Friday, March 27, 2020

The week in The Loft: Author Lyncee Shillard!

Joining me today in The Loft is author Lyncee Shillard! Lyncee writes romantic suspense, from sweet to very steamy. She also writes young adult high fantasy under the pen name,  Tasaria Romaney. In addition, Lyncee is an amateur photographer. All of the photos on her website, blogs, and book trailers came from her camera. Lyncee currently resides in northern Michigan.
Author Lyncee Shillard

S:  Welcome to The Loft, Lyncee! I imagine it's a bit warmer down here than in upper Michigan, though not by much!

What attracts you to the romance genre?

L:  The happy ever after or happy for now. No matter what the characters have been through, they will be happy at the end. I love giving that to my characters and readers. I love, love getting that as a reader.

S:  What’s your definition of romance?

L:   Time spent together in comfort. That could be on the beach, hotel room, the living room, etc. The key is that I’m totally comfortable. Nothing is more romantic to me than to be able to be myself and allow my partner to be himself. No showboating. No struggling for perfection. Just being.

S:  (Nods.) The ability to be comfortable with your partner is very important.

What is your favorite thing about writing romance?

L:  That no matter what is going on in my ‘real’ world, I have an escape that is guaranteed to make me smile.

S:  What is your perfect romantic evening? 

L:  Pizza rolls, wine, ice cream, and playing the Xbox with my hubby.

S:  Do you believe in love at first sight?

L:   Yes and no. I do believe that you know if the person is the right’person, but I feel love takes time to truly bloom. The initial love or feeling is often intense and is seen through rainbow unicorn lens. But if after three years of him eating your doughnuts, you still smile when you see him, then it’s love and was love at first sight.

S:  (Laughs.) I can guarantee that anyone who ate my doughnuts probably wouldn't survive, love or not.

What would you like people to know about you? 

L:  That I want to move to an Alpaca farm in the mountains. (Laughs.) I also have a thing for Moose. I have 46 stuffed ones!

S:  What do you consider your greatest achievement? 

L:  Raising my children--natural and foster--to be happy, balanced, productive adults. There were some serious moments that I felt I really screwed up and they would be a story line for "Criminal Minds," but we made it!

S:  (Smiles.) I think we all worry that we somehow screwed up as parents, so it is very rewarding when they become productive adults.

What are you currently working on? 

L:  A three-novella series called Adrenaline Rush. Each novella is about a guy who has an extreme lifestyle, including an ice climber, smoke jumper, and motorcycle stuntman. They must rely on someone else to help them and that's not something they do easily. All three are steamy romantic suspense and adventure.

S:  What/who inspires you? 

L:  I don’t have one thing or person that inspires in all things. My eight-year-old inspires me to remain kind and gentle with those around me. My husband inspires me to continue to travel the path of my dreams. My writer friends inspire me to take creative risk.

S:  Tell me about your latest book. "Taking a Risk."

L:  Sure. Here's the blurb--

If Leigh Ronaldson is one thing, it’s predictable. What’s wrong with having a routine? Apparently, it makes her boring or so her ex-boyfriend claimed as he dumped her. And her best friend agrees.

She decides to prove them wrong and books an extreme adventure in Ecuador. The hiking, kayaking, and camping she signed up for. She didn’t plan on the hot guide who by just looking at her made her squirm with desire and definitely not the drug cartel who wants them dead. 

Nick Greco golden rule is never to touch a client. NEVER. But rules can’t be broken. 

Once the local drug cartel starts hunting them, he knows it will take all his skill to get out of the Amazon jungle alive. And if your life is hanging in the balance even golden rules can be broken… 

S:  That sounds pretty exciting! Where can readers buy your book?

L:  Here's the buy link--

S:  Lyncee, thanks so much for joining me today. If you'd like to learn more about Lyncee and her books, please visit--

Amazon Author Page:

Friday, March 20, 2020

This week in The Loft: Author Fiona Lehn!

Joining me today in The Loft is Canadian author Fiona Lehn. Fiona is the author of speculative fiction and romance. A Writers of the Future winner for "The Assignment of Runner ETI," she is also an acclaimed musician and songwriter, once touring with the Fiona Lehn Underground Band. Fiona also served on the editorial collective of Room, Canada's oldest feminist literary magazine. She lives with ME/CFS and serves a feline in perpetuity. 

Author Fiona Lehn

S:  Welcome, Fiona! 

Why did you become a writer? 

F:  I was an avid reader from a young age and became dissatisfied with the roles of women in fiction and in reality. I wanted to change that. I wanted to see how women could live. So I began writing speculative fiction.  

S:  What attracts you to the romance genre?

F:  Romance reminds me that love and goodness can grow out of the most challenging experiences and can flourish in the most unlikely places. Romance unveils the spark of magic in the mundane, it reveals hope when all is despair. I find that very attractive.

S:  (Nods.) Love comes in all shapes and sizes. It is gratifying to be able to explore that.

Do you write in other genres? 

F:  I tend to cross genres and upend tropes. I don’t consciously intend to rebel against genre classifications, this just seems to be the way I write. My fiction is speculative in nature, with strong female, LGBTQ+, and/or outsider characters. My adventure and quest stories are often romantic and/or humorous, my mysteries may be dramatic and/or psychological, and all seem to get an infusion of sensuality, heartwarming fluffy stuff, and/or low to medium heat. My genre-crossing results in distinctive and touching tales that I hope readers enjoy.

S:  What’s your definition of romance? 

F:  Spark. Magic. Light. Glass half full to overflowing. New beginnings. Electricity. Quaking, shuddering, gasping--in a good way. Unpredictable. Irresistible. 

S:  (Smiles.) That's certainly what many of us hope for!

What is your favorite thing about writing romance? 

F:  Getting lost in those moments of magic, those spark-filled beginnings. We can never have enough magic in our lives, in my opinion, and writing romantic scenes is a wonderful gift to me as well as to my readers.

S:  If you had to do it all over again, would you still choose to write books?

F:  I don’t think I had a choice, actually. I was born a writer, and writing is both a gift and a curse, but it’s a wonderful curse to have and I’m grateful.

S:  Tell me about your book, "Transformation Junkies."

F:  Here's the blurb--

A sensual, supernatural quest from the icy streets of Canada to the pastoral hills of Switzerland, Transformation Junkies tells the story of two women unwilling to compromise for love and satisfaction.

Chol enjoys a serene, independent life as a reclusive herdswoman, but when her cattle start disappearing, she must protect her home or lose it all.

Susannah leaves an unhappy marriage and her home country to become an electrician. When she fails, she loses herself in an addiction to transcendence, and a loser vampire makes her an offer that could solve everything—or just might dash her hopes forever.

An ancient god tries to help, but Chol and Susannah are the only ones who can save themselves—and maybe save each other in the process.

Romantic, fun, and adventurous, Transformation Junkies is a novel about generations of women compelled to fight beyond glass ceilings and limiting gender roles, fight to the death if they have to, to win the life and love they desire.

S:  Where can readers buy your book?

F:  It's available at all major booksellers, including--


Barnes and Noble:



S:  Fiona, thanks so much for joining me today! If you would like to learn more abut Fiona and her books, please visit--


Saturday, March 14, 2020

Social distancing = Time to read books! That's why I'm giving some away!

To enter to win, send an email to with the subject line, "I'm bored. I need a book!" Entrants must be at least 18 years old. A random drawing will be held each Friday until the crisis is over. Winners will be notified by email.

Friday, March 13, 2020

This week in The Loft: Author Bernadette Jones!

Joining me today in The Loft is author Bernadette Jones. At an early age, Bernadette was a bit of a nomad, at one time calling Texas, Oregon, South Dakota, Nebraska, Illinois, or Massachusetts her home. As she moved from state to state, music and books filled her life, so it's not surprising that after a career as a corporate writer, she eventually began to spin tales of mystery and romance. Bernadette currently lives in New York City with her canine companion. 

Image may contain: 1 person, eyeglasses and closeup
Author Bernadette Jones

S:  Why did you become a writer?

B:  Growing up, we moved often. Books became my constant companion. It was natural for me to create stories in my head when I didn’t have a book to read. At a very early age, I knew I someday wanted to be a writer.

S:  What attracts you to the romance genre?

B:  The Happy Ever After. The thrill of finding a romantic partner. The passion. The hope for the future with the love of your life.

S:  What is your definition of romance?

B:  The discovery of love and all the components of love that make a Happy Ever After. Curiosity, joy in another’s company, understanding, acceptance, giving, receiving, kindness, physical attraction, sensuality, hope, and happiness.

S:  What is the best advice you have ever given?

B:  Follow your dream, now! And if not now, tomorrow or the day after. But never, never give up on your dream.

S:  (Nods.) Always good advice, especially for writers.

What’s the best advice you have ever been given?

B:  It is never too late. I gave up my dream (to write books) because of life’s necessities. It took me almost 20 years to get back to it, but it never left my heart or my soul.

S:  (Smiles.) Also great advice. Dreams drive you. They keep you moving toward your goal.

What/who inspires you?

B:  My first answer is music. A lyric or a simple phrase from a song will inspire a whole plot or a main character. My  second answer is social issues. I believe that the romance genre, a genre predominately for and about women, can help women realize their worth and rights.

S:  I'll take that a step further. I believe romance authors have a responsibility to accurately address social issues in their stories, in a way that empowers women to live their best lives.

Tell me about your latest book, "Sleepin' Alone." 

B:  "Sleepin’ Alone" is book six in the Aspen Gold Series, written by six different authors. Each book is a standalone, but they all intertwine through the town and characters who live in Spencer, Colorado. In "Sleepin’ Alone," I introduce the reader to the main characters for my next two books in the series. I’m currently working on "Stay A Little Longer," Doc Gage Ewing story, which will be out in late April, 2020. Owen’s story will be out in the fall.

Here's the blurb--

Every man is guilty of the good he did not do…

Undercover cop, Hunter Lawe, rides the narrow line between enforcing the law and breaking it. He knows all there is to know about betrayal and the lie called love. Seductive Ruby Leigh Dupree may hold the key to his redemption. Never his heart. No woman will ever use him again. That's his game now. He'll use anyone to get the enemy this time, no matter the cost. After all, life is just the road to death.

Ruby Lee Dupress can't remember Chicago or what happened that caused her to end up on the run with night terrors and scars. She sets out on a mission to discover the answers. As difficult as it is to trust someone--especially a stranger--she has no options. Hunter Lawe says he has the answers. Will they lead to her past or death? 

Sleepin' Alone: Aspen Gold: The Series Book 6 by [Jones, Bernadette]

S:  Where can readers buy your book?

B:  It's available at all major booksellers, including--

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

Wednesday, March 11, 2020

Congratulations to V.J. Allison on her latest release!


You can run from your past, but it will catch up to you eventually.

Alexis has that special something about her that Seth can’t fathom. His friend Mirabelle’s new employee is even prettier than the merchandise she sells. Too bad she’s distantly polite when he tries talking to her.

Alexis is attracted to Seth, but she’s in hiding from her past and her mistakes. Getting involved with the one person she's attracted to could blow her cover.

When they’re forced to work together, their libidos ignite. Alexis is terrified to open up and give in to her feelings for Seth. If he remembers that night five years ago, he’ll never speak to her again.

It becomes a question of whether Seth will expose her and force her to keep running, or if he'll help her face her past.


Later that morning, he and Blaine arrived at the store early. Like Thursday, Alexis was sitting on a stool behind the counter with her drawing pad in front of her and a pencil in her hand. She glanced up with a smile and a nod in greeting and turned back to her work. Blaine went toward the back again, and Seth made sure he stayed away from the front part of the store.
Seth let his gaze wander over Alexis while he waited. Yesterday’s lavender blouse had looked amazing on her, but that soft blue t-shirt really caught his eye. One eyebrow went upwards in masculine appreciation as his gaze followed the line of her small breasts. The sudden twitch of admiration from other, sexual parts of his body came as a surprise. Hey! She’s not my type, don’t go there! Focus on your work, dumbass. Jesus.
Seth moved toward the side of the store that was cleared to let the men work as a way to keep his mind focused on his job. They were creating the archway halfway toward the back, on the opposite side from the checkout counter. It looks great. I didn’t realize they were clearing out the area while we were busy in the other part yesterday. Good. He examined the wall to be sure they had the correct measurements. Mirrie wants at least a foot between the top of the arch and the ceiling. We can do it. His gaze followed the lay of the ceiling, looking for any uneven areas. This old place was built in the 1950s, but it’s good and sturdy. I don’t see any flaws we have to watch out for. He reached into his pocket for the stud finder, and with an inward sigh, he realized Blaine had it. So much for getting that out of the way. He dug his drawing pad out of a pocket on his carpentry apron, so he could work on the trim design while he waited.
A whiff of the same flowery scent he remembered from Thursday hit his nostrils. He wasn’t expecting to talk to Alexis much that day due to the noise. Plus, he was expecting her to be busy with customers most of the day. “Morning, Alexis,” he said without looking up from his pad.
“Hi. I thought you two had the measurements for here already,” she replied.
He spared her a glance and shrugged. “We do, but Mirrie asked me if I could design some trim for the arch. I wanted to get a better look at it from this side. That way, I know what would look great and get a feel to make it look good for all parts of the store.” He peered at the wall for a moment, made an adjustment in the drawing and stared at the wall again. Something was missing. What was it?
Alexis was quiet, and he could feel her watching him. “May I take a peek? I know what she has in mind. If you get it right the first time, it’ll be less work for you.”
“I’m not done yet,” he replied and moved a foot away from her.
“Come on, don’t be chicken. I promise I won’t laugh.” There was a coaxing note in her soft voice. It sounded like honey to Seth’s ears.
Damn, I love her voice when she talks like that. But I can’t give in, not after the way she acted on Thursday. She wants to look? Fine with me. Game on, girl! He snapped the pad shut and grinned evilly and dangled the notepad above his head. “Come and get it.” He batted his eyelashes at her and backed up a step.
Her eyes narrowed, and there was a challenge in her dark irises. “Don’t even try it,” she muttered and tried to reach it.
He wanted to tease her a bit, to see if he could get her to open up more and to show her that messing with him wasn’t a great idea. He backed up a couple more steps toward the main door and dangled it in front of his face. “You’re not seeing it until I see what you were doing yesterday.” He added a taunting note to emphasize his point.
She smirked. “Don’t start something with me, Mitchell, because you won’t win.”
They stared at each other for several heartbeats, two opponents locked in mock combat. Alexis sprung at him again.
Seth barely had time to evade it. Her slim, firm body collided with his, and the image of the girl in his dream hit him, which made him a little woozy. She’s not the dream girl. Alexis is real. Focus on teasing her! The vision disappeared, and with it, the dizziness. He backed up another step and felt the door behind his back. “Come and get it,” he sneered jokingly and held it at arm’s length as he physically prepared for another dive.
She smiled slyly a split second before she jumped at it. He yanked it out of her reach with a snicker.
“Prick.” Behind the lenses of her glasses, her eyes twinkled with merriment.
“Be nice, or you won’t see it at all,” he said with a tone of mirth.
With a roll of her eyes, she shrugged, folded her arms across her chest, and turned away. “If that’s the way you’re going to be, fine. I can wait until it’s done.” She stuck her nose in the air and marched primly back to the counter.
Seth chuckled because he knew he had won that round.
“Show me yours, and I’ll show you mine.” She giggled and held up her closed notepad.
He sighed and grimaced. He was as curious about her drawing as she was of his, and he knew if he made a dive for her pad, she’d really let him have it.
They stared at each other across three feet of crowded space. She was grinning devilishly, her cheeks were flushed, and there was suppressed laughter in her stance, which made her more endearing. He tried to keep his mirth in check, but it was a losing battle. He could feel it in his chest, rising in his throat, about to explode.
At the same moment, their mutual amusement broke free in a joint round of laughter. Seth leaned back against the door and held his stomach as Alexis used the counter for support.
Her laugh was high-pitched, and it sounded sweet to his ears. “Stalemate?” she gasped after a minute between giggles.
“Stalemate,” he agreed with a snicker.
They exchanged a playful grin, and she flopped down on the stool behind the counter.
A moment later, Mirabelle and Blaine started walking toward the front of the store.
“See you two later,” Seth called on his way out with a wave, following the bear-like Blaine.
“Yeah, later, Seth.” Alexis still had a giggle in her voice.
Damn, what a great way to start off a day.
He exited, and with a mental snicker, he started wondering how much he could tease her before she really let him have it.

Buy Link:

Friday, March 6, 2020

This week in The Loft: Author Helen Henderson

Joining me today is historical and fantasy romance author Helen Henderson. Helen has authored several local histories, and numerous articles on American and military history, but her first love is fiction. The descendant of a coal-miner's daughter and an aviation flight engineer, her writing reflects the contrasts of her heritage. Helen's stories cross genres from historical westerns to science fiction and fantasy, including the Dragshi Chronicles and The Windmaster novels. 

Author Helen Henderson

S:  Good morning, Helen! 

How many books do you write a year? 

H:  If life doesn’t interfere and setting aside time for blog posts, writing challenges, interviews, and other promotional writing, I write one book a year. 

S:  Which book is your favorite thus far?

H:  At this point in time, I’ll risk the displeasure (and fire) of the dragons and choose my debut novel, “Windmaster,” as my favorite. Published by BWL Publishing, "Windmaster" became the first book of a series.

S:  What do you consider your greatest achievement?

H:  I am proud of my three local histories, including “From the Back Street To Main Street… And Beyond,” which chronicles the Society of Methodists of Middletown Point from its early beginnings, with circuit rider preachers to the current congregation of the 21st century. I am also proud of  “Hearth and Sand: Stories from the Front Lines and the Homefront,” a multi-genre collection of poetry, short stories, and novellas. It was written in tribute to family members who wore the uniform to defend their country. However, my greatest achievement is my marriage of 45 plus years.

S:  Wow, that's an amazing accomplishment!

What/who inspires you?

H:  Whether it was the stand-alone dark fantasy "Imprisoned in Stone," or one of the novels in the two romance fantasy series, the Dragshi Chronicles or the Windmaster novels, each of the tales was captured while Celtic music played in the background. No single song provided inspiration, although I admit that I wore out my tape of "Ireland's Call," as performed by Celtic Thunder.  However, I am consistently inspired by the piano solo played at the end of each episode of "The Incredible Hulk." The haunting tones of the "Lonely Man Theme" have applied to a character, a fantasy setting, and even a scene of leave-taking on the eve of battle.

S:  (Nods.) That is an incredibly moving song. 

Do you ever have a problem ending a book?

H:  Usually by the time a story is a handful of chapters in, the characters know what happened to them and have taken over the narration. I am merely the scribe recording. So theoretically, there shouldn’t be a problem with an ending. Until a character or characters don’t want to cooperate. In “Windmaster Legend,” Iol and Pelra refused to tell me what actually happened after their leap of faith. “That it would be too anticlimactic.” Without their guidance, I had to decide how to end the book. I presented the options and left it up to the reader to choose between the legend or one of the real-world possibilities.

Something similar happened with “Windmaster Golem” (coming autumn 2020). Three-quarters through the story, the metalsmith Brodie and the mage Kiansel forced me to bring all the characters to the hidden city for the final battle. Kia insisted that I had to come up with the resolution to Brodie’s refusal to accept her love. When pen and paper finally captured the ending, it was satisfying, but I will say the book definitely refused to cooperate!

S:  (Smiles.) That's what happens when your character take over!

How do you want to be remembered?

H:  I have to admit that I am at an age where you wonder about your legacy. As a historian, I know that often the tombstone is the only thing that society knows about a person. So, what will go on the tombstone? Name and dates don’t capture the imagination of the viewer when they walk through a cemetery. I prefer the old-fashioned sandstone, with epitaphs rather than the new-fangled marker with a video embedded in it, so my tombstone would read:

"Here lies an author, storyteller, and historian.
She captured the past for the future and cared for all."

Although I am no longer as active in the field, history is still part of my past and is embedded in my fantasy worlds to make them realistic. I want to be remembered as a storyteller because at some time, we all need to escape our everyday lives and a good tale will take us to another time and place. The last phrase has nothing to do with my career, although I  like to think I’ve given a hand up to people rather than trampling them, but rather with me as a person and my hope that the scales of life tilt in favor of a loving, caring, decent human being.

S:  Tell me about your book, "Windmaster."

H:  It is the first book in a three-book series. Here's the blurb--

Revenge set Ellspeth, captain of Sea Falcon, on the path to her destiny, but prophecy controlled the journey. Despite his insolent attitude, she is attracted to the dark-haired dockworker she hires to help unload the vessel's cargo. But the supposed dockhand is Lord Dal, the last member of the Council of Wizards, and her passenger. Bringing him back from near-death releases Ellspeth's latent powers and threatens her captaincy. For to have magic she must give up the sea. Dal and magic have another risk associated with them, a cult determined to rid the world of magic and all who wield it. Trapped within the Oracle's Temple, Ellspeth must choose between her own survival, saving the future of magic... or love.

 S:  That sounds intriguing. 

Where can readers buy your book?

H:  It is available in print or ebook on Amazon. Here's the link--

S:  Helen, thanks so much for joining me today! If you'd like to learn more about Helen and her books, please visit--

Amazon Author Page: