Fall has arrived, and the Roses are falling all over themselves with ideas! Our October Fall topics are: Fall into Danger, Fall through the Cracks, Fall Head over Heels, and Fall on Deaf Ears.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Fall into Danger with Ghosts by Alicia Dean

Halloween is one of my favorite times of year. I love the weather (although here in Oklahoma it looks like it might be 80 degrees on Halloween…ugh!), I love the holiday, I love spooky stuff and the changing foliage. I also love the idea of ghosts, whether it be movies, stories, or actual sightings. Years back, I took a ghost tour in Tulsa, and wow…it was creepy. And awesome.

I’ve never seen a ghost, but I’ve known of a few incidents where I truly believe there was evidence of a ghostly spirit. One in particular sticks in my mind. First of all, let me clarify. My mother is extremely practical and skeptical. Never would she believe in anything otherworldly. When my dad passed away in ’94, my sister lived in Florida at the time. She came to Oklahoma to stay with Mom for a while, just to be with family. The first night, she slept in the bed with Mom. The next day, Sheri said, “Mom, did you feel the bed shaking last night?” Mom said, “Yes, you felt it? It has happened every night since your dad passed away. I didn’t tell anyone because I didn’t want people to think I’m crazy.” I truly believe that was some kind of signal from my dad, letting Mom know he was with her.

One of my favorite ghost movies is Ghost with Patrick Swayze, but I also enjoy the light hearted ones. Have you seen these?

Over Her Dead Body is about a man whose fiancée dies on the day of their wedding. He starts seeing a psychic, and falls for her. His fiancée begins haunting the psychic and sabotaging their relationship. It’s a very cute, sweet, movie.

 I loved, loved, loved this movie. It was funny, sweet, sad, and totally unexpected. I never dreamed Ricky Gervais could play the part of a romantic lead, and while he has a pretty rough beginning, he totally turns things around.

Ghost Town is about a dentist who has a near death experience and comes out of it with the ability to see and talk to ghosts. He’s a crabby, rude loner, and when the ghosts overwhelm him with their presence and their requests, he is none too pleased. Greg Kinnear plays the main ghost, and I adore him. His role in this movie is wonderful. Téa Leoni plays his widow, and Ricky Gervais’ romantic lead.

As much as I’ve always been fascinated with ghosts, I’d never written a ghost story, until now. My latest release is a short story with The Wild Rose Press that is part of a Halloween anthology: Haunting in the Garden.


A year after her husband’s death, Emily Tillman is ready to start dating again, and hopefully, find what she’s always wanted—marriage and children. But the man who broke her heart five years ago is back. And he’s anything but the marrying kind. 

Confirmed bachelor Reese Caster is perfectly content with his life—and he’s finally over Emily, the one woman who almost made him commit. Now, his world is rocked when her dead husband shows up, demanding that Reese pursue Emily to keep her out of the clutches of her latest suitor—a jerk who is only after her money. 

Being around Emily again has made Reese reconsider his bachelor life style. But now that the threat of the other man is gone, the pesky ghost wants Reese to break things off. Can he and Emily find the love they were denied, or will the ghost of her dead husband destroy their chances? 

So...what about you? Do you believe in ghosts? What are some of your favorite ghost movies or books?

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Fall Into Fun! by Jannine Gallant

Me hiking. Don't know where the dog is--probably chasing a squirrel!

I was having a hard time coming up with a new fall topic...and put off writing my post until the last minute because I've been crazy busy. When it struck me that October is always a busy, but really fun, month for me. So, I thought I'd share.

Ginger down at the lake.

Hiking in the woods with my dog is a passion of mine. And October is pretty much the end for prime hiking. Come November, the snow starts, the temperatures drop, and I have to wear a coat and boots instead of a T-shirt and tennies. Horrors. Also, the woods are gorgeous with fall colors brightening up a backdrop of evergreens. I cherish each and every tromp through the forest this time of year.


Also, it's cross country season. Both my girls run, though my youngest, Kristen, has been plagued by injuries this season. My oldest, Tara, is a senior. She's been on a mission to win back her State Championship and has been tearing up the courses this season, winning 5 of her 6 races so far. The team has a lot of fun...and so do the parent drivers. I got to spend a lovely weekend down in Monterey with the the beach. Life's rough. LOL

My carload of girls for the race--Kristen is the tall redhead

Halloween rolls around to round out the month. My days of taking kids trick-or-treating are over, but it's still fun to watch the girls dress up.

Kristen (Thing 1) with her friend Kyla (Thing 2) a couple of years ago

In celebration of the season, I'll be putting my one and only ghost story, She'll Never Rest, on sale for 4 days Oct. 24-27. Grab a copy for 99 cents for a Halloween treat. In fact, if you're in the mood for fall books, check out my whole Secrets of Ravenswood series on my website. They're full of fall flavor and each have a shivery mystery.

So, are you a fall aficionado? What's keeping you busy this October? 

Friday, October 17, 2014

Falling in Love by Betsy Ashton

When I saw the topics for "fall," my initial response was to think about tripping. I'll write about my feet in my next post. This time, I want to write about falling in love with my husband. Nothing about our meeting or courtship should have worked.

First, I was on a business trip with a colleague. After a terrible week, she dragged me to a club on a Friday
night in the party center, Shinjuku. Did I say I was in Tokyo? I was. I was dead on my feet but went anyway. After all, I was familiar with the city and spoke the language. She was  new to Japan and had no idea where she was going. We tucked into a dance club/restaurant called Henry Afrika's on the sixth floor of a narrow building on an even narrower alley. I'd been there before and wondered if it still existed. It did.

We were the only foreign women in the club which was full of people our age or a little younger. The beer was cold, the food decent, the music loud, and the dance floor crowded. I was getting ready to bail when four tall men walked in and went to the other side of the club, Things were looking up. I excused myself an hour later to head for the line outside of the women's toilet. One of the men walked out of the men's room. His first words were the most unusual pick up line I'd ever heard.

"When you get done in there, do you want to dance?"

I thought he was really cute, but his accent screamed Australian. No long term interest but maybe some decent conversation beyond, "Are you American and can I practice my English?"

Turned out he was from New York state there on business. I took him on a tour of the city Saturday afternoon and all day Sunday. We hit it off and began figuring out how to see each other when we got back to the States.

Minor logistical problem. He lived and worked for IBM in New York state. I worked for an offshoot of Rand Corporation in California. We looked at our travel schedules and agreed to meet in Houston in a month. Easy hop for me; business trip for him. At the end of that second weekend, we knew we wanted to be together.

It took a year for me to find a new job in New York and move. We met several more times in Houston. He came to California a couple of times; we took our first motorcycle trip together.

So many places where we could have missed each other but didn't. Next year we celebrate our 30th anniversary. What was meant to be has become the greatest time of my life. I tell everyone about his pick up line. He reminds me I was the only guy I met in a bar and kept. We're both right.


Betsy Ashton is the author of Mad Max Unintended Consequences available on Amazon and Barnes and Noble. The second book in the series, Uncharted Territory, will be released in June 2015. She lives for words and writing.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Fall into Danger of Falling Behind by Donna Michaels

Yes, that’s twice the falling because I seem to be twice as busy anymore. How about you?  I thought they said it gets easier as you get older. Liars. I was mislead. Although I’m blessed to have loyal readers who demand more books, (and believe me, I know I’m blessed) Father Time doesn’t seem to want to cooperate and let me write at a normal pace. Or stop time for just a tinsey bit so I could get caught up. Nope. The past twelve months seem to have been spent speed writing several books.  All I want is a few extra uninterrupted hours in the day. Is that too much to ask? Apparently, and life doesn’t slow down, it only speeds up and keeps things interesting. Between family, and conferences, and promoting, I fall into danger of falling behind in my writing every day.
My four kids are all out of high school now, so I foolishly thought I'd gain more writing time. Ha. Two are in college and don’t drive. So, I’m still chauffeur mom. Well, not to my daughter. She’s away at college, but now we have to drive to the next state to see her or get her to come home for the weekend, which means we have to drive her back two days later. And of course, I’m not the lucky type who can read or write in a moving vehicle. If only. Man, I’d get a ton done. The best I can do is close my eyes (if my husband is driving) and plot. But, as always, my family comes first. Somehow, I manage to take care of them, and my readers, I just wish I could do it at a slower pace.
And I’m sure I’m not the only author with these issues. We should form a club. Sleep-deprived Authors Anonymous. Because, yes, that’s exactly where my writing time comes from. My sleep time. Hello, my name is Donna Michaels, and I’m addicted to writing. J

This month is just as busy. I’m currently at a conference in Phoenix. If you’re in the area on Saturday, please check out the book signing at the Crowne Plaza, and stop on by and say hi. I have some cool swag!

I also have a new release this week. Royally Unleashed.

My heroine falls into danger…okay, she seeks out danger. Pilar is a paranormal huntress who protects the innocent and is on a mission to find her missing cousin last seen on the island of Pavelonia, just off the Romanian coast. A dangerous, sexy prince hinders her investigation, wrecks havoc with her empathic sense, and harbors a Grim secret she has never come up against.

  Plus, the prequel to my Harland County Series—
Harland County Christmas releases December 1 and is now available for Pre-Order! 
Read about the first cowboy to fall…

Thanks for reading,


Wednesday, October 15, 2014

When to Let Advice Fall On Deaf Ears by Alison Henderson

Have you noticed that everyone wants to tell you what to do all the time? The Internet is chock-full of advice on every imaginable topic every day. New studies are released weekly telling us what we should eat (and not eat) in order to ensure optimal health and ultimate immortality. Do you suffer from aches and pains? Hiccups? Knock knees? Dozens of experts want to tell you what to do so solve your problems. And people eat this stuff up. Based on my news feeds, our collective appetite for advice appears insatiable.

But what about writing advice? 

Over the years, I've learned a great deal about craft, marketing, and publishing by attending workshops and reading articles. Some of the presenters' advice has been invaluable, but some has seemed repetitive, obvious, or simply not for me. I've been told I must be on every social media platform I can find. I've also been advised to choose only the ones I enjoy. I've been told to spend half my time writing and half my time marketing. Some authorities say write only the stories of your heart, while others say ignore the market at your peril.

We get the same conflicting advice about writing craft issues. Editors have pet peeves they impose on their writers. So do some agents. I'll never feel the same about the word "that" after working with my first editor. Some writers and editors are very strict about POV. Others take a more relaxed approach. Some slash all adverbs; others are more lenient.

I recently read a mildly paranormal/ghost love story written by a new writer friend. Finishing that short book was a painful slog. I had to force myself to read past the first chapter because she broke every single rule I had ever been taught. Yet this book had been contracted, edited, and published by a professional publisher (albeit a very small one). She has 20 5-star reviews on Amazon. For all I know, those may be from family and friends, but they still gave me pause. Who am I to say this woman is a terrible writer just because I hated nearly every page of her book? If she asks my opinion, I simply plan to tell her we are polar opposites as writers, both in the stories we tell and the way we tell them. Nothing more. 

I have come to the conclusion that both reading and writing are such intensely personal activities that we should take all advice with a grain of salt. Choose what resonates with you and don't feel guilty about setting the rest aside. One writer whose advice I always trust, however, is Stephen King. I'll leave you with a few of my favorite quotes from his fabulous On Writing.

“The scariest moment is always just before you start.”

“Amateurs sit and wait for inspiration, the rest of us just get up and go to work.”

“If you want to be a writer, you must do two things above all others: read a lot and write a lot. There's no way around these two things that I'm aware of, no shortcut.”

And, perhaps, the most astute observation of all:

“Writing is not life, but I think that sometimes it can be a way back to life.” 


Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Fall Head Over Heels... or Paws.

Though I write romance, I’m far too logical to actually believe in falling head over heels for someone… unless of course we’re talking about falling head over heels for a critter. I love animals and will pick up just about anything. Snakes, spiders, frogs. I find them all just fascinating and beautiful and have no problem cuddling up to any of them.

Yep, even the snakes.

My greatest example of falling head over heels for a creature is this guy:

Right? I mean, look at those windswept ears! Those big brown eyes! Those huge paws!

Pre-dog, I firmly believed I was a strict cat person. I had two kitties when this pup came onto the scene, and though I’m still completely and totally in love with my feline familiars, this dog has stolen an enormous chunk of my heart.

He’s only gotten more handsome with age. 

He’s three now and the reason I can’t wait to get home from work on most days. He’s always waiting with sloppy doggy kisses and is more than willing to share his favorite toys with me (as long as I will throw them around the yard, that is). When I come into the house after a day that has undoubtedly given me a headache, his tail wags in greeting. It acts like a broom, sweeping up all the negative energy that has somehow adhered itself to me while I was out there in the big, bad world. He shocks the positive vibes back into action and before I know it, I’m laughing and rubbing his belly and running around the backyard like a kid.

Don’t get me wrong. Owning a werewolf of a dog has its downside too. He’s not roses and peanut butter cups all the time. Mostly, though, he rocks (or barks at them) and rolls (often in his own excrement), and I’m head over heels in love with him.

Do you have a furry companion whose company you prefer over the company of humans?

For more four-legged fun, visit my website and try any one of my books. They all have animal characters who mean a great deal to the hero or heroine or both.


Monday, October 13, 2014

Fall Into Danger --- happens all the time, right?

It happens all the time in my books, at least.

I write the kind of mysteries where the main characters sort of fall into trouble. A pig digs up a body under a rose bush (Candy); an angry lover from the past comes back to threaten someone (Nowhere to Run); a woman finds a body in a greenhouse (Lilacs).

Well, you get the idea. I'm one of those writers who can see a plot possibility anywhere. And since I'm not an international traveler or a spy or a cop, the "anywhere" I see is all around me, at writer's conferences (Autographs), at restaurants (Foxgloves), or in a small town in Iowa (Brilliant Disguise).

So I think it's easy to fall into danger -- no matter where you are!

(dangerous books ahead!)