Fresh FIction Box Not To Miss
A Royal Interview with Rhys Bowen
Cozy Corner / October 31, 2016

I’m very excited to have one of the leading historical cozy mystery writers here at the Cozy Corner. She’s polite and funny, hard-working and talented and vastly loved throughout the world of mystery writing. Please welcome Rhys Bowen! Kym: Hi, Rhys, welcome to the Cozy Corner! Rhys: Hi Kym. Nice to be here! Kym: You started your career writing children’s picture books and then young adult books under the name Janet Quin-Harkin. What did you like most about those two genres? Rhys: I’ve always loved children’s books. I suppose I like the playfulness, silliness and the complete belief in a world of good and evil with no gray areas. YA books, when I wrote them, were not so dark and mine were usually funny high school stories, similar in many ways to Lady Georgie’s adventures. Kym: Do you have a favorite picture book or young adult book that has more meaning to you? Or one that was more popular with your own children? Rhys: Well, I wrote a book called Ten Boy Summer, a spoof on romance that sold half a million copies, so I’d have to like that one. And one of my picture books, Septimus Bean and His…

Nina Croft | Deleted Scenes from FLYING THROUGH FIRE
Author Guest / October 29, 2016

In FLYING THROUGH FIRE, book 6 in my Dark Desires series, we have the whole cast of the series appearing at some point or other. I thought it would be nice to get inside a few of their heads, see how they were doing, what they were thinking… However, my editor believed that these scenes detracted from the two main characters and were a little jarring, and so the scenes were removed. This one was from Saffira’s (the heroine of book 4, TEMPORAL SHIFT) point of view. The door slid shut behind her. Saffira leaned against the wall of the corridor and tried to slow her breathing. Sweat pricked her forehead, heat from the vision. Thorne had burned because of her. She’d been powerless to help him, to save him. It’s not real. Not all her visions came true. Maybe this was a warning of what might be. And she’d already lost Thorne. He’d closed himself off. He’d given ten thousand years to his people. Now they were dead. Perhaps he was right, and that meant he was free. They were both free. She pushed herself up, hating the weakness that made her stumble. The visions drained her strength, but…

DiAnn Mills | Wacky Ways to Windup Your Creativity
Author Guest / October 28, 2016

We’ve all been there. Deadlines are looming for our blog or our novels. A tingling in the pit of your stomach borders on nausea. We settle into our favorite chair and turn on our computer. Pull up our WIP. Position our fingers on the keyboard. And nothing. We read the pages we wrote the day before. We dive into our favorite source of caffeine. We read the blogs on how to get past writer’s block. One writer jogs three miles. Another pulls weeds. Read a few excerpts from a bestseller. Watch a movie. For some writers those ideas might not work. A twinge of fear sets it, and you search frantically for words that are chained deep inside your mind. The time has come to look deeper and discover your own ways to spark your creativity. Take a look at seven out-of-the-box ways to break out of writer’s block. Play with kids under the age of six. These little people have imaginations that soar into places we adults are afraid to go. A boy crouches on the sofa in the Spider Man position. A girl closes her eyes and sings from the movie Pose a story line and let them…

Terri Reed | Childhood Holiday Memories
Author Guest / October 28, 2016

This time of year always reminds me of my childhood hometown. I grew up in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada Mountains in the city of Sonora, California, the county seat of Tuolumne. A beautiful place with tree covered hills all around, lakes and rivers for fishing and swimming within a short drive. There are hiking trails through towering pines and camping sites beneath starry skies. Brick buildings amid a park like setting downtown with cute shops and quaint restaurants. Parts of the Back to the Future movies and Little House on the Prairie television show were filmed in our county. I remember once nearly running into Michael Landon walking down the sidewalk. Sonora resides in the ‘heart of gold country’ and is also known as the ‘Queen of the Southern Mines’, named after the miners of Sonora Mexico who settled in the area in mid-1800’s. The success of California’s “Mother Lode” can still be seen today, as Sonora remains the center of commerce for the region. There’s even a replica gold rush town, Columbia, on the outskirts of the city, complete with wooden sidewalks, gold panning and stagecoach rides. Columbia was one of my favorite places to hangout when…

Pick Your Treat
Cozy Corner / October 27, 2016

Halloween doesn’t have to mean adding inches to your waistline, although that certainly is a delicious way to celebrate the holiday;) Our cozy authors, however, have given you another outlet for that addictive gene dying to take over—and it’s better for your weight, better for your teeth, and much better for your mind! Skip the sugar, and the corn syrup, and possibly the Hershey’s all together this Halloween, or at least limit it to one, and binge on mystery reading instead! For those readers who have already purchased their treats and have bags of candy sitting on the upper self of their pantry, I have two mysteries you can sink your teeth into right away. And for after Halloween, when the kid’s candy is scattered across the kitchen counter—calling your name like someone from beyond the grave, I have two more releases to keep the spirits at bay. Dig in—the tricks are deadly, and the treats are wrapped in delightful covers! PUTTING ON THE WITCH by Joyce and Jim Lavene Retired Witches #3 In the latest mystery from the bestselling authors of Looking for Mr. Good Witch, the retired witches of Wilmington, North Carolina, are ready to kick up their…

Tracy St John | Childhood Fantasies in the Science Fiction World
Author Guest / October 27, 2016

We live in an era of strong women. When I was born, the second wave of feminism was just taking hold in the United States and Europe. While the first wave concentrated on women’s right to vote, the second focused on more self-determination through workplace, family, and sexual roles. Despite heavy resistance, women demanded equality in all parts of their lives. Yet even as women like my mother burned their bras, they read their daughters fairytales. Filled with damsels in distress, the heroines were saved at the last possible moment by their Prince Charmings. While still a tiny tot, I dreamed that a bold man would come along, sweep me off my feet, and carry me to his palace to live happily ever after. In later years, when my parents divorced and assorted caregivers succumbed to mental illness and addiction, my fantasies of rescue grew stronger. I wished for a hero, but like most of you, I had to save myself. Life made me tough. Fighting for my fair share put me arm-in-arm with my equality-demanding sisters. Yet my childhood fantasies lived on. It was a given that both elements would show up in my books. ALIEN RULE, the second…

Judy Alter | Weaving research into fiction
Author Guest / October 27, 2016

Researching the Columbian Exposition for The Gilded Cage, I was fascinated by the history behind George Washington Ferris’ gigantic, people-carrying wheel. I took copious notes. In 1889, the city of Paris erected the Eiffel Tower, an iron structure that stood 300 meters (well over 900 feet) tall and cast its magic over the city. In 1890 in Chicago architect Daniel Burnham, planning the Columbian Exposition, knew he needed a spectacular attraction, something that would outshine the Eiffel Tower. Engineers tried, suggesting crude toboggan schemes and all sorts of things. Eiffel offered to build a taller tower. None of it appealed until a young engineer sketched out a huge wheel with cars to hold people while they leisurely enjoyed a birds’ eye view of the city on their circular trip. At first, Burnham rejected the wheel as too fragile, and Ferris spent his own money on safety studies. He hired engineers and recruited investors. Then he submitted the plans to Burnham again. His plan was chosen. The first wheel had more than 100,000 parts, including the almost 90,000-lb. axle required to turn the wheel. Thirty-six passenger cars held 40 revolving seats plus a small serving area which offered champagne and light…

Dream Vacation! Enter to Win!
News / October 27, 2016

Now that summer is officially over and the kids are back to school, it is time to start planning your next escape! Enter for a chance to win a $10,000 gift card to create the escape of your dreams. Enter at

Happily Ever After Holiday Favorites
Author Guest / October 26, 2016

We had a chance to ask a couple of questions of the SMP Romance authors about two of their favorite things: holiday movies and Halloween costumes. Here’s what they had to say! Favorite Holiday Movie Ruth Logan Herne Best-selling, multi-published author Ruth Logan Herne is the author of nearly thirty novels and novellas through traditional publishers and her own independent works. She loves God, her family, country, coffee, chocolate and dogs, and wishes possums would leave the cat food on the side porch alone. Seeker Collection WEBSITE | FACEBOOK | BLOG It’s a Wonderful Life Donna Alward While bestselling author Donna Alward was busy studying Austen, Eliot and Shakespeare, she was also losing herself in the breathtaking stories created by romance novelists like LaVyrle Spencer, Judith McNaught, and Nora Roberts. Several years after completing her degree she decided to write a romance of her own and it was true love! Five years and ten manuscripts later she sold her first book and launched a new career. While her heartwarming stories of love, hope, and homecoming have been translated into several languages, hit bestseller lists and won awards, her very favorite thing is when she hears from happy readers! Donna lives…

Michelle Major | Samantha Carlton’s story
Author Guest / October 25, 2016

Sometimes characters ease into a writer’s mind and other times they stomp through our brains and demand their story be told. Samantha Carlton, the heroine of my new release, TELL ME AGAIN, did a lot of stomping before getting her own happily-ever-after. She’d been the perfect sidekick in the previous two books in the series and her snarky comments added a bit of levity when things got too serious. She was the one who could always be counted on to say exactly what she was thinking , but that’s much easier to do when commenting on someone else’s love life than your own. As fun as Sam was in the first two books, I quickly discovered her humor masked a lot of pain. This woman had a past to overcome, and when the niece she never knew she had showed up on her doorstep, it spurred her into action. One of the things I loved most about Sam was her big heart—or as her friends call it ‘her gooey center’. She’s all tough on the outside but she cares so much about the kids she works with at the summer camp she runs and, of course, about her girlfriends. She…