Friday, 19 October 2018

Catharsis of Writing Romance

Emotions are the entire basis for any romance novel. I write contemporary romance, romantic suspense and historical romance but for each sub-genre, emotions such as joy, love, loss, bereavement, fear and courage are all felt the same today as they were in any past century. It’s the constant that we all share and always will.

As I create my characters and their goals, motivations and conflicts, I focus my mind on what issue will evoke the most emotion in the characters and the reader. This is a vital consideration if I want my readers to be wholly invested in the characters’ journeys and, ultimately, their happy ever after.

Romance writers also tend to use their stories to explore an issue they feel strongly about or as an avenue in which to purge a conflict they are enduring, or have endured, in the past. Hopefully, everyone has the opportunity to experience falling in love, but it’s not always a happy one. By the time we hit our mid-twenties (quite possibly younger), many of us would’ve experienced heartbreak, betrayal and/or disappointment. These memories and the feelings that we went through provide a melting pot of emotion to pour onto the page.

One of the hardest of my books to write was Saved By The Firefighter, but it was also one of the most cathartic. Just before I started writing this book, I had lost my beloved, ten-year-old black Labrador, Max. He was my first family dog and my constant companion. He was with me pretty much twenty-four-seven and would lay for hours at my feet while I worked. During our walks I would plot and plan, solve problems and gain new inspiration. He was everything to me.

When he died, I was literally struck down with grief. I was lost. Didn’t want to do or think about anything…and I had a deadline looming. I had to start work. But how?

That was when I knew the book I needed to write had to involve bereavement, a fight through the hero or heroine’s grief until they come out the other side, happier and stronger than they were before their loss. As soon as I believed the writing of this book could be my way of healing, of purging everything I was feeling and how much I was hurting, the writing began to flow.

I poured everything I had into every word, every scene and every character action and decision.

The feedback from readers has been fantastic - Readers have told me how Trent and Izzy’s story brought them hope, evoked tears and memories, but they finished the book smiling. This is my aim when I write – to heal a little of something in me and in the lovely people who read my books.

Romance writing is therapy. Great therapy! And I will be calling on its healing again as, last week, I lost my father to the terrible disease of dementia. It will be interesting to see how this second loss and heartbreak will manifest itself in my future work…

Happy Reading,

Rachel x

Wednesday, 17 October 2018

Interview and giveaway with Tina Hogan Grant...

What group did you hang out with in high school?

I grew up in England and went to a pretty strict small grammar school (the equivalent  of a high school). Rules included, wearing a uniform, no makeup or jewelry and no heels. I was into a lot of sports, high jump, long distance running, netball (same as basketball) and hockey. I had some kind of sporting event or practice everyday after school. I mainly hung around with my teammates and even on weekends we’d hook up for a practice run. 

What are you passionate about these days?

Writing is my number one passion by far, second would be reading. When I need to escape or refresh my mind I turn to the kayak. Nothing beats drifting on a solitude lake in a kayak and letting your mind wander. The peace and tranquility is so refreshing. My favorite times to kayak are at sunrise and sunset, there is something about those hours of the day that are just rejuvenating.  My one other passion is riding the ATV. Living in the mountains we have endless miles of trails in the national forest that do wonders for the mind. When I need to blow off some steam, or I find myself frustrated with my writing, zipping around the trails on the quad really helps. 

If you had to do your journey to getting published all over again, what would you do differently?

This is my debut novel and so far the journey has been fantastic. I think I’d write the book quicker. This one took twenty years before it got to this stage. I hope to have the second one completed by JUne 2019.

Ebook or print? And why?

Definitely print. When I pick up a book, I love the way it feels in my hands, the way it smells and the crisp papers yearning to be turned. When I first pick it up I study the front and back covers, flipping it back and forth. I love turning real pages, feeling the corners between my fingers as I progress through the story.
Everything I use during the day needs a cord or needs to be charged. The cell phone, the iPad, and the laptop. Books take me away from all of that. No need to plug it in/ charge it up or check to see if I have enough battery juice to finish my book. ( I would be so upset if it died in the middle of a really good chapter.)  I love the escape books give me from all of the technology.
I can pretty much leave my book anywhere, in the car, on a bench at the park, on the seat in a waiting room and not have to worry about it getting stolen. It will still be there when I return. I can’t do that with an e-reader, constantly when in public I have to keep tabs on where I put it. If left alone, someone would snatch it up in a heartbeat. There goes my library of one hundred books. Yes, I can restore them from my purchase history on Amazon etc but not until I’ve forked out the expense of buying a replacement. Also, I would have to deal with contacting the retailer to block my e-reader and figure out how to restore my collection. Not an easy task. If my book was lost, very cheap and simple to replace.
yes, that’s true! I can’t tell you how many people I have met while sitting somewhere reading my printed book. Some are still really good friends today. It seems people will approach you when you are reading an actual book. They will sit next to you, see the cover and the author. Normally they will strike up a conversation by asking “Good book?” or, “Aah, James Patterson. I like him. Haven’t read that one yet. How is it?”  immediately we strike up a conversation. We have something in common, We like to read!
With e-readers or any electronic device for that matter. You’re in a bubble, you’re unapproachable. It’s like you’re wearing a sign across your forehead that reads, “Do not disturb.” It’s a shame and sad how disconnected and unsocial these electronic devices have made us.
Another escape books bring me, is time away from a plastic screen. Everything has a screen, it’s like you’re looking through a window at everything. A separation barrier. Books draw me in, I touch it, I feel it, I turn the pages. I’m drawn into the story more, able to connect better with the storyline. It has my undivided attention.
If I want to hang onto a book and hand it down to my grandkids, I can do that if I choose. It will still be there on my bookshelf. Can you do that with an e-book? Oh wait in fifty years it will probably be in a new format. Everything has to be changed and updated, buy new readers, new software. My book will look and feel the same and can be handed down for generations to come.
Yes definitely give me a printed book anytime, I will enjoy it more and will probably hang onto it for a very long time.
What is your favorite scene in this book?

Without giving too much away in the book, I would have to say it’s the phone call between Tammy and her father when they are discussing her sister Donna. The phone call happens out of the blue and takes the reader by surprise. It’s extremely emotional and a tear jerker.   

Reckless Beginnings
by Tina Hogan Grant


GENRE: Women’s Fiction  (based on true events)



Tammy Mellows, a fourteen-year-old native of England, was shocked when her father and troubled older sister, Donna, moved to the States.

With her family now separated by divorce and divided by an ocean, Tammy felt helpless when she learned Donna had run away and couldn’t be found.

Thanks to her father insisting she stay behind in England to finish school, Tammy could do nothing for the next three years but pray that Donna would be found safe.

When Tammy’s lifelong dream of moving to the States was finally fulfilled, she had high hopes of looking for Donna. But with no leads and faced with turmoil in her own life, there wasn’t much Tammy could do.

After a forbidden secret love affair and a catastrophic dispute with her father, Tammy eventually meets Steven, settles down and has his child, only to discover he is a heroin addict. Thrown into a life of drugs and violence. Shadowed by his addiction, she becomes the silent and forgotten one. Living in fear of what Steven might be capable of and struggling alone to provide for her young son.

What consequences might she face if she leaves Steven? Is she ever going to find her sister alive? Will she have enough courage to conquer the impossible challenges of her twisted world and still come out on top?



“What do you mean she’s gone, John?”

Who was gone? Tammy wondered.

Her mother became angry. “She can’t just disappear, John! Someone must know where she is!”

Glued to the railings, Tammy was dying to know who and what they were talking about.

Then her mother began to cry hysterically while she held the phone tight and screamed into it, “She’s still a child, John. She’s just seventeen. You should never have put her in that home! She isn’t an object you can just discard because she’s in your way. She’s your daughter!” 

Tammy remembered how her heart sank to the floor when she suddenly realized they were talking about Donna. Her sister had run away and was now missing. She wanted to race down the stairs and snatch the phone from her mother’s hands and ask her father WHY? Why had he put her in that awful place?

Donna had written a letter to Tammy and Jenny, telling them how much she hated being in the home. How no one wanted her anymore and she was going to run away. Frightened by what she had read, Tammy showed the letter to their mother. As upset as she was by both the letter and the fact that Donna had written to her sisters and not her, Rose never believed Donna would actually run away. “I’m sure she’ll be okay. She just needs time to adjust. It’s all new to her. We have to trust your father’s judgment. He said this would be good for her. I have to believe that. She is a very troubled young girl and needs help,” her mother had told her. But she had run away, and now no one knew where she was.

AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Tina Hogan Grant was born in England and grew up in a small town on the Yorkshire Moors. She is the youngest daughter of science fiction author, James P. Hogan. After moving to California, she became a commercial lobster fisherwoman, fishing off the coast of Southern California for ten years with her husband Gordon.

For fourteen years, she’d had a notion of writing her debut novel “Reckless Beginnings”. But it wasn’t until the sudden death of her father in 2010 and a battle with breast cancer a year later that she made the decision to get it done. Seven years later, she finally completed it. She is now working on a sequel titled,  “Better Endings.”

She currently resides with her husband in the small mountain community of Frazier Park in Southern California. Together they enjoy anything that involves the outdoors, fishing, hiking, kayaking and riding quads.


Social Media Accounts



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Thursday, 11 October 2018

Welcome fellow Wild Rose Press author, Jean M Grant...

Hi Jean! It's great to welcome you to my blog for the very first time - I am looking forward to learning more about you and your latest release,

1.)              What was your first job? Did you like or dislike it? Why?

Ha! I worked in the seafood department at a grocery store because I was too young to be a cashier and they thought my goal of going to college for Marine Biology would come in handy. Yeah, dead fish, lobsters, seafood. All it did was make me smell fishy when I got home after a shift!

2.)              Do you have a pet peeve? If so what is it?

I am conscientious to a fault. So those that are not drives me a bit bonkers (e.g. following through on commitments, not responding to emails/messages, being late, disorganized…yeah all that). But we are who we are. So, if I had to pick another one, it would be reckless drivers.

3.)              Would you describe your style as shabby chic, timeless elegance, eclectic, country or ___­­­_?

Hmm, I’m a jeans and t-shirt kind of woman. I like classic. Not big on trendy stuff though I do like to look at it. I go for simple, practical, and comfortable. When writing, some days the yoga pants don’t get swapped for jeans until after lunch!

4.)              Tell me about your book A Hundred Kisses and where you got your inspiration for it?
It’s 1296 in Scotland and Deirdre MacCoinneach has already lost two husbands. She wishes to understand her unusual ability to sense others’ lifeblood energies…the good, the bad, the interior motivations and emotions of those around her. Did this unusual gift kill the men she married, on their wedding nights? Her father’s search for a new and unsuspecting suitor for her becomes complicated when rumors of witchcraft abound.
Her answers may lie with an old aunt on the isle of Uist.
Under the fa├žade of a trader, Alasdair Montgomerie travels to Uist with pivotal information for a Claimant seeking the Scottish throne. A ruthless baron hunts him and a dark past haunts him, leaving little room for alliances with a Highland laird or his tempting daughter.
Enter a journey.
Awestruck when she realizes that her unlikely travel companion is the man from her visions, a man whose thickly veiled emotions are buried beneath his burning lifeblood, Deirdre wonders if he, too, will die in her bed if she follows her father’s orders. Amidst magic, superstition, and ghosts of the past, Alasdair and Deirdre find themselves falling together in a web of secrets and the curse of a hundred kisses…
My inspiration for this came first from my love of Scotland and history. I love stories of loss and hope and of course a happy-ever-after. Early feedback from beta readers and agents helped me go deeper with my story. I explored Scottish lore and myths, hence the paranormal element to it. I am a nature-lover and tend to thread in spiritual elements, so Deirdre’s ability came about. The prequel, A Hundred Breaths, will be out early next year, and tells the story of her mother who hailed from the mystical isles and has a unique ability of her own. Oh, and there are Vikings! And yes, it will be a trilogy—I am working on book three!

5.)              Who is your role model? Why?

It depends on what part of my life. Parenting: my children inspire me. Former career as a scientist: the women who paved the path for this generation (e.g. college professors, and Eugenie Clark, marine biologist). Writing: Diana Gabaldon and JK Rowling. Poetry and art: my mother.

6.)              How much of your book is realistic?

Most of it is real. I love history so I did a boatload of research for this book. At some point though, with any story taking place before the 15th century, an author needs to fill in some blanks. But whenever possible, I researched for accuracy, down to food, fauna, locations, clan history, names, and political history. The “magical” ability Deirdre possesses is a product of my imagination, but loosely based on Scottish lore books I’ve read. Sometimes you need to improvise!

7.)              What are your ambitions for your writing career?

I’ve been writing on and off for twenty years. Last year, my first book was released by the The Wild Rose Press. Though I had written three “practice” novels before that and with no publication success. Now I have contracts for three more books – the prequel (a historical romance), a contemporary romance novella, and a contemporary women’s fiction. I also enjoy writing travel magazine articles when I can. I would love to write a children’s book series (however, that one is proving more difficult), keep with the romance and women’s fiction novels, and pursue a few mainstream fiction novel ideas, too.

8.)              Share one fact about yourself that would surprise people.

I love sharks!

Audio book: A Hundred Kisses by Jean M. Grant 

Social Media links:

Buy links:
Also available as e-book from The Wild Rose PressGoogle PlayBarnes and Noble, and Kobo.

Jean’s background is in science and she draws from her interests in history, nature, and her family for inspiration. She writes historical and contemporary romances and women's fiction. She also writes articles for family-oriented travel magazines. A Hundred Kisses is her first published novel. On the front for publication in early 2019: the prequel (A Hundred Breaths), a contemporary women’s fiction, and a contemporary romance novella. She’s also writing the third book in the “hundred” trilogy.

Tuesday, 9 October 2018

Introducing A Love So Sweet by Addison Cole... *GIVEAWAY*


Sweet with Heat: Weston Bradens #1
By: Addison Cole
Releasing Oct 10, 2018
World Literary Press

Discover the magic of the Bradens, and fall in love with Addison Cole’s rich and romantic storytelling.
Treat Braden wasn’t looking for love when Max Armstrong walked into his Nassau resort, but he saw right through the efficient and capable facade she wore like a shield to the sweet, sensual woman beneath. One magnificent evening together sparked an intense connection, and for the first time in his life Treat wanted more than a casual affair. But something caused Max to turn away, and now, after weeks of unanswered phone calls and longing for the one woman he cannot have, Treat is going back to his family’s ranch to try to finally move on.

A chance encounter brings Treat and Max together again, and it turns into a night of intense passion and honesty. When Max reveals her secret, painful past, Treat vows to do everything within his power to win Max’s heart forever—including helping her finally face her demons head-on.

A Love So Sweet is a Sweet with Heat novel and conveys all of the passion you’d expect to find between two people in love without any graphic scenes or harsh language. If you’re looking for a spicier romance, pick up the steamy edition, Lovers at Heart, Reimagined, written by New York Times bestselling author Melissa Foster. Addison Cole is Melissa’s sweet-romance pen name.

Goodreads Link:

Goodreads Series Link:

Buy Links:
Author Info

Addison Cole is the sweet-romance pen name of New York Times and USA Today bestselling and award-winning author Melissa Foster. She writes humorous and emotional sweet contemporary romance. Her books do not include explicit sex scenes or harsh language.  
Addison spends her summers on Cape Cod, where she dreams up wonderful love stories in her house overlooking Cape Cod Bay.

Visit Addison on her website or chat with her on social media. Addison enjoys discussing her books with book clubs and reader groups and welcomes an invitation to your event.


Giveaway Grab link (Two ebook copies of SWEET LOVE AT BAYSIDE)

*OUR SWEET DESTINY - Weston Bradens Book 2 (Rel 11/14)
Loyalties are tested, and relationships are strained as Rex and Jade find out if true love really can conquer all.

Saturday, 6 October 2018

Inspire Me... Helen Mirren

This week's Inspire Me! is focused on awesome actress and all-round awesome woman, Helen Mirren.

What is the first thing that comes to mind when you think of Helen Mirren? For me, it's strength, sass, sexiness and intellect all within the skin of a beautiful woman.

Helen has not only used her status as one of our most amazing actresses to help others in the art, she has used her deserved platform to voice her opinions, views and criticisms of the world as a whole. A staunch feminist, Helen is all about learning, teaching and reaching for your stars, whatever they might be.

"Fear sometimes stops you from doing stupid things, but it can also stop you from doing creative or exciting or experimental things. It can cloud your judgement of others, and lead to all kinds of evil. The control and understanding of our personal fears is one of the most important undertakings in our life."

This quote of Helen's resonates with me on such a fundamental level, it's like a kick in the gut every time I read it. Fear is the basis of everything that stops us from being learned, understanding and making a life that is huge and uniquely ours.

Why not spend this weekend identifying how fear is holding you back in your life? How it skews your views of others and their actions? If you really think about it, fear is the centre of everything that is wrong in our lives.

Go live and be happy!

Happy Inspiration Day,

Rachel x

Thursday, 4 October 2018

Introducing The Hotter They Come by Roxanne D. Howard... *GIVEAWAY*

Hotter They Come

the Seas #1

Roxanne D. Howard

Contemporary Romance

When Piper’s job
sends her undercover to spy on Jack - the beyond sexy hook-up she
can’t stop thinking about - she is forced to decide if her job is
more important than her happiness.


Captain Jack Spencer
owns and runs a whale watching company, Ahoy, Matey. When his
business takes off, a jealous rival wants him and his company gone.
Jack has no idea the delectable Piper Goldhirsch is tasked with
scuttling everything he's worked for - he's too caught up in their
magnetic attraction and her web of lies.

Piper Goldhirsch,
head reporter for the tabloid TV show Business Buster, is all work
and no play. When she and the all too tempting Jack Spencer have a
one-night stand that turns out to be the greatest sex of her life,
she is haunted by the powerful magic between them. Sent undercover to
expose his whale watching business, she is torn between her
assignment and the first man she has ever wanted. With her happiness
on the line, Piper has only one choice.
to Goodreads
* B&N
* Kobo

D. Howard is a romance novelist who resides in the mid-western United
States. She is a RWA PAN member. She loves to read poetry, classical
literature, and Stephen King. She is also an avid Star Wars fan,
musical theater nut, and loves everything related to marine biology.
She is the proud mother of two beautiful girls, several pets, and
loves to spend time with her husband and children when she's not
* Twitter *

the tour HERE
for exclusive content and a giveaway!

Tuesday, 2 October 2018

Introducing Avoiding The Badge by Dorothy F. Shaw... *GIVEAWAY*


Arizona K9 #1
Dorothy F. Shaw

Contemporary Romance


Michaels may be a veterinarian, but she knows a little something
about the human heart—especially when it comes to worried pet
owners. Law enforcement’s bonds with their K9 partners are
legendary, and Derek Hansen is a perfect example—he’s had his dog
Axle in more times than she can count in the last few months. And
Derek’s sculpted muscles and heart-stopping smile would be truly
irresistible, if only he wasn’t an officer of the law…

Derek can’t get
Rayna’s stunning face and no-nonsense smarts out of his mind. Any
excuse to see her will do, until he works up the nerve to ask her
out. He’s not sure where her resistance to cops comes from, though
he’s more than willing to prove he’s one of the good ones. But
when casual dating turns into explosive lovemaking, Derek knows he
has to come clean about his past before the woman he loves finds out
what he’s been hiding and turns tail to run…

to Goodreads

* B&N
* Google
* Kobo

F. Shaw
in Arizona where the weather is hot and the sunsets are always
beautiful. She spends her days in the corporate world and her nights
with her Mac on her lap. Between her ever-open heart, her bright red
hair, and her many colorful tattoos, she truly lives and loves in

the tour HERE
for exclusive excerpts and a giveaway!