Megan's 5 star rated Contemporary Romance

Sunday, 27 November 2011

Unleashed - Writers on the Wrong Side of the Road

To quote publisher CLAYTON BYE, ' We took away the rules and let them write what the hell they liked.'

Who better to introduce the anthology than the editors themselves?
The anthology is the brain child of Sassy Brit, founder of, a successful writers group on Yahoo. On her site, ‘anything goes’ when it comes to writing and promoting authors and books - a philosophy reflected in the anthology.
Sassy is spearheading the
Writers on the Wrong Side of the Road Project.

I asked her what inspired her to embark on this exciting venture?
I'm always looking for new and exciting ways to promote the authors frequenting my life through my review and book promotion site, and I've been secretly mulling over gathering a few of their short stories together for quite a while, but publishing is not my area of expertise and I had no idea of how to go about it. I just knew it was something I wanted to do. Then I just happened to mention this in passing to Clayton and here we are. I'm eternally grateful for Clayton's enthusiasm (and patience!) for this project, because without him I would never have got this thought out of my head.
How would you describe the Anthology?
A fantastic showcase of some of our AR author members' talent. Not only are our authors stories alternative in style, we've been a little unorthodox with our 'rule wrecking' ideas and mixed a whole range of genres together. It is an adult book, as there is erotica and spanking within, but we have also included tales full of blood and gore, a space opera, and even a story suitable for young adults. Personally, as a reviewer I have many tastes in books, and in the blogosphere world I know many 'adults' who love to pick up a good young adult book, or jump from erotica to horror, so I am hoping I may be able to bring a new reading experience to some of our readers. We've also kept each author's story true to their own voice and style, and not changed everything to British English. It's definitely what I would class as an alternative read and as our saying goes, we're proud to be different. It's how I love to work, and a great representation of daring to be different, which fits my review site's ethos spectacularly,
What makes it so unique?
These authors are the Writers on the Wrong Side of the Road. Maybe, in the hard and fast rules of the fat-cat publishing world, this wouldn't be allowed, but being different and standing out from the crowd has always been my major focus for my authors and readers with my aptly named site, Alternative- Read, so why should this book be any different?
Plus there's a rather nice cover, too. Even if I do say so myself. It features that gorgeous Jimmy Thomas and the beautiful rather busty beauty, whose name escapes me right now, sorry! 
What's been the strangest thing that has happened to you, while you have worked on this book?
Well, as I was designing the cover, I found I was spending a lot of time working in Photoshop on the aforementioned busty beauty's left boob. *Rolls eyes* Please allow me to explain. The shade of the photo combined with the way her costume lifted up her voluminous breasts made one of them look quite bizarre. Distractingly so, at times. I wasn't sure if it was just me, but my suspicions were confirmed when I had several people emailing about 'that woman's tit' and I had to blend it in and calm it down, for the sake of everyone's sanity. LOLI f only she knew how I covered up her modesty!
  Clayton C. Bye is the owner of  Chase Enterprises Publishing. He is both producing and editing  the Writers on the Wrong Side of the Road Project.
Clayton is also a business consultant and writer with many non-fiction books to his credit.One of his best books, Bare Knuckle MBA, deals with how to start a business of your own. He also offers training for various businesses, teaching them how to improve their operations and increase their profits.     


I asked Clayton what was his inspiration in starting up this project? 

When Sassy Brit tossed out the idea of  associate authors at her site getting together for an Anthology of their short stories, I said to myself, "Self, there's your next book - and it was!"
How would you describe the Anthology?
The Anthology is all about studying people in difficult situations, something every good writer loves to do. But the defining difference  in our collection (18 stories by 15 authors) is that each writer was  challenged to write a short story which would provide their readers  with something beyond the norm, something truly different - then we  set those writers free to write anything they damn well liked.  I  have (I hope) enhanced this experiment by editing for readability  and leaving content alone.

Is the book aimed at a particular market?
No, but that may not remain case. Allow me to explain. You will have  noticed the front cover of our anthology cries out "Adult Only." As  many of our authors write in the erotic romance genre, it was always  understood we would include a number of erotic stories, which will,  of course, impact on other markets.  Yet we also have crime, horror,  suspense, murder, maniacs and craniacs, paranormal, post-war,  pre-war and space war, not to mention apocalyptic and   post-apocalyptic stories, a few tales which involve modern,  complicated women and even a literary tale or two. So, to get back  to your question... I've been wondering, as of late, how the erotic  romance market would respond to having some great short stories   mixed in with their romance.

What do you think are its outstanding attributes?
The authors, of course. Every author in this anthology submitted "never before published" work. And it is all fine work, even the stories we rejected. I know many of these authors; they are passionate, committed and professional; whatever else they do in  their lives, these people live to write.  And I can't say I know of  any other group, with so much freewheeling talent, that has been allowed to put forward any story they wished. But then, these are Writers on the Wrong Side of the Road.

Hat#4 here tomorrow   Follow the anthology links on Twitter and Facebook and at Alternative Read  for more details
PLUS Leave a comment today for the chance to win a free download of the anthology
Grab yourself an alternative read 

Monday, 21 November 2011

Visit Nancy's Website

Nancy Bell is proud Albertan, horsewoman, wife, mother and grandmother. She lives on a farm near Balzac, Alberta with her husband, two horses, a pony, various dogs, cats and whatever else happens to wander into the yard.
Nancy had her first poems and short stories published while still in grade school. She is a regular contributor to Earthsongs ezine, her book of poetry, Through This Door, was released in October 2010.  Laurel’s Miracle (September 2011) is the first in The Cornwall Adventures series, A Step Sideways will release December 2011. The third book is a work in progress.

She enjoys writing poetry and stories, both long and short.
Nancy is an editor with MuseItUp Publishing Inc. 

Have you ever wondered how you would handle it if your mom was terminally ill?  What if you were sent to stay with people you didn't even know in another country because your father was at the hospital all day and night?
 Laurel is faced with both of these realities, what she really wants is a miracle.  She wants her mom to be cured of cancer. 
 Join Laurel as she searches for her miracle amidst the magic of the Cornish countryside.  She is aided by her new friends Coll, Gort, and Aisling and helped along in her quest by the creatures of legend and myth.  Vear Du, the Selkie, Gwin Scawen, the Cornish Piskie, Belerion the fire salamander, Morgawr the flying sea serpent who does Vear Du a favour, and Cormoran, the last giant of Cornwall.  They must battle the odds in the form of bullies and confusing clues. Will they emerge victorious?  Will Laurel have the courage to solve the riddle and make her miracle a reality? 
Find the answers in the pages of Laurel's Miracle.
From where do you get inspiration and what inspired you to write (your latest book)?
Laurel’s Miracle came into my life at a time I was struggling with a life changing injury, the germ of the idea came from some research I was doing to keep myself from going stir crazy. I also spent a considerable amount of time in physio therapy at the hospital. A young mother fighting cancer and whose name I don’t know inspired the idea of a child wanting to save her mother from dying. My interest in earth energies and ley lines led me to Cornwall and the Michael and Mary lines which cross southern England from Carn les Boels to Hopton in East Anglia. There is so much legend and lore in that mystical land it was easy to weave it into the story.  
How do you relate to the heroine?
Laurel’s a tough girl, a warrior when she needs to be. All of a writer’s characters are tiny bits of the author revealed through the story.
Who controls the story – you or your characters?
Well, I’d like to think I do. However, the truth is the characters in Laurel’s Miracle woke me up in the middle of the night many times and wouldn’t let me sleep until I got up and wrote down the next leg of the journey. 
What do you hope your readers come away with after reading the book?
A sense of hope, and the idea that the world is not linear as we usually envision it, but a multi-layered experience. Like peeling an onion and revealing layers upon layers, hidden until we uncover them. 
What do you like best and least about writing?
In a word-Revisions. Okay, and the process of tightening the story line. When I write the first draft I just slap it all down. Then comes the hard part, deciding what to keep and what to toss. Often a passage I really love has to go because it is a diversion from the flow of the story. It feels like ripping off a band aid <laughs>  
Anything special you require to keep the creative juices flowing?
Hot tea and music. I listen to a lot of harp and piano instrumental, but also The Travelling Mabels, Corb Lund and Ian Tyson. I’m just a country girl at heart. If I get stuck I take the dogs for a walk across the prairie and let the sky and the wide sweep of prairie inspire me.
What is the best writing advice you have ever received?
Believe in the strength of your words.
What can we look forward to from you in the near future?
I have two other books coming out shortly. A Step Sideways releases December 2, 2011 and my sweet romance, Christmas Storm releases March 2012. The romance is set in southern Alberta, Canada and centres around the prairie town of Longview which is a real place. The dog in Christmas Storm is a bit of a scene stealer and quite the character. This one was a ton of fun to write.
How do you like to spend your free time?
Playing with my horses and gardening. When I’m not writing.
What was your favourite book as a child/teen/adult? Are you currently reading anything?
As a kid my favourite book  was Black Beauty by Anna Sewell and Beyond Rope and Fence by David Grew, along with all Margurite Henry’s horse books- Black Gold, King of the Wind and the Chincoteague books.
Right now I just finished reading A Life Divined, the story of Hamish Miller, the renowned dowser and blacksmith from Cornwall. My favourite author is Charles de Lint, a Canadian author who writes urban fantasy mixed with Celtic mythology.
Any exciting plans for the near future?
My book signing/launch for Laurel’s Miracle is on November 13, 2011 at the Balzac Community Hall here in Alberta. On Oct 22nd I’m signing at the Surrey International Writers Conference in British Columbia. The weekend of November 4 I am attending the first annual MuseItUp Publishing Retreat in Montreal Quebec where a whole herd of us will be involved in a mass book signing at a huge mall.  Plans are under discussion for a signing and launch for A Step Sideways on December 3, 2011 in the Vancouver, B.C. area.  It’s going to be a busy fall.
Laurel sat on Lamorna and gazed across the moor as it ran toward the sea.  It was so much like her beloved Alberta prairie, except the prairie ran to the mountains.  Like the sea, the mountains had a power and life of their own; they were, after all, the bones of the earth.   The pony lowered her nose to the grass and took advantage of her rider’s preoccupation with the country before her.  This is Arthur’s land, she remembered Sarie telling her, echoing what Coll said earlier in the day, but it belonged to itself long before Arthur was born.

                 Laurel liked the idea of that. The country stretching before her seemed to shimmer with a life force which had nothing to do with what humans did or did not do to it.  She tugged gently on the reins and pulled the pony’s head out of grass. The wind coming across the moor from the sea carried music with it. It wasn’t a familiar music, but she seemed to follow the notes all the same.  It was a mixture of old cowboy songs sung around the campfire to keep the night at bay. It carried the shiver of mystery from the ancient stone works dotting the Cornish peninsula.  There was fiddle and harp and drum and guitar and harmonica. The music called up bird song, the voice of the sea, and the bass voice of the rock itself that held up the land. She could hear the reverberating sound of the bells in the lost land of Lyonnesse out past Land’s End.  She could hear words that were somehow inside her head and also part of the wind. The sound vibrated through the pony’s hooves and into Laurel.

          “The land lies dreaming under the sun,
So much different it is,      
So much the same it is.      
All things are one when the day is won.”

“Come and get some grub!” Coll’s voice broke through her reverie.
Laurel slid down from Lamorna’s broad back and led her over to the other ponies.  She removed Lamorna’s bridle, slipped on her head collar and left her with the other ponies to graze. She dropped down onto the grassy turf and took a ham sandwich from the pile Aisling set out. Everyone was silent while they devoured the sandwiches and cookies, which they washed down with sweet tea.
Once they were full, Laurel pulled the little book about the dragon line out of the waistband of her jeans.  She handed it to Coll, who looked at it in surprise.
“Where did you find this?” 
“Ash and I found it yesterday on Sarie’s book shelf.  I read it last night, and I think it confirms what you said about the dragon line cutting across Cornwall. See what you think.”
Coll skimmed through the pages and whistled softly between his teeth.  He handed the book to Gort who took it eagerly.
“It does seem to agree with what we found out yesterday,” Gort said.
“I think so, too,” Coll said.
The group was silent for a time; each following their own line of thinking with regard to the book and the dragon line. 
Finally, Coll got to his feet and stretched. “We should get a move on if we want to be back before dark.” He moved over to the ponies to bridle Arthur.
                The girls collected the bits of litter and the remains of their lunch, stuffing them back into the saddlebags.  In just a few minutes, they were all headed down the track back toward home.  The sun was warm on Laurel’s back making her sleepy.
                “Let’s trot!” She set off at a brisk pace with the wind at her back.  The others followed suit, and soon Laurel forgot about riddles and her mom’s cancer. She soaked in the feel of Lamorna underneath her and the sound of all the ponies’ hooves drumming the soft earth.  The wind lifted her hair and tossed it forward over her face. The ponies’ tails and manes were black streamers ribboning in the shifting currents.
                 She laughed in exhilaration. All the ponies quickened their pace until they were cantering down the track two abreast.  In no time at all, they were at Sarie’s gate and turning down her lane.  Sarie came out of the cottage to meet them as they trooped past the kitchen.
                “I was starting to worry you wouldn’t get home before full dark,” Sarie said as she opened the gate to the pony field for them.
                Laurel glanced at the dusky sky. “We went a little further than we planned.”
BUY links for LAUREL'S MIRACLE:    MuseItUp
This YA fantasy is an ideal Christmas present!
Watch out for Nancy's forthcoming release A Step Sideways. Isn't the cover terrific?
Visit Nancy's webpage 
You can find her on Facebook at
Read the great review on Goodreads 
and follow her on twitter: @emilypikkasso
$1.00 from each copy of Laurel’s Miracle sold between September 30, 2011 and December 31, 2011 will be donated to Dare to Dream Horse Rescue in Dalemead, Alberta
A big thank you, Nancy, for sharing with us today. It's a pleasure to host you and I wish you great success with both Laurel's Miracle and A Step Sideways.

Sunday, 6 November 2011

A Warm Welcome to Morgan O'Reilly writing as Romance Author

The softer, sweeter side of Morgan O’Reilly, Shea McMaster lives for traditional romance. 
Born in New Orleans, raised in California, Shea/Morgan got moved to Alaska in 1977, where she attended high school before running back to California for college. Alas, once back home she met and fell in love with her own forever true hero, a born and raised Alaska man. Since then she’s had a love-hate relationship with America’s largest state.

With her one and only son half way through college, and mostly out of the house, Shea is fortunate to spend her days engaged in daydreaming and turning those dreams into romantic novels and novellas featuring damsels in distress rescued by their own brains and hunky heroes.


Her husband's death is just the beginning of her marital woes. 

Rachel's humiliation over the discovery of her late husband's affairs turns to fear when one of his mistresses sends her a poisoned bouquet. But finding the source of the killer flowers is only one step on her path to solving the mystery her husband left behind. 

Deputy Dan Weston is with Rachel when the bouquet arrives, and he's at her side as she deals with so many of the secrets that come to light after her husband's death. Dan has carried a torch for Rachel since puberty and he's not going to let her dead husband's vindictive girlfriends or his psychotic mother come between them now. But that means finding out who is sending snakes and poisoned posies before one kills Rachel. 
From where do you get inspiration and what inspired you to write RACHEL DAHLRUMPLE?
I started writing Rachel on the 4th of July, 2009. Why do I remember that date so specifically? Because of the news events that took place that week. It was a filled one. Death, betrayal, death and betrayal in one. The Luv Gov of South Carolina had just been outted for taking off to Argentina to spend time with his mistress, his government kept in the dark. His wife too. Then Michael Jackson and Farrah Fawcett died on the same day. I was already shaking my head, but when a former Tennessee Titan quarterback was found murdered by his 20 year old girlfriend, a sense of outrage rose up inside me. From this outrage, Rachel began to speak to me. I’d never written first person before, but she insisted. From there I was on a roll. So, in a nutshell, I suppose you could say current events inspired this book.
In a couple of sentences, describe the hero’s character.  What do you like best/least about him?
Delicious, darling, Deputy Dan. What’s not to like? He’s man enough to admit he’s carried a torch for Rachel for years and when her world falls apart he’s there to help her make sense of it again.
And the heroine? How do you relate to her?
Rachel embodies a whole lot of insecurities. Not just mine, but many women will probably see a slice of themselves in her. Her redeeming quality is she’s got spunk. A late bloomer for sure, but she finds her courage when she needs it most and refuses to be knocked down. She’s my poster woman for Girl-Power.
Who controls the story – you or your characters?
Oh, the characters, most definitely. If they’re being difficult, I put them in a scene and see what pops out, but they drive the story. Of course, my critique partners will tell you they control the story! Yes, they have great insights and they challenge me constantly, nonetheless, the good news is I get to return the favor.
What do you enjoy about writing romance?
Got to have my happy ever after ending. And hot sexual tension, if not the actual act spelled out graphically. I love love. Can’t write a story without it.
What is the best writing advice you have ever received?
Put your butt in the chair and write. For this reason, I love National Novel Writing Month, or NaNoWriMo. No self editing, just sit and let the fingers fly. Worry about cleaning it up later. Can’t work with something that isn’t out of your head and on the computer screen. Write the damn book. Edit later.
What can we look forward to from you in the near future?
I have a Contemporary novel I’m going over for submission. Elegant Englishman and an earthy California mom meet up twenty plus years after making a baby he never knew about. Yes, the secret baby plot lives! Involves lots of jetting about, tea and, of course, mistaken intentions. Very fun.
How do you like to spend your free time?
I do handcrafts. Knitting, crocheting and recently I started embroidering flour sack dishtowels. The set my mother-in-law gave me years ago is worn to rags and she’s no longer doing it. Someone had to. Wasn’t going to be any of the sisters-in-law. They do quilting and weaving if they do any handcrafts at all.  I also treasure my weekly lunches and meetings with the local critique partners. We’ll often hit a yarn store and cause all sorts of trouble wherever we go. They keep me laughing and inspired. I also have a great time with my online friends. Come visit with me on FaceBook. I’m also learning Twitter.
What was your favourite book as a child/teen/adult? Are you currently reading anything?
Yes, I’m reading. As to what I’m reading, I’ll have to tell you when this posts because I go through a whole lot of books very fast. I’m ahead on my goal to read 200 books in 2011. Check me out on GoodReads to stay current with my reading list. ( )
What is your culinary speciality?
I make a killer lasagne that’s growing in fame. I use my big roasting pan and it must weigh darn near fifteen pounds when I’m done. It provides many, many leftover meals. My son’s godfather often asks when I’ll make another one for him. Since he broke his leg, I might have to do just that and make him his very own.
dates link
I looked up and took in Dan’s expression. All teasing gone. Cop mode.
            “I’m a simple person, Deputy Weston. Steady and calm. Boring. I don’t offend anyone, and no one gives me trouble. Unless you’re talking about Jose Delgado, who is three weeks late with the last book he checked out.”
“I don’t think Jose wrote this.” With a deepening scowl, he turned the card so I could read it through the clear plastic.
Black, block letters, innocuous enough, aside from the message. Ah, yes, the kicker.
Let him go. We want to be together. Start divorce proceedings. Or better yet, end your pitiful life. Your choice. For now.
Dan’s gaze was glued to my face, which first felt hot, then cold. My head swam and my breathing wheezed in and out, as ragged as my stuttering heartbeat.
That bastard. The low down, scheming, rotten, lying, slimy, vile, despicable…
“Care to revise your statement?”
A few quick blinks brought the deputy back into focus, though I could feel the airways in my lungs constricting.
“I know who’s going to die, and isn’t going to be me,” I whispered. “Chinese water torture is too good for him. Splinter those bamboo chopsticks and the minute he gets home, they’re going under his fingernails” I’d learned a few things from my father’s stories of ’Nam. And of course, by reading about the war. After all, I was a librarian. I’d read nearly every book on the shelves. Briefly, I considered doing a search on torture techniques.
The tanned face so near mine blanched. “Easy going, ma’am.”
Right. I wasn’t known for saying such things. I wasn’t known for saying much.
“Well?” I demanded. My fragile world had just vaporized before my eyes and it was far too soon to see what might be left. If anything. The only future visible looked like a rapidly expanding black hole.
Someone wanted me dead. But who? My husband? His girlfriend? Divorce loomed in front of me like a huge gaping maw. I wanted to wail, gnash my teeth, and obliterate something, anything. Of course, I was Rachel the Mouse, so I did my best to hide the violent urges building inside. Rachel the Meek never, ever, let loose with her most primitive emotions. She hid them deep, keeping a calm, submissive, accepting face turned toward the world at large.
“What would you do?”
For the first time I could remember in our long history, Dan looked directly, and very deeply, into my eyes. The sympathy, sincerity, and concern on his face hit me before his words did. Already overwhelmed from too many emotions boiling in my heart and head, I had no defense or response for his reply, or the way he ever so lightly caressed my cheek with the back of his fingers.
“Since I’m not the kind of idiot your husband is, Rachel, I wouldn’t be stupid enough to screw around on the most amazing woman anywhere. Were I the lucky one to have you, I wouldn’t leave you alone long enough for you to ever feel abandoned.”
Aside from the asthma and allergy thing, I was a healthy woman. I’d never, ever, once fainted in my life. But the shocks to my system that night hit too hard. A poisonous gift, a nasty note, knowledge I didn’t want of my husband’s cheating ways, and a gorgeous, younger man, telling me he considered me amazing… The zing I felt in my tummy from his touch did me in.
Black waves engulfing me, limbs losing strength, I slowly collapsed and Dan caught me at the last moment of consciousness. Like any nineteenth-century heiress worth her crumpets and tea, I fainted right into his arms.

Shea McMaster
Traditional Romance for Modern Women

Also Available From Shea