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!

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Seraphina’s Initiation by Sheena Hutchinson

Give a big welcome to Sheena Hutchinson, author of Seraphina’s Initiation, second book in the Seraphina series. Have a seat and grab an insulated mug, there’s hot chocolate, hot cider and coffee on the counter. Choose your pot, they’re labeled. Pick your choice of a Snickerdoodle, Chocolate Chip or Peanut butter cookie from the plate. Yep, I baked them myself. Sheena, tell us a little about Seraphina’s Initiation.  Thanks for joining us!

Seraphina Cross is unexpectedly thrown into this crazy, spiritual world of Angels versus Demons.Never did she expect to meet Nate who was just a figment of her imagination. Now she finds herself moving in with him because of her innate responsibility to protect her loved ones from harm.

Finally beginning to feel at home in her new house and with her new relationship. Nate begins training Sera in all that she can do, surprising even himself at times. Just when she is starting to feel safe and powerful, Lucifer finds a new way to attack her at her most vulnerable.

When her dreams are no longer a gift, can Sera control the powers needed to defeat what’s coming before Lucifer fulfills his promise to her?

Seraphina’s Initiation
Seraphina Series
Book Two
Sheena Hutchinson
Publication Date: 2/20/2017
Publisher: Sheena Hutchinson LLC
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Page count: 298
Amazon         Goodreads


About the Author:
Sheena is a born and raised New Yorker, even her writing can’t seem to hide her hard sarcasm. She claims destiny has lead her back to her true passion for writing. 
She constantly strives to be a positive role model and writes stories that empower and inspire. Sheena always roots for the underdog, believes in love at first sight, and that everyone should have their happily ever after.
While God is currently still writing her love story, she continues to put all her effort into her writing as she is constantly getting new inspiration.
For more info, updates, and fun facts visit her online:


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It was wonderful having you with us today.  Please feel free to stop by anytime. Good Luck with Seraphina’s Initiation.


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Surprise Me Again by Anita Kidesu

Give a big welcome to Anita Kidesu, author of Surprise Me Again. Have a seat and grab an insulated mug. I’ve got hot chocolate, hot cider and coffee. Choose your pot, they’re labeled. Pick your choice of a Snicker-doodle, Chocolate Chip or frosted heart shaped sugar cookie from the plate. Yep, I baked them myself. Thanks for joining us!

Tell us a little about writing this story Anita. “Surprise Me Again,” actually started out as a short story called “Surprise Me, for the Candy Heart Series with The Wild Rose Press.  As I was working on it, I realized Josie and Carson’s story couldn’t be told in a few pages, so I knew there would be a continuing book.  I struggled with Surprise Me until one day, as I was sitting on my deck, Josie and Carson screamed at me what they wanted. When I did what they said, the story flowed like a river.

I write by the seat of my pants. I do plot out my characters, know the setting, and have a good idea where I want the story to go. But those darn characters don’t always listen to me. If I were a plotter, I think I would go crazy when the story didn’t go as I wanted.

I see you brought Erik with you. Got time for a couple of questions?

“If they’re quick, I need to get going. Carson is expecting me.”

What event in your past has left the most indelible impression on you? “When my ex-wife and I were trying to have children and we found out I was the problem. She left me for “a real man who could father her children.” It was as if I’d been kicked in the heart by a horse. I was willing to adopt, she wasn’t.”

What do you most value? “Family. I wanted a family so badly. It didn’t matter if the child was of my blood or not.”

What is the type of woman you want to spend the rest of your life with? “I believe I found her. She’s funny, caring, smart. And most of all, she accepts me for who I am, not what I can or can’t give her.”

What do you consider most important in life? “Love. Without love, we’re all lost.”

What is your biggest secret?” Hmm. That’s a tough one. I’m not a secretive kind of guy. In fact, growing up, my siblings never told me secrets because I couldn’t keep them.  Now I really got to go, nice meeting you!”  Erik waves and hurries out the back door into the parking lot.

The front door chimes.  Josie, nice to see you! Got time for a few questions before heading out with Anita?

“Sure, I guess so.”

Who were the biggest role models in your life? Without a doubt it would be my parents. They had a solid marriage, are hard-working, supported my brothers and sisters and myself in whatever we chose to do – unless it would harm us. They were quiet in their reprimands. In fact, I wish there had been times when they’d just yell at me.

What kind of man do you want to spend the rest of your life with? A man who supported me in my goals. One who wanted to be with me, and I with him, but let me be my own person. Someone with a sense of humor, smart, caring. I think I just described my husband.

What kind of man would you never choose? That’s easy. One who thinks he knows what a woman wants and needs to tell her what to do. You know – the man is always right.

What is most important to you in life? My family. My husband, sons, parents, siblings.

What is your biggest fear? Losing my husband of one of my children.

Thanks so much Josie.  Anita, how about a teaser for Surprise Me Again?

Charged with trespassing and indecent exposure on Erik Stenson’s private beach, Carson and Josie Sandberg return to South Padre Island to take care of the ticket. However, their reunion with Erik is not what they expected. An invitation for a drink turns into a weekend of passion that fulfills fantasies and leaves all parties wanting to explore a threesome outside the bedroom. Will time, distance, and family issues stand in the way, or will they be surprised again?

Where can we find Surprise Me Again?

The Wild Rose Press  Amazon   Barnes & Noble

Any chance we could get a sneak peek into Surprise Me Again? “Of course.”



“What about you?” Josie said. “Have you ever been married?”

“I was. Years ago. It didn’t last.”

A flicker of sorrow passed over Josie’s eyes. “Can you tell us what happened?” She frowned into her drink. “That is, if you want to.”

“It’s okay. I married Jessica about…” Hell how long had it been? Where had the time gone? “I guess nearly twenty years ago. Like you, we met in college, fell in love, married. Things were good for a few years.”

Josie leaned to her side, allowing the waiter to place a plate before her. Ignoring her food, she folded her hands under chin and kept her attention on him. “What happened?”

“We wanted children. Jessica ached for children. It became an obsession.” Eric took one of the large shrimp from the platter in the middle of the table and began peeling it with trembling fingers, giving him a chance to get his emotions under control. Lord, how he’d wanted children, but not enough to end his marriage.

“After a few years when we didn’t conceive, we looked for answers. By that time Jessica was convinced she was the problem and fell into a deep depression. Nothing I did helped. She wouldn’t agree to see a counselor. My mother finally convinced us to seek a fertilization doctor.” Eric threw the shrimp on his plate and took a long swallow of beer. “Turns out I was the problem, not her. Seems those mumps I’d had as a kid did a number on my little swimmers. Killed them all.”

“Hell, that’s awful, man,” Carson said while Josie placed her hand on Eric’s.

Their sympathy nearly did him in. He swallowed around the lump in his throat and squeezed his damp eyes.

After all these years, the pain was still buried under his heart only to surface on dark, lonely nights and like now as he recounted the story. They were the first ones he’d opened up to. None of the other people in his threesomes had even cared to ask.

Carson took a sip of his beer. “What happened then?”

“I wanted to adopt. Wanted to create a family with Jessica. It didn’t matter if the children were of our blood or not. The doctors had talked about in-vitro. Turns out Jessica didn’t feel the same way.” He took deep breath and tried to calm his pounding heart. He wiped his palms on his shorts.

“I came home one day with information on adoption and some on in-vitro fertilization only to find her and her stuff gone. She had left me a note, telling me she wanted children from her own body. Wanted to create them naturally. Didn’t want to be married to a man who wasn’t a man.”

“The bitch,” Josie said, her eyes filling with tears. “Oops, sorry. I shouldn’t have called her that.”

“Don’t worry. I’ve called her that and worse.”

“How the hell did you handle it?” Carson asked. “I would have been devastated if Josie had done that to me.”

“I drank and buried myself in my writing. I wrote my first novel during this time.”

“If I recall, that book was rather cutting against women,” Carson said.

Eric shook his head and chuckled. “Yeah. I enjoyed killing off my heroine. Coincidentally, she closely resembled my ex.”

“Did you get in trouble for it?” Josie asked, peeling her third shrimp.

“Since I use a pen name, I don’t think she even knows I write. Besides, she was too busy finding another husband to father her eight children.”

Carson choked on his beer. “Eight?”

“Yeah. She really did want kids, but I’m not sure I would have agreed to that many. I was also told she’s gained about a hundred pounds.” Under Josie’s quiet scrutiny, he dropped his gaze to his plate.

“It still hurts, though, doesn’t it?” Josie asked.

Eric shrugged. “It’s not as bad as it was. I sometimes think about how I could have kids in college or be a grandfather by now.”

Where can we find Surprise Me Again?

The Wild Rose Press  Amazon   Barnes & Noble

Now Anita,  a little about you and just a few questions before you are off and running with Josie.

: From the time she was a teenager, Anita would sneak her grandmother’s romances and read them until all hours of the night. She never thought about creating one herself, but fell into it with a few friends. On a long road trip, they started talking about their favorite authors and why they like their books. To kill time, they started making up their own characters and plot.

From that point on, Anita had story ideas and characters filling her head. Finally, to shut them up, (or so she thought), she started writing them down, surprised at how erotic her characters wanted to be. Her first book with The Wild Rose Press, “South Seas Seduction,” was published in March, 2015. Her short story, “Surprise Me,” part of the Candy Hearts Series, was published in January, 2016. The continuing story, “Surprise Me Again,” was released on February 10, 2017.

Now, in between being a pharmacist, taking care of her two cats, and spending time with her family and friends, she writes. Her stories are about love and romance on the edge.

Speed round, shout first thing that comes to your mind. 

Who is your favorite character of all the books you’ve written and why? I think it would be Eric Stenson from “Surprise Me Again.” All he ever wanted was a family of his own. After being rejected by his wife because he couldn’t give her children, he felt he was a reject. When he found Josie and Carson, his life seemed on track again. But when they rejected him, his heart was broken.

Do you find it easier to write from a male or female point of view? Why? When I first started writing, I had an easier time writing from the female POV. But lately , it’s been the male’s POV that I have fun with. I’m not sure if it’s because as I get older, I’m learning that men have the same insecurities, same dreams, same desire for love that women have. They just have a different way of processing it and letting us know what they want.

What do you do when you’re not writing? I love photography, hiking, biking, camping, and of course reading. Even though I have a full-time job besides writing, I can still read at least one book a week. Sometimes it’s more if the book is shorter. I can understand people who say they don’t have time to read. There is always time to read.

You’ve got a time machine, a cloak of invisibility, and one hour. Where would you go, and what eavesdropping would you do? My first reaction would be to go back and eavesdrop on Abraham Lincoln as he was writing the Gettysburg Address. I can’t imagine the emotional pain he was going through during this turbulent time in our history.






Newsletter link:…

Anita, it was wonderful having you with us today.  Please feel free to stop by anytime. Good Luck with Surprise Me Again!

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Author, Casi McLean Thrills with Beneath The Lake

Give a big welcome to Casi McLean, author of Beneath The Lake. Have a seat and grab an insulated mug, there’s  hot chocolate, hot cider and coffee on the counter. 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. Casi’s tell us about your inspiration for Beneath the lake.  Thanks for joining us!

I love to talk about my, Beneath The Lake, and the eerie lake lore that inspired my muse. A town that time forgot––the history and creepy stories attached to a rural area that sleeps beneath Atlanta’s famous man-made lake, Sidney Lanier, fascinated me. Homes, churches and businesses still linger beneath the surface. The moonshiners of the 1940’s added built-in suspense, and the birth of NASCAR. Looper Speedway, a half-mile dirt track where bootleggers competed with their souped-up cars, exposed its cement stands in a recent draught.

There’s a Lady of the Lake who haunts the ghost town too––the spine-chilling lore is the basis for book three in my Beneath The Lake series, Between The Shadows. Some say she lures victims to her watery grave. The truth is, swimmers get trapped among the deadfall of sheered-off trees and town remains. Even expert divers get tangled beneath the murky surface, hence the lake’s unnerving label: Lanier never gives up its dead. The inspiration swirled in my mind, begging for a story to be told. What a perfect setting for my romantic time-slip suspense series.

Why time-slip? Ever since my childhood imagination discovered Madeleine L’Engles, A Wrinkle In Time, the idea of time travel intrigued me. And Lake Lanier, a man-made lake with mesmerizing history, presented a plausible theory. What if the excavation explosions triggered a seismic shift? Given enough energy, could the blasts rip a portal into a different dimension or a crack in time? The possibilities were endless.

The birth of Lacey Montgomery evolved through my young adult love for Jude Deveraux’s A Knight In Shining Armor. The time-slip novel introduced her endearing Montgomery family. I hope my books honor her inspiration. My high school friend, Hilary Johnson, inspired the persona of my heroine, Lacey Montgomery. A lawyer, discouraged with defending criminals, yearned to help honest people in trouble. Some of Hillary’s finer qualities became part of Lacey––the dysfunctional relationships came from my own personal experiences. LOL. Once these elements entwined, Beneath The Lake blossomed with an energy and life of its own.

The sequel, Beyond The Mist, picks up where the first story ends incorporating two minor characters as the new hero and heroine. Beyond The Mist is complete, in editing, and will be published in a few months.

For a Free Gift, and a chance to win my entire short story collection, Destiny: Five Novelettes With a Twist, click here:

I hope you enjoy my trailer, blurb, and the opening excerpt below.

Blurb –

A ghost town submerged beneath Atlanta’s famous man-made Lake Lanier reportedly lures victims to a watery grave. But when Lacey Montgomery’s car spins out of control and hurtles into the depths of the icy water, she awakens in the arms of a stranger, in a town she’s never heard of–34 years before she was born.

When the 2012 lawyer tangles with a 1949 hunk, fire and ice swirl into a stream of sweltering desire. Bobby Reynolds is smitten the moment the storm-ravaged woman opens her eyes and, despite adamant protest, Lacey falls in love with a town destined for extinction, and the man who vows to save his legacy.

Threatened by a nefarious stalker, the wrath of bootleggers, and twists of fate, Lacey must find the key to a mysterious portal before time rips the lovers apart, leaving their star-crossed spirits to wander forever through a ghost town buried beneath the lake.


Lake Lanier, Georgia—June 2011

A final thud hurled him backward, flailing through brush and thickets like a rag doll. Grasping at anything to break momentum, Rob’s hand clung to a branch wedged into the face of the precipice. Spiny splinters sliced his skin. Blood oozed and trickled into his palms, and one by one, his fingers slowly slipped.

A sharp crack echoed through the silence of the ravine as the bough succumbed to his weight. He plummeted into free-fall. Clenching his eyes, he drew in a deep breath, terrified of the pain, the mauling that waited on the jagged rocks below.

When icy water broke his fall, the chill kept him from losing consciousness. He spun, straining to see, but darkness enveloped him. Soggy clothing pulled him deeper—deeper into the murky, fathomless depths. He wrestled to squirm free from the waterlogged jacket dragging him down to a watery grave, watched the coat disappear into black obscurity. Panic gripped his stomach, or was it death that snaked around his chest, squeezing, squeezing, squeezing the air, the life from his body? Lack of oxygen burned his lungs, beckoning surrender, and a shard of rage pierced his gut as reality set in. He lunged upward with one last thrust and burst from the water’s deadly grip, gasping for air. A gurgling howl spewed from the depths of his soul and echoed into silence.

Sunlight shimmered across a smooth, indigo lake, but aside from the slight ripples of his own paddling, nothing but stillness surrounded him. He floated toward the shore, sucking deep breaths into his lungs until the pummeling in his chest subsided. When he reached the water’s edge, he hoisted his body onto the soft red clay and collapsed while the sun’s warmth drained the tension from his body.

No one knew he had survived. The rules had shifted. Now he could reinvent himself, become a stealth predator. His target: Lacey Madison Montgomery.

Beneath The Lake is available at:

USA Amazon Link:

Worldwide Amazon Link:


Award winning author, Casi McLean, pens novels to stir the soul with romance, suspense, and a sprinkle of magic. Her writing crosses genres from ethereal, captivating shorts with eerie twist endings to believable time slips, mystical plots, and sensual romantic suspense. Beneath The Lake won the 2016 Gayle Wilson Award of Excellence for BEST Romantic Suspense.

Her stories entwine strong, believable heroines with delicious hot heroes to tempt the deepest desires then fans the flames, sweeping readers into their innermost romantic fantasies. Ms. McLean weaves exceptional romantic mystery with suspenseful settings and lovable characters you’ll devour. You’ll see, hear, and feel the magical eeriness of one fateful night. You’ll swear her time travel could happen, be mystified by her other worldly images, and feel heat of romantic suspense, but most of all you’ll want more.

Contact Links:

Website  Twitter  Facebook  GoodReads  Amazon Author Page  Blog

It was wonderful having you with us today.  Please feel free to stop by anytime. Good Luck with Beneath The Lake and it’s upcoming sequel, Beyond The Mist.

Posted in Authors' Secrets Blog and tagged , , , , , , , , by with 19 comments.
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