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Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Author Viviana MacKade stops by today! Join us to learn more about this author #RB4U #Romance

Welcome to Romance Books 4 Us, a place for all romance and all genres. We’re very happy to have you here with us today. First, tell us a little bit about yourself…
Hi all, and thank you for having me. I'm Viviana, or Vivi, or V (but that's only for my mom). I am Italian, adopted by the Sunshine State a few years back by-way of England. I've been a lawyer, a teacher, and currently trying to survive being a mom and a writer. I am addicted to my blog. And chocolate. And the beach. And my husband. And my son's dimple. And books.

~ Do real life events find their way into your stories?
Not really. The stories are their own, with their events. It would feel like forcing something into the story that doesn't belong.

~ Do you ever mimic family members or people you know when you choose characters?
No, for the same reason of why I don't use 'my' events. It would be a disrespect to both the character and the person I 'used'.

~ Do you find yourself going back to the same inspiration for each story or is it always something different?
It's always different. It can be the line of a song, something I read on the paper, something I see. Inspiration comes in different size and shape, and I learned to recognize it and catch it.

~ When do you write?  Early morning? During the day sometime or all day?  After the kids go to bed?
Right now, I write in the mornings. My son goes to daycare and I work. Things will chance in August, when he start vpk and will be away the whole day. I'll have the entire day then, and I have BIG plans!

~ Do you have a special place you like to do your writing? Such as an office, a spare room, the dining room table, your couch?
Right now, I'm writing from the College library because it's close to my son's school and it minimizes the traveling time. But when he'll be in vpk I'll steal the nook he has in his bedroom and make it mine. *whispering* Please don't tell him, he still doesn't know he's gonna have a roommate.

~ Share your favorites:
Favorite color – Lavander
Favorite Season – Here in FL, winter. Before that, spring.
Favorite sad song – Tonight I Wanna Cry by Keith Urban
Favorite Romantic movie – Notting Hill, Love Actually, How To Lose A Guy In 10 Days and Dirty Dancing.
Favorite way to relax – Music at the beach.

~ What is your ideal romantic vacation?
Anything that involves little clothes (I don't mean a bikini. I mean little clothes) and my husband.

Where can our readers find you

Is there an upcoming or current release you would like to share with us today and where can we find it.
I have an entire Series that just got out!
I just re-released both She Came With The Tide, a Crescent Creek Novella (0.5), and All Those Miles I Walked (Crescent Creek 1). I also released Painted Love in the Lawbreakers Collection, which is the second int the Crescent Creek Series. You can find all on Amazon.
Here's the blurb for Painted Love.
Thou shalt not steal.
Oh, but Florence had, and would do so one last time.
Ten pieces her grandfather painted for her because he loved her.
Ten pieces her mother lost, along with anything else, for loving the wrong man.
She couldn’t get back everything he’d wasted away, but she’d be damned if she’d give up those paintings. 

Easy and genuine, Rhett loves his life–his family, his market, his town. Until he meets a British woman with grey eyes and a cute little smile. The woman he’s been waiting for.
The thing is, to love her is easy, but can he trust her?

When Rhett pushes to uncover her agenda, Flo knows she will lose something–the man she loves or what she’d been fighting for years.
Which road will she choose?


Monday, March 19, 2018

Happy Spring!

It's really been a heck of a winter, hasn't it? Lots of snow and ice and coldness most places even now. Here in California we're apparently just now getting all the weather, but very good writing weather! There's something about cuddling up in my jammies with a cup of coffee and my laptop, some cool tunes on the radio...pure magic. I hope you're all doing okay in the cold and wet places. Soon we'll all be outside in the sunshine again, saying it's too warm. There is a reason my husband from New England thinks I'd never survive a winter there. I love the sunshine! But it might be worth it for the beauty of Vermont.

One of the things I got up to this winter is writing under a shared name with the fabulous Ever Coming. Together we are Lorelei M. Hart writing a variety of MM subgenres and having a total blast. When I first wrote I thought it would be hard to write MM and it's certainly a challenge but such a joy, too. And when Ophelia Hart joins us for MMM...heavens! I think the best part is writing with them, blending our voices and seeing the stories weave together. I couldn't do it without them.   Here is our latest cover. :) And it's in KU so if you are part of that and like this very specific subgenre, I hope you'll check it out, here

I'm still writing as me, as well, so staying super busy. Usually this time of year I'm just back from Wild Wicked Weekend and I sure missed it this year, so glad it's coming back in 2019!The Riverwalk in San Antonio is a special place.

So, today as we spring into spring, I wish you sunshine and flowers and all beautiful green things.

Writing Older SEALs: Silver SEALs, the Bone Frog Brotherhood

Hi there! This is Sharon Hamilton.

Many of you know that I have a son who was a Navy SEAL for ten years, and a lot of my inspiration in writing SEAL stories came from the process I watched him go through. He left our home a boy and the Navy returned him a man.

I've wondered where he got the character it takes to become one of the country's elite warriors, since in his class at BUD/S they started with 192 and wound up graduating only 12 originals. His comment to me was, "I just wouldn't ring that freakin' bell."

Not knowing how things would go, I decided to write a SEAL Romance in 2011, and published it in 2012. Now, some 23 books later, it has become a brand that I enjoy. But change works on all of us. I saw him once as a single man with dedication, and now he has grown to a married father of 3. He is no longer as young as he was, and after numerous jumps and mishaps they all go through, decided it was time to take on another role, that of father and husband.

Not all the men who are in the SEAL Brotherhood make that decision. And, there are some that continue to serve, well into their 30's and 40's. But the numbers dwindle the older they get. Afterall, there are only so many jumps at midnight a body can take. Even the best-trained athletes have accidents.

So I've decided to include in my staple of books the older SEALs, the ones who come back to the Brotherhood after years out, or who consider stopping, or who consider what it takes to continue on. I also wanted to explore some of my secondary characters that are now older too. So, voila! I'm doing the Bone Frog Brotherhood, the guys who are not froglettes, or tadpoles, but are very experienced, often just as strong, but the guys everyone holds their breath for when they do things -- much like we watch an older quarterback and wonder, "Does he have one more season in him?"

My new release, today, SEAL My Love, is about an older SEAL who attaches to my SEAL Team 3 (Kyle's team), from the east coast, after a painful divorce. He joins the boys on a holiday first, and meets the older sister of one of my SEAL wives, Gretchen. Gretchen had an appearance in SEAL of My Heart when her younger sister fell in love with a young SEAL on a plane from San Francisco to Portland. So, this is Gretchen and Trace's story. Finding love the second time around, and having it be just as good, even better than the young love. Hope you enjoy my new release, and the new venture, writing Silver SEALs and Bone Frogs. Oh yes, there will be still the regular Brotherhood guys too, but this was important to add to the brand.

Bone Frog Novella #1

Saturday, March 17, 2018

Here's picture of me holding up a print copy of Guilty Secrets.  It's my latest book in print and of course I'm very proud of it. This also shows my work space in the corner of the family room. Files are kept in another room.  

I've been knocked out by a wicked flu bug, so will just post a few from my Quotes from Great Women book.

1. Courage is the price that life exacts for granting peace,    Amelia Earhart

2. After the verb, 'to love', 'to help' is the most beautiful verb in the world.  Bertha Von Suttner

3. We've chosen the path to equality, don't let them turn us around.
     Geraldine A. Ferraro

4. Loneliness is the most terrible poverty.   Mother Teresa

5. The more I traveled the more  I realized that fear makes strangers of people who should be friends.   Shirley MacLaine

6. In society it is etiquette for ladies to have the best chairs and get handed things. In the home the reverse is the case. That is why ladies are more sociable than gentlemen.  Virginia Graham

'Til next time.......Jean




Thursday, March 15, 2018

Meet the Queen of Shadow by Suz deMello (#futuristic #romance)
One of the most common and disliked questions readers ask writers is "Where do you get your ideas?" Quite honestly, we don't always know. Sometimes it's obvious--the germ of a story I wrote for Harlequin/Silhouette under a different pen name, His Baby, Her Heart, came from a magazine article about in vitro fertilization I read in a medical office waiting room.

But most of the time, the line from idea to story is not so clear.

I wrote Queen of Shadow when I was living in Thailand. I was attempting to recover from a particularly traumatic time in my life. My father had died in 2002 after a two-year-long bout with cancer. My best friend and her husband killed themselves in 2005 in an incomprehensible double suicide. My eldest brother had died in 2006 after a year-long fight with, again, cancer. I now understand that I had experienced a nervous breakdown without knowing it, desperately flailing about to keep my life together as everything fell apart. But under the stress, my marriage had failed, also.

Some believe that "wherever you go, there you are," meaning that running away doesn't solve problems. But for me, it does. Physical distance often results in emotional distance, and leaving helps me gain objectivity, perspective and detachment.

After spending a couple of months in Europe, I traveled to Thailand and made a nice life for myself in Chiang Mai. As I settled into the structured serenity I

created, I found myself able to write again after a prolonged absence--all the trauma had created a writer's block about the size of Gibraltar.

I had seen a science fiction movie about ten years before that had posited a planet strictly divided into bands of light and darkness. It wasn't very good, but the concept had stuck with me, and I decided to write my own take on what such a planet would be like.

Thus was born Queen of Shadow, a full-length, 55K+ word novel. Here's the blurb:

Looking for the next GoT? Here you are.

My little studio apartment in Chiang Mai,
where I wrote Queen of Shadow
A brave queen struggles to control divided kingdoms on a terraformed planet thirty thousand years in the future.

Janus is a planet which lacks both tilt and spin, and its Shadowlands are the pewter band of dusk dividing the violently hot Lightside of the planet from its Darkside, imprisoned by eternal night. Because of the peculiar conformation of the planet, birthrates are low and indiscriminate mating encouraged.

Audryn, Queen of Shadow has reached that time in her life when she must choose a king to rule with her or fail to bear an heir, casting not only her realm but all of Janus into chaos. Despite her duty, she is reluctant to share power, even a bit distrustful. Janus’ nobles vie for Audryn’s hand. Although she enjoys trysting with all her suitors, none seize her heart.

Then Storne, the warrior Prince of Darkness, arrives to claim her as his bride. Will his masterful ways allure or repel the willful Queen?

And a sexy little snippet (NSFW) to brighten your day:

Although I believed I could trust Storne, I couldn’t stop the nervous flutters in my belly. I occasionally allowed myself to be dominated by Rall and Parron as a change from the norm, and because their loyalty was absolute. Each would give his life for me.

But Storne wanted the throne, wanted his blood and bone to rule even after our deaths, or so I surmised. He did not hesitate to kill in order to win; what stopped him from taking me against my will?
And my will was strong. After learning that someone that we had trusted had plotted to kill my family—and had succeeded—had seemingly strengthened my unwillingness to hastily make the choice that must be made.

My worries must have showed, for he asked, “What’s wrong, Audryn?” 

He slid his fingers out of my pussy and laid his hand on my belly. His gray eyes were steady, his gaze fixed on my face.

I breathed deeply. “I want you, but—" 

“I won’t take advantage of the situation.”

I sighed. “I hope you are not insulted.”

His brows raised. “Your decision is momentous and final. I can afford to wait.” His voice oozed confidence.

“You are sure you are the best candidate.”

“Yes.” He leaned closer and purred against my ear, “I’m bigger, stronger, tougher and I don’t look like your great-grandpa."

I giggled.

He chuckled, a deep, sexy growl of a sound and bit my lobe. His fingers again busied themselves inside my pussy.

Like what you read? Find all ebook formats here:

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Make Every Day a SEXY Smile Day - by Marianne Stephens

Okay...I cheated a little on this...I added the word "SEXY". But, hey...what else would a romance author do? Gotta get those hormones going and using the word SEXY will do it every time!
How often do you walk by people and (1) look away, (2) look down, (3) look up, (4) stare straight ahead as if you don't see them? We all do that...some of each of the above.

Sometimes my mind is whirling a mile a minute as I "head write" pages for a book or try to focus on my busy schedule. At those times, I may not even notice someone I pass, except in the vague recesses of my crowded mind.

Today, make a difference. Take the time to SMILE at someone. Doesn't have to be one of your famous SEXY smiles, just a casual one will do. People normally smile back...don't you? Look at these handsome guys and their winning smiles. Wouldn't you smile back?

In writing romance books, we tend to have our heroes and heroines smile. I have them do it frequently...and try very hard to come up with different ways of expressing that action. There's the full smile, the quirk to one side smile, the closed mouth smile, the teeth showing smile. The smile that curls your toes. That sexy smile, combined with eyes full of passion that gets your heart thumping and pounding in your chest.


 Save those smiles for someone you love! For everyone else, the casual smile will be contagious. Try it. Smile. See how many people return the smile to you!

You'll be smiling if you're one of RB4U's two contest winners! Lots of goodies for two people will be given as prizes. Check our contest at

Photos: Flickr: lucias_day, Alan Light,  the Prodigal untitled's photostreams.

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

What am I?

My Rook grandparents, probably mid-1920s
Given my lifelong interest in all things historical, I've been gobbling up information from one of my cousins who did a geneology DNA test. We share my maternal and her paternal grandparents, and the main name, Rook, dead stops in early 1800s Kentucky. Did someone reinvent themselves under a new name? Anything is possible. It certainly happened. Or are there records out there waiting to be found? Time may tell.

Anyway, like everyone, we like to think of being related to someone important, don't we? I mean, my maiden name is Spencer. I figured if there were any big names to be found, it would be on that side of the tree, but so far, no one that I know of has gotten that far with any research. My Rook cousin, however is going at it like mad, and I'm so glad she's sharing it with me, just because I find it, well, interesting. Not to mention the zillion plot bunnies it's got running around through my head.

While the Rook line disappears, one of the maternal lines off of that takes us way, way back. There's a connection to the Adams family of Boston (Presidents would be my many-many-times cousins.) from there we go back to England and tie in with the rather famous Cromwell clan. Oliver (mostly remembered as a bad guy) would have been a cousin, but going back to the time of Henry VIII, his advisor Thomas Cromwell, (who like so many people close to Henry wound up headless) is a fascinating character. He's my 18th generation direct ancestor. What does that mean statisically? Basically 1 in (2 to the 18th power), or 1/262144 of  my genes could come from him. Hardly significant. Just--interesting.

Going even further back, I'm apparently a descendent of Emperor Charlemagne of France, meaning, even more amusing to my sense of humor, his father Pepin the Short. I'm 5'0". Seems appropriate.

me and my mom, 1990s
Also, we'd always been told there was some Native American in the family. Well, it seems not. Romany and Jewish, yes. No idea where the Romany ties in, but the Jewish names pop up in the 17 and 1800s. So that's cool, though I'm kind of disappointed about the (assumed) Cherokee. No Irish, which I always thought was a big component, but a bunch of German and Dutch and Scottish I had no idea about, and way more French. Parlez-vous francais? Oui, mais un peu, seulement. (I speak French but only a little.) Frankly I can't wait to get a test run myself. I'm sure about English, Irish and French on the Spencer side, but we'll have to wait and see. Oh, the plot bunnies! Better than the one who brings chocolate eggs!


From now through the end of March, one of my most popular books ever, Steam & Sorcery, the bestselling and EPIC award winning starter of my Gaslight Chronicles series, is on sale, only at Kindle, for $1.99. This book got 4.5 stars from Romantic Times, and Library Journal called the series "Probably the ultimate in steampunk romance." Get it here.

Sunday, March 11, 2018

Kris Bock’s Southwest Inspiration on #RB4U #Romance #Writing

I live in New Mexico, and the Southwest inspires my work, as I bring suspense with a dose of romance to the land I love. Here are some of my favorite spots - heavy on the adventure.

Socorro: For most people, this town in the middle of the state is mainly a rest stop between Albuquerque and El Paso, except in October/November when huge flocks of cranes and snow geese fly in to the Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge. But as a local, I know the special sites nearby. Hikes can take you out in the desert or up to the mountains, visiting native petroglyphs or hunting for fossils. Hundreds of rock climbing routes provide adventures for anyone, beginners to experts. Plus, you have a good chance of seeing unusual wildlife, from roadrunners to foxes to great horned owls.

In my treasure hunting adventure, The Mad Monk’s Treasure, the heroine and her best friend hunt for the lost Victorio Peak treasure, a real Southwest legend about a heretic Spanish priest’s gold mine, made richer by the spoils of bandits and an Apache raider. I drew on personal experiences hiking in the desert for Erin and Camie’s adventures – though fortunately I’ve never stumbled on a rattlesnake nest or gotten caught in a flash flood!

Jemez Springs: This small town in the mountains of northwestern New Mexico is known for its hot my Pinterest page.)
springs. You can also visit the ruins of an old Spanish church; Soda Dam, a cool rock formation formed from the mineralized water flowing in the river; and Battleship Rock, so named because it resembles the prow of a battleship. (Pictures on

I’ve attended many writing retreats at a camp north of the town, and those experiences inspired Counterfeits. Of course, in the book, the site isn’t quite so relaxing. When Jenny inherits a children’s art camp, she discovers that her grandmother’s death might not have been an accident after all. The men who killed her grandmother are searching for stolen paintings, and they think Jenny and her old friend Rob, the camp cook, are involved. Doing research at a real camp tucked away in the woods, and hiking above Battleship Rock for a scene where Jenny gets lost, helped the setting feel realistic.

Hovenweep National Monument: This one is not actually in New Mexico, but it’s close. Located on the southern border between Colorado and Utah, these ruins once housed 2500 people between A.D. 1200 and 1300. It’s one of many sites left behind by the ancestral Puebloans, also known as the Anasazi. It’s a small site, but that’s part of its charm, as you can hike and camp without crowds.

In my romantic suspense Whispers in the Dark, my heroine is an archaeology Masters student working at the fictional “Lost Valley” monument, which is closely based on Hovenweep. The lonely location allows for an almost Gothic atmosphere – mysterious lights in the canyon, spooky moaning sounds, and plenty of people hiding secrets.

Lincoln County: What We Found is loosely based the mountain resort town of Ruidoso. The forested town at nearly 7000 feet elevation is not what most people probably imagine when they think of New Mexico. Yet it seemed like the perfect place for the story of Audra, a young woman who stumbles on a dead body in the woods. More than one person isn’t happy about her bringing the murder to light, and in a small town, it’s hard to avoid people who wish you ill.

What We Found was inspired by the true experience of finding a body, as I described in this blog post. I also spent time with a man who raises falcons and hawks (photos on Pinterest) and that comes into play in the story. It’s real-life adventures like these, both good and bad, that make New Mexico a great place for a writer!

Kris Bock writes novels of suspense and romance with outdoor adventures and Southwestern landscapes. The Mad Monk’s Treasure follows the hunt for a long-lost treasure in the New Mexico desert. In The Dead Man’s Treasure, estranged relatives compete to reach a buried treasure by following a series of complex clues. In The Skeleton Canyon Treasure, sparks fly when reader favorites Camie and Tiger help a mysterious man track down his missing uncle. Whispers in the Dark features archaeology and intrigue among ancient Southwest ruins. What We Found is a mystery with strong romantic elements about a young woman who finds a murder victim in the woods. In Counterfeits, stolen Rembrandt paintings bring danger to a small New Mexico town.

Fans of Mary Stewart, Barbara Michaels, and Terry Odell will want to check out Kris Bock’s romantic adventures. “Counterfeits is the kind of romantic suspense novel I have enjoyed since I first read Mary Stewart’s Moonspinners.” 5 Stars – Roberta at Sensuous Reviews blog

Read excerpts at or visit her Amazon page. Sign up for the Kris Bock newsletter for announcements of new books, sales, and more.

Saturday, March 10, 2018


Posted by #Author R. Ann Siracusa


Most writers aspire to write like some of their favorite authors. Of course, we all have our own "voice" and should encourage and nurture that instead of trying to write like someone else. But haven't you ever wondered what author you write like? Is that the author you'd wish to emulate?
There’s a website which asks this questions and allows the reader to enter an excerpt for analysis. What fun!

I tried out the “I Write Like” blog analysis but, sadly, I’m not sure it’s very accurate. The results aren't consistent, or at least mine weren't, and I have to wonder the exercise really tells an author anything about his writing.
If you try this out, look at FaceBook and Tweeter for the comments and reactions of other authors. There are quite a variety of reactions.
I WRITE LIKE…I really went gungho when I tried this exercise and, eventually, entered more than a dozen excerpts from my own works. Here’s who I write like, depending on the scene.

Harry HarrisonUsing the first three paragraphs of my most recent romantic suspense release, Destruction of the Great Wall, I wrote like Harry Harrison. That’s cool. I like science fiction and I enjoy Harrison’s books.

Dan BrownThe analysis of the first four paragraphs of Chapter Twenty-Four of the same book, Destruction of the Great Wall, indicates I write like Dan Brown. I wish I made the kind of money he does.

David Foster Wallace
Analysis of my travel blogs, the opening scene of my romantic suspense novel, All For A Dead Man’ Leg, and the prologue of a contemporary romance short story indicates I write like David Forster Wallace, whom I have never read (at least, that I remember). Wh-aat? I believed these three works were written in very different styles.

Mario Puzo
The several scenes from my Mafia thriller, Family Secrets: A Vengeance Of Tears, were analyzed to emulate Mario Puzo. Awesome! That's exactly the tone I wanted for this book.

● Stephen King

Analysis of a major sex scene from the same novel, Family Secrets, came out like something written by Stephen King. The sex scene? Now, that is totally scary.

Chuck PalahniukAnalysis of this very blog came out Chuck Palahniuk.
I did say I went bonzo using this website. I also tested paragraphs of my work that came out writing like James Joyce, Vladimir Nabokov, and Stephanie Meyer. I am soo all over the place. I wish I could sell as many books as any of these authors.
Other writers I know tell me they also entered multiple excerpts of their works and nearly every one of them came out writing as one or two authors. But they were consistent.
I noticed other authors indicating in comments that they tried this for other authors as well. Because I would like to emulate three of my favorite authors, I went to the trouble of typing a few excerpts from each one. They don’t write like themselves, either.
● Katie MacAlister writes like Vladimir Nabokov based on an excerpt from “Men In Kilts
● Janet Evanovich writes like Raymond Chandler based on an excerpt from “Hot Six”
● Dick Francis writes like Ian Fleming based on an excerpt from “Banker”

THE ANALYSIS PROGRAMThe analysis program, I’m told, looks at word usage statistics, sentence length variability, punctuation, and so on, but, obviously, not emotional content and the subjective aspects of your writing. Also, the program compares the sample to only selected authors (although I don't know how many) so many contemporary authors are not included, although Stephen King, Stephanie Meyer, and Dan Brown are among the authors.

There are three lessons I learned from this exercise.
First, there is a great deal of variation in the way I write.The way I use words, the length of my sentences, punctuation, etc. I need to look at this and determine if this is an asset or a disadvantage to my writing. Perhaps the variety helps the pacing, or that different kinds of scenes can/should have different styles. It gives me something to consider. Perhaps consistency is the goal I should strive for. I’ll have to think about it and maybe talk to my editor about it.
Second, there are some authors out there I haven’t read and should.I need to take a look at works by Vladimir Nabokov, David Foster Wallace, Harry Harrison, and Stephanie Meyer. And if I’d like to emulate certain authors, maybe I should study Ian Fleming (whose work I have read) and Raymond Chandler.
Third, you can always find something to do to waste time instead of putting your butt in the chair and writing your own novel.
Travel to Foreign Lands for Romance and Intrigue with a Novel by
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The Last Weekend in October  All For A Dead Man's Leg  All For A Fistful of AshesDestruction Of The Great Wall.

Friday, March 9, 2018

Oh the Places You'll Go #Dr_Suess #Read_Across_America #melissakeir

Oh The Places You'll Go

Hello and welcome back to my monthly post on the different things in my world and in the writer's world. This month, I want to hit upon a wonderful day which passed recently. March 2nd is Read Across America Day.

Read Across America started in 1997 when the National Education Association decided to create a day to celebrate not just Dr. Seuss' birthday but also a day to celebrate the joy in reading. This past March 2nd, teachers, librarians, and community members from around the United States set aside time to read (both to children and reading alone). The reason behind this annual event is to shed light on how important reading (and literacy) is to success in life.  

As a teacher, we had the month of March set aside as March is Reading Month, a whole month-long celebration about reading. We decorated our classroom doors, had secret readers come in to read to the students, and shared book boxes filled with some of our favorite books by well-known children's authors. 

As an author, I will be sharing my knowledge with school children at different local schools, talking with them about my own road to publication and what tools I needed to get there. I'm a little nervous about it, but I speak to kids daily as a teacher and love sharing my own journey, so it shouldn't be too bad, right?

Many of us wouldn't have found a love for reading without Dr. Seuss' books. His three biggest sellers are "Oh The Places You'll Go", "The Cat in the Hat" and "Green Eggs and Ham". With more than sixty books under his pen-name, Dr. Seuss, Theodor Seuss Geisel adopted his pen-name while at university. When challenged to write an interesting children's book with only 250 words, Dr. Seuss stepped up to the challenge, writing "The Cat in the Hat."

I remember having all his stories as a child. When I had my own children, I was luckily able to find many of the same books through a neighbor who was getting rid of her old books. It was wonderful seeing all the same stories from "If I Ran A Zoo" to "Hop on Pop". There are so many wonderful stories to choose from, I don't have a special one. I like both the silly word choice and rhyming nature. Never having children of his own, Dr. Seuss raised generations of readers through his books. Do you have a favorite Dr. Seuss story?

Since the whole Month of March is often dedicated to literacy, it's not too late! You can pick up a book and dive into an amazing world where the characters can be anything you desire. And don't forget to share your love of books. Read to your children or grandchildren. They will thank you for it.

Until next month, here's my latest book cover and blurb to entertain you. A part of Sable Hunter's Hell Yeah Kindle World, The House that Built Me is a short novella about a music star who returns to her hometown searching for a piece of her past.
Country’s newest rising star, Mandy Watkins, disappears from the limelight for a while with the help of her good friend. She’s got a lot on her plate and needs some time to figure out who she is.

Travis Perkins loves gardening after teaching at the local high school. He’s determined to leave the world in a better state either through his connections with his students or his garden.

When Mandy lands on Travis’s doorstep, he believes she will be just another of his projects, but what neither of them expect is how much their hearts may change. Can two people with only the love of an old home find a deep, lasting love? Or will their relationship end like the notes of a country tune?

Only available on Kindle or with Kindle Unlimited

Until Next Month,

Melissa Keir

Thursday, March 8, 2018

#Guest Author #Interview - @JamiGrayAuthor Beg for Mercy *Fate's Vultures #2

Welcome to Romance Books 4 Us, a place for all romance and all genres. We’re very happy to have you here with us today. First, tell us a little bit about yourself…

I hit the earth at an Air Force base in Florida, then bounced over to vegetation encrusted vistas of Oregon, before sliding into the desert climes of Arizona. As much as I loved Oregon, I didn’t realize how much I’d miss the sky until the trees took over. There’s just something about wide open skies and streets laid out in a logical manner (not being diverted because of an old growth tree) that says home to me. As for the heat, eh, that’s why I have central AC.

As much as I’d love to write full time, there are these little things called bills that require I punch a clock, which I do for my alma mater, Arizona State University. I work in one of their Executive Education units with a focus on public administration. When not working, I manage a husband affectionately known as Geek Lord, my two mini-adults referred to as the Prankster Duo (Son 1 and Son 2), while being herded by my black and white rescue labs, who answer to the Fur Minxes. All together, they manage to keep me quite busy.

What or who initially inspired you to become a writer?

I was eight and had just returned from watching Star Wars at the drive-in theater (yes, the one where you park the car and the clumsy speaker hangs on your window).  When I went to bed that night, I spent a couple of hours re-writing the story so Han Solo would have a kick ass female to be with instead of the whiny Princess Leia. Years later, my parents got an electric typewriter so the six teenagers who were in typing class could practice their emerging skills.  Needless to say, I took it over and we became inseparable.

When do you write?  Early morning? During the day sometime or all day?  After the kids go to bed?

I tend to write either in snatches through out my RLJ (Real Life Job) day, but the majority of it comes about when I get home. I tend to take about two to three hours a night to hit my designated word count so I can make my deadlines. Now that my boys are teens, they’re occupied with their interests and I don’t feel so guilty indulging in mine.

Is there any other genre that you would love to try writing?  If so, what is it?

Urban Fantasy is my first love, with Paranormal Romance coming in behind it.  I love mixing up magic, love, and mayhem. I wanted to do a series without magic or the paranormal, so this series takes place in a post-apocalyptic setting.

As a reader, what types of genres do you enjoy? And do you think they influence the genre/genres you write in?

Oh heck yeah. In the writing community, you’ll hear, “Write what you know” a ton. I would amend that to “Write what you love”. I grew up reading fantasy novels, from Lloyd Alexander, Susan Cooper, Terry Brooks, Katherine Kurtz, and the list goes on. When I finished devouring our local library’s fantasy section, I turned to romance and mysteries. Put it altogehter—romance, mystery, and magic—and you have the basis for Urban Fantasy and Paranormal Romance.

What is your favorite method of in laptop, desktop, iPad or the old-fashioned pencil and paper?  And do you plot out your story or go with the flow of your muse?

My favorite method is a toss-up between laptop and desktop. Both are Macs and I use Scrivener. If I get stuck, I’ll go back to pen and paper. I tend to write by the seat of my pants, with the occasional GPS checkpoint of an outline. When I first started out, I was a straight up panster. Only after I meandered through overgrown paths that led nowhere, did I start to check in with a rough map of where the story should be at certain points. My stories are character driven, so much of my story creation comes from characters, and that’s not always something I can plan out. Now days, I have sign posts to ensure I’m heading in the right direction, but the journey in-between never comes out like I imagined when I started out.

Share your favorites:
Favorite color – purple
Favorite dessert/snack – chocolate anything
Favorite Season – Fall
Favorite sad song – Chasing Cars by Snow Patrol
Favorite Romantic movie –
Favorite Actor – Tom Hardy
Favorite Actress – Helen Mirren
Favorite way to relax – Reading

Where can our readers find you?  

Amazon author page:

Is there an upcoming or current release you would like to share with us today and where can we find it? 

Latest Release:  
BEG FOR MERCY (Fate’s Vultures #2)

Choosing a side has never been so dangerous…

The world didn't end in fire and explosions, instead it collapsed slowly, like falling dominoes, an intensifying panic of disease, food shortages, wild weather and collapsing economies, until what remained of humanity battles for survival in a harsh new reality.

An assassin by trade, a loner by nature, Mercy is sent to infiltrate the Cartels and unmask the identity of their new silent partner. Instead, she discovers a darker plan threatening to crumble the entire Southwest and ends up with a hefty bounty on her head. Still, she’s determined to stop the impending attack at any costs, even if it means partnering up with a member of the notorious Fate’s Vultures.

After enduring a brutal, blood soaked lesson on the savagery of civilization’s scavengers, Havoc is well acquainted with the consequences of battling predators. But as a member of the nomadic band of arbitrators known as Fate’s Vultures, he’s determined to cement the necessary allies to oust the biggest threat looming on the horizon. When an enigmatic woman crosses his path, her secrets and troubling loyalty light the fuse on an unexpected craving and his insatiable curiosity.

In order to trap a common foe and derail an impending threat, Havoc and Mercy must turn the tables to hunt a predator. Can an assassin and a mercenary find their balance on the thin line of loyalty, or will it snap under the weight of their wary hearts?

Buy Links:
·        Escape Publishing:

Thanks so much Jami for spending the day with us and we hope you'll come back soon !!

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