (vacation, family problems,
    illness, etc.), set them free if they don’t respond to posts and never share.
  8. Chatting
    with team members as a group helps everyone get to know each other better –
    strengthens the team and it really is nice to get to know people who like your
  9. Another
    thing I’m planning is choosing a “Raver” of the week or something
    to help get more consistent sharing. It’ll be random.
  10. Playing
    random games and asking questions helps with team building too.
  11. Create
    special prizes only given to team members to increase interest and pride.
  12. All in
    all, if you’re planning to start a street team, expect to spend the first few
    weeks or so just getting your team up and rolling. In other words, don’t try
    to start a street team in the midst of a big writing project. Your goal is
    to keep the team moving and show appreciation without
    constant hands-on involvement from you. Let’s face it – if your team needs
    your constant attention, you still don’t have time to write! I don’t think
    there’s a hard and fast rule as to what works or doesn’t work, but the beauty
    of it is that the sky’s the limit in terms of fun things to try, and you get
    to meet some awesome people along the way.
Heck, you might even get a little more marketing done than you
can on your own.

Previous Books

Kaden’s Reprieve:
Dark Sentinels Book One: Sable:
Wings – The Alerians – Dark Progeny Series:

Find Me Here

Forgotten Desire 
Storm is in the 20th century with no memory. Heather must make
him remember and avoid her mimesis before bringing him home.
Heather and Storm’s story continues…
When Storm leans against one of Bert’s machines and is sent back
in time without his memories, Heather has to go after him.
A simple retrieval won’t work. She has to make him remember before
they can return to their own timeline.
Finding him is easy, getting him to regain his memories isn’t.
Then she finds out Ialog is there, giving Storm something to keep his memories at
Now she has to find a way to stop her old nemesis and bring her
mate home.

Buy Links:

Find Me Here

Barbara Donlon Bradley
Fill your future with Desire
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