Friday, March 23, 2012

Crystal Illusions Blog Tour Information

Happy Friday!

I’m going on a wild blog tour for the month of April in celebration of the release of Crystal Illusions. I’m also giving away a $50 Amazon Gift Card over at Bitten By Books on April 20th and the answers to the contest questions can be found along my tour stops below.

Sunday April 1st – Poppet's Imagination Captivation

Monday April 2nd – Roseanne Dowell's Blog

Tuesday April 3rd- Cindi's World

Wednesday April 4th – Confessions of a Logophiliac

Thursday April 5th (ish) - Scott Nicholson's Blog

Friday April 6th – Romance Lives Forever

Saturday April 7th- Welcome to the Darkness - Red Tash's blog

Sunday April 8th - J.P. McNeill's Blog

Monday April 9th - Patricia Stoltey's Blog

Tuesday April 10th – Marilyn's Musings

Wednesday April 11th – Mystery World of P.A. Brown

Thursday April 12th – Fangtastic Books

Friday April 13th – JET-Fueled Fiction Interviews and Rants

Saturday April 14th – Books by Jason

Sunday April 15th – I See You... Cat Connor's blog

Monday April 16th- Word Wranglers

Wednesday April 18th – Beyond Romance

Friday April 20th – Bitten By Books - $50 Amazon Gift Card.

Saturday April 21st – Worlds of Possibilities

Sunday April 22nd - Molly's Musings

Monday April 23rd- Gerald Brandt's Blog

Tuesday April 24th – Black Velvet Seductions

Wednesday April 25th – eReader News Today

Thursday April 26th - Lisa's World

Friday April 27th - Ty Johnston's Blog

Tuesday May 1st – Anna James Blog

Thanks for swinging in and I certainly hope this tour gives you a glimpse into my life and you learn some funny and interesting facts along the way! Don’t forget to say hey on the blogs and let your friends know if I’ve made you laugh or think or even shiver.

Until next time…



Monday, March 12, 2012

Manic Monday with Roseanne Dowell

Welcome to a special Manic Monday – today I have an excerpt from multi-published author, Roseanne Dowell. She was a former school secretary and writing instructor, is an avid reader and writes various types of romance – paranormal, contemporary and mystery.

Designed for Love

Fate, kismet, or whatever you want to call it, it turned Interior Designer, Wendy Seidel’s world upside down. From a chance meeting at the airport to Florida and back to Ohio, she can’t believe the strange circumstances that throw her and Bill Johnson together, after he literally knocks her off her feet at the airport.

Find Roseanne's titles here

Excerpt from Designed for Love:

“What the hell?” My carry-on bag slid across the floor and slammed into the wall. My feet slipped out from under me, I landed flat on my back, and someone fell on top of me, pinning me to the floor. The breath knocked out of me, I lay still a moment.

“What the hell do you think you’re doing?” I finally caught my breath and pushed him off. “Everyone’s always in such a big hurry.”

“Why’d you slow down? You darned near stopped in front of me.” He stood up, brushed himself off and held out his hand to help me up. “Sorry.”

I knocked his hand away, got to my knees and stood. I didn’t need his help. Not his or anyone else’s for that matter. What I needed was to find my bag and get on to my gate.

“Look, I’m sorry. It was entirely my fault. I shouldn’t have been in such a hurry.” He held his hand out to me again, but I ignored it. “Here, let me get that for you.” He hurried to pick up my bag, but I grabbed it first.

“Look, Mister, I have a plane to catch, so excuse me if I don’t have time to chat.” I straightened up my bag, grabbed the handle and started toward my gate. Good looking in a rustic sort of way, I had to admit. Probably worked outdoors or at least spent a lot of time outside. Not that it made any difference. I didn’t have time for him. Or any man for that matter. I had a career to build, and men didn’t figure into it.

It wasn’t that I didn’t like men. I did. Even dated occasionally. Eventually I’d like to have a relationship, even get married. But relationships and marriage took time, not a priority right now. My career came first. Something about him, though.

I couldn’t resist looking back. Great. He stood watching me with a silly smirk on his face. Nice eyes, soft gray. I loved gray eyes. Maybe because my grandfather had gray eyes. He lifted his hand and waved at me. Heat burned my face, and I hurried off in the direction of the gate, looking at the signs above. Only at Gate 2. Not even close. Of course my gate was at the farthest end of the airport. Thankfully, there was plenty of time to get there.

I avoided a heavyset man, hell bent on his mission. I hated this time of year. Everyone was in such a big hurry.

To make matters worse, my butt hurt but I resisted rubbing it. Didn’t need to look like any more of an idiot. Ah, Gate 11, finally. Now I could sit down and relax, since there was still forty-five minutes before my flight. I took a book out of the side pocket of my carry-on and settled back to wait. Not that I could concentrate, anger at my boss raged inside me. Who in their right mind set up a meeting with a client right before New Years? And in Florida, no less. Obviously, Nick didn’t care that I had plans for New Year’s Eve.

So I was getting out of Ohio, big deal. Sure, my friends thought I was lucky, especially with the predicted snowstorm. Didn’t make any difference to me, I liked snow.

I glanced out a window. Already it was coming down pretty heavy, and there was still a good half hour before my flight.

Damn it, I hated flying. I could have sent the samples just as easy. What was so important they required me to personally bring them? I thought we’d settled everything before the client left. Why the sudden change? They could have at least waited until after the holidays.

Nick, my boss, promised I’d be home by New Year’s Eve. Yeah right. I knew how these things went. First this problem, than that one. I’d be lucky to be home in time for my nephew’s birthday on the sixth. Nick better not have any funny ideas. This was strictly business. I’d heard about his reputation with women. So far he hadn’t shown an interest in me, and I certainly didn’t have a problem with that. Good-looking though Nick was, nothing about him attracted me. Definitely not my type. Not that I had a type.

“Looks like we’re on the same flight,” a masculine voice said.

I looked up and almost groaned out loud. This couldn’t be happening. What were the chances we’d be on the same flight? I tried to ignore him, but something drew my eyes to his.

“Bill Johnson.” He extended his hand toward me. “I really am sorry about knocking you down.”

I shrugged and shook his hand. “No problem.” A quiver started deep in my stomach when he held my hand a bit longer than necessary. Rough, calloused hands. Does hard work. Maybe construction. I pulled my hand away and turned my attention back to my book. I hated talking to people at airports. Lord, please tell me he doesn’t have the seat next to me. I couldn’t be that unlucky, could I?

Of course I could.

Taking a peek at the ticket sticking out of his coat pocket, I groaned. Seat 16A. No way, what were the chances? I hoped he’d take the hint and leave me alone.

“Are you staying in Fort Myers?” He sat down next to me.

Figured, no such luck. I nodded. Maybe if I didn’t contribute to the conversation, he’d go away. I kept my eyes on my book but couldn’t concentrate. I had the irresistible urge to look at him, but ignored it. What was it about him?

“Visiting or business?”

I looked up from my book. He just wasn’t going to quit. “Business, no time for pleasure.” Maybe that would shut him up.

He smiled. “Everyone has time for pleasure. All work and no play...” He let the rest of the saying hang.

I put the book in front of my face. “I guess I’m a dull boy then.” Why didn’t he just let me read in peace. I couldn’t be much ruder. Some people just couldn’t take a hint.

Bill laughed. A big hearty laugh that caused people to stare. I wanted to crawl under my seat. “What’s so funny?”

“Honey, you look like anything but a boy.” His gaze took me in from top to bottom and came to rest on my breasts.

Okay, I’m well endowed and wished I had left my jacket on. Not that there was much to see through my bulky sweater, but enough. Heat rushed to my face again. Crap, why did I blush so easily? My face was probably as red as my hair. “Okay, so I don’t look like a boy. Just finishing the saying. And DON’T call me honey!” I put the book in front of my face, turned away from him, and tried to read. Lord, spare me friendly people. Especially men.

The last thing I needed was a man trying to pick me up. I wished he’d just go away. I could call airport security, but didn’t want to cause a scene. He’d done enough of that.

“Since you won’t tell me your name, I don’t know what else to call you.”

“Don’t call me anything.” I slammed my book shut, stood, and walked to the window. What more did I have to do to let him know I wasn’t interested? I stared out the window. Things didn’t look good outside.

“Full blown blizzard.” Bill’s deep voice came from behind.

I felt his breath on my neck and shivered from the warmth of it. Or was it from his nearness? Whatever it was, I didn’t like it. I looked at my watch. Still almost a half hour before take off. So far they hadn’t cancelled the flight.

As if my thoughts magically conjured it up, a voice came over the PA system. “We regret to inform you that all flights to and from Cleveland Hopkins Airport have been cancelled until further notice. New flights can be rebooked as soon as we resume our schedule. Sorry for the inconvenience. Airport shuttles are standing by to take you to a hotel. If you can’t get a room, you’re welcome to stay at the airport. Concession stands and restaurants will remain open for your convenience.

Great, just great. What more could go wrong? At least I could go home. If I could get a cab, that is. With the way it looked outside, I had a feeling most of the roads were closed, too.

I moved away from Bill and took my cell phone from my purse, got the number for the cab company from information, and punched it in. Crap, a recording. “No cabs due to weather.” Terrific. I punched in information for the number of the Sheraton Hotel. Hopefully, they still had a room. Spending the night sleeping in an airport wouldn’t improve my mood.

“Sheraton Hotel, how can I help you,” a female answered.

“Yes, I’d like a room for the night.” Please don’t tell me they’re all booked, I prayed. I didn’t care what kind of room as long as it had a bed.

“Yes, I have one room left. Two double beds. One hundred and fifty dollars.”

I let out a low whistle. A bit more than I cared to spend, but no matter. “I’ll take it.” I read my credit card number, grabbed my bag and raced to the exit while I spoke. Now to find an airport shuttle. Talk about luck, a shuttle parked just outside. I pulled the door open, and someone bumped into me.

“We have to stop meeting like this.”

I turned and looked into familiar soft, gray eyes. “Are you following me?” This was beginning to feel creepy. What was with this guy?

“Don’t flatter yourself.” Bill let out a low chuckle. “We can share a ride if you don’t mind. Give the driver a break.”

He followed me into the car. “Sheraton Hotel and...” He looked at me. “Where to?”

What were the odds he’d be going to the same hotel? This was getting scary. “Sheraton.”

“No kidding. Hey, maybe we can get together for a drink or something.”

Like I couldn’t guess what the or something was. I shook my head. Jerk. What made him think I’d even want to have a drink with him? “No thanks, I have work to do.” I looked out the window. How the driver managed to see where he was going was beyond me. All I could see was white. Thick, white, blowing snow. This was by far the worst snow storm I remembered. I just hoped it let up by morning like the weatherman promised.

                                                           * * * *

I hope you enjoyed this excerpt from Roseanne Dowell today!
Until next time,

Friday, March 9, 2012

Dishing it up with Laura Vosika

Today I’m dishing it up with Laura Vosika, the author of the Blue Bells Trilogy. In addition to the Trilogy, she is working on several other novels and a non-fiction book on raising a large family.

Laura grew up in the military, visiting castles in England, pig fests in Germany, and the historic sites of America's east coast. She earned a bachelor's degree in music, and worked for many years as a freelance musician, playing trombone for pit orchestras, ballets, and symphonies, and flute and harp for other venues. She spent three years as a member of the Buz Whiteley Big Band and Farragut Brass Band in Bremerton, WA.

After earning a master’s degree in education, she took a job as a music teacher and band director. She has also taught private lessons on wind instruments, piano, and harp, for twenty years.

In her spare time, Laura likes to play piano, harp, and flute, do sudokus, and learn Gaelic.

She currently lives in Minnesota with her nine children, and assorted menagerie.

JET: Can you tell us about your most recent book?

Laura: The Minstrel Boy was released on February 16, 2012 for kindle, and soon after in print. It continues the story started in Blue Bells of Scotland, in which Shawn Kleiner, a self-centered, gambling, drinking, womanizing musician of the 21st century falls asleep in a Scottish keep and wakes up in medieval Scotland, mistaken for Niall Campbell, a Highland warrior, and sent on a dangerous mission, with Niall's beautiful and tempting betrothed, to raise troops for the upcoming Battle of Bannockburn.

Niall, meanwhile, is no happier to find himself caught in the roiled waters of Shawn's life, dealing with a pregnant girlfriend, angry mistresses, and a conductor who threatens to 'fire' him if he doesn't play Shawn's sell-out concert--all while learning of the destruction of the Scots at Bannockburn and trying to find a way back across time to save his people.

JET: What’s been your most challenging hurdle on the road to publication?

Laura: Time. Always time. Not only does it take a phenomenal amount of time to research, write, re-read, research more, edit, and do it all over again, but like most authors, I also have a job, family, and home to take care of.

JET: What was your favorite moment in the journey?

Laura: Of The Minstrel Boy--publishing! Of the entire writing process, it has hands down been the chance to go to Scotland, before Blue Bells of Scotland was published, and visit all the locations in the book. I climbed a mountain (well, to a Minnesotan it qualified as a mountain!) in medieval-style boots, was given a tour of Eden Court Theatre where Shawn's orchestra plays, visited many castles, and much more. Besides that, the people I have met and new friendships I have made as a result of writing has been an unexpected and hugely rewarding experience. Some are other writers, some are readers, a couple have actually been distant relatives who have contacted me as a result of seeing my rather unusual last name, and it has been wonderful meeting for lunch. Some are right here in my area, people in my writers group who have become very close friends, and other local writers, and some new friends are around the world.

JET: Which authors had the most influence over you growing up?

Laura: I read quite a variety of authors growing up. It would be hard to pin down one, but I especially like C.S. Lewis, and Margaret J. Anderson, author of the children's book In the Keep of Time, has had a huge impact because her idea of four siblings going into a Scottish keep and coming out in a different century was the seed for my own story, although my novel is quite different.

JET: When did you know you wanted to take the plunge into the writing world?

Laura: I'm one of those who has known from almost the start that I would spend my life in writing and music. I was writing stories when I was eight, and started a novel when I was ten, although it didn't get far.

JET: What’s the craziest thing you’ve done in the name of book research? Most interesting fact you uncovered?

Laura: Well, I have no idea what people would consider crazy, but I did make a point of having medieval-style boots to climb a mountain in Scotland so I could really experience it, as nearly as possible, to the way Shawn would have. Just like Shawn, I'm not used to extensive hiking, and I certainly appreciated after only one day's hike, how much pain he must have been in after his trip with Allene! (If I'd had time during my stay, I would have followed his exact four day route, but I had to settle for one day.) I have studied Scottish Gaelic since 2009 to get a feel for the language Shawn speaks. I suppose some people would find that crazy, but I enjoy learning languages and feel I know a little more of my characters through it.

I've been researching the times of Bannockburn and Robert the Bruce for so long now, it's hard to say what the most interesting fact is anymore--it's all become very much my everyday world. But although I only touch on it in one of the books of The Chronicles, I did come across a fascinating account, penned by medieval monks, of a vampire-like priest at Melrose Abbey who refused to remain dead and in his grave. Edward I also made a rather gruesome demand, on his deathbed, of what his son must do with his body.

JET: Of all the novels and stories you’ve written - which one is your favorite? Why?

Laura: I think The Blue Bells Chronicles is my favorite, in part because I've spent so much more time in its world, with its people. But also, I tend to write about some serious issues, and a time travel adventure is light, fun reading in comparison.

JET: Any advice (from a writer’s standpoint) for the novices out there?

Laura: Find a writers' critique group and attend every week. Sift through the advice and choose for yourself which to follow, but you must be willing to listen to the opinions of those hearing the story for the first time and willing to make changes. Be prepared to re-write dozens of times.

JET: All right - now that I’ve hammered you with the big questions, let’s tackle my favorite (and geeky) quick ten…starting with…Paper or Plastic?

Laura: Paper.

JET: Steak or Tofu?

Laura: I rarely eat either, but if I had to choose, I'd pick tofu.

JET: Beach or Mountains?

Laura: Can I take both? If pressed, I'd pick mountains. Probably. Depending on the weather and the day of the week.

JET: Country or Rock-n-Roll?

Laura: Rock and roll!

JET: Leather or Lace?

Laura: Lace.

JET: Angels or Demons?

Laura: Angels

JET: Paper or Digital?

Laura: Paper.

JET: Silent Film Classics or Cheesy B Rated Horror?

Laura: Cheesy B Rated Horror--my kids would probably get a huge kick out of sitting down together and watching one.

JET: Twilight or True Blood

Laura: Neither! If I must read about vampires, I'd take The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova. (In fact, for someone who's not into vampires at all, I liked her book very much.)

JET: Coffee or Tea?

Laura: Hanging in the chasm between the two, desperately trying and often failing, to break my current coffee habit by switching back to tea.

JET: Thank you for indulging me. Before we wrap this up, can you tell us what you're working on now? What's next?

Laura: I have three books left in The Blue Bells Chronicles. They're all written, but still need editing. I have a piece of contemporary fiction set in Boston in the early 90's, called Friday's Child which just needs a cover and a final read-through before being released. I'm particularly looking forward to getting back to Castle of Dromore, the story of an American widow escaping the ugly turn her life has taken by moving to Scotland where she buys an old castle for herself and her boys. She finds, however, that the castle holds its own ancient secrets.

JET: Thank you so much for taking the time to chat on my blog. Folks, you can find out more about Laura Vosika and her work at the following places:





Until next time,



Monday, March 5, 2012

Manic Monday with Jasmine Dubroff

Welcome to another Manic Monday. Today I’ve got Jasmine Dubroff on tap. Jasmine is a horse rider, an author, a reader, and a lover of Mythology and ancient history. She’s been writing for the past five years and just last September she self-published the first half of my book “Beauty In Itself”, which is the first book in the Omega Series.

She currently lives on Cape Cod and is writing up a storm with the second book in the Omega Series, named “The Three Gifts” along with her version of the Eros and Psyche Myth called “More Than Life”.

Check out “Beauty In Itself” on and Jasmine also has a few free reads as well. Links for her free online reads along with “Beauty in Itself” are listed at the bottom of this post.

Without further adieu – here’s Jasmine…

Writing From The Soul

By Jasmine Dubroff

I do not know where it comes from, this hunger, this need to write, to create, but this passion is a part of my soul and from my soul these words pour onto parchment and screen alike. I am a writer, an author, it is within my soul to create, to share ideas, beauties, loves and tears with the world and no man, woman or any other being can tell me it is not as such.

I cannot tell you how to write, that comes from within you, a place so deep inside that you yourself may not have known it existed until you began writing. That is where those words come from, those times that creativity flows from you and the words you type are almost written by some muse rather than yourself, and as you look back at them, you find it hard to believe that you could write something so wondrous.

There are times when I cannot write a word for weeks, then suddenly, it happens. Sometimes it is like a lightning bolt, an idea so astounding that is leaves you stunned as you try to write or type it down as quickly as you can, not caring about misspellings or mistakes of any kind, so long as you get the idea down in its entirety before this perfect thought leaves your mind. Other times it is more subtle, like a whisper on a breath of wind that gives you the need to write, even if it is just a few good words.

NEVER force yourself to write, if the words do not come to you, come from within you, then the results will be less than satisfactory. Writing is a lot like life, you never seem to end up where you expect to be, but always where you needed to go.

The greatest stories have a life of their own and take control so that the writer feels as if he or she is merely a vessel, a kind of messenger writing these words down while they are being whispered into your mind. It takes just one idea, sometimes just one word to inspire you to start writing, and once it gets inside of you, there is no stopping it. No matter where you are, no matter what you are doing, ideas will come to you and drive you mad until you finally write them down.

My friends, my fellow writers and authors, pour every ounce of your soul into your writing. Your hopes, your dreams, your fantasy’s, your loves, your losses, your pains, your sorrows, your triumphs as well as your failures, everything that has made you who you are. If you do so, you will find as I have that as your understanding of yourself shifts and changes, so too will your writing evolve into something greater and more beautiful.

You are a writer, a creator, a voice and a pen, a keyboard and a screen. If writing is as much a part of your being as it is of mine, then please, do yourself and the world a favor and do not lose heart in your works, for they, like you, are beautiful. And remember my friends, there is no ‘can’t’ in writing, the possibilities are endless.

Jasmine Dubroff

Author of:

Beauty In Itself: Part One:

Beauty In Itself: Part Two:

The Three Gifts:

More Than Life: