Friday, March 29, 2013

Joyful Tenacity Outweighs Magical Thinking

In my daily review of the many blogs I follow, I saw this post from Michael Hauge--screenwriter and coach extraordinare--and it hit home today.

"Every successful screenwriter or novelist I know possesses one outstanding quality: tenacity. The difference between working writers and wannabes isn't talent or age or gender or geography or connections or the industry or the economy or sunspots or anything else writers tell themselves to avoid facing this awful truth: writers write. They write every day, they started their current book or script as soon as they finished the last one, they think in terms of career and not a single sale, and they look at every unsold story as a necessary step toward improving their craft."

You can see the entire post here on his Story Mastery site.

I completely agree with him both for novelists and for life as a whole.  Magical thinking has often been a part of my life. I'm sure it began as a child, and it still creeps in now and again when I don't wait to face something difficult. I am a fiction writer, after all, and magical thinking is a huge part of my process.  I am fortunate that in my novels I can actually create a magical world if I want, and have done so in my YA Fantasy series under Maggie Faire.  In the real world, however, we do not have magical powers beyond breath and love.  They are strong, but they don't stop death.

Difficulties come in all sizes. Sometimes it's just dragging myself out of bed--especially if I stayed up too late the night before. At other times it is facing the computer screen and re-editing a chapter that I know isn't working even though I've rewritten it seven times. Then there are the days that are simply filled with emotions I'd rather not deal with: anger, grief, distrust, betrayal.  You know, all the fun ones.  It is at times like these that I tend to engage in magical thinking--the belief that there is some simple answer I'm just overlooking. Or worse, an answer that someone or some group is simply refusing to share with me.

It would be lovely to know the secret handshake for becoming a bestseller.  It would be amazing to win the next PowerBall and never have to worry about money again. It would be miraculous to believe my uncle, who is dying with ALS, could get a shot or a pill or a prayer that would reverse everything.

The reality is all of the above is magical thinking.  There is no secret handshake for becoming a bestseller. Neither is there a special inside network that guarantees a great advance, the best agent, or a treasure trove of readers.  I guess there is a very slight chance I could win the next PowerBall. However, that would involve me buying a ticket.  I think the last time I bought a lottery ticket was in 1986. That was when I realized the odds of winning were a gagillion to one. (Okay, it's more like 8 million to one, but it might as well be a gagillion).

Alas, my uncle is truly in his last days. It is only his example of how to live life and accept death that keeps me from not burrowing into a corner and crying at the injustice of such a good man suffering such a debilitating end.  But you see, even that is magical thinking. Injury, disease, and death do not discriminate between good people and bad people. I'd like to believe they do, but reality is they don't.

And that brings me back to tenacity.  You see my uncle is an amazing man--a man who has lived life with joyful tenacity. He saw my aunt through a horrendous illness early in their marriage, and the premature birth of their son; all while serving in the military and living in Germany in a studio apartment.  When my cousin was 10 or 12, he and my aunt opened their home and hearts to help many foster children over the years. When they stopped taking in foster children, they adopted the last one and gave her a forever home. When my uncle began having difficulty walking, standing, and keeping his balance it didn't stop him from maintaining his vegetable garden in the backyard. He loved sharing his plethora of vegetables with everyone in the neighborhood and passel of relatives as well.

If he fell, he would simply roll onto his stomach then get on all fours and crawl to do his work until he could get up and balance gain. He accepted that was the price to pay for being in his garden. Joyful tenacity. When he had to use a walker all the time, he still went to family events, told jokes, shared in the lives of his children and all the relatives. Joyful tenacity. When he was confined to a wheelchair and realized that he did have ALS and there was no cure, he said: "I've had a good life. Seventy-eight years with only rare doctor visits and never surgery. Something had to give eventually." He accepted it was all part of his life's journey and he did whatever he could still manage, drawing out each day as much as possible.  Joyful tenacity. When he could no longer move from the bed to recliner or to wheelchair without an aide, he still concentrated on moving his one good arm to help balance the cup that delivered water to his parched throat. As long as he could use his voice, he still concentrated on telling my aunt he loved her and engaging in a bedtime ritual to promise loving sleep. Joyful tenacity.

Though he is no longer able to talk, or respond, or move in any way, I am sure he is concentrating on his breath in these last days. He is breathing in the joy of the life he had and the love of all those who are still thinking of him and praying for him. Then he is breathing it out again--his gift of life to be shared with those who remain after him.  Joyful tenacity.

There is nothing I can do except to breathe in his gift--joyful tenacity.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Chapter 1 (continued)

Here is the rest of Chapter 1. If you are just finding this blog, you may want to go back and read  the Prologue and then the first half of Chapter 1.  Next week, I'll post Chapter 2 first half. If you are interested in receiving a free advanced reading copy of the book and will post an honest review, please contact me at my email, maggie AT maggiejaimeson DOT com. In mid to late April, Windtree Press will be sending out at least 50 review copies to readers and bloggers.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Chapter 1 - The End

Here is the first half of Chapter 1 for my YA Fantasy, Chameleon: The Awakening, which will be released in May.  If you haven't already read the Prologue, go back and read that so you know the set up.  Again, I'd love to hear your feedback. Do you want to see more?

If using the reader is too small of print for you, clicking on the far right arrow, in the black box, will open the PDF file in a new page and full size.  If that still doesn't work, you may need to download Adobe reader. It is a free program.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Caribbean Casanova - Jenna Bayley-Burke

I am so excited to be reviewing this book and having Jenna Bayley-Burke on my blog again.  Why? Because Jenna's books make me laugh, occasionally cry, and always feel good at the end.  And, as a person, Jenna is full of energy and good humor.  Whether talking about the ups and downs of being a "domestic goddess," or the latest crazy-making life of her and her young children, I'm always intrigued.  So, please join me in welcoming Jenna and learning about the second book in her Under the Caribbean Sun series, Caribbean Casanova.


Of all the islands in all the world, she’s come to his.

Holly Hansen has sacrificed too much to let anything—especially a man—get in the way of making her clothing line a success. When she arrives on the island of Anguilla, she zeroes in on the biggest threat to her make-or-break photo shoot. At six-and-a-half foot of sculpted Dutch muscle, Harmannus Prinsen is every inch the womanizer of Caribbean legend, but he will not be seducing any of her models. She knows exactly how to make sure of it. Make the girls think he’s taken.

Harm is stunned when the curvaceous beauty greets him with a mind-numbing kiss. She’s the embodiment of every pin-up portrait he collected as a teen, with a sassy tongue and a body that begs for his touch. Sure, he’ll pretend to be her date…but only if they really date.

Despite her best efforts to remain immune to his charms, Holly finds herself falling for the man behind the myth. She begins to wonder which island she belongs on…Manhattan or Anguilla.


“I have half a mind to invite the entire boat of bikini models back to my villa for the night. Show them a true Caribbean good time.” Harmannus Prinsen crossed his arms over his bare chest and glared at his godfather’s approaching sailboat, annoyance pounding through him like rain from a hurricane.

He’d gone out of his way to help set up the photo shoot for Sassy, and the brat showed her appreciation by forbidding him to lay a hand on any of her models? As if he was hard up for female attention.

“Stop acting like you want to ruin this for her.” Joe stared at the boat in the distance and shifted from one foot to the other, like he couldn’t stand being in his own skin. Harm couldn’t recall seeing his younger brother so anxious. Probably because he wanted to crawl inside his brat of a girlfriend.

“I’m not going to ruin anything. I’m making this happen. I’m helping chauffer for her crew. I’m letting her use my rental bungalows for free. I’m even providing all the sporting equipment for her action shots. But I’m not putting up with her petty bullshit. I’m going to tell her where she can put her ultimatums. And if you weren’t fucking her I’d—”

“Hey.” Joe jabbed him with a sharp elbow but never took his gaze from the sea. The blue water was so clear the approaching boat seemed to be hovering over it. “I’m going to marry her. That makes her your family.”

“She always was family. Our godfather’s daughter.” He could not fathom how his brother thought of the red-headed waif as anything but an irksome child. He remembered the day she was born, for God sakes.

Joe lifted his gaze skyward and shook his blond head. “You both need to stop the childish squabbling. This photo shoot could launch her swimwear designs. That’s why she’s doing it here in Anguilla. She needs our help.”

“That’s your issue. I’m only here to tell her she can’t dictate who I can and can’t sleep with. My dick, my business.” Harm touched his jaw and a week of beard growth abraded his fingers. He only shaved on Sundays, before dinner at Dutch’s place. But since his godfather had been otherwise engaged this week, Harm hadn’t bothered.

“Then keep your dick out of her models. If you don’t want to do it for her, do it for me.” He lifted his arm overhead and waved at the boat.

Damn if Sassy didn’t brighten like she was lit from the inside. The way she looked at his brother was the only thing that kept Harm from throttling her. She’d been a pest as a kid, a nuisance as a teen and a thorn in his side from the moment his brother had realized she’d become an adult.

Harm fell in step beside Joe, helping to secure the schooner to the dock. Once Sassy and her models were delivered to the bungalows, he could wash his hands of the whole mess. Trouble disembarked first, leaping into his brother’s arms as if they’d been separated for years instead of weeks. He looked down and shook his head, hoping he’d get used to the sight eventually.

Something hot and solid crashed into his chest, the scent of honeysuckle surrounding him a second before the woman who pounced on him crossed her arms behind his neck and wrapped her legs around his hips. Harm grabbed her waist on instinct, looking into naughty hazel eyes fringed with long dark lashes.

“Play along,” she whispered through her wicked smile.

Her soft lips were on his in an instant, parting slightly to fit against his mouth. Who was he to turn down such a succulent invitation?

He opened and she responded in kind, the sweet taste of cinnamon making the kiss all the more delicious. He slid his tongue along hers and she sucked in a breath, her body tensing around him. She pulled back a bit, capturing his lower lip between her teeth.

He leaned in, wanting that mouth back on his. She denied him, releasing his lip and sliding down his body until her feet touched the dock.

“You need to shave, Casanova.” She winked, her mahogany eyes dancing with mischief before she turned and walked away.

As she made her way towards the bikini-clad women stepping off the boat, he tried to place her. She looked familiar, but not in a been-there-done-that way. He had a feeling he should know who she was, but for the life of him he couldn’t recall.

He looked to Joe for a clue, but he and Sassy were still attached at the face. No help there. But also no reaction. Had they missed the entire kiss?

His mystery woman herded the bikinis and their baggage to one side, the trio of scrawny men in head-to-toe black to another. Hadn’t they checked the weather before coming to the Caribbean?

Two hairless dudes in Speedos appeared on the deck from below, helping Saskia’s father, Dutch, hoist large black boxes off his boat. Harm stepped in to help, not wanting the older man to hurt himself. Manscaped One and Two he could care less about. He’d never understand the American abhorrence of body hair.

“Holly, we can’t possibly work today.” The scrawniest of the men in black leaned against luggage, his face flushed and shiny.

“The sunset shots will be brilliant tonight.” His new playmate spoke with an attractive air of authority.

Holly. Saskia’s best friend and business partner. His gut clenched.

Yes, they had met before, in a rather embarrassing way.

Copyright © 2012 Jenna Bayley-Burke
All rights reserved — a Samhain Publishing, Ltd. publication

My Review

Harm is quite the character in this novella. He is a man of contradiction—hot sex and cool calculation. At least that is what Holly thinks and, no matter how attracted to hims she is, she does not intend to be another scratch mark on his bedpost. As the embodiment of a Casanova, Holly makes it her personal mission to stop him from proving his reputation by successively bedding her girls—bikini models come to do a shoot on the island of Anguilla.  She can’t afford “any pouty faces” in the shoot because of envy or lust between the models as they compete for Harm’s favors.  On the surface, this is one of those fun, sexy beach reads. But things are never quite as they seem, and Holly and Harm are the perfect duo to play out their character juxtapositions of reputation with reality on a beach in the Caribbean.

One of the things I love about Jenna’s style is that she sets up what appears to be an impossibly clichéd situation—bikini models on a secluded island and an Adonis for the hero. Yet, the depth of her characters and their backstory, paired with the realistic realization of the start-up retail business, makes even the most jaded reader  go to her Caribbean island willingly. One can easily choose to read her books for the light fare and entertainment they bring and be wonderfully satisfied at the end by a story well told. For me, I also found myself, consciously or subconsciously, appreciating the prose itself.  I admired the humor (hard as hell to write well) along with the double entendre in the names she chooses for places and people, and I laughed out loud with some of the dialog and the constant push and pull of the hero and heroine—literally and figuratively.

This novella is VERY sexy in the tradition of most Samhain novels. It also has Jenna’s trademarked humor and does a great job of turning the world upside down like a snow globe you shake every once in a while to see things in a different light.  The only thing I disliked about the book was I felt the ending was a bit abrupt. I wanted a slower build to Holly’s final decision, and the Epilogue tied up the story too quickly for me. 

However, it is a novella and I admit I don’t read them often because I always want to stay with the characters longer than the word count allows. This is a book that will appeal to both category romance readers and to contemporary romantic comedy aficionados. 

Buy Links:  Samhain | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo |  


About Jenna

By day, Jenna is faster than a speeding toddler, stronger than a stubborn husband, able to leap tall Lego structures in a single bound...but by night, while the family sleeps she writes romance novels where no one ever has to scoop up after the dogs, change diapers, clip coupons, drive carpool, do laundry, mop floors, get silly putty out of hair, vacuum, empty the vacuum bag (gross!), exercise, count calories, apply Band-Aids, clean up puke...wait where was this going? Oh, Jenna writes romance because it is glamorous. Just ask the dogs.  

Catch up with Jenna: Website | Blog | Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest | 

* * * Giveaway * * *

Jenna will be awarding a $25 Amazon GC to a randomly drawn commenter during the tour, and a second randomly drawn commenter will be awarded a $10 Amazon GC. 

Follow the rest of Jenna's Blog Tours and get multiple chances to enter the giveaway.

Tour Schedules

Review Tour

March 18:  Maggie's Meanderings (You Are Here!!!)
March 19:  i love lady porn
March 20:  My Reading Obsession
March 20:  STOP 2 Love Triumphs Past and Present
March 21:  We Love Kink
March 21:  STOP 2  Sharing Links and Wisdom
March 25:  Bunny's Review
March 26:  Harlie's Books
March 26:  STOP 2  Tiffany Talks Books
March 27:  Janna Shay's Fair Play
March 28:  Storm Goddess Book Reviews and More
March 28:  STOP 2  Once Upon A Book
March 29:  IndieWritersReview

Virtual Book Tour

April 1:  Krystal Shannan - Where Love and Destiny Collide
April 2:  Queen of the Night Reviews
April 3:  Romancing Rakes For The Love of Romance
April 3:  STOP 2 Flirting With Romance
April 4:  Rachel Brimble Romance
April 4:  STOP 2  Books to Light Your Fire
April 5:  Books and Other Spells

Friday, March 15, 2013

New Maggie Faire Blog with Chameleon Excerpts

As some of you know, I have a new YA Fantasy series I've been working on for the past two years.  It is written under my other pen name, Maggie Faire.  The first two books in the series will be released in late May with amazing covers by Christy Carlisle.

In keeping with that YA persona, I decided to start a blog just for Maggie Faire and I will be featuring excerpts from the book between now and May.  The first excerpt is up, the Prologue.  I hope you will check out my Maggie Faire blog and definitely follow along with the excerpts.  I'd love to hear your feedback and if you are excited to read the next excerpt.  This is a seven book series, so there is plenty of excitement to come.

Prologue for Chameleon: The Awakening

As promised, I will begin providing excerpts of the first book, Chameleon: The Awakening, which will be released in May.  Here is the prologue.

If using the reader is too small of print for you, clicking on the far right arrow, in the black box, will open the PDF file in a new page and full size.  If that still doesn't work, you may need to download Adobe reader. It is a free program.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Two Chameleon Books coming in Late May

Finally, the release of the first two books in my Chameleon series is getting close.  So, I've started this blog devoted only to talking about YA Fantasy books. I'll be sharing not only information about my books, but also about other YA Fantasy authors I enjoy.

I'm still building the blog pieces on the outside, but I will be posting here regularly.

The first two books in my Chameleon series are coming out in late May. Yippee!! I first conceived of this series in 2010 and pitched the idea at a workshop with Michael Hague. It was so well received by the attendees, that I knew I had to actually write the books.  At that time I was planning the usual trilogy. But about 200 pages into the first book I realized the story was much larger than a trilogy. It would take seven books to really tell the story of The Chameleon and the Forest People.

I'll be sharing the covers as they become available, and between now and the May release of the first two books, I'll start sharing consecutive excerpts from the first book.  If you keep visiting, you'll get an advance look at the first 60+ pages.  And for those who participate in this blog, by visiting and commenting and sharing your ideas, you'll get the first book for free!  How is that for a deal?

There will be other surprise giveaways at random intervals along the way. So be sure to subscribe to my feed or by email to make sure you know when the next post is delivered.

Thanks for following!

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Windtree Press Reborn as an Author Cooperative

I've always believed that cooperative efforts garner the best success.  There are some mechanisms for cooperative effort in a writing career. Organizations like RWA and SFWA and The Authors Guild have provided me with many educational opportunities, as well as practical assistance with things like contracts and learning the business. There are individual writers I've met who have personally mentored me through workshops or emails and made a difference in my writing and my career.   However, all of these cooperative efforts are ones of brief acquaintance via a paid workshop or an organizational meeting, or a critique group that works together and then goes its own way. In the end it reinforces the belief that ultimately we must all write alone, and therefore our success or failure is achieved alone as well.

With the rise of Indie publishing, this "alone" paradigm is magnified. Even the term Indie publishing or Self-publishing emphasizes the individual effort.  In fact, those who champion the Indie publishing choice often say things like "You don't have to put up with someone else telling you what your cover should be. You no longer have to write to the trend a publisher believes will sell. You can control everything." Indie publishing celebrates the rebel, the go-your-own-way writing ethos.  In some ways I am personally drawn to that and celebrate that I am finding a market for my stories that don't neatly fit in categories or genre guidelines.  But, I also know that 300,000 Indie books are produced every year and that there is a large segment of my readers who don't even know I exist.

I don't believe that writing needs to be a solitary effort where we succeed or fail alone. I also don't think that it works very well.  Furthermore, in Indie publishing  I think it doesn't work at all. Enter Windtree Press--a press that celebrates and promotes individual efforts while providing a distribution platform for books and a nurturing environment for shared expertise and cross-promotion. 

When I decided to begin my own Indie publishing efforts I knew I wanted to have a press name that would be the professional business entity for my books. I also realized early on that I wanted to work with other authors to cross-promote, to learn from each other, to rise together.  That was nearly two years ago.  Melissa Yuan-Innes joined immediately and together we distributed our titles. There have been bumps along the road. There have been authors who have shown interest but, for a variety of reasons having to do with career choices and life situations, didn't follow through. In the past two years I've learned a lot about the Indie publishing arena and the changing marketplace and technologies. I've also been immersed in studying the issues of discoverability and analyzing/watching what the big distributors are doing.

Three months ago I realized that to maximize profitability for authors and to have some miniscule amount of control over data, customer information, and reader/buyer habits, I had to provide a strong mechanisms for direct sales of Windtree Press products. I also realized that I did not want to run a "regular" press. I wanted to write and produce more work, and I also wanted to provide for and to receive back from a supportive community of writers with the same career goals that I had.  That's when the organizational framework for an author cooperative was born.  As I began to talk openly about this organizational structure and the desire to form a community of like-minded, career writers, I heard some excitement. I heard other Indie authors who saw the benefit in cooperating together and sharing expertise and costs for moving forward. Immediately, a third author joined the press, Paty Jager.  

The three of us have worked together over the past two months to flesh out the organizational structure, the decision processes, and the shared costs. We've also built, tested, and gone live with an e-commerce site.

We anticipate three or four additional authors joining in the next couple of months. I don't know how many we will end up with by the end of the year. It depends on who is ready, who is a good match and will work well with this growing community, who brings cross-promotional opportunities. It is exciting. It is, for me, a rebirth of community support of writer careers that is invigorating my writing and my optimism.  I hope you will check out the press as we grow. 

Interested in more details?  Watch the See Jane Publish blog tomorrow for more specific information on why an author would choose to join, or form her own, cooperative. Read more details about how the Windtree Press Author Cooperative operates.

Lots of exciting stuff! I believe we have tapped into a mechanism for surviving in this turbulent publishing environment. I know we will learn together and get better and better. I anticipate great things for the future.  I'd love to hear your views, your questions, your experience in comments below.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Secrets of an Aztec Temple - Paty Jager

About a month ago, I was very fortunate to feature Paty Jager's first book in the Isabella Mumphrey series, Secrets of a Mayan Moon on my blog. You can see my review here.  Her second book, Secrets of an Aztec Temple, is now available. This time intrepid anthropologist, Isabella Mumphrey, is in Mexico City looking for missing Aztec artifacts. She's come credentialed as an agent of the World Intelligence Organization (a CIA type group) which may put her in even more danger.


Revenge is not always sweet…
Isabella Mumphrey can’t leave a puzzle alone. This time she attempts to use her anthropology knowledge to uncover who is stealing priceless artifacts from an Aztec Temple in Mexico City. The discovery will certainly prove her worth to the World Intelligence Agency.  

Tino Constantine is in Mexico City, too. He has infiltrated a drug lord’s organization to find enough evidence to not only prove the man’s illegal activities, but to bring him down for numerous deaths. Namely those of Tino’s family.

But when the love of his life, Isabella, strolls into his enemy’s home, Tino’s challenged by the choice of saving her or fulfilling his revenge.

Excerpt Four

Tino remained in the SUV as Isabella slid out of the vehicle in front of the Hostel Catedral. He would have preferred to deliver her to the airport and place her on a plane back to Arizona. But knowing her as well as he did, she would have gone kicking and screaming and then found a way to get back to Garza faster than he did. When her mind was set on accomplishing something there was no stopping her. In this case a major flaw. Now, he not only had to bring Garza down, but he would also have to keep Isabella safe in the process. No easy task with her nosing around Garza’s ill-gotten treasures.
“I promise to treat you like all the other macho pig men in Mexico City when I see you at Garza’s.” Her light tone wasn’t reflected in her worried expression and probing gaze as she leaned in the window.
“I will have a phone delivered to you with my number installed. Use the name Juanita when you call in case someone else answers. I want to know everything you find and anyone who you think is suspicious.” He peered into her eyes. His gut ached with regret. If he failed at keeping her safe, he might as well let Garza know he was a spy. “Promise me you will keep me informed, so we do not mess up each other’s mission or endanger one another.”
Her gaze remained locked with his as she nodded. “I promise.”

My Review

Like the first book in the series, Secrets of a Mayan Moon, this one finds Isabella Mumphrey trying to solve another mystery.  Also, Tino is still on the warpath to kill the drug lord responsible for murdering his family.  It is obvious the Tino and Isabella are madly in love, but they are also both so independent and driven to solve their puzzles that they are sometimes bllinded by opportunity.

Being the more experienced agent, Tino is much more cautious in his pursuit of the drug lord.  Isabella still has more smarts than the average woman or man, and carriers her handy McGyver-like vest to get her out of difficult situations.  Her sense of justice and fair play keep her making choices that aren't always in the best interest of staying alive. Throughout the story she questions (and so does the reader) if she has trusted the right people.  Like a good mystery, and a thriller, the reader is not sure if they will make it out alive this time. Each one is willing to die for the other. Each one wants the other to save himself/herself.

Though the ending of this mystery isn't quite as mind-boggling as the Mayan Moon book, the building tension and the constant questions of who is a good guy and who is not kept me turning pages into the wee hours of the morning.  Tino and Isabella have all the best parts of Indiana Jones, McGyver, and a bit of Mr and Mrs Smith wrapped into one--but with a more three-dimensional relationship than cardboard characters.  I hope Paty Jager continues this series with lots of books.  And I still hope some smart studio picks this up for a movie or TV series.

I highly recommend this mystery and suspense with a good romance at the center. If you haven't read Secrets of a Mayan Moon yet, I suggest you pick up both books. Though this stands alone, starting at the beginning will allow you to see how Isabella and Tino's relationship begins and provide you more depth and feeling for them as you read Secrets of an Aztec Temple.

Buy Links: 
Windtree Press | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | iBooks


About the Author

Award winning author Paty Jager is a member of national and local writing organizations. She not only writes the western lifestyle she lives it. With thirteen books and a short story published, she is venturing into the new world of self-publishing ebooks.  Her contemporary Western, Perfectly Good Nanny won the 2008 Eppie for Best Contemporary Romance, Spirit of the Mountain, a historical paranormal set among the Nez Perce, placed 1st in the paranormal category of the Lories Best Published Book Contest, and Spirit of the Lake was a finalist in the Gayle Wilson Award of Excellence.

Find Paty on the Web: Website | Blog | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads |

  * * * Giveaway * * *

 Paty will be awarding a $5 gift card to a lucky commenter on each blog (that means right here) that receives twenty or more comments.  In addition, she will do a random drawing for a $25 gift card for the entire tour.


Follow The Tour

Follow the tour below. Remember, the more blogs you get to and comment, the better your chance for winning.  Paty has taken the time to put out different excerpts so you can learn even more about this wonderful book.
Tour Stops

March 4:  Andi's Book Reviews
March 5:  Rachel Brimble Romance
March 5:  STOP 2  You Gotta Read Reviews
March 6:  Maggie's Meanderings (You are Here!)
March 7:  Out of the Lockbox
March 8:  Simply Ali
March 11:  United By Books
March 12:  Lisa Haselton's Reviews and Interviews
March 12:  STOP 2  Christy McKee Writes for Women in the Sweet Spot of Life
March 13:  Bea's Book Nook
March 14:  Paranormal and Romantic Suspense Reviews
March 15:  The Crafty Cauldron

Monday, March 4, 2013

Bloom in Winter T.J. Brown

It wasn't that long ago I hosted T.J. Brown with her debut Historical novel, Summerset Abbey.  Like Downton Abbey, that book took off like wildfire and sold out it's first printing before it was even released.  The second printing has been going fast.

Already, the second book in the series is now available, Bloom in Winter.  This story continues to follow the Buxton sisters of Summerset Abbey and moves it forward after Prudence's marriage.  Please join me in learning a little about this next book, what's happening with the sisters, and getting the chance to visit with Teri once more.


After Prudence’s desperate marriage and move to London, sisters Rowena and Victoria fear they have lost their beloved friend forever. Guilt-ridden and remorseful, Rowena seeks comfort from a daring flyboy and embraces the most dangerous activity the world has ever seen, and Victoria defies her family and her illness to make her own dream occupation as a botanist come true. As England and the world step closer to conflict, the two young women flout their family, their upbringing, and their heritage to seize a modern future of their own making.

Victoria Buxton

With her delicate constitution but strong, unflappable spirit, Victoria has never followed societal conventions, the rules of fashion, or the pursuit of a husband. Instead, she finds herself drawn to the controversial—and dangerous—fight for women’s suffrage. But her dream is compromised, and her heart divided, when her struggles for equal rights collide with unexpected love.

Rowena Buxton

After yearning to no avail for a certain young pilot to fly back into her life, Rowena fears her chances for happiness have been jeopardized by recklessness and scandal. Burdened with guilt for bringing her sister, Prudence, to Summerset Abbey as a lady’s maid while she herself led a life of privilege, Rowena hopes to one day make amends. But her desire to set things right is complicated by her passion for flight and a sudden engagement…to the wrong man.

Prudence Tate

Raised like a sister to Victoria and Rowena, then banished to the servants’ quarters when their father passed away, Prudence has seen both sides of life, upstairs and down. But once the truth about her parentage was revealed, Prudence forged a new life for herself, married to a penniless veterinary student. Living in poverty in a shabby London flat, she wonders if she’s made a terrible mistake—and there’s no turning back...


The next time Victoria opened her eyes, the light was on. She blinked a couple of times and was startled when a woman with a thick East End accent said, “You’re awake now, so don’t you be playing possum, and don’t start your screaming or else the doctor will be sending you to the asylum, and trust me, darling, you would rather be here.”

Victoria froze. The scent of bleach and urine still assaulted her nose. The one small window above her head let in no light and she could see bars at the top. Her heart pounded a little faster. “Tell me where I am!”

“You can say please, you know. Just because I’m a nurse and you’re a suffragette doesn’t mean you needn’t use your manners.”

Victoria tried to move and realized that not only was her arm chained, but her leg was as well.

The woman laughed. “You’ll not be kicking me again.”

“I’m sorry,” Victoria said earnestly. “Please. Where am I?”

The woman came closer. She wore a blue and white striped shirt, a long skirt of cheap wincey and a crisp white apron that covered her head to toe. A white linen cap covered her hair. She smelt strongly of lye soap, but it was infinitely better than the urine stench. Her eyes were a bright, saucy blue. “That’s more like it. You’re in Holloway prison.”

Victoria whimpered, her heartbeat accelerating and her chest tightening. She closed her eyes and counted, taking little breaths until the vise on her chest eased. Once she could breathe easily again, she asked, “Why am I here?”

“You don’t know?” the nurse sounded surprised. “That’s a new one. Most of you suffragettes are proud of your exploits! Don’t you remember?”

Victoria thought hard. She remembered being at the National Gallery with Mary and then Mary had… memories came flooding back and Victoria groaned.

“I see you’re remembering.”

She struggled to sit again and then gave up, settling back against the mattress. The pillow under her neck scratched, and she prayed it was the cheap linen rather than bugs. “Prison is different than I thought it would be.”

 * * * Giveaway * * *

T. J. will be awarding to a randomly drawn commenter, during the tour, a four-piece Whimsical Butterfly Tea Set. The tea set is handcrafted by artist April Cook of white stoneware slip and painted with a unique whimsical design of a butterfly in lime green and plum glaze. It is both dishwasher and microwave safe. The set includes a 32 oz. tea pot with lid, creamer and sugar bowl.  (To see more of April's designs, see (US ONLY)

About The Author

TJ Brown is passionate about books, writing, history, dachshunds and mojitos. If she could go back in time, she would have traveled back to England, 1910, Paris, 1927 or Haight-Ashbury, 1967. She resides in the burbs of Portlandia, where she appreciates the weirdness, the microbreweries, hoodies, Voodoo Donuts and the rain. 

Teri on the web: Website | Twitter | Facebook |

Be Sure to Check Out Other Tour Stops Today
and Have More Chances to Win

Tour Stops 

1:  Flirting With Romance
2:  Stephanie's Book Shelf
3:  Full Moon Dreaming
4:  Andi's Book Reviews
5:  Queen of the Night Reviews
6:  The Write to Read
7:  Lily Pond Reads
8:  Racing To Read
9:  Uttley's Take
10:  Long and Short Reviews
11:  Sexy Adventures, Passionate Tales
12:  A Chick Who Reads
13:  Reviews By Molly
14:  You Gotta Read Reviews
15:  Wickedly Wanton Tales
16:  LizaOConnor
17:  Sandra's Blog
18:  The Cerebral Writer
19:  Hope Dreams. Life... Love
20:  A to Z Reviews
21:  A Pen and Fire
22:  Bookgirl Knitting
23:  My Devotional Thoughts
24:  Romantic Historical Lovers
25:  All the days of
26:  Janna Shay's Fair Play
27:  Novel Moments
28:  Loose the Hounds
29:  It's Raining Books
30:  Deal Sharing Aunt
31:  Fantasy Powered by Love

32:  Maggie's Meanderings  YOU ARE HERE !!!

33:  United By Books
34:  Readaholic's Reviews
35:  Once Upon A Book
36:  Christy McKee Writes for Women in the Sweet Spot of Life
37:  Sharing Links and Wisdom
38:  Tiffany Talks Books