Tag Archives: romantic Fiction

Furbaby Friday with Ellen Dye!


I’m happy to welcome fellow Wild Rose Press Author Ellen Dye–from the next door state of West Virginia–to share her kitty family and latest Women’s Romantic Fiction release, Relatively Crazy.

Ellen: Growing up as a true urbanite, living in apartments and moving frequently for my mother’s job, we always had a kitty or two in our family who faithfully made the move with us from town to town or state to state. Occasionally a stray, underfed, lost feline would make its way to us and was always welcomed, fed, loved and made to feel at home. But always there would be a frantic rush to find a new and permanent home for our new arrival before the landlord found out that we were over the allowable amount of kitties firmly agreed upon in our lease. And even though we never failed to find happy accommodations for our new friends I was always sad to have to say goodbye.

This is how I knew I wanted to grow up to be a Crazy Cat Lady, even though this was many years before the term was even coined. It became my dream to own a cottage in the woods where limits on kitties allowed would not exist.
My childhood girlfriends spent untold hours creating dream homes for their Barbie dolls, imagining comfortable yet spacious living areas for their future husbands and children. I, on the other hand, occupied myself arranging Barbie’s overstuffed furniture topped with paw-pleasing cushions and blankets into groupings I thought would allow for maximum kitty relaxation and calculated necessary paw space required per kitty so I could adjust my cottage-in-the-woods to comfortably house at least a dozen purring family members.

Time passed, I traveled, I grew up and then when I was ready to settle down I found my dream cottage in the West Virginia woods. Our family of four kitties and son happily settled in, relishing the peaceful quiet of the woods. Soon enough kitties just seemed to appear on the doorstep, some in need of food and shelter, some in need of medical attention, and all in need of a loving home. True to my childhood dream, I’ve had room—and no landlord to prevent—welcoming each unexpected new arrival into their forever home.

On Christmas Eve, this past year my son and I counted six kitties in our little family, five boys and one girl. It had been something of a sad holiday as just a few weeks prior we’d lost our beloved 15 year old elder-kitty, Pewter, who been with us since she was a six week old kitten, to kidney disease. And although we loved each of our kitties dearly, we still missed our silver tabby girl deeply.
The morning had dawned cold and blowing a bitter wind as my son and I were enjoying a cup of coffee at the kitchen table and watching our six kitties enjoying a holiday breakfast of chunk white tuna. It was the kind of bitter cold outside that makes one grateful for the simple luxury of a warm home and hot beverages and no outside chores to be done. Just as I mentioned this to my son, he stood and leaned toward the window. “Mom, I think there’s something in the snow.”

I turned just in time to see a fluff of gray creeping across the deck between frozen snow piles left from our last storm. Heedless of the cold I hurried outside and saw a heartbreakingly thin, sad puff of dirty gray and white fur crouched between piles of leftover snow. As I crept closer, two frightened green eyes watched me closely.

“It’s okay. You’ve come to the right place,” I whispered, inching closer. “Let’s get you warm and fed.”

I guess she decided I was a pretty good egg as she let me pick her up, carry her inside to warmth and a bottomless bowl of tuna fish. And she was immediately welcomed to the family with open paws by the rest of our herd.
In keeping with her holiday arrival we chose the name, Merry and as it turned out it fits her well. She is a very happy young lady who purrs almost continually and is always ready for a tussle with her favorite catnip mouse or a leap up the scratching post tower for a rollicking game of swat-the-tail with her favorite buddy, Elliot.

And now that spring has arrived she enjoys taking a sunbath on the deck, but she doesn’t wander off onto the grass. I think it’s because she’s as happy in her forever home as I am.

Blurb for Relatively Crazy: 

On her fortieth birthday, housewife Wanda Jo Ashton is expecting her husband’s standard gift of an E and E from T—that being Elegant and Expensive from Tiffany’s. However, what she gets is the news that her formerly successful, dependable, corporate attorney husband is leaving her to pursue the rich life of a kept man.
Left with nothing, she has no choice but to escape the San Francisco area with her sixteen-year-old daughter in tow and head toward the mountains of West Virginia and the embarrassingly quirky family she left behind twenty years ago. Here, Wanda Jo must carve out a future, complete with career and home, in the midst of family feuds, computer phobias, and the occasional home-brewing explosion.
Only the presence of her daughter and a few good friends, including her old buddy Sam Branson, make life bearable at all. Can it be true that the good life begins at forty?

Download Relatively Crazy in Kindle at:

 https://www.amazon.com/Relatively-Crazy-Ellen-Dye-ebook/dp/B076GNYR8X

***Follow Ellen’s Amazon Author Page at: https://www.amazon.com/Ellen-Dye/e/B002C79CSA

Thanks for stopping by! Please leave Ellen a comment.

California: The Not-So-Wild West by Keli Gwyn


Thanks so much for having me as your guest, Beth. Spending time with you and your blog’s visitors is a pleasure.  Delighted to have you, Keli. I love you in this period gown! Wonderful pic.

Now back to Keli’s not-so-wild west:

If you hear the words “California history,” what’s the first thing that comes to mind? For many of us, that would be the Gold Rush.

As a native Californian, I first learned about James Marshall finding those famous gold nuggets when I studied our state’s history in fourth grade. Little did I know then that I’d end up living just seven miles from the site of Sutter’s Mill in Coloma, where Marshall made the discovery that launched one of the world’s largest mass migrations.

In the early days of the Gold Rush, things in this untamed land were wild. My town of Placerville, first known as Dry Diggings, earned its most notorious moniker, Old Hangtown, when three men accused of robbery in January 1849 met their fate at the end of a rope following an impromptu trial.

The heyday of the Gold Rush lasted from 1849 to 1852. After that, mining was done primarily by large operations making use of hydraulic methods, since the easy-to-find gold had played out. The number of businessmen, farmers, and those in other occupations soon exceeded the number of miners, and refinement replaced roughness.

You might think culture was centered around San Francisco and Sacramento City—as it was called then—but that was not the case. While doing research for my stories set in the heart of the Gold Country in the 1870s, I unearthed many interesting facts, some of which I worked into my debut novel, A Bride Opens Shop in El Dorado, California.

At one point in the story, the hero, mercantile owner Miles Rutledge, tells newly arrived widow ElenoraWatkins, “I think you’re in for some surprises. California is no longer the Wild West. Over in Placerville the hotels have running water, the streets are lit with gaslights, and they have a Philharmonic Society.”

Miles relayed only a few facts. Placerville also boasted a brass band, a roller skating rink, and a 1,500-seat theater. And it wasn’t the only town with quality entertainment. Many of those up and down the Mother Lode had theaters, musical groups, skating rinks, etc. as well.

The presence of culture in itself doesn’t tell the whole story. The lack of crime was another factor that proved how quickly the state had been tamed. There were still outlaws and crimes, but as the stagecoach driver reassures Elenora following an unsettling encounter upon her arrival in California, “I hear tell the papers back East are full of stories about outlaws and Injuns attackin’ travelers, but them things are more likely to happen in open country. Not here where folks has settled.”

(*Placerville Hangmans’ Tree)

Many stories set in the West include a sheriff’s office in a town of any size. A Bride Opens Shop is no exception. However, the inclusion of Sheriff Hank Henderson is pure fiction. El Dorado didn’t have a sheriff. The nearest one would have been located in Placerville, which was nearly ten miles away. Law and order were well established within a few years of California’s statehood.

In the span of one generation, California had left behind her ignoble beginnings. While settled by an influx of people eager for instant wealth, a shift took place. The hardworking people who chose to stay put their energies into creating a forward-thinking state in the not-so-wild West, one that continues to make significant contributions to the U.S. and the world today.

I’d like to end with a question for all of you. When you think of California and the many things it’s known for today, which are the first to come to your mind?

***One commenter who answers the question will win an autographed copy of my debut novel, A Bride Opens Shop in El Dorado, California.

This is an extremely generous offer, Keli, and how I won my copy of your fabulous book earlier on a different site. For my glowing review at Amazon click HERE.

Story Blurb: Widow Elenora Watkins looks forward to meeting her new business partner, Miles Rutledge, who owns a shop in 1870s El Dorado. But Miles is shocked to see a woman step off the stagecoach. His rude behavior forces Elenora to reconsider—so she becomes his competition across the street. Can Miles win her heart while destroying her business?

Keli Gwyn writes stories that transport readers to the 1800s, where she brings historic towns to life, peoples them with colorful characters, and adds a hint of humor. A California native, she lives in the Gold Rush-era town of Placerville at the foot of the majestic Sierra Nevada Mountains. Her debut novel, A Bride Opens Shop in El Dorado, California, set in the heart of the Gold Country where she lives is currently available.

When Keli’s fingers aren’t hovering over the keyboard of her newfangled laptop, she enjoys strolling past stately Victorian houses in her historic town, burying her nose in reference books as she unearths interesting facts to include in her stories, and interacting with other romance readers. Her favorite places to visit are her fictional worlds, the Coach factory outlet store, and Taco Bell. (*Keli Gwyn at Spot Where Marshall Discovered Gold)

Catch Keli On Her:  Website – http://www.keligwyn.com

Facebook Timeline – http://www.facebook.com/KeliGwyn

Facebook Page – http://www.facebook.com/KeliGwynReadersGroup

Twitter – http://twitter.com/#!/KeliGwyn

Goodreads – http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5411901.Keli_Gwyn

The Romance of Travel and Fiction–Beth Trissel


The following post is contributed by Eve Baxter. Enjoy. I did!
Ever finished a book set in some foreign land and found yourself immediately trawling the internet for holidays, mildly obsessed with visiting the real life setting? A well written novel can be one of the best forms of escapism, transporting you to another time and place by making the sights, sounds and smells of a foreign land irresistibly inviting and real. Throw in a romantic plot line to add to the allure and you could find yourself on the next plane to the country depicted in the book in search of romance and adventure. Good fiction can be an excellent source of inspiration for your own life; whether it be the desire to travel, learn a new hobby or cook exotic food.
Heat, Passion and Tango
Much of the story line in Lloyd Jones’ novel Here At The End Of The World We Learn To Dance, is set in hot and humid Buenos Aires and centres around the beautifully passionate dance of the Argentinian tango. Spanning three generations, it is the seductive and enchanting influence of the country’s famous dance which pulls together and binds two compelling love stories. On finishing the novel, readers might find themselves drawn to the vibrant city of Buenos Aires with its bustling streets, colonial architecture and handsome inhabitants. With the opportunity to watch some professionals dance the tango in its original setting, while sipping a full-bodied bottle of Argentinian wine and dining on the famed local steak; this South American city has a lot of pull. For the less adventurous looking to ignite some of the passion of Lloyd Jones’ novel without travelling so far might sign up to a local Argentinian tango class where the pulse is sure to get racing.
Love in the Unlikeliest of Places
Argentina is arguably an obvious setting for romance; the bleak and war-torn city of Leningrad (now known as St Petersberg) might be less so. Nonetheless, Paulina Simons’ novel The Bronze Horseman is the epic tale of Tatiana and Alexander, two young people who fall in love while the country is at the precipice of war, and their desperate attempt to cling together in the face of seemingly insurmountable obstacles. Their budding romance is set against a backdrop of the eerily romantic white nights and palace gardens of the city. With the difficulty of snatching moments together in Tatiana’s family’s tiny shared flat occupied by three generations in Communist Russia where the concept of privacy is largely unknown, the sense of the couple’s angst and longing is very infectious. The reader may well find themselves reading up hotel reviews for St Petersberg after finishing the novel – or even before. Furthermore the amorous interlude set in a wooden cabin by the lake is likely to inspire the reader to whisk their paramour off for their own romantic stay in a lakeside lodge.
Exotic Escapism
Although perhaps not likely to be categorized as a romantic novel as such, The Pirate’s Daughter by Margaret Cezair-Thompson is likely to romance you with its heady mix of exotic Jamaican setting and 1940s Hollywood glamour. An interesting story which Amazon describes as “a tale of passion and recklessness”, the plot encompasses two generations. The action centres around the charming Errol Flynn, his affair with a much younger girl named Ida and their daughter May, estranged from her father who is born as a result. In search of their own exotic adventure, the reader may well be drawn to Caribbean cruises, the ideal way to explore the best that the Caribbean has to offer. As Ian Fleming was provoked to start writing his famous James Bond novels while staying in Jamaica, inspiration might take hold whilst in the Caribbean. What better place to begin penning a work of your own than between destinations in the luxury of your cruise cabin. While cruising around the Caribbean the spicy food available in the Caribbean Outdoor Eateries recommended by the National Geographic may well add some heat to your romantic life and spur you on to recreate the exotic tastes when you return home.
Whatever your preference for adventure, when looking for travel inspiration, fiction can be an interesting source of ideas. Certainly, it can be exciting to experience for yourself the enticing foreign lands of a favorite novel. Or perhaps you are less intrepid in nature, content with travelling with your mind from the comfort of your sofa. In which case, Around the World in 80 Books featured on goodreads might be a fun place to start the journey.
Yes indeed. Thanks Eve!

Why THIS Historical Romance?


If you Like Historicals and want to read something different, Enemy of the King is not your typical Regency, but a fast-paced adventure romance set during  the American Revolution.  Research alone for this novel was a killer, and it took years to write.

Is the story worth your while? Some think so.

“In addition to creating memorable characters, Ms. Trissel makes wonderful use of descriptive language. “Dreadful screeching, like the cries of an enraged cat, tore through the muggy night and into Meriwether’s chamber…The sweetness of jasmine wafted from the trellised vine as she peered down through moss-draped branches.”  Description like this can be found throughout Enemy of the King and really pulled me into the story so that I felt as if I were actually there.

I thoroughly enjoyed reading Enemy of the King. Not only are the characters memorable and the setting beautifully described, but the action is riveting and the romance between Meri and Jeremiah is tender.  I highly recommend Enemy of the King to anyone who loves a well crafted historical romance.” 

~Poinsettia Long and Short Reviews

Enemy of the King on the: BHB READER’S CHOICE BEST BOOKS OF 2009 AT PUBLISHER’S WEEKLY BEYOND HER BOOKS

Enemy of the King at: FIND A GREAT ROMANCE BLOGSPOT

Enemy of the King on: Best Romance Novels List at BUZZLE

Enemy of the King at: HISTORY UNDRESSED

Enemy of the King at the : LITERATURE PROJECT

Enemy of the King at: BEST ROMANCE NOVELS TODAY

Reader Review from Amazon: “ENEMY OF THE KING is an excellent and intriguing read. All of the characters are depicted as multi-dimensional and complex, with a mix of positive and negative traits. I don’t want to give away the plot, but will just say there are surprising twists, and the author deftly combines both joy and tragedy in this romance novel about the American Revolution. I appreciate that members of each side of the war (both Loyalists and Patriots) are shown in a range from “good” to “evil,” unlike many romances in which characters or groups of characters are depicted as only “black or white”. Great work, Ms. Trissel!” ~ By Lisbeth Eng

Enemy of the King is an amazing and vibrant look into the American Revolutionary War and tells the story through the eyes of a remarkable woman. While Jeremiah Jordan himself is a strong soldier and heroic patriot, it is Meriwether Steele who makes such a great impression in this epic novel. Her dedication to the man she loves, the lengths she must go to defend herself and others, and the unstoppable force that she is makes Meriwether one heck of a heroine.

Ms. Trissel brings the countryside and its people alive with her fascinating and at times gory details. This sexy historical book is a must read! ~Danielle Reviewer for Coffee Time Romance & More

Enemy of the King at You Gotta Read:

“I love historical romances. They are one of my favorites and anymore when I think of a historical I think of Beth Trissel. She is an author who has proved herself over time. She is a beautiful storyteller. Ms. Trissel can take a story line and make it a work of art. And she did just that with Enemy of the King.

This tale was so wonderful; it really was a magical read. As soon as I started reading I felt like I was in the pages. The author has a way of pulling you into the story; this is your story. I could see the characters and the images Ms. Trissel described as if I were there or watching a film on TV. It’s a classic read for the ages and I highly recommend this book to everyone who wants to read a true fairy-tale.”~Bella Wolfe

Blurb: 1780, South Carolina: While Loyalist Meriwether Steele recovers from illness in the stately home of her beloved guardian, Jeremiah Jordan, she senses the haunting presence of his late wife. When she learns that Jeremiah is a Patriot spy and shoots Captain Vaughan, the British officer sent to arrest him, she is caught up on a wild ride into Carolina back country, pursued both by the impassioned captain and the vindictive ghost. Will she remain loyal to her king and Tory twin brother or risk a traitor’s death fighting for Jeremiah? If Captain Vaughan snatches her away, he won’t give her a choice.~

ENEMY OF THE KING is Published in print and ebook by the Wild Rose Press, also available at AmazonBarnes & Noble, and all online booksellers. Local booksellers can order it. As can libraries, if they don’t have it available. 

***Daughter Elise created the promo images. The rest are royalty free.