Author Claire Marti & Second Chance In Laguna

Give a warm welcome to Claire Marti, author of  Second Chance In Laguna, available for pre-order Now!

Pull up a chair, grab a drink of your choice from the cooler, a Chocolate Chip or Peanut Butter cookie from the plate, and let’s find out a little about Claire and her Second Chance In Laguna.

Claire Marti started writing stories as soon as she was old enough to pick up pencil and paper. After graduating from the University of Virginia with a BA in English Literature, she was sidetracked by other careers, including practicing law, selling software for legal publishers, and managing a non-profit animal rescue for a Hollywood actress.

Finally, Claire followed her heart and now focuses on two of her true passions: writing romance novels and teaching yoga. Her debut, Second Chance in Laguna, releases from The Wild Rose Press on March 31, 2017 and is the first in the Finding Forever in Laguna series.

Now tell me a little about what inspired you to write?

I’ve been writing since I was a child. I spent a lot of time alone and read prolifically. I started writing my own stories in elementary school. I dreamt of becoming a novelist, but was side-tracked with more “practical careers.” I’ve been publishing non-fiction articles for years in the wellness, yoga, and fitness industry. I also published a memoir a few years ago documenting my journey through breast cancer and how yoga helped me heal.

What do you want your readers to take away from your books?

I want readers to be inspired to always follow their dreams. I’m a big believer in manifestation. Whatever you focus on expands and whatever you remove your attention from diminishes. Life is short and there’s no time like the present to follow your deepest desires. When you are true to yourself, you’re in a position to love and be loved. Ignore the negative people who hold you back. Stop focusing on the million reasons why not. Find the one reason why and go for it!

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

Teaching and practicing yoga. When I’m passionate about something, I have to share it. When I began practicing yoga, it helped me become a softer, kinder version of myself. I began teaching and also training others to become teachers. In terms of writing romance, I’m a hopeless optimist/romantic and sharing smart, sexy happily ever afters is my way of providing a little sunshine for others. I’m a work in progress—I was a yoga teacher who wrote, now I’m a writer who teaches yoga.

What do you like to do when you are not writing?

I love to read, to spend time on the beach, to travel every chance I get, to practice and teach yoga and Pilates, to spend time with my husband and friends. I love delicious food, although I can’t cook to save my life.

You can follow Claire here:

website is    Twitter   Facebook  Goodreads

How about a little about Second Chance In Laguna?

When Sophie Barnes’s fiancé jilts her at the altar, her carefully planned life implodes. Considering her ex’s betrayal to be a rude wake-up call, she leaves everything she knows in San Diego and flees to Laguna Beach. She vows to transform her life by avoiding men for a year and by fulfilling her dream of writing a wildly successful novel.

Sophie’s new landlord, Nicholas Morgan, is a gorgeous, successful architect with a player reputation. He makes it tough for Sophie to remember that she’s sworn to be single. Nick’s avoided the intimacy of a long-term relationship–until Sophie’s independence, courage, and beauty touch his guarded heart. Both Sophie and Nick are terrified of being hurt again, but can they resist the pull of true love?

Can we have a sneek peek into Second Chance In Laguna?

Nick arrived right on time, looking gorgeous in faded jeans and a plain white t-shirt. How did he always manage to start the butterflies fluttering in her stomach? Just by standing there with the setting sun framing him? She was in trouble.

“Hi beautiful, ready to go?” He clasped her face in his hands and planted a soft kiss on her lips.

Returning his kiss, Sophie wound her arms around his neck and deepened it. She couldn’t resist. His strong arms wrapped around her waist, hugging her close to his broad chest.

“Mmmm, feel free to greet me like that every time I come over,” he said, lips curved up into a sweet smile.

Heat washed her cheeks and she returned his smile. “Let’s go. Prepare to be blown away by the movie snack of the century.”

Determined to keep things light and enjoy the movie before “the talk,” Sophie thrust down the lick of panic bubbling in her gut. She’d accomplished next to nothing all afternoon, instead wrestling with whether she needed to tell him about Doug.

The angel on her shoulder whispered to tell him because if they were going to have any kind of relationship, even a friends-with-benefits one, honesty and trust were vital.

The devil urged her to zip it. They’d only known each other a few weeks. What if he lived up to his “Player of Laguna” reputation and expected only a fun fling? Even though he seemed deeper than that. What if she scared him off with a premature talk?

You can find Second Chance In Laguna at the links below:

For a chance to win a $5.00 gift card, like Claire’s Facebook page

It was wonderful having you with us today.  Please feel free to stop by anytime. Good Luck with Second Chance In Laguna!


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A Moment with M.S. Spencer & Her New Sizzling Hot Release Lapses of Memory

Give a warm welcome to M.S. Spencer, author of  Lapses of Memory!

Pull up a chair, grab a drink of your choice from the cooler, a Chocolate Chip or Peanut Butter cookie from the plate, and let’s find out a little about M.S. and her sizzling HOT Lapses of Memory.

Thank you for having me at your great site today, Tena. I’m offering a little background on my new romantic suspense/adventure Lapses of Memory, and a spicy little excerpt.

Lapses of Memory follow the exploits of two journalists, Sydney Bellek and Elian Davies, as they travel the globe reporting on various world catastrophes. The first time they meet as adults, Elian is about to infiltrate a fictional Greek revolutionary group, and Sydney is off to Cairo to stud Arabic. The next time they are both covering the initial stages of the revolution in Iran and only barely escape.

Since I lived through these same events, I wanted to convey both the excitement and the trepidation associated with being in the midst of a world-shattering crisis. As reporters Sydney and Elian sensed that something important was going on, but couldn’t know the extent or the consequences of it. To add that dimension, Sydney tells the story of her life to her daughter. I hope you find it as romantic as I do.

Tell us a little about what inspired this particular story?

Lapses of Memory came about when a former publisher tossed out the idea of a series based on “love in the air.” Rather than starting with a plot of my own devising, I had to come up with one related to someone else’s theme. Sitting quietly in what I euphemistically call my lotus position, I mulled. “Planes,” I said to myself. “Love in the air…snakes on a plane (nah, overdone)…old planes…my first trip on a plane…” Eureka (or aha, whichever you prefer)!  There rose before me the image of an enormous, bulbous silver bird with EASTERN written in red across the side. I’d recently seen it at the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum, which had made me feel really old, since the plane was, in fact, the very first plane I’d flown on at age four. A Boeing 377 Stratocruiser, one of the first to make the transatlantic voyage a regular event, it allowed—with its sleeping berths and formal dining—for luxurious air travel in the 1950s.

My heroine, Sydney, would take that plane. And so would the hero Elian. Everything was going swimmingly, until I realized that, this being a contemporary romance, Sydney and Elian would be too young in 1958 to fall in love. So I was forced to make them suffer through an intermittent romance as they (and airplane design) matured.

This gave me the opportunity to extricate bits from other adventures I’ve had, and so Sydney and Elian became journalists and were subjected to Egyptian/Israeli tensions, to the breakout of the Iranian revolution, and to the civil war in Lebanon. They held up rather well considering.

Where do your story ideas come from? If they come to you in the middle of the night, do you get up and write them all down?

My stories come in one of two ways. I usually start with the setting, followed by extensive Googling. My upcoming release, the Pit and the Passion, is set at the Ghost Hotel, a hotel begun by John Ringling of circus fame in 1926 in Sarasota, and left to crumble for forty years. What do you find at a ghost hotel? Anyone?  Sometimes I

Tehran in the 1960’s

allow the Googling its head and discover the most amazing facts that work their way into a story. The Mason’s Mark features a shadowy renegade Mason, who was based on a real person who cropped up on the internet. Lapses of Memory, my new release, actually came out of reminiscing on my rather adventurous past.

Do you find it easier to write from a male or female point of view? Why?

Funny you should ask that. Up to now all my stories have been written from the female point of view—the heroine is the protagonist, although my heroes usually have a large presence. But in my current work-in-progress, the hero nudged his way into the lead despite all my best efforts. Even though he clearly belongs in charge, it has been a real struggle for me. Is he too effeminate? Is he thinking the way a guy thinks or the way a female thinks a guy thinks? Thank God he’s a nerdy academic type and not a big, strapping cowboy! I’m still working on it…

What do you like to do when you are not writing?

Stare out at the tropical sky? Oh, you mean, get off my butt. I happen to live in paradise—Gulf Coast of Florida—so I spend a couple of hours at the beach when I can, swimming and watching the dolphins and magnificent frigatebirds. I like to kayak and bird watch and cook when I can lasso a guest.

You’ve got a time machine, a cloak of invisibility, and one hour. Where would you go, and what eavesdropping would you do?

 I think the most fascinating place to listen would be at the Constitutional Convention—to hear our founding fathers formulating what is the most amazing document ever produced by Man would be fabulous.
Oh, I so agree.  That’s a good one.  Now on to Lapses of Memory.

Sydney Bellek first meets Elian Davies in the 1950s on a Boeing 377 Stratocruiser when she is five and he is seven. They run into each other every few years after that, but while he knows from the start that she is his true love, she does not. Later, as rival journalists, they vie for scoops on international crises from the Iranian revolution to the Lebanese civil war. The handsome and intrepid Elian beats her out at every turn, even while keeping his love for her secret.
Only after years of separation does she finally realize they are meant to be together, but this time, in a twist of fate, it is Elian whose memory of her is gone. Will he remember her before she loses heart or will their new love be enough to replace the old one?

How about a sneak peek into Sydney Bellek and Elian Davies’ world?

Sydney took her daughter’s hand and squeezed it. “Are you sure you’re doing the right thing?”

Olivia shook her off. “We’ve been over this. I sent Ben away. I think he was relieved. I really do.”

Sydney recollected a man standing, shoulders slumped, as Olivia drove off the day before. “I’m not so sure.” She picked up a small enamel box that lay on her bureau and opened it. “Here, I want you to have this.” She held out a thin gold chain. A small teardrop pearl hung from it.

“What is it?”

“It’s the first gift your father gave me. He bought it in the bazaar in Tangier. I want you to have it.”

Olivia’s voice broke. “Oh, Mother.”

Sydney put it around her daughter’s neck and closed the catch. “Olivia, true love is not to be discarded lightly. You could find yourself regretting your decision years from now.”

“I know, every night in the shower for the rest of my life, wondering where he was and what he was doing. But that was you, not me. I know what I’m doing.”

The Wild Rose Press, itunes , AmazonBarnes and NobleKOBO,  and Bookstrand

Although M. S. Spencer has lived or traveled in five of the seven continents, the last thirty years were spent mostly in Washington, D.C. as a librarian, Congressional staff assistant, speechwriter, editor, birdwatcher, kayaker, policy wonk, non-profit director, and parent. After many years in academia, she worked for the U.S. Senate, the U.S. Department of the Interior, in several library systems, both public and academic, and at the Torpedo Factory Art Center.
Ms. Spencer has published ten romantic suspense novels, and has two more in utero. She has two fabulous grown children and an incredible granddaughter. She divides her time between the Gulf Coast of Florida and a tiny village in Maine.






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It was wonderful having you with us today.  Please feel free to stop by anytime. Good Luck with Lapses of Memory.

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Connie Bretes Author of Blue As Sapphires

Give a warm welcome to Connie Bretes, author of  Blue As Sapphires released February 16, 2017!

Pull up a chair, grab a drink of your choice from the cooler, a Chocolate Chip or Peanut Butter cookie from the plate, and let’s find out a little about Connie and Blue As Sapphires.

National Statistics. On average, nearly 20 people per minute are physically abused by an intimate partner in the United States. … 1 in 3 women and 1 in 4 men have been victims of [some form of] physical violence by an intimate partner within their lifetime.

Boy those are scary stats.

Statistics – National Coalition Against Domestic Violence

Blue As Sapphires was born from my love of sapphire digging, and gold panning in the beautiful Gem Mountains and Rock Creek River that runs through Philipsburg, Montana. Another issue that I’m passionate about is doing away with domestic abuse. I took the two subjects and combined them into a story that made Marissa determined to survive and overcome her ex-husband’s physical and emotional abuse, and the sheriff, Riley McCade, who is determined to love and protect her.

Tell us a little about Blue As Sapphires:

Escaping from her abusive ex-husband, Marissa Simpson came back to her hometown to start over. She had no intention of getting involved with another man, or with the community she left behind all those years ago. That is, until Riley McCade showed up.

Riley was the Sheriff of Granite County and he commanded a work force of fifteen deputies. He loved his community and went out of his way to protect and serve. When he met up with Marissa, he was bound and determined to get to know her even though she said she wasn’t interested.

The more he got to know her, the more he learned of her past. Could he protect her and earn her love?

Buy Links:      Amazon          Beachwalk Press         Barnes & Noble 


A Word About The Author

Connie began her career as a secretary in 1977 for the State of Michigan as a civil servant. She retired from the Michigan Department of Transportation after 38 years as the department’s forms analyst. She has an MBA in Business Administration – Leadership Studies, and a BA in Business Management.

She has six books published, with five more on the way.

Connie spends most of her time behind her computer, writing, editing and researching for her next story. When she’s not there, she can be found checking out ghost towns, sapphire mining, and gold panning with her best friend and husband, Jim. Her other hobbies consists of basket weaving, and jewelry making.

She is a member of RWA’s From The Heart Romance Writers, and Kiss of Death Romance Writers, and lives in Basin, Montana

You Can Find Connie Bretes on:

Website:  Blog  Twitter  Facebook  Goodreads

How about a peek into Blue As Sapphires?

Marissa laid back and wrapped her arms around Riley’s neck. She brought her lips to within an inch of his. She stared into his eyes and noticed how tender they looked. She moved in a little more, and her lips met his. He moved his mouth over hers, devouring it. While the fireworks were going off in the sky, Marissa felt her own fireworks. His kiss sent a shock wave through her entire body. Riley guided Marissa so she was on her back and he was partially on her. His Stetson concealed their faces. They continued to kiss and touch, looking lovingly at each other, and then kiss again.

The fireworks lasted for fifteen minutes, and suddenly a flashlight shone on them and voices interrupted them. Three firefighters stood in front of them singing a line from Burning Love.

Riley and Marissa quickly broke apart.

“What the hell?” Riley said. A hint of irritation laced his voice. He abruptly stood up, grabbed Marissa’s hand, and pulled her up.

“We were told that there was sparks on the ground, and we were asked to put it out,” Mitch said, laughing.

“Just who the hell told you that?” Riley asked.

“Heidi,” John, second firefighter, said with an amused smile on his face.

Riley and Marissa shot Heidi a glance.

“We can see that the sparks have been put out so we’ll head back to the truck.” Mitch smiled even wider.

Dave and Cindy stood off to the side chuckling. Someone from the crowd that had gathered around them asked, “Hey, Sheriff, got a new girlfriend?” Ripples of laughter rang through the crowd.

Marissa continued to glare at Heidi. She couldn’t believe her friend would do something like that. As the party broke up, Marissa said to Heidi, “We will talk later.”

Stop by here,–things.html for a chance to win a free copy of Blue As Sapphires.

It was wonderful having you with us today.  Please feel free to stop by anytime. Good Luck with Blue As Sapphires!

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Author Donna Simonetta Finds A Sweeter Spot!


Give a big welcome to Donna Simonetta, author of A Sweeter Spot. Have a seat and grab an insulated mug. There’s hot chocolate, hot cider and coffee. Choose your pot, they’re labeled. Pick your choice of a Snicker-doodle, Chocolate Chip or Peanut butter cookie from the plate. Yep, I baked them myself.  Thanks for joining us!  I have a few questions for you,  then we’ll talk a little about your new release, A Sweeter Spot.

Tell us a little about you. After years working in the business world, my love of reading led me to get my MLS, and I currently work part-time in a school library, a job that allows me lots of time to explore my other love – writing romance! I live in Maryland, with my husband, who is my real-life romance hero. We both enjoy traveling to visit our far-flung family and friends, and spending time on the beach with an umbrella drink and a good book.

How long have you been writing?  I always wanted to be a writer. When I was a little girl, I would go to the library and look at the shelves to see where my books would go. But real life got in the way, and I pursued other career options. First in market research, until my love of books drove me to get an MLS and work in a school library. After a health scare in 2008, they told me I had cancer when I didn’t–zoinks, talk about terrifying!–I reevaluated my life, and decided to try my hand at writing.

Did you tell friends and family that you were writing a book? Or did it take a while to come out and tell friends and family you were a writer?  My husband knew I was writing, but other than Leo, I kept it quiet. I remember showing my work to him after I’d written a few chapters and I said, “I don’t think this sucks–would you read it and let me know honestly?” He did, and he loved it! I still kept it under my hat until my first novel was finished, and then I came out to my family and friends. They have all been tremendously supportive!

Do you find it easier to write from a male or female point of view? Why? I’m actually pretty comfortable writing both points of view. The female point of view for the obvious reason that I am one! And my day job helps with the male perspective. I work part-time in the library at a private all-boys school, so I am surrounded by testosterone during the school year. While the faculty is becoming slightly more balanced, when I first started working there, in addition to the all-male student body, the majority of our faculty was male also. It still is, but a less massive majority nowadays. It’s helped to give me some insight into how men talk and interact with each other, and it has really helped me create realistic male characters

You’ve got a time machine, a cloak of invisibility, and one hour. Where would you go, and what eavesdropping would you do?  Hmm…this is an intriguing question! Really thought-provoking. I’ve always been interested in, some might say obsessed, with Queen Elizabeth I, so I think I would want to pop in on her in a private moment, to try to see what her world was really like.

Where can we find you?

What is A Sweeter Spot about?

Magda knows a 28-year-old shouldn’t run away from home, but Rivers Bend is the ideal escape. Helping out her best friend will get her away from her uber-wealthy, controlling grandmother and duplicitous ex. She doesn’t expect the quirky little town to feel so much like home. Add in hotter-than-the-sun Jeff and his daughter, and leaving seems as unthinkable as it is inevitable.

Raising Sam alone, Jeff knew he wanted her to grow up in his supportive hometown. The arrival of a feisty new tenant sends Jeff’s world spinning. Magda fills a void in his life that he’d like to make permanent.

Will love triumph over the most powerful woman in the country, and can they figure out how to make this happy-for-now in Rivers Bend into their happy-ever-after?

How about a sneak peek into the book?

“Being cheated on is no fun. It happened to me once. Up here,” he tapped his forehead. “You know it’s not your fault. But here,” he tapped his chest over his heart. “You feel like it has to be your fault – like you could’ve done something to prevent it. But you couldn’t have. It’s all on him, Maggie. Not you.”

She picked a dandelion, whose flower had turned into a puffball, and blew on it, scattering the fluff to the wind. “Maybe. Maybe not. But thanks for the support.”

She pushed to her feet and took a couple of steps toward the river. Jeff rose and followed.

How could he be so angry at a man he didn’t even know? How could this Pierce jerk have slept around on a woman like Maggie? And the prick had even made her doubt herself in the process. It was written all over her anguished face.

He stood behind her and gently kneaded her shoulders. He turned her to face him and cupped her face in his big hands.

“This Pierce guy is the biggest fool on earth to go to someone else when he had you at home, Maggie.”

She blinked away tears, and he felt his heart constrict. Before he could think it through and decide it was a really bad idea, Jeff dipped his head and captured Magda’s lips in a gentle kiss.


The Wild Rose Press:

Barnes & Noble:

Amazon UK:

It was wonderful having you with us today.  Please feel free to stop by anytime. Good Luck with A Sweeter Spot!

Posted in Authors' Secrets Blog and tagged by with 16 comments.
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