Moonlight And Mystery

Characters Can Work Their Way Into Your Heart

When Characters Take Over

I love reading books with characters I can fall in love with – and of course that also means I write characters I love and hope my readers will love too.

The trouble is, sometimes the characters can become just a little too ‘real’and take you, the writer, to places you’d never envisaged going. For instance, Jess, the main character in Starquest, my first novel in the Destiny Trilogy, started out as the heroine of a short story, but I’d become fond of her and she kept nagging me, saying ‘there’s a lot more to it than that, you know’.

I had to admit I didn’t really want to say goodbye to her, so the short story became a novel. She also argued with me about the ending of the book and eventually I had to agree that she was right. I change the original ending to the one that ultimately was the one published. Yes, characters can work their way into your heart, Kerry Marchant, an important character in Starquest was one of them – but more about him later!

It’s not just characters

that can take on a personality of their own, either. Settings can also be a very important, indeed essential part of a story. After all, it’s where the characters experience their adventures, fears and tribulations, and fall in love. Whether the setting be a small town, city or wide open spaces on Earth, or, as in my stories, a planet, far, far away, you need to be able to make them real for the reader, and to know the terrain, history and customs of your setting. You may only need to share a little of all this with the reader, but in order to make it come across as ‘real’ you need to know it very well yourself – and in doing so it can become like another character. This happened to me with the planet Niflheim, also featured in Starquest. I became intrigued by the planet’s history and terrain, and set Children Of The Mist, my second book in the trilogy there. (Not that I knew it would become a trilogy at the time!) What had been originally a convenient location for a race of telepaths, turned out to have far more dramatic origins and history than I had originally envisaged.

Back to Kerry Marchant.

I have to admit to having a real soft spot for Kerry. I always felt he’d been dealt the short straw in Starquest and so did he, because he kept on at me to write his story – and this time to let him have his own h.e.a. He can be very insistent. How could I refuse? And so I wrote Beloved Enemy, the third in the trilogy, and in some ways may favourite of the three.

So be warned – your characters need to be

real to you in order for the reader to relate to them – but if they become too real you might find they make you work harder than you’d bargained for – and be prepared for them to be obstinate and refuse to conform the plans you had so painstakingly laid out for them!

Hywela’s Best Tips:

  1. I find it is useful to keep a file on my hardrive where I paste a copy of paragraphs, chapters, or just phrases which I cut out from the original story in the editing process. You never know when you might find another use for them in another story, sometimes they can even spark off something completely new. Nothing is ever truly wasted.
  2. This isn’t actually a writing tip but something I’ve learnt when promoting – It’s very tempting to use your lovely new book cover for your social media profile image, but much better to us a good head and shoulders photo. Readers like to feel they have a connection with the author as a person, rather than a cover image


Beloved Enemy by Hywela Lyn

Beloved Enemy is the third book in the Destiny Trilogy (No relation to a similar titles series by Casi J ) and was shortlisted for the RoNA 2017 awards and is a RONE 2017 finalist (Each book can be read as a ‘stand alone novel’ but features some of the same characters.)



Cat Kincaid is obsessed with killing the man she believes is responsible for the torture and death of her sister, but when she eventually catches up with him, survival becomes a greater priority than revenge.

Kerry Marchant, haunted by memories, regret and self-blame, shields himself from the pain of the past by committing himself totally to the starship, Destiny, of which he is part owner. However, the beautiful, red haired woman who reminds him of his lost love, and who he suspects is working for a corrupt regime, represents a possible threat not only to the ship, but to his heart.

Marooned on an inhospitable planet, they need to work together to stay alive, fighting not only unknown assailants, but their growing attraction. But how can they learn to trust each other when he has vowed never to get close to a woman again, and she made a solemn pledge to destroy him?

Purchase from The Wild Rose Press:









Lake Lanier Mysteries

What Inspired Beneath The Lake?

What Inspired Beneath The Lake

A town time forgot––the eerie lore attached to a rural area sleeping beneath Atlanta’s famous man-made lake, Sidney Lanier, fascinates me. Homes, churches, businesses and untold stories still linger hidden within it’s 38,000 acres of water, and fed by the Chestatee and Chattahooche Rivers. What Inspired Beneath The Lake? The strange phenomenon and vanishings sparked my muse.

And Looper Speedway, a half-mile dirt track where bootleggers competed with their souped-up cars, bared its cement stands in a recent draught. The moonshiners of the 1940’s added built-in suspense, not to mention the birth of NASCAR.

What Inspired Beneath The Lake?
A portion of the grandstands of Gaineville Speedway, once submerged under Lake Lanier

A portion of the grandstands, once submerged beneath Lake Lanier, bared its remains near the shoreline Monday, Dec. 17, 2007. As a record drought took it’s toll on the 38,000-acre man-made reservoir that supplies more than three million residents with water in metro Atlanta and north Georgia. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)

There’s a Lady of the Lake who haunts the ghost town too

Swimmers get trapped among the deadfall of sheared-off trees and town remains until they join her in her watery grave. Even expert divers get tangled beneath the murky surface, hence the lake’s unnerving label: Lanier never gives up its dead. These stories are the basis for what inspired Beneath The Lake. The inspiration haunted me, begging for a story to be told.

images-5What a perfect setting for my romantic time-slip suspense series. Why time-slip? Ever since my childhood imagination discovered Madeleine L’Engles, A Wrinkle In Time, the idea of time travel intrigued me. And Lake Lanier, a man-made lake with mesmerizing history presented a plausible theory: what if the explosions required to excavate the lake induced a seismic shift and, given enough energy, could open a portal to a different dimension or a rip in time. I loved the possibilities.

The birth of Lacey Montgomery evolved through my young adult love for Jude Deveraux’s A Knight In Shining Armor, a time-slip novel of course, and her endearing Montgomery family, with the hope my writing honors her inspiration. The character Lacey’s persona, inspired by my high school friend, Hilary Johnson, slipped perfectly into position. A lawyer, discouraged with defending criminals, yearned to help honest people in trouble, and some of her finer qualities naturally became part of Lacey––but the dysfunctional relationships came from my own personal experiences.

Once these elements entwined…

Beneath The Lake blossomed with an energy and life of its own.

Beneath The Lake by Casi McLean

A ghost town submerged beneath Atlanta’s famous man-made Lake Lanier reportedly lures victims to a watery grave. But when Lacey Montgomery’s car spins out of control and hurtles into the depths of the icy water, she awakens in the arms of a stranger, in a town she’s never heard of–34 years before she was born.

When the 2012 lawyer tangles with a 1949 hunk, fire and ice swirl into a stream of sweltering desire. Bobby Reynolds is smitten the moment the storm-ravaged woman opens her eyes and, despite adamant protest, Lacey falls in love with a town destined for extinction, and the man who vows to save his legacy.

Threatened by a nefarious stalker, the wrath of bootleggers, and twists of fate, Lacey must find the key to a mysterious portal before time rips the lovers apart, leaving their star-crossed spirits to wander forever through a ghost town buried beneath the lake.

Watch For Book 2 of Lake Lanier Mysteries Series

Beyond The Mist, scheduled for release in September 2017, picks up where the first story ends incorporating two minor characters as the new hero and heroine.

Piper Taylor concedes she’ll never fall in love, until a treacherous storm spirals her into the arms of the handsome Nick Cramer. Unrelenting remorse over a past relationship haunts Nick, but he can’t deny the mysterious connection and hot desire Piper evokes.

The allure of a secret portal hidden beneath Atlanta’s Lake Lanier tempts him into seizing the opportunity to change his mistakes. But his time slip triggers consequences beyond his wildest dreams.

Can Piper avoid the international espionage and terrorism of 2001 New York, find Nick, and bring him home before he alters the fabric of time, or will the lovers drift forever Beyond The Mist?













Moonlight And Mystery

Superpowers and Kryptonite


We all know publishing is a business. Writing the book is just the beginning. And yet the writing itself is why we as authors are first drawn to the field. Telling stories from our hearts. Creating characters from thin air and weaving plots that keep the pages turning can feel like having a superpower. But all superpowers have their kryptonite.

Until a thoughtless comment or bad review slows you down, like kryptonite.

I broke my wrist last summer…

..and fell woefully behind schedule with my fiction writing. I’m also a technical writer at my day job, and it was all I could handle to get that work done before icing my wrist down at night and self-medicating with a glass or two of wine. The book that I’d promised my readers fell by the wayside, the “coming soon” date on my website mocking me.

Early this year, I started writing again, determined to finish it by “Summer 2017,” an amorphous enough date that I don’t feel hemmed in… And then a terrible review hit me like kryptonite. The manuscript languished, I despaired of my choice to write fiction at all. Fan letters followed, readers eager for the next installment in my series… but still I clung to the harsh words from the bad review, choosing to let one bitter reader ruin it for the rest.

How do you overcome kryptonite?

With a conscious effort to choose love and support over those who would tear you down. Even Superman needed Lois Lane. You have your writing group, your author friends, your family… listen to them. The good reviews, the emails and Facebook messages from readers who take the time to reach out and tell you they appreciate your books… listen to them.

Writing is subjective. Not everyone will like yours. But don’t let their kryptonite stop you.

Katie’s Favorite


Summer is prime “event” season, lots of fairs and outdoor events with opportunities for authors. Always-Always-Always remember to smile – a smile is an open invitation to start a conversation. And besides, you never know when someone is taking a photo these days. Better to be the one smiling than the one with the scowl.


Shea MacNamara’s life just got complicated. When a freak tornado devastates his Oklahoma farm, fifteen-year-old Shea moves to Cape Cod to live with a grandmother he’s never met. Struggling to make sense of his new surroundings, he meets a girl along the shore who changes his life forever.

Kae belongs to an undersea world hidden from humans, where bloody war rages between opposing clans. A fragile peace accord hinges on marriage between the royal families, but treachery and magick lurk in every shadow.

With Kae’s help, Shea discovers his true heritage and finds that his destiny lies somewhere far below the ocean’s surface.

Buy Links:   Amazon   Barnes & Noble


About the Author:

Katie O’Sullivan lives on Cape Cod, drinking way too much coffee and inventing new excuses not to dust. Living next to the Atlantic influences everything she writes, from her YA series about mermaids to her contemporary romances for The Wild Rose Press. A recovering English major, she earned her degree at Colgate University and now writes romance and adventure for young adults, and something steamier for the young at heart.

Find Katie:

Amazon Author Page








Lake Lanier Mysteries

Interview With Lacey Montgomery

 An Interview With Lacey Montgomery

Peggy Jaeger interviewed the herione of Beneath The Lake and as the author, it was an exciting day for me because I got to engage with two amazing women: author and fellow Wild Rose Press sistah Peggy Jaeger, and an interview with Lacey Montgomery, a woman created deep within my muse. BENEATH THE LAKE  is the first novel in my Lake Lanier Mysteries Series.

Book Two, Beyond The Mist is scheduled for release in a few weeks. A stand-alone romantic suspense inin its own rite, Beyond The Mist will include a few favorite characters from the original saga, including Lacey. The time slip element again triggers a fateful journey, but this time a new dynamic duo face the terrorism America felt on September 11, 2011. If you haven’t read Beneath The Lake, I’d love to share how the whole saga began. So I included links above to the Amazon page and my publisher’s sales page. 


But today is Lacey’s day to shine, so join us for our brief interview: 

 Interview With Lacie MontgomeryLacey: Good morning, Peggy. Thank you so much for your interest in my story. I never would have believed the stream of events if I hadn’t lived through them. I mean the concept of a time slip is intriguing, but I never dreamed the idea held merit beyond books and movies.

Peggy: I agree, but when I heard what happened to you, I felt compelled to share your story with our readers. Let’s begin by telling us a little about yourself and what led to your amazing experience.

Lacey: Well, I’m a lawyer so, under normal circumstances, I’m not prone to fantasizing or hallucinations, but when you walk in on your boyfriend in a lustful tryst with another woman, a momentary lapse in judgment is totally reasonable.

After dumping a vase of narcissus over both of them I took off, not even thinking about the twisting mountain roads or torrential rain. When my car slid out of control I hurtled into the lake. In hindsight, I could have handled the situation with a little less emotion. The accident was on me. But what happened afterwards would freak out anyone.

It sounds like you had a rough evening…

Peggy: but every woman dreams of meeting her soul mate. If you could relive the night, would you react differently?

Lacey: That’s the thing. I wouldn’t. Sometimes events you believe are the worst that can happen, turn out to be the pivotal moments in your life. When the whirlpool thrust me into the murky depths, I was sure I was dead. Even if I had the strength to fight against the swirling current, the water was pitch black and my lungs ached for oxygen.

The next thing I knew, this angel—an angel dressed in jeans  and a tight, white T-shirt—was carrying me, soothing me. Was I dreaming, or had I died and gone to heaven?

It took me a while to figure out where I was…or should I say when I was. But I’m living proof that traveling through time is possible. A portal at the bottom of the lake sucked me back in time to 1949, thirty-four years before I was born.

Peggy: I can’t imagine. Weren’t you scared? I’d probably be ready for the men in white coats to haul me away.

I was terrified, at first.

Lacey: And yet, from the first moment I opened my eyes in Bobby Reynolds’ arms, he made me feel safe. He sparked something inside of me I’d never felt before. Of course, my record with men was less than stellar, but as hard as I tried to fight the connection, my heart melted every time we were together. I knew I found the man of my dreams, but the crack in time didn’t get the memo. The gateway had its own agenda.

Peggy: So what happened? Did you end up with the love of your life?

Lacey: Let’s just say after evading treacherous bootleggers, a creepy stalker and a ceaseless search for the key to the portal, we found a happy ending. But if you want to know how and the details of what happened, you’ll have to read Beneath The Lake. I’d sacrifice anything for Bobby and he’d do the same for me. But the future isn’t always in your control.

A note from Casi

Perhaps the existence of a crack in time might be difficult for some to believe, but there’s a hidden cove just north of Atlanta on the northern shore of Lake Lanier where the spirit of a ghost town blossoms and two star-crossed lovers guard the portal that entwined their souls forever beneath the lake.

*** Please take a moment and watch Lacey’s book trailer:



A ghost town submerged beneath Atlanta’s famous man-made Lake Lanier reportedly lures victims to a watery grave. But when Lacey Montgomery’s car spins out of control and hurtles into the depths of the icy water, she awakens in the arms of a stranger, in a town she’s never heard of––34 years before she was born.

When the 2012 lawyer tangles with the 1949 hunk, fire and ice swirl into a stream of sweltering desire. Bobby Reynolds is smitten the moment the storm-ravaged woman opens her eyes and, despite adamant protest, Lacey falls in love with a town destined for extinction and the man who vows to save his legacy.

Threatened by a nefarious stalker, the wrath of bootleggers, and twists of fate, Lacey must find the key to the mysterious portal before time rips them apart, or their star-crossed spirits will wander forever through a ghost town buried beneath the lake.

I hope you enjoyed our interview with Lacey Montgomery


Lake Lanier, Georgia—June 2011

A final thud hurled him backward, flailing through brush and thickets like a rag doll. Grasping at anything to break momentum, Rob’s hand clung to a branch wedged into the face of the precipice. Spiny splinters sliced his skin. Blood oozed and trickled into his palms, and one by one, his fingers slowly slipped.

A sharp crack echoed through the silence of the ravine as the bough succumbed to his weight. He plummeted into free-fall. Clenching his eyes, he drew in a deep breath, terrified of the pain, the mauling that waited on the jagged rocks below.

When icy water broke his fall, the chill kept him from losing consciousness. He spun, straining to see, but darkness enveloped him. Soggy clothing pulled him deeper—deeper into the murky, fathomless depths. He wrestled to squirm free from the waterlogged jacket dragging him down to a watery grave, watched the coat disappear into black obscurity.

Panic gripped his stomach, or was it death that snaked around his chest, squeezing, squeezing, squeezing the air, the life from his body? Lack of oxygen burned his lungs, beckoning surrender, and a shard of rage pierced his gut as reality set in. He lunged upward with one last thrust and burst from the water’s deadly grip, gasping for air. A gurgling howl spewed from the depths of his soul and echoed into silence.

Sunlight shimmered across a smooth, indigo lake, but aside from the slight ripples of his own paddling, nothing but stillness surrounded him. He floated toward the shore, sucking deep breaths into his lungs until the pummeling in his chest subsided. When he reached the water’s edge, he hoisted his body onto the soft red clay and collapsed while the sun’s warmth drained the tension from his body.

No one knew he had survived. The rules had shifted. Now he could reinvent himself, become a stealth predator. His target: Lacey Madison Montgomery.

Chapter 1

June 2012, one year later at an extravagant clubhouse in Lake Lanier, Georgia

June 9th began like any ordinary day, but for me, nothing would ever be ordinary again. In hindsight, I could see that the rainy night wasn’t the catalyst for my twist of fate. The storm was more like a vortex with currents reaching out beyond imagination. Within twenty-four hours I would lose my ability to distinguish dreams from reality…


Buy Links: Amazon //B&N // Kobo // Publisher //  ibooks //

About Casi:

Casi Head Shot

Award winning author, Casi McLean, pens novels to stir the soul with romance, suspense, and a sprinkle of magic. Her writing crosses genres from ethereal, captivating shorts with eerie twist endings to believable time slips, mystical plots, and sensual romantic suspense, like Beneath The Lake, WINNER: 2016 Gayle Wilson Award of Excellence for BEST Romantic Suspense.

Casi’s powerful memoir, Wingless Butterfly: Healing The Broken Child Within, shares an inspirational message of courage, tenacity, and hope, and displays her unique ability to excel in nonfiction and self-help as well as fiction. Known for enchanting stories with magical description, McLean entices readers in nonfiction as well with fascinating hooks to hold them captive in storylines they can’t put down.

Her romance entwines strong, believable heroines with delicious hot heroes to tempt the deepest desires then fans the flames, sweeping readers into their innermost romantic fantasies. Ms. McLean weaves exceptional romantic mystery with suspenseful settings and lovable characters you’ll devour. You’ll see, hear, and feel the magical eeriness of one fateful night. You’ll swear her time travel could happen, be mystified by her other worldly images, and feel heat of romantic suspense, but most of all you’ll want more.

Find Casi McLean here:

Website://Twitter:// FB Author Page:// Goodreads: // Pinterest: //  Google+: //Amazon Author Page:












Moonlight And Mystery

Where to get ideas for stories

I spy on my friends.

Where do you get your ideas for storiesWhen I was younger and had more time (pre-children), I’d search my mind for the qualities of credible characters, ponder the narrative elements, and abandon story after story mid-page when it failed to meet my expectations. Where do you get your ideas for stories? Now, don’t tell them, but–I spy on my friends.

Raising three kids kept me too busy to write more than journal entries that bemoaned the lack of time to do any “serious” writing. Once my kids were in college and high school, I refused to waste any more time gazing at my navel, hoping for the perfect plot to emerge. Instead, I looked around at my friends–all of them, like me, weathered (charmingly!) by time—and imagined them in alternate universes.

What if Esme hadn’t married her boyfriend

straight out of high school but became a recreation director on a cruise ship, like Julie on The Love Boat? What if Dawn had married “the one who got away”—and found he was a lying philanderer? What if my fickle friend Mina fell for exactly the type of man she ordinarily scoffs at: the tall, gorgeous heartthrob?

The last scenario is the seed for my latest novel, Turning the Tides. I started with the inspiration of my friend (and got her permission to include a few memories of her life when she was first adopted from Korea) and then spun a new story for her, in a new time and place, with a hero who exists only in my imagination.

For me

beginning my characters with a real-life counterpart is the difference between starting up a hill with a tankful of gas or pushing my car on empty. Either way, I’ll eventually get to the top and let ‘er fly. But the first way is a heck of a lot faster.

Where do you get your ideas for stories?

Nell’s Best Promo Tip:

Develop a relationship with your local library. As Sorchia DuBois pointed out in this same space a few days ago, it can be hard to get support when you’re an indie or small-press writer. I’ve found the library to be the one place as excited about my books as I am. Donate a copy or two, and arrange for a book signing among the stacks. Be sure to get your name added to the list of local authors so you have an excuse to come back over and over.

Where do you get your ideas for stories

About Nell:

Nell Castle pursued her love of stories with an English literature degree from Temple University. A certified instructor for children with dyslexia, she is currently pursuing a graduate degree as an intervention specialist. Happily married and a mother of three, she’s lived in Philadelphia, Key West, Anchorage, Sarasota, Virginia Beach, and currently resides in Ohio. Turning the Tides is her second release with The Wild Rose Press.


The black sheep of her adoptive family, Lee Cooper has finally buckled down to a responsible job as a social worker in Southwest Florida. Defending her client against charges of child abuse awakens buried memories of her own abandonment in a Korean orphanage. Can she remain objective for the sake of a child?

Bricker Kilbourn, the court-appointed guardian, doubts Lee’s judgments–and his opinion might determine the little boy’s fate. He’s got his own family issues and haunting secrets to keep. Falling for a woman is not part of his plan.

He’s running from his past. She’s searching for answers. Will their resolution to protect a child bind them together or wrench them apart?


He padded across the deck in his bare feet and reached over the seat for a white towel. Turning his back, he ran the towel over his head and neck, rubbing it against his face and down his chest. The muscles of his shoulder blades rolled beneath golden skin. He wore a pair of cut-off jean shorts, sodden with water and sagging just enough to reveal a velvety V above his waistband. In the nick of time, she raised her gaze from the curve of his back when he swung around to face her.


With an effort, she dragged her attention back to her purpose. “I wanted to let you know what Amber and I have been working on these past six months. The parenting education, I mean.”

Seagulls called in the air high overhead as the boat rocked among gently splashing waves. Bricker ran the towel over his biceps before draping it over the bucket seat. As he sat, his gaze locked with hers. “I think we’ve seen the effects of her parenting education.”

His tone was dry. Lee’s mouth snapped open to retort, but she forced a smile instead. “She had a lot to learn when I first met her. But she kept every appointment and asked lots of questions about child development. Amber isn’t comfortable showing her emotions, but she loves her son.”

“I’m willing to believe she does.” Bricker shrugged, the tips of his hair curling in the warm air. “Doesn’t mean he’s safe with her.”

“She’s fighting against the cycle of abuse.” Lee’s voice sounded thin and desperate to her own ears.

“Breaking the cycle is hard,” Bricker said. “Not without a lot of therapy and more support than she seems to have. And we can’t allow Kaleb to be a guinea pig while she works out her own childhood traumas. Because the next time she shakes him could be his last.”

“There’s no proof she shook him.” Lee clasped her hands on her lap to keep them from trembling. She was getting nowhere with the guardian. Again. “He didn’t vomit, or have tremors, or have trouble staying awake. The doctor didn’t even bother to order a CT scan.”

“The ER doc wasn’t a neurologist,” Bricker reminded her. “On the other hand, Gloria Marshall is a court-mandated reporter of abuse. Are you implying she lied?”

“Maybe. Gloria thinks of Amber’s husband like a son, and she doesn’t like the girl he married,” Lee snapped.

Bricker’s eyebrows rose. “You really think Amber’s the victim of a conspiracy?”

“I don’t know.” She threw up her hands. “I just don’t think we should take away a young mother’s child when no one ever taught her how to be a good parent. I think she should be given a chance, for God’s sake!”

Bricker raised a calming palm. “Take it easy. I’m looking at all sides of the issue.”

Lee snorted. “You’re siding with the foster mom just because she works for the county. You’re not objective!”

“Well, I’m not the one who’s shouting.”

Bricker’s low voice held a warning. And damn it all, he was right. Every muscle in her body was clenched.

Buy Links:

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Moonlight And Mystery

Press Release Passionate Desire By Marie Tuhart

Passion and Desire––a volatile cocktail!

Can Victoria let her sexy side out without fear of losing her heart?


Getting stuck in an elevator with her sexy, bad-boy co-worker she’s been lusting after is not how Victoria Collins planned her Friday evening. And you can bet that the mind-blowing sex with a virtual stranger was also not on her agenda. Despite the danger, Victoria soon falls under Joe’s spell and releases Vicki, her inner-sex vixen.

Joe Bradshaw is a man used to getting what he wants, both in life and in business. But the one thing he can’t find is a woman strong enough and open enough to touch his heart. When he starts his next freelance contract and meets Victoria, he senses the sexual powder keg behind the drab clothes that cannot even begin to mask her fire and beauty.

Can Vicki forge past scars, and present danger, to allow her to open her heart and free her passionate desire for Joe? 


“Sweetheart, I told Phil you’d just forgotten to put my name

on the guest list since we just started dating.” He ran his fingers

down her arm, leaving goose bumps from his soft touch.

She fought not to moan at the sensation of his skin against

hers. She glanced over at Phil, who shifted from one foot to the

other. “It’s okay, Phil. Thank you for escorting Joe up here and

making sure everything was all right.” Phil nodded, then walked

away. The minute the elevator doors closed, Victoria looked back

at Joe. “What are you doing here?”

“That’s my Vicki, straight to the point.” His grin widened. His

black shirt and black jeans molded to his body, giving him the

ultimate bad-boy look. “Invite me in.”

“No.” She’d only opened the door to figure out how he had

gotten past security. Wasn’t it bad enough he’d invaded her mind

and her dreams? Now he wanted to invade her apartment. No way.

Joe shrugged. “I can discuss last night out here in the hall.”

He glanced to his left as a door opened.

Victoria caught sight of one of the two young children who

lived next door peering out. “Joe,” she started. She couldn’t let him

rehash last night.

“How are you feeling?” He trailed his fingers over her cheek.

“Was I too rough last night?”

Once again, her skin tingled where he touched her, but his

words made her tremble.

Book Name: Passionate Desire

Page Count: 174

Word Count: 50,847

978-1-943407-22-44 Digital

978-1-943407-23-1 Print

Book Genre: Erotic romance

About Marie Tuhart:

Marie Tuhart can’t remember a time when she didn’t have a book in her hands. When she isn’t reading or writing, Marie loves to spend time in bookstores and traveling. Marie’s muse is her toy poodle, Penny, who lets Marie know when she’s been working too long.


Passionate Desire is available at:


Barnes & Nobel:




Fun Facts: Marie has a key chain collection from all the places she’s visited, both US and around the world. Only two have been given to her.

Find Marie on the Web:


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Twitter @marietuhart


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Tags: Contemporary romance, sexy, hot, bondage, fantasies, BDSM romance, New Orleans





Moonlight And Mystery

How Do You Overcome Indifference

R-E-S-P-E-C-T and How to Get It

Writing is hard. Putting your heart and soul on a page and then sending it out into the world is hard. Taking criticism from strangers is hard. Marketing yourself is hard. When you do something this hard, you deserve a little respect. But what’s a writer to do when the people around him/her don’t support that decision? How do you overcome indifference? What happens when they don’t stop at indifference and actively oppose your choice?

I’m an obsessive list maker (OLM syndrome)

So I made of list of writing support it would be nice to have.

  1. Support in word. They tell you how proud they are of you and they tell everyone they know about your adventures and accomplishments.
  2. Support in deed. They protect your writing time and take care of delivery men (except the cute one), cat vomit, and other household debacles. They come with you to signings and events to tote stuff or just to be with you and they are content to let you go about the business of schmoozing. They promote on their own social media and they are always on the lookout for an opportunity for you.
  3. They read your blog posts and leave comments and likes.

  4. Support in heart and soul. They read your books and have opinions about them. They are honest and open with their opinions and don’t just humor you by saying your writing is great when it isn’t. They celebrate with you and they comfort you when bad things happen. They are truly proud of you and show it. THEY LEAVE YOU ALONE TO WRITE—yes, they don’t so much as turn their eyes in the direction of your writing cave nor utter your name whilst you are writing because they understand even a friendly “how’s it going” can knock you out of the world you’re trying to describe.

Many family members and friends are supportive

—at least to the extent of #1 and #2. I get it that my kids might not be able to get into a steamy romance written by their mother. I’m totally ok with that though I hope after a few more books they will get past it. I mean, I even use a pseudonym and they are semi-adults, but whatever.

What I can’t understand is the level of ridicule and snarkiness a few family members and acquaintances exhibit. From things like minimizing milestones—“I guess anyone can get published these days”–– to thinly veiled indifference to downright insults. On one occasion, I had just opened a bottle of wine to celebrate a new book. I made my announcement and the people in question looked up from what they were doing, nodded. . .and that was it.

Like Scarlett O’Hara in Gone With the Wind

I shook my fist at the sky and vowed this would never happen again. So I made a list.

Sorchia’s  Favorite Author Tips

Guess what—it’s a list!!

  1. Seek out people who support your choice to be a writer. Nurture those relationships as if they were tiny baby bunnies.
  2. Limit your time with people who can’t or won’t get with the program.
  3. Pat yourself on the back, schedule rewards for good behavior, and post pictures of yourself enjoying your rewards on FaceBook or your blog—not so much to show off (though that’s ok to do in my book), but to make a list (!) for yourself of all those things you have accomplished—something you can look at when the heebie-jeebies of despair keep you up at night.
  4. Expect respect and support and don’t settle for less. We writers are an easy going albeit neurotic lot. We tend to float along in our own fantasies and let the real world slide (or is that just me?) But putting up with bad behavior (i.e. lack of support from loved ones) just encourages more bad behavior. Call them out on it and let your wroth be known. You needn’t be militant—unless you want to—but a serious and matter-of-fact discussion might clear away any lingering confusion as to who you are and what you spend your time doing.
  5. As I skittered about the Interwebs, I found a couple o’ links to more comments on this subject for your reading pleasure:

8 Ways to Support the Writer in your Life

If a Writer’s Emotional Support Helpline Existed . .

  1. Support other authors and build relationships. Time is limited, I know, and we can’t be all things to all people, but a little time spent doing unto others is never wasted.

So tell me, what do you appreciate from your fellow writers? What thoughtful things have other authors done for you? What are your favorite ways to reach out to other authors? What wonderful things do your friends and family do to show their support for you?

And Promo Tip

I do not know the magic spell for promo. Thus far, my favorite things are Buffer and Hootesuite which streamline the tweeting and posting and allow scheduling. I tend to do things in chunks and scheduling a time to schedule tweets and posts is helpful.

Author Bio

Sorchia Dubois lives in the piney forest of the Missouri Ozarks with seven cats. She edits technical writing part time, but she spends a number of hours each day tapping out paranormal romance, Gothic murder, and Scottish thrillers.

A proud member of the Ross clan, Sorchia incorporates all things Celtic (especially Scottish) into her works. She can often be found swilling Scotch at Scottish festivals and watching kilted men toss large objects for no apparent reason.

Sorchia’s Latest Book: Zoraida Grey and the Family Stones

How many Scottish witches does it take to destroy one small town fortune teller?


Granny’s dying, but Zoraida can save her with a magic crystal of smoky quartz. Too bad the crystal is in Scotland––in a haunted castle––guarded by mind-reading, psychopathic sorcerers.

Getting inside Castle Logan is easy. Getting out––not so much. Before she can snatch the stone, Zoraida stumbles into a family feud, uncovers a wicked ancient curse, and finds herself ensorcelled by not one but two handsome Scottish witches. Up to their necks in family intrigue and smack-dab in the middle of a simmering clan war, Zoraida and her best friend Zhu discover Granny hasn’t told them everything.

Not by a long shot.

(Zoraida Grey and the Voodoo Queen coming this fall)

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Moonlight And Mystery

Are Authors Born To Write

MS Spencer––A world traveler extraordinaire…

Hmm, a little bit about me, you ask. Well, when I was young I traveled a lot (25 major moves before I went to college, lived or traveled in five of the seven continents). I had lots of adventures, from flying halfway across the world when I was four years old in one of the earliest transatlantic airplanes, to flying across the desert on a chestnut stallion under the nose of the Sphinx.

Are Authors Born To Write?

I loved the adventure. You’d assume I always would. But at about forty years of age, having settled down and had two children, I returned to writing. I say the word “returned” deliberately, because I have been writing since I was six, but I hunker down now to produce something longer than a quatrain.

Once my first book was published in 2009 all I wanted to do was write. Really. I want to sit in my study and write. All day. If pushed, I go out for a short while, usually to pick up liquor (just kidding—I get groceries too). And that’s why this morning I’m sitting in my study working on three different novels and happy as a clam at high water. What’s your take? Are authors born to write?

Author Tip & Favorite Promo

M.S. Spencer’s best Author Tips: Don’t be afraid to incorporate bits of your own life into your stories—it makes it more authentic if you’ve walked the walk.

And For Promotion: I give out postcards of my book covers (with blurb on the back) at book signings. They’re not bulky and readers can read the blurb at their leisure. I also got mints in a little tin with my logo from Oriental Traders—they went over very well.

Lapses of Memory

A rush of emotion dropped a veil over all but the tiny world of the two people in seats 11A and 11B, in a jet plane floating somewhere over the Atlantic, in a still moment in time.

Are authors born to write

Lapses of Memory Blurb

Sydney Bellek first meets Elian Davies in the 1950s on a Boeing 377 Stratocruiser when she is five and he is seven. They run into each other every few years after that, but while he knows from the start that she is his true love, she does not. Later, as rival journalists, they vie for scoops on international crises from the Iranian revolution to the Lebanese civil war. The handsome and intrepid Elian beats her out at every turn, even while keeping his love for her secret.

Only after years of separation does she finally realize they are meant to be together, but this time, in a twist of fate, it is Elian whose memory of her is gone. Will he remember her before she loses heart or will their new love be enough to replace the old one?

About M.S. Spencer

Although M. S. Spencer has lived or traveled on five of the seven continents, the last 30 years were spent mostly in Washington, D.C. as a librarian, Congressional staff assistant, speechwriter, editor, birdwatcher, kayaker, policy wonk, non-profit director and “domestic engineer”, aka parent. After many years in academia, she worked for the U.S. Senate, the U.S. Department of the Interior, in several library systems, both public and academic, and at the Torpedo Factory Art Center. She holds a BA from Vassar College, a Diploma in Arabic Studies from the American University in Cairo, and Masters in Anthropology and in Library Science from the University of Chicago. She divides her time between Maine and Florida. All of this tends to insinuate itself into her works.

Writing as M. S. Spencer, she has published eleven best-selling contemporary romantic suspense novels. Here’s the rundown of her current WIP––Works In Progress.

The Pit and the Passion: Murder at the Ghost Hotel, is in galley stage and hopefully will be released this year from the Wild Rose Press.

At midnight, in the darkness of a deserted hotel, comes scream and a splash. Eighty-five years later workmen uncover a skeleton. Who does it belong to, and how did it get to the bottom of an old elevator shaft? To find out, Charity Snow, ace reporter for the Longboat Key Planet, must team up with Rancor Bass, best-selling author. Although his arrogance nearly exceeds his talent, she is surprised to discover a warm heart beating under his handsome exterior.

While dealing with a drop-dead gorgeous editor who may or may not be the villain and a publisher with a dark family secret, they unearth an unexpected link to the most famous circus family in the world.

Flotsam and Jetsam: The Amelia Island Affair is in the final edits before submission.

Three corpses strewn across the sand. Who are they and how did they get to the shore of Amelia Island, the southernmost of the Atlantic Sea Islands? Two State Park rangers must find the answers, while contending with a secretive group calling itself the League of the Green Cross. Do the deaths have anything to do with them? Or could they be bound up with the complicated history of the island, which was conquered and lost by more than eight nations? Or is there a simpler explanation? Mucking up the investigation is the crucial question: will Simon ever get the nerve to tell Ellie how he feels?

And then there’s the facetiously named Bigfeet and Stinkbirds: Murder in the Amazon

In its first exciting draft is a story set in the Peruvian Amazon. It’s, yes, a murder mystery romance, but one with elements of legend and scientific discovery. A group of scientists have come to a research station—an ornithologist, an herpetologist, a paleontologist, a doctor of exotic diseases. A photographer is hired to help document their discoveries and he brings along his sister, a reference librarian and part-time anthropologist. They are searching for a monster believed until now to be mythical, but along the way are distracted by murders and fossils and strange new creatures.

Find M.S. Spencer


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Lake Lanier Mysteries

What Lies Beneath

Mystery, Unexplained Disappearances, and Ghosts lurk beneath the surface of ATLANTA’S LAKE LANIER

Part Three

If you missed part one and two of this series about the mystery and strange phenomenon in Atlanta’s famous man-made Lake Sidney Lanier, you’ll want to go back and read the eerie lore from the beginning. From the moment I first heard about what lies beneath the lake, I knew a fabulous series awaited, begging to be written, and my muse danced. 

I can see the lake from my home office and the local lore fascinates me. Homes, churches and businesses still linger beneath the surface. There’s a Lady of the Lake who locals swear haunts the ghost town under Lake Lanier. Swimmers get trapped among the deadfall of sheered-off trees and town remains until they join her in her watery grave. Even expert divers get tangled beneath the murky surface, hence the lake’s unnerving label: Lanier never gives up its dead. What a perfect setting for my romantic time-slip suspense series.

Sometimes fact is stranger than fiction. Magical Realism, Metaphysical, Destiny or the universe at work, you can’t help but be mesmerized by Lake Lanier’s phenomenon.

So let’s continue with Brent Swancer’s incredible article about Atlanta’s cursed lake.

In another mysterious case, a 16-year-old Gainesville High School student by the name of Hannah Truelove


..went missing from an apartment complex near Lake Lanier where she lived with her mother on the morning of Aug. 24, 2012. The following day, Hannah’s body was found in a wooded area by the lakeside by another resident of the apartment complex. The girl had been stabbed multiple times, yet it was unclear if the wounds were life threatening and the actual cause of death remained elusive, although authorities were able to rule out drowning. Making the case even creepier was a series of tweets Hannah had made on Twitter shortly before her death that expressed general discontent with her life at the apartment complex and her fear of a stalker, with one chilling tweet allegedly stating “So scared right now.”

Hannah’s father would later claim that his daughter had made no mention of being under any duress and had not seemed any different or more upset than usual in the days leading up to her disappearance and death. Authorities were never able to glean any insights or information from the tweets, and indeed no leads would ever come up and no suspects were ever apprehended in the case, despite a major investigation and exhaustive interviews with neighbors and nearby residents, none of whom had seen or heard anything suspicious on the day in question, as well as continuous pleas for any information pertaining to the case. Hannah Truelove’s death remains a mystery.

don__t_pay_the_ferryman_by_jerry8448One of the most notorious deaths associated with Lake Lanier also the source of one of its alleged ghostly mysteries. In April of 1958, a young woman who worked at Riverside Military Academy, Delia Parker Young, and her friend, Susie Roberts, headed off to Three Gables in Dawsonville in Susie’s 1954 Ford for a night out.

They would never return. A subsequent investigation into their disappearance discovered that they had visited a gas station that night and left without paying. The only clue left at the scene was a set of skid marks across the road which seemed to suggest that the car had skidded off of Lanier Bridge on Dawsonville Highway and into the lake below, yet no vehicle could be found. Divers who were brought in to search for the car were unable to locate it due to poor visibility in the murky water and the masses of sheared off tree trunks that litter the lake’s bottom

For 18 months, police were unable to find

..any further clues and no trace of the missing women or the car, but then a fisherman named C.A. Simpson made a gruesome discovery when the decomposed body of what was thought to be that of Delia Parker Young suddenly floated up out of the depths.

Oddly, the corpse, which could not be completely positively identified at the time, was missing two toes from the left foot and both hands. It was never ascertained just why the body was missing its hands and toes or what the cause of death had been. With no way of knowing if the corpse was that of Delia, it was eventually buried in an unmarked grave in in Alta Vista Cemetery. The body of Susie Roberts and the car remained missing, despite repeated searches.

The mystery would baffle authorities for decades until November of 1990, when construction on an expansion of Lanier Bridge was under way. As construction crews were dredging the bottom of the lake in order to set up pillars for the expansion, they uncovered a rusted out hulk of a 1954 Ford which held within it the remains of a human body. The car had been hidden within tree trunks, mud, and other detritus in 90 feet of water on a steep slope.

The body was decomposed to the point of being unidentifiable

..but the belongings found on it, including a purse, rings, and watch were able to conclusively prove that the body was that of the long missing Susie Roberts. In light of this discovery, it was concluded that the other body had indeed been Delia Parker Young, the headstone was changed accordingly, and Susie Roberts was buried beside her. Interestingly, although the deaths of Delia Parker Young and Susie Roberts is an old, mostly forgotten case, it has spawned one of the area’s most persistent and frightening local legends.

It is said that a ghostly young woman dressed in a blue dress and missing her hands can sometimes be seen walking up and down the length of Lanier Bridge, and is said to be the ghost of Delia Parker Young, since she had been dressed in a blue dress on the night of her death and her body had been found minus hands. According to those who claim to have seen the ghost, which has since become known as The Lady of the Lake, Delia’s restless spirit seems to be searching for her missing hands.


Looper Speedway, swallowed by Lake Sidney Lanier, resurfaced in a recent drought.

The reports of mysterious forces pulling swimmers underwater or causing boats to capsize…

and the Lady of the Lake are not the only cases of potentially paranormal happenings on Lake Lanier. There have been occasional reports of a mysterious raft equipped with a lantern on a pole, ridden by a shadowy figure that uses a pole to push it along, and which allegedly appears and disappears out of nowhere. In one particularly harrowing account, two fishermen saw the ghostly raft while out on the lake fishing in a rowboat on one cold autumn night at around 1 AM in the morning.

In this case the mysterious raft was around half a mile away and in an estimated 45 feet of water, yet the rider was bizarrely pushing it along with a pole nevertheless. At one point this enigmatic figure shouted something to the two fishermen and proceeded to jump off of the raft into freezing water to swim towards them.

This alarmed the two fishermen, who pulled in their lines and were in a hurry to get out of there, thinking it was perhaps someone meaning to do them harm. It was at this point that the lantern on the raft abruptly went out. When the fishermen shone their boat’s spotlight out across the water they could find no sign of the raft or the mysterious occupant who had jumped into the water. The black surface of the lake remained calm and the raft would not appear again.

Ghosts, freak accidents, and mysterious murders

are also not the only weird things apparently going on at Lake Lanier. Local fishermen have long insisted that there are gigantic catfish in the lake which reportedly reach sizes of 5 to 7 feet long and are said to swallow dogs that get to close to the water and even attack swimmers and divers. These giant catfish are said to be particularly attracted to the deep waters below Buford Dam, and there are various accounts from divers working in the area to examine the dam or fix bridges who have seen the huge fish for themselves, which were scary enough to supposedly make some of the divers refuse to go back into the water there ever again.

Beneath The Lake by Casi McLeanOne of the most popular local tales concerning the alleged giant catfish of Lake Lanier concerns a truck carrying live chickens, which supposedly hurtled off of the Thompson Bridge in the 1980s and sank to the bottom along with its cargo. Divers were then sent in to examine the wreckage and to their horror found catfish “the size of 12-year-old boys” gathered about the sunken truck and engaged in a ravenous feeding frenzy swallowing the chickens whole.

Other stories have described fishermen hooking into the enormous fish and having their boats towed around the lake. It is unclear whether these reports of giant catfish in Lake Lanier are true, exaggerations, or pure urban legend, but it is certainly enough to give one pause before getting into the water here.

With its history of abundant accidents and drownings, mysterious deaths, ghostly phenomena, and colossal catfish

Lake Lanier certainly has its fair share of strange mysteries. What is going on here? Are the accidents merely the results of the dangers inherit to a place where many people are gathering and drinking, or is the lake truly cursed? Are the deaths just regular crimes or is there something more at work? Are the ghosts and giant catfish just spooky local lore, tall tales, and superstition, or is there more to it than that? Whatever answers may lie behind these various mysteries, they are certainly strange, and it is hard to look at Georgia’s largest lake without wondering what they may be.

Source: Brent Swancer:

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Moonlight And Mystery

The Importance of Happily Ever After

Tamara Ferguson’s Writing style …

A question I get asked a lot is how long did it take before you considered your writing style your own?
I think it happened sometime while I was writing Two Hearts Surrendered, when I was revising and editing the story for releasing independently from Magical Weddings. What I think I’ve learned to do best, besides understanding Point Of View, is to use fewer words for better context.

I used to write very formally and since I’ve changed my style of writing, I have so many more readers.
My stories are a combination of experience and imagination, particularly when devising a happily ever after outcome for what have been the most devastating and depressing situations occurring in my own life.

The Importance of Happily Ever After…

My stories ALWAYS carry a message. When I sometimes (and luckily, rarely) get a reviewer who classifies what I write as having no depth, I just shake my head because I figure they just don’t get it! Even though I write simplistically, anyone who reads between the lines will understand that the stories I write are deeply emotional. Since mostly my stories are based on personal experience and circumstances and are actual fact, by adding some humor, I’m transforming the negatives from my own life into a positive outcome. The importance of happily ever after transcends into my own life. Which is what helps keep ME sane! (Well, almost, anyway!)

Tamara’s Newest Release:

The Importance of Happily Ever After

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About Tamara:

Writing steamy yet sweet compassionate stories of fate that are wonderfully romantic, Tamara Ferguson is the multi-award winning, #1 international bestselling author of the Tales of the Dragonfly Romance Suspense Series, the Kissed By Fate Series, the Two Hearts Wounded Warrior Romance Series and the Daydreams & Dragonflies Sweet Romance Series.
Her latest release is A Kiss Upon A Star, a sweet romance which has become a #1 International Bestseller. The story is also included in the Author’s Billboard new release and bestseller Sweet and Sassy: The Best Kind of Romance.
Another new release is the #1 bestseller Hunks to the Rescue: 18 Hot Contemporary Romance Novellas which includes That Unexpected Kiss, the second in the Kissed By Fate series. Hunks is a #1 Nook Book in Steamy Romance and Romance anthologies.
Her wounded warrior romances, Two Hearts Unspoken. Two Hearts Surrendered, and Two Hearts Undone were all winners at the 2016 Readers’ Favorite International Book Awards; with Two Hearts Unspoken earning the Silver Medal in Military Fiction. Two Hearts’ Christmas Wish, the fourth story in the series, spent 6 consecutive weeks at #1 in the Mistletoe Kisses & Christmas Wishes romance set. Two Hearts Surrendered was just announced as a Romance Selection for the 2016 New Apple Book Awards.

Find Tamara:

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Tamara Ferguson Books:

Tales of the Dragonfly Romance Suspense

In Tandem

In Flight

Kissed By Fate New Adult Romance

That Unforgettable Kiss

That Unexpected Kiss

(Hunks to the Rescue: 15 Hot Contemporary Novellas)

Two Hearts Wounded Warrior Romance

Two Hearts Surrendered

Two Hearts Unspoken

Two Hearts Undone

Two Hearts’ Christmas Wish

(Mistletoe Kisses & Christmas Wishes Set)

Daydreams & Dragonflies Sweet Romance

A Kiss Upon A Star

Anthology Romance

Magical Weddings

A Touch of Passion

Mother’s Day Magic

Annie Acorn’s 2016 Romance Treasury

Love In Times of War

Hunks To The Rescue

Sweet & Sassy: The Best Kind of Romance