Moonlight And Mystery

Public Speaking: A Writer’s Advocate

Public Speaking: A Writer’s Advocate

It’s A Game Changer 


Lida Sideris Public Speaking Writers AdvocateAs a mostly introverted, newly minted author, the prospect of promoting my novel was daunting, if not terrifying. Public speaking was nowhere in my vocabulary. I was grateful that my first two book signings required only one-on-one contact. But my third book signing was different. It was a game changer.

When I sat on a panel with two other authors, one seasoned, and one promoting her second book, I watched and learned…fast.  An upcoming panel at a Writers’ Conferences I was scheduled for would have a larger audience. A crash course in public speaking was needed. Turns out watching my co-panelists was just what I needed. It made me realize giving birth to a novel is sort of like raising children. My kids changed me (for the better) because I needed to learn to be their advocate, a solid role model, and a source of inspiration. This is also true with promoting a novel. I had to be my book’s advocate while acting like a model author, while striving to inspire my audience. Once I looked at appearances in that light, public speaking didn’t seem so daunting.

Public Speaking Is A Writer’s Advocate

Fast forward nearly a year and a half later. Now I love talking up books and writing. I feel a sense of elation thinking about the possibility that perhaps an audience member actually came there to hear me speak. I find that possibility incredible! This unexpected love affair has led to podcasts, interviews, radio shows, and more writers’ conferences. Amazing what can happen when we choose to look at things a little differently.

About Lida:

Like her heroine, Lida Sideris worked as an entertainment attorney for a film studio. Unlike her heroine, she was not blackmailed into investigating the suspicious death of a co-worker. She lives in the northern tip of Southern California with her family, their rescue shepherds, and a flock of uppity chickens. She was the recipient of the Helen McCloy/Mystery Writers of America scholarship award for her debut novel,Murder and Other Unnatural Disasters. To learn more, please visit:

Lida’s Best Tips for Authors:

Promo Tip: Just ask. It’s incredible how many bookstores, libraries and writers’ conferences I got into just by asking. Simple but true. And ask again. And again. Follow-up can make all the difference. Out of over a hundred applicants, one conference leader told me I was selected because I kept asking, I kept myself as a frontrunner. I sent her gentle reminders once a month.
Author Tip: Don’t fret so much. It keeps us from enjoying the moments and putting out our best work.

A Must Read by Lida Sideris Murder and Other Unnatural Disaster by Lida Sideris Public Speaking Writers Advocate


Watch out Southern California! There’s a new entertainment attorney in town and she’s got game. Only problem is, it’s not the one she should be playing. Corrie Locke belongs behind a desk, not behind a Glock. She should be taking VIP calls, not nosing around a questionable suicide. Instead, she’s hot on the trail of a murderer.

Luckily, she’s the daughter of a late, great private eye and she’s inherited his love of sleuthing…and illegal weaponry. It doesn’t help matters that her gene for caution is a recessive one. Corrie finds herself in the center of a murder case, unearthing suspects in shocking places. With a cold-blooded killer on the loose, Corrie will have to up her game, or die trying.


I veered out of the parking lot and bounced onto the cavity-ridden dirt road. The mystery car appeared out of nowhere from beneath the tall pines, eclipsed by the darkness. Now it raced away somewhere ahead.

“Why didn’t we hear it start?” I asked James.

“It’s a hybrid.”

“We’re in a car chase with a Prius?” A car chase with a Porsche or Ferrari was respectable, but with a battery operated car? All bragging rights vanished.

I shifted into warp speed and surged downhill. Seconds later, we faced the hybrid’s rear bumper. The spot for the license plate sat empty.

“He’s not getting away,” I said.

The hybrid turned and launched up a hill, kicking up pebbles and a dusty haze. It fish-tailed and I nearly nipped it in the rear. I executed a sharp left and ran over something large. And lumpy.

“Stop,” James said.

I skidded to a halt, a cloud of dirt trapped in my headlights. The Prius escaped through an open gate and onto La Paz. My eyes cut to the rearview mirror. My tail-lights illuminated the road behind us in an eerie red glow. As I surveyed the scene, not a trace of saliva remained in my mouth.






Find Lida:




TWITTER: @lidasideris


The world could benefit if everyone would take a breath and respond instead of react.

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Live your Dreams

The Perfect Time For Love

It’s All About Love

In the life of a romance writer, every day is the perfect time for love. Romance rules and I love to stir the soul with passion, mystery, and a sprinkle of magic. My stories cross genres from ethereal, captivating shorts with eerie twist endings to believable time slips, mystical plots, and sensual romantic suspense. So scroll down and see the magic…It’s all about love.

Looking For Love?

If you crave strong, believable heroines and delicious hot heroes who tempt your deepest desires, then fan the flames and be swept into your innermost romantic fantasies. See, hear, and feel the magical eeriness of one fateful night. If you love stories of star-crossed love and second chances, then try my time slip romantic suspense, Beneath The Lake.

Beneath The Lake

2016 BEST Romantic Suspense

Gayle Wilson Award of Excellence
Beneath The Lake by Casi McLean

Amazon Buy Link:

Or Try

The Destiny Series––

five novelettes with a twist you won’t see coming

Winner AWC Writing Contest

Judges’ comments:
At first these stories reel you into what appears to be a formula romance. Then they turn the genre on its head, throwing a perfectly aimed, delightful curveball at the surprising and satisfying endings.

Buy Link:

After Midnight, answers the question of what if…a slant on the concept of alternate worlds with a touch of Casi McLean magic.

After Midnight by Casi Mclean

Here is the Link:

But my most significant story was my own.

Wingless Butterfly shares a lifetime of secrets lies, romance, betrayal, and mystery like whispers from a best friend––A story that began with my mother’s haunting warning: “You don’t want to know your biological father, he’s the kind of man who pulls wings off of butterflies.” 

Wingless Butterfly by Casi McLean

Take The Oxygen First

We’ve all heard the phrase before. Flight attendants explain daily why passengers should take oxygen themselves before administering to others. The command makes sense. Take care of yourself so you’re able to help others. When I thought about the simple phrase I realized the theory applies to life and love, too.

What’s Love Got To Do With It?

Red HeartI’m not advocating self-gratification. Especially in the all about me society we seem to live in these days. But when I feel good about myself––who and where I am emotionally and physically––I live happier, love better, and open a door to inspire and encourage others. Life and love thrives when filtered through internal contentment.

It’s All About Love

My friends know the impact secrets and lies held over my life and the metamorphosis that took place when I unraveled my past. But unveiling secrets didn’t transform me or my self-image. The shift occured when I realized my self-image grew from what I believed about myself. Beliefs that wern’t true. The bully in my mirror reflected a discarded child, tossed away by her own father. And the reflection reinforced my beliefs day after day. 

The Perfect Time For Love

This is what I know about you and me, and everyone around us. Perception is reality. True or perceived, what we believe has incredible influence over our lives. So take time to know and understand what’s true and genuine about you…and your world. You, me, we all are united by a human distinction, we become who we believe we are, and we design our lives around what we believe is true. 

Live Your Dreams

Live your dreams explodes from my website, whispers through my manuscripts, and bubbles from every engagement I pursue. That is the passion I live, and it’s all about love! My passion, my brand, and the force that drives me is etched into my books and my Internet presence.

When you see CASI MCLEAN, visit my website, follow my blogs, or read my books, I hope you’ll see a vision of inspiration, feel a sense of encouragement, and discover the value of your own self-worth. It’s all about love.

Beautiful Julia Roberts

Julia Agrees

I love this Facebook post from Julia Roberts: “Perfection is a disease of a nation. We overlay our faces with tons of make-up. We get botox and even starve ourselves to become that perfect size. We try to fix something, but you can’t fix what you can’t see. It’s the soul that needs the surgery.

How can you expect someone else to love you if you don’t love yourself? It doesn’t matter what you look like on the outside, what’s on the inside counts…I know I have wrinkles but look beyond that. Embrace the real me and you,––who you are, love yourself just the way you are.”

Wingless Butterfly: Healing the Broken Child Within.

Wingless Butterfly by Casi McLean

Amazon Buy Link:

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Then email me by clicking the contact me tab on the lower left corner of my site,

and I’ll send you a FREE Gift … A Casi McLean short story.

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Live your Dreams

Writers Write…It’s Our Oxygen

“A rose by any other name…”

Writers Write. It’s Our Oxygen


peggy head shot

We’ve all read that quote before. It’s from the famous balcony scene in Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet tragedy. I thought about this line recently when I was introduced to someone new, by a mutual acquaintance, as a “novelist.”

Hmmm, I thought at the time. That was a new one on me. Usually, when I introduce myself and I’m asked what I do, I say “I’m a writer.” That, of course, leads to the next question of what do you write, to which I respond, “Romantic Fiction.” Any series of questions or facial expressions meets that answer, and I could write a thesis on those responses alone.


The reason the novelist descriptor set me a little back was because, (1) it sounded fairly classy and erudite – two things I am not! And (2) it kind of limited what I really do. Yes, I write novels; romantic novels. But I’m also a professional blogger, so being a novelist kind of defined me in a way I wasn’t quite comfortable with.

So, of course, this got me to thinking of all the ways in which writers are described.

Here are a few:

Writer ( of course!), author, novelist, essayist, satirist, humorist, biographer, journalist, scriptwriter, playwright, dramatist, poet, scribe, diarist.

I’m sure there are more, but for brevity’s sake, I’ll stop there. All those descriptions and terms denote one thing, though: the person performing them writes.

Which is what I do: write. The tag line to my website is WRITING IS MY OXYGEN because, to me, writing is like breathing. I can’t live without breathing now, can I? Well, writing makes me feel the same way. Even when I am sick ( as I am right now with the flu as I write this) I can’t go a day without putting something to paper – or laptop, for the sake of transparency .

I think of myself in many ways and as many things: mother, wife, nurse, cook, comic. But the one description that sums me up more than any other – in my opinion – is writer.

So. This is me: Peggy Jaeger, Writer. Nice to meet you.

Peggy’s Best Advice To Authors:

My most successful promo tip:  I recently joined TRIBERR and since I did, I have seen a doubling in my Twitter follows, which has led to a greater number of people viewing my daily blog. As a writer, this is one of the most worthwhile free promotions I have ever found on Social Media.
My most successful author tip was from the grand Dame of Romantic fiction herself, Nora Roberts. At a lecture I heard her say this: “A Writer never finds time to write. A writer makes it. If you don’t have the drive, the discipline and the desire, then you can have all the talent in the world but you are never going to finish a book.” True words. Sage advice.

About Peggy:

Peggy Jaeger is a contemporary romance author who writes about strong women, the families who support them, and the men who can’t live without them. She holds a master’s degree in Nursing Administration and first found publication with several articles she authored on Alzheimer’s Disease during her time running an Alzheimer’s in-patient care unit during the 1990s. A lifelong and avid romance reader and writer, she is a member of RWA and her local New Hampshire RWA Chapter.

 Cooking With Kandy

Sugar and spice and everything sexy make the perfect recipe for romance in this brand-new series by Peggy Jaeger. Look for exclusive recipes in each book!

Kandy Laine built her wildly popular food empire the old-fashioned way—starting with the basic ingredients of her grandmother’s recipes and flavoring it all with her particular brand of sweet spice. From her cookbooks to her hit TV show, Kandy is a kitchen queen—and suddenly someone is determined to poison her cup. With odd accidents and threatening messages piling up, strong-willed Kandy can’t protest when her team hires someone to keep her safe—but she can’t deny that the man for the job looks delicious. . .

Josh Keane is a private investigator, not a bodyguard. But with one eyeful of Kandy’s ebony curls and dimpled smile, he’s signing on to uncover who’s cooking up trouble for the gorgeous chef. As the attraction between them starts to simmer, it’s not easy to keep his mind on the job, but when the strange distractions turn to true danger, he’ll stop at nothing to keep Kandy safe—and show her that a future together is on the menu. . .

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Awesome Bewitching Authors Highlights Elizabeth Alsobrooks

Awesome Bewitching Authors Highlights

Elizabeth Alsobrooks

Stolen Secrets Elizabeth Alsobrooks

Stolen Secrets


Elizabeth Alsobrooks

Fantasy Romance ® rating

Stolen Secrets is a romance spinoff from my Illuminati (Urban Fantasy) series, so is much more character driven and oriented than what is usual for me. It’s steamier, of course, and the hero is hot, hot, hot, if I do say so myself.  Here is who I pictured when writing this:

I’m sure you can see how princely he looks? What English gal stranded in Cairo could resist such a persuasive hunk? Well, the heroine, Lady Isabella Valentine tries, but being a romance I guess you know how it ends . . . .


Everything about the shop was irregular, including the displays which projected at odd angles, supported by ornate wooden brackets and the occasional book case or other Egyptian artifact. Its merchandise had been collected and added to over a lifetime of adventures, and the result was vastly eclectic and often mismatched and even mysterious. The windows of the cluttered antiquities dealership, not yet shuttered, allowed slanted sunlight to illuminate dust motes, thick and insidious, seeking every crevice and ornate feature in which to drift. Brushing her hand across the table to clear it of its most recent layer, Isabella unrolled the map and traced the route with her fingertip.

She heard the bell above the front door jingle, waited for the expected greeting, and sighed. Five minutes later and Misha would have arrived to clean and bar the entrance, and then she could begin preparing for the dig of a lifetime.

Offered an enormous sum by an anonymous benefactor for the acquisition of an ancient ceremonial relic, a sum that would keep the antiquities shop in Cairo her father left her afloat while she continued her own archaeological pursuits, Lady Isabella Valentine was distracted rather than tempted, then suspicious, when the dashing young Bedouin slipped in just before closing and promised her a deal she couldn’t refuse–for the very same relic. Despite his sensual appeal, she did refuse him, sending him away.

Prince Mukhtar, son of Sheikh Abdul Kummel al-Rahman, leader of the Hassana, is on a sacred Illuminati mission for Queen Isis to retrieve something stolen from one of her temples over a thousand years ago. This mortal disbeliever though an enchanting English rose, however beautiful she might be, is clearly in the power of the Usurper and must be persuaded to help him, one way or another. But neither of them know of the evil power they are up against, or what hidden dangers await them in the tomb of the high priest.

Available for preorder on Amazon, for sale in kindle, nook and trade paperback on Valentine’s Day!

About Elizabeth:

Elizabeth AlsobrooksNow that her children have flown from the nest and remain in the frozen North (AKA Michigan) Elizabeth has retired from her “normal” day jobs and lives with her personal editor, Hudson (AKA Maltese), and her husband, Kenton (AKA Irish-Scotsman), at the foot of the beautiful Santa Catalina Mountain Range in Oro Valley, AZ.

She loves to entertain friends and family from colder climates, or hike the mountain trails, jog, or ride her bike on the miles of walk/bike paths, sit on her patio watching the local wildlife visit her pond, sipping coffee and reading, writing, editing, or brainstorming plots and enjoying the grandeur of her breathtaking mountain views.

Her love of mythology and ancient literature and history were the backbone for her series, and the Sigma Force series by James Rollins inspired the fast-paced adventures (He recently told her at a literacy fundraiser that he found that flattering, as no one had ever told him he was inspiring before!). The result is an action-packed URBAN FANTASY novel series, with its basis in timeless romance, truth, superstitions, mythology and conspiracy theories.

Find Elizabeth:

Author Website:


Cool Quotes From Stolen Secrets:

The fact that she had such earth-shattering feelings for this man, and not just physical ones, made him even more dangerous. @ElizAlsobrooks

The idea of other women no longer had any appeal to him, and he admitted to himself that he’d thought of no one else since he’d first met Isabella. @ElizAlsobrooks

He caught movement out of the corner of his eye, but when he spun to confront the attacker—and he now felt besieged by threat—no one and nothing was there. @ElizAlsobrooks

Rafflecopter Giveaway of Moroccan Lamp, Paperback of Stolen Secrets 5 Ebooks fo Stolen Secrets and The Book of Life, and $10 Amazon GC.
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Moonlight And Mystery

Self-Publishing vs Traditional Publishing

 Self-Publishing vs Traditional Publishing

Jana RichardsFor the first time since 2006, I don’t have another publishing contract for a new book. I don’t have a definite date when I know my next book will be released. In fact, I don’t know when I’m going to publish again. Am I ever going to publish again? The thought that I might not is worrying.

It’s not that I’ve been sitting around eating bon-bons. I’ve got several works-in-progress, in three different series, all in various stages of “not done”. And that’s the problem.

Struggling to finish the series, I’ve been working the last few months on all three. Because the stories are interconnected, I want to finish all three before I market the series. It’s hard enough to finish one book let alone three. I feel like I’m swimming through a vat of molasses. I can see the finish line, but getting there is incredibly slow. Not to mention painful.

A Slight Lull

I’m feeling overwhelmed, not only with my unfinished projects, but with trying to market the books I already have for sale. There are so many things to do – blogging, sending out tweets, posting on Facebook, blog tours, and a hundred different things – so I’m bogged down.

I’m wondering where to go next. I really like the publishers I’m with now, but the idea of self-publishing is appealing. I’d have control over my work, but I’d also have all the responsibility and the expense. Is that something I want to take on? Going back and forth on this question has me stalled as well.

I know I have to dig my way out of this problem, and I’ve taken a few tentative steps to do just that.

First of all, I can’t publish something I haven’t finished. I’ve been distracted lately with the day job and with marketing my other books. I feel like I need to get away from it all. To that end, I’ve spoken with some friends about going on a writing retreat. I’ve done retreats before and find them very productive. For a few days, I don’t have to worry about anything except writing. I’ll turn off the TV and the Internet and totally immerse myself in the story.

Do You Ever Retreat To Advance?

And maybe I need to go back to my craft. I’ve begun reading books and watching videos on novel structure. The idea is if I get the structure right in the first place, with all the pieces properly in place, then maybe the writing will go faster. Maybe I won’t spend endless time on rewrites.

Perhaps I need to delegate some tasks to give myself more time and to unclutter my mind. Perhaps hiring a virtual assistant to help with some marketing tasks can do that for me. As appealing as this is, do I want to cede control? Can I afford it?

Self-publishing versus traditional publishing? I’m still stuck on that one. I’ll have to do some research and come to a decision instead of endlessly debating it in my head. I need a plan. My career may be in a lull at the moment, but don’t count me out just yet. I’m going to fight my way out of this vat of molasses.


But I need a little help from my friends. And advice. What’s your take on self-publishing? Is it worth the expense and all the work? How do you manage the workload of running a writing career? And how do you manage “monkey-mind”, when your brain skips from one idea to the next without ever finishing anything? (Look! Over there! A shiny new idea for a book!) Thoughts?

Jana’s Latest Release

Chill Out

Two people afraid to love again; can candy hearts show them the way?

Jana Richards’ Social media links:





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Buy Links for CHILL OUT:

The Wild Rose Press:

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Moonlight And Mystery



I love the holidays, but with all the preparations, including grocery shopping, present buying, wrapping, decorating, and sharing time with family and friends, it’s hard to stay on any type of regiment when it comes to writing. So when January comes around, it’s time to get serious again.

One of the challenges I’ve come to look forward to is New Jersey Romance Writer’s JeRoWriMo (Jersey Romance Writing Month). The challenge is to write 30,000 words during the month of February. For years, I didn’t participate because I thought there was no way I could work full time, continue my involvement on non-profit boards and be a productive member of my family. But two years ago, I decided to try it. What could I lose? Any number of words I could write would be a win, so even if I didn’t reach the stated goal, I would probably write more than if I wasn’t involved in a challenge.

Because I’m a plotter, I plotted my new book prior to February 1st so I would be able to jump in and start writing. In that first year, the beginning of the month was a weekend, so I was able to get a head start. My goal of 1,072 words per day wouldn’t always be doable given my career and other obligations. But I learned that if I got out of bed at 5:30 a.m. and wrote until 7:30, I could get in 750 words before work. The rest could usually be accomplished after dinner. My mantra becomes – there can be no television or other distraction during this month.

In addition to being a plotter, I’m also competitive. Sending in my daily word count became that extra push I needed to outdo myself. The kind words of encouragement from our challenge coordinator also spurred me on. By the end of the month, I had not only met the 30,000 word challenge, but exceeded it.

For the past two years, I have gotten half of a book completed during this challenge. Unfortunately, the good habits that I develop during February do not carry forward into March or any other month of the year. But it’s a great start.

So for all of you writers who need that extra push to start off the year, even if you can’t or don’t join New Jersey Romance Writers, you can start your own challenge. Best of luck and may the force be with you.

About Maria

I was born in Trenton, NJ , in the heart of Chambersburg, the Italian section of town. My father was a barber and my mother, a State employee, who also taught me to jitterbug at the tender age of four. We loved to dance in the living room while watching American Bandstand. Hardly star material, but I was driven nonetheless.

The product of a Catholic School education, I learned the basics, and took for granted I would be successful doing something, even if it entailed cutting hair. I attended Rutgers University as a psychology major, but after three years decided I liked political science better.

My first job led me to Manhattan where I worked as a paralegal for four years before attending Fordham University School of Law. There I learned to think like a lawyer, write like a lawyer, and speak like a lawyer, all while living like a pauper in the city of my dreams. Living in New York City, albeit on a tight budget, allowed me to indulge my love of ballet, art museums, and theater. Did you know you could walk into a theater after intermission and no one checks your ticket? I enjoyed the second half of many plays as well as ballets.

My love of reading dates back to my childhood when I would borrow at least four books from the library every week. During the summer, I would sit in the house and read, until my mother, totally frustrated, would send me outside to play and lock me out. I always found my way back in. However, I must confess, I hated to write. In every English and writing class throughout college, I dreaded trying to be creative. As a friend from law school so aptly put it, “The reason why we’re here is because we don’t have a creative bone in our bodies.” I agreed.

Despite my dislike of creative writing back then, I embraced legal writing, and was first published in Volume 5 of the Fordham International Law Journal. My article was entitled “In re Mackin: Is the Application of the Political Offense Exception an Extradition Issue for the Judicial or Executive Branch?” I would advise you against reading it, for you will surely fall asleep.

Following law school, I returned to central New Jersey and took a job at a local law firm where I have been a partner for many years. My area of practice is divorce, and while emotions run high and clients are living through the worst time of their lives, I find the practice very satisfying. In addition to litigation, I have added mediation and collaborative divorce to my repertoire, which are much more civil ways of dealing with issues in family law cases.

In addition to practicing law and raising two daughters, I’ve been working towards my second career. Memoranda of Law and Legal Briefs, although fascinating, pale in comparison to writing romance/women’s fiction. So how does one transition from divorce lawyer by day to romance writer by night? That’s the beauty of having two distinct passions.

Dancing in the Sand


An accomplished dance major in New York City, Ava Harrington is pursuing her dream of becoming a professional in a national dance company. But a celebratory weekend in Newport, where she meets the man of her fantasies, has devastating consequences that change her life forever.

Brian Stanhope, a Harvard graduate, poised to join his father’s company, suffers a brain injury in a horseback riding accident, which affects his memory. He has no recollection of his graduation party weekend or the beautiful dancer who turned his head and stole his heart.

When they reunite eight years later, the magic of their powerful attraction binds them together, but the past holds a secret that even love may not be able to overcome.

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All Romance



The Wild Rose Press

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Moonlight And Mystery

Kara O’Neal Love’s Redemption ABA Author Highlight


This Week’s ABA Author Highlight:

Kara O’Neal 

Kara O'NealKara O’Neal was born and raised in Texas. After surviving those awkward years of 7 to 16, she spent two years at Sam Houston State University where she met her husband.

He followed her to Texas Tech University and was proud when she graduated with a Bachelor’s of Science in Human Development. Soon after graduation Kara followed her heart and became certified to teach Special Education.

She married the love of her life in 1998 and had three children. The happiest times of her life are spent with her family and friends. Kara is fortunate to be surrounded by the best and most amazing people God put on this earth.

When she was pregnant with her oldest child, Kara wrote her first novel. And then rewrote it. And rewrote it again. She did this while teaching, raising kids, and traveling across Texas with her husband.

Becoming an author was a dream she stumbled upon. With the encouragement of her family and friends, she didn’t discard this risky adventure. At this time, she would like to express her gratitude to her husband, parents, siblings, children, and friends for their support, love, and suggested revisions.

Kara’s Newest Release

Love’s Redemption: a story of forgiveness and courage

I loved writing this book. Willa is someone I admire. She’s had a tough life and does everything she can to protect her loved ones. I enjoyed exploring her heart and watching her achieve happiness. And she deserves so much happiness.

Lonnie is the man she needs, loyal, steady and kind. He is, without doubt, my favorite hero in the Pikes Run Series. (So far.) And while he has a calm nature, he can be just as assertive and determined as Willa. Together they make a wonderful couple, a model of true love. You will not be disappointed in their journey!


When she was little more than a child, Willa Kramer went to extreme lengths to save her family from their abusive father. After that horrible day, her mother and siblings moved to Tennessee, and Willa had hoped to leave Texas, its memories and Lonnie Davis, the only boy she had ever trusted, behind. But fate is unpredictable.

Five years have passed, and Lonnie finds himself reunited with Willa, the only girl he’s ever loved. He’s determined not to let her slip away again, but a figure from the past looms, threatening his hopes for the future.

Here is a sneak peek of Love’s Redemption

He paused. His chest tightened. He’d waited a long time to see her, had wondered if he ever would. Years ago, she’d wrapped him around her little finger, and he’d grown so attached to her, he’d thought about moving to Tennessee to be with her. But then she had stopped writing.

To say it had hurt would be an understatement. But he hadn’t been angry. He could never be angry with her. Never. And now she was back and near. It was too tempting.

After taking a deep breath, he moved forward then went through the screen door. Even though it gave a loud creak, she didn’t turn. Did she know it was he who stood behind her?

The light breeze ruffled her skirt. Her long, velvety hair grazed the small of her back. An ache centered in the pit of his stomach. He’d missed her. And now she was here. “Hello, Willa.”

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Hey Everyone……Be sure to check out this great Goodreads Group and add your favorite lines from your favorite books!
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Through The Eyes Of A Child The Mystical Muse

Casi McLean––Author––Romantic––Passionate Dreamer, and Sage At Finding Joy Through…

Through The Eyes Of A Child

Through The Eyes Of A ChildThe song, Through The Eyes Of A Child by Air Supply, is the epitome of my website, my brand, my passion… It’s all about love and living your dreams.

Some say fantasy is for children. I see magical imagination as a powerful gift. Is it so hard to remember the dreams of childhood? In those days, I could be a princess, or a pirate,or anything my heart desired. I dreamed of castles and kings––but life dims the fantasy of youth. I wanted that feeling back again, the magic of pure innocence, of childhood hopes and castles in the sky.

It wasn’t an easy trek to find the path to my childhood dreams. But eventually, I did, because I never gave up. And now I write, with hope I inspire others to find their own destiny.

The pursuit of happiness drives everyone’s decisions. We search for happiness in relationships, jobs, our homes and careers. We also end things hoping to find happiness––divorce, career changes, and moving away. And we buy things to make us happy, too––but newness fades like the waning smell of a once new car.

How exhilarating to see life as a child again––to chase dreams like elusive butterflies. Everyone has the power within them to change their destiny––to use the past to propel them forward…Just look through the eyes of your inner child, remember your dreams, and do what you love…take a leap of faith and be inspired. 

My writing, my passion, my dream is to rekindle a dimming flame within the hearts of my readers.

In everyone’s life, at some time, our inner fire goes out. It is then burst into flame by an encounter with another human being. We should all be thankful for those people who rekindle the inner spirit.
Albert Schweitzer

Book one in my Lake Lanier Mysteries Series

Beneath The Lake

shares a heartwarming tale of

star-crossed love and second chances

in an unforgettable time-slip romantic suspense.

Click the picture to see Amazon reviews

A ghost town buried beneath Atlanta’s man-made Lake Lanier reportedly lures victims to a watery grave. But when Lacey Montgomery flees from an eerie stalker, she plunges into the lake and awakens in the arms of a stranger in a lost town, 34 years before she was born.

Bobby Reynolds, smitten the moment the storm-ravaged woman opens her eyes, sparks fire to melt ice into a stream of molten desire. Can Lacey battle bootleggers, defy twists of fate and find the key to a mysterious portal before time rips them apart or will their star-crossed spirits wander forever through ominous shadows beneath the lake?

Beyond The Mist

Book two in my Lake Lanier Mysteries


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?

If you’ve never read my books and want a FREE taste,

I have a gift for you:

My Gift

What if you were given a Christmas miracle? I love mystical stories. The kind that leave a warm tingle all over me with a tiny “what if” tinge that lingers long after the end. That’s why I love writing magical mysteries and romantic suspense with a sprinkle of supernatural. Mix them all together and shake gently, what do you get?  A Christmas gift that shares part of my soul…a gift for everyone who stops by my website. The Gift, is book 2 in my Destiny Series. A magical Christmas story that will steal your heart:


Savanna Bradford was given a magical chance to change her destiny…Her impulsive reaction to her boyfriend Ryan’s proposal spirals her into a rendezvous with fate. How could she choose between her dreams and the love of her life? Savannah panicked, took off to the solace of the lake despite the impending snow storm. She had to think, but her brief sabbatical didn’t include getting stuck in a ditch in the middle of nowhere, or spending the night with an enigmatic old woman from the twilight zone. Was it fate, or had her accident thrust her into a comatose dream? And will she discover that the mystical gift from her bizarre encounter holds the key to her true destiny before it’s too late?

Click here for your FREE GIFT

If you like The Gift, you’ll love the unique magical twist in every DESTINY story.

Just click here:

Your Destiny is waiting for you…Five Novelettes With A Twist







Live your Dreams

Today’s Dreams Build Tomorrow’s Castles

Today’s Dreams Build Tomorrow’s Castles

I love this inspirational piece by Claire Gem. And I truly believe today’s dreams build the foundation for tomorrow’s castles. Go, Claire!

My morning ritual: boot up computer, brew cup of coffee, check email, read horoscope.

Claire GemOkay, I admit it, I’m one of those people who believes the day just…won’t…go…right if I don’t read my damned daily horoscope. I know the words generated by whoever writes these daily doses of woo-woo are usually so generic, they can apply to anybody in any situation at any time.

No matter. I can’t start my day without my daily dose of woo-woo.

Every once in a while, though, I actually get smacked in the heart with a horoscope that resonates, deep down, somewhere in the murky depths of my creative soul. This one, recently, was especially inspiring.

The horoscope spoke of courage, and confidence, and defying self doubt. But it was the last line that got me: …today’s dreams are building the foundation for tomorrow’s castles.

I’ve always been a dreamer, and dreamers sometimes get a bad rap, because dreams don’t accomplish anything without action. Dedication, hard work, perseverance. But let’s face it, without the initiating dream, all that toil and trouble would have no impetus and no direction. Without our dreams to guide us toward a goal, we would float aimlessly about on the sea of life and never get anywhere, no matter how hard we work.

Now to share some of my personal tips:

What I’ve found to be the most useful promo tip, to remind not only the world but myself of my living, breathing authorial life, is to tweet a sentence from each of my books—often. No “buy my book” rant, just a snippet of description, dialogue, or action from each book, along with a buy link. I’ve noticed a pretty consistent record of a sale, or two, on the days I tweet, or the day after.

Right now, I’m in the final editing stages for my upcoming release, Spirits of the Heart, due out on Valentine’s Day. I’ve found that the only way—the only way—to find each and every typo or grammar glitch is to read it out loud. It’s amazing what you’ll hear coming out of your mouth that your eyes can’t see.

So I’m toiling for my castle. And every new sentence I type onto the page gets me one stone closer to realizing the dream.

Dream on!

Claire’s newest book

Spirits of the Heart – A Haunted Voice Novel

will be released on Valentines Day, Feb. 14, 2017

Spirits of the heart by Claire Gem

An addiction counselor and a security guard struggle

to reunite a little girl and her father—two spirits trapped

within the walls of an abandoned mental asylum.

Watch Her Trailer:


Laura Horton returns to her hometown to start her career with the Alcohol Crisis Center. But her homecoming is jarring. Her old friend moved out unexpectedly, so Laura’s new roommate is the friend’s intimidating ex-boyfriend—in a house that snugs up to an ancient graveyard.

Miller Stanford works nighttime security for the State grounds. He’s a man with a shattered past. His Dad destroyed their family with alcohol, a weakness Miller is terrified will consume him too. The last thing he needs is an addiction counselor—a sexy blonde one, to move in and start watching his every move. When he begins to see specters in the dark, he starts questioning his own stability.

But Laura sees them too—Greta, a pathetic child-spirit searching for her father. When Laura starts digging into old asylum records, she reveals a horrific cover-up. Can Laura and Miller unravel the mysteries of Talcott Hall without jeopardizing their love—and lives—in the process?

Read the first chapter FREE here:

Find Claire:

Media Links:





Amazon Author Page


About Claire Gem

Strong Women, Starting Over~Redefining Romance~Claire is a multi-published, award winning author of emotional romance—contemporary, paranormal, romantic suspense, and women’s fiction. She writes about strong, resilient women who won’t give up their quest for a happy-ever-after—and the men lucky enough to earn their love. No helpless, hapless heroines here. These spunky ladies redefine romance, on their terms.

Her paranormal/romantic suspense, Hearts Unloched, won the 2016 New York Book Festival. Her latest release, The Phoenix Syndrome, won the women’s fiction division in FCRWA’s The Beacon Contest.

A New York native, Claire has lived in five of the United States and held a variety of jobs, from waitress to bridal designer to research technician—but loves being an author best. She and her happily-ever-after hero, her husband of 38 years, now live in central Massachusetts.

Other Books by Claire Gem

Buy Links:

The Phoenix Syndrome (Winner 2014 FCRWA The Beacon Contest)



A Taming Season: A Love at Lake George Novel



Barnes & Noble:

Hearts Unloched (Winner 2016 New York Book Festival)



Barnes & Noble:

Phantom Traces



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Moonlight And Mystery

Goal Setting Works Better Than Resolutions

Goal Setting Works Better Not Resolutions

Marie Tuhart
Goal Setting Works Better Not Resolutions

Since we’re into the new year I always hear about people setting resolutions. I stopped doing that years ago because it never seemed to work. Now I set goals, both writing and personal. Although they sometimes overlap. Goal setting works better not resolutions.

Do I always make all my goals? No, but I don’t let that stress me out. At the beginning of the year I make my list of goals for the entire year, then put it away and I don’t look at it again until the end of the year. I have monthly goals that keep me on track (most of the time).

The best thing I’ve found to make sure my goals are reasonable and aligned for me and the time I have. Sometimes I get ambitious but that’s okay. I never beat myself up for not meeting a goal, especially with my writing because sometimes an opportunity jumps out at me that wasn’t in the plan and I have to jump on it.

Also remember goals need to be measurable, if it’s writing a 100 words a day, to losing 10 pounds this year, to making more time for the family. You can measure all of those. But don’t make goals a big focus that you lose sight of fun. We all need fun and laughter in our lives.

So do you set goals? Or make resolutions?

Marie’s Valentine Romance: On sale today for .99 

Melt My Heart by Marie Tuhart
Veterinarian Lexi Mallory wants to submit to the sexy new Dom from the club, but trauma from her past keeps getting in the way.


Veterinarian Lexi Mallory wants to submit to the sexy new Dom from the club, but trauma from her past keeps getting in the way. It’s a good thing Gabriel Huntington has a special way with difficult subs and sees the gorgeous Lexi as a delicious challenge. Unfortunately, Lexi fears her inability to relinquish control will finally test Garbriel’s patience and he’ll end their contract. Can Lexi lower her barriers and allow Gabriel’s touch to melt her heart?


Coming soon:

Dom’s of the Silver Screen


Michael: Rising above the ashes to find true love

Michael Levin is a rising Hollywood star and up for a career- making role. The pressure is intense, but thankfully the leading lady in his life, Kelsey, know how to ease his tension. However, when his potential co-star schemes to take Kelsey’s place off-screen, Michael’s masterful side immerges and reminds Kelsey that he belongs to her.

Kelsey Pierce loves her job as a graphic designer, but when she’s up for promotion the pressure is a killer. Her lover, Michael, know just how to make her feel better. But when his clothes smell like another woman, and the same woman calls their home, old fears surface. Will Michael leave her like her other boyfriends?

Can Michael and Kelsey’s relationship withstand the strain to find long-lasting love?

Adam: Tragedy burned their marriage to the ground, but passion smolders in the ashes.

Director Adam Bainbridge has one job to do. Get the film finished, something that would be much easier if it weren’t for Nicki Masters in the leading role. Taught to always hide.

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