Friday, March 30, 2012

Welcome Margaret Tanner to The Word Place

SAVAGE UTOPIA/STOLEN BIRTHRIGHT 2 in 1 e-book – Margaret Tanner.
Thank you so much for inviting me here Judy.
I am pleased to announce that Whiskey Creek Press has just re-released Savage Utopia and its sequel Stolen Birthright as a 2 In 1 e-book. That’s right, two novels virtually for the price of one.

The penal colony of Australia is the sweeping setting for my two novel historical fiction romance.
SAVAGE UTOPIA: Sentenced to transportation to Australia, for trying to kill her incestuous father, Maryanne Watson boards a convict ship. During the journey she meets and falls in love with an American convict, Jake Smith. Jake hides a terrible family secret that if it ever saw the light of day, would send him to the gallows. When they arrive at the penal colony, she is assigned to Captain Miles Fitzhugh. After he abuses her she flees for her life. She finally meets up with Jake who has escaped from a chain gang, gone bush and lives with the aborigines. They roam the wilderness together trying to find their utopia. When Maryanne falls pregnant, Jake, who has a price on his head, risks coming out of hiding, so he can legally marry her so their child will not be born illegitimate.
STOLEN BIRTHRIGHT: Georgina, a wild colonial girl, is brought up by O’Rourke, a rough and ready Irishman, who she believes is her uncle. While helping the outlaw Johnny Dawson escape from prison, she meets and falls in love with a dashing young English aristocrat, The Honourable Marcus Lindquist. When Johnny Dawson is ambushed and killed, Marcus finally learns the secret of what has bound him to Georgina. Johnny is her brother, not her lover as he had jealously supposed, but even darker secrets from the past overshadow their love.
How can an English aristocrat marry the daughter of convicts?
Meanwhile, twelve thousand miles across the sea, Marcus’ Godfather is plotting Georgina’s death, to keep his dark secrets from ever seeing the light of day.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Welcome Margaret Blake to The Word Place

“Now hatred is by far the longest pleasure. Men love in haste but they detest at Leisure.” Lord Byron

Viola had lived in fear and deceit but then Jed made her see life didn’t have to be like that.

Excerpt: The Longest Pleasure

The shutters shook, rattled, and clattered.  Branches from the huge tree outside scratched along the warped wood sounding like the unnaturally long nails of a vampire.
There was noise everywhere. Terrifying. A creak of the stairs. Groaning furniture. Somehow the wind had found a way in and whistled along nooks and crannies.
Crouched in her bed, she folded herself up as if this would make her disappear. She burrowed in the duvet and then cast it off. Someone was in the house; she could hear their footsteps as they climbed the stairs.
It was no good being vulnerable like this, a weapon of some sort was needed. Being frozen in terror here on the bed, she knew, made her more of a victim. Her courage had fled and she wanted it back.  Would she really have to die for him to be truly at peace? 
Something rolled and clattered down. Whoever was in the house had knocked something over. The lights had gone out hours ago. At first she had assumed it was power lines down, this was one ferocious storm. Now she was certain that the power had been purposely cut off.
“You will never hide from me. I can always find you.”
Why had she not minded her own business? Interfering in his life had brought him back into hers! Now she would have to face the consequences.
Stealthily, she slid off the bed. Pain shot up her leg; it was hard to straighten her body, having held herself in so cramped a position had made her limbs stiff. Still draped in the duvet she dragged herself towards the door. Falling to her knees she peered through the keyhole. A gust of wind blasted her eye; jerking back she blinked away the wetness.
With care, she wrapped a hand around the doorknob, turned it and opened it just a little.
A sliver of moonbeam danced across the corridor, it came from the skylight.  A quick glance in the brief illumination showed her the corridor at least was empty.  Sneaking around the door, she sped bare footed along the corridor, slid into the bathroom easing the door closed behind her. The benevolent moon was here too, it snaked in through
the patterned windowpane. It was all too brief, a black cloud came scudding across and in seconds she was once more in darkness.
Fumbling under the sink, she felt the cool plastic container against her hand, gripping it she dragged it out, managing to ease off the top. Bleach. Half full. If she chucked that on him it would give her a chance to get away. She was not defenseless after all.
Shrugging herself out of the duvet she thought for one mad moment she should sneak back to her room for shoes and a jacket. How sensible, yet how idiotic. She had to get away while she could.
Urgently she flew from the bathroom, raced towards the stairs. Aware the stairs creaked she went down at the far side rather than the centre. But with the noise of the wind and the rattling shutters, the creaking furniture, it would hardly matter. A little bleach sloshed out as she moved swiftly down the stairs. She thought of the lovely green and gold carpet, it would be ruined - but it did not matter. Carpets could be replaced.
The backdoor was locked. Frantically her hands ran over the panels, the key was there, she turned it. It made a kind of gurgling noise, the door swung open, pushed by the ferocious wind. The wind hit her face; it was coated with salt and dampness from the sea.
Under her feet the gravel cut into the soft flesh but she ran, leaving the door swinging backwards and forwards until eventually she heard it slam shut.
In the garage there was just her little car. The garage was small, just room for two cars and there was an empty space next to hers. He would not park here. He would park on the drive, or beyond in the lane.
For once she was glad she had left the keys in the ignition. She turned over the engine, relieved at the satisfying purr. Before closing the door she threw down the bottle of bleach and then, pulling the door close she released the handbrake.
There was no rain, just wetness from the sea in the air. There were no lights on anywhere. From the end of the short drive she could look down on the village but not a light glowed in the blackness. It was a power-out then.
“Where to?” Her mind rapped out the question. “Where can you go now?”


Margaret Blake was born in Manchester. A love of history drew her to historical romance and she published seven of these with Robert Hale Limited. Turning to contemporary romantic fiction she published five novels under her Grandmother’s name Ellen Noone. Details of these can be found at  Recently she published three novels of romantic suspense with Hale.

She has published nine novels with Whiskey Creek Press of historical, contemporary and romantic suspense.

With two new novels out next year, Margaret will have published twenty-six novels. She would love to hit thirty but better wait and see!

Margaret is a widow and has one son, a lovely daughter in law and three gorgeous grandchildren.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Sharing an exciting new discovery!

NovelRank is new to me, although some of you may already know about it. This is the site to track your Amazon sales! Just click "Track Your Book", which will take you to a new page where you can enter the URL of your books at Amazon. Below  that is a place to track the books individually if you enter more than one. You can also create a free account--for a specified donation, have your book featured in several places on the site.

Definitely a site to check out. It tracks sales as well as rank. All you authors with new releases, get your book tracked from the beginning! I lost three weeks because of not knowing about the site.

Oh, and while you're at Amazon getting your URL, click on this one and look inside The Face on Miss Fanny's Wall...I'm betting you'll click the "buy link"--it's a good read AND a bargain at $5.99! And while I'm asking...don't forget to go back and leave a review!

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Welcome Ella Jade to The Word Place


           Can an arranged marriage lead to love?

Recent college graduate Gabriella has finally married the man of her dreams, the older, charismatic attorney Lorenzo Martinez. She's had a crush on him for as long as she can remember and always imagined they'd one day find their happily ever after. Unfortunately, they enter into a union arranged by their fathers.
Lorenzo is charming, protective and loyal to his crime lord father Carlo. When Carlo asks Lorenzo to marry Gabriella he jumps at the opportunity. He's been drawn to her for many years and knows by marrying her, he's helping to protect her father.
Gabby is resentful and won't be Lorenzo's charity case. Sparks fly and the couple soon gives into their desire realizing they were meant to be together. What happens when Carlo's enemies threaten their future? Will someone get caught in the crossfire?
Contemporary Romance
Content Warning: graphic sex, some violence

     Lorenzo walked up the porch steps, turning to stare at Gabby. “Are you coming, Gabriella?” No one but Lorenzo and his father called her by her full name. She liked when Lorenzo said it. He’d always made it sound so formal and sexy.
     These were the first words he had spoken to her since they left the court house. They were married in the chambers of the prestigious Judge John Cartwright. He’d been a family friend of the Martinez’s for many years. He was their go to man whenever they needed something done fast and legally. Well, legal in her new father-in-law's eyes anyway.
     She hurried up the steps and followed him inside their new home. It was built within a matter of months after she’d agreed to marry Lorenzo. Carlo wanted them to have their privacy, but he’d also wanted to keep them close. He didn’t trust she’d hold up her end of the bargain and keeping her on the property was the best way to insure she wouldn’t run.
It was silly, really. How could she run from a family like this? They had ties all over the world. There wasn’t any place she could escape to that they wouldn’t know about. She was a woman of her word. She said she would marry Lorenzo and she did. She’d find a way to cope. She always had.
     Lorenzo pulled his jacket off, poured himself a scotch and then loosened his tie. “Would you like a drink?”
     “No, thank you,” she said.
     Most brides would be dancing the night away and drinking champagne by this point in their wedding night. She didn’t think that was part of Lorenzo’s plan.
     “I didn’t think you’d go through with it.” He sipped the amber colored liquid as he looked her over.
     “I said I would.”
     “I know, but when push actually came to shove, I thought you’d run.”
     “You don’t know me that well,” she said. “I don’t run.”
     “Good.” He smirked as he put the glass to his lips.
     Gabby couldn’t take her eyes away from those lips. She’d never had the pleasure of having them on her own. Judge Cartwright hadn’t asked him to kiss his bride. She hated herself for thinking about him that way.

      Ella Jade has been writing for as long as she can remember. As a child, she often had a notebook and pen with her and now as anadult, the laptop is never far. The plots and dialogue have always played out in her head, but she never knew what to do with them.That all changed when she discovered the eBooks industry. She started penning novels at a rapid pace and now she can't be stopped.
     Ella resides in New Jersey with her husband and two young boys. When she's not chasing after her kids, she's busy writing, attending PTO meetings, kickboxing and scrapbooking. She hope's you'll get lost in her words.
     You can connect with her at

Friday, March 16, 2012

Welcome Sarah McNeal to The Word Place

The Irish in America 

Just for starters, the Irish did have that famine that drove them from their homeland.  Then, just a little mention here, it’s not like the Irish in steerage got into the life boats on the Titanic first, either. Once in America, the Irish were treated with distain and given only the lowest of jobs—say hello to coal mines and hammering spikes in railroads.  As a matter of fact, many advertisements for employment in the 1850’s often stated, “Irish need not apply.”  The Chicago Post wrote, “The Irish fill our prisons, our poor houses...scratch a convict or a pauper, and the chances are that you tickle the skin of an Irish Catholic.”  Well, who said they were politically correct back then?  They could deny the Irish decent jobs, demean them because they operated outside the law to feed their families and then the coup de grace, they affronted the religion of the Irish.  They have been called Micks and other less savory names.  Their reputation for drinking and fighting is no more true than any other ethnic group’s desire to get rowdy but the condemnation of Americans attached this reputation to them as a means to degrade them.
     The Irish fought for their dignity and the Catholic church helped them fight for their human rights.  They fought back sometimes with the same brutality that others bestowed upon them.  Some of you may have heard of the Molly Maguires, an organization of Irish men who fought for living wages and safer working conditions in the coalmines of Pennsylvania.
     Finally, the need for Irish labored soared in the early years of the 20th century when industry boomed and the United States moved into an economic power.  The Irish won their claim to America society with grit and determination.  Yes, America is a melting pot of cultures and humanity but, I have to say, each ethnic group has had to fight its way into that melting pot.  Sometimes the scars are so deep, it takes generations to heal them.

For Love of Banjo by Sarah j. McNeal
Western Trail Blazers
     In my new release, For Love of Banjo, the hero fights for the right to dignity and justice.  He was born in a bordello to an Irish immigrant mother who died in childbirth.  Until the age of ten, a woman who worked in the bordello who had lost her family to fire raised him.  When she died, Banjo became homeless and found ways to fend for himself in the streets of Hazard until Harmonica Joe and Lola saw his worth.  Still, Banjo felt compelled to find the father who abandoned him and his mother.  He wanted the right to his personal history and dignity because he wanted to earn the right to ask for Margaret Ann O’Leary’s hand in marriage.  He yearned to feel good enough.  When he learns that his father may be an industrial magnate in New York City, he is hell bent on finding him.
     Here is a little bit from the book just before he leaves for New York to find his father.
    In one graceful movement, he dismounted the pinto then stepped to the porch where Maggie stood with unrestrained tears that flowed down her cheeks.  Banjo swept her into his arms and kissed her.  The kiss wasn’t his brotherly, friendly peck on the cheek.  He kissed her with a slow burning need and ran his tongue along the groove of her lips then slipped inside. 
    He tasted of coffee and mint.  Maggie reached up to weave her arms around his neck.  She stepped on her tiptoes to better reach him and taste him.  Her heart raced and heat rushed hungry waves of yearning into places in her body she never knew existed as she responded to his explorations with her own.  If only she could slip into his pocket and follow him wherever he went.  She wanted to become the marrow in his bones, to always be a part of him.
    Just when she thought he would take her to her room and make love to her as she had asked, the kiss ended.  Banjo bent his head his rough cheek rasped against hers.  The fragrance of him, a combination of horse, pine and crisp snow, caressed her senses.  He slipped his hand into her hair and gently rubbed the tender skin of her neck where her blood pulsed beneath his thumb.
    His mouth so close to her ear she felt the warm moisture of his breath as he spoke his last words.  She would never forget them, not as long as she lived.  Breathless from the kiss, he said, “Don’t forget me.  Write to me every day and I’ll write back.  You are the star in my sky and my compass home.  I’ll come back, if it’s the last thing I do, I will come back.  I swear it.”

Lulu :
Monkey Bars :
Available in all online bookstores in e-book or paperback.

Harmonica Joe’s Reluctant Bride
Western Trail Blazers
A Time Travel Western

Sunday, March 11, 2012

The Dark Side of Writing

No, nothing mysterious and shadowy about this dark side, just facts plain and simple. It's sort of like enjoying a delicious omelet and then having to clean up the pan--icky, sticky, a pain in the patoot. Alas--like it or not, if writing comes, can promotion be far behind? I think not.

We read about it, talk about it, struggle with it, sweat over it--but we do it. It can be a pretty overwhelming task, not to mention an unending one. New book? Promote it. Old book? Re-promote it. How? you ask. Tell me how! you demand. If I had all the answers...

But I've garnered a few ideas over the past four years, and for what it's worth, here they are (not forgetting those valuable links we all cherish):

(1)Have a plan: what do I want to do today? Do one thing everyday. (You will likely do more than one, because one thing leads to another.  Spend only the amount of time it takes to get that one thing done. Burn-out lurks behind that computer screen.

(2) Have all your materials organized in one place: tagline, blurb, excerpt, buy links, links to your sites on the web, ISBN (10 and 13-number), number of pages, copyright date, publisher's link, reviews, covers, formats, get the picture. I have one document with all of the above for all of my books--simple to cut and paste from that.

(3) Take advantages of the freebies first: opportunities to guest blog, free ads on various sites, free pages on various sites, regular posts on your own blog, promotional loops, chat rooms, various social media.

(4) Don't spend a ton of $ you can't spare on things like bookmarks, postcards, and other give-aways They'll find their way to the trash sooner or later (hopefully after being looked at and used to buy your book). Meanwhile, be creative--make your own. Save your shekels for your own book inventory, conferences, and those miscellaneous day-to-day expenses involved with showcasing your work.
Clip art
CoolTextGraphics (and logos)

(5) There's no "shame" in developing your own free or low-cost website. Actually, it tends to make you feel quite accomplished! You can spend some of your saved $ on your own domain name and transfer it almost anywhere. I once listened to a long 'rant' about how you OUGHT to fork over whatever it took to build a "good" website--and lo and behold, the ranter led by example...right out of business. (apps for websites)

(6) Learn how to make your own video trailers. Your cost is minimal. Set up your own YouTube channel--that's free!
(There are many more!)

 (7) Develop a good press release--and use it. All they can do is ignore it.
Newspapers (contact info)
Press Releases 1
Press Releases 2

 (8) Keep an updated contact list for announcements, and always give someone the opportunity to opt out of receiving them.

(9) Subscribe to free marketing newsletters (and use some of those saved shekels to sign up for inexpensive webinars/teleseminars or downloading inexpensive books--and keep an eye out for the freebies!)

Carolyn Howard Johnson
Dana Lynn Smith
Sandra Beckwith

(10) Help other authors--we're all in this together. Idea: Leave a comment on what I might be able to do to help promote YOUR book.

Am I taking full advantage of all these ideas and more? Not yet.
Am I working on it? You bet!

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Welcome, Anne Brear, to The Word Place

Author Bio: Anne Brear has been a life-long reader and started writing in 1997 when her children were small. She has a love of history, of grand old English houses and a fascination of what might have happened beyond their walls. Her interests include reading, genealogy, watching movies, spending time with family and eating chocolate - not always in that order!

Writing under my new pen name of Anne Brear, my latest Victorian historical novel, To Take Her Pride, is set in 1898 Yorkshire.
 This is Aurora and Reid's story and will be available in paperback and March 8th 2012.

Back blurb:
Aurora Pettigrew has it all, a loving family, a nice home, a comfortable life. She’s waiting for the right man to offer her marriage, and the man for her is Reid Sinclair, heir to the Sinclair fortune and the love of her life.
But, Reid’s mother, Julia, is against the match and her ruthlessness unearths a family secret that will tear Aurora’s world apart.
Unwilling to bring shame on her family and needing answers to the allegations brought to light by Reid’s mother, Aurora begins a long journey away from home. She leaves behind all that is familiar and safe to enter a world of mean streets and poor working class.
Living in the tenements of York, surrounded by people of a class she’d never mixed with before, Aurora struggles to come to terms with the way her life has changed. By chance, she reconnects with a man from her past and before he leaves with the army to war in South Africa, he offers her security through marriage.
Aurora knows she should be happy, but the memory of her love for Reid threatens her future.
When tragedy strikes, can Aurora find the strength to accept her life and forget the past?

Aurora walked along the streets of York, head down against the wind. The end of summer was proving difficult this year and warm days would be followed by squalls of rain and blustery winds such as today. Since Ethel Minton’s visit six days ago, Aurora had gone out looking for work and new accommodation. Each day she had come home despondent on both issues. Without a wage they couldn’t look at the better houses, and the poorer areas were the likes of Edinburgh Yard, which she and Sophia were adamant not to go back to. Noah and Lily had spoken as one offering their home to them, but Aurora was reluctant to agree as they’d be on top of each other, especially when the two babies came.
Aside from the anxiety of finding money and lodgings, she had become aware over the last few days of someone watching her. She couldn’t define what made her so sure someone was, but instinct told her she didn’t walk the streets alone. Then, last night, while closing the curtains a stranger lingered in the lane looking at her windows. As yet she hadn’t mentioned it to Sophia, who after the attack was nervous enough and jumped at any loud bangs or sudden shouts. Perhaps she should mention it to Noah, ask him to keep an eye out, and just hope that she was imagining it all.
Her feet throbbed as she turned into Coney Street. The baby kicked, a new sensation that Aurora marveled at in secret joy. She rubbed her stomach and hurried on. She needed to buy some buttons and thread, as Sophia was letting out all her skirts. She’d have liked to buy some linen material too, for a blouse, but every penny had suddenly become precious now neither of them was working.
She passed a tailor’s shop and was bumped into by two men coming out of the doorway. She apologized, even though it wasn’t her fault, at the same time the gentleman did too. Then she stopped and stared. Tom Sinclair stood gaping back at her, open-mouthed.
“Aurrie?” He frowned, puzzled.
She was the first to recover. “How are you, Tom?”
“My God!” Tom enveloped her in a tight embrace and for a moment she relished being held by him. It’d been a long time since a man had held her, and Tom was as close as she would get to Reid. He stared at her in amazement. “What are you doing in York?”
“Shopping.” She smiled brightly, acting as though them bumping into each other was an everyday occurrence. “And you?”
“Oh this and that.” His gaze roamed over her and his grin faltered as he took in her appearance. He’d never seen her in anything but beautiful clothes and neatly groomed. She put a hand to her hair escaping from her felt hat and blushed. He’d noticed her faded clothes beneath her coat, which also needed a sponge and brush. Her shoes hadn’t seen polish for weeks.
Tom turned to his companion. “Hal, my friend, I’ll meet you back at the hotel.”
Hal, a tall, healthy-looking young man winked, a devilish smile in his eyes. “As you wish, my good fellow, but remember we leave on the evening train tomorrow.”
Aurora’s blush deepened, imagining what Hal would think of her. “You should have introduced me, Tom. He thinks the worst judging by that remark.”
“That’s more exciting than the truth though, isn’t it?” Tom’s smile flashed, but the amusement in his eyes had vanished completely. “There’s a tearoom on the corner. Let’s go.” He took her elbow and so shocked was she to see this serious side of him that she let him escort her into a small tearoom and assist her onto a wooden chair in the corner. He sat on the other side of the square table and lifted his hand to the passing waitress. “Tea and a plate of-of cakes…er…food, sandwiches and the like.”
“Tom, I—” The words dried in her mouth as she saw the agony in his eyes. “What is it?”
“I cannot believe it.” He shook his head and looked as if he was going to cry.
Her heart leapt to her throat and she leaned forward. “Good God, Tom, what?”
“What happened to you?” His voice came out on a whisper.
She sat back in her chair, again conscious of her appearance. “You must be shocked.”
“Shocked?” he squeaked and then clearing his throat, he held his hands out as if in question. “I thought you were travelling with your father’s aunt? That’s what your mother is telling everyone. Is this aunt without funds? Doesn’t your father know—’
“Please, Tom, stop.” She rubbed her forehead, wondering how to tell him, whether she should tell him. “I’m not with my father’s aunt.”
“I don’t understand.” He scratched his chin. “Aurrie, dearest, you look like hell. You’re so thin and…and shabby.”
She wanted to laugh at being called thin, especially when the front fastening corset she’d bought only two weeks ago no longer fitter her. The top button of her blue skirt was left undone and her white blouse strained across her breast, which she hid with her coat, but his expression of horror wiped the laughter from her instantly. Apart from the parts of her body concern with the child, the rest of her was thin, her hands and arms especially. “It’s a long story.”
“And I’ve got all day.”
“But I haven’t.” She stood. “I must go. It was nice seeing you again.”
“No.” He grabbed her wrist and forced her to sit down, causing the other customers to glance in their direction. “Don’t go, not yet.” He let go of her as she sat and the waitress brought over a tea tray, which she set out on the table. Tom watched Aurora the entire time and she knew he was full of questions. “I want to hear it all, Aurrie.”  
“Do you?” She pulled off her gloves, revealing her red and work-chapped hands and ignored his gasp of surprise at the sight of them. Dropping a cube of sugar into her cup, she then stirred it slowly with a teaspoon. “I don’t think you want to know, Tom, not really.” She gave him a sad smile, knowing his personality as one of fun and laughter, never taking anything seriously.
“I thought we were friends?”
“We were. When life was simple.”
“Aurrie, please. I can’t bear to see you like this.”
“This?” She waved at her worn clothes. “Good lord, Tom, this is a good day.” Her chuckle was brittle. “We had enough water last night for a bath so I washed my hair…’
“We?” He leaned forward over the table, cradling his teacup in one hand and took her hand in his other.
“My mother, Sophia. We live together.”
“Your mother Sophia?” His eyes widened. “Dearest, are you ill?”
“Mad you mean?” This time she did laugh. “I wish I was, but alas I’m quite sane.” She bent over the table until their faces were nearly touching. “Can you cope with knowing the truth, Tom Sinclair? The man who has never had a moment of responsibly in his life?”

 To Take Her Pride is available for pre-order in paperback from and Amazon UK

Where can readers find me on the internet:
Readers can visit my blog:
And of course they can find me on Amazon:

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

The Face on Miss Fanny's Wall actually went up on the Champagne Books website yesterday, but I'm calling today "Release Day". That means sending out emails to my mailing list--and I've done two batches so far...or is that ONLY done two batches so far?

The video trailer and the first chapter are available on my website. 

I'm hoping for 100 digital sales ASAP so that the book will be considered for print--so click to buy if you think you'll enjoy the story! You can't beat the $5.99 price for a full-length novel of buried family secrets and revenge--with a touch of romance!