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Halloween used to be...

a big deal in my family. I have memories of my father dressed up as Frankenstein and my mother as Morticia. One Halloween, he was a big spider made from garbage bags and a fur rug. He was so scary, quite a few kids would drop their bags of candy and run away. He would chase after them to give it back. He didn't always catch them, because he was a very big spider:D

When I started writing, I actually began with a holiday-themed romance. Naturally, it was Christmas and centered on the ceramic villages I collected from Department 56. But then my editor at Zumaya said that there are more holidays and was I writing about them, too?

In the space of a heartbeat, I told her I'd write about Halloween. I tied it into the first book by using the ceramic villages and then my mind flooded with possibilities. And I included them all. The mayor of Pumpkin is a vampire. My heroine is a witch. The hero is is the town boogeyman (and not just because he's from the neighboring Christmas village). The gravediggers are zombies. And there's an ambulatory skeleton that creates mischief. And there's a feud between the towns devoted to each holiday.

As you can see, this Halloween story is all about the imagination.

To win a pdf copy of The Christmas Village, leave a comment telling me your favorite all-time costume and I'll select one person who leaves a comment.

Happy Halloween!

For today and tomorrow, Some Enchanted Autumn will be on sale for $2.99 so pick up a copy before the price goes up to $6.99.

Some Enchanted Autumn book blurb:

Autumn leaves aren't the only things stirring in Pumpkin this Halloween.

Avalon Lynch worked hard to escape the tarnish of her witching heritage. Everything she's ever wanted is within her grasp until a visit home and a mishap with a skeleton binds her to an offspring of the Dugan, Pumpkin's equivalent of the Bogeyman.

Nicholas Dugan loves autumn--the changing leaves, the ripening harvest and the tricks played on their neighboring town. He's content to watch the Halloween fun until a sinister prank reveals his family's dark past and their cursed future.

Bound by their devotion to their family, Lonnie and Nick search for a mysterious prankster before his malicious tricks destroy both their futures.



She stepped into her boots. Their buckles slapped worn leather as she circled the trunk.

"I hope you got ID, buddy."

The throaty growl stirred the hair on her arms. What was so appealing about a deep baritone? Sure, that velvet rasp was a real asset for phone sex operators and jazz singers but put it on a priest, a teacher or a doctor...

Lonnie stopped as her heart picked up tempo. Orren Prior was a doctor. A doctor with a normal male voice. A doctor with good looks, old money and an older family name. With those assets, he didn't need a voice like liquid chocolate. And he certainly didn't need her.

So why had he asked her to marry him?

"And wipe that grin off your face." The sinful voice truncated her speculation. Bones rattled like chips in a soothsayer's cup as he shook his attacker. "Assaulting a peace officer is a serious offense."

Lonnie palmed her giggle. Not many men would have a sense of humor after being knocked unconscious by a skeleton. Unconscious? Brain trauma. Concussion. What other horrible repercussions could result from the skeletal walloping?

"Are you all right?"

Startled, the man bounced on the ground. After stuffing the skeleton behind his back, he turned to face her. Cobalt blue eyes flicked over her with the precision of a laser.

"I just had the wind knocked out of me. Have you been standing there long?"

"Don't worry." Lonnie resisted the urge to squirm. She hadn't done anything wrong, precisely. Old Reidon plunging on top the man's curly brown head was an accident. "I won't tell anyone you were consorting with a skeleton."

White teeth flashed in his tanned face. He settled the skeleton next to him and wrapped his arm around the bony shoulders. "Alas, she's not my type. I prefer someone with a little more meat on her bones."

Interest flared in the blue depths.

Lonnie clasped her hands together. She was practically an engaged woman, would be engaged if she had answered Orren. And she wasn't flirting. She was simply sharing a laugh over the absurd situation.

"I believe weight to be the least of your problems." She squatted before him. Evenly dilated pupils focused clearly on her lips. She could probably rule out a concussion. A wisp of

Old Spice aftershave teased her. Her nose twitched. The clean scent hinted at subtle layers waiting to be discovered. She should keep him under observation, maybe even overnight observation. Just in case.

"You willing to share my problems with me, honey?" The right corner of his mouth lifted, propping up the dimple in his cheek.

Honey. Chocolate. Rich, decadent and forbidden to anyone on a diet or almost engaged. Regret swung across her shoulders as she pulled back. If only she'd given Orren an answer before she left. A no would have allowed her to flirt with Mr. Sinful and a yes...

She stuffed away the useless thoughts. "Old Reidon is definitely a man, not a woman."

"How can you tell?" Brown eyebrows met over his aquiline nose. "I mean without the obvious, er..." Embarrassment darkened his cheeks.

"The obvious?" Amusement trickled through her. Such chagrin over the simple mention of body parts. Her gaze flicked over him. Not that his weren't a fine example of his gender. Broad-shouldered and narrow-hipped. Waves of muscle played over bones. A fine example of manhood, indeed.

He cleared his throat and stared over her shoulder. "The obvious plumbing facilities still intact."

"His pelvis." Her gaze dropped. Gurgling goo, his zipper was going to pop. She forced her attention back to his face. "A man's and a woman's pelvis are different."

His gaze slid down her shoulder to linger over the area in question. Desire cast heat across her flesh. This was no clinical observation; this was her treacherous body layering innuendo onto a scientific explanation.

"A woman's hips are wider, flared to cradle a baby and ... and a man."

Be sure to leave a comment for the drawing...
Happy Halloween!


While they await the launch of WILD FIRE on Nov 7, the gang from Olde Town is...

Good Morning! Are you ready for another book chat?

My guest is M.S. Kaye, a writer who mixes woo-woo with mystery and romance in her Born from Death series.
Welcome, Melissa. What can I fix you to drink?

MSK:  I don't drink coffee, but I like hot chocolate with marshmallows!

Ally: I can do that. In the meantime, please tell readers a little about yourself.

M.S. Kaye bio:

M.S. Kaye has several published books under her black belt. A transplant from Ohio, she resides with her husband Corey in Jacksonville, Florida, where she tries not to melt in the sun. Find suspense and the unusual at
And you asked for something not in my bio:
  Uh…I’m a Gemini.

Contact M. S. Kaye at:

Ally: Before we get to your books, let's talk a little about you. Tell us when and where you write. Do you have a writer's cave?

MSK:  Anytime, all the time. No cave. I write wherever.

Ally:  How many books or stories do you write in a year?

MSK:  Three or four on average.

Ally:  What book is at the top of your TBR pile? What made you want to read it?

MSK:  Rock Crazy by Rochelle Weber. My editor wrote it—she’s awesome.

Ally:  What three writers would you like to take to lunch?

MSK:  Charlotte Bronte, JK Rowling, John Steinbeck

Ally: Let's try a few auick answer questions:
•    favorite color: cobalt blue
•    last website you visited: Google
•    number of books you read last month: not enough, been working overtime
•    an item on your bucket list: visit Cologne
•    favorite TV show: Leverage

Ally:  Thanks for being my guest, Melissa. I know readers are eager to know about your books, so let's take a look before you rush back to your other life...

Strong as Death
Book one of the Born from Death series

by M.S. Kaye

Ilona runs from her sheltering mother in order to find the truth, why she’s seeing people who are invisible to everyone else. A mysterious boy named Archer guides her through Brooklyn and introduces her to Hendrick, the man who claims to be her father—though he died in 1890. Ilona must discover not only what she must do to rid the city of Soll, a sadistic and powerful spirit, but also what it means to be half ghost. She proves what her mother told her—love is stronger than death.

Buy Links:

Publisher (all formats):
Barnes and Noble:


Another twenty yards and she’d be out of the darkness of the trees and almost to the sidewalk, within reach of the light from the streetlamps.

A figure stepped out from behind a large oak, directly into Ilona’s path.

Ilona stopped and searched for a way around.

“What are you doing?” a rough voice growled.

Ilona recognized it immediately, even before she registered Archer’s face.

“It’s none of your business what I’m doing,” she said.

He moved closer. “You’re making it goddamned impossible to protect you.”

“You can’t protect me.”

His jaw tightened, and he glared. “What in the hell do you think I’ve been doing?”

“I’m honestly not sure.”

His voice rose. “You’d be lying frozen dead in a gutter right now if it wasn’t for me. You saw what happened in the shelter—you’d have been attacked by now if I hadn’t been around.”

Her tone was quiet, calm. “I know how you scared them away.”

“I told you I have a talent for creating fear. It comes in useful.”

“But you don’t like it.”

He said nothing.

“And I know you’ve been around,” she said.

He raised his eyebrows as if she was being slow.

“Before you asked me if I was lost,” she said. “You were there—when the car hit me.”

His expression sobered.

She waited for a response.

Finally, he said, “I’ve been around.”

“Will you answer one question? And be honest?”

“I give as much honesty as I can.”

Her lips curved a little. That was perhaps the most honest response he had yet given.

She moved closer, and he backed away.

“No,” she said.

He stopped.

“When you turned the corner and asked if I was lost,” she said, “you leaned your shoulder on the wall. How did you do that?”

His eyebrows pulled together.

“You’re really good at it,” she said. “It took me awhile to realize you never actually touch anything, that you stay out of the light, that you don’t get cold, your breath doesn’t come out in puffs in the cold like everyone else’s, you never let anyone close, near enough to realize you have no scent, to feel the static when you get too close.”

He took a step back, as if in self-defense.

“Don’t try to lie anymore,” she said. “I know what you are.”

Book two, Born from Death, to be released in the coming months.

Archer must discover who--what—he really is, but will Ilona discover Archer is still on Earth? Lettie will have to remember long-forgotten, long-buried, memories, the truth of Archer and Ilona’s past.

Thanks for joining our coffee chat today. Come back soon.

Angela Myers doesn’t believe in sticking to one genre, one length, or even one name. That wouldn’t be any fun. As Angela Parson Myers, she’s written an urban fantasy novel and a romance novelette. As AH Myers, she’s published a pair of suspense and a pair of dark humor short stories and a small collection of short works with a Halloween theme.  

“Night Speaks” isn’t your typical Halloween collection. It isn’t all scary, and it’s suitable for anyone from 14 to 94. In The Quarter Test, a middle-aged man helps his mentor’s widow lay her husband to rest; Halloween Story chronicles the misadventures of a wayward elf on a night when the boundaries between worlds wear thin; Birth of a Vampire and The Wolfing Moon are poems that might send a shiver down your spine; Night Speaks is a story-poem about a young minister in a mountain town who tries to reassure his flock when half-eaten animals start showing up the morning after every full moon. 

Angela Parson Myers grew up being called Angel by family and friends, which might explain an early fascination with things somewhat dark and scary.  

She read everything she could get her hands on from the age of six or seven, but  didn’t realize she wanted to be a writer until she was a junior in high school. By then, math classes convinced her maybe she wasn’t cut out to be a physicist. Her first paid job as a writer was a high school news column for the local newspaper. Later she became a staff writer for a regional newspaper, then a writer/editor for a Fortune 500 corporation.

She and her high school sweetheart live in Central Illinois, where they fairly successfully masquerade as normal grandparents.

Book Links:

Find the Author: 

Have a spooky Halloween!

Don't miss this sweet Regency, its excerpt, and a character interview!  Ally


Lady Elinor's Escape

by Linda McLaughlin
Sweet Regency Romance 

Lady Elinor Ashworth always longed for adventure, but when she runs away from her abusive aunt, she finds more than she bargained for. Elinor fears her aunt who is irrational and dangerous, threatening Elinor and anyone she associates with. When she encounters an inquisitive gentleman, she accepts his help, but fearing for his safety, hides her identity by pretending to be a seamstress. She resists his every attempt to draw her out, all the while fighting her attraction to him

There are too many women in barrister Stephen Chaplin's life, but he has never been able to turn his back on a damsel in distress. The younger son of a baronet is a rescuer of troubled females, an unusual vocation fueled guilt over his failure to save the woman he loved from her brutal husband. He cannot help falling in love with his secretive seamstress, but to his dismay, the truth of her background reveals Stephen as the ineligible party.

Buy links:


                                         Character Interview with Stephen Chaplin of Lady Elinor’s Escape
                                                                          by Linda McLaughlin:

I recently visited barrister Stephen Chaplin, Esquire at his offices in London’s Lincoln’s Inn to interview him.

LM: Mr. Chaplin, thank you so much for agreeing to meet with me. Can you tell me a bit about yourself? For instance, are you originally from the London area?

SC: No, my family is from Lincolnshire. I grew up on a small estate with my elder brother and my younger sister, Olivia.

LM: Where did you attend university?

SC: Cambridge, of course. The men of my family have done so for several generations. Then I came to Lincoln’s Inn to read for the law.

LM: Did you always want to be a barrister?

SC: Not as a child, of course. Boys always have dreams of being brave warriors or finding one’s fortune at sea. But Father said I wasn’t cut out for the military--not obedient enough--though he thought I would do well in Parliament, since I seemed to enjoy arguing.

LM: You do think for yourself. What do you like most about the legal profession?

SC: I find it most gratifying when the law and justice align, which doesn’t always occur. Many of our laws are unnecessarily harsh, and I’d like to do something about that one day. In the meantime, I do what I can to help those in need of protection.

LM: What are your reading tastes?

SC: The Times, of course; all the London newspapers, for that matter. I rarely have time to read for pleasure, unlike my sister, Olivia, who devours every Gothic novel she can get her hands on, no matter how ridiculous. She even has hopes of publishing her own romantic scribblings one day. I’ve told her in no uncertain terms that she may not use my life experiences as fodder for her novel, or she will be very sorry!

LM: Hmm. What is the oddest thing that’s ever happened to you?

SC, with a smile: That would have to be the day I met the mysterious Mrs. Brown, a.k.a. Lady Elinor Ashworth, now Mrs. Chaplin. I was in the West Country, having a peaceful breakfast when a madwoman in widow’s weeks came bursting through the door, demanding immediate passage to London. She appeared to be in need, so naturally I volunteered to assist, not knowing she would disrupt my life, destroy my peace of mind and make me fall madly in love with her.

If you want to know exactly how Lady Elinor turned Mr. Chaplin’s life upside down, the answers are in Lady Elinor’s Escape.


The Horse and Cart Inn bustled with business when Stephen Chaplin entered the common room. The scent of frying bacon soon had his stomach growling. A fire burned brightly in the smoke-blackened fireplace, dispelling the morning chill.

He had no sooner taken a seat at a small table than a young blonde woman with a rounded belly and a beaming smile on her freckled face approached him. “Good morning, sir, did ye sleep well?”

“That I did, Nancy. Are you glad to be home?”

“Yes, sir.” Her pale blue eyes stared at him earnestly. “I can’t be thanking ye enough fer what ye done for me. I don’t know how I’d have managed, with a babe on the way and all.”

“Yes, well, the next time a charming rogue comes along, perhaps you’ll think twice before going off with him.”

“Oh, I’ve learned me lesson.” A blush suffused her face. “Now, will ye be havin’ tea or coffee with yer breakfast?”

“Coffee, please, and toast.”

Nancy fisted her hands on her hips. “Now that isn’t enough breakfast for the long trip to London. I’ll bring ye some of our fine Wiltshire bacon, too.”

Stephen laughed. Ever since he’d arrived, one Wainwright or another had been pressing food and drink on him. “Very well, Nancy. Toast and bacon.”

She turned and walked away, weaving between the crowded tables. She seemed like a different girl than the half-starved waif his housekeeper had taken in two months ago. He frowned, remembering her tale of being lured to London by a smooth-talking stranger only to be abandoned as soon as she had conceived. What kind of cad deserted a woman in a delicate condition? The only thing worse was a man who used his fists on a female, like that blackguard Northam.

Stephen closed his mind to that line of thought. Deborah had been gone for six years now, and if not forgotten, at least the pain of her death had faded. At her funeral Stephen had vowed never again to walk away from a woman in need, which was how he found himself at an inn in Wiltshire during the Season.

When Nancy returned with his breakfast, he applied himself to the large slab of bacon and toast dripping with butter, and then washed it all down with strong black coffee.

Rescuing damsels in distress was hungry work.

Author bio:

Linda McLaughlin grew up with a love of books and history, so it's only natural she prefers writing historical romance. She loves transporting her readers into the past where her characters learn that, in the journey of life, love is the sweetest reward. Linda also writes steamy to erotic romance under the name Lyndi Lamont, and is one half of the writing team of Lyn O'Farrell.

You can find her online at
Twitter: @Lyndi Lamont


Romancing Christmas: 10 Love Stories to Spice up the Holidays

Multi-author boxed set
Release Date: November 3, 2014
Genre: Holiday Romance

Cover Artist:

Do you like your Christmas nice...or a little naughty? Bring the season into your heart with love stories to match your mood. This boxed set from 10 of today’s hottest romance authors will warm your heart even on the coldest night.

Just 99 Cents for a limited time!


Join the ROMANCING CHRISTMAS authors for their LAUNCH DAY PARTY! The authors and a slew of their sassy friends will be celebrating the release, November 3rd, 4th, and 5th, 10:30 AM to 10:30 PM (EASTERN TIME).

Prizes Galore, Q&A, Authors, Readers, Books, and FUN! So what are you waiting for? Come join us and have a blast!

~~Novellas included in set~~
USA Today Bestselling Author Dale Mayer ~ Broken Protocols 3.5 

Award-winning author H.D. Thomson ~ Shades of Holly

Chantel Rhondeau ~ Season For Love

Award-winning author Leslie Lynch ~ Christmas Hope

Award-winning author Sandy LoydA Christmas Miracle

Barbara Lohr ~ The Salty Carmel Christmas 

Marcia JamesHeating Up the Holidays

Carolyn Hughey ~ Insanity Claus  

Tallulah Grace ~ A Family for Christmas 

Rachelle Ayala A Father for Christmas

Welcome to the Wednesday Coffee Chat!

My guest today is Voss Foster, who is answering questions about his multi-genre writing.

How do you take your coffee, Voss?

2 sugars, 5 creams.

Ally:  Hmm. Maybe a little coffee with that? Okay, sorry, probably not funny except to us coffee hardcores who drink it black. :) I'll pour, while you show readers your bio.


Voss Foster lives in the middle of the Eastern Washington desert, where he writes speculative fiction from inside a single-wide. When he can be pried away from his keyboard, he can be found cooking, singing, playing trombone, and belly dancing, though rarely all at the same time.

Something Unique: I was ranked as one of the top youth trombonists in Washington State in my sophomore year of high school.

Author Contact Links:


Ally: Shall we begin by talking about genres?  What do you write and how did you make those choices?

VOSS:  I write speculative fiction, and I'm not narrowing it down more than that, no matter how may times I get told I should. I write horror, sci-fi, fantasy, paranormal, magic realism. I can't force myself into a tiny box. It's true that most of my work is fantasy, but some of my favorites among my own pieces have been sci-fi, so it's all a big jumble.
As for choosing them, I don't know for certain that I ever had a choice. Even back in elementary school, I was writing about interdimensional portals and superheroes and cursed roller coasters. I even remember getting a bad mark on a short story in fifth grade because it wasn't something that would really happen.

Ally: Writing in such an unusual spectrum of fiction, what was your route to publication?

VOSS:  Currently, most of my available work is through a small press (Torquere/Prizm), with a small amount of it self-published. For Prizm, from submission to publication was about half a year. But before, that, I edited that book for about three years. It was really, really rough. I wrote it fresh out of high school, the month after I graduated, so it needed some tender care. With a big stick.

Ally:  If you could go on a writing retreat with two other authors (living or dead), who would they be? And why?

VOSS:  Questions like these are always hard for me to answer, but here we go. Assuming that there's no language barrier to contend with, I would definitely put Stanislaw Lem on the list. He's a personal addition. One of my all time favorite books is The Cyberiad, so I'd hop on just about any chance to meet him. And for the other, I'd probably pick Christopher Moore. His writing, whether it's bawdy and irreverent or serious and artistic, is brilliance.

Ally:  What writing projects are in your future?

VOSS:  Well, I'm currently working on a top secret fantasy-romance... with unicorns. So that might be fun, I suppose. After that, I'll be working on book two of my Rings of Vivak books, which I'm hoping will be a fun change from all the gobs of fantasy I've been working on lately. Vivak is a world I love to play with, so I'm really looking forward to going back into it.

Ally: Try these quick answer questions:    
  • a. favorite music while you're writing: SJ Tucker    
  • b. favorite holiday movie: Hocus Pocus    
  • c. what kind of car do you drive, and what would you like to drive?: I drive an '88 Caprice. Given preference, I'd love a Chevy Volt.   
  • d. an item on your bucket list: Meet JK Rowling    
  • e. favorite after hours drink: Brandy, neat

Ally: Thanks so much for visiting today! Best of luck in your career. Let's take a look at your book before you go...
Book Blurb:

Zirkua Fantastic has been running steadily since 1753, amazing its patrons with acts of otherworldly skill and prowess. But that talent comes at a steep price: each artist must give a year of his or her life to the circus. None of them know why, only that the circus' owners will go to whatever lengths are necessary to ensure it. Toby, the hoop dancer at Zirkua Fantastic
and son of one of the owners, is content with his life: he enjoys performing and Zirkua's wandering life, and even has a boyfriend among the circus' hawkers. But when a new artist arrives, bringing with him a strange flask and a number of odd occurrences, Toby falls face-first into the truth behind the circus: Its contracts bind King Jester, the immortal embodiment of chaos.

Zirkua's performances and contracts have held King Jester prisoner for centuries, but now something's amiss. King Jester's sister, Dragon, has escaped her own bonds and is working to free her brother, and his power is growing. If he is loosed on the world, it will mean the worst war in human history and the end of civilization... unless Zirkua Fantastic can find a way to stop him.

Buy Links:

Prizm Books:

Thanks for spending time with us!


Autumn is settling around those of us in the north. Why not curl up with a comic mystery?


Book Blurb:

Baby Boomer Carol Andrews is shocked to hear that her hunky landscaper, Will Finnegan, has died, and feels obligated to pay her respects to his family. But this Finnegan’s wake is shut down before it even starts, when Carol discovers someone has added a pair of scissors to the guest of honor’s chest. Once again, her husband Jim and the Fairport police forbid Carol to get involved. But the always curious Carol can’t help herself when one of the most important people in her life jumps to the top of the suspect list.      


Mallory and Mallory Funeral Home, Fairport, Connecticut
Another Finnegan’s Wake

“I hate wakes,” I said, turning my car into the parking lot of Mallory and Mallory Funeral Home on Fairport Turnpike and cruising for an empty spot.

This pronouncement was greeted by a heavy sigh from my passenger. “Mom,” said my usually patient daughter, Jenny, “first of all, nobody likes wakes. Or funerals. Especially the guest of honor. And Dad was right. We didn’t have to come at all. You weren’t that close to the deceased.”   

I matched Jenny’s sigh with one of my own. “I know,” I said. “But when I saw the obituary in yesterday’s paper, I was so shocked. It was only last week that Will Finnegan was raking our leaves and getting our yard in shape. He seemed fine. And now, he’s gone. Just like that.”

I sighed again.

“Life is too short for so many people we know,” I continued, easing the car into the perfect parking spot for someone my age – the kind I can drive straight out of without having to back up. My neck isn’t as flexible as it was when I was younger. Nor are several other body parts, to tell the truth.

“It just seemed appropriate that I come to pay my respects to his family.” I reached over and squeezed Jenny’s hand. “I appreciate your coming with me, sweetie.”

“I didn’t want you to go alone,” Jenny said. “And Mark’s working. I hate it when he works nights. I always worry more about him than I do when he’s on the day shift. I guess I should be used to being married to a police detective by now, but I’m not. Maybe, after we pay a quick visit to the funeral parlor, we can go out and grab a quick dinner at Maria’s Trattoria. My treat.”

“I’m never one to turn down the chance of a dinner I didn’t have to cook myself,” I said. “And your father has plenty of leftovers to graze on, plus there’s a UConn game on television tonight. I bet he won’t even notice how long I’ve been gone.”

I frowned. “Maybe I should get a pair of pom poms and pretend to be a college cheerleader. What do you think?”

“Please, tell me you’re kidding, Mom,” Jenny said as we arrived at the front door of what some locals have dubbed M & M,  the funeral parlor of choice for many Fairport, Connecticut residents.

I smoothed my hair down and tried to make myself look presentable. The late fall winds had been especially punishing on our brisk walk from the parking lot. I could hear organ music – probably pre-recorded – coming from Slumber Room A. There was a sign near the door marking it as the parlor for the William Finnegan wake, as well as a guest book for mourners to sign.

I couldn’t help but notice, as I wrote “Mrs. James Andrews,” that I was the first person on the page. I handed the pen to Jenny.

“I didn’t think we’d be the first ones here, Mom,” she whispered, adding her signature below mine. “Where’s the family? Didn’t he have one?”

“According to the obituary, he did,” I whispered back. “Maybe they didn’t feel they needed to sign the guest book.”

Jenny nodded and pushed me in front of her toward the sound of the organ music. “You first, Mom. At least you have a tenuous relationship to the deceased. I never even laid eyes on the man.”

Slumber Room A was dimly lit, but it took me only half a second to realize that Jenny and I were the only people here. Except for the recently deceased William Finnegan, whom I presumed was residing in the open casket at the other end of the room.

The organ music reached a crescendo, then the room became eerily silent.

“What’ll we do, Mom?” Jenny asked. “There’s no one to pay our respects to.”

“We sit down and wait a few minutes,” I whispered back. “The family is probably in another room, composing themselves for a long and emotional night.” I looked at my watch. “I don’t think I got the time wrong. I’m sure the obituary said the viewing started at seven o’clock. It’s ten past seven now.”

The organ music started up again. Not exactly a toe-tapper, but at least it made me feel like we were in the right place.

Or were we?

“Jenny,” I whispered, “I think I’ll just go up and say a prayer at the casket. And be sure I haven’t made a mistake.” I smiled weakly. “If I have, dinner’s on me.”

I threaded my way through the rows of empty chairs and found myself gazing at the waxen face of our late landscaper, sleeping in his casket.

Yup, Will was dead all right.

But just to be extra sure, one mourner, who’d gotten to the casket ahead of me, had plunged a scissors into Will’s chest.  


An early member of the Baby Boomer generation, Susan Santangelo has been a feature writer, drama critic and editor for daily and weekly newspapers in the New York metropolitan area, including a stint at Cosmopolitan magazine. A seasoned public relations and marketing professional, she has designed and managed not-for-profit events and programs for over 25 years, and was principal of her own public relations firm, Events Unlimited, in Princeton NJ for ten years. She also served as Director of Special Events and Volunteers for Carnegie Hall during the Hall's 1990-1991 Centennial season.  

Susan divides her time between Cape Cod MA and the Connecticut shoreline. She is a member of Sisters in Crime and the Cape Cod Writers Center, and shares her life with her husband Joe and one very spoiled English cocker spaniel, Boomer, who also serves as the model for the books’ covers.

A portion of the sales from the Baby Boomer Mysteries is donated to the Breast Cancer Survival Center, a non-profit organization based in Connecticut which Susan founded in 1999 after being diagnosed with cancer herself. 

Amazon Author page:
Twitter:  Grammasuze


Thanks for visiting the blog today. Come back soon!

I hope you enjoy today's spotlight on Melanie Robertson-King's novel of young love and time travel!

A Shadow in the Past Blurb:

When nineteen year old Sarah Shand finds herself in Victorian Era Aberdeenshire, Scotland, she has no idea how she got there. Her last memory is of being at the stone circle on the family farm in the year 2010.

Despite having difficulty coming to terms with her situation, Sarah quickly learns she must keep her true identity a secret.

Still, she feels stifled by the Victorians’ confining social practices, including arranged marriages between wealthy and influential families, confronts them head on and suffers the consequences.

When Sarah realizes she has fallen in love with the handsome Laird of Weetshill, she faces an agonizing decision. Does she try to find her way back to 2010 or remain in the past with the man she loves?

Excerpt (from Chapter 3):

When Sarah’s eyes flickered open, the young girl and her wrecked car were nowhere to be seen. Instead of the asphalt surface of Kendonald Road, Sarah lay sprawled out on a narrow gravel lane.
Sarah’s chest felt like the family’s herd of cows sat on it and she gasped for air. Stones gouged her elbows as she tried to prop herself up.

Using her last ounce of strength, Sarah hauled herself to her feet. Her head throbbed as if it were about to explode, and something wet and sticky ran down the back of her neck. Dirt and blood covered her rugby shirt and jeans, and her trainers were gone. Sharp gravel bit into her stocking feet as she staggered, trying not to fall. Sarah was surprised she was able to stand. She was certain the impact with the car had broken her legs and maybe even her back.

She wiped her hands on her shirt and cried out in pain. Dirt and blood covered her palms, and her knees felt like they’d been scraped with sandpaper. Her chest hurt with every breath, and she wondered if her ribs were broken. Where were the terrified driver and her wrecked car? They seemed to have vanished into the mist.

Sarah barely made out a faint light shining in the distance, and she stumbled toward it, thinking it was the yard light near her father’s barn. She clapped her hands over her ears in an attempt to block out the incessant ringing, but it didn’t work. Taking those pills had been a huge mistake. No matter how badly she wanted to hurt Blair and Niamh, she realized that she didn’t want to die. She couldn’t do that to her family.

Sarah blinked and stared at one of the ghostly trees lining the roadway. The trunk expanded and contracted before her eyes as if it were breathing. A gust of wind rasped through the branches and a sudden cry of a long-eared owl made her jump. Shivering, Sarah crossed her arms and rubbed, but pain shot all the way down to her fingertips, forcing her to stop.

At the narrow stone bridge, she stopped and rested. As she stood there trying to catch her breath, the bridge began to vibrate and black smoke filled the air. A shrill whistle pierced the silence, drowning out the ringing in her ears. Sarah wheeled around and gasped. Off in the distance she saw the tiny speck of a headlight. It grew larger and brighter as the train drew closer and thundered beneath the bridge. Sarah watched the disappearing train and tried to understand what she had seen. There was no railway line near her house, only a flat dirt trail leading to the village.

Soon the smell of freshly cut hay, manure, and farm animals replaced the lingering aroma of the train’s oily coal smoke. If the barn was this close, she was almost home. Drawing closer, she heard the sounds of hooves pawing…

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Barnes & Noble:

Author Bio:

When Melanie isn’t writing, she’s reading. The writing bug first bit when she was thirteen but the itch subsided and it wasn’t until a number of years later that she put “pen to paper” and began writing again.

Prior to returning to fiction, Melanie wrote articles for various publications for a number of years and has been published in Canada, the US and the UK.

In addition to writing, her interests include genealogy, photography and travel, especially Scotland. On one of her trips to the Auld Country, she had the honor of meeting The Princess Royal, Princess Anne.

Author links:

Blog: Celtic Connexions
Facebook Author Page:
Twitter Account: @RobertsoKing

Sliding into Home
A New League Series (Book 1)
Contemporary Erotic Romance

Anne Lange

Totally Bound Publishing
Word Count:  37,827  words
Heat Level:  Hot
Release Date: October 17, 2014

Can an injured ex ball player convince the woman he wakes up married to in Las Vegas to take a second chance on him?


What the hell am I thinking?

She wasn’t a one-night or even a two-night stand kind of girl. She didn’t do fantasy sex. Hell, she didn’t really do sex, period. It was okay. It wasn’t great. Isn’t that why Roger had fallen into the arms of another warm body? Well, that and the fact that her aspirations didn’t match up with his.

She needed to get out of there. She’d pay her friends back for the room—somehow. Devyn took a step toward the door that appeared to be a mile away.

The water stopped, freezing her mid-stride. Panic swelled. She spun in all directions. Oh, God. Typically, she considered herself a strong woman, but at the moment, she felt so out of her element, and a strong sense of foreboding rolled over her. She needed a place to hide. Dive behind the sofa or behind the heavy curtains?

A door opened and steam rolled into the hallway. The slap of wet feet against ceramic tile pulled her gaze back to the hallway but didn’t encourage her feet to move. Then the soft thud of footfalls on carpet and a deep hum preceded the man about to make his entrance.

Devyn began backing up, hands out at her sides to avoid tripping over furniture. The closer the humming got, the quicker she stepped, until she smacked into the patio door, and sucked in a breath, just as he entered the main room.

She couldn’t stop the immediate flood of arousal that shot through her when she caught sight of the gorgeous hulking male specimen strolling into the room, head down, large hands adjusting a fluffy white towel slung low on his hips, his damp hair curling around the edges of his ears.

She licked her lips. Instinct. Gut feeling. Whatever it was—she knew.  She couldn’t look. Yet she couldn’t close her eyes. She noticed every little detail starting at his sexy feet. The dark hair covering his legs. Could knees be sexy? Every hard line, every muscle of his tight abdomen, as her gaze swept up, up and up, until she reached his face.

That face. She must have moaned, must have made some small noise announcing her presence. His head jerked up and his eyes rounded in surprise, his skin flushed from the shower, or from finding her in his room?

Oh God, this has to be dream. Or maybe it was her fantasy after all.



About the Author:

Shoes are her addiction, but books are her passion.  Anne Lange grew up with a love for reading. If you take a close look, she’s got either a book, her Kindle or her Kobo—maybe all three—tucked into her bag or a pocket when she leaves the house. You know, just in case there’s time to sneak in a chapter or ten.  Anne reads many genres of romance, but prefers to write sexy stories, often with a dash of humor, and usually with a side of those sinful pleasures your mom never told you about. 

Oh, and always a happily ever after. 

While embarking on this wild journey of becoming a romance author, Anne juggles a full time job and a family. Not always successfully. Who needs a clean house every day?  And what’s wrong with cereal for dinner? She lives in Ontario, Canada with her wonderfully supportive husband, three awesome kids who are growing up way too fast, and Rocky the bearded dragon.