What does leftist literature mean to me?

Today, the Speakeasy Scribes are hosting Leftist Literature and Libations over on Facebook, a virtual get together to celebrate the pre-launch of Rejoice and Resist over at the Final Draft Tavern, the virtual hangout for the Speakeasy Scribes and their characters. I just so happen to be one of the authors and a co-host. Interested? Click here to join and you can hangout online, on your phone, tablet, or laptop, from the safety of your home, bookstore, coffeehouse, or local pub, with the writers this evening.

Before I get into what leftist literature means to me, I’d like to talk about the mission behind the Speakeasy Scribes.

The online writing community is full of intelligent, talented, and extremely passionate people. There are groups for newbie writers, more seasoned authors, groups that focus on critique and craft, and others that focus on marketing and how to find new readers. One thing these groups have in common is support. Writers are great at supporting, encouraging, and even donating time to help their fellow writers. Another thing most of these groups have in common are rules.

Depending on the group, there can be a short or very long list of rules for joining. Most groups have the following basic rules in common:

  1. No insults. No name calling. Members are all adults and should act like it. Don’t piss off admin by being disrespectful, or some other variation.
  2. No politics. This group is for writers. If you want to talk about politics, do it on your own page or elsewhere or admin ( aka the all-powerful group overlords appointed to decide what is and is not appropriate ) will delete the post and give you a stern warning, if not boot you from the group all together.
  3. No religion. Period.

All of the above are the standard rules for the majority of the groups out there, the same rules your supposed to abide by in polite company.

Well screw that.

Let me back up for a second. The members of these groups are supportive and do share a wealth of information, and every writer or wannabe writer should join online groups immediately. You try on a group to see if it fits, if not, you try on another. And another until you find the right fit for your writing needs. I belong to many groups. Some marketing based, others craft based, other solely support based which really are the equivalent to making friends online and having a safe space to vent. And all of the above are priceless.

But here is where I start to question the rules.

Rule no 1. No insults, essentially behave and don’t be a jerk. Yes, good. I get it. Be nice. I have no reason to insult my fellow writers and no wish to be insulted. I want to befriend them, not tear them down. But unfortunately this rule is a necessity because some adults are unable to keep their inner jerks and inner toddlers in check.

Rules no 2. & 3. The next two, no politics and no religion, are a little bit harder to abide by. Frankly, a lot harder. Writers should be discussing politics and religion. Whatever your platform—fiction, non-fiction, or editorials for a newspaper, magazine, or blog—as a writer, I believe we all have a responsibility to address the important issues around the world. Are we not here to examine the world around us; to entertain, inform, and open the minds of our readers? The books we write address all sorts of social and political issues and often showcase those issues at the center of the theme or plot, so why in the world can we not discuss them in a writer’s group?

Oh yeah, it’s because there are adults that are unable to follow Rule no.1. So frustrating. And as we all know, following Rule no.1 or rather disregarding it altogether, has somehow become one of the biggest problems online. People are more ready to insult, degrade, and bully when safely tucked behind a screen. I mean, when did people become so nasty? Reading through comments on a post on Facebook can sometimes be hazardous to your mental health… but I digress.

The Speakeasy Scribes was formed to share knowledge about the art of writing, to support each other personally and via joint marketing in an effort to expand our reach to new readers, and as a place to share ideas, opinions, and our experiences. Because we are adults and embrace our own diversity within the group, we also work together on joint projects like Rejoice and Resist which not only entertain, but celebrate diversity, and encourage readers to stand up for themselves and others. We are an international group of free and progressive thinkers who write across a multitude of genres. We aim for freedom of expression, and a world in which everyone feels valued, heard, safe, and loved. We do lean left and do not apologize for it. But the only rule we have is to be respectful. Period.

Leftist literature is for people who promote self-determination and emancipation from oppression. If you’re one of these people, help us celebrate our new release, Rejoice and Resist, and join our pre-launch event on Facebook. Click here for event: https://www.facebook.com/events/1460438850660394/

Click here to keep up with the Speakeasy Scribes on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/SpeakeasyScribes/

The Final Draft Tavern is the fictional home away from home for the Speakeasy Scribes and their characters and is the setting for Rejoice and Resist. Click here to check out the Final Draft Tavern: https://www.facebook.com/FinalDraftTavern/

Find out more about the Speakeasy Scribes on our website: http://www.speakeasyscribes.com/

I write sweet and spicy romance, and enjoy reading a wide range of genres. Exploring the art of the written word is a passion, and I delight in both page-turning conflict and stomach-flipping chemistry. Other than English, I speak Spanish, Moroccan, and a little French. My dream is to travel the world with my laptop, creating captivating characters and dreamy escapes. I sing constantly, if a bit off-key to my family’s chagrin. I’m also a klutz, and in my own mind, I’m hilarious.

Website: http://www.yoursweetandspicyromanceauthor.com/

Signup to join My Dream Team: http://eepurl.com/bjAzz1

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/author/jennifersenhaji

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/jsenhaji13

Twitter: https://twitter.com/jsenhaji13

Blog: http://jennifersenhaji.blogspot.com

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/jennifersenhaji

Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/Jsenhaji

WordPress: https://jsenhaji13.wordpress.com/


DACA Underexposed

In 2012, DACA provided a glimmer of hope to undocumented children. Instead of being regulated to subpar prospects, for the first time these kids could seek out a higher education, drive, and obtain more than emergency medical care. They planned and studied for actual careers, when their parents were obliged to accept menial jobs, unless by some miracle they were able to save enough money to open their own businesses.

Now, the future of all these children and young adults is again in question. Will they have to give up their education, their jobs, and their hopes for the future?

Why must these children and young adults only live the life they deserve in their dreams?

In my story, Underexposed, which takes place at The Final Draft, soon to be released in the Speakeasy Scribes anthology, the protagonist, a photojournalist named Gustavo, just so happens to be an orphan who was naturalized as a U.S. citizen. He escaped his life as a garbage picker in Tijuana as a child. Here’s a peek at his story.

“At the age of nine, I was picked up by CPS on the streets of San Diego where I was selling gum to surfers on Mission Beach after escaping my so called life as a scavenger in the heaps of Tijuana. I knew my name, but never had a birth certificate from Mexico to prove it or my birth-date. I still don’t know my real birth-date. The one on my ID was just chosen by random by my social worker, Beth. She took pity on me, watched out for me. She was the first person who ever really cared about me.” I sniff at her memory.

“She sounds like an amazing woman.”

I nod and meet Zoe’s eyes. “She must have had some crazy connections with the state department and immigration because after eight years in the foster care system, I came out of it with a U.S. passport.”

“That’s incredible. See, I knew you’d be interesting.” She nudges my shoulder with hers.

I shrug. “I’ve always been grateful for the opportunities I’ve been given since arriving in the U.S., yet never felt like I quite deserved them. Why me and not the others, the kids I left behind?”

She places a gentle hand on my forearm. “Why not you?”


Unfortunately, most kids that arrive as Gustavo did never end up as citizens. They spend their lives observing their friends and peers succeed while they remain limited by their lack of documentation just because their parents didn’t have the money or connections to bring them here with the proper piece of paper in hand. But then, when you are fleeing a place where you decidedly have little or no opportunities, you are rarely going to be in a position to provide financial proof of eligibility. Because let’s face it, those who are financially thriving in their own countries are not a threat. They produce bank statements and a list of assets as evidence they are likely to return in order to enter the U.S. legally. Americans take for granted that we are blessed with access into most countries in the world without anything more than a passport. To obtain a passport, all we need is a birth certificate. No one asks to see our financial statements. No one questions whether or not we will overstay our expected visit. But someone who has nothing-not even a birth certificate from their own country because they were born into poverty or are from a small village where they don’t exist-what collateral do they have to provide their government or ours of their return?

It’s the dream of something better, a better life for themselves and their children that brings them here. After all, isn’t there a plaque next to our Lady Liberty, one of the most recognized statues in the world, “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free…”

Keep their dreams alive. Write to your representatives in Congress in support of the #Dreamers today.

The Speakeasy Scribes-A forum for free and progressive thinkers who write across a multitude of genres to share their art and love of the written word. Find us on Facebook and Like our page here: https://www.facebook.com/SpeakeasyScribes/


The Final Draft Tavern is the fictional home-away-from-home for the Speakeasy Scribes and their literary characters, who will appear here (and in upcoming box sets). The Final Draft has always been a hotbed of rebellion and dissent, its backroom a legendary locale for activists, protestors, and resistance movements. The tavern has been in existence since 1068, and is accessible from every country and continent, in every time period — past, present, and future. (Maybe you can find a portal in your neighborhood…) The bookstore, the bar, and the building, have been passed down for centuries, through generations of the Marchand family, holders of the keys to the secrets it keeps. Find us on Facebook and Like our page here: https://www.facebook.com/FinalDraftTavern/

I write sweet and spicy romance, and enjoy reading a wide range of genres. Exploring the art of the written word is a passion, and I delight in both page-turning conflict and stomach-flipping chemistry. Other than English, I speak Spanish, Moroccan, and a little French. My dream is to travel the world with my laptop, creating captivating characters and dreamy escapes. I sing constantly, if a bit off-key to my family’s chagrin. I’m also a klutz, and in my own mind, I’m hilarious.

Website: http://www.yoursweetandspicyromanceauthor.com/

Signup to join My Dream Team: http://eepurl.com/bjAzz1

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/author/jennifersenhaji

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/jsenhaji13

Twitter: https://twitter.com/jsenhaji13

Romance Blog: http://jennifersenhaji.blogspot.com

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/jennifersenhaji

Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/Jsenhaji

WordPress: https://jsenhaji13.wordpress.com/



Historical Fiction Fanatics, you’ve got to read this.

Do you often find yourself browsing your local antique stores, binge watching shows like Penny Dreadful and Downton Abbey, and fondling leather-bound classics at the bookstore?

I know I can always count on Jane Austin and Henry James to lift my spirits whenever I’m down in the dumps. Give me a sunny day at the Renaissance Fair and I’m giddy for a week.

I found my love of literature by reading historical fiction and romance. Today, I’m happy to share that love with you by introducing you to three talented writers who just so happen to write historical fiction.

First up is Mari Christie, writer of historical fiction and editor extraordinaire. She has a brand new release out about a newsman that’s caught between his Southern family upbringing, his own values, and his life in the North with his wife and children just as the Civil War breaks out. I’m in the middle of Chapter 11 and completely enthralled. Here’s a peek into Blind Tribute, which just released July, 28th, 2017.

The Wentworths were founding members of the club, had contributed most of the building fund and many of the Negroes who had built it. Behind the wall to their left, on one of the frame beams, he and Edward had carved their initials when they were seven or so.

Harry’s father—Palmer Harrold Wentworth the Second, called Second since the day his son was born—came through the door from the dining room.

“You have no claim on our family history or this club. I’m sorry I gave you my name.”

His father’s tall, thin frame was tensile as a fencing foil, and his face like the dry husk of a topiary labyrinth, sharp angles and deep lines, compelling, thorny, and difficult to escape. His grey hair, the thick, wiry hair he’d passed down to Harry, and to Harry’s son, was tied in a queue and much thinner after ten years, but his suit looked exactly the same, as did the expression on his face.

“You’ll not be joining anything,” he barked. “You are a damned Yankee and a traitor to the South. Go back to Philadelphia where you belong.”

“Father. It’s lovely to see you in such good spirits.” His half-smile hid wary eyes. “I had assumed from your responses to my past infractions that the shock of my arrival might have killed you.” He raised his glass to his father’s health and took a sip.

The long veins on the sides of his father’s neck distended and began to quiver. “I am long since accustomed to your disregard for your family and position.” His tightly-wound fists were a concession to his better nature. “Your mother and sister are distraught, and you would have them ostracized rather than rein in your propensity for gossip and scandal.”

“My opinions are hardly gossip. Not a year ago, Harper’s called me a national treasure.” Harry turned to the man who had declined his cigar, now two seats away at the bar. The man stuttered and tried to look away, but Harry kept his gaze. “I’m sure you must have read a few of P. H. Wentworth’s opinions. Would you consider them gossip?”

His father was the one who answered: “Your opinions are nothing short of treason. Only your mother’s defense has kept me from calling you out already.”

“I have no such compunction,” Edward spat. Harry remembered Edward had been a hell of a good brawler in the down-rent pubs at Oxford, and he had the same look in his eye now. He might finish off hundreds of Yankees before the war was over, starting with Harry. “Unless you’d like to meet me at dawn, I’d suggest you leave.”

“I try not to do anything at dawn but read the newspaper. But,” Harry offered, “I’d be happy to meet you for supper any evening to renew our acquaintance.” Harry considered his cigar, which might not be in his hand much longer. “Either of you.”

“I am nothing but sorry we ever had an acquaintance. It’s time for you to leave.”

Harry puffed on his cigar, and waited to see if his father or Edward would be the one to bodily throw him out the front door. Before the answer presented itself, two big barmen converged and tried to grab his arms. He yanked himself away, downed the last of his drink, and thumped the glass back onto the bar. “I suppose I shouldn’t bother to come to the house.”

Harry’s father took two threatening steps toward him. “If you contact your mother or sister, I will run you through.”

Harry held his ground without flinching, but a sense of finality imbued his father’s words, such as Harry had never heard in more than fifty years of animosity between them. He drew on his cigar one last time and strategically retreated before his father decided to murder him in cold blood, in broad daylight, before witnesses.

“Anne and your grandchildren send their best,” Harry called over his shoulder. The manager handed him his coat and hat as he reached the door.

Harry had answered his own question, with less trouble than expected. If his own family would cast him out, he couldn’t count on anyone in the Confederacy remembering him fondly.


Every newspaper editor may owe tribute to the devil, but Harry Wentworth’s bill just came due.

As America marches toward the Civil War, Harry Wentworth, gentleman of distinction and journalist of renown, finds his calls for peaceful resolution have fallen on deaf—nay, hostile—ears, so he must finally resolve his own moral quandary. Comment on the war from his influential—and safe—position in Northern Society, or make a news story and a target of himself South of the Mason-Dixon Line, in a city haunted by a life he has long since left behind?

The day-to-day struggle against countervailing forces, his personal and professional tragedies on both sides of the conflict, and the elegant and emotive writings that define him, all serve to illuminate the trials of this newsman’s crusade, irreparably altering his mind, his body, his spirit, and his purpose as an honorable man. Blind Tribute exposes the shifting stones of the moral high ground, as Harry’s family and friendships, North and South, are shattered by his acts of conscience.

Mari was “raised up” in journalism (mostly raising her glass at the Denver Press Club bar) after the advent of the web press, but before the desktop computer. She has since plied her trade as a writer, editor, and designer across many different fields, and currently works as a technical writer and editor.

Under the name Mari Christie, she has released a book-length epic poem, Saqil pa Q’equ’mal: Light in Darkness: Poetry of the Mayan Underworld, and under pen name Mariana Gabrielle, she has written several Regency romances, including the Sailing Home Series and La Déesse Noire: The Black Goddess. Blind Tribute is her first mainstream historical novel. She expects to release the first book in a new family saga, The Lion’s Club, in 2018.

She holds a BA in Writing, summa cum laude and With Distinction, from the University of Colorado Denver, and is a member of the Speakeasy Scribes, the Historical Novel Society, and the Denver Press Club. She has a long family history in Charleston, South Carolina, and is the great-great niece of a man in the mold of Harry Wentworth.

All links to purchase Blind Tribute may be found here: www.books2read.com/blindtribute

You can find Mari online at www.MariAnneChristie.com/ or on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/MariChristieAuthor

Next up we have Quenby Olson, writer of historical romance and historical suspense. I have read several of her books, and each and every time I fall more in love with her writing. A master of prose and imagery, I’m always eager to get my hands on her next release. Here’s a peek at The Bride Price, available August 1, 2017.

“And if I do marry this man you’ve chosen, do you promise—” She stopped herself there. All her life, she’d known how well her father had kept to his promises. “Will I still be able to see Katie and Sarah? Will they be allowed to visit with me?”

He eyed her for a minute, and she wondered what thoughts he was choosing to entertain. “You may see them as often as is convenient,” he said at last, and in that moment she knew that he was keeping something from her.

“I see.” She needed time to think, a day, a week, perhaps an entire year. But she knew her father and she knew that he would not give her the single tick of a clock if she asked for it.

Her sisters. . . If she was still allowed to see them, to have teas and outings with them, maybe even to have them over to stay at her new home, then perhaps she could still have some influence over their lives and prevent their father from using them as pawns in the endless game he played to regain the fortune he’d already lost.

“Make your choice, Emily.” Her father had turned back to the fireplace, his fingers sliding over the elaborately carved woodwork with the caress of someone who would pinch the entire house and place it in his pocket if he could. “The sooner we can sweep up this mess you’ve made, the less tarnish we’ll have to scrub off the family name when we’re trying to dupe a few fellows into picking up Katie and Sarah, eh?”

She heard the sound of footsteps above her, followed by the opening and closing of a door beneath her feet. It was almost profane, she thought, that the day-to-day activities that burdened other people’s lives should be allowed to continue while she stood there and watched as her own life, her future, was so swiftly and irrevocably demolished.

To save her family from scandal, Emily Collicott must marry.

Ruined in her first season in London, she is given no choice but to wed her father’s pick for a husband, or be cast out from her home. Emily agrees to marry William Hazlitt, a man she hardly knows. But William remembers her. Growing up as a tenant on her father’s estate, he admired her from afar, their lives kept separate first by class, and then by loss.

Emily seeks to begin a new life with this quiet man to whom she finds herself wedded. But the scandal she escaped in London soon finds her again, the very man who destroyed her reputation threatening to tear down the happiness she’s found with her new husband. To keep from losing everything, she must either make a deal with a devil… or learn how to defeat one.


Quenby Olson lives in Central Pennsylvania where she spends most of her time writing, glaring at baskets of unfolded laundry, and chasing the cat off the kitchen counters. She lives with her husband and three children, who do nothing to dampen her love of classical ballet, geeky crochet, and staying up late to watch old episodes of Doctor Who.

You can purchase The Bride Price on Amazon here: http://a.co/1BWn24d

You can find Quenby online at https://quenbyolson.wordpress.com/ and on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/QuenbyOlson/

Last, but not least, we have Lawrence Hogue, writer of historical romance as well as other fiction and non-fiction. As a member of The Speakeasy Scribes, I have read a couple of his shorter works, and can vouch for his mastery of ink on a page. In a nutshell, he’s awesome. Here’s a little peek at Daring and Decorum, also available August 1, 2017.

At last Anthony broke the silence. “Elizabeth, I have been meaning to apologize for my behavior when the highwayman assaulted you.”

“Apologize? For what should you apologize? We were all of us in danger.”

“Yet I should have prevented his outrageous behavior toward you. It is a moment I will regret for the rest of my days. When I think that we used to play games of chivalry in this very spot, and then when the opportunity for true chivalry arose, I was not up to the challenge. You stood up for yourself more than I did.”

I stole a glance to see him staring dejectedly at the lane before us. “Perhaps, in such a situation, a woman can get away with what a man could not. Had you provoked him more than you did, he might have shot you. And you did challenge him to a duel.”

“Empty bluff and bluster. I knew he wouldn’t honor such a challenge. No, it was my duty to protect you, and I failed. And now Father bids me to follow him to London.”

The silence lengthened once more. “You depart today, do you not?”

“We leave within the hour. I wanted to pay my respects before leaving.”

“It is most appreciated,” I said, employing that cautious reserve through which I had always hoped to safeguard both our hearts, though now my preoccupation with the highwayman also played a part. I was searching for a different subject for our conversation when he went on.

“Elizabeth, is there no chance your father will send you to London for the latter part of the season?”

I allowed him half a smile, careful not to let my gaze linger too long on his bright blue eyes or the smooth skin of his high cheekbones, tanned from his recent outings afield. “I’m sure he’s worried that an eligible bachelor would capture my heart and take me far from home.” Anthony knew as well as I that Father had not the means to send me, along with Mrs. Simmons, to London. “No, he is happy that I content myself with Devonshire society. It does not trouble me.”

He was silent for several moments more, then said, “I wish I could stay in Devon. Town is not for me — too crowded, too many people to know and their ranks to keep track of. I prefer it here in the country. I don’t see what London has to offer, and I grow tired of having my every move directed by my parents.”

I kept my attention on the lane ahead of me, unwilling to lead him farther into danger. “What is there to occupy you here, now that the sporting season has ended?”

But my efforts were of little use. He stopped in the lane and placed a hand on my arm, his voice low and filled with meaning as he replied, “More than you know, Lizzie.”

That was the moment at which, to please Father and Mrs. Simmons, I should have turned my pleading eyes upon him and asked, in all innocence, whatever could he mean? Following which, he would no doubt pour out his heart and kiss my hand, pledging that he would stand up to his father in choosing a mate.

But I knew how that would end, for I was sure that Anthony had not the heart to defy his father for long. And even if he did, where could it lead? For it was well known that the bulk of Holbourne’s lands were free of entail, and Lord Highdown could dispose of them as he wished, leaving Anthony the poorest Earl in the kingdom when he took the title. Would Anthony commit himself to a life of relative poverty and humiliation in order to marry me? I was certain not. The inevitable result would be heartbreak for us both, the loss of our friendship, and my own reputation sullied as the foolish girl taken in by the frivolous romances of a nobleman.

Now I was glad for all my father’s training, as it allowed me to steady myself for what I must do. “Come now,” I said, masking my true feelings with more playfulness than I felt. “I haven’t a doubt that you will be a great hit in the ton. Half the eligible girls will be falling over themselves to capture your attentions. You will make your parents very happy and proud.”

For a moment he seemed to consider defying his parents’ wishes, proclaiming allegiance to his own heart, but then his expression grew more determined as his upbringing as a gentleman and heir to the Earldom asserted itself. “You have always been my greatest friend, Lizzie. You always have much better sense than I do.”

“You sound as if you are off to war! I hope we will be the best of friends for years to come, when our children are playing together on family visits.”

I gazed at him as calmly as I could, then we continued our walk, maintaining our silence until we reached the joining of the lane that led to his family’s estate, where we bid our farewells. I continued toward the village, conscious of a certain hypocrisy in urging my friend to ignore the demands of his own heart, when I could not quiet my own thoughts after one kiss from a stranger, and a rogue at that.

Elizabeth Collington, the twenty-year-old daughter of a country vicar, longs for more than the circumscribed life of her 18th-century Devonshire village. When a highwayman steals a kiss along with her mother’s necklace – provoking feelings of which her father would never approve – she suddenly has a secret no one must know. But the highwayman also has a secret: “he” is actually a woman.

Will the story of the highwayman’s past – complete with a tyrannical husband, a gloomy castle, and a daring escape into London’s underworld – persuade Elizabeth to abandon propriety in favor of passion? In the end, can the lovers make an independent life in a world where women are little more than property, evading both the redcoats and the jealous young lord who would tear them apart?

Daring and Decorum is comedy of manners wrapped around a gothic tale; a mashup of Jane Austen, Alfred Noyes’ poem The Highwayman, Robin Hood, and Moll Cutpurse; and a passionate case for the freedom to love whom one chooses.

Buy Links for Daring and Decorum:

Amazon | Amazon UK | B&NWebsite | Smashwords

Lawrence Hogue’s writing is all over the place and all over time. He started out in nonfiction/nature writing with a personal narrative/environmental history of the Anza-Borrego Desert called All the Wild and Lonely Places: Journeys in a Desert Landscape. After moving to Michigan, he switched to writing fiction, including contemporary stories set in the desert and fanfiction based on the videogame Skyrim. He’s a fan of folk music, and got the idea for Daring and Decorum while listening to Loreena McKennitt’s outstanding adaptation of Alfred Noyes’ poem, The Highwayman. When not speaking a word for nature or for forgotten LGBT people of history, he spends his white-knighting, gender-betraying energies on Twitter and Facebook, and sometimes on the streets of Lansing, MI, and Washington DC. He’s been called a Social Justice Warrior, but prefers Social Justice Wizard or perhaps Social Justice Lawful Neutral Rogue.

That’s three fantastic books for all you histfic fanatics. That should keep you busy for a while.

So tell me, what’s the last historical fiction or historical romance you read that knocked your socks off?


I write sweet and spicy romance, and enjoy reading a wide range of genres. Exploring the art of the written word is a passion, and I delight in both page-turning conflict and stomach-flipping chemistry. Other than English, I speak Spanish, Moroccan, and a little French. My dream is to travel the world with my laptop, creating captivating characters and dreamy escapes. I sing constantly, if a bit off-key to my family’s chagrin. I’m also a klutz, and in my own mind, I’m hilarious.

Website: http://www.yoursweetandspicyromanceauthor.com/

Signup to join My Dream Team: http://eepurl.com/bjAzz1

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/author/jennifersenhaji

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/jsenhaji13

Twitter: https://twitter.com/jsenhaji13

Blog: http://jennifersenhaji.blogspot.com

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/jennifersenhaji

Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/Jsenhaji

WordPress: https://jsenhaji13.wordpress.com/

Diversity in books is not just black and white

Live For This

Diversity is a hot topic amongst authors and readers who are tired of not being represented or being misrepresented in fiction. But diversity is not limited to the racial background of the hero and heroine. It’s so much more than that. We should consider not only race, but religious backgrounds, cultural backgrounds, economic backgrounds, and people with emotional, physical, and mental disabilities. Everyone deserves love and happy endings.

Recently I was given an advanced reader copy of Live for This by Kathryn R. Biel. Check out my Amazon Review.

Here’s the official blurb:

Samirah Lundgren is living the party girl life. While she’s trying to forget about her past and put off having a meaningful future, her lifestyle catches up with her, leaving her in a wake of personal destruction. Alone and homeless, she encounters Michael Salinger, a man carrying his own baggage in the form of a spinal cord injury, not to mention his former fiancé is marrying his former best friend.

Can a man with a broken body and a woman with a shattered soul help each other find the redemption they need to become whole again?

Samirah comes from an Iranian/British background, one she has totally disconnected with. She masks her heritage behind bleach-blonde hair and her nickname Sam, allowing her acquaintance to think of her as Samantha. The sad fact is, I believe this is true of many people. We all try to fit into the accepted concepts of what’s considered beautiful or perfect. But in whose eyes?

Tall and handsome, Michael had no problem approaching women. Until he was paralyzed. Now women won’t even look at him. All they see is the chair. His fiancé leaves him, unable to cope with the reality of his day-to-day, even though he is totally self-sufficient. Even women he would normally not find attractive regard him with contempt. The sad fact here is while ideally we can all say a disability would not change how we feel about someone, how many can say they would consider dating someone who was paraplegic?

This book hit the mark on so many levels. I stayed up reading until almost 2am to finish it knowing I had to get up the next day for work at 6am. This well written emotional read knocked my socks off. This piece of fiction matters. It will change your view of life, love, and the power of the human spirit.

My takeaway: Love may not be blind, but we shouldn’t let stereotypes blind us to the potential for love.

More about the author, Kathryn R. Biel.

Author Bio:

Telling stories of resilient women, Kathryn Biel hails from upstate New York and is a spouse and mother of two wonderful and energetic kids. In between being Chief Home Officer and Director of Child Development of the Biel household, she works as a school-based physical therapist. She attended Boston University and received her Doctorate in Physical Therapy from The Sage Colleges. After years of writing countless letters of medical necessity for wheelchairs, finding increasingly creative ways to encourage the government and insurance companies to fund her clients’ needs, and writing entertaining annual Christmas letters, she decided to take a shot at writing the kind of novel that she likes to read. Her musings and rants can be found on her personal blog, Biel Blather. She is the author of Good Intentions (2013), Hold Her Down (2014), I’m Still Here (2014), Jump, Jive, and Wail (2015), Killing Me Softly (2015), and Completions and Connections: A Romantic Holiday Novella (2015).


Kathryn R. Biel, Author Telling Stories of Resilient Women

Website: bit.ly/KRBOnline

Facebook: www.facebook.com/kathrynrbiel

Twitter: @KRBiel Instagram @krbiel


I was born and raised in San Francisco, CA, and have a husband and two children. Music is an addiction. I can often be found in the car, singing along at the top of my lungs to whatever is playing. I work full time, and I split my spare time between family, reading, blogging, and writing. I’m a habitual quoter. Lines from films and TV shows constantly pop into my head—my kids are the only ones that really get it. I’m an only child, and so of course I married a man who is one of ten children. Other than English, I speak Spanish, Moroccan, and a little French. I love to travel, but don’t do enough of it. Reading has been a passion for most of my life and I now love writing. I’m klutz, and in my own mind, I’m hilarious.

Author Pic Final 2016


Find me at http://www.yoursweetandspicyromanceauthor.com/

Signup to join My Dream Team: http://eepurl.com/bjAzz1

New Release by A.E. Snow

It’s release day for Meadow Perkins, Trusty Sidekick!http://amzn.to/1TzTE48

Meadow has always been someone’s sidekick. It stinks, but it has always kept her safe. On the last day of school, Emilia, her so-called best friend, deals her a blow in the form of public humiliation and her spot in a prestigious art school is compromised. Meadow is knocked out of her sleepy existence and realizes she needs to make some big changes, starting with Emilia.

When Isla moves in across the street, she inspires Meadow to take charge of her own life and her own heart. Her heart just won’t shut up about the brooding Alejandro, or about Jack, who is tall and funny and totally gets her.

Being caught between two boys isn’t all bad, but after Meadow makes a shocking discovery, she realizes that she must stand on her own two feet and fix the mess she’s made. Will her new friendship survive and can Meadow win back the boy she like likes?


A.E. Snow is a writer, mother, pet wrangler, and lives for books and publishing. She lives in a tiny mountain town with her husband, two children, three cats, a dog, and a partridge in a pear tree.




 I was born and raised in San Francisco, CA, and have a husband and two children. Music is an addiction. I can often be found in the car, singing along at the top of my lungs to whatever is playing. I work full time, and I split my spare time between family, reading, blogging, and writing. I’m a habitual quoter. Lines from films and TV shows constantly pop into my head—my kids are the only ones that really get it. I’m an only child, and so of course I married a man who is one of ten children. Other than English, I speak Spanish, Moroccan, and a little French. I love to travel, but don’t do enough of it. Reading has been a passion for most of my life and I now love writing. I’m klutz, and in my own mind, I’m hilarious.
Find me at http://www.yoursweetandspicyromanceauthor.com/
Signup to join My Dream Team: http://eepurl.com/bjAzz1

The Perfect Romantic Setting – Guest Post by Susan Ann Wall

Please welcome guest blogger, Susan Ann Wall.

Thank you for joining us, Susan.

Hello!! Thanks to Jennifer for hosting me as I prepare for the release of The Sound of Circumstance, book #5 in my Puget Sound ~ Alive With Love series.The Sound of Circumstance


If you caught my post a few days ago on the Fierce Romance blog, you’ll know the setting in this series comes from some of my personal experiences. I don’t currently live near Seattle, but I did for a short period and fell in love with the city the first time Hero Husband took me there.

Seattle may not be labeled the city of love, but in my contemporary romance series, it is definitely alive with love. Puget Sound has a little bit of everything, the Cascade Mountains to the east and the Olympic Mountains to the west, with 14,000 foot Mt. Rainier standing tall in the distance like a snow-covered beacon. Seattle is enclosed by Elliot Bay to the west and Lake Washington to the east, with Lake Union accessible right downtown. What an incredibly romantic setting with all that water and those beautiful, snow-capped mountains.

I love a naturally romantic setting, someplace you can enjoy the tranquility of the water and the beauty of the mountains. In the story, Stacie escapes to Alki Beach to gain a little clarity and cool her heals. Stacie loves the beach because the first time Owen brought her there (The Sound of Consequence) they shared a romantic interlude under a full moon.

One of my favorite locations in Seattle to write about is Gasworks Park. Sitting on the edge of Lake Union, it’s the perfect place for a romantic picnic (The Sound of Consequence) or a cookout with friends (The Sound of Deception). I’m not the only one who thinks Lake Union is a romantic setting … the house where Tom Hanks lived in Sleepless in Seattle sits on Lake Union!

I also have many scenes in the series that take place on the ferry and the image on the cover of The Sound of Circumstance was taken from the lower deck of the ferry returning from Bremerton. Aren’t sunsets so romantic?

I could bore you with all the places in Seattle that inspire romance, or you can just dive into the series and lose yourself in those settings!!

Tell me, what is your favorite romantic setting (that you’ve been to, read about, or dream of visiting)?

Bio:Susan Ann Wall
Big dreamer and certifiable overachiever Susan Ann Wall embraces life at full speed and volume. She’s a beer and tea snob, can be bribed with dark chocolate, and the #1 thing on her bucket list is to be the center of a Bon Jovi flash mob.
Susan is a nationally bestselling, multi-genre author of racy, rule-breaking romance and women’s fiction. Her bragging rights include nine books in three different series,  three perfect children, adopting an amazing rescue dog, and a happily ever after that started while serving in the U.S. Army and has spanned nearly two decades (which is crazy since she’s not a day over 29).
In her next life, Susan plans to be a 5 foot 10, size 8 rock star married to a chiropractor and will not be terrified of large bridges, spiders, or quiet people (shiver).

Susan’s new release, The Sound of Circumstance can be found at the online retailers below.

SOC Cover

The Sound of Circumstance Purchase Links:

Amazon: http://amzn.to/1jA1sXU

Barnes and Noble: http://bit.ly/1j5yGPa

iTunes: http://apple.co/1jA1pvo

Kobo: http://bit.ly/1O4RZ6k

To finally leave the past behind, they’ll have to trust … their friendship, and especially their love.
Stacie Nightingale doesn’t what the 2.5 million dollars of blood money she’s been awarded as a result of the lawsuit she filed. She also doesn’t want the memories that are flooding her mind, causing her to remember everything that led to the car accident that killed her friend and left Stacie with a traumatic brain injury. Neither of those circumstances matter though once her boyfriend Owen Landry proposes to her. She doesn’t want his proposal, not due to the circumstances that drove him to it. The mysterious woman he seems to be keeping company only fuels her insecurity and doubt. Stacie loves Owen, but with her past continuing to haunt her, she questions if their love is strong enough to survive.
Owen Landry has been carrying the ring around for months, waiting for the perfect moment to propose. He has a plan, but when a gallery owner starts swooning over Stacie – and not just her paintings – Owen once again has to face the demons of his own past. His insecurities spike when Stacie not only refuses his proposal, but confides in her brother rather than Owen. He doesn’t believe she would betray him, but his past has proven he can be a bad judge of character.

You can find Susan online at:

Social Media Links:


Facebook: www.facebook.com/susanannwall.author

Twitter: https://twitter.com/@susanannwall

Pinterest: www.pinterest.com/susanannwall

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Susan-Ann-Wall/e/B007NZU7X0

Goodreads: www.goodreads.com/susanannwall

Newsletter: http://eepurl.com/nQ7wH


Thank you for joining us today, Susan and good luck with your latest release.

Author Pic

I was born and raised in San Francisco, CA, and have a husband and two children. Music is an addiction. I can often be found in the car, singing along at the top of my lungs to whatever is playing. I work full time, and I split my spare time between family, reading, blogging, and writing. I’m a habitual quoter. Lines from films and TV shows constantly pop into my head—my kids are the only ones that really get it. I’m an only child, and so of course I married a man who is one of ten children. Other than English, I speak Spanish, Moroccan, and a little French. I love to travel, but don’t do enough of it. Reading has been a passion for most of my life and I now love writing. I’m klutz, and in my own mind, I’m hilarious.

Find me at http://www.yoursweetandspicyromanceauthor.com/

Signup to join My Dream Team: http://eepurl.com/bjAzz1


An Interview with The Rose of Frampton

chairThe Rose of Frampton receives her interviewer from two hundred years in the future in a small parlour, exquisitely decorated. Everything is of the finest quality, including the woman who graces the room in the way a jewel both takes and lends beauty to its setting.

Assured that no word of this interview will be published before the 21st century, she is willing to be frank in the hopes her words can be useful to women in a time she cannot imagine.

“I cannot emphasise enough,” she warns, “how important it is to me to remain anonymous in this time. No one can be allowed to connect Rose Diamond, the mistress of the Marquis of Aldridge, with Rebecca Winstanley, widowed mother of Sarah Winstanley. My daughter’s future depends on that distance.”


1. What impression do you make on people when they first meet you?

It rather depends on who they meet. When Aldridge introduces me to his friends as the Rose of Frampton, they see what they expect to see: a very expensive courtesan. No-one propositions me, of course, or treats me with discourtesy. They know how Aldridge would deal with that! But I know they see me as a status symbol, an ornament for Aldridge’s arm and a toy for his bed. Not as a person.

Then I have my other life. I do not meet many people as the widowed Mrs Winstanley. Mothers of the girls my daughter has befriended at the park; merchants perhaps; servants. I have heard myself described as ‘that pretty timid little widow’. I suppose the description is accurate.


2. Do you wish to marry? If so, what is your idea of a good marriage? Do you think that will happen in your life?

I have rarely seen the kind of marriage I would wish for myself. Aldridge is single, of course, but I have had married protectors, and I have known many other women in the keeping of men with wives. Aldridge sometimes talks to me about the ton women he beds – widows, some of them, but many bored and lonely wives. I would hate a marriage like that.

I’ve seen a few couples who are devoted to one another. They love one another, and more than that, they are friends. They enjoy being with one another. They are loyal and loving. Could I have a marriage like that? Of course not. Not with my past. But I would rather be alone than in a marriage where I was not accepted and loved.


3. What are you most ashamed of in your life?

Ashamed? Hmmm. Most, I suppose, would say I should be ashamed to be earning my living on my back. But I am at a loss to understand the logic. Society says I should be ashamed of taking the only opportunity available to me to give my daughter a better life than serving the appetites of some man until her beauty fades or she dies of the pox. But those same moralists do not expect shame of the men whose appetites and whose money create the market for what I and those like me sell. Should it shame me to sell myself in a comfortable townhouse for gold guineas rather than in an alley for pence or a brothel for the leavings of the bawd? Those were, I assure you, my choices.

I am ashamed of choosing my former protectors unwisely. Perry was a disaster. Had Aldridge not rescued us, Sarah and I would have been truly lost. I would owe him forever for that alone.


4. Tell me about your best friend. How did you meet? What do you like about this person? What do they like about you?

Best friend? I do not know… There was another courtesan, once, who was very kind to me when I first came to London. She gave me excellent advice. I think we could have been friends, but she is gone now. Aldridge is not a friend, precisely. I am fond of Aldridge, and I think he is fond of me, but he is my protector. I am paid to be pleasant, to amuse him, to keep him company. I am, if you like, his friend, but is he mine?

We met in a garden, which sounds very mundane and was anything but. I was escaping with Sarah from men who would have… well, never mind. Aldridge has no idea how he came to be naked and asleep in my summerhouse. But I am glad he was there to hide us and spirit us away to freedom.

He is a kind and generous protector, and I enjoy his company. What does he like about me, you ask? He says I amuse him.


5. What would you like it to say on your tombstone?

Here lies Rebecca, mother of Sarah and grandmother of who knows how many legitimate and healthy children. In life, she was loved and respected. In death she will be remembered.


6. What is your greatest fear?

I fear my past will haunt my daughter. I fear others will link the mistress of the Marquis of Aldridge to my little girl, and that her chances of escaping the life I have led will be destroyed. Aldridge is as careful as I am to keep the connection secret, and I believe he even bribes and threatens the news-sheets to protect us. But what will happen when our arrangement is over? Too many people know us both.

I believe Sarah and I will have to change our names and go where no one can find us, and even then, I am afraid someone will find out. All will be lost if I cannot keep my secret forever.

BfB cover final small

Book Blurb


Regency romance, historical romance

Heat rating

R for implied sexual content, 2 out of 5 flames

Amazon http://amzn.to/1C3hFNl

Amazon UK http://amzn.to/1H3YmTk

Barnes & Noble http://bit.ly/1GRTvkR

Becky is the envy of the courtesans of the demi-monde – the indulged mistress of the wealthy and charismatic Marquis of Aldridge. But she dreams of a normal life; one in which her daughter can have a future that does not depend on beauty, sex, and the whims of a man.

Finding herself with child, she hesitates to tell Aldridge. Will he cast her off, send her away, or keep her and condemn another child to this uncertain shadow world?

The devil-may-care face Hugh shows to the world hides a desperate sorrow; a sorrow he tries to drown with drink and riotous living. His years at war haunt him, but even more, he doesn’t want to think about the illness that robbed him of the ability to father a son. When he dies, his barony will die with him. His title will fall into abeyance, and his estate will be scooped up by the Crown.

When Aldridge surprises them both with a daring proposition, they do not expect love to be part of the bargain.


Aldridge never did find out how he came to be naked, alone, and sleeping in the small summerhouse in the garden of a country cottage. His last memory of the night before had him twenty miles away, and—although not dressed—in a comfortable bed, and in company.

The first time he woke, he had no idea how far he’d come, but the moonlight was bright enough to show him half-trellised window openings, and an archway leading down a short flight of steps into a garden. A house loomed a few hundred feet away, a dark shape against the star-bright sky. But getting up seemed like too much trouble, particularly with a headache that seemed to hang inches above him, threatening to split his head if he moved. The cushioned bench on which he lay invited him to shut his eyes and go back to sleep. Time enough to find out where he was in the morning.

When he woke again, he was facing away from the archway entrance, and there was someone behind him. Silence now, but in his memory the sound of light footsteps shifting the stones on the path outside, followed by twin intakes of breath as the walkers saw him.

One of them spoke; a woman’s voice, but low—almost husky. “Sarah, go back to the first rose bush and watch the house.”

“Yes, mama.” A child’s voice.

Aldridge waited until he heard the child dance lightly down the steps and away along the path, then shifted his weight slightly so that his pelvis flattened, dragging the rest of his torso over till he was lying on his back.

He waited for the exclamation of shock, but none came. Carefully— he wanted to observe her before he let her know he was awake, and anyway, any sudden movement might start up the hammers above his eye sockets—he cracked open his lids enough so to watch through his lashes.

He could see more than he expected. The woman had a shuttered lantern she was using to examine him, starting at his feet. She paused so long when she reached his morning salute that it grew even prouder, then swept the beam from the lantern up his torso so quickly he barely had time to slam his lids shut before the light reached and lingered over his face.


Jude KnightAuthor bio

Jude Knight writes strong determined heroines, heroes who can appreciate a clever capable woman, villains you’ll love to loathe, and all with a leavening of humour.

Jude Knight is the pen name of Judy Knighton. After a career in commercial writing, editing, and publishing, Jude is returning to her first love, fiction. Her novella, Candle’s Christmas Chair, was released in December 2014, and is in the top ten on several Amazon bestseller lists in the US and UK. Her first novel Farewell to Kindness, was released on 1 April, and is first in a series: The Golden Redepennings.




Jude’s social media

Visit Jude’s Website http://judeknightauthor.com/

Like Jude on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/JudeKnightAuthor

Follow Jude on Twitter http://twitter.com/JudeKnightBooks

Subscribe to Jude’s newsletter: http://judeknightauthor.com/newsletter/

Subscribe to Jude’s blog: http://judeknightauthor.com

Follow Jude on Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/judeknight

Jude’s Other Books (on Amazon)

Candle’s Christmas Chair (free novella): http://amzn.to/1LO6zN0            

Farewell to Kindness (Book One, the Golden Redepennings): http://amzn.to/1Ce4lpP

Author PicI was born and raised in San Francisco, CA, and have a husband and two children. Music is an addiction. I can often be found in the car, singing along at the top of my lungs to whatever is playing. I work full time, and I split my spare time between family, reading, blogging, and writing. I’m a habitual quoter. Lines from films and TV shows constantly pop into my head—my kids are the only ones that really get it. I’m an only child, and so of course I married a man who is one of ten children. Other than English, I speak Spanish, Moroccan, and a little French. I love to travel, but don’t do enough of it. Reading has been a passion for most of my life and I now love writing. I’m klutz, and in my own mind, I’m hilarious.

Find me at www.jennifersenhajiauthor.com

Signup to join My Dream Team: http://eepurl.com/bjAzz1

Lost and Found-Release Day

Kay Blake is one of my favorite people, and when she told me she was publishing a summer novella, right after her own summer wedding, I was thrilled. So congratulations, Kay, on your wedding and your book. I wish you all the best.
Lost and Found by Kay Blake
Genre: Contemporary Romance/Interracial Romance
Amazon link:

Here’s the blurb:

Zoe Reynolds life is thrown in a tailspin when she catches her fiancé sleeping with his receptionist. Reeling from his betrayal and wanting a change fast, she cuts her hair and purchases tickets to go on a seven day cruise to the Caribbean.  All Zoe wanted was some fun in the sun and some time to paint. That was until she meets handsome but shy Donatello “Donnie” Carson a forensics investigator who is on the cruise only to appease his best friend. Donnie is still hung up over bitter loses in his life, but with Zoe he is able to start living again.

Though both have past wounds, sparks fly and their connection sends them on a whirlwind romance. Can Zoe and Donnie let go of the past and find solace in each other?

Kay has provided the top ten list below as a little glimpse, for all you lovely readers, at how truly awesome she is.

My Top Ten Favorite Things about Summer

By: Kay Blake

Since, my novelette takes place in the summer, I thought I would share a few things that I like about the summer. They are in no particular order.

  1. The zoo- I know how crazy that sounds, but I am a mama bear. I have three cubs and well, the zoo seems so much more inviting when the sun is bright and shining. I also love big cats, you know tigers, leopards, panthers and jaguars. (If I could have one-I would in a heartbeat lol)
  2. Fruity drinks– I am a sucker for a good fruity drink and though I don’t drink too often this is the time of year that a Bahama Mama or an Orange-Cherry Champagne Cocktail
  3. A good book- Because a good book goes along with any weather
  4. Weddings- I may be a little bias since I just had a summer wedding, but seeing all the pictures of weddings in the park, beaches or anywhere in nature is one of my favorite things about summer.)
  5. The beach- Give me a beach umbrella, a book and a beach chair and I am there)
  6. Summer Fashion- NYC is one of the cities that fashion its peak. I picked out a few trendy pieces for my summer collection and I can’t wait to show it off.
  7. Ice Cream and more ice cream- Because let’s face it, who doesn’t love ice cream?
  8. BBQs- Most time Memorial Day marks the beginning of BBQ season. I love the burgers, hotdogs and chicken off the grill with a nice cold glass of lemonade. (I am drooling just thinking about it.)
  9. Summer break for my cubs- When the cubs are out of school, I have more time to do things with them outside of the house. Outings and outdoor events are fun with the cubs around.
  10. More time to spend with friends- There are so much things to do in the summer. Summer in NYC makes it easier and more convenient to hang out and have a good time with friends.

Kay Blake

Kay Blake was born in the city that never sleeps or as she sees it arguably the greatest city in the world (NYC). She have always loved written word and breezed through books all of her life. She decided to take a real stab at writing professionally in 2014 and have been on a roll since.
She is a mama to three cubs and recently re married. She is working on her psychology degree. Her guilty pleasures are chocolate, wine, a good book and horror movies. You can find her being sarcastic, while bawling at romance movies and being a super mom.
Social Media
Twitter: Author Kay Blake/ www.twitter.com/authorkayblake
Instagram: AuthorKayBlake/ www.instagram.com/authorkayblake
Author Pic

Jennifer Senhaji was born and raised in San Francisco, CA, and is married with two children. If she’s not singing along at the top of her lungs to whatever is playing on the radio, you can find her making music playlists at home on her laptop. She works full time and splits her spare time between family, reading, blogging, and writing. Other than English, Jennifer speaks Spanish, Moroccan, and a little French. She loves to travel, but doesn’t do enough of it and will weave places she has gone or wants to go into her stories. Reading has been a passion for most of her life and she loves to write. She calls herself Your Sweet and Spicy Romance Author because she loves the sweet nuances of new love, but also is a bit of a voyeur and wants to be in the bedroom when the characters finally come together. You can find Jennifer and all her book links and social media links on her website at www.jennifersenhajiauthor.com

#WriterWednesday-New Excerpt From Reconstructing Roman by Sandra S. Kerns

Reconstructing Roman is a brand new romantic suspense novel by Sandra S. Kerns. You can read my Goodreads review here, but I thought it might be nice to tease you with a little excerpt. Enjoy.


When Kaia hung up the few remaining doubts about her move vanished. Despite the money her family had, she had never belonged in that world. Grant understood that. His father didn’t.

Daniel Wentworth had fought her move every step of the way, even trying to have Grant talk her out of it. When Grant refused, even siding with her, his father had gone ballistic. When he found out she’d sold her apartment and rented a trailer, he’d finally accepted the truth.

Well, she thought he had, but now she had her doubts.

“Okay, Nicky. If we’re going to stay here, it’s time to call for some help.” Kaia grabbed her backpack from the floor and dug through several pockets before she found the card Daniel had given her. Nicky sat at her feet while she input the number.


Kaia was caught off guard by the older female voice that answered the phone. Daniel had said the caretaker was male and lived alone.

“Hello, this is Kaia Beecher. I’m–”

Before she could finish she heard a short startled scream and the person obviously dropped the phone. She called out hello a few times hoping to find out what happened.

“Who is this?”

The deep, angry, demanding male voice surprised Kaia as much as the original female voice. “Kaia Beecher. I was given this number if I had any trouble at my grandparents’ house. I’m looking for an Adam, um, just a minute.” In the shock of being yelled at, she’d dropped the card.

“Smirnosky,” the deep voice said. “Why would you be looking for Adam?”

The man didn’t sound angry anymore, but concerned. Kaia persevered. “The executor of my parents’ estate told me he was acting as a caretaker for the farm. Mr. Wentworth was supposed to call ahead and let Mr. Smirnosky know I was coming. I’m guessing he didn’t do that.”

Of course he didn’t. The man had no intention of making her life easy unless she married his son. Damn him.

“Just a minute,” deep voice said.

Kaia heard a click as if the phone had been set down. Then she heard the man’s deep voice speaking to someone in a much softer tone. The gentleness of his voice sent a shiver over her skin. The only time she’d ever heard a man’s voice sound like that was her father comforting her mother. Those two had been unbelievably, head-over-heels in love, even after thirty years.

“Miss Beecher, I’m sorry for the misunderstanding. We’ve had a rough week here. Adam isn’t available right now. He hadn’t mentioned taking care of your property to me, thus the confusion. Well, that and the fact that you sound just like your grandmother.”

“Excuse me?”

“The lady who answered the phone was a good friend of your grandmother’s. When you said you were Kaia Beecher, Miss Hattie thought it was a ghost. It gave her a bit of a scare.”

“Oh, I’m so sorry. I never even thought about it.”

“It’s okay. I’m sure Miss Hattie will recover. What was it you need help with? I can try to take care of it.”

Kaia debated the wisdom of getting help from someone she didn’t know, hadn’t been recommended, and seemed to have a quick temper. Then again, she didn’t really know anyone here. Still–

“If it helps, I’m Adam’s brother. Actually, we met earlier today up at the Bury Patch. I’ve just come back to town and . . .”

“It’s been a rough week,” Kaia finished for him, her mouth pulling into a grin.

“Well, yeah, but actually, I was going to say, I probably know the property better than Adam. I used to help your grandfather out when I lived here.”

Deciding he sounded repentant for his earlier harsh tone, he was trying to help his brother, he used to work with her grandfather, and she had at least met, she would trust him. Her earlier thought about a boy who helped her grandfather returned. She wondered if this was the same person, but she wasn’t brave enough to ask.

“I just got back to the house before the rain hit. Since it stopped, I looked around for the main water valve and fuse box, but I can’t find either one.”

“I can take care of that for you. I’ll be over shortly.”

The man disconnected and Kaia found herself staring at the phone. She didn’t remember people out here being rude, but then she had only been a child. When she really thought about it, he hadn’t really been rude. He probably thought I’ll be over shortly was the same as saying goodbye. He’d also said things hadn’t been going well this week, so she should give him a break. As long as shortly didn’t turn out to be two hours or something. Until he got here she could start moving boxes to appropriate rooms, she thought.

She’d barely moved two boxes when Copernicus ran to the front door yipping and jumping up and down.

“What is it, boy?” she asked, emerging from the kitchen in back. “Do we have company?”

Kaia looked out the door and watched a familiar truck pull up behind her SUV. The cab door opened and a large work boot appeared below the door. She saw Roman’s dark hair above the door before he leaned back in the truck for something. Without thinking, she opened the screen door and Copernicus bolted through the opening. He ran to the man yipping all the way and jumping up against his calf.

“Hey there, Cujo,” the man said, reaching down and scooping him up in one hand. “We meet again.”

“Copernicus,” she chided the dog as she walked toward them.

“Uh-oh, I got you in trouble again,” the man said before meeting Kaia’s gaze.

“It is you.”

“It’s me, who?”

Kaia laughed though he looked serious. “The Roman I remember from when I visited here as a child and the man from the cemetery earlier today. That must be why Nicky ran to you, though he did run to you at the cemetery too. That’s odd. He doesn’t usually . . .”

“Guilty of the first two, but what doesn’t he usually do?” he asked, handing Nicky back to her.

She felt color suffuse her face and dipped her head as she answered. “Like men.”

Roman Smirnosky laughed. “Smart dog. Let me take care of the power for you first and then I’ll look into the water.”

With that, he turned and walked down the side of the house. Kaia watched him until he disappeared. “Okay, Nicky, I guess he’s in a hurry. Let’s go inside so we can let him know when it comes on.”

Walking inside, Kaia went to the kitchen. She looked out the window to see where Roman had gone. There was no sign of him. She knew he hadn’t come inside, so where the heck was the power box?

A minute later, the side door of the shed opened and he stepped out. She watched him lock the door and then pause. His head turned just a little as if he had heard something behind the shed. It was only a moment, but for some reason it gave her a sense of unease. Then, he turned and walked toward the back door. Remembering she’d locked it earlier, she rushed over, twisted the deadbolt and opened the door before stepping back.

“You’re letting your imagination get the best of you,” she said laughing at herself and shaking her head as he knocked on the back screen door. “Come on in.”

The moment he set foot inside, the rest of the room seemed to shrink. Copernicus ran straight for him. When he smiled and scooped the dog up again, Kaia lost all ability to breathe. He had a killer smile. He rubbed Nicky’s head before turning his gorgeous green eyes toward her.

“Are you and your resident astronomer staying here alone?”

A sliver of fear pierced Kaia’s mind. His angry accusation on the phone, and his obvious physical strength had alarm bells clanging in her ears. She was a woman alone in a town, hell a state, where she didn’t know anyone to call if she needed help. Then she noticed that he hadn’t moved any closer. He made no move to crowd her. And damn it, Nicky liked him.

You can find Reconstructing Roman online below. Love that dog.

Amazon: http://amzn.to/1MXZFoP

Smashwords: http://bit.ly/1FZKgVE

iBooks: http://apple.co/1PO3UbG


The north and the south collided again when Sandra was born. Her parents relocated to New York from Kentucky shortly before she was born. Talk about worlds colliding; being the only official Yankee in a house full of rebels made life interesting to say the least. If you ever speak to her in person, don’t be surprised if a “y’all” pops out because she also spent a number of years in Mississippi. Sandra now lives in Northern Colorado where she writes her stories of love from a sweetheart-of-a-town. With the majestic Rocky Mountains, family, and friends to inspire her she never lacks for ideas.

Sandra has always loved words. By the seventh grade she should have known she would be a writer, when much to the regret of her classmates, she chose idiosyncrasies as a spelling word. One of the high points of her life was the first time she beat her mother at Scrabble! Yes, it’s still her favorite game.

Being a morning person allows her to get all her writing and other work done which leaves her time in the evenings for her suspense, thriller, sci-fi shows. While she enjoys the intricacies of figuring out the how, who, and why of crimes, her real love is for the relationships that bind the players together. The bonds between partners on and off the force. The dance between people at work, at play, and in their everyday settings. These are what keep Sandra writing her stories bringing suspense and romance together in a mutually satisfying conclusion.

Author links:

Website: http://sandrakerns.com/

Facebook: Sandra S Kerns Facebook

Twitter: @SandraSKerns

LinkedIn: Sandra on LinkedIn

Pinterest: Sandra S. Kerns on Pinterest

Blog: Ramblings & Reviews

Goodreads: Author Sandra S Kerns

Amazon: Sandra’s Amazon Author Page

Smashwords: Sandra’s Smashwords Author Page

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You can find me and my books on my website at http://www.jennifersenhajiauthor.com/

New Release: Shades of Blue by Dana Britt


“I can promise you one thing will stay the same—me.”

She wants to get lost in her memories.

He wants her to find her way home.

About Shades of Blue:

Shades of Blue

Heart-broken and reeling with grief, Charlie flees to a far-flung tropical island in search of a safe haven where she can let her treasured memories consume her. Hiding away from the world, she battles nightmares and fresh tragedy while trying to make sense of her new reality.

Living his island dream, firefighter-turned-fisherman Gabe Montgomery is determined to be Charlie’s port in her storm of pain and loss. Blindsided by life-changing revelations from his own past followed by the possibility of a terrifying personal loss, Gabe realizes that sometimes letting go is as much a part of love as holding on.

When Charlie and Gabe acknowledge their powerful connection and cling to one another for comfort and hope, both face a frightening dilemma: surrender to the past, or face the challenge and promise of a future together.

Will the memories and mistakes of the past consume them or can Charlie and Gabe hold fast to each other and the hope that will bring them to promising future together?

We have a character interview with Gabe Montgomery. Check it out.

Gabe Montgomery—Shades of Blue (Dana Tanaro Britt)

  1. What was your childhood like? Wildly idyllic. I grew up on the New England shore– Mom, Dad, Sister, Friends. A kid’s dream.
  2. Do you have any hobbies? I like to call my life my hobby, I love what I do. That being said, these days I’m building toys for the FDNY toy drive. It’s a lot of fun, even with all the minute details & all.
  3. If you were at a store now, what ten items would be in your shopping cart? Before I met Charlie or after? *laughs* Before, probably less than ten items since I eat most of my meals at The Painted Parrot—things like shaving cream, toilet paper & a woodworking magazine. After? Things like scented candles, pink tissues, chocolate milk…who knows what else?
  4. What is your favorite scent? Why? Hmmm, I’ve never thought about it, but I’d have to say the smell of the sea–for obvious reasons—followed closely by orange blossoms, because Charlie always smells like orange blossoms. *smiles*
  5. What is your favorite beverage? I’m a bar owner, there’s probably a rule against having a favorite. *raises lemonade glass* However, lemonade is always handy around here.
  6. Are you lucky? Oh, hell, yeah. *gestures around him at the bar, the sea*
  7. What is your most closely guarded secret? *raises eyebrow* Wouldn’t be a secret if I told you, would it?
  8. Do you keep your promises? Sure, I try to.
  9. What in your past would you like to forget? *shifts in his seat & looks around then sighs* Ya know… *pauses* Let’s just move on.
  10. Was there ever a defining moment of your life? Two big, big moments—the ones where I met those two people. *points*
  11. You’ll have to read Shades of Blue by Dana Tanaro Britt to find out just what two people Gabe was pointing to just then! : )

Author Bio:

Once upon a time, a sassy Kentucky girl fell in love with a handsome Hoosier boy. What followed is a still-unfolding story filled with laughter, starry nights, children…and pizza–yes, pizza

When Dana Britt is not writing stories of hope, home and happily ever after, she can be found porch sitting with sweet tea and a book in hand. Dana carries three things everywhere she goes: cherry chapstick, a camera, and her phone. Her idea of a perfect day is a road trip that includes sunshine, pizza, taking pictures and spending time with her own Hero and two young adult children. Dana often shares bits about it all online at DanaBritt.com–she’d love for you to stop by!

Author links:

Website: http://danabritt.com/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/Dana_Britt

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/dtbritt1

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/DanaBritt

Amazon: http://amzn.to/1MihSwj


Book Links:

Barnes & Noble: http://bit.ly/1QieuYJ

Amazon: http://amzn.to/1MiexNH


A freebie for you!

Burnout is a short prequel to Shades of Blue. http://danabritt.com/blog/coming-soon/


Thanks for stopping by.

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