Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Author Kay Phoenix

I recently got to go on my own little "Midweek Escape".  We went to San Diego, in search of relaxation and craft beer (hey, we're beer geeks!).  See, in my non-writing life, I have a big local Art Show that I've been putting together and I really needed a breather before crunch time.  This escape was just that...I napped every day, and we took it easy.  In between naps, we went to local breweries and even a distillery.  

The first day we were there, we toured the USS Midway, which was much bigger than I expected, and very fascinating.  On the flight deck above, there were audio files of personal accounts from each previous pilot of the planes.  I got to sit in the cockpit of one of them.  My favorite part of the USS Midway tour was the kitchens though.  I've seen cruise ship kitchens, and these kitchens were extremely small comparatively.  It's amazing to think they were able to feed so many men every day. 

On our second day, we took the ferry to Coronado Island and went to Coronado Brewing Company.  I highly recommend them.  The food and atmosphere were amazing.  Also, I could smell the barley when we walked in, which smells like baking bread.  It's a working brewery.  That night, we had dinner at The Westside Tap House, and a nightcap at the Stone Tasting Room in the Gaslamp District.  

On our third day we drove to Stone Brewery in Escondido.  I've been to Stone a few times, but he had never been and is quite a fan of their product.  We got to take the tour (which only cost $3), and  have 5 generous samples of their product. Afterwards, we had a great dinner in their garden area.  Stone Brewery should be on any foodie's list when traveling near Escondido.

The next day, we toured a local distillery, and got a HUGE surprise.  As we were the only two on the tour at the time, the owner told us he was going to take us to a special tasting area.  Well...  I probably shouldn't give it away, but suffice it to say that not all the walls in the room were real walls!  We were pretty impressed, not only by the tricky architecture, but also by the liquors we tasted and the science that goes into distilling.  After that, we had to drive home back to Vegas.

Funny enough, most people come to Vegas for an escape, but we had to leave it to escape.

See you on the road!

Title: Steele and Stone
Series and Book #:  The Daring Hearts series, Book 1
Author/pen name:  Kay Phoenix

Genre:  Contemporary Romance

Publisher: The Wild Rose Press

Date of Publication:  November 2, 2016


Number of pages: 133

Word Count:  42,000


Elle Thompson was raised in Denver. She paints. She hikes. She knows how to avoid cougar attacks.

The only cougars Michael Williams usually worries about are the ones that wear leopard print leggings on 5th Avenue.

But, when his acquisition firm sets its sights on Elle's family business, his tidy life goes awry. As things unravel, so do all his preconceived notions of love and what makes a perfect partner.

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“So, how are you feeling today?” a familiar voice asked behind him. He didn’t have to turn to know who it was, but he turned anyway, temporarily forgetting about his sunburn until he saw the shocked expression on her face.
“Whoa! No sunblock either? I had some, you could have asked,” she giggled. “That’ll peel for sure.”
Blue! Brilliant, shimmering blue eyes. He hadn’t seen her eyes during their hike, as they’d been hidden behind sunglasses the whole time, and he’d always been a sucker for blue eyes. Her blonde hair hung long, loose and wavy as she leaned casually against the doorframe.
“I see you’ve already made yourself quite at home,” she said. “Randall told me he let you use the conference room.”
“What are you doing here?” he asked in a tone that sounded a bit too firm.
“Oh, no ‘How are you?’ or ‘Nice to see you?’” She tilted her head to the side, causing a loose curl to graze her breast.
He turned back to the coffee. “I didn’t mean to sound rude. You just surprised me.”

Author bio:

Ms. Phoenix is a rare bird herself...a lifelong resident of Las Vegas, Nevada. She belongs to Las Vegas Romance Writers and has served on the board for several years. She is also a member of Romance Writers of America with PAN status.

Prior to writing, Kay was a Graphic Artist for fifteen years in the casino industry and holds degrees in both Graphic Arts and Psychology. In her spare time she enjoys hiking, traveling and photography. She is also involved in several Las Vegas non-profits, and is the current Chairman of a popular, long-running, local art show.

Kay has been blessed to be able to travel many places, which inspired her to host a weekly author spotlight called “Midweek Escapes” on her blog. It features guest author’s favorite vacation destinations, their travel tips, and, of course, information about their book releases and occasional giveaways.

Author website and social media links:

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Author Mareta L. Miller

When I saw Mareta's posts on some author pages, I thought "She's familiar!". Turns out she's a long time friend of my friend's sister and we hung out a few times in the past.  Sometimes, Las Vegas can be a very small town.  I'm so excited for her and her writing! She's full of personality and heart!

I’m not a world traveler, in fact, I’ve never been more than a few miles past the boarders of Canada and Mexico, and I was so young that I hardly remember either of them. But I have traveled. My stepdad loved to take road trips and I’ve probably taken at least a pit stop or two in almost two-thirds of the continental United states. I actually just pulled out a map and took count, ha-ha.
As an adult I’ve enjoyed being able to plan my own trips, staying long enough to take in the sights, mingle with the people, and make memories with my family. From the island of Maui, where I married my husband, to Boston, MA where we visited his home town, I’m just in awe as to what our country has to show us and there are so many more places I can’t wait to visit. But this is about my favorite of them all and it’s not as obvious as it may seem.
It’s a tossup really. Both of my favorite places have so many similarities, and almost three-thousand miles of highway connecting them. I’m referring to Seattle, WA and Boston, MA. If you gave me an opportunity to visit either again and I’d jump at the chance, but… just as the characters in my first book, Telling Me with Roses, would say, I found love in Boston.
My first trip there was only for three days to celebrate my father-n-laws seventieth birthday in 2012, but it had me convinced that I’d sell my house and uproot my kids in a heartbeat to move there and that was during the winter. My husband and the cost of living decided against me, so I decided that if I couldn’t live there, that’s where Derick and Julia’s love story would play out. I’d live vicariously through them, taking them to places I’d gone and, through the great powers of the internet, find others that would be theirs for me to visit the next time I went.
If you’ve ever been to Boston, you know that it’s a place of history and architecture with amazing structures dating from before the days of Paul Revere but it doesn’t stop there. In as little as twenty minutes up to a couple hours’ drive, you can visit the home of John Quincy Adams or walk the cobble stone streets of Salem with the witches. I also love the town of Plymouth, where I can walk along the shops or barefoot along the seashore until the tide comes in. I always take a moment to stop at Plymouth Rock before I have a seat at Woods Seafood to watch the lobster boats come in as I enjoy one for myself.
I personally like to take the red eye flight so that I can disembark the plane, grab some Dunkin, and tackle the city on foot and by train, and after a day or two, I actually have a pretty good grasp on where I’m going. The transit system makes getting from place to place so easy and carefree and I find myself jealous of the people who get to spend their trips to and from work reading. A favorite lunch spot of mine is The Black Rose, where depending on the day I can feast on a lobster roll and cup of clam chowder or a whole lobster with an ice-cold Sam Adams. As you can tell, I eat my fair share of lobster while I’m there.
I love to catch baseball games at the most amazing Fenway Park where it’s as if you’re enjoying a street party and a baseball game breaks out. While wandering the streets of Back Bay, stopping to have a beer at the Bull & Finch Pub, or Cheers, as the TV sitcom would have us know it, is a must do. Then just across the street, you can relax on the bench that I deemed to be Julia’s bench in the Public Garden while to watch squirrels play in the grass and ducks swim in the pond.
A day or three is just never enough time and I create every reason possible to go back as often as possible, knowing that my Aunt Barbara will always have a place for me to stay. I still hope to retire there someday, but I might consider keeping my house in Las Vegas for the winters. As beautiful as they can be, I don’t shovel snow.
Thank you for taking this little journey with me and if you haven’t gone yet, I guarantee when you do, it’ll be totally worth it.

Title: Telling Me with Roses
Series and Book: The Ninety-Nine Roses Series, Book One
Author: Mareta L. Miller

Genre:  Contemporary Romance

Publisher: Mareta L. Miller

Date of Publication:  July 15, 2015

ISBN:  978-09965768657

Number of pages: 210
Word Count:  49,000

Loss is a feeling Julia Morreau knows all too well. On the day she was placing the last piece of her metaphorical puzzle, the table flipped and all the pieces fell to the ground, her beautiful picture forever destroyed. She would finally have the career of her dreams but she would lose the three people she loved most.
Six years later she has completely shut out everything but that career. She’s content with the fact that she once had a soul mate and family and that those memories must last her a lifetime. What she’s not prepared for is Derick Edmunds, her new partner at work.
He’s everything she never thought she’d want again, and even if she did want, never thought she’d find. He’s brought her back to life and selfish as it may be she can’t give him up, but she can’t give him the truth either. Can a woman, whose life has revolved around a tragedy trust the second chance she’s being given?

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I look around to make sure there’s no one nearby to hear me. Satisfied to see I’m alone, I talk to Alex. “Hey, you. It’s so beautiful today isn’t it? I’m glad because I need to talk to you and I wanted it to be here. We spent so much time here and I feel you here more than anywhere else. I don’t really know where to start.” I rub my palms on my jeans. Oddly enough I feel nervous. After taking a couple of calming breaths, I start, “God, I’m such a mess lately, Alex, and I don’t even know where to begin. I think I’m ready to try again. I’m ready to find someone. I’m ready to not be alone anymore. But, I’m afraid that I’m breaking the promise I made to you.” I had promised to love him forever. My eyes start to fill with tears remembering all the promises we made each other. We made good on all of them in the time we had but most of them died with him, all but one. It’s the one that doesn’t actually require his presence, the one that is holding me back. The promise I made to love him forever.
“I need to know that moving on is what you want me to do before I can. I have to know it’s okay. I need you to send me a sign that this is what you want for me.”
I sit there for a few minutes just staring out over the water trying to get myself back together when I’m startled by something flying past me. It hits the grass, and before I can figure out what it is, a dog runs past me, picks it up and turns to run back the way it came. I start to laugh, feeling silly about my reaction, being so startled by a dog. The dog instead walks over to me and drops, what I can now see is a yellow ball, at my feet. It hunches itself and bounces back ready to fetch it again.
“Where are your parents, buddy? You can’t be here all alone,” I ask, not really sure if buddy is a boy or girl. But then, from behind me, I hear a voice I know. Derick’s.
“There you are, Ginger. Did you find a friend, girl? I’m sorry if she bothered you, she likes people.” The dog doesn’t run to him but sits there still looking expectantly at me, waiting for me to throw the ball.
I pick it up and turn around to throw it to her owner. “I think she wants this.” I toss it to him and he catches it, looking at me a little shocked. I think he may be a little surprised to see me too, but then a smile spreads across his face.
“Julia.” He tosses the ball back to me. “I think Ginger wants her new friend to throw this for her. I can’t say I really blame her, I’d pick you over me too.” He laughs, and it touches his eyes. They are a sky blue and twinkle with his smile.
I throw the ball and Ginger is instantly off to fetch it. The excitement she has for that simple action is palpable, and I’m slightly jealous. I wish I felt excitement like that. But then I realize that I do as Derick sits on the bench next to me.
“I’m sorry. I’m not interrupting anything am I? May I sit?”
“Of course. Please. You’re not interrupting anything. I’m just taking in the weather. Beautiful, isn’t it?” I look back out over the lake, but every part of me is aware of his closeness. I want to keep looking at him, but I don’t for fear that I might stare. Or even worse yet, that looking into those eyes will be my undoing.

Author bio:

My name is Mareta L. Miller. I’m a Las Vegas native who still lives in Sin City. Trust me when I say that growing up in Vegas is not as awesome as it sounds. I’ve never lived in a casino and I’ve never been a stripper or a showgirl, but I have spotted Elvis at least once a day, my entire life. I’m just your average wife and mother of ten. Yup, I said ten, consisting of three daughters, a son, three puppies (because mine will never be dogs), two kitties, and a turtle.

I love the love stories and I’m a sucker for second chances, so I write them, one broken heart at a time. Building hope, conquering fear, and mending hearts is what my writing aims to do. I know that writing these stories is what I’m meant to do and with the support of my family and friends, I think that no matter what happens, as long as I’m writing, I can’t go wrong. 
My writing and wanting to publish a book was my wish for myself on my thirty-eighth birthday. Since then it has become a constant need, an itch that is never satisfied because the stories never stop. It’s been my way to deal with everything— my fear— my anxieties— all of life’s little knock-me-downs because I know firsthand that real love does exist and can conquer. Belief in love is a powerful thing. For the first time in my life I have that feeling of accomplishment and I love being able to share my stories with all of you. I hope you’ll continue to follow me on this journey because this is only my beginning. Although my wings have begun to flutter, I think you’ve yet to really see me fly.

Author website and social media links:

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Author BA McIntosh

My husband and I have had the privilege to visit beautiful Cabo a few times. While we tend to prefer the more rural landscape of mountains, forests, and even glaciers, this seaside village is one of our favorite places to relax and unwind.

The beaches are beautiful and the sunsets are romantic as well as amazing. I particularly like to shop among the many local traders in the various flea markets.  They are friendly and enthusiastic about bartering and enjoyed the banter as much as we did. Though I wonder exactly who made the best deal when I walked away with beautiful hand-made blankets for all five of my children!

The local taverns are fun, boisterous and we love to relax with a frosty drink and authentic Mexican cuisine.  I love to try new foods and am never disappointed when I find a new favorite to make at home. Be warned, one of us has been known to get drawn into a tequila shot line while dancing around the bar.  If this happens to you, take heart, they usually get more on you then they do in you!

With all the fun and excitement available around town, I have to admit I truly love just hanging out at the beach and swinging in a hammock as I watch my husband snorkel and the waves roll in. It’s during these quiet moments that I think about all the romances I’ve read as a young girl  with a dashing pirate preparing to kidnap the innocent heroine. I let my imagination run wild and wonder … what if? I have more than a few stories I’ve dreamed up with a beautiful damsel in distress on the high seas, to keep me busy writing for years.

Title: Love’s First Blush
Author: B A McIntosh

Genre:  Romance

Publisher: Sin City Romance Writers

Date of Publication:  April 28th, 2017

ISBN: 978-0-9986721-2-0

Number of pages: 233
Word Count:  57,301


When you bet your heart in Vegas ... the jackpot is forever.

Forever Mine by B.A. McIntosh

For Emma Montgomery, family is everything. After spending years with neglectful adoptive parents, she’s finally been reunited with her sister and is following her dreams to become a painter when she witnesses the abduction of Marco Malone. Marco is the hero that had returned her to her family and had broken her heart. He is asking her to trust him so he can protect her but who will protect her heart?

Marco had spent the last two years avoiding Emma to keep her safe. His family was connected to the mob and being a private investigator brought danger and harm to anyone he cared about. With Emma at risk, he has no choice but to bring her into his world as he propels them on a journey that demands they learn to trust each other and their hearts.


Forever Mine Excerpt:

“Uh, Marco?” Tony tapped him on the shoulder.
His brother pointed in the direction of the lounge entrance on the other side of the casino. “Buddy, I think you’ve got more problems than you realize.”
A stunning woman walked with confidence, head held high, her arm linked through Frank’s. Her dress clung to her like it was glued on. The color was so close to her skin tone it made it look like she was practically naked.
Sweet heaven above!
Marco’s heartbeat raced like the engine in a Ferrari at the Grand Prix while certain anatomy south of his zipper felt hard as concrete.
A slim, toned, and tan long leg emerged from the high slit on the side of the dress with her every step. Her pale blonde hair hung in loose shimmering waves down to her delectably rounded derriere drawing the attention of every red-blooded man in the damn place.
Marco searched the room and immediately noticed that more than a couple of men were looking in the direction Tony was. He recognized her instantly.
Holy Hell! Emma?
She usually had her hair tied up in a ponytail and he hadn’t realized how gorgeous and long it really was or that she had the most fantastic body he’d ever seen.
He fought the urge to run over and throw his jacket around her, slumping in his seat instead. How in the world was he going to keep her safe? How was he going to continue to maintain his distance and fight his attraction to her? Young, student Emma wasn’t a problem but this siren was an entirely different matter. Shit!
Tony waved a hand in front of his face. “Hello? Marco?”
Marco heard his brother speaking but it was beyond him to make sense of a single word, especially not when he watched Frank emerge from the lounge alone.
Was the man out of his mind? Marco shot up from his stool like someone had taken a cattle prod to him. Had Frank just left the exquisite Emma unescorted in a lounge full of men that were drinking and looking for a good time in Vegas? Oh, no. This shit just wasn’t happening. He stormed toward the lounge, Tony's laughter ringing in his ears. Life just got infinitely more complicated.


BA McIntosh is a freelance writer and historical romance author.  She is an active participant of Las Vegas Romance Writers and a member of Romance Writers of America.   After two decades in the intelligence community and serving as an executive in the background screening industry, her expertise in real life suspense and intrigue combined with her creative imagination enable her to create stories and worlds that capture her reader’s imaginations.

Ms. McIntosh resides in Las Vegas with her most ardent champion, soul mate and husband, and their dog, Mojo.  An avid reader, she balances her love of reading and writing with her love of travel and spending time with her four daughters and son.

Author website and social media links:
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