Sunday, January 29, 2017

#AuthorInterview with J.J. DiBenedetto

Mystery writer J.J. DiBenedetto is my interview guest today. He's talking about his newest release in the Jane Barnaby Adventures series. Take it away, J.J.!

Do you work on more than one book at a time?

I can’t.  My brain is very much a one-track setup.  I can’t do more than think in the most vague terms about a different story while a book is still unfinished.

What comes first for you – plot or character? And why?

Definitely character.  I need to know exactly who my characters are, what they’re like, really get inside their heads.  Once I do that, they tell me what happens to them.  Which leads nicely into the next question…

Are you a plotter or a pantser?

Totally a pantser. I didn’t know what my villain was after, or even who he really was, until halfway through my new book. Honestly, it often feels more like retelling stories that my characters have told me, than me creating something.

What book for you has been the easiest to write? The hardest? The most fun?

I think the first book of this series, FINDERS KEEPERS, has been the most fun, just because it was such a departure from my previous series, and Jane is such an entertaining character to write.

What’s your least favorite thing about being a writer?

The sales/marketing side of things. It’s not my strong suit, and everything is changing so fast, it’s difficult to keep up with the latest techniques and channels and approaches and all the rest of it.

If writing is your first passion, what is your second?

Travel, or at least it would be if I had the money to do more of it!

Do you have another occupation, other than writer? If so, what is it? Does it help you with your writing?

Yes, I have a day job, and considering how much I don’t enjoy the marketing side of writing, it’s ironic that my job is in marketing.

Do you have any pets? Are you cat person or a dog person? Or are you into totally different pets, like goldfish? What do you like best about your pet?

We have a white cat named Danny. I’m not sure it’s really right to call him a pet, though, since he sets the schedule for the household, and me and my wife are the ones being trained to adapt to it.

If money were not an object, where would you most like to live? Why?

Paris!  Although that’s only going from a 3 day visit there.  I might not feel that way after a couple of months – but I’d love the chance to find out!

What do you like best about your heroine in HER BROTHER'S KEEPER?

Jane is just so much fun to write. Her heart’s always in the right place, but she doesn’t really think anything through, she just pushes ahead and often ends up making decisions that are somewhat less than wise.

How do you choose the names and physical characteristics of your characters? Do you base them on real people?

For my main characters, usually the name just comes along with the character. Jane was always Jane from the moment I created her. As for physical characteristics, usually I have one or two in mind very clearly, and then I look for an actor/actress who seems like a good fit, and then I work backwards from that.

How can readers reach you or find you online?

Lots of places!
My website –
Facebook –
Twitter –
Amazon –

Tell us a little about your current work in progress.

I literally just wrote the first page of the next Jane Barnaby Adventure.  It’ll be called SHIP OF FOOLS, and it takes place on a cruise ship.

If I was a first time reader of your books, which one would you recommend I start with and why?

I’d start with the first Jane book, FINDERS KEEPERS.  It’s a quick, fun read, and I think you’ll be hooked right away.

Tell us about your next release.

HER BROTHER’S KEEPER is the third Jane Barnaby Adventure, and it’s out on January 31st. Jane has decided to bring her family together for what she hopes will be a peaceful vacation, but that goes out the window when her brother gets seduced by a Russian jewel thief and ends up in jail…


Jane Barnaby thought she’d planned the perfect Christmas vacation.  She’d invited her father and his fiancĂ© to join her in Spain at her archaeological dig.  They’d see her work, meet her mentor and enjoy a few days of sunny Mediterranean beaches in the dead of winter. What could go wrong?
Her annoying brother tagging along, and then landing in jail for a crime he didn’t commit, for one thing.

To clear her brother’s name and make her vacation perfect again, all Jane has to do is chase the mystery woman who set her brother up across Europe, find her in a dangerous and unfamiliar city and deal with her accomplices.  Oh, and outwit an ex-KGB agent and his personal goon squad, too.
It’s going to be an exciting and action-packed Christmas for Jane, whether she wants it or not!


J.J. DiBenedetto is author of the Dream Series and the Jane Barnaby Adventures and lives in Arlington, Virginia with the love of his life and a white cat who rules the roost.

His passions are photography, travel, the opera, the New York Giants, and of course writing.

Mr. DiBenedetto is devoted to writing books with a sense of mysticism to entertain and perhaps invite his readers to suspend belief in a way they might never have.

Since he was very young , he has always been intrigued with the supernatural and things that can't be explained rationally.

By always asking way too many questions, it piqued his interest to the point of setting his writing off and running when he grew up! All the curiosity building up all those years were finally getting put into words to captivate readers. And it hasn't ended. His main goal is to share all the stories he has inside, putting pen to paper. And that's how the Dream Series was born.

Mr. DiBenedetto welcomes queries and feedback from his loyal readers. You can email him at or at his website .

The next Jane Barnaby Adventure will be ready soon and he's anxious to hear what you think!


Cassie came downstairs expecting to have her breakfast waiting for her, as Joe had promised.
It was not. Instead, the only thing waiting for her was Sheryl and Jon, both of whom were wearing nervous expressions. Sheryl – already dressed, in a dress, and who wore a dress to come down to breakfast on vacation anyway? – tried to force a smile.

“Your fiancĂ© had to – well, there’s no easy way to say this – I mean, I don’t know what I’d want to hear.”

Jon sighed.  He seemed to do that a lot. “Joe and Jane had to leave suddenly.  Apparently, George landed himself in jail last night.”

Jail? George? The quiet, socially awkward one?  Maybe even, if she was being brutally honest, the boring one, in jail?  In a foreign country?  How was that possible?

Sheryl was talking, interrupting Cassie’s thoughts, such as they were. “Very nice.  Way to just rip off the band-aid. Can’t you see how upset she is?  What kind of bedside manner is that, anyway?”

Cassie shook her head. “No, it’s fine.  It’s just – that’s not what I was expecting to hear.”

If one of Joe’s kids was going to be calling from jail, she would have put all her money on Jane. She’d told Cassie all about her crazy chase halfway across Europe a couple of years ago, and the girl had broken at least a dozen major laws.  It had all been in a good cause, and it had all worked out in the end, but there was no question Jane acted first and thought about the consequences later.  Or sometimes, not at all.

Friday, January 27, 2017

Secondary Monday with Shari Elder

Science fiction romance writer Shari Elder is my guest today, and she's here with one of her favorite secondary characters. In fact, she liked him so much he got his own book! Please welcome Shari Elder.

Not so Secondary

Thanks so much for having me over to your blog, Jana. I’m pleased to introduce one of my favorite secondary characters in my recent release, Race to Redemption.  Gold Captain, or Cap for short, is a stealth cyborg, capable of sneaking himself, or anyone with him, into almost anyplace – physical or virtual.

It’s a science fiction romance, set far into the future, where the known universe is organized into political coalitions, funded by mega corporations.  Cyborgs provide the security, and military muscle, when required. They are, consequently, universally feared. In the book, the heroine, Elaina, who hates borgs, finds herself unexpectedly needing Cap to sneak her into her own company’s headquarters. Cap proves to be something quite different than a killing machine. The easiest way to introduce you to Cap, is to share the snippet where Elaina meets him.

She shivered since the news-vids of cyborgs going off half-cocked and killing innocents seemed to be on the rise. This must be what siting next a rabid beast feels like.
“Know any good jokes?” she asked her companion, not expecting an answer. She needed to let out some steam and keep it friendly. Sitting in a small space with a volatile weapon that could go off any minute had her on edge.
“Yes.” His body remained taut, as if a tent pole had replaced his spinal cord.

Okay, that was unexpected. Enough to get her out of her own head, which was a place she didn’t really want to be. “You going to tell me one?”
“No.” He remained rigid as a statue. Maybe he was all machine?
“You guys always this much fun?” His hands loosened around the clutch. “Oh, my God, you’re joking with me.” 
“I am human.” His voice vibrated like a tuning fork. “Parts of me, anyway.”
“What’s your name, partial human?” A grin tickled her lips. 
“Gold Captain. My squad calls me Cap.”
To her own surprise, she chuckled. She hadn’t thought she had it in her, but she’d never met a borg that interacted, let alone joked.
“Tell me your real name. It’ll be our secret.”
 “I don’t have one. They wipe our memories.” 
“Right now, that doesn’t sound like such a bad deal. Where do I sign?”
“Don’t.” His black-gloved hand clenched the shift. If it weren’t perma-steel reinforced titanium, she was sure it would have shattered.
“You feel?” She had assumed otherwise. 

Cap and Elaina become friends, of a sort, as she is forced to lay low at StormTech HQ. It’s their friendship that has her questioning everything she ever knew about how the world works even as her proximity to a cyborg confirms their dangerous nature. Here’s another view.

“I like you, Cap. Have I misjudged an entire race?”
“No, and don’t misjudge me either. I can and would kill you in a heartbeat if I’m ordered to do so. Once an order is given, a cyborg must obey. Something about you pushes at me. If I were fully human, I’d say you remind me of someone, but since that isn’t possible…”
Was that regret in his voice?

Like many writers, I fall in love with my characters.  I fell so much in love with Cap, that he’s getting his own story.  I’m working furiously trying to finish the Scent of Memory, Book #2 Green Rising, which is Cap’s romance.

What’s your favorite secondary character in any book and why?  Thanks for visiting.

Race to Redemption Blurb

A woman who lost everything.
Intergalactic storm racing champion Elaina Carteret had it all – fame, wealth, men – until a horrific accident took it away. To get it back, she agrees to pose as Lainie Carter, medical transport pilot and corporate spy. Her risk-taking attitude infuriates Dr. Erik Johansen, who runs the outpost with an iron hand, a permanent scowl and the tightest bod on the planet.

A man desperate for redemption.
Unable to forgive himself for a past tragedy, Erik works himself into an early grave. He has no patience for the insubordinate Lainie Carter, who can’t take an order, disrupts routine and flames his body to ash.

A planet at risk.
When the outpost is attached, they’re thrown together in a race across the desert to stop a deadly biogenetic weapon As a fragile trust blossoms between two damaged hearts, their pasts resurface and threaten their growing bond.

Be warned:  Erotic romance, level five heat designation, gender neutral characters.

Buy Links:



Barnes and Noble:



Erik tilted his head. Speech didn’t seem to be in him. She followed him to the bathing room at the back of the building. The small lump in the bath couldn’t be Sen. Whatever it was had gill-slits and grayish-green skin, no remaining golden hue of the Ranharran air breathers. No, definitely not Sen.

“I don’t understand.”

“Biogenetic tampering that forced his DNA to rewrite itself into Den Vedran but it was only partial. His gills are not fully formed, but the Ranharran lungs collapsed. I believe the Den Vedran lungs would have grown over them but not in time. The changes left him unable to take in oxygen from any source.”

She couldn’t get her head around what Erik was saying. Every cell in her body froze into numbness. Her blood stopped flowing. That just couldn’t be Sen.

“We should return him to the dust. Sen had a soft spot for Ranharran ceremonies.” How she coughed up those words she’d never know, but it was what Sen would want. If that lump were Sen, which it wasn’t.

Erik shook his head. “He’s not dead. I injected him with a stasis drug. It only lasts about two months. I’ll need to do so some tests on him.” His low growl told her the idea appalled him as much as it did her. She swallowed back an instinctive retort. He didn’t need her crap on top of the pile he already carried.

“For Qirta,” she said instead.

 Gratitude flickered in those ancient eyes. She took his hand and leaned her head against his shoulder, desperate for touch. He let her without balking. A heart did beat underneath Erik’s scowl.

They stood together without moving for what seemed like a century. Fintarl brought in an air gurney at some point to move the body that wasn’t Sen to the lab. Everyone in the camp stumbled like the walking dead to get through the next hours. Ranharrans did not have tear ducts because their bodies were built to retain every ounce of water. They hummed in grief and the camp was awash in a low, melancholy drone.

Author Bio:

I'm Shari.  By day, I crawl out of bed, mainline coffee, get my kid off to school, walk the dog, then save cities within the four walls of my office. Usually by email.

At night, I take off the suit, curl up with my computer and save cities on a jet-powered skateboard, make six-toed footprints on the sixth planet in the Andromeda galaxy and bring men and women, who had given up on romance, another chance to find it.

Join me on this journey.

Find Shari

Twitter: @ShariElderBooks

#AuthorInterview with Robin Leigh Morgan

Robin Leigh Morgan says she's an author who doesn't want to be pigeon-holed; she writes in several genres. I love her versatility! Welcome to Journeys with Jana, Robin!

Where did you get the idea for your debut romance novel? Why did you choose this genre?.

My writing “I Kissed a Ghost” I would say is due in essence to my watching “Casper the Friendly Ghost” cartoons as a child of the 1950’s, as well as the movie of the same name. And the reason I wound up writing my first romance as a MG/YA Paranormal is that I had belonged to a writing group where one of its member, seeing I’ve been having a lot of difficulty in writing a Contemporary romance suggested I write for a younger audience.

What was the most difficult thing about writing this book?

I would have to say it had been trying not taking “side trips” away from the storyline I had in mind. Side trips which I thought had been interesting but which I had to remove later in a self-editing of my manuscript because it didn’t really move the storyline forwards.

What do you want readers to come away with after they read your book?

I’d like them to remembering their special experience really kissing a boy for the first time.

What genre have you never written that you’d like to write?

Becoming an author I didn’t want to pigeonhole myself in writing only in one genre. So as my second book I wrote an anthology of 100 Flash Fictions, where the vast majority consists of only five sentences, which I aptly entitled “Micro Fiction – An Anthology.”

Going forwards I’ve got three W.I.Ps which I’m currently working on: an adult Contemporary novel entitled “His Darkest Secret,” a MG/YA Urban Fantasy novella entitled “The Secret of the Well”[which is a standalone sequel to my first novel]; and stepping out of my comfort zone, I’m writing an Erotic Shapeshifting LGBST novella entitled “The Transformation.”

Did you always want to be a writer?

Prior to my writing romance I had written items for a community newspaper for several years.

Are you a plotter or a pantser?

I consider myself to be both, Like a sculptor I start with a framework of storyline points I want to hit, and then I proceed to flesh it out until I’ve got my final product.

What question would you like to be asked that I haven’t asked here?

That would have to be: “What advice would you give to an aspiring author?”  And my answer would be not to take any criticism from another author as criticism, take it as a form of guidance and support from one author to another.

Tell us a bit about you. Where do you live, and how long have you been writing?

I’m a retired NYCity employee who’s been married for 23 years, alas no children, and live in the NYCity metropolitan area. From the mid-1990’s and for about 11 years I’d written items for a community newspaper.

Do you have another occupation, other than writer? If so, what is it? Does it help you with your writing?

I’m a decently ranked Book Reviewer on Amazon with over 470 books. I also post all of my reviews on GoodReads and LibraryThing; in additional I post some of them on my two blog sites. [NOTE:  I do not accept requests to review books]  By reading the books of other authors, especially those who write romance, I see ways of improving my own writing endeavors.

Do you have any pets? Are you cat person or a dog person? Or are you into totally different pets, like goldfish? What do you like best about your pet?

My dear OH and I have always had cats, especially since they don’t allow dogs where we have lived. Besides, cats are much simpler to take care of, since you don’t have to walk them in all sorts of weather.

What genre is your favorite to read?

I have to be a little bias here. Since my writing genre is romance it would have to be romance. Although as a book reviewer I love to read practically any genre.

How can readers reach you or find you online? Tell us a little about your current work in progress.

The best place to find the answer as to who I am, my writing current endeavors, all of my internet links as well as links to buy my books, and several excerpts to my first now,  etc; is to go to

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Recipe Tuesday: Banana Pudding with Patricia Preston

Today author Patricia Preston is sharing a recipe with us. I love that this recipe plays such an important role in her novel Everything His Heart Desires, part of her Love Heals All series. Welcome Patricia!

Thanks, Jana, for having me on your blog today. My recipe is for old-fashion banana pudding. The reason I’m sharing this recipe is that in my new release, Everything His Heart Desires, banana pudding plays a role beginning back when the hero, Brett, and heroine, Natalie, were in high school. Needless to say, they were not on good terms.

Here’s an excerpt from Chapter 1 where Natalie and Brett have been reunited after 15 years and they are at a meeting at the local hospital where Brett is now a cardiologist.

Growing edgy, Brett decided he would have a donut with his coffee. He was struggling to feel normal in a surreal situation. 
As he reached in the box, Natalie said, “They didn’t have any banana pudding.” 
He glanced up at her deadpan face. “Too bad.” He dumped the donut on a paper plate. Obviously, she remembered the cafeteria food fight back in the day.

He had actually started it by managing to fling a chunk of hot dog across the aisle and down her blouse. It was a lucky shot, and watching her fish it out of her bra had been hysterical. 
Then she had walked over to the table where he sat with two of his buddies, both grinning, and a new girlfriend, who had her hand over her face. The cafeteria was quiet. All eyes were on Natalie. She put the piece of hot dog on his plate.
“I think you lost this.”
“No, Slacker, I didn’t lose it.”
“Well, Brett,” she leaned in close. Way too close for his comfort. “I didn’t lose this either.” She snatched up the bowl of banana pudding that was on his tray and dumped it, bowl and all, on top of his head. 
He swore as a piece of banana slid down his forehead, and on the other side of the cafeteria, Josiah, the tallest player on the basketball team, stood up and yelled, “Food fight!”
Chaos and a two-week detention had followed. 
“I know you must be wondering why I called this meeting,” Sheldon said, and Brett shook off the recollection of washing dried banana pudding out of his hair. He’d never eaten banana pudding again…

Needless to say, during the course of the story, thanks to Natalie, Brett has to eat her great-aunt Clara’s classic homemade banana pudding and it becomes one of his favorites.

So here how Clara makes her classic banana pudding:

First, preheat oven to 350. A clear glass baking dish is preferred. That is Clara’s standard dish for making banana pudding. Using an 8-inch diameter and 3 inches deep dish, this recipe will make 4-6 servings. You can double the recipe for a large 2-layer pudding.

For pudding, you’ll need
Vanilla wafers
½ cup sugar (you can add more when cooking if you want a sweeter pudding)
1/8 cup plus a tablespoon of flour
1 cup milk
2 egg yolks
1 tsp butter
1 tsp vanilla extract

Optional Meringue
2 egg whites
¼ cup sugar
½ tsp vanilla
1/4 tsp cream of tartar if desired

Get an egg separator and separate the yolks from the white. Set aside egg whites for meringue.

Put a saucepan on the stove, low heat and put butter in it to melt.

Mix flour and sugar. Add ½ cup milk to flour and sugar. Mix. Pour in saucepan with melted butter. Use fork to blend egg yolks. Add to pudding mix and whisk. Add remaining milk to pudding. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly. After a few minutes, the pudding will thicken. Note: you can add more flour to make pudding thicker, more milk to make it thinner, and more sugar to make it sweeter if you want.

 Remove from heat and add vanilla extract. Whisk.

Cover bottom of baking dish with vanilla wafers. Use as many or as little as you like.
Next layer banana slices on top of wafers. You can put as much banana as you like.

While your pudding mix is hot, pour over bananas and wafers. If you are doing a large pudding, only pour half of the mix over the bottom layer. Then add another layer of wafers and banana and use the other half of the mix over the second layer.

Note: This is an optional topping but it's required if you want the old-fashioned pudding, which Clara wouldn’t serve without meringue on top.

Put egg whites, vanilla and cream of tartar in large mixer bowl. Mix. (You can make it with just egg whites and sugar) Use electric mixer on the highest speed and gradually add sugar about a tablespoon at a time. Whites should foam and then start to get fluffy. When it forms peaks, it is ready.

You can circle the baking dish with vanilla wafers. Then cover the top of the pudding with the meringue. Put in oven to brown peaks of meringue. About 8 minutes. Be sure to check frequently so to not overcook. Remove from oven when peaks are light golden brown. Set aside to cool and enjoy!

Author Bio: 

Patricia Preston is the author of the “Love Heals All” series comprised of single title contemporary romance novels that are filled with family, friends, drama and fun, set in the picturesque town of Lafayette Falls, south of Nashville.  She has historical romances, filled with adventure and passion, available, and she has also written Amazon best sellers in comic short stories. You can find all her titles on her Amazon page.  Her favorite place to hang out is her writing cave where must-haves are iced tea and epic music. She also enjoys photography, movies, and research trips to New Orleans.

For info on new releases and contests, sign up for her newsletter

Check out her Blog  Follow her on Twitter  Facebook  Amazon Author Page


The man most likely to drive her crazy…

Growing up in Lafayette Falls, senator’s daughter Natalie Layton hid her sorrows behind a bright smile that charmed everyone in high school—except Brett Harris. Hardworking and highly motivated, Brett dismissed Natalie as a slacker. Instead, she’s become an acclaimed photographer. And when Brett, now a successful cardiologist, needs her family’s help to secure a coveted position, Natalie’s more than happy to prescribe a little payback…

Hailing from the wrong side of the tracks, Brett believed he could never win the school’s popular princess. Now he’s intrigued by the complex and compassionate woman Natalie’s become. Gaining her grandmother’s goodwill is the key to becoming chief cardiologist—and Natalie has no intention of making it easy. But as mutual mistrust gives way to pure chemistry, there’s more at stake than either ever expected—and much more to learn about matters of the heart…

Buy Links:  Amazon   Nook   Kobo  Google Play  iTunes

Monday, January 23, 2017

Secondary Monday with Rachel Brimble!

I love secondary characters, in my own work and in the books I read. A good secondary character can be funny, wise, or a bit of a villain. They can say and do things the main characters may not be able to. I'm very happy to welcome Rachel Brimble to my blog today. She's here to talk about a secondary character from her Templeton Cove series. Take it away, Rachel!

Secondary Character Monday – Introducing Marian Cohen – the matriarch of Templeton Cove

When I started writing Finding Justice, the first book in my ongoing romance series with Harlequin Superromance, Marian quickly pushed herself forward as Templeton Cove’s “boss”. She’s in her sixties, funny, wise, a little bit naughty and very, very astute.

And an absolute joy to write!

So much so, I am pretty sure she has appeared in six of the seven books I have written so far.
She is the glue that holds Templeton’s community together – the oracle to whom the residents, young and old, come for advice…even if the advice they receive isn’t always welcomed at first.

Marian came to the Cove under a cloud of speculation about five years before the first book opens. A stranger to the Templeton, she arrived with long-standing resident George and they soon married. No one knows much about her background and no one dare ask! She’s loving, attentive and a bulldog to anyone who upsets her brood…in other words, anyone she cares for in the Cove.

It’s a dream come true that I’m writing a series that so many readers enjoy and are still asking for more stories. The Templeton Cove Stories are a mix of mainstream romance and romantic suspense stories that link existing characters and also new characters I introduce, as and when.

I am currently writing book 8 which is really Marian’s story – I have finally discovered her past and think it’s time I filled in the blanks for the devoted fans of the series. I am so excited for this book’s release but, unfortunately, it won’t be out until February 2018.

In the meantime, why not catch up with Marian and all her fabulous antics in the first six books in the series (Book 7 out in August 2017). You going to love her as much as me – promise!

Author Bio:

Rachel Brimble lives near the famous city of Bath in England with her husband of 18 years, their two teenage daughters and mad chocolate lab, Tyler. When Rachel’s not writing, you can find her reading, knitting or watching far too much TV.

All her books, including the Templeton Cove series, can be found at her website & be sure to follow her on social media. She loves connecting with readers!

Social Media Links:

Saturday, January 21, 2017

At Word Wranglers this week...

My fellow Word Wranglers have been talking about reading lately and they've inspired me to commit to and hopefully increase my reading in 2017. Read all about about at

Thursday, January 19, 2017

In the Spotlight - Author Adam Mann

Today my guest is author Mike Lord, who also writes romance as Adam Mann. Mike says he only writes about places he knows, but since he lived and worked in Africa, Asia and Europe, he has a good chunk of the world to set his stories in. Mike wants you to know that the word "boondocks" originated as military slang used by American soldiers engaging guerrillas in the Philippines before World War II, from Tagalog bundok, mountain, from Proto-Malayo-Polynesian *bunduk, or elevated ground.  The word has since been used by many others to denote a remote and wild area in any country. Thanks for being here today, Mike!

Love in the Boondocks – a novel by Adam Mann.

Kim has just been divorced by an uncaring husband who was more interested in her money than herself.  She finds work as a Primary School teacher in several remote villages, where she meets Dave who is working with farmer families in some of the same villages.  She finds him attractive and “sets her cap” at him.

Fortunately she speaks English so she manages to meet Dave in several locations before meeting him one evening in his small cottage, on the pretext of getting a lift to a village.

You, the reader, will have to find out what happens next…

Love in the Boondocks – excerpt:

Dave held her hand as they walked into a gold and silver shop, and the lady shopkeeper smiled at them. It wasn’t until a tray of engagements rings was placed on the counter in front of her that ‘the penny dropped’, and she put her hand to her mouth in alarm.

“Ask her for a sapphire with small diamonds, darling,” he told her.

Kim’s mind was in a whirl, this was all so sudden, but she took a deep breath and translated exactly what Dave had asked.

Another tray of rings was put on the counter, and it was Dave who pointed at one.

The shopkeeper took it out of the tray and quickly polished the ring with a yellow cloth, and offered it to Kim.

Kim took a deep breath and looked at Dave, who nodded.

She put the ring on her engagement finger, and looked at the back of her hand.

There was a blue sapphire in the centre with five small diamonds all around it, and it sparkled on the back of her golden hand.

She didn’t look for any other rings, but nodded at Dave, and just couldn’t stop smiling as she held his arm with her right hand for support.

Dave paid with a Visa card, and wouldn’t let Kim see the price. It took a few minutes for Visa approval, and then the paperwork with the description and weight of the stones in the ring and the gold band, all in Kim’s name.

“Can I kiss him in here?” she wondered, but did not hesitate and kissed Dave with her arms around his neck. The shopkeeper smiled, and the staff in the back of the shop clapped.

Back in the car she asked, “Why did you ask for sapphire, darling?”

“To go with your dress,” he joked, as he wound his way out of the town centre to Kim’s parents’ house.

Buy Links:

Author Bio:

Mike Lord has worked for over 50 years in what is called “developing economies”. Most of the time Mike’s work has been with the thousands of small scale farmers, who have appreciated sustainable livelihoods, so that they now have enough food to feed themselves, and also some to sell so that they have a cash income.  That is why most of Mike’s novels are set in these remote locations.
Three years ago Mike finally retired and started writing, and has now produced 32 fantasy romance books, nine of which have been published, and 23 self-published at Smashwords and Amazon KDP.
Mike Lord is a member of the Romance Writers of Australia.

Social Media Links:


Twitter handle: @adammannauthor

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Today at Word Wranglers...

I've learned a lot of things since I started writing, some about the craft of writing like grammar, and variety of other things, like WW2 history and women's fashion in the 1940s, and how to pick a lock. A writer is always learning. Today I'm blogging at Word Wranglers about a few things I learned in the last few months.

Saturday, January 7, 2017

#Goals for 2017

I'm over at Word Wranglers today talking about my goals for 2017 - and the perils and limitations of setting goals. Find out why I'm trying to be realistic this year: