Category Archives: Guests

Guest Author – Michele Arris

My guest author today is Michele Arris, who has penned a new steamy contemporary romance. Following is an exciting blurb to go along with a beautiful cover:BookCover_DEVILS GAMBLE COVER

Sienna Keller saw how men used her mother, and from an early age she swore sh’d never allow it to happen to her. So when she meets smooth-talking billionaire Gavin Crane, who uses his connections to help her art career, she resolves to keep things strictly professional—no matter how gorgeous he is.


Gavin might be the son of the head of the Kavanagh organized crime family, but he wants no part of that life. It’s important to him to prove to Sienna that he’s a good guy. But when she winds up in the hospital with a gunshot wound, he is driven to exact revenge. His father agrees to provide security to watch over her as well as find the man who shot her, but at a cost—Gavin must come back into the family business.


As Sienna begins to let her guard down around Gavin, seeing the kind, caring man he’s always wanted her to see, his secrets begin to pile up. Has she done the one thing she vowed never to do—trusted her heart to the wrong man?

Here’s an excerpt!

“You have your room keycard?”

She pulled it from her black leather clutch purse. He took it from her, and with a quick swipe at the lock, opened, and stood just inside the room with his back braced flush against the door, giving her a wide area to pass without them making contact.

Just then her cell phone rang. She took it from her purse to view the display and quickly connected. “Hey. Hold on a moment.” Pressing the phone at her chest, she looked at Gavin, whose attention was laser focused on the phone in her hand. “I have to take this.”

“I’ll see you in the morning,” he said with little inflection as he reached to his right and set the keycard on the entry table, then his steady stare held hers briefly. “Sleep well.” He stepped out. The door closed quietly behind him.

Sienna waited for the resounding clank of the door across the hall before she let go a breath, and her pulse managed to calm. Wow. She’d expected he’d ask to come inside. A small part of her, that perverse side of her, wanted him to, only so she could turn him away. Turning down his invitation wouldn’t have been just because she felt he was a player or a pain in the ass on occasion, it was something else, some kind of deeply embedded feeling that her mind fought against.


Award winning author, Michele Arris, writes steamy contemporary romance.


Michele is always plotting out her characters’ next move. Even when she’s not seated in front of her laptop writing about strong-willed, professional heroines and the complex heroes who strive to have them, she’s plotting scenes in her head.

“I love to write story where my characters are guaranteed their Happily Ever After.”

In her spare time, Michele enjoys reading all types of romance genres. She loves paranormal romance as well as historical romances, enjoys watching period classics (Little Dorrit, The Buccaneers, and Persuasion to name a few), actually looks forward to working out, is a holistic enthusiast/vitamin junkie, and spending time with family and friends – simply enjoying life.




TWITTER: @ArrisMichele


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Go for the Prize!

Michele will be awarding a $25 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

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Filed under Books and Reading, Guests

Guest Author

Today, my guest is Caroline Clemmons, spinner of western tales of romance and adventure. Her newest and last book of her Bride Brigade series sounds great!

Thank you, Anna, for inviting me to be your guest today. Most readers enjoy series, and that includes me. I also love writing them. Watching the characters recur as the series progresses enhances them in my mind.

I just completed writing PRUDENCE, book 7 of the Bride Brigade Series, a historical western romance. I’ve loved each of the main characters of this series. Finishing was bittersweet because I’ve been with these people for a while now. Saying goodbye has been difficult. But, I have many more books to write, so I’ve begun my next work.

Here’s the synopsis of PRUDENCE:

Prudence Lynch’s beloved grandmother trained her in midwifery and in folk medicine. Wild desert landscapeAlways ostracized because they’re different—until someone needs their help—they live in poverty at the edge of a tiny Virginia backwoods village where rumors plague them. After Granny’s death, Prudence leaves for Richmond. There, Prudence is fortunate to be chosen to accompany Lydia Harrison to Tarnation, Texas. She believes she’s left trouble and gossip behind to establish her healing business and begin a new life. But, trouble follows Prudence.

Doctor Riley Gaston wants a wife and children. He’s threatened to move from Tarnation to seek a wife, but he would never actually leave the community he loves. One of the young women Lydia brings home mesmerizes Riley. That is, until he learns her so-called profession is folk healing, which he views as dangerous as it is worthless.

Prudence is as stubborn as Riley. Danger causes them to reconsider their opinions. Is their change of heart too late?

I came up with the idea of the Bride Brigade as a twist on mail-order brides. These seven women came as guests of a wealthy widow and lived in her home until they found the man they wished to marry. Except for their hostess, the town of Tarnation, Texas had no unmarried women except elderly widows. If they hadn’t found a groom, they could have stayed as long as they wished—or until they established themselves in business and chose to move out on their own.

Six of the women came from Virginia and one from Missouri. Each had a different back story, and so did the grooms. The town name of Tarnation makes me smile. I hope it does the same for readers. Texas does have numerous towns with odd names—such as Cut and Shoot, Lick Skillet, and Dime Box.

PRUDENCE, was released a week ago. Here are some of the reviews:

Caroline Clemmons never fails to deliver quality stories, and Prudence , Bride Brigade #7, is no exception…As this is the final Bride Brigade novel, I was both thrilled and sad to see it available. This entire series was extremely enjoyable.”

“It’s sad to think we will miss Tarnation but I hope we can visit in future. Amazing story of two individuals who have to overcome their beliefs and accept each other and love in the end!”

 “Couldn’t put it down. Loved it as much as I have enjoyed the whole series.” 

“The whole series has been wonderful. Please keep writing, you write so well and I have enjoyed all your books.”

Here’s an excerpt from PRUDENCE:

     “He walked slowly, hoping to read the sign, but it was covered by bunting. Soon enough, he’d be back and by then he could meet his new neighbor. Wait—there was no one new in town except the seven women who’d accompanied           Lydia.

He froze in his spot.

No, she couldn’t, not across the street from his office. He turned and hurried across the road. Disregarding the superstition of walking under a ladder causing bad luck, he walked into the office. Sure enough, there was Prudence setting out bottles and packets of this and that.

He walked up to her. “What do you think you’re doing?”

She barely glanced up. “I’m organizing my herbs and tinctures and salves for my grand opening on Saturday.”

He edged closer. “What are you playing at? Are you setting out to deliberately cause trouble with me?”

She continued arranging things on shelves. “Certainly not. Why would you even say that? In your opinion, which you’ve made known to me and probably most of the townspeople, you don’t believe we’re in the same business. Having me here shouldn’t have anything to do with you.”

He fought for calm but it wouldn’t come. “It’s as if you’re. . . you’re saying you’re in the medical profession the same as I am.”

She stopped messing about with the dratted shelves and faced him. “Dr. Gaston, I’ve never said that. I’m interested in helping people in any way I can. If that alarms you, that’s your problem.”

He leaned in so they were nose to nose. “You’re setting yourself up as a medical authority. That’s a big problem. You can do untold harm with your so-called healing.”

Sparks shot from her blue eyes. “So can you. Do I tell you how to run your office and treat your patients? No.” She poked him in the chest. “So, Doctor Gaston. Butt. Out.”

Fuming, Riley turned on his heel and strode from the building. He rushed toward Mrs. Eppes’ home. Where did Prudence get off thinking she could do this to him?

He’d come close to kissing her. Thank heavens he’d resisted.

Who was he fooling? If he were being truthful, only her anger stopped him. What was he going to do about Prudence?

More importantly, what was he going to do about what being near her did to him?”

The buy link at Amazon is and it’s also in Kindle Unlimited.

Caroline’s Bio

Caroline Clemmons is an Amazon bestselling and award winning author of historical and contemporary western romances. A frequent speaker at conferences and seminars, she has taught workshops on characterization, point of view, and layering a novel.

Caroline and her husband live in the heart of Texas cowboy country with their menagerie of rescued pets. When she’s not indulging her passion for writing, Caroline enjoys family, reading, travel, antiquing, genealogy, and getting together with friends. Find her on her blog, website, Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, Google+, WattPad, Shelfari, and Pinterest.

Click on her Amazon Author Page for a complete list of her books and follow her there.

Subscribe to Caroline’s newsletter here to receive a FREE novella of HAPPY IS THE BRIDE, a humorous historical wedding disaster that ends happily—but you knew it would, didn’t you?

She loves to hear from her readers at


Filed under Books and Publishing, Books and Reading, Guests

The Most Important Element, Part II

Hi, Fellow Readers:

Today, my guest is Texas author Kathy Ivan and her story of how she came to writing. As you’ll see,  she’s an avid reader, as are most writers. I don’t know a single successful author is isn’t also a dedicated reader. Kathy’s story is testimony that it must be in the genes.

So check out the short synopses of her books. And take a good look at her delicious covers designed by the awesome Kim Killion. Don’t they speak to you? Don’t you just know that a great read resides behind these covers?

Anna kindly asked me to participate in her blog and tell you a bit about myself, my writing, and the lovely covers the amazing Kim Killion has created for two of my books.Headshots_001 

I’ve always loved reading.  I was one of those kids in school who would finish the entire year’s reading list in the first five or six weeks.  Getting lost in books, those wonderful stories, was the best part of my school day.  Plus I was gifted with an absolutely amazing mother who instilled in me a love of reading from a very early age.  She was a voracious reader herself, especially of romances.  Most of my fondest memories are of my mom with her nose buried in a romance book.  Genre did matter to her as long as there was a happy ending.

So, I’ve always been a big reader.  I dabbled with writing some in high school, took creative writing classes and did very well in them, but put all that aside when I graduated and moved on to the 9 to 5, Monday through Friday world of sit-your-backside-in-the-chair-and-work life.  It wasn’t until early 2005 when I was invited to a book signing by a co-worker (the lovely and talented Jane Graves) that the writing bug struck again.  Shortly after that book signing I joined DARA (Dallas Area Romance Authors and RWA.  And I’ve been writing ever since.  J

My first published book was Desperate Choices, a romantic suspense that won the International Digital Award for Long Suspense.


Following are blurbs about my newest books.

Second_Changes_800SECOND CHANCES:  Can Dreams and Destiny . . . Lead to a Second Chance?

Welcome to Destiny’s Desire Lodge, where The Fates can manipulate the threads of life at their whim and the Fate-Keeper battles to unite the predestined souls of true love. 

Wracked with guilt, Denver firefighter Ryan Jackson is haunted by dreams of his dead brother, asking for something . . . impossible. 

Unwilling to let the love of her life slip away, Rose Jackson will do anything to discover why her husband has become distant and withdrawn — no matter the cost.

Will an early gift, an unexpected trip, and Rose and Ryan’s love add a spark of magic to destined souls wanting a second chance?

Buy: Losing_Cassie_800


Welcome to Destiny’s Desire Lodge, where The Fates can manipulate the threads of life at their whim and the Fate-Keeper battles to unite the predestined souls of true love. 

Firefighter Jake Stone lost the love of his life when his high school sweetheart disappeared. The arrival of a mysterious letter promising answers draws Jake to Destiny’s Desire. Cassie Daniels has been running for seven long years. At Destiny’s Desire she might finally have a chance for a happy future, if she can face the evil from her past. When Fate and Destiny Collide . . . Can Love Survive?





Filed under Books and Reading, Guests

The Most Important Element…

As some of you know, I sometimes invite other authors. So today, my guest is Caroline Clemmons, author of western romance and adventure set in Texas.

I’m also featuring my cover designer, Kim Killion. Most marketing gurus tell independent authors that the most important element to selling a book is a good cover. If you can’t create one yourself, it’s worth the money to hire someone who can.

Taking that advice to heart, I was lucky enough to stumble across Kim. The day I found her was one of happiest in my independent publishing life. Not only is she a great graphic designer, even though I’m pretty sure she hasn’t had time to read my books, I feel we’re on the same page. To show my appreciation for her and her talent, for the next few weeks, I’ll be featuring some of my author friends who have also had Kim design their covers.

Below, read how Caroline Clemmons came to be an author and take a look at some of the beautiful covers Kim has designed for her.Caroline Clemmons - Dreamin in Dallas - 4-1-11

As long as I can remember, I’ve loved the written word. My dad, who had taught me to read, told me a good storyteller could create a story about anything. As examples, he mentioned a grain of sand. Where had it been, how did it get where it is today? Or, he added, a fly on the wall—what has the fly seen and heard? He encouraged me to read and to write.

CarolineClemmonsFront_TheMostUnsuitableCourtship_POD_1000pxThose early lessons stuck with me. I loved English classes and then took journalism to express myself. I won awards as editor of our school paper, and those encouraged me to stick with that type writing for many years. I even worked for a small newspaper as a reporter and featured columnist. The urge to create my own stories was relieved by composing long, long, anecdote-filled letters to my family.

What started me writing fiction? Oddly, it was my mother in law. On one trip to visit us, she brought a grocery bag filled with old Harlequin and Silhouette novels. She insisted that if I could write letters like mine, I could write romance novels. Secretly, I’d had an idea in my head for some time, but hadn’t the confidence to write it into novel form. My husband encouraged me and I launched into the story. I had never been to a writers group or taken formal creative writing classes. Do I need to tell you the story was awful? Not the basic idea, which I used later, but the higgledy piggledy execution.

Finally, I heard about and joined Romance Writers of America (RWA). Attending a local chapter, I heard excellent workshops. I learned about point of view, characterization, plotting, and the myriad of other tools for creating a story. What a shock to my muse.front cover MUH

I temporarily put aside my original book. Another contemporary novel idea hit me as my family was driving home from visiting our parents in West Texas. By this time, I’d also taken classes in creative writing. I sold the second novel in 1998. Hooray, I was a published author.

My dad had shared tales of his family coming to Texas from Georgia in 1876 and some of the family adventures in the late 1800’s and early 1900’s. Probably that’s why I enjoyed history, especially Texas history, so much. My brain finally got the message. Why not write historical novels set in late 1800’s Texas? Historical novels require immense research, of course, but remember I love history. Reading about the Old West was pleasure. I consumed it like chocolate, and I adore chocolate.

One thing I’ve realized, I’ll never run out of ideas. What a relief! In the future, I’ll be writing contemporary, paranormal, and historical novels. And now I’m stepping into audio books, always stretching to keep up with the times. But no matter what authors write, a good cover is one key to success. This is why I’ve switched from my Hero husband and me designing my covers to Kim Killion.

FrontcoverTheMostUnsuitableWife_POD_1000pxWhether an author is published with a “big six” New York publisher or self published, the author must be active in social media. I’m on Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, Pinterest, WattPad, and LinkedIn. I have a website, I blog three times a week, and I’m on three team blogs: Smart Girls Read Romance, Sweethearts of the West, and Cowboy Kisses.  Yes, I’m everywhere.

Picture me banging my head against my desk. Yes, that’s how most authors feel about promotion. I genuinely love and am grateful to my readers. Although authors love meeting readers and love them for buying our books, we resent the time social media requires for promoting our work. We just want to write! Who knew we’d need an MBA in marketing to do so?

So now, thanks to getting acquainted with Caroline’s great covers, you’ll recognize her books instantly. And you’ll know the name of the cover artist as well as hers. And that’s a good thing. If you like tales of Texas with a dash of authentic history, you’ll love Caroline’s books.


Filed under Books and Reading, Guests

Meet Brooke Moss…

And take a look at her debut book, THE “WHAT IF” GUY.

Brooke is a new writing friend I’ve only recently met. Her debut book, a chick-lit/romance has been just recently released and she has graciously agreed to come here and talk to us about it. It’s a feel-good story about a courageous heroine starting over and lost love recaptured in a small town in the Pacific Northwest. Brooke’s writing sparkles with humor and warmth and you’ll find yourself chuckling more than once. You’ll probably want to put her on your keeper shelf.

As a new author, she has been asked about a million questions and one of them is why she chose a small town setting. Following are her comments.

Why Write About Small Towns?

By Brooke Moss

            When I set out to write what turned out to be my debut novel, The What If Guy, I considered a handful of settings.

I thought about having it set in a big city. I am a fan of big city romances, but alas…my knowledge of the big city (any one of them) is limited. I know the city of Seattle, and that is the setting for my trilogy coming out next summer. I needed some place fresh! Some place that nobody has heard of before.

And then I had it….my own hometown of Fairfield, Washington. Population five hundred residents. A place not reached by any freeways. A town with not one stoplight. It was the perfect setting for my new book. Who in the world would expect to run into their long lost love in a town the size of half a postage stamp?

Autumn Cole certainly never expected to.

One of the great bonuses that I discovered when I decided to write about the town of Fairfield was the amazing cast of characters that I’d tapped into. People that I hadn’t appreciated as a kid. Town gossips, quirky people who—in any other town—would seem peculiar, and of course, the misunderstood townies whose roots are so deeply woven in the town’s history that one without the other makes no sense. These are the types of people I wanted to write about.

Another reason why I wanted to base The What If Guy in Fairfield, Washington, is because of its stunning beauty that is often overlooked. When most people hear the words “Washington state”, they picture lush green trees, rain, fog, and miles and miles of Pacific rainforest. However, the great thing about Washington state is, it offers desertland and the rolling, golden plains of the Palouse as well. I wanted to paint a picture of the beauty that is found in eastern Washington, and make it as desirable as the Twilight saga made the lush western side of the state for so many visitors.

I love my home in the city. I love the convenience it provides, and the sound of horns honking and trains blowing their horns in the distance. But every once in a while I watch my children playing in their fenced yard, or in their city playgrounds, and feel a tug in my heart.

They will never experience the joy of running and running for miles, barefoot and without limits. They will never hear me calling them inside for dinner from our front porch clear across town. They will never be lulled to sleep by the lullaby of frogs an crickets. These are details about my childhood that a treasure, and mourn the fact that my own kids will never experience the same things.

A book with a small town setting provides an additional character: the town itself. And I, for one, am charmed by all that comes with its presence in a love story.

My name is Brooke Moss, and my debut novel, The What If Guy, is now available from Entangled Publishing. It tells the story of single mother, Autumn Cole, who is returning to the miniscule hometown of her youth, to reluctantly reclaim her role as daughter of the town drunk. Things become even more complicated when she discovers that her son’s history teacher, Henry Tobler, is none other than the college sweetheart she left behind, but never stopped loving.

The What If Guy is available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Diesel Books, Books on Board, and at your local bookseller. Grab a copy today, and tell me what you think. Reader feedback is priceless, and I am anxious to hear who YOUR what if guy is.

Find me elsewhere on the web, at my websiteblogTwitterGoodreads, and Facebook.


Brooke Moss

This is a taste of what’s in store for you when you read THE “WHAT IF” GUY. And now for the best treat of all, we have some excerpts!

Here’s what happened in the prologue:

Seattle, Washington

“Why are you doing this?”

The desperate, sad look in Henry’s eyes made my heart ache. His brown hair fell
across his forehead in rain-soaked waves, and his eyelashes gathered in dampened
clumps. Henry’s eyes, the same shade of gray as the weeping clouds above us, searched
my face for answers I was too ashamed to give.

“What we have is real, Autumn.” He pulled me against his chest. I felt his heart
pounding through the wet fabric of his soft, flannel shirt, and we trembled in unison,
standing on the front steps of Henry’s apartment building. “Why do you want to break
up? Don’t you love me?”

“Don’t do this,” I said weakly. My eyes filled with hot tears that threatened to
undermine my brave façade. When he grazed his fingers across my cheekbone, swiping
away a tear, I instinctively turned my face into his hand, breathing in the warm,
outdoorsy aroma of Henry.

My Henry.

He kissed my cheeks, my temples, my shivering lips. My resolve started to
crumble. Strength. I needed to show strength. I needed to walk away before I ruined his
life, before I hurt him any more than I already had.

“Tell me that you don’t love me,” he whispered into my drenched hair, tangling
his fingers in my curls. “Tell me, and I’ll let you go.”

I choked on a sob. I did love Henry. The past two months had been the best
months of my life. Not once had I dreamt of meeting someone who made me feel safe,
peaceful, beautiful, and deliriously happy, the way Henry Tobler made me feel. I wanted
to be with him—and no one else—forever.

“Of course I love you,” I said.

“Then why are you doing this?” His voice cracked.

I shivered in Henry’s arms, not only from the cold, but also from the burden I

bore. Pulling back, I raised my eyes to meet his. “I….I’m pregnant.” My words were
barely audible over the sound of the pounding rain and passing traffic.

His face morphed from shock to anger, then settled on absolute sadness. We
hadn’t slept together yet.

“It was from before,” I explained lamely, feeling dirty as the words came out my
mouth. Henry’s shoulders drooped. He released me and a shadow fell across his eyes.
That said it all. His girlfriend was pregnant with someone else’s child.

Henry deserved better than me.

I had to get out of here. I backed away, down the cement steps and onto the
sidewalk. I rubbed my chest, my heart breaking just beneath the surface.

“I’m sorry,” I said, words quavering. “I’m so sorry.”

I turned and ran. Away from love.

And this is what happened after that:

I knocked on the door of room five. Elliott briefly slipped his hand into mine and
whispered, “Love you, Mom.”

I squeezed his hand. “Love you, too, buddy.”

“Come on in,” a male voice called.

The classroom looked and felt exactly the same way it had when I was a kid,
including the judgmental stares from the students. With his back to the class, the teacher
scribbled a makeshift map on the whiteboard at the front of the room. All of the students’
eyes shifted to Elliott. Some looked at him with interest, but others already glared with
disapproval. I wished that El hadn’t been wearing his yellow and black checkered vest
and a bow tie when I’d thundered down the stairs to find him waiting at the front door,
tapping his foot. What had been stylish in his funky Seattle school was a blinking neon
sign declaring I’m an oddball at a small country school like this.

“Um, hi?” Elliott’s voice cracked. “I’m Elliott Cole, and I’m, uh, new.”

Pride swelled in my chest, and I beamed at my son. I leaned down and whispered
in his ear. “You’re awesome, El. I love you.”

He gave me a stiff nod. “Thanks.”

“Welcome, Elliott, it’s good to have you.” The teacher spoke in a low, gravelly

I straightened and smiled at the teacher. “Thanks…”

All the oxygen left my lungs, and I stood paralyzed. The class became silent.
Elliott’s teacher and I stared at each other, dumbfounded—mouths open, hands half-
extended, eyes round and wide like headlights set on bright. My insides vibrated like the
engine of an idling grain truck. All in response to the teacher, who gawked at me with
what appeared to be the same mixture of shock and disbelief.

Elliott’s teacher was Henry Tobler.

“What are you doing here?” I whispered.

I regretted my words the moment they came out. I should have said something
eloquent or profound. Something that would have made seeing each other for the first
time in over a decade less awkward. As if that were remotely possible.

Henry’s eyes, that rainy-day shade of gray, narrowed, and a line formed between
his eyebrows. “I work here.”

I couldn’t help staring. Henry looked like a teacher, but no teacher I’d ever had at
Palouse Plains. He wore a grayish-blue button-down shirt, untucked, and a worn, olive-
colored sport coat. His wavy, brown hair was cut shorter than I remembered. Even at ten
o’clock in the morning, he sported a sexy five o’clock shadow that made my stomach
twist. I remembered those whiskers well.

He still resembled the young man I’d made eyes at across the lecture hall during
college, so long ago—his face chiseled and rugged-looking. Back then, a perpetual smile
had teased at one side of his mouth. Now, I saw no hint of that smile. But his eyes still
revealed his emotions, no matter how hard he tried to hide them. I wish he’d outgrown
that, because his eyes screamed, I’m not happy to see you.

“Y-you’re a teacher now?” I stammered.

“I’ve always been a teacher.”

“Right, but…”


See? I told you you’d like it. And if you want to know what happened after that, you’ll have to read the book. <huge grin>

Thanks for stopping by and please leave us a comment.

Anna J


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