Lake Lanier Mysteries

Mystery And Strange Phenomenon In Atlanta’s Lake Lanier

Mysteries, Death, and Lore abound in Georgia’s Cursed Lake

Part One 

Beneath The Lake by Casi McLeanShadows of the past linger in a town time forgot, a ghost town that lies beneath Atlanta’s famous man-made Lake Sidney Lanier. Chilling lore mounted as victims vanished beneath the surface, trapped below sheared-off trees and crumbling town remains. The mystery and strange phenomenon sets the stage for Casi McLean’s Lake Lanier Mysteries series. Could blasting initiate a seizmic shift creating a portal through time? Beneath The Lake, [Beyond The Mist released August 2017, and Between The Shadows October 2018]––tales forever bound by a tiny hamlet nestled in the north Georgia mountains, and the eerie lake that swallowed everything in its path. Join us for a trip through time as Brent Swancer describes the ghostly apparitions, freak accidents, and mysterious murders actually attached tn Atlanta’s cursed lake iand discover… Read more “Mystery And Strange Phenomenon In Atlanta’s Lake Lanier”

Lake Lanier Mysteries

Travel Back in Time With Hunk-Hero Bobby Reynolds

Travel Back in Time To Sidney, GA Before The Construction of

Lake Sidney Lanier…

Original Post on Wild Women Authors

To celebrate my upcoming new release, Beyond The Mist, Book #2 in my Lake Lanier Mysteries, I wanted to bring back a few of my favorite highlights from Book # 1, Beneath The Lake.   Casi Head Shot

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.
AuthTravel Back in Time With Hunk-Hero Bobby ReynoldsThis week Wild Women Authors is pleased to welcome fellow TWRP author Casi McLean and Bobby Reynolds from Casi’s latest release Beneath The Lake.

First up is Bobby.

Where are you from? I was born and raised in Sidney, GA, a little town north of Atlanta the skeleton of which now rests beneath Lake Sidney Lanier.
Tell us a bit about Beneath The Lake. I’ve never been a romantic, but when destiny opens a door, you’d be a fool not to walk through it. My sister, Sandy, swears Lacey and I were meant to be, like soul mates, and that fate would draw us together across space and time even if love had to thrust Lacey backwards thirty-four years before she was born to find me. I don’t know about all of that stuff, but I do know that once I held Lacey in my arms, gazed into her emerald eyes, I was mesmerized. I knew I could never let her go. Beneath The Lake is our story; it’s a gripping tale of treacherous bootleggers, twists of fate, a mysterious stalker, star-crossed love and second chances, all in a race against time in a town destined to be erased from the face of the earth.
What did you think the first time you saw Lacey Madison Montgomery?
Drenched in mud, her dress soaking wet and draped around her waist, I can’t say she was a vision of beauty. At first glance, I thought the storm-ravaged woman was dead, but when I pulled the mud-soaked locks from her face, she looked like an angel––bruised, cut, and filthy, but an angel nonetheless.
That is so sweet. What was your second thought? Ornery, stubborn, determined, and fascinating, Lacey stole my heart, like no woman I’ve ever known.
That’s better. Did you feel it was love at first sight? I’ve never thought much about love at first sight, but I guess that’s what happened between us. We certainly had a connection.
What do you like most about her? Her determination and tenacity stands out the most. She’d say fate brought me a strong woman from the future to get my attention.
A determined tenacious woman brought to you by fate. Very cool. Let’s get to the nitty gritty. How would you describe Lacey? Beautiful, sensual, sexy as hell, but most of all, she has guts, compassion and integrity.
Perfect. How would she describe you? Ha, that depends on what I was up to before you ask her. In truth, she has the crazy idea that I’m perfect.
What made you choose architecture as a career? I think I was a born architect. From ABC block towers to tree houses to the homes I built for Sandy and Lacey. Architectural design is just in my blood.
What is your biggest fear? You’ll have to read Casi’s book for that one. If I told you, well let’s just say I’ve never known a woman who could keep a secret.
How do you relax? That depends on the year, dear lady. In 1949, working on my car relaxed me, but in 2012 I found a whole lot more I could get into. Lacey relaxes me too, but I understand the details of that may not be acceptable on this venue.
Who is your favorite fictional character and why?
Ha, ha. That’s an easy question, Kilroy. I suspect he was way before your time, though. Kilroy was an apparition, and a familiar super GI during WWII. He was always the first one to every battle and the last to leave. A simple note, “Kilroy was here” with an identical notorious scribbled cartoon face showed up everywhere like a familiar buddy. We could always depend on the guy. Eventually the message migrated worldwide.
What is the best piece of advice you ever received? Without a doubt, when my sister, Sandy, said, “Don’t give up on Lacey. She never gave up on you.”
Hey, thanks for the interview on Wild Women Authors. Lacey has had the spotlight a few times, but this was my first interview and I enjoyed being here.
And we enjoyed having you.

Now it’s time to talk with Casi.

What movies or books have had an impact on your career as a writer and why? Madeline L’Engle’sWrinkle In Time inspired me in forth grade. From that moment on, time slips intrigued me. But my first romance was with Nick Montgomery, Jude Deveraux’s Knight In Shining Armor. My heroine, Lacey Madison Montgomery, evolved from Nick. Time travel movies usually catch my attention too, from Back To The Future to The Lake Houseto a little known 1979 love story that starred Lindsey Wagner, The Two Lives Of Jennie Logan. If you haven’t seen it, pick up a copy. It will touch your heart.
What event in your private life were you able to bring to this story and how do you feel it impacted the novel? I definitely pulled my dysfunctional past relationships into Lace, and some of her broken past. The internal conflict of Bobby and Lacey both came from my past as well. They worked through their issues quite a bit faster than I did, though.
Tell us a bit about your publisher: how did you hear about them and what influenced your decision to submit to them? I met The Wild Rose Press owner, Rhonda Penders, at a Georgia Romance Writer’s Moonlight and Magnolia Conference. When I pitched Beneath The Lake to Rhonda, her eyes lit up. The first words from her mouth were: “I want to publish that book, and if you don’t choose The Wild Rose Press, I still really want to read it.” She loves time travel. I was thrilled and inspired. Rhonda and I connected that day and I spoke to her multiple times over the weekend. I received several offers to publish my novel through that conference, but no one impressed me like Rhonda. My experience with The Wild Rose Press has been amazing too. The support, encouragement, and inspiration from the staff and other authors in the group is remarkable.
What project[s] are you working on now? Beneath The Lake is the first book in a three book series with the same title. I’m currently working on book two, Beyond The Mist, and book three, Between The Shadows. I recently bought the rights for my Memoir, Wingless Butterfly, back from the original publisher and I’m polishing that for re-release this year. I have about 6 WIP right now. LOL.
What’s up next for you? We just purchased a home on the north shores of Lake Lanier and who knows what my muse may find lurking beyond the Lake.

To purchase Beneath The Lake, go to:

To learn more about Casi McLean, go to:
Twitter: @casimclean
Facebook: Casi McLean
FB Author Page: Casi McLean-Author
Goodreads: Casi McLean
Pinterest: Casi McLean
Google+:Casi McLean
Amazon Author Page: Casi McLean
  1. So how do you feel about your first interview, Bobby?
    Casi, I’m impressed with these wild woman. Lacy has my heart, but I have to admit the women in the 21 century … how do you say it?? Oh yes, they Rock.
    I agree, Bobby. Thank you for having us on your wonderful blog today ladies!


  2. Now this is an out of the ordinary premise – both fun and intriguing. Best of luck.



  3. Thank you!!! So happy you stopped by!


  5. There is a submerged town just over the state border from me, Casi. I’ve always been fascinated by the idea of that. Love the sound of your book. I’ve absolutely got to move it up on my Kindle!



  6. You’ll have to go visit it and take notes. There’s so much inspiration lurking in the whispers of a ghost town! Let me know when you read Beneath The Lake 🙂


  8. Such an amazing idea for a story! It really hooks the potential reader–you’ve got me wondering how on earth all that can ever work out! Best of luck with the book.


  10. Very intriguing story line, Casi. I’m looking forward to reading it. The drought in CA and Mexico have uncovered several ghost towns and a 16th-century Spanish church-Settings for more stories? Meredith



  11. Wow! That’s what happened at Lake Lanier near too. Looper speedway was uncovered in a major drought a few years ago. It was so cool to see ruins of the ghost town and it truly inspired my story. Thank you so much for stopping by and commenting.


  13. Love these character interviews! Sounds like another great story.

    Good luck and God’s blessings



  14. Thank you, Pam. I hope you get a chance to read Beneath The Lake. 😊


  16. Busy girl, you are Casi. Enjoyed the interview and love the premise of your story. It’s on my ipad waiting to be read. Seems the more you write, the less you read. But I have time set aside as soon as I finish the WIP due end of March.



  17. That’s very true. I can’t wait to get settled in my new home so I can take a few months and finish several books I’m working on. Thanks so much for stopping bye .


  19. Another great post and interview and fab book form TWRP. Much enjoyed!! Linda



  20. Linda, thank you for stopping by. This was such a fun interview to do. I absolutely loved Bobby’s point of view!


  22. I love the concept of this story, and it was nice hearing from the hero. Dude, I’ve got to read that Jude Deveraux book. Everybody and their dog says that’s their favorite book. I think I have it on my Kindle. Thanks for sharing your talent with us, Casi!



  23. MJ, so nice of you to stop by. That’s funny. I fell in love with romance books when I read Knight in Shining Armor. And I had so much fun with this interview. I’ve done interviews with Lacey, my heroin, but this is the first one with my hero 😊


  25. Chills down the spine! I live on a lake and it’s deep, cold, dark and mysterious. The idea of a world beneath? Well, you got me with that one! Best of luck to you.



  26. I’m so glad I piqued your interest, Susan. So nice of you to stop by. I hope you pick up a copy of Beneath The Lake… And when you do I’d love to hear your thoughts. Thank you for taking a few moments out of your busy day to stop by and leave a comment. 😊


  28. Yes, chills indeed! Great excerpt. Sounds like a fantastic read!



  29. Hey Alicia, so nice of you to stop by! That’s high praise coming from such a terrific editor. 😊 I’d love for you to read my book!


  31. What a fun interview! The whole story sounds fabulous!



  32. Thank you so much, Diane. I hope you get a chance to read my story and I would love to hear your thoughts. Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment.


  34. Great interview and really fun story idea! Congrats!!!



  35. Thanks so much, Abigail. So glad you stopped by!











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

The Greatest Obstacle To Happiness Is Within Us

Beth Trissel

 As you read Beth’s wonderful post, please be aware she lost her little Sadie just after she wrote this article. Beth is heart-broken, and she may find responding to some of your reflections difficult. Your sensitivity is greatly appreciated. Thank you all! Casi….The Greatest Obstacle To Happiness Is Within Us…

Authors love our beloved furbabies…

These are the kitties and dogs who faithfully sit by our sides or on our keyboards as we journey through writing another story. They weather our angst, share our joys and sorrows, love us even if the reviewers don’t, and are always ready for a good snuggle, or a walk outside while we clear our minds. Since my childhood, I have never been without my cherished friends and cannot conceive of life without them. It wouldn’t be much of a life at all. I’m not strictly a cat or dog person because each are dear to me. Dogs are my brothers and cats my sisters. I write on my couch with a laptop surrounded by my friends.

The Greatest Obstacle To Happiness Is Within UsAs I write this post, I have four kitties sitting on or near me: my youngest rescues, the mischievous duo, Peaches and Cream…my oldest rescue, the curmudgeonly tabby, Kitty Percy, and our funny but beautiful rescue Kitty Pavel. He’s kind of an odd duck but does his best and truly is a stunning Siamese tabby mix. My dear little dog, Sadie, a mixture of tiny Poodle, Shih Tzu, maybe Yorkie, and a tad of Pomeranian (wish I knew exactly what) is ever by my side, and our rescue Blue Heeler mix dog, Jilly, is close at hand. Cattle dogs don’t usually make great couch potato buddies, but she’s an exception. Her early years were harsh and she craves all the comfort and affection she can get.

When I’m sick…

My furbabies pile on or around me, hardly daring to leave. They know something’s wrong. As I recover, they take breaks and go about their usual business. With Peaches and Cream, this means seeking out that which they can get into, take apart, or chase around. But they are incredibly affectionate and devoted cats who actually come when I call them. The other two kitties may take a message and get back with me when it’s convenient. Each of my friends have their spot beside or near me. Almost like assigned seats, although I didn’t assign them. They chose, and everything (everyone) fell into place.

Sadly, and this is breaking my heart, my dear little Sadie is fading from congestive heart failure. Her days are numbered and I cherish each one she spends with me. The depth of love these animals bring to my life is immeasurable. I cannot fathom writing without them. If Sadie is going to see me through another story, I must write fast. She’s seen me through many now, as she is turning eleven. Dog’s lives are way too short. Whenever I adopt a new furbaby, I know there will come a day when we must part in this world, though I want to put that off as long as I can. The pain of that goodbye is searing but the joy and love they bring while they are with me is worth the tears, and I hope to see them again on the other side.

This is my best writing tip and advice…

—Furbabies. With so many cats, dogs, puppies and kittens who need homes, I urge you to find a place in yours for a new furry friend. They may be your new bestie and writing buddy. They even help me with promo. Peaches and Cream are my promotional assistants.

I recently signed a contract for Somewhere My Lady (Ladies in Time—Book One) my new time travel series with The Wild Rose Press. More on this upcoming release soon.

Meanwhile, I have many other titles and series ranging from historical, to paranormal, or a mix of both, time travels, Native American, shifters…all with romance. I also write nonfiction about herbal lore and country life. I’m eclectic.

the-greatest-obstacle-to-happiness-is-within-usThe book that is doing the best for me and is a best seller in Native American and historical romance in kindle is Red Bird’s Song. This historical grew out of research into family genealogy and their interactions with Native Americans in the colonial frontier.

The Greatest Obstacle To Happiness Is Within Us

Blurb: Taken captive by a Shawnee war party wasn’t how Charity Edmondson hoped to escape an unwanted marriage. Nor did Shawnee warrior Wicomechee expect to find the treasure promised by his grandfather’s vision in the unpredictable red-headed girl. George III’s English Red-Coats, unprincipled colonial militia, prejudice and jealousy are not the only enemies Charity and Wicomechee will face before they can hope for a peaceful life. The greatest obstacle to happiness is in their own hearts. As they struggle through bleak mountains and cold weather, facing wild nature and wilder men, Wicomechee and Charity must learn to trust each other.

About Beth:

Married to my high school sweetheart, I live on a farm in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia with my human family and furbabies. An avid gardener, my love of herbs and heirloom plants figures into my work. The rich history of Virginia, the Native Americans, and the people who journeyed here from far beyond her borders are at the heart of my inspiration. I’m especially drawn to colonial America and the drama of the American Revolution. In addition to historical romance, I also write time travel, paranormal, YA/NA fantasy romance, and nonfiction.

2008 Golden Heart® Finalist
2008 Winner Preditor’s & Editor’s Readers Poll
Publisher’s Weekly BHB Reader’s Choice Best Books of 2009 
2012 Double Epic Award Finalist 
2013 Book of the Month at Long and Short
2016 Winner April Creme de la Cover 
2016 Winner Book of the Month at Long and Short YA

Buy Red Bird's Song

For more avout Beth, visit her blog:

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Awesome Authors Highlight Constance Bretes

Blue as Sapphires

by Constance Bretes

Constance Bretes hot new release, Blue As Sapphires, an R-rated  contemporary romance brings to spousal abuse front and center in this tender love story.

About Connie

Connie began her career as a secretary in 1977 for the State of Michigan as a civil servant. She retired from the Michigan Department of Transportation after 38 years as the department’s forms analyst. She has an MBA in Business Administration – Leadership Studies, and a BA in Business Management.

She has six books published, with five more on the way.

Connie spends most of her time behind her computer, writing, editing and researching for her next story. When she’s not there, she can be found checking out ghost towns, sapphire mining, and gold panning with her best friend and husband, Jim. Her other hobbies consists of basket weaving, and jewelry making.

She is a member of RWA’s From The Heart Romance Writers, and Kiss of Death Romance Writers, and lives in Basin, Montana.

Blue As Sapphires by Constance Bretes

For a chance to win a free copy of Blue As Sapphires, stop by here:–things.html  

National Statistics. On average, nearly twenty people per minute are physically abused by an intimate partner in the United States…one in three women and one in four men have been victims of some form of physical violence by an intimate partner within their lifetime.

Statistics – National Coalition Against Domestic Violence

Blue As Sapphires was born from my love of sapphire digging, and gold panning in the beautiful Gem Mountains and Rock Creek River that runs through Philipsburg, Montana. Another issue that I’m passionate about is doing away with domestic abuse. I took the two subjects and combined them into a story that made Marissa determined to survive and overcome her ex-husband’s physical and emotional abuse, and the sheriff, Riley McCade, who is determined to love and protect her.


Escaping from her abusive ex-husband, Marissa Simpson came back to her hometown to start over. She had no intention of getting involved with another man, or with the community she left behind all those years ago. That is, until Riley McCade showed up.

Riley was the Sheriff of Granite County and he commanded a work force of fifteen deputies. He loved his community and went out of his way to protect and serve. When he met up with Marissa, he was bound and determined to get to know her even though she said she wasn’t interested.

The more he got to know her, the more he learned of her past. Could he protect her and earn her love?


Marissa laid back and wrapped her arms around Riley’s neck. She brought her lips to within an inch of his. She stared into his eyes and noticed how tender they looked. She moved in a little more, and her lips met his. He moved his mouth over hers, devouring it. While the fireworks were going off in the sky, Marissa felt her own fireworks. His kiss sent a shock wave through her entire body. Riley guided Marissa so she was on her back and he was partially on her. His Stetson concealed their faces. They continued to kiss and touch, looking lovingly at each other, and then kiss again.

The fireworks lasted for fifteen minutes, and suddenly a flashlight shone on them and voices interrupted them. Three firefighters stood in front of them singing a line from Burning Love.

Riley and Marissa quickly broke apart.

“What the hell?” Riley said. A hint of irritation laced his voice. He abruptly stood up, grabbed Marissa’s hand, and pulled her up.

“We were told that there was sparks on the ground, and we were asked to put it out,” Mitch said, laughing.

“Just who the hell told you that?” Riley asked.

“Heidi,” John, second firefighter, said with an amused smile on his face.

Riley and Marissa shot Heidi a glance.

“We can see that the sparks have been put out so we’ll head back to the truck.” Mitch smiled even wider.

Dave and Cindy stood off to the side chuckling. Someone from the crowd that had gathered around them asked, “Hey, Sheriff, got a new girlfriend?” Ripples of laughter rang through the crowd.

Marissa continued to glare at Heidi. She couldn’t believe her friend would do something like that. As the party broke up, Marissa said to Heidi, “We will talk later.”

Find Connie Bretes:






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Live your Dreams

Are You Devoted To One or Love the One…

Writing Can Be Like Dating

Barbara Bettis

Are your devoted to one or love the one you're withIn the past few weeks I’ve had an issue with my WIP. When I hit a major obstacle, I thought I’d try what several fellow authors do so successfully—work on another book to divert my thoughts and move back and forth between the two stories.

Some of my friends always have two books going at once, usually in different genres. It works for them beautifully, they say.

Well, I undertook beginnig another story. And learned that for me, writing is a lot like dating was when I was younger. I’m a one-boyfriend-at-a time kind ’a gal. And I learned it the hard way.

My roommates successfully juggled boyfriends with no problem. Surely I could do the same, I thought. So I found myself dating more than one guy—no serious relationships mind, just casual dates here and there. They were delightful boys, very different, and I liked them all.

Until they unexpectedly showed up to visit, all on the same night. To give them credit, they were perfect gentlemen and when each arrived a few minutes after the other, they all sat down to talk. My roommates saw what was happening and joined us to ease the tension. The third and last one brought ice cream. I did what any good hostess would do—I served it to everyone.

Later, my roommates thought it was all hilarious. I did not. I was stressed, I felt guilty and conflicted. I felt like a horrible person. And right then, my dating rules solidified. One at a time, no matter how casual.

That story does have a happy ending. All three guys called to ask me out again and I did date one throughout the summer until college started again in the fall.

Barb’s Best Tips

So how does that apply to writing more than one book at a time? I found myself getting completely wrapped up in the new story to the point I couldn’t concentrate on the first one. Which would take precedence? This switching back and forth didn’t work for me—when I was deep in the medieval mindset, getting back into the Regency rhythm took forever. When I was immersed in the Regency period, my medieval knights sounded way too sophisticated. And anachronistic. And I became conflicted.barb bettis

For those who can juggle more than one book at a time successfully, I have nothing but respect and awe. But I don’t see how you do it.

Barb’s latest is a medieval


Barb Bettis


He must pursue his enemy; she must protect her people. Can their love survive the duties that drive them apart?

When her elderly husband dies, Lady Katherine fakes her own death and disappears into the forest with others escaping the brutish new lord. Determined to protect her people, she knocks the wrong man senseless. But Lord Henry isn’t an enemy, he’s the brother of her childhood friend. Although his tender confidence tempts her, she’s bound by duty.

Henry of Chauvere has found the one lady he wants for his own, never mind she’s tied him hand and foot. When he learns the king has ordered her to wed Stonehill’s ruthless new master, he insists Kate seek haven with his sister. But she won’t desert her friends. Henry vows to solve her problem, provided he catches a traitor before the threat from Kate’s past catches her.

When a daring rescue compels Henry and Kate to join forces, their attraction grows into love. If only duty didn’t drive them apart.

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ABA’s Awesome Bewitching Authors Highlight Tena Stetler

ABA's Awesome Bewitching Author Highlights tena stetler

ABA’s Awesome Bewitching Authors Highlight Tena Stetler

Best selling author, Tena Stetler, uses her over-active imagination to spin tales of paranormal romance/suspense and cozy mysteries. Her spicy romances spin the adventures of magical kick-ass women and mystical alpha males that dare to love them. From demons to faeries and witches to vampires her intriguing characters take roads less traveled to draw you into exciting tales that  engage the imagination and warm the heart. We ar excited to feature Tena Stetler as our ABA’s Awesome Bewitching Authors Highlight. 

Tena’s Inspiration for A Demon’s Witch:

A Demon’s Witch was my debut novel and has remained close to my heart. A Demon’s Witch hit the market and garnered best seller status. It earned The Romantic Reviews Readers Choice 2016 Nominee in the paranormal romance category.   I love talking about this story.

The ideas begin to percolate as I sat in a beauty salon listening to the chatter from other customers. One woman swore she’d been approached by a vampire want-to-be.

This got me to thinking, which is scary in and of itself. What if the hairdresser was an alpha male, Demon Overlord of the Western Hemisphere that owned a multi-species salon in Washington DC? Enter a powerful witch, whose beauty caught the eye of the demon on a rainy day when she rushed into his salon. Now, unbeknownst to him, she is not any ordinary witch, but the little sister of the demon’s enforcer. Now you have a romance with unbelievable complications.

The story became a series, but the other planned books in the series took a strange turn when the majority of readers and reviewers clamored for the enforcer, Tristian’s story to be next in line. I’d never considered writing a book on the witch’s brother, the demon’s enforcer. But after mulling it over for several months and publishing three unrelated books. I am excited to announce A Warlock’s Secrets (Tristian’s story) is awaiting cover art and will be published spring 2017. So please watch for it!

A Demon’s Witch

A Demon’s Witch

Paranormal Romance

Rating PG-13

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A peek into A Demon’s Witch

Keeping a lid on all the paranormal beings inhabiting Washington D.C., is a daunting job. Bruce, a six hundred year old demon and the Territory Overlord of the Western Hemisphere, keeps his finger on the pulse of DC’s power players through the activities at his highly successful Wycked Hair Salon. His movie star good looks and body builder physique keeps his dance card full and the rumor mills running.  Within these walls, his anonymity is safe, mostly.

Bruce’s world spins out of control when Angelique, a pint size, gorgeous witch, with an attitude breezes through the doors of his salon. She is the younger sister of Tristian, Bruce’s long time trusted enforcer, whose professional skills are second to none. Tristian is furious at the relationship between Bruce and Angelique, a dangerous situation, but something darker threatens them all. Will undeniable attraction between demon and witch tear their worlds apart?


At two in the morning he awoke feeling her restlessness, listening he heard her soft sobs. He pulled on his black silk lounge pants and grabbed the robe from the foot of his bed. Padding silently in his bare feet down the hall, he paused at her bedroom door just as her anguished scream filled the room. He was at the side of her bed a second later. Gathering her onto his lap, he held her unyielding body to his until her flailing limbs quieted and her troubled violet eyes opened. Cognizant of where she was now and with whom, she flung her arms around his neck and clung tight as shivers racked her slight frame.

Megan came running from the other wing of the house where the staff lived during the week. “Is everything all right?” She peeked inside Angie’s bedroom door.

“Just a nightmare, nothing to worry about. She’s awake now.

“Oh no my Lord,” Megan said in a low frantic whisper.

“Don’t call me that,” he growled, his amber eyes tinged with orange glowed in the dark room.

“Sorry. There’s something dark and dangerous chasing that one.” She nodded in Angie’s direction. “It’s not of this world.”

He lowered his voice and spoke kindly. “Go back to bed, I’ve got this handled.” He paused for a beat exhaling slowly. “For now.”

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Haunted Souls Moonlight And Mystery

Kathryn Knight Shares Promotion Tips

Kathryn Knight Shares Promotion Tips

Kathryn Knight shares promotion tipsMaking time for promotion and then actually finding effective ways to get your name out there can be a real challenge for authors—especially when we’re deeply involved in a story and we’d prefer to stay in our fictional world and write. But putting yourself out there can really pay off as well. I’m sharing today how doing local events and getting my name in the paper led to a dream-come-true opportunity—signing books beside the “Queen of Suspense”, Mary Higgins Clark, as well as many other very well-known authors whose books I have enjoyed.

Last spring, I received an email asking if I would be interested in participating in an author panel and book signing event at the end of the summer, with no details other than the proceeds would benefit Dream Day on Cape Cod, an organization bringing children with life-threatening illnesses to Cape Cod for relaxation and vacation time with family. I had no idea who the other authors on the panel would be, but I immediately said yes—a chance to help children and gain visibility for my novels in a win/win.


I didn’t learn the identity of the author panel until a few weeks prior to the event, and you should have seen my expression when I opened the promotional flier and saw “Mary Higgins Clark” next to my name. Then I saw other very well-known names such as Hank Phillipi Ryan, Sally Cabot Gunning, and Jacquelyn Mitchard and nearly fell off my stool at the kitchen island.

A little background into what this meant to me. I’ve always been a voracious reader, and throughout my childhood, my father would bring home stacks of library books each week, selected with the help of the local librarian. That’s how I discovered a ghost story/sweet romance entitled Jane-Emily, a novel which inspired my own books many years later. But when I would inevitably finish all the library books in a few days, I’d turn to raiding my mother’s bookcase. And that’s how I first found Mary Higgins Clark’s debut novel, Where Are The Children?

I can still remember my pulse racing as I tore through the pages.

Kathryn Knight shares Promotion TipsI quickly hunted down the two other paperbacks we owned, A Stranger is Watching and The Cradle Will Fall. Over the years, I read all three again many times in between waiting for new releases. And before I began writing my debut novel, Silver Lake, I re-read Where Are The Children? as a lesson on building tension and suspense. I was surprised to discover the book was set on Cape Cod, a place which meant little to me as a child, but has now become my home for the last 18 years.

What a great night the event was! It was held at the Cape Cod Museum of Art, and it was entitled Art, Word, and Wine, organized by and benefitting Dream Day on Cape Cod. There were nine authors in total, each with a large table displaying our books, bios, and cards, and while we signed books there, Brewster Book Store employees took care of the sales. Local shops offered wine tasting and appetizers, and there was a large raffle table as well. We had a 45 minute author panel with a quick Q&A session; for the most part, we signed books at our tables and chatted with attendees.

Haunted Souls

I was able to chat quite a bit with Mary Higgins Clark and Hank Phillipi Ryan, whose tables were near mine. What an honor! Mary Higgins Clark signed my author panel name card on request, and was so very gracious about it, and Hank Phillipi Ryan suggested I Facebook friend her. Done! Quite a few of my friends came to the event, as well as a number of members of the gym where I work.

I met a lot of new people as well, including the County Administrator of Barnstable, who works right near the Old Haunted Jail from my novel Haunted Souls (which he purchased and said he enjoyed very much in follow-up emails!). Since the building in that area (Barnstable Village) are so old and filled with history—and possibly ghosts, per our local paranormal society—he offered to give me a tour of some areas “off limits” to the general public, which was a fabulous experience. The pictures and notes can be found on my blog; and for a taste of some Cape Cod spooky suspense mixed with steamy romance, give my latest release, Haunted Souls, a try!

Haunted Souls

For more about Kathryn’s Haunted Souls, click here for the page on her website:

Kathryn’s best author Tips:

Writing Tip: This goes along with trying to balance time between writing, promo, and life in general, and it speaks to me because I’m not a speedy writer. It’s advice from Chris Bohjalian, an author I enjoy, who writes in several genres. “Write one terrific sentence. Don’t worry about anything else – not where the story is going, not where it should end. Don’t pressure yourself to write 500 or 1,000 words this morning. Just write 10 or 15 ones that are very, very sound.” – Chris Bohjalian, from his Goodreads author page Q & A.

Promo Tip: Again, relating to this post…get your name out there! Every time I do an event, whether it’s a book signing, a reading, a class, etc., I make sure the event is listed on the events calendars of all the local publications. It’s something you can easily do yourself, and it’s free promotion, and it also leads to bigger things. Aside from the book signing I discussed above, I’ve been contacted and asked to display my books at a local bank, appear at a salon open house, talk to a high school creative writing class…so many opportunities pop up just from letting people in the community know that I write novels!

About Kathryn:

 Kathryn Knight spends a great deal of time in her fictional world, where mundane chores don’t exist and daily life involves steamy romance, dangerous secrets, and spooky suspense. Kathryn writes contemporary romance spiked with mysterious hauntings as well as YA paranormal romance filled with forbidden love. Her novels are award-winning #1 Kindle bestsellers and RomCon Reader Rated picks. When she’s not reading or writing, Kathryn spends her time catching up on those mundane chores, driving kids around, and teaching fitness classes. She lives on beautiful Cape Cod with her husband, their two sons, and a number of rescued pets. 

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Twitter:  @k_knightbooks

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Romance: In Action By Laura Strickland

 Laura Strickland Shares Romance: In Action

Laura Strickland Want to know about romance? Ask Laura Strickland.

When I was younger, I had definite ideas about what made something “romantic”. I guess all girls do. Young women tend to sit and weave dreams into hopes and expectations. Back then I thought it was all about the sigh-worthy gesture: the long and meaningful gaze, the single red rose, the walk hand-in-hand through the moonlight. If a young man had written me a heart-felt love poem, I probably would have swooned.

The truth is, men don’t particularly want women who go around swooning and life’s not all about red roses. Life’s about loyalty and courage and hard choices. It’s about a kind word when your partner’s exhausted. It’s about sacrificing your comfort for the one you love.

Laura’s Romance

Eventually I met a young man with a romantic heart. How did he express that tendency toward romance? Well, he did give me a dozen red roses after our first date. More important, he was there for me when my life fell apart. And he’s been there every day since for nearly forty years. Having studied the heart of the man, I can share the most romantic thing he does for me: even if he’s feeling tired and beat-up from shoveling the driveway during one of our harsh, Western New York winters, he never leaves for work without cleaning my car off, just so I won’t have to. And every time I walk out the door and see that car, I feel loved. Better than roses, that’s romance in action!

What’s the most romantic thing a man’s ever done for you?

Laura’s Best Author Tip:

And here’s a writing tip (free of charge): include some of the everyday in your romance writing. Encourage your reader to relate to your characters by letting them see the simple romantic gestures in the hero and heroine’s lives. We’re not all millionaires but we all need love… Also, when doing a promotion I like to give away something that reminds your recipient that each day is beautiful—a simple bracelet or nature-themed bag. Beautiful doesn’t have to be expensive!

Laura Strickland’s Latest Release:

Awake On Garland Street

Awake On Garland Street by Laura Strickland


Brendan O’Rourke hasn’t had a decent night’s sleep since he arrived back at the family home in St. John’s, Newfoundland. The famed Celtic fiddler’s being haunted by the ghost of his great-grandfather, Charlie, who’s bent on keeping Brendan from ruining his life with the same selfish choice he made between music and the woman he loved.

Grace Dawe was finished with Brendan O’Rourke eight years ago when he chose music over their relationship. So why can’t she look at him now without going weak in the knees? And why, when he offers everything she’s ever wanted, is she considering his welfare above her own? Not until a beautiful old tune shows them the true meaning of love will they find a way to play their own song.

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