Category Archives: Tea with Elsa

Tea with Melanie Mason

harbalteaToday I’m having tea with Melanie Mason as part of Loving the book’s Book tour for her new release, The Ring of Remaliha.
Before we join the tour, let’s see her answers to my questions:



A. Quickies
1. Tea or wine?

Herbal Tea, but usually only when I’m sick, like Echinacea or Peppermint

2. Read or jog?

Read, though it might help my clothes fit better if I started jogging. I do however read while I walk on the treadmill. Does that count?

3. Cats or dogs?

I love cats, but unfortunately I’m allergic. I, however, own two adorable dogs.

4. Heels or flats? Heels

5. Boxers or briefs? Boxers

6. Milk, dark or white chocolate? Milk Chocolate is the way to go.

7. Sweet or savoury? Sweet

8. Sea or mountains? Sea. Though in Oregon I can get a little of both in the same place.

B. Five likes and five dislikes

Likes: 1. Homemade raspberry cheesecake. 2. Italian food. 3. Cuddling up with a good book and my dogs. 4. Playing the piano. 5. Music, like Christmas or Broadway or musicals.

Dislikes: 1. People who don’t signal when they turn. 2. Snow that never goes away. 3. Any type of cooked oatmeal. 4. A dirty house. 5. Traffic.

C. Three things on your bucket list

  • To visit Europe and Asia and South America and Austrailia
  • To be married and have a family
  • To make it on the New York Times Best Seller list. (a girl can always dream)

D. What triggered this specific story?

This story was born back when I was in 8th or 9th grade. I used to ride the school bus for 45 minutes to my stop and I had lots of younger kids who would listen to me tell stories to pass the time. This story came about from a crazy dangly earring (think 80s fashion) I used as the premise of the story. Of course the story has dramatically changed since then, but my main character remained true to the original.


When Egyptologist April Tanner is asked to translate the hieroglyphs on an ancient ring, she is unwittingly drawn into a world of danger and intrigue. Her colleague, Dr. Peter Scherril, believes the glyphs will lead to a treasure hidden nearly two thousand years ago by an Egyptian named Remaliha. The problem is the glyphs don’t make sense.

A week after Peter is killed in a suspicious car crash, the ring shows up in April’s mail. She vows to decipher the artifact’s code and figure out why someone wanted Peter dead. Her inquisitions put her in the path of dashing archaeologist Nathan Hayes and his mysterious friend James Reddingham. Nathan invites April to join his expedition near Luxor.

Once she arrives in Egypt, April aggressively pursues her investigation of the ring. But soon she suspects the motives of both Nathan and James and finds herself dodging thieves and assassins at every turn. In the end, uncovering the secrets of the ring could lead to Remaliha’s treasure . . . or April’s own tomb.

Purchase your Copy here:


Melanie Mason ANWA imageMelanie is an author, designer, and flight attendent all rolled into one. She graduated from Utah State University with a degree in communications

Melanie has told stories all her life and finds her passion in sharing the plots that spin through her head. She hopes to be on an airplane one day and see someone reading one of her books.

Melanie now lives in Portland, Oregon—with her two dachshund Chihuahua dogs—where the beauty of the Pacific Northwest feeds her imagination and the rainy winter evenings encourage her to curl up with hot chocolate and a good book.

Connect with the Author Here:



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Author Homepage

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Thanks for having tea with me, Melanie – all the best with this one!

Tea with author Nicholas Fisher – Loving the book launch party




Today as part of his Loving the book launch party, I’m having tea with Nicholas Fisher, author of the YA Paranormal romance, Becky’s kiss. Don’t you love the title? It instantly took me back many years ago 🙂

But before we talk about his book, le’ts find out more about him 🙂

A. Quickies
1. Tea or wine?
2. Read or jog?
3. Cats or dogs?
4. Heels or flats?
5. Boxers or briefs?
6. Milk, dark or white chocolate
7. Sweet or savoury
8. Sea or mountains

B. Five likes and five dislikes
Likes: Baseball, Pizza, Scary Movies, Heavy Metal, Halloween
Dislikes: Bullies, Cheaters, Feta Cheese, Too much exposition, The Dallas Cowboys

C. Three things on your bucket list
Go to France, Tour the USA and see a game at every baseball stadium, Meet the members of Kiss

D. What triggered this specific story?
I was co-coaching a baseball game and the other coach told me a story about a boy who was hit in the chest when he was at bat. He was ok, but my imagination ran away with it. What if he died there at the plate? What if he was supposed to be the greatest hitter of all time and break every record? I formed a story around a spirit getting a second chance, and falling in love with a girl his age who gets wrapped up in the current circumstance. Of course, both will have to make a choice, love or baseball…or maybe both??

Mmmm, Nicholas, ‘ha’ is not an answer 🙂


“It could not be worse for ninth grader Becky Michigan on her first day at a new school, sitting in beet juice and staining her white jeans in a classroom about to fill up with students. In the nick of time, a gorgeous blonde boy named Danny comes in and offers his over-sized baseball jersey so she can cover up, get to the office, and change. By the time she pulls the shirt over her head, however, he has mysteriously disappeared.


Becky scours the school in search of her dream-athlete and wonders why after contact with him she has magically gained the ability to throw a fastball ninety miles per hour! Instead of finding the answer, however, Becky’s new skill pits her against the school bully and the entire varsity baseball team.
That night, after her exciting showdown in front of the entire school, Danny shows up at her bedroom window. If she will agree to meet him behind Rutledge High at midnight on the ball field at the edge of the woods, he promises to reveal a secret meant to alter the past and change her life forever.”
Watch video

Purchase your copy here:

Nicholas Fisher is a college professor and
a sports enthusiast. He writes adult horror under another name, but thought of
the idea for Becky’s Kiss while
coaching his son’s baseball team. Since the story involved high school drama he
decided to write his first young adult piece. When not writing or teaching,
Nicholas Fisher enjoys pizza, reality television, and playing the banjo. He
lives in Pennsylvania with his wife and his son goes to Arizona State

Connect with the Author Here: 


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A glass of Pino Noir with Author Ally Shields

La-Vierge-Noir-2012-510x790Today I’m having a glas of wine with Ally Shields and we’re talking about her latest release, Cross Keys: Revelation, an Elvenrude novel, Book 2, a dark elf urban fantasy.

She prefers a Pino Noir and I’ve picked a bottle from La Vierge, a wine farm in the Hemel and Aarde Valley (Heaven and Earth) in South Africa. This vintage expresses the typical earthy and savoury aroma of this fine Burgundy variety and is backed by a red fruit character.

Before we talk about her book, let’s find out more about Ally 🙂


A. Quickies

  1. Tea or wine? wine (pinot noir)
  1. Read or jog? read
  1. Cats or dogs? I love them both.
  1. Heels or flats? sneakers and sandals
  1. Boxers or briefs? boxers
  1. Milk, dark or white chocolate: Yes!
  1. Sweet or savoury: Yum, savoury.
  1. Sea or mountains: mountains

B. Five likes and five dislikes

love spring, summer, fall; hate winter

love broccoli; hate brussel sprouts

love pierced earrings; don’t like other body piercings

love horses; not so crazy about pigs (they’re too smelly)

love to visit the zoo; avoid the reptile building, especially the snakes

C. Three things on your bucket list

Return to Egypt one more time (not likely under the current unrest).

Find a winter home some place warm.

See the cherry blossoms in DC in the spring

D. What triggered this specific story?

Cross Keys: Revelation is a continuation of the trilogy begun with Cross Keys (An Elvenrude Novel). For a long time I wasn’t sure the original book would have a sequel, but over time I realized Kam and Seth’s story wasn’t finished, nor was her sister’s. Revelation and the final book, Unity (I just submitted it to the publisher), tie up those loose ends and resolve the major conflicts. That’s the fun with fiction…you get to make it come out right in the end. 🙂

Revelation-ByAllyShields-453x680Blurb (Cross Keys: Revelation):

If everyone keeps secrets, no one will survive…

Six months after the nightmare in Cross Keys, Kam Ryndel is enjoying her freedom in New Orleans and doesn’t miss the constraints of Elven society. She’s immersed herself in working missions for the CIA, even if it means less time to spend with her boyfriend, Seth. Seth’s not so happy about that. Having shouldered the responsibility of his family’s obligations, he’s losing patience with Kam’s lack of commitment to her own—and to him.

Then a guild worker is attacked by an invisible assailant, and everyone suspects another portal breach by rogues from Elvenrude. As Kam and Seth look for answers, a gang-related CIA mission interrupts the investigation, and Kam is taken to a place she never knew existed—beyond the Louisiana bayou.

Angered by Kam’s new mission, Seth enlists the help of his cousin Rhyden to solve the mysterious guild-worker attack. Instead of an assailant, they discover reports of ghost sightings all over town. Not that unusual for New Orleans, but these seem…different. In a mission complicated by gangsters, feuds, failing magic, and old enemies—and the uncertain loyalty of the Elven king—Seth learns something even worse. Kam is missing. And he isn’t sure if she’s alive or dead…

Book Trailers:

Cross Keys:

Cross Keys: Revelation:

 Social media links:





Amazon Author Page:



 Buy links:


Etopia Press Bookstore

Barnes and Noble


All Romance Ebooks



Thanks for having a glass of wine with me, Ally – your bucket list is inspiring 🙂


Green tea with author James Pinard


I’m so thrilled to be a part of Loving the Book’s Blitz tour for author James Pinard. We’re having tea and we’re talking about his lates release Land of the living.

James PinardTea with Elsa green teaHe prefers green tea, so that’s what we’re having (although I do have my eye on a bottle of Baraville Chardonnay Piemonte 🙂 for when we’re done :))


A. Quickies

  1. Tea or wine? I love green tea, Both are healthy but definitely tea.
  2. Read or jog? Read for sure when it’s a good story that draws you in and won’t let you go.
  3. Cats or dogs? dogs
  4. Heels or flats? High heels on a woman are so sexy
  5. Boxers or briefs? Boxers. They’re more comfortable and much cooler.
  6. Milk, dark or white chocolate? You know I love all chocolate but I gotta go with dark chocolate.
  7. Sweet or savoury? Sweet.
  8. Sea or mountains? Oh wow. Sea but to look at the sun setting on the horizon.

B. Five likes and five dislikes


A good story told by a good story teller

People who are genuine

A long walk on a beautiful sunny day

Ice cream

A good conversation about something philosophical


Fake People

Cold weather


Bad news

Being sick

C. Three things on your bucket list

Going to Italy and finding the town where my grandparents came from

Traveling through Europe on a train

Making a movie

D. What triggered this specific story?

Well it started off as a story about going back to the 1980’s which is my favorite decade. I thought no one has really done much with that subject in a time travel movie, almost like a Back to the Future for our generation now that we’ve gotten older. I lost both my parents and my sister over the years and I thought how cool would it be to go back. We were all together and so happy back then and maybe I could correct the mistakes I’ve made in the past, and who knows maybe even change their fates. So it really just grew and evolved from that into a story that is so much more than just a going back to the eighties story.

The main character, who is very loosely based on myself, gets to not only gets to go back to the 1980’s and see his family again. He also gets to experience being 20 years old again, and I don’t want to give too much away, but he’s getting chased by bad guy time travelers who can move from one body to another. There’s so much at stake for not only his future but everyone’s future so it’s a fun ride.

James Pinard is a writer of books, screenplays, graphic novels and poetry. Born in Hartford, Connecticut, he currently resides in Orlando, FL where he works as a Computer Programmer for an insurance company. He has two beautiful, awesome children Michael and Ariel who inspired characters in his latest creation, “LAND OF THE LIVING.”

His past works include the short story “CREED” which was published in the PULP EMPIRE Collection Vol 1 and “DEARBORNE” in PULP EMPIRE Vol 2 by METAHUMAN PRESS available on Amazon. He is also a Writer and Creator of the Comic series “LUCID WORLD” Issues 1 and 2 published by TRAGIC ENTERTAINMENT.

“LAND OF THE LIVING” began as a labor of love on a subject matter that is close to his heart. One of his favorite subjects is time travel and his favorite decade is the eighties. After having lost both his parents and his sister to cancer, he decided to come up with a story about traveling to the 1980’s to see them again. The story just grew from there and the rest as we say is history.

Follow James on his pages:



Memory told him both of his parents and the woman he loved were gone, but he slowly realizes that he’s traveled back in time to an alternate version of the eighties. President Kennedy is still alive, and the head of a secret time travel program, and perhaps the strangest thing of all – his loved ones are still alive.

He faces a challenge for which he’s not prepared, but he doesn’t have to fight his battle alone. To his amazement, his son, Michael, travels back from the year 2035 to help him discover the true reason he was sent back.

But another mysterious time traveler hunts him from the shadows, and James’ journey becomes a race to save his future existence in the Land Of The Living…

 Grab your copy of the book: 

Let’s get a fun look at this book!

Unique aspects and overall coolness of “Land of the Living”

The 1980’s– Set in 1985 it portrays how different things were back then – technology – style – the music and just the overall coolness of the decade. Also a few famous people from that time period make appearances.

JFK – Anytime the assassination of President Kennedy is explored in a story it’s interesting but believe it or not LOTL adds some new twists – the biggest of which is that he is still alive in 1985 and the main character gets to meet him.

Time Travel – Time travel is always cool but in LOTL time travel is not of the body but of the mind. Time travelers can travel back using their mind and take over their own body or the body of someone else who has recently died in the past. Also, the main character is able to bounce back between the past and future. This is unique and really cool.

Cheating death – The main character gets to go back and see his parents, his sister and the girl he loved all of whom are dead in his version of the future. Not only is that a mind bender but it also is an emotional rollercoaster.

The Villains – The bad guys are able to travel through time at will and take over the body of another person even while they are still alive and make them bend to their will. Also, there is a wild card called the Red Headed Woman who is a mysterious ghost-like figure who appears throughout the story. Is she a villain or an ally? You be the judge.      


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Thanks for having tea with me, James – all the best with this one!

Fruit tea and a glass of Merlot with Hannah Fielding

Drinking teaI’m chatting today to author Hannah Fielding Merlot Vrede and Rustabouther latest release, Masquerade – a story about love, mystery and desire under the scorching Spanish sun. The two of us share a love for tea and wine so we’re starting with a cup of  orange and lemon tea. For the glass of wine we’ll have later, I’ve picked out a South African Merlot from a wine farm just outside Stellenbosch called Rust en Vrede (translation: rest and peace)



Portrait of Hannah Fielding and photos of where she writes.
Portrait of Hannah Fielding and photos of where she writes


A. Quickies

  1. Tea or wine?

Tea most of the time; especially fruit tea. But wine, preferably red, Merlot or Bourgogne, on an evening spent with friends and family.

  1. Read or jog?

Read, preferably romance or travel books. For exercise, I prefer swimming – both my homes have pools, and in the summer in France it’s an essential activity for cooling off

  1. Cats or dogs?

Dogs. They are so loyal. I have had some amazing dogs that I miss terribly still. They loved to run about in the woods near my home in Kent, and on the beaches there.

  1. Heels or flats?

Heels, even if sometimes I have to suffer – they are so much more elegant and they make me taller. I love the look of the starlets in the Golden Era of Hollywood; you’d never catch them in flats!

  1. Boxers or briefs?

Briefs are sexier, I think!

  1. Milk, dark or white chocolate?

Dark chocolate – good for me, and I like the bitterness. I prefer the really fine chocolate; then a little goes a long way.

  1. Sweet or savoury?

Definitely savoury – cheese, any cheese is my péché migon – a real indulgence, especially when I’m in France.

  1. Sea or mountains?

Definitely sea – with mountains I feel hemmed in, but the sea is endless, stretching to infinity, and it has made me dream my whole life. I have always lived near the ocean; the water is as essential to me as air.

B. Five likes and five dislikes:

Like: Writing romance; cooking for guests; travelling to new places; listening to my library of three thousand songs collected from all over the world; rummaging in antique shops.

Dislike: Queuing at airports; bad restaurants; extreme weather (either hot or cold); being rushed; unconstructive criticism.

C. Three things on your bucket list

  1. Write more romance novels.
  2. Write more romance novels.
  3. Write more romance novels!

D. What triggered this specific story?

The hero Leandro was a face in a crowd of gypsies on a beach in France that triggered my imagination and was the muse for this story. He was in my mind throughout the writing; if only he knew how he had haunted and inspired me!

Hannah Fielding coverBlurb:

Love, mystery and desire under the scorching Spanish sun… A young writer becomes entangled in an illicit gypsy love affair, pulling her into a world of secrets, deception and dark desire.

Summer, 1976. Luz de Rueda returns to her beloved Spain and takes a job as the biographer of a famous artist. On her first day back in Cádiz, she encounters a bewitching, passionate young gypsy, Leandro, who immediately captures her heart, even though relationships with his kind are taboo. Haunted by this forbidden love, she meets her new employer, the sophisticated Andrés de Calderón. Reserved yet darkly compelling, he is totally different to Leandro but almost the gypsy’s double. Both men stir unfamiliar and exciting feelings in Luz, although mystery and danger surround them in ways she has still to discover.

Luz must decide what she truly desires as glistening Cádiz, with its enigmatic moon and whispering turquoise shores, seeps back into her blood. Why is she so drawn to the wild and magical sea gypsies? What is behind the old fortune-teller’s sinister warnings about ‘Gemini’? Through this maze of secrets and lies, will Luz finally find her happiness… or her ruin?

Masquerade is a story of forbidden love, truth and trust. Are appearances always deceptive?

Social media links:


Buy links:

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Amazon uk:

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Thanks for having tea and a glass of wine with me, Hannah – all the best with this one!






Tea with Claire Fullerton



Drinking teaI am absolutely thrilled to be a part of this blog tour and today it is my turn to talk to the lovely Claire Fullerton over a cup of tea about her latest release Dancing to an Irish Reel from Vinspire Publishing, LLC.

Don’t you just love the title! My feet started itching the minute I saw it for the first time.

But before we talk about her book and look at a snippet from it, let’s get to know her better!



A. Quickies

1. Tea or wine?


2. Read or jog?

Read, but I do take a long walk every day.

3. Cats or dogs?

Dogs, though I have two dogs and one cat.

4. Heels or flats?

Kitten heels- am I being too ambiguous so far? Call it artistic temperament!

5. Boxers or briefs?


6. Milk, dark or white chocolate

Milk chocolate

7. Sweet or savoury

Savory, yet I’ve been known to indulge in question #6

8. Sea or mountains

Always the sea, especially if it’s dramatic.

B. Five likes and five dislikes:

Likes: forests, music, German shepherds, ballet, reading a writer with an impressive vocabulary and use of language,

Dislikes: Anyone that would harm a dog, anyone that would harm any animal, an inflexible mind, a bad listener, misuse of the English language

C. Three things on your bucket list:

1. Roaming the Scottish Highlands without a schedule

2. Staying for 10 days in a castle in either Scotland or Ireland

3. Inclusion on the New York Times best seller list.

D. What triggered this specific story?

I once lived on the western coast of Ireland. It was the most pivotal, life-enhancing, eye-opening experience of my life to be a single American living in rural Ireland.

Twenty five year old Hailey Crossan takes a trip to Ireland during a sabbatical from her job in the LA record business. While there, she’s offered a job too good to turn down, so she stays.

Although Hailey works in Galway, she lives in the countryside of Connemara, a rural area famous for its Irish traditional music.  When Hailey meets local musician, Liam Hennessey, a confusing relationship begins, which Hailey thinks is the result of differing cultures, for Liam is married to the music, and so unbalanced at the prospect of love, he won’t come closer nor completely go away.

And so begins the dance of attraction that Hailey struggles to decipher. Thankfully, a handful of vibrant local friends come to her aid, and Hailey learns to love a land and its people, both with more charm than she ever imagined.



Claire Fullerton is an award winning essayist, a magazine contributor, a former newspaper columnist, and a four time contributor to the “Chicken Soup for the Soul” book series. She hails from Memphis, Tn. and now lives in Malibu California. “Dancing to an Irish Reel” is her second novel.

Make sure to check out her pages.

And here is a  snippet from Dancing to an Irish Reel

There’s an energy that hangs between strangers even in a crowd. Call it interest, or attraction, or the knowledge of things to come. It is awareness, and I was aware to the exclusion of all activity around me that Liam Hennessey was watching me. He was sitting at the corner of the bar by himself, and because I could feel his gaze upon me like an electrical current, I froze. I did not move an inch because I sensed I didn’t have to, that something would come about with little prompting from me. I don’t know how I knew this, but I was right, it came about within the hour. It began as a series of introductions to people near Liam, and drew itself closer until Liam was introduced to me.

Right before Leigh left, claiming she had to get up early the next day to drive to Cork, Kieran pointed out that the Irish traditional musicians playing in the corner were the father and older brother of the lad sitting at the end of the bar.

“That’s Liam Hennessey at the bar there,” Kieran gestured to my right. “He’s the best box player in Connemara – even in the whole of Ireland, many say. His family is long in Connemara; they’re all players, so. That’s Sean Liam, his da, and his brother Anthony there on the guitar.” Kieran seemed proud to know the facts. He next took my arm and led me straight to Liam.

“I’ve the pleasure of knowing this American here, her name is Hailey,” Kieran announced to Liam.

I had an uneasy feeling. It’s one thing to suspect you’ll cross paths with someone again, and quite another to be fully prepared when it actually happens. For some unknown reason, I kept thinking it was strange to see Liam this far out in the country from Galway, but then again, what did I know? I didn’t know anything about him.

Liam looked at me with large dark eyes and smiled brightly. He was different than I had imagined: he was friendlier, more candid. I assumed because he looked so dark and mysterious, there would be a personality to match. I assumed he would be reserved, aloof, perhaps arrogant in an artistic sort of way. I was paying close attention, and there was none of that about Liam. In seconds, I realized he was a nice guy. I moved a step to my right as an older man approached the bar.

“Would ye give us a hand there,” the man said to Liam, and for the next few minutes, Liam handed pints over his head to a group of men too far from the bar’s edge to grab the glasses themselves. Just then, Kieran said something that set off a chain of events and put the rest of the night in motion.

“Liam, will you watch Hailey for me, I’m off to join the sessiun.” With that, Kieran produced a harmonica from his shirt pocket and walked off to join the musicians in the corner.

I stood at the bar and waited for the next thing to happen. The world seemed to operate in slow motion. All the noise in the room subsided, and the only thing I knew was I was looking directly at Liam Hennessey. I searched his face for imperfections. I had never before seen such beauty in the face of a man. I hoped my thoughts didn’t show on my face. He was so good looking, I wondered why other people in the room weren’t staring at him, then I realized most of Hughes’ patrons knew him and were probably used to the way he looked. I was reticent, unsure of how to speak to Liam, unfamiliar with how provincial he may or may not have been. Words tend to get in the way in moments like this, but they lay in wait just the same.

Make sure you don’t miss the rest of this blog tour – below the scedule!

Thanks for having tea with me, Claire, and all the best with this one!


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Tea and wine with Elizabeth Ellen Carter

EECarterSX200_Drinking tea


Today historical romance author, Elizabeth Ellen Carter is visiting us to tell us more about her latest Etopia Press release, Moonstone Conspiracy.

As you will see below, she likes all kinds of tea and and all kinds of wine, so I had to choose. So I thought we’ll start with a cup of Earl Grey tea while we talk about the weather and all things nice 🙂 But when we talk about her new book, I think we’ll need a glas of  Shiraz and I’ve chosen a Shouth African Shiraz from Hermanuspietersfontein cellar.

But before we talk about Elizabeth’s latest historical romance, let’s get to know her a little better!

A. Quickies

  1. Tea or wine?

I’m dreadful. I’m going to have to answer this question with ‘yes’. Green tea, Earl Grey Tea, English Breakfast Tea… Love it all. Wine: Shiraz, Cab Sav, Merlot, Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Champagne. All of the above for me!

  1. Read or jog?

Read, oh my, most definitely read. I might be persuaded to walk briskly but jogging is not in my lexicon.

  1. Cats or dogs?

Cats. I have two beautiful strays. Claude, a black tabby and his sister Coco, a tortie came to our place one summer’s day. They were six week old kittens when their mother decided to seek shelter near our drive ahead of an upcoming cyclone. When the rains came, mother cat had disappeared with one of the kittens. We brought Claude and Coco inside and they’ve been with us ever since – two and a half years now and they are wonderful cats.

  1. Heels or flats?

I love my heels. Which is just as well. Hubby is a couple of inches shorter than me, so when we got together I was worried that he’d resent me being taller. I was so pleased when hubby said he didn’t mind (and he likes me in heels).

  1. Boxers or briefs?

On me or my men? Ummm. Both?

  1. Milk, dark or white chocolate

Dark, dark chocolate, darker the better… Mmmmmmm

  1. Sweet or savoury

lemonintrayAgain I’m going to have to say both. Here’s an example – tonight I went out and bought a treat for me. They’re a biscuit called Lemon Crisps, they are salted cracker with a filling of lemon cream – they’re the best of both worlds!


  1. Sea or mountains

I’m ashamed to say as someone who lives in a beautiful beachside city, a prefer the mountains. We’re very fortunate where we live on the Gold Coast in Queensland. In 20 minutes we’re at the beach in one direction and 20 minutes and we’re in the mountains in another direction. My husband and I enjoy camping so we get out of the city and into the country as often as possible

B. Five likes and five dislikes

Five likes:

My husband

Great friends




Five dislikes:





(did I mention housework?)

C. Three things on your bucket list

Visiting Europe (I hope to go into a couple of years)

Skydiving (perhaps for my 50th)

Visiting the United States

D. What triggered this specific story?

MoonstoneConspiracy_ByElizabethEllenCarter-200x300I had such wonderful feedback about one of the secondary characters in Moonstone Obsession – Lady Abigail Houghall. She was one nasty, nasty lady, but right at the very end there was a glimmer of hope that she could be redeemed. My darling husband, who is also my critique partner, said he wanted to see Abigail’s story – so that’s how Moonstone Conspiracy was born.





Revolution in France, rebels in England, and one woman caught in the crossfire…

For her unwitting participation in a plot to embezzle the Exchequer, Lady Abigail Houghall has spent the last two years exiled to the city of Bath. A card sharp, sometime mistress, and target of scandalous gossip by the London Beau Monde, Lady Abigail plots to escape her gilded cage as well as the prudish society that condemns her. But the times are not easy. France is in chaos. The king has been executed, and whispers of a similar revolution are stirring in England. And because of her participation in the robbery plot, the Spymaster of England is blackmailing her into passing him information about the members of London’s upper crust.

When the dashing English spy Daniel Ridgeway takes a seat at her card table and threatens to expose her for cheating, she has no choice but to do as he demands: seduce the leader of the revolutionaries and learn what she can about their plot. As she’s drawn deeper into Daniel’s dangerous world, from the seedy backstreets of London to the claustrophobic catacombs of a war-torn Paris, she realizes an even more dangerous fact. She’s falling in love with her seductive partner. And the stakes of this game might just be too high, even for her.

Author Bio:

Elizabeth Ellen Carter’s debut novel, Moonstone Obsession, was published in 2013 by Etopia Press. Earlier that year, the Regency adventure romance had been shortlisted in the Romance Writers of Australia Emerald Awards for Best Unpublished Manuscript. Set in England and France during the French Revolution, it was heralded as ‘edge-of-seat adventure and intrigue’ and ‘a rollercoaster of love, blackmail, ill-gotten gains, treason and trickery’ with Carter described as ‘a writer worth keeping an eye on’ with ‘a hint of classic suspense novelist Daphne du Maurier’.

Her second novel, Warrior’s Surrender, was published by Etopia the following year. Set in Northumbria in 1077, it sets the relationship between a displaced Saxon noblewoman and a Norman baron against the turbulent backdrop of England in the years following the Norman invasion of 1066. Reviewers found the novel ‘a fast moving and passionate read’ with ‘strong characters, an intriguing plot, and plenty of action… a sexy romance to be savoured’. Readers agreed, voting Warrior’s Surrender Favourite Historical Fiction in the 2015 Readers & Writers Down Under Readers Choice Awards.

Also in 2014, the short story Moonstone Promise, spinning off from Moonstone Obsession as part of Etopia’s Valentines Heat anthology, followed the fortunes of one of the supporting characters back home to 18th century Pittsburgh in a tale of ‘second chance romance’.

Warrior’s Surrender (now in print as well as eBook) was named Favourite Historical Fiction at the 2015 Readers & Writers Down Under Readers Choice Awards in March this year.

Carter moved up to 1802 for the light-hearted romantic short story Three Ships, part of the Christmas 2014 anthology A Season To Remember, and ventures briefly into contemporary romance for the first time with her Romance Writers of Australia annual Little Gems competition placegetter, The Tin Bear, publishing in August 2015.

And another Moonstone Obsession character, the sinful Lady Abigail Houghall, features in the full length novel Moonstone Conspiracy, coming from Etopia Press in 2015.

Carter is currently working on her fourth novel, set in ancient Rome and tentatively titled Dark Heart, which will bring together the elements for which she has become known in just a few years – in-depth historical detail woven through gripping adventure and captivating romance.

The author lives in Australia with her husband and two cats. A former newspaper journalist, she ran an award-winning PR agency for 12 years.

And a lovely excerpt form Moonstone Conspiracy:

“I’m glad you remembered our appointment.”

Abigail recognised the droll voice and so did not even bother opening her eyes.

“It’s not yet midnight,” she replied and felt the couch shift as Daniel’s weight settled down into it.

“In our business, we take opportunities whenever they occur.”

Abigail opened her eyes and opened her fan to hide a yawn. He did not look fatigued. If one was to assign his expression right now, she would have described him as being studiously nonchalant.

“And what business are we in, Mr Ridgeway?”

“A very dangerous one.”

“I don’t recall signing up for a dangerous business,” she retorted, keeping her voice low to prevent anyone overhearing. “If my experience of your business over the past two years is any guide, stultifying boredom would be a better description.

“You can tell Aunt Druscilla that my obligation to her is complete. I’m going abroad at the end of this season.”

A slow feline grin spread across his face.

“Are you now?”

Fatigue fled and Abigail straightened in her seat, ready to rise to the challenge.

“Are you going to stop me?”

“I don’t particularly care what you do after this season,” he told her. “If you can’t give me what I want by the end of June, then you’re not half the woman Blakeney thinks you are.”

Social media links:





Buy links:

Etopia Press Bookstore
Barnes and Noble
Google Play
All Romance Ebooks


Thanks for having tea with me, Elizabeth and all the best with your book! May she flies 🙂

A Glass of wine with Ellie Eden

Wine with ElsaEllie pic(1)Today I’m having a glass of wine with an ex-South African,  Ellie Eden who now lives, wait for it … in Hawaii of all places!

But before we talk about Ellie’s new release,  Letting Evil In (Etopia Press), let’s get to know her a little better!

A. Quickies
Tea or wine? – Wine – In my early twenties used to sip it in the dunes of the Cape 🙂 Lieberstein becasue we had no money.

Read or jog? Totally read

Cats or dogs? Both

Heels or flats? both – love heels but for walking prefer flats

Boxers or briefs? briefs

Milk, dark or white chocolate – Dark

Sweet or savoury – ssavoury

Sea or mountains – sea

B. Five likes 

Goodlooking, kind and strong men
warm and sharing fun women friends
Thrillers and romantic suspense books
Hiking and snorkeling
Chats with my kids when they feel like friends.

and Dislikes:
Difficult people
Greasy food
Stuffy places
Large crowds

C. Three things on your bucket list
Kruger Park
Writing a dystopian novel

D. What triggered this specific story?
Real life. My best friend’s husband had an internet romance and left her to go to Brazil to link up with a young girl he hadn’t even met. It was so unbelieveable. It turned out satisfyingly bad for him. His hot romance was a terror. In the end he was actually scared she was going to kill his daughter and he paid her off. My friend told me all about it as it was happening and said she felt as if she was starring in some intense TV drama. She even showed me his emails to the girl (once she’d managed to break into his email account.) Real life was better than fiction – I simply had to write about it. But I needed her permission and wasn’t sure she’d agree. When I eventually asked her she agreed, thank goodness, and said she was writing about it too! We haven’t compared books as we didn’t want to influence each other. I can’t wait to read hers! And she now has a terrific new husband.

LettingEvilIn_ByEllieEden-800x1200 (1)Letting Evil In – Ellie Eden
When Michael goes on a photographic assignment to Brazil and fails to return, Kristi and her son fly to Rio de Janeiro, desperate to find him. Instead she finds that during the cold New Jersey winter, her husband has spent his time in steamy chat rooms with Nara, a young woman desperate for attention and involved in the Rio drug world. 

As she searches for Michael in exotic but crime-ridden Rio, Kristy finds herself way out of her league. She turns to Italian-Brazilian Federal Agent Tony Lamazzo for help. As the harsh truth of her marriage brings a dose of reality to her life, she finds the temptation of getting closer to the strong, capable—and totally hot—Tony difficult to resist. She’s in Brazil on the Day of Dead, a day when Brazilians go wild. Why shouldn’t she go wild with Tony, for just one night, before returning home to start the new life alone she’ll have to learn to make for herself? 

But when her son vanishes too, Kristi doesn’t know where to turn. Michael’s affair with drug-dealing Nara has exposed them all to the murderous wrath of a ruthless drug lord, and while she longs to trust Tony, she can’t trust his powerful and politically corrupt family. But in the dangerous slums and rainforests of Brazil, the danger mounts for both Kristi and her son, and a cold-blooded enemy has an agenda of his own. If she trusts Tony, she might save her son. Or it might just get them all killed…

And check out the video:


Social media links:
Facebook Ellie Crowe:

Buy links:
Barnes and Noble:

Thanks for having a glass of wine with me, Ellie – all the best with the sales for this one!

Tea and wine with Aussie author Lee Christine

Drinking tea Glass of wine








Lee Christine Photo

Today I’m having tea and wine with the gorgeous Lee Christine. We’ll probably start with the wine and see whether we get to the cup of tea 🙂

Before we talk about her new release from Escape Pulblishing, A dangerous arrangement, let’s get to know her a little better!



A Quickies

  1. Tea or wine?


  1. Read or jog?

Definitely read!

  1. Cats or dog

Dogs, although I don’t have one at the moment.

  1. Heels or flats?

Heels, but it depends on the occasion.

  1. Boxers or briefs?


  1. Milk, dark or white chocolate


  1. Sweet or savour


  1. Sea or mountains


 B. Five likes and five dislikes

I dislike Bluebottles, bad wine, shoes that rub and give you blisters,reality TV and techno music

I like watching cricket and tennis. I love perfume, good books, good shoes and good company.

 C. Three things on your bucket list

Visit the Galapagos, Iceland and South America

 Lee Christine A Dangerous Arrangement-Harlequin1920_1920x3022 (1)D. What triggered this specific story?

I read an article about the growing problem of intellectual property theft. I began developing an idea where a company owned by my hero suffers a cybercrime so devastating it could ruin his company. I was travelling throughout Europe at the time and part of the holiday was a sixteen day cruise around Italy which began in Venice and ended in Rome. A visit to the Conservatorium of Music in Venice inspired me to make my heroine a violinist. I studied the alto saxophone for fourteen years at the Newcastle Conservatorium so I felt able to write from the heroine’s perspective. I began with a crime, threw two very different characters together and created a new romantic suspense!


When violinist Marina Wentworth arrives in Venice en route to a cruise ship for a short working holiday, the last thing she expects is to be confronted by a handsome stranger demanding answers. After going to great lengths to keep her real reasons for the trip a secret, Marina refuses to let her immediate attraction to Dean Logan derail her plans.

Desperate to recover his latest super yacht designs, Dean doesn’t want to believe the lovely violinist is involved in the devastating cyber-attack that threatens to destroy his yacht building empire. However his growing feelings for Marina fail to extinguish the nagging suspicion that she is hiding something.

Set against the backdrop of Italy’s Amalfi Coast, Dean and Marina must navigate the dangerous waters of secrecy, attraction, and the fusion of two very different worlds. Will their lives remain discordant, or will they take the chance at true harmony?

Social media links:



Twitter: @leechristine59


Buy Links:

Amazon Australia:




Thanks for having wine and tea with me, Christine. A sixteen day cruise around Italy – sounds like absolute bliss! I can understand the creative juices starting to flow! All the best with your book – I hope she flies!

A glass of Pinot Grigio with Zara Stoneley








Today I’m having a glass of Pino Grigio with the charming Zara Stoneley from Chesire and we’re talking about her latest release, Country Affairs. I’ve never had a glass of Pino Grigio, so I had to find out what to expect – this is what Wikipedia has to say about it:

Pinot gris is a white wine grape variety of the species Vitis vinifera. Thought to be a mutant clone of the Pinot noir variety, it normally has a grayish-blue fruit, accounting for its name (gris meaning “gray” in French) but the grapes can have a brownish pink to black and even white appearance.

So I’m obvisouly missing out on a great wine and will have to see what is available in South Africa!

Before we hear about Zara’s new story, let’s see her answers to my questions:

A. Quickies

  1. Tea or wine? Wine! Preferably a nice Pinot Grigio. (Or coffee if it’s too early for alcohol.)
  2. Read or jog? Read – I’d love to pretend I’d choose jog. But I wouldn’t.
  3. Cats or dogs? Both.
  4. Heels or flats? Heels to go out, flats when I’m scurrying around in the day – I always seem to end up having to run everywhere!
  5. Boxers or briefs? Briefs 😉
  6. Milk, dark or white chocolate – dark please.
  7. Sweet or savoury – it does depend on what’s on offer, if we go out for a meal I’m as likely to go for a starter as a dessert if I have to choose between. But I find it very hard to say no to chocolate.
  8. Sea or mountains – tricky one, I really do love both. If I had to choose it would probably be mountains (with a lake!).

B. Five likes and five dislikes

Likes –

  1. A lovely sunny day. Everything seems better when the sun shines!
  2. Happy people; contented positive people make life worth living. And of course, seeing my family happy is the best bit.
  3. Animals – they lower your blood pressure and lengthen your life. And horse-riding and dog-walking are an excellent way of exercising. I’ve always loved animals and can’t imagine life without a pet of some kind or other.
  4. A good book or film, uninterrupted. It’s good to escape to a different place now and again.
  5. Sitting on the beach with my other half people watching.

Dislikes –

  1. People who criticize just for the sake of it, or hold grudges. Life is too short.
  2. Pineapple – I love sweet and sour but have to pick the pineapple bits out. It is one of the few fruits I don’t like.
  3. Getting older – it’s not the getting older, but the side effects. Like back pain and frozen shoulders, and not being able to party like I used to (well I can party, but not get up the next morning!).
  4. Swimming – I love the sea it inspires me, but it doesn’t seem to like me. So I observe from a distance.
  5. Planting and trimming stuff is my type of gardening, not weeding. Weeds are pests.

C. Three things on your bucket list

Ride in the Canadian Rockies.

Write a bestseller (is that a bit predictable?)

Attend my son’s graduation (he’s due to start University this year).

 D. What triggered this specific story?

Sitting on the beach in Barcelona, and wondering what would happen if my Australian surfer Todd decided to go looking for Lottie again.

In Stable Mates she split up with him on a Barcelona beach when he was arrested. She sorted out her life and moved on… but in Country Affairs he makes a surprise appearance. Why? And what effect will it have on the life she’s destined for as Lady of the Manor?

 Susie Medwell CountryAffairsCoverBlurb:

Country Affairs – Zara Stoneley

‘A great treat for readers who love their books jam-packed with sexy men and horses.’ Bestselling author Fiona Walker

Welcome back to Tippermere for the wedding of the year…

Scatty but loveable Lottie Brinkley is famous throughout the village for her disorganised personality so when she steps up to plan the perfect wedding the only likely outcome is disaster.

And when her globetrotting, love cheat of an ex, Todd, literally crashes the wedding on a not-so-noble steed things definitely look set to take a turn for the scandalous! As rumours of why he’s back spread through the village quicker than the stable girl can drop her knickers, is Lottie’s future with sexy eventer Rory Steel about to fall at the next fence?

With a wave of unexpected pregnancies, steamy shenanigans in the hay and a farrier with more than shoeing horses on his mind, will Lottie ever be ready to take on the coveted title of Lady of the Manor and restore the Estate to its former glory?

As the heart of the village, Tipping House Estate, makes its move into the 21st Century, pulses start to race in a novel packed full of charm, hunky stallions (the guys that is), and a daring plan that just has to succeed…

 Buy links:

Amazon (UK)

Amazon (COM)

Amazon (paperback)




Google Play


Social media links:

Website     Twitter       Facebook       Google+

Thanks so much for having a glass of wine with me Zara. Sitting on a beach in Barcelona … Sounds like many more stories can follow from that one line 🙂 All the best with this one, Zara – holding thumbs for another best-seller!