Monday, December 05, 2016

Judy Baker writing as Anna Sugg tells us about her Santa series.

Welcome to the garden everyone! As you can see, it's full on winter, no more fall. I have warm goodies. I have hot chocolate and coffee, and of course, peppermint schnapps for the cocoa and Irish crème for the coffee. Grab yourself a plate and find a place to sit. Today we have Judy Backer writing as Anna Sugg telling us about her Santa Series.

Judy Baker writes historical western romances/suspense, and her alternative-ego, Anna Sugg writes contemporary/suspense romance and paranormal novels. She has written The Santa Series, Yellow Creek Novels series, Silver Sage Creek series. Her favorite holiday is Christmas and her Santa Series has appeared on the top one hundred Amazon list. She’s been involved in many writing groups including RWA, URWA, and the Music City Romance writers of America in Nashville, Tennessee. She also taught a beginners class during the Florida RWA Conference, and taught classes for adult writers with the West Jordan Community Education District.

Baker grew up in the Tennessee, but has lived much of her life in the west. Moving to Nevada to teach school, she was compelled to write the stories that filled her head. She now lives in Utah with her husband and two furry kids, a Lakeland terrier named Stanley and, Bruce, an eighteen pound cat. When not writing, she enjoys RVing with her family, stargazing through one of her many telescopes, digging in her wildflower garden, and golfing, or just swinging on the patio while plotting her next story. She’s also an avid fan of coffee, tea and the ocean. You can contact Judy through her website:

I’m excited to be a guest on Mary’s blog and tell you about a series that I wrote, especially for the Christmas holidays. Christmas is my favorite holiday, so it was a natural thing for me to write a Christmas story.

When I first wrote Santa’s Pretty Lady, I wasn’t thinking about a series, but as many of you know, secondary characters can often whispering in your ear. A homeless character in my story, Santa’s Pretty Lady, bugged me to a point that I finally put my fingers to the computer, even though it was the first of August and summer sunshine begged me to be outdoors. I played Christmas music and listened to my muse, letting the story unfold. (My husband just smiled and shook his head.)

In no time, I had completed the next book, Santa’s Secret Gift. And, of course, wouldn’t you know it. The little girl in book two was such a sweet, loveable character that I knew I had to write her story in book three, Mainland Santa. As an adult, she continued to be the character that I loved in Santa’s Secret Gift.

All three books are filled with fun, emotional, suspenseful drama, all with a Santa hero. You’ll meet loveable, courageous, even insufferable characters that flow from one book to the next as they meet life’s unexpected challenges. These Christmas stories are sweet and wholesome with happily-ever-after endings, and can be read as a stand-alone story. The Santa Series will keep you in the spirit of the holiday season, even after the holidays.

I’m thrilled to announce the book cover of Santa’s Pretty Lady’s won first place in the Still Moments Magazine Winter Holiday Cover Contest. Thank you to all of you that voted for my cover, which was created by Sheri McGathy,

Santa’s Pretty Lady
How could she possibly fall in love with a homeless Santa? Lena Belle tries to reject the love of a man whose only job for the moment is playing Santa for the department store. Yet, he stirs an emotion within her that she has not felt for many years. How could she fall in love with a homeless Santa? Would he be willing to work for their relationship? Supporting a man once in a lifetime is enough. She will not be the sole provider and risk another divorce.
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Santa’s Secret Gift
A gift from a secret Santa gives her hope and a chance to take her daughter and run. When Madison Sanford is abandoned on a mountaintop in the middle of Nevada's desolate state, where a body could die and not be found, if ever, she never dreamed that one day a secret Santa would give her hope for happiness. Peter Jackson's destiny had once again crossed paths with Madison. Loving her scares the hell out of him and the only thing he knows to do is to run again, pushing her back in the arms of the man that could destroy her.
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Mainland Santa
All men have only two things on their mind: sex and secrets Dr. Brianna Sanford will miss the salty
smell of the ocean air, the winter nights with their perfect conditions for stargazing, and the island's constant eighty-two degree temperature. As her job at the prestigious hotel in Hawaii nears an end, Brianna meets Cagney Malloy. Since breaking off an engagement, she had decided all men have only two things on their mind: sex and secrets. Cagney Malloy is no different. He has a secret. She wouldn't care, except her feelings for the man has become more than she expected.
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Here’s wishing you all a very Merry Christmas and success in all you want to accomplish in the New Year. Judy.

Thank you for joining us today, Judy! I can tell everyone first hand, this is a GREAT Series. Enjoy!

Monday, November 28, 2016

Hard Men of the Rockies - Five Authors

Welcome to the garden everyone. We're continuing our series about authors writing a series. It's getting cold so we'll be in Rose House. Grab a plate and fill up with goodies and be sure to pour your favorite beverage.

This week I am highlighting a book series, and it’s not what you think. The authors of Chick Swagger have gotten together to create The Hard Men of the Rockies 5-book series, and it went live September 13th. I had an opportunity to chat (albeit electronically) with the Chicks about their new series.

Question: Who decided on the theme of the series? How was it decided?
KYM: We wanted something to reflect on the reader conference we were planning to attend in Colorado, and since I have an obsession with a certain Rock, I was all in for The Hard Men of the Rockies. ;)

MISTY: Exactly! Plus we thought a family-theme built around gramma sounded like a hoot.

TRACY: The theme was set, and the rest of us just fell in line :-).

Question: What was the most fun in working with 4 other authors on this series?

KYM: Our texts. OMG, they were hilarious and X-rated. Definitely not something we could allow our kids to read to us while we drove. ;)

MIA: Definitely!

BRYNLEY: It was also fun seeing my characters in the other books. Knox, the hero in Leather and Lace, is the little brother of Ty, the hero in Red Lace. I remember being amazed at how well Kym nailed Knox when she sent me an excerpt from Red Lace that included him.

TRACY: The constant support from my fellow authors was also an added bonus. I just recently went through a cross-country move after living in Dallas for 20 years (and in the same neighborhood for 16). I knew collaborating on this project would be a major incentive to stay focused on my writing. The Chick Swagger girls were exactly the kick in the pants I needed!

Question: What’s it like writing in the same world with 4 other authors?

BRYNLEY: Chaotic, but totally fun. I'm used to making unilateral decisions for my books and characters, but in the Hard Men of the Rockies series, all of the books take place in the same house and with the same grandma, so we had to make sure we communicated and got our facts straight across all of the books. If one author had Grandma Rosie driving a red Jeep, we all had to make sure we did the same. And when I gave Rosie a cat, I had to make sure none of the other cousins were allergic to cats.

MIA: I was the last author to join the group, and initially I was overwhelmed with the facts to keep track of—the who, what, where, when, and with whom? The first thing I did was construct a spreadsheet with some facts we could all refer to. I think it helped, especially when we had overlap of characters in each other’s books.

Question: What fun/interesting research did you do for your book?

KYM: I based my Ty, on the strengths of the alphas I met while working a task force with the Secret Service.

MISTY: I enjoyed learning more about Tango dancing - I danced a little bit of it when I was a Zumba instructor. But most of what I used in the book came from watching a lot of YouTube videos on technique as well as the heart and soul of what Tango is.

BRYNLEY: Knox in Leather & Lace is an NFL player, so I to look at lots of hot football players in tight pants in the course of my football research...But I did it for my readers! I'm selfless like that. I also had to make sure I deleted my search history, which included topics such as "how much is a sex tape worth" and "extortion 101."

TRACY: Because Grayson, the female protag in Blackmail & Lace, is on a mission to fulfill a deathbed promise and complete the bucket list she inherited from her dead sister, I had to tap into my adventurous side. Tomorrow is guaranteed to none. I had to think about some of the things I wanted to do/accomplish before I die. Researching the Inca Trail and diving the dangerous underwater caves of Jacob's Well were just a couple of the adventures I skimmed the surface of. It really made me wish this was a full length book, rather than novella!

MIA: For me, I’ve been to Colorado only once. I needed to brush up on the topography, climate, the university, all that. CSU fans will see truth in Beyond Lace. Also, I learned about rock-climbing as that is Blake’s favorite pastime (maybe second favorite).

Question: What was the biggest challenge in collaborating with 4 other authors?

MISTY: Making sure the details of the house were consistent as well as the timing in the Christmas epilogue scene.

BRYNLEY: Trying to get everyone's approval and input on everything when we all had our own deadlines, schedules, life, etc. I'm pretty sure I was the slacker. I owe everyone drinks.

TRACY: Time! Everyone works at a different pace and I was always the one lagging behind. :-)

Question: Do you see doing more series like this in the future? Why or why not?

MIA: Definitely. I love the collaboration and idea-sharing. Plus I think the readers will love to see the characters they “know” weave in and out of each other’s books.

KYM: That was our goal when we started last year. This is the second series by Chick Swagger. We hope to make it an annual event, and who knows we may expand our releases to coincide with different reader conferences throughout the country!

MISTY: Making a series collide with a reader event is a lot of fun and generates a lot of synergy at the event’s book signing. Would definitely do it again.

TRACY: I would love to. Maybe next time we'll rent a cabin somewhere and meet for a week to knock out our first drafts. That would be so much fun!


More about this series and the authors—Brynley Bush, Kym Roberts, Mia London, Misty Dietz, Tracy Ward—can be found on

The five authors in the series, Hard Men of the Rockies:
Kym Roberts: Kym finds passion, mystery, and suspense in everything she does—Catch the Wave and join the fun!
· @KymRoberts911

Misty Dietz: Misty writes contemporary, suspense, and paranormal romance with curl-your-toes sex,
thrilling tension, and snickering pockets of sunshine.
* @MistyDietzWriter

Brynley Bush: Brynley writes the kind of books she likes to read: steamy contemporary romances featuring smart, sassy heroines and strong, dominant alpha males who love their women a little feisty.
· @BrynleyBush

Mia London: Mia writes steamy romance with an HEA. Her goal is to create a fantasy you will
enjoy with characters you could love.
· @MiaLondonAuthor

Tracy A. Ward: Tracy is a writer of sexy women's fiction, with every-day women, following their dreams, searching for that elusive happily ever after. She’s mad for hot men & cold margaritas.
· @TracyAWard

The series was launched Sept 13th. For a limited time--November and December only—we are offering the complete series plus bonus material for 99¢ (titled Mistletoe & Lace). After that Mistletoe and Lace is gone forever.
Buy links: Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Kobo

Monday, November 21, 2016

Writing a series with Stephanie Queen

Welcome to the garden. The first snow has arrived. For the rest of the winter we'll enjoy the warmth of the Rose Room. Help yourself to some goodies and your favorite beverage. We're continuing our discussion about writing a series and today is special guest Stephanie Queen.

Author Bio
About USA Today Bestselling Author Stephanie Queen
A romantic at heart and a writer by nature, Stephanie Queen has the enthusiastic soul of a cheerleader. So of course she loves creating stories where the good guys always win. Although she's lost count of all the jobs she had before she settled on being a Novelist, her favorite was selling cookies as a Keebler Elf. She is a graduate of UConn (go Huskies!) and Harvard U and lives in New Hampshire with her family, her cat, Kitty and a band of friends who love the beach.

A while back, a friend of mine called and asked me if I wanted to contribute a book to a boxed set she was putting together. I said, “Sure. What kind of book do you need?”

She said, “Think beach romance.”

I said, “Can it have suspense in it?”

She said, “Sure, murder and sex on a beach works.”

That’s what my inspiration was for writing the romantic suspense novel, The Beachcombers.

Now you ask, “I thought this was about writing a series?”

It is.

What happened next was I fell in love with my characters from The Beachcombers and when I got to the end, I couldn’t say good-bye. So I didn’t let them have the ever-after part of their happy ending. I left a relationship hook.

They were happy with each other, full of the potential and promise of bliss and spitfire.

Dane & Shana are a pair of romantic relationship-challenged investigators with muddy pasts. The beach is anywhere on Martha's Vineyard, but the 'beachcomber' reference is more about a state-of-mind, an attempt by Dane to escape from the hellish missions of his special ops career. He's not 100% successful at escaping from life's dark side or the danger. Shana is trying to escape the shadow of her dead cop father and prove herself to him at the same time. They’re too much alike to get along and too mesmerized by each other to stay apart.

I had to stay with them and write one book after another to see how it turns out.

Each book can be read on it's own, but there is a character arc that threads the stories together so they're best read in order.

I probably should have written them in order, but that’s a story for another day.

Amazon Series Page
New Release:
Beachcomber Wedding
While Dane and Shana are hired to protect a bride from a Russian arms dealer, will the idea of wedding bells inspire romance between the private-eye partners or will the notion of love and marriage scare them more than the threat of a bomb at the church?

Buy Links:
B and N:  iBooks: KOBO:

The Beachcombers
Ex-special ops legend Dane Blaise takes on a new partner for a kidnapping case, gorgeous Scotland Yard detective Shana George. Mistake? Maybe. The fireworks between them could get them killed before they have a chance to find the missing heiress--and whoever is behind the kidnapping

Buy Links:
Amazon:  KOBO: iBooks:  B and N:

Beachcomber Investigations
In spite of their love/hate relationship, ex-special ops legend Dane Blaise partners with ex-Scotland
Yard detective as private-eyes to stop a sniper before he kills an old friend. Their volatile relationship may break them before any threats from a dangerous killer...

Buy Links:
Amazon: B and N:  KOBO: IBooks:

Beachcomber Baby
Dark and dangerous Dane and shamelessly sexy Shana team up like oil & water on a mission to save a baby while they wage a personal war of love & hate between them.

Ex-special ops legend Dane Blaise doesn't like cases involving babies. In his experience, they always end bad. Really bad.

When Father Donahue hands Shana a baby and the mission is to find the baby's mother, the ex-Scotland Yard detective can't resist taking the case. Shana convinces Dane to help her, but he'll only go so far.

Once they discover that the priest dragged them into the tip of an iceberg full of trouble with an ex-Russian KGB operative turned-criminal and his comrades involved in a baby farm, things look bad. Really bad.

To keep Dane on the mission, Shana will need to uncover the secret of his terrible baby case from the past. Can she convince him to put aside his fears to save this baby--and save their partnership too?

Buy Links:
Amazon: Kobo: iBooks: B and N:

Beachcomber Trouble
Out of the blue, ex-special ops legend Dane Blaise receives a CIA coded message for Trouble. It's a
call to action to help an old associate and friend of his—Oscar. Dane didn't know that his young and gorgeous partner Shana George, an ex-Scotland Yard detective, knew the CIA man too. Even though they both suspected Oscar’s CIA handler was not exactly trustworthy, they answered the call to help their friend.

But Dane had no idea that the trap was set and the trouble was about to go from bad to the absolute worst possible ...

Buy Links:
Amazon: iBooks: B and N:  KOBO:

Beachcomber Heat
The temperature on Martha's Vineyard isn't the only thing heating up this summer--the crime wave is sizzling and so is the attraction between ex-special ops legend Dane Blaise and his ex-Scotland Yard partner Shana George.
They're supposed to be hands-off, but their combustible chemistry is out of control. Now the question is whether or not their professional partnership will remain in tact long enough to keep them out of trouble when an old enemy returns--or whether they've already gone too far...

Buy Links:
AMAZON: iBooks: B and N:  KOBO:

Thank you, Stephanie, for joining us at the Garden. I love the sound of your series.

Monday, November 14, 2016

Lois Winston and her So-Called Writing Process

Welcome back to the Garden everyone. We have Lois Winston visiting the garden, we're glad you've decided to join us again. Before we begin everyone knows the drill; food and drink first. We'll settle in Rose House again.

Lois Winston
Author Bio
USA Today bestselling and award-winning author Lois Winston writes mystery, romance, romantic suspense, chick lit, women’s fiction, children’s chapter books, and nonfiction under her own name and her Emma Carlyle pen name. Kirkus Reviews dubbed her critically acclaimed Anastasia Pollack Crafting Mystery series, “North Jersey’s more mature answer to Stephanie Plum.” In addition, Lois is an award-winning craft and needlework designer who often draws much of her source material for both her characters and plots from her experiences in the crafts industry. Visit Lois/Emma at and Anastasia at the Killer Crafts & Crafty Killers blog, Follow everyone on Pinterest at and onTwitter at Sign up for her newsletter at

My So-Called Writing Process
Writers are often asked if they’re “plotters” or “pantsers.” For those of you unfamiliar with the terms, a plotter is someone who plots out her entire book before beginning to write it. She not only knows in advance who her characters are, what they want, why they want it, and what’s keeping them from achieving their goals, she also knows what will happen in every scene in her book.

A “pantser” is an author who just sits down and starts writing, letting the story unfold as she goes along. She may have some idea of her main characters’ goals, motivations, and conflicts (or not), but she hasn’t figured out ahead of time how she’s going to get from “Once upon a time” to “The End.”

I am neither a “plotter” nor a “pantser” but a little bit of both with a unique twist. You’ve probably heard of “method acting.” I’m a “method writer,” meaning I basically become each of my characters in order to write their stories. (Figuratively, mind you. This all happens in my head. I’m not about to go out looking for murderers in the real world!)

I usually begin a book by writing what amounts to a back cover blurb for my story. This gives me a general idea of who’s story it is and what will happen in the course of the book. Sometimes I’ll write as much as a page or two to provide me with an overall plot arc—beginning, middle, and end.

Unfortunately, I rarely follow what I’ve written because in becoming one with my characters, I let them take over. The result is they wind up directing my fingers to strike keys that may have nothing to do with that rough guideline I created. I actually prefer it that way. After all, it’s really their story. So who better to direct its course of action?

The Empty Nest Mystery Series
An homage to Dashell Hammet’s Thin Man movies with a modern day spin on Nick and Nora Charles

Definitely Dead, Book One
When her career is outsourced to Asia, fledgling romance author and empty-nester Gracie Elliott wants a job that will allow her time to write. So she opens Relatively Speaking, becoming a wing woman to the senior set. Since her clients need several hours each morning to find their teeth, lube their creaky joints, and deal with lower GI necessities, and they always turn in after the early bird specials, she has plenty of time to pen her future bestsellers.

Gracie deliberately avoids mentioning her new business venture to husband Blake until after she signs her first client. Blake joins the company as a not-so-silent partner, tagging along to make sure Gracie doesn’t cause a septuagenarian uprising. When Client #13 is found murdered in the parking lot behind the Moose Lodge, Gracie knows, no matter how much Blake protests otherwise, she can’t wait around for the police to find the killer if she wants to save her livelihood.

Buy Links
Paperback   Kindle  Nook   Kobo   iTunes

Literally Dead, Book Two
After her last disastrous episode as an amateur sleuth, Gracie Elliott is back. The budding romance
writer has spent the past year crafting her first novel. Her hard work and determination pay off when her manuscript wins the Cream of the Crop award, a contest for unpublished writers, sponsored by the Society of American Romance Authors. First place entitles her to attend the organization’s annual conference, normally open only to published authors.

With husband Blake in tow, a starry-eyed Gracie experiences the ultimate fan-girl moment upon entering the hotel. Her favorite authors are everywhere. However, within minutes she learns Lovinia Darling, the Queen of Romance, is hardly the embodiment of the sweet heroines she creates. Gracie realizes she’s stepped into a romance vipers’ den of backstabbing, deceit, and plagiarism, but she finds a friend and mentor in bestselling author Paisley Prentiss.

Hours later, when Gracie discovers Lovinia’s body in the hotel stairwell, a victim of an apparent fall, Gracie is not convinced her death was an accident. Too many other authors had reason to want Lovinia dead. Ignoring Blake’s advice to “let the police handle it,” Gracie, aided by Paisley, begins her own investigation into the death. Romance has never been so deadly.

Buy Links
Paperback   Kindle   Nook   Kobo  iTunes

Thank you, Lois, for joining us. I really love the sound of your series!

Monday, November 07, 2016

Min Edwards giving her thoughts on book series.

Welcome to Mary's Garden. In Utah it's a beautiful day and warm for this time of year. However, it's still chilly enough we're going to settle in the Rose House. Please fill your plate with goodies and a beverage and settle in. Today, Min Edwards will be telling us why she likes to write book series.

Hi, I’m Min Edwards. Thank you so much for having me today, Mary. I love talking to whoever will listen about reading and writing.

Today, I’ll tell you about my journey into series writing. I have three series going at the moment; Stone Bay Romance, High Tide Suspense, and a new series of archaeological thrillers. Today I’ll tell you about my High Tide Suspense series and how it got started.

High Tide Suspense began after I finished my debut novel, Stone Bay in late 2013. This is a fish-out-of-water tale, a little autobiographical as many debut books are, about a Texas woman buying an old house on the coast of Maine... sight unseen. After writing it I realized that I was in love with the setting and the characters in the book and didn’t want to leave them yet. They had so many more stories to tell about their tiny fishing village on the edge of America. But... I wanted to write suspense and romance.

I temporarily put aside what I had deemed my Stone Bay Romance series, and began writing High Tide Suspense. My current novel which is on pre-order now at Amazon, Book Four in High Tide Suspense, Precious Stone, I believe will be the last book in the series. I could change my mind though as there are many characters begging me to tell their tale. Before this book came along there was Book One, Stone Cold; Book Two, Stone Heart; and Book Three, Stone Fall. After writing each one I knew I’d found my home, at least until my imagination pushed me on to other realms... other series.

This series allowed me, in a round-about way, to pay homage to my new life, a quieter, more bucolic one than my previous existences of grad student, bookstore owner, real estate broker, archaeologist, and the list goes on. And all this carried out while living in Austin, Texas. A city certainly not considered bucolic... weird, yes... calm and quiet, no. Have you ever visited 6th street, the Texas Book Festival or the South by Southwest Festival there? If so, you’ll know what I mean.

So in 2014 I began to immerse myself in the lives of my villagers, made-up and actual alike. You see I now live in that bucolic fishing village on the edge of America. It’s the most eastern town in the U.S. with a working lighthouse, Water Street, our main street which borders the Narrows separating Maine from Campobello, New Brunswick, and hundreds of 19th century architectural gems, one of which is my quaint little farmhouse. My new town is filled with history from French explorers of the 17th century to the War of 1812, Prohibition, and the end of the sardine industry in the 1970s. There are a lot of stories to tell which lend themselves to the series format, multiple tales connected by place and characters. High Tide Suspense brings you into my world. Everyday life here becomes fodder for my writing mill. I’ve used the harsh Maine climate, the horrible storms in the Bay of Fundy, the isolated roads, the lack of police presence as well as the wariness my neighbors feel for those from away to feed my suspense. I’ve also used my villagers’ work ethic, stubbornness, sense of history, and gosh darn Maine spirit. The opening in the 4th installment in High Tide Suspense begins in the little village of Stone Bay with the village baker, Colleen McCullough, sister to the chief of police, Nick McCullough who has his own story told in Book Three of the series. I think you’ll love Collee, a fiery baking sprite. You can imagine her living in the forest with those little elf guys who make cookies. You know the ones I mean. However, I worried about bringing more danger to my pretend villagers so I let Collee and her friends take the danger elsewhere... to France and finally to Scotland. I guess that’s one reason I love writing series. You can have the core characters come back time and again but they don’t have to stay put. They can wonder far and wide. All they must do is keep their basic values intact and know ‘there’s no place like home.’

Each book in the High Tide series shares characters, alludes to things happening in previous adventures, but are complete and individual novels. I find it tedious when an author spends a quarter or more of a book re-telling the previous stories in his/her series. Although, and this troubles me as I get older and my memory of the books I’ve read begins to blur, sometimes in a long-running series I’m addicted to, I inadvertently skip a book and if there isn’t at least an attempt to catch the reader up on what happened in the past, I lose some of my enjoyment of the current story. It’s a fine line in series writing. However, I’ve tried to make each of my High Tide Suspense books satisfactorily stand alone. I hope I’ve been successful in this.

For the moment, I’m finished with the suspense of Stone Bay, Maine. I’m not tired of the village, but I want to stretch my wings, sort of go back to my roots. You see while I was living my frenetic former life in Austin, I was earning an MA in anthropology with a specialty in archaeology from The University of Texas. As an archaeologist and a writer, the world of fiction and adventure had been standing right in front of me for years. My favorite professor would agree as he always said my research papers were more fiction than fact anyway. Maybe I’ll dedicate the first book in the new series to him.

The new tales are tentatively sub-titled TARE: Talon Archaeological Research and Exploration. And I say tentatively because that moniker is a little unwieldy. But since the stories are in the ‘work in progress’ stage, I have time to play with the series name. I’ve also taken on a co-author, L.W. Ellis, a friend and archaeologist as well, which is another long-winded tale in itself. We have two books almost ready for publication; the introductory short novel about the billionaire who forms the company and funds the adventures, and the first novel, The Ruby Eye, an underwater thriller taking place in the Philippines, a place where I lived for several years in my wild and fearless youth. The writing is going slower than normal as we attempt to mesh our individual styles, but we’re hoping 2017 will see a spate (that’s the technical term for more than two) of published stories.

If you have questions about designing books as eBooks or print on demand, please give my alter-ego, Pam Headrick, a jingle..., the website of A Thirsty Mind Book Design.
Happy Reading
Min Edwards
You can find Min at:
Twitter @athirstymind:
Twitter @MEdwardsAuthor
Facebook Author page:
Facebook Book Design page:

Stone Cold
Diana Jennings is running away—from her past, from her memories, from evil men who want her to suffer more. Stone Bay looks like just the place to hide, but will it be far enough? Has she found a safe place to heal? Or is she just endangering all of those around her?

Sam Gardiner is back home after an incident in Afghanistan, a place he wasn’t prepared for and should never have been. But his first day home he runs into trouble, Diana Jennings. A beautiful woman with secrets behind her vulnerable eyes. And Sam loves secrets. However, Diana’s secrets making their way to idyllic Stone Bay, may be the death of them both.

Stone Heart
Annie Alexander has spent the last years trying to get past her husband’s death in combat. Her organic farm is beginning to thrive. Her daughter, Caroline, is obsessed with all the farm animals. Their goat, Anita, is literally a pain in the butt. But just as Annie thinks she’s recovering her life, a visitor comes.

Major Andrew Meacham arrives on Annie’s porch one snowy night and turns her world upside down. Then he’s gone as quickly as he came, like a phantom.

Months later Drew Meacham returns to Annie’s bucolic farm—this time he brings trouble. Yes, he’s a danger, but he’s also Annie’s salvation, teaching her to love again. Will the danger that follows Drew destroy them all, or will he be the man that Annie needs

Stone Fall
Sandra Hastings has just lost the case of her career. Mob boss Silvestre Buonoventura is exonerated and now out to get her. And if that’s not enough, the New York DA’s office has politely asked her to take some time off... maybe a lot of time... maybe forever.

Nick McCullough is a little bored with tiny Stone Bay, Maine, and his new job as Chief of Police. He’s hopeful though that a weekend camping with the lovely Sandra Hastings might just be the answer to his prayers, get him back on track, lift his spirits. Now he has to make sure that the mob boss who’s put a hit out on her doesn’t get the chance to complete his plans. Maybe his little weekend away won’t be as restful as Nick had planned.

Precious Stone
On sale now in pre-order at Amazon
A gift of thanks to a young girl from the Tsar more than 100 years ago... and now the Russians want it

Village baker, Collee McCullough has a perfect life until early one morning men in suits come calling. She has something someone dangerous wants. Something that her Russian great-grandmother Natasha took when she fled Russian in 1913. Too bad Buka never told the family or anyone else what she had or where she left it.

Jake Elsmore, visiting Stone Bay to sell his mother’s house, walks into The Bakery for a cup of Earl Grey tea, but gets more. There she is. Stepping out from behind the Chief of Police, a lovely, fiery-haired fairy toting a shotgun while two men lay insensate on the floor of her shop. Looks like that tea will have to wait.

Thanks for joining me today. I hope you got some insight into the how and why of writing a series. And thanks again, Mary for having me in Mary’s Garden. At the moment, my novels are only found only at Amazon but after Christmas I’ll be releasing them everywhere.

Thank you, Min, for joining us. I love the sound of your series. You'll have to visit again.

Monday, October 31, 2016

Kimbra Kasch on writing a Book Series

Welcome everyone to the garden. It's blustery out today so of course it reminds me of Winnie the Pooh and the Blustery Day. I'm moved us to the Rose House so we' don't blow away!  Fill up your plates with goodies and pour yourself your favorite beverage and find a seat. Today we have Kimbra Kasch in the garden and she'll be telling us a little about Vikings.

Thanks to Mary for having me here on her blog to share my love of reading, writing and telling lies because isn’t that what all fiction writers do…tell lies for money?

I’ve always loved writing. Since I was a little girl I’ve told stories…perhaps in those days Mom and Dad thought I was simply a novice liar and over the years I’ve gotten better at it. When I’d run into the house to talk about aliens coming to visit, or call Mom up to the bedroom to say I heard ghosts rap on the walls or even share the secret that my brother was sneaking cookies after she and Dade went to bed—oh wait—maybe that’s a tattletale. Anyway, I was making up stories before I knew how to write them down.

When I started writing those stories down, the characters were like old friends and I was simply sharing their stories.

Nowadays, those characters I write about are old friends. I can’t simply say goodbye once I finish the book. Their stories live on…just like friends. So, there’s always more to tell, more to share and more to write about.

Maybe that’s why I love books that come in series so much. Once I invest a couple hours, or even days in reading a book, I want to know more about the characters and once I write a story, I’m even more invested in those characters and I don’t want the story to end.

That’s why I wrote THE VIKING SERIES. The story is based on Arthurian legends but this series comes from the perspective of the Vikings—not the Knights of the Round Table. After all, everyone knows the English legends but few have heard the Scandinavian tale.

I started out with the romantic adult version of THE VIKING PRINCESS. Then I told the tale of THE VIKING QUEEN. And I wasn’t finished with the story there. I am currently writing THE VIKING PRINCE.

The Viking Princess (The Viking Series Book 1)
Two warriors who never thought they’d find love, especially on the battlefield, but poised against each other, Morgaine and Holger face an attraction more powerful than any sword, stronger than any warrior and more magical than all the powers of Merlin.

Lost in the annals of history, the story of legendary hero, Holger Danske, and his magical romance with King Arthur’s half-sister and the most powerful sorceress in all of history- The Viking Princess has never been told...until now.

Besides those tales, I’ve also written MORGAINE LE FAY AND THE VIKING, which is the first young adult version of the tale.

One thing all these books share, besides the characters, is the setting. This story travels across countries, continents and cultures. The Viking series includes the Scandinavian lore, the English legends and even French tales. And, I hope you’ll take a peek at one of my books and give me the chance to lie to you for a minute.

Title: Morgaine Le Fay and the Viking
Author name: Kimbra Kasch

Series name/number if applicable: The Viking Series: Book I Publisher: Midnight Frost Books
Genre: Fantasy Romance

Buy link:
THREE reasons to read a Viking Romance:
1) Ragnar;
2) Lagertha; and,
3) Rollo

MORGAINE LE FAY AND THE VIKING is another tale of extraordinary lives and epic
adventures. This tale weaves the legends of Holger Danske and Morgaine Le Fay together.
Theirs was a romance that threatened two kingdoms.
An attraction more powerful than any sword, stronger than any warrior and more magical than all the powers of Merlin:

Everyone has heard of King Arthur and his magical sword, Excalibur, but there’s another legendary hero who received a magical sword from the Norse Goddess known as The Lady of the Lake. Meet Holger Danske and his sword “Cortana”.

The Vikings, led by Holger Danske, invaded England. Yet somehow, even as enemies, Holger and King Arthur’s half-sister, Morgaine Le Fay, shared a forbidden love.

Travel across oceans, continents and countries to discover the story of legendary Viking hero, Holger Danske, and his magical romance with King Arthur’s half-sister in Morgaine Le Fay and the Viking.

This is the story of two warriors who never thought they’d find love, especially on the battlefield, yet standing poised against each other Morgaine and Holger face an attraction more powerful than any sword, stronger than any warrior and more magical than all the powers of Merlin.

Author Bio:
Hi everyone! I'm a romance writer who grew up in a family with 9 kids and only 1 t.v. so I spent my days reading and, later, writing. I love books. . .maybe because I never got to pick the t.v. shows we watched. But I’d run home after school to catch the last fifteen minutes of Dark Shadows...

I still love to run...or at my age, maybe I should say, “I love to wog,” (a cross between walking and jogging). Here in Portland, I love Halloween themed runs - where people don costumes and run. It's a lot of fun...and I know those two words don't always go together: But it is.

And, with all those Halloween themed runs, I guess Dark Shadows had more of an influence than some people might think. Even today my favorite author is Stephen King. My all-time favorite book is Salem's Lot.

Favorite romance novels are The Hunger Games...okay, I know, it's a survival book but it's really all about romance. Then there were the series: Twilight, Fifty Shades, and more but I also love paranormal, Horror and even light books like Dewey the Small Town Library Cat... Mainly, I just love to read. . . and write.

I've just had my first novel published and am looking to share it with the world. It's a story I was inspired to write after visiting Hamlet's Castle and seeing an enormous Viking statue down in the tunnels next to the dungeons.

Sorry to be so long-winded but did I say I love to write? ...and talk and...knit, and sew, and bake... I could go on but I'll close by saying, I hope you’ll stop in on my site and I can tell you I have a couple other stories you should check out: How about a story about a Demonic Tattoo artist in Portland, Oregon: Demon’s Ink? Or, how about a love story? Of course we all know love is risky, but in The Cats of Cullaby Creek it’s dangerous….

You can find them here:

Plus, on Instagram
Thank you, Kim, for dropping by Mary's Garden. Sounds like an amazing series!

Monday, October 24, 2016

Christina Tetreault on writing a book series.

Welcome to the Garden everyone! Today we continue with Author's thoughts on writing a series. Before we begin, everyone grab a plate and fill it with goodies and pour your favorite beverage. Everyone find a seat? Let's start. Welcome, Christina Tetreault!

First, I’d like to thank Mary for having me on her blog today. It’s always great to meet fellow authors and new readers.

My favorite types of books are those in a series. I love getting to know characters and places well and then being able to catch up with them in each book I read. This is why all the books I write are part of a series. Currently, I have two series available The Sherbrookes of Newport and Love On The North Shore, which is actually a spin-off of The Sherbrooke series.

Today I’d like to tell you a little about The Sherbrooke of Newport series first. To date the series contains eight full-length novels and one novella. The ninth book in the series, Falling For The Billionaire, should be available in December. The entire series focuses on a powerful and wealthy family named The Sherbrookes. When I wrote the story I had families like the Vanderbilts and Astors in mind. While some family members live around the country most live in New England. Each book in the series features a different family member as they fall in love and find their perfect mate. Of course characters from previous books frequently make appearances in later stories. I also often introduce the characters for future books in the earlier stories. For example, book one, The Teacher’s Billionaire, is Callie and Dylan’s story. During the book we meet Callie’s half-siblings Jake and Sara Sherbrooke. Jake is then the hero in book two The Billionaire Playboy and Sara is the heroine in book three The Billionaire Princess. In both books we again catch up with Callie and Dylan and learn a little about what they have been doing since the end of their book.

Although each book is part of a series, they can also be read as stand alone novels. This is also true for my other series Love On The North Shore, which contains three full-length novels. Rather than focus on one family or person, my second series features a fictitious town called North Salem. Each book follows one resident as they meet the one and fall in love. The first book The Courage To Love is Sean O’Brien’s story. I first introduced Sean in The Billionaire Playboy, the second book of my other series. I liked him so much I decided he needed his own. Like with my other books previous and feature characters regularly pop up letting readers really feel like they’re part of the town.

Someday I might change and write a single title, however, I don’t see it happening anytime soon. I’m having too much fun with the characters I have now. If you want to learn more about any of my books or see the Sherbrooke family tree please stop by my website. I can also be found on Facebook, twitter and Pintrest.

Author Bio:
I started writing at the age of 10 on my grandmother's manual typewriter and never stopped. When I am not driving my 3 daughters (ages 8, 6, and 6) around to their various activities or chasing around our three dogs, I am working on a story or reading a romance novel. Currently, I have two series out, The Sherbrookes of Newport and Love on The North Shore. You can visit my website or follow me on Facebook to learn more about my characters and to track my progress on my current writing projects.

The Teacher’s Billionaire (The Sherbrookes of Newport book 1)
What starts out as a plan to keep a family secret out of the media soon turns into so much more for billionaire Dylan Talbot as he falls in love with elementary school teacher Callie Taylor. But when Callie learns the truth about her relationship with the confirmed bachelor only complete honesty can save their love.
Amazon  iTunes Barnes and Noble KOBO Smashwords Google Play

The Billionaire Playboy (The Sherbrookes of Newport book 2)
Jake Sherbrooke has never been one to follow the path laid out by his parents.
That is why he started the Falmouth Foundation, a non-profit disaster relief organization rather than enter politics. When he learns of the destruction in North Salem, he immediately travels there to offer aid and meets Charlie O'Brien. Charlie is unlike any woman he has ever meet and he can not help but be drawn to her.

Soon neither can ignore the incredible chemistry between them. But will his reputation as a billionaire playboy damage their budding romance?
Amazon Amazon UK iTunes Barnes and Noble KOBO Smashwords Google Play

The Billionaire Princess (The Sherbrookes of Newport book 3)
Self-made billionaire Christopher Hall has always admired his best friend’s sister, Sara Sherbrooke, from afar but he’s never dared take it any further. At least not until a one night stand following Jake’s wedding makes him believe his attraction might not be one sided. Soon both must decide if their growing romance is worth the possible consequences.
Amazon Amazon UK iTunes Barnes and Noble KOBO Google Play

The Billionaire’s Best Friend (The Sherbrookes of Newport book 4)
After graduation Nate Callahan left Lauren McDonald behind when he
entered The Naval Academy and his life with the Marines. Now fifteen years later he's returned with one goal, to win back the woman he never stopped loving and failure is not an option.

Nate Callahan left his life with the Marines and returned home with one goal, to win back the woman he never stopped loving and failure is not an option.
Amazon iTunes Barnes and Noble KOBO Smashwords Google Play

Redeeming The Billionaire (The Sherbrookes of Newport book 5)
Billionaire Trent Sherbrooke works hard and plays harder. He’s never once cared what the media or society says about him, until now. In order to make into the United States Senate Trent needs to clean up his reputation and Addison Raimono is just the woman to help him. But soon what he assumed would be a relationship to salvage his reputation turns into so much more. But can a relationship started on a lie ever survive?
Amazon iTunes KOBO Barnes and Noble Google Play

More Than A Billionaire (The Sherbrookes of Newport book 6)
Everyone views Grayson Sherbrooke as a carefree billionaire who lives a life of luxury. However, Gray is much more than that. Now, Gray must decide
between the woman he loves and the secret he has kept from the world.
Amazon  AZ smart Barnes and Noble Kobo itunes

Protecting The Billionaire (The Sherbrookes of Newport book 7)
From the outside, it appears as though billionaire Allison Sherbrooke lives a charmed life. She comes from a loving family and possesses the means to do anything she desires, not to mention her budding new romance with the sexy Marine she danced with at her brother Trent’s wedding.

Appearances can be deceiving though. All is not perfect in Allison’s world. Since her move to Virginia, she’s had a stalker in the shadows.

Marine Corps Captain Rocco “Rock” Raimono has spent his life defending and protecting others. Now he must protect the woman he’s falling in love with from an obsessed stalker who wants Allison for himself. For Rock, failure is not an option.
Amazon  iTunes Barnes and Noble KOBO 

Bidding On The Billionaire (The Sherbrookes of Newport book 8)
Rather than disappoint his beloved aunt, billionaire Derek Sherbrooke has reluctantly agreed to
participate in her foundation’s fundraiser: a bachelor auction. Concerned about who the lucky winner will be, he devises a plan and enlists the aid of his longtime friend Brooklyn Novak. All she has to do is make sure no one outbids her. It was a simple plan... until they kissed. Can these longtime friends find their happily ever after together?
Amazon  iTunes Barnes and Noble KOBO
Loving The Billionaire (Novella)
In The Teacher’s Billionaire we learned how Ruth and Warren’s story ends. But have you ever wondered how it began?

Billionaire Warren Sherbrooke assumed someday he’d marry a woman from a well-connected family who understood what it was like to live and breathe in his world. He never expected to fall in love with Ruth Taylor.

Despite the differences in their social standings, Warren has considered Ruth a close friend for years. One weekend will forever alter that friendship.
Buy links here...

Love on the North Shore
The Courage To Love (book 1 in Love on the North Shore Series )
Sean sacrificed his future for his family. Now it’s his turn to find love and happiness.

Hollywood sweetheart Mia Troy isn’t looking for love. But then she meets Sean O’Brien a reserved man who sees past her celebrity status. Can love between a small town guy and an A-list celebrity last?
iTunes Barnes and Noble KOBO  Google Play

Hometown Love (love on the north shore book 2)
Everyone in North Salem thinks they know Jessie Quinn. She is the town’s
quintessential girl next door. The woman you can always turn to when you need a helping hand. Nobody knows that she’s spent years overcoming the emotional scars left by her last boyfriend.

As a single dad and task force officer with the FBI, Mack Ellsbury moves back to North Salem to be closer to his family, not to find love. Then Jessie Quinn returns to his life. Soon Mack no longer sees Jessie as the quiet girl he once tutored in high school but rather the woman he is falling in love with.

Mack’s love helps Jessie erase the scars she’s carried around for so long, but when his ex-wife decides she wants reconciliation, their relationship is put in jeopardy.
Amazon iTunes Barnes and Noble KOBO Google Play

The Playboy Next Door (Love on The North Shore bk 3)
After a blind date stands her up, Catrina Striker stops in O’Leary’s Pub for a sandwich, nothing else. Then Tony Bates, North Salem’s resident playboy, sits down next to her and destiny takes over. Cat knows all about Tony’s reputation, but that doesn’t stop her from doing something she’s never done before: invite him back to her apartment.

Tony Bates has always looked at Catrina as nothing but his buddy’s little sister, until a chance encounter one summer night changes all that.
Amazon  iTunes

Author Links:
Blog Happily Ever after
Twitter: @cgricci
Thank you, Christina, for visiting Mary's Garden today, I've really enjoyed getting to know a little about you. Your series sounds awesome.