Megan's 5 star rated Contemporary Romance

Monday, 29 July 2013

Margaret Fieland

A Warm Welcome to Margaret
 Born and raised in Manhattan, I have lived in the Boston area since just after the blizzard of 1976, thus missing the opportunity to abandon my car in a snowbank and walk home. I am the daughter of a painter and the mother of three grown sons. An avid science fiction fan, I selected Robert A. Heinlein's "Farmer in the Sky" for my tenth birthday, now long past. I live outside of Boston with my partner and a large number of dogs.Thanks to my father's relentless hounding, I can still recite the rules for pronoun agreement in both English and French.
Here's the blurb for Margaret's latest release 'Broken Bonds':
When Major Brad Reynolds is assigned to head the Terran Federation base on planet Aleyne, the last thing he expects is to find is love, and certainly not with one of the alien Aleyni. But can he keep his lover, in the face of political maneuvering and of Ardaval's feelings for his former partners -- and theirs for him?
And the blurb for her earlier novel 'Relocated':
When fourteen-year-old Keth's dad is transferred to planet Aleyne, he doesn't know what to expect. Certainly not to discover Dad grew up here, and studied with Ardaval, a noted Aleyni scholar. On Aleyne, Keth’s psi ability develops. However, psi is illegal in the Terran Federation. After a dangerous encounter with two Terran teenagers  conflict erupts between Keth and his father. Keth seeks sanctuary with Ardaval.  Studying with the Aleyne scholar Keth learns the truth about his own heritage. After Keth's friend's father, Mazos, is kidnapped, Keth ignores the risks and attempts to free him. Little does he realize who will pay the cost as he becomes involved with terrorists.
Review for "Relocated"":"Relocated has a special kind of magic to it. It opens you up to a world you realize you are just not ready to leave when it's over."
Before treating us to an excerpt from 'Broken Bonds', Margaret Reveals:

From where do you get inspiration and what inspired you to write your latest book?
Margaret's digital art impression of the Aleyni landscape
Broken Bonds, which will be available in July from MuseItUpPublishing  was inspired by a question I asked myself about backstory in Relocated   The character, Ardaval, lives alone in a large house, and I asked myself what happened to his former partners.  I ended up with a single sentence in Relocated,  but the relationship and the reason for the breakup haunted me, so I ended up writing another novel about it.
In a couple of sentences, describe the hero’s character.  What do you like best/least about him?
He's a private person,  passionate about his values,  tolerant, open-minded, and insightful. In Myers-Briggs terms, he's "Dominant Introverted Feeling."
The thing I most admire about Brad is his willingness to move out of his comfort zone -- way out -- when it becomes clear he won't hold onto his relationship with Ardaval unless he mends the broken bonds of the old one.
And the heroine. How do you relate to her?
Actually, Brad ends up involved in a four-way romance with two other men and a woman. Ardaval and Brad get together in Chapter one, and Ardaval was the character I asked the question about. Imarin and Nidrani are a man and a woman from Ardaval's broken rolor bond. My aliens typically form multi-partner relationships, and four is the norm. Brad has a number of misgivings about this, not the least of which is his reaction to Nidrani.
I play the flute and the piccolo, and when I was trying to pinpoint Nidrani's personality, I ended up making her a musician. She plays an alien stringed instrument called a rill, which I picture as something like an autoharp. 
When I was trying to get Nidrani clear in my head, I started a couple of Pinterest boards, one of which was for clothing. Nidrani's things were the first I picked out, from a lovely site called Polyvore (
Who controls the story – you or your characters?
We both have our say. I start out with the initial setup -- characters, setting, conflict, and a relatively loose outline of the story -- about a page of notes. Then I start writing. However, I'm frequently surprised by my characters, who refuse to conform to my preconceived views about them.
Have you ever suffered from writer’s block? What would be your tips to overcome it?
I sometimes suffer from a reluctance to work, especially as I work full-time as a computer software engineer. Either I give in to it and spend an evening doing something else, or I glue my butt to th chair and write anyway. Or I may write a scene that's out of sequence, write something from a point of view that I don't intend to end up in the book. Write a flash piece with the character.  I usually type my stuff right into the computer, but if I'm stuck, I've discovered writing with pen and paper helps. I read somewhere it engages a different part of the brain, so perhaps that's why.
What can we look forward to from you in the near future?
Broken Bonds, due out in July, is an adult sci fi romance. I also have a YA sci fi, Geek Games, due out in November. I'd also like to put together another collection of poetry, and I'm working on another adult sci fi novel. I'm part way through the first draft on that one.
How do you like to spend your free time?
Reading, writing, playing music, walking our dogs, weeding the garden.  I recently completed an online song-writing course.
What was your favourite book as a child/teen/adult? Are you currently reading anything?
I had a couple of favorites as a kid: James M. Barry's Peter Pan, and the Landmark biography of Saint Patrick. The latter is especially surprising since my family of origin is Jewish.  However, I've never let trivial like that keep from reading any interesting printed material.
When I was in college, my favorite book was Alice in Wonderland, the annotated edition. As a true book junky, I discovered the only way for me to keep studying was to avoid checking any books out of the library. Then, suffering from bad Book Withdrawal, I'd reread Alice. I also taught myself to write backwards and wiggle my ears.  They were all so much more entertaining that studying.

And now A Taste of Margaret
Excerpt from Broken Bonds:
Brad took a deep breath of cool night air, inhaling the nutmeg scent of the flowers planted around Ardaval's front door. Before Brad could knock, the door opened and Ardaval stood in the doorway. Brad hesitated before putting out his hands palm up.
Ardaval placed his hands over Brad's. "My heart, my home, my hearth."
"My hearth, my home, my heart," Brad murmured in response.
Smiling, Ardaval directed his gaze at Brad's eyes; it evoked the same curious flutter in the pit of his stomach as the last time they'd met. Ardaval held open the door and gestured for Brad to enter. "You've come to discuss Gavin."
"I have." Brad followed Ardaval into the front hall where tiles of local stone sparkled on the floor and a padded bench stood under a window. Through a doorway on one side, a glance revealed a kitchen furnished with dark wood cabinets, clean and a bit bare.
"Come." Ardaval gestured toward the back of the hallway where a doorway led into a center courtyard, open to the cool night air, and motioned to a small table. A red-leafed tree in the center spread its leaves overhead. Brad sat, and Ardaval sat beside him.
Brad needed to talk about Gavin Frey's political views. Views that, as far as he could tell from the records, were the opposite of his own. A breath brought him the scent of Ardaval's skin, musky, with a hint of clove. Was it duty or cowardice keeping him from reaching for Ardaval's hand and kissing the palm?
Ardaval clasped Brad's hand in his. "Tell me more about why you were posted to Aleyne."
Should he remove his hand? No. He enjoyed Ardaval's touch and what was the harm, really? When he glanced up, he found Ardaval regarding him with evident amusement.
"I recommended that a man who used psi to save his squad be given a dishonorable discharge." Brad hesitated. "Although the soldier deserved a medal rather than a court martial, he was a fool to admit he caught a thought.”
Ardaval nodded.
"About Gavin Frey. Is he your shan?" The thoughts slipped out.
Ardaval stared into Brad's eyes for a a second or two before he replied. "As you surmise, he is my son; my shan, because I didn't raise him."
Might as well ask this, too. "His mother never told you about him?"
Ardaval shook his head. "No, she didn't. He spent six months here after she died. Then we disagreed over a matter of ethical principal and he left."
Given what he understood about Frey, Brad would have been surprised if they hadn't.
"He married, but his wife died. He has a son who is now fourteen by Terran Standard years."
"His mother possessed a strong psi talent."
"She contacted you?" Brad's eyebrows rose to his hairline.
"She did. I suggest you keep an eye on the boy."
"Do you believe he has gazal?" If the boy developed Aleyni mind speech abilities, he'd need careful watching. Brad's own family had been fairly accepting but how would Frey react if he discovered his son possessed gazal? And what about the terrorists, who might try to exploit Keth's talent?
Ardaval nodded. "I do, though of course we've never met. Gavin doesn't, or at least if he does, he keeps his mind so locked down it's the same thing."
Brad sighed and rose. He'd completed what he'd said he'd come to do.
"It happens this way with us, at times." Ardaval paused for a moment. "We'll meet again."
Brad turned to leave. He couldn't ignore this connection, wish it away, any longer. Only Ardaval's assurance kept him moving out the door.
Many thanks for regaling us today, Margaret. Great getting to know you!
You can read more about Margaret at her links:

Wednesday, 17 July 2013

JoMarie DeGioia

A Warm Welcome to JoMarie
JoMarie DeGioia has been making up stories for as long as she can remember, and has spent years giving voice to the characters in her head. She’s known Mickey Mouse from the “inside,” has been a copyeditor for her town’s newspaper, and a bookseller. She writes Historical and Contemporary Romances, along with Young and New Adult Fantasy stories. She divides her time between Central Florida and New England. You can contact her at

Here's the blurb for her latest release
Just Perfect  by JoMarie DeGioia

William Chesterton, the Earl of Chester, might be the perfect gentleman, but his feelings for Constance Bridgewater are anything but gentlemanly.
Constance Bridgewater, the daughter of the late Earl of Bridgewater, might be the perfect
lady, but her feelings for the Earl of Chester are anything but ladylike.They both know that if they were together, everything would be just perfect.
So what is keeping them apart?

Now A Taste of JoMarie
London, England 1825

William Chesterton, the Earl of Chester, sat in his comfortable parlor swirling an untouched glass of brandy in his hand. Spring had come at last to London, though the April evening was still chilled and damp. His staff had seen to the modest fire burning behind the grate, and the warmth lulled him into a false sense of serenity. It did nothing to dispel the turmoil deep inside, however.

Most of the ton, his closest friends included, believed he was a steady man with a calm demeanor. That was true, for the most part. In the whole of his life, from his privileged childhood through his early ascension to the earldom upon his dear father’s passing, he’d been as steady as the Thames. Stalwart companion, dutiful only son, closest confidant. It was all so bloody boring.

He drank from his glass at last, his eyes on the fire. Tonight had gone just as so many nights before. The season was in its early stages and yet the parties and frivolities had already started. He’d joked with his friends, danced with their wives and sisters, and made certain not to show undue attention to marriage-minded young ladies. Their mothers would love to snare the calm and affable Earl of Chester for their daughters. That was certain.

He’d played his part as was expected, and even managed to ignore the urge to dance with
one particular young lady more than the allotted two times. It had nearly killed him. Constance Bridges, the late Earl of Bridgewater’s daughter, was the only woman he wanted for more than two dances.
Her lithe body, her pale golden hair and sparkling gray eyes, were like no other woman’s he’d encountered. Last year, at yet another interminable house party, at one of his happily married cohorts’ estates, he’d attempted to make her see she was more than a pleasant diversion. He wasn’t merely a willing dance partner or riding companion, either. He might have acted a bit wild, however, and no doubt frightened her out of her wits.

He lifted the glass to his lips again and smiled. Ah, but that five seconds he’d spent holding her close, her breath warm on his cheek, her pink lips so close to his . . . he still got hard thinking about the heat she hid beneath that alabaster skin. He’d seen burgeoning knowledge in those gray eyes of hers, too. She’d wanted him. He’d stake the considerable estate his father left him on that fact.

She was a puzzle, to be sure. So serene and bashful on the surface, yet he knew she was more than the perfect picture she presented. He downed his brandy and let out a frustrated breath.

He was tired of playing the nice fellow. If he risked his lauded reputation in the process, so be it. He wanted more in his life than polite dinners and mildly pleasant diversions. He wanted love and passion and everything his friends had been lucky enough to find.

He knew Constance was the one to show him that heat. He drained the glass, letting the smooth liquor burn pleasantly down his throat.

He couldn’t wait to find out just how hot the fire inside her burned.
click here to follow the rest of the tour
Contact JoMarie at
JoMarie will be awarding Loose Tea and chip nuts to two randomly drawn commenters during the tour. Please leave a comment for the chance to win a prize.

Great to meet you, JoMarie!

Tuesday, 9 July 2013

Genie Gabriel

A Warm Welcome to Genie
I'm an optimist whose rose-colored glasses have bent frames and cracked lenses. When life kicks me in the teeth, I find miracles and lessons I refused to learn an easier way. In fact, I live with a small herd of miracles in the furry forms of dogs, who are constantly trying to teach me to forgive, to play more, and to love without limits. I write about people who find courage and integrity in the darkest times of their lives, who rescue stray dogs and kittens, who find a person they would willingly give their lives for, and who make their little corners of the world a better place. People have remarked my stories "aren't what they expected." With rose-colored glasses firmly in place, I take that as a compliment. I invite you to share a piece of my world in the pages of a book, and hope you find some surprises, some tears, some laughter, and always a happy ending.

Here's the Blurb for Genie's latest release
Legacy Reborn
An attorney devoted to social causes and a burned out women's advocate help save their home town while struggling not to fall in love. However, an unintended pregnancy and a gift from the heart lead them on a journey to new possibilities and love.

A Taste of Genie
As CJ stepped onto the floor to dance with his sister, Phoenix couldn't tear her gaze away from his leanly muscled frame in a white tuxedo. His longish hair brushed his shoulders, bringing to mind a gentleman of the Old West, fitting perfectly with the mood of this celebration.

She started out playing it cool, thinking CJ would immediately ask her to dance. However, when yet another dance started and he passed her by with no more than a wink, she began to feel a bit perturbed.

I'm a wallflower. Standing by a beautifully inlaid wood wall of the ballroom in Waring House, but a wallflower nonetheless.

Had she grown warts on her nose since the waltzing started? Missed a piece of salad between her teeth from dinner? Had her deodorant given out? 

Discreetly, Phoenix checked out the possible offenses. She took a quick glance in one of the gilded mirrors placed strategically around the room to reflect the twirling dancers. Stretched her arms upward with quick sniff to the side.

Nope. Everything seemed normal.

"What are you doing?" CJ stood in front of her, curiosity in his eyes.

"Ah...practicing my dance moves," Phoenix said. "I used to be a disco queen."

CJ lifted an eyebrow. "Unless my math is really bad, you're too young to be a disco queen. But would you like to waltz?"

 Phoenix almost refused just to be contrary. But she so wanted CJ to hold her in his arms. So with what she hoped was casual indifference, she said, "I believe I have room on my dance card for perhaps one waltz."

CJ grinned and twirled Phoenix onto the dance floor. After a few basic box steps, he turned and swept her into a graceful swirl. Phoenix followed as if drawn by a magnet.

To follow the rest of Genie's tour click here
Staring into her eyes, he back-stepped and turned. She followed flawlessly. Another turn and a swoop. A swirl and another. A backstep and CJ twirled Phoenix away from him and under his arm. Swirls and dips round and round left her breathless. Wanting more than a dance. Wanting...

NOTE: All nine books in the Halo Legacy Series will be $0.99 the day of the tour!
Many thanks for dropping by Genie.
            Good to meet you!
Now leave a comment for the chance to win one of nine $9 GCs

Friday, 5 July 2013

Jane Richardson

A Warm Welcome to Jane Richardson
Scots-born Jane Richardson has – amongst many other things – worked as a management trainer, a holistic therapist, and a deputy stage manager in the wonderful world of opera. Now married to a fabulous man she met while working in the theatre, she’s a full-time mum to their two gorgeous kids and lives with her family in the historic seaport of Hastings on the beautiful south coast of England. She loves walking on the seashore, cooking up feasts for friends and family, good movies and great books, and planning family holidays to her favourite country, Italy. She writes stories about men and women, love and relationships and hopes quite simply that people will like them.
Here's the blurb for Jane's latest release: A Different Kind of Honesty
Always the one who ends relationships before they’ve barely begun, it’s way out of character for Maggie Lawless to take a risk with a man she hardly knows…the man she meets in a seedy New York City diner has a truth about him, a sincerity like no one she’s ever met before. Tony Valentino is an FBI agent fresh from a long-term undercover operation that’s left his life in tatters. His marriage over, separated from his children and with nowhere to call home, he’s frustrated and angry. All that keeps him going is the sweet memory of a brief encounter with a beautiful woman, though it wakes him from crazy dreams that leave his mouth dry and his sheets soaked with sweat. When he meets her again, it’s obvious the fire that burned so briefly between them never really went out...but as their affair rekindles, both Tony and Maggie find the very people they thought they could trust are the first to turn against them.
Before treating us to an excerpt, Jane Reveals:
From where do you get inspiration and what inspired you to write 'A Different Kind of Honesty'?
Inspiration comes from everywhere and anywhere.  It can be a conversation overheard on a train, a snippet in the newspaper, or reading or watching another story and wondering what might have happened if the characters had decided to take another journey instead of the one they did.  The inspiration for the book I’m working on right now came from one moment in type – I was standing in a field one evening beside a rural cottage my family rented for a while, watching a WWII Spitfire flying overhead as part of an air show taking place in the town nearby.  I was holding my daughter on my hip, she was just a toddler then, and I found myself wondering about the other women in the past who might have stood in the same spot, watching a war plane fly by, and wondering if their husband was safe, and if he’d ever come home.  A tiny moment in time can start of whole string of stories.
Who controls the story – you or your characters?
It must be a bit of both – I have the idea in the first place, but once your characters are fully-formed and you know them as well as can ever be, then they can drive along the story in the sense that you just KNOW how they’d react, what their next move would be.  You have to be careful, though, and not let the characters run away with the story, especially the secondary characters – if you don’t watch out, they can take over!  There’s a character like that in A Different Kind of Honesty – Danny Chang is the heroine’s best friend, and he’s naughty, hugely lovable, and just such fun to be around, but I had to rein him in or he would have been just too much.  Great fun to write, though!
What do you hope your readers come away with after reading your book?
I’d like to think they’ll still be thinking about the characters some time after they’ve finished the book, and with a good feeling inside.  If a reader recognises something of themselves in a story – that moment when a reader can say, ‘yes, I KNOW that feeling!’ then I’m very happy.
What do you think are the main ingredients for a successful book?
Good, controlled writing, and a book that’s been well edited – by which I mean a reader shouldn’t notice either of those things!  Writing that flows well, and dialogue that sounds natural and unstilted.  A believable plot, but one that will still take the reader by surprise.  A range of emotions, too – everything
Do you have a writing routine?
Not any more!  When my children were younger and went to bed early, I’d write in the evening for a couple of hours.  Now they’re older, as that, along with the fact that we home-educate, well, you can imagine that takes up a lot of time, not just with the work we do at home together, but the many activities, workshops and visits outside of the home that we’re involved in.  By the end of the day, I’m pretty much done in – happy, but done in!  So these days, I write when I can.  If I can have a few pages done in a week, that’s real progress for me!  But I’m very happy with that, right now the children’s education comes first.
Anything special you require to keep the creative juices flowing?
I need peace and quiet.  I can’t even deal with music in the background, my annoying butterfly-brain just hooks into the melodies and any handle I had on the story is gone!  Having said that, music is always, always a huge part of anything I’m writing.  Each story has its own ‘soundtrack,’ and I’ll often compile a cd of the music that goes with a particular story to play in the car on in the house during the times I’m not writing.  It somehow keeps me connected with the story, especially when finding consistent writing time isn’t easy.
What is the best writing advice you have ever received? 
It was ‘just get on a write!’  Can’t argue with that!
How do you like to spend your free time?
I’m lucky to live in an area with lots of wonderful walks, we can choose to be right by the sea, or we have some wonderful country parks with wild woods and space to breathe deeply.  The dog and I will just get up and go, and within minutes, we really are ‘away from it all.’  Besides that, my hubby and I are in the process of renovating a 1930s house we bought last year.  Most of the original features were removed years ago, and it would be an enormous job to replace them all - not to mention the somewhat prohibitive cost! – and so we’re trying to redecorate as sympathetically as we can and restore something of the original character back to the house.  That means I’m spending a lot of time sourcing things like classic fabrics, pretty china and lighting, prints in period frames, and so on, and it also means I get to research architecture, illustrators and designers in order to pull it all together.  It’s great fun, and it’s lovely to feel we can bring the house up-to-date but still be true to its heritage.
What would you most like to accomplish this year?
I’d like to get a lot further on with my writing.  And – whisper this one – I’m on a diet, and would like to lose at least another 10lbs!
What is your culinary speciality?
I really love to cook, especially Italian food, so it will be something like linguini with garlic and lemons prawns – quick, healthy and really delicious.  My family would probably vote for my roast chicken Sunday dinner, or our good old home-cooked old fish and chips!
Now A Taste of Jane
From A Different Kind of Honesty – Chapter 1
“I don't want to lose you, Maggie. Really I don't!”
Detective Sergeant Danny Chang shuffled along the corridor on his knees, his hands clasped over his heart in a frenzy of unbridled passion.  “Please! You want me to beg? Look at me—I’m begging.”
Maggie Lawless sighed. “Aw, come on, Danny. You know how much I love you. No matter what happens, we'll still be friends.”
“Ha! You say that now, but when you've finished with me you'll crumple me up and toss me aside like a used tissue. You're just like all the others!” Danny threw himself face down on the floor and sobbed, his shoulders heaving in distress. Maggie stepped over his prostrate form and leaned against the swing doors at the end of the corridor.
“You're a nut, Chang.” She shoved a door open with her shoulder and walked through backwards, laughing.
Danny picked himself up and brushed the dust from his already grubby jeans. Pushing the door open further, he stood aside to let a young female constable pass, eyeing her curvaceous bottom appreciatively as she scuttled by in too-tight uniform trousers. Maggie folded her arms and watched his undisguised lust with an amused smile.
“You never miss a shot, do you?”
“Life's too short,” he answered, flicking his over-long fringe out of his eyes. His sleek, glossy hair gleamed with the black-blue sheen of a crow's back. He watched the WPC’s retreating form as it disappeared around a corner. “So anyway—what's all this crap about you leaving?”
Maggie shrugged and turned away. “I never said I was actually going.” She loosened the belt of her damp raincoat and shook her hair out of the collar as she walked down the corridor.  “All I said was I feel like a change. That's all. You know, try something different.”
Danny fell into step with her, slipping off his battered leather pilot jacket to reveal a T-shirt that might have once been white, but had long ago washed out to rain-cloud grey. A ladder of rips ran down the left leg of his jeans. One of the tears gaped open, revealing a knee with every step he took.
“Don't do it, Maggie,” he pleaded. “It won't be the same without you. I'll really miss you if
you go.”
“Danny, you haven't seen me in six months.”
“Ah, but I thought about you every day and most nights. Dreaming of running my fingers through your soft auburn hair, losing myself in those beautiful baby blues. What do you think kept me going, up there in Miserable Manchester?”
“You really are a loony, you know. What are you now, thirty-two, thirty-three? You're the youngest dirty old man I know.”
Maggie was only pretending to be serious. She and Danny Chang had been friends since day one at Police College. They'd laughed, cried, and got roaring drunk with each other, more often than not all on the same night. But never anything more, not even so much as a drunken snog, never mind a chaste kiss. If asked, Danny would have said their friendship was too valuable to spoil. Maggie would have said she’d trust him about as far as she could throw him with the wind behind her. Either way, they were best friends who told each other everything.
Most things, anyway.
Their pace slowed as they turned the corner, where two rows of doors faced each other across the corridor. A particularly evil variety of one hundred percent nylon carpeting covered the floor. After walking across it, you had to be certain to neutralize yourself on a wooden surface before touching another living soul for fear of zapping them half-dead with static shock.  Maggie rapped her knuckles on a mock-teak door with a black plastic nameplate announcing in white letters the lair of Detective Inspector Rachel Arden.
“I wonder what she wants?” Maggie whispered. “She only just caught me, too. I was trying to sneak off early. I haven't had a free weekend in ages.”
“Yeah,” Danny agreed. “And it's Poet's Day.”
“Poet’s Day?”
“Yeah, Poet’s Day. You know. Piss Off Early, Tomorrow's Saturday.”
From Night Owl Reviews,
‘Jane Richardson has written a riveting story with unexpected twists and turns... A Different Kind of Honesty is a fast-paced tale filled with strong relationships and unexpected twists and turns... A Different Kind of Honesty is a fast-paced tale filled with strong relationships and unexpected drama, with a fascinating plot that will leave you breathless.  This story is well worth reading!
Many thanks for regaling us today, Jane. Great to meet you and I love the look of 'A Different Kind of Honesty'
Wishing you huge success!