Friday, April 24, 2015

FRIDAY STIR FRY - A New Direction

Received the news this week that my publisher, Breathless Press, is closing shop. Financial reasons were the explanation. With many authors going the self-publishing route through Amazon and offering their work at an inexpensive price, it's difficult for a small press publisher to charge enough per book to make any money. Especially after they pay the editors and cover artists. It's understandable, but sad.

About this time last year I was in the midst of final edits for Beyond The Horizon. It was all so new and exciting. A dream come true. I had a publisher, a fantastic cover and an editor I loved. Now, I have to begin all over. Well, not quite. I don't have to write the book again since I'm getting my rights back.

Many of my writer friends are urging me to self-publish. Some have even offered to help with cover art and formatting. Bless their hearts. I already published Briefs and Shorts on Kindle, so I think I could do the same with my book. I've set up a Create Space account to print a paperback version. Onward and upward. I can do this. I think.

So (fingers crossed), in about a month, Beyond The Horizon will be back out there with a new cover, a paper edition, and a lower price.

Friday, April 17, 2015

FRIDAY STIR FRY - Author Spotlight

I'm thrilled to host Allison Merritt today. Not only is she a talented writer with many books to her credit, I consider her a good friend. She writes in various romance genres including Steampunk, Vikings, 1800 era Ozarks, and modern day Cowboy. Her current release involves demons and the evil they unleash on a small western town. How cool is that!
Before I introduce you to her current release, please enjoy this quick interview.

Your books cover many different historical times from Vikings to modern day. Which is your favorite and why? 

I've always loved 19th century culture. My first attempts at writing romance were set in the 1800s and it's still my favorite time period to write. The first romance novel I read was In the Shadow of the Mountains by Roseanne Bittner and I read a ton of Louis L'Amour. Both authors had a serious impact on my writing. I like cowboys in general, so do expect to see those whether they're modern, historical or in an alternate world. Although, Vikings were a great switch, because they're the ultimate alpha hero.

What would you consider a perfect day?

Wake up late, maybe 10-ish, get in the car, take a drive, perhaps south toward Arkansas, because right now, the trees and flowers are blooming and the scenery is great. Have a late lunch, maybe do a little shopping, no rush to get back, just time to marvel at the beauty of nature. End the day curled up in my chair with my dogs and watching a good movie. Then bedtime and a nice, uninterrupted sleep.


Movie: Secondhand Lions - action, adventure, mystery, romance. It has it all.
Food: Mac n'cheese
Drink: Dr. Pepper
Shoes: Flip flops
Car: Mustang
Animal: My Japanese chins. They're hilariously crazy dogs.

Thanks Allison! And, by the way, I love Secondhand Lions.

If love can’t save them, there will be hell to pay.

Grateful for his mother’s human blood that cools the dark fire of his demon father, Eban Heckmaster has set up a medical practice in New Mexico territory. But there’s no hope of living a normal life until he rids himself of a seductive demon that’s been pursuing him.

Vanquishing it won’t be as simple as sharpening his demon-hunting sword. The clever creature is hiding inside his best friend’s head, and she has no idea of the havoc she’s been wreaking, especially with his body.

Beryl suspects Eban knows why she’s been waking up with no memory of where she’s been or what she’s done, but he’s not talking. But when she inevitably learns what he’s hiding—or rather, what’s hiding inside her—she wonders if her love for him is real, or an illusion created by the demon’s lust.

Eban is losing the battle to hold his rising desire in check. There may be only one way to extricate Beryl from the beast entangling her mind. Call upon his demon blood…and offer it as a sacrifice.


Eban’s lungs ached for breath and his eyes shot open. Startled by weight settling on his abdomen, he tried to sit up, but two small hands held him down. Thanks to his demon blood, it only took a moment to adjust to the dark. In the nonexistent light, he peered up at Beryl Brookshier’s angelic face. She gave him a wicked smile as long strands of wheat-blonde hair tickled his bare chest. He sucked in a breath when he realized she was naked and a sheet was the only thing separating her from his raging erection.

“What are you doing?”

The second the words were out of his mouth, Eban knew he wasn’t talking to Beryl.

“Ravish me, Ebaneezer.”

The demon used Beryl’s voice and body, but the thing talking to him was far from human. The notion of taking its head off and sparing himself a lot of trouble was tempting. If not for the real Beryl’s trusting green eyes and bashful smile.

“That stopped being funny the first time you got naked in front of me.”

She caressed his cheek. “You were dreaming. I was trying to make your dreams more pleasant.”

He slapped her hands away. “You thought you’d tempt me into bedding you and then letting some other parasite into my brain. That’s not going to happen, Rosemar.”

“You want this body. Why deny it, Heckmaster?” The lust demon glowered at him, her irritation creasing the smooth face she borrowed.

“Get off me.” He pushed her away, then grabbed the sheet as she slid off his chest. “What I want is for you to vacate it, leaving Beryl’s mind intact so I can get out of Berner.”

Buy links:
Samhain -
Amazon -
B & N -
Are -
Google Books -
Kobo -

About the author:
A love of reading inspired Allison Merritt to pursue her dream of becoming an author who writes historical, paranormal and fantasy romances, often combining the sub-genres. She lives in a small town in the Ozark Mountains with her husband and dogs. When she's not writing or reading, she hikes in national parks and conservation areas.

Allison graduated from College of the Ozarks in Point Lookout, Missouri with a B.A. in mass communications that's gathering dust after it was determined that she's better at writing fluff than hard news.

Social links:

Goodreads -

Now - for those of you who did the right thing and read this post all the way through - leave a comment and/or question for Allison - your name will go into a drawing for a $5.00 Amazon gift card. Make sure I have your e-mail address so I can notify you if you win.

Friday, April 10, 2015


I'm looking for a new after work/weekend hangout. Mine closed a couple of weeks ago. I went through a time of mourning. Strange you say? No. Here's a little background.

After my divorce about fifteen years ago, of course I wanted to meet people. I was lonely and living with my mother. Not the best of circumstances. So, I started going to Applebee's. I met some wonderful people and made life long friends. Think Cheers and I was Norm. In fact they would sometimes greet me that way. I felt loved and wanted. Of course, I'm not completely naive. They wanted my business. But, those people and that place helped me heal.

Then one day, a new manager decided she didn't like the 'special' way I was being treated and started putting the kibosh on my enjoyment. So, like any other customer, I decided I would take my business elsewhere.

Enter my next hangout. I'm not going to mention them by name because they ended up disappointing me also. I did remain there for about eight years. Again I made some life long friends and I felt special. I even had my own spot where nobody else would sit if I came in.

Let me just state right here and now. People who drink socially are fun to be around. They are accepting of a variety of people and the laughter shared is priceless. Anyway, I ended up leaving there and a couple of friends of mine started operating another establishment. Until two weeks ago that was my home away from home. More friends and memories were made. Then unfortunate circumstances caused the place to close.

Yes I mourned the loss. I miss my bar family. I miss the young kids I gave advice to. I miss the hugs and the smiles. You might be saying (like my son), just stay home and save your money. Not an option. I don't like just going to work and coming home, day after day. And without a place to hang out on weekends, I could go the whole two days without uttering a word to anybody. That's not how I want to live. 

Wish me luck as I try to find a new bar family. I'll keep you updated.

Friday, April 3, 2015


I thought today I would share an excerpt from my current work. It's a contemporary romance titled Coming Home. I'm about half way done with the first draft. I would love to know what you think in the comments!

Jennifer headed back to the Satellite. She needed to call work and explain she would be gone a few more days than she had planned on.  When she pulled in front of her room, she saw Ron working on the courtyard. His shirt was off and sweat slipped down his chest. Jennifer tried not to stare. She caught herself licking her lips. Get a grip.
“You have a couple of messages,” Ron yelled at her. "I taped them to your door."
"Thanks." She grabbed the messages and with shaking hands unlocked her door. She threw the notes on the table and pulled the blinds back to look at Ron. His muscles rippled under the fading sunlight. Madam Lucinda's words came flooding back. "There is another in your life from the past you should consider."
Jennifer wasn't about to take him back but she realized she had been rather rough on him since she came here. Maybe it was time to let bygones be bygones. She poured a glass of water and left her room.
"Kind of hot out here for late fall." Jennifer lifted the glass of water toward Ron.
He ran his hand over his forehead to wipe the sweat. "Yeah, it is. Thanks." His fingers brushed hers as he took the glass. A shiver ran through her.  
"So what are you doing?" Jennifer looked around the area.
"Well, originally this was a court yard with nice shade trees, chairs and a small play area for kids. The weeds have taken over and the ice storm last year took out most of the trees. I'm trying to restore it as best I can. That's one of our plans."
"Yeah, me and Susie's husband. We want to make the Route 66 landmarks in town as close to original as possible."
Jennifer felt a drip of sweat come off her forehead. Was it the actual heat of the day or something else? "No pool?"
"That was not a staple at most of the roadside motels during that time. It wasn't until the sixties and Holiday Inn starting putting mom and pops out of business that some tried to bring people in with pools. Plus I really don't want to fool with the maintenance and insurance."
Silence fell between them as he took another gulp of water.
"Thanks, that was just what I needed." Ron handed the glass back to her.
"It's my way of apologizing."
"For what?"
"Oh, you know, the cold shoulder I've given you since coming back to town." Jennifer shielded her eyes with her hand from the sinking afternoon sun. "It was, you know, a shock seeing you after all these years, I guess." She sounded like an idiot the way she stammered.
Ron leaned on his shovel. "It's okay. I understand completely. It was a shock for me as well, but maybe in a better way."
"What do you mean?"
"Well, you were coming here for a sad occasion, with a lot on your mind. I only had one thing on my mind … seeing you again."
"Ron …"
He held up a hand to stop her. "I better get back to work while it's still daylight. Thanks again for the water." With that dismissal, he turned his back to her and started digging again.
I really hope to get this finished soon and in print. I have a Pinterest board up for it if you want to check it out.