Published: 30 articles

Cynthia Sax- Five Things I Learned From Publishing A Book

Releasing Rage_ARe

In celebration of her new release, Releasing Rage, Cynthia Sax has graciously stopped by to talk about some things she’s learned from publishing a book.  If you don’t  know Cynthia, why not?  She’s brilliant, hilarious, and one of those people you just can’t help but love.  Her Dear Wonderful Hubby (DWH) post on Facebook keep me entertained and she’s quickly become an author who’s style I admire.  Psst … check out her Seen Trilogy, it’s well … it’s HOT!


Welcome, Cynthia!


Dena had a great post about the ten things she learned from publishing a book ( you can read it here.) Because I enjoyed that post so much, I decided to share five additional lessons.

1.  If a writer is passionate about a book, the book is more likely to sell well.

I’m super passionate about Releasing Rage, my latest release, a sizzling cyborg SciFi erotic romance. Because I’m excited about this story, I talk about it ALL THE TIME. I talk about it when I should be promoting other stories. My enthusiasm is contagious. Reading, reviewing and blogging buddies get excited too.

Readers, if you see a writer is super enthusiastic about a story she’s written, that story might be one to put on your to-be-read pile. There’s a reason why the writer thinks this story is special.

2.You could be the exception but you’re likely not.The average writer builds her readership one reader at a time.

I was discussing this with a writing buddy today. I believe I’ve personally touched (in a good way – no bad touches here – grins) just about every reader who buys my stories. I’ve talked to readers via blog comments or Facebook chats or private messages or emails. This is one of the reasons why writers love conferences (that and it gives us an excuse to drink). We can ‘touch’ hundreds of readers at one event.

Readers, please know that we care about you. We truly do. You matter to us.

3.You could be the exception but you’re likely not.

When I first started this journey, a wonderful writing mentor told me that the average romance writer takes 10 years of consistent releases (about 3 releases a year) and consistent promotion to build a readership large enough to pay the bills.

I decided I was going to be the exception. I’d be the Stephenie Meyer (Twilight) or the E.L. James (Fifty Shades of Grey) and make it big with my first trilogy (though both of these writers worked their a$$es off, growing their readerships).

5 years and 90 plus releases later, I realize I’m well on my way to being the average romance writer. (grins) In 5 years, I hope to be able to pay the bills with my writing. Until then, I rely on my sugar daddy (my dear wonderful hubby).

Readers, the average romance writer will be writing books for you for a long time. If you love a writer, please consider reaching out to her or him and saying hi. Sign up for her newsletter (mine is here – – I’ll be giving all of my awesome newsletter subscribers a free story in December). Friend her on Facebook.

4.  Everyone is busy. We have to ask for help.

If a writer or reader or blogger asks me for help, I usually help her. If she doesn’t ask, I don’t normally help out. I figure she has everything under control or she has a bigger release in the future she’d prefer I help with or heck, I’m simply clueless and don’t notice she needs help.

Very few folks volunteer to help (Dena is one of the exceptions). We have to ask for the help we need. Then, when we ask, we should assume that some requests will go missing or will be misfiled or forgotten (we’re writers, we get book brain). Facebook will hide the message or email providers will decide the request is spam (my editor’s urgent emails ALWAYS go to spam, even though she’s on my contact list and has been sending me emails for years). If I need 1 author/blogger/reviewer/reader to help me, I contact 10. That’s usually a good number to start with.

But folks WILL help… which leads to the fifth and final lesson (from me).

5.  Readers, the love always flows both ways. If a writer can help you with an event or something else, ask!

There are some wonderfully generous folks in Romanceland.

Writing is a team sport. This is why writers often boast about successes—because these successes belong to a group of people, not simply to her or to him. Editors, cover artists, formatters, publishers, agents, reviewers, bloggers, readers, fellow writers, and a zillion other people contribute to the success of any book. They don’t do it for fame or for money (laughs). They do it because they love Romanceland.

Readers, thank you for everything that you do for us. (big hugs)

Dena, thank you for inviting me into your online home (more hugs).

Such wonderful advice, Cynthia!  Thank you so much for stopping by.  And now, check out Releasing Rage.

Releasing Rage_AReHalf Man. Half Machine. All Hers.

Rage, the Humanoid Alliance’s most primitive cyborg, has two goals—kill all of the humans on his battle station and escape to the Homeland. The warrior has seen the darkness in others and in himself. He believes that’s all he’s been programmed to experience.

Until he meets Joan.

Joan, the battle station’s first female engineer, has one goal—survive long enough to help the big sexy cyborg plotting to kill her. Rage might not trust her but he wants her. She sees the passion in his eyes, the caring in his battle-worn hands, the gruff emotion in his voice.

When Joan survives the unthinkable, Rage’s priorities are tested. Is there enough room in this cyborg’s heart for both love and revenge?

AMAZON          ARe         B&N




Please give Deborah O’Neill Cordes a warm welcome to the blog.  Today, we’re celebrating Deb’s newly released, Aliene Mine, a Prequel to Dragon Dawn, Book One of her Dinosaurian Time Travel Series.  Hi Deb!

First things first, let’s get a look at the covers and blurbs.


Far from her home world, an alien female clandestinely observes the Earth, but her intense need for a mate overwhelms her desire for secrecy. It is time to pick her Chosen, the one who will share her life. With her keen ultraviolet vision, she’s watched the human astronaut, Edward McAdams, a man with a unique and compelling aura. Is he the one? If so, will he agree to leave Earth and travel with her to the stars? But her plans are threatened when she discovers dangers lurking in the vast reaches of the Milky Way galaxy, menacing aliens who may not only imperil Edward, but everyone else on Earth.



What if the extinction of the dinosaurs hadn’t occurred? An alien stranded on Mars is determined to find out by sending human astronauts back in time to rewrite Earth’s past. But a female astronaut, through a strange twist of fate, survives the change in the space-time continuum. After finding herself in a dinosaurian body, she must race against time – and the formidable alien – to restore the universe to its rightful course.



And now, where you can find Deb, because I know you want to run off and look her up!


Deborah O’Neill Cordes is an award-winning screenwriter and novelist of historical and speculative fiction. She is the author of the sci-fi time travel novel, Dragon Dawn, Book One of the Dinosaurian Time Travel Series, and its prequel, Alienne Mine, which blends fields of study she loves in equal measure – Deborah holds a bachelor’s degree in zoology and a master’s degree in history. She is also the co-author of the Morgan O’Neill time travel novels. Deborah resides in the Pacific Northwest with her husband and two West Highland White Terriers, who, alas, are precocious terriers and therefore never white.







Re-release & Giveaway

Today is re-release day!  I just wanted to do a quick post, showing you the (slightly) new cover and price, $1.99.  Dive Me Sane is also available to download for free with Kindle Unlimited.




And, as I mentioned, I’m doing a giveaway to celebrate.  If you haven’t entered through the tab on my Facebook page, all you have to do is click on this link: a Rafflecopter giveaway. And, since you’re here, would you be interested in subscribing to my newsletter?  I promise not to share your information and you can unsubscribe at any time.  I also won’t flood your inbox with silly emails.  But, I will be sure to share any upcoming releases, events, special pricing and giveaways with you first!

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We are not a Disney family and yet I just spent a week in the middle of all things Mickey Mouse.  Okay, not exactly in the middle.  On the outskirts.  Very outskirts, away from all the hoards of people, in our own little house, in a quiet neighborhood, with garbage pickup and everything.  Yeah sure, we could have done the whole experience and stayed in one of the resorts, but we aren’t those kind of people.  We are more like state park kind of folks.  Outdoorsy.  We like to explore the land and visit historical sites.  And yet … there we were among the magic of Disney World.  I’m still not sure who came up with the idea of it being this years vacation destination – oh wait, it was me!  Please don’t ask me why I chose it, though, because I don’t honestly have a good answer other than I think every kid should have a chance to go once and since my boys are thirteen and ten, I figured the opportunity for them going without much of a fuss was soon expiring.  Luckily, there wasn’t much fussing, but the excitement level didn’t run wild, either.  Truthfully none of us were overly anxious for the trip.  In fact, I’d put off making reservations until the very last-minute and was still finalizing plans up until the moment we left.  I know, terrible, terrible me.


First let me say, I’m not one of those snow birds that will migrate to Florida when I retire.  It isn’t bad.  To visit.  I don’t want to live there.  Ever!  It’s too hot, crowded and bare of the dense forest of Kentucky that I’ve come to love.  The house we rented, though, couldn’t have been better.  I would definitely be up to staying there again.   Three bedroom, two bath, with a fully stocked kitchen and it even had its own private in-ground pool right outside the sliding glass door.  How awesome is that?   I”ll tell you, it’s awesome!  I woke up each morning and had coffee poolside.  One morning I manage to read while my little guy took a morning dip.

Now, I know vacations are supposed to be relaxing.  You’re supposed to take it easy, sit back, relax and have a good time.  But again, we are not that family.  We are the doer sort.  Go, go, go and see all that you can. And since we planed three full days in the parks, we wanted to take some time to get out and see a little bit of Florida that didn’t involve standing in long lines out in the summer heat.  A quick internet search led us to Wekiwa Springs State Park.  It did not however, let us know that this seemed to be the most popular park in the state and by 12:30 in the afternoon, it would be completely closed due to reaching its full capacity.   Pretty discouraging news after making the hour-long drive, but we drove around for a while longer and eventually got in.  I must say, it was well worth the canoe trip down the Wekiwa River and the frigid (and I do mean, frigid) Springs.  I’ll refrain from telling the story about the humongous dude my son and I knocked off his paddle board when we rammed him with our canoe.  Let’s just say huge is an understatement, but at least he was nice.    Oopsie 🙂IMG_0656[1]









Now, what is a trip to Disney without a day at Epcot?  This was probably my favorite day in the parks.  A little educational, a lot of interactive stuff, and a couple of good rides, it was the perfect start to our week.

It’s been twenty plus years since I visited Disney as a teenager.  Animal Kingdom may have been an idea back then, but it didn’t exist.  More like an oversized zoo, if you have an animal lover it’s the place to go.  It’s also home to a pretty damn good roller coaster.  Once upon a time (like how I started that?), I was a roller coaster junkie.  Then age set in and I started realizing everything that could go wrong with those kinds of rides.  I haven’t been to an amusement park in years, but Face Everest was an awesome ride.  Smooth, intense and yet exhilarating, it didn’t disappoint.

While we might not be the fairytale family, I have boys, so space and rockets are high on our list of things that make them happy. We were lucky enough to be in Florida during a rocket launch at Kennedy Space Center, so we couldn’t pass up the opportunity to watch it.  Sorry for the terrible picture, (iPhone camera’s suck), but that bright light on the first picture is it.  If you’ve never been the Kennedy Space Center, I’d highly recommend going.  It’s fascinating, and make sure you take the bus tour that takes you out to the launch sites and such, it’s well worth it.  It’s hard to imagine the size of these rockets and shuttles until you’re actually there.   There is also a very emotional memorial to Space Shuttle Columbia and Challenger.  I can guarantee, it’s hard to walk out of there with a dry eye.


I’m sure many of you have been to Disney, but for any that haven’t, you could literally spend weeks there.  I’m not even sure how many parks are involved when you take into account the water parks and all. Originally we only planned two days there and wanted to spend one day at Universal Studios, but when it came to budgeting and number crunching, the multiple day tickets at Disney won out and we ended up skipping Universal in lieu of Magic Kingdom.

IMG_0793[1]I’m not a princess loving kind of girl, but who can resist Cinderella’s castle?  My boys said I wished I lived there and I told them, yeah, because I’m such a princess.  They laughed at me 🙂  Seriously, though, everything at Disney is done with the finest detail.  It’s beautiful, fun, and easy to navigate.  The lines were fairly short and the fast pass’ are easy to get and use.  I’m sure if we (I) put more effort into planning this trip, we would have been able to enjoy a lot more, but we had a fun time anyhow.  Magic Kingdom was by far our longest day.  We arrived when it opened and didn’t leave until after the firework display.  And what a display it was!  There really isn’t any words for it other than TOTALLY AMAZING or maybe MAGICAL!  We sat right behind Cinderella’s castle and they were literally going off all around us.  Even my husband said it was the best firework show he’s ever seen.


IMG_0817[1]No, that’s not Jeff Gordon getting into that car.  That would be my oldest son.  Can you guess where we’re at?  Daytona Speedway.  Yeah, it was on the guy’s wish list of things to do.  All three did a ride-along around the track at speeds up to 170 miles per hour. Trust me, I definitely would have been up for this, but I did it a few years back at Kentucky Speedway, so I figured I’d save the money and pass.  I’m pretty sure it was the highlight of the trip for the guys and I didn’t mind, because it gave me some research time to take pictures and scout around behind the scenes for one of my WIP, a race car story, where not only does the hero drive, but also the heroine.

And what would be a trip to Daytona be without a stop at the beach?  It was the perfect ending to our week in Florida.  I suppose Florida isn’t really all that bad 🙂


Okay, so there was one thing my guys wanted to see while we were there.  Can you guess?  It’s a  long, green and scaly creature. Alligators!  We expected to see some on our canoe trip (we’re told they were there), but that didn’t happen and we looked every where we went and do you know where the first one turned up?  Along the road in front of the space center.  Yep, in the water filled culverts.  Weird I know!  The guys were obsessed with them and the few we saw didn’t satisfy their curiosity, making a detour to find more, a must on our way home.

IMG_0879[1]Alas, we found gators at the Savannah Wildlife Refuge.  All kinds of gators, even teeny, tiny baby ones that were rather adorable.

All in all, our Disney vacation was fun.  We had a great time and I’m glad the kids got to experience it.  My favorite part?  Kennedy Space Center.  I could go on and on about it, but I don’t want to bore you too much.  My only regret was skipping Universal Studios.  I really think the boys would have enjoyed that more than Magic Kingdom, but it is what it is.  I know, we could always go back and try it again, but I doubt we will.  This was a one time, hit it and get it over with thing.  There are far too places in this world I want to see.

I would like to quickly add, a huge thank you to Richard, the owner of the house we rented.  If you are ever in the area and looking for a reasonably priced rental away from all the hustle of Orlando, I’d highly recommend this house.  You can find it on, a site I’ve used several times to book lodging for our vacations.  Richard was easy to deal with, the house was absolutely beautiful, comfy and clean.  You are required to provide toiletries and paper products (trash bags, toilet paper, etc), but the kitchen comes fully stocked with everything you’d need.  The best part about it?  It’s only twenty minutes away from all the excitement and did I mention it had a pool?  This pool was such a blessing after a hot day at the parks.  If I ever come back, I’d stay here again.  Thanks Richard for making our Disney stay so comfortable.

Until next year …


For Dwayne. Thanks for showing me how amazing the stars can be. 

                                           -Drive Me Sane dedication 

There’s a lot that goes into writing a good romance novel.  Well, there is a lot that goes into writing a good novel period, but we’re talking romance here today.  More specifically “first.”  You know, that first glance.  The first time your eyes met and lingered.  The touch that made your whole body nearly whither to the floor. First words, first date, first kiss.  The first time you … well, you get my point.  All of these acts are equally important in writing a good love story.  But, that doesn’t mean they always have to be perfect.  More often than not, it’s the weird and awkward occurrences that draw us in.  After all, real life is rarely a fairytale, right?


Today is mine and my husband’s fifteen year anniversary.  We’ve had a lot of first together.  Some of them I remember and some of them I don’t. Sadly, I can’t recall our first kiss, but I do remember the first time he tried.

We were at the lake with some friends and were left alone by what I now suspect was preplanned by either our friends or maybe the guys.  Sitting at a picnic table, we talked, about what I don’t know.  I just remember every once in a while he’d get that look in his eye.  You know, that look of bravery just before you try something new.  And every time he did, I’d turn my face up toward the sky.  Of course I knew what he was leading up to and of course I wanted it to happen, but I was also more nervous than I’d ever been in my life.  Like butterflies went wild, sweaty palms, could barely talk straight nervous.  Yes, those things really do happen.  I’ll just be honest.  Girls can be funny and it seems we always do the exact opposite of we want.  I wanted to kiss him and I didn’t and every time he’d move closer, I’d inch a little bit away.  Finally he leaned in and I jerked my head back up at the sky.  “The stars sure are pretty,” I said.   They were pretty.  Sprinkled across the darkness, twinkling like little diamonds.  “They are,” he answered.  And that was that.

No kiss happened that night and yet I remember it as clearly as if it happened yesterday.  It just goes to show, that sometimes it isn’t the act itself that’s so meaningful, but all those special things that happen along the way.  We laugh about this now, as well as, a proposal I completely ruined, but that’s a story for another day.

Happy Anniversary D.  I don’t know how you put up with me, but I’m sure glad you do.  Love you

So tell me, anyone else have a first that went wrong or an awkward moment that turned out to be a pleasant surprise?



Written by nine authors, Never Be Younger is a Young Adult collection of Shakespeare retellings. From Othello to Macbeth, Romeo and Juliet to The Winter’s Tale, each story has been crafted with a new spin.

nbyFrom the halls of a high school to hip night clubs to the depths of space, Never Be Younger gives Shakespeare’s classic plays and sonnets a fresh spin for a new audience. Nine authors pay tribute to the Bard by taking his timeless tales to new heights, entrancing readers all over again. A Shakespeare story by any other name still reads as sweet.

All proceeds from the sales of Never Be Younger go to United Through Reading, a charity dedicated to uniting military families through reading. Check out the bottom of the post for how you can win great prizes to celebrate the release!



Buy now on Amazon and Kobo for only $0.99US


Star Crossed Lovers by S.M. Johnston and E.L. Wicker


The clunk of the airlock bolting into place secures my fate, sending my limbs into an involuntary quiver. There’s no turning back now. If we pull this off, my family will finally be free to earn the honest living they so deserve. Too long, we’ve been forced to trade illegally beneath the shadows in fear of the Capulets wrath.

A hand clamps on my shoulder and I jump. On instinct, I reach for my cutlass and pistol then ball my fingers into fists and force them to stay by my side. Merc’s face greets me with a smirk tugging at the corners of his mouth and a glimmer in his brown eyes.

“Want some courage in a pill?” He holds out a tiny blue hexagon—a Queen Mab booster.

I shake my head, my tongue feeling too thick to form words. The last thing I want is to walk into a ballroom full of people and go berserk.


About the Authors

Rachel Bateman: Editor

rachelRachel Bateman is a writer and editor who spends too much time thinking she can out bake the Cake Boss. (Spoiler: She can’t.) She lives in the middle of Montana, but dreams of the South. Rachel is the owner of Metamorphosis Books, an author services company offering formatting and interior layout for independent authors. When not writing, editing, or reading books, she can be found playing with her husband, young son, and small zoo of pets. You can find Rachel on Twitter, and her website.


S.M. Johnston: Star Crossed Lovers & A Gargoyle’s Prom Nightmare

sharonS.M. Johnston is a writer of weird fiction and soulful contemporaries from sunny Queensland, Australia. Her family includes a husband, two sons and a number of fur babies of the feline and cavy variety. You can find Sharon on Twitter, and her website.


Jessica L Pierce: A Day of Errors

jessicaJessica is a somewhat crazy – yet loving – blond. She lives in Green Bay, WI, hates the cold, and loves her completely awesome camo coat. She is passionate about football, baseball, photography and writing, and won’t go near cooked peas. (Raw peapods are fine.)

She is a student at the University of Wisconsin – Green Bay, and will graduate in December 2015 with a degree in Communication with emphasis in Journalism. She is a sports photographer and her work can be found at: You can also find Jessica on Twitter.


Cortney Pearson: The Undreamed Shores

CORTNEYCortney Pearson is the author of Phobic and Such a Secret Place, a mother, musician, and a lover of pink and sparkles. You can find Cortney on Twitter, and her website.



E.L. Wicker: Star Crossed Lovers & A Gargoyle’s Prom Nightmare

EmE.L. Wicker lives in Hampshire, England with her husband and two children. Fueled by the bossy voices in her head, she writes New Adult fiction with a side of romance. You can find E.L. on Twitter, and her website.




Nicole Zoltack: Any Way the Wind Blows

NICOLENicole Zoltack loves to write in many genres, especially romance, whether fantasy, paranromal, or regency. When she’s not writing about knights, superheroes or zombies, she loves to spend time with her loving husband and three energetic young boys, with another little one on the way. She enjoyes horse riding (pretending they’re unicorns, of course!) and going to the PA Renaissance Faire, dressed in garb. She’ll also read anything she can get her hands on. Her current favorite TV show is The Walking Dead. You can find Nicole on Twitter, and her website.

 Olivia Hinebaugh: Mark The Music

oliviaOlivia Hinebaugh spends her free time writing. Obviously. The rest of her time is spent playing and reading with her two young children. She also loves: watching Sia’s music videos, quoting Mean Girls, and folding laundry. She actually really does. You can find Olivia on Twitter, and her website.



 Adrianne James: A Witch’s Life

adrianneGrowing up Adrianne James couldn’t get her hands on enough books to satisfy her need for the make believe. If she finished a novel and didn’t have a new one ready and waiting for her, she began to create her own tales of magic and wonder. Now, as an adult, books still make up the majority of her free time, and now her tales get written down to be shared with the world.

During the day, Adrianne uses her camera to capture life’s stories for clients of all ages and at night, after her two children are tucked up in bed; she devotes herself to her written work. Adrianne is living the life she always wanted, surrounded by art and beauty, the written word and a loving family.

As a New Adult Paranormal (and sometimes contemporary) author, Adrianne James writes strong women, powerful magic, and love that lasts a lifetime. You can find Adrianne on Twitter, and her website.


Christina June: The Scarf

christinaChristina June writes young adult contemporary fiction when she’s not writing college recommendation letters during her day job as a school counselor. She loves the little moments in life that help someone discover who they’re meant to become – whether it’s her students or her characters. Christina is a voracious reader, loves to travel, eats too many cupcakes, and hopes to one day be bicoastal – the east coast of the US and the east coast of Scotland. She lives just outside Washington DC with her husband and the world’s most rambunctious four-year-old. You can find Christina on Twitter, and her website.


To celebrate the release we have a wonderful giveaway.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

The Romance Reviews Sizzling Summer Reads Party

They are at it again!  The Romance Reviews is celebrating with a SIZZLING SUMMER READS giveaway.  More than 350 participating authors and publishers with more than 350 prizes up for grabs during the whole month of June. Grand prize is a $100 Gift Certificate!  And guess what!!!  I’m there today with a digital copy of Drive Me Sane up for grabs.



Please note that you must be registered and logged into their site to be able to play along.

Best of luck!







Guest Post: Time Of Want by Amanda Bianco & Stacie Jacobs



TOWSamantha Bennett has the perfect life. A beautiful home, a loving husband, and all the designer labels a girl could want. But she is lonely. Feeling trapped at home while her husband John works long hours, Samantha craves love and attention. She is desperate for the one thing she can’t have – a child.

Following one let down after another, Sam questions her existence. Her lonely lifestyle drives her to want more. She looks to fill the void from John’s hectic business schedule.

That’s when the Millers move in across the street.

Derek and Elizabeth have moved to Long Island so that Elizabeth, a successful pediatrician, can take up a new post close to her family. She is expecting their first child, and Derek, a former sports writer, has given up work to stay home with the baby and write a novel. Quickly, the Miller’s become friends with the Bennett’s. But cracks soon appear in their marriage as Elizabeth works long hours at the hospital.

Derek’s head has been turned and now he too is faced with his own demons.

As temptations grow, Sam begins to slip back into her old mischievous ways. She is
willing to risk everything she and John have worked for, because for Sam it is all about the thrill of the chase.

However, Derek has his own agenda and is playing by a different set of rules. This leaves Sam even more confused. She begins to question if it’s all worth it…

Have you ever wanted something so much that you would risk everything for it?

Even if it meant hurting the ones closest to you?

A contemporary novel of, love, loss, desire,and Deception


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Guest Post: Nancy Weeks and Shadows And Light

Please welcome Nancy C. Weeks to the blog.  Nancy’s five book bundle called, Shadows and Light: The Complete Series releases today.  That’s right, happy release day to Nancy!  The series is a fascinate mix of mystery, suspense and romance with intriguing elements of the supernatural.


Thanks for taking the time to tell us about your new book bundle, Nancy.

Dena, it is my pleasure to be a guest on your lovely blog. Thank you so much for inviting me.

To start off this interview, tell us three things about yourself that readers may not know about you.

I have a degree in Psychology from the University of Maryland, but dreamed of being a music teacher. I spent almost five years in Europe right after I was married and loved every minute of it. I’m the worst speller and typist alive. When I write, I love to close my eyes, visualize the scene in my head, and then just start typing what I see. When I open my eyes, there are so many misspelled words and typos, I can’t even read it.


Can you tell us more about the titles in your bundle?

I have brought along a short blurb of each of the books. The seed that spouted Shadows and Light: The Complete Series came from a common, but powerful adage: love conquers all. From In the Shadow of Greed to In the Shadow of Vengeance, I engulf my heroes and heroines in one conflict after another and demand they learn to trust each other and love follows.

As law enforcement officers, my five brothers’ lives constantly intersect with the worst that mankind has to offer. While each brother feels his world is too dangerous to share with that one special woman, fate butts in and gives an extra hard push. But falling in love for any one of the McNeil brothers isn’t your typical fall-in-love. It changes their understanding of the world. I have also surrounded them with a large family of secondary characters who give their all to help my couples reach their well deserved happy-ever-after.

What was the best part about writing the series?

After reading one of my books, readers might come to the conclusion that I just love to blow things up. Well, that’s true, but what I really loved about this series was writing my hero and heroine’s love story. The romance that begins in chapter one and follows my characters through to the last page is such a joy to write. The external dangers and evil surrounding them will keep readers turning the page, but it’s their internal emotions that will tug at the heart strings.

What’s next up for you?

By the time I turn in a book to my editor, another story is churning around in my self-conscious, begging to be told. My next project will be another romantic suspense series about three siblings whose worlds’ fall apart the night their father is murdered. This series will have an interesting supernatural element based on the proverbial principle to ‘see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil.’ I have just started drafting the first book, working title: Marked by Visions. My heroine is going to be a forensic scientist who witnesses her father’s murder. She is forced to work with a man she hates to unravel the mountain of lies and betrayals surrounding her father’s assassination. It should be a blast to write.

Where can we find Shadows and Light: The Complete Series?





Meet five Irish brothers, all sworn to protect and serve – and the smart women who help them take down the terrorists gunning for their family. Lock up your heart: when it comes to love, the sexy McNeils know how to walk this beat.

  • In the Shadow of Greed: Brilliant cryptologist Dr. Sarah Tu races against time to block the most dangerous Internet malware ever created – and it’s up to FBI agent Jason McNeil to make sure she stays alive long enough to do it.
  • In the Shadow of Evil: After ten years with Maryland’s Special Crime Unit, very little rattles Jared McNeil. Then his nemesis resurfaces, with his sights set on the woman Jared is honor bound to protect.
  • In the Shadow of Malice: Adam Blake, ex-CIA operative, has gone to great lengths to keep his identity a secret, but his cover’s blown when he ends up on the run with waitress Calista Martin to protect his little girl.
  • In the Shadow of Pride: When Lexie Trevena’s matchmaking friends accidentally place her smack in the path of a terrorist who intends to use her as his pawn, the only person who can help her is Special Agent-in-Charge Luke “Mac” McNeil – the man she holds responsible for her husband’s death.
  • In the Shadow of Vengeance: Elizabeth Merlot can’t afford to let handsome Detective Noah McNeil discover her secret past. But when trouble finds her son, Noah may be the only one who can save their lives.

Sensuality Level: Sensual




 Nancy C. Weeks lives in suburban Maryland with her husband of more than thirty years. With her two grown children out of the nest, she loves spending her days on her deck writing as the local bird population keeps her company.

I love to interact with readers. Please keep up with what’s going on here:



Twitter: @NancyCWeeks




To get a little tease of my stories, free chapters from SHADOWS AND LIGHT: THE COMPLETE SERIES can be found here: BOOK PREVIEWS

Dena, it has been a joy spending time with you. I would be happy to answer any questions your readers might have. Please don’t be shy.

Hugs to all,

Nancy C. Weeks



Guest Post, Review & Excerpt- Holding Back by Helen Pollard

HoldingBack - coverThe last thing they’re looking for is love …

Laura Matheson is a natural at avoiding romance, so when she is drawn to mystery guest Daniel Stone while helping out at her friends’ hotel in Portugal, she assumes all she needs is a little extra willpower.

Daniel is at the hotel on business. The demands of work and a manipulative ex-girlfriend mean he doesn’t have the time or energy for romance, but Laura is a distraction he finds hard to ignore.

As they negotiate a minefield of misunderstandings and mutual attraction, will they both continue to hold back? Or will they finally allow love into their lives?



“Excuse me. You’ve picked up the wrong bag.”

Deep and decisive, the voice startled Laura from behind as she loaded her luggage onto her hard-won airport trolley.

“No, I don’t think so.” She swung round to confront the voice’s owner. Unnerved to find him towering over her, she took a step back, stumbling over her trolley in the process.

With lightning speed, he reached out to catch her arm, his grip strong as he helped her regain her balance. When she was upright again, she took in piercing blue eyes, thick dark brown hair, a hint of stubble on a tanned face—and felt an immediate jolt of attraction.

Laura ignored it. “I can manage, thank you,” she snapped, thinking she wouldn’t have tripped if he hadn’t surprised her like that.

He released his hold and raised an eyebrow. “As I said, you have my bag.”

Pushing away long strands of chestnut-brown hair that had dared escape their ponytail, Laura returned his gaze.

“No, this is definitely mine.” She was hot, harassed, and late. The last thing she needed was a futile argument over her own luggage!

“Would you mind if I check?”

“Help yourself.” Unable to disguise her impatience, Laura waved at it, adding, “But I am in a hurry.” She winced at the hostile tone in her voice, but she really didn’t have time for this. Tapping her foot in irritation, she waited to be proved right as he crouched over her trolley.

“Would you care to look?” he asked.

Laura’s foot stopped tapping. Recognising undisguised triumph on his face, she read the label over his shoulder with trepidation, but there it was in black and white—Daniel Stone, London Gatwick to Porto. The heat that rose in her cheeks seemed to burn right through her skin.

“But it’s the same as mine!” she blustered, watching with embarrassment as he hoisted the heavy bag from the trolley with ease.

“It’s hardly a unique design,” he commented, shrugging broad shoulders. “If you weren’t in such a tearing hurry, you might have spotted your own on the carousel.”

Laura spun around to see her bag riding forlornly around with the few that were left. Mortified, she opened her mouth to apologise.

But he spoke first. “Personally, I would advocate that old saying ‘More haste, less speed.'” His tone softened a little as he added, “I’m sorry, but you’re not the only hot, tired person whose flight was delayed, you know.” And off he strolled through the terminal, his bag flung over his shoulder, without a backward glance.


A dedicated teacher and friend, Laura Matherson, spends a portion of her summer vacation tending to her friends hotel while they take some much needed time off. Unattached and not the least bit interested in a relationship, she looks forward to the yearly ritual and enjoys having something to fill her days.

A headstrong workaholic, Daniel Stone, is on the constant move, travelling with little time to stop and enjoy any of beautiful places he visits. Keeping his business going is top priority. Putting distance between him and a pesky ex runs a close second. He’s not looking for anything other than to stay put for a few days in the same place, but then he meets Laura and she becomes quite a distraction in more ways than one.

Ms. Pollard has written a lovely story that is simply about all the small details. I felt as if I were in Portugal without ever having visited there and her ability to pull out emotions is completely outstanding. At times I became so utterly frustrated with Laura, I wanted to smack her. But in the end, it all comes together and you sit back and realize, that’s what makes a good story. One that makes you deeply feel and understand at the same time.

Set in sunny Portugal, Holding Back is a perfect summer read, filled with the right amount angst, a bit of humor and a sweet clean romance that leaves you happy in the end.


Please say hello and welcome Helen Pollard, who has graciously given me not only an excerpt to share with you, but she’s also taken the time to answer a few questions.  Hello Helen and thank you for stopping by.

First, tell us what is your favorite part about the writing process?

I like the unexpectedness of it best. I don’t really outline much at the start – I’ll have a basic idea in mind, and certain points or events that I definitely want to get to, but beyond that, I tend to allow my characters to take me where they want to go. It’s more fun that way.

I’m always curious to know how long someone has been writing or when they first knew they wanted to be a writer.  Do you have a defining moment or was it something that’s always been there?

I know all authors say this, but it’s true – I’ve loved writing for as long as I can remember. I don’t recall a time when I didn’t feel the urge to write. As a child, I had a vivid imagination fuelled by my love of reading, so I started to write my own stories in a notebook (I still have it, although it’s a little ragged now!)

You work full time, have a family and write. How do you manage it all?

By being grumpy and tired! You would think it should be a little easier now, as my daughter is at university for some of the year and my son is sixteen so he doesn’t need me as much! But my elderly parents are taking up more of my time these days, and promo and marketing seems to take up the rest.

Recently, I reduced my hours at work a little, the idea being to spend that time purely on writing … but something else always seems to fill the available space. I can’t honestly say that I write each day. I tend to have spurts at it when the mood takes me strongly enough for me to put everything else aside.

Holding Back is your sophomore novel.  I’m lucky enough to have had the pleasure of reading both it and your debut, Warm Hearts In Winter.  I immediately noticed that they vastly differ in setting and season. How important is it for you to have visited the places you write about?

For me, it’s very important. To be honest, I don’t think I would dare write about a place I’d never visited! I know you can research everywhere on the internet nowadays, and I still do a little of that to get my facts straight, but if I hadn’t been somewhere, I wouldn’t know if I was being accurate enough. I’d always worry about making mistakes!

Besides, I like both my characters and the setting of my books to come to life for the reader. If I’ve been to a place, I can try to give a real sense of it – sights, sounds, smells, the whole experience.

What inspired you to write Holding Back?

Definitely the setting. I’d visited that area of northern Portugal a couple of times, and it was so beautiful and friendly there, it stayed with me until my imagination ca

Can you tell us about your characters?

I wanted Daniel and Laura to be quite different from the couple in my first romance, Warm Hearts in Winter. In that story, the hero and heroine rather liked each other from the outset, so it was mainly a question of getting them past their personal demons to consider a future together.

But in Holding Back, Daniel and Laura don’t get on at all at first, despite – or perhaps because of – a mutual attraction. Both are resistant to romance, Laura because of her past, Daniel because of his present. Since my characters tend to develop a mind of their own as I write, getting them together proved more of a challenge than I’d envisioned!

Lastly, tell us a little bit about what you’re currently working on.

I’m polishing up a manuscript that I actually wrote before my two published romances. It’s set mainly in the Loire region of France, but this one isn’t a straightforward romance – I guess it’s contemporary women’s fiction with humor, and just an element of romance … which makes it more difficult to find a home for. But I personally love it, so I’m going to keep trying.

And your favorites- because I’m nosy 🙂

Color                   blue
Holiday               coastal
Food                     lemon sorbet
Season                 Spring
Time of Day       mid-morning (coffee time!)
Book                     Aunts Aren’t Gentlemen by P.G. Wodehouse
Hobby                  writing, of course! & reading
Type of Music   mellow (e.g. Jack Johnson, Simon & Garfunkel)

Helen Pollard author picHelen Pollard writes contemporary romance with old-fashioned heart. She believes there will always be a place for romantic fiction, no matter how fast-paced and cynical the world becomes. Readers still want that feel-good factor – to escape from their own world for a while and see how a budding romance can blossom and overcome adversity to develop into love … and we all need a little love, right?

A Yorkshire lass, Helen is married, with two teenagers and a psychotic cat. When she’s not working or writing, it goes without saying that she loves to read. She also enjoys a good coffee in a quiet bookshop, and appreciates the company of family and close friends.