Friday, November 16, 2018

Today in The Loft: Romance author Dee S. Knight!


Joining me today in The Loft is Dee S. Knight. Dee's path to writing sweet, historical, contemporary, and paranormal romance was filled with adventure, and a variety of twists and turns. Since marrying her high school sweetheart more than 40 years ago, Dee has worked as a long-distance trucker, computer consultant, high school and adult education teacher, and a technical writer. Now she spends her days with characters who kill, fall in love, become drunk with power, or sober with responsibility. (No, she does not live in Washington, D.C.) Dee resides in the Midwest with her husband, her "dream man."

Dee S. Knight's Profile Photo
Author Dee S. Knight

S:  Dee, welcome to The Loft! You have lived an adventurous life, all the while married to the same man. Is that why you write romance?

D:  I do have a romantic soul. Hubby and I met when I was 13, started dating when I was 15, and married when I was 21. We've been married for well over 40 years and we still love each other and enjoy being together. So yes, that's why I write romance—the dream that everyone can find that kind of comfort and security in love.

S:  Do you believe you only fall in love once? 

D:  No. Wouldn't that be sad? What if you fall in love with the perfect person and then lose them for whatever reason. Does that mean you're alone the rest of your life?? I think people can fall in love—deep, abiding love—more than once, but I don't believe they fall in love the same way. Not that one is better than the other, just different. Hopefully, no matter how many times you fall in love each is life changing in its own positive way.

S:  You're right. I think each time you fall in love, it's a different than other experiences. Let's shift gears a bit. A question I love to ask writers--Where do you do your best thinking?

D:  While I'm driving. And especially while I'm driving and listening to the radio. I'm a fan of country music and who can't get ideas for books from a country music song? I know that when driving one should keep her mind on the road, but (knock on wood) I haven't had trouble yet while conjuring up conflict and plots while heading down the road.

S:  If you could live in any period of time, what would it be?

D:  Truthfully? There's no time like the present. I've told people that when I was younger I used to look at huge houses with walls of glass and sigh with dreams of my future. Then one day I looked at such a house and thought, "Who cleans all that glass? Who vacuums the floors? Who keeps the lawn??" To some that might seem to practical for a romance writer, but to me it seemed as though I'd finally grown up. The same goes for living in the here and now. I had polio as an infant, so I know what it was like living in a time where vaccines weren't available. Anyone who has visited an historical house knows what homes were like back then, and think about the heat of having a fire going all year long in order to cook. Nope, I like the time I'm living in now, even if that seems boring and practical.

S:  (chuckles) I have also had those thoughts about MacMansions. And I understand the preference for the present. I have MS and even 20 years ago, I probably would not have survived.

What is the best advice you've ever been given?

D:  Relax and be yourself. That's not easy!! But it's also the best advice I can give to someone.

S:  Tell me about "Only a Good Man Will Do," which is Book 1 of The Good Man Series.

D:  Here's the blurb--

Seriously ambitious man seeks woman to encourage his goals, support his (hopeful) position as Headmaster of Westover Academy, and be purer than Caesar's wife. Good luck with that!

Daniel Goodman is a man on a mission. For years he has striven for perfection, fighting for the pinnacle achievement in his world of academia, Headmaster of Westover Academy. Westover, established before the American Revolution, is still one of the most prestigious schools in the country. They accept only boys whose parents fit a certain mold and only those teachers who hold to a stringent set of mores, on and off campus. Jonah considers his brother a prig. Daniel sees himself as doing his best to serve his students. How much better can he serve them as headmaster? That is what he seeks to find out.

Suddenly, into his cut and dried, strictly black and white life of moral and upright behavior, comes Eve Star, formerly one of Europe's foremost exotic dancers. Her life is anything but cut and dried, black and white. Bad enough that she's enrolled her son in Westover Academy under false pretenses. More, she runs the town's most disreputable bar. Worst, much to Daniel's dismay, he finds himself drawn to her like a kid to chocolate. Nothing good can come of this attraction. Or can it? He is after all, a good man.


S:  Ohhhh, that sounds entertaining! Where can readers buy your book?

D:  It's available from all major booksellers, including--


S:  Dee, thanks so much for joining me in The Loft! To learn more about Dee and her books, please visit--


Next week in The Loft, author Beverley Bateman!


Friday, November 9, 2018

Today in The Loft: Author Holly Bargo!

Dropping by for coffee and pastry today is author Holly Bargo. Holly utilizes her love of fairy tales, legends and myths to create stories of paranormal fantasy and shifter romance. She is also a fan of horses, which should come as no surprise, since she, her husband, and children live in the midst of a menagerie of horses, llamas, alpacas, cats, a rabbit, and one very fluffy white dog.


Author Holly Bargo

S:  Good morning, Holly! Thanks so much for joining me today! Let's begin with a basic question. Why do you write romance?

H:  Romance is basically an extension of ancient myths and fairy tales. I never outgrew them. When I daydream, I fantasize about grand adventures and grand love for myself, expanding far beyond my own small life. Romance, especially when mixed with fantasy, offers endless possibilities.

S:  Can you name a person, book, or song that inspires flights of fantasy?

H:  The soundtrack from "The Last of the Mohicans" (1992) haunts my dreams and thoughts. It's eerie and lovely and evokes a yearning for something more, something amazing, something awe-inspiring.

S:  Which, of course, plays right into your love of fantasy. You seem to have a pretty busy life filled with kids and animals. Do you have time for an "alternate occupation?" Something you do other than write romance?

H:  I make my living as a freelance writer and editor. Writing for other people gives me an interesting perspective into a diverse array of topics. Probably the most fun writing gig I have is as editor/writer for the World Library Foundation's newsletter. The possibilities are endless. Being an editor often serves as a source of dismay and inspiration--dismay from a supply of poor quality manuscripts submitted by authors who don't write well to inspiration from those astonishing authors who have real talent and raw potential that I admire.

S:  I  ghostwrite non-fiction and edit books as well. It can be inspiring when a writer's words sing. As a writer, what's the best advice you have been given?

H:  Write in active voice. I never realized how much my writing droned until that one slapped me upside the head. I now pass that advice on to everyone and focus on it when editing other's work.

S:  Since you already have a menagerie, I have to ask--if there was any animal in the universe you could have as a pet, what would it be and why?

H:  I live on a farm and have experience with livestock. I hold few illusions about animals. However, if I could, I'd have one of the big cats. There's something about all that wild beauty and power and contained savagery that beckons to me, but I also know that having a pet that sees me and thinks "lunch," doesn't lend itself to continued good health.

S:  (chuckles) I suspect my neighbors would agree with that last part. We sometimes have sightings of mountain lions and I can tell you, no one has tried to feed them!

Tell me about your book, "Bear of the Midnight Sun."

H:  Sure. Here's the blurb--

After a thousand years, immortal polar bear shifter Sindre finally finds his mate--on a talk show. In the city where anything goes, an impromptu wedding is just a taste of what's to come. Startled into going through with the ceremony, Miranda can't stop the big, virile man from staking his claim on her and releasing her bear. Sindre can't believe his good luck and will do anything to keep his mate at his side, up to and including taking marital advice from Atlas Leonidus. An independent woman with a successful career, Miranda melts at his touch and shuns his control, except she can't control her bear.



S: (blushes) Oh, my! A story I can identify with--not as a bear shifter--but as an independent woman. Still, I wouldn't mind meeting a virile bear shifter!

Where can readers buy your book?

H:  It's available on Amazon. Here's the link--

https://www.amazon.com/Bear-Midnight-Immortal-Shifters-Book-ebook/dp/BO7HKQLK7M

S:  Holly, thanks so much for joining me in The Loft today! If you would like to learn more about Holly and her books, visit--

Website:  https://www.henhousepublishing.com
Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/HenHousePublishing1/
Twitter:  https://twitter.com/HollyBargoBooks
Amazon:  https://www.amazon.com/Holly-Bargo/e/BOOJRK6VGQ/


Next week in The Loft:  Author Dee S. Knight!

Sunday, November 4, 2018

Friday, November 2, 2018

Today in The Loft: Author Caroline Clemmons!


Joining me in The Loft today is romance author Caroline Clemmons. Though she is quick to point out that she was not born on a Texas ranch, Caroline writes about handsome cowboys, feisty ranch women, and scheming villains. She and her Hero live in North Central Texas cowboy country, where they ride herd on their rescued cats and dogs. 

Author Caroline Clemmons

S:  Welcome, Caroline! Let's begin with an obvious question. How do you define romance?

C:  This question has caused endless arguments, but the question asked how “I” define romance. For me, it is when two people commit to one another in a lasting, loving relationship. If people are fortunate, they have the enduring commitment of a love that lasts through decades, problems, and meets the “cleave only unto each other… for richer or poorer, in sickness and in health… until death do you part” as outlined in various ways in the wedding ceremony.

S:  That type of relationship certainly drives the romance genre. It is something many yearn for. Is that why you write romance?

C:  Although I’m an eclectic reader, I prefer reading and writing romance. Romance brings hope in addition to entertaining the reader. With the news media shouting the world’s problems at us, it seems more important than ever that we have positive messages. By showing a heroine and hero who face obstacles and overcome them to achieve a happily-ever-after, I hope I demonstrate to readers that each of us can champion some of our challenges. Some of those hindrances may be of our own construction from life’s baggage but once identified can be defeated. I’m no Pollyannaish enough to believe that all our problems will cease. However, I sincerely believe reading romances not only serves as a pressure valve to help us withstand our day’s crises but also bolsters our ability to cope long-term with our difficulties. 

S:  I have to agree with you. I believe the fantasy that is romance provides a release, a chance to escape--at least for a while--from the stresses of everyday life. In fact, when I was studying for the bar exam, I read romance to take a break from all stress that surrounded that process. 

Since we've been surrounded by ghosts and goblins all week, let's indulge in a different plane. If a paranormal invited you to host a dinner party with five guests, all departed historic figures, who would you invite?

C:  Such a difficult question! Should I choose writers or rulers?  What did you what evil and often bitter or that called for? Definitely Louis L’Amour, such a great storyteller. Mother Theresa, who did so much to not only help the poor, but bring them to the attention of the world. Queen Victoria, who reigned during an important time in America’s history. Agatha Christie, she created cozy mysteries that are still popular. And Tony Hillerman, his Southwestern mysteries set in Navajo country fascinate me. Imagine the conversation at this table.

S:  The thought of Mother Theresa, Queen Victoria, and Agatha Christie in the same room is intriguing. Such diverse personalities! They'd even wind up carping at one another or become the best of friends.

If a genie granted you one wish, what would it be?

C:  I am guessing you mean for me, personally, and not something such as world peace, cessation of hunger, etc. For that reason, I will say health for my family members. Each of us is prevented from enjoying life to the fullest by some medical problem—even though we keep on going.

S:  Good health certainly does impact the quality of life. 

What’s the best advice you've ever been given?

C:  Don’t compare myself to other writers. This is soooo hard to remember. Author A makes a million a year, why am I making so little? Author B hit the NY Times bestseller list, why haven’t I? No, no, no! Each of us has unique gifts and experiences that combine—sometimes with pure luck—to give us our identity. Work with what I have. Repeat, repeat, repeat!

S:  That's really good advice. We each have our own definition of success and that's what's important.

Tell me about your book, "Blessing."

C:  Sure, here's the blurb:

With the death of her father last month, Blessing Odell inherited the largest ranch in that part of Utah, the Rafter O. She goes by the nickname Buster and wears men’s overalls but they can’t disguise her regal beauty and natural grace. She is also generous to the community, which is why she’s splitting proceeds from the sale of 100 horses with the widows of Wildcat Ridge.

Thad King has tracked stolen horses to the Rafter O Ranch. He’s determined to capture and see punished the horse thieves who beat his former employer before stealing his horses. He is successful in being hired to work on the ranch, but he doesn’t want to believe Buster Odell or her father had anything to do with stealing horses.

Convinced of her father’s innocence, Buster and Thad work together to discover the real culprit, even though it leads them on a dangerous journey. 



S:  Wow. That sounds like fun. Where can readers buy your book?

C:  It's available on Amazon. Here's the link--


S:  Caroline, thanks so much for visiting today! For more information on Caroline and her books, visit--

Twitter:  @CarolineClemmons


Next week in The Loft, author Holly Bargo!

Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Congrats to fellow eXtasy author Kellie Kamryn!


Kellie's book, "Rebound," has been re-released by eXtasy Books! 

Here's the blurb:

An award-winning choreographer faces her biggest loss when she’s teamed up to coach with her former lover at a gymnastics camp for Olympic hopefuls.

Claire LeMay is at the top of her game—she’s head coach for a top gymnastics facility in Winnipeg, Manitoba with her gymnasts winning awards for her outstanding choreography. Now her biggest challenge is to coach alongside the man she’s avoided for three years after rejecting his offer of coaching under his command at his club in Ottawa, Ontario.

After sinking every penny of his inheritance into his state-of-the-art gymnastics facility, Justin Black has achieved his dream. But even with hundreds of members and well-trained coaches, when Claire’s presence invades his space, he realizes she’s the one thing that’s missing. Clueless about why she didn’t accept his earlier job offer, he is determined to discover why she turned him down.

Will they be a rebound romance, destined to repeat the same old routine, or can they choreograph a new one?

Excerpt:

Chin propped in her hand, Claire gazed out the window and watched the rain fall, taking slow, conscious breaths. She held up her wine glass in a toast. “Thank you for this. It was very nice of you to invite me to dinner.”

“You’re picking up the cheque.” He winked at her in jest.

She batted her eyelashes at him. “Well then, perhaps I will make sure I order the most expensive thing for dessert.”

Eying each other over the rim of their wine glasses for a moment, they both opened their mouths to speak at the same time. She gestured for him to go first.

“Why did you walk out on me?” he asked.

Caught off guard by his bluntness, she cleared her throat. “You don’t start with anything easy, do you?” She asked a frank question of her own. “In that case—why didn’t you come after me?”
He expelled a breath and dragged a hand through his hair. “Is that what you wanted?”

 “To be honest—I don’t know what I wanted. It all seems like so long ago and so childish now. I thought you loved me, and I thought you understood, but I suppose you can’t understand what I never put into words.”

Justin set his glass on the table. “I thought we had plans together, dreams together.”

She released a slow breath. “Those were your dreams, your plans—not mine.”

He appeared confused for a moment, then he nodded in understanding. “Ah, I see. Thus the things you didn’t put into words.” He sighed. “I suppose it’s fair to say we were not on the same page, and may have been in fact, in different chapter’s altogether.”

She nodded. “You always talked about your plans, what you wanted to do, how you were going to do it—and I was happy for you. But I was twenty-two, Justin, and still felt like a teenager. I didn’t know how to tell you that I wanted to be head coach of my own gym, not just live in your shadow.”

His brow crinkled in concern. “I wouldn’t have asked you to do that.”

“But I didn’t know that. And I was far too afraid of disappointing you to say anything. A habit I’m only beginning to break.” She took another sip from her wine glass, then set it on the table.” Tears filled her eyes. Anxiety squeezed her heart. What if he didn’t understand now? Did it matter? She’d managed to build a life without him up to this point.

“Are you okay?” he asked, his tone gentle.

“Yes.” She sniffed. “I consciously work through being anxious all the time.”

He frowned and stared at his cutlery. Then he fixed his gaze on her and reached across the table for her hand. “Tell me now. Tell me everything. I’m listening.”

Tears dripped down her cheeks, and she pressed her fingertips to her lips a moment. “I don’t know where to start.”

He gave her hand a squeeze. “Start with why you left. Tell me what you wanted out of life. Tell me why I lost you and if I will ever have a chance of getting you back.”


 Buy links:



For more information about Kellie and her books, please visit:

Instagram: kellie_kamryn

Wednesday, October 24, 2018

Today in The Loft: Historical romance author Kathy Otten!

Visiting me in The Loft today is Kathy Otten. Kathy is the author of three novels, multiple short stories, and novellas in a variety of genres, including historical, contemporary, and western romance, and historical fiction. She lives in the open farm country of western New York with her husband of 34 years.

Kathy
Author Kathy Otten

S:  Welcome, Kathy! Tell me, where do you do your best thinking?

K: I live in the country, quiet roads, woods with trails, Amish buggies, and tractors. I do my best thinking when I walk. On a beautiful day, like now, when it’s still warm and the sky is blue and the leaves are turning. It’s peaceful and cleanses my mind.

S: That sounds like a perfect setting to relax and let your mind flow! Do you have alternative occupation?


K:
I do have a day job. I work in a group home with men who have mental health and intellectual disabilities. I work the weekend shift which compresses 40 hours into three days. I can’t wait to retire and write full-time.

S: That sounds like a rewarding job and it sounds perfect for a writer! Complete this sentence-- “Writing is… 


K:
...more than what I do, it’s who I am.”

S: I think most writers would understand that. If you could have any animal in the universe as a pet, what would it be and why?

K: Except for a brief time when I was a kid and wanted a tiger, I have always wanted a horse. I was lucky enough to get my first horse when I was 14 and had them for 35 years. While I do miss not having them, I don’t miss being tied to chores every day. Over the years, we have had dogs, cats, rabbits, birds, fish, a hamster, horses, cows, and chickens. A few months ago, I lost my German Shepherd Max after 14 years. He was my buddy, and I’d like that back. So my choice would be another German Shepherd.


S: My condolences. Losing a beloved pet is always hard. I hope you find another German Shepherd to love!

Speaking of love, do you believe you only fall in love once?

K: All love ends in pain. People lose family members every day: A parent, brother, sister, life partner, a child. While the heartbreak of that loss can rip you in half, love is expansive. It doesn’t replace one person for another, it stretches wide to embrace new people, a new partner, a step-parent, another child. Some folks don’t find love again, and that’s okay. I think if you need it, you’ll find love again.

S: I agree with you. I think if you need love and are open to it, you will find it!

Tell me about your book, "A Place In Your Heart."


K:
Sure, here's the blurb--

Gracie McBride isn’t looking for love; she’s looking for respect. But in this man’s world of Civil War medicine, Gracie is expected to maintain her place changing beds and writing letters. Her biggest nemesis is the ward surgeon, Doctor Charles Ellard, who seems determined to woo her with arrogant kisses and terrible jokes.

Charles is an excellent surgeon. He assumed he would be well received by an army at war. He was not. Friendless and alone, he struggles to hide the panic attacks that plague him, while the only person who understands him is a feisty Irish nurse clearly resolved to keep him at a distance.

But, Charles is sent to the battlefield, and Gracie is left with a wounded soldier, a box of toys, and a mystery which can only be solved by the one man she wishes could love her, both as a woman and a nurse.


S:  Sounds fascinating. Even though this is a historical romance, it touches on some of the issues we are dealing with in today's workplace. Where can your book be purchased?

K:  It is available on Amazon. Here's the buy link:


S:  Kathy, thanks so much for joining me today! To learn more about Kathy and her books, please visit:



Next week in The Loft:  Author Caroline Clemmons!

Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Congrats to fellow eXtasy author Jo Tannah!

Jo's book, "The Hunt" has just been revised, expanded, and re-released by eXtasy Books! Part one of The Adventures of Marcus Kildud comes out Oct. 26.

Here's the blurb:

When the hunter becomes the hunted, the only thing left to do it run.

Lieutenant Marcus Kildud and his men are rangers for hire. They specialize in insertion, extraction, escape, and evasion. He answers an urgent request from the Planet Terrus' Prelate, the Lord Fulsam, whose son has disappeared and is presumed dead.

Their task is to find the ring the Prelate's son wore. The Promised compensation and bonus offered are enough to make this their team's final mission.

What they meet int he forest is something none of them have ever encountered before. Marcus now faces the unimaginable. He realizes too late that sometimes, running away may be the only option left to stay alive. (Three flames/Adventure, Gay, GLBT, Horror, Science Fiction, Suspense, Erotica)

Buy link:  http://www.extasybooks.com/978-1-4874-2041-3-the-hunt