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.

Friday, October 24, 2014

The Sailor Who Fell From Brenda Whiteside

Forty years ago, I fell in love with Kris Kristofferson after seeing the movie, The Sailor Who Fell From Grace with the Sea. I'd had a bit of a crush on him anyway, but the movie cinched it. The movie stayed in my top ten for a very long time although I hated the ending.

The setting is in England, on a rocky coast and the hero (sort of) is a sailor - so romantic. Wind swept coastline, dreary lighting and the churning ocean set the mood.

Forty years ago, I was awfully young. The memories I've carried with me about the movie mostly involve hot sex scenes with kink from the dark side. First of all the heroine, Anne has a very memorable scene all by herself while looking at a picture of her dead husband. The kink? Anne's fourteen year old son has a peep hole between his room and his mother's. Yep, he watches.

Enter Kris Kristofferson, a sailor who Anne takes to. That leads to the hottest sex scene I have ever seen in a movie without showing too, too much. But eww, the son peeps on them through the whole thing. He happens to belong to a group of boys that qualify as a nasty little gang. When the son becomes over the top jealous of Mom...the ending I didn't like.

When I Googled this movie to refresh my memory on the plot, I was surprised to see the movie was adapted from a book written by Yukio Mishima, a Japanese author. Since it originally was set in Japan and varied from the movie a bit, I'm adding it to my TBR list. Hollywood definitely took liberties with a cultural manuscript.

Maybe the book will be better, deeper, but I'll never forget that love scene with Kris Kristofferson.

Brenda spends most of her time writing romantic suspense. The rest of her time is spent tending vegetables on the small family farm she shares with her husband, son, daughter-in-law and granddaughter.Her latest book is The Art of Love and Murder, book one in the Love and Murder Series.

Visit Brenda at
She blogs on the 9th and 24th of every month at
She blogs about writing and prairie life at

Thursday, October 23, 2014

When All Else Fails, Take Action by Margo Hoornstra

We had a couch to get rid of. No, more of a big, bulky, heavy blue plaid hide a bed we inherited and couldn't use. Phone calls offering the beast to various charitable organizations resulted in no takers. "We have no one willing to pick up a hide a bed. They're too big, too bulky, too heavy." That's a sample of what we heard. Needless to say, their protests didn't Fall On Deaf Ears. Our sentiments exactly.

And so it went. For a while, we suspended our quest to find 'old blue' a home. First we set him against the wall in our family room, he was later relegated to the garage.

Then, well, Fall hit. Winter wouldn't be far behind. Once the temperature dropped dramatically, the couch could easily Fall Into Danger of being infested with all sorts of varmints seeking shelter from the storm.

Not one to let this particular item on his to do list Fall Through The Cracks, my husband took action. On his own (take that, no one willing to pick it up) he loaded the monstrosity into his truck.

"I'll be back after this is delivered." With that, he took off to make the same rounds in person he'd traveled by phone.

Admiring, though not sharing his optimism, I wished him well. Imagine my surprise when he was back within a half hour.

Who knew, the first place he stopped, a supervisor would Fall Head Over Heels. Okay, so it wasn't exactly love at first sight from what I understand, but she sure did like it when this donation was delivered, unloaded and wheeled into her showroom.

So there you have it. When all else fails, take action. Which is what I plan to do with one of my books starting tomorrow.

In keeping with our current season, the price for Saturday In Serendipity will Fall to 99 cents, from October 23-27, in fact.

Saturday In Serendipity contains three full length stories of love rediscovered.

Three Strikes Thursday - A baseball great seeks to win back the woman he loves.

Two On Tuesday - She wants to revisit her past, he wants to become her future.

One Fateful Friday - She buried her husband in the afternoon then slept with his best friend that night.

Oh, and that last One even celebrates Halloween...and Thanksgiving...and Christmas.

Oh, and Jannine Gallant's She'll Never Rest will also be on sale for under a dollar. Hers is a ghost story!

It may be too soon, but I'll say it anyway. Happy Holidays!

My days to blog here are the 11th and 23rd. For more about my writing, and me, please visit my website

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Falling into the Jersey Pine Barrens ~ Leah St. James

Talking about falling into danger, or not...I live a pretty ho-hum life. I get up early, write for a bit (or that's the theory), head into the my job at the newspaper where I busy myself for the next eight or so hours, then head home to have dinner with hubby, after which I collapse into a coma-like state on the couch until he rouses me to go to bed. The next day I get up and do it all over again.

That's the reality. (Zzzzzzzzzz.) 

In my head, however, danger is rarely too far from my side. I have a worst-case-scenario mind, meaning that I'm liable to conjure up trouble even when none exists. Add to that my extreme gullibility, and I'm a walking/talking mass of susceptibility to anything spooky.

This isn't new. I've been like this my whole life. During a hiking outing as a young Girl Scout, I refused to cross a log "bridge" over a stream because I'd pictured myself falling in, swept away by whitewater, eaten by ... whatever creatures lurked in the rivers of Central New Jersey. (I shudder still!) 
Little Falls, New Jersey--not at all close to the camp where I was.

In reality, the "river" was probably little more than a creek, the "whitewater" a trickle. When I think of that poor leader who had to sit with me while the rest of the troop went off adventuring...I want to duck into bed and pull the covers over my head with embarrassment. (If by any chance you're reading this....I'm sorry!) 

Yes, I refused to walk the ten feet or so across the log. (Hangs head in remembered shame.)

So when it came to overnight camp-outs, "nervous" hardly described my state of mind. Even safely ensconced in the tent (burrowed so far down into my sleeping back I was probably at risk of suffocation), I imagined insects hovering inches over my head waiting to feast on me.  (In fairness, they probably were. We were camping in the woods, after all.) 

And then the stories would start.  First, the legend of Mr. Nomoco, a tall, skinny man who at one time owned the property. His ghost roamed the site of the campgrounds, waiting for young girls to brave the night to trudge through the mists to the latrines while bats sang overhead. (In reality, there was no Mr. Nomoco, alive or ghostly. Nomoco was an abbreviation for the Girl Scout campground -- NOrthern MOnmouth COunty.)

The spookiest, though, was the legend of the Jersey Devil, a hoofed, leather-winged creature that patrolled the woods of the southern Jersey Pine Barrens for its supper. (Human, of course.)  

The legend has numerous variations, but most tell of Mr. and Mrs. Daniel Leeds who lived in what is now Atlantic County in the mid-1700s. Upon the birth of their 13th child, Mother Leeds shouted, "He'll be the devil," or words to that effect, at which point the newborn turned into the creature and would forever haunt the woods in the area. It was cruel and heartless...and relentless. (Think of the velociraptor chasing the kids in the lab in Jurassic Park.) 

And it has scared the you-know-what out of hapless scouts and campers for more than a hundred years.

This is kind of what the Jersey Devil looks like..I've never actually seen him myself. 

I wish I'd known then what I know now:  That according to Brian Regal, professor of the history of science at New Jersey's Kean University, the "Jersey Devil" was born of a running fight between the Leeds family who published a political, anti-Quaker almanac called by some as heretical, and rival Benjamin Franklin.

In the November/December 2013 issue of Skeptical Inquirer, Regal writes that Titan Leeds (who took over as publisher from his father, founder Daniel Leeds) "...redesigned the masthead to include the Leeds family crest, which contained three figures on a shield. Dragon-like with a fearsome face, clawed feet, and bat-like wings, the figures, known as Wyverns, are suspiciously reminiscent of the later descriptions of the Jersey Devil." 

In 1732, Franklin launched his Poor Richard's Almanac, and in an attempt to boost sales in 1733 ran an item that predicted a date that his "devilish" rival would die. After that, Franklin referred to Titan Leeds as a ghost. (Apparently it was meant in fun. Imagine what would happen today! Talk about political mud-slinging!) 

It wasn't until the early 20th century that the now-familiar story of the winged creature started making its rounds of campfire circles.  And from there the legend took root and thrives to this day.

I wish I had more time. I'd tell you the one about the young lovers whose car breaks down on a lonely stretch of road deep in the woods of the New Jersey Pine Barrens.... :-)

To read more about the legend, go here:

To read more about Regal's so-called truth :-):  go here.
Leah writes of mystery and romance, good and evil, and the redeeming power of love, including her own story about things that go bump in the night--Adrienne's Ghost. FBI agent Jackson Yates had never believed in ghosts...until now. Available in eBook, print and audiobook.

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,