Wednesday, February 29, 2012

TBR welcomes Maeve Greyson

TBR: TBR is pleased to welcome Maeve Greyson. Will you share a little bit about yourself, Maeve?
Maeve: *sigh* Why is that question ALWAYS the most difficult to answer? By the way, before I bore…er…um…tell you a little about myself, I’d like to thank you ever so much for having me over for a bit of a chat. I just love this site and I’m honored to be here. Now. A little about myself? I like to think of myself as an ever-changing work in progress. Wife, Mom, YaYa (code for grandma), steel mill worker and last but I hope FAR from least, I’m a writer. Season all of the above with a heavy dose of animal lover, nature appreciator and avid reader, and you’ve described me to a “tee”.

TBR: Tell us about The Highlander’s Fury and where it's available.
Maeve: My latest paranormal romance, THE HIGHLANDER’S FURY, will be released on March 2nd from The Wild Rose Press. It’s a visit with a different member of the MacKay clan introduced to readers in BEYOND A HIGHLAND WHISPER. THE HIGHLANDER’S FURY will be available in both print an ebook format at The Wild Rose Press and other online retailers. Here’s the “Books” link on mywebsite for more information

TBR: Please tantalize us with a story blurb or excerpt.
An average day in the life of an immortal Fury?
Flex powers. Locate evil. Administer justice.
Until Ciara’s goddess mothers convince her to seduce a brooding mortal and bear the man a gifted child. All she has to do is swap places with his betrothed. A simple task−become the seductive wife, bear the man a child and train the young one in the Ways. Once the boy reaches seven years of age, they’ll swap her back with the wife Faolan thinks he selected and Ciara can resume her job of rousting wickedness from the world.
Faolan MacKay’s advisors plague him daily about his matrimonial duties as laird, dragging prospects from across the Highlands: plump dowries attached to each one.
Faolan’s lost everyone he’s ever loved. He’d rather go straight to the fiery pits of Hell than down the wedding aisle. Out of desperation, a plan takes seed. He’ll select a wife he can ignore. There’s just one problem with this foolproof theory. Nobody ignores Ciara.
Against his better judgment, he’s enthralled with the woman and to Ciara’s surprise, this strange thing called love burns hotter than her hunger for vengeance.
At the end of the seven years the ruse is up, all will return to as it was. Can the bond of love overcome the mandate of the ultimate powers?

A sudden awareness of shifting energies pulled Ciara from her silent plotting.   Reaching out with her essence, her aura stroked him.  She caressed Faolan’s soul with the power of her mind.   Ciara sensed the energies surrounding the man respond to her aura’s touch.  As she found herself appraised by the dark brooding man before her, a delicious shiver tickled up her spine. 
Faolan’s eyes flashed and his gaze locked with hers, his jaw rippled as he clenched his teeth.  Silent laughter bubbled in her throat.  His expression said he sensed the energies as well.  With a stiff bow, he brushed the tips of his fingers to her outstretched hand.  “Mistress Dierdra, ‘tis a pleasure to meet ye.  Welcome to Castle MacKay.”
Ciara strained to keep from smiling at the MacKay chieftain’s obvious discomfort.  She slid her hand deeper into his moist palm as she floated closer to him.  Murky colors of unease swirled and shifted in Faolan’s aura.  The poor man was miserable.  Did he find matrimony so undesirable?  “Please, Laird MacKay, I would ask that you call me Ciara.  That’s the name my mother always used.” 
As Faolan inched a step back in retreat, Ciara caught her breath.
Faolan cleared his throat and repeated his formal welcome.  His head snapped forward with a stiff nod as though attached by a rusty hinge.  “Lady Ciara, welcome to the MacKay keep.  Welcome to your new home.” 
As he tried to retreat another step, he lurched to a stop as he bumped into a body.  Maxwell had come to stand right behind him on the dais.
Ciara couldn’t resist a wicked smile.  Now Faolan couldn’t escape her.

TBR: What inspired you to write about the theme?
Maeve: I’ve always loved Celtic myths and legends. The old folk tales colored with ancient rituals and beliefs are just too tempting to resist.

TBR: Are you a plotter or pantser?
Maeve: Both. I always attempt to plot out my stories but my Muse invariably kidnaps my characters and leads them astray.

TBR: How do you develop your characters?
Maeve: I don’t. They handle that themselves during their constant banter inside my head.

TBR: Do you have a favorite quote you’d like to share?
Maeve: Yes. It’s quite a recent quote from Tom Hanks but I find it very inspiring and quite appropriate for a writer.  “If it wasn’t hard, everyone would do it. It’s the hard that makes it great.”

TBR: Did any music inspire your book? Do you have a playlist?
Maeve: I’m afraid not. While I enjoy many different styles of music ranging from Vivaldi to the Black Eyed Peas…I need silence when I write or I tense up and become very frustrated with my inability to concentrate.

TBR: Which of your characters would you most/least like to invite to dinner, and why?
Maeve: Least like to invite? Alec. He’s Ciara’s confidante and he’s cursed by the Goddess Brid to forever assume the form of a raven. Needless to say, because of this curse, he’s a bit surly and quite the smart ass. I’m afraid he’d smart off to me one time too many and I’d have to pluck him and put him in a pie.
Most like to invite? Keagan. He’s Faolan and Ciara’s son. A gifted child, wise beyond his years and able to communicate with animals. I could visit with Keagan for hours.

TBR: What's next for you?
Maeve:  March is turning out to be a busy month. On the 27th, my paranormal romance that won Kensington Brava and RT Book Reviews 2011 Writing with the Stars contest will be released. I’m very excited to launch ETERNITY’S MARK into the world.

TBR: What’s the most challenging aspect of writing? Most rewarding?
Maeve:  Most challenging? Balancing a full time job, writing, editing, blogging, and family…not necessarily in that order.
Most rewarding? Having someone tell me they loved my story and couldn’t put it down until they’d finished the entire book.

TBR: What’s the most interesting comment you have received about your books?
Maeve: The “oddest” comment I’ve ever received was that I should never have animals in my books because readers don’t like them and they’re cliché.
The “best” comment I ever got was that my book should be made into a movie. And no. It was NOT a friend or relative. It was an unbiased reader. I swear.

TBR: Where can readers find you on the web?

TBR: Is there anything you’d like to ask our readers?
Maeve: Do readers like author newsletters?

TBR: Readers, Maeve is giving one lucky commenter a PDF copy of The Highlander’s Fury. She'll pick a winner next week and announce the winner here.
Thanks for visiting TBR, Maeve. All the best to you.

Monday, February 27, 2012

TBR welcomes S.G. Rogers

Writing Uncharted Regions

Clash of Wills was my first foray into the romance genre.  Before that, I’d written mainly young adult fantasy.  I wanted to broaden my horizons and so I thought I would combine my enthusiasm for magic and wizards with a love story. But the prospect of writing out of my comfort zone was a little scary.  I’d read a lot of romance novels growing up, but I was clueless about the specifics of writing one.  So I consulted the publisher’s website for guidelines on what constituted a romance, and then set to work constructing a romance fantasy novelette that met the criteria. 

Because the focus of the story HAD to be the romantic relationship between the man and woman, Clash of Wills turned out to be somewhat easier for me to write than other projects I’ve done.  Having romance as the through line helped me plot the story and keep it on track.  Since I’m an inveterate pantser, plotting for a change was a novelty. The original manuscript I submitted was around 9,900 words and took about two weeks to write. 

This, however, was not the manuscript the publisher bought. The senior editor asked to see some specific changes before making a decision.  I love a challenge, so I set about making those changes and then some.  I dug deep to make the most of every encounter between Princess Samantha and Prince Wills.  I took the opportunity to make the secondary characters winsome and memorable.  In short, I made the story the best it could possibly be. In the end, the rewritten novelette well was over 12,000 words...and was accepted for publication.

However shaky I felt when I began to write romantic fantasy, changing genres was made easier by the research I’d done up front.  I learned a lot during the editing process—about point of view shifts in particular—that helped me become a better writer. With Clash of Wills under my belt, I went on to write four more romantic fantasies of various lengths. Most of all, I discovered that writing uncharted regions might be daunting, but it can also be a lot of fun. 

~ S.G. Rogers

When an unconventional princess meets a footloose prince, a battle of wits begins…
Princess Samantha’s magical compass will help her locate her long-lost brother, but only if she manages to escape her royal parents for a few weeks. When an unwelcome suitor comes to call, Samantha seizes her chance. She beguiles the prince into taking her north, intending to abandon him at her earliest opportunity. Unfortunately, his captivating good looks and charming manner present an unforeseen complication—especially when she is forced to accept help from the very man she has deceived.
To maintain his bachelorhood, handsome Prince Wills is not above deception. Although reluctantly entangled in Samantha’s scheme, he vows to protect her…until a lie threatens to destroy their alliance.  Can his powerful attraction to Samantha overcome his mistrust?  And can they survive a dangerous quest to the wild and magical Uncharted Region?


Princess Samantha sprawled on her stomach as she studied the dog-eared pages of an atlas with such concentration one might think she intended to absorb them. Her fingertip traced a path on the map from her current location in the Kingdom of Paloran to the Uncharted Region where wizards were said to roam. A round silver instrument rested on the rug next to the worn atlas. Set in a clam-shaped metallic shell, it resembled a pocket watch. Although it had a needle similar to that on a compass, there were no directional markings. Samantha blew on the needle; it danced in a circle and stopped in the same spot as before.

When Nanny entered the bedchamber, Samantha quickly snapped the device closed and
covered it with the atlas. A look of sympathy crossed Nanny’s plump, youthful face, but she pretended as if she hadn’t seen anything. “Your Highness, isn’t the crown prince of Insolitia calling on you shortly?”

“Another royal boor to look me over? I cannot wait.”

“We’d best be getting you ready.”

“Father will not return until tomorrow, and Mother has gone to town today, so—”

No, Your Highness.”

“Come now, Nanny. It will be amusing.”

“Absolutely not.”


The seams of Nanny’s elaborate, borrowed gown fought to contain her ample flesh. “I can’t breathe,” she groaned. “How do you stand it?”

“Take shallow breaths,” advised Samantha. She slipped a pinafore apron over her own plain muslin dress. “Now remember, when I drop my handkerchief, you’re to send me out of the room straight away to fetch tea. After that, you’re on your own. Be polite to the prince, but not overly friendly.”

Nanny sighed. “I cannot believe you are making me do this again,” she lamented. “If the king and queen ever discover—”

“Don’t worry, they’ll blame me. You’re more like an older sister than a nanny, anyway, and everyone knows I’m a terrible influence on you.”

Clash of Wills, available from The Wild Rose Press February 29, 2012.

Originally from Southern California, S.G. Rogers has lived in Asheville, North Carolina and Laurel, Mississippi. She earned her first black belt in taekwondo from martial arts champion Billy Blanks.  Later on, she earned black belts in taekwondo and hapkido from Master Myung Kim. Currently residing in beautiful Savannah, Georgia, S.G. Rogers writes fantasy and romantic fantasy stories.  She's owned by two hairless cats, Houdini and Nikita, and lives on an island populated by exotic birds, deer and the occasional gator. Although she's most often drawn to speculative fiction, she's been known to break away to write other genres.  Tab is her beverage of choice, but when she imbibes, a cranberry vodka martini doesn't go amiss.


Sunday, February 26, 2012

A busy week on TBR this week!

Three wonderful authors are visiting TBR this week:

Monday - S.G. Rogers

Wednesday - Maeve Greyson

Friday - Rae Lori, TBR's February Featured Author!

Wow, only a few more days left in February. Check back Thursday for our new Featured Author, Kitty Keswick!

The end of February also brings the end of Google Friend Connect, so I'd love it if you'd follow through Linky. It's easy, free, no spam involved. :) Click at right.

And.... to celebrate all you wonderful followers, TBR is participating in the Leap Into Books hop.

Mark your calendars and visit on Wednesday, then click on the blog hop badge  at right to see the cool giveaway and enter.

Thanks for all your support!

Friday, February 24, 2012

TBR welcomes Pauline Baird Jones

TBR: Welcome to TBR, Pauline Baird Jones. Will you share a little bit about yourself?
Pauline: I began my writing career penning romantic suspense (fictional murder doesn’t get you strip searched!) but I had a secret longing to write ramp up the spills, chills and daring do.
By chance I wrote a science fiction romance, realized I’d been mixing fiction into my science since high school (oops, sorry science teachers!), and thought, why not go where I haven’t gone before? After that, it was easy to stir in some steampunk.
The Key was the first in my Project Enterprise series, which will conclude with #6, Kicking Ashe, which is releasing soon.

TBR: Tell us about STEAMROLLED and where it's available.
Pauline: Steamrolled is available at all the usual online book sites, including Amazon and B&N, and in all digital formats.

TBR: Please tantalize us with a story blurb or excerpt.
Pauline: With all of time at risk, it's a bad time to fall in love—unless it's the only time? Robert Clementyne is going on a transmogrification machine hunt. He fears finding the machine will be as difficult as pronouncing the name.
How can the steam-powered device perform as advertised, and how useful can any information be, coming from a steampunk themed bowling alley/museum? It's pretty crazy, but he's been there, done that, and thinks he can handle it. And then he meets the proprietor/curator—Emily Babcock.
Emily grew up in crazy, still lives in it—hey, it's her freaking zip code. So no worries when Robert and his team walk into her bowling alley. The first visitors ever to her museum.
But neither of them is prepared for what happens when they open the door to the past—and the future. With a side trip through Roswell—and a face-to-face meeting with an evil genius/wannabe—who is on his way to becoming evil overlord-of-everything? 

TBR: Are you a plotter or pantser?
Pauline: I am not just a pantser, I am a leap-off-the-cliff-totally-blind-and-wing-it-into-the completely-unknown-er. Sometimes if feels like my head is going to explode, but it hasn’t. Yet. And so far it always works out. Except for my editor who fears her head will be the one that explodes.

TBR: How do you develop your characters?
Pauline: My characters would totally dispute that I “develop” them. They believe they come visit, study me for a while, and eventually “let” me get to know them. Most of them leave quietly when the book is done, but I had a few stick around and demand their own story, which is how I came to write my Project Enterprise connected series.

TBR: Do you have a favorite quote you’d like to share?
Pauline: "Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend. Inside of a dog, it's too dark to read." Groucho Marx

TBR: While creating your books, what was one of the most surprising things you learned?
Pauline: I did some Victorian research for my steampunk/science fiction mash-up, Tangled in Time and wow, the Victorians were a creative and inventive bunch. They invented steam engines, sewing machines, typewriters, the light bulb and the telephone, to name just a few of the normal stuff. The weird stuff was really, really weird. Like totally weird. Some of it creepy weird.

TBR: Tease us with one little thing about your fictional world that makes it different from others.
Pauline: My characters have an…interesting relationship with time. Ashe, who shows up in Steamrolled and stars in Kicking Ashe, can “see” time in a way others can’t and can tell when its wrong. (This would be the part that almost made my head explode.)

TBR: What's next for you?
Pauline: I just turned in Kicking Ashe, so a little between books, though the brain is already percolating on a straight (is there such a thing?) steampunk romance with lots of adventure, buckets of action, and of course, what I hope will be sigh worthy romance.

TBR: Any other published works?
Pauline: I will release my twelfth novel soon, so that would be a hearty yes. My most recent books are science fiction romance, though I used to write romantic suspense back in the day. My most recent books are: The Key, Girl Gone Nova, Tangled in Time, a connected short story called “Steam Time” in the Dreamspell Steampunk Vol 1, and Kicking Ashe, releasing 3/12/2012. Complete information about my books and my backlist are available on my website at

TBR: What’s the most interesting comment you have received about your books?
Pauline: From a reader on Amazon about Steamrolled: This book is really quite amazing to me. The synoptic blurb is entirely accurate but only begins to touch the lovely mix of weird and romantic with reasonably credible soft SF.

TBR: Where can readers find you on the web?
Pauline: I can be found in all the usual social networking places (links on my website) as Pauline Baird Jones and at

TBR: Thanks for visiting TBR, Pauline. All the best to you.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

TBR welcomes Shelley Munro

TBR: Welcome to TBR, Shelley. Will you share a little bit about yourself?
Shelley: Hello, and thanks for having me to visit today. I’ll give you my official bio:

Shelley Munro is tall and curvaceous with blue eyes and a smile that turns masculine heads everywhere she goes. She’s a university tutor and an explorer/treasure hunter during her vacations. Skilled with weapons and combat, she is currently in talks with a producer about a television series based on her world adventures.
Shelley is also a writer blessed with a vivid imagination who lives with her very own hero and a rambunctious puppy in New Zealand. She writes mainly erotic romance in the contemporary, paranormal and historical genres for publishers Carina Press, Ellora’s Cave and Samhain Publishing. You can learn more about Shelley and her books at and you might even find her lurking at Facebook or Twitter

TBR: Tell us about Cat Burglar in Training and where it's available.
Shelley: Cat Burglar in Training is a contemporary mystery set in England. It’s told in first person and tells the story of a woman who returns from France to find her family in peril. Due to circumstances beyond her control she’s dragged kicking and screaming into the traditional family occupation and takes on the mantle of The Shadow, a cat burglar.

TBR: Please tantalize us with a story blurb or excerpt.
Shelley: Here’s the blurb:

Eve Fawkner had no intention of following in her father’s footsteps. But when the thugs harassing him to repay his gambling debts threaten her young daughter, Eve is forced to assume the role of London’s most notorious cat burglar, The Shadow. The plan is simple: pull off a couple of heists, pay back the goons and go into permanent retirement. But things get messy during her first job when Eve witnesses a murder, stumbles across a clue that sheds some light on her past and, worst of all, falls for a cop.
Inspector Kahu Williams would be the perfect man, if Eve were looking, and if there wasn’t the little matter of their career conflict. The man is seriously hot—and hot on the trail of a murderer. A trail that keeps leading him back to Eve…

And a short excerpt:

Just one job to clear the debt of ten thousand. They’d rejected every single one of my solutions and wore me down. They’d cut straight to the heart and guilted me into helping them. Some girls attend society balls to snag a rich husband. Not me. I was stuck in work mode with beginner’s nerves lurking under the surface. Lady Eve Fawkner—reluctant cat burglar in training.
Tonight, it was the London Charity Spring Ball held each year in early April at the Ritz. The women standing in the chatty cluster nearest to me wore diamonds, emeralds and sapphires, mostly teamed with classic gowns. One woman wore a radical leather dress from a new star on the designer front. I hummed along with the Michael Bublé pretender who fronted tonight’s band while my gaze wandered from jewel to jewel. No rubies to report back on yet. A pity, because Father’s contact had requested red stones.
Hark, listen to me. I still couldn’t believe the terrible trio had coerced me into the family business.
“Lady Eve Fawkner! What are you putting in your mouth?
People turned to stare while I froze. My ears vibrated. I swear the woman’s shriek swept to all four corners of the Ritz Ballroom, probably halfway across London as well.
The spoon I held in my left hand came to an abrupt halt three inches from my lips. The chocolate confection on the spoon wobbled precariously as I intercepted the shocked expression of a new acquaintance. Jessica, no…Jemima.
I’d encountered her at two society bashes this week, and no doubt we’d keep bumping into each other for the rest of the season. The horror emblazoned on the woman’s face was worthy of a photo. I wanted to laugh but sensed she was going to make a scene.
Bloody hell, after all the terrible trio’s lectures on the correct behavior for a fledgling cat burglar, I wasn’t doing well on the execution. “Do the blonde-bimbo act,” Father had directed me earlier in the evening. “That always works. They’ll think you’re too stupid to execute a job.” Yeah, right, Father.
Too bad. I was it whether I wanted the job or not.

TBR: What inspired you to write about the theme?
Shelley: I watched the movie To Catch a Thief, staring Cary Grant and Grace Kelly, during my teens, and the movie stuck with me. I wanted to read other cat burglar stories, and when I couldn’t find many, I decided to write my own. Cat Burglar is about revenge and truth. It’s also about love for family and new beginnings.

TBR: Are you a plotter or pantser?
Shelley: When I first started writing I was a definite pantser. As time has passed I’ve adapted my writing method, trying things and discarding while keeping others. I’d call myself more of a hybrid—a writer that falls between a plotter and a pantser.

TBR: How do you develop your characters?
Shelley: I don’t do much plotting because it spoils the story for me. I like to be surprised as I write the book. Usually I start off with a vague idea of where my plot might go. For weeks and sometimes months, I’ll percolate the story in my mind during any spare moment. I twist the plot and think of characters and possible scenarios before I write a word. I’ll brainstorm my hero and heroine and think of conflicting goals for them. Once I have my goals and internal conflict set, I’ll start writing. I tend to discover my characters as I go. Sometimes this means I need to do some rewriting or layering to portray this new information.

TBR: Do you have a favorite quote you’d like to share?
Shelley: My favorite quote—the one that sets me on the straight and narrow when I really want to procrastinate is stolen from Nike. Just Do It. That’s what I tell myself each day when I’d like to play hooky and do anything other than sit with my laptop and concentrate. Just do it works for me :)

TBR: While creating your books, what was one of the most surprising things you learned?
Shelley: I learned how to break in through a window without making a noise. Let’s say that peanut butter isn’t just for spreading on toast!

TBR: What's next for you?
Shelley: I’m working on finishing some of the series I’ve started. Presently I’m writing book four in my Fancy Free series. This year I intend to write follow ups for my Samhain book, The Bottom Line and also book two in my House of the Cat series. Somewhere in there I also want to write another Cat Burglar story. I have a very busy year planned!

TBR: Any other published works?
Shelley: My first book was published in 2004 and I’ve been writing steadily since then. I have around fifty published titles in various genres. I write contemporary, paranormal, sci-fi and historical so there is something for everyone. You can learn more about my titles and read blurbs and excerpts at my website.

TBR: What’s the most challenging aspect of writing? Most rewarding?
Shelley: When I considered the answer to this question, I thought of several answers: writing and finishing the first draft, writing a synopsis, writing a query letter, finding a publisher, promotion, thinking up an idea for another story. Heck, the truth is writing is challenging full stop! I like writing and being an author simply because I have to work hard and the creative process is a challenge.

The most rewarding part of writing is receiving an email from a reader saying how much they enjoyed reading your book. Those are really good days. :)

TBR: Where can readers find you on the web?
Shelley: My website is  There you’ll find info about all my books and the ones due to release in the near future. I blog most days, run a contest and have several free stories available for download. I also have a few essays about my travel adventures plus there is a link to join my newsletter.

TBR: Is there anything you’d like to ask our readers?
Shelley: Do you follow an author no matter what genre they write or do you prefer to stick to a specific genre(s)?

TBR: Readers, Shelley is giving away an ebook download from her backlist to one lucky commenter... so be sure to leave your email address too. She'll pick a winner on Thursday, Feb. 24 and announce the winner here.
Thanks for visiting TBR, Shelley! Best of luck to you.