Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Lucky 7 - join the fun - share the fun!

I've been tagged for Lucky 7 by Cate Dean, author of the wonderful book When Walls Can Talk.

The rules:
  • Go to page 77 of your current MS/WIP
  • Go to Line 7
  • Copy down the next seven lines/sentences and post them on your blog
  • Tag 7 authors and let them know
So, here's my 7 from my tentatively titled, MORE THAN A KISS, currently with my editor.

Moments later, the towel was too wet to dry anymore, her pants were still soaked through, and her teeth had started to chatter.

Zach straightened to his full, imposing height—a good nine inches taller with her in bare feet. “You need to get out of those wet clothes.”

His firm statement flipped Sadie’s stomach. The words were said innocently enough, and they made sense, but delivered in his low voice, they conjured up all sorts of enticing possibilities.

Then she reminded herself that she’d be pounding the pavement for a new job on Monday morning, all thanks to him. And she’d never slept with anyone without having a foundation of a relationship first, no matter how darn attractive they were.
Watch for Sadie and Zach's book June 2012!!

And the authors I'm tagging are:

1. Donna Marie Rogers, Golden Opportunity, contemporary western romance
2. Casey Clifford, An Island No More, romantic suspense
3. Jill James, Second Chances romance series
4. Robin Covington, A Night of Southern Comfort, romance, coming soon
5. Vanessa Kelly, My Favorite Countess, historical romance
6. Alan Nayes, Smilodon, thriller
7. Tara West, Whispers YA Series

Have a great day everyone!

Stacey Joy Netzel

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Sunday Share: The Prince of Val-Feyridge, by Helen C. Johannes

I'm happy to welcome award-winning author Helen C. Johannes with her book, The Prince of Val-Feyridge. I was smart enough to take this one with me on my trip to Italy last October and Helen's wonderful imagery was brought fully to life as I toured mountains and castles. It was pretty cool.

Enjoy the excerpt she's sharing today and any comments could net you winner's choice of an ebook or print copy of your own!

The Prince of Val-FeyRidge, by Helen C. Johannes
2011 EPIC Winner in Fantasy Romance

Heat level: Spicy

Published by The Wild Rose Press

A warrior with a destiny, a woman with a gift. Can loving the enemy restore a broken kingdom? Or will forbidden love destroy it—and them—first? 

Prince Arn has a destiny—an ancient throne—but he’s not waiting for fate to deliver when he can act now, before his enemies organize against him. The healer Aerid longs for her barely remembered homeland. Marked out by her gift and her foreign looks, she insists she is no witch. The swordsman Naed hopes to honorably defend his uncle’s holding, but he harbors a secret fascination for the exotic healer. Prince Arn’s campaign against Aerid’s homeland throws them into a triangle of forbidden love, betrayal, and heartbreak. Only when they realize love is blood-kin to friendship, and neither is possible without risk, can they forge a new alliance and restore a kingdom.

Excerpt from CHAPTER TEN

Shivers racked Aerid, coming so hard and fast she had bitten her lip bloody, but she refused to make a sound while the Prince rode with her clamped to his body. Her life depended on saying nothing until this man—the Demon Himself for all the cruel efficiency with which he had dispatched their attackers—gave her leave to speak.
Trees whipped by; a bit of moonlight beamed down on a narrow track, and always the horse’s mane lashed her face. She had given up breathing, gulping air whenever the horse’s stride loosened the Prince’s grip a fraction.
The horse slowed, and the Prince straightened in the saddle, allowing a sliver of night air to slide between their bodies. She shuddered at the shock of it, realizing the skin under her tunic was damp with the sweat soaking through his. She had ceased to feel his heartbeat as separate from hers. Both thundered in her ears, and the sweet scent of fresh blood—on his hands, his clothes, his weapons—mingled with horse lather, man-sweat, and her own fear.
He guided the stallion off the track and into a stream. Krenin followed, as did a riderless horse that had raced with them out of the village. Aerid guessed it was one of those that had charged her in the square. Instead of crossing, the Prince headed the stallion downstream, letting it pick its way through fetlock-deep water. Krenin made no comment. Aerid stole a glance in his direction, but the Prince’s Second seemed still in control of his horse although he slumped over the animal’s neck. Around them, water rushed and hissed over stones, the sound echoing the blood-rush in her veins.
The Prince’s arm tightened, drawing her hard against the planes of his chest. Aerid sucked in breath, digging her fingers once more into his tunic sleeve. Every movement reminded her, perched sideways as she was on the saddle pommel, all that kept her out of the water and away from trampling hooves was the strength of his arm—and that arm was trembling. Not with the fear still rattling through her, for he was Tolemak and a warrior. Nor with weakness, though the wound she had stitched a scant seven-night before could yet give him cause. No, in that moment when he had recognized her—in that awful moment after the shock—she had seen all too clearly the fury vibrating through him now. And the knowledge that it had not abated even a whit made her flinch when he bent and his voice lashed at her ear.
“Tell me, witch, and tell me true—does Krenin know who you are?”
The question itself startled Aerid, not its harshness, for she had expected that. Twisting her head, she caught a glimpse of eyes like coals in a face dark and set.
“I mean,” he said, each word measured and knifesharp, “either who you are or who you pretend to be.”
She flushed, knowing full well what he meant. “I—I think not, m’lord. ‘Twas dark and—”
“Then you’ll do nothing to enlighten him. Hear?”
She heard him clearly despite the water-song and hoof splashes she was sure prevented their voices from carrying to Krenin. She understood, too, what underlay his warning. He wanted no one to know that he, the exalted and invincible Prince of Val-Feyridge, had been tricked—trapped—into sparing the life of an Adanak—and a woman!—only to cover the fact he and all his army had been duped into believing—for weeks!—that she was a boy, and a D’nalian. Oh, he had chosen well the moment for his question, Aerid thought, a rush of indignation beating back her shivers.
“Aye, m’lord, ‘tis safe with me, your secret.”
His arm clenched so, she feared he would crush her. “I should have let them kill you!”
He had to feel how her heart fluttered like a trapped bird under his arm, but the breathlessness made her almost giddy, not frightened. Her words had power, and her tongue spat out more of them. “Why did you not? If I be to you what you believe of me, why did you not leave me to them? ‘Twas surely—”
“You helped Krenin. Why?”
Why indeed? Krenin was Tolemak, her enemy. But he had been alone, and injured, and there were so many of them, and they were thieves, not good men, and she could not stand by and watch while… Tears scorched her throat. The Prince would not understand any of that—not
he, the warrior who swung his arm and lopped off heads and limbs without thought of who the bearers might be or where they might be from or who they might have waiting for them—
“‘Twas—’twas not by choice!” Turning away, she pressed knuckles to her mouth to stop its trembling.
He made no response, only straightened away from her and turned the horse toward a grassy bank. When the animal had climbed out of the water, he opened his arm. Unprepared, Aerid slid straight down and fell into marshy grass. She gaped as he dismounted and, looking impossibly tall and featureless in the faint moonlight, stood over her. “Understand then—’tis not by my choice that you’re here, now.” Dropping the stallion’s reins, he walked toward Krenin’s horse, pushing aside the stray that had followed them.
Author's Personal Note:
I hope you enjoy this short sample from The Prince of Val-Feyridge. These characters have been with me since high school when I wrote about half of their story. It lay unfinished, on hand-written sheets of notebook paper in a binder, for many years before I took it out, dusted it off, and found I still cared about these characters. If you have unfinished stories lurking in binders and drawers, take heart and don’t throw them away. You never know when they might call you back and become your break-through book. 
She was also kind enough to answer a few questions for us today:

1. How did you get started in writing, and how long have you been writing for? (delete the second part if you prefer not to answer.)
I’ve been a writer since I could use a pencil.  My earliest publication was a haiku in grade school, but I remember writing sequels to the books I was reading while I was supposed to be paying attention in class.  I credit fairy tales for my early experience with story structure, archetypes, and great imaginary settings/characters/plots.
2. What genre do you enjoy reading? Do you stick with what you write, or “‘play the field”?
I read a mix of fiction from middle grade to YA fantasy to mystery/suspense (romantic and not) to romantic comedy/adventure to historical to some paranormal. (My Goodreads page is all over the place.)  I tend to prefer women authors (especially WisRWA), but I mainly love a good story well told.  When I’m writing fantasy, though, I try not to read it and stick instead to romance, etc.
3. What do you find most challenging in the writing process?
Getting the words on the page.  Sometimes they seem to just stick.  Once upon a time, the words flowed, but that was when I wasn’t so aware of “good writing” and effective story structure.  In those early days, I needed a lot of revising time.  Now, I think that is reduced.
4. What do you enjoy most?
Having my characters come alive on the page and reveal to me secrets I didn’t know they had.  That’s when the story opens up for me; it’s a mind-blowing moment.  I have great admiration and respect for the mystery that is the human subconscious.
5. What’s your favorite drink of choice while writing?
Hot tea, strong, steeped five minutes.  Black or green but definitely with caffeine.
6. What do you have in store for readers next?
I’ve finished Bloodstone, the WIP that won the PRISM contest, and I’m beginning a sequel to The Prince of Val-Feyridge.  Readers told me I had to write one, and I agree.

Author Helen C. Johannes lives in the Midwest with her husband and grown children. Growing up, she read fairy tales, Tolkien, The Scarlet Pimpernel, Agatha Christie, Shakespeare, and Ayn Rand, an unusual mix that undoubtedly explains why the themes, characters, and locales in her writing play out in tales of love and adventure. A member of Romance Writers of America, she credits the friends she has made and the critiques she’s received from her chapter members for encouraging her to achieve her dream of publication. When not working on her next writing project, she teaches English, reads all kinds of fiction, enjoys walks, and travels as often as possible.

You can find Helen on the web at:


I must say having read and loved The Prince of Val-Feyridge, I completely agree you must write the sequel!

Thanks so much for sharing with us today, Helen.  Readers, don't forget to comment up through Wednesday for a chance to win this fabulous book! 

Have a wonderful week! As always, happy reading.

Stacey Joy Netzel

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Sunday Share-Magic in the Storm, by Meredith Bond + 2 book giveaway

Hello to Meredith Bond! Isn't that cover just wonderful, everyone? Meredith's sharing an excerpt and 2 copies of the Regency-set paranormal romance Magic In The Storm today, so make sure you leave a comment for your chance to win.

Magic In The Storm, by Meredith Bond

Genre: Regency Paranormal Romance
Heat Level: sensual

Morgan Vallentyne is trapped. A direct descendent of Morgan le Fey, he knows he is destined for greatness — but cannot access the magical abilities that should be his.  When he learns that he has only one month to achieve his full powers, he begins to lose hope. But after a violent storm throws a beautiful girl into his path, the magic begins.

Adriana Hayden is desperate to be free.  Born to paint the natural world with unprecedented passion and vision, she is fenced in by the conventions of 19th century English society.  But after meeting the handsome and mysterious Morgan, her world begins to open to enchanted possibilities she could never have imagined.

Brought together by the forces of nature, their love is fanned by the winds of fate.  The only way to fulfill their destinies is for each to unlock the powers of the other — through the magical tempest of their passions.


Gently, he pulled her to the French doors behind them that led into the back garden, but she stopped as he was about to go outside into the rain.

“We’ll get wet!”

“No, we won’t. Watch.” He let go of her hand and took a step out the door. Adriana watched in fascination as Morgan stood outside in the rain without one drop falling on him. It all just seemed to bend around him, as if he were holding up an umbrella – only he wasn’t.

He took her hand and pulled her outside to join him under his non-existent umbrella. Laughing at her expression, and then said, “You know, I don’t think it was supposed to rain at all today.”  With a wave of his hand, the rain stopped.

Adriana’s world faded once again as she watched the deep gray clouds just skitter away with the wave of his hand. A brilliant blue sky appeared and a dazzling sun shone down on them, warm and full of the expectation of flowers and lovely walks in the park. She was grateful that Morgan was keeping a firm hold on her elbow. In the sudden shimmering heat of the sun-drenched garden, the fresh scent of the earth enveloped them making her feel light-headed.

Morgan bent down to a rose bush next to the door that had not yet bloomed, but was filled with the promise of many deep red blossoms. As he gently cupped his hand under one bud, it burst into bloom, unfolding its petals even as she watched. He then plucked it off the bush.

He handed it to Adriana. Their fingers touched as she took the bloom from him. Small pinpricks shot from his fingers into hers, leaving her hand tingling.

Holding the rose delicately in her shaking hand, she tried to steady her breathing. There was no logical explanation for what he had done.

“Then you really are... you truly are a witch?” she managed to whisper not lifting her eyes from the flower – it all seemed so impossible.

“We prefer the term Vallen. Witches are ordinary people who dabble with potions, but they are not truly magical.”

Morgan watched as Adriana’s green eyes  widened with wonder when she finally she lifted them to look him.  The gold and red in her auburn hair glinted in the brilliant sunlight. “But, yes, truly. I am Vallen. I am a Vallen who cares for you a great deal.” 

He couldn’t resist reaching out and touching her. She was so beautiful even in her awe and amid her fears. She was strong and brave in a way he couldn’t have expected from anyone else. He ran his hand gently up her cheek and then feathered his lips across hers, leaving a trail of tingles.

A rush of heat went pulsing through his veins as she took a step closer to him. He wrapped his hands around her delicate waist and pulled her close. He needed to feel her, all of her. His lips descended upon hers, pressing his desire into her.

Fire licked at his blood as Adriana opened her mouth and allowed their tongues to dance together. He could feel her arms moving around his neck, as she relaxed and accepted him for who he truly was.

Happiness and joy coursed through him. Now, finally, he could be completely honest with her. How long had he wanted to be able to share his life, his feelings and his problems with her – to show her just how much they had in common. And now, finally, finally, he could.

Reluctantly, he pulled away from her. He wanted to tell her everything, to share everything with her.

“Adriana, I am so happy. Happy to be with you, and to be able to speak with you openly and honestly,” he began.

A frown marred her beautiful face. “You haven’t been honest with me up until now?”

“I haven’t been able to be. But I’ve wanted to.”

“So, why haven’t you?” she said, taking a step away from him.

“I couldn’t. I couldn’t risk telling you.”

“Why? I don’t understand.”

“It’s too dangerous. I wouldn’t have told you now, except you witnessed the fight with my mother. It is very dangerous for people to know I’m Vallen. What if you accidentally tell someone and it gets out? I could be killed. It’s not common any more, but witches are still drowned or burned at the stake and we are commonly mistaken for them. People are not kind to us, Adriana.”

Adriana focused her eyes on the ground, clearly thinking about this. Slowly she nodded her head. Thank goodness, she understood – but still, the fear that she might tell someone was sharp in his gut.

“You can never tell anyone what we are – my mother, Kat and I – that we have powers,” Morgan said vehemently, adding a touch of magic to his voice.

“I will never tell...” She stopped speaking and raised her eyes up to meet his. “You... what did you do?” she asked, with a tremor in her voice.

“I’m sorry. I put a suggestion into your mind. If you try to tell anyone I’m Vallen, you won’t be able to – just as you couldn’t tell your companion my name until I released my hold.”

“Why did you do that?  Don’t you trust me?”

“Of course I do, I just.... This is so important, Adriana,”  He hated using his magic on her.

“You don’t trust me not to tell anyone.” She was beginning to get angry again. He could feel it sparking out of her, pricking him like tiny little needles.

He didn’t do anything for a full minute, hoping she would calm down. He wanted to trust her. He wanted to so very much, but there was just the slightest hesitation, the little voice in the back of his head telling him to be cautious.


Meredith Bond is the award-winning author of four traditional Regency romances. She has also been teaching creative writing for the past five years and has published a book to help all levels of writers. Chapter One can be found at your favorite e-book retailer.

Find Meredith and her other books at:

Magic In The Storm can be found at:

Barnes & Noble:

Thank you for being here today, Meredith - wishing you much success with this wonderful book!

Don't forget, readers, leave a comment or question (and your email contact) for a chance to win one of the two copies Meredith is sharing!  She will pick and announce the winners on Wednesday.

Have a great week!

Stacey Joy Netzel

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Shadow of Deceit, by Mal Olson

I'm very happy to have fellow WisRWA member Mal Olson here today with her debut book, SHADOW OF DECEIT. I read the book and loved's what I have to say:

“Shadow of Deceit delivers on the author’s promise of adrenaline-kicked romance with great characters, a well developed plot, and action packed scenes that’ll keep readers turning the pages and wanting more! Shannon is a heroine who’s been dealt a tragic blow but somehow manages to keep on living. Her strength is tested when she discovers her recently deceased husband had deadly secrets that have come back to haunt her. Though knocked for a loop the moment he sees Shannon’s beautiful blue eyes, FBI Agent Tony Crazaniak suspects she knows more than she claims. Attempts on her life cast him in the role of protector as well as investigator, and he’s helpless to resist their sizzling attraction. The end result is Mal Olson’s great debut full of action and emotion that you won’t want to miss!”

Mal also answered a few questions for me, so enjoy the excerpt and then read on and comment for your chance to win an ebook copy of this wonderful book! (Make sure you leave your contact info in case you're the winner!)


Genre: Romantic Suspense, 66835 words
Heat level: Spicy

Buy: The Wild Rose Press, Amazon

Can an FBI agent obsessed with redemption and a grieving widow desperate to clear her husband’s name learn to believe in love again?

Shannon Riedel faces down danger when a gunman breaks into her office claiming her dead husband swindled him. When FBI agent Tony Crazaniak arrives to investigate, sexual heat sizzles. The ex-Delta Force operative’s massive presence and dark eyes trigger an attraction the young widow finds unnerving.

When Crazaniak convinces Shannon she needs his protection, they partner to unearth secrets her husband left behind—secrets involving a Tanzanian mine that yields perfect blue diamonds coveted by dealers around the world—secrets connected to a terrorist leader Crazanaik has vowed to take down.
With danger surrounding them, two emotionally wounded souls bond, but can they put their demons to rest and trust in love? Can they survive long enough to find out?


Shannon sat, stalled, her heart pummeling like prey snagged in an icy hunter’s trap.

Someone knocked on her window.

Heart in her throat, every muscle in her body tensed as she jerked her head toward the passenger side and looked through frosted glass into the face of Special Agent Tony Crazaniak.

Relief uncoiled the knot in her stomach. She’d never been so happy to see anyone in her life. She unlocked the door, and he opened it.   

“Jesus, what the hell was that all about?” He dipped his head and plunked a snow-clogged foot onto the floor mat as he grabbed her bags and tossed them over the seat.

“I don’t know, and I wasn’t sticking around to find out.”

Cramming six-foot-plus inches of man into her Porsche was like stuffing two hundred pounds of prime beef into a picnic cooler. But he managed not only to squeeze in and make himself comfortable, he took charge.

“Traffic’s moving, go!”

She eased the accelerator, launching forward into an ice-jammed gridlock of traffic crawling west.

“You want to tell me what’s going on?” His shoulder brushed against hers when he shifted in the seat.

“I would if I had the slightest clue.” 

His heat made her nerve endings prickle. And as far as telling him what was going on? The “would if I could” may not have been the entire truth, but it was close enough. Besides, she didn’t want to tell him anything. Yet.

What did she actually know? 

Snow bunched on the windshield as the wiper blades plowed through thick gruel, as her brain churned, as she tried to come up with an answer the FBI operative would buy. “Obviously someone’s after me.”

“Obviously. But, who?”

“I don’t know.”

“Jilted lover?”

Snapping her head around, she glared at him. The full effect of his intense eyes sent heat waves rippling down her spine.

“No.” Cheeks blooming hot, she tugged her glance away and added, “No lovers.”    

She felt his scrutiny slow-slide over her. The bloom that heated her cheeks spread down her neck.

“You ought to fix that,” said Tall-Dark-and-Scrumptious.

And the fact that she noticed that he was scrumptious flustered her. She wasn’t looking for…anything. Although, she could use his broad-shouldered, don’t-mess-with-me attitude and his FBI badge riding shotgun until she ditched the Lexus.

“Listen, I’m not…I mean…” What did she mean? “Not in the market…All I want is a guard dog until I lose the lunatic in the Lexus.”

He shrugged. “Can’t blame a guy for trying.” His smile slammed the scrumptious meter so high she heard bells ring, which made her reconsider her comfort level. She realized she would be safer, at least on an estrogen-to-testosterone level, without his massive presence and raw animal magnetism steaming up the Porsche’s windows.

Looking into the mirror, she couldn’t see the Lexus. She turned around and still couldn’t spot it. Even if it were there, it couldn’t pass four cars on Wisconsin Avenue on a good day, let alone in this snowy mess. 

“On second thought, why don’t I pull over at the next light and you can hop out. If I want help, I’ll whistle.”

“I don’t think so.” He swiveled to look out the rear window, his mouth nearly brushing her cheek.

Too close. Too hot. Too dangerous.

She couldn’t pull over without getting stuck in the slushy excuse for a right lane, but that didn’t mean she couldn’t stop, and that he couldn’t let himself out.

When the line of traffic stalled again, she eased her foot on the brake and said with a prick of guilt over ditching him in calf-high muck, “End of the ride, Agent Crazaniak.” 

He shook his head.

“I can make it home from here. Thanks for your concern.” Too bad he hadn’t worn boots.

He settled his broad shoulders against the seat.  

“I no longer need your assistance.” She glanced over her shoulder again. “The Lexus is gone.” 

“Not my style to leave a woman in distress.”

“Distress?” At the moment, he was the cause of her distress. All she wanted was to get rid of FBI Agent Tony Crazaniak.

Her attention snagged on the Tahoe in front of them, which attempted a jackrabbit start, fishtailed, and landed in a snow bank.

“Maybe when you get out, you could give the guy in the Tahoe a hand.”   

“You need protection.”

She reached into the glove box and whipped out a gold lipstick tube. “I’ve got it.” Pepper spray. She waggled bouquet de Red Hot Chili Pepper at him. 

“You need my protection.”

“How do I know you’re really an FBI agent?” She flipped off the top.

He eyed her small but effective weapon.

“Come on, Shannon, don’t mess around.” Raising his hands in surrender, he leaned away and grasped the door handle. “I don’t think you want to do that.”

“All I want is to go home. Alone…please.”

A nanosecond later, she found herself watching him stuff her pepper spray into his pocket. She didn’t know how the exchange had happened. Other than fast.

“Protective custody.” He patted his pocket. “I’ll get you home safely, and you won’t even have to whistle.” 

Dear God, she was trapped in her car with a man who oozed so much male charisma she felt like she was drowning in testosterone.

“Seriously, how do I know your ID is legit? You could be an ax murderer for all I know.”

“You want to call the Bureau?” He offered his cell phone. “You can get the number from information. You wouldn’t want to trust a suspected mass murderer for the correct number.”

She rolled her eyes.

“It’s listed under Federal Bureau of Investigation. They’ll vouch that I’m a really nice guy.”

When she took the phone, his body heat clung to it and warmed her palm, irritatingly so. “Are you, really?”

“What, hiding an ax under my jacket?”

“No.” She scowled and thumbed in 411. It didn’t hurt to check him out. “Are you really a nice guy?”

“What do you think?”

She thought he wanted to interrogate her. And none of the nice guys she knew were pumped like Hercules. Rather than answering him, she spoke into the phone, “I’d like the number for the Federal Bureau of Investigation.”

The car behind them honked, and she turned her attention to driving and squeezed past the stranded Tahoe. While edging into the intersection, she concentrated on the snow squall, the taillights of the car ahead of them, and on memorizing the numbers the automated voice was reciting in her ear.

“Look out!” Crazaniak yelled as the Lexus materialized from the right, racing toward them. “The bastard must have turned off somewhere and circled around.”   

“Jeez, he’s going to ram us!” Shannon dropped the phone and stomped the gas pedal. The tires whined and spun and finally dug beneath the slush. But when rubber found traction, the car catapulted forward too fast.

Streetlights whirled.

Her 944 swapped ends twice on the glazed surface and came to a dead stop in the middle of the intersection. 

The Lexus revved its engine, its wheels pelting ice. Then rocketed toward them for a second attack.

Paralyzed, Shannon froze in terror. Every muscle in her body locked up. Static electricity lifted the hair at her nape. An image of the accident two years ago flashed through her mind.    
“Hit the gas! Hit the gas!”



How did you get started in writing, and how long have you been writing for?

I remember writing my first romance when I was in seventh grade. It was an English project, a short story, that I tied into the history subject of the jour—a pair of young French lovers who had been kept apart because of the hero's false imprisonment until Bastille Day reunited them. During high school, I was editor of my school newspaper, and for all of my adult life I've been writing "something."  But it wasn't until my daughter and I decided we could write a romance, that I tried a full length book. We completed two category length romantic suspense novels. They never sold, but I still believe with some reworking they have potential. Each one holds a soft spot in my heart because we so much fun working on them together.  

 What genre do you enjoy reading? Do you stick with what you write, or 'play the field'?

Romanic suspense is where it's at for me. The only thing better than reading a RS is writing one. I realized when I looked at my bookshelves that most of my books are either RS (Stacey Joy Netzel titles top and center) or mainstream suspense. Gregg Hurwitz is an awesome suspense writer that I especially enjoy. But I'm game for any really well written book and like to start out each day with reading something that inspires me to write fresh.  Margie Lawson and Mary Buckham always have good examples of fresh writing on their web or blog sites.  Tanya French, author of In the Woods, is another inspiring author. Now that I have a Kindle, I'm focusing on many excellent offerings available from fellow TWRP writers, as well as many WisRWA author's whose books are only available electronically.
(Thanks, Mal, I'm glad you've enjoyed my books. )
What do you find most challenging in the writing process?
Now that I've had a book published, I find it harder and harder to find time to work on my WIP. Many time-consuming projects have a way of saying "me first," while I know finishing the next book should be the most important item on my agenda.

What do you enjoy most?
Starting a new story and creating the characters, although working out a plot without holes can be a challenge.

What do you have in store for readers after they've enjoyed Shadow of Deceit?

Too Sexy for His Stetson, a RS set in Idaho where a rookie deputy and her training officer try to stay focused on business—the white supremacist gang that's threatening their Idaho mountain community—while fighting the forbidden attraction that sparks between them. Also in the works, is an Adrenaline Series that features an uncover FBI counter-terrorism team. I'm also offering two free short stories, which are available on my website, at Smashwords, and at most other ebook retailers. Me and Brad is a heart-warming sweet romance while Danger Zone is an adrenaline-kicked RS that introduces one of the characters from Shadow of Deceit.
You can find Mal at her website:

Mal Olson writes adrenaline-kicked romantic suspense. When her consuming passion for writing allows time, she enjoys reading, flower gardening, jamming with friends on the mountain dulcimer, and hiking in a nearby state forest (or in the mountains somewhere). She has three grown children and one granddaughter and resides with her own special hero in southeast Wisconsin where she juggles writing time with her freelance landscape design business.

And check out Shadow of Deceit's book trailer:

Buy links: The Wild Rose Press, Amazon

I enjoyed Me and Brad, but didn't know about Danger Zone. I'll have to check that one out.

Thank you so much to Mal for being here today! Remember to comment with your email contact and she will pick a winner on Friday.

Have a great week!

Stacey Joy Netzel

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Read an Ebook Week!

March 6 & 7th ONLY

In honor of Read an Ebook Week, my awesome publisher The Wild Rose Press is offering the first book in my Colorado Trust Series for FREE on March 6 & 7th. Hurry to grab your copy before the sale is over!

Get TRUST IN THE LAWE FREE this Tuesday and Wednesday!

The Wild Rose Press has also put ebook versions of the rest of the series on sale!

$5.25  $4.23
$4.99  $4.49
While you're over there, check out some of their other sales as well.

As always, Happy Reading!!

Stacey Joy Netzel 

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Sunday Share: An Island No More, by Casey Clifford

Today I'm very happy to have award-winning author Casey Clifford with her new release AN ISLAND NO MORE. While I haven't read this book yet (it's on my Nook), I have read Casey's other books and thoroughly enjoyed them! (Black Ribbon Affair and Fireweed).


She's giving away an ebook copy of AN ISLAND NO MORE, so once you've finished reading, don't forget to comment for a chance to win! Before we get into the great excerpt Casey's sharing today, here's a bit more about her.

I consider myself a seasoned woman and aspire to become a seasoned writer. At this point, I’m no longer a
“new” writer, but I’m still meeting new challenges and learning with every writing project I take on. I’ve raised four sons. I’ve been divorced and single parented for 10 years. When I met my second husband, my older sons determined I should marry him before I did. However, I soon enough realized he was the perfect guy for me and we’ve been married for going on 33 years.
Before I retired, I taught college, mostly writing classes and social and interpersonal behavior/communications. I love to read, take photos (which go on my blog), bake and cook sometimes, visit my friends, and enjoy my family. My hubby and I love to travel and do so whenever we can. Every part of my life and experience I have becomes fodder for something that could end up in my books.
Finally, today is my oldest son’s birthday. Doing a guest interview as I am today was a far away dream back then. But if you stay true to your goals, you will achieve. I have; so has he.

1. How did you get started in writing, and how long have you been writing for?
I’ve written ever since I can remember--I’ve gone from long hand on a tablet, to a manual typewriter, an electric typewriter, a Commodore 64, an Atari, to an early desktop where one chapter took half a floppy disk. At least I didn’t start out with carving into stone. J
As for writing with a clear goal of getting published and making a few dollars, well, that came with retirement--to my second career as a fiction writer. I retired in 2000--new millennium, new career. Of course, I was only 27 when I retired. ;-)
2. What genre do you enjoy reading? Do you stick with what you write, or 'play the field'?
I read mostly Romantic Suspense, mysteries, and Women’s Fiction. I will enjoy a well-written historical and some light paranormal. I play the field if a friend highly recommends something different or if a writer friend/colleague produced a novel in a different genre. Of course, I read craft books and try to get a non-fiction book in every now and then though lately that’s been mostly relegated to research for new books. 
3. What do you find most challenging in the writing process?
My greatest challenge lately is finding all the time I need to do all that needs to be done for promoting and marketing my work and myself. In fact, if I can find an excuse to avoid it, I will--this is NOT a good trait. And now that I’ve bared my failings to an audience, perhaps I’ll be able to get over it.
4. What do you enjoy most?
Well, if you’re talking about writing…Most enjoyable for me is revision because that’s where my initial vision begins to sparkle.
5. What do you have in store for readers next?
Right now I’m revising the second in the Dessert Dames series. My goal is to have it ready to publish sometime this summer. And I’m doing what I call my “mind” work for the next book in my RS Affair series. I also have this monster (in size) book that should really be revised and broken into 2 books. But that’s a project for still more thought.
Readers can also find me at my blog where I blog every Sunday. Generally I try to have a topic most readers and writers will enjoy.
Casey's blog is an absolute treasure for everyone, writers and readers alike.  And I absolutely love what Casey said about revision... "that's where my initial vision begins to sparkle."

So, without further ado, here's her excerpt from the book that garnered 5 STARS at The Romance Studio.
"This suspense filled romance kept me glued to the book, unable to put it down." ~ Jaye Leyel

An Island No More, by Casey Clifford

Genre: Romantic Suspense
Heat Level: Spicy

Buy at:  Amazon   Barnes & Noble

College professor Maggie Meehan thinks she can tackle any challenge alone, but when an old flame returns to campus he puts her career--and her heart--in jeopardy...
With a daughter to support, Maggie wants the job security that comes from achieving college tenure. The likelihood of that lessens when Seth Baldwin, a man from her past, arrives on campus with tenure and a hefty salary. Sparks blaze between them that have nothing to do with their careers and everything to do with their hearts.
When Maggie's abusive ex-husband shows up making demands and a disturbed student hassles her, Maggie wants to tough it out on her own. But when a series of murders rocks the campus and Maggie is threatened and even assaulted, Seth refuses to let her face the ordeal alone.
Can Seth's love strengthen Maggie enough to overcome a killer bent on her destruction?


“What I’d really like to know, Maggie, is in which role you think I most resemble him? James Bond, perhaps?”
At that unexpected voice, Maggie’s heart slammed against her rib cage. Her tummy plummeted to her swollen feet. She spotted the Bondish-sly grin accompanying Seth’s words as he walked through the doorway with Emily close behind. Giggling, her daughter looked quite pleased with herself.
“More like his role in Lawnmower Man,” she snapped her conversational dart.
“Ouch…you’re killing me here. Lawnmower Man?”
“On second thought?” She cocked her head. “Maybe more Remington Steele. Inept. But perfectly attired—whatever the occasion or weather. And in reruns.” She eyed Seth’s casual appearance: pressed khaki shorts, polo shirt in a rich teal, comfortable boat shoes, no socks while she was barefoot and bare-faced.
“Reruns! Lawnmower Man. Woman, you show fangs early in the morning.”
“I wasn’t expecting company.” Despite herself, she laughed, and Seth walked across the patio with Emily at his side. He stood next to the lounge and peered down at her. She didn’t squirm but returned his stare. If he made comparisons to last night, he shouldn’t come calling unannounced. The warm morning sun turned her sweaty.
Of course, he looked cool and polished.
“Ahh, Mom needs more coffee. Would you like some, too, Professor Baldwin?” Emily grabbed an empty cup from the table next to the lounge. Maggie nodded and so did Seth.
“If Maggie doesn’t mind?” He stared into her face.
Could he read her emotions? She hoped not. She bit her lower lip, sighed, and leaned her head against the back of the chair. “Bring two cups, please, Em. Professor Baldwin and I have some talking to do.” Her heart hammered in a chest not sufficiently covered—at least with Seth Baldwin around.
“Good, I asked him to stay for breakfast. Is that okay?”
“You did what?”
Emily smile slithered away and Seth looked uneasy—for the first time. “He didn’t accept. After I bring coffee, you can talk and I won’t bother you.” Emily walked away, less confident than before.
“I didn’t mean to cause a rift.”
“I’m sure you have better things to do than join us for breakfast.”
“Actually, I don’t. Mind if I have a seat?”
“Take your choice.” She pointed to chairs several feet away. Contrary as she remembered him, he settled his lanky length at the far edge of her lounge. She ignored the skip in her heartbeat.
“I like the view better here.” He grinned which enhanced the smile brackets at his mouth. “Plus we don’t have to raise our voices.”
“Why’re you here?”
“To see you. An added bonus is discovering Emily.” He lowered his deep voice. “I didn’t know you had a daughter, Maggie. She’s delightful, charming, and full of spirit. Just like you…”

Thanks to Casey for being here today! Visit Casey at her blog and don't forget to leave a comment and your email contact for a chance to win an ebook copy of AN ISLAND NO MORE.

Have a great week!

Stacey Joy Netzel