Friday, January 31, 2014

Sneak Peek ~ Captured by the Pirate Laird

Reviews started trickling in on NetGalley, soooooo, I made a decision and did a soft release of Captured by the Pirate Laird! I am so excited to finally start releasing my Scotttish historical novels. I've been writing in this genre for three years. It's about time to step into the light. And Kim Killion did such a nice job on the cover!

The print book is AMAZING. The print and eBook are available on Amazon and the eBook is up on Barnes and Noble as well as other eBook sites. I used Smashwords to distribute to all sites aside from Amazon.

The Blurb:

Wed by proxy to a baron old enough to be her grandfather, Lady Anne trudges up the gangway of a galleon that will deliver her into the arms of a tyrant. Crestfallen, she believes her disastrous life cannot get worse—until she awakes to the blasts of cannon fire.

Facing certain death, Anne trembles in her stateroom while swords clash and the chilling screams of battle rage on the deck above. When a rugged Highlander kicks in her door, she prays for a swift end.

But Laird Calum MacLeod has a reason for plundering the ship—and it’s not a stunning English lass. With no other choice, he takes Anne to his crumbling keep on the isle of Raasay and sends a letter of ransom to her husband. In time, Anne grows to understand MacLeod’s plight and finds it increasingly difficult to resist Calum’s unsettling charm—until the baron sends a reply agreeing to terms.

Ripped from passion that will be forever seared into their souls, will Anne and Calum risk everything for love?

The Facebook party is still scheduled for February 18th. There will be a ton of giveaways! Authors Vonda Sinclair, Eliza Knight and Willa Blair will all be guests. Everyone's invited! I hope you can join the party and stop by: RSVP/Join Here

Monday, January 27, 2014

Virtue On Tour!

I'm thrilled to announce my romantic suspense, VIRTUE will be on tour this week! I'll be giving away a copy of the e-Book on all sites.

I would love it if you would stop by my host sites and say hello:

Jan 27- Feb 3

Jan 27 Guest blog
Midnight Musings

Jan 27 Spotlight
The Creatively Green Write at Home Mom

Jan 28 Interview
Roxanne’s Realm

Jan 28 Spotlight
BookwormBridgette's World

Jan 29 Guest blog
A Mama's Corner of the World

Jan 29 Spotlight
Lisa’s World of Books

Jan 30 Interview
Storm Goddess Book Reviews

Jan 31 Guest blog
Fang-tastic Books

Jan 31 Spotlight
The Simple Things in Life

Feb 3 Interview
Pembroke Sinclair

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Culloden Battlefield, Lest We Forget

Culloden Battlefield, Looking toward the English Camp
The Battle of Culloden was the final confrontation of the 1745 Jacobite Uprising. On 16 April 1746, Jacobite forces led by Charles Edward Stuart fought loyalist troops commanded by William Augustus, Duke of Cumberland near Inverness. The Hanoverian victory at Culloden halted the Jacobite intent to overthrow the House of Hanover and restore the House of Stuart to the British throne. After the tragic Jacobite loss, Charles Stuart fled Scotland, never to return again. The conflict at Culloden was the last battle fought on British soil, though the aftermath was devastating for the Scottish people and lead to the infamous clearances and banning of bagpipes and clan tartans.
The battle on Culloden Moor was both quick and bloody, taking place within an hour. Following an unsuccessful Highland charge against the government lines, the Jacobites were routed and driven from the field. Between 1,500 and 2,000 Jacobites were killed or wounded in the battle, while government losses were lighter with an estimated 50 dead and 259 wounded. 
Our Battlefield Guide
I visited the Culloden Battlefield site last May. The visitor's center has done a marvelous job of compiling relics from the period. It is a sacred and emotional experience to enter into the film room, to be surrounded by the Highlanders and Government troops of 1746. The reenactment puts visitors in the midst of battle. Tears stung my eyes as cannons blasted and men fell.
On the battlefield, the guide pointed out the Highland and English lines, and where the grave sites lay. I opened the manifest of soldiers who appeared that day, and found all my Scottish family names...Semphill, Wallace, and Trotter. 
I've recently learned that the Scottish government released plans to open up 16 home plots only 400 meters from the battle site. I truly hope this plan does not come to fruition. For this is not just Scotland's battle site. With so many Scottish descendants scattered throughout the world, whose ancestors were victims of the clearances or tied to the uprising in some way, this is a monument which belongs to the world and should be revered.

A Cottage on the site, much the same as it would have been in 1746

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Interview With Babette James and Summertime Dream

Today I'm welcoming Babette James, successful author of Summertime Dream. I met Babette at the Romance Novel Convention in Las Vegas, and am so excited about her new romance...

Hi Babette!

Would you tell us about your AMAZING road to publication?

My road was both long and short. I’ve always loved writing and making up stories and I always wanted to be an author, but unfortunately, I let anxiety and doubt divert me from seriously pursuing publication until recently. I realized I had a choice: I could just keep filing the story ideas away, never be published, and live with wishful thinking, or damn the doubts, start the scary process of submission and maybe still never succeed, but at least I wouldn’t have to live with the worse regret of never trying. I have received several rejection letters since that moment on different stories, and each one delivered a different level of pain and frustration, but I determined to use them to make me tell a better story and make me a better writer. My first rejection letter was the best one and I will always remember that kind editor who took the time to write a few encouraging and critical comments in her letter and spurred me on to keeping hope and continue my efforts. Those efforts brought success in 2011 when The Wild Rose Press made the offer for my first novel, Clear As Day.

What is your new book about?

Summertime Dream is my new spicy contemporary romance novel from The Wild Rose Press, about a workaholic consultant who simply wants to unload the dilapidated house he inherited, but a writer struggling with her overprotective family, his grandmother’s mysterious past, and unexpected love challenge him to reassess his lifestyle and he discovers the home he never knew he needed. It’s the second novel in my River series, which began with Clear As DaySummertime Dream is technically a prequel to Clear As Day, and occurs the summer before, but the stories can be read in either order.


The Fourth of July is over, but for these summer lovers the fireworks have just begun.

An unexpected inheritance brings business consultant Christopher Gordon from Los Angeles to quaint Falk’s Bend. He’s carved a week from his demanding schedule to list his great-grandparents’ house for sale and explore his roots. However, disturbing family secrets and the sweet temptation of writer Margie Olsson derail his plans, challenging him to seize the elusive dream missing from his hectic life— love.

A recent brush with death shook Margie’s life, but not her dreams and she’s ready to move forward. Only, standing up to her loving, over-protective family isn’t easy. Helping Christopher explore the derelict mansion and unravel his grandmother’s mysterious past should be a harmless fun taste of independence. But when her experimental summer fling ignites into unexpected love, how can her small town dreams work with his big city life?

Could you talk a little about your main characters and their conflicts?

Christopher arrives in Falk’s Bend, Missouri, to dispose of the house he inherited from the great-grandmother he never knew. It’s an interruption in his busy career, and he only has a week to deal with everything before heading back to Los Angeles, but he wants to learn why his grandmother hid her past. Then he meets Margie and all his neatly organized life plans are turned on end.

Margie loves her family and small town life, but after she nearly died the year before and a broken engagement, her loving, smothering family isn’t ready to let her spread her wings and find her independence. She wants to find love again, but her ex-fiancĂ©’s abandonment has also left her with some fears. Meeting Christopher offers the opportunity to try a little change.

The immediate attraction between them shocks and fascinates Margie and Christopher, and despite his impending departure, they can’t resist each other as they explore the mystery of his grandmother’s past. But Christopher can’t see Margie fitting happily into his on-the-run life in Los Angeles and Margie is afraid to trust Christopher completely and doesn’t want to leave Falk’s Bend. His grandmother made difficult decisions because of love, now they need to decide what they are willing to do for love.

How did you come up with the story?

I made the mistake of asking my characters how they met. I had enjoyed writing Christopher and Margie as friends of my hero and heroine in Clear As Day, but they were already married and happily in love and I was busy working on the sequel to Clear As Day, where again they were only minor characters. I never intended to give them their own story or write a prequel. Best laid plans… The initial inspiration for Summertime Dream came from writing the Fourth of July picnic scene, which was originally started as a mental diversion from working on Dave’s story, the intended sequel to Clear As Day. Then my characters got involved. The picnic scene, pondering their backstory as I was working on Dave’s story, and the idle spark of what if… all combined and exploded into a full-fledged novel. My sweet happy couple had shadows in their pasts and problems to resolve before they reached their happily ever after. I absolutely loved writing their novel and watching the two learn what they needed in their lives as they dealt with the house, Margie’s family, the mystery of Christopher’s grandmother, and fell headlong into love.

Where can we find your book?

Summertime Dream is available now in Kindle on Amazon and coming very soon to print.

Could you tell us something about your current projects? Will we see another book from you soon?
I’ve had so much fun writing stories for the circle of friends in my River series and I have more stories in the works for the series. First on deck is Dave’s story, Love Burns, which takes place in the series timeline immediately after the events in Clear As Day, so fingers crossed for that one to be submitted soon. I love this couple’s chemistry, and while it’s been a challenge to complete, I’ve enjoyed seeing their story come to life. Once I’m finished editing and submit Dave, I have the next novel to complete, tentatively titled Blame the Moonlight, which is about two-thirds into the draft. I’d like to finish and submit that one by the end of the year, then rough draft the fifth story. After that, I have two more begun. I’m also working on a four-book novella series.
We’d love to see an excerpt of Summertime Dream.

Margie touched his shoulder and had him turn away from the mess to focus on the view toward the river.
Here the picturesque natural beauty of the property began: the land sloped gently down past the ancient summer house and purple martin houses to the reedy pond where a duck flew in and landed with a quack, and stretched on through weedy tangles of wild blackberry and rogue saplings to the ancient apple and plum trees sagging with unripe fruit, and beyond to the river invisible in the distance, marking where the Engberg’s farm began on the far bank.

Appreciation softened his tense face.

“Beautiful, isn’t it? I fell so in love with this place when I was little and dreamed I’d live in a house like this someday.” Margie laughed. “Of course, in my dreams it was a bit less rundown.”

“I’d imagine so. Interested in buying?”

“Oh, if only I could, I would in an instant. I’m sure the property alone is worth far more than I can afford. It’s a huge piece of land. And the repairs and restoration...” Longing swelled. She sighed. Someone else would buy and live in her dream home.

Quiet fell between them for a while. Bees buzzed in the clover. Birds sang, chirped, and flitted. A hummingbird whizzed past. Two more ducks joined the first amid quiet bickering quacks. Dandelion fluff drifted by on an unfelt breeze.

A truck rattled down the lane, breaking the moment.

“Suppose we ought to head back...” Christopher turned, so close their arms brushed, but instead of retreating, he hesitated. Their eyes locked. Where dismay and frustration had filled his green eyes, want simmered. The heavy air electrified.

You need a change.

On a surge of bewildering crazy courage, she stretched up and kissed him. The brief brush of lips to lips left her shaken and her heart pounding, like she had just come up for air.

His eyes widened in his serious, craggy face.

No, oh, no. Blowing out a unsteady breath, she pressed a hand to her stomach. She’d carried her day’s adventure one impetuous step too far. Her heroines were the daring part of her. She’d never even kissed on a first date before, and this wasn’t even a date.

Before the apology fluttering in her mind could break free, he cupped her cheek and touched his mouth down on hers.

Thinking faded as feeling soared. His gentle touch sweet and fascinating, his lips warm and firm played over hers, unhurried in his caresses and enticing brushes. He laced his fingers into her hair, cradling her head in his hand. He tenderly nipped her lip and licked at her mouth, inviting her rather than taking.

She sighed, delighting in this lovely, reckless rush. Yes. Yes. Yes. Forget that they had just met. 

She could want again.

Gripping his shoulder, she accepted the heady invitation, and the kiss deepened into perfect.

Have you got any advice for aspiring authors?

My favorite tip is "Just write." Pour that story out and let your characters talk. Also, most importantly, never give up on your dreams.

Now for the fun stuff…

What do you like to do when you’re not writing?

I like to experiment with bread recipes for my bread machine, and once the weather warms up, I’ll be out in the yard trying to stay ahead of the weeds. I also enjoy sightseeing when I traveI. I don’t watch much television, but I do enjoy Once Upon a Time, Bones, and Castle.

Favorite food?

Favorite pet?
I love dogs and cats. I currently am owned by two cats.

Favorite cruise destination?
I’ve never been on a cruise, but I think I’d like to take one of the cruises to Alaska or one of those European river cruises.

Tea or coffee?
Coffee, most definitely coffee. Can’t happily start my day without it.

Come fall in love at the river:
Summertime Dream is available on Amazon:

“Summertime Dream is a perfect glass of Lemonade on a hot day. Simple, elegant and beautifully written. I enjoyed each scene. Loved the chemistry between the characters and the house. Great story!” ~ Deborah Diez

Clear As Day, (★★★★½ RT Book Reviews, ★★★★★ Top Pick The Romance Reviews) is available at:

And at all other eBook retailers

About the Author:
Babette James writes sweetly scorching contemporary romance and loves reading nail-biting tales with a satisfying happily ever after. When not dreaming up stories, she enjoys playing with new bread recipes and dabbling with paints. As a teacher, she loves encouraging new readers and writers as they discover their growing abilities. Her class cheers when it’s time for their spelling test! Born in New Jersey and raised in Southern California, she’s had a life-long love of the desert and going down the shore. Babette now lives in New Jersey with her wonderfully patient husband and extremely spoiled cats.

How to find Babbette:

Amazon Author Page:

Monday, January 13, 2014

I'm Joining A NetGalley Co-op. There Are Still Spaces Open. Interested?

There are new opportunities on NetGalley for self-published authors! And I'm so excited about what this means -the doors it opens- for Indie authors. There are basically three options but I've found OPTION THREE to be the most affordable and beneficial for Indie authors.
What Does NetGalley Do?
NetGalley provides a place where authors/publishers can upload their ebooks (ARCs or older titles) and reviewers can request a copy for review. If approved, NetGalley readers will read and review the titles.
NetGalley gives you fast and easy access to the 120,000 bloggers, journalists, librarians, booksellers, and media people who use NetGalley. And these reviewers are some high profile groups - movers and shakers in the book review realm.
Three ways for Indie Authors to join NetGalley:
OPTION ONE Indie authors can upload their ebooks to NetGalley manually. For $400, you can post one title for six months.
OPTION TWO Indie authors can upload their ebooks to NetGalley through the IBPA program. For $350, they will help you in posting one title for six months.
OPTION THREE 20 indie authors can form a co-op that will have access to 20 title slots for one year. Each individual author can swap out as many titles as they need during that year. The cost is $300 per author for the full year of access, unlimited number of titles.

GOOD NEWS! There's a NEW CoOp forming NOW! Indie authors interested in being a part of the ROMANCE BECKONS INDIE CoOp, contact Paloma Beck. Be sure "NetGalley CoOp" is in the subject header.

LOOK AT THESE STATS FROM THE All Night Reads CoOp (found on Susan Kaye's blog)
"Within a day of getting All Night Reads started, we had 11 titles live in the catalog, with 446 approved requests, of which 286 downloaded right away and 1 person had read and reviewed. ALL IN ONE DAY.
After a week, 19 titles with 2,216 approved review requests (2,185 actually downloaded) and 36 reviews."

So, $300 feels like an awful lot of money. BUT... here's why it's worth it...
  1. It includes a year's worth of NetGalley access for as many books as you want! NetGalley allows you to switch them out which means you could have a new book live each month.
  2. It saves you the time of querying reviewers/ bloggers directly. No more cold call emails!
  3. It exposes your book to the right reviewers. NetGalley allows the reviewer to request the books they believe matches their reading interest so your book lands in the right hands.
  4. It puts your book in front of a diverse audience. NetGalley reviewers include librarians and other media people, as well as book bloggers, general Goodreads reviewers and booksellers.
Indie CoOps are popping up on NetGalley. For information on another Indie CoOp, follow this link to Patchwork Press where my idea to form my own originated from. Here's another author speaking about her experience in forming the All Night Reads CoOp.

It's a new opportunity for Indie Authors! I'm part of the ROMANCE BECKONS INDIE CoOp. CHECK IT ALL OUT. Then you'll want to be part of it too. There are still spots available but HURRY!

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Jen Greyson Does It Again With Shadow Boxer: Book 2 in the Lightning Rider Series

Shadow Boxer (Alterations #2)Shadow Boxer by Jen Greyson
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Evy Rivera is back with her badass lightning wielding skills and her matching feisty Latino personality. She reunites with the hot alpha-male, Constantine, but her actions have changed the past. He can't remember her...desperately she tries to get through to him before she's catapulted on another mission...One critical to her future world...

This book is rife with conflict and edge-of-your-seat action. Evy is faced with decisions between good and evil...yet it's not clear who's good and who's evil...perhaps they are all bad...Whom can she trust? No one?

View all my reviews

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Brochel Castle Ruins on the Isle of Raasay

Brochel's stone walls were not made of stone from Raasay...Approaching view.
On my trip to Scotland, I traveled off the beaten trail to the Isle of Raasay, nestled in the Sound of Raasay between the mainland and the Isle of Skye. I took a small ferry to the island, which is 14 miles long. Without any signage, I followed my gut (asked someone) and managed to find the lonely single-track road to Brochel.

Arriving, I almost missed it. At the back of a sheep paddock, on the edge of a cliff overlooking the sound, the ruins loomed from a deserted and forgotten era. Poorer than dirt, the crofters on the island used the stones from the ruins to build their own cottages (now also in ruins), thus not much remains of the once great castle.

Brochel was acquired by Malcolm (Calum) Garbh MacLeod, 1st of Raasay (b1532/d BEF 1567--Also know as MacGillechalum). The lands were a gift from his father, the 9th Chief of Lewis. Malcolm and his clan were notorious pirates, making a tidy profit from their sea-robbing adventures.

Brochel's hollow and lonely passageway.

This is the view from the shore (East) side. On the left would have been the stairwell.

Brochel from the car park, looking toward the mainland...not much remains

I was surprised that the beach was rocky...But wouldn't the castle have been a sight in its day, presiding over the shore?

The sheep were as curious as I 

In my upcoming novel, CAPTURED BY THE PIRATE LAIRD (Feb. 17), Calum MacLeod is a pirate, dubbed "Robinhood of Raasay". He plunders an English ship only to find a stunning English noblewoman hidden in a stateroom. He has no choice but to take Lady Anne to his keep on the Isle of Raasay and send a letter of ransom to a husband whom she's never met...

Thursday, January 2, 2014

New Year Brings New Horizons

Some of you may remember my excitement last April when I signed with New York literary agency, Trident Media for the representation of my three-book Scottish Historical Romance series, HIGHLAND FORCE. Well, it's been nine months...and after a long conversation with my agent, I've decided to self-publish the series.

This decision has been both disappointing and exciting for me. But I'm opting to focus on the EXCITING part. I contacted the Killion Group for my cover art. Kim Killion is extremely professional and fast (I contacted another cover artist who couldn't get to my work until June). Anyway, in less than two weeks, Kim had all three covers designed. I couldn't be happier. They are extremely professional and reasonably priced.

Presently, the books are with the copy editor. My roll out plan:
These dates may move up, but CAPTURED BY THE PIRATE LAIRD is locked in for February 17th. Wish me luck...below are my AMAZING covers...

What's new on your horizon in 2014?