Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Author Sophia Karlson

Since working in the safari tourism industry I’ve been positively bitten by some fierce travel bug. I’m lucky that my husband is of the same thinking – we prefer to travel beyond anything else. Our most recent trip took us to Japan, a place that’s been on our bucket list for some time. Having lived in third world countries for the past seven years (Madagascar and Tanzania) we were looking for some first world efficiency. The idea of trains and planes that actually leave on time has a strong appeal if you’re used to the inverse (well, let’s just say having trains and planes are already something). Japan didn’t disappoint on any of these levels, but it was such an amazing experience overall. It’s so easy to get around in Japan – we used the Japan Rail Pass for two weeks and traveled only with cabin luggage to keep ourselves mobile. Having only cabin luggage comes with a lot of perks: you’re not tempted to shop, because you have no space for stuff. You’re never bogged down by your luggage, and packing is a breeze, because you have so little to pack. Service is fantastic in Japan, and they have all the toiletries you could possibly need available in the hotels, from shaving cream and toothbrushes to the usual suspects.

One of the highlights of the trip was indulging in a bit of a tourist trap situation – getting dressed in a kimono in Kyoto. Buying a quality kimono can set you back 1000 US$, so these Kimono rental houses are found all over Japan and are used by locals for Japanese weddings and other ceremonies. This was such a fun thing to do with my daughter, who loved this well-oiled machine of ‘dressing up’. Here are some photos of us picking our kimonos – we were not allowed to take pictures of the dressing process as you are in a communal room with other scantly clothed ladies. From here follows four stories of rather pampered bliss (?) as you get coaxed into many (seemingly unnecessary) layers as you move from one floor to the next. I think they did warn me to ‘pull in my stomach’ just before they jerked the whole business tight, but because the dresser spoke only Japanese I didn’t quite get that bit. This was the closest I’d ever get to a real antiquated corset, and I enjoyed the experience for all of an hour before I could breathe again. For those seeking inspiration for how a historical era heroine might have felt for most of the day in a corset, go try on a kimono! 

No writing on Japan could be complete without a little rave about the food. For the duration of our stay in Japan we didn’t eat the same thing twice – I never realized that Japanese food is so diverse. Every city and area has its own specialty and my word, do they know what they are about. There were many first for us (raw fish for breakfast…) but what we enjoyed the most were the meals in the Ryokans, or traditional Japanese Inns. Here, dinners are glamorous and over the top, but always honor the fundamentals of Japanese cooking: fresh, beautiful and super healthy. Here I am at our Ryokan Table, scrambling eggs for my kids – not quite what was intended, you’re supposed to eat the raw egg as a dip. The efficient waitress showed us how to eat and cook most of the things (this tutorial is essential!). For those who wonder what my kids ate throughout this trip – rice and ice cream, occasionally some pizza and pasta…but be warned, western food has all been retouched Japanese-style and won’t be quite what you’re used to at home.

Living in the tropics is a season less experience – always hot and even warm in winter. We were lucky to be able to travel in November, and enjoy the beautiful colors of autumn in Japan where each season is celebrated in full. We walked a lot – averaging 18k steps a day during a trip – but look at the beautiful places we saw. I’d love to visit Japan again in spring, and experience a different season, especially the cherry blossoms. Would our trip there ever inspire a book…not quite sure. I’m all for exotic settings, but I’ll keep my love for this country platonic for now, and might just bump into characters for a book on the next trip, if I’m ever that lucky!

All dressed up!

And with the ladies outside Himeji Castle

Boy in blue with orange leaves

Cooking scrambled eggs Japanese style


Picking kimonos

Posing with a samurai outside Himeji Castle

The family at a private garden outside Kyoto

The Ryokan table set for one


Title: Perfect Mistake
Author: Sophia Karlson
Genre: Contemporary Romance/Suspense
Release: June 6, 2018
Cover Credits: Debbie Taylor from http://www.dcagraphics.com/

Simone Levin had a dream job as a safari pilot until an unexpected pregnancy clipped her wings. Tired of juggling motherhood with her demanding flight schedule, Simone applies for an office job, unaware that her new boss is Carlo Carlevaro, the man who’d ditched her before finding out he’d knocked her up. Carlo returns to East Africa only to kill another fire—Ivory trafficking from his lodges threatens to destroy his company. Finding Simone back on the payroll comes as a pleasant surprise. As his employee, Simone is off-limits, but she is the only one he trusts to help with his undercover investigation. With time running out, Simone and Carlo strive to expose the trafficking ring, but working together rekindles their mutual desire. When Simone is implicated as a trafficker, revealing her daughter’s existence to Carlo seems inevitable. Acting on her instincts might come too late as the syndicate retaliate and hone in their threat. Will they survive to give their love a chance?


Simone went to stand next to him. “Why am I here?”
He turned to her. The dark shadows under his eyes were somehow more accentuated in the play of lamplight than in the bright sunshine. “Let’s talk somewhere else.”
“Where do you suggest? The guests are bound to arrive soon and you know we can’t walk around by ourselves after dark.”
“Come to my room.”
She inhaled sharply, her hands clenching into fists. “Is that why I’m here? Do you really think–”
With a soft groan, Carlo curled his fingers around her arm and pulled her onto the deck, away from the other people sitting in the lounge. “To your room then,” he whispered, “although I much prefer mine. And no scenes, if you please.” His hand was a ring of fire around her arm, propelling her to the wooden walkway.
He walked next to her but let go of her arm.
A few steps from her tent she stopped. “I don’t care who hears this. If you think we’re going to carry on where we left off four years ago you are very much mistaken.”
He didn’t blink an eye. “You seem to be singularly one-track-minded, Simone.”
Heat rose to her cheeks; it spread down her chest to her treacherous heart, which pounded at the thought of him. Why was he still able to do this to her? Being alone with him was the worst possible idea.
“Well, if not for that, why march me to my tent as if you would have your way–”
“You may still be devilishly tempting, Simone, but now that I’m your boss you’re completely off limits.”

Author Bio: 
Sophia Karlson has lived in France, Germany, Tanzania, Madagascar (not the movie, the country!) and now finds herself back on home ground in South Africa. As a teenager, she devoured romances with far flung settings, loving to travel through books. After school her itchy feet took her around the world, but now she doesn’t get much further than the school run and the daily walk with her very demanding beagle, Phoebe. She writes contemporary and erotic romance, wanting to take readers on a journey of their own. She loves hearing from readers, follow her on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/sophia.karlson.5, Twitter: @SophiaKarlson, on the web at www.sophiakarlson.com.

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Sunday, May 27, 2018


I'd like to announce that "Steele and Stone" is now available in Audio.  It was narrated by Dawson McBride. 

Steele and Stone

by Kay Phoenix

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.


“I loved Michael and Elle’s emotional journey of learning to let go in order to love again.” 
– Beverly Preston, USA Today best-selling author of The Mathews Family series.

“Kay’s stories will make you laugh in glee and sigh with happiness.”
 – Michelle C. Reilly, author of The Anathergians Series.

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Author Kay Harris

Thank you so much for having me, Kay! This is a great subject for me because, like many people, I love to travel. It is one of the greatest joys in life! My love of travel has made its way into my books as well. My latest release “Lost on the Road to Love” takes place on a travel show where the hero and heroine take their trek to love across the globe in a heart-filled adventure.

The journey, however, begins in my favorite city in the U.S. and the setting for the entire “I Want Morrison” series—San Francisco. I live in Southern Nevada at the moment, and as it turns out my last few vacations were spent in the City by Bay. So I thought I’d share some the better, and lesser-known places we’ve visited recently.

First off, there is so much more to see than the Wharf. Sure, everyone has to see it. But once you’ve done it, leave that part of the city behind and go exploring. Near the shore but closer to downtown there’s Coit Tower, the iconic Ferry building, which houses restaurants and shops and often has a farmer’s market right out front, and the long stretch of the Embarcadero. Turn inland and walk down Market street. Check out the venders, and frequently, the entertainment found there. Follow that or take the streetcar to Chinatown and the Civic Center area. See the amazing city hall, symphony hall, and opera house. Don’t forget all the great museums including the Museum of Modern Art, the Museum of the African Diaspora, and the Contemporary Jewish Museum. Deeper still into the heart of the city is Golden Gate Park. This gorgeous stretch of nature and peace features yet more incredible museums as well as the Conservatory of Flowers and the Botanical Gardens.

Add to the cultural wonders San Francisco has to offer amazing food, great shopping, and public transportation that can take you anywhere you want to go, and you have one incredible trip.

If you think I’m in love with the city that Karl the Fog likes to eat up each morning, you’re right. And my books serve as a love story to the city itself. Because what better way to revisit your travels than to write about them, right?

My husband about to indulge in an amazing meal in China Town

The view from our seats to the Symphony concert in Davies Symphony Hall

Me on the steps inside City Hall

The beautiful wood and glass building housing the Conservatory of Flowers


Release date: March 14, 2018
Publisher: The Wild Rose Press
Genre: Contemporary Romance, Romantic Comedy
Length: Novel
Series: I Want Morrison (Book 2)

Take two best friends, add some benefits, and it may take a map to find their way to love.

On the road for eight months as part of the crew for a travel show, Chelsea Morrison expects to work hard, endure long nights, and enjoy some wicked adventures. But she doesn’t expect to fall head over heels for the show’s star. 

Henry Rush, son of a legendary rock star, is leery of women. He learned early they only want him for the fame that rightly belongs to his father. But when an intense friendship with Chelsea leads to so much more, he has to confront the one thing he’s avoided all his life. 

Can these two friends navigate their way to a happy ending?


I rested my hand on my hip. “Are you saying you find me irresistibly attractive?”

“Yes.” He gave a firm nod. There was no mirth in his eyes or in the set of his mouth.

I narrowed my gaze and scrutinized him. “I thought it was because we’re so close, remember.”

“Yes. And you’re insanely hot.”

“Am not!”

“Are too!”

I shook my head.

“Wanna make a bet on it?” he challenged.


“You get naked for me. And if I am disappointed, you win the bet. If you’re as hot as I think you are under those clothes, I win. In fact, I already know what I want if I win. I want to see one of the films you’ve made.”

I stared at him, my mouth agape.

“What do you want if you win, Chels? Not that it matters. Because you won’t win.”

I finally found my voice. Because I couldn’t turn down this opportunity. “If I win, you sing for me.”

“Done.” He settled farther into the couch. “I’m ready when you are.”

Buy Links:
THE WILD ROSE PRESS: http://bit.ly/2BjHYmL

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Author Bio:

Kay Harris has had a diverse career with jobs ranging from college professor to park ranger. Now she adds author to her repertoire. Kay writes romance novels that contain a little bit of sweet, a dash of sexy, a touch of heartbreak, and a whole lot of fun! 

Kay grew up in the Midwest and has since lived all over the western United States including Montana, Wyoming, Utah, Arizona, Nevada, and California. She loves to hike, is obsessed with museums, and enjoys taking her extremely tall and very handsome husband on adventures.

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Author M. S. Spencer

I have traveled all my life, starting with my first airplane ride from Washington, DC to Paris at the age of four, so it’s hard to pick out any particular trip as my favorite—was it traveling by bus through Syria, Turkey, and Iran? Driving through France, Andorra, and Spain to Gibraltar and Morocco? Sailing down the Nile to Luxor?

As it happens, the one on my mind lately is the voyage into the Amazon with my son. That’s because I’m finishing up a new novel set there, which incorporates some of the adventures we had. Tentatively entitled Orion’s Foot: Myth and Murder in the Amazon, it is a murder mystery set deep in the Peruvian jungle, and involves cryptids (animals thought to be extinct and/or legendary creatures), murder, and romance. 

It’s based on the week we spent at a research station on the Yarapa River, a tributary of the Amazon. It took two full days to get there, and when we arrived we were greeted by the most exotic creatures I’ve ever seen—tapirs, macaws, sloths, pink dolphins, and capybaras. We saw the smallest monkey in the world (a pygmy marmoset), tarantulas, tiny bats, Morpho butterflies, and the strange hairless dog called an Inca orchid. We fished for (and ate) piranhas. We took dugout canoes everywhere, to the oxbow lakes where the weird hoatzin birds huddle and to watch the sunset over the Amazon. We cooled off by swimming in the chocolate brown river with the dolphins (and the piranhas). It was that hot.

Altogether, one of the most amazing trips I’ve ever had. Stay tuned for the novel!

Title: The Pit & the Passion: Murder at the Ghost Hotel

Series and Book #:
Author/pen name: M. S. Spencer

Genre:  Mystery romance; romantic suspense; humorous romance

Publisher: The Wild Rose Press

Date of Publication:  1/22/2018

978-1-5092-1841-7 Paperback
978-1-5092-1842-4 Digital 

Number of pages: 418
Word Count:  97,370


At midnight, in the darkness of a deserted hotel, comes a scream and a splash. Eighty-five years later, workmen uncover a skeleton in an old elevator shaft. Who is it, and how did it get there? To find out, Charity Snow, ace reporter for the Longboat Key Planet, teams up with Rancor Bass, best-selling author. A college ring they find at the dig site may prove to be their best clue.
Although his arrogance nearly exceeds his talent, Charity soon discovers a warm heart beating under Rancor’s handsome exterior. While dealing with a drop-dead gorgeous editor who may or may not be a villain, a publisher with a dark secret, and an irascible forensic specialist, Charity and Rancor unearth an unexpected link to the most famous circus family in the world.

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The Apparition

Charity nursed her drink. She didn’t have to wait long. An agitated Rancor, his face as white as cotton wool, tottered to the table. “What is it?”
“Oh my God. I saw him! I saw Tommy, Charity!”
He slumped down on the chair, then leaned forward and snatched her wine from her hand, downing it in one swallow. “He was…he was sitting there, calm as you please. When he saw me—” He gulped for air.
“What do you mean, he saw you? Don’t ghosts just have eye sockets?”
“Not this one. He had coal black eyes and…and they flashed. He was angry, Charity. Angry at me.”
“Did he talk?”
“Of course not. He’s a ghost. Honestly, haven’t you read anything about ghosts?”
Charity took a deep breath. “Okay, tell me what happened.”
“Well, he saw me and pulled himself up. He wore torn overalls and a cotton shirt.”
“The scrap of denim.”
Rancor nodded. “He opened his mouth as though he were yelling, but no sound came out. He took a step toward me and fell over. That’s when I saw he only had one leg.”
“That’s right—they had to cut it off to get him out of the pit.”
“Yes. He lay there, his hand outstretched toward me, his mouth gaping like a dying mackerel. Charity, he wanted something from me.”
“His toy. The ring.”
“Wow. How did he know I have it?”
Charity gave him a disgusted look. “Hello?”
“Oh.” Rancor held up two fingers. The bartender nodded and began to mix another martini. “Do you suppose Tommy took the ring from the dead man?”
“He must have.” Charity mused. “But the other body arrived later, after Tommy—I mean Theodore— after they took his body away.”
“But his ghost still haunted the pit.”
“And when Biddlesworth decided to sublet, he came out.”
“Spotted the restaurant and decided the men’s room would be preferable to being buried alive.”
“A ghost can’t be buried alive.”
“True.” Rancor scratched his chin. “So, first order of business is to find out when the other one died.”

Author bio:

Although M. S. Spencer has lived or traveled in five of the seven continents, the last thirty years were spent mostly in Washington, D.C. as a librarian, Congressional assistant, speechwriter, editor, non-profit director, and parent.
Ms. Spencer has published eleven romantic suspense novels, and has two more in utero. She has two fabulous grown children and an incredible granddaughter. She divides her time between the Gulf Coast of Florida and a tiny village in Maine.

Author website and social media links:

Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Author Mariah Lynne

Egypt!  The land of the pharaohs, the pyramids, and The Nile! Ever since we have been married, Egypt has always been at the top of our trip wish list. In 2010, our dream came true. Believe me, I felt like pinching myself from the time we landed in Cairo to sailing into the Temple of Abu Simbel  not too far from the Sudanese border.

We awoke the next morning to a breath taking view of The Nile. After breakfast, we left for the pyramids at Giza. We climbed up to the entrance of the largest one but did not go inside since you had to crawl most of the way through it. From there, we went to the Sphinx. I remember thinking how close this monument was to town. There were street merchants all around, but they didn’t hassle you. I remember buying two necklaces from the cutest little boy.

Of course, it wouldn’t be Egypt without a camel ride so that was our next stop. The camels looked regal with their colorful woven blankets and handlers in traditional garb. I got up on one which surprised me!

After lunch in a local outdoor restaurant where they cooked chickens in the ground and had restrooms that were mere holes in the dirt (culture shock), we drove to the step pyramid, the oldest pyramid on record.

Since it was the prototype, its structure was not perfect, but it was situated in n the Sahara desert. Not too far away, lush tropical greenery from Nile irrigated fields served as home to water buffalo and donkeys.

Our second day in Cairo, we visited the largest mosque in Egypt and the Cairo museum. The museum was raided with relics destroyed during the Arab Spring. The Arab Spring began less than two months after we arrived home. Filled with ancient treasures, the coral colored building was not air conditioned back then except for Tutankhamen’s room. At the time of our visit, the museum housed many royal mummies and archeologists had just discovered a new one of a queen. Tutankhamen’s burial mask was inlaid gold as were his two sarcophagi.

The next day, our flight to Luxor left at four AM. From the airport we went to the temple of Karnak filled with statues and drawings. I was greeted by a small dog sleeping at the feet of the statute Ramses. That same day, we went to the Temple of Luxor with its enormous columns and its promenade lined with small sphinxes.

That evening we took a horse and buggy ride with Omar and his horse Rambo through the market where your eyes feasted on colors and your nose inhaled spices before attending a light and sound show at Karnak. We watched the show, but could see men digging not too far away reminiscent of Indiana Jones.

One our tour, we visited the Temple of Horus with paintings dating back to 1500 B.C and visited the museum at Luxor.  

Leaving Luxor, we toured the Valley of the Kings. We went inside the tombs of Ramses II and Ramses VI and of course the most popular Tutankhamun’s tomb which housed his gold sarcophagus and mummy. The young king’s room had paintings of baboons on the wall. Before this turns out to be a book, I’ll skip down to our trip to Abu Simbel. Along the way, we visited temples and ruins on islands since we spent three days on a Nile riverboat.  We approached the massive temple at Abu Simbel by boat on Lake Nasser and the sight of it when we approached was jaw-dropping.

It was quite a walk to the large temple of Ramses with its enormous statues that greeted us at the entrance. Inside the temple were colorful drawings and painting that looked like they had just been finished. From there we visited Queen Nefertiti’s temple with smaller but just as beautiful statues. We stayed for the light and sound show which took my breath away with its beauty in multi colors and pictures projected upon the Temple.

We were in Egypt two weeks and toured the entire length of the country by boat, plane, bus, and riverboat. Our guides were professors of antiquities from the University of Cairo. I feel so very fortunate to have participated on such a journey that I filled the pages of a journal.

I love to travel and always have a wish list but this trip is by far my most memorable. In my writing, I Travel as well only through Time Travel like in The Duchess’ Necklace. Thank you for allowing me to share this with you.


Author/pen name: Mariah Lynne

Genre:  Time Travel Romance

Publisher: Satin Romance

Date of Publication:  June 2017

ISBN: 168046468X

Number of pages: 134


In THE DUCHESS’ NECKLACE (Satin Romance-release date May 31, 2017), my duchess, Amelia Augusta Ethrington, Her Grace the Duchess of Abbington, is fourth in line for the British throne. 18th century royal marriages were less about love and more about standing and property.

 Amelia refuses to marry not wanting to relinquish a smidgeon of power to a husband. Because of this, she has one night stands with traveling knights and younger men seeking favor to quench her desires. She’s too modern a woman for 18th century rules and needs a modern man who will accept her for her intelligence, independence and feistiness. She needs a man from the present. When circumstances in her life go awry, she finds one by chance through Time Travel.

Her Time Travel, however, began not for finding love but for seeking revenge and settling a score. A deceptive Traveler from the present romances her only to steal her necklace, her sole claim to title and standing before returning to the present. She Travels to get her necklace back: finding love is a side benefit but with that benefit comes a choice. Will she choose love in her future or life of wealth and privilege as a duchess?

Buy links: Amazon Kindle: http://amzn.to/2qOWFW4

All buy links through my website MariahLynne.com

 I realize I am not the heroine our love poets wrote about. I have the same desires as any other woman, maybe even a few more, but am left to fulfill them in secret trysts with men I wouldn’t be seen with in public. One day, however, a curious set of events would change all that.
The next afternoon, I was sleeping as sound as a newborn when short, loud, popping noises shook me from a dream. Pistol shots? Why? Who? Startled, my heart raced. I gasped trying to catch my breath. My thoughts spun like a whirling dervish as I forced myself upright to listen for any other noises. I waited. There were none. A few minutes passed before I heard screaming female voices break the eerie silence. Frenzied chatter from outside followed before the downstairs pendulum clock chimed three times. Three in the afternoon and I’m still in bed? Peculiar. I pride myself as an early riser.
Fear caused a sudden cold draft to chill my neck. I looked down at my sheer nightshirt. Odd, it was unbuttoned down to my waist. For some unknown reason, I felt compelled to touch my neck.
My necklace! Why on earth didn’t I have it on? I never take it off.
I stood rushing to my bed stand to open the top drawer. Not there. Anxious, I then combed through every inch of the bed sheets.
It’s not here. Not anywhere. What will I do? My necklace is gone.
Panic left me breathless. My stomach became uneasy as I began to feel lightheaded. I slumped down into the high back chair next to the window trying to regain my composure. I hoped to remember whatever I could about where I may have left it. When I felt better, I stood and looked under my bed. I searched under the cushions of my chair. I still couldn’t find it. How could I be so careless?
My necklace … my inheritance … my sole claim to my royal estate and title of duchess; how could it vanish in a flash?

Author bio:

Ever dream of traveling through time? Mariah Lynne does. Her stories take readers on exciting romantic adventures. Travel through history with strong willed independent heroines whose memorable tales and twisted plots dabble in the paranormal.

A graduate of Syracuse University, Mariah lives on a beautiful Florida Gulf Coast island. Before writing fiction, she wrote weekly columns for two island newspapers. She adores her island town so Southwest Florida takes center stage in all of her stories.

Mariah is a member of Romance Writers of America and the Southwest Florida Romance Writers.  

Her books include THE DUCHESS’ NECKLACE, SHADOWS ACROSS TIME, and THE LOVE GYPSY. Her short stories “Love at First Flight” and “The Kaine Mutiny” are published in Vols.1 and 2 of FROM FLORIDA WITH LOVE.Claws for Justice” is included in a mystery anthology featuring cats “NINE DEADLY LIVES”.   

When not writing, Mariah enjoys swimming, travelling, and spending time with her husband and dolphin hunting dog, Max, a shelter adoptee.

Author website and social media links:

Twitter: @mariahlynne1
PINTEREST: Mariah Lynne
e-mail: mariahlynneauthor@yahoo.com